Tag:Jeff Goodman
Posted on: September 21, 2011 9:05 am
Edited on: September 21, 2011 9:07 am

The Pac-12 may have just saved the Big 12

By Jeff Goodman

The Pac-12 may have just saved the Big 12.

League commissioner Larry Scott announced late last night that the Pac-12 would remain a 12-team conference.

"While we have great respect for all of the institutions that have contacted us, and certain expansion proposals were financially attractive, we have a strong conference structure and culture of equality that we are committed to preserve," Scott said in a statement. "With new landmark TV agreements and plans to launch our innovative television networks, we are going to focus solely on these great assets, our strong heritage and the bright future in front of us."

There was a possibility that Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech were headed from the Big 12 to the Pac-12, which would have triggered wholesale changes on the conference landscape. That would have left the Big 12 extremely vulnerable with just Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Baylor and Iowa State.

Certainly, Texas and its new Longhorn Network had something to do with the fact that the Pac-12 opted against expansion. The league was adamant that the revenue would be split equally.

However, this decision by the Pac-12 doesn't mean this game of league musical chairs is over. They'll be more maneuvering, whether it be the ACC and Big East adding a couple more teams, the SEC grabbing one or even the Pac-12 - down the road - opting to expand.

But it's no longer complete mayhem.

The Pac-12 is still a league on solid footing without the four schools under consideration. Obviously, Texas would have heightened its profile - but the financial risk didn't outweigh the reward.

The Big 12 has nine members after Nebraska and Colorado already left and Texas A&M is headed to the SEC. It will likely try and pluck another school in order to get to 10.

The Big East would then likely stay together as a football-basketball league despite the impending losses of Pittsburgh and Syracuse. The conference sits at 15 schools with the addition of TCU, but there's still a possibility that a couple of its members - UConn and Rutgers being the prime candidates - go elsewhere.

So, while there's still movement on the horizon, the Pac-12's decision brought a little clarity to an arena in which it's clearly needed.
Posted on: September 20, 2011 12:04 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2011 12:23 pm

Rick Majerus no longer concerned with his health

By Jeff Goodman

Rick Majerus admits this past year was the most difficult of his life.

"Nothing can be as bad," he said.

Majerus lost his mother, Alyce, this past August. He took the brunt of a collision from two players on the sideline this past season -- which ultimately resulted in an infection in his leg. Majerus also recently had a stent inserted -- which meant he was unable to coach on the team's recent trip to Canada.

The 63-year-old has had his share of health issues in the past.

But he is more concerned with his team's well-being than his own.

"I feel good now," Majerus said. "It's all behind me now."

"I've been in good health lately," he added. "It's just unfortunate circumstances."

A year ago, Majerus' Saint Louis Billikens were supposed to vie for the A-10 crown with Xavier and Temple. But then he lost his top two players, Willie Reed and Kwamain Mitchell, who were suspended for the season for an off-the-court incident.

Mitchell is back, but Reed wasn't reinstated.

"Take the top two players off any team in America and you're going to have a serious drop," Majerus said.

Majerus is just hoping for an injury-free campaign, but it's already hit his team. Starter Kyle Cassity didn't play at all, Mitchell suffered a back injury in Canada, Jordair Jett hurt his knee, Cody Ellis needed stitches after an injury apparently climbing a fence.

"My health is not an issue," Majerus said. "My biggest concern is the health of my team."

Posted on: September 20, 2011 8:49 am

Pac-12 is back

By Jeff Goodman

The Pac-12 - or whatever the league will wind up being called at the end of this re-alignment fiasco - is back.

Well, not quite yet.

But it will be.

When Kyle Anderson opted to travel 3,000 or so miles away and chose UCLA on Monday night, it not only signified that Ben Howland and the Bruins will return to national relevancy.

But also the the league on the west coast, the one that has been college hoops' whipping boy over the last few years, will have its flagship programs - UCLA and Arizona - back.

UCLA can win a national title in 2012-13.

Arizona can win the national title in 2012-13.

Washington can also contend for the Final Four in 2012-13.

That's three elite-level teams. 

Obviously, things need to fall into place.

Shabazz Muhammad, the No. 1 player in the country, committing to the Bruins put them squarely in the national championship picture. But even if he doesn't show up, Howland still could trot out a powerful group that includes a frontline of Josh Smith, Reeves Nelson and the Wear Twins - with Anderson, point guard Dominic Artis, Tyler Lamb and Jordan Adams on the perimeter.

That's pending Nelson and Smith don't leave after this year.

Arizona coach Sean Miller has stockpiled two consecutive recruiting classes to the point that he's also got Arizona to where the Wildcats will considered an elite team a year from now. This year's group is led by guards Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson while he'll add two of the top big men in the nation in 2012: Brandon Ashley and Grant Jarrett. Arizona is also in a battle with Kansas for talented 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski.

Then you've got Washington. Lorenzo Romar's starting unit could look like this in 2012-13: Senior point guard Abdul Gaddy, junior wings Terrence Ross and C.J. Wilcox, talented sophomore Tony Wroten and senior big man Aziz N'Diaye.

There hasn't been much reason lately to watch west coast basketball. Sure, Arizona went to the Elite Eight last year - but the Wildcats overachieved. The only times I went out were to see The Jimmer and/or San Diego State.

The last time I was in Pauley Pavilion was when Lute Olson was roaming the opposing sideline. It seems like an eternity ago. 

My guess is I'll be there again in 2012 - and it won't be my only Pac-12 destination, either.
Posted on: September 19, 2011 4:14 pm
Edited on: September 19, 2011 4:15 pm

Braeden Anderson's new philosophy

By Jeff Goodman

Braeden Anderson has a new philosophy in the wake of being ruled a "partial qualifier" by the NCAA.

"For the right situation, I'll find a way to pay this year," the 6-foot-8 Canadian, who wasn't cleared to attend Kansas by the NCAA last week, told CBSSports.com on Monday.

"I've had time to look into the situation and I just want to play big-time college basketball," he added.

Anderson said he's been told by school compliance officials that they feel as though he'd have a "good chance" of winning an appeal. However, he can't remain at Kansas after being informed that he cannot play in the Big 12 since the league didn't clear him as a partial.

Anderson has researched numerous avenues - prep school, junior college and also going to a school that would be able to scholarship "partial qualifiers".

Anderson said he scored a 1450 on the SAT, but classes at a prep school down in North Carolina were called into question by the NCAA.

"My dream is to play at a big-time school like Kansas," Anderson said. "And I'll do whatever I can to achieve it."
Posted on: September 19, 2011 11:15 am
Edited on: September 19, 2011 11:25 am

Calhoun: 'UConn needs to take care of UConn'

By Jeff Goodman

Jim Calhoun's line: UConn needs to worry about UConn.

"We have a lot to offer," Calhoun told CBSSports.com on Monday morning. "We're very attractive now. This isn't 25 years ago."

Calhoun went onto talk about the national championships, the continued growth and success of the football program and the location of the school in regards to its media coverage from New York to Boston.

"It's a different world now here," he said.

Calhoun wouldn't talk specifically about the possibility of UConn heading to the ACC (he said he'll leave that to UConn president Susan Herbst), but he sure sounded like a guy who knew his program was in for a change.

Multiple sources have confirmed ESPN's report over the weekend that UConn is in serious discussions to go to the ACC.

"What UConn needs to do is put it head down and take care of UConn," Calhoun said. "Do what's best for us - just like everyone else needs to do what's best for their institution."

Calhoun, 69, sounded upbeat about the potential change of conference home.

"I'd face any challenge. Anywhere," Calhoun said. "Line 'em up and let's play them. I'd be excited by it."

My sense is that Calhoun would welcome the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with Coach K and Roy Williams and Duke and North Carolina as his career winds down.

That may not have been the case a year ago, when the Huskies appeared to be on the downward spiral, but now after a national title - and the addition of the program's best recruiting class in a while - Calhoun's swagger is at an all-time high.


Posted on: September 16, 2011 6:23 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2011 6:33 pm

Kansas frosh not admitted by Big 12

By Jeff Goodman

Kansas freshman Braeden Anderson is beyond frustrated.

Anderson, one of three Jayhawks who hasn't been cleared to play by the NCAA, told CBSSports.com that he was informed on Friday that he won't be accepted by the Big 12 as a partial qualifier.

"I've had better days," Anderson said. "The NCAA cleared me to be a partial qualifier, but the Big 12 doesn't allow partials to be on scholarship."

The 6-foot-8 Anderson, who grew up in Alberta, Canada, said he was advised by his summer coach, Ro Russell, to attend Christian Faith in North Carolina and re-do his junior year, not knowing the implications.

"That was technically my fourth year of high school by NCAA standards," Anderson said. ``My mother paid a lot of money to go there and we thought everything would be fine. That's what he told us."

Anderson then transferred to Wilbraham and Monson Academy, a prep school in Massachusetts with a strong academic reputation where he spent all of last season. He said he earned all A's and B's, but it didn't matter because he had already completed four years of high school.

"So the NCAA didn't count anything I did last year," Anderson said.

Anderson is one of six siblings who was raised by a stay-at-home mother. He said he doesn't have the financial means to pay his own way at Kansas.

"I'm not sure what I'm going to do now," Anderson said. "My dream was to play at Kansas."

Anderson said he attended summer school at Kansas at part of a bridge program and received a pair of A's, even scoring high enough on an exam that allowed him to test out of certain freshman classes. He also scored a 1450 on the SAT.

"Basketball was my ticket, my future," Anderson said. "It's the only way I can afford to go to college."

Posted on: September 16, 2011 3:39 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2011 5:14 pm

Goodman's Wooden Preseason Top 50

By Jeff Goodman

The deadline for submitting the list of 50 players for the John Wooden Preseason watch list was this afternoon.

My guess is that my colleague, Gary Parrish, missed it. I did not. 

Anyway, here's my list of 50.

Remember, transfers and freshman are not eligible, so that means that guys like frosh Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers - as well as transfer Arnett Moultrie - couldn't be included.

My Wooden Preseason Top 50

Tim Abromaitis, 6-8, PF, Sr., Notre Dame
Harrison Barnes, 6-8, SF, Soph., North Carolina
Will Barton, 6-6, SG, Soph., Memphis
Dee Bost, 6-2, PG, Sr., Mississippi State
William Buford, 6-5, SG, Sr., Ohio State
Kyle Casey, 6-7, SF, Jr., Harvard
Jason Clark, 6-2, G, Sr., Georgetown
Aaron Craft, 6-2, PG, Soph., Ohio State
Matthew Dellavedova, 6-4, G, Jr., Saint Mary's
Festus Ezeli, 6-11, C, Sr., Vanderbilt
Ashton Gibbs, 6-2, G, Sr., Pittsburgh
Mike Glover, 6-7, F, Sr., Iona
Drew Gordon, 6-9, PF, Sr., New Mexico
Draymond Green, 6-6, PF, Sr., Michigan State
JaMychal Green, 6-8, PF, Sr., Alabama
Jorge Gutierrez, 6-3, G, Sr., California
Tim Hardaway 6-5, SG, Jr., Soph., Michigan
Elias Harris, 6-7, F, Jr., Gonzaga
John Henson, 6-11, PF, Jr., North Carolina
Tu Holloway, 6-0, PG, Sr., Xavier
Robbie Hummel, 6-8, F, Sr., Purdue
Joe Jackson, 6-0, PG, Soph., Memphis
Scoop Jardine, 6-2, PG, Sr., Syracuse
John Jenkins, 6-4, SG, Jr., Vanderbilt
Orlando Johnson, 6-5, SG, Sr., UC Santa Barbara
Kevin Jones, 6-8, F, Sr., West Virginia
Perry Jones, 6-11, F, Soph., Baylor
Terrence Jones, 6-9, PF, Soph., Kentucky
Ryan Kelly, 6-10, F, Jr., Duke
Jeremy Lamb, 6-5, SG, Soph., UConn
Kendall Marshall, 6-4, PG, Soph., North Carolina
Trevor Mbakwe, 6-8, PF, Sr., Minnesota
Ray McCallum, 6-3, PG, Soph., Detroit
Rodney McGruder, 6-4, SG, Jr., Kansas State
Doug McDermott, 6-7, F, Soph., Creighton
Shabazz Napier, 6-1, PG, Soph., UConn
Reeves Nelson, 6-7, PF, Jr., UCLA
Andrew Nicholson, 6-10, PF, Sr., St. Bonaventure
Alex Oriakhi, 6-9, C, Jr., UConn
Thomas Robinson, 6-9, PF, Jr., Kansas
Terrence Ross, 6-6, SG, Soph., Washington
John Shurna, 6-9, F, Sr., Northwestern
Peyton Siva, 5-11, PG, Jr., Louisville
Josh Smith, 6-9, C, Soph., UCLA
Jared Sullinger, 6-9, PF/C, Soph., Ohio State
Jeffery Taylor, 6-7, SF, Sr., Vanderbilt
Jordan Taylor, 6-1, PG, Sr., Wisconsin
Maalik Wayns, 6-2, PG, Soph., Villanova
Patric Young, 6-9, C, Soph., Florida
Tyler Zeller, 7-0, C, Sr., North Carolina
Posted on: September 16, 2011 1:52 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2011 3:06 pm

Trippin': Fairfield's Johnson's 1st-look at Stags

By Jeff Goodman

Sydney Johnson took over a team that returns its top two scorers and adds a potential Player of the Year candidate in Boston College transfer Rakim Sanders.

Johnson had several conversations with the coach that put this team together, Providence coach Ed Cooley, after taking the job.

"I think about all the talks," he said. "And 99.9 percent of what he told me is the case."

Cooley raved - as he has been doing to anyone and everyone who will listen - about his point guard Derek Needham. He spoke highly of the development of senior big man Ryan Olander, who averaged 10.4 points and 6.8 boards last season - and talked about the talent and potential of Sanders.

Johnson saw it for himself recently after taking the Stags to Italy - where they went 4-0.

In one game, Sanders lit it up for 35 points.

What Johnson learned on the trip: "These guys have the ability to learn quickly. We're going to keep some of the things that Ed (Cooley) did and we're certainly going to bring some of the things that have worked for us. They really soaked it up."

Who stood out: Rakim Sanders is as good as people described him to be - especially from a talent standpoint. At this point in the school year, he's walked the walk. He played well on the trip, he's smart and talented. The other thing that stood out for me is Derek Needham's leadership. He was talking all the time, taking charges and taking big shots."

What concerns Johnson: Iona, Rider, Manhattan, Siena. .. I look at our league and there are some really good teams."

- Freshman big man Vincent Van Nes made the trip, but did not play due to a foot injury. "He wasn't cleared, but we think he'll be back working out today."

- Johnson played Needham with fellow point guard Desmond Wade on the court together at times - and also had Wade as Needham's back-up. "We'll see how it plays out," Johnson said. "Des already has good chemistry with the guys since he was here all of last year. He's a guy who looks to get his teammates shots - and who wouldn't want to play with a guy like that?"

- On freshman forward Adam Jones: "He's very poised and has an old-man's game. He's a good fit for us and how we like to do things. He can pass, shoot and score - and he can play all over the court."
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com