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Tag:Jeff Goodman
Posted on: August 19, 2011 4:51 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 4:52 pm
 

Source: St. Mary's Bennett inks new 10-year deal

By Jeff Goodman

Randy Bennett has inked a new 10-year deal.

According to a source close to the Saint Mary's program, the Gaels head coach - who has a 208-112 mark in his decade at the helm - signed the deal earlier this week.

The deal goes through the 2021-22 campaign.

Bennett has won at least 25 games each of the past four seasons and led the Gaels to the Sweet 16 two years ago.

Saint Mary's should have a chance to go to another NCAA tournament (Bennett has been three times in his tenure) this season despite losing point guard Mickey McConnell.

The Gaels return all of their other starters - including all-league guys Matthew Dellavedova and Rob Jones.
Posted on: August 19, 2011 2:33 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 2:48 pm
 

Alaska star Bookert commits to Florida State

By Jeff Goodman

Devon Bookert had options.

The Alaska native could have gone to Cal or San Diego State right now. Instead, the 6-foot-3 point guard has committed to Florida State in the Class of 2012.

"I was comfortable with them as people and I just felt like it was the best fit," Bookert told CBSSports.com.

But first Bookert, who has spent the last few years at Anchorage West High, will go spend this year at Impact Basketball Academy in Las Vegas.

"It’s a chance for me to get better and stronger," Bookert said. "I know I could play in college this year -- I’ve played against some of the best players in the country, but most of the kids have already been in summer school and I’d already be starting out behind."

Bookert started to gain some traction as a player in the summer, but his national coming-out-party was when he put up 22 points and had 10 assists in Branch West’s huge upset over the Oakland Soldiers in late-July.

Bookert is an old-school point guard has managed to slip under the radar, but Leonard Hamilton has done well with those type of kids -- from Al Thornton to Bernard James to Okaro White.

"I expect him to be a very good player," said former Anchorage West High's Chuck White, who also coached Trajan Langdon. "He loves the game, refuses to get outworked and is very competitive. He's just a good all-around, well-rounded player. He's a lot like Trajan -- he handles the ball better while Trajan was a better shooter."

Posted on: August 19, 2011 12:43 pm
 

Trippin': Yarou shines in 'Nova's overseas tour

In our Trippin' series we're talking to teams as they return from preseason trips to foreign locales. Click here for all Trippin' related stories.

By Jeff Goodman

Jay Wright sounded awfully upbeat for a man whose Villanova team just returned from a 1-4 trip to France and the Netherlands.

But then again, the Wildcats didn't exactly play cupcakes, either.

They played the Senegalese national team, which was preparing for the African Championships, on two occasions, went up against the Netherlands national team, the senior national team from Israel and finished out with a contest against the Georgian national team.

"We played some great teams," Wright said. ``And it was a terrific trip."

Other than the conversation Wright had with captain Isaiah Armwood after the fifth and final game - one in which resulted in the junior forward deciding to transfer elsewhere in hopes of a more extensive role.

``I was really down," Wright said. "That was tough because he's such an unbelievable kid. One of the best I've ever had."

What Wright learned: "We have good leadership (he singled out junior Mouph Yarou and outgoing junior Isaiah Armwood) and the freshman really buy into playing Villanova basketball. Everyone's excited about the chemistry of this group and how they are committed to winning."

What or who impressed him: "Mouph went up against men and pros (he went up against Zaza Pachulia and Dan Gadzuric on the trip) and battled and really kept his composure. He was awesome. I think the lowest rebounding game he had was 12. He played like a beast and was our best player on the trip."

What concerned him: "Youth in the backcourt. We have Maalik Wayns, but we don't really have another guard whose competed in the Big East as a starter."

- Wright said that Wayns was solid, but the opposing teams trapped and pressed him every opportunity they got. "They doubled him, so it was tough for him - he didn't get to go off like he could."

- With freshman Ty Johnson still recovering from a broken foot suffered early in the summer and unable to play (Wright said he'll be back as soon as Villanova starts school), the Wildcats used another frosh, 6-foot-6 Darrun Hilliard, as the backup to Wayns at the point.  "He did a good job," Wright said. "He really knows how to play and makes everyone better." Look for Hilliard to get in the rotation because he brings that aspect to the table - which isn't a strength of the other guards.

- Wright wouldn't come out and say it, but it's hard to gather that one of the reasons why Isaiah Armwood is transferring is because freshmen big men Markus Kennedy and JayVaughn Pinkston are more talented - and both are ready to play this season. Kennedy spent a year in the prep ranks while Pinkston was suspended last season. "Both of them were tough," Wright said. "Both were impressive." Wright said that Kennedy was even impressive in helping to break the press.

- Don't be surprised to see James Bell get a bulk of his minutes at the power forward spot.

Posted on: August 19, 2011 9:38 am
Edited on: August 19, 2011 9:39 am
 

Trippin': Presbyterian star sits out in Italy

In our Trippin' series we're talking to teams as they return from preseason trips to foreign locales. Click here for all Trippin' related stories.

By Jeff Goodman

Presbyterian coach Gregg Nibert had been planning this trip to Italy for years.

The plan was that this would be the year that his Blue Hose would be eligible for the Big South tourney and, thus, the NCAA tournament.

A year ago, there was a wrinkle tossed into the plan as the process would be held up one more year due to the administration not taking care of a self-study.

However, Nibert wasn’t going to take away the trip to Italy from his trio of redshirt seniors – Al’Lonzo Coleman, Pierre Miller and John Johnson.

The only problem is that Coleman, who led the team in scoring last season prior to his ankle injury, wasn’t able to play.

"His ankle started bothering him and he might need surgery again in six weeks," Nibert said.

Which would effectively end his season.

"We’re keeping our fingers crossed," Nibert said. "We’ll see what happens."

What Nibert learned: "Even Without Al’Lonzo, we’re still able to get the ball inside. That was important for me to see and the other thing is we can really shoot it and put the ball in the basket."

What or who impressed him: "Khalid Mutakabbir is the heart and soul of our team. He’s mentally tough, became on one of the top 3-point shooters in the country last year and has a relentless work ethic. He’s our leader."

What concerned him: "We’re going to have to play three freshmen, but we’ve never had three freshmen pick up things this fast."

- The finances for the trip came about when Missouri called and offered $100,000 for a "buy" game. Presbyterian canceled its exhibition game against a small Division II school, in which it was supposed to pay $3,000, and took about $60,000 to support the trip. "For our athletic director to make that kind of commitment, especially in these economic times, is incredible," Nibert said.

- Presbyterian knocked off both Auburn and Wake Forest on the road last season and played Old Dominion close.

- Nibert said he may wind up playing Miller, a fifth-year senior point guard, together with freshman floor leader Eric Washington. "Eric’s a true point guard, a tremendous passer who sets guys up," Nibert said. 

- Nibert was excited about the play of 6-foot-8 sophomore forward Josh Clyburn. "He’s a crazy athlete, a 40-something inch vertical. We’ve never had a kid that athletic. Last year he tried to do too much too fast."

- Nibert said he feels as though his team would be picked in the Top 2 or 3 in the league if Coleman is back on the court.

- Nibert would have had everyone of note back, except that starter and shooter Jake Troyli transferred to Division II Lincoln Memorial – where he will play with one of his best friends.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 18, 2011 4:48 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2011 4:55 pm
 

Missouri can ill-afford to lose momentum

By Jeff Goodman

I hadn't really given it much thought until Steve Walentik of the Columbia Daily Tribune reminded me of how many scholarships Missouri has open for the Class of 2012.

Eight.

No matter what happens with Missouri coach Frank Haith and the impending NCAA investigation in the wake of the allegations by convicted felon Nevin Shapiro, the Tigers will take a hit.

No one preys on negative situations like this one better than college basketball coaches.

They'll all use it against everyone that Haith and his staff are involved with from a recruiting standpoint - and this could crush any chance Haith had of putting together a mammoth class that wound continue the momentum the program has built under Mike Anderson and will continue to build with a strong team this season.

Walentik's story goes into more detail - and no, I'm not just linking to it because he quotes me, either (but that does, however, aid his case). 

There are seven seniors on the roster - and there's significant pressure for the Tigers to re-load in order to stay competitive towards the top of the Big 12.

That's not going to be easy with the cloud that's hanging over Haith right now. 

Posted on: August 18, 2011 4:25 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2011 4:58 pm
 

Hoyas spokesman talks about fight in Beijing

By Jeff Goodman

I just got off the phone with Georgetown spokesman Mex Carey - who was still awake at 4 a.m. local time. 

By now, you have, in all likelihood, heard about the Hoyas bench-clearing brawl in Beijing, China, on Thursday. You may have even seen the video of the fracas with the Bayi Rockets, a Chinese professional team. 

"It was a physical game," Carey said. "There's no question about it." 

And apparently, the Hoyas weren't getting a kind whistle as the Bayi Rockets went to the charity stripe 57 times to Georgetown's 15 free throws. The game was tied at 64 when the game was halted midway through the fourth quarter following the incidents.

"It wasn't that JT III (John Thompson III) pulled them off the floor," Carey said. "At that point, the game was done." 

Carey said that the players on both sides weren't injured following the altercation, but one Georgetown fan and alum was knocked unconscious after being hit with a water bottle in the throat area. 

Georgetown is slated to leave in the morning for Shanghai. The Hoyas have two more games left on their current trip - the next one on Monday - before they will head back home on Wednesday. 

The sad part, Carey said, is that this incident will certainly mar what had been a terrific trip for the Hoyas. 

"It's been a great experience," Carey said. ``It's a beautiful city."

Carey said the scariest part was actually when the players were separated and the fans in the arena were throwing objects at the team when they were walking off the court. 
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 18, 2011 10:55 am
 

Villanova captain Isaiah Armwood transferring

By Jeff Goodman

Jay Wright doesn’t want Isaiah Armwood to leave.

But the Villanova coach wants what’s best for the Wildcats captain – and that’s an opportunity to play a major role in another program.

Therefore, the 6-foot-8 junior has decided to transfer elsewhere.

``He’s the greatest kid in the world,” Wright gushed. ``He’s our hardest-working guy, our captain. We started him every game on our trip. I love him to death.”

``I just want to see him achieve his goals,” he added.

Wright sat down with Armwood at the end of the trip to France and the Netherlands and the two, days later, came to an agreement that it would be best for Armwood to go elsewhere.

With the addition of frontline guys JayVaughn Pinkston and Marcus Kennedy – along with starting center Mouph Yarou back – minutes would likely be precious for Armwood.

The Maryland native started seven games last season, averaging 2.5 points and 3.6 rebounds.

If he leaves prior to the start of school, he’ll sit out this season and have two years of eligibility remaining.

Sources told CBSSports.com that schools in the mix for Armwood are Maryland, Iowa, Texas Tech and George Washington. Armwood grew up near Maryland and GW and both Iowa and Texas Tech have former Villanova assistant coaches – Andrew Francis (Iowa) and Chris Walker (Texas Tech). 

Posted on: August 17, 2011 4:42 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 5:39 pm
 

CAA Offseason Report

By Jeff Goodman

CAA Offseason Report

Delaware – Phil Martelli Jr. came from Niagara and took the spot opened when R.C. Kehoe left to become the head coach at Holy Family. Delaware will play at Villanova (11-18), at BU (11-30), vs. La Salle (12-19) and vs. Temple (12-30) in the non-conference. Malcolm Hawkins transferred out of the program while Carl Baptiste (St. Joe’s) came in and will sit out this year.

Drexel – The Dragons will play in the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands from Nov. 18-21. Bruiser Flint’s team has a non-league schedule that includes games at Rider (11-15), at St. Joe’s (11-30), vs. Bradley (12-17) and vs. Princeton (12-10).

George Mason – New coach Paul Hewitt has put together the following staff: Roland Houston (GW), Mike Wells (NBA), Chris Kreider (Georgia Southern) and retained director of basketball operations Scott Lombardi. The Patriots will play in the Preseason NIT (the Virginia Tech pod) and open against Florida International. Hewitt’s team will also have non-league games at Virginia (12-6), vs. Duquesne (12-21) and at College of Charleston (12-30). Luke Hancock (Louisville) and Rashad Whack (Mount St. Mary’s) left while George Mason added Anali Okoloji (Seton Hall).

Georgia State – Ron Hunter came over from IUPUI and assembled the following staff: Darryl LaBarrie, Everick Sullivan, Claude Pardue and Tony Bollier as the director of basketball operations. The Panthers will play in the Basketball Travelers Invitational at Washington along with Portland and FAU. Georgia State will also play Rhode Island (12-10) in a non-conference contest. Two players transferred out – Javonte Maynor and Harold Doby – while Manny Atkins has come in from Virginia Tech and will sit out this season. Jordan DeMercy will be eligible this year after transferring from Florida State.

Hofstra – Pat Sellars, formerly at UConn, has replaced Allen Griffin (Dayton). The Pride will be in the Legends Classic and also play home non-league games against Long Island (11-13), and Iona. Paul Bilbo (Mercyhurst), Roland Brown and Yves Jules (Fairleigh Dickinson) all transferred out while Jamal Coombs-McDaniel (UConn) and Taran Buie (Penn State) both came in. Stevie Mejia (URI) is also eligible after sitting out last season.

James Madison – Bill Phillips replaced Kevin Hargrove as the director of basketball operations. The Dukes will play in the Hoop Group Classic (11-22/25) and will also be at Central Florida’s Holiday Tournament, along with Rhode Island and Stetson, from 12-29/30. JMU will also play against Kent State (12-6) and at George Washington (12-22) in the non-conference schedule. Chad Jackson transferred to Northern Kentucky while A.J. Davis is eligible this season after transferring from Wyoming a year ago.

Northeastern – Bill Coen’s team will play at St. John’s (11-26), at N.C. State (12-22) and at home against Southern Illinois (11-19) in the non-conference. Alex Harris transferred out while Kashif Edwards, who averaged 12.4 points last season at Niagara, came in as a grad student and is eligible for this season.

Old Dominion – The biggest news of the offseason for the Monarchs is the missing ‘stache. Actually, coach Blaine Taylor got ride of his famous mustache. Drew Williamson replaced Joel Hines as the director of basketball operations and ODU added video coordinator Chris Kovensky. Old Dominion will be in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off (11-19/20) and also have a non-conference slate that includes games vs. Iowa (11-12), vs. Missouri (12-30) in Norfolk, at Richmond (12-20) and at Central Florida (12-17). Donte Hill becomes eligible on Dec. 17 after transferring in from Clemson last year.

Towson – New coach Pat Skerry hired Kevin Clark (Rhode Island), Luke Murray (Wagner), Kenny Johnson and Duane Simpkins as his director of basketball operations. The Tigers will play in the Mainland portion of the Maui Invitational and also have non-league contests at Kansas (11-11), at Michigan (11-14), vs. Oregon State (11-26), at UMass (11-30) and at Virginia (12-30). Isaiah Philmore (Xavier), Braxton Dupree, Dre Conner and Cephas Oglesby all left while Jerrelle Benimon (G’Town) and Mike Burwell (South Fla.) both transferred in.

UNC-Wilmington – Buzz Peterson’s team is currently in the Bahamas. Matt McMahon (Murray State) and Kevin Norris (FGCU) both left; Brooks Lee was promoted to assistant coach, Andre Gray was hired and the director of basketball operations spot remains open. The Seahawks will play at Maryland (11-13), at Dayton (11-19), vs. Marshall (11-22), vs. Davidson (11-26) and at Wake Forest (12-21) in the non-league. Matthew Wallace transferred out of the program.

VCU – Mike Jones (Radford) and Kyle Getter were replaced by Jamion Christian (William & Mary) and new director of basketball operations Mike Morrell (Charleston Southern). The Rams will play in the Charleston Classic and also have a non-league slate that includes games at Alabama (11-27), at Western Kentucky (11-23), vs. South Florida (11-30), at Akron (12-29), vs. UAB (12-20), vs. Richmond (12-10) and against George Washington on Dec. 4 in the BT&T Classic in D.C. Toby Veal left the program.

William & Mary – Kotie Kimble replaced Jamion Christian, who left for VCU. The Tribe will play in the Coaches vs. Cancer event and also have non-conference contests vs. Richmond (11-30), at Missouri (12-18) and vs. Iona (12-21).

Offseason reports: Big 12 Pac-12 | Big Ten | ACC | Big East SEC | A-10
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com