Tag:Jeff Goodman
Posted on: August 11, 2011 3:22 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2011 3:28 pm

NCAA approves APR hike; system needs tweaking

By Jeff Goodman

The NCAA's concept of the APR (Academic Progress Rate) makes sense.

But the system needs tweaking.

There should be penalties and severe consequences for those schools that don’t take academics seriously.

However, in the wake of the Division 1 Board of Directors decision on Thursday to increase the average four-year APR score to 930 in order to be able to participate in the NCAA tournament and bowl games, it should be noted that schools don’t exactly perform on an even playing field.

Let’s take Portland State, for instance.

Men’s basketball coach Tyler Geving, in his second season after being promoted from an assistant, had a team that was banned by the NCAA from competing in the postseason this past season.

Portland State had posted four consecutive seasons in which it didn’t earn an APR score of more than 900. Teams that scored below the 925 mark faced immediate penalties.

Geving’s program has recorded back-to-back perfect scores since, is off the postseason ban and has all 13 scholarships back (they lost two scholarships each of the past two years). They also lost one day of practice each week all of last season.

Portland State doesn’t have near the academic resources of the high-major programs.

``We had one high-major kid transfer and he asked me whether we had a tutor go to class and take notes when we are on the road,” Geving said.

Geving laughed.

While the big boys have multiple tutors and a hefty academic support staff, the low-major programs have to share tutors and academic personnel with numerous other teams. They don’t have the luxury of having them on the road with them when they travel on road trips – and these are programs that are often forced to play road game after road game in the non-conference slate as part of “buy games” to earn money to support the programs.

``We had one person working in the entire academic center when I got here six years ago,” Geving said.

They don’t have the same luxury of easy academic majors and classes where many large schools are able to hide players.

And there are rules within the APR that just don’t make a ton of sense.

When a player transfers out of the program to a junior college, that school gets hit with a two-point penalty. If a kid leaves for another Division 1 school with a GPA of less than 2.6, that school takes a hit.

If a kid graduates beyond six years, it’s not quick enough. You need to get through in less – or else, again, you get hit with a loss of points.

``We’ve only had one kid who hasn’t graduated since I’ve been here,” Geving said. ``That’s the most important thing at the end of the day, isn’t it?”

Eight teams were banned from the postseason this coming year. Five – Cal-State Northridge, Chicago State, Grambling, Southern and Louisiana-Monroe – in basketball. Idaho State, Jackson State and Southern were all hit in football.

What’s the common theme here?

They are all low-level schools with small budgets and resources.

The intent makes sense. The formula? It, like the NCAA rulebook, needs alterations.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 11, 2011 11:53 am
Edited on: August 12, 2011 11:19 am

Trippin': North Florida returns from Canada

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

He wasn’t on the roster and didn’t play the previous game against Murray State, but when North Florida assistant coach Bobby Kennen returned to the locker room and said the name, Ospreys head coach Matthew Driscoll shook his head in disbelief.

Theo Davis.

Yes, that Theo Davis.

The former Top 10 player, who was once committed to Texas, signed with Iowa State, attended Gonzaga and wound up at Binghamton, is now at Brock University in Canada.

``I couldn’t believe it,” Driscoll said. ``He wasn’t on the roster, but was No. 42.”

Brock coach Brad Rootes told CBSSports.com that Davis is in his first year with the program and is in fourth season overall of eligibility.

Davis finished with eight points and eight rebounds in North Florida’s 85-81 victory.

But this isn’t about Theo. It’s about North Florida – and its trip north of the border.

What Driscoll learned: ``We have a high-character group. Everywhere we went, people – from waiters and waitresses to the people who worked in the hotels we stayed at – all said what a pleasure our kids are to be around. You can tell our guys really, really like each other.”

What or who impressed him: Sophomore Charles McRoy - ``Parker Smith had 29 points in the final game, but that’s what he does. The guy we walked away impressed with – after 10 practices and the games – was Charles. He just went to another level. This is a kid I wanted to redshirt last year, but my staff convinced me not to – and he had some huge moments. He’s 6-6, plays the wing and he had no idea where to be last year defensively. This year he was where he was supposed to be and just made plays for us – whether it was 3’s, drives or putbacks.”

What concerned him: Free throw shooting. ``We had 12 games last year decided by five points or less and we missed 69 free throws in the six losses. We still didn’t shoot it well from the line on the trip. In the second game, we missed more than we made and were 19-of-39.”

- Driscoll said that highly touted freshman point guard Jacoby Davis wasn’t gained admittance academically into the school. Sources indicate that the West Charlotte, N.C., standout may go the prep school route and wind up at a higher level.

- Driscoll let his assistants be the head coach each game and he sat up in the stands on the other side of the gym the entire game.

- Last year’s leading scorer, Parker Smith (12.0 ppg), didn’t start a single game – and Driscoll said he’ll come off the bench again to give the team a scoring punch.

- Look for junior Will Wilson, who averaged 10 minutes a game last season in a reserve role to Brad Haugabrook, to have the first crack at the starting point guard spot. He’s not a big-time scorer, but does a nice job distributing – and can score when necessary.

- Jimmy Williams, who started all 34 games a year ago and averaged 8.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest, made the trip - but did not play due to the good old “coaches decision.” 

CBSSports.com's list of teams taking preseason trips

Posted on: August 10, 2011 3:19 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2011 9:18 am

Report: Andre Drummond switching preps; has top 5

By Jeff Goodman

Andre Drummond has kept it close to the vest, made his future plans secretive beyond his inner circle.

Well, top big man in the Class of 2012 has broken his silence – and told ESPN.com’s Adam Finkelstein (the New England recruiting guru, by the way) on Wednesday afternoon that he will not go to college this fall and will instead do another year of prep school.

The talented 6-foot-10 Connecticut native is leaving St. Thomas More and heading to Wilbraham & Monson in Massachusetts to do a post-grad year.

``I just want to focus on school and basketball and get a chance to be a kid,” Drummond told ESPN.com. ``It’s been crazy, the amount of rumors that have been floating around lately, but I just try to ignore it and stay focused on what’s important.”

Drummond also revealed a college list for the first time, telling Finkelstein that he is considering home-state UConn along with Kentucky, Louisville, Georgetown and West Virginia.

However, I’m not buying that Drummond ever winds up on a college campus. If that was the case, he could – and should have just gone somewhere this season.

Instead, unless the rules change dramatically, look for Drummond to go the NBA route after this season. He would meet the current requirement - which is to be 19 years of age and also a year removed from his graduating class. 

The interesting aspect of that is he’ll be somewhat of a mystery to NBA personnel – since they are unable to see him play in pep school and Drummond won’t be eligible for the McDonald’s All-American Game due to the fact he’s a fifth-year kid.
Posted on: August 10, 2011 2:26 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2011 9:18 am

McDonald's All-Americans: Class of 2002 Revisited

By Jeff Goodman

My colleague, Gary Parrish, thought I was nuts.

But I wanted to track down the whereabouts of all 19 of the McDonald’s All-Americans from a decade ago who didn’t play in the NBA last season.

Maybe it’s because it’s a group I saw over and over from a front-row seat as a “recruiting guy.”

Maybe it’s because I was fascinated with the lack of success from a 24-member contingent that was supposed to ultimately take the NBA by storm.

Anyway, wound up tracking down each of the 19 – in addition to Lenny Cooke, who wasn’t eligible for the game – and putting together a package that ran on CBSSports.com today.

I’ll try to post some more interesting nuggets and quotes from some of the conversations in the next day or so.

- My story on the McDonald’s All-American Class in 2002, a cautionary tale for those highly touted kids who are coming up nowadays and how things may be given, but nothing is guaranteed.

- Want to know exactly where all 24 of the McDonald’s All-Americans have been – and what they are doing now? Here’s my “Where are They Now” with capsules on each player.

- Lenny Cooke was, at one time, considered the prize of the entire class. Yes, above Amar’e and Carmelo. Here’s his story after I caught up with him this past week.
Posted on: August 10, 2011 10:45 am
Edited on: August 10, 2011 12:03 pm

Virginia Governor spearheads in-state hoops event

By Jeff Goodman

I guess the Virginia governor Bob McDonnell is a legitimate college hoops fan.

McDonnell spearheaded the Governor Holiday Hoops Classic, a new annual doubleheader which will feature the top teams in the state.

``Virginia teams have appeared in Final Fours, won conference championships and are regularly ranked in national Top 25 polls,” McDonnell said in a statement.  ``Unfortunately, given scheduling constraints and conference affiliations, we too rarely get to witness our in-state teams competing against each other. The “Classic” will change that.”

It’s set in stone for the next two years – and could go beyond. However, McDonnell’s term ends in a couple years – and you can’t serve consecutive terms in the state of Virginia.

In the 2012-13 campaign, Richmond will play George Mason and Virginia will face Old Dominion. The following year Virginia Tech and VCU will play for the first time since 1995 – and James Madison will play Hampton.

The games will be played at the Richmond Coliseum.

``He remembers an old tournament years ago (1976-1991) in the state which was run by the Richmond Times-Dispatch,” VCU athletic director Norwood Teague told CBSSports.com. ``And he wanted to bring something like that back.”

``We’re elated with the event,” Teague added.

My guess is that Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg and Virginia head man Tony Bennett aren’t jumping for joy, though, having to play dangerous mid-majors such as ODU and VCU.

Teague said that McDonnell attended the entire CAA tournament and was also at VCU’s NCAA tournament games en route to the Rams improbable Final Four run.
Posted on: August 10, 2011 8:34 am
Edited on: August 10, 2011 8:35 am

New Mexico's Kirk has back surgery

By Jeff Goodman

New Mexico sophomore big man Alex Kirk had surgery on Tuesday to relieve a herniated disc in his back.

``We fully expect that Alex will recover 100 percent,” Lobos coach Steve Alford said in a statement.

Alford and his staff, according to sources, have not received a timetable of when to expect the 6-foot-11 Kirk back on the court.

Kirk started 21 of the first 22 games of the season as a freshman last season before coming off the bench down the stretch.

He averaged 4.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, but is expected to be a valuable and significant frontcourt guy for New Mexico, a team that won 22 games last season and will likely be picked to win the Mountain West this year.

The Lobos lost their leader and point guard, Dairese Gary, but return just about everyone else: sophomore guard Kendall Williams, senior forwards Drew Gordon and A.J. Hardeman, senior wing Phillip McDonald and talented reserve wing Tony Snell.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 9, 2011 4:42 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2011 9:09 am

Trippin': Murray State back from Canada

By Jeff Goodman

Steve Prohm caught himself.

``I thought about it the whole time,” said the new Murray State head coach, who took over after Billy Kennedy left for Texas A&M. ``I would have been chasing the guys as an assistant.”

Instead, Prohm ran things for the first time – and the trail run came in Canada over the last few days as the Racers won all three of their games north of the border.

``It was great,” Prohm said. ``Great for me – and even better for our guys.”

What he learned: ``Come January and February, I think we’ll have a chance to be a very good team. I was impressed with the maturity and leadership of our older guys. They did the right thing – and for me, that made me feel good – like things are going to be just like normal.”

What impressed him: Brandon Garrett - ``The biggest thing I worried about was frontcourt depth. Brandon did some really good things for us. He’s 6-9, is long and thin – but did a nice job scoring around the basket and was physical. That was a real bright spot for us.”

What concerned him: Being fundamentally sound. ``I know we’ve only had 10 practices, but if you talk to anyone who knows our program, the one thing they’ll say is that we’ve been fundamentally sound over the last few years. We’re not there yet, but it’s still early.”

- Prohm said that it’s difficult to adjust to the 24-second shot clock and the trapezoid lane. ``The game is so different over there,” he said. ``It’s far more physical.”

- The players had a bowling tournament and were also split into three teams for an Amazing Race – one in which the players had to take pictures of certain things and a stranger had to be in each photo. For instance, the kids had to find someone with a Toronto Blue Jays or Toronto Argonauts jersey and get a picture with that person. ``They loved it,” Prohm said. ``They really bought into it.”

- UMKC transfer Latreze Mushatt, a combo forward, played well on the trip. The 6-foot-5 Mushatt, as a sophomore, was second in scoring (11.3) and also second in rebounding (5.6) at UMKC.

- Everyone went on the trip except for freshman Tyler Rambo, who hasn’t yet been through the NCAA Clearinghouse.

- Look for freshman point guard Zay Jackson to be a significant contributor. ``He’s athletic and can really push the ball in transition. We’re hoping he’ll be an impact freshman for us. He can do some things in transition that we didn’t do last year.”

CBSSports.com list of teams taking preseason trips

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 9, 2011 3:23 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 11:33 am

Foreign/Preseason trip rundown

By Jeff Goodman

This is the time of year when college basketball teams take trips – whether to Canada or overseas.

Some rave about the bonding between the players and coaches, others speak about the 10 practices prior to the trip – and a few even talk about the cultural experiences gained.

We’ve put together a pretty solid list of the teams who have taken, are in the midst of – and are set to embark on one of these trips.

Feel free to send me an e-mail at jeff.goodman@cbsinteractive.com if I’ve missed anyone:

BCS-affiliated teams
School Location Dates
LSU Italy May 17-27
Mississippi State Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris Aug. 5-15
Villanova France, Netherlands Aug. 7-16
West Virginia Italy Aug. 8-21
Texas A&M Switzerland, France Aug. 8-17
Iowa State Italy Aug. 9-19
Illinois Italy Aug. 10-20
Louisville Bahamas Aug. 10-14
Baylor Toronto Aug. 11-16
DePaul France Aug. 11-21
California Sweden, Norway, Denmark Aug. 12-22
USC Brazil Aug. 12-21
Georgetown China Aug. 13-24
Duke China, Dubai Aug. 14-26
Virginia Tech Canada Aug. 16-18
Oregon Italy Aug. 22-Sept. 2
Stanford Spain Sept. 3-14
Non-BCS-affiliated teams
Northern Iowa Brazil Aug. 1-9
Murray State Canada Aug. 4-9
North Florida Canada Aug. 4-10
La Salle Canada Aug. 6-9
Hawaii China, Japan Aug. 6-21
Wichita State Brazil Aug. 7-18
Ball State Canada Aug. 8-16
Dayton Amsterdam, Paris Aug. 8-18
Illinois State Canada Aug. 8-13
Presbyterian Italy Aug. 8-16
Liberty France, Belgium Aug. 9-17
UTSA Australia Aug. 9-19
Akron Canada Aug. 10-17
Drake Australia, New Zealand Aug. 10-20
Wright State Italy Aug. 10-20
Central Florida Canada Aug. 10-15
Creighton Bahamas Aug. 11-17
Stony Brook Ireland, England, France Aug. 11-22
UMKC Italy Aug. 11-20
Duquesne Canada Aug. 12-15
Elon Germany, Italy Aug. 12-22
Gardner Webb Bahamas Aug. 12-16
Oakland Canada Aug. 13-15
Belmont Italy Aug. 14-23
American Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary Aug. 15-24
BYU Greece Aug. 15-27
Cal Poly Costa Rica Aug. 15-22
Fairfield Italy Aug. 15-25
Middle Tennessee Canada Aug. 15-19
Bowling Green Canada Aug. 16-20
Lamar Canada Aug. 16-19
UNC-Wilmington Bahamas Aug. 16-20
UT-Arlington Vancouver Aug. 16-23
North Dakota State Canada Aug. 17-21
Albany Canada Aug. 19-25
Saint Louis Canada Aug. 19-29
New Hampshire Canada Aug. 24-28
Niagara Canada Aug. 30-Sept. 3
UC Santa Barbara Canada Sept. 3-12
Santa Clara Vancouver Sept. 5-10
Category: NCAAB
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