Tag:Duke
Posted on: January 6, 2012 9:21 am
 

Podcast: Gene Wojciechowski talks Duke-Kentucky

By Matt Norlander

Twenty years after Christian Laettner hit arguably the most memorable shot in college basketball history, it's time to look back on that game and ask if it's the best the sport's seen. ESPN.com senior national columnist Gene Wojciechowski wrote the book that is a college writer's dream: a complete chronicle of everything that led up to, produced and fell out from Duke's 104-103 win against Kentucky on March 28, 1992, in the East Regional finals.

Wojciechowski's book, "The Last Great Game: Duke vs. Kentucky and the 2.1 Seconds That Changed College Basketball" is on sale now. Today's podcast is a college hoops junky's dream. I got lost -- in that good way -- just listening to him talk about it. In the middle of a crazy, confounding season, I think you'll love today's podcast. Just storytelling and remember an incredible chapter in college hoops. Can't thank Gene enough for coming on. He's a great writer, a criminally underrated columnist and I can't wait to tear through this book the postman gives it to me.

Timestamps:
  • From the beginning: Introducing Gene and how the title got picked; why this was the Last Great Game to date in college basketball.
  • 3:28: Where does George Mason over UConn or Butler vs. Duke fit in? Couldn’t either one of those be a Great game in the grand scheme of the sport?
  • 7:35: Gene was in fact at the game. He takes us back to covering the game and setting the scene.
  • 14:28: Kentucky now isn’t what Kentucky was in 1992. The fact the program got to an Elite Eight game under Rick Pitino is the most overlooked aspect of this game, two decades later.
  • 18:05: How Pitino feels about the game all these years gone.
  • 21:02: One of the most famous stories that surrounds the game comes from something that happened after it ended, with Mike Krzyzewski sitting down to talk on the radio.
  • 24:02: The most random person and best interview Gene got while doing the book, which included more than 100 sit-downs and phoners.
  • 27:20: Christian Laettner as the nerve center of the book and the irony behind this game being the defining game of Duke hoops, despite the fact it didn’t take place at a Final Four.
  • 32:54: So many great sportswriters were in the building that night. Why’d Wojciechowski end up with it. “I shouldn’t have gotten a crack at it,” he says, because the original author for this type of book was someone you wouldn’t ever guess.
  • 35:18: After Gene casually dropped the fact he attended Pearl Jam’s final concert at The Spectrum, back in ’09, I had to get him to talk Vedder and Co. A really cool Vedder story that relates to a bloody Cubs jersey, too.
  • 39:03: The final touches on the podcast — Gene says the subplots of K/Bob Knight and how that year, 1992, a nine-year “cold war” between the two; and this was also the year of the Fab Five, who Duke beat to win back-to-back titles.

You can listen to the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts are posted here and simultaneously through iTunes (link below). Each Wednesday CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish hop on to banter and bicker. Mondays and Fridays are reserved for the most prominent voices in and around the game. Here's the iTunes subcription link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. I don't believe they are making Zunes anymore, but nonetheless, I've been instructed to link you on how to listen via that device, too.


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Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 2, 2012 12:26 pm
 

Podcast: College hoops road trip!

By Matt Norlander

The cross-country American road trip. A staple of how our nation's citizens and families find unfamiliar ways to bond -- and loathe. Rob Dauster and Troy Machir, the fellas who run Ballin' is a Habit, will embark on a three-week gallivant from D.C. to Indiana to Missouri to Wisconsin to Kansas to Utah and about six other states as well.

It's the BIAH Road Trip, and good God am I jealous. Rob and Troy will traverse across the country and catch more than a dozen games in January. Historic buildings and tiny gyms. It's going to be epic -- how could it not? And so I brought them on the podcast in advance of their departure later this week.

Help the guys out and donate them a few dollars. To track their travels in real-time, follow Rob and Troy on Twitter. Let's get to the podcast.

Mapping it out:
  • From the beginning: All the teams, states, arenas and details of the trip. I'd break down individual conversations, but hearing them go through this trip is great. They're prepared ... but not totally.
  • 13:50: The venue they're most looking forward to seeing.
  • 20:18: Getting to hoops talk. Primarily, Indiana.
  • 22:39: Ironic that the "let's talk about Indiana more" has led to further shadowing of two-loss Michigan State. Classic Izzo.
  • 24:42: Who's that over there? ... Ah! It's No. 4 Duke. Sneaky little kids.
  • 26:30: I ask Rob which team he thinks has been the most overshadowed, and you can hear him typing on his laptop to prepare a response. Hahaha.
  • 29:35: Podcast gets closed up with a few lingering storylines and how these two will entertain themselves by spending days upon days in a car. They're going to get very familiar with each other.

You can listen to the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts are posted here and simultaneously through iTunes (link below). Each Wednesday CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish hop on to banter and bicker. Mondays and Fridays are reserved for the most prominent voices in and around the game. Here's the iTunes subcription link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. I don't believe they are making Zunes anymore, but nonetheless, I've been instructed to link you on how to listen via that device, too.


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Posted on: December 24, 2011 7:25 pm
Edited on: December 24, 2011 7:46 pm
 

Prominent summer hoops figure Mac Irvin dies

By Gary Parrish

Mac Irvin, the namesake of the Chicago-based and Nike-sponsored Mac Irvin Fire summer basketball program, has died, multiple sources confirmed to CBSSports.com on Saturday. The exact cause of death was not immediately known, but Irvin had been fighting diabetes.

Duke assistant Jeff Capel was among the first to Tweet about Irvin's death.

"RIP to Mr. Mac Irvin," Capel Tweeted. "A mentor to so many. You will be missed!"

Countless elite prospects have spent summers playing for the Mac Irvin Fire. The most recent 17-and-under team featured Jabari Parker, a 6-foot-8 forward who is regarded as the nation's No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2013. Parker is being recruited by Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State, Kansas, Illinois and a host of other top-tier programs.

"My condolence goes out to the Irvin family," Tweeted NBA veteran Damon Jones. "MAC was a super dude and did a lot for our youth with his aau program."
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:25 am
 

Podcast: Pay the players? Not anymore

By Matt Norlander

In case you missed it, college players will no longer be afforded a $2,000 cost-of-attendance stipend bump. After the NCAA voted it into legislation, more than 125 college stood up and voted against it this week, mandating the legislation to be tabled indefinitely. That's kind of a big story, but it's been buried underneath Penn State, Tebow, Syracuse, Xavier/Cincy, etc.

Veteran USA Today columnist Christine Brennan wrote why the proposal was treacherous from the get-go (Psst! Follow Christine on Twitter). I've long read her work, and it was an honor to get her to come on and discuss the issue; to me she's the definition of talented, old-school columnist voice, the kind of writer that's unfortunately not as prominent in 2011 like they were 15 years ago. The paying-players topic takes up the first 60 percent of this podcast: why the stipend ever materialized, all the systemic issues, paying players, her opinion on if it should happen, how women's sports stands in the way, etc. Good information from Christine, and it doesn't stop there.  

On our list:
  • From the beginning: Introducing Christine and explaining why college players are no longer receiving the cost-of-attendance stipend that was voted into legislation in October.
  • 7:35: The National College Players Association is obviously against this.
  • 9:35: Why did this all happen so fast? It was brought up at a convention in August, voted into reality in October, and by December, it's now off the table.
  • 15:00: With hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue, how is it really possible that just over 20 universities are truly turning a profit?
  • 22:44: Why this is getting closer and closer to the watershed and breaking point of the NCAA and its member institutions. Just on big ol' section of the iceberg ready to get its floe on.
  • 23:54: Why college sports, even with all the ugliness, doesn't really suffer despite the scandals at Penn State and Syracuse.
  • 28:48: Some Pat Summitt discussion. Had to, wanted to chat his with Christine, who's one of the prominent national voices on women's athletics. So we wrap up with a story on Pat and some niceties to close things out.

You can listen to the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts are posted here and simultaneously through iTunes (link below). Each Wednesday CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish hop on to banter and bicker. Mondays and Fridays are reserved for the most prominent voices in and around the game. Here's the iTunes subcription link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. I don't believe they are making Zunes anymore, but nonetheless, I've been instructed to link you on how to listen via that device, too.


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Posted on: December 15, 2011 2:53 pm
 

ACC adds two league games; go to 18-game slate

By Jeff Goodman

The ACC has opted to go to an 18-game league slate next year, regardless of when Pittsburgh or Syracuse enter the conference.

"Our member institutions have been talking about this increase for awhile and knowing our league will be expanding to 14 in the future, we've decided to move to an 18-game conference schedule next year, regardless of our membership number," ACC commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. "The additional conference games create a more equitable schedule and we've received significant feedback from our fans for more conference games."

The current format is a 16-game league schedule - which meant that each team played five teams twice.

On one hand, the increase in league contests looks like a good move.

But I'm not sure I love it.

What it ultimately means is that ACC teams will go soft on their non-conference schedule, pull back with the addition of two more games and also the addition (whether it's next season or in 2013-14) of two big-time programs in Syracuse and Pittsburgh.

It could mean the end of the North Carolina-Kentucky series. It could mean that Duke scales back on its non-league slate.

Let's just hope it doesn't mean that Jim Boeheim and the Orange don't go even "softer" once he enters the league.
Posted on: December 14, 2011 12:26 pm
 

Podcast: Our college hoops dream teams

By Matt Norlander

If you could assemble an entire college basketball program -- coaches, players, recruits, the whole she-bang -- but with certain stipulations, how would you do it? We undertook that project at CBSSports.com recently, and so Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish hop on today to discuss their methods.  Much debate, much ribbing, much talk of "spacing," which is clearly important to Goodman.

Additionally, the guys put the finishing touches on Cincy-Xavier commentary and look at Syracuse strictly from a hoops perspective and warning signs with Ohio State and Memphis. We also get an idea of how terrible of a gift-giver Parrish is.

Agenda:
  • From the beginning: Our Dream Teams. How we picked and what we couldn't do when putting them together.
  • 8:45: Goodman is dumb.
  • 10:15: Haven't had Parrish and Goodman together to talk Cincy-Xavier, so we needed to get to that. Still a story, still some aftershocks and plenty of opinions.
  • 18:39: We've spent plenty of time talking about Indiana's side of the win over Kentucky. How about the Wildcats losing?
  • 20:15: Syracuse is No. 1 in the polls. It deserves some discussion about its actual basketball team and accomplishments. This is where we do that.
  • 23:10: Sullinger has a back issue. I posit this could be a season-long thing if it's more serious than we're led to believe.
  • 25:02: Wherein we diverge on opinions of what Memphis has become and what it is. Parrish defends the Tigers. In other news: there's the sun today.
  • 29:34: We always wrap up the podcast with some fun banter. Hey, who's got their holiday shopping done? Not us! You know you're in trouble when you wander into a Brookstone, desperate for any kind of gift idea.

You can listen to the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts are posted here and simultaneously through iTunes (link below). Each Wednesday CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish hop on to banter and bicker. Mondays and Fridays are reserved for the most prominent voices in and around the game. Here's the iTunes subcription link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. I don't believe they are making Zunes anymore, but nonetheless, I've been instructed to link you on how to listen via that device, too.


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Posted on: December 10, 2011 2:35 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2011 3:47 pm
 

Duke gets sloppy, still wins easy over Washington



By Matt Norlander

NEW YORK — Light your torches in Durham, but I must ask: Why can’t I fully buy into this Duke team as elite yet?

I know the answer: because it's not yet put it all together, nor should it necessarily should at this juncture. Disagree? Then you side against me and Duke's players, who agree the team is not yet consistently playing at the highest of levels.

“We can get better. There’s things we must work on,” Austin Rivers said after Dukes 86-80 win Saturday afternoon over Washington. “For instance, we were up 17. At our full potential, we don’t let up that lead.”

Saturday's game in Madison Square Garden wasn’t ever in doubt, but Duke’s 86-80 W in a blasé way. The Blue Devils shot badly from the foul line (61.4 percent), saw Rivers and Seth Curry foul out, but still coasted past a Huskies team that will now have to play for its life to earn bubble-worthy talk in about six weeks. Duke also had 15 turnovers (five coming from Curry) and 21 hacks in an ugly 50-foul game.

This isn’t me doubting Duke as a top-10 team — in fact, just the opposite. I think when you play as badly as they did Saturday and still beat a plenty-capable team without too much trouble, it’s a very good sign. Washington’s a team that, even if it can’t ever string together a slew of Ws in a row, it won’t ever be an easy out.

“It’s frustrating because we played better than a six-point win,” Rivers said. “There goes your two best scorers on the team, and I think the main thing is, we started getting complacent. We basically just got safe instead of attacking — that’s what got us the lead in the first place.  The first half we were playing defense, making them turn the ball over, getting charges, and every time we got a rebound we kept attacking, attacking. And then we get this 18-point lead, and it’s like, ‘All right, let’s calm down.’”

But with Duke, there’s an ingredient there that’s not quite mixing in yet. If it was playing at its peak today, it’d have beaten Washington by 25. Instead, it won by six. This sounds like nit-picking, but that’s what happens when you’re Duke, you’re so good every year and the expectations of your team are top-five-in-the-nation level. Duke can get there; it's not playing like it just yet.

“It was weird, because we thought we played better for the whole game until the last five minutes. We should’ve won more than by what we did,” Curry said. “We weren’t aggressive until the end.”

It was only the second time Curry’s ever fouled out in his college career. Perhaps Curry's issues at point guard are the legitimate long-term concern, but at least he's aware of it. And at least Duke's in a better position with him than a team like Vanderbilt, which seems downright handcuffed at the 1, where Duke might just be tied up at the moment.

“We’re still finding our rotations, how guys are going to play where, and I’m still trying to work on my point-guard ability,” Curry said. “The biggest thing is trying to find my scoring, these past few games I haven’t been scoring as much as I usually do. I need to balance my scoring abilities with running the team.”

Yes, absolutely, part of it was Washington, which can be so erratic but also continues to draw us in because of the natural talent, speed and ability on Lorenzo Romar's team. Duke’s players said Washington’s backcourt was the best they’ve faced this season.

Mike Krzyzewski looked to the free throws as the reason it was so close at the end. Totally legitimate, but if Duke remains aggressive and plays with gusto, free throws aren't an issue. Mason Plumlee was the worst of it, going 2-of-11, but he's a 42-percent foul shooter as it is. There's not much you can do to fix that in three months' time.

“We must get better at free throws, and we cannot let up at any point in the game,” brother Miles Plumlee said. “But when we get up sometimes, people get settled. … We’ve let up in almost every game.”

Duke teams letting up ... sounds out of character, right? The Devils have the pieces, and I think eventually Rivers needs to be given the keys without abandon, but for now, a little more toughness and aggressiveness is what's got to come as Duke heads toward the new year.

                                                                                      ****

Quick note on Rivers, who's had his fair share of criticism just seven weeks into his college career. As of late, the chirping has piped down on his game. I asked him if he'd heard, known, paid attention to the scrutiny. He said yes, but is a media-savvy kid. You can tell when you talk to him that he gets the game. I think his quotes above the asterisk right there and down below are telling to who he is.

“It just made me more motivated, to tell you the truth,” Rivers said. “I thought I was actually playing well, the coaches though it was doing everything in needed to do. The media got on me a little bit, but they haven’t gotten on me since, because I fixed things. … They’ve all said positive things since, so whatever I’ve been doing, I guess it’s been right.”

The matter was never addressed in practice, Rivers said.

“I started calming down, realizing how to play my game through the college game,” he said. “I got it. I can play now.”

Photo: US PRESSWIRE
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 7, 2011 4:36 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 4:37 pm
 

Podcast: This one is lacking in holiday cheer

By Matt Norlander

It's Wednesday, so that means Goodman and Parrish are back on the podcast. Parrish saw Jay-Z and Kanye Saturday night, so we have to lead our show with how the show everyone's talking about. Playing the same song eight times in a row? That apparently happened.

After the music gabbing, its on to the hoops, of course. Ben Howland refusing to kick Reeves Nelson off the team, Marquette's ability, Missouri as an elite team, Goodman and I yelling at each other about Marcus Denmon. Oh, this is a good one, indeed. Then there's the Big Ten/Big East debate, which is increasing (we're totally responsible for this).

Sorry this one was late -- had to get our ducks in a row in order to get the three of us on at the same time. We think it's worth it, though.

While we watch the throne:
  • From the beginning: A full review of the Watch the Throne show Parrish was at.
  • 5:20: So, about that whole Reeves-Nelson-still-on-UCLA thing ...
  • 8:54: Goodman was at MSG for the Jimmy V Classic. He's got a hotel story first before we get to the hoops.
  • 11:37: Phil Pressey and Missouri. And Goodman gets angry at me! CONFLICT!
  • 16:10: Goodman writes about Marquette's lack of talent. I disagree. And so we fight a little more. We're both on about a combined seven hours of sleep, so it got a little ornery.
  • 20:50: It's December, in case you hadn't heard. This is the slowest time, the next three weeks, of college basketball. Storylines come in smaller supply, the meaningful matchups aren't as much there due to finals, the holidays and the lead up to conference play.
  • 24:29: The most under-the-radar team in a major conference right now: Kansas State? Goodman talked with Frank Martin this week.
  • 26:25: Big Ten/Big East/Big 12 talk. Oh, and Goodman chirps at Parrish about Thomas Robinson. This was just an awesome podcast for bickering.
  • 31:47: Wrap-up chat and miscellaneous talk. Goodman and I make nice again, which is good, because I'm kind of terrified of the guy when he gets angry.

You can listen to the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts go up here and on iTunes. The Wednesday show is dedicated to keeping the egos of CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish inflated. Mondays and Fridays are for the real people to come on. Here's the iTunes link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. If you're still going strong and hanging on to a Zune, then, yes, you can listen on that as well.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com