Tag:Gary Parrish
Posted on: February 20, 2012 6:27 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 6:32 pm

The Poll Attacks: IU belongs on everyone's ballot

By Gary Parrish

Did you include Indiana on your Top 25 ballot?

If so, you're cool.

If not, you're Poll Attacked.

Associated Press poll: Indiana's loss at Iowa was bad. No denying that. But should it have been enough for some voters to omit the Hoosiers from their ballots? Absolutely not. And yet 15 AP voters -- including my pals Seth Davis and Dick Vitale -- left Indiana off their ballots, which is confusing because there's no way to conclude Tom Crean's team doesn't have one of the nation's best 25 bodies of work. They own wins over No. 1 Kentucky, No. 8 Ohio State, No. 11 Michigan, No. 20 Notre Dame and NCAA hopefuls Purdue, Northwestern and North Carolina State. Meantime, four of their seven losses are to teams currently ranked in the top 16. So they really only have three bad losses.

Iowa was one of them.

Again, that's an undeniable statement.

But almost everybody outside of the top 15 has at least three bad losses, and almost nobody outside of the top 15 owns the wins Indiana owns. Bottom line, what happened here is what happens too often in college basketball, i.e., a total overreaction based on the outcome of one 40-minute game that happens to be the most recent thing we've seen. The Iowa loss cost Indiana a few spots in our Top 25 (and one), as it should've. But it should not have cost the Hoosiers as much as some voters made it cost them. They're 15th at KenPom.com and 19th at CollegeRPI.com, and I think that's about right. They belong in the 15-to-20 range. Any formula suggesting otherwise is a bad formula. Any ballot suggesting otherwise is a bad ballot.

Coaches poll: I like Saint Mary's and think the Gaels will be a tough out in the NCAA Tournament. But that doesn't mean they should be ranked 23rd in the latest coaches poll. Or 24th. Or 25th. Or at all. Saint Mary's is 23-5 against a schedule that ranks 108th at CollegeRPI.com and 185th at KenPom.com and features two non-Division I opponents. The Gaels have three losses to unranked opponents. They are 0-2 against currently ranked opponents, and both of those losses (to Baylor and Murray State) came by double-digits.

Are they playing well now?


They've dropped three of their past four.

Are they healthy?


Both starting guards are hobbled.

So there is literally nothing tangible on which to base SMC's ranking. The Gaels might well win the WCC title, and that'll be a nice accomplishment. But at this moment, as I type, they're just a banged-up team lacking quality victories that's lost three of their past four games. The coaches voting for them must be the same coaches who are still voting for Mississippi State -- that SEC outfit that's dropped three straight to unranked opponents.
Posted on: February 19, 2012 10:31 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2012 10:37 pm

Night Court: USF won again

By Gary Parrish

Here’s everything you need to know about Sunday's slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Florida lost at Rutgers. So did Notre Dame. But Syracuse managed to escape Piscataway with a 74-64 victory thanks to C.J. Fair's career-high 21 points. The Orange now have a 2.5-game lead in the Big East standings. It's hard to imagine them not getting a No. 1 seed.

Win to brag about: South Florida just won't stop winning, and that's gonna be a problem for the Selection Committee. The latest victory is the Bulls' 56-47 win at Pittsburgh. They're now 17-10 overall, 10-4 in the Big East. And though their resume lacks quality wins, they haven't lost to a school currently unranked in the AP poll since December 28. You know how many teams can say that? Four. Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina and USF. That's gotta be worth something, right?

Loss to hide from: Indiana took a 78-68 loss at Iowa, so that's another bad loss for the Hoosiers and seven losses overall. But those wanting Tom Crean's team out of the national rankings should recognize that IU owns wins over Kentucky, Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame, point being the Hoosiers' entire body of work is still pretty impressive.

Player who deserves improper benefits: John Jenkins shot the ball well at Georgia and Vanderbilt got another nice road victory. The 61-52 win featured Jenkins making six of eight 3-point attempts to finish with 28 points. When he's good, Vandy is tough.

Players who do not deserve improper benefits: Stanford's starting backcourt of Aaron Bright and Chasson Randle combined to miss 15 of 19 shots in the Cardinal's 68-64 loss to Oregon. That means they shot 21 percent from the field.

Numbers don’t lie

  • 4: That's the number of Syracuse players that scored in double-figures at Rutgers. The Orange's balance and depth might be unmatched.
  • 9: That's the number of consecutive games Tennessee State has won after its 68-61 victory over Miami-Ohio. One of those wins, of course, came at Murray State.
  • 10: That's the number of 3-pointers John Jenkins has made in Vanderbilt's past two games. He's only taken 12.

Three other notable results

  1. Duke's 75-50 win over Boston College kept the Blue Devils in a first-place tie with North Carolina and Florida State in the ACC standings.
  2. Wisconsin's 65-55 win over Penn State kept the Badgers alone in fourth in the Big Ten standings.
  3. Loyola's 69-56 win over Boston University kept the Greyhounds alone in second in the MAAC standings.
  • Western Kentucky announced Sunday that intermin coach Ray Harper is now permanent coach Ray Harper. The decision doesn't make much sense on the surface, but it's good for Ray Harper.
  • Kentucky is still No. 1 in the updated Top 25 (and one). New Mexico and Vanderbilt are this week's new additions. Saint Mary's and Gonzaga dropped out.
On tap: Monday doesn't offer much in the way of great matchups. Baylor is at Texas. That's OK. If you're into great programs that are struggling this season, don't miss Connecticut at Villanova.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 19, 2012 8:25 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2012 8:32 pm

Updated Top 25 (and one)

By Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman

The Top 25 (and one) will be updated on the college basketball page shortly.

Here's how it will look ...
  1. Kentucky (26-1)
  2. Syracuse (27-1)
  3. Missouri (25-2)
  4. Duke (23-4)
  5. Michigan State (22-5)
  6. North Carolina (23-4)
  7. Kansas (22-5)
  8. Ohio State (22-5)
  9. Georgetown (20-5)
  10. Michigan (20-7)
  11. Baylor (22-5)
  12. Marquette (22-5)
  13. Wisconsin (20-7)
  14. Notre Dame (19-8)
  15. Florida (21-6)
  16. Murray State (26-1)
  17. Florida State (19-7)
  18. Indiana (20-7)
  19. Louisville (21-6)
  20. Virginia (20-6)
  21. New Mexico (22-4)
  22. UNLV (22-6)
  23. Wichita State (24-4)
  24. Temple (21-5)
  25. San Diego State (20-6)
  26. Vanderbilt (19-8)

In: New Mexico, Vanderbilt Out: Saint Mary's, Gonzaga

Posted on: February 16, 2012 11:46 am
Edited on: February 16, 2012 1:05 pm

Weber is the latest coach to stay too long

In his post-game press conference after Wednesday's loss, Illinois head coach Bruce Weber sounded defeated. (US Presswire)

By Gary Parrish

Bruce Weber should've taken the Oklahoma job last year.

I believed it then.

I believe it more than ever now because the Illinois coach lost for the seventh time in eight games Wednesday night when his Illini fell 67-62 at home to Purdue, and afterward Weber sounded like a man who knows the end is near. He publicly questioned his players. He publicly questioned himself. Privately, he must be second-guessing his decision to pass on various job opportunities the past few years -- most recently Oklahoma last March -- because barring a massive turnaround he'll either be fired or forced to resign within a few days of Illinois' final game this season.

Weber stayed at Illinois too long.

It's a mistake too many coaches make in an era when -- unless you're a surebet Hall of Famer like a Boeheim, a Calhoun, a Pitino, a Self, a Donovan, etc., -- you'd be wise to move every six or seven years. Changing jobs revitalizes you and keeps you from growing content. It also keeps you fresh among your fanbase and ensures you're always one step ahead of the so-called posse.

Leave them before they get tired of you.

Leave them before you start to level out or dip.

Rather than do that, Weber gambled that he'd compete for a Big Ten title in his ninth season and advance deep into the NCAA tournament, and that looks like a bad gamble as he sits tied for seventh in the league with a 5-8 record. But here's the truth: It was always a bad gamble because the Illini fans had already turned on Weber, and once that happens it's nearly impossible to turn them back around. Sure, you can hold them off with temporary success. But once fans stop believing you're the future you're always just one bad season away from a pink slip, and Weber is learning that now.

And it's a tough break for a good man.

Weber is genuinely respected by his peers, and my favorite story to prove this comes from last July when I spent three days on the recruiting trail with Michigan State's Tom Izzo. After a long first day of watching games in Indianapolis, Izzo and I had a private plane set to take us to Akron late on that Wednesday night so that we'd be fresh and ready to go first thing Thursday morning at the LeBron James Skills Academy. Weber did not have a private plane. He instead had a 3:45 a.m. wakeup call that would allow him to grab a commercial flight and take a more inconvenient route to the exact same place we were going, and when Izzo heard this he invited Weber to travel with us. Later, I asked Izzo why he offered a lift to Weber considering the plane was in essence an advantage in a recruiting battle for multiple prospects between Michigan State and Illinois. "I wouldn't do it for anybody," Izzo answered. "But if you lose a kid to Bruce you know it wasn't underhanded. You know he's going to do things the right way."

That's the best compliment a coach could ever give a fellow coach.

But that won't be enough to save Weber's job.

He's had recruiting problems at times and coaching issues at others, but right now, more than anything, he seems to have a problem of disconnect. His players have stopped responding to him. His fans have turned on him. The result is that his Illinois tenure is close to ending, and I can't help but think Weber would've been better off ending it a year ago on his own terms by accepting a seven-year contract worth roughly $17 million from a Big 12 school willing to give him a fresh start and clean slate.
Posted on: February 16, 2012 12:19 am

Night Court: New Mexico atop the MWC standings

By Gary Parrish

Here’s everything you need to know about Wednesday's slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: North Carolina trailed by eight in the second half and seemed set to lose to the team that Duke lost to before the Blue Devils beat UNC last week, which is to say, Miami. But the Tar Heels closed on a 37-20 run and won 73-64. Harrison Barnes finished with a game-high 23 points for the No. 8 Tar Heels. UNC is now tied in the loss column atop the ACC standings with Duke and Florida State.

Win to brag about: New Mexico got the quality win it needed at No. 13 San Diego State. The final score was 77-67. It was UNM's first victory all season over a currently ranked opponent,  and now Steve Alford's team is alone atop the MWC standings heading into Saturday's showdown with No. 11 UNLV.

Loss to hide from: Illinois lost 67-62 at home to Purdue, and that's not something Bruce Weber could afford at this point in his career. The Illini coach is a good man in a tough spot. He's lost seven of his past eight, is probably on the wrong side of the bubble as I type, and, barring something wild, I'm not sure he's gonna be able to survive this. Weber entered the season on the hot seat. It's never been hotter than it is right now.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Marcus Denmon got 17 points on 10 shots in Missouri's 83-65 victory over Oklahoma State. The senior guard is averaging 21.8 points per game in No. 3 Mizzou's past four wins. He could be -- and probably should be -- a first-team All-American.

Players who do not deserve improper benefits: SMU is a Division I school that awards scholarships and everything, and yet the Mustangs could only muster 28 points in a 47-28 loss to UAB. The four starters not named Robert Nyakundi were a combined 2-of-24 from the field. That's ridiculous. SMU shot 17.4 percent from the field and 10.3 percent from 3-point range. That's also ridiculous.

Numbers don’t lie

  • 9: That's the number of losses outside of But Walton Arena Arkansas has after its 77-58 loss at Tennessee. The Hogs are 0-9 outside of Bud Walton Arena, and five of those losses have come by double-digits. Meantime, the Hogs are 17-0 inside Bud Walton Arena.
  • 9: That's the number of Big East wins USF has after its 65-51 victory over Villanova. The Bulls are 16-10 overall, 9-4 in the league. They're not quite on the bubble yet, but a strong finish to the regular season could get them there.
  • 20: That's the number of wins 18th-ranked Indiana has after its 71-66 victory over Northwestern. It's the first time Tom Crean has won 20 games in his four seasons at Indiana, and it comes with five regular season games still left to play.

Three other notable results

  1. Iona beat Rider 75-62 to move to 13-2 in the MAAC and remain alone atop the league standings. Two more league wins and the Gaels will be the outright champions regardless of what happens elsewhere.
  2. Southern Miss trailed late in regulation but forced OT and managed to beat Tulsa 77-69 to remain in a tie with Memphis atop the Conference USA standings. Both teams are 9-2 in C-USA.
  3. No. 23 Notre Dame beat Rutgers 71-53 to improve to 10-3 in the Big East. The Irish are tied for second in the Big East with Marquette. Both schools are two games back of Syracuse in the loss column.


On tap: No. 15 Wisconsin at No. 7 Michigan State highlights Thursday's schedule of games. No. 5 Duke and No. 20 Florida are also in action. Duke plays N.C. State while FSU gets Virginia Tech. Both need to win to keep pace with UNC in the ACC.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 15, 2012 1:31 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2012 3:30 pm

OSU's Ross latest to go off on Twitter, apologize

By Gary Parrish

LaQuinton Ross deleted the Tweet and apologized pretty quickly.

But by then, as is almost always the case in this fast-paced world, the damage was done.

"Don't know how much longer I can take this BULL----!!!!!" Ross Tweeted, and I think it's reasonable to assume "this BULL----" was in reference to the fact that Ohio State coach Thad Matta didn't play Ross Tuesday night for the fifth straight game. Elite recruits don't like sitting the bench, you know? But Ross' comments are also interesting in a larger scope, because they come just a few days after Maryland guard Terrell Stoglin Tweeted his displeasure with Mark Turgeon's decision to bench him in crucial minutes.

I don't care whether Matta and Turgeon are right or wrong.

That's not the point.

The point is that athletes must learn, sooner or later, that Tweeting something in the year 2012 is no different than saying something into a microphone held by Clark Kellogg. It's all for public consumption. I hear your thoughts when you say them live on CBS. I read your thoughts when you Tweet them to your followers -- if only because your followers RT them and those thoughts find me somehow, in this case via an email from our Ohio State Rapid Reporter.

Bottom line, don't be stupid.

If you're an athlete at a high-profile school -- you know, like Ohio State, which just so happens to be ranked sixth nationally -- you need to ask yourself one question before Tweeting anything: Would I say these words into a microphone with a television camera in my face? If the answer is a negative, don't hit "send." Because if you do, you'll look silly. And then you're just gonna end up deleting the Tweet and subsequently apologizing, at which point you'll look even sillier than you did before.
Posted on: February 13, 2012 4:34 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 4:42 pm

The Poll Attacks: Not ranking Wisconsin is dumb

By Gary Parrish

The Poll Attacks are now taking reader requests.

Read and see.

Let's go.

Associated Press poll: I was gonna spend this space Poll Attacking anybody who voted for Creighton because the Bluejays shouldn't be on anybody's ballot, plain and simple. Plus, I warned voters Saturday against ranking Creighton. And I hate it when people don't listen to me. So I sat down at this computer ready to tear apart the eight voters who voted for Creighton. But then I got a Tweet from a reader.
@GaryParrishCBS Pete Gilbert needs a good poll attacking. Wisconsin unranked, Murray St. left in the top 10.
Needless to say, I shifted gears.

What the F, Pete Gilbert?

How can anybody not have Wisconsin ranked?

The Badgers are 19-6 overall, 8-4 in the Big Ten, and they've won seven of their past eight with the lone loss coming by single-digits to No. 6 Ohio State. Five of their six overall losses are to teams that are currently ranked. The Badgers are top five at KenPom.com, top 25 at CollegeRPI.com, No. 11 in our Top 25 (and one) and on 64 of the 65 AP ballots. In other words, pretty much everybody (and every computer) in this world thinks Wisconsin belongs in the top 25 ... except Pete Gilbert, who omitted the Badgers but put Murray State in the top 10.

Now I don't wanna spend too much time on Murray State.

I'm going there this weekend.

I wanna be loved.

But I will point out that the Racers have zero wins over currently ranked teams and a home loss to Tennessee State, which is ranked 141st at CollegeRPI.com and 184th at KenPom.com. Murray State is good, no question. But top-10 good? That's a stretch. And at least 15 spots better than Wisconsin? That's a bigger stretch.

So get it together, Pete.

Let's not do this again next Monday.

Coaches poll: And now to Creighton ...

Because the same Bluejays who got 20 points in the AP poll got 30 points in the coaches poll, meaning the coaches are 50 percent sillier than the writers, which sounds about right, actually. For those who haven't been keeping track, Creighton stopped making shots a little more than a week ago and began what is now a three-game losing streak. So Greg McDermott's team is 21-5 with two wins over top 25 teams and four losses to teams that are currently unranked. They're probably gonna lose their league by two games. They're not headed the right direction. Bottom line, there was a time and place to be ranking Creighton. But now is not that time. And here is not that place. So let's let the Bluejays start shooting better than 30 percent from 3-point range again before we start considering them for top 25 ballots again. Deal?
Posted on: February 12, 2012 7:38 pm

Updated Top 25 (and one)

By Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman

The Top 25 (and one) will be updated on the college basketball page shortly.

Here's how it will look ...
  1. Kentucky (25-1)
  2. Syracuse (25-1)
  3. Missouri (23-2)
  4. Duke (21-4)
  5. Michigan State (20-5)
  6. Ohio State (21-4)
  7. North Carolina (21-4)
  8. Kansas (20-5)
  9. Baylor (21-4)
  10. Georgetown (19-5)
  11. Wisconsin (19-6)
  12. UNLV (22-4)
  13. Michigan (19-7)
  14. Marquette (21-5)
  15. Indiana (19-6)
  16. Virginia (19-5)
  17. San Diego State (20-4)
  18. Notre Dame (17-8)
  19. Louisville (20-5)
  20. Florida (19-6)
  21. Murray State (24-1)
  22. Florida State (17-7)
  23. Saint Mary's (23-3)
  24. Gonzaga (20-4)
  25. Wichita State (22-4)
  26. Temple (19-5)

In: Louisville, Gonzaga, Wichita State, Temple

Out: Creighton, Mississippi State, Iowa State, Southern Miss

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