Posted on: December 10, 2011 10:48 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2011 9:47 am

Night Court: Brawl, upsets and no Sully

By Jeff Goodman

(NOTE: We will file a Night Court almost every night this season. Follow @GaryParrishCBS, @GoodmanCBS, @MattNorlander, @JeffBorzello and @EyeOnCBB on Twitter to make sure it gets sent to you as soon as it's posted.)

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

Game of the day: Indiana blew a 10-point second-half lead and it looked as though top-ranked Kentucky was going to escape with a victory in Bloomington -- until Hoosiers talented forward Christian Watford drilled a 3-pointer as time expired to give IU its biggest win in the Tom Crean Era. This one was riveting from the get-go and could wind up being a defining victory for a program that has worked its way out of the gutter. 

Game of the Day for all the wrong reasons: The latest edition of the Crosstown Shootout was unforgettable. Xavier exacted a measure of revenge on the court with a 23-point drubbing over Cincinnati, but it was the fracas that ended the game with nine seconds left that made this one a lasting memory. It began with trash-talking between Xavier's Tu Holloway and Ge'Lawn Guyn, but included several haymakers - one delivered by Bearcats senior Yancy Gates to fellow heavyweight Kenny Frease that left the Musketeers big man with blood gushing under his eye. This ugly scene completed overshadowed a terrific showing by a Xavier team that is currently ranked eighth in the nation. 

Win to brag about: Phil Martelli and his St. Joe's program have struggled the last couple years, winning a total of 22 times the last two seasons. It had been nearly three years since the Hawks had knocked off a Top 25 team, but St. Joe's handed an undefeated and ranked Creighton team its first loss of the season on Saturday. Junior guard Carl Jones scored 29 points in the 80-71 victory. 

Loss to hide from: Tennessee didn't just blow an 11-point lead, but they did it against an Austin Peay team that began the season with nine consecutive losses. The Vols, under new coach Cuonzo Martin, fell to 3-5 overall after watching Austin Peay score the final eight points of the game at Thompson-Boling Arena. 

Player who deserves improper benefits: Tyshawn Taylor - Kansas' senior guard, playing with a torn MCL that will require surgery on Sunday that is expected to put him on the shelf for the next couple weeks, logged 35 minutes, finished with nine points and 13 assists in the Jayhawks win over Ohio State. Sure, the Buckeyes didn't have Jared Sullinger. However, it doesn't take away from the gutsy effort put forth by Taylor. 

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Terrence Jones - He's still an enigma and yet another exhibit of how he hasn't yet changed came against Indiana when he finished with just four points and one rebound - and sat on the bench for the final minutes of the loss to the Hoosiers. One day Jones can look like the best player in America - and the next he can appear lazy and disinterested. 

Numbers don’t lie:

500: That's the number of career victories that Saint Louis coach Rick Majerus has after his Billikens defeated Illinois-Springfield, 72-62. 

1-0: That's UCLA's record in the post-Reeves Nelson Era. The Bruins defeated Penn, 77-73. Lazeric Jones scored 21 points in the win. 

38%: That's Mason Plumlee's free throw percentage after going 2-for-11 from the charity stripe in Duke's win over Washington.

43: That's how many points IUPUI's Alex Young put up tonight in a 84-76 win over Western Kentucky. The 6-foot-6 wing's previous career-high was 32.  

0: That was the number of field goal attempts Wisconsin All-American candidate Jordan Taylor made in 10 attempts. The Badgers somehow still managed to beat UNLV, 62-51. 

21 & 19: That was the final line for Delaware junior big man Jamelle Hagins on Saturday

Six Other notable results:

North Carolina edged Long Beach State, 84-78, in Chapel Hill. John Henson had 24 points and 10 boards, Harrison Barnes finished with 20 points and Kendall Marshall dished out 16 assists. Casper Ware had 29 for Long Beach State. 

Butler fell to 4-6 after losing to Ball State in Muncie. Khyle Marshall had 21 for the Bulldogs, but no one else for Brad Stevens' team was in double-figures. 

Syracuse had no issues with George Washington as the Orange rolled to a 85-50 victory, meaning that Jim Boeheim - in the midst of all the off-the-court issues involving his former assistant coach Bernie Fine - will likely assume the No. 1 spot when the polls are released on Monday. 

Kansas got a much-needed win over Ohio State in Lawrence, 78-67. The Jayhawks needed it because the Jared Sullinger (back spasms) wasn't on the court for Thad Matta's team. 

Temple, despite being without starting big man Micheal Eric, got the better of Villanova in a Big 5 matchup. Ramone Moore exploded for 32 for the Owls (6-2). Jay Wright's team fell to 5-4. 

Michigan State, led by 34 points from Draymond Green, got an impressive road win at the Kennel against Gonzaga.  


Ohio State's Player of the Year candidate Jared Sullinger sat out the game at Kansas and a much-anticipated matchup with Jayhawks big man Thomas Robinson due to back spasms. 

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor played in the win against Ohio State with a torn MCL. Taylor is set to have surgery on Sunday and is expected to miss a couple weeks. 

Arizona freshman guard Josiah Turner returned from a one-game suspension and played 17 minutes in a win over Clemson. Turner had six points, six rebounds, five turnovers and one assist. 

Marcus Jordan, Michael's son, was suspended for Central Florida's two-point win over Bethune-Cookman. 

Ohio point guard D.J. Cooper finished with a triple-double (14 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds) in a win at Portland late Saturday night.  

Northern Arizona defeated Cal State Bakersfield in the Lumberjacks first game following the sudden resignation of coach Mike Adras. Dave Brown, 70, took the reigns on an interim basis. 

Texas A&M's top scorer, Khris Middleton, returned after missing the last seven games with a knee injury and finished with 24 points.  

On tap: 

It's a fairly lackluster Sunday. Here are the top three games: 

1) Murray State at Memphis, 6 p.m. ET - The Racers have one of the nation's underrated point guards in Isaiah Canaan and could pull off the upset. 

2) Iona at Marshall, 2:30 p.m. ET - Two of the nation's top mid-major teams this season. 

3) Detroit at Alabama, 6 p.m. ET - Ray McCallum Jr., (aka Little Ray) goes up against an athletic Crimson Tide squad that will likely fall out of the Top 25 after a loss earlier this week. 

Photo: AP

Posted on: December 10, 2011 7:43 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2011 8:31 pm

Indiana's win worthy of Crean celebration

By Jeff Goodman

Tom Crean can celebrate however he wants after this one. He could be yelling and screaming buck naked in the lobby of Assembly Hall and it would be fine with me (OK, I take that one back).

I mocked the Indiana coach last season after he went bananas in the lobby of Assembly Hall following a home victory over Illinois. However, Saturday's victory against top-ranked Kentucky? Well, that's worthy of a full-pledged party well into the night for Crean and the Hoosiers.

This may wind up becoming a defining moment for the Indiana program in the Crean Era - one that had some fans and many around the country questioning whether the Hoosiers would be nationally relevant again.

Kentucky was more talented at every single position on the court, but Indiana took control of the game in the second half, and after blowing a 10-point lead, got a 3-pointer at the buzzer from Christian Watford for the 73-72 upset.

The Hoosiers showed mental resolve.

This Hoosiers team has officially turned the corner. They hadn't really beaten anyone of note until now (Butler and N.C State don't quite count), but should make their way into the Top 25 for the first time since Kelvin Sampson was running things and making illegal phone calls in Bloomington.

It was nice to see Assembly Hall rocking again because the fans in Bloomington are rabid - and are deserving of success. Indiana doesn't blow you away, but now Crean has enough talent and experience to compete with the big boys.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, however, and start proclaiming the Hoosiers as a clear-cut NCAA tournament team. The Hoosiers aren't going to challenge Ohio State for the Big Ten title. They remain undefeated, but still need to fare well in Big Ten play to ensure themselves of dancing come March.

Watford doesn't always show up, but it was Kentucky's Terrence Jones who played the role of the magician on Saturday, doing his best disappearing act with just four points and a lone rebound in the contest. Watford went for 20 points in the victory while freshman Cody Zeller, Will Sheehey, Victor Oladipo and Jordan Hulls all played well.

Crean has had a rough go thus far in his tenure, finishing near the bottom of the league each of his three seasons. Recruiting has certainly picked up in the past year or so and Cream got over one hurdle when he took down Butler's Brad Stevens last month. But this one was far more important.

Crean knocked off the No. 1 team in the land. The almighty John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats.

If that's not worthy of a party, I'm not sure what is.

Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:42 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2011 9:47 pm

Tom Crean gets biggest win in tenure over Butler

By Jeff Goodman

Tom Crean will sleep well tonight. Maybe he won't even have Brad Stevens nightmares any longer. 

The Indiana coach, in his fourth season since taking over one of the most storied programs in the country, watched his Hoosiers team pull away from Stevens'  Butler Bulldogs on Sunday night fr a 75-59 win. 

This was a huge victory for Crean. In fact, I'll go as far as to say it was the most important in his IU tenure, largely because he ended up on the winning end against Stevens - a guy who many still believe could wind up replacing him in Bloomington if the Hoosiers don't continue to make steady progress. 

Indiana had won five consecutive games to start the season, but it wasn't exactly Murderer's Row. 

The Hoosiers knocked off Stony Brook, Chattanooga, Evansville, Savannah State and Gardner-Webb - by an average of more than 25 points per game. 

Crean's group ran its record to 6-0 against a mediocre Butler team, but that was somewhat irrelevant. 

Because Crean had to win this one. 

He's jealous and/or envious of Stevens - just like nearly every other coach in America that has watched the Boy Wonder make two consecutive national title game appearances. But it's different for Crean because he's supposed to own the state - and yet it's been Butler who have been the darlings in Indiana. 

The win total has climbed from six to 10 to 12 over the first three years in the Crean Era - and the Hoosiers have gotten out of the gates without a blemish thus far. 

This team is more talented than the first three. Freshman Cody Zeller is a future pro, Will Sheehey, who went for a career-high 21 against Butler, has made significant strides since his freshman campaign and the backcourt of Verdell Jones and Jordan Hulls has been solid. Christian Watford no longer has to be "The Guy" and that's exactly what Crean needs in order to finish in the top half of the Big Ten. 

The schedule certainly gets more difficult over the next few weeks with N.C. State, Kentucky and Notre Dame on the slate prior to the start of Big Ten play. 

However, Crean needed this one. Badly.

Photo: AP
Posted on: November 9, 2011 2:47 pm

Indiana takes most significant step in Crean era

By Jeff Goodman

Indiana coach Tom Crean has waited nearly 1,100 days for this.

Sure, the Hoosiers signed the youngest of the Zeller brothers, Cody, a year ago - and while he was unquestionably the most important piece of Crean's semi-recent recruiting success, he was just that.

A piece.

Today marks what could be the return of IU basketball.

Crean will have a trio of Top 50 kids ink in the Class of 2012: Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell, a point guard who should have the ball in his hands the day he arrives in Bloomington; Hanner Perea, an athletic power forward who was coveted by no shortage of high-major schools; and Jeremy Hollowell, a 6-foot-6 scorer.

This could be the group that ultimately saves Crean his job.

Ferrell is the most critical piece that Crean will bring in and not just because of his ranking. No disrespect to Verdell Jones, but Ferrell is a major upgrade at the point guard spot. In fact, he's the second-highest rated floor leader in the nation (behind Providence-bound Kris Dunn).

Perea is something that Indiana doesn't have: a physical, hard-playing athlete on the frontline that will run the court, rebound the ball and block shots.

Hollowell is an enigma due to his inconsistent effort, but at worst case he'll give Crean depth at the wing.

Arizona's class may be ranked higher, but no one needed the Class of 2012 more than Crean and Indiana.

It's a program that has been in a state of rebuilding since the day Crean took over and while some expect the Hoosiers to take a step forward this season with the addition of Zeller, it's unlikely that Indiana makes any noise nationally.

But that could change a year from now.

More on recruiting
Crean didn't just go out and get any three players, either. Ferrell and Hollowell are in-state kids - and Perea, who hails from Columbia, has been at a prep school in Indiana for the last couple years.

He's making strides to do what the head coach in Bloomington has no choice but to do in order to make IU a national player again.

Lock down the state - or at least make it cool to play at Indiana again.

Crean has struggled to gain any on-court momentum in his first three seasons in Bloomington - so much so that many - including myself - have speculated that Butler's Brad Stevens is waiting in the wings if Crean doesn't soon make progress.

The Hoosiers should take a step forward this season on the court - but today was the most significant step that Indiana has displayed in the Crean Era.

Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: October 20, 2011 9:27 am

Preseason candidates for Tisdale Award announced

By Gary Parrish

The United States Basketball Writers Association announced on Thursday its 12 preseason candidates for the Wayman Tisdale Award that annually honors the nation's top freshman. Three of the 12 -- Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague -- play at Kentucky.

The full list is as follows:
  • Brad Beal (Florida)
  • Chane Behanan (Louisville)
  • Khem Birch (Pittsburgh)
  • Anthony Davis (Kentucky)
  • Andre Drummond (Connecticut)
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky)
  • Le'Bryan Nash (Oklahoma State)
  • Austin Rivers (Duke)
  • Marquis Teague (Kentucky)
  • Adonis Thomas (Memphis)
  • Josiah Turner (Arizona)
  • Cody Zeller (Indiana)
Ohio State's Jared Sullinger won the Wayman Tisdale Award last season.

Sullinger is the CBSSports.com Preseason National Player of the Year this season.
Posted on: October 11, 2011 8:26 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2011 8:28 pm

Report: Crean committed secondary violation

By Matt Norlander

Approaching what's going to be a critical season for he and the Indiana basketball program, Hoosiers coach Tom Crean has had a rough past couple of days.

The season-ending Achilles injury to Mo Creek set the squad back, and now comes a report from ESPN.com's Pat Forde that Crean made illegal contact with a recruit one day after the contact period ended, which was Oct. 5. The recruit in question is Gary Harris, a 2012 guard ranked No. 22 overall by CBSSports.com.

In a statement released Tuesday, the school said, "Coach Crean immediately reported an inadvertent recruiting contact violation to our compliance office, and we are following our normal procedures."

The school says in its report that Crean visited the unnamed student-athlete at an Indianapolis-area high school on Thursday, Oct. 6. According to the NCAA recruiting calendar, the contact period ended Oct. 5.

Indiana's self-report said assistant coach Tim Buckley recognized the calendar error later that day and reported it the same day to the IU compliance office. The school then contacted the NCAA that same day as well. After consulting with NCAA enforcement representative Chris Strobel, the school docked itself two days on the recruiting trail as punishment for the violation.

The violation is minor, and in reality happens nearly as frequently as impermissible phone calls. But given the sensitive nature at Indiana, where Kelvin Sampson brought upon much controversy to he and the school, every infraction is taken extra seriously. The Hoosiers do not get off probation from the Sampson era until next month, Nov. 24.

Harris is also being courted by Kentucky, Purdue and, most notably, Michigan State. The Spartans are of course coached by Tom Izzo, who is a mentor to Crean, as the IU coach once served as an assistant to Izzo at MSU more than a decade ago.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: October 10, 2011 5:23 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 5:26 pm

Indiana's Creek out for year after freak injury

By Jeff Goodman

You've got to feel for Mo Creek.

Indiana's junior guard suffered a torn Achilles and, according to sources, is expected to miss the season following surgery on Monday.

The Hoosiers, via a statement, said that Creek was injured "away from the basketball court."

One source told CBSSports.com that it was a "freak injury that occurred away from the court" and that "Creek wasn't doing anything wrong."

What matter, though, is that this is a huge hit. Not only to Creek, who has now suffered three significant injuries in his two-year college career, but also to a Hoosiers program that appeared primed to make a leap forward this season.

"This is a devastating blow for someone who has worked so hard to get himself in a position to help this program again," Indiana coach Tom Crean said in a statement.

With a healthy Creek, Crean & Co. could have made a move this season. This is a veteran team that has added a frontcourt stud in Cody Zeller.

Put a healthy Creek with a motivated Christian Watford and Zeller - along with the other pieces in Bloomington - and you've got a team that could crack the top half of the Big Ten.

Especially with the Big Ten losing a bunch from a year ago.

Now it's going to be a challenge for IU without Creek.

Creek had surgery for a broken patella in December of 2009 and his season ended prematurely a year ago - in January - due to a stress fracture in his right patella.

When healthy, Creek can be a guy who you can build around. He averaged 16.4 points as a freshman prior to his first injury. However, he's played just 30 games in two seasons and now it looks like he'll miss this entire year.

Photo: AP
Posted on: September 8, 2011 12:29 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2011 12:34 pm

Random act of kindness from IU's Crean

By Gary Parrish

Tom Crean has struggled to rebuild Indiana while rival programs flourish all around him.

That's a tough, tough deal.

John Calipari has Kentucky operating at a different level than almost everybody, Brad Stevens has turned Butler into a national brand, and Matt Painter has established himself as one of the nation's premier coaches at Purdue. Meantime, Crean has gone 8-46 in the Big Ten through his first three years at IU. But fans still remain hopeful because recruiting is now going very well.

And stories like this don't hurt either ...
[There is student] at Indiana [who] was finding his adjustment to college a difficult one. Crean saw the young man sitting in the lobby of the basketball practice facility recently and noticed him a couple of times as he went in and out of the basketball offices. He also noticed that the young man appeared to be very upset. Crean invited the student into his office and proceeded to hear his story and counseled the young man on how difficult the transition to college can be and encouraged him to stick with it. He also introduced the student to the rest of his staff and he got him an opportunity to work around the basketball program as a member of the athletic department.
That's a story from David Kaplan at CSNChicago.com that I stumbled upon thanks to ESPN.com's Eamonn Brennan.

A reader apparently called Kaplan and relayed the tale.

Kaplan called Crean for comment.

Crean declined.

But here's the rest of Kaplan's post.
The young man had turned off his cell phone after telling his parents that he needed to take a walk and think and his parents were very worried when they were unable to reach him. When Crean inquired as to whether the young man had spoken with his parents recently the young man said no. Crean called the parents, gave them his personal contact information and told them he would look out for their son. After arranging for a job in the athletic department the young man is reported to be doing very well and has adjusted to life away from home.
Will stories like this help Crean challenge Tom Izzo, Thad Matta and Bo Ryan in the Big Ten?

Of course not.

But it sure is a helluva nice story.

And my guess is that even the IU fans who are tired of losing smiled a bit when they read it.

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