Tag:SEC
Posted on: February 2, 2012 11:05 am
Edited on: February 2, 2012 12:09 pm
 

Kentucky vs. NBA's Raptors: Not an easy call

By Jeff Goodman

Maybe I'm nuts to think a college group could hang with an NBA team, but I'm not so sure. 

Check out the Toronto Raptors starting unit last night against the Boston Celtics -- and tell me you wouldn't take John Calipari's first five over the Raptors. 

Not just for the future, but maybe even right now. 

The Raptors backcourt was Spanish point guard Jose Calderon and athletic freak DeMar DeRozan. The frontcourt: James Johnson, Ed Davis and Aaron Gray. 

Pitiful. 

I understand Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are just freshmen, but it's not like Davis and DeRozan are grown men, either. Both are just 22 years old. Johnson is 24 and Gray is 26. 

I'd take Davis over Gray in a heartbeat. Yes, today. I'd also go with Gilchrist over Davis -- today, tomorrow and every day thereafter. 

Calderon blows away Marquis Teague at this juncture and we'll give a slight nod to Johnson over Terrence "Mr. Enigma" Jones, but not if Jones' head is actually into the game. 

Then there's the matter of DeRozan vs. Doron Lamb. DeRozan is a terrific athlete and virtually a non-shooter. Lamb is a big-time shooter. Completely different players, but I'll go with DeRozan. 

So maybe Calipari's current edition down in Lexington wouldn't come out on top against the Raptors, but they'd certainly give them a run for their money. 

Posted on: February 2, 2012 10:00 am
Edited on: February 2, 2012 10:02 am
 

College basketball's January: In photos

By Matt Norlander

Like most of you, I'm a sucker for good photography. For the past couple of years, I've done best-of-the-year photo posts at the end of each season. But I wanted to get more frequent with my appreciation for the faceless photogs that do tremendous work all season long.

These men and women truly have the best seat in all of sports; they're as close to the action without actually taking part in it. This season, just after each month ends, we've been sharing best 40 or so shots from the previous 28, 30 or 31 days. If you'd like to give November and December's best pictures a peek, go ahead.

Now, January's best.

Jeremy Lamb and the impending doom for the rim. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

I'm confused. Does Memphis use two mascots? Or is the tiger in the circle just Wesley Witherspoon messing around? (Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

Georgia State coach Ron Hunter coaches his fifth annual barefoot game in support of Samaritan's Feet, an organization that provides shoes for underprivileged children in over 62 countries around the world. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Fortunately, the photographer was able to fit every fan attending this Duke game into the shot. This never could have happened in 1994. (Lance King/Getty Images)

Michael Dixon, left, Matt Pressey, center, and Phil Pressey head out to play Texas. Nice shot. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

A cheerleader of the Baylor Bears performs during a game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at the Ferrell Center. (Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)

Mason Plumlee parachutes back to earth, ready to land on Wake Forest. Seth Curry has already started thinking about how he can turn the ball over. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

An Indiana Hoosiers player is reflected in the floor during player introductions before their game against Nebraska. (Eric Francis/Getty Images)

This is what Nebraskans look like. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

Damn, Phil Pressey really knows how to leave a locker room. Play on, player. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The defining image of Thomas Robinson's Kansas career. (Kansas City Star)

Looked so good, we had to show the opposite angle. Should be required wall-decoration for every Kansas freshman for years to come. (Peter G. Aiken/US PRESSWIRE)

Troy's Justin Wright takes a shot over Louisiana Monroe guard Fred Brown. Something about the small gym, the lighting, the peak of the shot. Really like this one. (Thomas Graning/The (Troy) Messenger)

Would you rather have the NCAA breathing down your neck or Jim Calhoun literally doing it? (AP/Fred Beckham). 

Iowa State guard Scott Christopherson, left, just goes with the moment. Chris Allen is ready to share his exuberance with anyone and everyone. Christopherson's look says, Dude, this is great and all, but, Tic-Tac? (AP/Charlie Neibergall)

Navy guard Erin Meador turns her head into a basketball. This feel like art. (AP/Patrick Semansky)

Murray State Rrrray-sirs! (The Paducah Sun/John Wright)

Austin Rivers leads a tortured life. (AP/Gerry Broome)

Like flowers being beckoned by the sun, hands rise up and chase the orange. Might be my favorite shot of the month. (AP/Jeffrey Phelps)

The capital G in cursive is truly the most cumbersome letter. (AP/Patrick Semansky)

Old man ref advises OD Anosike to get his act together and stop listening to Lady Gaga. (US PRESSWIRE)

Kids at games. The best. (US PRESSWIRE)

Man, I'd love a pair of those shoes. (US PRESSWIRE)

Who says newspapers are dead! Much respect to the guy in front here who's very invested in some piece of piercing journalism.(US PRESSWIRE)

John Henson's dunkface. (US PRESSWIRE)

Remember that time Brandon Paul played out of his mind and then blocked a potential game-winning shot from Jared Sullinger? (US PRESSWIRE)

Akron forward Nikola Cvetinovic forgets something on the way to two points. (Andrew Weber/US PRESSWIRE)

Xavier forward Jeff Robinson demoralizes Duquesne's Kadeem Pantophlet. (Frank Victores/US PRESSWIRE)

That's Davidson's Belk Arena blurred in the background. (US PRESSWIRE)

You could practically push a shopping cart underneath the Purdue cheerleaders. (US PRESSWIRE)

Love The Show out at San Diego State. Legen -- wait for it -- ... dary. (US PRESSWIRE)

Urban Meyer and his Sith lords begin their reign in Columbus, introduce themselves to the hoi polloi. (Greg Bartram/US PRESSWIRE)

Shaka Smart reacts. (US PRESSWIRE)

Santa Barbara Gauchos guard Orlando Johnson is fouled by Long Beach State's Casper Ware. The Big West's two best collide. (Kelvin Kuo/US PRESSWIRE)

Vandy's players give love to their fans after a win. (US PRESSWIRE)

Take the next three minutes to examine the reaction of everyone in this picture. (US PRESSWIRE)

Tom Izzo gets win No. 400, and his players surprise him in the presser. Tom Izzo remains to be among the best. (US PRESSWIRE)
Posted on: February 1, 2012 12:24 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 4:29 pm
 

Podcast: Which teams are running out of gas?

Could Jamie Dixon and Pitt wind up playing in the tournament after all? (AP)

By Matt Norlander


We've got a good Wednesday podcast for you. Goodman can't read a gas gauge and Parrish is getting free cars. Let's get to it.
 
Rundown:
  • From the beginning: How does one run out of gas more than 30 miles from home? Only Goodman has the answer. Apparently, Goodman's not afraid
  • 9:45: Not only is Goodman terrible at reading gas gauges, he doesn't understand geography.
  • 12:05: Michigan State, Draymond Green and the value/unique ability of Green.
  • 15:57: Which teams are running out of gas? Which teams have their honeymoon going sour?
  • 18:00: Kentucky, 22-1: a cut above now? Or should we wait two more weeks to judge?
  • 21:20: "I'm not going to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, brother." Ah, Conference USA talk!
  • 25:39: Pittsburgh is becoming an interesting case study. Goodman and Parrish believe they'll thickly be in the tournament discussion. I'm not there yet.
  • 33:06: Parrish is blind and receiving free cars.

Again, I thank you for taking the time to listen to the podcast--whenever you can. I ask that you, if you like what we're doing here, encourage like-minded hoopheads to subscribe in Tunes as well. Guests like Jay Bilas, Seth Davis, they're the guys who make me sound better and make the podcast worthwhile. The other guys? Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman, they really make it entertaining, and of course you can count on our trio show each Wednesday. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.


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Posted on: February 1, 2012 12:11 am
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Posted on: February 1, 2012 12:06 am
 

Night Court: Royce White gives ISU another win

Royce White's shot with 1.8 seconds left capped a 14-point comeback, giving Iowa St. a win over Kansas St. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

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

Game of the day: Iowa State looked like it was headed for a letdown game against Kansas State, getting down by as many as 14 in the second half after its big win over Kansas over the weekend. However, the Cyclones stormed back late in the game and tied it up on a Chris Babb free throw with under a minute left. On the last possession, Royce White isolated himself and hit a short jumper with 1.8 seconds left to give Iowa State a 72-70 win.

Win to brag about: Arkansas was the last team in my projected bracket on Monday afternoon, and the Razorbacks solidified their at-large profile with an 82-74 victory over No. 25 Vanderbilt. Arkansas simply didn’t miss midway through the second half, knocking down 3-pointers on five of six possessions, including three in a row, to gain an 11-point lead that it wouldn’t relinquish. The Razorbacks now have wins over Michigan, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.

Loss to hide from: It’s not a bad loss, but Seton Hall has now dropped four in a row after its 66-59 defeat at No. 15 Marquette. The Pirates were up by 11 in the first half and led for most of the first 30 minutes of the game, but they struggled immensely on the offensive end and couldn’t stop Marquette during the Golden Eagles’ 20-5 run in the second half. Jordan Theodore went just 3-for-14 from the field, getting held to seven points.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Oklahoma State sophomore Markel Brown went for 30 points and seven rebounds to lead the Cowboys to an 80-63 win over Texas Tech. Brown is averaging fewer than 10 points per game on the season, but has totaled 71 points in his last four games (17.8 per game).

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: The entire Michigan State vs. Illinois game was horrendous. Michigan State shot just 24 percent, with Illinois lighting it up at 33 percent. The Fighting Illini held on for a 42-41 victory, as Brandon Paul knocked down two free throws with 45 seconds left and Keith Appling missed a layup with two seconds left for Michigan State. 

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 3-for-22: Michigan State’s top three scorers – Draymond Green, Keith Appling, Brandon Wood – were horrendous offensively against Illinois.
  • 11: Kentucky made its first 11 shots from the field against Tennessee.
  • 9: Wisconsin scored just nine points in the first 16 minutes of its game against Penn State, but had 43 in the next 24 minutes. The Badgers won, 52-46.
  • 0: Texas Tech is still winless in conference play – the only BCS-conference team without a league win.

Three other notable results:

  1. North Carolina struggled offensively, but still topped Wake Forest behind 18 points and 18 rebounds from Tyler Zeller.
  2. Virginia held off a late rally from Clemson to improve to 5-2 in the ACC with a 65-51 victory. Mike Scott went for 23 points and 10 rebounds.
  3. Anthony Davis went for 18 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks to lead Kentucky to an easy 69-44 win over Tennessee.

Notes:

  • New Mexico certainly didn’t overlook Air Force, hammering the Falcons on the road, 81-42.
  • Northern Iowa had lost five of seven heading into Tuesday, but beat Southern Illinois. They have Creighton and Wichita State up next.
  • Michigan State’s Draymond Green left the arena on crutches after leaving the game with a knee injury. He will be evaluated in the morning.
More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: January 30, 2012 9:38 am
Edited on: January 30, 2012 9:50 am
 

Weekly poll is back; pick the games here

By Matt Norlander

Due to college football's signing day falling on Wednesday this week, we've been pushed up in the polls. The good news is, we've got more games than before for you to vote on. Five of the results will air on "Courtside with Seth Davis" tonight at 7 p.m. ET, and another five will be revealed on "Inside College Basketball," which goes live at 11 p.m. ET, both shows on the CBS Sports Network, of course.

Get to clicking.



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Posted on: January 30, 2012 9:00 am
 

Wakeup Call: Boeheim was Coughlin's college RA

First it was the gray/platinum Nike jerseys, now this? Can't wait to see UNC in royal blue. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Matt Norlander


Before you click, guess. How many hits does YouTube get on average each day?. // The "It Was a Good Day" mystery/solved mystery doesn't even bother me. The fact someone did the research made my Friday night. // One reason I'm grateful basketball is my favorite sport: it is immune to the physical dangers that will erode/alter the sport in 10, 15, 20 years. // News of Mr. Pitt's passing certainly brought my weekend down. May we all find a perfect pair of socks ...

★ The Ryan Boatright issue was probably the story of the weekend in college basketball. Here's Doyel's take.

★ It was inevitable, and there are millions of words coming down the road in the next week, months, years about this: Division I will eventually fracture between have and have-nots.
 
★ Some terrific insight on Duke's rotation. The five guys who see the floor the most are hurting Duke more than any combination. The plus-minus from an individual standpoint I'm not a believer in, though.

★ Officials are not doing a good job of policing the sport this year.

★ Just the start, Towson, just the start.

★ Now, now, that's not very Mormon-like.

★ I linked to Lost Letterman's "best" college basketball uniforms last week. They subsequently hit me up for their list of the worst.

★ Sometimes really good teams win in really good ways and reaffirm your faith in them. I'd say Ohio State did that Sunday.

★ Ever since the prospect of this was introduced/dawned upon to me about six years ago, I've been gung-ho about it. College hoops would be much better off if it started its season in January.

★ Why was the UConn student section wearing reddish-orange yesterday?

★ Phil Martelli pulled a prank on his team recently. Hold back the jokes, folks.

★ Ooh that’s fancy.

★ We love to give love to the ladies game every now and again.

★ Jim Boeheim was once Tom Coughlin's RA at Syracuse. Boeheim seems like he'd be neither the good or the bad kind of RA. I picture him as the one students nodded their heads to, then went and did what they wanted anyway. In other words: 98 percent of every RA ever.

★ It's never over until it's over, but here's the latest account of how this is a growing pains year for Brad Stevens' Butler team.

★ The Murray State seeding questions continue and will continue to continue so long as Murray State continues to win.

► Western Illinois beat IUPUI at the buzzer Saturday. I love "THE FRESHMAN." Sounds like a couple of WIU students on the mics. Love it, fellas. Great job on the call.



♬ Listening to ALO is like like eating warm bread right before the real meal arrives. Good band to start the day off with. Appropriately, we'll go with Monday today.

Posted on: January 27, 2012 12:10 pm
 

Podcast: Pat Forde makes his podcast debut

By Matt Norlander

I'm humbled to bring on, for the first time, Yahoo Sports national college columnist Pat Forde. He's freed himself from the shackles of covering college football, mostly, and so he can now fully indulge in our sport. Glad to have him and today's pod is a breeze of a listen. We swap new-job stories, apologize to Frank Haith and get a sneak peek at the best late-night places to go in New Orleans.

If you aren't already, give him a follow on Twitter.

Here's what we hit on:
  • From the beginning: How Pat covers hoops in the season -- football season. We also get into his job switch from ESPN.com to Yahoo Sports, and how he celebrated the move.
  • 6:52: The sport lacking that national conversation, those outstanding stars and having some transcendence right now. Normally this has been the case the past 12 years in college hoops, but we hoped/expected for more this year.
  • 11:30: I remember the night Frank Haith was hired at Missouri. I also remember Pat ordering a round of drinks -- for himself. Now the Tigers are really good and Pat wants to say he's sorry.
  • 17:40: Moving on to Indiana, most specifically, if the Hoosiers have put their best basketball behind them this season.
  • 20:29: Pat's one of the few national guys, along with Parrish, to have seen Murray State in person. He shares his impressions and brings up why they're similar to Indiana State, the same Indiana State that made the 1979 national championship game. Of course, there is no Larry Bird here.
  • 24:20: Right now a lot of low- and mid-major teams that are undefeated in conference and seem to be setting themselves up to have very, very strong years in league play. I think this means we'll have a minimum of three non-BCS teams in the Sweet 16 this year, probably more.
  • 28:15: Pat's got quite a few recommendations for places to go in New Orleans for the Final Four. Yes, I'm already excited.

Again, I thank you for taking the time to listen to the podcast--whenever you can. I ask that you, if you like what we're doing here, encourage like-minded hoopheads to subscribe in Tunes as well. Guests like Jay Bilas, Seth Davis, they're the guys who make me sound better and make the podcast worthwhile. The other guys? Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman, they really make it entertaining, and of course you can count on our trio show each Wednesday. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.


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