Posted on: June 28, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 2:59 pm
By Gary Parrish
Jeff Goodman and I spent Monday doing a 2012 NBA mock draft.
We alternated picks.
I took Harrison Barnes first.
Goodman took Anthony Davis second and said he would've taken him first.
(Note: Looks like I'm the smart one. Again.)
Then we knocked out the next 28 picks and among the players never selected was Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor, which led to a few emails that asked the following questions: "Are you an idiot? Did you forget about Jordan Taylor?"
Answer to Question No. 1: Maybe
Answer to Question No. 2: No
As everybody should know by now, being a great college player doesn't necessarily make somebody a great NBA prospect, and Taylor might be an example of that. I'm not ready to give up on his NBA prospects just yet because he could reasonably go late in the first round of any draft and then develop into a quality NBA point guard. I don't know. But the fact that Taylor is a tremendous college guard means nothing ... except for that he'll be a First Team Preseason All-American.
Speaking of, I decided to take a look at how some preseason All-American teams might look.
If I'm doing two teams, here's what I've got:
G: Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin)
G: Austin Rivers (Duke)
F: Harrison Barnes (North Carolina)
F: Anthony Davis (Kentucky)
F: Jared Sullinger (Ohio State)
G: Tu Holloway (Xavier)
G: John Jenkins (Vanderbilt)
F: Jeremy Lamb (Connecticut)
F: Terrence Jones (Kentucky)
F: Perry Jones (Baylor)
Posted on: June 7, 2011 10:31 am
Edited on: June 7, 2011 5:23 pm
Posted by Eric Angevine
The grad-student loophole is gaining popularity. Even the steady recruiting machine at the University of Kansas is considering adding a refurbished gear next season.
Gary Bedore of the Lawrence Journal-World says 6-foot-7 forward Andre Walker, who has graduated from Vanderbilt with a year of eligibility remaining, is considering Kansasamongst a handful of schools vying for the rights to his final tour of duty.
With both Morris brothers headed for the NBA, the Jayhawks took a major hit in the areas of size and experience in the frontcourt. Reserve Thomas Robinson is expected to flourish in a starting role next season, but the team is looking for depth and support at the forward position. Walker is clearly more of a backup option rather than a star, but his size and experience, as well as his ability to pass out of the post, must be coveted by KU head coach Bill Self. The Jayhawks recently struck out in an attempt to nab La Salle transfer Aaric Murray, a 6-10 post player who will instead sit out a season at West Virginia before getting back on the floor.
Posted on: April 20, 2011 3:59 pm
Edited on: April 20, 2011 4:09 pm
Posted by Jeff Borzello
While the North Carolina trio of Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller received more attention with their decisions to return to college, a more important announcement came on Wednesday.
Vanderbilt’s core of John Jenkins, Jeff Taylor and Festuz Ezeli are all returning to the Commodores next season, according to Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com.
On the surface, the casual basketball fan might not care as much about these three players as the star-studded Tar Heels frontcourt. Neither Jenkins, Taylor or Ezeli is as talented as Barnes, and only Taylor is a likely lock to be selected in the first round of the NBA draft.
But there is little doubt that Vanderbilt’s trio means more to Kevin Stallings’ program than the North Carolina crew means to Roy Williams. Without Barnes, Henson and Zeller, the Tar Heels would still have multiple McDonald’s All-Americans and future pro prospects. Sure, they wouldn’t be in the running for No. 1 in the country, but Williams would have plenty of talent on his roster.
The return of Jenkins, Taylor and Ezeli to Vanderbilt puts the Commodores in the mix for a top-five preseason ranking and makes them a Final Four threat next season. On paper, they can compete with Kentucky’s band of supremely talented five-star recruits. Without those three, though, Vanderbilt would be a longshot for the NCAA tournament.
That’s how important this trio is to the Commodores.
Jenkins, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, averaged 19.5 points last season and is one of the best 3-point shooters in the country. He might be the best perimeter scorer in college basketball next season. Taylor put up 14.7 points and 5.5 rebounds this past year, making an impact at both ends of the floor. The 6-foot-7 Taylor is a future NBA player and might be the best defender in the country. Ezeli, a 6-foot-11 center, came into his own this campaign, averaging 13.0 points and 6.3 rebounds. He showed flashes of dominance on the interior, including 22 points and 13 rebounds against Kentucky in early March.
Stallings loses zero key players from last season’s team, which won 23 games and earned a No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament before flaming out in its first game once again. Double-figure scorer Brad Tinsley returns to run the point, although he will now get help from top-100 freshman Kedren Johnson. Kyle Fuller was also solid off the bench on the perimeter.
Flanking Taylor and Ezeli up front will be Lance Goulbourne, an active rebounder who had a six-game stretch in the middle of the season where he averaged 11.3 rebounds per game. Steve Tchiengang was effective off the bench down low, and Rod Odom is versatile and can stretch the defense.
Simply put, this team is loaded, both inside and out. Not many teams can compete with their trio of Jenkins, Taylor and Ezeli, and the bench adds even further separation.
The return of those three won’t make headlines a la Harrison Barnes and North Carolina, but the significance should not be understated.
This is a big-time coup for Kevin Stallings and Vanderbilt.
Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: March 21, 2011 4:47 pm
Edited on: March 21, 2011 4:53 pm
Posted by Jeff Borzello
This silver lining won’t cheer up any teams that were ousted during the first weekend, but it’s a silver lining nonetheless.
12 of the 16 teams remaining in the NCAA tournament were already home by this time last year, with only Duke, Ohio State, Butler and Kentucky making back-to-back appearances in the regional semifinals.
Part of the fun immediately following the Final Four is the early preseason top 25 rankings that everyone puts out, even though no one has any idea of the players that will go pro or transfer. The following list of five schools is fool proof, though – these teams will still be around for the second weekend next season.
Syracuse: The Orange didn’t live up to expectations in the NCAA tournament, getting bounced by conference foe Marquette in the third round. Jim Boeheim will be back next year, though. They only lose Rick Jackson from the rotation, and also welcome a very good recruiting class. Michael Carter-Williams will prove a legitimate scoring threat from the perimeter, and Rakeem Christmas will provide rebounding and defense. If the young players continue to improve, Syracuse will be fine.
Louisville: The job that Rick Pitino did with this roster was admirable, despite the upset loss to Morehead State. Pitino will bring in more talent next season and will also get some veterans back from injury. Wayne Blackshear and Chane Behanan highlight the recruiting class, while Rakeem Buckles and Jared Swopshire should be healthy. Peyton Siva is primed for a true breakout season, and Kyle Kuric is slowly developing into one of the most underrated players in the Big East.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores had all the pieces for a deep tournament run this season, they just never seemed to put it together when it mattered. If Vanderbilt can finally get past the round of 64, expect a run to at least the Sweet 16 or Elite Eight. Jeff Taylor and John Jenkins could leave Vandy and go to the NBA, but this team is primed for a huge season if they return. Dai-Jon Parker will add more perimeter toughness and Kedren Johnson can handle the ball.
Texas A&M: This team is not pretty or fun to watch, but it’s highly effective and seems to get to the NCAA tournament every year. Next season will be no different, and that could be the year they finally get out of the first weekend. B.J. Holmes is the only personnel loss, but incoming freshman Jamal Branch will step in immediately at the point. Khris Middleton should develop into one of the better scorers in the Big 12, and the Aggies are guaranteed to defend their tails off.
UCLA: If everyone returns, look out. The Bruins have some of the most talent in the country, with NBA prospects littering the roster. Tyler Honeycutt could be the best player in the Pac-10, while Reeves Nelson and Malcolm Lee are also future pros. Josh Smith has to lose weight to become more consistently effective down low, but Ben Howland also welcomes David Wear and Travis Wear, two talented transfers from North Carolina. Point guard play could be the key again.
Keep an eye on these three:
- If Travis Leslie and Trey Thompkins return to Georgia, the Bulldogs will have a formidable nucleus to go with stud freshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
- Texas’ Jordan Hamilton and Tristan Thompson both said they would return to Austin, but the jury is still out. This is a top-five team if both come back.
- Memphis has a host of young players with NBA aspirations. If the roster remains intact, freshman Adonis Thomas will join a tremendously talented team.
Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: March 17, 2011 8:16 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2011 10:51 am
Posted by Matt Norlander
DENVER — With all the dramatics in the first true day of the NCAA tournament, one of the most comforting things to take away: we're guaranteed a double-digit seed in the Sweet 16, yet again.
And not just any double-digit squad, but one with a 12 or 13 assigned to it.
Richmond, ranked No. 12 in the Southwest Region, came back from an 11-point first-half deficit to knock off No. 5 Vanderbilt, 69-66, providing Denver with two games that featured upsets. And we may not be done with that sort of outcome yet.
Awesome. It's been an electric start to the NCAA tournament here in the Mile High City.
"I don't view it as an upset, with all due respect to Vanderbilt," Richmond head coach Chris Mooney said.
Fair enough, coach, but the point is, you've got a 12 next to your team's name, and because Morehead State's got a 13, your game on Saturday could be unique in that no other weekend matchup will pit two teams with such low seeds against each other.
Thursday's win for Richmond came a year after the Spiders were a trendy pick to win in their game against Saint Mary's in the 2010 NCAA tournament. But the Gaels handled Richmond, 80-71, and went on to Sweet 16 fame. Is it Richmond's time now? And did last year's game linger/compare for Mooney? I asked him.
"Not really. I think Saint Mary's was an amazing offensive team; I think Vanderbilt's a very good offensive team," he said. "I thought it was really difficult to guard Saint Mary's. ... There's not necessarily anything different, though."
Quickly on Vanderbilt's: it's developed an infamous reputation in the past few years. This is the third straight time the Commodores have lost a first-round game when being ranked the higher seed. They had this one early, but blew that 11-point lead in the first half, then got up nine in the second half, only to see senior Spiders point guard Chris Anderson and Co. erase that fairly quickly.
"They started out in a zone, we missed a couple of shots early, but even as that was happening I felt like we had the game at our pace," Mooney said. "We were able to grind ourselves back into that game."
Anderson, who now has more than 400 assists in his college career, keyed the Spiders to just three turnovers. The Spiders made a season's-best 12 3-pointers. That helped just a smidge, too. Anderson hit four bombs from deep. What a way to show up in the wake of last year's first-round loss to Saint Mary's in the 7-10 game, when the Spiders were also underdogs. Anderson proved again why he's one of the most heralded point guards in the country.
"I can't overstate how much he's meant to this program," Mooney said. "He's a great player who plays his best in the biggest moments. It's kind of a habit for him to be great."
Richmond didn't consider itself favorites in this game. Most disagreed. Now they'll definitely have the pressure when they play the Eagles, who have to be feeling as optimistic about their San Antonio chances as the Spiders do.
"Morehead State is a great team," Anderson said. "We know we're going to have to come with the same aggression, same defense and same energy to beat them."
The players relax, while the coaches will do some light studying.
"As a team, we'll meet briefly tonight, then really get to work tomorrow," Mooney said about dissecting Morehead State tape with his assistants.
The Eagles and Spiders will square off Saturday with Sweet 16 game in San Antonio on the line. That fact can be lost amid all that's happened/happening today. It's not often we get a 12-13 game, so enjoy it.
Below, my interview with Anderson.
Posted on: March 16, 2011 3:26 pm
Edited on: March 17, 2011 12:32 pm
Posted by Matt Jones
Thursday begins the best four days of sports television viewing of the year. From noon until night fall on Sunday, nonstop hoops action hits the television set and true fans know that our attention can be placed in no other endeavor. Those of us experienced from the past know that it is a marathon, not a sprint. Racing out to an early start and consuming games with friends, food and other spirits can make what should be four full days of action, end up in early evening crashes that do no one any good. Thus it is important to plan a schedule as to how you will attack the greatest four days in sports television viewing.
This year, planning is even more important than in the past. Because of the new CBS/Turner deal, EVERY game will be available on your home cable package at any point. This will revolutionize your tournament experience and give you the chance to catch all of the action at any point. But it will also raise the possibility of sensory overload if you don’t attack the day with a plan. Thus I will give you a guide to each day’s action here on CBSSports.com, to maximize your enjoyment and minimize your headache.
The action begins at 12:15 pm in Tampa, as West Virginia takes on Clemson (CBS). This is a good early focus of your attention, if for no other reason than to get some chuckles at the “dress” apparel Bobby Huggins is using for his 2011 tournament debut. Stay with this game until 12:40 pm and then flip the channel over to Butler vs Old Dominion (TruTV), one of the best games of the day and a battle of talented mid-major powers.
We are still rolling with Butler-Old Dominion, only pausing to hear whatever funny comments Charles Barkley might make at halftime of the West Virginia game. At 1:40 pm, Louisville takes on Morehead State (TBS) in a game that could end up being the first major potential upset of the day. Make sure to watch the tip of this game, just to get a glimpse of Morehead State’s Kenneth Faried, the nation’s leading rebounder and a future NBA first round pick.
This is where it starts to get confusing. You need to go back to CBS to see the end of the West Virginia-Clemson game, which is likely to go down to the wire. As that game is ending, Temple will tip versus Penn State (TNT). This is the first completely missable game of the day and should be your priority only if you live alone. As soon as WVU and Clemson finish, go back and catch the end of Butler and ODU, to watch the late game heroics of Shelvin Mack. When that game ends, its time to flip to Kentucky vs Princeton (CBS), which will tip at 2:45.
You have a chance to breathe for the next 30 minutes or so as you keep partial track of Louisville-Morehead State and the UK-Princeton games. Pittsburgh begins against UNC-Asheville at 3:10 pm (Tru TV), but like with Penn State and Temple, can be but far on the backburner and might even be a good chance to call your mother, who you don't talk to nearly enough.
If Penn State and Temple hasn’t bored you to tears, watch the final minutes while preparing for potentially the most exciting game of the afternoon, Vanderbilt vs Richmond at 4:10 (TBS). Kevin Stallings may have the most underrated team in the tournament but also has a history of losing to lesser teams in March. With the only other game to start this hour being San Diego State vs Northern Colorado (TNT), Vanderbilt vs Richmond can be your focus until the evening sessions begin.
While watching Vanderbilt and Richmond, explain to your significant other that you do have time to have dinner with her/him for 45 minutes between 6:15 and 7 pm. Say this with a smile and a look of understanding that lets him/her know that while you do love them, priorities are priorities. Plus you can even suggest that the fact you are leaving during the San Diego State/Northern Colorado game showcases how much you love her/him. Just don’t also add that it is the worst game of the day.
With four games tipping this hour, it is now upon you to decide which game will hold your interest. Florida goes up against UC Santa Barbara at 6:50 (TBS), which is only interesting if you are an emo kid with an affection for the stylings of the long-haired Chandler Parsons. BYU plays Wofford and gives you a chance to drool a bit over the Jimmer show at 7:15 pm (CBS). UCONN plays Bucknell at 7:20 pm (TNT), which won’t matter unless Kemba Walker doesn’t make the team bus. Thus your primary focus should be on Wisconsin and Belmont at 7:30 (Tru TV), which is the best chance to get a shocker in the evening sessions. No game is a bigger contrast of styles and TruTV may see record ratings as it goes to its climax.
Flip back and forth between the best games, pausing at times to make sure your family members are still alive and haven’t left you lying in your own pool of saliva on the couch. Also try to watch any interplay between Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Greg Anthony and Seth Davis, while wondering just how much they have to be making fun of Seth when the cameras are off. “Come on guys....just give me back my notes....please...Greg Gumbel never used to do this!”
As the final games of the night begin, be prepared to use the remote heavily. All four games have potential for excitement and the schedule makers did none of us any favors by bumping them all in the last session. 9:20 pm will see Michigan State go against UCLA (TBS) in the biggest name matchup of the first round. I think if the Spartans win this one, Tom Izzo could have another late tournament run in him making this game will be fascinating from Tampa. Two teams from the extreme different poles of the country face off at 9:45 pm as St. John’s goes up against Gonzaga (CBS). Steve Lavin and Mark Few combined have under five strands of hair move during the course of a day and will play an entertaining offensive game in Denver. Cincinnati and Missouri tip off at 9:50 pm (TNT), in the battle of teams with very little national respect from the pundits. And the final game of the night is between Kansas State and Utah State at 10 pm (Tru TV), two teams that have the potential to make a deep run or flameout in round one. All four matchups are good and all four could have close finishes, meaning the order of importance will solely be dictated by score. This is the time of night when a person should have on the CBSSports.com live chat to know where the action is at any given point.
By midnight EST, all the games will be nearing completion and you can get ready to do it all over again on Friday. The best action on Thursday is to start and end the day, with games being a little less glamorous in between. But as a true fan, you will watch all of it and if you are like me, have even learned what channel “Tru Tv” is in anticipation. This is the time of year that we college basketball fans dream of. Use the guide above and attack it wisely. We still have three more days to come.
Posted on: March 9, 2011 4:37 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 4:38 pm
Posted by Eric Angevine
How bloggy is this post going to be? Very bloggy.
The West Lafayette Journal and Courier started it, though, so there's that.
The paper put out a list of Gene Keady assistants who are expected to be in the NCAA field due to strong at-large resumes, a list we'll share:
Of course, Keady himself is in there, albiet as a wise Yoda to Steve Lavin.
The last two slots there are dubious, of course. Weber and Martin are very much on the bubble and sweating it. It does raise the interesting question of coaching trees. Which coach has the most influence on this bracket? We won't know for sure until all the decisions are made, but this list makes a strong case for Keady. It does get a bit confusing at times, though. For instance, Stallings was also a Roy Williams assistant at Kansas, so who claims him? I suppose both.
This will be a fun game to play on Selection Sunday, though. We'll be doing an epic live chat that afternoon, so maybe we can all keep track of the coaching ties after the bids are announced.
Posted on: February 23, 2011 7:10 am
Posted by Jeff Borzello
Bubble games, top-five teams looking to rebound, conference clashes, buzzer beaters – Tuesday had everything. This late in the season, seemingly every night has an enormous impact on Selection Sunday, and last night was no different. Feel free to fill me in on any stats and trends I might have missed on Twitter: @jeffborzello
Top Performer: We discussed him last night, but Ohio State’s David Lighty deserves another mention here. The Ohio State senior finished with 21 points, four rebounds and six steals in an 89-70 win over Illinois. More impressively, Lighty personally had 13 consecutive points in a three-minute span during the second half, also notching three steals in that stretch. Illinois’ late-season struggles continue – the Illini shouldn’t feel safe just yet.
Mr. Big Shot: With 2.4 seconds left remaining in a tied game against UNC-Asheville, Coastal Carolina inbounded the ball under its own basket. However, the Bulldogs’ Matt Dickey read the pass and intercepted it, before knocking down a hanging 25-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer to give UNC-Asheville the win. It was the second loss in two games for the Chanticleers, who started Big South play with a 15-0 record.
Stat-Sheet Stuffer: Xavier’s Tu Holloway came just one rebound away from his second-consecutive triple-double in the Musketeers’ 38-point victory over La Salle. Holloway totaled 12 points, nine rebounds and 15 assists, just three days after going for 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Fordham. He leads the nation in triple-doubles this season, with two.
Failure to Finish: Vanderbilt looked like it had a win locked up against Tennessee last night, leading by 11 with about 13 minutes left. After the Commodores went up 42-31, the Volunteers outscored them, 29-9, for the rest of the game. Even worse, Vanderbilt was held scoreless for the final 5:02. Not surprisingly, Tennessee emerged with a huge road victory, 60-51. Scotty Hopson led the way for the Volunteers with 19 points.
Bubbling: In the biggest bubble battle of the night, Michigan State went into Minnesota and came out with a big-time road win over the Golden Gophers, 53-48. After Minnesota took a 47-39 lead on a lay-up by Chip Armelin, Michigan State went on a 14-1 run to end the game, fueled by nine free throws in that span. Kalin Lucas sparked the victory with 18 points and four steals. With this result, Minnesota drops to 6-9 in the Big Ten, leaving the Gophers in serious trouble. The Spartans move above .500 in conference play and are now on the right track towards an NCAA bid -- for now.
In a Losing Effort: Mississippi’s Chris Warren hasn’t received the attention he deserves this season because of the Rebels’ struggles, but he remains one of the offensive better point guards around. Warren proved that on Tuesday, knocking down eight 3-pointers en route to a 33-point performance against South Carolina. Despite the 79-73 loss, Warren notched double-digits in points for the 27th time in 28 games.
Dub-Dubbing: After posting just two double-doubles in the first 23 games of the season, Saint Louis forward Dwayne Evans has picked up three in the last four games, with the latest possibly being the most impressive. In a 90-52 win over Chicago State, Evans went for 16 points and 17 rebounds, going 6-for-11 from the field. He also racked up three blocks on the defensive end.
Defensive Dominance: Despite South Carolina’s struggles, big man Sam Muldrow continues to cement himself as one of the best shot-blockers in the country. On Tuesday, he also contributed big numbers in other facets of the game, finishing with 23 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in a win over Mississippi. It was his fifth double-double of the year.
Set the DVR: There’s one top-25 game tonight, an intriguing non-conference tilt between Temple and Duke. It will be the Blue Devils’ first game since taking back over the No. 1 spot – how will they respond? Moreover, we have plenty of statement games from bubble teams. Colorado State has a last stand at BYU, Cincinnati heads on the road against Georgetown, Michigan hosts Wisconsin in a must-win and Baylor faces Missouri. Interesting bubble battles include Kansas State vs. Nebraska and Florida State vs. Maryland.
Numbers Don’t Lie:
Notes and Notables:
Photo: US Presswire