Posted on: November 30, 2011 11:44 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2011 11:47 pm

UNC edges Wisconsin, sets stage for trip to UK

By Gary Parrish

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- It wasn't pretty or sharp or even fast.

But it was a win.

And North Carolina needed a win.

So who cares that the Tar Heels looked sloppy and turned the ball over five more times than they recorded an assist? And who cares that the Tar Heels didn't look like a team worthy of all those preseason No. 1 votes they received last month? All that matters is that they escaped the ACC-Big Ten Challenge with a 60-57 victory over ninth-ranked Wisconsin here at the Dean Smith Center late Wednesday, which means UNC won't be at risk of a three-game losing streak as it enters Saturday's showdown at top-ranked Kentucky.

That's what last weekend's loss to UNLV did.

It put UNC in a position where one surprising defeat could easily turn into a three-game losing streak.

But that's now off the table.

It took 20 points from Harrison Barnes to get it off the table, but it's off the table. So now Roy Williams and all his pros will fly to Lexington to play John Calipari and all his pros, and it really should be terrific. No, it won't be the No. 1 vs. No. 2 battle of undefeated teams we thought we'd get when the game was announced this past offseason. Again, UNLV messed that up last weekend. But it'll still be a game featuring two of college basketball's great programs and who knows how many future lottery picks. And nobody will enter on a three-game losing streak.

At times on Wednesday, it looked like UNC might.

But that's now off the table.

So now the table for Saturday is set.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 30, 2011 2:38 pm

Podcast: Does/should Boeheim keep his job?

By Matt Norlander

The Syracuse/Bernie Fine/Jim Boeheim story is the biggest story in college basketball right now; just how it is. There are a lot of nuanced elements to it -- then there is what people are naturally gravitating toward: Should Jim Boeheim keep his job?

A fair question. It deserves a conversation on our podcast, so Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman discuss it with me today. We do talk plenty of basketball as well, though, so if the Syracuse topic is starting to become white noise to you, feel free to just skip ahead to the Duke bashing! (Kidding -- but we do talk Duke, Ohio State and more.)

The rundown:
  • From the beginning: Syracuse, Boeheim, Fine, job security, ESPN's responsibility.
  • 13:20: Parrish was at Duke-Ohio State. Takeaways from him on the game, from Goodman on what Duke is lacking.
  • 19:08: Looking ahead to Wisconsin-North Carolina. "They are not going to win tonight," Goodman says. Parrish wholeheartedly agrees.
  • 21:23: How good is the Big Ten, because that 2-7 race is probably going to be riveting. (Hey, I mean it!)
  • 23:12: Xavier is just plain nice.
  • 26:21: How brilliant was Roy Williams to change the conversation after his team lost to UNLV? He made it about the fans.
  • 29:35: Our typical babbling BS to wrap it up. Always the the fun part.

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.

Posted on: August 2, 2011 10:51 am
Edited on: August 2, 2011 12:13 pm

Big Ten Offseason Report

By Jeff Goodman

Big Ten Offseason Report

Illinois – The Illini will go to Italy from Aug. 10-20 and will play in the Cancun Challenge on Nov. 23-24. Bruce Weber’s team will also play a non-league slate that includes games at Maryland (11-29), vs. Gonzaga (12-3), against UNLV (12-17 in Chicago) at against Missouri (12-22 in St. Louis). Illinois also added Bradley transfer Sam Maniscalco as a one-year transfer who is eligible this season.

Indiana – The Hoosiers added former IU star Calbert Cheaney as the director of basketball operations, replacing Drew Adams (New Mexico). Tom Crean & Co. will play in the Crossroad Classic against Notre Dame on Dec. 17 and the Hoosiers have non-conference games at N.C. State (11-30), vs. Butler (11-27) and against Kentucky (12-10). Bobby Capobianco transferred to Valparaiso.

Iowa – The Hawkeyes will play in the Dale Howard Classic in Des Moines, an event that also includes Creighton, Campbell, Chicago State and N.C. A&T. Fran McCaffrey’s non-league slate includes games against Clemson (11-29), at Northern Iowa (12-6) and at Iowa State (12-9). Cully Payne (Loyola) and Anthony Hubbard both transferred out of the program.

Michigan – The Wolverines will play in the Maui Invitational and also have non-league games at Virginia (11-29), against Iowa State (12-3) and at Arkansas (1-21).

Michigan State – Mark Montgomery left to become the head coach at Northern Illinois and was replaced by Dane Fife, who was previously the head coach at IPFW. The Spartans will play North Carolina in the Carrier Classic in San Diego on Nov. 11 and will also face Duke on Nov. 15 in the Champions Classic. They also have non-league games against Florida State (11-30) and at Gonzaga (12-10). Brandon Wood transferred in from Valparaiso and is eligible to play this season while Garrick Sherman (Notre Dame) and Korie Lucious (Iowa State) both left.

Minnesota – The Golden Gophers will play in the Old Spice Classic down in Orlando and also have non-league games scheduled against Virginia Tech (11-30) and vs. USC (12-3). Dominique Dawson (Kentucky Wesleyan) and Colton Iverson (Colorado State) both transferred out.

Nebraska – Jeremy Cox replaces Tracy Webster on Doc Sadler’s staff. The Cornhuskers will play Wake Forest (11-30) at home, vs. Creighton (12-4) and at TCU (12-10) in the non-conference slate. Eshaunte Jones transferred out of the program while Bo Spencer is eligible this season after coming in a year ago from LSU.

Northwestern – Former Rutgers head coach Fred Hill replaces Mitch Henderson, who got the head job at Princeton, on the staff. The Wildcats will play in the Charleston Classic (11-17/20) and also have a non-league game at Georgia Tech (11-29). Nikola Cerina transferred to TCU.

Ohio State – Assistant Brandon Miller shockingly resigned and was replaced by Cleveland Cavs assistant and alum Chris Jent. Kevin Kuwik also left for an assistant spot at Dayton and the new video coordinator is former Duke point guard and Syracuse quarterback Greg Paulus, who was at Navy last season. The Buckeyes will play in the Global Sports Shootout, an event that includes Florida, Jackson State, North Florida and Wright State. Ohio State will play Florida at home on Nov. 15 and also have non-conference games against Duke (11-29), at Kansas (12-10) and at South Carolina (12-17). BC transfer Evan Ravenel is eligible this season.

Penn State – Pat Chambers brought Brian Daly with him from Boston University, added Eugene Burroughs (Navy), Keith Urgo (Villanova) and also brought Ross Condon as his director of basketball operations. The Nittany Lions will play at Boston College (11-30) and vs. Mississippi (12-4). Taran Buie transferred to Hofstra.

Purdue – Paul Lusk left to take the head job at Missouri State and Mike Jackson was forced to leave after a DUI. They were replaced by Greg Gary (Duquesne) and Micah Shrewsberry (Butler). The Boilermakers will play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off and also against Butler on Dec. 17 in the Crossroad Classic in Indy. Matt Painter’s team also has non-league games against Miami (11-29) and at Xavier (12-3).

Wisconsin – The Badgers will play in the Chicago Invitational (11-25/26) and also have non-league games at North Carolina (11-30), vs. UNLV (12-10) and vs. Marquette (12-3). Zach Bohannan transferred into the program from Air Force.

Offseason reports: Big 12 Pac-12

Photo: AP
Posted on: July 20, 2011 10:43 am
Edited on: July 20, 2011 10:52 am

Badgers' bros keep fit thanks to Ultimate Frisbee

By Matt Norlander

Just join in, brah, and embrace being an element in this crazy universe.

A story today by my former colleague, Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo! Sports, details how the Wisconsin men's basketball team trains in a different way each July. They play Ultimate Frisbee.

To this I say: Why the heck not? And where is the University of Vermont team in all of this? You're slacking up in Burlington, boys.

Turns out the idea was the brainchild of a longtime Wisconsin strength and conditioning coach, who thought it was necessary to give the team something different in the offseason to maintain an element of teamwork and break up the typical summer cycle.

The annual ultimate Frisbee competition began 16 years ago when Hettenbach concocted it as a way to break up the monotony of the basketball team's daily weightlifting and conditioning sessions during the summer. Hettenbach chose ultimate Frisbee because he enjoyed the game and he believed it could improve players' hand-eye coordination and test their ability to fight through fatigue.

Before the competition begins each year, veterans spend an afternoon in early July scouting how comfortable the newcomers look throwing and catching a Frisbee, then two senior captains draft their teams in alternating order. The two teams compete in a best-of-three competition in which games are held once a week on the final three Fridays in July.
I find it ironic that Wisconsin's team, of any, is spending its summer running around. The Badgers' style of play, in that swing offense, moves at about 10 mph, relatively speaking.

Most freshmen are confused by the practice at first, but then soon realize why it's stayed on the schedule for well over a decade. There are principles in Ultimate Frisbee, it turns out, that correlate to basketball as well. Former Badger Brian Butch told Eisenberg how important -- yes, important -- the July competitions on the green and fluffy fields in the Badger State were.

"That was one of the better times my freshman year," Butch recalled. "To have the whole team jump on you like you'd hit a game-winning shot, it was a pretty cool thing for me as a freshman. Every year after that, I always looked at ultimate Frisbee a little differently.

"Our team chemistry is the reason we've won all these years, and that starts in the summer time. It starts by hanging out and it starts by doing the goofy ultimate Frisbee."

Now it's time to implore other teams to take up offseason sports that can build team chemistry. UCLA, how about water polo? Oklahoma seems like a good spot for an old-school afternoon of capture the flag. And if those Ducks in Oregon aren't getting their egg-and-spoon race on soon, then what is this all for, anyway?

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 28, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 2:59 pm

No, we didn't forget Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor

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 12:22 pm

Bronson Koenig dealing with recruiting attention


Posted by Jeff Borzello

RALEIGH, N.C. – Not many high school sophomores receive scholarship offers from Kansas, North Carolina and Wisconsin. The ones that do are usually very confident in their abilities to deal with the attention.

Bronson Koenig, though, admits he is struggling with the additional pressures brought on by the early offers from big-name schools.

“I mean, I’m handling it,” Koenig said last week at the Tournament of Champions, minutes from UNC’s Chapel Hill campus. “I’m not very good at it yet. But I’m trying to get better.”

Koenig, a 6-foot-2 point guard from Aquinas (Wisc.), is also looking to get better with his game. Right now, Koenig has the ability to play both guard positions, but is best attribute is his 3-point shooting ability. He has tremendous range and a very nice stroke on his jumper. While Koenig isn’t explosive or extremely quick, he has good ball-handling ability and the swagger to run a team.

“I try to bring leadership and distributing the basketball,” he said. “And score when they need me to score.”

While schools like Virginia are also coming after Koenig, the three he is focused on are Wisconsin, North Carolina and Kansas. The Badgers offered him last June, but he really made headlines when North Carolina offered him in February.

Roy Williams is notorious for waiting until a prospect’s junior year to offer players, but the Tar Heels had been highly-interested in Koenig since watching him nail multiple 3-pointers last summer alongside North Carolina-commit J.P. Tokoto on the Wisconsin Playground Warriors. 

“I don’t know how to explain it, but it felt really good,” Koenig said of the early offer.

Kansas joined the fray last month after Koenig and the rest of his AAU team went to Lawrence, Kan. for the Jayhawk Invitational.

The three schools are clearly in front for Koenig, but neither of the three stands out in particular at this point.

“They’re all recruiting me the hardest,” he said. “I like them all the same. I feel comfortable, I like the coaching staffs. I want to go to a program that can go to the NCAA national championship – because I just like to win.”

Clearly, all three schools have very good histories and traditions, but Koenig discussed the specifics of each school that appealed to him.

With North Carolina, Koenig seemed to like everything about the Tar Heels.

“Just the program in general, with McDonald’s All-Americans,” he said. “The coaches, the facilities.”

The hometown Badgers have the local angle.

“I just felt comfortable there,” Koenig said. “Some guys are from Playground [his AAU team].”

Kansas is the most recent to enter his top three, but the Jayhawks are squarely in the mix.

“Me and my parents got to sit down with coach Self,” Koenig said. “I like how he plays ball.”

The comparisons have already begun for Koenig. While he likens himself to former Wisconsin guard Devin Harris, the most common one is Kirk Hinrich, who played under Williams at Kansas.

Not surprisingly, the comparison stems from Williams, who showed tape of Hinrich to Koenig when he checked out the Tar Heels’ campus.

“I see myself as more of a point guard,” Koenig said. “At Wisconsin, they wanted me as a point guard, but Roy Williams said I can play the point guard, 2-guard or 3-guard.”

By the time he is ready to make a college decision, Koenig will undoubtedly be able to handle either guard position – and better deal with the pressures that come from being a big-time recruit.

Photos: Lacrosse Tribune

Posted on: May 19, 2011 9:59 am
Edited on: May 19, 2011 10:09 am

Is Roy Williams afraid to play in Madison?

"We don't need no stinking Badgers," Roy Williams never said.

Posted by Eric Angevine

When the ACC/Big Ten matchups came out, the announcement stuck in one man's craw. Wedged itself in there sideways, apparently.

Not that having a glottal obstruction stopped former Wisconsin AD Pat Richter from speaking. Oh no, he spoke.

Annoyed that the game between Wisconsin and UNC will not be played in Madison, Richter told WTLX-FM exactly what he thinks of Carolina's head coach. "I know darn well that you'll never get Roy Williams here. He won't come to Wisconsin; he's afraid the people are going to boo him and everything else. I think that's all bogus," Richter said.

Website Madison.com further expounded on Richter's agita:

In comments taped for his weekly radio show on WTLX-FM/100.5 and made public in advance of air time, Richter takes the Challenge's scheduling process to task. And he asserts that Williams, who remains an unpopular character locally a decade after ripping the Badgers' style of play in their 2000 Final Four appearance, "won't come to Madison" and ensures that aim by unduly influencing the decision-makers at ESPN and the respective conferences.

Richter notes that after the UW-UNC matchup was bypassed in the first 12 editions of the Challenge, it finally comes to pass at a time when a loaded North Carolina team will open the season in the Top 5.

If Williams is concerned about the possibility of being booed, he is right to be. His comments about the slow-down style preferred by the Badgers in 2000 have stayed under the skin of several Wisconsinites. Williams was booed in 2002 when Kansas played at the Kohl Center for the Midwest Regional. That wasn't even a direct matchup of the two teams.

Big-time basketball coaches know how to showcase their teams. Whether Williams was able to turn things his way or not, that's the way it looks to fans in Madison. Ol' Roy's going to take some heat, whether he likes it or not.

The trick, for the UNC athletic department, is going to be keeping Williams from firing back. The UNC coach has a reputation for being thin-skinned and publicly combative with those who say things he doesn't like to hear. There may yet be more fireworks in the offing.

Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: May 3, 2011 9:39 am

Is Bo Ryan a future Hall of Fame coach?

Posted by Eric Angevine

The University of Wisconsin recently announced that head hoops coach Bo Ryan's contract with the school has been extended through 2016. Should he see the contract through, Ryan will be 68, and have been in charge of the Badgers for 15 years.

Ryan's Wisconsin teams are consistently undervalued in the world of college hoops. They rarely land the big-name recruits, but always seem to be in the thick of the Big Ten race. Ryan seems to enjoy taking teams full of kids with names like Krabbenhoft or Stiemsma and turning them into NCAA contenders.

In fact, Ryan has taken the Badgers to the NCAA tournament in each of the ten years he has been in Madison. His rather unusual career has unfolded entirely in the state of Wisconsin, despite his early roots in Pennsylvania. Ryan spent 15 years at Wisconsin-Platteville and won four DIII championships before he got his DI shot - a two-year stint at Wisconsin-Milwaukee that seems like little more than a perfunctory stop-over on the way to the university system's plum job.

Ryan has been a very good coach at Wisconsin. His 242-91 record since taking over at the beginning of the 21st century grades out to a 72.7 percent winning percentage in a very tough conference. His career, taken as a whole, is pretty impressive, even though so much of it happened in the lower levels of the NCAA system. In the final analysis, will Bo Ryan be a Hall of Fame coach, or just a very memorable one?

If we're talking about the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, located in Kansas City, then Ryan seems like a shoo-in. His career, when all said and done, will most likely resemble those of men like Pete Carril and John Chaney, coaches who never made the Final Four, but came to define their respective programs. Each of those men is enshrined in KC already. If Ryan coaches 15 or 20 years in Madison, he'll likely have many more successful seasons and become the program's most legendary bench leader. He is already two spots from the top of the school's all-time basketball wins list.

The Naismith Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. is a little more difficult to predict. The Naismith Hall honors coaches from all levels of the game, from high school coach Bob Hurley, Sr. to women's coach C. Vivian Stringer to those who made their mark in the pro game, like Pat Riley. It's hard to guess whether a Final Four is necessary for Ryan's chances there - Carril and Chaney are both Naismith enshrinees as well - or how his DIII success might be weighted by enshrinement committee members.

The good news is, Ryan still has a few years of security and stability in which to reach for that big final weekend of the season. Even if he doesn't make it, it's important to note that Ryan has taken the team to more NCAA tournaments (ten) than the program had attended in all of the years before he was hired in 2000 (seven). In addition, his name has become synonymous with a rugged, winning style of basketball; hoop aficionados will generally smile and give a small shake of the head if you mention a "Bo Ryan team".

Ryan's impact on college basketball is already undeniable. Over the next five years, he has a chance to lock down an even larger legacy and a guaranteed Hall of Fame invite.

Photo: US Presswire
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