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: November 9, 2011 9:27 am

Saint Louis legend "Easy Ed" Macauley dies

By Matt Norlander

Some sad news to report on a Wednesday morning: Saint Louis University legend Ed Macauley's died. Macauley is in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and as you can tell by that picture, played the sport long, long ago.

He was 83.

Macauley went by the nickname "Easy Ed," and historians of the game, as well as those who know the Saint Louis program well, know Macauley was -- far and away -- the greatest player in school history. He made All-America First Team in '48 and '49 (when he was the AP Player of the Year), and Saint Louis won the NIT tournament behind his remarkable play in in '48. And that was when the NIT was the premier postseason event in college basketball. 

“The Saint Louis University department of athletics sends its thoughts and prayers to the Macauley family on the passing of a great Billiken – Easy Ed Macauley." Saint Louis athletic director Chris May said in a statement. "Ed was a wonderful representative of the Billikens, a true class act. The SLU community has lost a true legend."

Macauley scored 1,402 points in a career that was played during a different era of hoops. He's still among the 10 most prolific Billiken scorers. He went on to a 10-year NBA career, amassing more than 11,000 points and winning a title with the St. Louis Hawks in 1959.

We often lament the lack of true big men in today's game. If Macauley reincarnate came around, he'd undoubtedly change the way his team was played and could play. Long after his playing days, he further endeared himself to the Saint Louis community by working with the local archdiocese and calling Saint Louis' games.

More from the school: "Last year, the Billikens recognized Macauley at Chaifetz Arena for 'Ed Macauley Day' on Nov. 27. Surrounded by more than 30 members of his family, Macauley stood at center court and gave a memorable speech to the Billiken faithful in attendance. To leave condolences or to share your memories of Easy Ed, please click here. Entries will be posted on SLUBillikens.com and will also be sent to the Macauley family."

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 4, 2011 5:02 pm

Video: Chris Mack turns the table on Goodman

CBSSports.com national basketball writer Jeff Goodman had the script flipped on him recently, when he attended Xavier practice. Musketeers head coach Chris Mack had a few questions for Jeff, and few things to get off his chest.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 4, 2011 1:18 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2011 1:19 pm
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Posted on: October 24, 2011 6:56 pm

Xavier's Holloway forced to sit out season-opener

By Matt Norlander

Less than three days after big man Kenny Frease was reinstated, Xavier has lost its best player for the first game of the season.

Tu Holloway, the point guard we dubbed the second-best in the nation, and the fourth-best player overall in college basketball, will have to sit out Xavier's game against Mercer on Friday, Nov. 11. The university's press release reads in full, "Xavier senior guard Tu Holloway will sit out the first game of the upcoming basketball season due to a secondary violation of NCAA rules. The incident was self-reported immediately to the NCAA in August. This violation carries a mandatory one game suspension which will be served on November 11, 2011 vs. Morgan State University."

The violation, according to Shannon Russell of the Cincinnati Enquirer, stems from something -- you guessed it -- completely frivolous.
Sources believe the senior played in two summer basketball leagues. The NCAA limits college basketball players to participation in one summer league. Chris Mack declined to specify a reason for the one-game suspension. He confirmed that it was a self-reported secondary violation, and that Xavier notified the NCAA immediately in August. “I think the important thing is that we found it out internally. We weren’t turned in by any other program. We police our own program,” Mack said. “It’s unfortunate but we’ll move forward and follow the rules.”
Holloway was involved with the Deveroes Summer Basketball League in Cincinnati over the summer.

The rule is absurd (who cares how often these guys play in what kind of games, so long as the coach is OK with it), and I'd hope it gets eliminated in the near future. Asking players to micromanage their time and passion with a spot they love -- when they're not even in school during summer session -- is the NCAA at its worst.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: October 24, 2011 10:58 am

Xavier reinstates Kenny Frease

By Matt Norlander

Chalk this up as one of the more curious finite suspensions.

Less than two weeks ago, Chris Mack suspended his big man, Kenny Frease, from the Xavier basketball team. It was indefinite. Some thought he'd be sitting for at least three or four weeks. (Frease is a bit of a screw-up, from what I hear, and this was an early wake-up call for him.)

Yet he's already back with the team and stands to start in X's first game next month. Quietly, Mack reinstated Frease to the squad over the weekend. So Frease's only real punishment was exclusion from Xavier's Musketeer Madness festivities on Saturday night.

Now, the man who averaged nearly 12 points and more than seven rebounds last season is back with the team, which coincidentally has one of the toughest schedules in the country. Perhaps Frease has learned his lesson very quickly -- or maybe Mack knows he needs every set of hands and feet possible to get Xavier on the stronger side of .500 in the non-conference.
Category: NCAAB
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