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Tag:Syracuse
Posted on: December 1, 2011 12:00 pm
 

Your SEC/Big East Challenge guide



By Matt Norlander


What do you want in a preview? I've been self-assigned (is that even possible?) to give you the rundown on all of the SEC and Big East games coming up over the next 72 hours, and I wasn't quite sure where to go with this. After all, these are early-December games, half of them are afterthoughts, and preview material is usually come-and-go outside of preseason and NCAA tournament talk.

So I looked at the games and decided I'll just give you whatever random thought comes off the top of my head. A conversational tone works best here, since there are no real true tilts of consequence involved outside of the fantastic ones going on Friday night Louisville and Syracuse. (I'll be at the latter.) If there's a stat sited, I do not have it memorized. Those I looked up. I'm not huge on predictions, so you won't find those here.

All this said, I do expect these 12 games to be better than what the ACC and Big Ten gave us Tuesday and Wednesday night, by the way. If you have any other curiosities that go beyond this post, check our SEC/Big East Challenge page, which has the history of this event and stats that go along with it.

Thursday

Providence at South Carolina (7 ET): Oh this is just bad. Providence is a few years away from true relevancy, and Darrin Horn is already coaching for his job at South Carolina. NEXT.

St. John's at Kentucky (7:30 ET): Wildcats get the Johnnies tonight, less than 48 hours before Carolina comes in. I'd say St. John's would have a chance, except they're playing Kentucky. Kind of a problem. SJU doesn't have one senior on its roster and head coach Steve Lavin will not be making the trip. Kentucky will be looking ahead to UNC, but the 'Cats should win by a minimum of 23.4 points.

Ole Miss at DePaul (9 ET): Have a sick interest in this game if for no other reason than I want to know how many people show up to watch it. Have to say, the fact these teams are a combined 9-2 is a welcomed surprise.

Georgetown at Alabama (9:30 ET): Best game of the night, period. Are you sure what Georgetown is yet? We do know the Hoyas take care of the ball very well. That early trend could be bucked in Tuscaloosa, though, because Alabama is on its way to being a top-five defensive team in the country. Teams are shooting a 35.7 effective field goal percentage against the Tide. Second-worst in the country.

Friday

Florida at Syracuse (7 ET): I'll keep this strictly to basketball, because I'm not sure how much I'll be able to do that one I get there to cover the game. Basically, I'm intrigued as hell. I love Bradley Beal's (right, with Billy Donovan) game. I'm still not sold on Florida's four-guard look, even if Patric Young gets his chances to play janitor when that happens. No Erik Murphy for the Gators means they're less dynamic. I like Syracuse is a really fun one. With the Orange, you're just never sure who's going to be the player that has the big game. Looks like someone's going to need to decidedly have a huge night to beat a team a lot of people like to make the Final Four.

Cincinnati at Georgia (7 ET): Car-wreck factor has be interested. When will Cinci start playing at a level that's indicative of the talent it has on this team? Georgia's in a third-gear year, I think.

Vanderbilt at Louisville (9 ET): What do you think about this one? Vanderbilt certainly not expected to win it (I haven't checked, but I'd put the Cards at about -4.5 here). Louisville's still not at full strength, nor is Vandy. Goodman's going to be at this game. I think this one adds up to little, even if it's nice in the moment. Because come late February, both these teams will have personnel on the floor that didn't play in this game. If Vandy/'Ville are vying for the 3-seed line and you want to give the winner of this the bid, by all means, but beyond that there won't be much long-term effect from this game. I think John Jenkins struggles in this one, too.

Auburn at Seton Hall (9 ET): Oh, get it out of my face, please.

Saturday

Arkansas at UConn (3:15 ET): The Hogs are without Marshon Powell and so I don't see how Mike Anderson's new team keeps this within 20. UConn's due for a really impressive, really big win. I want to see how Alex Oriakhi plays in front of the home crowd in Hartford. Oriakhi's been public with this playing-time situation. UConn will grow and stumble a little more in December, but I'm betting we're putting this team in the highest echelon by New Year's Day.

Pittsburgh at Tennessee (5:15 ET): I'd call this game the biggest true toss-up of any listed here. I'm down on Pitt this year in regard to most others. A win here would be very uplifting for Jamie Dixon's team. Same can be said for Cuonzo Martin at Tennessee, who's probably still punching the pillow after his Vols couldn't steal that game against Memphis in Maui.

LSU at Rutgers (7 ET): Just a couple of truly nondescript, non-enthralling 4-3 BCS conference teams. I think I'd rather put away my summer clothes into storage.

West Virginia at Mississippi State (9 ET): The final game of the Challenge, it's the kind of game MSU should win without controversy if it wants to be top-20 caliber. WVU is down, considerably down, this season. The Bulldogs have twice as much talent on this team -- and a lot more size, even if Denis Kilicli will bruise it up down low with Renardo Sidney and/or Arnett Moultrie. The flip side: Huggins has been known to get his team to steal wins in these kind of spots.

Photos: AP
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 29, 2011 2:32 pm
 

Syracuse Chancellor vocalizes support for Boeheim

By Matt Norlander

Syracuse Chancellor Nancy Cantor has been thorough, direct, abrupt and unafraid to address the Bernie Fine case at Syracuse since it first broke nearly two weeks ago.

Now Cantor has put her support of Orange coach Jim Boeheim out to the public, albeit briefly and not with undeniable definition. She did so Tuesday afternoon. From the AP:

"Cantor emerged from an economic development conference with state officials and said: 'He is our coach.' Some commentators and sex abuse victims' advocates have said Boeheim should resign in the wake of allegations that Bernie Fine had molested three boys, including two Syracuse ballboys."

Here's the story on the sexual abuse support group calling for Boeheim's firing. The calls for Boeheim's job stem from the fact he was defiant in calling Bobby Davis and Mike Lang, the first Fine accusers, "liars" who were after a "money grab."

Boeheim expressed regret over those initial statements Sunday night, once a third accuser and a phone recording claimed by ESPN to be that of Laurie Fine, Bernie's wife, surfaced. Fine was fired by the university Sunday.

Photo: AP
Posted on: November 29, 2011 12:32 pm
 

Former PD Chief/Syracuse player had info on Fine

By Matt Norlander

CBSSports.com Syracuse Rapid Reporter Thomas Casale checks in from the Salt City with the following:

"Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler said former chief Dennis DuVal knew about sexual abuse allegations against Bernie Fine back in [May or June] 2002.

'The Syracuse Police chief at that time, Dennis DuVal, was made aware of the allegations against Bernie Fine. Due to the fact that no investigation was started, detectives didn’t prepare any formal reports.'"

Yeah, that's huge. And possibly very, very corrupt. What makes it so frustrating -- and seemingly wrong -- is DuVal played at Syracuse from 1972 to 1974. It looks like he may have protected Fine by way of inaction.

The Post-Standard has also been on this story, and been doing great work every day since it broke, and it has more.
DuVal, who played for SU from 1972 to 1974, refused to answer any questions Monday when contacted by a Post-Standard reporter. He wouldn’t say whether he was aware of the accusations in 2002, nor whether he’d talked to any law enforcement offcials in the past two weeks, when Davis’ allegations became public. When he reached by phone Monday, DuVal said, "I’m not going to talk to you about it. I hope you respect that. It’s been a long time. I’m not going to get into a discussion about that. Not gonna happen."
No denial, just cowering. Not a good look for him, for Fine, for the Syracuse City Police that was run under him earlier last decade. It should be noted: DuVal left the program two years before Fine officially became an assistant under Jim Boeheim. DuVal retired from the SUPD in 2004.

The Onondaga County District Attorney's Office is currently looking into any past history with this case and what was reported to police -- even if that information didn't go beyond that. This is a relatively large, new piece of information that Fowler is coming forth with.

"[Detective Doug] Fox notified his supervisor in the Abused Persons Unit and it was decided that unless the victim met with the detective or the victim was able to provide names of other victims, then an investigation would not be initiated," Fowler said in his statement. "The Syracuse Police chief at that time, Dennis DuVal, was made aware of the allegations against Bernie Fine. Due to the fact that no investigation was started, Det. Fox did not prepare any formal reports."

There are more details that Fowler came forth with, and again, the Post-Standard lays them out for you, including the anecdote that Davis did not tell Det. Fox that it was Fine who abused him. The story has a lot of gray area, still, in terms of who knew what when and how up front everyone was with the information. It's beginning to look like this case will never be able to get tied down in each area where questions remain.

Photo via Post-Standard
Posted on: November 28, 2011 9:00 am
Edited on: November 28, 2011 9:08 am
 

Podcast: Examining new info with the Fine story

By Matt Norlander

Associate basketball head coach Bernie Fine was fired by Syracuse Sunday after a third victim came forward and alleged he'd been sexually molested by Fine.

Now plenty want Jim Boeheim gone too, after his initial statements dismissed any allegations, calling the alleged victims "liars" out for a payday. USA Today reporter Nicole Auerbach -- who covered the Penn State story recently -- comes on the podcast to discuss the latest with what's happening at Syracuse.

It's Nicole's first appearance, and we don't spend the whole time talking Syracuse. You want to hear about hoops on the court? We cover that, too. Carolina, UConn lost, and that's addressed, plus the big week ahead, driven by the huge UNC-UK game Saturday and the Big Ten-ACC Challenge Tuesday and Wednesday.

The rundown:
  • From the beginning: We get to the Syracuse stuff right away, and it takes up the first 40 percent of the podcast. Nicole and I discuss how it is similar and different (from a news perspective and how we react and cover) to the Penn State story, which Nicole was in the middle of earlier this month.
  • 13:50: Per usual with first-time guests, I let Nicole tell us how she got to where she is, and what she does. She's a fast-riser on Twitter, primarily because she has the info before anyone else on the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
  • 17:36: That UNC loss to UNLV, the story that would be the huge college basketball story today if not for the Fine saga.
  • 21:42: What happens if UNC is a three-loss team by Saturday night? Could happen.
  • 22:23: Nicole's biggest takeaways from the first three weeks of the season.
  • 26:02: Duke talk. All you need to know.
  • 27:19: It's at this point I throw Borzello under the bus. The rest of it is wrap-up talk and some niceties, which you know is uncommon on the podcast. But when girls come around, we tend to clean the place up.

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 27, 2011 11:33 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2011 11:35 pm
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Posted on: November 27, 2011 10:00 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2011 10:08 pm
 

Video: Fine's third accuser

By Matt Norlander

Another revealing television interview has surfaced in the Bernie Fine case. Zach Thomaselli, 23, became publicly known Sunday morning. He is now considered the third accuser against Fine. Thomaselli was interviewed on camera Sunday by Sarah Delage, a reporter with NBC affiliate WCSH, in Lewiston, Maine.

In the video report below, Thomaselli recalls when he was allegedly sexually molested by Fine nearly a decade ago, and how it's led to him having an inappropriate relationship with younger people (Thomaselli has been charged with molesting a 14-year-old boy). He also claims his father sexually molested him before Fine ever did -- and that's why he didn't stop Fine when the coach allegedly made his advances on him.

Thomaselli's father, Fred, is interviewed by phone in the video and he denies his son's claims -- both that he sexually abused him, and that Fine did.

This story and case is quickly becoming as convoluted as the drama that spooled out at Penn State less than a month ago. Sunday night, less than 12 hours after Thomaselli's claims became public, Bernie Fine was fired by Syracuse.

Posted on: November 27, 2011 8:03 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 7:34 am
 

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

By Gary Parrish

Syracuse University announced Sunday that associate head coach Bernie Fine has been terminated.

"At the direction of Chancellor Cantor, (Syracuse associate men's basketball coach) Bernie Fine’s employment with Syracuse University has been terminated, effective immediately," Syracuse University Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Kevin Quinn said via a statement on the school's athletics website.

This development comes on the same day audio was made public from a phone conversation between Fine's wife and Bobby Davis. Davis is one of three men who have alleged they were sexually abused by Fine while they were children. In the conversation, Fine's wife, Laurie Fine, appears to confirm that she was aware that Fine molested Davis. She said her husband "has issues."

"I know everything that went on, you know," she said on the call. "I know everything that went on with him ... Bernie has issues, maybe that he's not aware of, but he has issues ... And you trusted somebody you shouldn't have trusted. ... Bernie is also in denial. I think that he did the things he did, but he's somehow through his own mental telepathy has erased them out of his mind."

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim last week strongly defended Fine and accused the first two alleged victims -- former Syracuse ball boys Bobby Davis and Mike Lang -- of lying and trying to extort money. Boeheim released a statement late Sunday about an hour after Fine was fired and indicated he regretted attacking the accusers.

“The allegations that have come forth today are disturbing and deeply troubling," Boeheim said. "I am personally very shocked because I have never witnessed any of the activities that have been alleged. I believe the university took the appropriate step tonight. What is most important is that this matter be fully investigated and that anyone with information be supported to come forward so that the truth can be found. I deeply regret any statements I made that might have inhibited that from occurring or been insensitive to victims of abuse."

Syracuse chancellor Nancy Cantor also released a statement late Sunday.

"All of us have the responsibility, individually and collectively, to ensure that Syracuse University remains a safe place for every campus community member and everyone with whom we interact on a daily basis on campus or in the community as part of our learning, scholarship, or work," she said. "We do not tolerate abuse.  If anything good comes out of this tragedy, it will be that this basic principle is reinforced."

The 65-year-old Fine was in his 36th season at Syracuse. He was placed on administrative leave on Nov. 17 after police confirmed they were investigating charges of molestation, and after ESPN aired interviews of Davis and Lang alleging Fine sexually abused them. The case seemed to stall for a few days after that, but police raided Fine's home Friday, and the damaging audio of the phone conversation between Davis and Fine's wife was made public early Sunday around the same time a third accuser publicly surfaced, too.

"It was the [Jerry] Sandusky stuff that came out that really made me think about it," the third accuser, Zach Tomaselli, told the Syracuse Post-Standard. "A lot of people were slamming ESPN and Bobby for saying anything. I wanted to come out. ... It made me sick to see all that support for Fine at that point. I was positive he was guilty."

Tomaselli, 23, told the Associated Press on Sunday that he's told police that Fine molested him in 2002 in a Pittsburgh hotel room the night before the Orange played Pittsburgh. He said Fine touched him "multiple times" in that one incident. Tomaselli's father, Fred Tomaselli, told the Associated Press that he thinks his son is lying.

"I'm 100 percent sure that Bernie Fine was never in contact with Zach," Fred Tomaselli said. "He never went to Pittsburgh to a game, never been to that arena. ... I brought him to a couple of games in Syracuse. We always sat in the nosebleed section and left after the game. He never stayed for any overnighters and never even got within shouting distance of Bernie."

Photo: AP


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