Posted on: May 2, 2011 5:09 pm
Edited on: May 2, 2011 5:18 pm

Video: Hawaii recruits hit the waves -- literally

Posted by Matt Norlander

Certain schools can claim certain advantages; it's the crux of recruiting, really. The bluebloods have the history and facilities. Other areas can woo recruits with the local food flavor, the weather, the community lifestyle and, yes, even the predominent attractive female contingent.

Hawaii's different from any other school, though. It sells itself. It has to, what with being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and all. Something we don't get to see a lot of is just how great the life of a University of Hawaii student-athlete's life can be. So here's a peek. Recently, two newly signed prospects -- Dillon Biggs and Gerry Blakes -- took the Pacific, as Warriors head coach Gib Arnold and assistant Brandyn Akana sent the pair into the mighty waters, attempting to teach the two how to surf.

As you can see below, it wasn't exactly a natural fit. I wouldn't do any better, either.

Props to
ESPN.com's Diamond Leung for tipping me off to this.

Category: NCAAB
Tags: Hawaii, Video
Posted on: April 27, 2011 4:00 pm

Indiana frosh helps Usher in a new tradition

Posted by Matt Norlander

No matter the talent level: more nerve-wracking to sing in front of thousands or shoot a game-winning free throw?

Victor Oladipo could one day have the answer.

The Indiana freshman guard performed Usher's "U Got It Bad" at the first edition of the Spirit of Indiana Showcase, a year-end awards and talent show at the school. Why Oladipo chose this tune, I don't know, but he handles himself well; he clearly has spent many a night crooning in front of his mirror. Singing Usher's stuff isn't an easy thing; a lot of lilt in those songs.

Watch him command a crowd and a mic and a cardigan all at once.

Next step is clear: come October, Oladipo needs to have a new song and performance ready for Midnight Madness. And get some backup dancers, the works, for a huge performance at Assembly Hall. The dancers can be teammates (anyone but Maurice Creek! ). If he sticks with Usher, what should be the pick? If you ask me, Usher's breakout hit from '98 remains his best mainstream pop song, yes? Agree? Anybody? OK, then. Other candidates: "Confessions Part II," "Burn," and, of course, "Yeah" are all strong candidates.

I'm as serious about this as Oladipo was in his performance. Let's have an encore.

(HT, Eamonn Brennan)
Category: NCAAB
Tags: music, Video
Posted on: April 21, 2011 12:00 pm
Edited on: April 21, 2011 12:09 pm

Here's why Barnes, Zeller, Henson came back

Posted by Matt Norlander

This video's well into the viral stage now, but it's too good not to keep on spreading.

You want to know why Tyler Zeller, Harrison Barnes and John Henson -- all first-round draft picks -- decided to forgo that opportunity in 2011 and choose instead to return to school? Look no further than the video below, which brings evidence of a team that's entirely too loving of each other.

Reesenews, a digital news publication that operates under the umbrella of North Carolina's J school, wanted a behind-the-scenes experience of the conduct, camaraderie and candor from Carolina's players during the weekend of the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight. So they gave walk-on D.J. Johnston a hand-held Flipcam and let him go to work. Johnston is part of the five-man walk-on crew that glossed itself Blue Steel.

Throughout the season, Blue Steel and the stars of the Heels had prank wars, wars that are probably still going on as we speak. I covered the nature of the team's relationship and said pranks in this column while in Newark.   It only makes sense that UNC would further prove their goofiness and constant ribbing on camera. A well-done job by Reesenews to put this into motion.

The video's more than 12 minutes long. The best part, in my opinion, is the final 90 seconds, when the team has a freestyle chant on the bus ride back to the hotel after walloping Marquette in the Sweet 16. There's also the goofy side of the stern-faced Barnes, a lot of hamming from Henson, as well as a tuberculosis discussion that's managed to be made into something funny.

I'd love to say that video makes me miss college, but I can hardly identify with what those players went through or what they're doing. I'll say this: It definitely does not make me miss Newark.

Beyond wanting to complete the dream and goal -- a highly realistic one -- of winning a national title, who could deny that what's shown above is as much a reason as any other for the triumvirate coming back? Strong relationships can be one of the most influential forces in the world. Carolina seems to have something special here.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 6, 2011 3:16 pm

2010-11: The season in dunks

Posted by Matt Norlander

With due respect to our friends at Ballin' is a Habit, here's a compartmentalized YouTube video of some of the best dunks all season. It's one flashback after another, as well as a few good jams you probably missed. Now, if you want to see a plethora of dunks and genres of throwdowns, head over to BIAH for all your slam needs.

Vid via You Got Dunked On.

Category: NCAAB
Tags: Video
Posted on: April 3, 2011 12:45 pm

Postgame video: Brandon Knight, Oriakhi, Napier

Posted by Matt Norlander

Wanted to get these up last night, but YouTube wasn't acting nice. First video is a quick one with Brandon Knight, who eschews talk about his future; the second is Alex Oriakhi marveling at his team's accomplishment and the fact they'll be playing Butler Monday night; the final clip is a wet-behind-the-ears Shabazz Napier.

More NCAA tournament coverage
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Video
Posted on: April 2, 2011 10:23 pm

Pre-game video: VCU band rocks it

Posted by Matt Norlander

VCU's band is too good, too fun and too talented to not continue to take video of. That simple. Here was the crew shortly before tip-off tonight.

Category: NCAAB
Tags: VCU, Video
Posted on: April 2, 2011 7:57 pm
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Posted on: March 25, 2011 10:38 pm
Edited on: March 25, 2011 10:44 pm

Locker room video: Kendall Marshall/Tyler Zeller

Posted by Matt Norlander

NEWARK, N.J. — Not too much to take away from this one except to say: good season, Marquette, but you clearly didn't belong on the floor with Carolina tonight. Still, I wanted to give something to you from the North Carolina room afterward. I had to adjust from the one-on-one videos I normally try to get here. Since so much media is around, and I'm due to write off Ohio State-Kentucky, I couldn't get anything sequestered.

Zeller was stretched by trainers upon immediately entering the locker room, and then he sat down to the throng. That video is below the one wherein I get most of Kendal Marshall's attention.

More NCAA tournament coverage
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Video
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com