Posted on: November 7, 2011 11:32 am
Edited on: November 7, 2011 11:39 am

Naismith Preseason Top 50 - Early Edition

By Jeff Goodman

The Naismith Preseason List will be released this afternoon, but CBSSports.com has obtained a bootleg copy of it (OK, not really - but that sounds cool).

Anyway, the major difference between the Naismith and the Wooden (and why I prefer the Naismith) is that it includes freshmen.

There were seven frosh on the Preseason list: Three from Kentucky (Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague), Brad Beal (Florida), Andre Drummond (UConn), Quincy Miller (Baylor) and Austin Rivers (Duke).

Two teams - North Carolina and Kentucky - have four players on the list. UConn, Ohio State and Vandy each have a trio.

Here is the complete list:


Tim Abromaitis, F, Sr., Notre Dame
Harrison Barnes, F, Soph., North Carolina
Will Barton, G, Soph., Memphis
Brad Beal, G, Fr., Florida
William Buford, G, Sr., Ohio State
Aaron Craft, G, Soph., Ohio State
Anthony Davis, F, Fr., Kentucky
Marcus Denmon, G, Sr., Missouri
Andre Drummond, C, Fr., UConn
Festus Ezeli, C, Sr., Vanderbilt
Ashton Gibbs, G, Sr., Pittsburgh
Michael Glover, F, Sr., Iona
Drew Gordon, F, Sr., New Mexico
Draymond Green, F, Sr., Michigan State
JaMychal Green, F, Sr., Alabama
Tim Hardaway Jr., G, Soph., Michigan
Elias Harris, F, Jr., Gonzaga
John Henson, F, Jr., North Carolina
Tu Holloway, G, Sr., Xavier
Robbie Hummel, F, Sr., Purdue
Joe Jackson, G, Soph., Memphis
John Jenkins, G, Soph., Vanderbilt
Orlando Johnson, G, Sr., UC Santa Barbara
Darius Johnson-Odom, G, Sr., Marquette
Perry Jones III, F, Soph., Baylor
Terrence Jones, F, Soph., Kentucky
Kevin Jones, F, Sr., West Virginia
Kris Joseph, F, Sr., Syracuse
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, F, Fr., Kentucky
Jeremy Lamb, G, Soph., UConn
Kendall Marshall, G, Soph., North Carolina
Ray McCallum, G, Soph., Detroit
Doug McDermott, F, Soph., Creighton
Khris Middleton, F, Jr., Texas A&M
Quincy Miller, F, Fr., Baylor
Reeves Nelson, F, Jr., UCLA
Andrew Nicholson, F, Sr., St. Bonaventure
Alex Oriakhi, C, Jr., UConn
Austin Rivers, G, Fr., Duke
Thomas Robinson, F, Jr., Kansas
Terrence Ross, G, Soph., Washington
John Shurna, F, Sr., Northwestern
Peyton Siva, G, Jr., Louisville
Josh Smith, C, Soph., UCLA
Jared Sullinger, C, Soph., Ohio State
Jordan Taylor, G, Sr., Wisconsin
Jeffery Taylor, G/F, Sr., Vanderbilt
Marquis Teague, G, Fr., Kentucky
Patric Young, C, Soph., Florida
Tyler Zeller, F, Sr., North Carolina
Posted on: November 1, 2011 10:04 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 10:05 pm

Poole's dad doesn't deny departure speculation

By Jeff Borzello

With only days until the season tips off, Kentucky’s roster still seems to be in a state of fluctuation.

Reports swirled Tuesday night that one player would be leaving the Wildcats on Wednesday, and sources indicate the likely candidate is sophomore forward Stacey Poole.

When reached on Tuesday night, Poole’s father did not deny the reports.

“I can’t confirm the rumor at this time,” Poole Sr. told CBSSports.com.

Poole Jr. and his former AAU coaches did not respond to phone calls and text messages.

Poole is a 6-foot-4 swingman from Florida who played a total of 45 minutes last season. With the addition of four star freshmen, his playing time was not likely to increase. Moreover, reports out of the Wildcats’ early practices and workouts indicated that Poole has struggled and has often been frustrated. 

Posted on: October 28, 2011 7:26 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2011 1:12 pm

The Poll Attacks

By Gary Parrish

There are lots of ways to get in the Eye On College Basketball Blog. You can break a story. Or write something tremendous. But the easiest way is to submit a stupid AP ballot. Scott Wolf from the Los Angeles Daily News is proof.

(It's time to Poll Attack!)

---- Associated Press Preseason Poll Attacks -----

Let me put this simply: Scott Wolf is either joking or dumb.

There's no in between.

Because there's no rational argument to be made for anybody other than North Carolina (or maybe Kentucky) being ranked No. 1 this preseason, and that's just the first of many odd decisions on Wolf's ballot. He has Connecticut No. 1. I like the Huskies. They're talented. But they can't be ranked No. 1 ahead of an experienced and super-talented North Carolina team right now. That's silly. And Kansas at No. 3? Seriously? Kansas might not finish in the top three of the Big 12, and Bill Self is on record stating this team has more question marks than just about any team he's ever coached. Thomas Robinson should be great, and Tyshawn Taylor is solid. But four of the top five scorers from last season are gone, and half of the recruiting class didn't qualify. And yet Scott still has Kansas ranked third -- one spot ahead of North Carolina.

(Note: I texted Self, told him one voter had his team ranked ahead of North Carolina and asked for his thoughts on said voter. "He's nuts," Self replied, and that sums it up pretty well.)

Yes, Scott Wolf has the Tar Heels ranked fourth overall and one spot behind KU. It's nutty and absurd -- even more so than having Connecticut first. How can a team with four possible All-Americans and seven possible pros be ranked fourth? And how can Arizona be ranked sixth? Derrick Williams doesn't play for the the Wildcats anymore, you know? (That's why they were only picked third in the Pac-12's official preseason poll.)

Honestly, the whole thing is a mess from top to bottom.

You can look at it here.

Might be the worst ballot I've ever seen.

And let me be clear: I don't mind ballots that are different because this stuff is subjective, especially in October. But voters ought to be able to defend their choices with some sort of intelligent argument, and there's no way to defend this ballot with an intelligent argument ... unless, of course, the Morris Twins, Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers and Nick Collison are all back on KU's campus, and Self and I just haven't realized it yet.
Posted on: October 26, 2011 10:11 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2011 10:14 pm

Terrence Jones erupts for 52 in scrimmage

By Jeff Goodman

I've always maintained there's no better used car salesman than John Calipari.

He can sell ice to an eskimo, sell hair gel to Chris Mack and, well, you get the point.

But maybe the Kentucky coach was on point when he said that he couldn't imagine there's a better player in college basketball than Terrence Jones.

Sure, it was just an intrasquad scrimmage.

But Jones went for 52 points on Wednesday night.

Jones was an insane 24-of-31 from the field, 2-of-4 from beyond the arc and 2-of-5 from the line. Oh yeah, he also grabbed 16 boards and dished out six assists.

We need to put this in context.

Jones' team scored 126 points.

It was a glorified scrimmage.

But still. By all accounts, Jones looks like a different player - maybe even more dominant than the one that came out of the gates a year ago.

I say some of the credit needs to go to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Gilchrist doesn't get outworked by anyone in terms of effort. Jones' weakness has always been an inconsistent ticker.

However, maybe Gilchrist is exactly what was necessary for Jones to fulfill his potential, the one that could have him at or near the top of June's NBA Draft.

The reports were that the No. 1 freshman in the country, 6-foot-11 Anthony Davis, was the one given the task of trying to contain Jones.

Davis put up 27 points and 13 boards in the scrimmage, but it'll still take some time for him to acclimate himself to the college game.

Fellow frosh Kidd-Gilchrist finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds while Marquis Teague had 19 points and nine assists and Kyle Wiltjer went for 27 points and 11 boards.

Here's one reason not to put too much stock in an intrasquad scrimmage: Eloy Vargas had 16 rebounds.

Photo: AP
Posted on: October 25, 2011 10:09 am

Laettner beats Kentucky again in charity game

By Matt Norlander

There were a lot of cool things about the Villains vs. Big Blue All-Stars charity game in Lexington last night, but the staged ejection of Christian Laettner had to be the best part.

To start with Laettner was booed heavily to start the night.

Not a packed house? A little shocked by that. UK fans: you're slacking! The game was as offensive-minded as you'd expect. The Villains ended up winning the game 152-149. Despite the fact the fix was in to get Laettner tossed, UK couldn't get the officials to tilt things in its favor. Former Wildcat Jodie Meeks scored 42, a game high. It had to feel good for him to put up that kind of offense without fearing reprimand from his coach.

The best highlight of the night came from Kenneth Faried, who didn't care about the apparent lack of defense that was anticipated. The Morehead State star sent back the soup on this first-half dunk attempt by Enes Kanter.

The game was organized by former 'Cat Jeff Sheppard and raised money for the V Foundation. I think it's one of the more brilliant ways of raising money and community morale in sports I've ever seen.

Check out the photo gallery from last night's game for a look at how busty Chuck Hayes has gotten in the NBA offseason.
Posted on: October 24, 2011 2:28 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 2:31 pm

The SEC Media has done it again

By Gary Parrish

Remember when the SEC Media didn't vote John Wall on the preseason SEC First Team?

I do.

I wrote this about it.

Now they've done the same thing to Anthony Davis, and I think I'll just cut what I wrote about Wall, paste it here and change the names where necessary. It'll make the same point and save some time. Here goes:

The SEC media poll and preseason awards have been released.

Kentucky is picked to win the league.

That's smart.

John Wall Anthony Davis was voted Second Team All-SEC.

That's dumb ... and you'll see why in time, I'm certain. Speaking of, I have a friend who watched Kentucky practice recently. When it was over he sent the following text: "Just done watching UK practice. Wow. John Anthony is incredible."

Anyway ...

Now I know what you're thinking: Who cares, Parrish?

Answer: I care. And you do, too. That's why you're reading this. And though I realize there are no hard and fast rules to voting for preseason teams, they should, in my opinion, try to serve as predictions for how the postseason team might look. Using that as the gauge, not having Davis on the SEC First Team is undeniably stupid. He's the most talented player on the most talented team in the league. Like I once wrote about Wall, you'll see in time, I'm certain. And please don't mention how "Davis hasn't even played a college game yet," because that's the dumbest thing college basketball fans annually spend October saying about incoming freshmen. Remember, Jared Sullinger had never played a college game, either ... until he did. Then he got 19 points and 14 rebounds in Ohio State's season-opening win, and that shouldn't have surprised anybody.


Because some guys are just obviously gifted.

Jared Sullinger is one of those guys.

Anthony Davis is, too.
Posted on: October 20, 2011 1:20 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 8:26 am

The Poll Attacks are back

By Gary Parrish

The Coaches Poll
just got released.

I've looked it over good.

Now it's time to Poll Attack.


Before looking at the poll I knew I'd be OK at the top as long as North Carolina and Kentucky got every first-place vote, and that's exactly what happened. Thirty-one coaches voted. Thirty put UNC No. 1. One put UK No. 1. And I'm cool with that. But a No. 1 vote for any other school would've been silly and an example of a voter being different just for the sake of being different, and I hate voters like that. So I'm glad the Coaches Poll didn't feature any voters like that. That's why I start with praise.

But how did St. John's get 11 votes?

The top eight players from last season's team -- that's one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight -- are all gone, leaving Malik Stith as the leading returning scorer. He's a 5-foot-11 guard who averaged 3.3 points in 12.2 minutes per game last season. Meantime, three of the top recruits have been ruled academically ineligible, which leaves St. John's with, I believe, just seven scholarship players. None of the veterans are impact players at the Division I level. None of the newcomers are named Anthony Davis or Andre Drummond. So this is not a team that should be getting votes for the Top 25. It's a team that should instead be picked about 12th in the Big East, which is where Big East coaches placed the Red Storm earlier this week.

And VCU getting four votes doesn't make much sense, either.

Look, nobody loves Shaka Smart more than me.

He's terrific.

But Jamie Skeen is not walking through that door.

And neither is Brandon Rozzell.

Or Joey Rodriguez.

Or Ed Nixon.

That means four of the top five scorers from last season's team are gone, and even that team -- the team with Skeen, Rozzell, Roriguez and Nixon -- finished just fourth in the Colonial ... behind George Mason, Old Dominion and Hofstra. People forget that because of the run to the Final Four. But the truth is that VCU was a bubble team for four months last season, and this team isn't as talented as that team. Perhaps Smart will prove me wrong. God knows he's done it before. But for now the Rams shouldn't be on anybody's Top 25 ballot.

Posted on: October 20, 2011 9:27 am

Preseason candidates for Tisdale Award announced

By Gary Parrish

The United States Basketball Writers Association announced on Thursday its 12 preseason candidates for the Wayman Tisdale Award that annually honors the nation's top freshman. Three of the 12 -- Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague -- play at Kentucky.

The full list is as follows:
  • Brad Beal (Florida)
  • Chane Behanan (Louisville)
  • Khem Birch (Pittsburgh)
  • Anthony Davis (Kentucky)
  • Andre Drummond (Connecticut)
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky)
  • Le'Bryan Nash (Oklahoma State)
  • Austin Rivers (Duke)
  • Marquis Teague (Kentucky)
  • Adonis Thomas (Memphis)
  • Josiah Turner (Arizona)
  • Cody Zeller (Indiana)
Ohio State's Jared Sullinger won the Wayman Tisdale Award last season.

Sullinger is the CBSSports.com Preseason National Player of the Year this season.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com