Posted on: September 14, 2009 4:12 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2009 4:15 pm

Irving wants a big role immediately, it seems

Kyrie Irving told Scout.com's Dave Telep on Monday that his college decision will, at least in part, be determined by his "role in the offense." Best I can tell, that's code for "I'm not interested in playing behind anybody."

And I respect that.

Too often, prospects act like they don't mind learning from upperclassmen or waiting their turn. But the truth is that somebody as talented as Irving ought to look for a place where he'll be the top option at point guard from his first day on campus, and that seems to be what he's doing.

Ranked fifth overall in the Class of 2010 by Scout.com, Irving has scheduled three of his five official visits for Duke (Sept. 25), Indiana (Oct. 2) and Texas A&M (Oct. 9). Among the other schools vying for his services are Kentucky and Connecticut. But those two programs could be affected by the presence of point guards Eric Bledsoe (at UK) and Kemba Walker (at UConn).

(Note: I do not expect John Wall to still be at UK by the time Irving would enroll.)

Irving has set no timetable for a decision.

Duke and Indiana are widely considered to be the leaders in his recruitment.
Posted on: September 5, 2009 4:34 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2009 4:36 pm

It can't be easy being Greg Paulus

I spent four years watching Greg Paulus fall down on the basketball court.

It's called a flop .

There was at least one every game.

So you can imagine my surprise when I saw Paulus refuse to flop (or even get tackled) on Syracuse's opening possession of Saturday's overtime, and it was that decision to scramble and scramble and finally throw the ball into coverage that ultimately ruined his debut as a Syracuse football player after four seasons as a Duke basketball player. Had Paulus simply taken a sack, Syracuse would've kicked a field goal and probably gone to a second overtime. As it was, Paulus tossed an interception, at which point Minnesota took the ball, kicked a field goal and escaped the Carrier Dome with a 23-20 victory.

Honestly, it was tough to watch.

No college player has been ridiculed more in recent years than Paulus -- partly because he played at Duke, mostly because he always seemed to get dunked on . People just love to laugh at him. And so thousands (if not millions) of sports fans who wouldn't otherwise care about a Minnesota-Syracuse game paid special attention to this Minnesota-Syracuse game, and through four quarters Paulus gave them nothing to mock. In fact, he was quite impressive -- completing 19 of 31 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown. But the way it ended is all anybody will remember, and that's too bad because it would've been nice for Paulus to earn praise for leading his hometown school to a win over a Big Ten program.

Instead, he threw the pick that lost the game.

And now I'm making flop jokes.

And don't you feel kind of badly for the guy?
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 23, 2009 4:35 pm

Barnes cuts list; Xavier gains commitment

Harrison Barnes, Scout.com's top player in the Class of 2010, has narrowed his list of possible colleges.

That list (according to Scout.com):
  • Duke
  • Iowa State
  • Kansas
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • UCLA
Barnes will reportedly visit UNC on Sept. 4-5.

No timetable has been made for his final decision.

Meantime, Xavier got a commitment from a Top 100 prospect on Sunday. Justin Martin, a 6-foot-7 forward from Indianapolis, committed to the Musketeers just before leaving from a weekend visit to campus. Scout.com ranks him as the 87th-best prospect in the country.
Posted on: July 24, 2009 1:04 am
Edited on: July 24, 2009 1:06 am

Coach K and Izzo watching the younger kids

LAS VEGAS -- I broke away from the 17-and-under events late Thursday to go see some younger prospects.

Mike Krzyzewski and Tom Izzo apparently had the same idea -- because both were at the Tarkanian Basketball Academy evaluating Class of 2011 prospects while the majority of other high-major coaches remained focused on the Class of 2010 at various facilities around town. To put this into context, you must understand that nearly every relevant 17-and-under game here in Las Vegas is attended by five or more college head coaches, and in some cases there could be 10 or 15 watching the same court. But at this 16-and-under event on this night there were four games simultaneously being played under the same roof, and the only head coaches I saw in the building were two of the biggest names in the sport.

Their presence created quite a buzz.

Krzyzewski was watching a team from Indiana led by Class of 2011 standouts Cody Zeller and Marshall Plumlee, and if those names sound familiar, they should. Zeller is the younger brother of Luke Zeller (played at Notre Dame) and Tyler Zeller (plays at North Carolina); Plumlee is the younger brother of Miles and Mason Plumlee, both of whom play at Duke. As for Izzo, he was sitting in the front row with assistant Mark Montgomery watching a team from Michigan featuring Trey McDonald, a 6-foot-9 forward in the Class of 2011.

It should be noted that Duke and Michigan State both already have three commitments from the Class of 2010.

In other words, Krzyzewski and Izzo can afford to look ahead.
Posted on: July 16, 2009 1:51 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2009 1:53 pm

Duke likely to add guard in time for this season

It was apparently naive to think Duke would really enter the season with just two guards.

Turns out, the Blue Devils will have three barring an unexpected hitch because Class of 2010 star Andre Dawkins plans to enroll a year early if he graduates from high school this summer, FoxSports.com reported. Industry sources confirmed that report to CBSSports.com and added that Dawkins graduating this summer is a near certainty, meaning this is going to happen.

Scout.com ranks Dawkins as the 22nd-best prospect in the Class of 2010.

He played in the Nike Peach Jam this week with the Boo Williams team from Virginia.

He'll join Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith in the Duke backcourt and help ease the loss of transfer Elliot Williams.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: July 7, 2009 9:41 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2009 9:42 pm

Source: Coach K will coach in Olympics again

AKRON, Ohio -- Duke's Mike Krzyzewski has agreed to coach Team USA in the 2012 Olympics, a source confirmed to CBSSports.com on Tuesday.

An official announcement could come in the next two weeks.

Krzyzewski led Team USA to a gold medal last summer in China.

Late Tuesday, LeBron James agreed to comment on the development here at the LeBron James Skills Academy. But  Nike Basketball Senior Director Lynn Merritt stepped in and refused to allow the reigning MVP to speak with reporters.

James was the star of Krzyzewski's first Olympic team.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 27, 2009 6:33 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2009 7:16 pm

Former Duke guard to enroll at Memphis

Former Duke starter Elliot Williams has informed Josh Pastner's staff that he plans to transfer (as expected ) to Memphis, sources close to the program told CBSSports.com on Saturday.

Williams' father, Mexwayne Williams, later confirmed the news to CBSSports.com via text message.

An official announcement should come next week.

Williams is a 6-foot-4 guard from Memphis who initially chose Duke over Memphis, Tennessee and Virginia. He started the final 12 games for the Blue Devils last season, but decided to transfer because of what Duke called "family medical reasons." Multiple sources have told CBSSports.com the specific reason is that Williams' mother is battling cancer, an unfortunate development that should allow the former McDonald's All-American to receive a waiver from the NCAA what will make him eligible to play for the Tigers this season.

Sources said Williams will apply for the waiver soon.

He should be a starter for Memphis in its first season under Josh Pastner.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 25, 2009 5:11 pm
Edited on: June 25, 2009 5:38 pm

"Closer to home" needs to be close to home

Duke transfer Elliot Williams plans to move "closer to home" and ask the NCAA for a waiver to play next season because his mother is battling cancer. He will reportedly choose between Memphis, Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt. But the problem with those two statements is that they don't seem to jibe, because there's no chance the Memphis native would get a waiver to play at Tennessee or Kentucky, and even Vanderbilt is a stretch.

At least that's what one Division I coach told CBSSports.com.

According to a Division I coach who has dealt with transfers, the NCAA has "tightened up" the criteria for waivers since allowing Tyler Smith to transfer from Iowa to Tennessee without penalty when Smith's father was battling cancer. Smith wanted to "be closer to home" because of his father's illness, so he picked Tennessee, which is 248 miles from his home in Pulaski, Tenn. The NCAA granted the waiver. But the source said the guidelines are now stricter (even if they aren't clearly defined).

"I know a player who transferred to a school 106 miles from his home, and the NCAA denied the waiver," the source said. "They wanted to know that the player was going to have 'day-to-day responsibilities' with the family member before granting the waiver, and they said that you can't have 'day-to-day responsibilities' if you're 106 miles away."

Assuming that ruling is consistent with the NCAA's current way of thinking, it appears unlikely that Williams could get a waiver to play at any of the schools he's considering except for Memphis. Consider:
  • Vanderbilt is 212 miles from Memphis.
  • Tennessee is 391 miles from Memphis.
  • Kentucky is 423 miles from Memphis.
In conclusion, best I can tell, unless Elliot Williams wants to sit out a year, he must transfer to Memphis.

And that's why it seems to be a near certainty that he'll play for the Tigers next 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