Tag:Saint Mary's
Posted on: May 2, 2010 1:42 pm
Edited on: May 2, 2010 1:46 pm

Columbia hires SMC assistant Smith

Saint Mary's associate head coach Kyle Smith is the new coach at Columbia.

"I am very grateful to Dr. M. Dianne Murphy and President Lee C. Bollinger for this tremendous opportunity," Smith said. "I look forward to the challenge of building an Ivy League championship men’s basketball program at Columbia."

Smith has been at Saint Mary's the past nine seasons.

He's replacing Joe Jones, who left to become the associate head coach at Boston College.
Posted on: March 9, 2010 12:36 am
Edited on: March 9, 2010 12:39 am

Tuesday morning's Gettin' In

Fairfield blew a nice lead.

Saint Mary's did not.

Here's Tuesday morning's Gettin' In.

Teams that punched tickets Monday: Old Dominion, Siena, Saint Mary's and Wofford each earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament on Monday. That means nine of the 65 spots in the field are claimed.

Best game:
Fairfield was up 13 with less than 18 to play Monday night, and bubble-watchers everywhere were debating whether Siena could get an at-large bid after the sure-to-come loss in the MAAC tournament title game. My opinion: No, the Saints probably wouldn't have received an at-large bid given that they own zero top 50 victories. But guess what? It doesn't matter now because the Saints stormed back, forced overtime and recorded a 72-65 victory that made them the MAAC's automatic qualifier. Now they'll sit back and wait for the selection committee to give them a No. 12 seed, then we'll all pick them to beat some No. 5 seed.

Team whose dream remained alive: North Texas was nearly upset in the Sun Belt quarterfinals, but the Mean Green easily handled Denver in Monday's semifinals. The 63-56 victory will allow them to take a 10-game winning streak into Tuesday's title game.

Team whose dream was crushed: Western Kentucky fell behind by 16 points late in the first half and only scored 48 in the game, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Hilltoppers lost Monday in the semifinals of the Sun Belt tournament. What's surprising is that they had a chance to win, and that they actually led 48-47 with less than four minutes remaining. WKU seemed in control. But Troy countered with a 7-0 run, won 54-48 and ensured WKU's NCAA tournament streak will stop at two.

Performance I hope you witnessed: The West Coast Conference was probably going to be a two-bid league regardless, but Mickey McConnell ensured as much with a 26-point effort that keyed Saint Mary's 81-62 victory over Gonzaga in Monday's WCC tournament title game. McConnell hit 10 of 17 shots -- including four of seven 3-point attempts -- and helped the Gaels prevent Gonzaga from winning this event for the 11th time in 13 seasons.

Performance I hope you missed: David Schneider hit a big shot to lift William & Mary to the title game of the Colonial tournament, but missed pretty much every shot in said title game. He was 2-of-13 from the field in Monday's 60-53 loss to Old Dominion, 3-of-22 from the field in his past two games.

Three random notes

1. The Big East tournament starts Tuesday with four games. If you're a fan of a bubble team, you should root for St. John's to beat Connecticut, for DePaul to beat South Florida, and for Providence to beat Seton Hall.

2. The Horizon League title game is Tuesday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse. If you're a fan of a bubble team, you should root for Butler to beat Wright State because the alternative outcome would turn the Horizon into a two-bid league, which would effectively shrink the field by one.

The Oregonian newspaper reported late Monday that P.J. Carlesimo is a serious candidate to replace Ernie Kent at Oregon. Kent is expected to be officially fired at the conclusion of the Pac-10 tournament.

Final thought: Nothing in the Top 25 (and one) got folks fired up like Purdue down at No. 11.

But I don't understand the argument.

I mean, where do you think Purdue belongs?

No question, the Boilermakers were on their way to the No.1  seed in the NCAA tournament three weeks ago. But everything changed when Robbie Hummel tore his ACL, and this clearly isn't the same team. They looked average in a home loss to Michigan State, then backed that with a couple of wins over bad Big Ten teams, and I honestly think placing Purdue 11th is pretty darn generous.

It's unfortunate, but the fact remains that Hummel is gone.

So we'll never know what the Boilermakers might've otherwise been.

But I think I know what they are right now.

And that's something slightly less than a top 10 team.
Posted on: June 15, 2009 5:41 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2009 5:46 pm

Mills staying in the NBA Draft

Saint Mary's sophomore Patrick Mills has decided to remain in the NBA Draft, Gaels coach Randy Bennett told CBSSports.com on Monday.

"Yes," Bennett said via text message. "[He] stayed in."

Mills was the last of the relevant underclassmen to have their final decision made public. The Australian point guard is expected to go in the late first or early second round after a season in which he averaged 17.8 points for the West Coast Conference school.

The deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft was Monday at 5 p.m. ET.

The following is how the day's developments broke down:

Who stayed in the NBA Draft on Monday?
  • Austin Daye (Gonzaga)
  • Chinemelu Elonu (Texas A&M)
  • Taj Gibson (USC)
  • Jodie Meeks (Kentucky)
  • Patrick Mills (Saint Mary's)
  • Jeff Teague (Wake Forest)
Who withdrew from the NBA Draft on Monday?
  • Bryan Davis (Texas A&M)
  • Luke Harangody (Notre Dame)
  • Ater Majok (Connecticut)
  • Donald Sloan (Texas A&M)
  • Greivis Vasquez (Maryland)

Posted on: March 23, 2009 10:48 am
Edited on: March 23, 2009 10:49 am

The NIT is interesting, relatively speaking

Assuming you're not basketballed out -- and why would you be? -- there are a couple of nice NIT games Monday night.

First, at 7:30 p.m. ET, Kentucky visits Creighton, and though it's just an NIT game, it's still nice to see Creighton get a program like Kentucky in its building. Then, at 11:30 p.m. ET, Davidson visits Saint Mary's, which means we get Stephen Curry vs. Patrick Mills in a match-up of guards as good as (if not better than) anything the NCAA tournament will offer this week (except for a possible Ty Lawson-Jonny Flynn match-up in the Elite Eight in Memphis).

So Kentucky vs. Creighton and Davidson vs. Saint Mary's on Monday night.

Perhaps the NIT isn't so bad after all.

Posted on: March 10, 2009 1:11 am
Edited on: March 10, 2009 2:01 am

Patrick Mills doesn't look exactly right just yet

The NCAA tournament selection committee will have quite a decision to make.

Will they take Saint Mary's based on a 19-2 record with Patrick Mills?

Or will they pass on Saint Mary's because of a 46 RPI?

Honestly, who can tell at this point?

And though you know where I stand on the subject, I'd be lying if I wrote that the Gaels did anything but hurt themselves the past two days, because there's no debating Mills just had the two worst games of his season, which might provide certain committee members the ammunition they need to send Saint Mary's to the NIT.

Gonzaga pounded Saint Mary's late Monday.

You heard that by now, I'm sure.

But did you know Mills was 2-of-16 from the field in the 83-58 loss?

And that he was 3-of-12 from the field 24 hours earlier in a win over Portland?

Add it up, and Mills has missed 23 of 28 shots in his two performances since returning from a broken hand, including 14 of his 16 3-point attempts. That's rough by any measuring stick. And if the committee's excuse to omit Saint Mary's revolves around the theory that the team with this version of Mills isn't the same team that started 18-1 with a healthy Mills, well, they're going to have the stats to back it up, I'm afraid.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 5, 2009 2:31 pm

Dear Gary (on UD last season and SMC this season)

Here's Thursday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: The situation is a little different because Patrick Mills will return before the NCAA tournament, but wouldn't Dayton's situation last year with Chris Wright be the most comparable? The Flyers were left out despite that when Wright was healthy they were clearly (good enough to earn an at-large bid).

-- Mike

The problem with Dayton last year is that Wright missed the final 15 games of the regular season -- plus the Atlantic 10 tournament -- with a broken ankle, meaning that on Selection Sunday the committee had no choice but to judge Dayton on what it was without Wright. Best I can remember, Wright wasn't even cleared to return to practice until after Selection Sunday, and he missed the Flyers' first-round NIT game against Cleveland State. So there's no way Dayton should've been included in the NCAA tournament based on its success with Wright because by all accounts he would not have been available for a first-round game in the NCAA tournament.

The Mills situation is much different.

Mills has already been cleared to return to action.

He'll play this weekend in the West Coast Conference tournament.

Then he'll have another 10 days after that to get ready for the NCAA tournament.

And that's why I think -- and I've explained this in a column and in the blog -- that it's safe to assume Mills will be at or close to 100 percent by the time the NCAA tournament begins, because he will have had more than two weeks from the moment doctors cleared him to prepare for the NCAA tournament, and that should be plenty of time. Consequently, SMC should be viewed as the 18-1 team it was when he went down, because anything that happened without him is irrelevant when you consider the Gaels won't have to play without him anymore.

Posted on: March 4, 2009 3:04 pm

Dear Gary (on the Saint Mary's column)

Here's Wednesday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: The NCAA claims it seeds based on players being hurt and players coming back. Like in 2001 when they gave Cincinnati a No. 2 seed because Kenyon Martin was out for the year. If they follow that trend, Saint Mary's has to be in. I think because it's a mid-major program they might not get the benefit of the doubt, but I will be rooting for them on Selection Sunday.

-- Marc

I've received a bunch of emails on my Saint Mary's column .

Some have been positive.

Some have been negative.

But I really don't understand the debate.

Again, there isn't a person in the world who would've told you Saint Mary's wasn't an NCAA tournament team when Patrick Mills broke his hand. The Gaels were 18-1 and -- here's the key, to me -- dominating at Gonzaga when Mills went down. And though I know the 18-1 wasn't against a tough schedule -- remember, I ripped Saint Mary's for its non-league schedule -- I think we saw all we needed to see in that one half of basketball at Gonzaga. Mills was the best player on the court, Saint Mary's was the better team, and suddenly it was clear that the 18-1 record belonged to a good team as opposed to an average team merely beating up on out-classed opponents.

So what the selection committee should do is ask itself the following questions:

1. When Mills was healthy, was Saint Mary's an NCAA tournament team?

2. Will Mills be healthy when the NCAA tournament begins?

If the answers to both of those questions are 'Yes' -- and they should be -- then it's nonsensical to keep Saint Mary's out because of the 6-4 record it managed in games where Mills played less than 20 minutes (i.e., the first Gonzaga game) or not at all because of the broken hand (i.e., every game to date since the first Gonzaga game). The Saint Mary's team that lost those games isn't the Saint Mary's team that'll play in the NCAA tournament any more than the Oklahoma team that lost to Kansas (sans Blake Griffin) is the Oklahoma team that'll play in the NCAA tournament.

Should OU be penalized for losing to KU without Griffin?

Absolutely not.

Based on that logic, Saint Mary's shouldn't be penalized for losing without Mills, either.

Swear to God, I will argue this point until I die.

And I don't plan on dying young.

Posted on: January 30, 2009 8:02 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2009 11:22 pm

Saint Mary's deserves a pass until Mills returns

There is good news and bad news for Saint Mary's.

The bad is that Patrick Mills is out for a month with a broken right hand. That's really bad. But the good news is that as long as Mills returns by the NCAA tournament, any losses incurred during his absence should be recorded with an asterisk, including Thursday's loss at Gonzaga, and I hope that's something the NCAA tournament committee remembers on Selection Sunday.

Put another way: Saint Mary's should be judged by what it does with Mills, not what it will do without him. That's the fair way to grade a team, the way the selection committee should judge a team. So while losing Mills for a month is unfortunate, the development shouldn't hinder the Gaels' hopes of earning a high seed, because Saint Mary's shouldn't be penalized for losing games without its point guard provided its point guard is projected to be healthy for the postseason.

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