Posted on: April 9, 2010 9:56 am
Edited on: April 10, 2010 8:38 am

Sources: Clemson has interviewed at least five

Wright State's Brad Brownell is one of at least five coaches who interviewed for the opening at Clemson over the past two days, multiple sources have told CBSSport.com. The others are Wofford's Mike Young, Jacksonville's Cliff Warren, ODU's Blaine Taylor and former Boston College coach Al Skinner.

Brownell has won at least 20 games four straight years and was widely considered the Horizon League's best coaching prospect until Butler's Brad Stevens rose to prominence this season. The Indiana native was in play for the Indiana job that went to Tom Crean two years ago. His candidacy at Clemson suggests the ACC school is considering hiring a rising star as opposed to someone whose career is on the decline like Skinner, the 57-year-old who was fired at BC last week. Young and Taylor both led their teams to the NCAA tournament this season. Warren coached in the NIT.

Other candidates Clemson has, will or could target are VCU's Shaka Smart, Western Kentucky's Ken McDonald, Ohio's John Groce, Oklahoma's Jeff Capel and Baylor's Scott Drew. Multiple sources told CBSSports.com that Clemson officias desired a meeting with Arizona State's Herb Sendek, a former North Carolina State coach, but that he turned down an interview request.

Clemson is searching for a replacement for Oliver Purnell.

He left last Tuesday to take over at DePaul for more than $15 million.
Posted on: April 6, 2010 3:00 am
Edited on: April 6, 2010 3:36 am

Source: Purnell leaving Clemson for DePaul

INDIANAPOLIS -- DePaul's coaching search ended early Tuesday when Clemson's Oliver Purnell agreed to take the Big East job, a source confirmed to CBSSports.com.

An official announcement is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday.

Purnell has led three different schools to NCAA tournaments -- including Clemson each of the past three seasons -- but is best known for never winning an NCAA tournament game. He's 0-6 all-time in the NCAA tournament. The Tigers lost to Missouri in the first round last March.

DePaul fired Jerry Wainwright in January.

Posted on: February 24, 2010 2:11 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2010 2:18 pm

Clemson-Maryland could eliminate ACC intrigue

Maryland's game with Duke next Wednesday will be huge because it'll be Greivis Vasquez's Senior Day, and because all games with Duke are massive, and because it's not like the Terrapins are a lock to make the NCAA tournament just yet. They look good now, of course. But a late-season collapse could make things interesting, and late-season (signature) wins always help.

So next Wednesday's game with the Blue Devils will be big, regardless.

But will it be for first-place in the ACC?

That's the hope at Maryland.

Which is why tonight's game with Clemson is crucial.

The Terrapins have won 11 of their last 14 games and three straight to take sole possession of second in the ACC standings; they're 9-3 in the league. Meantime, Duke is 11-2 in the ACC, and the Blue Devils will be heavy favorites to win two of their final three league games (at Virginia on Sunday and at home against North Carolina on March 6). That means Duke will almost certainly reach 13 league wins, and the only way for Maryland to possibly reach 13 league wins (and share the regular-season title with Duke) is to beat Clemson tonight and win at Virginia Tech this weekend before beating Duke next Wednesday and closing with a win at Virginia.

In other words, a Maryland loss tonight would nearly guarantee an outright ACC title for Duke, but a Maryland win will keep the Terrapins in contention. So the Comcast Center should be fun with Clemson in town ... even if the game doesn't produce back-to-back buzzer-beaters.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 27, 2010 11:52 am
Edited on: January 27, 2010 11:53 am

Clemson's Stitt should play Sunday vs. Maryland

Lost in all the talk about Kentucky losing Tuesday night is that Clemson lost its third straight.

The Tigers fell 75-69 at Boston College.

But it should be noted that they played without starting point guard Demontez Stitt, who missed the game with a sprained left foot. Stitt is averaging 11.2 points per game, second only at Clemson to Trevor Booker. A source close to the program said Wednesday that Stitt is expected to practice Thursday and play Sunday against Maryland. The Tigers are 15-6 overall, 3-4 in the ACC.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 13, 2010 2:21 pm

The UNC bus took a charge today

OK, here's a first for Twitter.

(Or at least I think it's a first.)

Far as I know, this afternoon was the first time in history that a point guard from a nationally ranked college basketball team Tweeted a photo from the team bus moments after it was involved in a traffic accident. Click this link to check it out. The photo is from North Carolina's Larry Drew, and it came with the following text: "Car hit us on the way to shootaround...like, how do you jus run into the side of a bus??"

Good question.

North Carolina plays at Clemson tonight.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 25, 2009 12:21 pm

I'm spending Thanksgiving in Anaheim

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- I'll be spending the next four days less than a mile from Disneyland, where the eight-team 76 Classic has somehow put together the best field of any early season tournament given how all eight schools involved have reasonable expectations to make the NCAA tournament.

Butler is the Horizon favorite, Long Beach State is the Big West favorite, and West Virginia, Clemson, Minnesota, Texas A&M and UCLA are each expected to, at the very least, earn an at-large bid. The only 76 Classic participant not in my preseason Projecting the Field is Portland. But the Pilots are 3-0 and widely viewed as Gonzaga's biggest threat in the West Coast Conference. They already own a win over Oregon. They could get their second victory over a Pac-10 team Thursday when they close the first day of action with a game against Ben Howland's Bruins.

"If you're a collegebasketball fan, this is a great time of the year," said Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon. "This is a fantastic field. When we [agreed to be a part of it], we knew it was going to be a good field. But they've added a couple of teams since then. There are four teams in the Top 25, and we're not one of them, and we like to think we're pretty good. So it's a great field."

The four Top 25 teams in the field are No. 8 West Virginia, No. 12 Butler, No. 19 Clemson and No. 22 Minnesota. All five power-conference schools involved (West Virginia, Clemson, Minnesota, Texas A&M and UCLA) plus Butler made the NCAA tournament last season. Click this link to check out the bracket.
Posted on: November 24, 2009 11:31 am
Edited on: November 24, 2009 11:31 am

Dear Gary (on the best games for this week)

Here's Tuesday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: What game are you most looking forward to this week? I, for one, am digging my Minnesota Golden Gophers testing out a big-time program in Butler on Thursday night. Your thoughts?

-- Magee

I'll be in Anaheim for the 76 Classic, so I'll see Minnesota-Butler. It should be great, as will the entire event. Six of the eight participants made the NCAA tournament last season, four of the eight are currently ranked in the AP Top 25 (specifically No. 8 West Virginia, No. 12 Butler, No. 19 Clemson and No. 22 Minnesota). So regardless of how this unfolds, it's going to be tremendous. The championship game is slotted for Sunday night. Butler against either Clemson or West Virginia would probably be the most intriguing matchup.

Elsewhere, we could get UConn vs. Duke on Friday night in the finals of the NIT Season Tip-off.

That would be excellent.

Looking forward to Florida-Florida State tonight, too.
Posted on: October 18, 2009 4:42 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2009 12:11 am

Thoughts on Madness events across the nation

I'm back home after a quick trip to Kansas , doing some reading and trying to catch up on what happened at some other Midnight Madness festivities. Seems a lot of places had record nights -- among them Michigan State.

The Breslin Center was filled to capacity with 14,759 fans.

That's the first sellout at MSU in Midnight Madness history.

Tom Izzo entered in an Indy car because the 2010 Final Four is in Indianapolis.

"I know what it's like to drive an Indy car," Izzo told the crowd. "I hope I know what it's like to play in Indianapolis."

Meantime, Clemson's Oliver Purnell rapelled from the top of Littlejohn Coliseum, Syracuse's Jim Boeheim drove a police car into the Carrier Dome (Was he looking for Eric Devendorf?), and Kentucky's John Calipari gave a 10-minute speech to 24,000 fans at Rupp Arena, and he delivered the following line: "Our history is rooted in our coaches: Rupp and Hall and Smith."

That's Adolph Rupp, Joe B. Hall and Tubby Smith.

Notably missing: Former UK coach Rick Pitino.

I'm certain it was not an oversight.

Anyway, a scan of the country showed there were many great events. But the neatest of all Madness ceremonies might've been at Memphis, where more than 18,000 fans filled FedExForum to celebrate a 32-year-old head coach and his eight healthy scholarship players who are unranked and enduring a period of NCAA probation. Understand, it is not normal for the Tigers to fill FedExForum for Memphis Madness. Even when Calipari was the coach, Derrick Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts were the stars, and the team was ranked No. 1 in CBSSports.com's preseason Top 25 (and one) , the building was not full for this event. But on Friday night the doors had to be closed and people were turned away, and I was enjoying a conversation with former Missouri State coach Barry Hinson -- now the director of external relations at Kansas -- when I got a text about the scene and shared the news.

"I'm so happy for Josh," Hinson said. "The fans were making a statement, weren't they?"

Absolutely, it was a statement.

It was a statement to Calipari and the nation, a statement from a city determined to convince itself (and the prospects in attendance) that it will move along fine despite a rough few months. Since the end of last season, the Tigers have lost their coach, recruiting class and 2008 Final Four banner. They also watched one recruit (Latavious Williams) not enroll to pursue a professional career overseas, and one player (Shawn Taggart) not return to pursue a professional career, well, who knows where?

Additionally, Angel Garcia tore his ACL in an offseason workout.

Memphis is not picked to win C-USA.

And yet more than 18,000 people still made the trip downtown to celebrate the past and the future, and it's worth noting that a five-minute montage shown on the video board featured pictures and clips of every relevant former player and coach ... except Calipari, who was omitted completely.

"It  was a great statement by the city," Pastner said by phone. "I was blown away. It was unreal. And that's what's great about Memphis Basketball, and it's what I've tried to tell people. Memphis Basketball was good way before I was even born, and it's going to be good long after I'm gone. Memphis basketball is not about one individual or two individuals. It has a rich tradition, and the fans are really proud of the program, and they showed it [Friday] night."
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com