Posted on: January 29, 2011 3:55 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2011 4:49 pm

Note to UConn: Let Walker win or lose for you

I don't believe in one-man teams in any sport, basketball included. But I do believe in letting superstars be superstars when it's time to win or lose a game, and that's why I hate the way Connecticut lost to Louisville on Saturday.

Jeremy Lamb took (and missed) the shot at the end of the first OT, and Shabazz Napier brought the ball up the court at the end of the second. Sure, Napier eventually found Kemba Walker, arguably the nation's best closer. But Napier got the ball to Walker late, and he had to launch a desperation 3-pointer. It almost went in, but it was still a bad shot that missed at the horn. So Louisville escaped Gampel Pavilion with a 79-78 win in double-overtime, and I couldn't help but think UConn is trying too hard to prove it's something more than the Big East's version of Jimmer and the Cougars.

Note to the Huskies: Don't forget what got you here.

It's nice that Lamb and Napier have developed into respectable sidekicks and possible future stars, but they're still sidekicks and this isn't the future. This is the present, and in the present (and the immediate future) you'd be wise to win or lose with the ball in Walker's hands. If the defense plays off of him, he should shoot. If the defense gets up on him, he should drive. If the defense doubles him, he should still shoot or still drive and make something happen.

In other words, regardless of the situation, Walker should have the ball when the game is on the line, and he should decide the outcome, for better or worse. Perhaps the Huskies will lose games when such is the case anyway. But they definitely lost when it wasn't the case Saturday, and that, quite simply, is no way to lose.
Posted on: November 13, 2010 7:03 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 7:18 pm

Butler going from one historic event to another

Marian coach John Grimes watched his team get clobbered by 29 points.

He then spent a few minutes paying his respects.

"This is a historic event," Grimes said. "We were here for a certain occasion ... and we understand that."

I can appreciate a man who knows his role.

Butler unveiled its 2010 "National Finalist" banner in a ceremony before tipoff Saturday, then opened the 2010-11 season with an 83-54 win over an NAIA team from Indianapolis that bussed to Hinkle Fieldhouse and caused zero problems. Which is the way it was supposed to be. The Bulldogs spent part of the afternoon remembering the past and roughly two hours getting the future off to a nice start at the expense of an vastly inferior opponent designed to enhance the celebration. All-American candidate Shelvin Mack scored 20 points while Ronald Nored got five assists and four steals. It was easy work for the No. 17 Bulldogs, whose victory kept ranked schools undefeated through six days of this still-young season.

What's next figures to be less simple.

The Bulldogs will now find themselves on the opposite side of a historic event.

They'll be the visitors when Louisville opens the brand new KFC Yum! Center on Tuesday night.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: October 7, 2010 3:47 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2010 3:48 pm

Wroten decision coming today

McDonald's All-American candidate Tony Wroten is expected to announce his college decision this afternoon.

He'll reportedly pick between Louisville and Washington.

Scout.com's Evan Daniels has predicted Wroten, a 6-foot-4 guard, will announce for Washington. MaxPreps.com ranks the Seattle native 15th in the Class of 2011. Scout.com has Wroten ranked 27th. Rivals.com has him ranked 30th.
Posted on: October 5, 2010 1:20 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2010 1:23 pm

Pitino: Dieng ruled academically ineligible

Louisville coach Rick Pitino announced Tuesday at his program's basketball tip-off luncheon that the NCAA has ruled Gorgui Dieng academically ineligible to compete as a freshman.

The development is the latest dose of bad news for the Cardinals.

It means Pitino won't have either of his top recruits from the Class of 2010 considering Justin Coleman has already been ruled academically ineligible. Coleman is now enrolled at Marshall. Scout.com ranked Coleman, a 6-foot-5 wing, as the 40th-best prospect in the Class of 2010. Dieng, a 6-10 center, was ranked 46th.
Posted on: September 7, 2010 11:42 am
Edited on: September 7, 2010 1:30 pm

Louisville adds another elite recruit

Louisville's Rick Pitino showed again Tuesday that his program hasn't been damaged by issues away from the court by gaining another commitment from a consensus top 50 national recruit -- this time in-state standout Chane Behanan.

"I’m committing to Louisville," Behanan told Scout.com recruiting analyst Evan Daniels. “I felt comfortable there. I just bonded real well with the team and the coaches. ... I just based it all off my comfort zone and the location."

Scout.com ranks Behanan 29th nationally in the Class of 2011. He's the fourth prospct to commit to Louisville. The others are Wayne Blackshear (No. 12), Zach Price (No. 53) and Ryan Taylor (unranked), and most recruiting analysts believe Quincy Miller (No. 2) and Deuce Bello (No. 32) could join the group within the next week to give the Cards a six-player class that would probably rank second only to Kentucky's class featuring Anthony Davis (No. 1), Mike Gilchrist (No. 5), Marquis Teague (No. 6) and Kyle Wiltjer (No. 19).

Posted on: August 30, 2010 2:08 pm

Miller to Louisville this weekend?

Another elite prospect from the Class of 2011 came off the board this weekend, meaning 12 of the top 20, according to MaxPreps.com, are now verbally committed to a specific college.

The highest-rated players who remain open are No. 2 Austin Rivers, No. 3 Adonis Thomas and No. 4 Quincy Miller. Rivers is still considering Florida, Duke, North Carolina, and Kansas while Thomas announced this weekend that he's narrowed his list of potential schools to Memphis, Florida, Tennessee, UCLA, Arkansas and Kansas.

Meantime, Miller might actually be the next to pop. Scout.com recruiting analyst Evan Daniels told Matt Jones on the radio in Kentucky this morning that Miller is no longer considering John Calipari's Wildcats, and that Miller "could" commit to Louisville this weekend. If so, it would be a huge get for Rick Pitino because he already has a commitment from No. 15 Wayne Blackshear, and it could help the Cards ultimately land Deuce Bello, Miller's summer teammate who won the dunk contest at this past weekend's Boost Mobile Elite 24 all-star game.
Posted on: August 27, 2010 9:33 am
Edited on: August 27, 2010 9:33 am

Sallie, Coleman won't play for Cards

Louisville coach Rick Pitino announced Friday morning on a local radio show that Roburt Sallie and Justin Coleman will not play for the Cardinals this season, according to a report in the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Sallie played the past two seasons at Memphis and was attempting to earn immediate eligibilty at Louisville by graduating from the C-USA school and enrolling in a graduate program not offered at Memphis. He fell short. Meantime, Coleman failed to qualify academically. The 6-foot-7 forward was a consensus top 50 recruit from the Class of 2010. His absence will leave Pitino without his top incoming prospect.

Louisville will open this season Nov. 16 against Butler.
Posted on: July 30, 2010 1:09 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 1:10 pm

Five for Friday column

Click this link to read my Five for Friday column.

It's all about Rick Pitino.
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