Posted on: October 5, 2010 4:05 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2010 4:35 pm

Former Memphis coach hospitalized

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Former University of Memphis coach Larry Finch has been battling "flu-like symptoms" since the weekend and is in the critical care unit at Saint Francis Hospital, a source close to the family told CBSSports.com on Tuesday.

A separate source confirmed the news and described the situation as "very serious."

"He's not doing well," that source said. "People should be praying for him. It's not good."

Finch, 59, led Memphis to the title game of the 1973 NCAA tournament as a player and coached the Tigers from 1986 to 1997. He has suffered a heart attack and multiple strokes over the past decade. Complications from diabetes led to both of his legs being amputated in recent years.

Finch's No. 21 is one of just eight numbers retired at Memphis.

The Tigers' practice facility is called the Larry O. Finch Center in his honor.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 27, 2010 6:18 pm

NCAA clears final two Memphis freshmen

A source close to the Memphis program told CBSSports.com on Friday that the NCAA has cleared freshmen Chris Crawford and Hippolyte Tsafack, meaning all seven prospects in Josh Pastner's heralded recruiting class will be eligible to play for the Tigers this season.

Two of the incoming players (Joe Jackson and Jelan Kendrick) were McDonald's All-Americans, and a third (Will Barton) was ranked 10th nationally in the Class of 2010 by MaxPreps.com. Add Tarik Black and Chris Crawford to the mix, and five of the seven prospects in the class were considered top 65 recruits by MaxPreps.com, which is why Memphis should be a consensus preseason Top 25 team.

Memphis opens with Centenary on Nov. 12.
Posted on: August 20, 2010 7:36 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2010 7:42 pm

NCAA reverses, rules Barton eligible at Memphis

The NCAA has reversed a decision to rule Will Barton academically ineligible and opted to allow the standout freshman to play for Memphis this season, a source confirmed to CBSSports.com on Friday.

An official announcement from the school is expected soon.

Barton was ruled academically ineligible earlier this month because of questions about his academic background, and, at the time, the Memphis staff doubted an appeal would work. Barton responded by exploring professional options. But those options are now no longer needed because the 6-foot-6 wing has been cleared to join McDonald's All-American Joe Jackson in the Memphis backcourt, meaning Josh Pastner will enter the season with the stars of his recruiting class in uniform.

MaxPreps.com ranked Barton 10th nationally in the Class of 2010.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 12, 2010 11:53 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2010 1:35 am

MTV to film reality series on HS power in Memphis

Where Class of 2011 standout Adonis Thomas will play college basketball remains unclear.

But this much is certain: He'll be a TV star by the time he arrives on campus.

Melrose High coach Jermaine Johnson told CBSSports.com on Thursday that his Memphis-based program -- headlined by Thomas, a consensus top 10 national recruit -- will be the subject of a reality series scheduled to start shooting next week and air later this year or next year on MTV. According to Johnson, the show will be similar to the wildy popular "Two-A-Days" series MTV did on the Hoover (Ala.) High football team in 2006 -- main difference being that this version, which is yet to be named, will chronicle the lives of innercity minorities trying to repeat as state champions.

"Everybody is so excited," Johnson said. "It's going to be huge."

So what about Thomas and his future?

Johnson said his star prospect still hasn't narrowed his list of potential colleges, that all the schools that have been heavily recruiting the 6-foot-6 wing remain involved -- among them Memphis, Tennessee, Ohio State, Florida, Arkansas, and Kentucky. Truth is, most insiders believe it will be difficult to pry Thomas out of Memphis considering four of his summer teammates (Joe Jackson, Chris Crawford, Jelan Kendrick and Tarik Black) are now freshmen in Josh Pastner's program, but that theory hasn't stopped many from seriously pursuing the likely McDonald's All-American.

Johnson said the latest to make a move is UCLA.

"Ben Howland has been relentless," Johnson said. "He's made Adonis his top target."
Posted on: August 4, 2010 10:49 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2010 8:12 am

NCAA rules Memphis' Barton ineligible

Memphis officials learned Wednesday that the NCAA has ruled Will Barton ineligible to play as a freshman because of inconsistencies and issues regarding his academic background, a source close to the program told CBSSports.com.

Barton can appeal the ruling.

But the source described the appeal as a "longshot."

Another source told CBSSports.com the appeal has "no shot" because there are multiple academic issues facing Barton, the most heralded signee of the Tigers' celebrated recruiting class who attended three different high schools before spending a final prep year at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.

Barton hinted at bad news Wednesday night via his Twitter account.

"It don't get no worse than this," Barton Tweeted. "The hardest thing I ever had 2 face is here. Need vision cuz everything blurry now. Where do I go from here?"

The development is a massive blow to the Tigers and second-year coach Josh Pastner. MaxPreps.com ranked Barton 10th nationally in the Class of 2010, and Pastner had suggested to CBSSports.com in recent months that he expected the 6-foot-5 wing to be his leading scorer. What's next for Barton is unclear, provided the appeal is denied. He could immediately pursue a professional career, or remain at Memphis and try to earn eligibility for the 2011-12 season.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: July 28, 2010 4:50 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2010 11:03 pm

Body found in Memphis is Wright

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A body found Wednesday in a wooded area in southeast Memphis is former NBA player Lorenzen Wright, CBSSports.com learned early Wednesday.

The Wright family released a statment late Wednesday night confirming the death.

Wright was 34 years-old.

"Lorenzen’s family has come together to mourn his loss and honor his legacy," the statement said. "We appreciate your thoughts, prayers and condolences as they are comforting at this very difficult time. Additionally, we ask that you please respect our privacy as we try to cope with his sudden loss.”

Wright was last seen July 19 and reported missing last Friday. Memphis Police have not confirmed anything. But multiple media outlets are reporting that Wright was shot multiple times, meaning this will likely be considered a homicide investigation into the death of the former lottery pick.

Wright's death has special meaning in Memphis. The 6-foot-11 center is the rare athlete who played high school basketball (Booker T. Washington High), college basketball (University of Memphis) and professional basketball (Grizzlies) in his hometown. He leaves behind six children.
Category: NBA
Posted on: June 17, 2010 9:48 am
Edited on: June 17, 2010 2:52 pm

Big East denies Orlando TV report about expansion

An Orlando TV station report that Memphis and Central Florida could both receive Big East invitations "as soon as next week" has been refuted by the league, associate commissioner John Paquette told CBSSports.com on Thursday.

"We are officially denying the Orlando station's report," Paquette said.

The station described the invitations as "highly likely" to happen.

The station's sources were characterized as "multiple college football sources."

Meantime, the Orlando Sentinel described the Orlando station's report as "premature" but added that Big East officials will privately discuss expansion during a Thursday teleconference. This all comes five days after CBSSports.com reported that Memphis could receive an invitation to join the Big East "soon." That report came while other media reports detailed the Pac-10's plan to expand to 16 schools and eliminate the Big 12, which would've likely created a slew of movement throughout the rest of the nation. On Monday, however, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe convinced the 10 remaining Big 12 members to commit to his league. That led to the Pac-10 only inviting Utah and, almost certainly, halting expansion at 12 members, which most believe will prevent the Big Ten from raiding the Big East in an attempt to reach 16 members and by extension prevent the Big East from having to recover.

Utah is expected to accept an invitation to join the Pac-10 on Thursday afternoon.

The Big East currently features eight football-playing members and 16 schools that compete in men's basketball. The additions of Memphis and Central Florida would give the Big East 10 football-playing members and 18 schools to compete in men's basketball -- plus two notable television markets, the nation's third-largest university (UCF), and another nationally relevant basketball program (Memphis).
Posted on: June 1, 2010 1:10 pm

Moultrie to take visits before committing

UTEP transfer Arnett Moultrie remains undecided about his next college and now plans to visit multiple schools before enrolling anywhere, his mentor, Sorrell Valentine, told CBSSports.com on Tuesday.

"At first he wanted to enroll in summer school in June," Valentine said. "But now he's going to take a few visits before he decides anything."

Valentine's comments come after a Memorial Day weekend during which various sources told CBSSports.com that Moultrie was leaning toward registering for summer school at Mississippi State on Tuesday. Valentine neither confirmed nor denied such was ever a plan. All he said is that Moultrie is not in school at Mississippi State, and that the 6-foot-11 forward will now take visits before settling on a destination.

Among the schools believed to be involved with Moultrie are Mississippi State, Arkansas, Texas, Memphis, Tennessee and Kentucky. The Memphis native averaged 9.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game as a sophomore at UTEP. Moultrie will sit out next season per NCAA transfer rules and be eligible with two years remaining in 2011-12 provided he transfers to a school with a release. It's unclear which schools have requested and received releases. But it's worth noting that Valentine said UTEP has released Moultrie to Mississippi State after initially declining to do so. Memphis does not have a release because it is, like UTEP, a C-USA school.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com