Posted on: March 16, 2010 4:15 pm
Edited on: March 16, 2010 4:18 pm

Oregon to formally announce Kent's firing

Oregon has scheduled a 6:30 p.m. ET press conference on campus, at which point athletic director Mike Belotti is expected to announce that Ernie Kent will longer be the school's basketball coach.

Bellotti and Kent will both attend the press conference.

Kent spent 13 seasons coaching Oregon.

He made five NCAA tournaments, two Elite Eights.
Posted on: March 6, 2010 10:48 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2010 1:32 am

Report: Kent out at Oregon

Oregon officials have predictably decided to end Ernie Kent's tenure as head basketball coach, CBS affiliate KVAL reported late Saturday. The station cited sources and said Kent's termination will take effect immediately following Oregon's final game.

According to the report, a formal announcement is expected in the next 48 hours.

Kent is in his 12th season at the school.

The Ducks finished 10th in the Pac-10 last season and ninth this season.

Kent and Oregon athletic director Mike Bellotti both declined comment on the report late Saturday.

Gonzaga's Mark Few is an obvious candidate to replace Kent, but he's passed on the opportunity to move to Oregon multiple times -- including after last season -- and would likely do so again barring a change of heart. One source told CBSSports.com that some Oregon officials (and power-brokers at Nike) are enamored with Jay Wright, but nobody thinks the Villanova coach would take the Pac-10 job.

Texas A&M's Mark Turgeon is one established coach who will be a likely candidate.

Minnesota's Tubby Smith is another.
Posted on: January 4, 2010 8:13 pm

The Poll Attacks

This week we have an in-state guy senselessly voting for his in-state school.

That's perfect for The Poll Attacks .

AP poll: Oregon got a nice win at Washington the other day. No way around it. Impressive stuff. But the Ducks are still 10-4 with losses to Portland, Montana and Saint Mary's in addition to a 106-69 loss to Missouri. So there's no way to justify ranking them, which is why 64 of the 65 AP voters left Oregon of their AP ballots.

The only voter who ranked Oregon?

Gary Horowitz of the Salem Statesman Journal .

That's Salem, as in Salem, Oregon .

And this is what we in the business call a Major Homer Alert .

Simply put, you can't do it. If you want to rank an outlandish team, rank an outlandish team from another part of the country. But you can't be the only guy ranking Oregon and be from Oregon. It just looks bad, particularly when you also spent a recent column picking Oregon to win the Rose Bowl. Again, it looks bad. So let's get this fixed by next week, and we'll pretend it never happened.

Coaches poll: Let me start by telling you that I still believe in Georgia Tech, still love the roster, still think the Yellow Jackets can make the NCAA tournament and advance. I like the team and the potential. But I'm baffled at their No. 17 ranking in the Coaches poll, because I just don't see how that makes sense.

Georgia Tech is 11-2.

The Yellow Jackets' best win is over a USC team missing Mike Gerrity and Leonard Washington.

Their losses are to Dayton on a neutral court and Florida State at home.

So can somebody explain how Georgia Tech can be ranked 17th, particularly when Florida State (12-2 with a win at Georgia Tech) is 19th and Dayton (10-3 with no losses outside of the top 15 to go with a win over Georgia Tech) is unranked?

That confuses me.

But I'll listen if you've got thoughts.
Posted on: September 28, 2009 9:07 am
Edited on: September 28, 2009 9:12 am

Recruiting notes from the weekend

There were some significant recruiting developments this weekend.

Here are some of them:

Irving visits Duke: Kyrie Irving, ranked fifth in the Class of 2010 by Scout.com, visited Duke, then Tweeted about it. "Duke official was great! I enjoyed every single second," he wrote. "Everything there fits me and is right for me...you never know what will happen ." Duke has long been considered the favorite to land Irving, a 6-foot-1 point guard from New Jersey. Still, Texas A&M is among the schools hanging around, primarily because Aggie assistant Scott Spinelli was college roommates with Irving's father, Drederick Irving.

Selby narrows list: Josh Selby, famous for decommitting from Tennessee in July, has narrowed his list of potential schools to six, and UT is not one of them. The final six are Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Baylor, Miami and Syracuse. All indications are that Selby -- a combo guard ranked 14th in the Class of 2010 by MaxPreps.com -- will make a final decision in the Spring.

Jones narrows list: Class of 2010 standout Terrence Jones trimmed his list of potential schools to seven -- specifically Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA, Arizona, Oklahoma, Washington and Oregon. MaxPreps.com ranks Jones as the No. 12 prospect in the Class of 2010.

USC gains fifth Class of 2010 pledge: Kevin O'Neill accepted a commitment from Maurice Jones, according to Scout.com's Evan Daniels. Jones is a 5-7 point guard who reportedly averaged 28 points and 13 assists last season in high school. He's the fifth Class of 2010 prospect to commit to USC despite an ongoing NCAA investigation.
Posted on: July 19, 2009 4:06 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2009 4:14 pm

Selby's mom discusses decommitment

So which schools are now in play for former Tennessee recruit Josh Selby?

"We're just going to get together as a family and figure it out," Selby's mother, Maeshon Witherspoon, told CBSSports.com by phone on Sunday. "Right now we don't even know. We haven't compiled a list or anything."

Still, industry sources told CBSSports.com two schools that will almost certainly be involved are Kentucky and Oregon -- both of which have obvious connections to William Wesley, a major person of influence in the sport. Wesley (more commonly known as "Worldwide Wes" or simply as "Wes") has a close and very public relationship with Kentucky coach John Calipari, Oregon assistant Kenny Payne, and Nike Basketball.

Kentucky and Oregon are both Nike schools.

Tennessee is an Adidas school.

When asked, Witherspoon acknowledged meeting Wesley at the LeBron James Skills Academy/King City Classic events in Akron/Cleveland earlier this month. But she discounted the significance of that encounter and emphasized that this is merely a case of her son committing too early.

Selby, a consensus top 10 national recruit in the Class of 2010, committed to UT last September.

"I met Wes, but we really didn't talk; that's not a connection like everybody thinks," Witherspoon said. "It's just that we only looked at one other school before we committed to Tennessee, and it was Louisville. It was a fast decision because we were so overwhelmed with the atmosphere at Tennessee [during a visit for the UT-Florida football game], and we just want to make sure it's right. Tennessee is still an option. It's up to Tennessee if they still want to recruit him. But on our list, Tennessee is still an option."

There is speculation that Memphis might also be involved because Selby's cousins -- Will and Antonio Barton -- have committed to the Tigers, but sources told CBSSports.com that the relationship between the cousins isn't as strong as most believe. In fact, Selby didn't even really know the Bartons until they were around 9 years-old, one source said. Another source added that if it wasn't for basketball there would be little-to-no relationship between the cousins because the connection is on Selby's father's side, and Selby has been primarily raised by his mother.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 1, 2009 7:59 pm

Mark Few let Ernie Kent keep his job

DETROIT -- Ernie Kent owes Mark Few a Thank You card.

As you might've read, Kent will be retained as Oregon's basketball coach, but sources told CBSSports.com that the job was Few's if he wanted it. In other words, had Few told Oregon athletic director Pat Kilkenny that he would leave Gonzaga for Oregon, Kilkenny would've fired Kent and hired Few. As it is, Few made it clear that he was only interested in staying at Gonzaga or possibly moving to Arizona, so Oregon announced on Wednesday that it's retaining Kent, who really owes Few in a big way.

Thirty percent of his salary sounds about right.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 18, 2008 2:16 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2008 4:57 pm

Dear Gary (on the hot seat)

Here's Tuesday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: How hot is that seat now for Dennis Felton?

-- Billy

Hotter than it was at this time yesterday, I assure you.

Of course, Billy is talking about Georgia's 74-53 loss to Loyola of Chicago, which was not a good development Monday for a man who by all accounts would've been removed after last season if not for an improbable run that resulted in an SEC tournament title. A week in, it looks like the SEC is going to be down (and not nearly as good as I initially thought). But a Georgia team that can't handle Loyola of Chicago is a Georgia team that likely won't be able to win many games even in a weak SEC, which could get the Anthony Grant-to-Georgia rumors flying sometime around January.

On this subject, it should be pointed out that four of the 10 men I referenced in the Coaches on the hot seat column already have losses to inferior opponents. In addition to Felton, Tom Penders (at Houston) opened with a loss to Georgia Southern, Ernie Kent (at Oregon) took a loss against Oakland and Mark Gottfried (at Alabama) opened with a loss to Mercer. That's no way to settle a skeptical fan base, which is why all four would be wise to get things turned around ASAP.

Posted on: August 29, 2008 11:54 am

Wall sets visits to four schools

It looks like Baylor is gonna have to sweat this out.

Jerry Meyer of Rivals.com is reporting that John Wall, the nation's No. 1 recruit, has set four official visits -- to Memphis (Sept. 12), Kansas (Sept. 19), Oregon (Oct. 3) and Kentucky (likely Oct. 10). Surely, a trip to Baylor will come at some point. But the hope Scott Drew had that his hiring of Dwon Clifton, Wall's AAU coach, would secure a quick commitment from the elite point guard seems to have faded away.

"Baylor's situation in hiring Dwon gives John a comfort level that doesn't exist anywhere else," Brian Clifton, Wall's other AAU coach and Dwon Clifton's brother told Meyer. "But there are some schools that John is interested in because of style of play or the incoming recruiting class. Those factors and others might have as much to do with where John goes to school as anything. ... If he wants to go to Baylor or if he wants to go to Memphis, he is going to do what he thinks is best for himself. Dwon did what was best for himself, and that does have some impact on John because his comfort level is the most important factor. But it doesn't obligate John to go to Baylor."

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