Posted on: February 1, 2010 12:38 pm

Dear Gary (on Baylor at No. 13)

Here's Monday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: Care to explain how a Baylor team that lost by 31 to Colorado is a top 15 team?

-- Missouri fan

First, Baylor didn't lose by 31 to Colorado.

The Bears lost by seven.

But either way, by 31 or 7, that's a bad loss, sure. Still, the real question is this: What team below Baylor -- Temple? New Mexico? Vanderbilt? Tennessee? Wisconsin? -- doesn't have a bad loss? Everybody outside of the Top 11 or 12 has a bad loss, and I'm not sure any of them have a body of work better than Baylor's body of work. The Bears are 16-4 with wins at Texas, at South Carolina, over Oklahoma State, Arizona State and Xavier. Two of the four losses are to Kansas and Kansas State, and both came in the final minute. None of the four losses are by more than seven points. Two were one-possession games.

So don't pay attention to the No. 13 that I put beside Baylor's name.

As I always say, somebody has to be ranked 13th.

You can't go from 9th to 19th.

Somebody has to be ranked 13.

So look at the teams I have below Baylor and tell me who has a better body of work.

You can find some schools that are close, I guess.

But I doubt you'll find one that's clearly better.

Which is why Baylor at No. 13 is just as reasonable as any other team at No. 13.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 25, 2010 4:20 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2010 4:51 pm

The Poll Attacks

Keep ranking Louisiana Tech, keeping getting Poll Attacked.

Fine with me.

My will is strong.

Let's do this!

AP poll: Remember last week when Nick Jezierny of The Idaho Statesmen ranked Louisiana Tech 20th and got Poll Attacked because Louisiana Tech, at the time, had a 17-2 record featuring no wins over teams good enough to earn at-large bids to the NCAA tournament and lopsided losses to New Mexico (lost by 29 points) and Arizona (lost by 16 points)? Of course, you remember. But what you might not know is that Louisiana Tech responded with an 87-76 loss to a San Jose State team that was 9-8.  After that, the Bulldogs edged Hawaii 65-60. So now Louisiana Tech is 18-3 with no wins over teams good enough to earn at-large bids to the NCAA tournament and lopsNCAA tournament teams and three embarrassing losses, and would you believe Nick ranked the Bulldogs again?

Swear to God, he ranked them again.

Nick was (and for good reason) the only AP voter ranking Louisiana Tech before the loss to San Jose State. That should've told him something, and I don't think he's stupid. So I'm chalking up Nick's continued support of f Louisiana Tech as an act of defiance, and I don't respond well to acts of defiance.

Drives me crazy.

To put how silly this is into perspective, let me tell you what Nick did with Baylor. Last week, he had Louisiana Tech and Baylor both ranked. Then Louisiana Tech lost by double-digits to San Jose State and beat Hawaii by five points while Baylor nearly upset Kansas at Kansas and smashed UMass 71-45.  So. naturally, Nick kept Louisiana Tech ranked and dropped Baylor off his ballot -- presumably because watching Baylor push Kansas and smash UMass proved the Bears were no longer worthy of being ranked on his ballot while Louisiana Tech's loss at San Jose State and win over Hawaii showed Nick ... honestly ... I have no idea.

Just so we're clear, there's nothing wrong with not ranking Baylor; I don't have the Bears ranked, either. But if I had them ranked last week, I sure as hell would have them ranked this week. And I don't care what week it is, I'd absolutely have them ranked above Louisiana Tech.

Coaches poll: Florida State is 15-4 with two wins over Georgia Tech while Georgia Tech is 14-5 with two losses to Florida State. So you'd think most would take that information and conclude that Florida State needs to be ahead of Georgia Tech, right? Well, not the coaches who vote in the Coaches poll, because they have Georgia Tech 22nd and Florida State unranked.


And Louisiana Tech got three points in the Coaches poll.

So, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go run my head into a wall.
Posted on: December 20, 2009 11:29 am
Edited on: December 20, 2009 11:31 am

I hear the drive to Waco is beautiful

ARLINGTON, Texas -- I was at Texas-North Carolina at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday. Now it's Sunday, and I'm headed to UT-Arlington vs. Baylor in Waco. Then I'll be at a double-header -- UTEP vs. Oklahoma/La Salle vs. Oklahoma State -- in Oklahoma City on Monday. Then I'll be in Austin on Tuesday for Michigan State vs. Texas, where I hope to see whether Rick Barnes can figure out a way to play 24 different Longhorns at least five minutes.

Anyway, busy times.

I'm leaving for Waco now.

It'll be my first trip to the Ferrell Center.

I hope it has a 60-yard-long television, just like the one I saw yesterday.
Category: NCAAB
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 12:41 am

Bliss calls himself "worse" than critics said

Dave Bliss is scheduled to speak Tuesday at the Texas High School Coaches Association annual meeting in Austin, meaning the disgraced coach will be on a public platform only about 100 miles from Baylor, i.e., the school from which he resigned nearly six years ago amid a scandal involving the murder of a player.

(Click this link for the details of the scandal, if you don't recall them.)

In advance of Bliss' speech -- reportedly titled "Coaching: A Job or a Profession?" -- the Associated Press moved a story on Bliss late Saturday, one in which he explains how he "allowed the competitive world of college athletics to compromise [his] beliefs." I found that quote interesting because I've long believed such happens to most coaches, although clearly not to the degree that Bliss experienced.

Either way, Bliss isn't asking for apologies from those who labeled him a terrible man.

“I’ve heard all the things, sometimes secondhand, about how bad a person I am,” Bliss is quoted as saying. “I heard about stuff on ESPN. But I did an autopsy on myself. They were wrong. I was worse than that.”

Again, it's an interesting read.

The story can be found at this link .
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 10, 2009 1:02 am
Edited on: April 10, 2009 1:05 am

Tang to remain at Baylor

Baylor assistant Jerome Tang has decided to remain on Scott Drew's staff and not move to Memphis, a source told CBSSports.com on Thursday. Consequently, new Memphis coach Josh Pastner will continue to operate as a one-man show because he currently has no assistants ... or even a secretary.

"I'm doing it all," Pastner said by phone late Thursday.

Yes, John Calipari even took his office manager (Lunetha Pryor) to Kentucky with him, along with assistants John Robic, Orlando Antigua and Rod Strickland. In other words, the basketball office at Memphis is pretty much empty as the April recruiting period gets underway, and it'll stay that way, at least for the time being, thanks to Tang's decision to remain at Baylor one day after interviewing at Memphis .

To put this into perspective, understand that most schools have three coaches on the road right now recruiting.

Meantime, Memphis has one coach ... period.

Posted on: April 9, 2009 1:11 am
Edited on: April 9, 2009 1:12 am

Memphis trying to hire Baylor assistant

Memphis failed in its attempt to hire Baylor's Scott Drew.

Now the new Memphis coach is trying to hire one of Drew's assistants.

A source told CBSSports.com that Josh Pastner interviewed Jerome Tang on the Memphis campus Wednesday and offered the Baylor assistant a job. According to the source, Tang flew back to Waco, Texas, on Wednesday night and is mulling the offer. A decision is expected soon considering the April recruiting period begins Thursday at noon.

Tang just finished his sixth season at Baylor.

Posted on: April 4, 2009 7:24 pm
Edited on: April 4, 2009 9:02 pm

Drew to remain at Baylor; Memphis still looking

DETROIT -- Scott Drew will remain at Baylor for a seventh season despite heavy interest from Memphis, multiple sources told CBSSports.com on Saturday.

According to sources, Drew did speak with people associated with the Memphis program, and one source went so far as to say it "was his job if he wanted it." But Drew ultimately decided to pass on the opportunity to follow John Calipari, leaving Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson scrambling now that his interest in Rick Pitino (Louisville) Mike Anderson (Missouri), Bruce Pearl (Tennessee), Tim Floyd (Southern California) and Drew has been rejected to varying degrees.

Sources said Memphis was prepared to pay Drew roughly $2 million per season.

But he's staying at Baylor ... for less money.

What's next?

Sources said Memphis will now likely turn toward Florida State's Leonard Hamilton.

Another possible option is one-time NBA star and former New Mexico State coach Reggie Theus.

Category: NCAAB
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