Posted on: November 23, 2010 12:08 pm

Good night of college hoops on tap

Tonight should be a great night to settle in and watch hoops on television.

I'll be flying to Orlando for the Old Spice Classic.

So hopefully my flight has reliable WiFi.

Either way, here's what's on tap:
  • No. 2 Michigan State vs. Connecticut in Maui at 7 ET
  • No. 3 Ohio State vs. Morehead State at 7 ET
  • No. 8 Kentucky vs. No. 13 Washington in Maui at 9:30 ET
  • No. 1 Duke vs. No. 4 Kansas State in Kansas City at 10 ET
That's two Hall of Fame coaches (Tom Izzo and Jim Calhoun) meeting in the first game, two elite big men (Jared Sullinger and Kenneth Faried) battling in the second game, two former teammates (Terrence Jones and Terrence Ross) competing in the third game, and two top five teams (the Blue Devils and Wildcats) squaring off in the fourth game. It's not bad for a Tuesday in November. Or any day in any month, really.
Posted on: October 8, 2010 2:49 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2010 3:44 pm

That won't be enough, UConn

A reduction in scholarships and two years' probation?

I can't imagine that's enough.

I mean, who cares about probation these days? And I can't tell you how many programs operate with fewer than the 13 allowed scholarship players each season and compete just fine while doing it. So it's nice that Connecticut announced self-imposed penalties on Friday, a week before the school is scheduled to appear before the NCAA committee on infractions for major rules violations, most of which revolve around Nate Miles' connection with a former Huskies manager turned agent. But the self-imposed penalties lack teeth as much as this guy lacks teeth, and that's why I'll be surprised if UConn isn't eventually hit with more significant penalities, i.e., something that actually matters.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: October 8, 2010 12:21 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2010 12:22 pm

UConn responds to NCAA

Connecticut announced on Friday some reductions in the NCAA charges -- as well as some new self-imposed penalties -- against Jim Calhoun's basketball program in advance of next week's meeting with the committee on infractions.

According to a release, the NCAA and school have agreed that the time period for which UConn has been charged for failing to monitor its men's basketball program be reduced from four to two years. The enforcement staff has also cleared associate head coach George Blaney of all impermissible calls he had supposedly made. The release goes on to explain that Connecticut has self-imposed a two-year period of probabtion on its athletics program and reduced the number of scholarships for the men's basketball program from 13 to 12 for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years. A reduction in the number of coaches allowed to make phone contacts with prospective student-athletes and "recruiting person days" have also been self-imposed. Furthermore, the release suggests Connecticut plans to argue that the available evidence does not support the enforcement staff's charge that Calhoun "failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance."

"I am deeply disappointed the university is in this position," said Connecticut president Philip E. Austin. "It is clear mistakes have been made. This is a serious matter and we have worked in full cooperation with the NCAA. We look forward to fully resolving these issues and restoring our men's basketball program to a level of unquestioned integrity."

(Click this link to read the full report.)
Posted on: September 16, 2010 8:14 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2010 8:15 pm

Izzo, Wright, Calhoun at NY clinic on Friday

Howard Garfinkel's third annual "Clinic to End All Clinics" is scheduled for Friday at Manhattan College with a first-class list of speakers -- among them Connecticut's Jim Calhoun, Villanova's Jay Wright and Michigan State's Tom Izzo. Former NBA coach Lawrence Frank and Rutgers' C. Vivian Stringer are also scheduled to speak.

The clinic runs from 9 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. at Draddy Gymnasium.

Registration is $150 and lunch will be catered by the Carnegie Deli -- where (and this has nothing to do with anything) I once sat a table with Garfinkel, Manhattan coach Barry "Slice" Rohrssen, and Hall of Famer Bob Knight, and I watched them order a plate of bacon for dessert. Seriously. Bacon for dessert. Seemed crazy, but maybe I'm missing something.

(I just ordered cheesecake.)

Anyway, for more information call Garfinkel at 212-246-3063 or 646-275-9818.

In all seriousness, this is a really nice basketball event.
Posted on: August 2, 2010 12:51 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2010 12:55 pm

Duke teammates highlight 10-man USA Select Team

Duke teammates Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler headline a group of 10 college basketball players selected to train with the 2010 USA Men’s World Championship Team finalists next week in New York, USA basketball announced Monday.

The full college roster includes:
  • JaJuan Johnson (Purdue)
  • Jon Leuer (Wisconsin)
  • Shelvin Mack (Butler)
  • Kyle Singler (Duke)
  • Chris Singleton (Florida State)
  • Nolan Smith (Duke)
  • Trey Thompkins (Georgia)
  • Mike Tisdale (Illinois)
  • Kemba Walker (Connecticut)
  • Chris Wright (Dayton)
"One of the great developments of our Las Vegas camp was the USA Select Team which consisted of juniors and seniors out of the college ranks that we brought in to scrimmage against the USA National Team," said USA basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo. "[Washington coach] Lorenzo Romar and [Villanova coach] Jay Wright did a terrific job of coaching the select players in Las Vegas. It worked so well we’ve decided to bring to New York a smaller group of players from that Select Team to do the same thing. They were very valuable to us and it’s a great experience for them."

The college players will arrive in New York Aug. 9 and train Aug. 10-13.
Posted on: July 19, 2010 9:53 am

UConn's Hathaway to chair 2012 NCAA tournament

Connecticut athletic director Jeff Hathaway will serve as the chair of the basketball committee for the 2012 NCAA tournament, the NCAA announced Monday morning.

"I am both honored and humbled to be appointed to this position knowing that so many outstanding leaders have established the highest standard of commitment to this tournament and the continued growth of college basketball,” Hathaway said. "I look forward to assisting [Ohio State athletic director and 2011 chair] Gene Smith and my dedicated colleagues with the implementation of the Turner/CBS television contract and the 'First Four' during the upcoming year while enhancing the experiences of the student-athletes and others who participate in this great event."

Hathaway's term as chair will begin in September 2011.

He's been the athletic director at Connecticut for seven years.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 28, 2010 11:52 am
Edited on: May 28, 2010 12:00 pm

Failing to monitor is the key to success

The best part is that Jim Calhoun was hit with a "failure to monitor" charge.

That's exacty the point of my column.

The worst any head coach should ever endure is a "failure to monitor" charge because that translates roughly into a "you didn't pay close enough attention to your cheating assistants" charge, or a "you didn't pay close enough attention to realize your players were taking extra benefits from an agent" charge. Either way, you're good. Because, like I wrote in the column, the key at the highest level of college basketball is to stay far enough away from the bad stuff to survive if the bad stuff ever comes to light.

A failure to monitor is almost necessary.

Failing to monitor allows your assistants to do what needs to be done, allows your players to take what needs to be taken. Just cover your eyes and ears and cash the big paychecks. And if the you-know-what hits the fan, answer as many questions as possible with "I don't know" or "I don't recall," and the worst you get is a failure-to-monitor charge.

The NABC should offer a class on this approach.

Coaching 101: How failing to monitor can be your friend
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 7, 2010 11:44 am

Calhoun's new contract won't solve UConn's issues

It's nice that Jim Calhoun finally got a new contract from Connecticut.

Good for him.

Good for UConn.

But the truth is that Friday's announcement of a new five-year deal will do little to stabilize the program because Calhoun is still about to turn 68 years old, still set to answer for NCAA violations committed under his watch, still coming off a NIT season, still in possession of a roster that doesn't appear to be capable of being much better next season, and he's still the man who has missed games in recent years for health concerns.

Can Calhoun still coach?

Yes, absolutely, I believe that he can.

But the things that have made Calhoun's job increasingly difficult -- specifically his age, his health and the ongoing NCAA investigation -- didn't disappear at Friday's press conference, which means schools will continue to use those things against UConn on the recruiting trail. And it'll likely work.

Bottom line, the five-year deal doesn't mean Calhoun will be at UConn another four or five years.

It doesn't even ensure he'll be there next year.

All it does is show that the school is committed to Calhoun, but that's never really been in doubt because UConn athletic director Jeff Hathaway was never going to shove a Hall of Famer out the door before the start of next season. The only things that have been in doubt are whether the NCAA will severely punish the program, and whether Calhoun's body will allow him to coach into his 70s. And guess what? We still don't know the answers to those questions, and neither does Calhoun. So the contract extension is nice, I guess, but it's still mostly meaningless in terms of providing a map for the future of UConn basketball.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com