Posted on: May 12, 2010 10:35 am
Edited on: May 12, 2010 12:07 pm

Moultrie's recruitment intensifying

Former UTEP standout Arnett Moultrie has developed into the hottest transfer on the market.

Most high-major programs in the south -- Tennessee, Memphis, Kentucky, Texas, etc., -- have inquired about the 6-foot-11 forward since the Memphis native withdrew from the NBA Draft last week and announced he would not return to UTEP. And though Moultrie's hometown school remains in play, developments over the past 48 hours suggest Mississippi State and Arkansas have made strong pushes and positioned themselves well.

Still, there could be an issue.

Sources told CBSSports.com on Wednesday that -- in addition to Memphis and other C-USA schools -- UTEP might not release Moultrie to Mississippi State or Arkansas. In that case, Moultrie would not be allowed to be on scholarship next year at either school. He would also lose a year of eligibility.

Why is Moultrie such a commodity?

He's a tall and skilled future NBA player who is being viewed by most as a Class of 2011 one-and-done prospect, as a guy who will sit out next year (per NCAA transfer rules) before having the same kind of impact in 2011-12 that Ekpe Udoh had at Baylor. Moultrie and Udoh aren't similar players, but they're simiar talents. Which is why coaches will spend Wednesday continuing to jockey for position, and this recruitment could turn 100 different ways before it ends, and there's no telling when it will end.

Fall classes don't start until August.

Moultrie and his people can be patient, if they want.
Posted on: April 12, 2010 9:25 pm
Edited on: April 12, 2010 9:34 pm

Source: Williams leaving Memphis for NBA Draft

Memphis sophomore guard Elliot Williams will enter the NBA Draft, a source close to the program confirmed Monday to CBSSports.com.

An official announcement is expected later this week.

Williams averaged 17.9 points and 3.8 assists per game this season, his first for the Tigers after transferring from Duke. He's expected to remain in the draft and sign with an agent. Williams is projected by most as a late first-round pick.
Posted on: March 22, 2010 12:30 pm
Edited on: March 22, 2010 12:34 pm

NCAA rejects Memphis appeal

The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions announced Monday that it is upholding the penalties levied against the Memphis basketball program, meaning John Calipari will continue as the only college coach in history to have Final Fours vacated at two different schools.

The NCAA found violations at Memphis during the 2007-08 basketball season, the most notable of which is that Derrick Rose competed while ineligible because of a standardized test score that was invalidated after Rose's freshman season. Rose's SAT score was invalidated because it's believed to be fraudelent. Rose has publicly denied that somebody else took his SAT, but he passed on the opportunity to explain the situation to the NCAA, and Calipari never pushed Rose to speak with the NCAA.

Rose is now an All-Star point guard for the Chicago Bulls.

Calipari is now the coach at Kentucky

The Wildcats play Cornell in the Sweet 16 on Thursday night.
Posted on: March 10, 2010 1:31 pm
Edited on: March 10, 2010 1:34 pm

The pregame video from the Memphis-KU title game

I wrapped our list of the "10 best NCAA March Madness games from last decade" today.

Predictably, No. 1 was the 2008 title game between Kansas and Memphis.

While doing research to refresh my memory, I ran across a video that was shown on CBS before that game, and it is wild to go back and watch it now. In fact, click this link and watch it now. The best part comes around the 1:20 mark, when Chris Douglas-Roberts and Derrick Rose basically mock critics who think they might be undone by poor free throw shooting.

Douglas-Roberts: "We never lost a game from a free throw."

Rose: "I know. So what's all the talk?"

Douglas-Roberts: "I don't know."

After that, the five starters sit around and laugh about free throws, then Antonio Anderson says, "When they need to get made, [we'll] make them." As you know, it didn't go down like that. Douglas-Roberts missed three free throws in the final 75 seconds; Rose missed one with 10.8 seconds left that, if made, would've created a four-point margin and essentially clinched the national title.

Anyway, just thought it was interesting to look at two years later.

Do so, then carry on with your bubble-watching day.
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Kansas, Memphis
Posted on: February 15, 2010 9:26 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2010 12:13 am

Former Memphis coach Kirk dies

Dana Kirk, who coached the Memphis Tigers to the 1985 Final Four before leaving the school amid controversy, died Monday night, multiple sources told CBSSports.com. The cause of death was a heart attack, according to The Commercial Appeal .

Kirk led Memphis -- then called Memphis State -- from 1979 to 1986. His record was 158-58 and highlighted by a trip to the 1985 Final Four, but his coaching career ended when the school dismissed him in September 1986, just two months before a federal grand jury indicted Kirk on 11 counts of tax evasion, filing a false income tax return, mail fraud and obstruction of justice. Kirk served four months in federal prison. The school was ultimately placed on two years probation because of several NCAA violations.

The 1985 Final Four was vacated.

"Dana was such an interesting fellow," John Wilfong, a guard on the 1985 Final Four team, told CBSSports.com on Monday night. "He was a good basketball coach, and it's just a shame what happened to him because the stuff he did -- or the stuff he was accused of doing -- he didn't really need to do. He could've had a 15-year or 20-year run at Memphis and just had incredible success, and I think he knew at the end of the day that he blew it, and that he would never get another chance. Matter of fact, he never got another chance."
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 8, 2010 10:39 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2010 10:56 pm

Henderson-Niles no longer on Memphis team

Josh Pastner announced Monday that Pierre Henderson-Niles is no longer a Memphis Tiger.

"As I told the team, I have a soft spot for Pierre, and I really want to see him do well," Pastner said. "He's a fine young man, and I am proud of how hard he worked to get in shape to play this season and also how hard he worked in the classroom so that he can graduate in May. Moving forward, we will do all we can for Pierre as he finishes up the academic work toward completing his degree. We wish Pierre nothing but the best."

A source told CBSSports.com that Henderson-Niles' often poor attitude is the root of the problem, but the source still described this development as a "mutual decision." The source insisted there was no off-the-court incident that triggered things.

This leaves Memphis with just one true post player (Will Coleman) for the rest of the season.

The Tigers play UCF on Wednesday night.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 6, 2010 1:05 pm

Little rest + flight has oddsmakers skeptical

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- I'm about to head to FedExForum for Gonzaga-Memphis.

Would you believe the Tigers are a 5-point favorite at Sportsbook.com?

It's possible oddsmakers weren't impressed with the 17th-ranked Zags' 76-49 win over Portland late Thursday, but the fact that that game was played late Thursday probably has more to do with the line. Gonzaga-Portland tipped at 10 p.m. CT, and the Zags didn't get out of the arena until around 1 a.m. CT. What followed was a short night of rest, an early workout, a flight across time zones from Spokane to Memphis, and now they've got an afternoon game in a hostile environment that'll feature 18,000 fans cheering against them.

"It's not ideal," Gonzaga coach Mark Few told me yesterday, and he's right. But this is the kind of thing a power non-BCS program does in the spirit of exposure and quality non-league games. So the Zags will be there in search of their first win at FedExForum, but going forward it would be nice if the WCC would move Gonzaga's league game immediately before the Memphis game back a day to Wednesday, that way the conference's flagship program could battle C-USA's flagship program on more of a level playing field.
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Gonzaga, Memphis
Posted on: January 21, 2010 12:43 am
Edited on: January 21, 2010 12:53 am

UTEP ends Memphis' C-USA winning streak

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- UTEP beat Memphis here at FedExForum on Wednesday night.

Thus, the 64-game Conference USA winning streak is over.

Memphis had the ball in the final seconds with a chance to tie. But that chance resulted in a Willie Kemp turnover, and when Christian Polk sank a pair of free throws the Miners -- with three starters from Memphis -- exited the court with a 72-67 win. Afterward I talked to UTEP coach (and former Memphis assistant) Tony Barbee about it, and he was predictably pleased -- just like Randy Culpepper, the Memphis City Schools product who got a huge steal and layup in the final minute to create a cushion for the Miners. Then I packed my stuff, got in my car and drove out of downtown while listening to the Tigers postgame show, and the callers presented one reason after another for the streak ending at 64, many of which revolved around the pressure of the streak itself.

But that's not really true.

Want to know why Memphis lost for the first time in 65 C-USA games?

It's because Memphis was out-manned for the first time in 65 C-USA games.


End of streak.

"I think so, too," Barbee responded when I told him I thought he had better players than Memphis, and -- don't get it twisted -- he didn't mean it in a disrespectful way. Barbee went on to talk about the dominance of the Memphis program, everything it lost when John Calipari left for Kentucky, and the fact that Josh Pastner is recruiting at a level that'll have the Tigers nationally relevant again soon. "But this is a rebuilding year," Barbee said. "No coach ever wants to say it. But Josh knows this is a rebuilding year."

Credit Barbee for nailing it.

It would've been easy for him to stand there and act like he just beat a Memphis team like the Memphis teams led by Rodney Carney or Chris Douglas-Roberts or Derrick Rose or Tyreke Evans, but that's not the type of Memphis team he beat. Rather, he beat a Memphis team that lost its top four scorers from last season as well as a recruiting class that would've included John Wall, Xavier Henry, DeMarcus Cousins and Darnell Dodson, and it's not going to be too difficult for teams with two pros -- like UTEP has with Arnett Moultrie and Derrick Caracter -- to beat that kind of team, even if said team plays in jerseys with "Memphis" stitched across the front.

That said, it's still a big win for UTEP.

It's a win that put the Miners' talent on display on a larger-than-usual stage, a statement-win that suggests UTEP is good enough to win C-USA and make the NCAA tournament for the first time in Barbee's four seasons. Beyond that, it was special for the Memphis guys in the UTEP uniforms -- specifically Moultrie, Culpepper and Jeremy Williams, none of whom were seriously recruited by Memphis out of high school.

They combined for 34 points against the Tigers.

So the Memphis streak was basically broken by Memphis products.

"It's big for them because they grew up wanting to play for Memphis," Barbee said. Later, Culpepper echoed that thought, and added that he had actually been pulling for the Tigers to win their first three league games so that he could play a role in ending the C-USA winning streak.

"I wanted them to win all their games," Culpepper said. "I didn't want anybody to beat them until we got our chance."

That chance came Wednesday night.

"And we were ready," Culpepper said. "It's a great win for us."
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com