Posted on: April 9, 2010 7:17 pm

Herrion to Marshall, Jones to assist at BC

One assistant got a head coaching job while a head coach took a job as an assistant.

The assistant on the move is Pittsburgh's Tom Herrion, who will be introduced as Marshall's next coach at a Saturday press conference. Herrion spent three years on Jamie Dixon's staff at Pittsburgh. He was previously the head coach at Charleston. Meantime, Columbia head coach Joe Jones is leaving the Ivy League school to be an assistant for Steve Donahue at Boston College. Jones was Columbia's head coach for seven seasons.

Four positions in BCS leagues remain open.

They are at Oregon, Clemson, Wake Forest and Rutgers.
Posted on: February 4, 2010 12:35 pm

Dear Gary (on WVU students)

Here's Thursday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: Is last night's behavior typical of the West Virginia fan base? You ever been hit with a coin in the face (at WVU or anywhere)?

-- J.D.

I don't know what's typical; I've only been to WVU once. But I will say the West Virginia fans have been getting a lot of attention lately -- first for cursing at Ohio State's Evan Turner, then for taking the "Karen Sypher" chants directed at Louisville's Rick Pitino to another level, then for throwing stuff on the court during Wednesday night's win over Pittsburgh.

If you didn't hear, Pitt assistant Tom Herrion was hit in the face with a quarter.

(I've got a column going up on this a little later on, by the way.)

Honestly, I don't mine chants, and I make that point in the column. Sticks and stones and all that. But throwing stuff -- especially solid objects like coins -- is inexcusable and unacceptable, and rules should be in place to help stop this because asking Bob Huggins to demand it on the microphone clearly does no good. My suggestion (and, again, this is all in the column) would be to expel students who throw things on the court or rush the court. Make the penalty for such actions stiff enough to where people are scared to even try it. Do that, and we'll avoid a nightmare of a moment that is almost certainly on the way. Don't do that, and the Ron Artest fight in Detroit will soon have its college basketball equivalent.

As for me, no, I've never been hit with anything.

But who would want to hit me?
Posted on: January 26, 2010 10:30 am
Edited on: January 26, 2010 10:31 am

Dear Gary (on whether I should motivate Pitt)

Here's Tuesday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: Hey Gary, could you please start bashing Pitt again? After two losses we need to get back on the right track, and we were doing fine when you were bashing us in your Poll Attacks. Get back on track and so will Pitt.

-- Bill

I might do stupid things, but I rarely do stupid things twice. So if you're waiting on me to start bashing Pitt, you're going to be waiting for a while -- though I'd like the record to show that I never bashed Pitt as much as I bashed a voter for ranking Pitt when there was nothing to suggest Pitt should be ranked. Anyway, relax. The Panthers are still 15-4, still ranked 17th nationally, and the past two losses are to a good Georgetown team and a talented Seton Hall team (on the road). There's nothing embarrassing about that. I'd just chalk it up to things balancing themselves out.

Think of it this way: Pitt has played a schedule featuring a neutral site game with Texas, home games with Louisville and Georgetown, and road games at Syracuse, Cincinnati, Connecticut and Seton Hall, and the Panthers are still 15-4. That's remarkable. And if they get these next two (against St. John's at home, then at South Florida) they'll be 17-4 overall and 7-2 in the Big East heading into a Feb. 3 game at West Virginia.

If you're not happy with that, I can't do anything for you.

Pitt won't win the Big East.

But the Panthers will be fine.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 20, 2010 1:53 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2010 1:53 pm

Dixon on Monroe: 'He's more aggressive'

There are several interesting storylines tonight -- North Carolina trying to avoid another loss, Memphis trying to win a record 65th consecutive league game, Xavier and Temple in a showdown of teams with perfect A-10 records, etc., -- but the only game featuring two Top 15 teams is No. 12 Georgetown vs. No. 9 Pittsburgh.

The Panthers will have to control Greg Monroe if they want to improve to 5-0 in the Big East.

That'll be no easy task if Monroe plays the way he played Sunday against Villanova.

The Georgetown sophomore got 29 points and 16 rebounds in the loss.

Pitt coach Jamie Dixon watched the film (probably 80 times).

He came way impressed.

"He's more aggressive [than he was last season]," Dixon said by phone Tuesday night as he drove home from practice. "He's creating more."

Monroe is averaging 14.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.

Click this link to watch a video preview of the game I did with CBSSports.com's Jason Horowitz.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 6, 2010 10:34 am

Dear Gary (on the Bo Ryan of horse racing)

Here's Wednesday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: Interesting column (on Jamie Dixon) . The Bo Ryan Treatment is not that dissimilar from my No. 1 rule of horse racing. I never make any bet on a horse race if Mike Smith has a mount unless I also have the Mike Smith horse on my ticket. It stems from 2005, when I had Giacamo on my Kentucky Derby exacta, only to remove him because my dad wanted to save $10. I had the 70-1 that came in second and with Giacamo, that exacta paid a hair shy of $10,000. Since that time I've broken my rule numerous times, most recently this summer at Del Mar when Mike smith rode 23-1 longshot Richard's Kid to victory in the Pacific Classic. But I've also made a lot of money following this rule, like in the summer of 2008 when I threw Mike Smith onto my ticket on a 35-1 in some random race, and he came in second, winning me $190 in an exacta. I didn't like the horse, but it had Mike Smith. Pretty simple theorem? Just can never count it out. No other jockey has reached that status yet.

-- Burton

I don't know anything about Mike Smith.

Or horse racing, really.

So I got a little lost in your note, Burton. But it seems your point is that you refuse to discount Mike Smith regardless of his horse, which absolutely means you're giving Mike Smith The Bo Ryan Treatment . Seems reasonable to me. And I like that you used the word "theorem." You don't get that word around here often, especially after a controversial DeMarcus Cousins column.
Posted on: January 5, 2010 8:36 am
Edited on: January 5, 2010 8:37 am

Dear Gary (on where I'd rank Pitt today)

Here's Tuesday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: I'll give you a chance to redeem yourself. Where would you rank Pitt today?

-- Jay

Top 15?

I obviously can't run from the Panthers' any longer, and I've got a column about them coming later today. They're now 13-2 with only one bad loss (to Indiana at Madison Square Garden), and that one bad loss came while Gilbert Brown was ineligible and in Jermaine Dixon's first game back from foot surgery. Since then, Pitt has recorded wins at Syracuse and Cincinnati, meaning Jamie Dixon's team has two great wins -- the win over Wichita State looks OK, too, by the way -- and no losses with their full compliment of players.

That looks like a body of work worthy of a Top 15 ranking.

Just know that I can't update the Top 25 (and one) soon enough.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 4, 2010 1:12 pm

Dear Gary (on Pitt)

Here's Monday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: Your hatred for Pittsburgh is obvious. You are a joke!

-- Jason

Why would I hate Pitt?

Does that make any sense?

Jamie Dixon is one of the best guys in this business, his assistant Tom Herrion is fabulous, and the SID, Greg Hotchkiss, has always been terrific to me. There are lots of bad people in this sport, plenty of people to hate. But the guys at Pitt don't fall into that group. So I don't hate Pitt, and I don't know anybody who hates Pitt. I just thought it was crazy to rank Pitt back when that AP voter was ranking Pitt, because, you know, it was. And I used him to make the Poll Attacks interesting. And it worked. But you'd be wise to never confuse my opinions with my personal feelings, because they're rarely interchangeable.

As for ranking Pitt now, you can do it if you want.

I didn't.

But it could be done and I wouldn't argue.


I remain skeptical because, let's be honest, the Panthers still only have one good win. Of course, there are other ranked teams with only one good win, so that point can be easily countered. But either way, I think by late tonight we'll all agree on Pitt, one way or another. The Panthers play at Cincinnati tonight, and if they win everybody will have them ranked next week. If not, we'll see how things unfold. But I have no problem acknowledging that Pitt is better than I assumed and on the verge of any respectable ballot. I'm just not completely sold, but I'm interested to watch the Panthers going forward, and if I'm ultimately proved wrong, I'll gladly admit it.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 28, 2009 6:41 pm

The Poll Attacks

Don't ever let anybody tell you the Poll Attacks aren't working.

Because they're working.

Pitt got zero votes this week.

I made that happen.

Now let's see what this week's Poll Attacks can get done.

AP poll: God bless you, Roger Clarkson from the Athens Banner-Herald . You are hard-headed, no doubt. But you finally came around and dropped Pittsburgh from your ballot, and you are to be applauded on this Monday. Sure, it took three weeks of Poll Attacks to make it happen, the last of which was vicious. And, yes, I think it's hilarious that the week you finally decided to remove Pitt is the week in which the Panthers beat Ohio 74-49. But that's beside the point. The point is that you listened, and that the Poll Attacks are working. And this must be how people feel when they help the less fortunate around the holidays. Like them, I now know that I'm making a difference in this world. It's a proud day for both me and this blog. See how I'm smiling in that picture up there? That's how I'm smiling right now. With tears of joy in my eyes.

Coaches poll: One of the things I hate about rankings is how teams are dropped when they lose road games to higher-ranked teams. It makes no sense. I mean, why should a team ranked No. 9 go win on the homecourt of the team ranked No. 2? Answer: It shouldn't. And it shouldn't be penalized when it doesn't (unless it's an absolute massacre), which brings me to Michigan State.

The Spartans were ranked No. 9 in the Coaches poll last week.

Then they went and lost 79-68 at No. 2 Texas.

And so the voters processed that information and decided to drop Michigan State from No. 9 to No. 11.


Why penalize a team for playing tough non-league road games?

If anything, we should reward teams for playing tough non-league road games.

Meantime, Connecticut moved from No. 11 to No. 10 thanks to wins over Maine and Iona because voters decided in that last week that UConn deserves to be ranked higher than Michigan State because UConn beat Maine and Iona while Michigan State failed to upset a Texas team that got three No. 1 votes. It's crazy. Switch the schedules, and it's safe to assume Michigan State would've moved up with meaningless wins over Maine and Iona while UConn dropped after a loss at Texas, and that means voters are ranking teams based on nothing more than scheduling philosophies, which is wrong.

Again, it's wrong to penalize teams for losing games they should lose.

That's why I didn't drop Ole Miss for losing at West Virginia.

That's why I didn't drop Michigan State for losing at Texas.

That's why the Coaches poll makes me crazy.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com