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Posted on: March 25, 2009 7:10 pm
Edited on: March 25, 2009 7:28 pm

Agents off campuses? Good luck, NCAA

The NCAA claims it's looking into the problem of agents on college campuses, an issue thrust into the spotlight this week because of a Yahoo! Sports story alleging an improper relationship between Jim Calhoun's Connecticut staff, a one-time recruit and an agent who also happens to be a former UConn manager.

If they look hard enough, what they'll find -- if they haven't already found it -- is that many of the "runners" working for agents in this era are former players or managers from elite college programs, and the reason is simple, because few coaches will shut their doors on a former player or manager, which means former players and managers have unique access to future draft picks. You see, it might look bad if a runner is hanging out after practice, taking players to dinner, buying beers, etc. But if that runner happens to be a former player or manager -- particularly a former player or manager who recently graduated -- then there's a natural disguise, and from the outside all anybody sees is a former player still hanging with his old teammates, or a former manager staying connected with his old program.

In reality, the former player or manager is employed by an agency.

So he's on the take.

And then when he takes care of the current players, they're on the take, too.

And then when the current players enter the NBA Draft, they go with the agency of the former player or manager.

And this is why it'll be impossible -- and if not impossible, then really, really difficult -- for the NCAA to keep agents and runners off of campuses, because college coaches can look in the mirror and tell themselves they're not doing anything wrong if all they're doing is letting former players or managers hang around their current players or recruits. Likewise, they pretend they're not really letting agents and runners into their program, just former players and managers. And that's a fine way to look at it ... right up until the point when it blows up, at which time you might find yourself heading into a Sweet 16 answering questions about a former manager who's bound to have your program on NCAA probation, and sooner rather than later.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 25, 2009 12:34 am

Pretty good at both

Eight schools have won a bowl game and NCAA tournament basketball game this season.

Three are from the Big 12.

Here's the list ...

  • Arizona (Pac-10)
  • Connecticut (Big East)
  • Kansas (Big 12)
  • LSU (SEC)
  • Maryland (ACC)
  • Missouri (Big 12)
  • Southern California (Pac-10)
  • Texas (Big 12)
Posted on: March 19, 2009 3:25 pm
Edited on: March 19, 2009 3:28 pm

More on Calhoun

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- There is no definitive explanation for what caused Jim Calhoun to miss Thursday's game with Chattanooga, but a source said it began with stomach pain. In reality, this could be nothing more than that, just stomach pain. But because Calhoun has twice battled cancer, anything out of the ordinary is taken seriously.

Could Calhoun miss additional games?


Will he?

That's impossible to say. But I can tell you that people close to the UConn program do not think Calhoun has coached his final game of the season, for whatever that's worth. The prevailing thought is that he's simply a 66 year-old man with a history of health problems who hasn't felt well much of the past 24 hours, but could feel better by Saturday or next week, if needed.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 19, 2009 1:33 pm

Calhoun won't coach vs. Chattanooga

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Jim Calhoun will not coach Connecticut in its first-round game against Chattanooga today.

"Coach Calhoun has not been feeling well for the past several days and it is best that he not coach the team today for precautionary reasons,” said UConn Director of Sports Medicine Dr. Jeff Anderson

Assistant George Blaney will handle UConn's coaching duties.

Calhoun, 66, was treated for cancer last summer.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 15, 2009 11:18 am
Edited on: March 15, 2009 3:33 pm

How the possible No. 1 seeds stack up

NEW YORK -- By most accounts, there are still six schools in play for the four No. 1 seeds.

They are Pittsburgh, Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Memphis and Connecticut.

The following is a look at what each has done this season, to date.


  • RPI: 1
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 8-3
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 1 (Providence)

-- DUKE --

  • RPI: 2
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 11-6
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 0


  • RPI: 3
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 6-4
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 0


  • RPI: 4
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 8-3
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 2 (UNLV, Notre Dame)


  • RPI: 7
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 2-2
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 1 (Georgetown)


  • RPI: 8
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 8-3
  • Losses to projected NCAA tournament teams: 1 (Georgetown)

(All projections are based on Jerry Palm's Sunday morning bracket .)

Posted on: March 7, 2009 3:23 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2009 4:04 pm

Pitt probably secured a No. 1 seed

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- There are no guarantees a week away from Selection Sunday.

Let me say that first.

But Pittsburgh's 70-60 victory over Connecticut should be enough to secure a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament regardless of what happens going forward because it:

  • pushed the Panthers' record to 28-3 overall, 15-3 in the Big East.
  • ensured the Panthers will finish no worse than second in the Big East.
  • made the Panthers 7-2 against the top 25 of the RPI.
  • made the Panthers 9-2 against the top 50 of the RPI.
  • made the Panthers 15-3 against the top 100 of the RPI.
  • gave the Panthers two wins over another possible No. 1 seed (Connecticut).
  • strengthened the Panthers' hold on the top-rated RPI.

That last point is key because the school entering Selection Sunday with the top-rated RPI has been awarded a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament 10 of the past 13 seasons. The only times it didn't happen were in 2000 when Cincinnati got a No. 2 seed despite being No. 1 in the RPI, in 2005 when Kansas got a No. 3 seed despite being No. 1 in the RPI, and last season when Tennessee got a No. 2 seed despite being No. 1 in the RPI. And when you consider that Cincinnati didn't get a No. 1 seed in 2000 only because Kenyon Martin broke his leg in the C-USA tournament, the reality is that a No. 1 RPI has translated into a No. 1 seed 11 of the past 13 seasons.

In other words, book it.

And if you want a prediction, the prediction here is that the four No. 1 seeds will be comprised of two Big East teams (Pitt plus UConn or Louisville), an ACC team (North Carolina or Duke) and either Oklahoma, Michigan State or Memphis (with OU being the most likely, at this point). Another possible scenario (that would drive college basketball fans insane) would be for Duke to beat UNC on Sunday, then for those two to play a close game in the ACC tournament final, which could then lead to the top seeds being UNC, Duke, Pitt and either UConn or Louisville.

Yep, two ACC teams and two Big East teams.

If Duke wins here Sunday, get ready for it.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 15, 2009 11:18 am
Edited on: February 15, 2009 11:26 am

Is Thabeet making a run at Griffin?

As this season rolls along, you just watch, the conversation about who should be the National Player of the Year -- not to mention the top pick in June's NBA Draft -- is going to intensify primarily because people are starting to recognize the impact Hasheem Thabeet has on both ends of the court. That 25-point, 20-rebound, nine-block performance Saturday against Seton Hall certainly helped. But the biggest thing aiding the Connecticut junior is how opposing Big East coaches are singing his praises, one after another.

The other day, it was Jim Boeheim.

This weekend, it was Bobby Gonzalez.

"I don't know ... a more dominant guy than him in the country," Gonzalez said after his Pirates lost to UConn. "He, to me, is the No. 1 player in America. ... If I was an NBA franchise I would take him No. 1 in the draft."

In other words, watch out Blake Griffin.

Hasheem Thabeet is coming for you!

The 7-foot-3 center is now averaging 13.5 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.4 blocks for the No. 1 team in the country while Griffin is averaging 22.8 points, 14.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks for the No. 2 team.

My suggestion: Let them decide it in the NCAA tournament.

Preferably, in the national title game.

Against each other.

Posted on: February 12, 2009 5:30 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2009 5:55 pm

MRI shows Dyson with torn lateral meniscus

Connecticut's Jerome Dyson will be out indefinitely with a torn lateral meniscus of his right knee.
Dyson injured the knee in the first half of Wednesday’s win over Syracuse.

He underwent an MRI Thursday afternoon, and results showed a tear.

He will undergo surgery within the next week.

“We are obviously all very disappointed for Jerome, who has been such a big part of why we are 23-1 and in first place in the Big East,” said coach Jim Calhoun. “I know that he will work hard in the offseason and be back next year as a major contributor to our future success. As for our team going forward this season, it is another challenge we will have to face. We have very good players who I know will rise to the occasion and fill the void left by Jerome’s absence.”

Dyson was averaging 13.2 points per game.

He has reached double figures in 18 games and led the Huskies in scoring five times.

Category: NCAAB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or