Posted on: June 3, 2008 11:19 pm
Edited on: June 4, 2008 12:42 am
Iowa State standout Wesley Johnson has been granted a release to transfer to any one of eight schools.
On the list are Arkansas, Connecticut, Marquette, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Villanova and West Virginia. Fine programs, all of them. But it was hard not to notice that Kentucky, Alabama and TCU were not included because those have been the three schools most connected to Johnson in recent weeks, so much so that sources have told CBSSports.com that the Iowa State staff privately felt behind-the-scenes tampering could've led to Johnson's initial decision to transfer.
Obviously, there is no proof. That's why everybody has mostly been quiet. But it appears ISU made it clear to Johnson that Kentucky, Alabama and TCU were not schools to which it would automatically release him. Otherwise, those institutions would've certainly made the list.
Posted on: May 30, 2008 8:03 pm
Jim Calhoun has cancer.
That's bad news.
But the good news is that when he realized something wasn't right he immediately got it checked out, discovered the problem and addressed it in the best possible way, which is the one thing Calhoun seemed eager to mention over and over again during his Friday press conference, that though some men try to push through when bothered it isn't all that smart to ignore reality.
Calhoun knew he felt ill.
He knew something was wrong.
And he knew it wasn't going away.
So he asked for help and got it quickly.
"When something's going wrong you just don't think it's going to go away," Calhoun said. "You have to face it."
Calhoun is now facing it, and with any luck everything will turn out OK. The next few weeks will be tough, and anybody suggesting otherwise is lying to themselves. But the good thing about Calhoun is that he doesn't seem willing to lie to himself, not about his health. And it's that quality that'll give him a shot to coach at UConn again this November despite being dealt a setback that at this point seems obviously serious yet relatively small, at least compared to what it could've been if Calhoun would not have sought help so quickly.
Posted on: April 18, 2008 2:43 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2008 6:42 pm
None of the North Carolina stars seem ready to make a decision about their future.
Thus, we wait.
But for those keeping count, there are now really just four schools whose national title hopes hinge on a yet-to-be-made decision by an underclassman. They are North Carolina (Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Tyler Hansbrough), Texas (D.J. Augustin), Connecticut (Hasheem Thabeet) and Tennessee (Tyler Smith). If things were to break correctly for those teams -- which is to say, if their players return for another season -- any of them would be a legitimate national title contender. If not -- which is to say, if their players enter the NBA Draft -- any of them would be damaged considerably.
So how will it play out?
Any guess is a reasonable guess on Lawson, Ellington and Hansbrough. They could all go, all stay or some combination of the three could go or stay, meaning there is no simple answer with the Tar Heels. It's likely nobody will know anything until next week. But if they all happen to return, you can go ahead and slot UNC as the preseason No. 1 in every relevant poll.
Moving on, it seems the smart money has Augustin and Thabeet entering with Augustin the most likely of that duo to return (though most believe he's absolutely leaning towards at least testing the waters). And if I had to pick one player from this entire list who I think will return it would be Smith, a 6-foot-7 forward who seems to get pushed down the board every time some other underclassman declares. Smith is aware of this, I'm told. So don't be surprised if he opts for another season at Tennessee, where he could team with McDonald's All-American Scotty Hopson to make the Vols the SEC favorites for the second straight year.
The deadline to enter the draft is April 27.