Tag:Seton Hall
Posted on: February 12, 2012 8:40 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2012 8:47 pm

Night Court: Seton Hall, Purdue get bubble wins

Meyers Leonard struggled mightily on the offensive end against Michigan, as Illinois lost by nine. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Sunday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: In a game with major implications for the bubble, Seton Hall went on an 18-5 run to finish the game en route to a 73-66 win over Pittsburgh. Even more impressively, the Pirates played the final six minutes without Fuquan Edwin, who fouled out after making a jumper to cut the lead to four. Brandon Mobley came up with an important steal, while Herb Pope made four free throws in the final 11 seconds, to clinch the victory for Seton Hall. Pitt probably needs to win the Big East tournament to get to the Big Dance now.

Win to brag about: Stony Brook came into Sunday at 12-1 in the America East and on top of the standings. Second-place Vermont simply went out and hammered the Seawolves by 19, holding them without a 3-pointer despite 15 attempts from behind the arc. Four McGlynn had 24 points off the bench for the Catamounts, who can now win a share of the regular-season title – and potential homecourt advantage in the conference tournament.

Loss to hide from: Only two days after beating Iona to take sole possession of first place in the MAAC, Loyola (Md.) was throttled at home by Fairfield, 68-51. The loss ended the Greyhounds’ seven-game winning streak, as they shot just 17.4 percent from the field in the second half. A 12-0 run midway through the second stanza broke things open for the Stags.

Player who deserves improper benefits: In the “Battle for Brooklyn,” LIU-Brooklyn senior Jamal Olasewere shot 11-for-11 from the field, finishing with 32 points and seven rebounds in an 81-78 win over St. Francis (N.Y.). The win keeps the Blackbirds atop the Northeast, and completes a two-game sweep of the city rival Terriers.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: Michigan is most vulnerable on the inside, so most expected Illinois sophomore Meyers Leonard to have a monster game on the interior. However, he struggled with foul trouble and only finished with five points on five shots as Michigan came out with a 70-61 win. Leonard did grab 12 rebounds, but Bruce Weber needed more offensive production from his big man. 

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 0: Binghamton is still winless after losing a 62-60 game to Hartford. The Bearcats have five regular-season games left to get a victory.
  • 6: The Northeast has a “Rivalry Week” where each team plays their rival twice in a matter of days. All six matchups featured 2-0 sweeps.
  • 26: Kyle Weems became the 26th played in Missouri Valley history to reach 1800 points, as Missouri State beat Bradley by 11.
  • 10: St. John’s became the first team in the country to lost 10 games to top 25 teams this season.

Three other notable results:

  1. Georgetown hit three 3-pointers during a key three-minute stretch late in the second half to hold off St. John’s, 71-61.
  2. The Big Ten featured a monster bubble battle on Sunday, with Purdue getting the big victory over Northwestern, 87-77. John Shurna had 30 points in the loss.
  3. Washington’s Terrence Ross had 21 points and 13 rebounds to lead Washington to a 75-72 victory at Oregon State. The game was a must-win for the Huskies, in order to keep pace with California at the top of the Pac-12.


  • Connecticut announced that Warde Manuel will be the new director of athletics for the university. Manuel has been the AD at Buffalo for the past six years.
  • Dorian Finney-Smith tipped in a missed 3 with 1.8 seconds left to give Virginia Tech a 66-65 win over Boston College.
  • Scott Machado racked up a triple-double in Iona's tougher-than-expected win over Marist. He had 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: February 1, 2012 12:24 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 4:29 pm

Podcast: Which teams are running out of gas?

Could Jamie Dixon and Pitt wind up playing in the tournament after all? (AP)

By Matt Norlander

We've got a good Wednesday podcast for you. Goodman can't read a gas gauge and Parrish is getting free cars. Let's get to it.
  • From the beginning: How does one run out of gas more than 30 miles from home? Only Goodman has the answer. Apparently, Goodman's not afraid
  • 9:45: Not only is Goodman terrible at reading gas gauges, he doesn't understand geography.
  • 12:05: Michigan State, Draymond Green and the value/unique ability of Green.
  • 15:57: Which teams are running out of gas? Which teams have their honeymoon going sour?
  • 18:00: Kentucky, 22-1: a cut above now? Or should we wait two more weeks to judge?
  • 21:20: "I'm not going to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, brother." Ah, Conference USA talk!
  • 25:39: Pittsburgh is becoming an interesting case study. Goodman and Parrish believe they'll thickly be in the tournament discussion. I'm not there yet.
  • 33:06: Parrish is blind and receiving free cars.

Again, I thank you for taking the time to listen to the podcast--whenever you can. I ask that you, if you like what we're doing here, encourage like-minded hoopheads to subscribe in Tunes as well. Guests like Jay Bilas, Seth Davis, they're the guys who make me sound better and make the podcast worthwhile. The other guys? Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman, they really make it entertaining, and of course you can count on our trio show each Wednesday. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.

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Posted on: February 1, 2012 12:11 am
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Posted on: February 1, 2012 12:06 am

Night Court: Royce White gives ISU another win

Royce White's shot with 1.8 seconds left capped a 14-point comeback, giving Iowa St. a win over Kansas St. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Tuesday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Iowa State looked like it was headed for a letdown game against Kansas State, getting down by as many as 14 in the second half after its big win over Kansas over the weekend. However, the Cyclones stormed back late in the game and tied it up on a Chris Babb free throw with under a minute left. On the last possession, Royce White isolated himself and hit a short jumper with 1.8 seconds left to give Iowa State a 72-70 win.

Win to brag about: Arkansas was the last team in my projected bracket on Monday afternoon, and the Razorbacks solidified their at-large profile with an 82-74 victory over No. 25 Vanderbilt. Arkansas simply didn’t miss midway through the second half, knocking down 3-pointers on five of six possessions, including three in a row, to gain an 11-point lead that it wouldn’t relinquish. The Razorbacks now have wins over Michigan, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.

Loss to hide from: It’s not a bad loss, but Seton Hall has now dropped four in a row after its 66-59 defeat at No. 15 Marquette. The Pirates were up by 11 in the first half and led for most of the first 30 minutes of the game, but they struggled immensely on the offensive end and couldn’t stop Marquette during the Golden Eagles’ 20-5 run in the second half. Jordan Theodore went just 3-for-14 from the field, getting held to seven points.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Oklahoma State sophomore Markel Brown went for 30 points and seven rebounds to lead the Cowboys to an 80-63 win over Texas Tech. Brown is averaging fewer than 10 points per game on the season, but has totaled 71 points in his last four games (17.8 per game).

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: The entire Michigan State vs. Illinois game was horrendous. Michigan State shot just 24 percent, with Illinois lighting it up at 33 percent. The Fighting Illini held on for a 42-41 victory, as Brandon Paul knocked down two free throws with 45 seconds left and Keith Appling missed a layup with two seconds left for Michigan State. 

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 3-for-22: Michigan State’s top three scorers – Draymond Green, Keith Appling, Brandon Wood – were horrendous offensively against Illinois.
  • 11: Kentucky made its first 11 shots from the field against Tennessee.
  • 9: Wisconsin scored just nine points in the first 16 minutes of its game against Penn State, but had 43 in the next 24 minutes. The Badgers won, 52-46.
  • 0: Texas Tech is still winless in conference play – the only BCS-conference team without a league win.

Three other notable results:

  1. North Carolina struggled offensively, but still topped Wake Forest behind 18 points and 18 rebounds from Tyler Zeller.
  2. Virginia held off a late rally from Clemson to improve to 5-2 in the ACC with a 65-51 victory. Mike Scott went for 23 points and 10 rebounds.
  3. Anthony Davis went for 18 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks to lead Kentucky to an easy 69-44 win over Tennessee.


  • New Mexico certainly didn’t overlook Air Force, hammering the Falcons on the road, 81-42.
  • Northern Iowa had lost five of seven heading into Tuesday, but beat Southern Illinois. They have Creighton and Wichita State up next.
  • Michigan State’s Draymond Green left the arena on crutches after leaving the game with a knee injury. He will be evaluated in the morning.
More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: January 30, 2012 10:45 am

Podcast: We've come to the end of the road trip

After talking road trip, the fellas from Ballin' is a Habit discuss the Ryan Boatright saga. (AP)

By Matt Norlander

The epic, groundbreaking Ballin' is a Habit road trip is over. With one day of sleep between them since coming home, I had to bring back Rob Dauster and Troy Machir to gab about the past 23 days and 13 games of their lives.

From Kentucky to Wisconsin to Ohio to Tennessee to Missouri to Kansas to freaking Utah and back, there are many things to share. After the road stories finish, the guys and I address the Ryan Boatwright situation at UConn, why he's so little of what's ailing the Huskies, and where the rest of the Big East is going this season. Plus -- other things that stood out from what turned out to be surprising weekend in college hoops.
  • From the beginning: The road trip is over. What was the roughest part?
  • 6:06: The best and worst arenas.
  • 8:46: Best and worst experiences in general of all the games attended.
  • 14:40: The #BIAHRoadTrip sign got held by someone at every game. How Rob got Gus Johnson to hold it, among other notable snapshots.
  • 19:25: The best/most memorable moments from the trip that had nothing to do with basketball.
  • 22:25: What it was like for these guys to go to tornado-destroyed Joplin, Mo., and help build a house.
  • 25:50: #BIAHRoadTripPart2?
  • 26:58: UConn and Ryan Boatright and all the Huskies' issues. Plus, bashing the NCAA, because they make it so damn easy.
  • 33:32: The highlights and what stood out from the weekend, which initially amounted to not all that much but turned into one with some surprises.
  • 39:18: Some bantering about Rob's new freelance gig with SI.com (hey, SI.com, don't be dumb: keep the guy around for a good while), receiving texts from the road after 2 a.m., and why I'm refusing to talk to Goodman until Wednesday.

Again, I thank you for taking the time to listen to the podcast--whenever you can. I ask that you, if you like what we're doing here, encourage like-minded hoopheads to subscribe in Tunes as well. Guests like Jay Bilas, Seth Davis, they're the guys who make me sound better and make the podcast worthwhile. The other guys? Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman, they really make it entertaining, and of course you can count on our trio show each Wednesday. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.

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Posted on: January 11, 2012 9:49 am
Edited on: January 11, 2012 11:53 am

Podcast: Does CBB not have 25 great players?

By Matt Norlander

There's a grouping of surprising college basketball teams who've yet to feel the swoon of conference play. But are they for real? Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman present their cases. They also discuss UConn's Final Four chances, why they'll come together.

There's also the matter of the Mountain West, which I believe is the fourth-best league in hoops, better than the ACC and Pac-12. Goodman and Parrish can't quite go there. It's a longer podcast today, 42 minutes, and at this point you know what you're getting on the Wednesday show: unfiltered bickering mixed in with some smart analysis.

  • From the beginning: We had to record this Tuesday afternoon because Goodman is travelling to New York today. We started talking the Wooden Award ballots, primarily the bickering behind them.
  • 6:39: Compiling a list of 25 worthy players for this list proved to be tough. Isn't that a bad sign? Parrish equates it to the bubble.
  • 7:40: UConn is going to get it together, meaning they're going to resemble a team most will see making the Final Four, Elite Eight at the worst.
  • 12:51: UNLV landed Khem Birch and damn are the Rebels getting it done immediately with Dave Rice.
  • 16:35: I make the case the Mountain West is the fourth-best league, top to bottom. My superiors scoff in my general direction. Actually, they do more than that.
  • 19:54: The A10 is a jumbled mess -- can it afford to be one?
  • 23:37: Who's for real? There are six teams out there. "I think they're a real basketball team" makes me laugh much more than it should.
  • 32:08: The final 10 minutes ... it's just a bunch of gabbing. Goodman's schedule, Parrish feeling slighted I didn't ask about his schedule, me lamenting the most epic #whitepeopleproblem of all-time, me vs. Bob Huggins.

Continued thanks from me to you for keep coming back and listening. Please: spread the word. Hoops season is ramping up, and I'd love more hate mail. Spread this page and the iTunes subscription link to anyone you'd think would like this sort of think. We post three times per week, with the Wednesday show being a low-rent sitcom wannabe of a half hour, thanks to CBSSports.com national writers Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman Skyping in their opinions. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.

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Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:54 am
Edited on: January 4, 2012 11:04 am

UConn's troubles vs. zones appear once again

UConn: fooled often by zone defense.(US PRESSWIRE)
By Jeff Borzello

NEWARK, N.J. – It seems like it’s a recurring theme every season for Connecticut: the Huskies can’t play against a zone defense.

Yet, every year, teams zone Connecticut and the Huskies don’t react well. Such was the case Tuesday night against Seton Hall.

After three early 3-pointers gave UConn a lead, Seton Hall’s zone defenses and switching defenses completely confounded the Huskies en route to a 75-63 program-changing victory.

“We started to show [2-3] then we switched it up real fast,” sophomore Fuquan Edwin said.

“They didn’t know what they were playing against,” one Seton Hall coach added.

Seton Hall pressed Connecticut throughout the game, but would then drop back to a 2-3 zone defense and then switch to a man-to-man defense with about 15 seconds left in the shot clock. Moreover, the Pirates played seven possessions of straight man-to-man.

No wonder the Huskies were confused.

“Offensively, we went from passing the ball so great to being very stagnant,” Connecticut associate head coach George Blaney said.

Connecticut made just 7-for-22 from 3-point range, including just four of its final 18 long-range shots. The Huskies turned it over 14 times, 13 of those giveaways coming in the first half. Shabazz Napier was harassed throughout the game, turning it over five times and going 2-for-12 from the field.

Once again, though, it was an active zone defense that made Connecticut’s offense disappear.

“They extended the zone, forced us out really high,” Blaney said. “The bigs weren’t ducking in the way they should be. We wound up with a lot of shots at the end of the clock.”

The Huskies just never seemed comfortable after the first few minutes. Andre Drummond and Alex Oriakhi seemed passive around the rim, and UConn’s guards couldn’t get the ball inside even when the two big men were open. Ryan Boatright wasn’t his usual sparkplug self. No offense to Tyler Olander and Niels Giffey, but when those two are Connecticut’s second- and third-leading scorers after Jeremy Lamb, there’s a problem.

Connecticut was also outrebounded 36-34, and also allowed 14 offensive rebounds to the more active and energetic Pirates.

“I think it was more the physical play that got us out of it,” Blaney said. “I don’t think we responded well. And that’s not like us.”

The uncreative, sluggish offense in the final 36 minutes of the game is also not like Connecticut. Except when the Huskies play against a zone. It happened earlier this season against UCF, when the Knights made a second-half comeback after packing in their defense and making Connecticut beat them from 3-point range.

The Huskies shoot nearly 38 percent on 3-point attempts, but they’re at their best when the outside shots are coming off of drive-and-kicks or the result of swinging the ball after getting it down low. They’re not built to hang on the perimeter and just shoot contested 3-pointers.

Will other teams follow the lead of Seton Hall and UCF and play extended zones against Connecticut? That remains to be seen, but the strategy clearly works.

Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:17 am
Edited on: January 4, 2012 10:35 am

Seton Hall's win over UConn cements resurgence

Seton Hall guard Jordan Theodore, right, and teammate Herb Pope celebrate after beating Connecticut 75-63. (AP)
By Jeff Borzello

NEWARK, N.J. – For Seton Hall, this was the one.

Sure, there was the blowout win at Syracuse last season, and nice home wins over Marquette and West Virginia the past couple of years.

But Tuesday night’s 75-63 win over Connecticut was the one.

The win that cemented Seton Hall’s resurgence under Kevin Willard. The win that cemented Seton Hall’s place amongst the top half of the Big East. And, yes, the win that let everyone know the Pirates are likely headed to the NCAA tournament.

“Nobody’s coming into our house think they’re going to kick our asses,” senior guard Jordan Theodore said.

After an opening stretch where Connecticut hit three 3-pointers and looked it was going to control the game, Seton Hall dominated. The Pirates forced 13 first-half turnovers and outrebounded the Huskies on the game. Theodore had 19 points and 11 assists, while Herb Pope went for 15 points and eight rebounds.

It was Seton Hall’s first win over Connecticut in 11 years.

“This is a great win for us, it’s a great win for the program,” Willard said.

Seton Hall has not been to the NCAA tournament since 2006, when it received a No. 10 seed before losing to Wichita State in the first round. The Pirates look like they’re on their way back to the Big Dance this season. They had wins over West Virginia, VCU, Saint Joseph’s and Dayton. Solid wins, all of them, but nothing like thoroughly dominating No. 8 Connecticut in a game that wasn’t even as close as the 12-point margin in the box score.

It started on the defensive end, where Seton Hall constantly switching defenses confounded Connecticut in the first half. The Pirates pressed on made baskets, dropped back to a 2-3 zone defense and then switched to a man-to-man defense with about 15 seconds on the shot clock.

Connecticut seemed utterly clueless at times. 

“I can’t remember the last time any of our teams shot 35 percent,” said Connecticut associate head coach George Blaney, who was filling in for Jim Calhoun during the last game of his suspension.

Shabazz Napier shot just 2-for-12, finishing with six points and five turnovers. Ryan Boatright never got going off the bench, scoring only five. Inside, Alex Oriakhi and Andre Drummond combined for six points and seven rebounds.

The key for Seton Hall was Theodore, who completely outplayed Napier and stated his case – pretty convincingly – that he was the best point guard in the Big East.

“I’m gonna say he is,” Willard said. “I think he’s playing like the best point guard. He’s playing terrific. I like him when he’s aggressive.”

Willard only took over the Seton Hall program from Bobby Gonzalez two years ago, but Pirates’ supporters are already beginning to see the fruits of his labor. And I do mean see. Despite the school being on winter break, Seton Hall had a very good crowd that seemed to get louder as the game went on.

Before the game, I was told by Seton Hall students that the fan support just wasn’t there on a consistent basis. Well, the 8,089 fans packing the Prudential Center sure made their voices heard.

“It’s great for the school,” Willard said.

Everything is coming together for Seton Hall. The Pirates are getting more and more crowd support; they’re playing together; and most importantly, they’re winning games and protecting their home court.

“It means a lot,” said sophomore Fuquan Edwin, who finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. “It’s going to give us a lot of confidence.”

Going forward, Seton Hall has five winnable games before hosting Louisville on January 28. If the Pirates go 4-1 or 5-0, they could be sitting at 17-3 or 18-2 record heading into late January.

No one thought this was going to happen. Maybe in two or three years, but not this quickly.

“Seton Hall’s back,” Theodore said. “And we’re ready to win.”


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com