Posted on: December 27, 2010 10:32 am
Edited on: December 27, 2010 10:36 am

Coach Speak: Bob Huggins was a Monk?

Posted by Eric Angevine

Welcome to Coach Speak. It's going to be a regular Monday feature here at the CBS College Basketball Blog. This space will be dedicated to tracking down the best in coaching sound-bites every week. We'll also keep track of moves on the coaching carousel as they happen.

Today, we check out video from the Bob Huggins Show, which aired December 25th at West Virginia Illustrated. I love how Huggy Bear projects charisma and toughness even while slouching in a folding chair wearing a track suit.

Money quote:

“My dad took the job. He didn’t know what they were paying. When he found out what they were paying, he decided maybe I should take the job. It’s Brotherhood of Christian instruction and they take the same vows that priests do. They take the vow of poverty and they want everybody else to live it. I did that for three years.”

-Huggins talks about his coaching start at Walsh College, which played an exhibition game at WVU on December 22

A few other gems from a quiet holiday weekend in college hoops:

"We’ve been 8-4 before, we’ve been 9-4, I'm not trying to make light of it, I'm not trying to make it worse than it is," Izzo said. "If I keep scheduling this way, we're gonna have some losses. ... I’m disappointed. But I've been here before so I know what to do over Christmas. It’s a lot harder work than shopping."

-Tom Izzo following Michigan State's loss to Texas

I hope Santa puts some more patience under my tree. Hopefully Santa puts some toughness and grittiness and meanness under their trees."

-Tony Barbee on his hopes for the 4-7 Auburn Tigers

Eventually, it gets a little bit old going and seeing different places and schools but not winning. Now, these guys just look at it [games against BCS teams] as another game.”

-Maine coach Ted Woodward on a victory at Penn State that capped a four-game win streak

“You know, we were 4-4 16 days ago. A lot of people had written us off. We really came back (through) our cohesiveness and togetherness and just being a tough, gritty team.”

-Butler assistant coach Darnell Archey on the importance of winning the Diamond Head Classic

"I do like where we are as a team. To win three of those four games is good. We're pretty healthy. We're 10-2, we've played a really good schedule. I think we're well prepared for Pac-10 play."

-Washington State head coach Ken Bone after his team lost to Butler in the DHC championship game

"We weren't emotionally where we needed to be at the beginning of the game."

-Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury utters the understatement of the weekend following a DHC loss to host Hawaii

Hot Seats

Five coaches who could soon have all the wrong things in common with Mike Singletary.

1. Stan Heath, South Florida. In December, the Bulls are 2-4, beating VCU and Auburn and losing to Florida Atlantic, Kent State, James Madison and Cleveland State. That runs Heath's record at USF to 47-61 in four years. On New Year's Eve, they'll start a brutal stretch of three games against ranked Big East opponents.  

2. Paul Hewitt, Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are 6-5 with losses to Kennesaw State and Siena. Northwestern beat them by 20. To think, Hewitt was actually courted for the Boston College job over the summer. Think the folks on Chestnut Hill are glad they went a different direction right about now? The good news is that Fordham is snowed in, so Hewitt gets a temporary reprieve before a New Year's Eve date with Mercer.

3. Sidney Lowe, NC State. Lowe was on the hot seat all summer, especially after no-nonsense Debbie Yow was hired as the new Wolfpack AD. He won his stay of execution by talking Tracy Smith into coming back for his senior season and landing a stellar class of freshmen. The result? 7-4, with all four losses coming in statement games. An up year in the down ACC is all that's standing between Lowe and the unemployment line.

4. Pat Knight, Texas Tech. These legacy hires never seem to work out in the Big 12. Knight is close to repeating the coaching fate of Sean Sutton, whose career lasted 62 games at Oklahoma State after he took over for his famous dad Eddie. Knight's team is so moribund, they lost to Stan Heath's Bulls at the South Padre Island Invitational in November.

5. Ed DeChellis, Penn State. The Nittany Lions are famous for keeping coaches around as long as humanly possible, but losing to Maine in the Bryce Jordan Center just before Christmas seems symptomatic of the mediocre effort given by DeChellis teams in his seven-and-a-third year run as head coach. 

Getting warmer: Jeff Capel, Oklahoma; Trent Johnson, LSU; Craig Robinson, Oregon State

Posted on: December 27, 2010 8:45 am

The Layup Line Snowed in here on the East Coast

Posted by Matt Norlander

But it ain't no thang, you see. As long as I've got power to my apartment and an Internet connection, we'll be cooking all day long. Surely (and I will call you Surely) you noticed Eric Angevine started doing work here over the weekend; you know, on Christmas Day. That's how we roll. No stopping, not even on holidays. And Matt Jones gets his grand introduction to the stage in just a few hours. We're glad you're visiting on the Monday after the holiday season. Got some good stuff coming for you today. We start it off with the links, tossing them at you like a stash of snowballs piled up behind the fort in the front yard. Enjoy.

• You bet some hoops have gotten canceled due to all the white dumped over 20 percent of this country in the past 24 hours. Love the first comment under the blog post.

• We must give some love to the 'Bows, who have had a good start to their season.

• Vegas speaks louder than polls do. Witness the line for tonight's UConn-Pitt game.

• Jared Sullinger gets the New York Times treatment.

• Who was off or low on many teams' draft boards in October but is soaring now? These six guys.

• The Richmond Spiders basketball team woke up in New Jersey this morning.

• Lots of good information from this piece, but the headline is off the mark, IMO.

• Terribly sad: more news of another coach dying all too young.

• We love to share links of all sites who show dedication and a love for the game. Here's a preview of the best game of the night (the week?), courtesy of A Daly Dose of Hoops. That's Dante Taylor pictured to the right. He and the Panthers host UConn tonight, opening Big East play.

• Our leader, Gary Parrish, has six Big East teams in the top 14. Unthinkable. But hard to argue.

• Anyone like Indiana's chances as conference spoiler over the next two months?

• John Wooden's family mails his hometown a few unique items for display. Very cool, and a cool, unexpected Christmas gift.

• On a mid-major scale, few things were covered as feverishly as this in 2010.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 26, 2010 10:38 am
Edited on: December 26, 2010 10:54 am

Providence keeps Ledo at home

Posted by Eric Angevine

When Rick Pitino began talks with the Puerto Rico national team, pundits assumed that, in part, he hoped to gain an upper hand in recruiting. One of the primary targets he was after at the time was Ricardo "Ricky" Ledo, a top 2012 shooting guard from Rhode Island who is eligible to play for the island's squad due to his parentage.

Turns out, Ledo would rather play in front of his hometown fans and family, which is quite the Christmas gift for Keno Davis.

"I'm going to do it in front of my family and friends as opposed to leaving," Ledo said on Christmas morning. "So many other guys have left. I want to stay close to home, like Marvin Barnes."

Barnes, PC's legendary big man of the early 1970s, was a top player at Central High but never received the regional or national acclaim that Ledo has owned over the last two years.

Ledo said the attraction of his family and friends was powerful, as was PC's pitch for him to stay home and follow in the footsteps of Barnes, Ernie DiGregorio, Joe Hassett, Abdul Abdullah and, most recently, Jeff Xavier, as local high school stars who played for the Friars. Ledo spent Christmas with his grandparents, Ada and Julio Carrasco, as well as his brother Kyron and his parents, Kimeco Ledo and Ricardo Carrasco. He said everyone was excited with his choice.

-Kevin McNamara, Providence Journal

Davis has had a rough time in recent months, with Greedy Peterson and other players encountering legal troubles and being dismissed from the team. In addition, his leading recruiter, Pat Skerry, decamped to Big East rival Pitt. Keeping Ledo at home should go a long ways toward rehabbing the program's image, but Davis will probably need to win a fair number of games between now and 2012 in order to keep the wolves at bay.
Posted on: December 26, 2010 12:29 am
Edited on: December 26, 2010 10:54 am

Big Picture: Butler 84 - Washington State 68

Posted by Eric Angevine

It's late, so I'll let Twitter do the analysis, via a couple of writers who follow their teams exclusively:

The lesson for the Cougs tonight? They are good, but not good enough to not bring their lunch pail. Butler showing them up.

@NussCoug of
and, from the big dog himself: 
I like trophies. Merry Christmas Bulldogs! @ButlerMBB takes the #HADHC tourney championship def. Wash. St. See you on the 1st at Hinkle!

In case you wondered, Butler Blue II is the live-action mascot of the Bulldogs. His typing is surprisingly crisp, but you should see his penmanship. Really lovely, and I'm not just saying that because he's a canine.

The big picture here is simple: Butler's early struggles, including a baffling home loss to Evansville, seem to be a thing of the past. Washington State should be commended for upending a talented Baylor team to get to the final, but struggled to contain Butler's balanced attack, which featured nifty footwork inside from Matt Howard and 6-11 sophomore Andrew Smith, drive-and dish specials from Shelvin Mack and Ronald Nored, and dagger threes from Zach Hahn.

Early tune-ups are over. Butler is back.
Posted on: December 25, 2010 10:45 pm
Edited on: December 26, 2010 10:52 am

Sidney back, Bailey out?

UPDATE: The Jackson Clarion-Ledger has weighed in with the latest on the Sidney/Bailey rumor that began circulating on Christmas Eve (reported below).

No decision has been made on the respective futures of Elgin Bailey and Renardo Sidney, despite a report tonight from an independent journalist in Hawaii that Bailey would be leaving the team after the two were shown on national television exchanging punches in the stands of an arena in Honolulu on Thursday, Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin said Saturday night.

-Brandon Marcello, Clarion-Ledger Sports

Lesson for budding sports journalists/bloggers: direct quotes from a knowledgeable source really bolster your Ethos (credibility or trust), which is really the pinnacle of the famous rhetorical triangle.

UPDATE: Here's the latest on the Sidney/Bailey rumor, this time from Jackson Clarion-Ledger sports editor Rusty Hampton via Twitter (@Rustyhampton):

Blogger from Hawaii says R. Sidney will remain on MSU hoops team. AD S. Stricklin just told me no decision has been made. Stay tuned.
Internet=Wild West, confirmed.

Well, I'll be flapdoodled.

According to some current reportage by independent journalist Susan Shan in Hawaii, the blame for the Renardo Sidney/Elgin Bailey punch-up is sticking harder to Bailey, who is being dismissed from the team. Sidney is expected to be reinstated.

Let’s start from the beginning. Bailey, who was supposed to be Sidney’s mentor on the team, has been projecting a bad attitude due to the attention that Sidney was receiving. Bailey was jealous of the media attention and was becoming increasingly problematic in practice and in games. He mouthed off constantly to the coaches and isolated his teammates.

-Susan Shan

Um, so... Merry Christmas, Bulldogs fans? We'll understand if you want to hold on to that gift receipt, keep your fingers crossed, and stop counting your unhatched chickens. At this point, the whole Mississippi State team looks like a ticking time bomb.
Posted on: December 25, 2010 10:33 pm

Big Picture: Florida State 68 - Baylor 61

It's safe to say neither of these teams pictured themselves playing for the bronze medal in Hawaii on Christmas Day. The burden of disappointment falls hardest on Baylor, which came into the Diamond Head Classic ranked in the national top ten, and leaves with two difficult losses. Both Washington State and Florida State play solid D, and the Bears didn't handle it particularly well. Sophomore A.J. Walton simply turns the ball over too often against pressure, and that won't serve him or his team well in the rugged Big 12.

Given the state of Florida State's defense -- currently ranked sixth by -- it's no surprise that the 'Noles seemed to get their hands on nearly every defensive board in this game. If Chris Singleton and company can continue to turn defensive stops into 65-70 points per game, there's room for this tough-minded team to win a few roadies and get a decent seed in the NCAA tourney. If you want to see grown men cry, check out FSU's January 3rd visit to abysmal Auburn. It'll be like oral surgery without the novocaine.
Posted on: December 25, 2010 8:35 pm
Edited on: December 25, 2010 8:38 pm

Big Picture: Hawaii 68 - Mississippi State 57

Mississippi State's season thus far has been a waiting game. Waiting for Renardo Sidney to become eligible. Waiting for Dee Bost to come back. Let the waiting continue. The Bulldogs are 8-5, and the promise of this season, which rested on the massive shoulders of Sidney (or, more accurately, on the one that doesn't have a giant chip on it) is going south in a hurry. Not what Rick Stansbury wanted to see in a year where the top echelon of the SEC outside of Kentucky is very malleable.

For Hawaii, Gib Arnold's first season has been a real bonanza. At 9-3, the Warriors are already one win away from matching their entire victory total from last season. Last night, they beat old WAC rival Utah for just the tenth time ever.

Back when the schools used to meet on a yearly basis, Utah made a tradition of regular beatdowns of UH, especially in Salt Lake City. Of course, as the record will attest, they did so in Honolulu, too, with nine straight overall wins in the series coming into last night (although the last meeting was in 1999). Utah has beaten UH more times than any other school, and the teams aren't likely to meet again very often with the Utes on their way to the Pac-12 and UH going to the Big West.

-Brian McInnis, Court Sense
Now they've beat a power-conference team to keep the aloha spirit alive. Sure, Renardo Sidney and Elgin Bailey were out, but conventional wisdom still says Hawaii has no business winning the games they won this week. Hiring Arnold and leaving the WAC's sinking ship may turn out to be the best two moves the school has ever made. Arnold's father coached Hawaii in the mid-80s, and Coach Gib was a high school All-American at Pounahou School, where the current President of the United States also saw some playing time. The former USC assistant coach was one of the few people in America who actually wanted the Hawaii job when it came open this summer, and his decision to return to the island may be the most important since the final season of Lost.
Posted on: December 25, 2010 6:03 pm
Edited on: December 25, 2010 6:06 pm

Big Picture: San Diego 67 - Utah 64

Posted by Eric Angevine

Why should we care that the San Diego Toreros defeated the Utah Runnin' Utes to claim seventh place in the Diamond Head Classic today? The reasons are few. However, when you consider that this is the first DI win for San Diego this season, it clearly means a lot to the 3-10 team from the WCC. It's truly ugly news for Utah (7-6), the team that will join Colorado in the twelve-team Pac-10 next season. The weakest league in the Big Six is about to get weaker.

In other words: big picture? Neither of these teams is going anywhere this season. But Hawaii's nice this time of year.

The battle for fifth and sixth places is going on right now, with Mississippi State trying to overcome the absence of their two pugilistic power forwards and a nineteen point halftime deficit.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or