Tag:SEC
Posted on: January 24, 2012 8:51 am
Edited on: January 24, 2012 9:01 am
 

Wakeup Call: More conference realignment is here

This baby baboon is more inventive than most of the Pac-12 offenses. (AP)
By Matt Norlander

I was at a loss for a basketball photo today, so I think this will do. It was selected as one of the best AP photos from the past week. Impossible to argue.

Oh, you have to read about the Waffle House terrorists. // Wait ... woman cross-country skied ACROSS ANTARCTICA? Like ... ALL OF IT? // We could be close to having a seventh state that allows gay marriage. // Go ahead and give Thomas Edison's to-do list a gander ...

★ One of New York City's top high school prospects has turned the table on recruiters because he doesn't own a cellphone.

★ It's been nearly a year since Wes Leonard died, and I implore you to not let your Tuesday end without having read this piece on why he didn't have to die on a high school basketball court last year.

★ A couple of conference-affiliation links to share. The first is Big East-related and reported by our Brett McSources yesterday.

★ Which school officially accepted its bid into the Big South yesterday?

★ Could UConn be getting the verdict on Ryan Boatright's eligibility today?

★ As for Boatright not playing, the UConn Blog went deeper into his absence and the real reasons the Huskies have played the way they have.

★ The nation's most worthy at-large team that no one is talking about resides in the Big Ten.

★ Why are some of the most potent scorers in college basketball this year coming from this conference?

★ I've been so big on Iona this year. The Gaels went out and blew an 18-point lead to Siena last night. That pretty much makes Iona's at-large chances go kapoof.

★ What are the best moments in the 30-year history of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden?

★ An informative prediction on some of the BracketBusters games to come.

★ The art of the shot-block. Yeah, that's basketball junkie readin'.

I read this and ask aloud, Why can't Ryan Boatright be made eligible to play until the NCAA actually finds proof?

► Though the teams aren't good and the game wasn't on television, the ending of the UAB-Rice game from last week closely mirrors how Florida State beat Duke.



♬ Listen, even if you hate grunge, or hate Soundgarden, or are unfamiliar, do me a favor. Forget everything about this song except Chris Cornell's vocals. Block it all out as much as you can except for the sound coming from this man's throat. It's simply incredible that a human evolved to be able to do what he does in this song.

Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:30 am
Edited on: January 23, 2012 4:03 pm
 

Podcast: Seth Davis hates the Giants so, so much

By Matt Norlander

One of, if not the biggest, names in college basketball sportswriting, Seth Davis, is back on the program. All that great football overshadowed what transpired in hoops, so we're here so you can hear all about it.

What were the biggest results? What of Fab Melo not playing at Syracuse? Why can't we focus on the positive with Murray State? And why on earth does Seth root for the Redskins? All extremely important topics that are covered in the Monday edition. It's one of our best this season, so get to clicking. And if you'd like to read Seth's recent work, head on over here and check out his columns, plus the fantastic annual Hoop Thoughts editorial.

Topics:
  • From the beginning: We recorded this last night, so we start with our reactions to the football games. How could we not start with that? Unfortunately, it devolves into Redskins talk pretty quickly.
  • 2:43: Outside of Syracuse and Murray State's games, what was the most meaningful result from Saturday or Sunday?
  • 8:07: Syracuse. Let's discuss the Orange and what they are, the Fab Melo situation, and how good they really are. Seth has his doubts, and I think it's fair -- even though I still want to believe this team has a very good chance at this year's Final Four.
  • 14:02: So far ... what do we make of this basketball season? Has it been a good one?
  • 17:30: Seth and I deviate from the hoops talk to lament how great we are and how awful our lives become when people request to talk to us on the radio. I do this after having asked Seth to come on my podcast. It's all so insufferable in its meta existence.
  • 20:17: Let's talk about Murray State, the great story, not Murray State, the when-will-they-lose story. Seth takes a second to stroke Parrish's ego as well.
  • 28:00: Seth and I pick our fringe bubble teams that we believe will play themselves into the field. We also take the inverse: good teams likely to play themselves into the NIT.
  • 32:10: Chip Kelly to Oregon almost happened, but this doesn't really much happen in college hoops -- that hot coach with the sexy scheme who can bring a new flair to the pros. Why not?

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 23, 2012 9:01 am
Edited on: January 23, 2012 9:03 am
 

Wakeup Call: Catching up with John Chaney at 80

Hours after Joe Paterno's death, Penn State's basketball team managed to honor him with a simple black stripe on their jerseys. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Matt Norlander


Of all the Joe Paterno pieces from the past 24 hours, this simple one received the most attention. // Big-time college athletics and how it affects the student body and the application process. // Photographs you'll recognize, and the people who shot them telling the story behind the picture. // This photo is beautiful and haunting. // Virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel will distract you for 10 minutes ...

★ The Ballin' is a Habit duo was in Joplin, Mo., over the weekend. The story and pictures remain heartbreaking and worth your time. The guys have done so much on their road trip -- this piece may be the best one they contribute.

★ Almost every Monday I try to pick out the best read from the previous 72 hours. This one, on the best coach to never reach a Final Four, is my choice this week. John Chaney is the best.

★ If the link above wasn't in today's wrap-up, this probably would've been the best story of the bunch. On Frank Haith.

★ Alex Oriakhi isn't right and hasn't been most of the season.
 
★ In case you missed it, Parrish was at the best game no one talked about over the weekend.

★ Watch how Cal Poly tied an NCAA record by hitting its first 11 3-pointers.
 
★ It was quite an emotional day for Tom Crean's wife Sunday.

★ Kansas won at Texas Saturday, as you probably expected. But it was the way the Jayhawks did it that was impressive -- and pretty uncommon.

★ It's the best college basketball dunks of the season so far -- and you can watch them in less than 130 seconds.

★ The talented Brady McCollough recently moved to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and here he gives a nice snapshot of CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast favorite Jay Bilas.

★ Someone stole Old Dominion's jerseys Saturday night.

★ Syracuse may have lost its first game already, and ahead of schedule, but Cincinnati is planning to white itself out for the biggest home game of the season all the same.

★ Austin Rivers doesn't think Florida State is better than Duke. He's right, of course.

★ I never doubted you, Badgers!

★ Doron Lamb cleaned himself up. Aww; I liked the Brillo look.

► Here's a buzzer-beater from the weekend you may have missed. Sacred Heart upset Central Connecticut State Saturday afternoon.



Ben Folds Five. It's a band that shouldn't have broken up. But it did. So all we have is about seven years worth of fantastic music from the best band in history that didn't have a guitar player.


Posted on: January 21, 2012 5:57 pm
 

Afternoon Delight: Dayton now pulling rank in A10

Archie Miller isn't truly this concerned. (Getty Images)

By Matt Norlander

On busier Saturdays and Sundays this season, we’re not going to make you wait until the end of the slate of games to catch up with all that’s happened. Afternoon Delight (threeeee-pointers in flight!) recaps the first five-or-so hours’ worth of action, the perfecta appetizer right before dinnertime.

Before we get going, the We Back Pat shirts are great and for sale. If you caught the UConn-Tenessee game on CBS today, you saw everyone on the bench wearing them.

The best we’ve seen so far:  It’s the game that just ended as we’re posting this. Cincinnati went into West Virginia, fresh off that win at UConn Wednesday night, and couldn’t claw its way to a win against the Mountaineers, falling 77-74 in overtime. Crowd was frenzied; it was a great watch. God bless the WVU mascot, who could easily charge $500 for party appearances on campus.

I maintain Cincy’s the league’s second-best team until the end of the Syracuse game Monday night. Dennis Kilicli’s left hook shot, by the way, that thing is awesome.

The second-best we’ve seen: Missouri’s win over Baylor. Goodman covered that. I’ll only add that Missouri, in my estimation, would be a one seed if the tournament started today. They’ve deserved it. Tigers as a one … incredible to think about. Frank Haith is no believer in 40-degree days, I bet.

Deserving of a free dinner at the restaurant of their choice: Dayton welcomed Xavier into UD Arena and showed X who’s boss. 87-72, Flyers, and enjoy the 30-minute ride home, Musketeers. Boss-like. A no-doubt-about-it win for UD, who I’ve said for a month now is destined to be a tournament team. Archie Miller is amid the chase for national coach of the year, thanks to Goodman loving the little guy so much. We may have a post on young Archie by the time you stop reading Afternoon Delight.

No soup for you: It was a game that got closer than any one man, woman or child could have predicted. Georgetown 52, Rutgers 50, your life after watching it, 0.

Afternoon all-stars

  1. Phil Pressey: 18 points, seven assists, six steals, five rebounds.
  2. Pieere Jackson: 20 points, 15 assists, four rebounds.
  3. Ricardo Ratlifee: 27 points, eight rebounds.
  4. Quincy Miller also had 27 in a losing effort.
  5. Oh, are we supposed to pick out players who didn’t get involved in Missouri-Baylor? I can do that. Hmm … Stan Okoye had a best-so-far 18 rebounds for VMI.
  6. Maalik Wayns scored 28 points in the most Maalik Wayns way possible, lifting Villanova to a 79-76 OT win at MSG against St. John's.
  7. JaMychal Green gave 'Bama 22 and 12 and was the most impressive forward on the floor in the 'Bama-UK game.

Other daytime action worth your attention

  1. Kentucky should win at home. That said, there won’t be three teams that play the Wildcats in Rupp as well as Alabama did. Falling 77-71, I was as impressed with the Tide today as I’ve been in any other game, and I’ve been high on the Tide for most of the year. Still think this team should make the Sweet 16 if it falls in a quadrant that doesn’t have a potent offensive team.
  2. It’s a nice win for Arkansas, but I’m not sure Michigan falling on the road in Fayetteville (66-64) will ultimately mean anything. Arkansas isn’t a good loss, but it doesn’t affect the Big Ten chase and UM is going to be a single-digit seed regardless. Doubt this truly affects whether they end up as a four, five or six seed.
  3. Temple is going to remain in the Power Pyramid Monday because it Maryland 73-60. Terps aren’t as good as the Owls and it should today. Maryland was without one man today, assistant Dalonte Hill, who was arrested for suspicion of DUI. He’ll be out, minimum, two games. This is a big deal; Hill is one of the highest-paid assistants in hoops. Driving while drunk is dumber than agreeing to play Temple at the Palestra.
  4. Georgia State started hot in the Colonial. Now it’s 5-3 after falling in 50 minutes to Borzello’s alma mater, Delabro—er—Delaware.
  5. Win the road games over non-tournament teams in conference. That’s how good teams become NCAA tournament teams. Kansas State beat Okie State in Stillwater, 66-58. I’ve my doubts about Kansas State, but I know it’s no OSU.

Delightful (and not-so delightful) thoughts

  • Michigan State pummeled Purdue 83-58. That’s not much of a story. This, however, is. State's students mocked Robbie Hummel's affliction with knee injuries today. Purdue coach Matt Painter was incensed enough with the vocal, rude fan that he started verbally sparring with him. Let's put these kinds of taunts away forever and instead turn our attention to the fact Purdue is slipping into a bad bubble team.
  • In the battle of The Two Schools Everyone Gets Confused With One and Other, Florida Atlantic beat Florida International, 66-64. In other words, Isiah Thomas lost, so you’re probably happy.
  • Any hopes Belmont had of running game in the A-Sun this year like it did last year are gone, as the Bruins got beat at always-cagey USC Upstate.
Posted on: January 18, 2012 8:57 am
 

Wakeup Call: Heavy on the Syracuse links

That's his. Anthony Davis' defining position in photos to come. That's his move. (AP)
By Matt Norlander

Yes, the news of the day relates to the Stop Internet Privacy Act. The Internet will win this fight. // If SOPA's got you down, Drunk Ron Swanson will turn you around. // Jimmy Traina was kind enough to link to the blog yesterday, so I've gotta return the favor. He's a master at the link love. // I'm thankful for the Lionel Richie mash-up, but who has the time for this?

★ Why Wednesday's a notable day in hoops for Philadelphia teams.

★ Yes, the more we see all the games, the more Thomas Robinson distances himself in the POY race.

★ Oh, you wanted more proof of the T-Rob dominance? Look at what POY voters are thinking right now.

★ Last night, Anthony Davis had what will probably go down as one of the five best games of his college career.

★ If you missed this, know the NCAA is coming with even harsher penalties. It means biznass this time, guys and gals.

★ You're not likely to agree with this new rankings system of valuable players, but give it a read first before you cast it aside.

Forde Minutes is back, and can I just say I'm thankful a man named perfectly for such a column delivers consistently with such great material.

★ A terrific, simplistic elucidation of how balanced and good and reliable Syracuse is. On today's podcast, I foolishly say I think this team is destined for New Orleans.

★ Why Syracuse's lack of a challenge so far (I disagree in some degree with that assertion) shouldn't be a worry for Orange fans.

★ Yet Orange fans do worry and inferiority and anger so well. Why is that?

★ Why not one more SU link. If you want an indicator to why the Orange won't get to New Orleans, this is the biggest ace.

★ It's not often teammates put up more than 25 apiece in a "big game," but it happened when T-Rob and Tyshawn Taylor did it Monday night. Here are other recent occurrences.

★ In my opinion, any gray jerseys that don't have GEORGETOWN across the front can find a bottomless hamper.

More evidence to support my K-State-has-been-overrated-all-year
stance.

★ To be clear, Georgia State stands little chance at acquiring an at-large.

★ How a student manager leads a team to victory.

► From over the weekend, it's a walk-off alley-oop! Staggered double screen, you gotta see it coming.



♬ I'm not a very big Silversun Pickups fan -- I feel like this is a quintessential band for 17-year-olds -- but there are a handful of compositions this new-age alternative band has that pacify me.

Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:07 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 3:36 pm
 

Tuesday polls: Let's hear who you're taking

By Matt Norlander

We want to know which teams you like this week, and by which sort of margin. Best of all? We're working in concert with Seth Davis and his TV show, so these results will get shared each Wednesday on "Courtside with Seth Davis" on the CBS Sports Network.

This is the third installment of the polls. You can swing by here each Tuesday just after lunchtime to make your clicks. So let's hear it.



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Posted on: January 16, 2012 1:57 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2012 1:58 pm
 

Arnett Moultrie is in the group of POY candidates

Moultrie's been so good, but it seems people haven't yet noticed how valuable he's become in getting Mississippi State to becoming an SEC contender. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Matt Norlander

It’s time to discuss Arnett Moultrie, who’s become among one of the best big men in the country. It’s time to mull and debate his place amid the higher horde in the Player of the Year race. He’s a candidate. I’m not seeing him right now as top-three, -five or -eight, but top 10 or top 12? Yes, absolutely.

Moultrie is not without flaw (I think his shot-blocking could be so much better) but still Mississippi State’s best player, by far, and more surprising than that is the junior’s turned into one of the most valuable transfers in college basketball in the past decade. Not only did he come into a program that already had a big man with NBA potential (Renardo Sidney), he’s melded his play into just what coach Rick Stansbury needs to turn MSU into a second-weekend NCAA tournament team. Moultrie didn't try to take over with this team; it just happened naturally, and now, dear God, it's looking like we can take MSU seriously.

This wasn’t predictable. Moultrie was seen as a great addition to the program from the get to the go, but this kind of production (give me just a second and I’ll get that ready for you) is beyond expectation.

Prior to Mississippi State, Moultrie, 6-11, was at UTEP, where his play was overlooked consistently. To be fair, he wasn’t playing good teams and UTEP wasn’t as good as the Bulldogs are now. He also did not score (less than a point per possession), shoot (just above 50 percent from the floor) or rebound (good-not-great rates of 10.3 on offense and 19.1 on defense) as well while a Miner. He lacked drive.

“I didn’t always have this work ethic I have now,” Moultrie told me last week. “Once I transferred, that’s what triggered it. That's when I started to work more.”

Moultrie has led MSU to its top-20 ranking in both the polls (No. 17 in Top 25 [and one]) and coming off that 25-point, 13-rebound performance in a 56-52 home win over Alabama Saturday, the slender stilt should be talked alongside of Draymond Green, Mike Scott, Herb Pope, Marcus Denmon and Harrison Barnes. Actually, I take that back — Barnes is well behind Moultrie at this point.

“This past year has been … amazing for me. When I became eligible, I wanted success from the start,” Moultrie said. “I do believe we have the best front court in the country.”

Run the Floor, one of the better independent college hoops blogs out there, had this to say about Moultrie last week, prior to his Alabama outburst: “He's had double digit rebounds in 11 of 13 games, and double digit points in 8. He's one of two SEC players grabbing at least 15 percent of their own team's misses. He rarely commits fouls, draws them at the highest rate on the team, and makes 87 percent once he gets to the line. He's versatile. He can face up, he's got moves on the block, and he can go by you. He makes 56 percent of his 2s and has an offensive rating over 121.”

Those numbers are even better following MSU’s home wins over Tennessee and the Tide, although Moultrie did only snare four caroms in the Tennessee game, he made up for it with 13 points, four blocks and just one foul, which also adds to his value. Only four times has Moultrie been held to single digits; Mississippi State lost three of those four, only beating middling Texas A&M.

As for the foul thing, it's huge. Luke Winn recently charted foul tendencies among big men on good teams, but didn't get to Mississippi State. I haven’t charted when Moultrie gets his whistles, but there’s really no need to. He’s never had a game with four fouls, and he’s only fouled out once, which, no shock here, ended up in a Bulldogs loss (98-88 to Arkansas).

Moultrie averages 1.9 fouls per game. For a critical man on the interior, that’s huge. Does he lack aggressiveness? No because, as Run the Floor stated, Moultrie's getting to the line plenty. For every two field goals he takes, he shoots a free throw -- a 50-percent rate, and that's very good for business. 

What I loved about Moultrie in talking to him on the phone was his blunt, aggressive, to-the-point style in discussing the team. He’s been ticked recently with how badly they've been playing defense. Again, this was prior to the Tennessee and Alabama wins.

“I’m not sure why it’s been like that,” he said, “but whatever it is we need to change. Our guards need to do a better job guarding the ball. Our man to man defense, it sucks right now.”

Against Tennessee the Bulldogs held the Vols to .97 points per possession (anything under one point per possession is good). Alabama was even more inefficient, scoring .9 PPP against Moultrie and Co. Much improvement there.

“Our attitude is, we have a lot of weapons at the offense ends, but we need to get better on both sides of the ball,” Moultrie said. “I’m not satisfied and I need to look forward to doing it better.”

By "it" he meant leading the team, playing better defense and taking chances away from other teams on the glass. He’s excelled. Mississippi State’s got a solid corps with freshman Rodney Hood (also supremely underrated), Dee Bost and stud sub Deville Smith. Moultrie has become and should remain the centerpiece. I don’t think MSU wins the SEC, but if they flirt with it, you’ll start to hear more about how influential he is. Why not have the conversation now?

Posted on: January 16, 2012 11:41 am
Edited on: January 16, 2012 12:04 pm
 

Podcast: Why does UNC's 33-point loss matter?

By Matt Norlander

If a team gets beatdown like UNC did at Florida State Saturday, does it mean they won't win the title? Well, nobody's ever lost by 33 and gone on to cut down nets. In fact, no one's ever lost by more than 27 in a season and gone on to win it all.

CBSSports.com recruiting savant and bro supreme Jeff Borzello calls in from the Hoop Hall Classic to discuss Carolina's chances of bucking that trend, as well as Roy Williams taking his team off the floor before that game was over. Bro-zello and I also get into the Ryan Boatright situation at UConn -- he's sitting out of games again, pending NCAA review of his eligibility -- as well as a look ahead to tonight's huge game: Baylor at Kansas.

Here it is:
  • From the beginning: Borzello's watching the best high school tournament of the season, the Hoop Hall Classic, up in Springfield, Mass. For people that follow this stuff, or want more, he runs down the essentials.
  • 7:13: It's on to UNC. That huge loss. No team's ever loss by more than 27 points has gone on to win a title that season. Why should UNC be any different?
  • 13:40: Roy Williams complied with Leonard Hamilton's suggestion of getting UNC's coaches and guys sitting on the bench off the floor before the storm. But the walk-ons on the court? Left for dead. Williams deflects talk from the loss. Brilliant.
  • 16:24: Ryan Boatright is again ineligible. He sits and waits while his situation is reviewed. Why's this happening right now and what's the crux of the problem?
  • 20:21: The nation's most underrated great player? Arnett Moultrie.
  • 23:24: Advance of Baylor at Kansas, which amounts to a game that could have some more big-picture reaction if Baylor smothers the 'Hawks.
  • 26:42: Some gib-gab to finish up. Insanity workouts, Borzello trying to drop 20 pounds in two months, the NFL playoffs, 30-person birthday parties at german restaurants.

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