Tag:Memphis
Posted on: June 2, 2011 9:52 am
Edited on: June 2, 2011 12:26 pm
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Solomon Poole continues to make adjustments

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Posted by Jeff Borzello

RALEIGH, N.C. – Because of a flight delay, the Dwight Howard Warriors did not arrive at Ravenscroft School (N.C.) until nearly 10 p.m. last Friday at the Tournament of Champions. Despite the late tip time, there were still plenty of media and scouts in attendance, with many staying to watch Solomon Poole, one of the top-25 players in the class of 2013.

As the game went on, and Poole continued to miss outside shots, people began to question his ranking. With the clock winding down, though, Poole reminded everyone why he is so highly touted.

Down one to the Charlotte Nets, Poole put up a stepback jumper that splashed through the net as time expired. That one play demonstrated his quickness, strength and scoring ability, and how tough he is to stop when it all comes together.

It might have been enough to make people forget his early struggles.

“I just focused,” Poole said of the way he bounced back. “I knew I had to keep going. I knew my teammates would pick me up.”

Poole, a 6-foot-1 combo guard from Terry Parker (Fla.), is the younger brother of Kentucky’s Stacey Poole and the son of former Florida standout Stacey Poole Sr. The basketball bloodlines are hard to miss when gauging Poole’s natural talent. He is a big-time scorer who finishes tremendously well in traffic and controls his body effectively in the lane. Poole can beat his man off the dribble and is strong enough to pull-up in the mid-range against defenders. While inconsistent from 3-point range, Poole does have range behind the arc.

Because of his size, though, Poole might have to play the one at the next level, and he knows it.

“I need to work on my pace,” he said. “I need to work on changing speeds.”

A long list of schools are courting the talented sophomore. Poole and his AAU coach, Antwain Tennell, rattled off offers from local schools Central Florida and South Florida, as well as Georgia Tech and South Carolina. Providence, North Carolina, Arizona, Memphis, Florida and Oklahoma State are all showing interest. 

Decision time is a long way away for Poole, but he knows what he’s looking for in a school.

“First, academics. You can’t get anywhere without that,” Poole said. “And a coach that makes you better. I want him to tell me what I’m doing wrong.”

Based on the way he makes adjustments during the game, though, it seems Poole is getting by just fine on his own.

Posted on: June 1, 2011 3:34 pm
 

Memphis, Louisville renew rivalry

Posted by Jeff Borzello

The rivalries between college basketball powers in Kentucky and Tennessee are some of the best in the country.

Beginning next year, Memphis and Louisville will continue the contempt between colleges in the area, with the two schools renewing their series as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Shootout. It will be a two-year series – televised on CBS Sports – with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

The first game will take place at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, with Memphis hosting the return game in 2012-13.

“Memphis and Louisville have a storied rivalry and a long tradition of competitive games,” Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said in a release. “We’re excited to have them back on our schedule.”

“Since I got this job two years ago, our fans have talked to be on numerous occasions about the Memphis-Louisville rivalry, and how much they want to renew the series,” Memphis head coach Josh Pastner added. “This is a great rivalry not only for the schools and their fans, but it’s also one of college basketball’s top rivalries.”

Memphis and Louisville have faced each other 85 times, but not since 2005, when they were both in Conference-USA. Next season, each team will likely be a top-20 preseason squad.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 28, 2011 10:46 am
 

Memphis - Louisville rivalry set to resume



Posted by Eric Angevine


When Louisville left Conference USA for the Big East in 2005, the Cardinals' rivalry with Memphiswas collateral damage. The last time the two programs met was in the 2005 C-USA championship game. The battle for the auto-bid was a real barn-burner (as seen in the video at top) that left Memphis fans wanting more. Looks like they'll get their wish, according to the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. 

Though a few details are still to be worked out, Memphis is expected to begin a home-and-home series with Louisville next season at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville. The teams will then play in FedExForum in 2012-13.

“Obviously it’s not official until every formality is finished,” Pastner said. “I’ve had more fans since I’ve gotten the job come to me and say, ‘Coach, can we play a game against Louisville? Can we get a series going against Louisville?’

“So this is sort of an opportunity to give back to the fans since they’ve kept us in the top 10 in attendance; to start a series that means so much to Tiger Nation.”

The two teams have matched up often throughout the years, even as they leapt conferences from the Missouri Valley to Conference USA. Per the blog Card Chronicle, Louisville owns a 51-34 edge in the series to date. With both teams expected to challenge for NCAA tournament berths in upcoming seasons, this is a perfect time to revive the rivalry.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 20, 2011 12:29 pm
 

Perry Ellis taking time with recruiting process



Posted by Jeff Borzello

Wichita Heights (Kan.) has won three consecutive state championships and currently own a 44-game winning streak.

It’s scary to think they could be even better next year given the way Perry Ellis is improving.

“Perry is getting stronger,” said his mother, Fonda. “His shooting has really improved, he is more explosive and more confident.”

Ellis is a 6-foot-8 forward who is ranked among the top-20 players in his class by most services. He can score in a variety of ways, with his back to the basket or in the mid-range while facing up. Ellis runs the floor effectively and knows how to finish at the rim.

He was receiving interest and offers from nearly every big-time school, but trimmed his list in early December. Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Memphis, Oklahoma and Wichita State made the finalists for Ellis, who has since heard from Minnesota and Duke.

“I would say that Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky and Wichita State have all shown the most [interest] this spring,” Fonda Ellis said. “We received a call from Duke’s new assistant Jeff Capel on Tuesday.”

Ellis said the perseverance and time each school put in has made them attractive to her son.

“They are all great programs and they all have been recruiting him for a while,” she said. “He has built strong relationships with most of the coaches since eighth and ninth grade.”

Perry visited Wichita State this week, but does not plan to make any other visits until the fall. He will be on the AAU circuit this spring and summer with the Kansas Pray and Play Players.

His mother said there are no favorites yet, but he is looking for a place where he will be “totally comfortable.”

“He is really not ready to do that yet,” Ellis said in terms of leaning one way or another. “He wants to see what happens this summer first.

“He would like to take his official visits this fall and hopefully commit or sign by early signing [period].”

By that time, Wichita Heights will be on the verge of starting a run at a fourth straight state title – led by Ellis, of course.

Photo: MaxPreps

Posted on: May 15, 2011 7:42 pm
 

Commitment Catch-up: Copes follows uncle to Mason

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Paul Hewitt has not wasted any time since become George Mason’s new head coach.

After hiring Roland Houston as an assistant coach last week, Hewitt received a commitment from Houston’s nephew, former George Washington commit Erik Copes.

Copes was released from his letter-of-intent on Friday, shortly after Houston was hired at George Mason. Houston was an assistant at GW under Karl Hobbs for the past seven seasons.

“I love Coach Hewitt and the campus,” Copes told Jeff Goodman. “It’s a perfect situation for me. This team is good with or without me, but I’m going to try and make them better.”

Copes is a 6-foot-8 power forward from Imhotep Charter (Pa.) who rose rapidly in the 2011 rankings over the past year. He is outstanding defensively, grabbing rebounds and blocking shots at a high rate. Copes also runs the floor and finishes around the basket.

His uncle’s decision to join Hewitt’s staff was clearly the primary factor in his decision.

“This was a tough situation for me because I grew up around GW. I had my mind set on going there and those guys are like family,” Copes said. “I really wanted to be coached by my uncle.”

Memphis nabs top-50 2012 prospect

Despite having plenty of young players on the roster, Memphis head coach Josh Pastner is still stockpiling talent for the future. On Saturday night, Pastner picked up a commitment from junior Damien Wilson.

Wilson, a 6-foot-5 wing from Oak Hill Academy (Va.), chose the Tigers over UCLA, Tennessee and Florida.

“It was just today that I had to get it out of the way,” Wilson told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “I’ve been watching them since Chris Douglas-Roberts. That’s when I first fell in love with Memphis basketball.”

The Atlanta native is an athletic lefty who can drive to the basket and finish or knock down shots from the perimeter. Wilson has a variety of skills and loves to attack the rim and create matchup problems.

“I feel like wherever coach Pastner wants me to play, I’ll play,” Wilson said.

Turgeon gets first recruit at Maryland

After seeing his 2011 recruiting class disintegrate over the last week, new Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon went to work on 2012.

On a visit to College Park on Saturday, Seth Allen committed to the Terrapins.

“I think he was really impressed with the campus today on the visit,” Seth’s father, Joe Allen, told Evan Daniels of Scout.com.

Allen is a 6-foot-2 guard from Fredricksburg Christian School (Va.) who can score the ball at the rim or from behind the arc. He has deep range on his jumper.

Texas A&M was the first school to offer Allen, when Turgeon was in College Station.

“They stayed in touch,” Allen said. “We were getting ready to make a trip out there, but luckily he stayed in touch. He came down and saw our son and they built a relationship and it went from there.”

Posted on: May 11, 2011 1:24 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 4:11 pm
 

Shaq Goodwin continues national rise

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Posted by Jeff Borzello

Shaq Goodwin was always highly-regarded in the class of 2012. He was a top-50 recruit that took a backseat to many of his teammates on the Atlanta Celtics and Memphis YOMCA.

This spring, though, Goodwin has taken off. He is now ranked in the top-15 by most scouts, and as high as No. 10 by one service.

“It’s really a privilege,” Goodwin said. “I would have never thought.”

The 6-foot-8 forward from Southwest Dekalb (Ga.) is a long and athletic combo forward that runs the floor and finishes in transition. Goodwin is one of the best passers in the country for his position, and he is a match-up nightmare due to his ability to make shots and post up players around the rim.

He said his rise in the rankings is due to more publicity and a chance in focus.

“People just noticing me,” Goodwin said. “And really taking the game serious. I was [before], but I was having too much fun.”

In terms of recruiting, he now has a top five of UCLA, Memphis, Georgia, Florida and Alabama. In April, Miami (Fl.) was in the top four but the recent coaching change has dropped them back in the pack.

“I don’t know,” Goodwin said. “I just don’t know them.”

While he said he has no favorites, he did say Alabama and Florida are coming after him the hardest. Both teams picked up their interest after Goodwin’s performance during the spring.

He also wants to take an unofficial visit to UCLA in June.

“Somewhere where I can play and won’t get in trouble,” Goodwin said when asked what he was looking for in a school. “Certain cities where they let me do what I want there. Maybe I’ll get in trouble there.”

For now, opponents are the only ones in trouble.

Photo: Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Posted on: April 21, 2011 1:18 pm
 

Too soon? A look at next season's holiday games



Posted by Eric Angevine

Our season just ended, but it's never too soon to start thinking about what will happen next. Certainly not for the organizers of early season tournaments, those resume-building events that often give us meaningful matchups. Recall that UConn and Kentucky met on Maui on November 24, 2010 in a preview of an eventual Final Four game. These early battles usually play out in front of few specatators, but they get a lot of scrutiny come Selection Sunday.

So, with that in mind, let's look at some of the evolving fields that organizers are putting together. Not all participants are settled as of right now, and personnel may change radically over the next month or so, but you can keep track of any changes by visiting the CBSSports.com early season tournament guide.

Some highlights:

Coaches vs. Cancer, Nov. 7-11 and 17-18: The automatic qualifiers -- meaning the four power conference teams that advance even if they lose in the first round -- are set. Arizona will be trying to carry over some momentum without Derrick Williams, and they'll be thrown into a field that includes Mississippi State, St. John's and Texas A&M. MSU was an absolute shambles last season, so it will be interesting to see if that's a thing of the past, or if Rick Stansbury is in a downward spiral in Starkville. SJU will be looking to prove that this season's resurgence was no fluke, and A&M has just been consistently good under Mark Turgeon.

Maui Invitational, Nov. 21-23: You don't need my persuasive arguments to see the value in this field. Duke, Kansas, Memphis, Michigan, Tennessee, UCLA, Georgetown and, of course, plucky Chaminade. One thing that jumps out, however, is Michigan getting another shot at one or more of the programs they faced during their growing season last year. Obviously, this will be quite the melee of blue-blood programs.

Diamond Head Classic, Dec. 22-25 & 25: This one isn't as loaded as the first two we looked at, but it has some intriguing possibilities. There are a couple of big-name programs looking for early statement games in Clemson and Kansas State, plus the always-intriguing mid-majors UTEP and Xavier.

Those three tourneys represent the best fields to date. There are several interesting teams in weak fields elsewhere, such as Marquette showing up in the Paradise Jam, experienced Notre Dame in a field of transitioning programs in the CBE Classic and defending national champs UConn slumming it in the amusingly-named Battle 4 Atlantis. The Puerto Rico Tip-Off throws Purdue in with a whole slew of NIT teams like Alabama, Colorado and Wichita State. Both VCU and Richmond show up as unexpected heavy-hitters in off-off-Broadway productions, as well.

These early tournaments are often just something to have on in the background while digesting heavy holiday meals and conversing dutifully with relatives, but there's usually a little intrigue if you scratch past the surface. There will be new coaches, new players and, best of all, a new basketball season coming, just as the weather starts to turn chilly again this year.

Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: March 18, 2011 6:02 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2011 6:32 pm
 

Williams' block seals Arizona's win

Posted by Jeff Borzello

The highlight reel for Thursday and Friday's action is sure to be filled with buzzer shots and game-winning shot, but Arizona's Derrick Williams made his own lasting memory at the end of the Wildcats' win against Memphis on Friday.

With Arizona leading by two with five seconds left, Memphis guard Joe Jackson missed a free throw. Forward Wesley Witherspoon grabbed the offensive rebound and seemed to have an opening at the rim. However, Williams came out of nowhere to send Witherspoon’s attempt the other way.

The block preserved Arizona’s two-point lead, helping the Wildcats pull out a 77-75 win.

There is some controversy surrounding the block, as an argument has been made that Witherspoon was fouled on the final play. He took a bump from Jamelle Horne immediately after the rebound and then had some body contact with Williams. Interestingly, Tim Burr -- the same referee at the center of the Big East tournament fiasco -- was the referee standing under the basket, just a few feet from the play. As he did in the St. John's vs. Rutgers game, Burr didn't blow the whistle. In this case, though, I think Burr was right.

For what it’s worth, Williams also had 22 points and 10 rebounds. He was 9-for-9 from the free-throw line and hit the go-ahead 3-point with 3:51 remaining to put Arizona up 68-65. Despite his offensive prowess, it was his one block that has Arizona in the round of 32. 

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