Posted on: September 16, 2011 9:11 am
Edited on: September 16, 2011 9:27 am

Podcast: The Sham of College Sports

By Matt Norlander

About 90 words into Taylor Branch's 14,700-word behemoth of a takedown on the NCAA, "The Shame of College Sports," I knew I had to have him on the podcast. Getting him, though, I thought would be a high-wire act because "The Atlantic" was booking him on CNN, as well as other national television and radio programs.

The little old CBS Sports College Basketball Podcast? Well, getting a Pulitzer-Prize winning writer on turned out to be no sweat, and Branch was a delight. Serious credibility boost for the podcast, too! Branch has written about subjects with much more consequence than the world of sports (his Pulitzer came after he wrote on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.), so his perspective was, I felt, a fresh one. Frank Deford already called this, arguably, "the most important article ever written about college sports."

I wanted to get into why and how Branch wrote the story as much as the story itself and his new-founded opinions of the NCAA. So we cover about as much as I could squeeze into 35 minutes: his interview process; what the NCAA told him and why it's quoted so sparsely in the story; how unstable the institution really is; why the former North Carolina athletic director believes his school would fold all sports if college players got paid; how soon we could see major schools break away from the NCAA; and so much more.

If I could have, I would have made this podcast twice as long, because the topic deserves it. Point remains: it was my pleasure to have such an accomplished writer hop on. I think I need to chase these kinds of guys a bit more; who needs Goodman and Parrish on a regular basis, right?

And again, here's the link for iTunes subscription. The podcast goes up a few minutes after it's live here on the blog, so be sure to subscribe. Or, if you're just hanging out, click the player below and enjoy.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: September 13, 2011 1:35 pm

Podcast: Where top uncommitted recruits will land

By Matt Norlander

Recruits are becoming savvy to the game. Each year, it's taking longer and longer for more and more high-level recruits to commit to a school. Makes sense -- this is pretty much the last bastion of legitimate power they'll have until they get out of college and go on to earn buck at some sort of professional level.

So, with that in mind, I had Borzello hop onto the podcast and give you the most likely landing spots for these 10 undecided guys:
  1. Shabazz Muhammad
  2. Mitch McGary
  3. Kyle Anderson
  4. Archie Goodwin
  5. Kaleb Tarczewski
  6. DaJuan Coleman
  7. Amile Jefferson
  8. Alex Poythress
  9. Rodney Purvis
  10. Jarnell Stokes
Some seem inevitable, while a few others are true toss-ups. Listen to find out which guys on the list could very well drag out their recruitments all the way until April. That's right -- after the upcoming college basketball season, which is still seven weeks away from having games on television. We also discuss how Houston was able to pull off getting two top-100 guys, and why that label is actually a little misleading in this case.

And, as always, if you want the latest news and scoops on recruitments in hoops, we've got an entire blog wholly dedicated to that. Borzello does most of the housekeeping there. Boost the pageviews and his ego all at once!

Here's the link for iTunes subscription. The podcast goes up a few minutes after it's live here on the blog, so be sure to subscribe. Or, if you're just hanging out, click the player below and enjoy.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: September 7, 2011 4:05 pm

Podcast: Conference chaos, Kentucky, Isiah Thomas

By Matt Norlander

It's the first three-way in CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast history. I brought on Parrish and Goodman today to talk about this wacky conference realignment hysteria. Football drives that bus forever, but college hoops will absolutely feel the effects. So we hit on ...
  • Who moves where and why
  • Will the NCAA tournament ultimately suffer?
  • How schools like Iowa State and Baylor thrive
  • Whether college hoops powers will ultimately separate in conference affiliation from football powerhouses
And plenty of other topics within that beast of a multitude of scenarios. It's opinion mixed with a great dose of perspective from Parrish and Goodman, who've talked to plenty of coaches about this already.

After that, we get into Kentucky -- because we know you Kentucky fans love your podcasts -- and delve into why John Calipari could be struggling with this year's recruitment, or if that will even mean anything eventually. Goodman proposes an interesting theory that does make a lot of sense about why Cal is behind a bit this year.

The podcast wraps up with us wondering why on Earth Isiah Thomas is still at FIU, if Jim Larranaga could get a do-over, would he, and will Frank Haith quietly continue on at Missouri? Who says it's only football season, right?

One last thing: We'd love for you to help our iTunes numbers, so please subscribe. Like, now! Here's the link.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 29, 2011 8:13 am

Podcast: Why Drummond to UConn changes it all

By Matt Norlander

If you were without power most of the weekend or just wanted to unplug, you may have missed the news: Andre Drummond re-classified himself to the 2011 class, and he'll be attending Connecticut. Like, immediately.

He'll be considered one of the best, if not the best, big players in the country. His arrival completely changes how UConn will be viewed. It goes from Big East contender to national title player with the likes of UNC, Kentucky and Ohio State.

How did this happen? Why? Should it even be allowable this late into the summer? Borzello and I talk about everything surrounding Drummond's recruitment, the type of player he is, how Calhoun's managed to pull this off and where it places UConn. There are also consequences to this move for the Huskies, so we cover that in full, too.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:51 am

Podcast: We got Bilas for you

By Matt Norlander

When a man's got nearly 150,000 followers on Twitter and works for a rival company, you never know what you're going to get when you ask him onto your podcast.

But Jay Bilas responded immediately and did the interview practically at the drop of a hat with me. Jay, you're the best, and thanks again for coming on. I am addressing Jay personally because I know he's narcissistic enough to have a Google Alert search for his own name, so I know he's reading this right now.

Today's podcast is the longest one to date, just over 40 minutes, but it's well worth it. If you've come to listen to Bilas go surgical on the NCAA, you won't be disappointed. But as I'm wont to do, I also implore the first-time guest to go back and tell us how he got to where he is. Bilas practiced law after giving up being an assistant coach. Why and how did he end up at ESPN? He goes into that, as well as explaining why he considers Rece Davis to be a felon.

I have to warn you: There's also some pretty egregious puffing up of Mike Krzyzewski. You may become nauseated. Apologies in advance.

And at the end of the podcast, the music talk comes, which means Young Jeezy is most certainly brought up. Bilas has been known to spit rhymes from the Jeez on Twitter from time to time. I stop short of asking him to bust a rap over the phone, but I do make sure he explains his affinity for a rapper that's young enough to be his son.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 2, 2011 11:05 am

Podcast: Digging deeper into the Salinas story

By Matt Norlander

In an attempt to keep an important story (the David Salinas one) on the surface in this somewhat-slow offseason, I concluded I had no choice but to bring on Pablo Torre as a guest. The Sports Illustrated writer has done equally important and newsbreaking work, in regard to Salinas' suicide and his illicit money movements, as anything you've seen here at CBSSports.com.

So if you'd like to know more about how this kind of story gets reported and slowly blooms, treat yourself to the 28-minute listen. It's breezy, informative and goes by pretty quickly. You're bound to learn a thing or two you didn't know before, and again, this is a story unlike anything we've seen before in college basketball. It's pretty consequential. Precedent-setting and rule-establishing, too.

We sandwich all the serious Salinas speak in between talk about amazing Tumblr sites and a breakdown of Harvard basketball. What I'm saying is, this is the best early-August college basketball podcast you could possibly ask for.

A reminder: subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, or if you have a Zune, we've got you covered there as well. And for the XML-savvy, here's a permalink.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: July 8, 2011 10:48 am
Edited on: July 8, 2011 11:10 am

Podcast: Is AAU broken, and if so, ever fixable?

By Matt Norlander

If you have even a remote care or interest in how recruiting works, AAU basketball, NCAA regulations or anything to do with the month of July, you must listen to today's podcast.

There is no more consistent and wise voice on the NCAA's doings -- right or wrong -- than John Infante, he the author of the invaluable Bylaw Blog. If you aren't already, follow him on Twitter.

Who better to discuss the ups and downs, highs and low, good and bad of July recruiting?

Infante and I dive right into what's wrong with the AAU infrastructure. Could the NBA provide an alternative within the next decade, something to compete in the spring and summer with AAU? And what current recruiting rules need to be eliminated immediately, within the next year? We also get into how it's really apples and oranges with college basketball and college football.

I then pose the question: Which sport's recruiting situation is in more disarray?

Infante's answer is pretty bleak.

If you come to this blog with any sort of regularity, it means you like and care about the sport. You most likely have a favorite team. That team is affected greatly by how it's allowed to recruit. Get a better sense of what is and isn't working, and what could change in the next year, two or five by listening.

A reminder: subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, or if you have a Zune, we've got you covered there as well. And for the XML-savvy, here's a permalink.

Category: NCAAB
Tags: Podcasts
Posted on: June 24, 2011 5:48 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 5:49 pm

Post-Draft podcast: the good, the bad, the Jersey

By Matt Norlander

Despite my disappointment in this year's crop and the number of players who blew their chance at another year of college hoops relevancy, I had a blast at the Draft last night. I sat next to CBSSports.com national NBA writer Ken Berger, plus got to meet another colleague, Ben Golliver, who helps keep shop over at the Eye on Basketball blog. He also helped build Blazers Edge into what it's become today.

Great guy. Knowledgeable. Sincere. So I wanted to get him on the podcast immediately to talk about our experiences and interpretations of what transpired in Newark. After he landed back in Portland this afternoon, we got to talking and got to recording our thoughts. Those thoughts are tucked inside that cute little interactive electronic box below.

You want New York Knicks schadenfreude? You know it's there. Taking pity on the city of Newark? Check. Best and worsts from this year's Draft? Of course that's covered, plus a lot more, like our experiences. Wanted to bring you behind the curtain a bit and have us talk about what it was like covering our first NBA Draft. Enjoy it. The podcast is equal parts NBA and college hoop -- the best of both worlds for everybody.

A reminder: subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, or if you have a Zune, we've got you covered there as well. And for the XML-savvy, here's a permalink.

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