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Tag:Big Ten
Posted on: March 8, 2012 4:41 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 4:55 pm
 

Crean on Verdell Jones' injury: 'It's not good'

The extent of Verdell Jones III's knee injury isn't known, but Tom Crean didn't sound optimistic. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

The final week before Selection Sunday has not been kind to the Big Ten. On Sunday, Michigan State freshman Branden Dawson went down with a torn ACL. There was more bad news on Thursday.

Indiana senior guard Verdell Jones suffered a knee injury in the Hoosiers’ win over Penn State. The extent of the injury is unknown right now, but it didn’t look good. Jones went to jump stop on a fast break, and immediately went down. It didn’t sound good, and he was grimacing in pain.

Shana Daniels, an assistant media relations director at Indiana, tweeted that it was a sprained knee and he would be evaluated further.

In the postgame, head coach Tom Crean didn’t sound nearly as optimistic when discussing the injury on his postgame radio show.

“It’s not good,” he said, nearing tears. “It’s not good. Just got to hope of the best.”

Jones, a 6-foot-5 senior, has played an integral part in Indiana’s revival this season. His scoring numbers are down since earlier in his career, but he’s still distributing fairly well. Moreover, his leadership has been a key with the younger players. Jones averaged 7.8 points and 3.2 assists this season.

We’ll have more on this as more information is released.

Posted on: March 4, 2012 9:50 pm
 

Michigan State loses Branden Dawson to ACL

By Jeff Goodman

Michigan State lost the opportunity to win the Big Ten outright title today -- and that's not all the Spartans lost. 

Tom Izzo also watched starter Branden Dawson go down with a torn ACL early in the loss to Ohio State. 

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Dawson was averaging 8.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game this season. He had four points in the loss to Ohio State prior to the injury. 

This is a significant blow to the Spartans -- who will now have to put Brandon Wood back in the starting lineup. 

Dawson is a big-time athlete who brings toughness, defense and a rebounding from the wing spot. 

Posted on: March 2, 2012 4:56 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 5:01 pm
 

Is there a three-way POY chase?

By Matt Norlander

No matter who you think should be college basketball's player of the year, if you're a fan of the game, I think it's undeniable: Draymond Green is so, so much fun to watch. When you stop and think about it, isn't he the best big man with the most diverse weaponry in his game to wear a Michigan State jersey since Magic Johnson?

Green is a point forward, essentially. He does things for this team, and has skills at the 1/2/3/4/5 that nobody -- nobody -- in college basketball has. That inherently makes him unique, and I suspect Tom Izzo is thankful for every second he has remaining with Green at his disposal. He's not only reliable, he's impossible to gameplan against because you can take away what he does best, or second-best, or third-best, and he'll still be able to help his team in five or six other ways. It's because of this that he's even in the conversation for Player of the Year.

But should he be? At first reaction, I thought so. Jeff Eisenberg put up a comparison post using traditional, tempo stats on The Dagger Wednesday. It was only between Thomas Robinson and Anthony Davis. "Where's Day-Day?" I asked upon seeing the piece. Chris Vannini, who has spent the past four years covering Michigan State, thought the same. And then I realized I was automatically judging Green's value to Michigan State vs. his ability as a player. Without him, is Michigan State an NCAA tournament team? I question that it is.

That's the ever-lasting argument: value to a team vs. actual ability/talent and achievement that's been displayed in a given year. Without Anthony Davis, Kentucky is still very good. It doesn't make him nearly as valuable to the Wildcats as Green is to Michigan State and Thomas Robinson is to Kansas.

In talking Player of the Year, we're talking the latter part of that debate above. I hope voters are aware of that. It's not a valuable award, it's a talent+achievement award. From that combination's standpoint, unfortunately, Green is not in the same class with the two men who are a virtual length-of-a-nose race for Player of the Year. I'm talking numbers here; from a visual perspective, again, it's a blast to watch Draymond. I think when he scores 29 and his team is still not even sniffing a win against Indiana, that's a double-edged result.

The following data was used compiling as-of-today statistics at Statsheet.com (Player Efficiency Ratings and KenPom.com. And fortunately, all statistics are measured through exactly 30 games for each player. Stats need to be judged against schedule strength too, in my opinion. As a backdrop, here's the KenPom.com overall SOS for each player:

Robinson: No. 3
Green: No. 4
Davis: No. 60



Davis' O Rating is absolutely absurd. And take note that I'm using one grid as a background for all data comparisons, so Davis' lofty PER and block numbers look small here, but in fact are nearly as stupid as his adjusted offensive rating.

Here's how it spreadsheets out. Notice how frequently Green is third in these dozens valuable categoriges. His only advantage is when it comes to passing, wher he is clearly as far ahead in that category as any other player is in any other. He makes teammates better, which speaks more to value than his overall achievement profile, but it's still plenty noteworthy.



Green's had a great, great year so far, but he's going up against an all-time shot-block/freak in Davis and a relentless, superior rebounder and scorer in Robinson. I think, at this point, POY is out of Green's reach, even if he's deserving to be in the conversation. From a numbers standpoint, he's a notch below. It's not his fault. If he put up these numbers last year, against Jimmer, it would actually be a really intriguing race.

No matter. Green's still incredible to watch, just as valuable to his team as Robinson, and more diversified in his game -- even though his ceiling are lower -- than Davis. Michigan State won't get to the Final Four without him, and while any coach would love/marry/kill to have Robinson or Davis on their roster, Green is woven into the fabric of his team's scheme as much as any player in the country.
Posted on: March 1, 2012 5:00 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 5:27 pm
 

College basketball's February: in photos

By Matt Norlander

Twenty-nine days gone, here are the best images taken from dedicated photogs around the country. Some are from big moments in big games; others are snapshots that you'd never would have known if not for a quick finger and clean lens. I'm continually grateful that news organizations put a premium on covering games with equal parts dedication to the pen as they do the camera. Enjoy this fantastic work.

Previously:

The shot that could ultimately decide who gets the final No. 1 seed. Look carefully behind Seth Curry's right arm. See the girl who can't bear to watch Rivers' shot. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Celebration, from above. It's like a connect-the-dots to a victory charge. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The dots turn into people from the floor view. Andre Dawkins gets to Austin Rivers first. (AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds)

Truman the Tiger pumps up the crowd before the Missouri-Kansas game. (Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

This monstrous Mike Moser poster is revolutionary, and I hope the NCAA doesn't ban them. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Rapper Flavor Flav and his son Karma Drayton at UNLV-San Diego State game. This is a PHOTO. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Aiden Williams is held by grandfather Roy. I desperately want Roy's jacket. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Rick Pitino whipped out the white suit. Or is that ivory? (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

I'm goign to assume this isn't brother and sister. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Kammeon Holsey provides the most dramatic moment of Georgia Tech's season. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

The Bugs Bunny ears are the perfect touch. (Lance King/Getty Images)

Mark Turgeon receives the Whitney Houston news. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Rob Lowe is always watching you, even when he's taking a photo of something else. Unnerving. (Lance King/Getty Images)

UNC cheerleader finds a moment to herself. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Fireworks do their job prior to the Kansas-Missouri game. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Tom Izzo, left, and Mike Eades engage in a conversation that most likely doesn't go anywhere. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

Washington State guard Dexter Kernich-Drew is a shy Tyrannosaur. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Frank Martin spots his reflection in the floor and is startled for the first time in his life. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Frank Martin, I'm so sorry. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Connecticut women's head coach Geno Auriemma matches his background. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Illinois basketball.(AP Photo/Dave Weaver)

It is unclear whether Delaware's Elena Delle Donne passed her most recent physical. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

A brief disagreement. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Missouri guard Michael Dixon regrets. Kansas celebrates. The rivalry is over. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Arkansas' Ky Madden tries to shoot over Auburn's Adrian Forves (45) and Kenny Gabriel (22). Seemed like a good idea at the time. (AP Photo/Todd J. Van Emst)

Bill Self proclaims victory, wins eighth straight Big 12 regular-season title. (US PRESSWIRE)

Duke's Haley Peters pays for the sins of Gerald Henderson. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Miami's Durand Scott celebrates with fans after Miami defeated Florida State 78-62. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

Quincy Miller, right, borrows a camera from Waco Tribune Herald photographer Rod Aydelotte, left. One of my favorite shots of the month. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Texas forward Alexis Wangmene gets emotional on Senior Night. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

Someone get the sewing machine. (Greg M. Cooper/US PRESSWIRE)

Love, love, love this shot of Kenny Boynton being defended by Mardracus Wade. His right ankle is taking all the pressure, while his body remains squarely balanced. The left toe is almost perpendicular to the floor, and the ball and shift is on. A terrific capture of a basketball move and body balance. (Beth Hall/US PRESSWIRE)

It's not often we get to see the sole of a player. (US PRESSWIRE)

Tom Crean has enjoyed life. But not as much as that fellow. (US PRESSWIRE)

Please attend the NCAA tournament. (US PRESSWIRE)

Frank Haith knows this year was unexpected and a special one. (US PRESSWIRE)

Shurna face multiplies. (US PRESSWIRE)

A different view of UCLA basketball. That shot looks like it's going to miss. (US PRESSWIRE)

Jeremy Lamb sees UConn's future inside that basketball. (US PRESSWIRE)

Robbie Hummel on Senior Night. I'd get snarky, but Goodman would threaten me again. (US PRESSWIRE)

Anthony Marshall waits out the rush on the scorer's table after UNLV is defeated at Colorado State. (Ryan Greene)

John Shurna, left, and Drew Crawford react after losing to Ohio State on Senior Night. Will the Wildcats' time, their first time, in the NCAAs come this year? (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Of course, last, here's what's considered college basketball's photo of the year. Jack Blankenship turned himself into a 15-second celebrity with this brilliant idea. (The Birmingham News/Hal Yeager)
Posted on: February 28, 2012 11:57 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 12:01 am
 

Day-Day can't do it all-all for MSU

Day-Day was the only one doing work-work Tuesday-Tuesday Night-Night. (Getty Images)
By Matt Norlander

Michigan State had this great play from Draymond Green, and other great plays from Draymond Green Tuesday night, but not much else in losing to Indiana, 70-55.

The Hoosiers and their crowd were ready. Everyone in hunter green who didn't have the name "GREEN" stitched to the back of their jersey was most definitely not. The Spartans' supporting case was basically a bunch of water boys, but we'll get to them in a second. The question in the aftermath of this game: Did MSU lose its chance at a one seed tonight? No. Beat Ohio State and win the Big Ten title and MSU is getting a one, I think, especially if UNC beats Duke Saturday, equaling out that season series between two top-seed seekers. Plenty of muck to clean up between the six teams flopping in the bowl fighting over those final two No. 1 spots. Still, MSU was done from the get-go against Indiana.

Take out Green and put in an average college basketball player and it's unlikely the Spartans put up 35 against IU -- that's how much Green meant tonight, and in a way acted as a microcosm for the Spartan's season so far. (Tomorrow on the blog we'll have a three-way comparison between Green, Anthony Davis and Thomas Robinson, to see who's the best Player of the Year candidate). Spartans not nicknamed Day-Day were 10-of-34 from the field and 2-of-7 on 3s. To balance it out, though, Green had six turnovers, which hurt, but he had the ball so much he became a focal point for MSU's offense and the obvious, magnetic target for Indiana's defense.

Everyone knew where the ball was going when MSU had it, and eventually the Spartans wore down because of it.

It wasn't just offensive problems. Indiana's Victor Oladipo was unguarded at times and made Indiana look Final Four-worthy (which I don't think IU is). The Hoosiers got a couple of huge 3s from Will Sheehey and Christian Watford late to pull away, but I was stunned by how the rest of MSU's team didn't show up, leading to the late lead by Indiana. A credit to Tom Crean's team for limiting the love-to-run Spartans, who had just four fast-break points from MSU.

Big picture: a lot of things broke down tonight, and we saw that Green can't make up for so many faulty parts.

And one final note on Indiana. I was at Assembly Hall almost two weeks ago. I wrote it then, and it gets emphasized on a night like this: No matter what happens in the NCAAs, this will be one of the most memorable seasons of Tom Crean's life. His team has beaten then-No. 1 Kentucky, then-No. 2 Ohio State and now-No. 5 Michigan State at home. Assembly Hall has always had an aura, but this year it's established a haunt that could have long-term effects of intimidation like you see Wisconsin, Michigan State, Duke and Kansas benefit from.
Posted on: February 28, 2012 1:33 pm
 

It's our bulkiest Tuesday poll yet

By Matt Norlander

We're back again with our weekly Tuesday poll and we want you to click through and let us know who you're picking for this week's marquee games. This is by far and away the most we've ever included in a poll, which means it will take you 20 seconds instead of the normal 13 to decide.

As usual, all of these games will be discussed on Wednesday night's edition of "Courtside with Seth Davis" at 7 p.m. ET. Before or after you vote, I also implore you to like the Eye On College Basketball Facebook page. And if that's not enough, CBSSports.com has your roundball fix tended to thanks to our daily newsletter. That newsleter is fantastic -- send it along to a parent or relative who you think would want that in their mailbox this time of year, too.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 27, 2012 2:14 pm
 

Healthy Hummel, Purdue peaking into Senior Night

By Jeff Goodman

Robbie Hummel will play his final game at Mackey Arena on Wednesday night. 

Yes, I wanted to be there as an admitted card-carrying member -- OK, the president -- of the Hummel Fan Club. But it's hard to justify making a trip to West Lafeyette to watch the Boilermakers host Big Ten cellar dweller Penn State. Even on Senior Night -- and even with a resurgent Purdue that has reeled off four of its last five. 

"It'll be strange," Hummel said. "It's weird because it seems like I've been here forever, but at the same time it also feels like it's gone by quickly." 

"I know my mom's going to cry," he added. 

She may not be the only one, either. I may have a few boxes of Kleenex by my side while watching the festivities on the Big Ten Network. 

In all seriousness, though, the good news for Hummel and Matt Painter isn't just that his knees have held up this season after a pair of torn ACL's. It's that he and his teammates are playing as well as they have all year long. It's also no shock that it's coincided with the departure of Kelsey Barlow. 

"We're peaking at the right time," he said. "This is the most fun I've had all year. We're in a good place with the team chemistry." 

We all remember the quote from fellow senior Ryne Smith after Barlow was booted a couple weeks ago. 

"Addition by subtraction," he said. 

But it's more than that. Hummel is playing like the the old Robbie Hummel. Lewis Jackson's back has improved significantly. Terone Johnson is coming off the best game of his career in the shocking road win in Ann Arbor against Michigan. 

Purdue coach Matt Painter has had a rough go this season. After losing E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson, it was clear the Boilermakers would take a step backward. 

But when Hummel went through a shooting slump (and that's being kind) in the middle of the season and Jackson could often be found wincing while fighting the the relentless back injury, the Boilermakers looked as if the string of five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances was in jeopardy. 

"There was a time when I wasn't sure I'd ever be good again," Hummel said. "It wasn't fun to play and not be what I was before. It sounds like a greedy thing to say, but it was tough." 

Then Hummel's shot came back and Jackson's back starting improving. Now Purdue once again looks like a team again. 

Hummel is averaging 23.2 points and 10.2 rebounds over the past five games and is shooting 47 percent from the field and 42 percent from 3-point range. Jackson logged a season-high 39 minutes per contest in the loss to Michigan State and is averaging 12.5 points and 5.0 assists over the past four games. 

"He's playing well at the right time," Painter said. "Both of them have." 

"The season has been a roller-coaster, but the last few weeks have been really fun," Hummel said. "Obviously, winning helps." 

Purdue, which is tied with Indiana in fifth place in the Big Ten should get its 20th victory of the season against Penn State and the Boilermakers finish the regular season at Indiana this weekend. The Boilermakers had been 0-for-7 against ranked teams prior to the victory over Michigan on Saturday. 

"It felt good to get over the hump," Hummel said. 

Posted on: February 26, 2012 9:08 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 12:30 am
 

Night Court: Please watch Bo Ryan celebrate



By Matt Norlander


If anyone can explain what the hell Bo Ryan is doing, please drop a note. (Update here.) Until then, here's everything you need to know about Sunday in college basketball ...

Game of the Night: Wisconsin is determined to confuse and confound us for the rest of the year. Winning at Ohio State likely ensured the Buckeyes won't get a one seed. As for UW, it's just as likely to fall 49-46 to Illinois is its schedule finale on March 4. Jared Berggren, a 6-10 Badgers junior whose last name comes so close to being a palindrome it hurts, scored Wisky's final five points and essentially handed the Big Ten regular-season title to ... Michigan State. If Sparty beats Indiana or Ohio State it takes its third banner in four years.

Win to brag about: Miami found out it couldn't play with big man Reggie Johnson due to NCAA violations, then had to suit up a few hours later against Florida State. The Hurricanes responded by putting up their second-best performance of the year, knocking off FSU 78-62 and very much keeping themselves amid the bubble conversation. Durand Scott, one of our fringe guys in the top 100 players in college hoops before the season began, came off the bench and supplied 17 points, a team-high for UM.

Loss to hide from: When you lose 46-45 the way Cincinnati lost 46-45 to a South Florida team that won 46-45, it's a reputation-tarnishing transgression. No, USF isn't in the tournament field with that win, but is Cincinnati in worse position, and behind the Bulls, with this loss? That horrid non-con kills Cincinnati, which has a decent scalp collection within the Big East. But the Selection Committee was most definitely watching that game today -- so long as they didn't barf themselves into fainting -- and it couldn't have been impressed. Cincy needs a really nice, definitive win over a tournament team to feel safe.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Meyers Leonard will make millions in the NBA one day. He had 22 points and 13 rebounds and stopped Illinois' six-game losing streak. Seeing Leonard play is like watching a sculptor slowly take a tiny hammer and make out the muse for a statue. Leonard's getting closer each week to the player he knows he can be.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Billy Crystal. Because seriously, who's making these decisions and when can their great grandchildren come to distract them?

Numbers don’t lie

  • 33-0. That was Iona's run against defensive-minded, slog-it-through-molasses-basketball
    St. Peter's.
  • 32. In 1980, 32 years ago, Wisconsin had its last road win against a top-10 AP Big Ten team. Then today happened.
  • Jared Sullinger had three assists; it was the first time since Nov. 25 he's had more than two. 

Three other games of note:

  1. Remember that one week like 17 days ago when people thought Pitt was destined to play its way into the field? Cute times. Louisville 57, Pittsburgh 54. Russ Smith went for a Cards-high 18 points because it's only Pittsburgh.
  2. I give Indiana credit for winning by 19 at Minnesota. The Golden Gophers -- who were a tournament team last year; can you believe it? -- had made their way out of bubble talk, but this was still a slippery spot for IU. It was only the second third league road win for Tom Crean's team this season.
  3. The Pac-12 is determined to remain an existential impressionist comedy to the end, and I think we all owe it a bit of gratitude for that unflinching determination.

Notes

  • That hilarious, tongue-in-cheek talk about Iowa having a chance at the NCAAs ended Sunday afternoon. Probably for the best. Hawkeyes-in-the-dance talk was almost as bad as Crystal.
  • Stony Brook is your No. 1 seed in the America East thanks to its 55-48 win over Maine.
  • Fairfield was so close to beating Iona Friday. It lost. Then it lost Sunday ... to Rider. Now the Stags are a four seed in the MAAC tournament. Been a disappointing season for FU.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com