Tag:Missouri
Posted on: February 27, 2012 2:36 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 2:40 pm
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Frank Haith is not talking about Miami

Haith's having an incredible year at Mizzou, but the Miami questions could still haunt him. (AP)

By Matt Norlander


The bubbling undercurrent to Missouri's amazing 25-4 season has been the fact Frank Haith was hired away from Miami before Yahoo Sports dropped five thousand proximity mines on the campus with its exhaustively and impressively thorough reporting last summer. Haith was not exactly portrayed as a coach with his program on the up and up in that report, but he's been able to douse the fire on his Miami reputation with the job's he's done in Missouri. Not that those two things are or should be separate issues.

The NCAA continues to sift into Haith's Hurricane tenure, as all parties were mum on the issue for most of this season. The NCAA continues to work on the mammoth case; we don't know when all sorts of verdicts on the football and basketball program will come down. But with Sunday's news that Reggie Johnson was suspended for illegal travel benefits provided by former Miami coaches, it meant Haith had to be asked about his time at Miami again. He's not going there, folks.

“We're doing some great things here at Missouri, and we're cooperating with the NCAA fully,” said Haith ... “And I'll just be glad when this thing's over with.”

In a news release issued Sunday before Miami's game with Florida State, Miami said:

After the game, current Miami coach Jim Larranaga told reporters: “It's my understanding Reggie and his family didn't do anything wrong. They didn't know of any impermissible benefit. It was somebody else that did that. Reggie's already paid a dear price, missing this game.”

...

Asked his thoughts about Johnson's situation, Haith said, “It's just disappointing. Reggie is a wonderful young man, and you hate to see anyone have their career delayed.” He added, “It's tough. I feel bad for him and his family, and I know he'll get through it, though.”

Haith has denied the allegations from the get-go, obviously. This travel benefit for Johnson would stem from Haith's tenure, to be clear. It now gets lumped into the allegation that former Miami booster, who is currently sitting in jail, Nevin Shapiro, knew Haith was complicit in a $10,000 payment to Miami recruit DeQuan Jones, who is a member of the team now.

Miami hopes to get Johnson reinstated as swiftly as possible; the team's NCAA tournament hopes could hinge on it. Haith hopes he doesn't have to answer one more question about Miami for the rest of his life. One seems much more likely than the other.

Posted on: February 25, 2012 6:45 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 9:08 pm
 

Kansas pulls remarkable comeback in Border War

By Jeff Goodman

LAWRENCE, Kan. - If this was it, the Border War sure went out in style. 

Kansas overcame a 19-point deficit and came back to beat Missouri, 87-86, in overtime, in one of the most thrilling regular-season contests college basketball has witnessed this season. 

The hype and the atmosphere for this one was off the charts. Both teams entered the game ranked in the top five in the country and there's no love lost between the two programs. Mizzou is headed to the SEC next season and there has been no shortage of speculation that these two will end the series that has spanned since 1907 and through 267 matchups. 

Game No. 267 ranks up there with the best of them. 

Tyshawn Taylor, who has been maligned through much of his four-year career in Lawrence, sank a pair of free throws with 8.3 seconds left in overtime to give Kansas a 87-86 lead. Missouri was unable to get a shot off on its final possession. 

It was Kansas' 90th victory at Allen Fieldhouse in its last 91 games.  

This wasn't just any ordinary victory for Bill Self and the Jayhawks. It was a victory against a rival -- and also extended the streak of claiming at least a share of the Big 12 regular-season title to eight consecutive years.  It was also revenge as Kansas blew a eight-point lead in Columbia a few weeks ago. 

With the Tigers losing at home against Kansas State this past week and Saturday against KU, the Jayhawks now sit two games in front of Missouri with two regular-season games left. 

Kansas will just need a win at Oklahoma State or a home win against Texas in order to win the Big 12 outright. 

Posted on: February 13, 2012 10:30 am
Edited on: February 13, 2012 10:33 am
 

Podcast: CBS Sports Net's Wally Szczerbiak joins

Tom Izzo is doing it again. Think about it, if MSU gets a one seed, shouldn't he get Coach of the Year? (US PRESSWIRE)

By Matt Norlander


OK, for a day, for one podcast, no writers. I had to get someone who's actually played the game to come on and give a different perspective. That man is CBS Sports Network analyst Wally Sczcerbiak. (My boss, and Miami University alumnus, Eric Kay, is so thrilled right now. This podcast's for you, man.) 

Wally's new to Twitter and would appreciate your follow, so go ahead and give him a click. Enjoy the pod. It's a breeze.
 
On the docket:
  • From the beginning: If he had a good knee, how many points would Wally average in college today?
  • 3:35: Which current hoops player does Wally think most resembles his game?
  • 4:30: It's been 13 years since Wally played college hoops. I ask him to compare the eras and say which one is better.
  • 6:15: Kentucky as the clear-cut top team, it's a talking point that's picking up steam. But Syracuse is 1A, and a strong 1A.
  • 9:34: Tom Izzo and coaching and the common threads between the best basketball coaches. I also ask him to pick his coach of the year, given only the optino of Izzo and Frank Haith. Is that a hedge I hear from Wally?
  • 16:25: The results that stood out the most to Wally from over the weekend. There is mid-major love to be handed out.
  • 18:52: Since Wally's been a part of so many teams and played basketball for so long, I took the opportunity on this podcast to get his perspective on things that most writers flatly can't interpret the same way. At this point, I ask him what February feels like and how teams stay on message without looking ahead ot March.
  • 23:36: Think you might be a little surprised with Wally's take on conference tournaments.
  • 26:45: We wrap up things with a couple teams Wally and I are high and low on. He doesn't hold back with his Baylor and Perry Jones III critiques, which is refreshing to hear.

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 Wally, 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: February 11, 2012 5:37 pm
 

Contrast between Baylor, Missouri: stage fright

Phil Pressey and Mike Dixon epitomize Missouri's toughness and fearlessness. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Missouri’s supposed to struggle against teams with size. Baylor is supposed to dominate smaller teams.

None of that happened on Saturday, as Missouri knocked down 14 3-pointers en route to a 72-57 win.

Baylor stubbornly stayed in its zone defense throughout the game, even when it was clear it wasn’t doing much to stop Missouri’s shooters. The Tigers consistently found open gaps in the corners, and exploited the lack of perimeter defense Baylor was showing. Marcus Denmon, Mike Dixon and Phil Pressey combined to shoot 12-for-22 from 3-point range, scoring 51 points between them.

Baylor’s size was a major factor early on, but the Bears simply couldn’t guard Missouri’s guards. How Missouri would match up with Baylor’s size populated much of the pregame discussion, but it was the other way around – Baylor couldn’t match up with Missouri’s four-guard lineup. Perry Jones was invisible for most of the game, while Baylor was unable to knock down jumpers at key points in the game. Gary Franklin, Pierre Jackson and Brady Heslip combined to shoot 2-for-13 from behind the arc for Baylor.

While Baylor possesses as much talent as anyone in the country, it’s troubling that Scott Drew’s troops can’t break through against the top teams in the Big 12. The Bears are now 0-4 against Missouri and Kansas. While that would not be a problem for most teams, it’s worth mentioning when you’re a Final Four hopeful. Baylor has all of the ingredients to make a deep run in March – except a killer instinct. Jones is the Bears’ best player, but he has never been a killer and he disappears in the biggest games. Freshman Quincy Miller was good tonight, but he can’t be the only player scoring. Does Baylor have enough mental toughness and intestinal fortitude to beat teams that punch back after taking the Bears’ initial punch?

Missouri is at the opposite end of the spectrum. The Tigers are simply fearless. Going against the bigs of Baylor wasn’t an issue – they gave up 15 offensive rebounds and were outrebounded by 13. It didn’t matter. Missouri makes teams adjust to them, not the other way around. Sure, Kim English is too small to really compete with Jones and Quincy Acy and other big guys inside, but they can’t guard him at the other end. Denmon was giving up plenty of height to Miller, but he’s also far too quick for the Baylor freshman. For every potential matchup problem, they respond with “well, what about when we’re on offense?” And fortunately for the Tigers, they’re the most efficient offensive team in the country.

Saturday’s game was a perfect contrast. There was one team that maximized its talent and didn’t back down, and another one that seemed to shrink on the biggest stages despite its size. 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 6, 2012 11:23 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2012 11:57 pm
 

Night Court: Missouri survives another close game

Oklahoma's Steven Pledger reacts after his game-tying 3-pointer rimmed out at the buzzer against Missouri. (AP)

By Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Monday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Oklahoma has had several close games recently, and Monday night against Missouri was no different, with the Sooners falling, 71-68. Both teams came out of the gate knocking down shots, especially Marcus Denmon, who finished with 25 points. Missouri had the lead for the entire second half, but Oklahoma kept it within one possession for the final minutes. The Sooners had a chance to tie the game, but Romero Osby missed two free throws and Steven Pledger’s 3-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out.

Win to brag about: Beating Texas A&M this season isn’t the same as it was the past couple of years, but Texas couldn’t afford another close loss (or a loss in general). The Longhorns were 0-7 in games decided by six points or fewer heading into Monday, but they held off Texas A&M down the stretch for a 70-68 win. J’Covan Brown had 20 points and seven assists to lead the Longhorns.

Loss to hide from: Remember when we thought Connecticut might turn things around after its win over Seton Hall on Saturday? Yeah, that didn’t happen. The Huskies were outhustled, outmuscled and outworked by Louisville en route to an 80-59 loss. And it didn’t even feel that close. Louisville shot 44 percent from 3-point range, and held Andre Drummond, Shabazz Napier and Jeremy Lamb to 16 points on 6-for-26 shooting.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Marquette’s Jamil Wilson has only reached double-figures in scoring four times this season, and has not grabbed more than seven rebounds in a game. On Monday night, Wilson led Marquette to a 89-76 comeback win over DePaul, totaling 18 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks – on 8-for-12 shooting.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: Connecticut’s debacle of an offensive performance deserves more than just one mention. Andre Drummond was dominated by Gorgui Dieng all night, as the Louisville big man finished with 15 points, six rebounds and six steals. Even worse, Drummond went 0-for-6 from the field and didn’t score a single point. Drummond has all the talent in the world, but the desire is lacking.

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 4: Four of Missouri’s last five wins have been by three points or fewer.
  • 3:45: Vermont has trailed for just 3:45 in its last 133:02 played. The Catamounts have won seven in a row after beating Maine.
  • 0: Kennesaw State remains winless in the Atlantic Sun after losing at home to USC-Upstate. The Owls are 0-13 in the league, 2-22 vs. D-I competition.
  • 93: Southern beat Jackson State, 49-44. In overtime. That’s 93 combined points in 45 minutes of basketball.
  • 16: South Carolina State had lost 16 games in a row before beating beating Longwood on Monday.

Three other notable results:

  1. Mississippi Valley State is 11-0 in the SWAC after beating Alabama A&M. MVSU was just 1-11 in non-conference play.
  2. Davidson has now won three in a row since dropping its first league game last weekend, beating Wofford by 22.
  3. Stony Brook stayed atop the America East at 11-1 with a 57-48 victory over New Hampshire.

Notes:

  • Belmont steamrolled Austin Peay, 94-55, in a non-conference tilt.
  • Mercer took a half-game lead in the Atlantic Sun, beating East Tennessee State, 54-46.
  • Idaho State played Montana close for a half, but the Grizzlies dominated the second half in a 76-40 victory to move to 10-1 in the Big Sky.
More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: February 5, 2012 12:27 am
Edited on: February 5, 2012 12:42 am
 

Night Court: Kansas-Mizzou delivers the goods

That is a 'Breaking Bad' reference for those who don't get it. (Getty Images)
By Matt Norlander

Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday night’s light slate of games …

Game of the Night:  It was Kansas-Missouri, of course. It couldn't be anything else. Parrish was there, and he'll have reaction/column on the experience shortly. As for my thoughts on the Tigers' 74-71 win, I thought the game was marred by officiating, but rarely does that bother me. The refs blow calls in every game, and at this point, unless it's particularly brutal -- like, among the five worst calls in a season -- I just consider it another turnover. I think it's a damn shame that could've been the last time Kansas takes the bus to Columbia for a game, though. Missouri wanted nothing to do with the Big 12, and now the rivalry is set to die after the season. Too bad.

Win to brag about: The Northern Iowa buzzer-beating win at home against the Valley's best team was bodacious. UNI is fighting to be an NIT bubble team, but it mucked up the MVC race by getting such a sizzling victory.

Loss to hide from: A lot of teams don't have wiggle room. Nevada was 19-3 entering the day, but it was a soft 19-3. It lost to 12-11 Idaho at home. The Wolf Pack now can most likely only afford to lose in the WAC finals if they want an at-large.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Thomas Robinson one-upped Jared Sullinger, scoring 25 and getting 13 rebounds after Sullinger had 24 and 10 earlier in the day. What's particularly egregious: Robinson didn't get a touch on the final three Kansas possessions. I checked the tape. The Jayhawks could have made it happen.

Another player who deserves improper benefits: The man who blocks. Anthony Davis, who set the SEC freshman record for blocks in a season, passing Shaq's record for more than two decades ago. Davis' eight swats today put him at 116 for the year. Davis will likely put this record beyond orbit by the end of February.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Chace Stanback's two points in 20 minutes in UNLV's loss at Wyoming was pretty glaring. I still am very high on Vegas, but I'd like to not see Stanback disappear like this again. He's the wrinkle that makes UNLV hard to contain.

Numbers don’t lie

  • 12. The MAC East beat the MAC West 12-0 this week. On the year, the East leads the battle 21-3.
  • 25.1. That's Damian Lillard's points per game average, tops in the nation, and stays that way thanks to 35 tonight against Northern Colorado.
  • 40 and 40. The Summit League's two best players, Nate Wolters and Dominique Morrison, both played 40 minutes and led their team to wins tonight. DoMo had 36 and Wolters had 31.

Other notable results

  1. Dayton is now 4-5 in the A10 and 14-9 overall. I'm embarrassed to have ever put this team in the Power Pyramid.
  2. For the first time since being coach of Indiana, Tom Crean got a road win in the Big Ten against the team that wasn't named Penn State. 78-61 over Purdue is just what the doctor ordered for IU. Purdue seems destined to play in Dayton in the First Four.
  3. The game will be a bit of an afterthought on this day, but UNC struggled on the way to an 83-74 win at Maryland. Tyler Zeller was again spectacular, putting up 22 points and seven rebounds.
  4. Important game in the CAA saw George Mason beat Old Dominion 54-50. Mason (19-6) remains in a tie atop the league at 11-2 thanks to the win. Playing its way to an at-large if it can win most of the rest from here on out.
  5. Iowa State 77, Oklahoma 70. Iowa State now 7-3 in the conference and, yeah, this is a tournament team.
  6. Boy, oh, boy did Alabama need to avoid losing at home to Ole Miss -- and it did. But it took two overtimes. A 69-67 Tide win. If it can win at home and just get by in the SEC Alabama will sneak in to the field of 68.

Notes

  • Mentioned that Creighton loss above. Wichita State won at home over Indiana State, which means WSU and Creighton are tied atop the Valley. The two play each other next Saturday.
  • Middle Tennessee State was another unbeaten-in-conference team entering the day. No more. Fell at Denver 75-60. If it was a five-point and not a 15-point loss, that'd have been much better. Blue Raiders are a bubble team, but barely now, and they have no BracketBuster opportunity.
  • I've never seen a basketball stanchion just go to sleep like this after a dunk. 
  • Crazy to know that Texas A&M was picked by league coaches to win the Big 12. Aggies fell 64-53 at K-State and are now 3-7 in conference.
  • Apparently it's rumored UNC and Kentucky will not play each other in the non-con next year. Would be dumb for both teams to opt out of that.
Posted on: February 3, 2012 1:11 pm
 

Podcast: Blogging/podcast worlds collide again

The future of the Hoosiers is one of many topics covered on today's pod. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Matt Norlander


Who says a couple of competing podcasts hosts can't share a microphone? ESPN.coms' Eamonn Brennan was again my guest on the podcast, and we managed to get through 37 minutes of conversation with minimal backhanded compliments and deft verbal barbs tossed at each other over the Wi-Fi.

E.B. was kind enough to do this amid a move, so I'm grateful for that. It's setting up to be a pretty nice weekend in hoops, I can't deny. I think this podcast will be a good way to usher yourself in to the first February Saturday slate. Enjoy, and feel free to send us feedback on Twitter. You can follow me here and Eamonn there.
 
Menu:
  • From the beginning: Hey, wait a second -- that's not my voice!
  • 6:06: Was Murray State's come-from-behind home win a good sign or a troubling one?
  • 12:03: February. It's the month where we really see what every team is. I explain why. E.B. responds. It's what we do on the podcast. We're experts at this, you know.
  • 15:13: On to Indiana, where Eamonn graduated from, and so I wanted to know how he sees this program through the eyes of an alumnus and the eyes of someone paid to write about college basketball.
  • 20:22: The games we're most looking forward to this weekend, not including the obvious Kansas-Missouri tilt.
  • 27:18: Eamonn has a weekly Bottom 10 feature, and so what's the worst of the worst of the worst from the past week in hoops? We're not all roses and juggling unicorns over here. 
  • 29:20: I'm not sure how we derailed into Madonna and the Super Bowl and bashing Lost and me defending DMB, but it happened. Don't judge me. Fine. Judge me. I still love you.

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 30, 2012 11:40 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 11:41 pm
 

Night Court: First 50-point scorer of the season

Kevin Murphy, the man who scored 50 tonight. (US PRESSWIRE)
By Matt Norlander

Here’s everything you need to know about Monday night’s light slate of games …

Game of the Night:  Thank God Missouri had to play Texas on the road, because if this was in Columbia, I feel like we would’ve had to pick Pitt-WVU as the GotN. This just in last century: winning on the road in conference against competent teams is harder than spinning a ping pong ball on your pinky. Missouri learned the lesson again tonight, as it was unable to shake Texas off despite, largely, playing better than the ’Horns for the majority of the game.

Then came the elbow call on Michael Dixon that gave Texas two technical free throws and helped cut a 13-point deficit down to one with less than a minute to go. J’Covan Brown gave UT the lead on the next possession. Dixon, by the way, hit a ridiculous running, falling left-handed, high-arcing layup to give Mizzou the lead. It was the game winner, and Dixon was 9 for 10 from the field and finished with 21 points. Missouri is playing itself into a top seed. They remain a fascinating case study in teams that inexplicably do well with first-year coaches.

Win to brag about: It’s become an unpredictable college basketball season across the board, in almost every conference. Pittsburgh only adds to the haze with its 72-66 win at West Virginia, causing the Mountaineers to dip to .500 in Big East play while taking one in Morgantown. Seth Davis floated the possibility Pitt could become a faint factor in the bubble chase. To that I only say, Seth, I love ya, buddy.

Loss to hide from: I forgot to make the bed today. My fiancée came home in a huff. So I’m hiding from that — and her. I bring this up because there wasn't really a bad loss tonight. And on Jan. 30 college basketball needs to be offering us more than this.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Kevin Murphy became the first 50-point scorer in college basketball this season tonight. He had half a hundred in Tennessee Tech’s 98-80 home win over SIU-Edwardsville. Murphy, a senior, was 16-of-21 from the field, 6-of-9 from 3, 12-of-14 from the foul line, had seven rebounds and just one turnover. It all amounts to what is likely one of the best sports nights of his life and certainly the most impressive statistical performance in the senior’s college career.

The flip side of the game saw Jerome Jones from SIU-E have a season-high 25 points.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Shame on you for trimming that beard, Deniz Kilicli. Now it’s merely magnificent, instead of Zeusian.

Numbers don’t lie

  • 18. Texas Southern blew an 18-point lead to Alabama State and lost 66-59 in overtime. The ESPNU play-by-play man called it "one of the most startling and unexpected comebacks you will ever see this college basketball season." I don't know about you, but I'm taking his word for it.
  • 4. After a four-game drought where he was held below 20 points -- the only time that's happened this season -- Penn senior Zack Rosen got back to good, putting up 28 against Princeton. Jack Donaghy is not pleased.
  • 3. The number of BracketBusters games that are actually worthwhile. Check out our succinct breakdown of the games.
  • 83. The number of pages I burned through tonight "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." (Again, thanks for the slow night, CBB!) This book is not making me want to see the movie. Only 200 pages to go. I was told this thing picks up the pace 100 pages in. Lies.

Three other notable results

  1. Penn knocked off Princeton in the Ivy, which means Penn is still undefeated, which means they’re tied in the loss column with Harvard. I'd love a good Ivy race, but it feels like Harvard's going to win the league by at least two games.
  2. Norfolk State dropped its first game in the MEAC tonight (87-82 to Coppin State). Yeah, we’re scraping the barrel’s bottom.
  3. Central Florida, what are you doing playing Palm Beach Atlantic on Jan. 30? Are you not a major player in a respectable conference? Don’t schedule weaklings after Christmas if you want to be a big boy. Now, can someone help me get off this damn high horse?

Notes

  • Did you happen to catch Bob Knight’s mocha sweater tonight? I promptly put on a cup of hot chocolate.
  • I can’t stand the elbow = technical rule in principle. What Dixon tonight warranted two free throws, but all too often we’re seeing players get punished for a natural reaction with the ball. Can we agree to just keep the spirit of the rule alive but chop it to one free throw? That’s a compromise I can live with.
  • I’ll be speaking with Kevin Murphy about his 50-point game early Tuesday morning. Look for the post around lunchtime.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com