Monday, February 28, 2011

POSTERIZED: Sycamore skies over Saluki

The Hoosier State has already produced some of the best dunks of the year. Indiana and Purdue have both had players throw their hats in the ring for "Dunk of the Year". We can now add Indiana State and Dwayne Lathan to that list.

What he did to Southern Illinois' Carlton Fay could be considered a crime in most states.



I was unaware that the sycamore tree produced chestnuts.



That dunk is definitely a candidate for "Dunk of the Year" and "Poster of the Year".

But I think it's safe to say that somebody from the Hoosier State is going to walk away with some dunk hardware.

But was it as good as one of these?:

POSTERIZED - Kenny Gabriel, Auburn
POSTERIZED - Travis Leslie, Louisville
POSTERIZED - Matt Dickey, UNC-Asheville
POSTERIZED - Jeff Robinson, Xavier
POSTERIZED - Nyika Williams
POSTERIZED - Jawanza Poland, South Florida
POSTERIZED - Brady Jardine, Utah State
POSTERIZED - Tony Mitchell, Alabama
POSTERIZED - John Williams, UNC-Asheville
POSTERIZED - Peyton Siva, Louisville
POSTERIZED - E'Twaun Moore, Purdue
POSTERIZED - DJ Newbill, Southern Mississippi
POSTERIZED - Scotty Hopson, Tennessee
POSTERIZED - Justin Brownlee, St. John's
POSTERIZED - Tyrone Johnson
POSTERIZED - Travis Leslie, Georgia
POSTERIZED - Terrence Ross, Washington
POSTERIZED - Justin Tubbs, East Tennessee State
POSTERIZED - Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
POSTERIZED - Andre Roberson, Colorado
POSTERIZED - Durrell Summers, Michigan State
POSTERIZED - Phillip McDonald, New Mexico
POSTERIZED - Kyle Kuric, Louisville
POSTERIZED - Anthony Nelson, Niagara
POSTERIZED - Cory Joseph, Texas
POSTERIZED - Will Sheehey, Indiana
POSTERIZED - Tom Pritchard, Indiana
POSTERIZED - Shay Shine, High Point
POSTERIZED - John Holland, Boston
POSTERIZED - Keith Gabriel, VMI
POSTERIZED - Travis McKie, Wake Forest
POSTERIZED - Jefferson Mason, Minnesota State (D-II)
POSTERIZED - Tyler Johnson, Fresno State
POSTERIZED - John Williams, UNC-Asheville
POSTERIZED - Derrick Williams, Arizona
POSTERIZED - Hollis Thompson, Georgetown
POSTERIZED - Darnell Wilks, Cincinnati
POSTERIZED - Rodney Williams, Minnesota
POSTERIZED - Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette
POSTERIZED - Darrius Garrett, Richmond
POSTERIZED - Travis Cohn, Jacksonville
POSTERIZED - Ramon Galloway, South Carolina
POSTERIZED - Terrence Jones, Kentucky
POSTERIZED - Justin Tubbs, East Tennessee State
POSTERIZED - John Williams, UNC-Asheville
POSTERIZED - Kevin Smith, Richmond
POSTERIZED - Mitchell Watt, Buffalo
POSTERIZED - Chandler Parsons, Florida
POSTERIZED - Kenny Gabriel, Auburn
POSTERIZED - Paris Horne, St. John's
POSTERIZED - Travis Leslie, Georgia
POSTERIZED - Laurence Bowers, Missouri
POSTERIZED - Drew Gordon, New Mexico
POSTERIZED - Tony Mitchell, Alabama
POSTERIZED - Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt
POSTERIZED - LaMarcus Reed, UT-Arlington
POSTERIZED - Marcus Morris, Kansas
POSTERIZED - Jared Cunningham, Oregon State
POSTERIZED - Langston Morris-Walker
POSTERIZED - Chris Wright and Juwan Staten, Dayton
POSTERIZED - D.J Stephens, Memphis
POSTERIZED - Derrick Williams, Arizona
POSTERIZED - Reeves Nelson, UCLA
POSTERIZED - Kendall Marshall and John Henson, UNC
POSTERIZED - Terrence Jones, Kentucky
POSTERIZED - Rodney Williams, Minnesota
POSTERIZED - Joe Jackson, Memphis
POSTERIZED - Shay Shine, High Point
POSTERIZED - Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
POSTERIZED - Kent Bazemore, Old Dominion
POSTERIZED - CJ Fair, Syracuse
POSTERIZED - LeBryan Nash
POSTERIZED - Rodney Williams, Minnesota
POSTERIZED - Travis Leslie, Georgia
POSTERIZED - Terrence Jones, Kentucky
POSTERIZED - Marcus Jordan, Central Florida
POSTERIZED - Lorenzo Brown, NC State
POSTERIZED - Tai Wesley, Utah State
POSTERIZED - Trent Lockett, Arizona State, and Derrick Williams, Arizona
POSTERIZED - Brandon Paul, Illinois
POSTERIZED - Jordan Hamilton, Texas
Continue reading...

Buzz Williams is no Bruce

I've always like Buzz Williams.

Not just as a head coach (although his Marquette teams are always one of my favorite teams to watch), but he genuinely seems like a good guy. He's a blue collar, hard-worker that gets so into his team's games that he's left without a voice at the end.

I'd love to play for a coach that is that passionate.

I'd also love to play for a coach with a sense of humor. And, for someone to willingly agree to the following video, you know he has a sense of humor:


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Breaking down UConn's offense: Why is Kemba Walker forced to hog the ball?

Its no secret that UConn is going to go as far as Kemba Walker takes them this season.

Its what was predicted by every writer in the preseason. Its what became abundantly clear as Kemba carried the Huskies to a top ten ranking in December and early January. But it may also be what dooms the Huskies in March.

Kemba Walker scored 27 points against Marquette last Thursday when the Golden Eagles visited the XL Center, but UConn ended up losing that game. At Cincinnati on Sunday, Kemba finished with just 16 points, but UConn ended up winning that game on the road largely because he was able to get his teammates involved throughout the game.

The UConn supporting cast has really grown as the season as gone along. Alex Oriakhi is not as consistent as would be ideal, but he's developed into one of the better big men in the Big East. Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier have both become playmakers capable of creating shots. Jamal Coombs-McDaniel has come back to earth a bit from the three game stretch where he averaged 20.3 ppg, but he's proven -- both to opponents and, more importantly, to himself -- that he is a scoring threat that's must be identified.

No longer is this a one man show. The Huskies now have options. Kemba is the star, he's the focal point of what they want to do offensively and what their opponents are going to try to do defensively.

But its when he trusts his teammates and allows them to make plays is when UConn is at their best.

I went back and watched a bunch of tape of the Huskies past few games, specifically the end of the Marquette loss and the Georgetown and Cincinnati wins, to try and deduce precisely what the Huskies issues were.

In the last five minutes of regulation and overtime against Marquette, there was only one possession (not including the final 30 seconds when UConn was scrambling to score down five) in which the Huskies didn't immediately run a high ball-screen or an isolation for Kemba. Even on the possession where the Huskies ran a set, the ball ended up in Kemba's hands at the end of the shot clock.

The issue wasn't necessarily that Kemba didn't pass the ball, which is what the majority feeling was after the game on Thursday. Kemba didn't have anywhere to pass to. The other four players on the court simply didn't move. Each possession started in a 1-4 set, meaning Kemba had the ball up top while the two wings were buried in the corners and the big man that wasn't setting the screen would stay on the block:


Walker ends up splitting the double team and getting himself into the teeth of the defense, where he is surrounded by three Marquette defenders with all five sets of eyes on him. Notice where his four teammates are on the floor. Ton have moved from where they were in the first image:


This possession actually worked out. The pass you see Walker throwing should have been stolen, but it bounced around and into Oriakhi's hands for a layup.

This is what every possession looked like for the Huskies down the stretch. Its tough to pin the blame directly on Kemba. Even on the turnovers he had late in the game, the blame falls on his shoulders as much as it does his teammates that stood 30 feet away from him without moving while he was getting double teamed.

The issue with UConn isn't necessarily that Kemba is a ball hog. The issue is the lack of movement they get on the offensive end. So much of what they do offensively is centered around Kemba's ability off the dribble, and rightfully so. Its impossible to stay in front of him and he's so dangerous once he gets into the paint. The risk involved is that the rest of the Huskies have a tendency to stand and watch Kemba instead of moving into an open spot. Not only does that limit the passing angles Kemba can find, it also makes it much, much easier to play help defense. In other words, a stagnant UConn offense makes it easy to collapse on Kemba in the paint.

Part of that blame has to fall on the shoulders on the players. They are the ones actually on the court, standing and watching. But the coaching staff is also at fault as well. There are ways to incorporate a high ball screen into an offensive set. Here is a perfect example from UConn's win over Georgetown.

Kemba had passed the ball up the right side of the floor to Lamb, who is standing on the right wing:


As Kemba cuts through the defense to the left wing, Coombs-McDaniel, who was standing on the left wing, cut under the basket to the right corner. Lamb swung the ball up top to Smith who swings it again to Kemba:


Oriakhi comes and sets a ball screen from Kemba, who attacks the middle off the bounce. At the same time, Coombs-McDaniel comes off of a staggered screen being set by Lamb and Smith. The help comes at Kemba, who finds Coombs-McDaniel open on the wing for a three when his defender got hung up on a screen:


For UConn to win games in March, the Huskies cannot rely simply on Kemba Walker going one-on-one.

They are going to need his supporting cast to step up. The best way to do that?

Keep them moving on the offensive end of the floor.

Kemba's a ballhog, yes, but that is just a symptom of a bigger problem for the Huskies.

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Monday's Pregame Beat: Can Kansas State remain hot?

9:00 pm: Kansas State @ No. 8 Texas: These are two teams currently headed in opposite directions. That vaunted Texas defense we were all talking about? Yeah, that went out the window in the past two weekends as the Longhorns were beaten by Nebraska and then torched while blowing a 22 point lead at Colorado.

Kansas State is currently on a four game winning streak that has, for all intents and purposes, gotten them into the NCAA Tournament field. Jacob Pullen is averaging 29.0 ppg during that stretch, but its been the passionate and inspired play by the other four players on the floor that has really made the difference for Kansas State.

Tonight will be interesting, as well as a gauge for where both teams currently stand. Kansas State has struggled on the road this season, and Texas is always tough at home. The key to this game may end up being none other than Dogus Balbay. The Texas point guard is arguably the best on-ball defender in the country. Can he slow down the red-hot Pullen?

7:00 pm: No. 19 Villanova @ No. 7 Notre Dame: Villanova is essentially in a free fall right now. The Wildcats have lost at home to Syracuse and St. John's in the past week, and looked far from impressive in both games. There is plenty of talent on the Villanova roster, but they just don't seem to be able to figure out how to get all of the pieces to fit together. Notre Dame, on the other hand, is terrific when playing at home. They are experienced and play very well together.

7:00 pm: Morgan State @ North Carolina A&T
8:30 pm: Coppin State @ Norfolk State
9:00 pm: Jackson State @ Arkansas-Pine Bluff
9:00 pm: Cal St. Bakersfield @ Gonzaga
9:05 pm: Northern Colorado @ Idaho State

Continue reading...

USC and Washington set up an interesting game Saturday

USC swept the Arizona schools at home this weekend, thanks in very large part to the play of Nikola Vucevic inside. The Trojan big man averaged 22.5 ppg and 11.0 rpg for the week. That's impressive, especially when you consider he went for 25 points and 12 boards while holding Derrick Williams to all of eight points on Thursday night.

Washington's weekend was a bit more disappointing. The Huskies got smoked at home by rival Washington State, putting them into a bit of a troubling situation. They are now 10-6 in the Pac-10 and two games off of the pace for the Pac-10 lead while their road struggles have now spread to their home court.

It sets up an interesting situation next Saturday when USC visits Washington in the regular season finale.


Not a lot of mention has been made about USC as a potential tournament team. Rightfully so. They are 17-12 on the season with an RPI of 80. At best, they will finish at 11-7 in the Pac-10, which includes three losses to the Oregon schools. But they also own wins over Texas, Tennessee, UCLA, and now Arizona. And while the Trojans also lost to Bradley, Rider, and TCU, those losses all came prior to Jio Fontan joining the team. Not quite as bad as you thought, is it?

Now, Washington is on the other end of that spectrum. Despite being ranked in the top 25 for much of the season, this Washington team will be in serious trouble if they lose out this weekend. Their RPI is 43rd, but they have half the number of top 50 wins that USC does (just UCLA and Arizona) and the same number of ugly losses, dropping games at Stanford and both of the Oregon schools.

Imagine this scenario -- USC wins at Washington State on Thursday while Washington loses to UCLA. Both the Huskies and the Trojans would be heading into their showdown on Saturday with a 10-7 record in league play. If USC wins, they finish a game in front of Washington in the Pac-10 standings, having beaten the Huskies to cap off a six game winning streak to end the season, with more than double to number of top 50 wins on their resume.

That would be an interesting situation, wouldn't it?

How much credit do you give to the end of the season, when Washington lost four of five? How much do you factor in the addition of Fontan? Or the loss of Abdul Gaddy?

When you also consider that Arizona just blew a two game lead in the conference standings in the span of three days, tying them with UCLA for first, I think its safe to say we are headed to a wild finish in Pac-10 play.
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Hoops Housekeeping: Rakeem Buckles is done for the year.

Rakeem Buckles: Just a few weeks removed from finally returning to the court after breaking a finger, Buckles once again joined the long list of injured Louisville Cardinals. Buckles planted awkwardly on a fast break in Sunday's win over Pitt and tore an acl.

"I'm really, really disappointed for Rak," Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said. "He waited patiently to come back, and now he gets hurt again. I feel absolutely awful for him and the team. But we've battled adversity all season and we'll continue to do so, and we won't let it bother us."


Nolan Dennis: A top 50 recruit coming out of high school and a member of the disbanded 2009 recruiting class that John Calipari brought into Memphis before leaving for Kentucky, Dennis has never quite lived up to those expectations in college. He's played two seasons at Baylor, averaging just 2.3 ppg. On Friday, Dennis withdrew from school for medical reasons.

"We ask that Baylor Nation keeps Nolan in their thoughts and prayers," Baylor head coach Scott Drew said. "He was truly a treasured member of our basketball program and we wish him the best."


Brad Stevens: The Butler head coach had a scary incident on the sidelines during Butler's game against Loyola on Saturday. I'll let him explain:

"Right now, I can't see and my eye feels like it has a thousand scratches," Stevens said from home. "My vision got progressively worse as we were getting ready to start the game, and by the final media timeout of the first half, I could not see the other end of the court and everything in front of me was blurry."

He was diagnosed with a corneal edema and was back coaching on Monday.


Elijah Johnson: Johnson has been starting for Tyshawn Taylor since the junior was suspended from the team a week ago. He's played well and there are rumors that he may keep the starting job once Taylor rejoins the team. He also took a shot to the head in Saturday's win over Oklahoma, but appears to be fine.

“You know when you go to Chuck E. Cheese and you get the hammer and you bop the people?” Johnson said. “I kind of feel like that’s what happened.”

He missed the final 14 minutes of the game, but the game was out of reach already. He was cleared to play if he was needed.

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Bettin' is a Habit - 2/28

We here at B.I.A.H don't fancy ourselves gamblers, but we do know a lot of people with crippling addictions to gambling. So why not help enable them, right? Semi-regularly, we will provide you a couple of picks and one lead-pipe-lock that you can take to the bank. But if you take our advice and don't win any money, you aren't allowed to come bash our knee-caps in.

It's the last day of the month, so your rent is due soon (unless you are one of the many keyboard assassins who still live in your parent's basement). Use these picks to earn some quick rent money.

Villanova (21-8, 9-7) at Notre Dame (23-5, 12-4)
This will be Villanova's third game in-a-row against a ranked opponent, and the Wildcats lost their last two games. 'Nova needs to pick up a win here, because their next game is at Pittsburgh, and that may be a tougher place to win than South Bend. It is very possible that the Wildcats end the season with a four-game losing streak. I'm not sure who is going to win this one, but I'm fairly certain it will be low scoring.

Pick: Under 140


Kansas State (20-9, 8-6) at Texas (24-5, 12-2)
Kansas State finally seems like they are turning their season around. Texas meanwhile looks like they may be fading down the stretch in the same fashion they did last season. I like Kansas State as 8.5-point underdogs, but I think I like the over/under more.

Pick: Over 135.5


Northern Colorado (17-10, 11-3) at Idaho State (9-18, 4-10)
The Bears are closing in on a Big Sky regular season title and a win against the Bengals could seal the deal. Last time they met, Northern Colorado won by 20, and the Bengals have lost two of their last three. I don't see Idaho State getting close in this one, even at home.

Pick: Northern Colorado -7





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2/28 - College Hoops Week in Review: The Pac-10 race just got crazy

Games of the Week: Wisconsin 53, Michigan 52

The Wolverines were so close to finally picking up a marquee win. With 30 seconds left and the score 52-50, Michigan's Darius Morris headed to the free throw line. He missed the front end of a one-and-one (one of six straight free throws Michigan missed down the stretch), but the Wolverines still had four fouls to give. So they worked the clock down to 5.4 seconds left, setting up this final play:



The loss was all the more crushing for Michigan as they continue to chase an NCAA Tournament bid. They are currently sitting right on the cut line with, at best, a shot at a .500 league record. You don't think a win over the No. 12 team in the country could help?

UNC Asheville 61, Coastal Carolina 58: At first, I felt bad for Coastal Carolina. Their season has gone up in flames. Two of their best players have been suspended. Their starting point guard is done for the season with a knee injury. What seemed like a year with the potential to win a game in the NCAA Tournament has become a disaster. But then I read this. Maybe Matt Dickey was just playing the role of karma:




Player of the Week: Nikola Vucevic, USC

Vucevic is one of the best big men in the country, but I'm willing to bet you've never seen him play. Its not necessarily your fault. The Pac-10 has a garbage TV deal that makes it extremely difficult to see any Pac-10 game, let alone ones with a team that was expected to be one of the worst high-majors in the country.

But USC has had a bit of a resurgence of late. They've now won four straight games, including a sweep of the Arizona schools this past weekend, and Vucevic has been the best player on the floor. He has six straight double-doubles, including the 25 points and 12 boards he had in the Trojan's upset of Arizona on Thursday. Making that performance all the more impressive was the eight points that Derrick Williams finished with. All told, Vucevic averaged 22.5 ppg and 11.0 rpg.


All of a sudden, USC looks like a team that could end up stealing a bid. They've got wins over Texas, Tennessee, UCLA, and Arizona. Their bad losses came early in the season, before Jio Fontan was on the roster. If they sweep Washington and Washington State on the road to close out the season, they will be tied from third in the Pac-10. That's stronger than some of the profiles currently on the bubble.

The All-they-were-good-too team:

  • G: Jacob Pullen, Kansas State: Pullen averaged 25.5 ppg for the Wildcats in a 2-0 week as they all but locked up a tournament bid with a win against Missouri on Saturday. All told, in the last four games, Pullen is averaging 29.0 ppg, shooting 48.4% from the floor, 15-23 (65.2%) from three, and 41-47 from the foul line.
  • G: Dwight Hardy, St. John's: Hardy averaged 27.5 ppg this week, including a career-high 34 point performance in the Johnnie's win at Villanova. In the past seven games, Hardy has set his career high three times.
  • F: Reeves Nelson, UCLA: The Bruins moved into a first place tie in the Pac-10 this weekend with a 71-49 win over Arizona. Nelson outplayed Derrick Williams, a potential top ten pick, to the tune of 27 points and 16 boards. He also had 12 points and 10 boards in a win over Arizona State.
  • F: John Henson, UNC: Henson has a long way to go before he becomes a legitimate offensive threat, but his performance on the defensive end of the floor and on the glass is a huge reason for the Tar Heel's resurgence. This week, he had 30 rebounds (nine offensive) and 13 blocks in two wins.
  • C: JaJuan Johnson, Purdue: Johnson had 20 points and nine boards in a win at Indiana, and followed that up with an impressive 20-point, 17-rebound, 7-block performance at Michigan State.
  • Bench: Tu Holloway, Xavier (12 points, 15 assists, nine boards vs. La Salle, 26 points, 6 boards, 5 assists at Dayton); BJ Jenkins, Murray State (21.5 ppg as Racers clinched OVC title); Marshon Brooks, Providence (52 points in loss to Notre Dame); Tim Abromaitis, Notre Dame (25.0 ppg, had scored 20 just once in 2011)

Team of the Week: Virginia Tech Hokies

It was really difficult this week to pick a team of the week given the number of quality options there were. I had to go with the Hokies, though. With their win over Duke on Saturday night, Virginia Tech has all but clinched an NCAA Tournament bid barring a collapse down the stretch.


The Hokies had a nice record coming into the game, but they didn't have the power at the top that you need to make the NCAA Tournament. With how weak the bubble is this year, snagging a win over the No. 1 team in the country is almost enough to carry you from the wrong side of the bubble to the right side. Tech still has some work to do -- they play both Boston College and Clemson, two other ACC bubble teams, down the stretch -- but as long as they can avoid being swept, Seth Greenberg should finally be taking his team to the NCAA Tournament.

Teams deserving a shout out:

Marquette: Have the Golden Eagles finally made their patented late season run? Needing a win on Thursday to keep their tournament hopes alive, Marquette went into Hartford and knocked off the UConn Huskies in overtime. They followed it up with a win over Providence. With two games (Cincinnati, at Seton Hall) left, Marquette should feel like they are in solid position to earn a bid.

Louisville: The Cardinals also picked up two big wins this week, winning at Rutgers before taking care of Pitt at home. With the win over Pitt, Louisville moved into a third place tie with St. John's in the Big East standings. If they win out, the Cardinals will receive one of the double byes in the conference tournament.

UCLA: UCLA wiped the floor with both Arizona State and Arizona in Pauley Pavilion this weekend, the latter thanks to Reeves Nelson's 27 points and 16 boards. The Bruins have now moved into a first place tie in the Pac-10 with the Wildcats. They'll have their work cut out for them this weekend, having to travel to the Washington schools, but a sweep would give the Bruins a share of the Pac-10 title. Who saw that coming?

Kansas State: Is there a team in the country playing better basketball than the Wildcats right now? Jacob Pullen has been on fire, his supporting cast has been playing with purpose and passion, and K-State earned their fourth straight win against Missouri on Saturday, which should be enough to get the Wildcats into the NCAA Tournament so long as they avoid a late season collapse.


Colorado: All of a sudden, the Buffaloes look like they may actually be capable of earning themselves an NCAA Tournament bid after they won at Texas Tech and then came from 22 points down to knock off Texas. They'll have their work cut out for them -- winning out in league play may not be enough -- but its possible.

Syracuse: The Orange continued to prove that they are a better team away from home this season, going into Philly and Washington DC and coming away with hard-fought wins over Villanova and Georgetown. There is a silver lining, however. Villanova has struggled mightily down the stretch in Big East play, while the Hoyas were playing without Chris Wright.

USC: As we detailed earlier, the Trojans are now in a position that they can make a claim for deserving an at-large bid. They knocked off Arizona and Arizona State this week, they have four quality wins, and their bad losses all came before Jio Fontan was eligible to play. If they win out at the Washington schools this week, USC will be an interesting case on Selection Sunday.

Gonzaga: The Zags knocked off St. Mary's on the road in overtime on Thursday, meaning that their win over San Diego on Saturday night gave them a share of the WCC regular season title. They also managed to get themselves back into the thick of the bubble conversation, although they've lost enough games that anything short of an automatic bid will leave them sweating when the brackets are announced.

MATCHUPS OF THE WEEK
  • 2/28 - 7:00 pm: Villanova @ Notre Dame
  • 2/28 - 9:00 pm: Kansas State @ Texas
  • 3/1 - 7:00 pm: Illinois @ Purdue
  • 3/1 - 7:00 pm: Alabama @ Florida
  • 3/1 - 9:00 pm: Vanderbilt @ Kentucky
  • 3/1 - 9:00 pm: Boston College @ Virginia Tech
  • 3/2 - 8:00 pm: Cincinnati @ Marquette
  • 3/2 - 9:00 pm: UCLA @ Washington
  • 3/2 - 9:00 pm: Texas A&M @ Kansas State
  • 3/4 - 12:00 pm: Kansas @ Missouri
  • 3/4 - 2:00 pm: Notre Dame @ UConn
  • 3/4 - 4:00 pm: Villanova @ Pitt
  • 3/4 - 6:00 pm: Florida @ Vanderbilt
  • 3/4 - 8:00 pm: Duke @ UNC
  • 3/4 - 9:00 pm: Texas @ Baylor
  • 3/5 - 12:00 pm: Wisconsin @ Ohio State
  • 3/5 - 4:00 pm: Kentucky @ Tennessee
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POSTERIZED: Kenny Gabriel gets an assist from somebody's face

We all know that Auburn's Kenny Gabriel can dunk. Against Arkansas on Saturday, the 6-foot-8 forward threw down another dandy-of-a-dunk off of a fast break.



But the best part is that the turnover came after Arkansas' Marcus Britt threw a pass to teammate Mike Sanchez, who clearly wasn't ready for the pass. The ball smacked Sanchez right in the face. Gabriel picked up the loose ball and took it to the rack with authority.

But was it as good as one of these?:

POSTERIZED - Travis Leslie, Louisville
POSTERIZED - Matt Dickey, UNC-Asheville
POSTERIZED - Jeff Robinson, Xavier
POSTERIZED - Nyika Williams
POSTERIZED - Jawanza Poland, South Florida
POSTERIZED - Brady Jardine, Utah State
POSTERIZED - Tony Mitchell, Alabama
POSTERIZED - John Williams, UNC-Asheville
POSTERIZED - Peyton Siva, Louisville
POSTERIZED - E'Twaun Moore, Purdue
POSTERIZED - DJ Newbill, Southern Mississippi
POSTERIZED - Scotty Hopson, Tennessee
POSTERIZED - Justin Brownlee, St. John's
POSTERIZED - Tyrone Johnson
POSTERIZED - Travis Leslie, Georgia
POSTERIZED - Terrence Ross, Washington
POSTERIZED - Justin Tubbs, East Tennessee State
POSTERIZED - Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
POSTERIZED - Andre Roberson, Colorado
POSTERIZED - Durrell Summers, Michigan State
POSTERIZED - Phillip McDonald, New Mexico
POSTERIZED - Kyle Kuric, Louisville
POSTERIZED - Anthony Nelson, Niagara
POSTERIZED - Cory Joseph, Texas
POSTERIZED - Will Sheehey, Indiana
POSTERIZED - Tom Pritchard, Indiana
POSTERIZED - Shay Shine, High Point
POSTERIZED - John Holland, Boston
POSTERIZED - Keith Gabriel, VMI
POSTERIZED - Travis McKie, Wake Forest
POSTERIZED - Jefferson Mason, Minnesota State (D-II)
POSTERIZED - Tyler Johnson, Fresno State
POSTERIZED - John Williams, UNC-Asheville
POSTERIZED - Derrick Williams, Arizona
POSTERIZED - Hollis Thompson, Georgetown
POSTERIZED - Darnell Wilks, Cincinnati
POSTERIZED - Rodney Williams, Minnesota
POSTERIZED - Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette
POSTERIZED - Darrius Garrett, Richmond
POSTERIZED - Travis Cohn, Jacksonville
POSTERIZED - Ramon Galloway, South Carolina
POSTERIZED - Terrence Jones, Kentucky
POSTERIZED - Justin Tubbs, East Tennessee State
POSTERIZED - John Williams, UNC-Asheville
POSTERIZED - Kevin Smith, Richmond
POSTERIZED - Mitchell Watt, Buffalo
POSTERIZED - Chandler Parsons, Florida
POSTERIZED - Kenny Gabriel, Auburn
POSTERIZED - Paris Horne, St. John's
POSTERIZED - Travis Leslie, Georgia
POSTERIZED - Laurence Bowers, Missouri
POSTERIZED - Drew Gordon, New Mexico
POSTERIZED - Tony Mitchell, Alabama
POSTERIZED - Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt
POSTERIZED - LaMarcus Reed, UT-Arlington
POSTERIZED - Marcus Morris, Kansas
POSTERIZED - Jared Cunningham, Oregon State
POSTERIZED - Langston Morris-Walker
POSTERIZED - Chris Wright and Juwan Staten, Dayton
POSTERIZED - D.J Stephens, Memphis
POSTERIZED - Derrick Williams, Arizona
POSTERIZED - Reeves Nelson, UCLA
POSTERIZED - Kendall Marshall and John Henson, UNC
POSTERIZED - Terrence Jones, Kentucky
POSTERIZED - Rodney Williams, Minnesota
POSTERIZED - Joe Jackson, Memphis
POSTERIZED - Shay Shine, High Point
POSTERIZED - Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
POSTERIZED - Kent Bazemore, Old Dominion
POSTERIZED - CJ Fair, Syracuse
POSTERIZED - LeBryan Nash
POSTERIZED - Rodney Williams, Minnesota
POSTERIZED - Travis Leslie, Georgia
POSTERIZED - Terrence Jones, Kentucky
POSTERIZED - Marcus Jordan, Central Florida
POSTERIZED - Lorenzo Brown, NC State
POSTERIZED - Tai Wesley, Utah State
POSTERIZED - Trent Lockett, Arizona State, and Derrick Williams, Arizona
POSTERIZED - Brandon Paul, Illinois
POSTERIZED - Jordan Hamilton, Texas
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Monday Morning Dump

- Jason Lisk explains how road records can affect tournament seeding. He also makes a case for BYU as a #1-seed

- Eric Angevine explains why St. John's is turning into an elite team at the right time

- Jason King breaks down the state of mid-major basketball

- Ryan Greene details the bubble winners and bubble losers from the weekend

- Andy Katz recaps BYU's statement-win over SDSU on the road on Saturday

- Jeff Goodman provides 12 things you need to know from the weekend of college hoops

- Another excellent weekend recap from Raphielle Johnson (A weekend recap Monday morning must-read)

- Mike DeCourcy wonders if league titles are losing their luster

- Doug Gottleib provides some insight on the big sotries from the weekend (Insider Only)

- Matt Norlander thinks Cincinnati still has some work to do

- Butler head coach Brad Stevens had to leave the Bulldog's game on Saturday early with vision issues

- Monmoth head coach Dave Calloway is resigning after 14 years on the job

- With their staring point guard and senior leader (Chris Wright) injured, the Georgetown Hoyas struggled to assert themselves at home against rivals Syracuse

- Louisville's Rakeem Buckles tore his ACL on Sunday against Pittsburgh. It was Buckles first game back from a finger injury that sidelined him for 13 games this season

- Jeff Brozello recaps all the big games from Saturday afternoon

- Is Drexel really a candidate for an at-large bid?

- A solid-read on Michigan State's Mike Keibler. the former walk-on has emerged as a key player for the Spartans and bounced back from a nasty mid-season concussion

- A male cheerleader almost cost Louisville the game on Sunday against Pittsburgh

- An interesting read on Steve Lavin's courtship by Penn State and why none of it matters now

- Ohio State coach Thad Matta reached out to Bob Knight on how to beat "The Generals" former employer

- A great "where are they now" piece on Michael Avery, who verbally committed to Kentucky in 8th grade during Billy Gillespie's reign as head coach
Continue reading...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

POSTERIZED: Travis Leslie does it again

At the end of Saturday, 144 games will have taken place. Needless to say, there also will have been a severe lack of big-time dunks.

But it certainly won't be because of Travis Leslie.

Because the dude did the damn thing. Again.



But was it as good as one of these?:

POSTERIZED - Matt Dickey, UNC-Asheville
POSTERIZED - Jeff Robinson, Xavier
POSTERIZED - Nyika Williams
POSTERIZED - Jawanza Poland, South Florida
POSTERIZED - Brady Jardine, Utah State
POSTERIZED - Tony Mitchell, Alabama
POSTERIZED - John Williams, UNC-Asheville
POSTERIZED - Peyton Siva, Louisville
POSTERIZED - E'Twaun Moore, Purdue
POSTERIZED - DJ Newbill, Southern Mississippi
POSTERIZED - Scotty Hopson, Tennessee
POSTERIZED - Justin Brownlee, St. John's
POSTERIZED - Tyrone Johnson
POSTERIZED - Travis Leslie, Georgia
POSTERIZED - Terrence Ross, Washington
POSTERIZED - Justin Tubbs, East Tennessee State
POSTERIZED - Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
POSTERIZED - Andre Roberson, Colorado
POSTERIZED - Durrell Summers, Michigan State
POSTERIZED - Phillip McDonald, New Mexico
POSTERIZED - Kyle Kuric, Louisville
POSTERIZED - Anthony Nelson, Niagara
POSTERIZED - Cory Joseph, Texas
POSTERIZED - Will Sheehey, Indiana
POSTERIZED - Tom Pritchard, Indiana
POSTERIZED - Shay Shine, High Point
POSTERIZED - John Holland, Boston
POSTERIZED - Keith Gabriel, VMI
POSTERIZED - Travis McKie, Wake Forest
POSTERIZED - Jefferson Mason, Minnesota State (D-II)
POSTERIZED - Tyler Johnson, Fresno State
POSTERIZED - John Williams, UNC-Asheville
POSTERIZED - Derrick Williams, Arizona
POSTERIZED - Hollis Thompson, Georgetown
POSTERIZED - Darnell Wilks, Cincinnati
POSTERIZED - Rodney Williams, Minnesota
POSTERIZED - Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette
POSTERIZED - Darrius Garrett, Richmond
POSTERIZED - Travis Cohn, Jacksonville
POSTERIZED - Ramon Galloway, South Carolina
POSTERIZED - Terrence Jones, Kentucky
POSTERIZED - Justin Tubbs, East Tennessee State
POSTERIZED - John Williams, UNC-Asheville
POSTERIZED - Kevin Smith, Richmond
POSTERIZED - Mitchell Watt, Buffalo
POSTERIZED - Chandler Parsons, Florida
POSTERIZED - Kenny Gabriel, Auburn
POSTERIZED - Paris Horne, St. John's
POSTERIZED - Travis Leslie, Georgia
POSTERIZED - Laurence Bowers, Missouri
POSTERIZED - Drew Gordon, New Mexico
POSTERIZED - Tony Mitchell, Alabama
POSTERIZED - Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt
POSTERIZED - LaMarcus Reed, UT-Arlington
POSTERIZED - Marcus Morris, Kansas
POSTERIZED - Jared Cunningham, Oregon State
POSTERIZED - Langston Morris-Walker
POSTERIZED - Chris Wright and Juwan Staten, Dayton
POSTERIZED - D.J Stephens, Memphis
POSTERIZED - Derrick Williams, Arizona
POSTERIZED - Reeves Nelson, UCLA
POSTERIZED - Kendall Marshall and John Henson, UNC
POSTERIZED - Terrence Jones, Kentucky
POSTERIZED - Rodney Williams, Minnesota
POSTERIZED - Joe Jackson, Memphis
POSTERIZED - Shay Shine, High Point
POSTERIZED - Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
POSTERIZED - Kent Bazemore, Old Dominion
POSTERIZED - CJ Fair, Syracuse
POSTERIZED - LeBryan Nash
POSTERIZED - Rodney Williams, Minnesota
POSTERIZED - Travis Leslie, Georgia
POSTERIZED - Terrence Jones, Kentucky
POSTERIZED - Marcus Jordan, Central Florida
POSTERIZED - Lorenzo Brown, NC State
POSTERIZED - Tai Wesley, Utah State
POSTERIZED - Trent Lockett, Arizona State, and Derrick Williams, Arizona
POSTERIZED - Brandon Paul, Illinois
POSTERIZED - Jordan Hamilton, Texas
Continue reading...

Weekend Dump

- AOL Fanhouse provides a great list of their no early-entry All-American teams

- Gary Parrish takes a look forward at the fully-loaded weekend of college basketball

- We've all heard it said once before, but Jeff Eisenberg reiterates that it's entirely possible that the Big East send 11 teams dancing

- Ryan Greene always brings a cold six-pack of the hoops variety

- Dave Ommen fills us in on what teams are in for a bubblelicious weekend

- Andy Katz explains why Conference-USA could avoided this whole "Tim Floyd fiasco" by sending a stronger message in the first place

- UConn coach Jim Calhoun released a statement on the NCAA ruling and apologized for his actions while acknowledging he "made mistakes"

- A fantastic-must-read from The Dagger on the greatest fan in college basketball...Yep you guessed it - Utah State's "Wild" Bill Sproat

- The CBS college hoops blog brings out the whole arsenal to preview the weekend

- Jeff Goodman finally reveals the secret on how you stop Jimmer Fredette

- The Cal Bears basketball program has been put on two-years probation for making impermissible calls

- Washington's Isaiah Thomas makes some remarks in regards to Wazzu's court-storming a couple weeks ago

- Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt says we shouldn't judge the Holy Name coach for "his 40 seconds" of conflict with a player

- Centenary may have lost 28-games this season, but the one victory they got feels so good

- St. Joseph's center Todd O'Brien rejoined the team after sitting out because of a failure to comply with the university's community standards

- The UNC ticket office is issuing less tickets to Tar Heel students this season

- The editors at the Daily Campus, the UConn newspaper that scolded the UConn student section for being mean and loud, has issued a clarification about their original post

- What state produces the worst hoops? I'm looking at you Louisiana

- The ten worst-dressed coaches in college hoops history

Continue reading...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday's Pregame Beat: Previewing your college hoops weekend

UPSET ALERT

Sat. 12:00 pm: No. 21 Missouri @ Kansas State: This is it. This is the game where Kansas State, the preseason top five team that was, at one point, 4-6 in the Big 12, can officially punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.

On paper, this doesn't look like the best matchup for the Wildcats. They don't have a ton of ball handlers, and Missouri thrives on forcing turnovers and scoring quickly. The place where K-State would, presumably, have the biggest advantage -- on the glass -- does not appear to be that great of an advantage anymore. The Wildcat front court has been disappointing, as Curtis Kelly and Jamar Samuels continue to underachieve and Wally Judge and Freddy Asprilla have left the program, while Missouri's bigs, namely Laurence Bowers and Ricardo Ratliffe, are coming off of an impressive performance against Baylor's big front line.


But, as Luke Winn showed us in his Power Rankings on Thursday, both Missouri and Kansas State are much better teams at home. Throw in Jacob Pullen's return to his all-american form the past three games (he's averaging 30.5 ppg in K-State's recent three game winning streak) and the desperation of a team playing for the NCAA Tournament lives, and I think the Wildcats pull this one out.


UPSET SPECIAL

Sat. 4:00 pm: No. 10 Arizona @ UCLA: There's a large faction of those in the know that believe Arizona, based on the national polls, is one of the most overrated teams in the country. I can buy that, especially after seeing the Wildcats get beaten on Thursday by a very ho-hum USC team. The loss drops the Wildcats to just one game in front of the Bruins atop the Pac-10 standings. this will definitely be one of the most intriguing games on Saturday's slate.

Sat. 9:00 pm: No. 1 Duke @ Virginia Tech: The Hokies are playing for their NCAA Tournament lives on Saturday. Without a marquee win to their name or another chance to get one before the ACC Tournament begins, this may be Seth Greenberg's final chance at avoiding the wrong side of the bubble for the fourth straight season. It would be a shame if Malcolm Delaney never got to play in the NCAA Tournament. What will be interesting is to see how he plays knowing that may be on the line.

Sat. 9:00 pm: No. 17 Texas A&M @ Baylor: I've never been high on Texas A&M this season, and while Baylor looked like they were throwing in the towel against Missouri on Wednesday, the Bears are still one of the most talented teams -- on paper -- in the country. When LaceDarius Dunn and Perry Jones are both playing well, they are a team that can overcome subpar point guard play. The question is whether or not those two show up on a nightly bases.

Sun. 12:00 pm: No. 15 UConn @ Cincinnati: These are two teams headed in opposite directions. UConn started out the year as hot as anyone in the country, but as Kemba Walker dominates possession of the ball, the Huskies continue to lose in Big East play. Cincy had their season turned around by the benching of Yancy Gates. The past three games, he's been a different player, and the Bearcats have been a different team.


Sun. 12:00 pm: West Virginia @ Rutgers: Rutgers is a scrappy, physical team that has found themselves down the stretch of the season under new head coach Mike Rice. They just knocked off Villanova at home and took Syracuse to overtime in the Carrier Dome. West Virginia is not as talented as those two teams, but they can be as physical as Rutgers. With UConn and Louisville to close out the season next week, the 'Eers better not look past this game.

Sun. 12:00 pm: Xavier @ Dayton: Dayton has been the biggest disappoint in the Atlantic 10 this year. They are clearly missing the leadership they lost in the back court last season while Chris Wright still has not developed into the player everyone wants him to be. That said, the Flyers are talented and they are physical and they will be playing in front of their terrific home crowd. If the Flyers are to pull off this upset, they'll need to stop Tu Holloway, who was one rebound away from back-to-back triple doubles.

Sun. 1:00 pm: No. 8 Purdue @ Michigan State: The Spartans picked up a big road win against Minnesota on Wednesday, getting them yet another step closer to overcoming their horrific start the the season. This game, however, may be the most important game Sparty has played all season. With their other two remaining games, the Spartans should have no problem getting to 10 wins in the Big Ten, but 11-7 with an extra win over Purdue can help make the committee forget about losses to Iowa and Michigan.


BEST MATCHUPS

Sat. 12:00 pm: No. 20 Syracuse @ No. 11 Georgetown: This game changed on Wednesday night. Chris Wright, the Georgetown point guard, fell awkwardly and broke a bone in his left hand. Wright is the Hoya's best penetrator and their best passer. They are a different team against a zone when he isn't on the court. Regardless, this is Syracuse-Georgetown. Its the rivalry that the Big East was built on, and always a must-watch game.

Sat. 2:00 pm: No. 7 BYU @ No. 4 SDSU: The rematch doesn't have the same amount of hype as the first meeting in Provo back in January, but that doesn't diminish the importance of this game. With both teams sitting with one loss in Mountain West play, this could easily turn into the conference's regular season title game. Jimmer has been struggling lately, but his reputation is that of a big game player. He also has posted better numbers on the road than at home, meaning you can expect a big game out of him. But the Aztecs have been getting rowdy home crowds thanks to their success this season, and with BYU coming to town you should expect no different. As it was the first time, the key to this game is going to be how BYU's front line handles SDSU's big men.


Sat. 2:00 pm: No. 25 St. John's @ No. 14 Villanova: St. John's is the new darling of the Big East, but they've done the majority of their heavy lifting at home. The Johnnies only have two road wins on the season, but both of those wins have come in recent weeks, at Marquette and at Cincy. Villanova, on the other hand, has been struggling of late, losing five of their last nine games to fall off of the pace for one of the Big East's top four seeds. If St. John's wins, they put themselves into the driver's seat for one of the double-byes, as their last two games come against Seton Hall and South Florida.

Sat. 4:00 pm: No. 13 Florida @ No. 22 Kentucky: Florida has continued to win games, earning an 11-2 mark in the SEC and a three game lead in the SEC East. One win in their last three games, and the Gators will clinch the top seed in the East. That said, Florida has a tough schedule down the stretch, as they also host Alabama and travel to Vanderbilt. Kentucky is one of the most talented teams in the country, but they only play like it when they are at home, where John Calipari's team is undefeated this season. If the Gators pull out this win, its time to start discussing them as a potential No. 2 seed.

Sun. 2:00 pm: No. 6 Pitt @ No. 16 Louisville: I like this matchup for Louisville. Pitt is susceptible to being pressed. As good as Brad Wanamaker, Ashton Gibbs, and Travon Woodall are, none of them are really known as terrific ball handlers. Forcing tempo and forcing turnovers are Louisville's bread and butter. It will be key for the Cardinal's big men Gorgui Dieng and Terrence Jennings to box out on the defensive end of the floor, but if Louisville's press is working and they are hitting their threes, they are a tough team to beat.


BEST STORYLINES

Saturday

  • 12:00 pm: Boston College @ Virginia: The Eagles absolutely cannot afford another loss if they want to make a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
  • 12:00 pm: James Madison @ VCU: The Rams lost on Wednesday, meaning they no longer have any wiggle room if they want to get themselves an at-large bid.
  • Sat. 1:00 pm: Wichita State @ Missouri State: Saturday is the last day of the Missouri Valley's regular season, and the Shockers and the Bears are tied for first place. We'll get an outright conference champ out of this game.
  • 1:05 pm: Milwaukee @ Youngstown State; 2:00 pm: Green Bay @ Cleveland State; 2:00 pm: Loyola @ Butler: Milwaukee, Cleveland State, and Butler are all tied for the Horizon League lead heading into the regular season's final weekend.
  • 1:45 pm: No. 18 Vanderbilt @ LSU: LSU scored 84 points against Mississippi State. That's 22 points more than their previous high in SEC play.
  • 2:00 pm: Miami FL @ Florida State: After losing to Maryland by 18 on Wednesday night, the Seminoles have a lot to prove to the committee if they aren't getting Chris Singleton back before the tournament.
  • 2:00 pm: Delaware @ Hofstra: Charles Jenkins will play his final home game and get his jersey retired while he is still active.
  • 2:00 pm: South Florida @ DePaul: The battle for the cellar of the Big East.
  • 3:00 pm: Memphis @ UTEP: The Conference USA regular season title is up for grabs. Both the Tigers and the Miners are in contention for it.
  • 4:00 pm: No. 2 Kansas @ Oklahoma: Will Tyshawn Taylor be back in uniform for the Jayhawks?
  • 4:00 pm: No. 5 Texas @ Colorado: The Longhorns lost their last game on the road and may be playing this game without their first big man off the bench. Colorado has been a tough team at home, as well.
  • 4:00 pm: Alabama @ Ole Miss: The Crimson Tide, after nearly losing to Auburn at home, are looking to hold on to their lead in the SEC and play their way into the NCAA Tournament.
  • 4:00 pm: William & Mary @ Old Dominion: The Monarchs still have a shot at earning an at-large bid to the tournament.
  • 4:30 pm: Michigan @ Minnesota: This would have been a huge bubble game early this week, but after losing to Wisconsin and Michigan State, respectively, both the Gophers and the Wolverines look like they are just about done.
  • 4:30 pm: Coastal Carolina @ CSU: Can the Chanticleers win with this hanging over their head?
  • 6:00 pm: Mississippi State @ Tennessee: Can we just call this game the scandal bowl? This is a win that Tennessee has to have.
  • 7:00 pm: Seton Hall @ No. 9 Notre Dame: Ben Hansbrough has a real shot at playing his way into the Big East player of the year award.
  • 7:00 pm: South Carolina @ Georgia: The Bulldogs cannot afford to lose this game if they want to earn an NCAA Tournament bid.
  • 7:00 pm: Iowa @ Illinois: Like Georgia, the Illini cannot afford to lose this game.
  • 8:05 pm: Montana @ Eastern Washington: A win for the Grizzlies would clinch a share of the Big Sky title and force Northern Colorado to win three straight down the stretch to tie.
  • 8:05 pm: Illinois-Chicago @ Valpo: Thanks to an unfortunate loss on Thursday night, Valpo is now on the outside looking in of the top of the Horizon.
  • 8:45 pm: Eastern Kentucky @ Murray State: The Racers will win the Ohio Valle if they can knock off EKU on Saturday.
  • 9:00 pm: Idaho @ No. 23 Utah State: New Mexico State's loss on Wednesday night gave Utah State the WAC regular season title. So the Aggies are playing to keep their names on the right side of the bubble.
  • 9:00 pm: Gonzaga @ San Diego; 11:00 pm: Portland @ St. Mary's: Thanks to Gonzaga's overtime win against St. Mary's on Thursday night, the Zags and the Gaels are now tied for first in the WCC. Will they share the title?
  • 10:00 pm: Wyoming @ UNLV: The Runnin' Rebels all-but punched their ticket with Wednesday's win over New Mexico. That ticket could get voided if they lose to Wyoming.
Sunday
  • 4:00 pm: Fairfield @ Iona: There may not be anything on the line, but this should be quite an entertaining game.
  • 4:00 pm: Providence @ Marquette: The Marshon and Marquette? There is guaranteed to be some excitement in this one.
  • 10:00 pm: Washington State @ Washington: The Huskies will be looking to get some revenge for a loss they took at Wazzu last month.
Continue reading...

Hoops Housekeeping: Chris Wright back for the tournament

Chris Wright: The Georgetown point guard had surgery on his left hand and has a chance to return for the NCAA Tournament. Right now, the best case estimate on how long he will be out of the lineup appears to be just over two weeks. The NCAA Tournament starts on March 17th.


Talib Zanna: Pitt's first big man off the bench suffered a broken thumb on Thursday afternoon after the Panther's pregame meal and before the tip of the Backyard Brawl. According to Jamie Dixon, he was messing around with teammates while getting into a car. Zanna is expected to have surgery on the thumb and could be out 3-6 weeks. In his stead, Lamar Patterson scored a career-high 11 points.


Jalen Steele: The news was confirmed yesterday -- Mississippi State freshman Jalen Steele tore the acl and the meniscus in his left knee and will be out for six months.

"I hate it for the kid's sake because Jalen had really come a long way and was just starting to get comfortable," MSU coach Rick Stansbury said. "He's come such a long way in so many areas and I just hate to see anybody have a setback like this. But it's part of the game and he'll fight through it."


Karon Abraham: Robert Morris will be without their leading scorer for the rest of the season after Abraham tore his achilles tendon last night. He's obviously done for the season.


Ray Penn: Travis Ford suspended point guard Ray Penn indefinitely on Thursday due to academic issues.

I’m suspending Ray indefinitely,” Ford said in a press release issued by the university’s sports information department. "He has some things he needs to work on outside of basketball, and this will give him time to focus and spend some quality time in the academic center.”
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Friday's Shootaround: Big East moves towards 11, Gonzaga beats St. Mary's

USC 65, No. 10 Arizona 57: Not only did the Trojans tighten up the Pac-10 race, they may have put themselves into the bubble conversation.

No. 13 Florida 71, Georgia 62: So. Is Florida for real?

Marquette 74, No. 15 UConn 67 OT: The Golden Eagles move the Big East that much closer to an 11th NCAA Tournament bid for the Big East.

Gonzaga 89, St. Mary's 85 OT: The Zags picked a huge win on Thursday night as Sam Dower scored 21 points, including four huge free throws in overtime to give Gonzaga the win. St. Mary's came into this game having had their WCC lead cut to just one game, and with three straight losses, the Gaels have seen their NCAA Tournament at-large chances go out the window. In fact, the WCC appears as if it will be a one-bid league this season.

No. 6 Pitt 71, West Virginia 58: The Panthers lost Talib Zanna to a broken thumb prior to tip-off, but that didn't slow Pitt down. Nasir Robinson led four Panthers in double figures with 15 points as the Panthers used a 17-2 run to open the second half and take complete control of this game.

George Mason 67, Northeastern 61: The Patriots pushed their winning streak to 14 games by holding off the Huskies. They also happened to clinch the CAA regular season title outright.

Milwaukee 87, Cleveland State 83: The Panthers moved into a first place tie with Cleveland State and Butler in the Horizon League standings thanks to 28 points and nine boards from Tony Meier. It sets up a wild Saturday, where all three teams tip within the span of an hour. If all three win, Milwaukee is the No. 1 seed and Butler is the No. 2 seed.

Loyola 68, Valpo 48: The Crusaders would have been part of that three-way tie atop the conference if they hadn't gotten blown out Thursday.

Murray State 70, Morehead State 62: The Racers clinched at least a share of the Ohio Valley Conference title with this win over the Eagles. BJ Jenkins led the way with 25 points for Murray State.

Florida Atlantic 77, Troy 60: FAU officially clinched the Sun Belt's regular season title.

Long Beach State 61, Cal Poly 55: LBSU is now officially the Big West regular season champion.
Continue reading...

Friday Morning Dump

- Your must-read of the day comes from Pete Thamel from the New York Times. He busts the doors open on a slew of violations committed by Coastal Carolina head coach Cliff Ellis. The Chanticleers have had three players suspended this season, plus another two go down with injury. But the controversy deals with one of the three players Ellis removed from the program last year in order to make room for new transfers. Trust me people, this is a must-read. But The Dagger provides a more-concise-read if you are in a rush

- We should all be familiar with the actions of John O'Connor, the head coach at Holy Name University. But he won't be facing any criminal charges for his actions. O'Connor made a public apology for his actions, but Matt Kravchuk, the player, did not accept it. UPDATE: apparently O'Connor has announced his resignation from the University.

- Dick Vitale released his 2011 All-Solid-Gold Teams (which I have to imagine is Vitalic for "All-American")

- Adam Zagoria provides a great-read on the debate going on between Big East coaches as to who should be named conference player of the year

- What if I told you the best scorer in the nation played on a team that might not even make the N.I.T? Jeff Goodfman provides insight on Providence's Marshon Brooks, the man who dropped 52-points on Notre Dame. Brooks is one of the leading candidates for Big East Player of the Year

- Mike DeCourcy thinks Bruce Pearl may need to get a multi-year ban from tournament competition

- Mike Miller wonders if Nolan Smith or Jared Sullinger can catch up to JimmerJam2011 in the PoY race

- Jeff Borzello briefs us on two scoring-machines you probably haven't heard of. San Jose State's Adrian Oliver and Northern Illinois' Xavier Silas are two under-appreciated scorers who can make a basketball pretty-much whenever they want to

- Jason King talks about K-State's resurgence in his column "All About the Big-12"

- Adam Zagoria details the plethora of young, talented recruits available from the Washington, D.C. metro-area

- TCU is being sued for failing to acknowledge the criminal records and academic failings of several athletes, including one basketball player

- Ryan Greene provides a list of winners and losers from Wednesday night's action

- The New York Times breaks down the Big East bubble

- A solid round-up of quotables regarding the NCAA notice of violations given to the University of Tennessee

- Purdue's Robbie Hummel has gained a heightenned level of mental toughness from having to watch his team from the bench

- Georgetown's Chris Wright broke his left hand in the Hoyas home-loss to Cincinnati on Wednesday night. He has already had surgery to repair the injury and could be back in time for the NCAA Tournament (It could be argued that B.I.A.H was first on the scene to detail the actual injury)

- Oklahoma State has suspended guard Ray Guy indefinitely for "failing to follow team policy"

- Pittsburgh power forward (And Grace Jones look-a-like) Talib Zanna will miss 3-6 weeks with a broken right thumb

- For now, Kansas guard Tyshawn Tyalor will remain suspended, an indication that the Jayhawks just can't avoid setbacks

- Early in the week it was reported that Texas big-man Alexis Wangmene was being suspended for violating team rules. Head Coach Rick Barnes stated yesterday that Wangmene will be suspended for two games

- Arizona State's Chanse Creekmur did something in his first collegiate start that only 17 other Pac-10 players have done all season

- According to his dad, Jared Sullinger won't leave tOSU until he wins a National Championship

- Ken Pomeroy discusses the possibility of Arizona power forward Derrick WIlliams breaking the record for 3-point accuracy

- A good-read from the Xavier Examiner on the Muskateer's Mark Lyons. Tu Holloway is the team;'s star, but "Cheekz" Lyons shouldn't be overlooked

- An interesting-read about the journey Hofstra's Brad Kelleher has taken through the NCAA Clearinghouse

- Florida has really turned it on here in the latter part of the season. Billy Donovan ripped into his team earlier in the season for playing with a lack of foucs, but with the way they are playing now, i doubt he still harbors those thoughts

- It's late-February, so we all know where Virginia Tech is: Squarely on the bubble. Speaking of the Hokies, despite being on the bubble, you just cannot count out Malcolm Delaney, he is just too dangerous to count-out.

- The only thing keeping Boston College's tournament hopes alive is their strength of schedule

- Could the problem with Kentucky be the coaching? The Wildcats have won just one game this season that has taken place outside the state of Kentucky

- Conference-USA has reprimanded UTEP coach Tim Floyd for his epic tirade during Wednesday night's game against East Carolina

- Penn State head coach is 6-1 against Northwestern. Chicago College Basketball tries to figure out why he owns the Wildcats

- Well will you look at that, Centenary finally got a win. The Gentlemen beat Western Illinois for their first win in 33-games

- The top of the Horizon League is more cluttered than a family dinner at the Baldwin house, and somehow, some way, Butler is invovled

- An entertaining-and-enlightening-read on why Washington State has struggled this year

- Georgetown's refusal to sell tickets to Syracuse fans is finally starting to get some publicity

- Maryland received a commitment from German forward Martin Breunig. Speaking of Maryland, Scott Van Pelt, a former Maryland-grad, ripped the Terps student section for their poor-showing on Wednesday against Florida State

- Draft Express breaks down a list of trending prospects

- A recent media audit stated that Lexington, Kentucky is the most popular college basketball town in the country

- VUHoops.com wonders if Jay Wright may need to overhaul his coaching staff

- Long-time Mississippi State radio broadcaster Jack Cristil is retiring after 58 years of service

- Lost Letterman chronicles the fantastic skyline uniforms that St. John's used to don

- Another post on Oregon-inspired court-designs (To be honest, all these kinda-really-suck except for Kentucky, FIU and BYU. But I expect better from Page 2 in general)

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