Monday, August 31, 2009

Gilbert Brown suspended for the first semester

Pittsburgh forward Gilbert Brown has been suspended for this first 11 games of the 2009-2010 season as a result of poor academics.

The Panthers are already poised for a bit of a rebuilding season as they lost Levance Fields, Sam Young, and DeJuan Blair, three of the best players in the history of the program.

Now, they are losing Brown, a redshirt junior who is the team's most experienced player. He was expected to start at small forward and carry a much larger load for Jamie Dixon. Brown averaged 6.5 ppg as a freshman and 5.4 ppg last season.

Gilbert Brown will miss the first 11 games of Pitt's season.
(photo credit: NYDN)

While this will obviously be a problem for the Panthers, it is not going to be as big of an issue as some people are making it out to be. Ashton Gibbs seems poised for a breakout sophomore season. Brad Wanamaker and Jermaine Dixon are quality role playing guards. 6'9" freshman Dante Taylor is as good as any freshman that Jamie Dixon has brought into the program.

Brown's absence will leave a void on the wing, but it should allow for some of Pitt's inexperienced players to have a chance t0 get some valuable playing time. The Panthers have six freshman, one seldom used sophomore, and Chase Adams (a senior transfer from Centenary) on their roster this season.

Add to that the fact that the Panthers have a weak early season schedule, and losing Gilbert Brown for the first semester will not kill the chances of Pitt making their ninth straight tournament.

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Tim James: NBA player to soldier in Iraq

Do you remember Tim James?

I do. He played for Miami back with the 'Canes were a member of the Big East, and he was pretty damn good. As a senior, he averaged 18.4 ppg and 8.2 rpg en route to third team AP all-american honors. He ended up being a first round pick of the Miami Heat and played three years in the NBA before heading overseas to places like Turkey, Israel, and Japan.

James earned over $2 million in his NBA career, made a healthy living while playing overseas, and graduated from Miami. He isn't broke, and he isn't uneducated. He has options.

So what is he doing these days?

He is a soldier serving in Iraq. And he went there by choice.

Tim James went from being an NBA player to serving in Iraq.
(photo credit: Sun Sentinel)

From the Miami Herald:
As he traveled all over the globe playing his beloved game, seeing a world he never thought he'd see growing up poor in Miami, he didn't learn to merely value or appreciate America's freedoms. He decided he wanted to fight to protect them, too. ...

James isn't running through the sand avoiding unrelenting machine-gun fire. This isn't Pat Tillman, though it is about the closest thing sports has seen since the late Tillman left the football Arizona Cardinals. James isn't someone who craves a fire fight. He just wants to help. He is on an air base in an area his captain describes as "dusty, barren and isolated."

His remaining 11 months in Iraq should go by without him ever having to go beyond the airfield's wires. James hasn't heard enemy fire in his month there.

He works 12-hour shifts every day, with one day off every two weeks. He has trained to throw grenades and lay down mines, but what he's doing these days is helping fuel planes and helicopters. It is, in the words of his captain, "one of the least appreciated jobs and one of the most important. One of the hardest-working units we have -- easily."
Great story, and definitely worth the read.

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Monday Morning Dump

Yup, it is that time of year again. You know, the one where football season starts and even the most diehard college basketball fans have pushed hoops to the back of their brain while they prepare for their fantasy drafts, stock up on beer and hot dogs for the fall, and celebrate the fact that this was the last weekend on 2009 sans football.

That is perfect timing for us, as we will be spending some time out on the left coast and things will be a bit slow for the next week or so.

Hands down the best thing you will read all week long; dumb policing or the best burglar's ever?; frat house or drug den?; the guys on Entourage aren't all that friendly off-camera; awesome what you can do in the internet age.

- Corey Chandler to Binghamton.

- Scouting reports from Boost Mobile game.

- Chinese riots because a basketball player is too tall.

- Jeff Bzdelik will have his work cut out for him at Colorado.

- Arizona's freshman look pretty impressive.

- Nebraska's 6'11" center Chris Niemann will miss the season after tearing an acl. He was ineligible last season for playing on a German club team with professionals.

- Dan Werner is one of those guys that seems like he has been in college for 10 years.

- We went to Eastern Invitational, not five-star.

- St. Patrick's in New Jersey, the high school with Michael Gilchrist and Kyrie Irving, has added two more DI talents.

- St. Raymond's in the Bronx lost three kids, however.

- Evan Daniels of Scout gives us his all-summer team.

- Police find guns and bullets are Floyd Mayweather's house.

- Alabama high school football coach dies during a game.

- Greg Paulus was named the captain of the Syracuse football team.

- A Farve threw for 549 yards in a game.

- Artie Lange on Letterman:

- My new favorite comedian:

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Friday, August 28, 2009

This was a bad week for coaches in Kentucky

First, it was Rick Pitino's impromptu press conference. Then, Billy Gillispie decided it was a good time to further derail his once promising coaching career by driving drunk at 3am.

And last, but not least, John Calipari, who decided it would be a good idea to tell a reporter for the Memphis Commercial-Appeal about his desire to punch a certain sportswriter in the face.

One minute on Wednesday, Calipari said he didn’t pay attention to the barbs. The next, he discussed how painful the situation has been for his family. His angst was evident when asked about the way he’s been portrayed by the media. "There's [one] guy I don't like," Calipari said. "I know he’s a scoundrel. If I keep reading it, I'm going to punch him right in his mouth if I see him. So I'm better [off] not reading it."
Let me set this up for you. Jason King was interviewing Coach Cal in order to pen an article about how the new UK coach feels about the punishment handed down at Memphis. Cal has been extremely tight-lipped with the media regarding the entire situation.

John Calipari and Pat Forde probably won't be sending each other Christmas cards this year.
(photo credit: ESPN)

"There is no response," Calipari told King. "My friends, the people that I'm close with … they don't need an explanation. If I do try to give one, they think I'm dumb. They say, 'I've known you 35 years. You don't need to explain anything to me.' The people that want to believe something else? They're not going to listen to my explanation anyway. They don't care. They don't want to hear it."

In fact, his only comment on the matter came from, where he voiced his displeasure with the ruling, but said that he would not answer any questions on the matter.

Part of the reason that he has not commented publicly is due to the way that he has been portrayed in the media over the course of the summer.

Now, can anyone out there take a gander at who Cal would like to punch in the face? I'll give you a hint: his last name rhymes with 40.

Cal never says it, but if you have been following the college basketball circus this summer, it is pretty obvious. I mean, first there was Cal taking shots at Forde on Twitter. Then, after Forde penned this column, Cal's daughter got in the act on Facebook.

Forde has been all over the WWL criticizing Kentucky and Cal, which isn't all that bad in itself (I mean, it is his job to voice his opinion on the matter, and he sure as spit isn't the only one who believes Cal is as slimy as coaches come), except for the fact that he has been mum on the whole Rick Pitino situation (for those that don't know, Forde co-authored a book with Pitino). Kentucky Sports Radio took a look at Forde's lack of coverage of the Pitino saga last week.

Coaches disliking a writer or two is nothing new. But Forde is ESPN's guy when it comes to sports in the south, especially in the Commonwealth. It will be interesting to see how they handle the situation, considering Kentucky's rabid fan base has become even more passionate (never thought that would be possible) since Cal's April hiring.

I have no doubt that Forde will be sent to a game at Rupp this year. Let's hope ESPN can spring for a bodyguard or three.

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Friday Morning Dump

10 worst women parking jobs; Cheddar Plax?; tasered to death; imagine finding your stolen car with a body inside; I used to work a block away from here; two Va Tech students murdered.

- Transcript of an interview with Pitino.

- Another gem of a column from Whitlock.

- Buzz Peterson back at Appalachian State.

- Now's not the time for Pitino's moral high ground.

- Katz reiterates our point - Gillispie probably won't get another head coaching gig for awhile.

- Plax should be pardoned?

- I wonder how PETA feels about this?

- Sports columns: a thing of the past.

- Caster Semenya may be fighting an uphill battle.

- How dumb is this chick?

- More awesome knockout videos.

- Karaoke for the deaf. Sounds dumb, but it is quite hilarious.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

John Riek cleared by the NCAA

Big news today for Mississippi State as the NCAA has cleared 7'1" center John Riek to play. He is going to have to sit out the first nine games of the season.

Riek has loads of talent, and at one time was thought to be a guy that would be a top five NBA Draft. But after some knee problems and a flirtation with Cincinnati, Riek spent the season with IMG Academy in Florida.

If Riek is healthy, he will provide MSU with another excellent shotblocker to go along with Varnado. It may be tough for the two to play together offensively as they are both sub-par offensive players.

But with those two along a front line defensively, MSU may not give up a bucket in the paint all season.

The question now for Rick Stansbury - is Riek healthy and in game shape? And more importantly, will Renardo Sidney get cleared by the NCAA

Continue reading...

UConn to disband cheerleaders

Saw this over at The Dagger yesterday. UConn is going to disband their cheerleading squad, replacing them with a "spirit squad."

On the surface, this doesn't really sound all that different. I mean, cheerleaders have spirit, right? Well, at least spirit fingers.

But take a look at what UConn has planned for their "spirit squad" (from the Hartford Courant):

Christine Wilson, assistant vice president for student affairs and director of student activities, said the change was made because "we want people formerly called cheerleaders to focus in on building spirit at UConn, on spending time working on ways to engage fans and to really spread Husky spirit" rather than spend hours perfecting stunts. The 24 recently selected spirit squad members — men and women — will wear outfits similar to those of the cheerleaders, Wilson said, but will spend time in the "tailgating areas handing out spirit buttons and other kinds of spirit supplies," and will focus on timeout, sideline and in-the-stand cheers that are fan-interactive.
That sucks.

And not just because cheerleaders are hot. There are plenty of dimes at UConn that you could throw a uniform on to help spread "Husky spirit".

No, what sucks is that fans at Gampel Pavilion and the XL Center will no longer be privy to the impressive acrobatics, athleticism, and stunts performed by cheerleaders during timeouts. Seriously, how many of you are willing to stand with one foot on someone's hand eight feet in the air or get tossed even higher with just one person there to catch you? How many of you would get on the top of a six person human pyramid? How many of you can do flips the entire length of a basketball court?

I'd like to see you try this.
(photo credit: Flickr)

While cheerleading may be a joke to some people, it is an art that these girls (and guys) work incredibly hard at perfecting. Most cheerleaders at schools like UConn choose a college with the intention of making that team.

It is the equivalent of disbanding a sports team and saying "hey, we're just gonna have a really, really good intramurals program."

For shame UConn, for shame.
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Andy Katz on Florida International and the Gazelle Group

As we touched on yesterday, Florida International is threatening to pull out of a pre-season tournament run by the Gazelle Group (who runs a number of pre-season tournaments, including the Coaches vs. Cancer event that FIU is supposed to participate in) due to a scheduling change by the GG.

FIU was supposed to play Ohio State in their season opener, but it was changed to UNC because the GG, who is always looking to make a buck, wanted the intrigue of the reigning national champs kicking off their season in Isiah Thomas's debut as a college coach. On ESPN U.

So why would FIU, a mid-major program that undoubtedly would love the exposure, threaten to boycott the event?

Isiah Thomas and Pete Garcia on the day the coach was hired.
(photo credit: daylife)

Because the GG knows how to deal with people about as well as an ornery mule.

It makes sense. No one likes to get pushed around or bullied.

But Andy Katz emphasizes a point we made yesterday: this is a great opportunity for the Panthers. From his blog on the WWL:
FIU is getting three home games out of this event -- North Carolina Central (Nov. 20), James Madison (Nov. 22) and Murray State (Nov. 23). The Panthers have to play one road game -- as far as Gazelle is concerned, at North Carolina, not Ohio State.

A year ago, FIU was in the CBE Classic and played three home games (Cleveland State, Toledo and non-Division I West Georgia) and then played at Washington. So in two seasons, FIU -- I repeat, F-I-U -- received six home games and just two road games from the organizers. That's rather generous considering the Panthers haven't really done anything on the court to justify being a relevant figure on the college basketball map.

If FIU athletic director Pete Garcia follows through on his threat to break the contract and play someone else, he'll have a hard time finding three home games. The NCAA allows tournaments like the Coaches vs. Cancer to count four games as two. So FIU would have to find only two games to fill its schedule. But it's hard to believe teams are lining up to play at FIU's 5,000-seat arena, especially in September.
So FIU is getting three home games and the chance to play UNC on ESPN U when the national champs open up their season, and they are going to throw it all away over some hurt feelings?

Isiah Thomas has made a lot of mistakes in his post-NBA career. Let's hope he doesn't add another one to the list.

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Rick Pitino tapes leak, call press conference

*UPDATE (moving this to the top of the page): So I had a chance to listen to the tapes, and there isn't anything new on them. If I had to guess, the reason that Pitino called this press conference and blew his lid is because everything in the tapes comes off as fact. Most news reports on this issue have written off Karen Sypher's rape claims, discrediting the majority of her accusations. But if you haven't been following the story closely, listening to these tapes will lead you to believe that what Sypher is truth.

In all honesty, I side with Jeff Goodman here: Pitino needs to just keep his mouth shut, and let things play out in court.

Here is the video of his press conference:

Earlier today, WLKY-TV in Louisville received tapes of the recorded interviews between police an Karen Sypher (you can listen to them at The Sporting Blog).

Just hours after the tapes were released, Pitino held a press conference where he bashed the media for their coverage of the scandal. He said that his family has been through "pure hell" during this process and urged true Louisville fans to avoid watching and reading any new stories about him or Sypher.

I'm not by a computer right now, but when I get a chance to listen to the tapes tonight I will update this post with anything interesting to come out of it.

Initial thoughts: why did Pitino feel the need to call a press conference upon the release of these tapes? I wonder if there is something on them that we haven't heard about yet.

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Billy Gillispie gets another DUI

For the third time in his semi-illustrious coaching career, Billy Gillispie has been arrested and charged with a DUI. He was pulled over last night around 2:45am by Lawrenceburg, KY, police.

In 1999, he was arrested and charged with a DUI in Oklahoma, but later plead guilty to a lesser charge. In 2003, he was arrested for suspicion of DUI while in his first year with UTEP, but those charges were later dropped.

So Billy Gillispie has a drinking problem. I think we all knew that by now. I guess the bigger question now is will this guy A) figure out some way to get his life together and B) ever get another coaching gig again?

He's a notorious drunk that now has three DUI arrests. He has not idea how to handle the media, whether it is camera crews or sideline interviews. He made it abundantly clear that he cannot handle the pressure that comes with coaching a team in the spotlight.

There are some things that BCG does well. At both UTEP and Texas A&M, he was able to turn around struggling programs very quickly, getting to the NCAA tournament with both teams. He is an excellent defensive coach that has developed a solid reputation as a recruiter.

But with all the baggage and the question marks, is it worth it to risk hiring him?

Hey, things could be worse for Gillispie. He could be this guy.
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Thursday Morning Dump

Are all real estate agents this slimy?; this guy got drunk and missed the 1988 Wilkins-Jordan dunk contest; I've always liked Torii Hunter.

- Dickie V weighs in on the Memphis ruling.

- Armond Hill and Phil Kresse to the NYC basketball hall of fame.

- Mike DeCourcy checks in with FSU.

- This is depressing - how long it takes athletes to make 100k.

- Big Ben's accuser is a nut job.

- What's wrong with Michael Beasley?

- Football recruit drives car in drive by.

- Save the cheerleader, save the world.

- Minor League team gets a tractor put on home plate because they can't pay the bills.

- Alex Smith isn't going to start, but he can still lay out a lineman.

- Two videos of the Carling Cup soccer match where the fans stormed the field.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Guess who wrote this?

It should be obvious:

Money and fame have turned professional sports into the movie industry. The games are overrun with stage parents, manipulative agents, conniving coaches and exploitive owners. Kids are in over their heads, particularly kids from one- or no-parent families. And now there’s no longer a support-maturation process. There’s no safety net. God, I hate to sound old, but America needs to reinstitute the military draft. Eighteen-year-olds used to spend two to four years in a disciplined, supportive environment before being given the freedom to ruin their lives. Great basketball players used to spend two to four years in college learning about the real world before being handed wealth and fame.
Can't say I disagree.
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Fan sites and the problems with issuing them media credentials

Yesterday, the Washington Post ran another article on the troubling world that is college basketball recruiting. Yesterday's article took a look at websites created by fans for specific teams news and information, and the problems associated with issuing them media credentials.

The majority of these sites that receive credentials are associated with Rivals, Scout, or ESPN. They are, for the most part, legitimate journalism sources. The writers are able to put their homer biases aside and produce quality material in a professional manner.

The issue becomes the few instances in which the sites are unable to differentiate between being a journalist and a fan.

The Post provided two examples.

The first came from an NC State fan site. The writers were able to land credentials to an exposure camp where Will Barton, a top 20 recruit in the class of '10 who has since committed to Memphis, was playing. They approached Barton and interviewed him. Everything was fine, until the interview ended.

Afterwards, Barton challenged one writer to a game of 1-on-1, with the bet being if the writer won Barton would commit to NC State. The video was eventually posted on youtube.

While this was likely nothing more than an innocent joke that was taken out of context, crossing the line between fan and journalist, especially when it pertains to recruiting, is a slippery slope.

Case in point - the next example, which is a much more alarming story.

Tate Myers is a reporter for, which happens to be the Wake Forest affiliate for Scout. While at a tournament, he sat down next to class of '11 prospect CJ Barksdale, a 6'7" being recruited by Wake Forest. Since Myers knew that Rusty LaRue, a Wake assistant, was trying to reach Barksdale (whose phone was apparently out of service), Myers called LaRue from his cell and put him on with Barksdale. They spoke for ten minutes.

This is where the problem lies. Fans acting as journalists for a team-specific website is a non-issue, even if what they provide is completely biased. If you don't like what they are writing, don't read the site.

The issue is that these fans guised as journalists have the access to aide the schools in recruiting players. The media is able to have much more contact with recruits than any coach, and all it takes is $9.99 and a Go Daddy account to start a website and become a "journalist".

So where does the NCAA draw the line?

Fans aren't allowed to assist in the recruitment of players (that is why NC State students were asked to take down a John Wall facebook group). If you start a website like DeaconSports, more than likely you are a fan of that team. But, as I said earlier, many of the team sites provide quality information and excellent, if a bit biased, writers. Just because you root for the team you cover doesn't mean you can't operate in a professional manner.

The other problem is that the NCAA can't regulate who gets media credentials; that is in the hands of the individuals schools and event organizers.

So what's the answer? I don't know, but personally I feel that the NCAA has some bigger fish to fry. You know, like stars cheating on their SAT's.

Continue reading...

Teddy Dupay sentenced

Teddy Dupay was sentenced to 30 days in jail yesterday for assaulting a woman last summer in Park City, Utah. He faced rape and kidnapping charges stemming from an incident in which he attacked a woman that he had been dating, but plead guilty before his trial started.

Teddy Dupay will do 30 days behind bars.
(photo credit: socialite report)

Dupay has had a rough go of it since his playing days. He was about as decorated as a high school player can be - McDonald's all-american (he won the 1998 three point shooting contest), Florida's all-time leading scorer (3,744 points), averaged 41.5 ppg for Mariner High School, and scored 70 in one game.

Dupay was named to the all-SEC freshman team his first year in Gainesville, and was an all-academic and all-conference player his sophomore year as the Gators reached the 2000 national title game.

But his junior year was derailed by injuries, and he never played a senior season.


Gambling on college sports
. Dupay would get a cup of coffee in the NBA Summer League before eventually giving up the sport and becoming ... a telemarketer.

And they say that college athletes are unprepared for a world outside of sports.

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Wednesday Morning Dump

Rick Reilly writes a good column once in a while these days; with a name like that its only fitting he was wanted for murder; barely surviving on $300,000.

- John Wall might not be the best PG recruit at Kentucky.

- Jay Bilas rips the NCAA.

- How Iowa State can get local kid Harrison Barnes to stay in Ames.

- Cory Joseph had a good visit at UConn.

- Billy Donovan won't try and block Eloy Vargas if he wants to go to Kentucky.

- Brandon Knight will make an official visit Kansas for Late Night in the Phog, their Midnight Madness.

- The best high school guard in the country is...

- Appeals don't look promising for Memphis.

- Luke Winn talks to Cal's Patrick Christopher.

- #22 baby.

- Beasley's dad says the weed wasn't his.

- 13 of the quickest MMA knockouts ever.

- Shot over fantasy football.

- The quote in the 4th paragraph is priceless.

- Great videos after the jump, starting with a Little League pitcher wanting to hit a batter.

- Basketball fight! This is a good one.

- Funniest video I've seen in a while.

- Language VERY NSFW

- Anderson Silva can dance.

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Isiah Thomas to make his coaching debut against Ohio State ... uhh, I mean North Carolina

Take a look at this post. It is the Friday Morning Dump for July 10th. Look about two-thirds of the way down.

You see it? The link about Isiah Thomas and FIU opening the season against Ohio State?

No? Trust me, its there.

Now take a look at this. It is a press release from Tuesday afternoon stating that UNC released their basketball schedule, and that they will be opening their national title defense against FIU in Isiah Thomas's coaching debut.

Where will Isiah Thomas begin his Florida International coaching career.
(photo credit: ESPN)

Wait, what? Two coaching debuts?

Not exactly. You see, our old friends at the Gazelle Group are up to no good, as usual. You remember them, don't you? They are the guys that decided that tournaments shouldn't be a tournament. Long story short, last year they changed the format of a couple 16 team pre-season tournaments to ensure that the hosts of the four regional sites (the four major conference teams in each tournament) were guaranteed a trip to the semi-finals, regardless of the outcome of the first two rounds of play.


Bigger schools equal higher ratings and attendance. Higher ratings and attendance equals more money in their collective pocket.

The GG saw an opportunity this year. Pitting Isiah Thomas, an NBA hall of famer and borderline celebrity thanks to his tenure with the Knicks, in his debut as a collegiate coach against the reigning national champs as they kick off their season is a dream match-up and will easily pull better ratings (it is scheduled to be televised on ESPN U) than if he started off the year against the lowly Buckeyes.

The problem is, no one told FIU. Both Thomas and FIU athletic director Pete Garcia had no idea that they would be headed to Chapel Hill instead of Columbus until UNC released their schedule today.

"We knew nothing about this until the press release from North Carolina today," Garcia was quoted as saying. "We told (Gazelle) last week we would not change the game and had never agreed to this."

Thomas reiterated the same point to's Dana O'Neil.

"I had no idea," he said. "No one contacted me, our athletic director, no one. Maybe in 2010, 2011 we can play North Carolina, but not this year."

The issue doesn't necessarily seem to be the fact that FIU is playing UNC. Ohio State is a good team, but to play the defending national champs in their season opener on national television is exposure that any mid-major program would love to receive. From what Garcia has said, the more plausible explanation seems to be that FIU doesn't like the way that the GG has handled the situation; Garcia was quoted as saying that he felt "bullied" during the process.

And based on some of the things that Rick Giles of the GG has been quoted as saying, I don't really blame him.
  • "I think once they sit down and take a look at everything and think about it, they'll do the right thing and go ahead and play Carolina."
  • "If we let every team tell us who they want to play, we'd never get a field finalized."
  • "They agreed to play either one. We talked to them two weeks ago and wanted them to play North Carolina. They said they'd prefer to play Ohio State and we understand that, but we want them to play North Carolina."
  • "I would be stunned if Isiah Thomas' first act as a head coach was to break a contract."
From reading about the issue, the hang-up is that the contract that was signed said Ohio State or UNC, but that some kind of handshake agreement was reached in which the Panthers would play the Buckeyes. FIU seems like they are ready to boycott the event, which would only end up hurting the kids on the Panther team that would have a chance to play against a national powerhouse, whether it ends up being Ohio State or UNC.

I bet this issue could be solved with a simple phone call where the GG says "Hey, our bad. We screwed up. But this would be such a better match-up". We'll see if that happens.

Continue reading...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Should Duke have their 1999 season vacated?

In case you missed it, over the weekend Gary Parrish filed an excellent column comparing the punishment Memphis received for using an ineligible Derrick Rose to Duke's use of Corey Maggette.

If you remember, Maggette admitted to taking money from Myron Piggie, his AAU coach in high school.

The gist of Parrish's column is this: Memphis was penalized retroactively for using an ineligible player even though they initially had cleared Rose to play. But Maggette, who admitted to taking money that was in part supplied by agents, also could have had his eligibility revoked retroactively, but Duke's 1999 Final Four season still stands in the record books.

Corey Maggette received money from an AAU coach before enrolling at Duke.
(photo credit: AP)

As I'm sure you could have guessed, this upset some Duke fans. Big Duke Balls (for you Duke haters out there, BDB is probably the most intelligent and least homer of the Duke blogs out there) posted a response to it.

Essentially, what BDB says in their post is that the two offenses are not comparable. Maggette took money from an AAU coach that was completely unaffiliated with Coach K or the University. Rose had failed the ACT's three times before someone took the SAT's for Rose in Detroit, some 283 miles from his Chicago home, a few months before he was due to enroll at Memphis. Detroit also happens to be where William "Worldwide Wes" Wesley, basketball's biggest power broker who happens to have a strong connection to Coach Cal (many believe that he was behind guys like CDR, Tyreke Evans, and DaJuan Wagner eventually choosing Memphis for school), resides.

Both sides have a valid argument, but both also miss the point.

Parrish is correct in one thing - Maggette's amateur status could have been in question. He received money from a summer coach that was provided by an agent. Both sides admitted it after the fact, which means it definitely happened. Taking handouts from agents pretty much eliminates your standing as an amateur, meaning that before Maggette enrolled at Duke, he was ineligible to play college basketball.

As the Derrick Rose situation has made abundantly clear, the NCAA reserves the right to retroactively revoke a player's eligibility and vacate the games he participated in. They haven't in the case of Duke and Corey Maggette.

But BDB also makes a valid and completely correct point. These two violations are not the same. Maggette pocketed a couple grand from his summer coach, which, sad to say, is not an uncommon occurrence. Derrick Rose had someone else take the test that qualified him to be eligible, and enrolled in school with the knowledge that he should not be allowed to play. He also reportedly had some grades changed while in high school to keep him eligible. Oh, and his brother got a couple free rides on the team's chartered jet.

What happened with Rose and Memphis was much more egregious than what occurred at Duke with Maggette. Shouldn't the more serious crime get the harsher punishment? Isn't that how it, ideally, is supposed to work?

The bottom line is that while both sides make valid arguments, both of them miss the most glaring issue here. The NCAA Infractions Committee is a farce, and it is becoming abundantly clear that the NCAA has little to no control over these schools and these kids.

Let me preface this next paragraph by saying that none of it has been proven to be true, but if you read between the lines, what happened with Rose is an enormous problem. Derrick Rose had failed the ACT's three times. Seeing that his star recruit was on the brink of being denied entrance to Memphis, Coach Cal called up his buddy Worldwide Wes, who was able to get someone who could pass as Rose to take the SAT's in his stead and earn a qualifying score.

That is about as bad it gets when it comes to NCAA violations.

It isn't difficult to infer that Coach Cal helped Rose get the qualifying SAT score.
(photo credit: JohnClay)

Granted, to get to that point, you have to connect a whole bunch of dots and answer a bevy of "What ifs?", but if that is what, in fact, occurred, would anyone be surprised?

If so, what can the NCAA actually do about it?

Vacate a season?


Vacating a season means one thing, and it rhymes with hack spit. It doesn't erase the memories that Memphis fans have of their run to the NCAA championship game. You can still watch CDR's dunk over Kevin Love on youtube. Derrick Rose is still in the NBA making millions. Coach Cal still has a contract worth almost $32 million. Sure, he may never make the hall of fame, but he can probably dry those tears with hundred dollar bills.

And it is so much worse than just one instance of a fudged SAT score.

Would you be surprised if Renardo Sidney was able to afford the rent on his house in Southern California because he was being funneled money by a shoe company?

Would you be surprised if Reggie Bush or OJ Mayo were getting paid to play at USC, or if Tim Floyd was passing out envelopes full of money to runners?

Would you be surprised if UConn was knowingly dealing with an agent during their recruitment of Nate Miles?

That's just from this summer. Would anyone be surprised if these violations were just the tip of the iceberg?

I wouldn't.
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Nevada loses two recruits

The Nevada Wolfpack will be a bit shorthanded in this season's first semester as Devante Elliot and Jerry Evans - two Southern California recruits - were deemed academically ineligible by the NCAA Clearinghouse.

According to Mark Fox, the two will not enroll at Nevada, instead staying at home for the fall semester to try and improve their test scores. But Jeff Goodman is reporting that the two players will look to head elsewhere.

From the Reno Gazette-Journal:

Elliott, a 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward, averaged 10 points, nine rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game last season for Paramount (Calif.) High.

Evans, a 6-7, 180-pound wing, averaged 15.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game last year for Leuzinger High in Lawndale, Calif.
Nevada will still have nine scholarship players, including returning starters Luke Babbitt, Armon Johnson, and Dario Hunt, as well as former starter Brandon Fields.

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J'Covan Brown cleared to play for Texas

We already knew Texas was going to be good this year.

They return one of the most talented and experienced front lines in the country. And despite losing AJ Abrams to graduation, the Longhorns back court will be loaded. They return Dogus Balbay, Varez Ward, and Justin Mason, three guys that saw action at the point in '08-'09.

As good as those three kids are, they may not even crack the starting line-up by season's end. As usual, Rick Barnes brings a bevy of talent into Austin. Avery Bradley, Jordan Hamilton, and Shawn Williams are all top 50 recruits (Bradley and Hamilton are both listed in most site's top 10). The 'Horns will also add Florida transfer Jai Lucas (the brother of former OK-State standout John Lucas) come December.

That's not all.

Yesterday, J'Covan Brown was finally cleared to suit up for Texas. Brown came into Austin last season with some very high expectations. Considered by many to be a top 50 recruit, Brown was unable to get himself academically eligible for both the fall and spring semesters.

J'Covan Brown will be eligible to play for Texas in '09-'10.
(photo credit: CNNSI)

Now that Brown, a 6'2" combo guard, is eligible, Texas fans should expect him to compete with Bradley, Balbay, and Lucas for minutes at the point.

Take a look at the Longhorns projected line-up:
  • G - Avery Bradley
  • G - Justin Mason
  • G/F - Jordan Hamilton
  • F - Damion James
  • C - Dexter Pittman
  • Bench - Jai Lucas, Dogus Balbay, Shawn Williams, Gary Johnson, J'Covan Brown, Varez Ward, Clint Chapman
That roster is as deep and talented as any in the country.

Don't hand the Jayhawks the Big XII title just yet.

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Tuesday Morning Dump

Be careful what you post on facebook; this guy's wife and daughter sandbag him online; the 50 best websites; be careful what you download, nice guy.

- Nimrod Tishmad has enrolled at Florida.

- The top transfers of 2009-2010.

- Goodman talks with Kevin Stallings about the money he spent on his team's trip to Australia.

- If a Final Four is taken away, did it ever exist?

- Seth Davis on John Wooden.

- Duke Big Balls does their top 21. #17 cracked me up.

- The best player to wear each number 0-99.

- Crean into Marquette hall of fame.

- Read the comments section - K-State alum becomes a Kansas blogger. Readers are not too thrilled.

- TrueHoop's take on Michael Beasley to rehab.

- The most influential people in basketball.

- This is why I'll never be a pro soccer player in Bolivia.

- Someone should have told this dude the fight started.

- I doubt this guy fights in Texas again.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Bill Murray's son to Arizona

Emanual "Book" Richardson is known as one of the best recruiters in the business. The Queens native and former New York Gauchos coach moved from Xavier to Arizona with head coach Sean Miller back in April.

Now, if you remember, Arizona was expected to have an Indiana-like collapse this season. Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill both left school and Nic Wise had declared for the draft and was expected to head to Europe.

But in part due to Richardson's recruiting ability, Arizona was able to put together a solid incoming class full of top 100 talents. Two of those recruits, Lamont Jones and Kevin Parrom, are from NYC; there is little doubt that Richardson was a large factor in getting them to a school on the other side of the country.

But Richardson wasn't done bringing people into the Arizona program.

Over the weekend, the Wildcats hired Luke Murray as a graduate assistant.

Arizona has hired Luke Murray as a graduate assistant.
(photo credit: Post University)

Does that name sound familiar?

It should. Luke is the son of Bill Murray. You know, that Bill Murray.

Luke is a 2007 graduate of Fairfield University in Connecticut and has had previous coaching gigs with Quinnipiac and DII Post University. He also has experience on the AAU coaching circuit, working with the New York Gauchos with ... Book Richardson.

(Full disclosure: Luke was the same year in high school as I was, and our AAU teams played a number of times. We usually beat them and Luke came off the bench, but I did meet Bill at one tournament.)

What does this all mean? Probably not too much. But it is a bit curious that Arizona would hire the son of the most famous Illini alum.

I mean, do you remember this game?

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Monday Morning Dump

Paid student for sex; beats boss with baseball bat; 11 year old saves his family from a fire; this dude must be terrified; fired for Seinfeld joke.

- Another must read book.

- Scandals ruined the offseason.

- Enshrining Bobby Knight in the Indiana HOF is a dumb idea.

- Another story of a handler starting a recruiting website to try and get paid.

- Brandon Knight has a top 5. Harrison Barnes has cut his list to six, and so has Kyrie Irving.

- Kevin Stallings was offered a $100,000 raise after he dropped that amount on a trip to Australia for his team. He declined.

- Does this surprise anyone?

- Top 100 recruit Justin Martin from Indiana picked Xavier.

- Andy Hill on John Wooden.

- Fans in Kentucky: blind faith?

- Tourney dates switch.

- Forget the "weed", that is a terrible tattoo.

- I thought Notre Dame sucked?

- Florida State: stop snitching.

- From the movies to a walk-on at Clemson.

- I love baseball fan fights, and Josh Selby from the Boost Mobile game after the jump.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Elliot Williams cleared, Eloy Vargas to Kentucky?

They lost Latavious Williams. They lost Martin Ngaloro. Hell, they lost 2008.

Today, we finally got some good news for the University of Memphis.

Elliot Williams, the former McDonald's all-american who played his freshman season at Duke, was granted a waiver by the NCAA allowing him to play this season. Williams transferred to his hometown school to be closer to his mother, who is battling cancer.

With Williams, Memphis gets an athletic wing that can really get out and defend. By the end of last season, he had also blossomed into an effective slasher on the offensive end.

In other news, Jeff Goodman is currently reporting that Eloy Vargas, who Billy Donovan said could miss this season due to academics, is currently considering transferring and right now is on the Kentucky campus.

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Reactions to Calipari from around the web

Before we get into the roundup, there a couple things I want to touch on. For starters, did you know that Derrick Rose "took" his qualifying SAT in Detroit? He's from Chicago, but he took it 283 miles away because his family was going to a Bulls-Pistons basketball game.

And William Wesley lives in Detroit. I'm just sayin'...

Another thing bothering me about this is that the reason that Rose's test was canceled wasn't actually because the Educational Testing Service had determined someone else had taken it for him, it was due to a "failure to cooperate". He didn't respond to letters the ETS sent him.

To his home in Chicago.

During March and April of 2008.

When he was in school at Memphis, and playing in the NCAA Tournament.

It really makes me question the capabilities of the ETS that they cannot figure out the best place to reach a college student during the school year (especially one that plays basketball on TV; all they had to do was put on ESPN or CBS to find him) is at school.

The only people I really feel bad for here is the university of Memphis itself. They really didn't do much wrong. While I understand, and partially agree with, the argument that the school should have figured out Roses's SAT's weren't legit, the fact of the matter is that the NCAA cleared Rose. The same organization that vacated the Memphis wins previously told the school Rose was eligible.

In big time college basketball, to win you are going to inevitably have to recruit some kids with question marks - be it behavioral issues, academic issues, or amateurism issues. Schools accept the students and then wait to hear about their eligibility from the NCAA. When the NCAA clears them, the school should be in the clear.

For Memphis, Rose was retroactively deemed ineligible (in May) by the NCAA, meaning the Tigers used an ineligible player all season.

Tough luck? Another example of how inept the NCAA is when it comes to issues such as this? Memphis's own fault for not doing their due diligence?

All of the above? Yes.

Follow the jump for reactions from around the web.

Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News: It's interesting, though, that the infractions committee probed no deeper into the question of whether Rose had, in fact, taken that test. The most essential question of this entire controversy was decided when the Educational Testing Service cancelled Rose's test score in May 2008. And why did that happen? Because the ETS sent letters to Rose's home in Chicago a couple months earlier—when Rose was attending school in Memphis and on the road playing the NCAA Tournament—and he did not respond to them. The cancellation of the test was "based on failure to cooperate," Dee acknowledged. So an action this profound, this lasting, was undertaken at least partly because Rose didn't get his mail. Isn't anyone else bothered by this? Shouldn't history be rewritten by someone smart enough to recognize that a student at the University of Memphis might be spending most of his time in Memphis?

Seth Davis of SI: I do have sympathy with regards to their position on the SAT. Rose got notices in March and April that there might be something wrong with his score -- are they going to, in the middle of the NCAA tournament, declare Derrick Rose ineligible to investigate this claim? Then, his test score doesn't get invalidated until a month after the tournament is over, so he's retroactively ineligible. What are you supposed to do? The eligibility center declares he's eligible and then they don't declare test invalid until after the tournament is over. I think that's why they didn't whack Memphis harder, not because Calipari's not there anymore. If you recall, the NCAA kept Kelvin Sampson off the road at Indiana after he committed violations at his previous job -- it's not like they don't have the option, they just chose not to penalize the coach moving forward.

Gary Parrish of CBSSports: My guess is that you think Ohio State was dirty under Jim O'Brien, UNLV was dirty under Jerry Tarkanian, Oklahoma was dirty under Kelvin Sampson and Georgia was dirty under Jim Harrick, but that you don't think of Ohio State, UNLV, Oklahoma and Georgia as independently dirty. Why? Because society doesn't attach filth to programs as much as it does coaches, that's why. And that's the hard reality Kentucky will battle going forward -- that whatever it accomplishes under Calipari will be met with a roll of the eyes by pretty much everybody outside of the Commonwealth. It doesn't matter whether that's fair or right or whatever.

Geoff Calkins of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal: And, yes, I know, Calipari won’t be implicated in the report. That’s part of the genius of the man. Calipari wasn’t implicated when UMass lost its Final Four appearance. He wasn’t implicated when the NCAA alleged that Derrick Rose didn’t take his SAT. He wasn’t implicated when the NCAA alleged that Reggie Rose, Derrick’s brother, made impermissible trips on the team plane, either. Maybe Calipari should think about ditching “Refuse to Lose” for a whole new slogan. Like: “Never implicated!” Or: “Not personally named!” It takes a village to take the fall for Calipari, doesn’t it? Or at least a university.

Mark Kriegal of FOXSports: So should I expunge the memory as well, to pretend that Mario Chalmers' three-pointer, the famous shot that sent the game into an extra period, never happened? And what of the fans from, say, UCLA, who traveled to Texas to get beat by a player who, it now turns out, shouldn't have been playing? Derrick Rose had 25 points, nine rebounds and four assists while holding the Bruins' Darren Collison to 1-of-9 shooting. I'm sure Bruins fans would love to forget that. Maybe it would help ease their pain if the NCAA reimbursed them for the price of their tickets to the vacated games. Actually, it's easier to pretend these games never happened than it is to imagine the NCAA parting with a cent.

Eamonn Brennan of The Dagger: If you're a coach, as long as you're careful enough, there's literally no reason not to cheat. If you're a player, and you're good enough to leave for the NBA in a year, there's literally no reason not to cheat. See where we're going with this? This investigation was basically a gigantic waste of time, energy, and authority. I hope the NCAA at least recycles its paper.

Luke Winn of SI: When Pitino was allowed to keep his job last week -- despite a morality clause in his contract that seemingly would have allowed Louisville to fire him without a buyout -- it wasn't a great day for the public image of college basketball. A message went out to present and future coaches: If you build up enough capital by winning games, your employer will be willing to overlook even the sleaziest of personal scandals. As the NCAA prepares to erase another Calipari milestone, another message is being sent: You can have not one, but two Final Fours vacated for using ineligible players, and still become the highest-paid coach in the game, at the most storied basketball school in the land. Knowing that, what incentive is left to stay clean?

rtmsf of Rush the Court: Speaking of Coach Cal (and UK fans will remind us that correlation isn’t causation), he now becomes the first head coach in the history of college basketball to have had NCAA-mandated removals of Final Four appearances at different schools. You should recall that Calipari’s only other F4 appearance in 1996 was later vacated because of Marcus Camby's prodigious affinity for cashmoney and bling. This latest Derrick Rose situation makes Calipari programs two-for-two, and, interestingly, the Memphis Tiger program two-for-three on removed Final Four appearances. Keep polishing that 1973 runner-up trophy, Tigers, it’ll be a while until the next one.

Strait Pinkie: "It is my hope that they played for Calipari, not because of money or fake SAT scores, but because of his style of play and his track record of getting players to the next level. At the University of Kentucky those two traits alone should be enough to get players to dress in blue and white. I also hope that these two traits are the reason that UK decided to hire Calipari."

Hick Flick from Rumors and Rants: There have been plenty of Final Four teams who have since had the infamous eraser taken to their Final Four apperances, with the Fab Five teams of Michigan being the most notable examples. But never has an NCAA champion seen their title stripped. Which begs a question — if Memphis had won, would the NCAA taken a different course of punishment to avoid that scenario? I think we can all venture to guess the answer to that question. But thanks to Mario Chalmers, we’ll never know. And for that the rules police in Indy should be permanently grateful.

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Friday Morning Dump

Apparently drugs make you Superman; worst cities for the unemployed; 100 year old gets beat up; worst facial hair in sports.

- Boost Mobile dunk contest participants.

- Henry brothers finally arrive in Kansas.

- Nolan Richarson to the WNBA?

- I think Mark Cuban read FJM.

- Ocho Cinco kicked an extra point.

- Dad chooses football player over daughter.

- The best part about this video is seeing the left fielder jump a mile.

- In case you don't know anything about track and field, breaking a world record by a tenth of a second is absurd.

- David Stern talks hoops in a barber shop.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Memphis to forfeit victories from the '07-'08 season

According to a report from the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, the Memphis Tigers will receive a ruling today which will vacate their wins from the 2007-2008 season in which they came a few missed free throws from a national title. Along with the Final Four, Memphis will also lose their record 38 win season and 16 of their 61 game Conference USA win streak.

Back in the spring, news came out that a player on that team (eventually confirmed as Derrick Rose) had used a stand-in in order to gain a qualifying score on the SAT's. It was also alleged that an associate of that player (Derrick's brother Reggie) owed in excess of $2,000 for travel expenses from flying on the team charter.

It is the second time for both Memphis and John Calipari that a Final Four will be expunged from the record books. In 1985, Dana Kirk's squad had their Final Four erased, while Coach Cal's 1996 Final Four run was vacated after it came out that Marcus Camby was getting money from an agent.

Overall, this is the 9th Final Four run that has been vacated, although luckily none won the national title:

- Ohio St. (1999) – Jim O’Brien
- Minnesota (1997) – Clem Haskins
- UMass (1996) – John Calipari
- Michigan (1992 & 1993) – Steve Fisher
- Memphis (1985) – Dana Kirk
- UCLA (1980) – Larry Brown
- Villanova (1971) – Jack Kraft
- St. Joseph’s (1961) – Jack Ramsay

Before I give you my thoughts, here are the reactions of a couple Memphis players:

Antonio Anderson (via FOXSports):

Honestly, I don't care. We know what we did. We didn't do anything wrong, but it is what it is.
Chris Douglas-Roberts (via Twitter, what else):
They took our Final 4 but they can't take the memories. Can't take away that lefty d..nah I'm playing. K Love is my guy!
My first reaction?

What does this mean for Coach Cal's legacy? Because in the grand scheme of things, all vacating wins does is remove a banner from the rafters. Memphis fans will still have the memories of that season. Highlights like CDR's dunk will remain on youtube. The players won't be losing the memories of that experience. And it isn't like Marcus Camby hasn't had a successful NBA career.

The only thing that will be hurt here is Cal's reputation. Is he still a hall of famer?

I'm not so sure. I know the argument - he wasn't named in either report. Well, as Kentucky fans should know, Eddie Sutton wasn't named in the report that cost him the head job at UK either. Sutton is one of seven college coaches with 800 wins and has reached three Final Fours, but he isn't in the Hall of Fame.

Neither is Jerry Tarkanian. Tark won a national title and reached another Final Four while putting together one of the best teams in college basketball history.

Why aren't they enshrined in Springfield?


Which is now what Cal's name is going to be associated with.

Cal will go down in history as one of the greatest of all-time. (I don't know if there is a better recruiter, motivater, or X's-and-O's coach in this era.) But guys like Pete Rose, Mark McGwire, and Eddie Sutton are/were also considered one of the best of all-time.

Where are they now?
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Florida Gators may lose some frontcourt depth

Two Florida Gators could miss significant chunks of time, Billy Donovan said on Wednesday. 6'8" small forward Adam Allen had a second surgery on a stress fracture in his left leg and won't be cleared to practice until at least mid-September.

Allen red-shirted last season after have surgery on his knee, but as a freshman he averaged 4.0 ppg in about 10 minutes per. He shot 42% from long range that year, and Florida could use his perimeter shooting when he returns.

The Gators could also be without sophomore big man Eloy Vargas. Vargas, a native of the Dominican Republic, came to Gainesville as a fairly highly touted recruit, but thanks to off-season ankle surgery, he wasn't ready to play until about midway through last season.

But Vargas may be academically ineligible this year.

Without those two, Florida still should be solid up front with Alex Tyus, Dan Werner, Chandler Parsons, and Kenny Kadji along with the addition of Georgetown transfer (and former Mickey D's all-american) Vernon Macklin to the fold and freshman Erik Murphy.

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Thursday Morning Dump

This story is pretty gruesome; anyone know what "wolf-whistling" is; imagine being the cop in this situation; that's a lot of porn; Steven Tyler looks like an old woman.

- Gary Parrish column on Enes Kanter.

- Great story about street ball.

- Ohio State might move Evan Turner to the point.

- Kim English in confident in Mizzou's chances this season. Sidenote: he seems like a fantastic interview.

- Lapchick award winners.

- Paulus isn't the only former basketball player heading to the gridiron.

- Jeff Goodman's preseason Wooden Award favorites.

- Pitino has ruined his "brand".

- If this happened more, maybe college sports wouldn't be so corrupt.

- I wonder if this is illegal?

- Things like this make me realize that European soccer is a whole different level of fandom than anything we have in the States.

- Those aren't the words to God Bless America:

- Basebrawl!!!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

BIAH Flashback: Miracle Minute

Apologies in advance to all Maryland fans:

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Gameday sites announced

When ESPN decided to start doing College Gameday for basketball, many were skeptical about how it would turn out. It made perfect sense for football - for any sports fan, weekends in the fall consist of Saturdays watching the college kids play and Sundays chock full of NFL football.

But was there enough of an audience for college basketball to make it an all day experience?

Apparently so.

Personally, I love it. Just about every team in the country plays on Saturday (it isn't unusual to see 150 games on the schedule), and for junkies like myself, there is nothing better than flopping down on the couch for a full day of hoops. With Gameday starting at 11am, all it meant was I had to start nursing my hangover and hour earlier.

The most interesting part of this year's line-up is the first game. You're reading that right. The Gameday crew will be heading to Storrs not to see Calhoun's boys suit up, but to watch the UConn women, fresh off of an undefeated season. It will be the first time they have gone to a women's game.

In general, the have done a good job balancing the schedule. There is one game from each of the major conferences before the season ends with (surprise, surprise) Duke and UNC. Personally, I would have liked to see them go to a mid-major site like Xavier or Butler. Not only are those two programs (along with other possibilities like Gonzaga, Dayton, or Memphis) now contenders and top 25 teams year in and year out, the turnout would be tremendous. You don't think the entire campus would show up if the Gameday crew went to Butler?

Anyway, here is the schedule. A couple quick predictions:

BEST GAME: Tennessee at Kentucky. The Bruce Pearl-John Calipari rivalry blossomed while Cal was at Memphis, and with the number of athletes on the court I can't help but think that there will be some highlight reel plays. Plus, Tennessee owes UK after Jodie Meeks put 54 on them last year.

BIGGEST BLOWOUT: Kansas at Kansas State. The Jayhawks are just too good this year Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen are good backcourt players, and the Wildcats have a couple talented freshman in the mix, but I just don't see an experienced and talented Kansas team having trouble in Manhattan.

UPSET CITY: Villanova at Syracuse. Losing Devo and Flynn will hurt, but Paul Harris leaving school could be addition by subtraction. Nova does have a couple freshman big men, but with a healthy front line of Arinze Onuaku and Rick Jackson, the Orange might have the league's best bigs this side of Louisville. If some of the newcomers into Boeheim's program pan out, the Orange will sneak up on a few people this year.

January 16th: Storrs, Conn. - Notre Dame at Connecticut (Women’s)
January 23rd: Clemson, S.C. - Duke at Clemson
January 30th: Manhattan, Kan. - Kansas at Kansas State (6 p.m. show and game at 7 p.m.)
February 6th: Champaign, Ill. - Michigan State at Illinois
February 13th: Lexington, Ky. - Tennessee at Kentucky
February 20th: Seattle, Wash. - UCLA at Washington
February 27th: Syracuse, N.Y. - Villanova at Syracuse
March 6th: Durham, N.C. - North Carolina at Duke

And there are always a few memorable moments.

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