Tag:Penn State
Posted on: June 3, 2011 2:47 pm

Source: Chambers likely to be PSU's next coach

Duquesne's Ron Everhart and Milwaukee's Rob Jeter have both publicly withdrawn their names from consideration for the Penn State job, meaning Boston University's Pat Chambers will, barring a surprise, be introduced soon as the Nittany Lions' next head coach.

Everhart, Jeter and Chambers are the only three men who interviewed.

A source told CBSSports.com that all three were told they were the only coaches under consideration. A separate source confirmed that Chambers has been offered the job, and that he'll likely accept at some point Friday. Chambers is a Pennsylvania native who spent the past two seasons as the head coach at BU. Before that, he assisted Jay Wright at Villanova for five seasons.

Chambers would be replacing Ed DeChellis.

DeChellis left Penn State last month to take over at Navy.
Posted on: March 11, 2011 3:37 pm
Edited on: March 12, 2011 12:16 am

Friday Wrap-up

NEW YORK -- Kemba Walker dominated at Madison Square Garden again.

Tom Izzo suddenly has a dangerous basketball team again.

And Jimmer went Jimmer in a bigtime way.

Here's Friday's Wrap-up to recap a busy day of college basketball.

Best game: Big East semifinals. Connecticut vs. Syracuse. Did you really think it would end in regulation? "I didn't want it to go six overtimes again," said UConn's Kemba Walker, whose brilliance ensured it would not. The Huskies instead closed this one out in the first OT and advanced to Saturday's title game with a 76-71 victory over the Orange two years after the two schools played that six-overtime classic in this same building. Walker finished with 33 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and six steals, then spent some time chatting outside the media room with President Bill Clinton. Meantime, UConn coach Jim Calhoun used part of his postgame press conference to praise his star and highlight, for the 87th time this week, that one Big East coach didn't vote Walker First Team All-Conference. "He's the Most Valuable Player on any team in the country," Calhoun said. "I'm going to keep saying it."
Other best game: North Carolina was down double-digits to Miami at the half, at which point I openly wondered whether Larry Drew was back to playing point guard for the Tar Heels. Turns out, he was not. And that was never more obvious than when Kendall Marshall, Drew's more-talented mid-season replacement, drove into the lane in the final seconds of a tie game and found Tyler Zeller all alone under the basket for an easy layup at the buzzer that gave North Carolina a 61-59 win in the ACC quarterfinals. It was a play that capped an incredible run that allowed the Tar Heels to overcome a 19-point deficit in the final 10 minutes. It also reminded me of what Zeller told me about Marshall last week. "He does a lot of things that make our jobs easy," Zeller said. "He can pass you the ball and you just have to lay it up." As Miami now knows, that's exactly right.

Yet another best game: Virginia Tech probably secured an NCAA tournament bid with a 52-51 win over Florida State in the ACC quarterfinals, but the Hokies couldn't celebrate until Derwin Kitchen's shot at the buzzer that initially seemed to give FSU the win was waved off. The officials huddled around a monitor and correctly concluded that the ball was still in Kitchen's hands when time expired, but just barely. It was a wild scene in Greensboro. Seth Greenberg cried and everything.

Team whose dream remained alive: Whether Alabama can get an at-large bid remains debatable because the Crimson Tide have seven losses outside of the top 50, but their 65-59 overtime win against Georgia in the SEC quarters definitely enhanced their case. The Crimson Tide now have four top-50 wins to help offset those troubling losses, and they're at no risk of taking another "bad" loss before Selection Sunday (provided they meet Kentucky in the semifinals). As for Georgia, man, who knows? The Bulldogs have a better body of work than Alabama despite two losses to Alabama. But a bubble team blowing a double-digit second-half lead to a fellow bubble team is never a good final impression to leave with the Selection Committee.

Team whose dream was crushed: Jerry Palm projected Tulsa as the winner of C-USA's automatic bid after UAB lost Thursday, which means Tulsa entered Friday in the Field of 68 here at CBSSports.com. I'll be honest, it just looked weird. But that projection will change as soon as my colleague updates his projections because UTEP beat Tulsa 66-54 in the C-USA quarterfinals and eliminated the Golden Hurricane from NCAA tournament contention. Hey, it was fun while it lasted.

Performance I hope you witnessed: Walker's 33 at MSG was the biggest story of the night ... right up until Jimmer Fredette dropped 33 on New Mexico in the first half and finished with a career-high 52 in BYU's 87-76 win in the Mountain West semifinals. The CBSSports.com National Player of the Year was -- ready for this? -- 22-of-37 from the field, and only one of his points came on a free throw. If the members of the Selection Committee want to do the nation a favor, they'll put BYU and UConn in the same region and give us a possible Jimmer vs. Kemba matchup two weekends from now.

Performance I hope you missed: Wisconsin and Penn State did nothing to help the Big Ten's reputation as a slow and boring basketball league. In fact, they might've cemented the reputation by playing a game in which the winning team scored 36 points and the losing team scored 33. Penn State was the winning team, if you care.

 Five things worth noting

1. Nolan Smith suffered a toe injury in the second half of Duke's 87-71 win over Maryland in the ACC quarterfinals and did not return. Mike Krzyzewski said afterward that he wasn't sure if Smith would be back before the end of the ACC tournament but stressed the most important thing is making sure the ACC Player of the Year is available for the NCAA tournament, which will begin for Duke, presumably, next Friday in Charlotte.

2. Memphis finally looked like a team with a roster built to overwhelm C-USA opponents during a 76-56 win over East Carolina in part because Joe Jackson finally looked like somebody worthy of the nickname "King of Memphis." The McDonald's All-American has gone from a local high school legend to a freshman starter for the Tigers to a part-time reserve in less than a year, and it's been tough on him. But Jackson was tremendous against ECU while scoring a career-high 24 points. He made 8-of-12 field goal attempts, 3-of-3 3-point attempts and 5-of-5 free throw attempts, and now the Tigers are just a win over UTEP away from earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Southern California played its Pac-10 semifinal against Arizona without head coach Kevin O'Neill, who was suspended by his athletic director after a Thursday night incident with an Arizona booster. Assistant Bob Cantu coached the Trojans in O'Neill's absence. They lost 67-62 and are almost certainly headed to the NIT.

4. Ohio State entered this week in position to get a No. 1 seed regardless, but that doesn't mean the Buckeyes wanted or needed to lose their Big Ten tournament opener to Northwestern (if only because there's nothing cool about losing a Big Ten tournament opener to Northwestern). Thanks to Jared Sullinger they avoided the upset. The CBSSports.com National Freshman of the Year finished with 20 points and 18 rebounds in OSU's 67-61 overtime win. Worth noting is that Sullinger shot 18 free throws, i.e., just as many as Northwestern's entire team.

5. If you're surprised Tom Izzo has Michigan State operating at a high level then you haven't been paying attention for the past decade. Somehow, someway, this is what Izzo does. Regardless of whether the Spartans are great, good, average or terrible from November to March, by St. Patrick's Day each year Izzo gets them straight. So of course Michigan State will play in the Big Ten semifinals thanks to a 74-56 win over Purdue that took the Spartans off the bubble. They're now guaranteed to make the NCAA tournament. They'll probably make the Sweet 16, just because.

Final thought: Providence fired Keno Davis Friday and folks immediately started trying to explain why this didn't work. Among the common theories was because the Big East school hired him "with just one year of head coaching experience," which is both wrong and silly. Understand this: Davis didn't fail at Providence because he lacked significant prior experience. He failed at Providence because the school decided to hire the country's hottest young coach in April 2008 with little regard to how he fit with the Friars program. Davis was a bad fit -- and I hope Providence realizes that before it lures its next coach. Hire somebody with experience if you want; I'm not saying that's the wrong route. All I'm saying is that projected greatness and fit are way more important than past experience, and you can look elsewhere in the Big East to see it. Pittsburgh hired Jamie Dixon with zero years of head coaching experience while Marquette hired Buzz Williams with one. Things seems to be going well for those two programs, don't they?

Bottom line, what somebody has done at another school is important, sure.

But it's not nearly as important as what you think somebody can do at your school going forward.
Posted on: January 10, 2011 3:29 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2011 4:04 pm

The Poll Attacks

I thought the Poll Attacks would inevitably create enemies.

And they might still.

But they also create relationships, which means I'm bringing people together (while ripping apart AP ballots). For instance, Dave Mackall (previous Poll Attack victim) now emails me his Top 25 every Sunday, and David Jones (previous Poll Attack victim) sent a note over the weekend to tell me I was right to clown him for ranking KSU No. 1 in the preseason. (He added that I'm an idiot for continuing to rank Michigan State, but let's not get into that.) And then there's Lindsey Wilhite, last week's Poll Attack victim. Upon reading my assault on his ballot, Lindsey came at me via Twitter. Then I went back at him. Then we went back and forth for a minute, and now I think we might be friends.

In other words, the good guys don't take the Poll Attacks personally.

Because they're never personal.

I don't make fun of people's hairstyles or tans.

(How could I, right?)

I just make fun of their AP ballots, and I'm about to do it again.

Let's go!

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com.)

Associated Press poll: Readers often ask my philosophy on ranking teams. Here it is: I believe what I believe until on-the-court results force me to change. If I start from the position that the San Diego State Aztecs will be good (which I did) then I operate under that assumption until they prove me wrong (which they haven't). Similarly, if I start from the position that the Cincinnati Bearcats will be a team that finishes in the bottom half of the Big East (which I did) then I operate under that assumption until they prove me wrong (which they haven't). I believe whatever I believe until reality forces me to change my beliefs, and then I change. And I never try to predict the future. I rank in the moment with the information available at the time. Then I watch a week's worth of games and adjust, and it really is that simple.

Clearly, ranking teams is a subjective process. I know that. But what I've found is that my way is the smartest way (if you don't mind me saying), and it's precisely what moved me off Memphis weeks ago. I can't begin to imagine what's preventing 16 AP voters from doing the same.

Yes, 16 AP voters somehow put Memphis on their ballots this week despite the following:
  1. The Tigers have been routed by every good team they've played -- specifically Kansas (neutral), Georgetown (home) and Tennessee (away).
  2. The Tigers' best win is a four-point win over a Miami team that has also lost to Rutgers and Clemson
  3. The Tigers have gone to OT with Austin Peay and Arkansas State, and been pushed to the final minutes by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Tennessee State and East Carolina.
You have to not watch an incredible amount of basketball and completely ignore box scores to still rank the Tigers. They don't pass the resume test or the eye test, and the truth is that they aren't even playing like a top 50 team. Injuries (Wesley Witherspoon) and departures (Jelan Kendrick and Angel Garcia) deserve some of the blame, and the overall youth of the roster is also a legitimate excuse for the uneven start. And just so we're clear, no, the uneven start does not suggest Josh Pastner is in over his head, nor does it mean things can't get better. Pastner was and still is the best hire Memphis could make at the time the hire was made, and he'll have this young roster competing at an elite level when it's a tad bit older (and not quite so skinny). That said, there isn't a single thing that's happened on the court to make anybody think it's reasonable to rank Memphis this week.

So shame on the 16 voters who did it.

(You want all 16 names? Click this link to read them. Too many to name here.)

The rankings range from 19th for Roger Clarkson to 25th for Marcus Hunter, Dan Wiederer and Whitelaw Reid. I have no idea what Roger is thinking. Marcus lives in Memphis and really should know better. Dan lives in North Carolina but still should know better. And Whitelaw is just being Whitelaw. He has Memphis 25th and Texas A&M unranked even though the Aggies are 14-1 with wins over No. 17 Washington and No. 19 Temple, and their lone loss came on Nov. 25 by two points to Boston College. But that's not a body of work that deserves a ranking, according to Whitelaw, who has Texas A&M unranked, Memphis 25th and Washington -- the same Washington team that Texas A&M beat last month -- all the way up at No. 13.

Did you get that?
  • No. 13 Washington
  • No. 25 Memphis
  • Uranked Texas A&M
That's what Whitelaw came up with.

Make sense of it, my loyal readers, if you can.

(Editor's note: You can't.)

Coaches poll: Penn State is 9-6 with double-digit losses to Ole Miss, Maryland, Virginia Tech and Maine. Seriously, Maine. The Nittany Lions got worked by the Black Bears last month. So while I acknowledge Saturday's win over Michigan State was a nice moment for Ed DeChellis' program, it wasn't nice enough to offset a resume featuring six losses, five of which are to unranked teams. You can't just rank a team because it got a nice win. (If that was the case, where's Houston's votes?) The body of work must be considered, mustn't it? All along I thought that was common sense. But apparently not. Because Penn State got two points in this week's coaches poll, and Maine must feel like it got totally screwed. (If you're gonna rank Penn State, at least rank the Black Bears, too!)
Posted on: January 8, 2011 7:28 pm
Edited on: January 8, 2011 7:32 pm

Life on the road isn't easy, even for good teams

A Saturday schedule with just one game between ranked schools seemed boring on the surface.

That's why I stayed home this weekend.

If only No. 9 Missouri, No. 10 Kentucky, No. 17 Kansas State, No. 18 Michigan State, No. 19 UCF and No. 22 Vanderbilt could've done the same. Maybe then they wouldn't be six ranked teams that just endured losses to unranked teams in hostile environments. Yes, it was one of those days in college basketball. Every time I flipped the channel some ranked team was going down on the road. The result was an afternoon of court-stormings, and Sunday night's Top 25 (and one) is sure to be a shuffled mess.

For those who missed it, here you go:
  • Colorado 89, No. 9 Missouri 76
  • Georgia 77, No. 10 Kentucky 70
  • Oklahoma State 76, No. 17 Kansas State 62
  • Penn State 66, No. 18 Michigan State 62
  • Houston 76, No. 19 UCF 71
  • South Carolina 83, No. 22 Vanderbilt 75 (OT)
Georgia is the only unranked team of that bunch that'll likely break into the updated rankings, so let's not pretend this is the day that validates Penn State, Colorado, Oklahoma State, Houston or South Carolina. Yes, Colorado (12-4) and Oklahoma State (13-2) are both solid. But Saturday's results say less about them than they say about how difficult it is, even for nationally ranked teams, to go on the road and win in conference play.

(Worth noting: No. 4 Syracuse nearly lost Saturday at Seton Hall, and Seton Hall is 7-9.)

No. 6 San Diego State, No. 13 Georgetown and No. 20 Illinois are among the ranked teams on the road against unranked teams next Saturday. My advice: Don't be shocked -- or even mildly surprised -- if some of them (or all of them) experience the same fate that Missouri, UK, KSU, Michigan State, UCF and Vandy experienced this Saturday. If it happens, it won't necessarily mean they were overrated. It'll just mean they had to travel.
Posted on: March 7, 2009 4:54 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2009 5:13 pm

Bad day for Penn State and Rhode Island

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Two of the last four in Jerry Palm's bracket this morning were Penn State and Rhode Island.

That's another way of saying neither could afford a bad loss in the final weekend of the regular season.

And that's why it's safe to say Penn State and Rhode Island really screwed-up today.

The Nittany Lions lost to Iowa (i.e., a bad team).

The Rams lost to UMass (i.e., a bad team).

By RPI standards, that's Penn State's worst loss of the season and Rhode Island's second-worst loss of the season. Both schools' RPIs subsequently dropped into the 60s (Rhode Island is 63; Penn State is 64). And when you consider that no team with an RPI of 60 or worse received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament last season, it's fair to assume Penn State and Rhode Island will enter their conference tournaments with some work to do.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 3, 2009 6:56 pm

I'm headed to Big Ten Country

I'm not sure why, exactly, because I pretty much make my own schedule and go where I want. But for some reason I haven't made it to enough Big Ten games, which is why I'm looking forward to traveling Wednesday (provided there are no weather delays).

First up: No. 19 Minnesota at No. 13 Michigan State on Wednesday night.

Then: Penn State at Michigan on Thursday night.

That's not a bad double-dip.

And here are five questions I'm hoping to have answered by the time I return home Friday ...

1. Can Michigan State win without Raymar Morgan?

2. Can Michigan State win at home?

3. Is Minnesota really a threat to win the Big Ten?

4. Is Michigan capable of turning things around?

5. Is Penn State as close to making the NCAA tournament as I believe?

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