Posted on: May 6, 2011 8:51 am
Edited on: May 6, 2011 8:59 am

Dixon, Miller among possible Maryland targets

Maryland's search for Gary Williams' successor is underway and figures to center on some of the men connected to most high-profile openings over the past few years -- specifically Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon, Arizona's Sean Miller and Villanova's Jay Wright, multiple sources have told

Notre Dame's Mike Brey is also in the mix.

Brey is a Maryland native who would almost certainly take the job if offered, according to a source. But the same source said Dixon, Miller and Wright would probably have to make it clear to Maryland officials that they're uninterested before the ACC school moved that direction. The level of interest from Dixon, Miller and Wright varies and is unclear, though all three would at least take a phone call and listen, multiple sources told, considering the Maryland job is widely viewed as one of the nation's best because of tradition, support and a rich recruiting base of Washington D.C. and Baltimore.

One thing worth noting is that Dixon has an existing and strong relationship with first-year Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson, who was previously the AD at Army when Dixon's sister, Maggie Dixon, was the school's women's basketball coach. She died from heart failure in April 2006 at the age of 28 just after completing her first season at Army. It should also be noted that Dixon has in recent years rejected multiple overtures to remain at Pittsburgh (most notably from Arizona, Southern California and North Carolina State), that Miller likely has a preseason top 20 team at Arizona and that Wright is a Philadelphia native who has passed on countless opportunities over the past five years. Those things could help the job fall to Brey or somebody like Minnesota's Tubby Smith or VCU's Shaka Smart.

Williams retired Thursday after 22 seasons at the school.

He led Maryland to 14 NCAA tournaments and the 2002 national championship.
Posted on: May 5, 2011 4:35 pm
Edited on: May 6, 2011 10:04 am

Williams retiring from Maryland

Gary Williams is retiring as Maryland's basketball coach, a source confirmed to on Thursday.

Williams subsequently confirmed the news with a released statement.

“It’s the right time,” Williams said. “My entire career has been an unbelievable blessing. I am fiercely proud of the program we have built here. I couldn’t have asked any more from my players, my assistant coaches, the great Maryland fans and this great university. Together, we did something very special here."

Williams spent 22 seasons at Maryland and led the Terrapins to the 2002 national championship while making 14 NCAA tournament appearances, seven Sweet Sixteens, two Elite Eights and two Final Fours. In recent years, though, he struggled recruiting the Washington D.C./Baltimore area and had grown tired of the summer culture where most high-major recruiting now takes place, a source said. Williams had not made the Sweet Sixteen since 2003. The Terrapins were 19-14 overall, 7-9 in the ACC last season. Their best player, Jordan Williams, announced on Wednesday that he is hiring an agent and staying in the 2011 NBA Draft.

The Maryland job is now the biggest available job from this offseason.

Coaches widely consider it to be one of the nation's best jobs because of its natural recruiting base.

"The right guy there will kill it," a source told "If they get the right guy, they'll win really big."
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 29, 2011 2:11 pm

Vacation time

I'll be off work till May 9.

That is all.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 27, 2011 8:38 am

Pitino no longer coaching Puerto Rico team

Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino is backing out of an agreement to coach the Puerto Rico national team in preparation for the 2011 pre-Olympic qualifying tournament because of scheduling conflicts, the school announced Wednesday morning.

"Too many conflicts arose," Pitino said. "It is a great disappointment that we cannot take on the challenge to help them qualify for the Olympics."

One issue, according to Louisville officials, is that Pitino had hoped to take the Cardinals with him to Puerto Rico on a preseason "foreign" trip so that he could work with them while also working with the Puerto Rico national team, but the NCAA declined to OK that plan because Puerto Rico is a Commonwealth of the United States. Consequently, Puerto Rico is not considered a "foreign" site under NCAA rules.

"We were hoping to arrange for both the Puerto Rico and our UofL teams to play at the same foreign site, which could not be accommodated," Pitino said. "An additional tournament in Brazil would have also kept me from being in Louisville at a key time for the start of the fall semester."
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 26, 2011 4:02 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2011 4:05 pm

Harrow transferring from N.C. State

North Carolina State guard Ryan Harrow is transferring out of the Wolfpack program.

"We wish him well and will do anything we can to assist him in this process," said first-year coach Mark Gottfried.

Harrow averaged 9.3 points and 3.3 assists in 23.0 minutes per game as a freshman under Sidney Lowe, who was replaced by Gottfried after the season. According to N.C. State, Harrow will be granted a release to transfer to any school that's not an ACC school. He's expected to be among the most sought after Division I transfers.
Posted on: April 25, 2011 12:44 pm
Edited on: April 25, 2011 12:47 pm

Solid weekend for the Knucklehead Rule

Remember my Knucklehead Rule?

It's rooted in the "once a knucklehead, always a knucklehead" theory, a cynical view of the world that suggests people with issues almost always remain people with issues. I wrote about it while doing a column on former Ohio guard Armon Bassett last year. I mention it today because the Knucklehead Rule just had a helluva weekend.

It started with actress Lindsey Lohan (Queen Knucklehead) returning to jail Friday for a probation violation. Then Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall (Hall of Fame knucklehead) was involved in a domestic dispute that led to him being hospitalized with a stab wound. Meantime, Lakers rookie Derrick Caracter (knucklehead for most of the past decade) was arrested in New Orleans. And Florida football player Janoris Jenkins was hit with a marijuana charge for the second time this year. And former Major Leaguer Elijah Dukes was arrested for the second time in less than two months. And former NFL player Keith McCants was charged with felony possession of cocaine and resisting arrest.

The headline at about McCants read, "Former top-five pick in trouble again."

Again is the key word.

The Knucklehead Rule -- still undefeated.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 22, 2011 3:51 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2011 3:53 pm

Report: Texas' Joseph entering draft, too

Texas freshman Cory Joseph is joining teammate Tristan Thompson and entering the NBA Draft, according to a report in the Toronto Sun.

Joseph and Thompson are both from Canada.

Though Thompson will hire an agent, the paper reported Joseph has no immediate plans to do so. Joseph averaged 10.4 points and 3.0 assists per game last season. The 6-foot-3 guard is likely to be selected in the second round if he remains in the draft.

The deadline for underclassmen to enter the draft is Sunday.

Underclassmen who maintain their amateur status have until May 8 to withdraw.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 22, 2011 10:43 am
Edited on: April 22, 2011 11:35 am

Source: Larranaga leaving GMU for Miami

George Mason's Jim Larranaga has agreed in principle to become the next men's basketball coach at Miami, a source told on Friday.

An official announcement is expected soon. first reported early Thursday that Larranaga and Miami were in advanded discussions. George Mason officials subsequently acknowledged they had granted Miami permission to speak with Larranaga, and a deal is now in place. Larranaga coached the Patriots the past 14 seasons. The highlight of his tenure was an improbable trip to the 2006 Final Four. He also won four CAA regular-season titles.

Larranaga is replacing Frank Haith.

Haith left Miami earlier this month for Missouri.

On the surface this move makes little sense considering Larranaga had rejected overtures from power-conference schools before. Combine that with the fact that the core of his 27-win team was returning, and there's no obvious reason for Larranaga to leave one of the best CAA jobs for one of the worst ACC jobs ... except for money. Larranaga was scheduled to make between $525,000 and $700,000 at George Mason next year (depending on bonuses). His deal at Miami, a source said, will be worth more than $1 million annually. That combined with what a source described as a rocky relationship with athletic director Tom O'Connor helped pushed this over the edge, and, the source added, it got "nasty" at the end.
Category: NCAAB
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