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Tag:Baylor
Posted on: April 11, 2011 5:41 pm
 

Jones returning to Baylor

Perry Jones announced Monday that he will return for his sophomore season at Baylor.

Jones averaged 13.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game for the Bears before the NCAA suspended him prior to the Big 12 tournament for accepting impermissible benefits from his former summer coach. Jones will also have to miss the first five games of next season. He was a projected lottery pick had he entered June's NBA Draft.

Baylor was 18-13 overall this season, 7-9 in the Big 12.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 9, 2011 9:42 pm
Edited on: March 10, 2011 12:39 am
 

Wednesday Wrap-up

Baylor was bad.

The St. John's-Rutgers officials were worse.

Here's Wednesday's Wrap-up to recap the day in college basketball.

Teams that punched tickets: Long Island and Northern Colorado each earned automatic bids to the NCAA tournament on Wednesday. That means 13 of the 68 spots in the field are now claimed.

Best game: The contest was terrific but the officiating at the end of St. John's' 65-63 win over Rutgers in the second round of the Big East tournament was embarrassing and inexcusable, and that's putting it nicely. Jim Burr, Tim Higgins and Earl Walton somehow missed St. John's senior Justin Brownlee travel and then step out of bounds with 1.7 seconds left. By doing so, they committed what Big East commissioner John Marinatto later acknowledged were "two separate officiating errors" that cost Rutgers a chance to tie or win at the buzzer. Those "two separate officiating errors" should also cost Burr, Higgins and Walton future assignments.

Other best game: Long Island's 85-82 win over Robert Morris in the title game of the Northeast tournament represented everything that makes small-conference basketball great. It was a bunch of players most folks have never heard of competing in front of a rowdy crowd in a rare national television appearance with an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament on the line, and it ended with a court-storming. Jamal Olasewere's career-high 31 points turned him into a name worth remembering heading into next week. That's when the Blackbirds will play in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1997.

Team whose dream remained alive: Colorado was down six with less than three minutes to play in a potential bubble-bursting game. Then Alec Burks made a jumper, sparked a comeback and led the Buffaloes to a 77-75 win over Iowa State in the first round of the Big 12 tournament. Burks got 25 of his 29 points in the final 17 minutes. It was a performance that kept Colorado's quest to make the NCAA tournament intact, though the Buffaloes probably need a win over Kansas State in Thursday's quarterfinals to feel reasonably good about their at-large chances.

Team whose dream was crushed: Nebraska entered Wednesday on the bubble thanks to a resume that included wins over Texas, Texas A&M and Missouri, and just three losses outside of the top 100 of the RPI. But the Huskers still needed to do work, everybody agreed. And now the Huskers are off the bubble, everybody agrees, thanks to a 53-52 loss to Oklahoma State in the first round of the Big 12 tournament.

Performance I hope you witnessed: I voted Notre Dame's Ben Hansbrough the Big East's Player of the Year. So I can't join those who think Connecticut's Kemba Walker was slighted for that award because I'll never give Player of the Year honors to somebody whose team finishes in the bottom half of a league. That said, it's baffling that Walker wasn't a unanimous all-league selection, and he showed why in the Huskies' 79-62 win over the Chris Wright-less Georgetown Hoyas in the second round of the Big East tournament. Walker was 10-of-18 from the field. He finished with 28 points. "I think he's the best player in the country," said UConn coach Jim Calhoun. "That should be more important."

Performance I hope you missed: UCF's 75-60 loss to East Carolina means the Knights, in a span of three months, transformed from a nationally ranked team with non-league wins over Florida and Miami into a nationally unranked team that was bounced in the first round of its league tournament. Marcus Jordan was 1-of-9 from the field with four turnovers against the Pirates. It was a fitting ending to a strange season.

Three other things worth noting

1. Baylor's bad day that started with the announcement that star freshman Perry Jones has been suspended because of a violation of NCAA rules ended with an 84-67 loss to Oklahoma in the first round of the Big 12 tournament. So the Bears' season began with their best guard (LaceDarius Dunn) suspended and it will end with their best big (Jones) suspended. It'll also end in the NIT, most likely.

2. Marquette's 67-61 win over West Virginia in the second round of the Big East tournament ensured the Golden Eagles won't have to spend Selection Sunday worrying whether they're in or out. They're in. Safely. Regardless of what happens Thursday against Louisville.

3. Manhattan fired Barry "Slice" Rohrssen on Wednesday while Northern Illinois fired Ricardo Patton. There will be more firings Thursday, I'm certain. It's that time of the year, you know?

Final thought: Texas Tech announced early this week that Pat Knight won't return next season.

Lots of possible replacments have been mentioned.

I'd hire Billy Gillispie.

Yes, I know Gillispie has had issues, and those must be addressed. But don't let two weird years at Kentucky make you forget that he was considered among the nation's best and hottest coaches just four years ago, and that he earned that reputation by winning at two Texas schools (UTEP and Texas A&M).  At Kentucky, Gillispie was out of his element, and he didn't handle it well. A subsequent drinking-and-driving arrest further damaged his reputation, but it should be noted that he's stayed free of negative headlines for the past 18 months. That's not everything. But it's something.

Bottom line, Gillispie's pros outweigh his cons at a place like Texas Tech.

I bet he would win there if given the chance.
Posted on: February 11, 2011 12:39 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 1:21 pm
 

Videos, videos and more videos!

You want to watch me preview seven of this weekend's games with Jason Horowitz?

Click this link.

You want to hear me talk about myself for 20 minutes?

That's this link.
Posted on: January 24, 2011 3:29 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2011 3:31 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

There's always one voter who wants to be different for the sake of being different.

That voter usually ends up getting Poll Attacked.

 (I hope it was worth it, Ron.)

Let's do this!

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

Associated Press poll: Duke might be America's best team, might win the national title, might finish the season ranked No. 1. Who the hell knows? But voting the Blue Devils No. 1 right now is just as silly as voting anybody but the Blue Devils No. 1 in the preseason, because there's nothing tangible to back up such a vote. For the millionth time, the games have to matter. And by any measuring stick the only team that can be voted No. 1 right now is Ohio State ... unless you just love San Diego State. Honestly, I would not ridicule anybody for ranking SDSU No. 1 because the Aztecs are obviously good and possibly great, and there's no stain on their resume to hold against them. Want to hold their schedule against them? Fine. I'm OK with that, too. That's why I have the Aztecs fourth, because they do lack quality wins. But any defense of SDSU can start with, "Yeah, but nobody has beaten them," and that's an obviously difficult thing to counter. So I guess what I'm saying is that you can do whatever you want with San Diego State, and you'll hear nothing from me. Rank them first or fourth or eighth. I'm cool with it.

But what I'm not cool with is Duke at No. 1.

How can that be justified?

The Blue Devils do have a stain on their resume, specifically that 66-61 loss at Florida State.

Beyond that, Ohio State has better wins than Duke.

Seriously, take a look:
  • Number of Duke wins vs. currently ranked teams: 1
  • Number of Ohio State wins vs. currently ranked teams: 4
Duke's only win over a currently ranked team is a home win over No. 25 Michigan State. Meantime, OSU has wins over No. 16 Minnesota (home), No. 20 Illinois (away), No. 22 Florida State (away) and No. 24 Florida (away). So by AP standards, OSU has four wins -- three of which came on the road -- better than any of Duke's wins, and one of those wins is a 58-44 win over the Florida State team that beat Duke. So to recap: OSU is 20-0 with four wins over currently ranked teams while Duke is 18-1 with one win over a currently ranked team. And OSU easily handled the team that beat Duke. And OSU (this is probably worth noting, too) didn't lose its best player to a toe injury last month.

Knowing all that, how could anybody rank Duke ahead of Ohio State?

Answer: I have no idea.

But I'd love for you to email Ron Morris from The State newspaper in South Carolina and ask him.

He's the lone AP voter ranking Duke ahead of Ohio State.

Perhaps he knows something the rest of us don't.

Or, more likely, he doesn't know any of the stuff I just referenced.

Coaches poll: I loved Baylor in the preseason.

Loved LaceDarius Dunn. Loved Quincy Acy. Loved Perry Jones. Loved the potential. But then the season began and Baylor started taking bad losses, and the Bears haven't done anything to offset them to date, which is why I can't comprehend -- neither can ESPN's Eamonn Brennan, by the way -- how some coach is still voting the Bears on his Top 25 ballot. The Bears are 13-5 with four losses to teams currently unranked in the coaches poll (Gonzaga, Iowa State, Washington State and Florida State) and one loss to a currently ranked team (Kansas). And their best win is a home win over unranked Oklahoma State. So while there might come a day when Baylor again deserves to be on a Top 25 ballot (I still like the potential of the roster), that day is most certainly not to day. So shame on the coach who voted Baylor 25th ... unless, of course, the guilty party is Baylor coach Scott Drew.

In that case, hey, I understand.

I guess.
Posted on: December 27, 2010 4:02 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2010 4:11 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

You want to punish Tom Izzo for scheduling aggressively?

Fine.

But now look. You're in the Poll Attacks.

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

Associated Press poll: I have Michigan State ranked 15th in the Top 25 (and one).

The Spartans are 20th in the AP poll.

Both rankings are reasonable. But what's unreasonable is leaving the Spartans completely off a Top 25 ballot, which is what 13 AP voters did, and I don't understand why. Is it because they've suffered four losses against a ridiculous schedule? Because if that's the reason, that's a stupid reason. And, yes, I can explain. But let's first look at the losses.

They are to:
  • No. 1 Duke on the road
  • No. 4 Connecticut on a neutral court
  • No. 5 Syracuse on a neutral court
  • No. 13 Texas at home
I admit, that's not ideal. It's not what I expected (or what Izzo expected, either). But those are games most teams, if not all teams, ranked between 15th and 25th would also lose, point being that to punish Michigan State for losing those games is to punish Izzo for scheduling aggressively, and that's not right. Given the way some writers vote, Izzo could've scheduled a bunch of buy games, cruised and remained ranked in everybody's top five. But he instead decided to challenge his team and create some interesting matchups in November and December, and I'm not going to penalize him for doing it.

But who has Michigan State beaten, you ask?

Washington, for starters.

The Spartans have a neutral-court win over Washington.

So that means Michigan State has a win over the Pac-10 favorite and losses to four top 13 teams, and 13 writers somehow determined that the Spartans' body of work is unworthy of a Top 25 vote. It's dumb on the surface but even dumber when you dig deeper. This being the Poll Attacks, I dug deeper. And Gary Laney from The Advocate in Louisiana is going to wish I wouldn't have because his ballot is bogus.

He has Cincinnati ranked 22nd.

Now I could spend the next few sentences explaining how the Bearcats would likely have more than four losses if they played Michigan State's schedule and how the Spartans would probably be undefeated if they played Cincinnati's schedule, but I'm not going to do that. Instead, I'm going to tell you that Gary has Washington ranked 24th. That's fine with me in general because Washington's body of work is similar to Michigan State's. Washington is 8-3 instead of 9-4. But all three losses are to good teams -- specifically No. 11 Kentucky, No. 18 Texas A&M and No. 20 Michigan State. Yes, Michigan State. Michigan State beat Washington in the Maui Invitational, which is why Gary's ballot makes no sense.

How can you rank Washington but not rank Michigan State?

They have comparable losses, sure. But Washington has no good wins, and one of Washington's losses is to Michigan State. I mean, that's pretty basic stuff, right? I imagine it is to most, but it's not to Gary Laney. Or to Steven Bradley from The Journal in South Carolina. He has Washington 19th and Michigan State unranked. (Perhaps he's never heard of Maui. Who knows?) And then there's J.P. Butler from the Olean Times in New York. He didn't rank Michigan State but he has Baylor 21st even though Baylor has no good wins and three losses to unranked teams.

Question: If Baylor is 8-3 with no good wins and losses to unranked Gonzaga, unranked Washington State and unranked Florida State, what do you think the Bears would be if they had played a 13-game schedule featuring matchups with No. 1 Duke, No. 4 UConn, No. 5 Syracuse and No. 13 Texas?

Answer: A four-loss team, at least.

Steve DeShazo of the Free Lance-Star in Virginia?

He has Michigan State unranked, too. But he's got Oklahoma State at No. 23 and Cleveland State at No. 25 even though Oklahoma State is 11-1 with no good wins and a loss to unranked Virginia Tech while Cleveland State is 13-1 with no good wins and a double-digit loss to unranked West Virginia. So I guess the lesson is this: If you want Steve to notice you, schedule weak, win a lot of games against bums and lose to an unranked team. But don't you dare schedule aggressively a lose games to ranked opponents, because that'll get you dropped real fast.

Whatever.

Let's move on.

Coaches poll: As you can probably tell by the above Poll Attack, I hate voters who highlight teams simply for building records against weak opponents. It rewards a conservative approach, and I'm against that. So shame on the coaches who put Cincinnati (24 points), Oklahoma State (11 points) and Utah State (four points) on their ballots. I've already told you about Cincinnati (no good wins) and Oklahoma State (no good wins and one bad loss). Now let me tell you about Utah State, the WAC school that's 11-2 with no good wins. Granted, the Aggies' losses (to BYU and Georgetown) are better than OSU's losses (or Baylor's losses, for that matter). But there's not even a decent win on their resume. Thus, Utah State shouldn't be getting votes even though Utah State probably deserves votes as much as Cincinnati deserves votes, and more than Oklahoma State deserves votes. The point is that none of them deserve votes. Stacking wins against bad teams is nothing more than stacking wins against bad teams. It's fine for a school that projected to be strong in the preseason because you can still believe in what you thought you knew. But a gaudy record against a weak schedule should never make you start believing in somebody, which is why I won't start believing in Cincinnati, Cleveland State, Utah State or Oklahoma State until at least one of them records one win against a quality opponent. It would be nice if coaches who vote in the coaches poll did the same.
Posted on: November 9, 2010 8:30 pm
 

Madden changes course again, will sign Friday

Rashad "Ky" Madden has changed his mind again.

This time it's good for Arkansas.

"I talked to my dad and told [the Arkansas staff] that I'm going to sign on Friday," Madden told ESPN.com recruiting analyst Dave Telep late Tuesday, this after telling the Arkansas Democrat Gazette hours earlier that he would not sign with Arkansas in the early period that starts Wednesday. It's the latest twist in a recruitment that's had many, among them Madden's initial commitment to Arkansas that came in September even though he, according to multiple sources, was telling staffs up until the morning of his press conference that he planned to play at Ole Miss.

Madden signing Friday means Arkansas' five-player class is in tact.

Four of the prospects are consensus top 100 recruits in the Class of 2011.
Posted on: November 9, 2010 1:17 pm
 

Arkansas recruit opts not to sign early

Rashad 'Ky' Madden will not sign with Arkansas this week despite being committed to the Razorbacks, according to a report by Richard Davenport in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

Madden, a 6-foot-5 wing and consensus top 50 prospect in the Class of 2011, told Davenport he remains committed to the Hogs, but that he's concerned with the number of guards projected to be a part of the Arkansas program next season, and that he won't sign with any school until the late period. It's an interesting development due to the fact that Madden's commitment was deemed strange when it happened in late September, mostly because he was, according to multiple sources, telling people up until minutes before his press conference that he planned to sign with Ole Miss over other finalists Arkansas and Baylor.

Arkansas still has three prospects expected to sign this week.

They are B.J. Young, Hunter Mickelson, Aaron Ross and DeVonta Abron.

Young, Mickelson and Ross are all considered to be top 100 national prospects.
Posted on: October 21, 2010 7:16 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2010 7:19 pm
 

Baylor lands two more elite prospects

Summer teammates Quincy Miller and Deuce Bello -- two consensus top 50 prospects from the Class of 2011 -- verbally committed to Baylor on Thursday and made it clear that Scott Drew's program won't suffer in recruiting because of recent negative headlines.

MaxPreps.com ranks Miller, a 6-foot-9 forward, No. 4 in the class.

Bello, a 6-4 combo guard, is No. 45.

Miller's commitment means Baylor will likely have a signee in the McDonald's All-American game for the second consecutive season considering Perry Jones, now a freshman on campus, made it last March. It's also worth noting that Isaiah Austin, a 7-0 center from the Class of 2012, should make it three straight McDonald's All-Americans next year. MaxPreps.com ranks him No. 2 in the class of 2012. He's already committed to Baylor.
 
 
 
 
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