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 CBSSports.com on Friday.

An official announcement is expected soon.

CBSSports.com 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
Posted on: April 21, 2011 7:03 pm
Edited on: April 21, 2011 9:12 pm

GMU's Larranaga still undecided about Miami

Jim Larranaga remains undecided about whether to remain at George Mason or accept an offer to be Miami's next coach, a source told CBSSports.com on Thursday. According to the source, there are no plans for Larranaga to inform his players of an imminent move to Miami despite a report out of New York suggesting otherwise that's headlined "George Mason coach leaving for Miami."

CBSSports.com first reported Thursday that Larranaga and Miami were in advanced discussions. In response to the report, George Mason officials acknowledged they had granted Miami permission to speak with Larranaga -- a 61-year-old New York native who has coached the Patriots the past 14 seasons. The highlight of his tenure is an improbable trip to the 2006 Final Four. He's also won four CAA regular-season titles.

Miami is searching for a replacement for Frank Haith.

Haith left earlier this month to replace Mike Anderson at Missouri.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 21, 2011 12:54 pm
Edited on: April 21, 2011 1:01 pm

Sources: Miami in discussions with Larranaga

George Mason's Jim Larranaga has had serious discussions with Miami officials about the ACC school's coaching vacancy, multiple sources told CBSSports.com on Thursday. Whether Larranaga is leveraging for a better deal from George Mason or on the verge of actually moving to Miami is unclear, both sources said. But the talks are advanced and ongoing, and the 61-year-old New York native has developed into Miami's top target.

Miami is searching for a replacement for Frank Haith.

Haith left earlier this month to replace Mike Anderson at Missouri.

Larranaga has spent 14 seasons at George Mason.

He famously led the Colonial school to the 2006 Final Four.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 12, 2011 2:22 pm

Amaker passes on Miami, will stay at Harvard

Tommy Amaker decided to remain at Harvard after meeting with Miami officials on Monday, a source confirmed to CBSSports.com on Tuesday.

FoxSports.com first reported the news.

Miami was willing to offer Amaker a five-year deal worth roughly $1.1 million, according to the Miami Herald. The school's search could now turn a number of different directions. Mike Davis (UAB), Rob Jeter (Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Donnie Jones (UCF), Tony Barbee (Auburn) and Billy Kennedy (Murray State) are among the possible candidates. Sources have told CBSSports.com that Frank Martin (Kansas State) would be willing to take the job if Miami committed additional resources to its basketball program, but Miami officials have not pursued the Miami native even though most believe he's the only candidate with the ability to make the Hurricanes nationally relevant immediately.

Miami is trying to replace Frank Haith.

He left earlier this month to take over at Missouri.
Posted on: April 11, 2011 9:45 pm
Edited on: April 11, 2011 9:47 pm

Report: Miami targeting Amaker

Miami officials flew to Boston on Monday to meet with Tommy Amaker about the school's men's basketball coaching vacancy, according to the Miami Herald.

The paper reported that Amaker, now the coach at Harvard, "appears" to be Miami's top target.

An offer, if it comes, would be roughly $1.1 million for five years.

Amaker, 45, has made one NCAA tournament in 14 seasons as a head coach at Seton Hall, Michigan and Harvard. Other coaches on Miami's list of potential candidates, according to the Miami Herald, are Mike Davis (UAB), Rob Jeter (Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Donnie Jones (UCF), Tony Barbee (Auburn) and Billy Kennedy (Murray State). Sources have told CBSSports.com that Frank Martin (Kansas State) would be willing to take the job if Miami committed additional resources to its basketball program, but Miami officials have not pursued the Miami native even though most believe he's the only candidate with the ability to make the Hurricanes nationally relevant immediately.
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: September 28, 2009 9:07 am
Edited on: September 28, 2009 9:12 am

Recruiting notes from the weekend

There were some significant recruiting developments this weekend.

Here are some of them:

Irving visits Duke: Kyrie Irving, ranked fifth in the Class of 2010 by Scout.com, visited Duke, then Tweeted about it. "Duke official was great! I enjoyed every single second," he wrote. "Everything there fits me and is right for me...you never know what will happen ." Duke has long been considered the favorite to land Irving, a 6-foot-1 point guard from New Jersey. Still, Texas A&M is among the schools hanging around, primarily because Aggie assistant Scott Spinelli was college roommates with Irving's father, Drederick Irving.

Selby narrows list: Josh Selby, famous for decommitting from Tennessee in July, has narrowed his list of potential schools to six, and UT is not one of them. The final six are Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Baylor, Miami and Syracuse. All indications are that Selby -- a combo guard ranked 14th in the Class of 2010 by MaxPreps.com -- will make a final decision in the Spring.

Jones narrows list: Class of 2010 standout Terrence Jones trimmed his list of potential schools to seven -- specifically Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA, Arizona, Oklahoma, Washington and Oregon. MaxPreps.com ranks Jones as the No. 12 prospect in the Class of 2010.

USC gains fifth Class of 2010 pledge: Kevin O'Neill accepted a commitment from Maurice Jones, according to Scout.com's Evan Daniels. Jones is a 5-7 point guard who reportedly averaged 28 points and 13 assists last season in high school. He's the fifth Class of 2010 prospect to commit to USC despite an ongoing NCAA investigation.
Posted on: April 27, 2009 2:57 pm
Edited on: April 27, 2009 6:40 pm

Wall did not apply for the NBA Draft

I've had a lot of emails and even phone calls asking about John Wall, so I suppose it's worth mentioning here that there is no indication that the fifth-year high school player declared for the NBA Draft.

The deadline to do so was Sunday.

The NBA will officially release the names Tuesday or Wednesday, and sources have said Wall's name will not be on that list. Meantime, Wall visited Miami this weekend and came away impressed, according to Scout.com's Evan Daniels. Still, there's not a person in the industry (outside of Miami) who believes Miami has a legitimate shot at landing Wall, and most believe the smart money remains on Kentucky and new coach John Calipari.

Either way, Wall is expected to trim his list of schools late this week.

Right now, he's still publicly considering at least six.
Category: NCAAB
Tags: John Wall, Miami
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