Posted on: May 11, 2011 7:06 pm
Edited on: May 11, 2011 7:08 pm

Minnesota's Smith diagnosed with prostate cancer

Minnesota officials announced Monday that Tubby Smith was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Smith underwent a procedure April 21, according to a release.

He says he's now "cancer free."

"I am happy to say that the cancer was contained and removed," Smith said. "I am now cancer free and feeling great.”

Smith has coached at four different Division 1 schools -- Tulsa, Georgia Kentucky and Minnesota. The 59-year-old Maryland native won a national championship at Kentucky in 2008. He's been at Minnesota the past four seasons and made the NCAA tournament twice.
Category: NCAAB
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 CBSSports.com.

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 CBSSports.com, 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: February 14, 2011 4:39 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2011 8:07 am

The Poll Attacks

How could somebody still have Louisville unranked?

No idea.

But somebody does.

And that somebody just got Poll Attacked.

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

Associated Press poll: I could tell you why the top of the poll is wrong, why the middle of the poll is wrong and why all sorts of other things are wrong, too. But the reality is that college basketball is a mess this season. Only a handful of teams are reliable, and it's reasonable to disagree on much of this stuff. So I decided to do something slightly different this week. I'm not going to debate anybody's order. I'm only going to highlight an insane omission from one ballot that is totally indefensible.

It's Louisville.

The Cards were left off Gary Laney's ballot despite A) a 19-6 record featuring wins over the teams he has ranked 14th (Connecticut) and 20th (Syracuse), B) the fact that Louisville is all alone in fourth in the Big East standings, and C) a 4-4 record against Top 25 RPI teams. Now that might not sound like much, I know. But it's worth noting that there are just 11 teams in the country with a Top 25 RPI and at least a .500 record against Top 25 RPI schools, and Louisville is one of those 11. That's partly why I ranked the Cards 14th in the Top 25 (and one), and it's among the many reasons why no logical voter should have Louisville unranked.

And yet Gary Laney from The Advocate has Louisville unranked.

He went with Alabama and Coastal Carolina instead.

Alabama is 8-8 against the Top 200 of the RPI. But Gary Laney has the Crimson Tide ranked 23rd and thus ahead of Louisville, which is 12-6 against the Top 200. Coastal Carolina? Well, the Chanticleers have only played two Top 100 RPI teams -- Georgetown and College of Charleston. They lost 81-60 to Georgetown and 83-67 to College of Charleston, meaning they're 0-2 against the Top 100 with a pair of losses by an average of 18.5 points. But Gary Laney has Coastal Carolina ranked 24th and thus ahead of Louisville, which is 9-5 against the Top 100.

I dare you to try to make sense of any of that.

Coaches poll: I started the Poll Attacks by explaining how and why I'm not going to debate order. So I'll stay true to my word and just make two points about schools that got votes that shouldn't be getting votes.

Utah State is 24th in the coaches poll.

That's silly for all of the same reasons I told you it was silly two weeks ago. The only thing of note that's happened since then is that the Aggies lost to an Idaho team that has a 14-11 record against a terrible schedule. In other words, Utah State shouldn't have been ranked two weeks ago, and its body of work has only gotten worse. Meantime, the coaches are still giving Minnesota four points in their poll, which is silly for all of the same reasons I told you it was silly last week. The only thing of note that's happened since then is that the Gophers have taken a home loss to a collapsing Illinois team. In other words, Minnesota shouldn't have been getting votes last week, and its body of work has, like Utah State's, only gotten worse.
Posted on: February 7, 2011 8:17 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2011 9:39 pm

The Poll Attacks

You have to rank Wisconsin and you shouldn't rank Minnesota.

That's what you'll learn in this week's Big Ten-heavy version of the Poll Attacks.

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

Associated Press poll: There is nothing I hate worse than realizing one person did something dumb and then discovering the one person who did it is somebody I like. My heart sinks. But, as I've explained before, the Poll Attacks are loyal to nobody. So welcome back, Dave Jones, and I'd love to hear why you left Wisconsin off your ballot.

The Badgers are 17-5 and perfect at home. Their five losses have come by an average of just five points, they've lost by double-digits to nobody, and only one of the losses (at Penn State) is to a school that hasn't been ranked at some point this season. In other words, Bo Ryan's team has a rock-solid resume (that features a win over the Purdue team you ranked 16th) and is playing so well that KenPom.com actually has them projected to beat No. 1 Ohio State this weekend at the Kohl Center, which is why there's no way to justify not having the Badgers in the top 15, which is why they're 13th in the AP poll and 14th in the Coaches poll. So do me a favor, Dave. Get rid of Utah State or Cincinnati and add the Badgers next week (regardless of how they do against Ohio State). You do that and I can get back to focusing on dumb people I either don't know or don't like. Or both.

Coaches poll: I'll be the first to admit that ranking teams is tough these days when you get outside the top 20. Around there, we're all picking between average teams with average bodies of work. So I'm hesitant to clown the bottom of either poll. But ... Minnesota at No. 25?

Look, I used to love the Gophers, too.

Interesting roster. Great coach. Slashers, shooters, an explosive big. I watched them in November and saw lots of reasons to be excited. But I've also watched them in February, and I'm less excited about this team now because of what it's been doing lately. I ranked West Virginia, Marquette and UCLA, so Minnesota's seven losses aren't the problem for me, obviously. The problem is that they've beaten just one NCAA tournament team (Purdue) since Nov. 21 and lost three straight games (including a game to Indiana). Also: They have no real point guard.

Devoe Joseph transferred.

Al Nolen go hurt.

That means Minnesota is basically operating without two of its top three guards, and it shows.

Again, the Gophers have dropped three straight.

Why they haven't also dropped from the coaches poll is a mystery to me.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 11, 2011 11:38 am
Edited on: January 11, 2011 7:05 pm

Two problems with two women is a bad sign

Let's assume what Minnesota's Trevor Mbakwe posted on an ex-girlfriend's Facebook page Monday in violation of a restraining order was non-threatening and perhaps even nice. It still doesn't change the fact that a woman in Minnesota once felt it necessary to file an order against him for some reason, which is troubling considering a totally different woman in Florida once accused the star forward of breaking her face during an assault.

So Mbakwe is either troubled or unlucky, right?

There's almost no in-between.

Serious questions:
  1. How many times has a woman accused you of breaking her face?
  2. How many times has a woman filed an order against you?
For most the answers to those questions are never and never because, let's be honest, this type of stuff doesn't really happen to normal people. One issue can be labeled a misunderstanding or even a straight-up false allegation. But two issues with two totally different women? That's typically a sign something isn't right. Not always, of course. But typically. Again, it's possible the worst thing Mbakwe did Monday was post a message on an ex-girlfriend's Facebook page that was non-threatening but still in violation of an order filed against him, which would mean he spent Monday being more dumb than evil. But that's not what I want to know. What I want to know is what it is about Mbakwe that's led to him having issues (real or otherwise) with two totally different women in two totally different states, and whether his ability to average 13.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game has helped school officials ignore the answer to that question.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 10, 2011 7:57 am
Edited on: January 10, 2011 8:10 am

Former Gophers guard transferring to Oregon

Grassroots Canada coach Ro Russell told CBSSports.com early Monday that former Minnesota guard Devoe Joseph will enroll at Oregon and be eligible to play for the Ducks next December provided he remains academically eligible.

Russell is Joseph's former summer coach.

Joseph averaged 11.2 points in eight games for Minnesota this season but recently announced his desire to transfer after missing part of the schedule because of a suspension stemming from a violation of team rules. The 6-foot-4 junior should have three semesters of eligibility remaining.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 22, 2010 3:41 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2010 7:01 pm

The Poll Attacks

Dave Mackall of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is a nice reporter, a great dude and, most importantly, a longtime friend. But his latest AP ballot is bogus, and I can't play favorites with the Poll Attacks, so here we go!

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

Associated Press poll:  Dave has North Carolina 12th and Minnesota 25th this week despite the fact that UNC is 2-2 with zero notable wins while Minnesota is 5-0 with wins over West Virginia and ... wait for it ... UNC. Ranking North Carolina at all is mostly indefensible (more on this below in this UNC-heavy version of the Poll Attacks), but ranking the Tar Heels 13 spots ahead of Minnesota is insanity. Dave also has Illinois at No. 19 but Texas unranked even though UT just beat Illinois and played No. 5 Pittsburgh to the final minute, and he has San Diego State 10 spots below Gonzaga even though the Aztecs are 4-0 with a win ... wait for it ... at Gonzaga.

In other words, this was not a good week for my man Dave.

But, in the spirit of giving credit where credit is due, he at least put Minnesota on his ballot somewhere.

Jason Franchuk from the Provo Daily Herald in Utah didn't even do that much.

He's the one AP voter who omitted Minnesota from his ballot, and I can't begin to imagine how or why. We can argue about whether the Gophers belong in the top 10 (which is where I have them) or closer to 15th (which is where the AP poll has them), but there is no denying they should be ranked. For whatever reason, Jason thinks otherwise. But he has North Carolina -- that 2-2 UNC team with no notable wins and a loss to Minnesota -- ranked 15th.

Coaches poll: You want to call me an idiot for trusting North Carolina and all that talent for the second straight season and ranking the Tar Heels sixth in the preseason Top 25 (and one), fine. I'll still be surprised if Roy Williams doesn't get this turned around and if Harrison Barnes doesn't prove to be great. But as it stands, I'm in no position to argue. So call me names if you desire.

But at least I'm not still ranking the Tar Heels!

I'm not stubborn to the point of being ridiculous.

Can't say the same for the men voting in the coaches poll.

Inexplicably, the coaches -- and the AP voters, as pointed out above -- kept UNC in their poll this week. The Tar Heels are 25th with 99 points. That's 79 more points than the Vanderbilt team that just beat them, 49 points more than the West Virginia team that beat the Vanderbilt team that just beat them, which is beyond stupid but perhaps not even the dumbest thing these coaches did this week.

Here's something dumber: New Mexico getting four points.

I've got no issues with somebody ranking New Mexico in the preseason. But what you can't do is rank New Mexico when the Lobos are coming off a 25-point loss to a Cal team picked to finish in the bottom half of the Pac-10. Similarly, you can't have Murray State on your ballot when the Racers have no quality wins to offset a 16-point loss to an Ole Miss team picked in the bottom half of the SEC, but some genius coach did that, too.
Posted on: November 22, 2010 3:41 pm
This entry has been removed by the administrator.

Post Deleted by Administrator

This message has been removed by the administrator.

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