<$BlogRSDUrl$> <body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d5774626\x26blogName\x3dCollege+Basketball\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://collegeball.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://collegeball.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d6980192687323097252', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>
yoco :: College Basketball
(a sports weblog) news and commentary on men's college basketball and the ncaa tournament

yoco :: College Basketball has a new home! If you are not automatically redirected to http://www.yocohoops.com in 5 seconds, please click here.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

They Said It

"[New Missouri assistant coach Melvin Watkins] asked me how charged is my battery. I told Mel, 'Let's talk for a while, and you can make that assessment.'"
-- Missouri coach Quin Snyder

Without Much Fanfare

CBS Sportsline released its team-by-team previews for 2004-2005.

Pleasure reading!

the softer side of Sears

Read about Jim Boeheim's guest appearance on the National Public Radio quiz show "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me!" here. Better yet, listen to the show later today. Boeheim, according to the wire reports, was at his comedic best.

standards, people

what dave sez.

In Pete Gillen's defense, however, the favorite word of NBA draft veterans.

[Sam] Warren averaged seven points, five rebounds and six blocks a game. The numbers were not particularly gaudy because Warren played on a very guard-oriented team as a junior. "Sam is a very athletic and very raw player right now," said Cherry Creek coach Mike Brookhart. "I will tell you that he is a player with a tremendous, tremendous upside."

As with many prep post players, Brookhart says Warren’s development progresses positively nearly each day. "He’s getting better and better around the basket. Right now, he definitely has a strong defensive presence in the post in terms of blocking shots and rebounding," Brookhart said.

While Warren is 6-10 now, there are indications that he could be even taller when he arrives at his college of choice. Warren’s father is 7-foot-1 and the younger Warren was 6-8 prior to his junior season.

Not just upside (no pun intended). "Tremendous, tremendous, upside."

Friday, September 17, 2004


The Top 50 Preseason Candidates for the 2004-2005 Wooden Award All-American Team has been out for some time now.

The committee's most significant omission? According to Frank Burlison, Mike DeCourcy (in the August 16th edition, print only, of the Sporting News), and myself?

Arizona's Hassan Adams. The dynamic guard averaged 17.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.5 each per game of assists, steals and blocked shots as a sophomore. With Iguodala gone and Hassan a year wiser, his numbers are likely to improve.


quite (see the troubles of Kelenna Azubuike)

You've got a friend

in ESPN. Todd Bozeman, the former head coach of the California Golden Bears, is the beneficiary of a favorable write-up by Andy Katz of the "worldwide leader."

That Katz thought highly enough of him to write a column on the difficulties Todd faces in finding a coaching gig after admitting to serious infractions at Cal is a boon to Bozeman's job search. The piece raises Todd's profile, legitimizes his quest, and affirms his potential as a head coach.

The media not only reports sports news, but also influences, and at times, makes the news.

Give Bozeman another year. Before next September, I'll link to an article announcing his return to coaching.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

online edits

Title of Andy Katz's latest column:

"Hyatt added to help Gators' defense."

Excerpt from the column:

"I hired him as a new voice, as a good recruiter and a guy who has integrity and character in the business,'' [coach Billy] Donovan said. "The perception is that Larry [Hyatt] is a defensive coach. But he's doing everything."

locked out? locked in!

Hockey's troubles will likely increase the number of college basketball games on television.

A happy consequence of a most unhappy lockout.


Via Gregg Doyel's mailbag:

reddickfor3: Give me your short list for player of the year. Mine is Rashad McCants, Wayne Simien, Hakim Warrick, Lawrence Roberts.

[Doyel:] Good list. Nothing wrong with those four. I'd add Ronny Turiaf, Julius Hodge, Andrew Bogut, Hassan Adams, Joey Graham, Bracey Wright, Deron Williams, Jarrett Jack, Ryan Gomes, Francisco Garcia, Travis Diener and Chris Paul for a Sweet 16.

A solid list, though I'd replace Ryan Gomes with hot-head Sean Banks. Gomes may be the better player, but Banks is a more likely player of the year.


About a month ago I produced a table with each of the preseason men's basketball rankings available. This week SLAM Magazine released its annual Top 20.

1. Kansas
2. North Carolina
3. Wake Forest
4. Georgia Tech
5. Illinois
6. Arizona
7. Oklahoma State
8. Connecticut
9. Duke
10. Kentucky
11. Maryland
12. Syracuse
13. Michigan St.
14. Gonzaga
15. Louisville
16. Mississippi St.
17. Texas
18. Florida
19. Pittsburgh
20. Wisconsin

As soon as a few more rankings are available, including those of Athlon Sports, I'll post an updated table and produce a new, weighted Top 25.

par or below

Oklahoma yesterday signed Austin Johnson. Kelvin Sampson is a better coach than he is a recruiter.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Mr. Clean?

Gregg Doyel writes of "Squeaky-clean Kruger raking in recruits at UNLV."

The last time it recruited this well, UNLV was cheating.

Whoa, now. Settle down. No one says UNLV is cheating. No one with any intelligence.

New UNLV coach Lon Kruger doesn't cheat. The only thing crooked about the guy is his lopsided grin...

In the past three weeks UNLV has garnered three commitments, with the recruits getting better each time. In late August it was Joe Darger, a potential top 100 recruit. Two weeks ago it was Jovan Adams, generally ranked in the No. 50 range. Late last week it was Davon Jefferson, a McDonald's All-American [Dave] Telep rates as the No. 23 prospect nationally. "As our coaches have gone out to recruit, we've been fairly well received," Kruger says.

He can't say much more, because to say much more would be a violation of NCAA rules. And Kruger doesn't violate NCAA rules.

Or does he? Consider the case of Tommie Liddell. The East St. Louis star originally signed with St. Louis University in November of 2003. Several months later, he decided to spend the 2004-05 academic year at a prep school in Virginia and then enroll at SLU in the fall of 2005.

"I told Brad [Soderberg] that I was going to come back after prep school," Liddell said. "If other schools call, I'll let my dad talk to them, or I'll tell them I'm still going to St. Louis."

Despite Tommie's letter of intent and his verbal (re-)commitment, UNLV pursued him. Employing Rick Lewis, an AAU coordinator in East St. Louis, as a go-between, UNLV fed Liddell information about Kruger's resume and made it clear that a scholarship was available out west.

In late June of 2004, a UNLV assistant followed-up, calling Liddell at home. Subsequently, on July 7th, the Las Vegas Review-Journal noted Liddell was among the prospects in which Kruger and his staff had expressed an interest. Two days later, on July 9th, InsiderHoops.com reported from the ABCD Camp in New Jersey that Tommie had changed his mind and committed to UNLV. Lewis then explained that Liddell liked ”UNLV's style of play and in his conversations with them, he likes the fact Kruger has been in the pros and knows NBA talent.”

Upon hearing the news, Tommie's parents were less than thrilled.

"From what I hear, he was listening to some adults telling him that UNLV would be a better place for him to go," Liddell Sr. said. "He made a decision on his own without talking to me and his mother, and that's not the right way to do things. He's only 18 years old."

Billikens coach Brad Soderberg was likewise upset.

Without mentioning UNLV by name, Soderberg told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch early this week, "If somebody violates a rule, especially when it impacts our recruiting, I would be doing a disservice if I didn't make the NCAA aware."

Fortunately for the Runnin' Rebels, Tommie's family advised him to honor his commitment.

Liddell informed SLU coaches of his decision and apologized for the confusion...SLU is "the best fit," said Liddell. "It's what I want to do and what my family thinks I should do. I'm very comfortable with that. I'm positive. Even my grandma called me and told me I should go to St. Louis."

With his prized recruit in hand, Soderberg chose not to file a grievance with the CCA.

But did UNLV violate the rules? The Review-Journal's Joe Hawk evaluates right and wrong. His thoughts, at great length:

The letter of the "letter" exonerates UNLV's new basketball administration in the matter of an assistant coach contacting an already-signed -- but-not-sealed -- Midwest prep recruit.

Whether there was intent in breaching the original "intent" of young Tommie Liddell by someone on coach Lon Kruger's staff, well, that's something we'll never know.

Some things are clearly spelled out on paper. Others are left to reading between the lines.

Read, then, what you will into the case of an unnamed Kruger aide placing a phone call in late June to Liddell, a promising 6-foot-5-inch player out of East St. Louis, Ill., who in November signed a national letter of intent to play for Saint Louis University.

The assistant coach, whom UNLV administrators refuse to identify, called Liddell after an intermediary for the player contacted the Rebels to let them know Liddell would be attending prep school this fall, rather than Saint Louis. As such, Liddell again would become recruitable by the college masses.

Two weeks ago, Liddell said he would honor his word by playing for the Billikens once he was finished with prep school. But then suddenly last weekend, while attending a summer camp in New Jersey, Liddell orally committed to UNLV -- without making a campus visit, without his parents being consulted and, worse, while still being bound to Saint Louis by his letter.

So the question becomes: Did a UNLV assistant coach violate a rule -- NCAA or otherwise -- by contacting Liddell?

Not according to school administrators. Not according to an NCAA rules interpreter. Not according to the national letter of intent that Liddell signed and is administered by the Collegiate Commissioners Association.

Not, that is, if the coach simply did as the school contends, which is having called Liddell to inquire about his academic status.

First, we turn to Provision 9 of the national letter of intent, which states in part:

"Recruiting Ban After Signing. I [student-athlete] understand all participating conferences and institutions are obligated to respect my signing and shall cease to recruit me upon my signing this NLI. I shall notify any recruiter who contacts me that I have signed. ...."

By the letter of the "letter," a UNLV coach could have called Liddell, but the player would have been obligated to tell him he had signed with Saint Louis. The phone call, in and of itself, was not a violation; persistent contacting of the player -- taken as "recruitment" -- would be.

As for a coach calling an already-bound player to simply ask about his academic status, that is permissible, an NCAA rules interpreter said Friday, though it would be simpler -- and safer -- for the athletic department's academic compliance specialist to contact the National Clearinghouse for the information.

"That would be the advisable way," said the NCAA staffer, who declined to be identified.

What makes this matter so shady to some is UNLV's defiance in refusing to name the assistant coach involved. Granted, we in the print media are more skeptical than most, but if the coach did nothing wrong, as the school said, what harm would there be in identifying him?

Why not show us the man behind the curtain? Why all of this Hitchcockian stealth over supposedly a nonissue?

By midweek, after Liddell's parents learned of their son's misstep and finally got a piece of his ear long enough to give him a piece of their mind, the player had orally recommitted to Saint Louis, saying he would honor his letter after attending prep school.

We have to believe one unnamed, if not ashamed, UNLV assistant basketball coach learned an important lesson: Play it safe and don't call a player still bound by his letter of intent.

Hawk hit the nail on the head. It is impossible to be sure that Kruger and his staff cheated. But it is also hard to believe that the so-called "Mr. Clean" didn't intentionally miss a sport or two.

this is a first

Opened my email this morning to find the following request. Anybody interested?

Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 09:06:57 +0200
From: "Antonello Fois" xfois@tin.it
To: yoni.cohen@rcn.com
Subject: Pls take note

Riccardo Fois
1103 Brown Street – Boaz, AL 35957

Playing with Boaz High School
Looking for a University

Born 19 february 1987 at Sassari (Italy)
Playing for S.C. Basket Olbia (50,000 inhabitants)
Height cm 191 weight 87 kg

Playmaker- Point Guard

Excellent playmaking capabilities and playing vision, excellent assist maker, very good shooting (better from three points arc), good in penetration. He plays under control and makes good decisions. Is primarily a distributor on offense. Very competitive. He is always the real team leader. He has to improve defense.

2000 – Under 14 Italian school championship (3rd place)
2000 – Sardinian Region under 13 champion (1st)
2001 – Final eight under 15 school championship (limited to only one registered player, 70 points per game)
2001 – Sardinian Region under 14 champion (1st)
2001 – Italian inter-regional (Sardinian Team) championship (5th place)
2001 – Italian school 3 vs 3 schools champion (1st place)
2001 – April – 1st game with senior Olbia team in Italian championship “SERIE B” (4th division)
2002 – Sardinian Region under 15 champion (1st)
2002 – Italian under 15 CHAMPION (1st place) (against Rome, Milan, Treviso Benetton, Bologna Skipper, Pesaro Scavolini, Cantù etc.)
2002 – (December 8) Member of Italian under 15 national team (3 games in International Tournament at Iscar, Spain, against Spain, France and Castilla)
2003 – Sardinian Region cadets champion (1st)
2003 – With Sardinian team (born 1987) champion of “Giochi delle Isole” (Games of Islands) in Acores Islands
2003 – Georgetown University Basketball Camp (15 days)
2003 – 18-27 August in Madrid Spain – European Championship for Cadets – Member of Italian Team – Played all games against Spain. Israel, Yugoslavia, Sloivenia, Greek, Bulgaria.
2003 – October – 1st game with senior Olbia team in Italian championship “SERIE B1” (3th division)
2004 – Several games in “SERIE B1” with a best of 8ps, 3DR, 3 assists. And 2 training camp with Italian Juniores Team.

A google search yielded a few hits. Speak Italian? Read about Riccardo here, here and here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


Too early to bubble watch?

Yes. But it's not to early to take a look at the 2004-2005 schedules of potential bubble teams St. Louis, Xavier, Creighton, and Colorado.

Brad Soderberg has done a wonderful job coaching the Billikens. Unfortunately, despite the spin he sold the Post-Dispatch, this year's schedule is less demanding than last year's edition. In 2003-2004, St. Louis played Arizona and Georgia Tech. In 2004-2005, the team's premier non-conference opponent is Gonzaga.

Xavier's first-year coach Sean Miller will lead the Musketeers against non-conference foes Mississippi State, Cincinnati and Creighton. Like St. Louis, Xavier will play 15 games against 2003-2004 postseason teams.

Creighton's schedule leaves the Blue Jays little room for error. Apart from the road game at Xavier and participation in the Guardians Classic and "Bracket Buster" events, there is little on the schedule to catch the eye of the selection committee.

Colorado is destined for a quality game against Michigan (or an ugly early-season loss to the College of Charleston). The Buffs also play at California, at Utah and at Richmond. Credit Ricardo Patton for not shying away from tough road games.

just dandy

A late morning shout-out to Kevin Stallings at Vanderbilt. Kevin's found success at the school with the highest academic standards in the SEC.

Last year, he built around Matt Freije and led the Commodores to the Sweet 16. This season, he's working with the still-talented corps of David Przybyszewski, Corey Smith, Mario Moore, Jason Holwerda and Julian Terrell.

He's also working with a new contract and a strong incoming class, led by Davis Nwankwo. Remember Nwankwo's name; he'll be a first-team all-SEC player before his Vandy career comes to an end.

Monday, September 13, 2004

time for a raise

If I were working in public relations for UNLV, I couldn't have sold Gregg Doyel a better story on coach Ray Lopes. Hook, line and sinker.

katz-ing on?

Is Andy Katz blogging his Daily Word?

Nope. But the similarities between Andy's comments on Marquette's pursuit of Israeli wunderkid Niv Berkowitz and the original Eurobasket.com story on the same subject are striking.

Republi K an?

Yes, Coach K.

Via CNN:

A state divided over basketball and politics. As if cheering for Duke or the North Carolina Tarheels were not enough to divide voters, two legendary basketball coaches have taken sides in the U.S. Senate race. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, better known as Coach K, is hosting a fund-raiser tonight for [2002 Senate candidate] Republican Elizabeth Dole, while former UNC head coach Dean Smith last week hosted a competing event for Dole's opponent, Democrat Erskine Bowles.

Will Coach K ever run for office himself? Only time will tell. But, again, I wouldn't be surprised to see a Draft Krzyzewski movement after he retires from coaching.

less than lovely

On Saturday I wrote about Reggie Love's return to Duke.

Without knowing the full story.

Love once went to a fraternity party at UNC. Having passed out, he was the butt of a few students' jokes. When (indecent) photos of Love from that night hit the Internet, Coach K kicked Reggie off the team. (Love's DUI didn't help).

But now he's back. Anybody believe Dick Vitale will mention Love's transgressions during Duke basketball games? Not I.

Who Owns March Madness?

I wanted to know.

Copied and pasted from the Trademark Blog:

The Illinois High School Association began a basketball tournament in 1908. By the 1930's, it was referring to it as March Madness. By the 70's, it had become an official name for the tournament. It's unclear (to me) when the NCAA (and Brent Musberger) began referring to its tournament as March Madness but it did begin licensing the mark around 1973. IHSA sued but failed to enjoin the NCAA use. IHSA v. GTE Vantage, 99 F.3d 244 (7th Cir 1996). Some settlement ensued and the marks appear to be pooled in an entity controlled by both the NCAA and the IHSA, and both parties use the mark (the IHSA differentiates its usage somewhat by using the term "AMERICA'S ORIGINAL MARCH MADNESS"). IHSA MARCH MADNESS merchandise is available here and NCAA March Madness merchandise is here.

Neither side claims exclusive rights to the concept of the office pool.

a Democratic Dean?

No, not Howard.

From North Carolina:

The day before the president jets into Charlotte, legendary former UNC-Chapel Hill basketball coach Dean Smith will be the star at a fund-raiser for [2004 Democratic Senate candidate Erskine] Bowles.

Will the Deaner ever run for office himself? Only time will tell. But I wouldn't be surprised to see a Draft Smith movement in a cycle or two.

wake up, andy, wake up

Is Katz awake this Monday? His Daily Word for today has yet to be posted over at ESPN.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

getting off on the wrong foot

Lucas Steijn, Mike Davis' latest recruit at Indiana, arrived in Bloomington on Friday.

Two days later, the 18-year old was cited for underage drinking. Another of Davis' players, walk-on Kyle Taber, was driving the SUV that was pulled over by local police.

selling out



Has Salim Stoudamire made peace with himself? Arizona's on again, off again star guard was largely responsible for the 'Cats failings last season. Self-absorbed, Salim would pout after missed shots and errant passes. Rather than step up and lead a talented but young squad into the NCAA's upper echelon, Salim receded from the limelight.

Last November, Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl authored a column titled "One player's emotional readiness is the pivotal factor in the Wildcats' success." Indeed. An excerpt:

Need proof? Two months after Stoudamire's 32-point tour de force in a win at Kansas last January, he sulked through a 78-75 loss to the Jayhawks in the West Regional final, scoring four points on just four shots. "The difference in the two Kansas games was Salim,” says coach Lute Olson. "It's about controlling his emotions. I've told him, 'For us to be a decent team this year, we need you to be consistent.' He's our best defender, he's the best shooter we've had since Steve Kerr, and he's very tough going to the bucket. But he's been his own worst enemy." Olson sighs. "Really, it's up to him."

Arizona's success was up to Salim -- and he flunked. During the 'Cats game against Liberty, Salim pouted often enough to warrant a recess on the bench. At key moments in conference games, he was all but invisible in team huddles. Assistant coach Rodney Tention became so frustrated with Salim's antics in practice that he developed a routine to mock Arizona's star. Whenever Salim sulked, Tention would pull out a pacifier borrowed from his infant son and offer it to Stoudamire.

Has Salim grown up? He grew a new afro, but did he mature during the off-season? Cousin Damon sure hopes so. From the July 1st edition of the Tucson Citizen, after a game between past and present Arizona stars:

Salim Stoudamire put on a show, throwing in 38 points as Damon continually found him wide on the perimeter. He also threw down a left-handed slam and made several highlight reel steals in the open court. "I've been trying to get him to do some things that people haven't seen around here lately," Damon said about Salim. "He has a lot of potential to do a lot of great things. He just needs to keep his mind right and get focused."

Has he kept his eyes on the prize during summer play? First, the not so great news, from early August and the Great Northwest Summer League:

For Salim Stoudamire, it's a chance to work on the little things before he returns to Tucson, Ariz. Same for Lee and Miles, who have to be back in Lawrence, Kan., next Tuesday. "You can come home and get some really good basketball in instead of just playing at the park," Lee said.

They could goof off and take 60 shots a game if they wanted. But [league founder Canaan] Chatman points out that he is in constant contact with the college coaches of all these players. If Lee and Miles decided to loaf, for example, Jayhawks coach Bill Self would hear about it.

That might explain Salim Stoudamire angrily slamming the ball to the court during his second game of the night, as he was playing alongside Lee and losing. It might be summer. It might be laid-back. It's also a little intense.

Second, a much, much better read, from a late August game in Tucson:

Stoudamire was as vocal as we’d ever heard him and he really does look like he is the one who wants to be seen as this team’s leader. Whereas last season he was content to dominate pickup games with a dozen or more threes and let everyone else fend for themselves, this year he’s encouraging teammates, congratulating them after good plays and throwing in his two cents-worth of advice.

There was one play where sophomore center Kirk Walters had the ball on a two-on-one fast break, hesitated, and wound up missing the basket, allowing the solitary defender to get the rebound and counter with his own fast break. When the ball went out of bounds Stoudamire sought Walters out.

"Kirk,” he said calmly, “We do two-on-ones in practice all the time. It’s the same thing here.”

About two minutes later Walters was grabbing his knees, clearly winded from the frenetic pace inherent in most pickup games. Stoudamire looked at him and said, “Kirk, I know you’re not tired yet.” The implication was clear: suck it up and keep runnin’.

Another of Stoudamire’s teachings came after Tangara missed a close-in shot in traffic, grabbed his own rebound, went up again and was fouled.

“You have to go up strong and dunk that,” he told the freshman.

[Miles] Simon left McKale a while before everyone else and left Stoudamire as the man in charge. What was a great sight to see was the senior All-American candidate walk over to every single one of his teammates – walk-ons and scholarship players alike – and tell them “good game” and remind them about Wednesday’s plans.

There are still three months until the season begins but at least it looks as if one major question mark has been answered thanks to Stoudamire’s new attitude and the way he has taken charge of the leadership role.

Phew. My enthusiasm for Salim's progress as reported, however, is tempered by the bias of the messenger, GoAZCats.com's Ben Hansen. My bet? Salim will be a much improved, if not ideal, leader. Fortunately, Hassan Adams will step up and assume leadership responsibilities as well. Even sans Andre Igoudala, this year's 'Cats will outperform last year's kittens.