The 13 Best Midnight Madness Dunks of 2011

Posted by rtmsf on October 16th, 2011

It wouldn’t be Midnight Madness without a dunk contest (or a hundred), so we fished around to find the 13 best dunks from the opening weekend’s many extravaganzas.  There are some impressive flushes here, but nothing like Keion Bell’s record-breaker from last season, so if you know of something better send it to us @rushthecourt or for inclusion.

#13.75.  Another late addition — Rhode Island’s Jonathan “Sponge” Holton soaking up all kinds of nasty with this 360.

#13.5.  A late addition (sent from reader, Dennis) — Reggie Smith of UNLV uses all 5’9″ of his frame to get after this one.  Unreal.

#13. Mitchell Watt of Buffalo Performs the Very Difficult Two-Ball Dunk.

#12. Marshall’s Justin Coleman Completes an Impossible Side-Backboard 360 (stick with it).

#11. White Men CAN Jump! (Duke’s Miles Plumlee Over His Brother).

#10. The Involvement of People in Farm Animal Costumes is Always Worthwhile (Minnesota’s Rodney Williams).

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RTC Summer Updates: Big 12 Conference

Posted by Brian Goodman on August 10th, 2011

With the completion of the NBA Draft and the annual coaching and transfer carousels nearing their ends, RTC is rolling out a new series, RTC Summer Updates, to give you a crash course on each Division I conference during the summer months. Our latest update comes courtesy of our Big 12 correspondent, Evan Pfaff.

Reader’s Take

Summer Storylines

  • Round Robin Scheduling – For the first time since the Big 12 was formed, the conference will implement full round-robin scheduling, meaning each school will play a home-and-home with each of the other nine schools in the conference.  In the past, schools played the teams in their division in a home-and-home, but only played schools in the other division once per season, switching home courts every year.  That meant the epic battles between the Texas Longhorns and Kansas Jayhawks happened only once per regular season, and whichever school hosted the game had a monumental advantage over the other.  With a full round-robin format, not only will each school play two additional conference games, but seeding will be based more on outcomes on the floor than the scheduling fates.
  • Reloading Talent – The Big 12 is used to replacing an enormous amount of talent. In 2010, ten Big 12 players were taken in the NBA Draft.  Two months ago, the Big 12 cupboards were once again raided, as seven players heard their names called. The conference should again be stacked and we might hear as many as ten names called on draft day 2012. From incoming freshmen like Baylor’s Quincy Miller, Texas’ Myck Kabongo and Oklahoma State’s LeBryan Nash, to returning stars like Kansas’ Thomas Robinson, Baylor’s Perry Jones III and Texas A&M’s Khris Middleton, the Big 12 should again be a breeding ground for NBA rosters.
  • New Coaches… EVERYWHERE.  Change is inevitable in college athletics, but stability at the top usually translates into success on the floor. So it is eye opening that from Mike Anderson and Mark Turgeon leaving to Pat Knight and Jeff Capel being shown the door, the Big 12 had a 40% coaching turnover this summer. Now with Frank Haith, Billy Kennedy, Billy Gillispie and Lon Kruger roaming Big 12 sidelines, the conference has some questions to answer. Can Missouri conform to a set offense? Can A&M meet high preseason expectations under new management? Do Billy Clyde Gillispie and Lon Kruger have another run left in them?

Kansas head coach Bill Self has a tall task in front of him after losing most of the punch from last season's potent lineup.

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Paging Scott Drew: Meech Goodson Just Hit Campus

Posted by rtmsf on May 31st, 2011

We’ve known for some time that former Gonzaga guard Demetri “Meech” Goodson was giving up basketball to return to his home state of Texas and pursue college football with the remainder of his amateur eligibility.  We learned today through The Spokesman-Review (via Fox 26 Houston) that Goodson will end up at Baylor for his two seasons on the gridiron.  Presuming that Bears head coach Art Briles is aware that he’s adding a tremendously athletic 6’0, 175-pounder with a ridiculous first step and quick hands to his roster, Goodson told the television station that he will be enrolled in the Waco school and ready to work out very soon.

Goodson Could Provide Spot Defensive and Leadership Minutes at Baylor

Just get my transcript from Gonzaga shipped over to Baylor.  I shipped it out (Saturday). Once they get all that stuff done, I’ll be there. It’s a great feeling.  I’m excited. A bit nervous because I haven’t played (football) in a while. Once I go and start hitting the weights and learning their system, I’ll be all right.  I could probably go overseas and make some money.  But professionally, football will be a better move for me just because of the number of basketball players who make it and the number of football players. That was basically why I did it.

Considering that there isn’t much of an NBA market for undersized point guards who average five points per game and have trouble shooting the ball from distance (career 20% three-point shooter), this is a fairly enlightened move on Goodson’s part.  With the transfer, not only does he give himself two seasons to fully re-adjust to playing football — the last time he suited up on the field was in 2006, during his sophomore year in high school — but he also joins a Baylor team coming off a 7-6 (4-4 Big 12) season where the depth chart shows only one returning starter at his favored cornerback position.  An opportunity to prove himself against the light-em-up offenses of the conference would enable Goodson a pretty good opportunity to eventually become a future NFL defensive back.  Incidentally, his older brother, Mike Goodson, a considerably bulkier player at 210 lbs., is currently a running back with the Carolina Panthers (see video of a TD last season here).

The intriguing part to this transfer saga between sports is what, if any, effect this might have on Baylor basketball.  The Bears are already settled in the point guard slot for the 2011-12 season with incumbent junior AJ Walton manning the spot and JuCo transfer Pierre Jackson coming in to provide relief.  But what if something goes wrong with one of those two players prior to the 2012-13 season (which, coincidentally, is when Goodson would be eligible to play his fourth and final season of hoops)?  Or, what if Goodson’s foray into football doesn’t go as well as planned (injury, rustiness, etc.)?  Is Scott Drew really going to sit idly by and not accidentally “bump” into Goodson at the athletic training facilities or cafeteria when there’s a proven winner on the hardwood walking around his campus?  Would he not want a seasoned veteran like Goodson in his locker room to provide backup minutes as an athletic defender to close out games? 

Drew has made major waves in his ability to recruit nationally at a school with virtually no basketball tradition, earning commitments from top players such as Perry Jones, III (Duncanville, TX), Deuce Bello (Greensboro, NC), and Quincy Miller (Winston-Salem, NC) in recent years.  Are we really supposed to believe that he doesn’t have the power of persuasion needed to entice Goodson for a final run in the gym?  Only time will tell, but it wouldn’t shock us in the least if we see Goodson suiting up for the Bears in both the primary fall and winter sports two seasons from now. 

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Morning Five: 05.16.11 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on May 16th, 2011

  1. Maryland may have made a solid hire in former Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon, but they had an awful week after his hiring as they appear to have lost every one of the commits in the incoming freshman class. The two biggest are Sterling Gibbs, the younger brother of Pittsburgh star Ashton Gibbs, and Nick Faust. While both players have stated that they are still considering coming to College Park this fall they remain uncommitted and are drawing attention from other schools. Gibbs, in particular, has drawn a lot of interest and is reportedly considering Texas very seriously. Turgeon’s ability to get these two players to come back to Maryland could determine how successful he is in his first few years in the ACC.
  2. Turgeon has also been busy trying to land a different kind of recruit–Kansas State assistant/recruiting extraordinaire Dalonte Hill. According to reports, Maryland has made Hill an offer, which he is mulling over and will reportedly make a decision on early this week. Hill is an important piece of Turgeon’s plan to reclaim the Baltimore/DC recruiting area, which Gary Williams struggled to do in recent years. If Turgeon can lure Hill to Maryland, Terrapins fans could forget about the loss of Gibbs and Faust very quickly.
  3. Speaking of Turgeon, Texas A&M appears to be set to announce that they will be hiring Murray State coach Billy Kennedy to fill the spot that Turgeon left behind when he headed to Maryland (discussed in more detail here). The Aggies were reportedly also looking at Northern Iowa coach Ben Jacobson. In the end they decided to go with Kennedy, who turned Murray State into one of the top programs in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Racers were able to win the OVC regular season title the past two seasons and scored a first round upset over Vanderbilt in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Although this season ended in disappointment with losses to Tennessee Tech in the conference semifinals and Missouri State in the first round of the NIT, Kennedy appears to be an excellent hire for the Aggies. Kennedy will be expected to produce very quickly as Turgeon left the cupboard overflowing (at least for a program like Texas A&M) with what should be a top 25 team next season.
  4. We are still about three months away from Midnight Madness, but Pat Forde is already thinking about the upcoming season and has compiled a list of ten things that he is looking forward to next season. We have to say just reading the list gets us more excited for the season. We are sure there are more reasons that you can think of to get excited for the season, but this is a pretty good place to start.
  5. While Forde is focused on big picture topics, Fran Fraschilla is more interested in six of the most intriguing teams in the country next season (ESPN Insider required). Every team listed–Alabama, MemphisLouisville, Baylor, Mississippi State, and Harvard–is intriguing in its own way, but we think the last three are the most interesting for a variety of reasons: Baylor with a returning top five pick in Perry Jones and two ridiculously athletic incoming freshmen (Quincy Miller and Deuce Bello); Mississippi State for the sheer ridiculousness of the Renardo Sidney era; and Harvard to see if they can finally win the Ivy League and make some noise in the NCAA Tournament.
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Conference Report Card: Big 12

Posted by Brian Goodman on April 25th, 2011



Brian Goodman is an RTC editor and contributor.

Year In Review

Before the start of the season, pollsters bought into Kansas State as the sexy pick to take the Big 12 in 2011 on the heels of an Elite Eight appearance in 2010. The Big 12 was not overly impressive in non-conference play, as the Wildcats fell hard to Duke in a de facto home game in Kansas City, and Missouri did the same against Georgetown in one of the more thrilling matchups of the early season.

As league play began, the preseason #3 Wildcats disappointed, starting 2-5, and the usual stalwarts of the Big 12, Kansas and Texas, rose to the top. After topping the Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse in January, the Longhorns looked to be in the driver’s seat, especially after Kansas was blindsided at Bramlage Coliseum to give Texas a two-game lead. However, Rick Barnes‘ team suffered another late-season collapse, going 2-3 to finish the regular season while the Jayhawks dusted off the competition to pull ahead to take their seventh straight conference crown.

Elsewhere in the conference, the Wildcats bounced back to end the season in third place. The middle of the conference wasn’t settled until the latter stages of the season with Missouri falling lat and Texas A&MColorado and Nebraska treading water. Baylor underachieved, given the talented personnel in Waco, and Oklahoma State never really looked in sync. OklahomaTexas Tech and Iowa State all had awful seasons to finish at the bottom of the standings.

In the conference tournament final, Kansas played its best basketball of the season, topping Texas to gain some revenge entering the Big Dance. Colorado was snubbed on Selection Sunday despite beating Kansas State three times, but the Big 12 still managed to get five teams into the NCAA Tournament. However, only the Jayhawks made it out of opening weekend alive, and they fell short of expectations as they lost to Shaka Smart and the Rams’ reign of BCS destruction.

KU's front line of Thomas Robinson (left) and the Morris twins evolved into a strength, and the Jayhawks struggled most when they weren't utilized on offense. (AP/Jamie Squire)

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Quincy Miller’s Senior Season Derailed By ACL Tear

Posted by nvr1983 on December 20th, 2010

When Scott Drew got Quincy Miller and Deuce Bello to commit to play for Baylor earlier this year, Bears fans celebrated the possibility that their team could have three of the most exciting players in the nation next season if Perry Jones decided to return to Baylor for his sophomore season. Those dreams appear to have taken a hit after Miller, considered one of the top five players in this year’s senior class, went down with a season-ending ACL tear on December 10th, which was later confirmed by Miller himself [Ed. Note: We love how his coach thinks it is Miller’s left knee]. Miller will undergo surgery tomorrow morning and is expected to take 6-8 months to recover, which should allow him to return to the court just in time to get him ready for Midnight Madness next fall. Of course as Miller’s return to the court nears there will still be questions about how effective he will be when he debuts in a Baylor uniform regardless of how confident his Tweets would have you believe he is in his return.

Baylor fans will be waiting anxiously for Miller's return to action

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Recruiting Rumor Mill: 10.25.10 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on October 25th, 2010

Now that most recruits have made their oral commitments we should start to see the news of commitments start to die down at least in terms of the sheer volume, but that doesn’t mean that a big name won’t commit to a school (still a handful of top 25 guys available) or someone won’t decommit/commit to another school.

  • Quincy Miller, widely consider the last of the superstars in this class, and Deuce Bello, widely considered the most athletic player in this class, both committed to play at Baylor. If Scott Drew can get his players to stay a few years (and the looming NBA lockout could help), he could have a team that features Perry Jones, Miller, Bello, and Isaiah Austin in a few years, which would be one of the most feared line-ups in the nation.

    Miller is the last big chip in this year's class

  • While Miller and Bello stole the headlines for biggest coup of the weekend, LeBryan Nash certainly takes the prize for most effective use of a prop (see below) when he committed to play for Oklahoma State.
  • Fans of Arizona State are starting to worry about Jahii Carson, who previously committed to play for Oregon State, as he is already starting to waver in his commitment to the Sun Devils even citing a freshman wearing his favorite number.
  • Speaking of decommitments. . .Tony Wroten, everybody’s favorite Tweeter, started a minor Internet firestorm when he tweeted asking whether Kentucky commit Kyle Wiltjer had decommited. Wiltjer has not responded, but we haven’t heard any reports to suggest he has not remained committed to the Wildcats.
  • Shane Larkin, son of Cincinnati Reds all-star Barry Larkin and a crosstown rival of Austin Rivers, committed to play for Oliver Purnell at DePaul. Read the rest of this entry »
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Morning Five: 10.22.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on October 22nd, 2010

  1. Thursday was a big day in the recruiting world, as three top prospects in the Class of 2011 made their commitments public with the result that two Big 12 schools not named Kansas and Texas will also be bringing elite talent onto their campuses.  The #4 player in that class according to Rivals, LeBryan Nash, committed to Oklahoma State, while the #5 player, Quincy Miller, and his teammate and #43 player, Deuce Bello, committed to Baylor.  Nash and Miller are program-changing forwards, while Bello is a ridiculously athletic shooting guard.  As an aside, Scott Drew is absolutely getting it done on the recruiting trail — Miller represents the third top ten player to commit to the Bears in the last two years (Perry Jones arrives this year; seven-footer Isaiah Austin will arrive in 2012), and he’s beating out the likes of grizzled veteran recruiters such as Rick Pitino for these kids.  When you also consider that Baylor had to rekindle an entire program from the ashes of the Dave Bliss debacle merely seven years ago, seeing this kind of talent commit to play ball in Waco is nothing short of extraordinary.
  2. The preseason USA Today/Coaches poll came out on Thursday, and as expected, Duke was at the top with 29 of the 31 first-place votes.  Michigan State was second and received the other two first-place votes.  Kansas State, Pittsburgh and Ohio State rounded out the top five.  For a little historical perspective, last year’s Final Four teams were ranked #2 (Michigan State), #8 (Duke), #9 (West Virginia) and #10 (Butler) in the preseason.
  3. Could the summer evaluation/recruiting period become a thing of the past?  According to a report released Thursday, the Conference Commissioners Association voted last month to recommend abolition of the summer period.  The NCAA’s Board of Directors will make the final decision on this, but many coaches are already harping on the proposal as a disaster in the making.  In an email sent to coaches from NABC president Tom Izzo, he noted that it will become much more difficult and costly to evaluate prospects individually rather than in the summer camp group setting, and that the cancerous influence of agents, runners and other hangers-on during the summer will only become more powerful without the coaches and NCAA around to lend an air of propriety.
  4. Scary news from the DC area that former Georgetown star guard Charles Smith was shot twice in the chest on Thursday and was taken to the hospital in critical condition.  Smith was the Big East POY in 1989 and played on the 1988 bronze-medal US Olympic team, the last US international basketball team comprised solely of collegians.  The suspect who shot Smith is still at large, but we certainly hope that Smith comes through this ok and his assailant is brought to justice.
  5. The Atlantic 10 media made their predictions yesterday in NYC, with Temple receiving the burden of expectations to win the conference while Xavier, Richmond and Dayton fell in line behind the Owls.  The preseason all-A10 first team consists of Lavoy Allen (Temple), Kevin Anderson (Richmond), Andrew Nicholson (St. Bonaventure), Damian Saunders (Duquesne) and Chris Wright (Dayton).
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Recruiting Rumor Mill: 09.13.10 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on September 13th, 2010

Which way will Quincy Miller go?

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Recruiting Rumor Mill: 07.26.10 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on July 26th, 2010

This week’s action was mostly centered around Las Vegas (and we will certainly talk about Vegas), but there as always there was news from across the rest of the nation. Based on the way that these AAU tournaments run most of our “news” comes from tweets from courtside observers, but we do have a few articles sprinkled in here. If you have a hot recruiting tip or news that you want to share with us, e-mail us at

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