With Syracuse’s 78-53 takedown of Rutgers at the Carrier Dome last night, Jim Boeheim took sole ownership of second place on the Division I all-time wins list with 903 victories, passing Bob Knight. These first few months of the season have been eventful for Boeheim, whose ascent up this list has been the focus of tremendous media attention and occasional scrutiny this season. In weighing in on Boeheim’s ranking among the greatest coaches of all-time, Rob Dauster notes the affect that a single Keith Smart jumper has had on Boeheim’s perception. If that shot doesn’t fall, Boeheim is two wins ahead of Knight, has the same number of national titles (two) as the man who many consider the greatest game coach of all-time, and many writers have a lot less material come March.
Buzz Williams‘ 48-hour suspension from the Marquette basketball team has now ended, and the fiery coach will rejoin the team in preparation for Georgetown. Williams’ suspension stemmed from assistant coach Scott Monarch giving apparel and rides to a Golden Eagles recruit. Monarch, a close friend of Williams, was summarily fired. Williams was not found to have had any knowledge of the violations, but he took the school-sanctioned leave as the program is ultimately his responsibility. Marquette defeated UConn in overtime during Williams’ absence from the team.
Pittsburgh‘s two losses to Michigan and Cincinnati had a very similar feel to them, and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s Ray Fittipaldo outlines three major factors that hurt the Panthers in both games: a lack of rebounding in the second half, especially from the center position; struggles against talented, aggressive guards on the perimeter; and, opposing teams limiting the Panthers’ transition game. If Pitt can’t solve these issues soon, the team will have major struggles in league play. Syracuse has a strong interior presence, Louisville has excellent high-energy guard play, and Georgetown will absolutely look to control the game’s tempo, just to name three teams who will look to take advantage of these weaknesses.
Syracuse.com‘s Mike Waters was asked about his all-time Big East team in his weekly mailbag. This is a fun exercise that I’m sure will come up on many sites and blogs this year, especially around Big East Tournament time. Waters weighs in on a number of Big East greats before settling on a strong starting five consisting of Sherman Douglas, Ray Allen, Chris Mullin, Derrick Coleman, and Patrick Ewing. When a conference could have a second team of Allen Iverson, Kerry Kittles, Carmelo Anthony, Donyell Marshall, and Alonzo Mourning, you know that they’ve been doing something right for a very long time.
We’re back with another a Friday edition of The Morning 5. The end of the (work) week means that we are one week closer to Midnight Madness. We hope you all enjoy your Fourth of July celebrations and be safe with whatever you are doing.
As an example of what not to do on your holiday weekend (or any time for that matter) we turn to Atlanta, where Georgia athletic director Damon Evans was arrested for a DUI late Wednesday night. We’re expecting quite a bit of talk about this over the next week, but one Atlanta columnist is already taking him to task for the incident (rather lightly we might add) and we don’t expect that to be the last column on the issue. To compound matters (at least in terms of PR) Evans had previously participated in a video advising fans to not drink and drive.
Former UConn star Donyell Marshall was named as an assistant coach at George Washington. The move will reunite Marshall with head coach Karl Hobbs, who was an assistant on the UConn teams of the early ’90s when Marshall starred in Storrs, including his 1993-94 campaign when he was named 1st Team All-American and Big East Player of the Year (and, ironically, knocked George Washington out of the NCAA Tournament in the 2nd round).
Dana O’Neil checks in with Fran McCaffery who, as the mid-major coach du jour, left Siena a few months ago to take over at Iowa for Todd Lickliter, who was mid-major coach du jour at Butler before coming to Iowa…and was fired three seasons later.
Jay Bilas, attorney-at-law (he actually is one) points out the “slippery slope” of the current NCAA charges against USC, UConn, and Memphis in relation to the UCLA dynasty and the recently departed John Wooden (ESPN Insider required; sorry, but it is an interesting article). Many people might take issue with the timing of this article so soon after Wooden’s death, but those people are missing the point of the article. It isn’t so much an attack on Wooden and his teams, but instead targets the NCAA and its antiquated by-laws. We have some issues with certain points of his argument, but we would love to hear your thoughts on the column (if you have ESPN Insider access).
Speaking of legendary coaches, Don Meyer of Northern State (D2) was selected to be the recipient of the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award. Meyer ranks second all-time in wins by a men’s college basketball coach at any level with 923 wins trailing just Harry Statham of McKendree University (NAIA) who has a healthy lead with 1,022 wins. We have a feeling a certain coach out of Durham might be approaching those numbers in the next few years.
The MAAC conference tournament gave us another buzzer-beater last night. Saint Peter’s guard Desi Washington rushed down the court and nailed a trey to eliminate Fairfield 65-62 on Washington’s THIRD game-winning buzzer-beater against the Stags this season.
Clown, thy name is UCSB fan. Although players and coaches alike are expected to behave professionally, fans also have a responsibility to contain themselves. Incidents like last night’s approach by a rabid UCSB fan are dangerous for everyone involved.