Aaron Gordon, Doug Gottlieb and an NBA Career

Posted by Andrew Murawa on June 16th, 2014

Doug Gottlieb has made his skepticism of Aaron Gordon’s NBA upside very clear. Check the following tweets for a glance at his feelings on the matter, and dig further through his timeline for more on the topic.

To be clear, these are perfectly reasonable opinions. And, just like I did back in the preseason when I questioned Gottlieb’s pick of California as the #10 team in the nation in his preseason poll, I’ll freely admit that Gottlieb is more often right than wrong and has probably forgotten more about the sport than I’ll ever know.

Gottlieb’s argument on Gordon boils down to the fact that the Arizona product is a tweener who can’t shoot the ball from distance nor score in the post. All of those points are perfectly reasonable. It’s true that at this time we’re not sure if Gordon will project as an undersized four or a powerful three at the next level. It’s also true that Gordon’s shot is, at best, a work in progress; personally I called it an offense that would make baby Jesus cry. And it is additionally true that Gordon is, let’s say, unpolished around the paint; his points in college came either from putbacks or athletic plays against overmatched defenders. I won’t make a single argument against any of those points.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Chane Behanan Lands at Colorado State, Looking For a Fresh Start

Posted by Mike Lemaire on January 27th, 2014

The 2013-14 season may be lost for former Louisville star Chane Behanan, but his career as a collegian suddenly has new life as Behanan told Bleacher Report‘s Jason King on Monday that he is transferring to Colorado State to play for head coach Larry Eustachy. Louisville and most savvy college basketball fans should already be well-versed in the details of Behanan’s saga, but it’s worth briefly summarizing anyway. After playing a pivotal role in the Cardinals’ run to the National Championship last season, it was widely expected that Behanan would have a breakout junior year as a preseason first-team All-AAC selection. The trouble started shortly thereafter, when Behanan was suspended indefinitely in October for violating university and team rules.

Chane Behanan

Chane Behanan Gets One Last Shot By Transferring To Colorado State

Many expected that he wouldn’t return to the Cardinals until mid-December, if at all. Instead, Behanan missed just one regular season game before getting reinstated by Rick Pitino. Behanan’s triumphant return did not go quite as planned, though, as the burly 6’6″ forward looked like a shell of his former self upon his reinsertion into the lineup. He averaged 7.6 points and 6.3 rebounds  in 12 games this season, bottoming out by failing to score in 20 minutes in the December 28 loss to Kentucky. Two days after that, Louisville dismissed him for good due to a violation of university policy. The Cardinals’ program and Pitino had given him plenty of chances to get his act together, but he never stayed out of trouble for long and ultimately he used up all his lifelines at Louisville.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

The RTC Podcast: Quarter-Season Review Edition

Posted by rtmsf on December 10th, 2013

As we head into finals week at many schools across the nation, it’s time to take a step back and look at some of the superlatives from the “first quarter” of the regular season. In this week’s RTC Podcast, we also welcome CBS Sports‘ analyst Doug Gottlieb to the show, where he gives us his takes on some of the early surprises and disappointments of the young season. As always, Shane Connolly is your host (@sconnolly114), and feel free to jump around the 47-minute program using the rundown below. And don’t forget to check back on Fridays for our weekly RTC Podblast, a shorter-and-sweeter quick takes review of the week’s games and a look forward to the weekends.

Doug Gottlieb Gives Us His Takes on the First Quarter of the Season

Doug Gottlieb Gives Us His Takes on the First Quarter of the Season

Make sure to add the RTC Podcast to your iTunes lineup so that you’ll automatically upload it on your listening device after we record. And feel free to contact us through Twitter or email — we’re listening.

  • o0:00-6:07 – Colorado’s Well-Deserved RTC
  • 6:07-8:44 – Kansas’ Long Term Prospects
  • 8:44-13:53 – Kentucky Solves Shooting Woes for One Game, Loses Anyway
  • 13:53-15:49 – Things Don’t Get Easier for Kansas and Kentucky
  • 15:49-18:01 – Talking Baylor’s Ceiling
  • 18:01-28:58 – Rush The Takes With Doug Gottlieb
  • 28:58-33:00 – Player of the Year Discussion
  • 33:00-36:09 – Coach of the Year Discussion
  • 36:09-41:04 – Re-evaluating the Resumes of Iowa State and Baylor
  • 41:04- Preview This Week/Wrap
Share this story

Why is Doug Gottlieb Picking Cal as a Top Ten Team?

Posted by Andrew Murawa on October 23rd, 2013

It’s the time of year where everybody and their brother are locking in their picks for the upcoming college basketball season. You’ve got All-America teams and conference projections and Top 25s. And it is all good fun. And I get it, you don’t want to have roughly the same picks as everybody else; at some point you want to go out on a limb and say, “Hey, this may be completely wrong, but I’ve got a hunch about Player A or Team B.” And that’s cool. And that’s fun. But. Doug Gottlieb, who is more often right than he is wrong and has probably forgotten more about the sport than I’ll ever know, picked California 10th – in the nation, mind you, not the conference. And now I’m completely befuddled and I’m looking at the Golden Bears and I’m thinking to myself: “What the hell is he seeing that I am missing?”

California? Tenth In The Nation? Am I Missing Something? (credit: Mark J. Terrill)

California? 10th In The Nation? Am I Missing Something? (Mark J. Terrill)

Now, don’t get me wrong, there is clearly plenty of talent on that roster. Point guard Justin Cobbs returns for his senior year. Freshman Jabari Bird is one of the most highly regarded rookie wings in the nation. There’s a pair of returning upperclassman starters up front in Richard Solomon and David Kravish. And there are plenty of other interesting pieces, like versatile sophomore wing Tyrone Wallace, and talented, if oft-injured shooter Ricky Kreklow. And Bird’s not the only freshman expected to make an impact, with Jordan Mathews likely to step right into a big role and seven-footer Kameron Rooks coming along far more quickly than had been previously expected. And, perhaps most importantly, head coach Mike Montgomery is a wizard who routinely gets the most out of his teams. But 10th? In the nation? Huh?

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

It’s A Love/Hate Relationship: Volume XVI

Posted by jbaumgartner on April 12th, 2013

Jesse Baumgartner is an RTC columnist. His Love/Hate column will publish each week throughout the season. In this piece he’ll review the five things he loved and hated about the previous seven days of college basketball.

Five Things I Loved This Week

I LOVED…. a final game that was so good, so full of quality and runs and drama, that you literally sat in your seat and wondered if it could sustain itself for 40 minutes. The answer was yes, and anyone who wasn’t on the edge of their seat for most of Monday night doesn’t have a pulse. That game was everything we could have hoped for – after an NCAA Tournament that included both upsets and duds to go alongside some raggedy play, this was a title game deserving of the name. What a way to end the year.

I LOVED…. being vindicated in my disgust for Doug Gottlieb. Just take a few quick seconds in case you missed him making a fool of himself on national television (ahem, I mean bigger fool than usual).

I LOVED…. Russdiculousness. You have to give it to Russ Smith – he carried his Louisville team all the way to the Final Four, all the way to the title game with a torrid stretch of scoring, and once he got there he flat-out refused to become a different player. With a lead down the stretch, Russ fouled on the perimeter, dribbled into traffic, took a three-pointer with a new shot clock and 2:30 left, threw crazy passes into the stands and generally tried to give the championship trophy away. But hey, he wouldn’t be Russ if he weren’t a little nutty, and the Cardinals wouldn’t be holding that trophy if he wasn’t on their side.

Russdiculous Lived Up to His Name

I LOVED…. a shootout. It didn’t get any better than that first-half step-off from 22 feet by Spike Albrecht and Luke Hancock. Spike’s might have been more unexpected, but Hancock’s was pure guts in the face of a double-digit deficit with the season on the line. It made for some incredible runs in the first 20 minutes, and it got even better when Albrecht made a cybermove on Kate Upton.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

The Official RTC Bracket: Midwest And West Regions

Posted by KDoyle on March 20th, 2013

RTC_final4_atlanta

We released the Official RTC Bracket for the South and East Regions earlier today — be sure to check that out if you need a refresher on our methodology for this exercise — and we’ll save you the fluff this time and cut right to the chase with the Midwest and West Regions. (note: our Final Four selections are after the analyses)

Midwest and West Regions

Quick Hitters From the Midwest Region

  • Advancing to Atlanta: #1 Louisville
  • Round of 64 Upset: #11 St. Mary’s over #6 Memphis
  • Later Round Upset: N/A
  • Three Most Disputed Games: #5 Oklahoma State over #12 Oregon, #11 St. Mary’s over #6 Memphis, #2 Duke over #3 Michigan State

Four Questions About the Midwest Region

Louisville is the odds-on favorite to not just advance out of the Midwest Region, but win the National Championship. Which team has the best chance at dashing Louisville’s title hopes?

Does Pitino Have Another One of These In His Immediate Future? (Getty Images)

Does Pitino Have Another One of These In His Immediate Future? (Getty Images)

Andrew Murawa: After giving the Cards the nod as the overall #1 seed, the selection committee certainly didn’t do them any more favors, dropping them in, what is to me, the toughest region in the bracket. Once they get out of the Round of 64 in this region, Rick Pitino’s club could be facing nothing but dangerous clubs, from the nation’s best rebounding team in Colorado State, to one of the nation’s hottest teams in Saint Louis, to possibly Michigan State or Duke in the Elite Eight. All of those teams can beat the Cards. But the team with the best chance is certainly the Blue Devils, a squad that has already beaten them this season, albeit without Gorgui Dieng.

The #8 vs. #9 game is usually a coin-flip type of game, but it is a 100% consensus that Colorado State beats Missouri. Are the Rams that much better than Missouri?

Zach Hayes: The Rams are by no means world-beaters, but the consensus opinion probably stems from their ability to compete where Missouri excels: on the boards. Colorado State ranks in the nation’s top two in both offensive and defensive rebounding, a glass-crashing tenacity which should work to negate the rebounding prowess of both Alex Oriakhi and Laurence Bowers. The confidence also resides in how shaky Missouri has been at the tail end of close games despite featuring an elite point guard in Phil Pressey. Most bracket prognosticators would rather go to war with a Rams team starting five seniors over Missouri’s constant unpredictability away from home, where their only scalps came against the dregs of the SEC.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Big East Burning Question: Are Syracuse And Jim Boeheim Really Overrated?

Posted by mlemaire on January 15th, 2013

We are admittedly well late to the party with this question, but amidst all of the fawning articles and celebratory columns remarking on the incredible 900 wins that Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has amassed, there was one turd in the punch bowl – CBS Sports college basketball analyst and noted Syracuse agitator Doug Gottlieb. Gottlieb has contended for quite some time that Boeheim is a great coach, but not an “elite” coach, especially when compared to some of his contemporaries who have had more success in the NCAA Tournament such as Tom Izzo and Jim Calhoun. Now its true that Gottlieb has a rather testy history with Syracuse, its fans, and its famed head coach, but for the sake of this argument, we will ignore the suspicions of personal bias and just take his argument on its face. So without further delay, we posed the question to the three microsite writers and here is what they came up with.

Will Tucker: It’s hard to pass up an opportunity to lampoon Doug Gottlieb, especially when his subject is a coach with whom he seemingly has an ax to grind. But it’s important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater here. As Mike points out, when you compare Jim Boeheim’s postseason accomplishments to those of his peers, his 900+ wins––amassed disproportionately early in the season––serve as an indictment in their distribution as much as a milestone in their volume. And Gottlieb’s accusation that Boeheim’s soft nonconference schedules have been a disservice to his team’s toughness is a fair criticism that merits further investigation. But Doug’s aversion to nuance is on full display, and leaves a bad taste in my mouth. While Boeheim’s nonconference scheduling is and should be fair game, Gottlieb further attributes Syracuse’s postseason stumbles to feasting on an overrated Big East schedule. This seems more ad hominem than intellectually honest, and Doug conveniently ignores the 2010-11 UConn and 2011-12 Louisville teams that reached Final Fours with nearly ten Big East losses apiece. He also summarily mocks Boeheim’s zone defense as an inferior system nobody else uses with any success. In doing so, he ignores that Boeheim’s protégé Rick Pitino took an offensively stunted group to a Final Four with a variation of that zone last season, and the Cards retain the most efficient defense in the country again this year (Syracuse is hot on their heels at #3). Rhetoric notwithstanding, at the crux of this discussion is a fan’s aesthetic preference between regular season success and tournament success. Sure, the two aren’t mutually exclusive (paging Mike Kryzyzewski), but most coaches fall somewhere toward either end of the spectrum. Knowing all too well how a team’s struggles in the winter can exacerbate my seasonal affective disorder, I’m philosophical about the whole thing. I’ll take a Sweet 16 preceded by four months of big wins, high rankings, and conference championships over an agonizing regular season capped off by an Elite Eight––every time. Gottlieb subscribes to the notion that tournament success supersedes any other measuring stick, and the rigidness of his assumptions leaves little room for us to meet in the middle. Ultimately, I think it detracts from the salient questions his raises about what makes a coach great.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

It’s a Love/Hate Relationship: Volume V

Posted by jbaumgartner on December 11th, 2012

Jesse Baumgartner is an RTC columnist. His Love/Hate column will publish each week throughout the season. In this piece he’ll review the five things he loved and hated about the previous seven days of college basketball.

Five Things I Loved This Week

I LOVED… another strong week from Michigan. I’ve always gotten a kick out of subtly rooting for the Wolverines, but have never quite been able to put my finger on why. I guess that while most people enjoy stirring up images of tradition and excellence when programs like Indiana get back on track, with Michigan it’s more about stirring up those memories of just how stinking COOL the program was in the early 90s with the Fab Five. This is a fun team to watch, and it doesn’t hurt that they have two sons of former NBA stars leading the way, either.

Tim Hardaway Jr. and Friends Have Been Outstanding This Season

I LOVED… Illinois putting up one of the true statement wins of the young season and perhaps emptying out the Gonzaga bandwagon already. What an incredible start for John Groce, and what a performance from Brandon Paul. That’s probably as encouraging as anything for the Illini, that they had a closer to ride down the stretch of a tight game. That’ll bode well for a Big Ten that is sure to have plenty of nailbiters all year long.

I LOVED…. laughing at this show of solidarity from the ACC presidents about no more schools leaving the conference. I’d say it’s safe to say at this point that potentially 80 percent of all major conference schools are at least entertaining hypothetical scenarios or potential TV deals at the moment. With switches happening almost every other week, it’s fairly comical to deny it.

I LOVED… and by loved, I mean lovvvvvvvvvved App State center Brian Okam’s hysterical blooper-reel free throw, as his charity toss slipped off his hands and literally went 10 feet vertically and maybe three feet horizontally (and that’s generous). But I also loved that Okam could see the humor and took the time to give a statement about the shot. Just remember big man – the next one is always going in.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Big 12 Morning Five: 03.30.12 Edition

Posted by dnspewak on March 30th, 2012

  1. Looks like Doug Gottlieb might have finally gone off the deep end. The personable but controversial ESPN analyst, known for stirring things up on the air and on Twitter, said he would be interested in replacing Frank Martin as the head coach at Kansas State. The former Oklahoma State point guard admits he would be an odd choice, but he points to Mark Gottfried and Steve Lavin as examples of former analysts who found immediate coaching success. The difference is, those two guys had major success at their former schools before returning to coaching after their ESPN stints–a point Gottlieb briefly acknowledges but doesn’t seem to fully grasp. But hey, this whole no coaching experience thing worked for Fred Hoiberg, so why not Gottlieb?
  2. Bill Self‘s bench is vanishing by the day this spring, as assistant Danny Manning announced yesterday he will become the new head coach at Tulsa. Manning follows Director of Basketball Operations Barry Hinson, who took a job with Southern Illinois earlier in the week. Best known for his magical 1988 NCAA Tournament performance, Manning is making a name for himself in the coaching ranks. In addition to his experience studying under Self, Manning also brings instant recognition to the Tulsa program and should have no trouble recruiting.
  3. We have to laugh at this bit of news: Kansas officials say they will not cancel class on Tuesday in the event of a national championship. “A national title would be worthy of celebration, but we are confident those celebrations can take place without disrupting KU’s academic mission,” chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little told the Lawrence Journal-World. A noble move by the university, sure, but hardly practical. It’s hard enough to get kids to attend a lecture on a regular Tuesday morning. But the Tuesday after winning it all? Good luck, guys.
  4. Every few months, just to stay sane, we’ve got to check in on the Realignment Apocalypse. And hey, guess what? The worst of it is over, and Kansas is happy to be in a “viable” Big 12. Besides that, nothing else to report on this front. If you ask us, that’s a good thing.
  5. Finally, here’s one view as to why Kansas can win a title this weekend. Not exactly a radical statement, actually. Kentucky may be the heavy favorite, and yes, it handled the Jayhawks on a neutral floor back in November. But if Self finds a way to win a championship, don’t think the nation will be shocked. He has done it before, you know.
Share this story

ATB: It’s Jimmer’s World, We’re Just Living In It

Posted by rtmsf on January 12th, 2011

The Lede.  The schedule was light on this particular January night, but the storylines were not.  The nation’s top two scorers did their thing on opposite sides of the country, drawing favorable comparisons to the epic battle between Duke’s JJ Redick and Gonzaga’s Adam Morrison a few years ago.  There were a couple of overtime games between old rivals, and even an RTC (whether it was warranted is open for debate).  No matter where you live, you’re probably socked in by snow (48 states have the white stuff on the ground right now) so there’s no excuse for you to have missed anything.  There’s simply not much better than being in a warm gym on a cold winter’s night during conference play, but we suppose that one of things would be if you were on your own couch able to flip back and forth between games.  Let’s see what happened out there tonight, starting with this…

Your Watercooler MomentJimmer’s 47 Points Lights the World on Fire.  And it wasn’t even his career high (remember last year’s 49-point explosion at Arizona?).  BYU’s Jimmer Fredette continued to make his case for NPOY with a 47-point conflagration in his biggest rival’s house tonight — at Utah.  How ridiculously on fire was he tonight?  He had 32 points by the half, and if you watch the above video where he hits a 40-footer at the buzzer, you’ll note that even the Ute fans were cheering his performance. In one of the bitterest rivalries in the country, greatness is still recognized.  Here’s his line for tonight: 16-28 FG, 6-9 3FG, 9-9 FT for 47 points, four rebounds, six assists and two steals.  Yes, somehow Fredette managed to find time to triple the assist output of the entire Texas Tech team this evening.  While his output tonight wasn’t his career high, it was notable in that it pushed him above 2,000 points for his career at BYU, joining Danny Ainge, Michael Smith and Devin Durrant in that elite group.  What else can be said about this guy?  It’s not just that he scores, it’s that he does it in ways that we haven’t seen regularly since the halcyon days of Redick/Morrison, with guys pulling up just beyond the hash mark and draining bombs like they were free throws.  He has become must-watch television for any college basketball fan this year in much the same way as those two, and if you can’t find something to like in his story, then we’re afraid that we simply can’t help you to enjoy this sport.  Tonight Jimmer became the top candidate for NPOY in a crowded race; it’s now up to Nolan Smith, Jared Sullinger, Kemba Walker and the rest to respond — your turn, fellas.

One final note: It’s nice to see the national media giving Fredette his dues and propers.  Scott Van Pelt interviewed him on SportsCenter tonight as their lead-in.  Here is that interview.

Tonight’s Quick Hits

  • Sparty Turnaround? Michigan State could not afford to lose to Wisconsin at home tonight, and thanks to a 9-0 closeout run to send the game to overtime, they managed to avoid just that by winning the game in the extra period.  There was an air of desperation in the final minutes of this one tonight, as with another loss Tom Izzo’s team would have dropped to 10-6 and 2-2 in the Big Ten.  Instead, MSU’s unlikely comeback against a team that simply doesn’t make many mistakes will serve to inspire confidence in a team that has had its confidence battered and bruised so far this season.  Still, we wouldn’t read too terribly much into this — some writers may think this could change the direction of the Spartan season in some significant way, but we won’t buy into that.  The Spartans are the flawed but talented team that they are, and nobody should expect that they’re going to now go on some ten-game winning streak as a result of tonight.  They’re just not that kind of a team.
  • The Ivy League.  The more ACC wins that Boston College notches (the Eagles moved to 3-0 tonight with a home win over NC State), the better the Ivy League looks.  After all, the Ancient Eight has a 2-0 record against the Eagles this season, with both Harvard (for the third year in a row) and Yale taking out Steve Donahue’s team this year.  As we mentioned in today’s All in the Family post, BC has a reasonable shot to get to 5-0 in the conference before taking a loss.  The Eagles’ next two games are at Miami (FL) and versus Virginia at home.  BC’s statistical profile is a little lot ridiculous — they’re the fourth most efficient offensive team in America, but #200 on the other end of the court.  The only power conference teams worse than BC in that regard are Arizona State, Auburn and Wake Forest.
Share this story

Greg Shaheen is in a Much Better Mood These Days

Posted by rtmsf on April 30th, 2010

You may not have heard because it was such a formality, but yesterday the NCAA Board of Directors approved the recommendation made by its basketball committee to expand the NCAA Tournament to 68 teams.  The committee will now spend the next two months reviewing possibilities as to how to structure the expansion, but one of the key criteria they will consider is to design a system that will remove the stigma of teams who are invited to the play-in game.  Doug Gottlieb interviewed NCAA Senior Executive VP Greg Shaheen on his radio show yesterday, and you may recall that Shaheen was the mouthpiece who set the world on fire with his discussion of 96-team expansion during the week of the Final Four.  It’s good to hear considerably less stress in his voice as he discussed several of the options on the table; not bad for a suit who has morphed from one of the most despised men in American sports to one that everyone now praises.  Gottlieb said at the end of the piece, “thank you,” and we’d be remiss if we didn’t say likewise.  In an era where the almighty dollar seems to always win out, thanks for listening to the fans, Greg. 

Share this story

Morning Five: Groundhog Day Edition

Posted by rtmsf on February 2nd, 2010

  1. It’s Groundhog Day 2010, and just for a little perspective, let’s look back one year ago.  On February 2, 2009, the nation’s #1 team in the AP poll was UConn (ok), #2 was Oklahoma (alright), #3 was UNC (definitely ok), and #4 was Duke (um, no).  The other two Final Four teams besides the Huskies and Heels — Michigan State and Villanova — were #13 and #17, respectively.  Look at a few of the other names in the top ten… #7 Wake Forest, #8 Marquette, #10 Clemson.  There’s a lot of season left, folks.
  2. We always love this… when conference officials admit to a bad call or calls that impact whether a team wins a game by stating there were “procedural and communications errors” without giving specifics as to what those were (as Big East officials did after the Louisville-West Virginia game).  Maybe they should just start going back and disallowing baskets based on the replay, similar to how they vacate wins for using an ineligible player?
  3. Jameson Fleming at the Bleacher Report recently interviewed ESPN analyst Doug Gottlieb about his somewhat abrasive honest style of analysis, which endears him to few fans other than lonely bloggers who appreciate hearing something beyond Team X is “getting it done” and Player Y has the “total package.”
  4. A lot of people are understandably focusing on the small rift that seemed to manifest over the weekend between John Wall and his coach, John Calipari, but the underlying truth of the matter is that Wall’s play has fallen off considerably in 2010.  The question we have is not whether there’s some kind of problem between player and coach, but whether Wall has the ability to bounce back for the last 6-8 weeks of the season.
  5. We hope to have an analysis of these up later today, but the Bracketbuster matchups were announced last night, and the obvious choice for the best game on the docket is Siena visiting Butler in Hinkle Fieldhouse.  Some other games of major interest in our book are: 1) Old Dominion @ Northern Iowa; 2) Charleston @ George Mason; and 3) Wichita State @ Utah State.
Share this story