O26 Buzz: This Week’s Top Storylines

Posted by Nicholas Patrick on December 13th, 2013

Every Friday throughout the rest of the season, the Other 26 Microsite will dig into some of the top storylines featuring those leagues from the previous week. 

1. O26 Teams Make Statements Against Power Conference Teams

George Washington's Joe McDonald and Maurice Creek turned heads with a buzzer-beating win at Maryland (washingtontimes.com)

George Washington’s Joe McDonald and Maurice Creek turned heads with a buzzer-beating win at Maryland (washingtontimes.com)

  • Saturday: New Mexico cruises at home, handing Cincinnati its first loss, 63-54; Green Bay’s Greg Mays and Keifer Sykes each contribute 20+ points to defeat Virginia, 75-72
  • Sunday: Maurice Creek’s buzzer-beater lifts George Washington to a big win at Maryland, 77-75

  • Tuesday: After trailing nearly the entire game, Gonzaga surged ahead late to win at West Virginia, 80-76
  • Wednesday: North Dakota State’s Marshall Bjorklund scored 26 points to lead the Bison over Notre Dame, 73-69

Near misses: Arizona 63, UNLV 58; Xavier 85, Bowling Green 73 (OT); Washington State 67, Idaho 66; Kansas State 64, South Dakota 62; Xavier 63, Evansville 60.

2. Chances For More Statements to Come

With only a few weeks remaining before conference play gets into full swing, opportunities are winding down for Other 26 teams to trip up power conference opponents. Some of this week’s most intriguing match-ups:

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ACC Week 1 Power Rankings

Posted by mpatton on November 16th, 2012

We’ve got a full week of game action as evidence to start evaluting these teams a bit better, so here goes…

Disclaimer: Power Rankings don’t imply which teams are best. They’re all about who has momentum right now. 

Duke Blue Devils 1. Duke (2-0) stays on top of the rankings after taking care of business against Georgia State at home before knocking off the defending champion Kentucky Wildcats in the Georgia Dome. This team still has a long way to go, but they showed poise holding off a talented, albeit young, Kentucky team. While Seth Curry and Mason Plumlee owned the box score, Quinn Cook rose to the challenge and put in his bid for the starting spot. Minnesota is the next NCAA tournament-quality team on Thursday.
NC State Wolfpack 2. NC State (2-0) absolutely blitzkrieged its first two opponents, Miami (OH) and Penn State. Putting too much stock in beating the Redhawks by 38 is unwise. But that 17-point win over the Nittany Lions–despite Lorenzo Brown finishing an icy 1-12 from the field–is worth noting. Specifically, Tyler Warren was phenomenal going for 22 points (on 12 shots) and eight rebounds. The game tonight against Massachusetts should be a fun one.
North Carolina Tar Heels 3. North Carolina (2-0) looked lost on offense at times against Gardner-Webb, which is just a young team trying to learn to play together. James Michael McAdoo has been phenomenal through the first two games (he’s averaging over 20 points and 12 rebounds), and Reggie Bullock asserted himself against Florida Atlantic. This team should keep improving, but in time for the trip to Bloomington in a week and a half? That’s ambitious.
Maryland Terrapins 4. Maryland (1-1) looks a lot better than expected. Alex Len is going to be a top-10 pick. He absolutely ravaged Kentucky, which Maryland kept close to the bitter end before making mincemeat of Morehead State. Nick Faust still can’t shoot, but Seth Allen will be really fun to watch the next few years. The Terrapins need to work on consistent offense, but as Dez Wells gets more and more used to Mark Turgeon’s system, good things will happen.
Boston College 5. Boston College (1-1) played with a stacked Baylor team for 35 minutes after beating a bad Florida International team by double figures (still, that’s huge improvement over last year). This team will still struggle to win a ton of games, but Ryan Anderson‘s development into an All-ACC caliber player is accelerating the rebuilding process (he’s averaging 27 points and 12 boards a game). Dennis Clifford also got off to a solid start. The Eagles’ games against Dayton and Auburn should both be winnable this week.
Clemson Tigers 6. Clemson (1-0) beat down Presbyterian this week, which isn’t worth much on its own. But Devin Booker and Milton Jennings both played very well (combined to go 11-14 from the field for 26 points) and look like they’re ready to step into bigger roles for Brad Brownell this season. A near impossible test awaits this week in the form of Gonzaga.
Virginia Tech Hokies 7. Virginia Tech (3-0) scarfed three cupcakes this week, winning all three games by double figures. The “meat” of the nonconference schedule is still a ways off (and “meat” is used loosely to describe BCS-conference teams), but so far James Johnson‘s tenure is a success. He’ll need Robert Brown to continue producing offensively to relieve some of Erick Green‘s perimeter burden.
Florida State Seminoles 8. Florida State (1-1) is much better than its home loss to the South Alabama, but those are the kind of losses that will motivate this team to keep getting better. Michael Snaer is also in an early season slump, having only hit a third of the shots he’s taken. But the Seminoles’ 27-point beatdown of Buffalo (where they scored 95 points!) may right the ship. The next six games showcase three against possible NCAA tournament teams: BYU (today), Minnesota and Florida.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons 9. Wake Forest (1-0) played decently against Radford. The game was never free from doubt, but the Demon Deacons didn’t let the Big South Highlanders get the best of them this year. CJ Harris got to the charity stripe like a pro, but Travis McKie‘s 11 points left a little to be desired–especially against a team of this caliber. Turnovers are going to kill Wake Forest in at least two conference games this year.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 10. Georgia Tech (2-0) has balance, but can’t shoot. The Yellow Jackets need someone to step up from the perimeter to keep other teams honest (right now they make a smooth 17.6% of their shots from downtown. Two of Mfon Udofia, Daniel Miller and Kam Holsey need to become go-to guys on offense. Miller doesn’t appear to want that role.
Miami Hurricanes 11. Miami (1-1) needs to be careful not to become a dumpster fire. The team lost its exhibition against St. Leo and now lost to Florida Gulf Coast to ice the cake. This team looks phenomenal on paper, but sometimes things just don’t translate the way we expect. The same Reggie Johnson who made Mason Plumlee look like a child at Cameron Indoor Stadium last year has only hit one third of his shots against middling competition. There’s still time for Larranaga to turn this car around, but time is running out.
Virginia Cavaliers 12. Virginia (1-2), if Miami has to be careful, Virginia fans may already smell that trash burning. So far the Cavaliers lost to George Mason and Delaware. These wins (or struggles) could be statistical aberrations (if your style keeps opponents within striking distance, you’re bound to lose some unfortunate games), and Jontel Evans is out.Things aren’t off to a great start in Charlottesville.
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ACC Afternoon Five: ACC Tournament Friday Edition

Posted by KCarpenter on March 9th, 2012

After a chalky Thursday (outside of Virginia Tech’s big win over Clemson), we get to the good stuff. Friday is when the stakes get higher and the going gets good. Today is critical for NC State and Miami, with Maryland and Virginia Tech hanging around to play spoiler, and everyone else with their eye on the big prize: the championship.

  1. New York Times: Karl Hess drama continues with the story of how Hess, infamous for ejecting two NC State legends from an RBC Center crowd against conference protocol, turned down a chance to referee the ACC Tournament. Though while Hess may be absent, his presence is still being felt. The three referees who officiated the first game of the tournament wore pieces of masking tape on their shoes with the initials “KH.”
  2. Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Virginia, a team that had been decimated early in the season by defections has seen it’s depth take a few more hits this week. Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia’s freshman sixth man, underwent surgery for a broken foot on Wednesday and is out for the rest of the season. The Cavaliers had been hoping that Assane Sene, their senior center might be able to return for the tournament, but such hopes were dashed earlier this week when Tony Bennett suspended him for the rest of the season for a violation of team rules. The already shallow Cavaliers may have a tough time sustaining a tournament run with this further blow to bench depth.
  3. Washington Post: While Seth Greenberg‘s Hokies managed the only upset of the day against Clemson, Greenberg’s heart seems to be divided. Post writer John Feinstein details the troubles that have beset Greenberg’s brother, Brad. After NCAA infractions as coach at Radford, Brad Greenberg was unceremoniously drummed out of college coaching, thanks to the dreaded show-cause clause. Now in effective exile coaching in the Venezuelan league, Seth can’t help but feel for his beloved brother.
  4. News and Observer: Leonard Hamilton won a much deserved award for ACC Coach of the Year, but how did he end up rebuilding a dying a program? A system based on sound defensive principles as well as time and luck seem to be the simple recipe that led to slow but sure rise of Florida State. Leonard Hamilton seems like a good coach and even better person. It’s hard not to root for his continued success.
  5. CBS Sports: Though most of the action in the conference is in the tournament, Maryland made some waves on the recruiting trail yesterday. Securing the services of Charles Mitchell, the Terrapins look to greatly shore up their front line with a recruiting class that now features three top-100 recruits. Mitchell joins fellow forwards Shaq Cleare and Jake Layman in the wave of young men that should be descending on College Park to bolster the Terps’ front line.
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Morning Five: 02.27.12 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on February 27th, 2012


  1. With the regular season coming to an end nearly every day over the next week will be filled with Senior Days/Nights. In nearly every case those honored will be seniors with a few exceptions for others (usually juniors), who are expected to leave for the NBA Draft. Honoring a player that is no longer on the team is almost unheard of, but that is what Michigan State planned to do for Delvon Roe, who retired before the season started due to a degenerative knee injury, on their Senior Day game against Ohio State. The Spartans actually wanted to have Roe play, but that proposal was rejected due to NCAA rules on amateurism. Apparently, Roe’s decision to become a professional actor prevents him from participating in college athletics. While the school will still be allowed to honor him before the game, the ruling seems questionable since Percy Miller (aka Lil’ Romeo) was allowed to play for USC despite his entertainment career.
  2. Following Saturday’s phenomenal Missouri-Kansas there were probably hundreds of columns about why the Border War should continue, but you will have a hard time finding a better column on the game and the rivalry than the one written by Joe Posnanski, which isn’t shocking for those who are familiar with his work. We are not sure we are willing to agree with his assertion that it was the best rivalry in college basketball, but it certainly ranks up there. To some degree in the modern age, sentimentality has become overrated and a tired fallback for writers, but we will miss the quality of basketball this rivalry has given us particularly of late.
  3. Yesterday was a tumultuous day for Miami as Reggie Johnson was declared ineligible yesterday afternoon due to reports of his family accepting impermissible benefits (not related to the Nevin Shapiro scandal) without his knowledge. Johnson, who has averaged 10.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per game since coming back from an injury earlier this year, was questionable for last night’s game against Florida State due to a knee injury, but was forced to sit out anyways with this news. Remarkably the Hurricanes managed to pull out the win without Johnson’s services. For now, Johnson and the Hurricanes will have to hope that this issue gets resolved quickly as time is running out on the Hurricanes as they sit on the bubble.
  4. NCAA handed down one of the stiffer penalties in recent memory on Friday when it placed Radford on probation for two years and gave former coach Brad Greenberg a five-year show-cause penalty. The penalty for the school, which was related to its men’s basketball and tennis programs, was based on recruiting benefits and is not that severe, but the problem was exacerbated by an effort by the coaching staff that was spearheaded by Greenberg to mislead the NCAA about those violations. Brad, who is the brother of Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg, is currently an assistant coach for the Venezuelan national team and given the severity of his penalty we do not expect to see him around the college game any time soon unless his brother decides to take him in.
  5. Is he actually going to come back? According to reports, Jim Calhoun may make his (sort of) long-awaited return to the sidelines on Saturday against Pittsburgh. With Calhoun returning for what might be his last game ever at Gampel and Senior Day (admittedly with a rather undistinguished senior class) it should be an interesting atmosphere. If Calhoun really wants to get the crowd (and hopefully his team) fired up, it would seem like an opportune time to announce that he is retiring at the end of this season, which many are already speculating that he will do.
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ACC Morning Five: 12.22.11 Edition

Posted by mpatton on December 22nd, 2011

  1. Wilmington Star News: North Carolina finally showcased its “championship potential” according to Brett Friedlander in its dominant buzzer-to-buzzer victory over Texas last night. The win also wiped away Roy Williams only winless series (against teams he’s faced multiple times since being in Chapel Hill). I would argue that the Tar Heels performance at Kentucky was nearly as impressive (they didn’t play as well, but it was in a very hostile environment against a much better team). Still, this was the team people expected when they universally picked the Tar Heels atop their preseason polls.
  2. Durham Herald-Sun: This season is the first time in Austin Rivers‘ life that he’s been able to play in front of his dad. Unfortunately, he’ll have to readjust to his father’s absence with the NBA starting back up on Christmas Day. But it sounds like both generations enjoyed Doc Rivers‘ chance to watch his son start his career at Duke. It will be interesting to see how many more Duke games the Celtics’ coach will be able to attend this season, if any, with the condensed NBA schedule.
  3. Hampton Daily Press: For the first time in a few years, Virginia and Virginia Tech appear to be the rulers of the state in basketball, as both ACC teams check in in the top-50 of the RPI. A down ACC will help the teams’ possibilities of making the Big Dance, but I still doubt the Hokies sneak in as an at-large. Last year, neither team made the NCAA Tournament, but five total schools from Virginia did. This year, one or two others may sneak in, but Virginia is the commonwealth’s best shot at an at-large bid.
  4. Pensacola News Journal: Florida State‘s game against in-state rival Florida may not determine the success of a given season (like in football), but you can bet your bottom dollar that the coaches and players on both sides are fired up about the game. For the Seminoles, it’s a chance to touch up three early season mishaps. For both teams it’s a chance at a rival and probable NCAA Tournament team. It’ll be a fascinating match-up: elite offense versus elite defense.
  5. Testudo Times: Maryland takes on Radford tomorrow. To be clear, Radford is not good this year. But Maryland fans are looking forward to this game, as it may be their first look at Maryland’s offense with Pe’Shon Howard (MVPe’) back in the line-up since he was forced to the bench with a broken foot in October. Howard’s return should take some of the pressure off Terrell Stoglin to create everything and possibly open up some looks for Nick Faust and Sean Mosley in the process.
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Checking In On… the Big South Conference

Posted by Brian Goodman on November 19th, 2011

Mark Bryant oversees multimedia at the Big South Conference.  You can follow his updates on Twitter @BigSouthSports.

Reader’s Take

 

The Week That Was

  • New Gym, Part One: YES… UNC Asheville got its opportunity to show off the new Kimmel Arena with a marquee match-up against the top-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels on ESPNU.  Eddie Biedenbach’s Bulldogs played with a tenacity befitting their nickname, hanging tight most of the way before falling, 91-75.
  • New Gym, Part Two: NO, but that’s OK… Coastal Carolina had once hoped that this past Tuesday would be the chance for the Chants to unveil their own shiny new room, but delays in construction may mean that’s a year away.  No matter: CCU welcomed LSU from the SEC to small Kimbel Arena in Conway — then proceeded to pull off the 71-63 upset.
  • Meet The New Member, Same as the Old Member: Campbell is back in the Big South.  The Fighting Camels were a founding member of the conference and played hoops with the Big South from 1983-94.  CU was 129-128 in those seasons–and stays on the plus side with wins in the first three games this year.

UNC Asheville Opened Up Its New Digs, But With A Loss To North Carolina

Power Rankings

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RTC Conference Primers: #26 – Big South Conference

Posted by Brian Goodman on October 9th, 2011

Mark Bryant, Big South Director of Multimedia Development and writer of BigSouthSHOUT, is the RTC correspondent for the Big South Conference. You can find him on Twitter at @BigSouthSports

Reader’s Take I

 

Top Storylines

  • Mountain High Expectations: Will UNC Asheville hold serve as the favorite, now that the team is no longer in its typical role as the scrappy underdog?  Observers and opponents will not have their focus elsewhere this year, and Asheville will be showing off a new arena, no longer in the extra-cozy confines of the Justice Center which always provided a significant home court edge.
  • New to the Big South: Some familiar names to SEC fans have found their way to the Big South.  Mamadou N’Diaye, who played for Cliff Ellis at Auburn, will join Ellis on the Coastal Carolina bench, and B.J. McKie, who played at South Carolina when Barclay Radebaugh was an assistant there, will be part of Radebaugh’s staff at Charleston Southern.  Meanwhile, Radford is the lone school with a new head coach, as Mike Jones comes in to lead the Highlanders.  Campbell, a founding member of the Big South, rejoins the conference for the 2011-12 season.
  • Tourney Turnover: Changes to the Big South Championship format will allow all ten eligible teams into the field (Presbyterian College has one remaining year of transition to Division I and cannot play in the postseason).  Championship Week will be a wild ride, with the #7 & #8 seeds hosting the #9 and #10 seeds as “play-in” games on Monday night to get into the straight eight-team bracket.  The winners will be reseeded as the #7 and #8 seeds for the quarterfinals to allow for traditional pairings (1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6, 4 vs. 5).  Wednesday and Thursday of that week will be the quarterfinals and semifinals, all planned for the top seed’s home, with the Saturday final at the home of the higher surviving seed.

Predicted Order of Finish

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RTC Summer Updates: Big South Conference

Posted by Brian Goodman on August 11th, 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 South correspondent, Mark Bryant.

Reader’s Take

Summer Storylines

  • New Kids On The Block:  The most obvious changes from last hoops season to the one upcoming are the new faces in the Big South Conference. First and foremost, there’s a whole new team to account for this year, as the Campbell Fighting Camels have returned. CU was a founding member of the Big South in 1983, but left in 1994. Now the boys from Buies Creek are back where they belong, nestled in among more geographic rivalries and familiar old foes. And while it’s not as dramatic as a whole new team, plenty of eyes will be on the new head man at Radford, where Mike Jones will be in charge of a rebuilding process for the Highlanders.
  • Old Faces, New Places: And while every conference sees plenty of shuffling among assistants from year to year, the Big South had a couple notable arrivals–particularly for those who have followed SEC hoops in the past. Charleston Southern added former South Carolina standout B.J. McKie to the coaching staff. McKie joins coach Barclay Radebaugh, who was on the USC bench in BJ’s days as a guard to be reckoned with. Meanwhile, up the beach from Charleston, Coastal Carolina and head coach Cliff Ellis have added their own familiar name in Mamadou N’Diaye, who played at Auburn for Ellis before launching his NBA career.
  • Changes of Scenery: Big South basketball locales will take on different looks both at home and away this year, as UNC Asheville and Coastal Carolina are putting the finishing touches on entirely new facilities, while several schools are hitting the road less traveled and going abroad.  Summer trips will take Presbyterian College to Italy, Gardner-Webb to the Bahamas, and Liberty to Belgium and France, plus once the season begins, we will see Winthrop head off to the Virgin Islands.

What do Asheville's Matt Dickey (2) and JP Primm have in store for an encore after last season's NCAA Tournament bid?

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Morning Five: 06.15.11 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on June 15th, 2011

  1. Everybody applauded Shaka Smart a few months ago when he turned down the allure of programs with bigger names to stay at VCU with the hopes of building an elite program there. He may do that, but it looks like he will need to do it with a new coaching staff as Radford snapped up VCU assistant Mike Jones and Boston University is apparently strongly considering another VCU assistant, Mike Rhoades. As for Jones, he may have a difficult time cleaning up the mess left by former coach Brad Greenberg, who resigned after numerous irregularities were discovered within the program.
  2. For much of the past year college fans have been inundated by rumors about conference realignment. One move that definitely stayed under our radar was Seattle moving to the WAC. The move that will become official in the 2012-13 academic year will allow the men’s basketball program, coached by former UCLA point guard Cameron Dollar, to compete at the Division 1 level in the first year that they are eligible for the NCAA Tournament. While most fans are not that familiar with the Seattle program, they do have an impressive pedigree if you are willing to go back nearly 50 years. In 1958, led by Elgin Baylor, they made it to the NCAA Championship game before losing to Kentucky, 82-74, and in 1966 they handed Texas Western (yes, the Glory Road team) its only loss of the season in their last game before the NCAA Tournament. The current Seattle team is significantly less talented, but should be aided by the depleted WAC, which will see Boise State, Fresno State, and Nevada leave the conference in the next two seasons.
  3. When Missouri hired Frank Haith after the season ended they were widely ridiculed (ok, we were in that group), but it looks like he is making some significant moves with the addition of Auburn transfer Earnest Ross (13.1 PPG and 6.6 RPG as part of an anemic offense last season) and he is reportedly in the hunt for UConn transfer Jamal Coombs-McDaniel and Pepperdine transfer Keion Bell (yes, the guy who dunked over seven people). If Haith can land that trio, the media ridicule about the hire may soften although questions about his in-game coaching will remain.
  4. When Dwayne Polee announced that he was transferring from St. John’s several weeks ago we speculated that it might have had something to do with the influx of talent that Steve Lavin was bringing to the Red Storm. Yesterday, Polee announced that he was transferring to San Diego State and was applying for a hardship waiver (his mother has a medical condition requiring surgery) that would allow him to play for the Aztecs next year. Although Polee had a disappointing freshman campaign this is a big signing for Steve Fisher and could help the team transition from Kawhi Leonard era to the future if Polee can find his game again now that he is back in California.
  5. Last night we went on a Twitter rant questioning the public’s anger at LeBron James for not fulfilling his potential (or at least what we perceive it to be), but we won’t question the existence of the widespread hatred of James and his current Heat team. Even before the season began, Sports Illustrated released a list of the top 25 most hated teams of all-time and had the Heat, who had yet to play a game together as the 25th most hated team of all-time. We are sure they would move up the list if it was done again today, but we were surprised to see that three college basketball teams–1983-84 Georgetown at #23, 1991-92 Duke at #12, and 1989-90 UNLV at #9–were rated ahead of the Heat. We aren’t exactly sure where the Heat would rank if the list were done again today, but we are guessing that they would rank higher than all three of those teams.
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Morning Five: 06.14.11 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on June 14th, 2011

  1. In one of the more ridiculous controversies that we can remember the NCAA has apparently notified Kentucky that it was unhappy with the school’s decision to honor John Calipari for winning his 500th game on February 26th after beating Florida. Calling the ceremony “troubling”, “extremely troubling”, and “very troubling” the NCAA asserted that because Calipari’s 1996 NCAA Tournament run with UMass and the entire 2007-2008 Memphis season were vacated he actually has 42 less wins than the school claims he has. The entire debate is sort of boring on its face, but you can be sure that Wildcat fans will use it as ammunition for their claims that the NCAA is out to get their program.
  2. The announcement by NCAA President Mark Emmert that he would be convening a retreat for around 50 college presidents to discuss the current state of the intercollegiate athletics might not generate a lot of buzz right now, but you should definitely keep an eye on it because there is a chance we could have some monumental decisions come out of that meeting. Normally I think these type of retreats are useless and essentially function as a big tax write-off, but in light of some recent proposals (particularly the discussion by the Big Ten to pay some student-athletes) and some major scandals (first at USC and now at Ohio State) the stage is certainly set for the NCAA and the universities to make a stand. Given their track record they probably won’t, but now would be a great time to start.
  3. Dana O’Neil published a piece over the weekend about the lives of NCAA assistant coaches and the sacrifices that they have to make while trying to climb up the coaching ladder. While most of the news about basketball coaches is about the huge contracts or the NCAA violations in reality most of them are working very hard for a lot smaller sums than many would expect even if we wouldn’t claim that they are struggling to survive. It is an interesting look at their day-to-day lives and is definitely worth a read.
  4. One of the reporters from Scout caught up with UNC point guard Kendall Marshall at Chris Paul’s CP3 Elite Guard Camp and got a pretty good interview with the rising sophomore. Outside of the usual stuff (how long it took to get over the UK loss, wanting to win a title, etc) the thing that caught our eye was that Marshall claims that Harrison Barnes has shown the most improvement of any of the UNC players over the offseason. If that is true and Barnes can come close to being as good as he was hyped as being, the Tar Heels could be even more ridiculous than we expect them to being coming into the season.
  5. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the field and game times for its 2011 Tip-Off Tournament that will feature Kentucky, South Florida, Penn State, Old Dominion, Vermont, Long Island, Marist, and Radford. The Tournament features a pretty odd format that is built around a set of games on the weekend of November 19th-20th, but also features games during the week preceding and following that weekend. It all seems very complicated, but let us simplify it for you: Kentucky should crush all of these teams.
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Big South Wrap & Tourney Preview

Posted by Brian Goodman on March 1st, 2011



Mark Bryant is the RTC correspondent for the Big South Conference. Get up to speed for the Big South conference tournament with the RTC conference wrap-up and tournament preview before it tips Tuesday night.

Power Rankings/Tournament Preview

The Big South tournament winner could receive as high as a 13-seed if Coastal Carolina parlays its regular season success into an automatic Tournament bid, but if there’s an upset along the way, a 16-seed could be more probable.

1. Coastal Carolina (26-4, 16-2) - Cliff Ellis and The Chanticleers plowed through the season’s first few months, garnering AP poll consideration, before dropping two games in February. A dark cloud formed after a story by the New York Times led the NCAA to investigate the recruitment of star guard Desmond Holloway. With Holloway ineligible while the matter is resolved, the team has also had to persevere through Kierre Greenwood‘s ACL tear and a prior suspension of Mike Holmes. Winning the Big South tourney is still in the cards, but the uncertainty would weigh heavily against any chances of pulling a first-round NCAA Tournament upset.

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Morning Five: 02.16.11 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on February 16th, 2011

  1. Some injury information for your Wednesday morning.  Pitt’s Ashton Gibbs will be out until at least Saturday with his injured left MCL, even though he says he’s back to 100% as of yesterday.  St. John’s and Steve Lavin, Pitt’s weekend opponent, cannot be pleased with this news.  On the other end of the Commonwealth, Villanova’s Corey Stokes will remain out of the Wildcat lineup at least through the weekend as he tries to come back from turf toe on his left foot.  Team doctors think he’ll be ready to re-join his squad by next Big Monday’s game against Syracuse.
  2. Missouri’s Kim English (ed. note: corrected) seems to have his head on straight with respect to a hate crime that went down on his campus over the weekend.  Someone had painted racist graffiti in front of a residence hall, but English, rather than getting angry, stated that he understands that it was simply the work of “one idiot” and not representative of most people in general.  It’s always nice to see young people have a healthy sense of perspective when it comes to the ugly side of the real world.
  3. Radford suspended its head coach, Brad Greenberg, for the remainder of the regular season as a result of NCAA violations relating to impermissible team travel and benefits for an ineligible player.  It’s questionable whether the 5-21 (2-14 Big South) Highlanders will miss him much, as Radford is suffering through its worst season in a generation.  Greenberg probably isn’t in any long-term trouble, though, as Radford is coming off two seasons where they won forty games and enjoyed an NCAA appearance in 2009.
  4. It’s nearing the end of the regular season, and as we saw yesterday with Jim Boeheim’s presser where he attacked the media after a win, people start saying interesting things as the pressure increases.  Here’s a couple of examples.  Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin, in reference to UC fans booing a pouting Yancy Gates when it appeared he was coming back into the game over the weekend, said that’s a life lesson at the level of big-time college hoops: “At the big-time level, there is a trade-off.  You get to play on ESPN. You get name recognition that helps you, theoretically, get a job. I had a real problem with anybody getting on a kid from Murray State, riding buses all over the Ohio Valley Conference.  … At our level it’s definitely different, because there are residual benefits. It goes with it. It’s not easy for them, but  it’s life’s lessons.”  Meanwhile, down at Kentucky, Terrence Jones called out his teammates without actually naming them when he said about UK’s road woes, “I feel we play two different ways when it’s home and away when it comes to older guys or guys stepping up. A different guy can step up at home but it seems like certain guys go away when we are away.”  Maybe we should just add a quote of the day to the site from here on forth, because it’s always interesting this time of year.
  5. Realizing of course that Northwestern has generally blown some golden opportunities this season to get itself onto the bubble and quite possibly into the (expanded) NCAA Tournament for the first time ever, Lake the Posts is already out there calling for head coach Bill Carmody’s dismissal.  We certainly understand the frustration and agree that NW has hurt itself in key spots this year, but some progress is better than no progress and the likelihood of three straight NIT appearances is the start of something bigger.
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