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Tag:Oklahoma
Posted on: February 16, 2012 11:46 am
Edited on: February 16, 2012 1:05 pm
 

Weber is the latest coach to stay too long

In his post-game press conference after Wednesday's loss, Illinois head coach Bruce Weber sounded defeated. (US Presswire)

By Gary Parrish


Bruce Weber should've taken the Oklahoma job last year.

I believed it then.

I believe it more than ever now because the Illinois coach lost for the seventh time in eight games Wednesday night when his Illini fell 67-62 at home to Purdue, and afterward Weber sounded like a man who knows the end is near. He publicly questioned his players. He publicly questioned himself. Privately, he must be second-guessing his decision to pass on various job opportunities the past few years -- most recently Oklahoma last March -- because barring a massive turnaround he'll either be fired or forced to resign within a few days of Illinois' final game this season.

Weber stayed at Illinois too long.

It's a mistake too many coaches make in an era when -- unless you're a surebet Hall of Famer like a Boeheim, a Calhoun, a Pitino, a Self, a Donovan, etc., -- you'd be wise to move every six or seven years. Changing jobs revitalizes you and keeps you from growing content. It also keeps you fresh among your fanbase and ensures you're always one step ahead of the so-called posse.

Leave them before they get tired of you.

Leave them before you start to level out or dip.

Rather than do that, Weber gambled that he'd compete for a Big Ten title in his ninth season and advance deep into the NCAA tournament, and that looks like a bad gamble as he sits tied for seventh in the league with a 5-8 record. But here's the truth: It was always a bad gamble because the Illini fans had already turned on Weber, and once that happens it's nearly impossible to turn them back around. Sure, you can hold them off with temporary success. But once fans stop believing you're the future you're always just one bad season away from a pink slip, and Weber is learning that now.

And it's a tough break for a good man.

Weber is genuinely respected by his peers, and my favorite story to prove this comes from last July when I spent three days on the recruiting trail with Michigan State's Tom Izzo. After a long first day of watching games in Indianapolis, Izzo and I had a private plane set to take us to Akron late on that Wednesday night so that we'd be fresh and ready to go first thing Thursday morning at the LeBron James Skills Academy. Weber did not have a private plane. He instead had a 3:45 a.m. wakeup call that would allow him to grab a commercial flight and take a more inconvenient route to the exact same place we were going, and when Izzo heard this he invited Weber to travel with us. Later, I asked Izzo why he offered a lift to Weber considering the plane was in essence an advantage in a recruiting battle for multiple prospects between Michigan State and Illinois. "I wouldn't do it for anybody," Izzo answered. "But if you lose a kid to Bruce you know it wasn't underhanded. You know he's going to do things the right way."

That's the best compliment a coach could ever give a fellow coach.

But that won't be enough to save Weber's job.

He's had recruiting problems at times and coaching issues at others, but right now, more than anything, he seems to have a problem of disconnect. His players have stopped responding to him. His fans have turned on him. The result is that his Illinois tenure is close to ending, and I can't help but think Weber would've been better off ending it a year ago on his own terms by accepting a seven-year contract worth roughly $17 million from a Big 12 school willing to give him a fresh start and clean slate.
Posted on: February 6, 2012 11:23 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2012 11:57 pm
 

Night Court: Missouri survives another close game

Oklahoma's Steven Pledger reacts after his game-tying 3-pointer rimmed out at the buzzer against Missouri. (AP)

By Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Monday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Oklahoma has had several close games recently, and Monday night against Missouri was no different, with the Sooners falling, 71-68. Both teams came out of the gate knocking down shots, especially Marcus Denmon, who finished with 25 points. Missouri had the lead for the entire second half, but Oklahoma kept it within one possession for the final minutes. The Sooners had a chance to tie the game, but Romero Osby missed two free throws and Steven Pledger’s 3-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out.

Win to brag about: Beating Texas A&M this season isn’t the same as it was the past couple of years, but Texas couldn’t afford another close loss (or a loss in general). The Longhorns were 0-7 in games decided by six points or fewer heading into Monday, but they held off Texas A&M down the stretch for a 70-68 win. J’Covan Brown had 20 points and seven assists to lead the Longhorns.

Loss to hide from: Remember when we thought Connecticut might turn things around after its win over Seton Hall on Saturday? Yeah, that didn’t happen. The Huskies were outhustled, outmuscled and outworked by Louisville en route to an 80-59 loss. And it didn’t even feel that close. Louisville shot 44 percent from 3-point range, and held Andre Drummond, Shabazz Napier and Jeremy Lamb to 16 points on 6-for-26 shooting.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Marquette’s Jamil Wilson has only reached double-figures in scoring four times this season, and has not grabbed more than seven rebounds in a game. On Monday night, Wilson led Marquette to a 89-76 comeback win over DePaul, totaling 18 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks – on 8-for-12 shooting.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: Connecticut’s debacle of an offensive performance deserves more than just one mention. Andre Drummond was dominated by Gorgui Dieng all night, as the Louisville big man finished with 15 points, six rebounds and six steals. Even worse, Drummond went 0-for-6 from the field and didn’t score a single point. Drummond has all the talent in the world, but the desire is lacking.

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 4: Four of Missouri’s last five wins have been by three points or fewer.
  • 3:45: Vermont has trailed for just 3:45 in its last 133:02 played. The Catamounts have won seven in a row after beating Maine.
  • 0: Kennesaw State remains winless in the Atlantic Sun after losing at home to USC-Upstate. The Owls are 0-13 in the league, 2-22 vs. D-I competition.
  • 93: Southern beat Jackson State, 49-44. In overtime. That’s 93 combined points in 45 minutes of basketball.
  • 16: South Carolina State had lost 16 games in a row before beating beating Longwood on Monday.

Three other notable results:

  1. Mississippi Valley State is 11-0 in the SWAC after beating Alabama A&M. MVSU was just 1-11 in non-conference play.
  2. Davidson has now won three in a row since dropping its first league game last weekend, beating Wofford by 22.
  3. Stony Brook stayed atop the America East at 11-1 with a 57-48 victory over New Hampshire.

Notes:

  • Belmont steamrolled Austin Peay, 94-55, in a non-conference tilt.
  • Mercer took a half-game lead in the Atlantic Sun, beating East Tennessee State, 54-46.
  • Idaho State played Montana close for a half, but the Grizzlies dominated the second half in a 76-40 victory to move to 10-1 in the Big Sky.
More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: January 18, 2012 12:24 am
Edited on: January 18, 2012 9:23 am
 

Night Court: Western Carolina wins by ... 102?!

Trey Burke had 20 points, including the game-winning assist, to lead Michigan to a 60-59 win over Michigan St. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Tuesday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Michigan struggled defensively for much of the second half, but the Wolverines came up big down the stretch to hold on to a 60-59 victory over Michigan State. Stu Douglass made the game-winning layup with 36.5 seconds left, off a terrific pass from Trey Burke. Draymond Green missed a potential game-winning shot and tip-in on the Spartans’ final possession. Burke led the way with 20 points.

Win to brag about: Beating Maryland in itself isn’t that impressive, but Florida State continues to turn it around after an embarrassing loss to Clemson two weeks ago. The Seminoles used a 21-3 run in the second half to dispatch of the Terrapins, 84-70. For a team that has the reputation of being offensively inept, Florida State has now scored at least 84 points in three of its last five games. Ian Miller and Okaro White combined for 31 points off the bench.

Loss to hide from: I have no clue how Toccoa Falls does against its usual competition (it's 3-6), but it apparently can’t handle Division-I opposition. Western Carolina had nine guys score in double figures, defeating the Eagles, 141-39. The Catamounts outrebounded Toccoa Falls 62-16, and only three players did not reach double-figures in scoring.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Anthony Davis has had several impressive performances this season, but Tuesday’s game took the cake. The Kentucky freshman had 27 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks to lead the Wildcats to an 86-63 win over Arkansas. Moreover, he broke the school’s single-season record for blocks – with 12 games left in the regular season.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: Texas Tech’s Jordan Tolbert has been one of the most underrated freshmen in the country this season, but Tuesday didn’t show that. Tolbert went just 1-for-10 from the field and turned it over five times before fouling out. The Red Raiders lost to Oklahoma, 64-55.

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 3: After losing 18 of 21 in the rivalry, Michigan has now defeated Michigan State three straight times.
  • 102: The margin in Western Carolina’s win over Toccoa Falls was the third-largest in Division-I history.
  • 15: It’s been 15 years since an SEC player had 27 points, 14 boards and seven blocks in a game. Anthony Davis did it tonight.

Three other notable results:

  1. With first place in the Big South on the line, UNC-Asheville improved to 8-0 with a victory over second-place Coastal Carolina. J.P. Primm had 23 points, helping UNCA overcome six guys scoring in double-figures for Coastal.
  2. Purdue bounced back from last week’s loss to Wisconsin with a 75-68 win over Iowa. The Boilermakers overcame a five-point halftime deficit.
  3. Jason Clark scored 31 points despite going just 4-for-9 from the free-throw line, leading Georgetown to an 83-75 road win at DePaul.

Notes:

  • The lone overtime game on Tuesday was between LSU and Auburn. Auburn’s Varez Ward sent it into an extra session with a 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds left, but LSU dominated the overtime for a 65-58 win.
  • Boise State freshman Anthony Drmic had a chance to make a name for himself early in Mountain West play, but he shot just 1-for-8 from the field in a 66-55 loss to Colorado State.
  • North Dakota State, currently 6-2 in Summit League play, went into North Dakota – a team with three D-I wins this season – and lost, 59-54.
More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: January 14, 2012 5:09 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 5:17 pm
 

Guess who loses on the road? Almost everybody

By Gary Parrish

My colleague Jeff Borzello wrote earlier about the difficulty of winning away games because he knew we were about to start a Saturday featuring nine ranked teams playing unranked teams on the road, and we all knew at least one of them (and probably more) would take a loss.

How'd we know, you ask?

Because it happens every weekend.

Ranked teams lose to unranked teams on the road with great regularity. It's as much a part of the sport as recruiting scandals and Dick Vitale. And though I realize everybody knows this and basicaly accepts it as a fact of life, I do wonder if most fans truly understand just how difficult it is to win away games.

The proof is in the details.

Consider that the four Final Four participants (Connecticut, Butler, Kentucky and VCU) combined to go 23-24 in true road games last season, and that the 2010 national champion (Duke) finished 5-5 in true road games. Translation: Even the best often struggle away from home, and only elite power-conference schools (North Carolina in 2009 comes to mind) regularly avoid the upsets most cannot.

So fans of No. 18 Kansas State can be upset with that loss at unranked Oklahoma. And fans of No. 13 Michigan can be upset with that loss at unranked Iowa. And fans of No. 7 Michigan State can be upset with that loss at unranked Northwestern. And fans of No. 3 North Carolina can be upset with that loss at unranked Florida State (especially since it was so lopsided). They're all losses and fans hate to lose. So I understand. But the reality is that these types of losses, in this sport, just kinda happen. Sometimes, sure, they represent a sign that a team might be as overrated as the cliched chant suggests. But in most cases, honestly, it's just the price you pay for going on the road.
Posted on: January 10, 2012 1:07 am
 

Night Court: No BCS title game in these parts



By
Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Monday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Certainly not the BCS title game. Cincinnati bounced back from Saturday’s last-second loss to St. John’s with an impressive four-point win at Georgetown. The game was tied with 1:07 remaining, when Cashmere Wright hit two free throws. Cincinnati went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line in the final 67 seconds, holding off the Hoyas, which lost their second straight game. Sean Kilpatrick had 27 points for Cincinnati.

Win to brag about: Monday’s game against West Virginia was a game Connecticut should have won. And the Huskies did, 64-57. But the way they did it had to give them confidence going forward. Andre Drummond had his best game of the season, putting up 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, while Jeremy Lamb scored 25. Connecticut also held the Mountaineers to 32.3 percent shooting.

Loss to hide from: There weren’t any terrible losses on Monday, but Oklahoma is reeling and needed a solid performance against Oklahoma State. The Sooners didn’t get it, trailing by as many as 17 points en route to a 72-65 loss. Le’Bryan Nash had 21 points for Oklahoma State, which has now won four of its last five against Oklahoma. Oklahoma is now 0-3 in the Big 12 after going 10-2 in non-conference play.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Matthew Dellavedova hit six 3-pointers en route to a career-high 27 points, helping Saint Mary’s beat San Francisco, 87-72. Dellavedova also dished out four assists and grabbed six rebounds. His teammate Stephen Holt came one rebound short of a triple-double, getting 11 points and 10 assists.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: West Virginia’s Darryl Bryant had been rolling lately, scoring at least 25 points in three of his last four games. On Monday against Connecticut, however, the senior guard shot 2-for-13 from the field and finished with just eight points. Bryant was 1-for-7 from 3-point range. 

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 59.1. That’s the percentage Georgetown shot from the field, but turning the ball over 17 times did the Hoyas in against Cincinnati.
  • 24. Wyoming has now defeated Idaho State twice this season, with both victories coming by 24 points.
  • 17-3. That’s the run Connecticut went on after head coach Jim Calhoun picked up a technical foul in the second half.

Three other notable results:

  1. Norfolk State improved to 4-0 in the MEAC, the Spartans’ best start since 2004-05, with a 68-48 win over Howard.
  2. Mississippi Valley State beat Alabama A&M on the road, moving to 3-0 in the SWAC.
  3. Air Force overcame a slow start to beat Texas-Pan American, 67-50. 

Notes:

  • In its first game without suspended head coach Todd Bozeman, Morgan State lost to Savannah State, 57-55.
  • Former Oklahoma transfer Ray Willis had 21 points, seven rebounds, four assists and five steals for North Carolina Central, as it beat Bethune-Cookman.
  • A couple of recent transfers made their announcements. Khem Birch (Pittsburgh) decided on UNLV as his next destination, while Jamal Branch (Texas A&M) opted for St. John’s.

Photo: AP

Posted on: December 1, 2011 6:43 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 6:44 pm
 

OU guard Calvin Newell leaves program

By Jeff Borzello

Oklahoma was not expected to do much this season, but the Sooners are off to a 4-1 start, including wins over Washington State and Santa Clara.

Calvin Newell was a key in the hot start, going for 18 points against WSU and 19 in a close victory over Idaho State. On Thursday, Newell announced he was leaving the team.

According to Guerin Emig of the Tulsa World, Newell departed for personal reasons. Within the last year, Emig tweeted, Newell had lost both his mother and grandmother and was missing his family back in Philadelphia.

Newell is an athletic 6-foot-1 guard who struggled through his freshman campaign, but came out of the gate with a purpose this season. Despite playing fewer than 20 minutes per game, Newell was second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.0 points per contest. He was knocking down nearly 39 percent of his 3-point attempts.

Newell had established himself as one of the better sixth men in the Big 12. In his place, Lon Kruger will have to look elsewhere for scoring off the bench.

Posted on: November 11, 2011 3:13 pm
Edited on: November 11, 2011 3:17 pm
 

Oklahoma placed on three years' probation

By Jeff Borzello

This is the last thing the Oklahoma basketball program needed heading into another rebuilding season.

The NCAA announced on Friday afternoon that the Sooners have been placed on three years of probation and issued a $15,000 fine for violations in the basketball program.

The Division I infractions committee vacated all 13 wins from Oklahoma’s 09-10 season, removed a scholarship and also placed limitations on its recruiting.

The punishment stems from former assistant coach Oronde Taliaferro failing to report that a player received an extra benefit, lying to investigators in the process.

Oklahoma was still on probation from violations involving Kelvin Sampson’s phone calls infractions when these rules violations occurred. According to the NCAA, a repeat violator could have their sport dropped for at least one season.

For the latest updates on Oklahoma's violations and subsequent punishment, go here

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 1, 2011 3:56 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 4:04 pm
 

Rotnei Clarke to play for Brad Stevens at Butler

By Jeff Goodman

After nearly pulling the trigger for Oklahoma, Rotnei Clarke has decided to transfer to Butler.

The 6-foot Oklahoma native, who has been methodical with his recruitment after finally being released by Mike Anderson and Arkansas in June, made the decision on Monday.

``It just felt like the best fit for me,” Clarke told CBSSports.com. ``It was a tough decision, especially with me being from Oklahoma.”

``Coach (Brad) Stevens is an unbelievable guy and obviously, they’ve had tremendous success the last few years,” he added. ``I really liked the players on the team. They seemed like more than just teammates.”

Clarke will sit out this season and have one year left of eligibility with Brad Stevens and the Bulldogs.

He is arguably the top perimeter shooter in the nation and has expanded his game over the past year. He averaged 15.2 points last season and shot nearly 44 percent from beyond the arc and put up 21.4 points and shot 52 percent from long distance over the final eight games of the season.

Clarke was leaning toward committing to Lon Kruger and the Sooners. However, sources told CBSSports.com the uncertainty regarding whether the Sooners would face any NCAA sanctions in the wake of an investigation swayed Clarke to Butler.

``I really believe Coach Kruger will turn the program around quickly,” Clarke said. ``And while I was told that the NCAA decision wouldn’t affect me, it wasn’t guaranteed. I didn’t know that for sure  - and didn’t want to go there without knowing 100 percent.”

Clarke will likely see time at both backcourt spots for the Bulldogs. Butler will lose senior point guard Ronald Nored after this season.

``I’m hoping to work on being a point guard in the year off,” Clarke said. ``I know I need a lot of work on it – but I’m hoping I can really improve and be able to play both spots at Butler.” 

Photo: AP
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com