Tag:Purdue
Posted on: March 28, 2011 3:49 am
Edited on: March 28, 2011 8:49 am
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Southwest wrap-up: VCU makes history

VCU celebrates a Final Four berth

Posted by Jeff Borzello

SAN ANTONIO – Well, where to start?

How about the most impressive Final Four run in NCAA tournament history?

VCU’s First Four to Final Four story is the first of its kind, and certainly won’t be repeated for a very long time, if not ever. Two weeks ago, the majority of people were saying the Rams didn’t belong in the NCAA tournament. Now, there’s very little room left on the bandwagon. The chances of VCU making the first Final Four in program history after finishing fourth in the CAA were next to nothing; this run is absolutely mind-boggling.

The emergence of Shaka Smart as the hottest name in the coaching world has been a story itself. The affable young coaching whiz has had a weirdly interesting relationship with the media throughout the entire regional. Media members love him, swoon over him, stop at nothing to praise him. At the same time, Smart has played the “nobody believes in us” card every game, using media clips to demonstrate the doubt.

A loose, easygoing group of disrespected kids led by a likeable young coach who feeds into that personality? It’s easy to fall in love with the Rams, and their play on the court has cemented that feeling. They pressure the ball defensively, knock down 3-pointers on the offensive end and get up and down the court in a hurry.

Write off VCU at your own peril. Your words are sure to be repeated over and over, and then rubbed in your face afterwards.

And you’ll still love this team and its leader.

Regional MVP: Jamie Skeen, VCU. Skeen’s performance against Kansas on Sunday was nothing short of extraordinary. Going up against three future first-round picks in the Morris twins and Thomas Robinson, one might think Skeen was at a disadvantage. All he did was go out and finish with 26 points and 10 rebounds, knocking down four 3-pointers in the process. He played 38 minutes and didn’t pick up a single foul.

All-regional team

  • Joey Rodriguez, VCU
  • Bradford Burgess, VCU
  • Jamie Skeen, VCU
  • Brandon Rozzell, VCU
  • Marcus Morris, Kansas

Game to remember: VCU 72, Florida State 71. The only overtime game in the regional, and a welcomed change after four third-round blowouts and a 20-point Kansas-Richmond margin. Florida State overcame a nine-point deficit in the final seven minutes to force overtime, and it looked like VCU’s run might be over. Not with Shaka Smart at the helm. With six seconds left, Smart designed a play that got Bradford Burgess a wide-open layup to give VCU the one-poiint win.

Game to forget: Florida State 71, Notre Dame 57. Blowouts are ugly. Florida State plays ugly. When the Seminoles are on the winning end of a blowout? Hideous. Second-seeded Notre Dame shot 32 percent from the field, and Florida State led by as many as 23 points in the second half. The Seminoles completely dominated the Fighting Irish with their physicality and athleticism.

Biggest disappointment: Everyone. With only three higher-seeded teams advancing out of the round of 64, this region had its share of disappointments. Purdue and Notre Dame were manhandled in the third round and Kansas also fell earlier than expected. When a No. 11 seed wins the region, it’s tough to single out just one disappointment.

Best individual performance in a losing effort: JaJuan Johnson, Purdue. It wasn’t Johnson’s fault that Purdue was blown out by VCU, 94-76. Johnson went for 25 points and 14 rebounds, blocking three shots and shooting 11-for-20 from the field.

Most memorable moments

Team to watch out for next year: Louisville. The Cardinals vastly outperformed expectations this season, despite not having much talent on the roster. Next season, that will change. Wayne Blackshear and Chane Behanan are McDonald’s All-Americans, and Rakeem Buckeles and Jared Swopshire should finally be healthy. Peyton Siva and Kyle Kuric are also primed for breakout seasons.

Photo: US Presswire

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Posted on: March 15, 2011 8:02 pm
 

Purdue suspends Kelsey Barlow

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Purdue suffered a blow to its Final Four hopes Tuesday evening, when sophomore guard Kelsey Barlow was suspended for the remainder of the season for conduct detrimental to the team.

“We’re committed to helping our players develop both on and off the court,” head coach Matt Painter said in a statement released by the school. “This is unfortunate and disappointing, but we’ll move forward as a team.”

Barlow, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, started seven games this season, averaging 19.5 minutes per game. He averaged 5.1 points, including three double-figure efforts. Barlow is also an excellent on-ball defender, stifling opposing perimeter players on a nightly basis.

This isn’t a crushing loss for Purdue, although it will hurt the Boilermakers’ depth and perimeter defense. They primarily used seven players, with John Hart and Travis Carroll seeing minutes sparingly. Without Barlow coming off the bench, Terone Johnson will have to see extra minutes, and Hart could return to his pre-injury minutes.

The injury likely won’t affect them against Saint Peter’s, but a potential second-round battle against Georgetown could be trouble. Barlow would have been a nice asset to defend Austin Freeman. With that said, Lewis Jackson and E’Twaun Moore are capable defenders in their own right and will pick up the slack.

Photo: US Presswire

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Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 11, 2011 9:14 pm
 

Michigan State locates postseason magic

Kalin Lucas scored 30 in an upset of Purdue

Posted by Eric Angevine

Seriously, can we really never, ever, ever give up on the Michigan State Spartans?

A regular Final Four participant over the past five years, the Spartans finally seemed to be out of gas this season, sliding to a 9-9 record in the Big Ten. A win over rebuilding Iowa in the first round of the Big Ten tournament wasn't much to write home about. With a final score of 66-61, it was hardly impressive in terms of rising above the NCAA tourney bubble.

Then came tonight's effort. Kalin Lucas, a senior who doesn't want to go out without a return trip to the NCAA tournament, put up a stunning 30 point effort, hitting 4-6 three point buckets and 10-11 free throws to will his team to a big win. Getting to the semifinal is quite an achievement for this team. Doing it by beating Purdue -- a team playing for a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance -- is nothing short of mind-boggling.

Purdue beat Michigan State twice this season; by ten points in West Lafayette and then by 20 in East Lansing. So where did this 74-56 reversal of fortune come from? It's not really that hard to say.

Michigan State has always had the ingredients to win big games this season. They have senior leadership in the backcourt, the usual stellar recruits, and the coaching mind of Tom Izzo. Given enough time to simmer, that's bound to make something tasty. The player defections that dogged the program definitely cut into the success formula, and it may not be sustainable for long, but at least Michigan State fans have hope. They've seen that old spark again.

The Spartans now await the winner of the Big Ten nightcap. Either Wisconsin or Penn State will advance to face the old familiar foe. Only that team will look a little different this time.

Instead of the light-colored jerseys awarded to favored seeds on a neutral court, they'll come armored in forest green. But they'll still be the Spartans.

Photo: US Presswire

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Posted on: March 9, 2011 4:37 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 4:38 pm
 

It's Gene Keady's world, we just hoop in it

Gene Keady could have a huge influence on this year's NCAA tournament

Posted by Eric Angevine

How bloggy is this post going to be? Very bloggy.

The West Lafayette Journal and Courier started it, though, so there's that.

The paper put out a list of Gene Keady assistants who are expected to be in the NCAA field due to strong at-large resumes, a list we'll share:

  • Former Purdue guard Matt Painter has the Boilermakers (25-6) at No. 8 in this week's RPI.
  • Former Boilermaker graduate assistant Steve Lavin comes in at No. 22 in the RPI with red-hot St. John's (20-10). Keady is back on the bench with Lavin, serving in an advisory capacity.

  • Kevin Stallings, who played at Purdue and later served as an assistant coach, has Vanderbilt (21-9) at No. 26 in the RPI.

  • Bruce Weber, Keady's Purdue assistant from 1981 through 1998, has Illinois (19-12) in the RPI's No. 40 slot.

  • Finally, former Boilermaker player and assistant coach Cuonzo Martin's Missouri State team (25-8) comes in at No. 42 in the RPI.
  • Of course, Keady himself is in there, albiet as a wise Yoda to Steve Lavin.

    The last two slots there are dubious, of course. Weber and Martin are very much on the bubble and sweating it. It does raise the interesting question of coaching trees. Which coach has the most influence on this bracket? We won't know for sure until all the decisions are made, but this list makes a strong case for Keady. It does get a bit confusing at times, though. For instance, Stallings was also a Roy Williams assistant at Kansas, so who claims him? I suppose both.

    This will be a fun game to play on Selection Sunday, though. We'll be doing an epic live chat that afternoon, so maybe we can all keep track of the coaching ties after the bids are announced.

    You have to do something while you're waiting for the First Four to tip off, after all.

    Photo: US Presswire

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    Posted on: March 8, 2011 2:16 pm
    Edited on: March 8, 2011 2:37 pm
     

    Projecting the first-round destinations

    Posted by MATT JONES

    I am a dork. Let’s get that out of the way right up front, because otherwise what I am attempting to do below will make no sense. While everyone else on the internet is giving their latest Bracketology projections and attempting to define the bottom half of the field of 68, I have a completely different goal. I want to try and get in the tournament committee’s minds and figure out exactly where the top seeds in the NCAA tournament will play their first round games .

    Now this may seem like a silly enterprise, as on the surface it seems impossible to predict. If the process was random, with 68 teams and 8 different locales, projecting any team to any first round destination would be complete folly. But the process isn’t random and there is some logical basis to the assignments. In fact, if you understand two rules, projecting the assignments of some top teams can come rather easily:

    1. The committee will try to put teams seeded in the top 4  teams in their region close to home.

    2.  Duke will play in the state of North Carolina

    Those two rules if not officially set in stone, are nearly always followed and thus give us some logical basis to begin a projection. At this point, our resident bracketologist Jerry Palm has these teams as the top 4 seeds:

    1. Ohio State, Kansas, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame
    2. Duke, Syracuse, Purdue, San Diego State
    3. North Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida
    4. Louisville, Kentucky, St. Johns, BYU

    While the order of those teams may change a bit and a couple of teams could crash the group (Vanderbilt, West Virginia, UCONN), it is likely that the vast majority of these teams will represent the 16 top seeds. For this year’s tournament, there are eight cities hosting first round games:

    Cleveland
    Chicago
    Denver
    Tucson

    Washington DC

    Tampa
    Tulsa
    Charlotte

    Each city will be the host site of two of the top 16 seeds. So using our two rules above, we can begin projecting teams to particular sites based upon location. Cleveland is just a hop, skip and a jump from two No.1 seeds, Ohio State and Pittsburgh. Tulsa is the closest to Kansas and Chicago is virtually an extension of Notre Dame. So after placing the top seeds, the list looks like this:

    Cleveland: Pittsburgh, Ohio State
    Chicago:
    Notre Dame
    Denver:
    Tucson:
    Washington DC:

    Tampa

    Tulsa:
    Kansas

    Charlotte

    Duke is a 2 seed and Charlotte is in North Carolina, thus making the Blue Devils a lock for the banking capital of America due to Rule No. 2. Purdue is within a quick drive to Chicago and Tucson is the only host city anywhere close to San Diego State. Syracuse would probably prefer to be in Cleveland, but because that locale is full, Washington DC becomes the most likely destination.

    Cleveland: Pittsburgh, Ohio State
    Chicago:
    Notre Dame, Purdue
    Denver:
    Tucson:
    San Diego State
    Washington DC:
    Syracuse

    Tampa

    Tulsa:
    Kansas
    Charlotte:
    Duke

    North Carolina is apparently still located in North Carolina and thus placing the Tar Heels in Charlotte ensures a packed house for each session. Tulsa is the location closest to Texas, making the Longhorns a likely candidate for that beautiful city. Tampa is in Florida and has a huge arena to fill, potentially enticing the fickle Gators fans to make the short drive. Wisconsin has no obvious destination, as nothing left is very close to Madison. But with Denver in that same general part of America and only one other western team, the Badgers seem likely headed for the Rockies:

    Cleveland: Pittsburgh, Ohio State
    Chicago:
    Notre Dame, Purdue
    Denver:
    Wisconsin
    Tucson:
    San Diego State
    Washington DC:
    Syracuse
    Tampa:
    Florida
    Tulsa:
    Kansas, Texas
    Charlotte:
    Duke, North Carolina

    This is when it starts to get tricky. BYU is the farthest west and can’t play on Sunday, meaning that Tucson is the likely home for the Cougars. St. John’s is in New York, which likes to think of DC as its dorky extension, thus sending the Red Storm to the nation’s capital. Louisville and Kentucky are both not close to either remaining destination, but the Cardinals are slightly farther west, sending them to Denver and Kentucky to Tampa. That makes the final split look like this:

    Cleveland: Pittsburgh, Ohio State
    Chicago:
    Notre Dame, Purdue
    Denver:
    Wisconsin, Louisville
    Tucson: San Diego State, BYU
    Tampa:
    Florida, Kentucky
    Washington DC:
    Syracuse, St. Johns
    Tulsa:
    Kansas, Texas
    Charlotte:
    Duke, North Carolina

    Of course it is just as likely that the committee follows none of these parameters and just does what it wants. But if logic is used, you can book your travel destinations now.

    Posted on: February 28, 2011 7:01 am
     

    The Morning Drive: JaJuan Johnson dominates

    Posted by Jeff Borzello

    After an unbelievably eventful Saturday, where the No. 1 team in the land lost (again), Sunday did its best to keep the momentum moving. There were important conference clashes, overtime games and the regular-season coming to an end for certain teams. Once again, feel free to hit me up on Twitter: @jeffborzello

    Top Performer: He doesn’t get as much attention as some other top players, but Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson should get some love for All-America. Johnson had a big-time effort yesterday, posting 20 points, 17 rebounds and seven blocks to lead the Boilermakers to a 67-47 win at Michigan State. Johnson even knocked down two 3-pointers, going 8-for-13 from the field.

    In a Losing Effort: Maryland again played well in a big game, but was unable to make plays down the stretch and lost to North Carolina, 87-76. It was through no fault of Jordan Williams, though (aside from fouling out). The ultra-productive big man went for 16 points and 19 rebounds – seven on the offensive end – and also chipped in with three steals and three blocks.

    Stat-Sheet Stuffer: Siena’s Ryan Rossiter doesn’t even credit for the ridiculous numbers he puts up. Well, he will today. Against Marist yesterday, Rossiter had 34 points and 11 rebounds, adding four blocks on the defensive end. He was 9-for-15 from the field and an eye-popping 16-for-18 from the free-throw line. Rossiter’s 11 rebounds gave him 388 on the season, setting a school record for rebounds in a season.

    Filling it up: Tu Holloway once again came through down the stretch for Xavier. The Long Island native finished with 26 points to lead the Musketeers to a 66-62 win over Dayton. He was especially impressive in the closing minutes, scoring 16 of Xavier’s final 24 points. Holloway broke a late tie with two free throws and a 3-pointer with 41 seconds left. He also had six rebounds and five assists.

    Set the DVR: Two top-notch games highlight the docket tonight. Villanova looks to bounce back at Notre Dame, with the Fighting Irish quietly moving up NCAA Tournament boards into two-seed range. Kansas State also tries to continue its winning ways against a Texas team that has lost two of its last three.

    Numbers Don’t Lie:

    • Michigan State’s 20-point home loss to Purdue was its worst defeat at the Breslin Center since Dec. 3, 2003, when it lost to Duke by 22.
    • It also marked the first time since 1997 that Purdue swept Michigan State.
    • North Carolina is 8-0 when Harrison Barnes scores at least 17 points.
    • Louisville shot just 34.4 percent from the field today, its worst performance in a win this season.
    • With yesterday’s win over Northwestern, Wisconsin completed an undefeated home record this season, going 16-0. It was the third time in Bo Ryan’s 10-year career that Wisconsin has gone unbeaten at home.
    • Jared Sullinger had a season-low with just five points against Indiana, but fellow freshman DeShaun Thomas came out of nowhere with a season-high 22 points, including 14 in a row at one point. The Buckeyes won by 15.

    Notes and Notables:

    •  Louisville and Pittsburgh engaged in a back-and-forth tussle, with the Cardinals eventually pulling it out in overtime. The Big East Tournament is going to be ridiculous.
    • West Virginia went on a 12-2 run in the final few minutes to put away Rutgers on the road. The Mountaineers were led by John Flowers’ 14 points and 10 boards.
    • Connecticut snapped its two-game losing streak by heading into Cincinnati and knocking off the Bearcats, 67-59. Kemba Walker had 16 points, 11 in the second half.
    • Marquette followed up its win over Connecticut with an impressive 24-point victory over Providence. Marshon Brooks scored 35 points fewer than he did in his last game, finishing with 17.
    • Washington is no longer safely in the field. The Huskies were blown out on their home floor by Washington State, 80-69.

    Photo: US Presswire

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    Category: NCAAB
    Posted on: February 27, 2011 10:06 am
    Edited on: February 27, 2011 2:00 pm
     

    Sunday Preview: Big Ten battle and more



    Posted by Eric Angevine

    Purdue @ Michigan State, 1:00 p.m. ET, ESPN: Gary Parrish does a good job of breaking this one down in the video above. The Spartans have obviously cooked their own goose this season, but they can still play spoiler in the Big Ten and show that there's no quit in Michigan State.

    UConn @ Cincinnati, 12:00 p.m., ESPNU: You wouldn't think it with all the hype surrounding Kemba Walker's POY candidacy, but the Bearcats are actually in better position in the Big East race. They currently sit at sixth in the league standings at 9-6, while the Huskies have dropped to a barely tenable 8-7. If Cincy wins and Louisville loses, they'll be tied at 10-6, just behind Syracuse in fifth place.

    Xavier @ Dayton, 1:00 p.m., ESPN2: I covered this on Friday. If Dayton can win, it gets to stay on the bubble, and may even end up hosting a First Four game in its own arena if it hold form into the postseason. If the Flyers lose, it's back to the NIT unless they win the A-10 auto bid.

    Pitt @ Louisville, 2:00 p.m., CBS: This is the marquee game of the day, so it's fitting that it comes last on the schedule. When the other games are over, even fans of the day's other combatants can turn and watch the rest of this heavyweight matchup. Louisville has a chance to restructure the Big East standings a bit with a home win. Pitt's job is to keep rolling to what it hopes will be a pair of No. 1 seeds -- in the Big East tourney and in the NCAAs.

     
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    Posted on: February 21, 2011 10:07 am
    Edited on: February 21, 2011 1:27 pm
     

    Coach Speak: Billy Clyde Gillispie to Wyoming?

    Could Billy Gillispie make his coaching comeback at Wyoming?

    Posted by Eric Angevine

    Coaching Search

    I’m happy to report that, as of this morning, no other coaches have been fired. Wyoming’s Heath Schroyer is the only DI head man to be sent packing in such a disrespectful – and, it should be said, damaging to the school’s reputation – manner. I thought today I’d look and see who the locals are hoping to hear from regarding the vacancy.

    Robert Gagliardi, who writes the Cowboy Chronicles blog for the Laramie Boomerang, lists former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie (above), current Kansas assistant Joe Dooley, Florida assistant Larry Shyatt and BYU assistant Dave Rice. Let’s rate the likelihood of each:

    Billy Gillispie: Low

    I firmly believe Billy Clyde will coach again, and probably do quite well, but this is not the job for him. Things went wrong for Gillispie – a native Texan -- the minute he stepped foot outside of his home state. Even a great recruiter is going to have difficulty selling the high plains experience to talented players. Gillispie seems tailor-made for C-USA, where image rehabilitation is all the rage.

    Joe Dooley: Low

    Slick-haired Dooley is Bill Self’s top assistant, and as such, he can afford to wait for an offer from a front-running mid-major program. He was considered for several low-profile rebuilding jobs over the summer and chose to stay at KU. He’s probably much better off waiting out the Jayhawks’ tourney run and hoping for a shot at an established bracket buster.

    Larry Shyatt: Medium

    Bringing back a former head coach to the same job is not unheard of (see South Alabama’s Ronnie Arrow) but it is incredibly rare. Shyatt left Wyoming on a high note in 1998 to take over for Rick Barnes at Clemson, and is now a highly valued assistant to Billy Donovan at Florida, but he is a little over a month away from his sixtieth birthday, and may be interested in returning to Laramie to finish out his career.

    Dave Rice: Medium

    This is another case of an assistant who might be better off waiting for a better gig. The factors in favor of jumping now include the fact that BYU is headed to the WCC next season, and the certainty that the Cougars have all eyes on them as the Jimmer Fredette era winds up. It could be tough to decide how best to use that mojo.

    Interestingly enough, Rice was the only member of this short list who responded to Gagliardi’s inquiries. His email was as noncommittal as you’d expect, but it was a response:

    I was part of 2 interim staffs during my 11 years as an assistant at UNLV and so I understand that Coach Langley and his staff are working hard to help the players have a strong finish to their season.  In my mind there is currently a staff in place at Wyoming.  The players and staff don’t need the distraction of coaching speculation.  While I know that is inevitable, I have always made it a point to never comment on a job that is not available.  Likewise my entire focus now is helping Coach Rose and our staff prepare our team to play TCU on Saturday.

    Coach Langley is Frank Langley, who was named the interim coach when Schroyer was fired. Interim coaches rarely take over full-time, and the scenario that seems most likely is that Wyoming will court some rainmakers, though they will give Langley the courtesy interview. Obviously, nobody is going to express open interest in the job as long as there's basketball left to play, so the value of making the early move seems negligible, if it exists at all.

    Obviously, I can't rank any current candidate as High probability. This is a tough job in a conference in flux, and a coach with juice isn't going to be thrilled at the notion of working for an employer who just pulled the rug out from under another member of the coaching fraternity. Someone will eventually take the job, but this has the potential to be an embarrassing, drawn-out process for the Cowboys brass if they don't act decisively.


    Quotable Coaches

    Today's quotes belong to the coaches who made a twisted mess out of the top 5 this week.

    "We had time to work on things when Rob was injured. There really wasn't an adjustment. There was an adjustment last year because of the timing. As a coaching staff, we adjusted at the first practice. This is who we have. This is how we have to push forward."

    -Matt Painter still has to downplay the impact of Robbie Hummel's season-ending injury in the wake of a win over No. 2 Ohio State
    "No one ever asked him to play in the low post before he got here. He couldn't catch the ball last year. Last year we never passed it to him. He could be unguarded and nobody would pass him the ball. Now people are frustrated because he's not finishing. Well, that means that someone is throwing him the ball. That's because guys are starting to trust him and he's learning how to play in there."

    -Frank Martin talks about sophomore Jordan Henriquez' sudden emergence in a huge upset of No. 1 Kansas
    "My hope was that by March we'd have a dangerous, scrappy, opportunistic team that could beat anybody in the country if they didn't bring their 'A' game or if they overlooked us. It appears we've hit that in late January and February."

    -Steve Lavin discusses his rapid turnaround of St. John's following an upset of No. 4 Pitt

    “With us making only four 3s, I'd have said ‘No way,' and I thought if it got out of the 50s, we'd be in trouble.''

    -Nebraska coach Doc Sadler still can't believe his team's 70-67 home victory over No. 3 Texas

    Photo: US Presswire

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