Jeff Eisenberg

  • Like
  • Follow

Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of the Dagger. Prior to joining Yahoo! Sports in Feb. 2010, Eisenberg worked for 4 1/2 years at The Press-Enterprise covering everything from UCLA basketball, to USC football, to the Los Angeles Lakers. If he's not watching basketball, you'll usually find Eisenberg enjoying the California sunshine, sampling craft brews or cooking on the grill.

  • Arkansas' dreadful day includes losses on and off the floor

    Arkansas freshman Jimmy Whitt (AP Photo/Samantha Baker)Arkansas freshman Jimmy Whitt (AP Photo/Samantha Baker)A dreadful day for Arkansas basketball began Wednesday morning when a coveted in-state shooting guard coach Mike Anderson had pursued for years announced he was committing to Kentucky.

    Things only got worse by Wednesday night when an awful performance from the Razorbacks only validated Malik Monk's decision not to attend his hometown school.

    Arkansas lost 88-80 at home against a shorthanded Akron team that shot 51 percent from the field despite not even having its full complement of depth as a result of injuries. The Razorbacks never led and trailed by as many as 14 points midway through the second half.

    The upset loss highlighted how far Arkansas (1-1) has fallen between the end of last season and the start of this one. A Razorbacks team that won 27 games and reached the NCAA tournament last season lost all five starters and 78 percent of its scoring.

    SEC player of the year Bobby Portis and second-team all-league guard Michael Qualls both entered the NBA draft. Fellow starters Ky

    Read More »from Arkansas' dreadful day includes losses on and off the floor
  • Missed dunk in closing seconds costs Illinois a potential win

    Michael Finke may have a hard time sleeping tonight.

    The Illinois forward missed a tip dunk in the closing seconds Wednesday night that almost certainly would have given his team a quality road win at Providence. 

    With the Illini trailing by a point and just a few ticks left on the clock, Malcolm Hill attacked off the dribble but missed a contested layup in heavy traffic. Finke blew by a flat-footed Ben Bentil and crashed the glass for a put-back slam, but his two-handed attempt caromed hard off the back iron, dooming Illinois to a 60-59 loss that will be especially hard to swallow. 

    It's cruel that Wednesday's game will be remembered for Finke's botched dunk attempt because the redshirt freshman had actually played very well. Finke scored 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had a pair of assists, earning crunch-time minutes after playing sparingly in both of Illinois' first two games.

    Among the other silver linings for Illinois was the performance of promising freshman guard Jalen

    Read More »from Missed dunk in closing seconds costs Illinois a potential win
  • West Coast Bias: Why Andrew Andrews didn't flee Washington

    Before Washington's season ended in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament last March, Dony Wilcher's phone was already buzzing.

    1. Gonzaga (0-0): Opener against Pitt halted early when court become a slip and slide.
    2. Arizona (2-0): Freshman Alonzo Trier's greatest skill is an ability to draw fouls.
    3. Cal (2-0): Freshmen have shown promise, but Tyrone Wallace is the early MVP.
    4. Oregon (2-0): No Ennis or Bell? No problem. Chris Boucher has been a revalation.
    5. Utah (2-0): Edged formidable San Diego State behind 21 from Jordan Loveridge
    6. San Diego State (1-1): Dakarai Allen, Winston Shepard bright spots of Utah loss.
    7. Oregon State (2-0): Freshmen bring scoring punch to a team that needed it.
    8. UCLA (1-1): Season-opening loss to Monmouth did not inspire confidence. 
    9. Colorado State (1-0): Quality road win at Northern Iowa was a promising start.
    10. Colorado (1-1): Encouraging for the Buffs: George King's unlikely
    Read More »from West Coast Bias: Why Andrew Andrews didn't flee Washington
  • Denzel Valentine does it all in Michigan State's comeback win

    The formula Michigan State used to upset fourth-ranked Kansas on Tuesday night isn't one the Spartans can possibly hope to duplicate too frequently this season. 

    Not even an All-American candidate like Denzel Valentine can shoulder this heavy a load very often.

    Michigan State rallied for a 79-73 victory because Valentine refused to accept defeat. The senior guard had a hand in all but five points the Spartans scored after Kansas expanded its lead to 11 points midway through the second half.

    There was the corner 3-pointer Valentine drilled with a hand in his face to give Michigan State its first lead since the opening minutes. There was this pinpoint feed to Matt McQuaid for a go-ahead 3-pointer on the Spartans' next possession. And there was his leaning jumper in the lane with 90 seconds to go that put his team in front for good.

    Valentine became the fourth Michigan State player ever to record a triple-double, finishing with 29 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists. Of the 79 points the

    Read More »from Denzel Valentine does it all in Michigan State's comeback win
  • Kentucky too quick, too fast and too good for Duke

    Five minutes into the second half of the showcase game of this year's Champions Classic, Kentucky ran a play seldom seen at any level of basketball.

    The 5-on-1 fast break.

    The possession, which ended with an uncontested Marcus Lee put-back, exemplified why second-ranked Kentucky was able to keep fifth-ranked Duke at arm's length for much of their battle between two of college basketball's most tradition-rich programs. The quicker, faster Wildcats won 74-63 because they generated many more easy baskets off the dribble and in transition than the Blue Devils did.

    Kentucky was at its most dangerous in the open floor when the ball was in the hands of its trio of talented guards. Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray and Isaiah Briscoe attacked relentlessly, creating scoring chances off the dribble in half-court sets and seemingly turning every Duke turnover or long rebound into a fast-break layup or dunk. 

    Of the 30 baskets Kentucky scored, Ulis, Murray or Briscoe either scored or assisted on all but

    Read More »from Kentucky too quick, too fast and too good for Duke
  • Whose stock has risen and fallen during the tip-off marathon?

    A look at whose stock has risen and fallen during this year's college basketball tip-off marathon. Check back throughout Tuesday's action because this file will be updated all day: 


    Strong defense was the biggest reason Oregon edged 20th-ranked Baylor 74-67 on Monday night. The Ducks limited the Bears to 39 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers including six from point guard Lester Medford. One of the keys to Oregon's defensive effort was its array of quick, athletic wings capable of closing out fast on shooters and keeping their man out of the lane. They could afford to extend their defense even with top shot blocker Jordan Bell sidelined with a foot injury since junior college transfer Chris Boucher again filled in admirably, disrupting Baylor's offense with his long arms, quick feet and keen instincts. Baylor did score 30 points in the paint and rebound more than 40 percent of its misses, but those numbers were tolerable for Oregon considering the

    Read More »from Whose stock has risen and fallen during the tip-off marathon?
  • Dunk of the year nominee: UNLV freshman's soaring slam

    I've said UNLV freshman Derrick Jones may make more appearances on SportsCenter this season than any other college basketball player. This is why. Few if any players across the country can get up as high as Jones did Monday night on this soaring second-half jam against overmatched New Mexico Highlands. The freshman guard took off from just outside the paint, igniting a fun celebration on the UNLV bench. Jones finished with 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting as the Rebels rolled to a 107-45 rout. Tougher competition awaits UNLV soon. The Rebels will open with UCLA next Monday at the Maui Invitational. 

    Previous Dunk of the Year nominees:

    UNLV freshman's soaring slam

    - - - - - - -

    Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

    Read More »from Dunk of the year nominee: UNLV freshman's soaring slam
  • Virginia becomes this season's first top 10 team to fall

    With all but two key players back from a team that captured its second consecutive ACC title last season, Virginia coach Tony Bennett upgraded his non-conference schedule to reflect his program's newfound status as a national power.

    That move may backfire unless the Cavaliers play better than they did Monday night.

    Sixth-ranked Virginia lost 73-68 at Atlantic 10 contender George Washington because the Cavaliers were one-dimensional on offense and couldn't compensate with their usual level of defensive dominance. The Colonials shot a respectable 45.1 percent from the field, attempted 28 foul shots and scored the most points anyone has against Virginia in regulation since Dec. 30, 2013.

    Virginia's packline defense prides itself on walling off the paint and forcing teams to shoot contested jump shots, but George Washington dominated around the basket Monday night. 

    When Virginia doubled the post on the catch as has been its signature, forward Kevin Larsen calmly dribbled out of it and

    Read More »from Virginia becomes this season's first top 10 team to fall
  • Mount St. Joseph honors Lauren Hill with a poignant tribute

    Mount St. Joseph College found a clever way to honor the memory of Lauren Hill when it opened the season against Hiram College on Saturday at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati.

    The Lions ran Hill's signature play on their first possession, but their purpose wasn't to try to score a basket.

    Guard Taylor Brown bounced a post entry pass to teammate Meredeth Harfiel, who placed the ball on the same spot on the floor where Hill memorably sank her first collegiate basket last fall. Players from both sides then gathered around the ball and hoisted their right hands in the air with their index finger and thumb forming the shape of an "L."

    The poignant gesture drew cheers and applause from fans at the Cintas Center, many of whom had come to the same venue the previous year to watch Hill play in her first college game while battling a rare, inoperable form of pediatric brain cancer. Mount St. Joseph pushed to have

    Read More »from Mount St. Joseph honors Lauren Hill with a poignant tribute
  • Eight storylines to watch during this year's tip-off marathon

    The most compelling portion of this year's tip-off marathon should be the last four hours.

    Jammed into Tuesday's primetime time slot are three of this season's best non-conference matchups: the revival of the Maryland-Georgetown rivalry and the Champions Classic pitting Duke against Kentucky and Kansas against Michigan State.

    That trio of games will be must-see TV for college hoops fans, but there are a few quality matchups earlier in the marathon too. Here's a look at eight storylines to watch during this year's marathon: 

    1. Can Grayson Allen continue his torrid start?

    The unlikely hero of last season's national championship game is demonstrating his 16-point onslaught against Wisconsin was no fluke. Allen has racked up 54 points in two games this season, scorching opposing defenders off the dribble when they crowd him and burying threes in their faces when they give him too much space. Those performances were encouraging for a Duke program that lost its four leading scorers from

    Read More »from Eight storylines to watch during this year's tip-off marathon


(4,590 Stories)