- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger1 day ago
The hatred Michigan State coach Tom Izzo already has for Twitter undoubtedly intensified Wednesday as a result of an alcohol-fueled rant by one of his former players.
Garrick Sherman, an ex-Spartans big man who later finished his career at Notre Dame, unleashed a memorable series of tweets about his two years in East Lansing. Among the subjects the 6-foot-10 center touched on included his poor relationship with Izzo, rampant marijuana use among his Michigan State teammates and the time he urinated in a condom to help an ex-Spartans wing pass a drug test.
(And, warning, some of Sherman's language was NSFW)
At the final four izzo told me “not to fucking embarrass myself in front of a crowd bigger than my home town” after I air balled a shot 😂😂😂
If that last tweet doesn’t make me twitter famous I give up
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger1 day ago
The NCAA's annual release of the newest Academic Progress Rate data will once again have minimal impact on the upcoming college basketball season.
None of the teams penalized for substandard scores hail from major conferences or even quality mid-major leagues.
Alcorn State, Florida A&M, Stetson and Central Arkansas are the only four teams that received postseason bans for the upcoming season. Alcorn State, Central Arkansas and Savannah State also face practice time restrictions, while Florida A&M faces that and other potential penalties including scholarship reductions, coach-specific punishment and contest restrictions.
To avoid a potential postseason ban, teams must achieve a multi-year APR score of at least 930. The power-conference programs with the least margin for error are Texas Tech (935), TCU (937), Mississippi State (938) and Washington State (938).
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger3 days ago
Thanks to an annual salary that has ballooned to nearly $8 million per year, John Calipari has priced himself out of the market for many NBA gigs because all but the most lucrative ones would require him accepting a pay cut.
Now the Kentucky coach's top assistant is in a similar position in terms of landing a head coaching job at the college level.
Kenny Payne has signed a three-year deal worth a total of $2.1 million, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported Monday. His average annual salary of $700,000 is higher than at least 22 of last season's NCAA tournament head coaches, according to USA Today's annual study, and more than twice as high as at least 14 of them.
What that means is Payne probably won't leave Kentucky until a power-conference program offers him a head coaching job — or at least not until a deep-pocketed mid-major comes along. Payne would have to take a significant pay cut to coach at even the most successful small-conference programs.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger4 days ago
Three weeks after he left to become the new coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, former Florida coach Billy Donovan found a unique way to express how much his two decades in Gainesville meant to him.
He and his wife took out a full-page ad in Sunday's Gainesville Sun to say goodbye to Gators fans and thank them for their understanding and support.
One reason saying goodbye was tough for Donovan is because he has so many good memories from his Florida tenure. He built a program that had previously only been to five NCAA tournaments into a national power, winning two national titles, reaching four Final Fours and advancing to the Elite Eight seven times.
Credit Donovan for a great gesture that will surely further solidify the affection Florida fans have for him. Here's the full text of the message from Donovan and his wife:
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger6 days ago
In a wide-ranging interview with the Asheville Citizen-Times earlier this week, North Carolina coach Roy Williams explained his greatest frustration with the NCAA's investigation into the academic fraud that took place at the school.
"It would help if the NCAA would just tell us what the allegations are," Williams said.
Williams apparently got his wish soon afterward. North Carolina announced Friday it has received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA, but chancellor Carol L. Folt and athletic director Bubba Cunningham said the school will not release the details of the report until a later date.
“We take these allegations very seriously, and we will carefully evaluate them to respond within the NCAA’s 90-day deadline,” Folt and Cunningham said in a joint statement. “The University will publicly release the NCAA’s notice as soon as possible.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger7 days ago
The departure of seven key players from last year's 38-win juggernaut didn't cause John Calipari to scale back his non-conference schedule for next season.
The Kentucky coach has assembled a non-league slate loaded with marquee games against name-brand opponents.
A Champions Classic matchup against reigning national champion Duke will provide the first test of how good next year's Wildcats will be. The Blue Devils lost four starters from their title team, but they'll reload behind returning standouts Matt Jones and Grayson Allen and the nation's most decorated recruiting class.
Among the challenging games Kentucky will play in December include a visit to UCLA, a neutral-court matchup with Ohio State in Brooklyn and a home game against rival Louisville. The Bruins should be highly motivated after the Wildcats embarrassed them in an 83-44 rout last December and the Cardinals should again have a Top 25 caliber team despite the loss of stars Montrezl Harrell and Terry Rozier.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger7 days ago
At a time when the NCAA is fighting the perception it profits from the images and likenesses of its unpaid athletes, one of its member schools has launched an advertising campaign that will only further weaken that already shaky argument.
LSU is using highly touted incoming freshman basketball player Ben Simmons as the centerpiece of a 2015-16 season ticket promotional blitz that will include billboards and print and social media advertising. The "25 is Coming" campaign is such a blatant reference to Simmons' jersey number that the school didn't even bother to pretend otherwise in the release it sent out Wednesday.
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger8 days ago
The unrest that gripped Baltimore last month led several Coppin State basketball recruits to withdraw their commitments to the program.
Coppin State coach Michael Grant told the Baltimore Sun that the rioting and violence that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray, who suffered a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody and later died, scared away two members of his eight-man recruiting class.
Grant said he tried to reassure parents that the tensions in the city were a temporary problem and not a regular part of the atmosphere, but he ultimately chose not to push too hard because parents should feel comfortable about the environment to which they are sending their kids.
"The parents were very, very concerned," Grant told the Sun. "Some dealt with it pretty well, and a couple of kids we ended up losing because of the activity going on. They said that they didn't want their kids in that type of environment."
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger8 days ago
John Calipari's "Players First" recruiting philosophy and the Kentucky fan base's thirst for championships clashed again Wednesday when the Wildcats coach addressed a crowd of 3,000 business executives after receiving a humanitarian award at Rupp Arena.
Most of the 15-minute speech consisted of Calipari describing the qualities a good leader should have and explaining how he gets his players to come together in pursuit of a common goal. The only potential surprise was what Calipari insisted Kentucky's primary objective last season was.
"Last year we started the season with a goal," Calipari said. "You may think it was to win a national title or win all the games, [but] it was to get eight players drafted. Well, how can you be about your team if you're worried about getting players drafted? We kind of work it the other way. What are your dreams? What are you looking for? What are you trying to get out of life? How can we help you with that?
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger9 days ago
The past two years, Virginia's modest non-conference slate didn't reflect its sudden emergence as a national power.
That will change next season when the two-time ACC champions will play a non-league schedule worthy of their newfound elite status.
The marquee non-league game on Virginia's schedule next season will be a potential top 10 clash against reigning Big East champion Villanova. The Cavaliers will host the Wildcats next December and play a return game in Philadelphia the following season, CBSSports.com reported Tuesday.
In addition to that intriguing matchup, Virginia will also host a loaded Cal team expected to crack the top 20 in the preseason polls next year. The Cavaliers will also visit Ohio State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, face Big 12 power West Virginia on a neutral floor in the Jimmy V Classic and travel to George Washington in a return game of a home-and-home series that began last season.