Category Archives: NCAA Basketball

Another Gillispie era nearing the end

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The Billy Gillispie era in Lubbock appears to be coming to a close.

By Josh Kramer

On April 6, 2007, Billy Gillispie was on top of the world.  He had just been hired as the head basketball coach at the University of Kentucky, one of the elite coaching jobs in sports (just ask John Calipari).  After leading Texas A&M to three-straight 20-win seasons and two consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, Gillispie was a hot commodity.  Many figured that Coach Gillispie would lead Kentucky back to the promised land and help one of the most tradition-filled basketball programs in the nation secure number eight (that feat of course happened in April).

Little did anyone know, April 6, 2007 would be the beginning of the end of Billy Gillespie’s career.  Ever since, the wheels have been coming off slowly but surely. Continue reading

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Dez Wells is out

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Xavier’s very talented rising sophomore Dez Wells (pictured above) was dismissed from the team and the University yesterday.

By Jeremy Powers

Dez Wells is an impressive young player.

Wells is a six foot five inch beast of a guard, who plays above the rim, using his athletic abilities to his advantage.

Wells is a stat-sheet stuffer, who proved that by averaging nearly 10 points and five rebounds per game as a freshman.

Wells is the kind of player college coaches covet as a cornerstone of their program.

Wells was a Xavier Musketeer.

The Atlantic 10 All Freshman Team selection was expelled from XU on Tuesday after breaking the university’s student code of conduct. CBSSports.com reported that Wells’ expulsion was in response to a sexual-related incident, which cannot be detailed further.

It’s good to see that Xavier Conduct Board (UCB) did not turn to leniency when dealing with this violation. When dealing with popular student athletes, schools feel an immense amount of pressure to do the right thing, while preserving the money-maker, which is sports. Strong actions from Xavier supported that no student-athlete is different from any other student, and that is worth commending. Continue reading

College Basketball Transfer Rankings

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. According to our very own Jeremy Powers, Mark Lyons (pictured above) is one of the big transfers to keep an eye on in 2012/2013.

By Jeremy Powers

College basketball players are on the move now more than ever. Most programs are in need of that one spark plug to help the team get over that proverbial hump. Here are the top ten college basketball transfers that will help their teams improve this season.

10. Jabari Brown (Missouri) – Brown was a highly talented recruit, which was supposed to help rebuild a Oregon program that hasn’t made it to the NCAA tournament in recent years. After two games in Eugene, the shooter from California jumped ship and will help replace Kim English and Marcus Denmon.

9. Mark Lyons (Arizona) – A former Atlantic 10 standout while at Xavier, Lyons will bring back court depth and leadership to Arizona. Lyons will be making the transition to point guard for his former coach Sean Miller. Continue reading

Conference realignment has potential to ruin mid-major hoops

Photo courtesy of thevictoryformation.com. Our very own Nick Craddock gives his thoughts on NCAA Conference Realignment.

By Nick Craddock

There are college football dudes and college basketball guys. I’m more of a college basketball guy. I suppose it’s part of my genetic makeup, like it was in my Canadian forefather, Dr. James Naismith. But now, conference realignment is becoming downright cumbersome as it seems to be forcing me to cater to college football at the cost of quality collegiate hoops from top to bottom of Division I.

I’m not naïve enough to think that the NCAA is not (at least in part) driven by making money and although I was unhappy with the first wave of conference realignment in the fall (i.e. the one where Boise State became a member of the Big East among other moves where the major conference poached teams from one another), the desire for BCS schools to ensure their BCS Conference auto-bid status, lock up lucrative bowl tie-ins, and find the best television markets and contracts was rational.

Rivalries were shattered, athletic departments’ future travel budgets soared, and conference monikers became incredibly stupid (of course, everyone knows 12 teams play in the Big Ten, but 10 teams play in the Big 12, that’s just good logic). But money was to be made so fans were supposed to embrace the change and start booking off work now for those cross-country drives to see the heated Rutgers-Boise State series in person. Continue reading

Keep an eye on the Wildcats

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. With the arrival of Mark Lyons (pictured above), the Arizona Wildcats are not only a favorite to win the Pac-12, but they are also a contender to make a deep run in March.

By Josh Kramer

Now I already know what you all are thinking.  Who isn’t already keeping an eye on the Wildcats when it comes to college basketball?  Calipari’s “Traveling All- Stars” have appeared in two consecutive Final Fours and of course cut down the nets in April.  I am not talking about Lexington’s Wildcats though.  I am referring to the Arizona Wildcats.

So the Pac-12 this past season in terms of hoops was an utter embarrassment.  The Washington Huskies took home the dubious honor of becoming the first team in the modern era of the NCAA tournament to win a power-conference regular-season championship and not receive an at-large bid.  Well that was the past.  The Pac-12 will be far stronger during the 2012/2013 season in large part due to to two familiar faces:  UCLA and Arizona.  Today though, I am focused on Lute Olson’s former employer.

After a disappointing season in which they lost in the opening round of the NIT, the expectations are once again high in Tucson.  First of all the Wildcats are led by one of the best coaches in America that is still flying under the radar, Sean Miller.  Miller is another coach that was produced from the coaching gold mine that is Xavier University.  This guy did a remarkable job in leading the Wildcats to the Elite Eight in 2011 and helping mold Derrick Williams into a lottery pick.  Things looked bleak for Arizona though with the transfer of point guard Josiah Turner.  In actuality, things just got a whole lot better.

I am not sure Arizona knows what they are getting in former Xavier star Mark Lyons. Continue reading

Summitt reached the summit

Photo courtesy of abcnews.go.com. Pat Summitt (pictured above) is retiring after 38 years at Tennessee. She truly reached the summit of her profession.

By Josh Kramer

Summit:  The highest attainable level of achievement (courtesy of dictionary.com).

Not too many people in this world can say that they reached the summit of their chosen field.  That they could climb no higher.  That all goals and aspirations had been achieved in regards to their industry.  The same goes for sports.  Out of millions of athletes and coaches, only a handful can truly say that they reached the “summit”of their sport.

John Wooden, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky Continue reading

Hoosier Time in 2012/2013

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tom Crean (pictured above) has reawakened Indiana basketball and currently has them sitting as a favorite for the 2012/2013 championship.

By Josh Kramer

6. 10. 12.  Want to know what those numbers signify?  The win totals for one of college basketball’s elite programs in 2009, 2010, 2011.  Well have no fear Bloomington, the Hoosiers are here.  After winning 27 games last season in which they defeated three top five teams at the friendly, or not so friendly (for opponents) confines of Assembly Hall, Tom Crean seems to have brought Indiana basketball all the way back from the dead.

Now I realize most feel like December 10, 2011 was the official reawakening of Indiana Hoosiers basketball.  And maybe it was when thousands of students, alumni, and fans rushed the court in a wild scene following a Christian Watford three-pointer at the buzzer to upset the eventual National Champion Kentucky.  There really were countless highs for the Hoosiers during a season in which Indiana made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008.  With a stellar top-ten recruiting class set to arrive in Bloomington this Fall, expectations are high with the five-time National Champion Hoosiers.  In my eyes though, yesterday was possibly the second biggest day in the reawakening of Indiana basketball.

Cody Zeller and Christian Watford will both return for the 2012/2013 season. Continue reading