Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Around the Rim, College Basketball

Ugliest man in basketball gets win number 500

John Chaney has been around college basketball long enough to reach many milestones. For the 73-year old Hall of Fame coach, getting his 500th victory at Temple on Tuesday night was just another night on the job.

"I'm just a blue-collar guy that goes to work," Chaney said. "In any job I've ever had, I've never thought about a time when I would leave. I just go to work."
Chaney directed the Owls to a 69-37 season-opening victory over Army in the first round of the Preseason NIT.

Kansas sophomore center to be suspended

Kansas sophomore center Darnell Jackson will miss the first nine games of the season while serving an NCAA suspension.

Jackson, a potential starter who averaged two points and 1.7 rebounds as a freshman, has been connected to a Kansas booster near Jackson's hometown of Oklahoma City. The suspension is expected to be announced Wednesday.
Jackson becomes the highest-profile player since Connecticut's Charlie Villanueva in 2003 to serve such a lengthy NCAA suspension.

Huggins still on the recruiting trail

When Bob Huggins lands a coaching job this spring he will also bring in a strong recruiting class. According to CBS SortsLine.com here are some recruits who are waiting to see where the Huggins lands.

Jason Bennett: Bennett is a consensus top-100 recruit who says he would've committed to Cincinnati in August had Huggins received a contract extension instead of a pink slip. Bennett could have signed this week with Georgia, Clemson or Miami -- among others -- but a source close to Bennett says he is waiting to see where Huggins lands.
Ramar Smith: Smith, a 6-2 shooting guard generally ranked among the top 40 seniors, had been committed to Connecticut until he jeopardized his freshman eligibility by withdrawing from prep school this fall. The Huskies rescinded the scholarship offer, and Smith is back in Detroit, unsigned and uncommitted. At this time last year, Cincinnati was his top choice.
Ryan Pettinella: Pettinella, a 6-9 forward, transferred from Penn to Cincinnati this summer but was released from his scholarship after Huggins was let go. Pettinella, who averaged 4.8 points and three rebounds as a Penn sophomore, is attending Monroe (N.Y.) Community College but not playing. Like Bennett and Smith, he is letting the early signing period slip past. He'll have two years of Division I eligibility beginning in 2006-07, and his father says he wants to play for Huggins.
Herb Pope: Pope, a 6-9 forward from the class of 2007, is a top-10 recruit and a likely McDonald's All-American. When Huggins was at Cincinnati, Pope had the Bearcats among his favorite schools before committing in March to Pittsburgh. Five months later Pope backed off that commitment, and a source close to Pope says he is monitoring Huggins' future. The connection is Pope's AAU coach, J.O. Stright, founder of the Pittsburgh J.O.T.S. and one of Huggins' closest friends. How close? When Huggins suffered a massive heart attack in September 2002, he called Stright. Stright called the paramedics.
O.J. Mayo and Bill Walker: These are two more top-10 recruits from the Class of 2007, maybe even the two best recruits from that class. Mayo, 6-5, is one of the top backcourt prospects since Kobe Bryant. Walker, 6-6, is less refined but a Vince Carter-like athlete. Both play for North College Hill (Ohio) High near Cincinnati, and both became close to Huggins after regular unofficial visits to campus. Until Huggins was fired, Cincinnati was considered the front-runner to land Mayo, Walker and 6-11 teammate Keenan Ellis.

Do athletes get special privileges? Naahhhh

UConn point guard A.J. Price, 19, was charged with three counts of felony larceny and lying to police, a misdemeanor and he and teammate Marcus Williams are accused of trying to sell four stolen laptops last summer.

Despite already being suspended for the 2005-06 basketball season, Price was granted a special form of probation Tuesday for his role in the theft of laptop computers from dorm rooms.

Under the accelerated rehabilitation program for first-time offenders, Price will have no criminal record if he successfully completes 18 months of probation and 400 hours of community service unrelated to basketball.

In granting Price accelerated rehabilitation, Superior Court Judge Marcia Gleeson alluded to what she called a "life-altering event," a brain hemorrhage Price suffered a year ago that forced him to miss the 2004-05 season.

Price is considered a first-time offender despite an arrest in May 2004 in his hometown of Massapequa, N.Y., on misdemeanor criminal trespass charges. Prosecutors in New York initially chose not to pursue the case and charges were dismissed. But they have since decided to reopen it.

#3 Texas cruises past Southern 89-56

PJ Tucker is back on the court for the Longhorns and could take them a long way if he can stay eligible. Tucker scored 18 points on 7-11 shooting as Texas cruised. The Longhorns led 46-32 at the half then held Southern to just 24 second half points.

#14 Alabama struggles with Miami (OH)

The Tide definitely didn’t roll Tuesday night as the Redhawks played them to a 31-31 tie in the first half. Bama was able to pull away to a 64-58 win but needs to shake the rust off or the will be falling in the rankings instead of rising.