- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger8 hrs ago
The Big Ten released its conference schedule Thursday. With the addition of Maryland and Rutgers creating an even more unbalanced schedule, here are five thoughts on who benefits and who suffers because of the new format:
1. Nobody has a dream slate: When the Big Ten announced its scheduling format to accommodate for the addition of Maryland and Rutgers, there was concern that the unbalanced schedule could tip the league race in favor of a contender with a particularly favorable slate. Big Ten teams will now play five league opponents twice and the rest once, so a team that played Rutgers, Northwestern, Penn State and Purdue twice apiece would theoretically have an advantage this season over one that drew a pair of games apiece against Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. That may come to fruition in the future, but credit the Big Ten for doing a good job avoiding that scenario in year one — at least on paper. Every preseason league title threat faces at least one other projected contender twice and nobody has a breeze of a schedule.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger4 days ago
Before he regained the strength to move around without a wheelchair or to speak in more than a whisper, Austin Hatch vowed to friends and family that he'd someday fulfill his commitment play basketball for the University of Michigan.
Against all odds, he has delivered on that promise.
Sorry, it's getting a little dusty in here.
More than three years after the second deadly plane crash of his life splintered his family and left him in a coma, Hatch made his Michigan debut Sunday night during the Wolverines' first exhibition game on their preseason tour of Italy. Hatch went scoreless in three minutes, but that hardly detracted from the joy he experienced achieving what doctors said he couldn't.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger7 days ago
One of the many people who believe Emmanuel Mudiay erred by turning pro is the man who would have coached the nation's No. 1 point guard prospect in college.
SMU coach Larry Brown told CBSSports.com on Thursday that he remains close with Mudiay, but he believes the Texas native made "a bad decision" signing a one-year, $1.2 million contract with a Chinese pro team rather than playing for the Mustangs.
"I thought it was a bad decision but I'm going to support him because he decided to come with us because he trusted us and thought we could help him," Brown said.
Coaches from across college basketball have participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge this week to help raise money and awareness for research for ALS, the neurodegenerative condition also known as Lou Gherig's disease.
Here's a look at six of the most fun, creative videos:
1. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski: Coach K's nine grandkids lived every North Carolina fan's dream when they doused college basketball's winningest coach with two buckets of ice water. Krzyzewski's reaction is amusing and his challenge to his USA basketball players was great too.
2. Nebraska coach Tim Miles: Not only did Miles and assistant coaches Kenya Hunter and Jim Molinari allow their players to dump buckets of ice-cold water on their heads, they also threw in another twist for a good cause. They wore "Avery Strong" t-shirts in honor of Avery Harriman, the young son of assistant Chris Harriman who recently found out that his leukemia is no longer in remission.
One of college basketball's premier intrastate events will remain a mid-December staple for many years to come.
Athletic directors from Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame and Butler jointly announced Thursday that each of their respective schools have agreed to participate in the Crossroads Classic through at least 2019. The previous contract extension was set to run out after the 2015 event.
The Crossroads Classic is an annual doubleheader pitting Indiana's four premier basketball programs against one-another with the matchups rotating year by year. Once known as the "Hoosier Classic" and held at Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, the event has drawn sellout crowds to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis every year since its revival in 2010.
"We are thrilled to be the home of the Crossroads Classic through 2019," Rick Fuson, chief operating officer of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, said in a statement. "The Classic has become a popular and prestigious annual doubleheader bringing together four great in-state institutions."
Eleven years after they parted amid bruised feelings and bitterness, it's great to see that Kansas and Roy Williams are finally reconnecting.
Williams, Larry Brown and Ted Owens will return to Allen Fieldhouse on Oct. 27 to help current coach Bill Self commemorate the 60th season of Kansas basketball in the venerable building. It will be Williams' first public appearance at the arena where he coached for 15 years since he left Kansas for his alma mater North Carolina in 2003.
"The Jayhawk faithful make it almost impossible for the opponents every night," Williams said in a statement released by Kansas earlier this week. "Coaching in that arena is a real treat and I loved it. I'm ecstatic to be part of this anniversary celebration."
Manhattan won't have to wait long to find out if a change of scenery can help Jermaine Lawrence become the difference-maker he was projected to be out of high school.
The 6-foot-9 Cincinnati transfer received a waiver and will be eligible to play right away during the 2014-15 season, Jaspers head coach Steve Masiello announced on Wednesday. Lawrence left the Bearcats this spring so he could be closer to his ailing father in Springfield Gardens, N.Y.
It will be fascinating to see how much Lawrence can contribute at Manhattan because his freshman season in Cincinnnati was a disappointment.
A consensus five-star recruit rated as high as No. 19 in the Class of 2013, Lawrence arrived in Cincinnati as the second-highest-rated prospect of the Mick Cronin era, but he never hit his stride as a freshman. The long, athletic big man averaged only 2.8 points and 2.7 rebounds and shot just 33.3 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from the foul line, also suffering a toe injury that sidelined him for a month during league play.
The most noteworthy aspect of Skal Labissiere's list of six potential schools is which program is no longer in the running to land the coveted Class of 2015 prospect.
Ole Miss didn't make the cut even though coach Andy Kennedy had made it known that Labissiere's legal guardian, Gerald Hamilton, could join his staff as a third assistant if that would help secure a commitment.
Labissiere announced via Twitter on Tuesday night that he had narrowed his list to six schools: Kentucky, Memphis, North Carolina, Georgetown, Tennessee and Baylor. Besides Ole Miss, the Wildcats, Tigers and Tar Heels previously were thought to be the favorites to land the 6-foot-11 Haitian center, who is rated No. 14 in Rivals.com's Class of 2015 rankings.
Even though most of Keifer Sykes' gravity-defying dunks last season came via alley-oop passes from his teammates, the high-flying Green Bay guard doesn't need help from anyone else to deliver a memorable slam.
Sykes proved that this past weekend at CP3 Elite Guard Camp when he completed one of the better self alley-oop slams we've seen in recent years.
Standing well behind the top of the key, Sykes lobbed the ball high in the air, sprinted toward the rim and caught it in midair. The 5-foot-11 rising senior then finished the play with a windmill jam so spectacular that it drew gasps and applause from many of the other campers and even inspired a congratulatory high five from Chris Paul himself.
Those familiar with mid-major basketball are probably well aware that Sykes isn't known only for his dunks.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger10 days ago
Nebraska players found an excuse to dump buckets of ice-cold water on coach Tim Miles and two of his assistants without actually capturing a championship first.
They did it to help Miles complete the Ice Bucket Challenge to help raise money and awareness for research for ALS, the neurodegenerative condition also known as Lou Gherig's disease.
The Ice Bucket Challenge was the brainchild of friends and family members of Pete Frates, a 29-year-old former Boston College baseball player who learned he had ALS in 2012. Each person who endures the icy water nominates a handful of others to complete the task themselves in the next 24 hours.
Anyone active on social media has probably seen friends, family members or celebrities take the Ice Bucket Challenge the past few days. In the sports world, Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby and New York Giants owner John Mara.