Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 21 hrs ago
The geography of American swimming underwent a startling, seismic shift Friday when Bob Bowman became the new coach at Arizona State University.
Bowman is best known as Michael Phelps' coach since childhood, though he has developed other internationally elite swimmers as well. Other than a stint at Michigan prior to the 2008 Olympics, the Bowman-Phelps tandem has done its work at North Baltimore Aquatic Club in Phelps' hometown.
Now, after the startling press conference sight of Bowman flashing the ASU pitchfork Friday afternoon while wearing a maroon-and-gold tie, that will change. Bowman is headed to Tempe to put some juice into a historically underachieving college program, and Phelps – winner of a record 22 Olympic medals, 18 of them gold – will come along to make Arizona State his training base heading into the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Bowman said he plans to be in Tempe full-time in August. Attempts to reach Phelps Friday for comment were unsuccessful.
"I wanted to be at a place where we could build something special," Bowman said in his introductory press conference Friday. "Everything I could want in a school is here."
Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago
The NBA will announce its Most Valuable Player soon, and by most accounts the favorite to win is Golden State's Stephen Curry.
If that happens, the Davidson College product will join the ranks of the most under-recruited MVPs in NBA history. He might even lead the class.
In the past 45 years, a total of five MVPs have come from well outside the college conference power structure: Steve Nash of Santa Clara (named MVP twice); Karl Malone of Louisiana Tech (also a two-time winner); David Robinson of Navy; Julius Erving of Massachusetts; and Willis Reed of Grambling. (That excludes five MVPs who didn't go to college: four-time winner LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki and three-time winner Moses Malone. All of those players were can't-miss stars who could have attended almost any college of their choosing.)
Only Dr. J, who was from New York, stands out as a fairly mystifying non-recruit.
Until now, and until Curry.
"He had all the technical talents," McKillop said, "but also all the emotional talents."
"Some ACC schools didn't even want him to walk on," Brown said.
Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago
From the days of Reconstruction, Southerners have not always reacted kindly to Northern interlopers. “Carpetbaggers” was hardly a term of endearment.
The stakes are far less serious now than they were then, but college football coaches from the Southeastern and Atlantic Coast conferences may feel similarly regarding Yankee invaders.
For the second consecutive summer, Penn State coaches are crossing the Mason-Dixon Line to work satellite football camps designed to raid the local talent. Last year they were in Atlanta and central Florida; this year the locales are Charlotte, N.C. and Norfolk, Va. The Nittany Lions have company from the Big Ten this time – Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan coach staff is going satellite camping in Alabama, Florida and Texas.
Last week Ohio State coach Urban Meyer clucked his tongue and shook his head over these Dixie dives through a Big Ten loophole, which allows schools to work far-flung camps that the SEC and ACC forbid. Then he said his program may follow suit.
“I think that should be outlawed,” Meyer said in one breath. Shortly thereafter: “If it helps us, we’ll do it. And I think we might try one this year.”
Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State offensive coordinator Ed Warinner sat at a round table Saturday, reporters ringing him two deep after the Buckeyes’ spring game.
Demand for information was high. Supply was low.
“The position you all want to talk about,” Warinner said, “there’s nothing else to talk about there.”
The position is quarterback, and with apologies to Warinner that’s what everyone wants to talk about until a 2015 starter is named. This is the most intriguing personnel competition in the nation. Maybe ever.
There have been plenty of two-man quarterback battles between worthy competitors. But how many three-man battles? On a team that won the national title last season and will enter August as the prohibitive title favorite?
The Buckeyes quite possibly have the most proven quarterback talent in college football history. They have a trio of players who have won, and won big, and played superbly in the process.
Braxton Miller is 22-2 as a starting quarterback under Urban Meyer, finished fifth in the 2012 Heisman Trophy voting and set the school record for single-season total offense. His shoulder injury last August was supposed to doom the Buckeyes’ national championship aspirations.
Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Very few college football teams in America have the stadium size or fan base to draw 99,000 fans to a game.
Only one can draw that many to a spring scrimmage.
An announced throng of 99,391 nearly filled 104,944-seat Ohio Stadium on Saturday for the defending national champion Ohio State Buckeyes’ spring scrimmage. The crowd is a national spring game record, eclipsing the previous record of 95,722 – set by Ohio State in 2009.
"I was shocked. That's ridiculous," safety Tyvis Powell said. "I don't think it's going to ever be like this anywhere else in the world."
Alabama has had crowds of more than 90,000 since Nick Saban arrived in 2007. Prior to Saturday, Nebraska had the largest spring crowd of 2015 at 76,881.
With tickets going for $5 and the bandwagon full coming off the school’s first national title since 2002, advance sales reached 61,000 Friday morning. School officials anticipated up to 90,000 fans. But with the weather nearly perfect, the walk-up crowd surpassed expectations, leading to a record turnout.
Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago
The fact that Greg Gard is, as of this writing, still the associate head basketball coach at Wisconsin is great news for the Badgers. It is bad news for the rest of college basketball, because it speaks to the nonsensical nature of the hires made in the sport.
Gard just completed his 14th season at Wisconsin, and has been with Bo Ryan since 1993. Gard gets first call on opponent scouting reports, and serves as the Badgers’ recruiting coordinator – and no school in the country has done a better job identifying unheralded players who become future stars. He is integral to a program that has won consistently all century, and has moved into the elite echelon in the last two years.
So, why is this man still waiting for his chance to be a head coach?
In a hiring-and-firing cycle that saw more than its usual share of strangeness, that question is more pertinent than ever. Trying to figure out what schools are thinking come hiring time seems to get more difficult every year, as proven assistants at big-time programs continue to not get hired.
The current trends seem to be:
Nostalgia is in.
NBA backgrounds are in.
Recent success is out.
Hiring high-major assistant coaches is out.
Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 18 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS – The Krzyzewski family picture at midcourt looked rather different from the scene in this same city in 1991.
Back then, when Mike Krzyzewski was winning his first national title, there was just the Duke coach, his wife, Mickie, and his three daughters. Monday night, after the latest title was secured with a gritty comeback to beat Wisconsin 68-63, they needed a wide-angle lens to get everyone in the picture.
There was Mike and his wife and three daughters, but also three sons-in-law and nine grandchildren. Cradled in the coach's left arm was the youngest grandkid, 20-month-old Caden.
Caden had a pacifier in his mouth and no shoes on his feet. In his right hand was a piece of the confetti that rained down from the rafters of Lucas Oil Stadium minutes earlier, after the Blue Devils had won. The little guy wore a blue Duke jersey with the No. 5 on it – equaling the number of national titles "Poppy" has won, second in college basketball history to only John Wooden.
"We don't do rent-a-player," Ryan said Monday night.
Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 19 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS – If anyone can laugh, skip and sing their way through a minefield, it apparently is the Wisconsin Badgers.
America’s loosest college basketball team is attempting to complete the most arduous trek for a No. 1 seed in NCAA tournament history. The Badgers’ path to immortality is brutal – Kentucky on a Saturday and Duke on a Monday to end it all – but they seem to be having too much fun to notice how hard this is.
This is a group that giggles its way through press conferences. That dispatched backup forward Vitto Brown to be part of a quartet that sang the national anthem Saturday. That has starting forward Nigel Hayes dishing out polysyllabic Words of the Day to NCAA stenographers (Sunday’s offerings were logorrhea and succedaneum). That attending the Player of the Year award presentation for Frank Kaminsky en masse Thursday, commandeered the microphone and asked him questions.
The lovable dorks of the Dance are showing no sign of stress.
If they get this done, it will be one of the greatest NCAA tournament runs ever. Period.
Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 20 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS – To borrow a phrase from the Cameron Indoor Stadium announcer: Here comes Duke.
Like a freight train.
Here comes Duke, back into the national championship game, with a very real chance to win. A large segment of America may not like it, but that segment may just have to deal with it.
The Blue Devils are playing the best of any team in the NCAA tournament. Their average margin of victory is 17.4 points, with only one game decided by single digits. After ripping Michigan State 81-61 in the first national semifinal at Lucas Oil Stadium Saturday night, they'll get a chance to cap off this remarkable Big Dance surge with a fifth title Monday night.
This is a team peaking at the perfect time.
From late in the first half onward, this was another low-stress Duke victory. The lead was double digits for the final 22:40, and coach Mike Krzyzewski was able to empty his bench for the third time in this tournament.
"We've been trying to hang our hats on the defensive end," forward Justise Winslow said.
Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports 21 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS – Aaron Harrison launched The Shot. Josh Gasser leaped to contest. As the ball arced through the air, Harrison's follow-through met Gasser's lunge.
"I think our fingers actually interlocked," Gasser recalled.
Their fates interlocked as well. And Harrison had the upper hand that night.
The Wisconsin guard had given the Kentucky guard just enough space to rise up for a 3-pointer in the dying seconds in last year's Final Four, with the Wildcats down two. Despite Harrison's history of clutch shooting – he'd made shots to beat Louisville and Michigan the previous week – Gasser believes his defense was solid.
"We played him exactly how we wanted to," Gasser said. "When it left his hand I was feeling pretty good."
When he turned his head toward the rim, he was feeling pretty bad. Harrison's shot rattled and dropped with 5.7 seconds left, carrying Kentucky to a 74-73 victory and into the national championship game. The Badgers were crushed.
"Shocked," was the word Traevon Jackson used Friday, more than once.
But will the outcome be different this time?