Saturday, March 31, 2012

News On The Horizon 3/31/2012

Utah Jazz drop 104-103 duel to Sacramento Kings--Deseret News

Following a Utah timeout, the Jazz in-bounded the ball to Gordon Hayward, who drove hard to the basket and put up an off-balance shot, which missed badly. Derrick Favors' tip-in try came up short, and Jefferson's second tip-in attempt bounced around and dropped through the basket after the final buzzer had sounded.
Hayward had 19 points, Burks 15, Paul Millsap 12 and Devin Harris 11 for Utah, while Earl Watson contributed nine points, seven rebounds and seven assists off the bench and Favors had 14 rebounds — but went 0 of 13 from the field.

Utah Jazz-Sacramento Kings: Report card--Deseret News

FORWARDS: Paul Millsap had 12 points and blocked DeMarcus Cousins' shot three times before fouling out. Gordon Hayward missed a potentially game-winning shot, but finished with 19 points and five rebounds. Jason Thompson and Travis Outlaw did little for the Kings, combining to shoot 1-for-10.

Grade: B+

Kurt Kragthorpe: Jazz fail to finish off Jimmer Fredette’s Kings--Salt Lake Tribune

The Jazz’s final play started with Gordon Hayward’s drive, but there would be no repeating his last-second shot in the lane that gave Brownsburg High School an Indiana state championship four years ago. He missed wildly, then Favors swatted the ball off the rim and the game ended before Jefferson could knock the ball into the basket.

Butler to Atlantic 10? Here are pros and cons--The Indy Star
Stevens debunks transfer rumors--Indy Star Butler Insider

Recap: Toronto vs. Miami--Miami Herald

The Raptors trailed by 10 a little after halftime but remained within striking distance, chipping away and eventually taking the lead with 1:13 remaining in the third. Norris Cole buried a three-pointer to tie it at 83 apiece in the final seconds of the frame.

Wade's jumper gave the visitors an early advantage in the final stanza before James Johnson produced the game's seventh tie, at 89-89, on a three-pointer.

Cole converted a technical free-throw, and then Wade and Bosh took over.

Wade and Bosh each score 30 as Heat beat Raptors--Miami Herald

A 3-pointer by Toronto's James Johnson tied the score at 89-all with 9 minutes to go, but the Heat answered with an 8-0 run, including five straight free throws by Norris Cole, Wade and Bosh and then a 3 by Wade, to take a 97-89 lead with 5:48 left.
Bargnani scored 14 points in the third quarter and DeRozan added eight, overcoming a 10-point quarter from James, and the Heat needed a 3 by Cole with 12 seconds left to tie it at 83 heading to the fourth.

No excuses: Miami Heat takes out Raptors--Miami Herald

Rookie Norris Cole, who finished with six points, ended the third quarter with a three-pointer and the Heat carried the momentum into the fourth.

Jasmine Bailey Prepares For Final Four

Stebbins grad, basketball player to visit WSU--Dayton Daily News

Green Bay's Wojta Named Second Team All-American by Associated Press--Horizon League Network

Friday, March 30, 2012

News On The Horizon 3/30/2012

Ballin’: Gordon Hayward Had a Block Party in the Boston Garden*--The Big Lead
Video: Gordon Hayward — destroyer of Celtics, improver of defense--Ball Don't Lie
Utah Jazz talk tougher, but still must prove themselves--Salt Lake Tribune

The dirt’s rubbed off on Gordon Hayward. Last year, he too often was a fresh-faced kid from Butler who deferred and backed down. This season, Hayward has at times been a revelation.

He was Utah’s premier player Wednesday. Hayward attacked as soon as the ball touched his hands, scoring a team-high 19 points and delivering two nasty blocks in just five seconds.

The 22-year-old, who has defensively held his own against everyone from Kevin Durant to LeBron James, has quickly learned the best approach in a respect-driven league is a physical one.

"You kind of have to put your hands on people and really kind of force them away from what they want to do. There’s a lot of guys in the NBA that don’t like that. They don’t appreciate that," Hayward said. "You’re going to have some scuffles here and there. We have guys that aren’t going to back down or anything like that. We definitely can be a tough team."

Monson: The Jazz’s Great Race has started--Salt Lake Tribune

On the last laps of an exhausting season, the Jazz should be fresher than every team they play. Getting up the floor isn’t always their forte, but they should make the attempt to emphasize transition and simply wear opponents out. Run the floor like Gordon Hayward does. The Jazz defense has improved, creating more opportunities for them.

Wizards vs. Pacers: Indiana’s final push downs Washington--Washington Post

Wizards guard Shelvin Mack makes his return to Indy, where he led Butler to the national championship game. But it wasn’t a triumphant return for the rookie.

Butler basketball’s Brad Stevens to provide analysis on CBS Final Four show--The Indy Star

Bulldogs Active At Women's Final

Miami Heat’s Big 3 leads balanced effort over Dallas Mavericks--Miami Herald

The Heat also got a strong spark from Udonis Haslem and Norris Cole off the bench.

Cole, who has struggled recently, shot 5 of 9 from the field and finished with 10 points and two assists. Many of his contributions came early as the Heat staved off some early Dallas sharpshooting.

Heat sweep season series from Mavs; home win streak at 15--South Florida Sun Sentinel

It was a balanced effort from the Heat's stars, with Bosh and James scoring 19 apiece and Wade adding 16. It also was a well-rounded effort, with Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Udonis Haslem, Shane Battier and Ronny Turiaf also having their moments in supporting roles.

Season Wrap-Up: Michigan State--Rush The Court

In a nutshell: It sounds like a broken record by now, but this team really recaptured what has made Michigan State basketball so great over the years — defense, rebounding, toughness, and chemistry — after it had been lacking, particularly with last year’s group. Draymond Green emerged as one of the best players in college basketball, not to mention the most valuable, with his incredible arsenal of capabilities. Role players like Austin Thornton and Brandon Wood as well as freshmen Travis Trice and Branden Dawson produced. Izzo was not shy in saying how much he loved this team and he had good reason to.

Drew is staying, but Crusaders already getting long term plans in order--The Post-Tribune
Bryce Drew is staying, but Valpo is preparing for the inevitable--Off The Mark
Drew stays at Valparaiso, gets contract extension--The NWI Times
Edwards, Vucic to leave VU--The NWI Times
In photos: MSU basketball 2012-13 player-by-player analysis--The Detroit News

What's the outlook for next season? Coach Tom Izzo will miss the leadership and all-around excellence of consensus All-American Draymond Green, Brandon Wood's 3-point shooting and Austin Thornton's defense and rebounding.

Edwards, Vucic to Transfer From Crusader

YSU’s Perry, Zuiker to transfer--Youngstown Vindicator

Thursday, March 29, 2012

News On The Horizon 3/29/2012

Utah Jazz-Boston Celtics: Instant Analysis--Deseret News

Gordon Hayward had another fine all-around performance, finishing with 19 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. He was tough defensively, including a highlight-worthy pair of blocked shots on the same play. After an 0-7 start, Al Jefferson finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks.

Utah Jazz-Boston Celtics: Report card--Deseret News

BOSTON — A Jazz rally to recover from a too-long slow start came up short Wednesday night in Boston. Utah (27-24) was led by Gordon Hayward with 19 points, while the Celtics (28-22) were bolstered by Kevin Garnett's 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Forwards: Gordon Hayward and Paul Millsap combined for 35 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, though Paul Pierce and Brandon Bass combined for 39 for the Celtics. However, the Celtic duo collectively shot 13-of-33. Millsap has scored in double figures for 16 straight games. GRADE: B

Jazz notes: Gordon Hayward is perfecting the art of the flying block--Salt Lake Tribune
Utah Jazz outpunched in 94-82 loss to Boston Celtics--Salt Lake Tribune

Second-year forward Gordon Hayward was by far Utah’s best asset. He collected a team-high 19 points, recorded seven rebounds and dished out five assists, all while contributing tight defense and delivering two monster blocks during a thrilling five-second burst.

But Hayward saw the same problems Harris did. The Jazz walked on the hardwood wanting to prove they belong among the NBA’s top 10 squads. They left Boston knowing an aging Celtics team has learned invaluable lessons it could take Utah years to achieve.

Women's basketball: UWGB's Wojta is finalist for Wooden Award--Green Bay Press Gazette
Women's basketball: Incoming recruits still deciding on next moves after Bollant's exit--Green Bay Press Gazette
Women's basketball: Divilbiss may be top candidate for UWGB job--Green Bay Press Gazette
Women's basketball: Bollant can't pass up chance to coach in Big Ten; leaves UWGB for Illinois--Green Bay Press Gazette

Morning Five: 03.29.12 Edition--Rush The Court

It appears that Tulsa may be on the verge of announcing Danny Manning as its next head coach, but the school has issued a statement claiming that nothing is final although we suspect that they are just working out the minor details of the contract based on what we have been hearing. Mississippi State does not appear to have been as successful in its coaching search so far as they were rebuffed by Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew. Drew withdrew his name from consideration yesterday and stated that he plans to stay at Valparaiso where he took over a year ago. His decision means that he will at least be the coach at Valparaiso for a longer period than his brother Scott, who left the program after one season to become the coach at Baylor.

The Morning Mix--CollegeBasketballTalk

- Bryce Drew was interviewed for the job at Mississippi State, but has decided to return to the sidelines at Valparaiso

Drew staying at Valparaiso, agrees to extension--The Post-Tribune

Women's Basketball Individual Highlights from

Valparaiso, Drew Announce Contract Extension--Horizon League Network

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

News On The Horizon 3/28/2012

Transfer List: First Edition--Eye On College Basketball

John Balwigaire, 6-1, SG, Jr., Wright State
Denzel Brito, 6-1, G, Soph., Loyola-Chicago
Jason Cuffee, 6-4, SG, Fr., Wright State
Justin “Richie” Edwards, 6-7, F, Jr., Valparaiso
Chim Kadima, 6-4, G, Soph., Loyola-Chicago
Nate Perry, 6-2, G, Soph., Youngstown State
Alex Pritchett, 6-7, PF, RS Fr., Wright State
Hrvoje Vucic, 7-1, C, Soph., Valparaiso
Cale Zuiker, 6-8, PF, Fr., Youngstown State

Report: Ronald Nored to coach at Gordon Hayward’s high school--CollegeBasketballTalk
Utah Jazz: Jazz hoping for a reversal of fortunes in Beantown--Deseret News

Jefferson and Millsap are still contributing in big ways for the Jazz, but now Utah also relies on guys who weren't here back then like Harris, Alec Burks, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and lately even Jamaal Tinsley and DeMarre Carroll. Gordon Hayward and C.J. Miles are contributing more now than they did a year ago as well.
A squad that has won its way back into the playoff mix by getting revolving shining games from Hayward, Favors, Harris, Burks, Miles, Earl Watson and Jamaal Tinsley.

Some mid-major college basketball coaches chase money, fame at BCS schools--The Indy Star
Butler's Ronald Nored is new Brownsburg basketball coach--The Indy Star
Smotrycz to Butler? Not so fast--Indy Star Butler Insider
Men’s basketball: Run in CBI ends with loss to Pittsburgh--Butler Collegian
OVERTIME: Pros and cons evident for Butler in league switch--Butler Collegian
OVERTIME: Butler should stay in the Horizon League to save experience--Butler Collegian
Conference switch in the works?--Butler Collegian
Ronald Nored Named Head Basketball Coach At Brownsburg High
Ronald Nored Headed To New

Illini hire Green Bay's Bollant as women's coach--The Chicago Tribune
UWGB women's basketball coach Matt Bollant takes Illinois job--Green Bay Press Gazette
Wojta Named Second Team All-American by Associated
Bollant Resigns to Take Head Coaching Position at
Wooden All-American Added to Wojta's

Workouts Chance for Cerroni, Phoenix to Keep

Valpo's Bryce Drew emerges as candidate at Mississippi State--Eye On College Basketball
Valpo’s Bryce Drew reportedly interviews with Mississippi St.--CollegeBasketballTalk
Bryce Drew to remain at Valparaiso--CollegeBasketballTalk
FWTCT's Short-List: Bryce Drew--For Whom the Cowbell Tolls
Reports link Drew with Mississippi State job--The Post-Tribune
Drew interviews with Mississippi State--The NWI Times
Drew stays at Valparaiso, gets contract extention--The NWI Times
Bryce Drew and Mississippi State--Inside VU Sports
Drew staying at Valpo--Inside VU Sports
Bryce Drew Agrees to Contract Extension With Valparaiso

From the hardwood to the gridiron--The Jambar

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

News On The Horizon 3/27/2012

Utah Jazz net blowout victory a day after longest game in team history--Deseret News

C.J. Miles also had 10 points in 21 minutes (28 fewer than Sunday), and Gordon Hayward chipped in seven points after logging an incredible 57 minutes in Atlanta.
GAME NOTES: Favors finished with just four points and five rebounds in his first game back in New Jersey since being traded to Utah. ... Hayward's 57-minute performance tied Karl Malone for the most-ever logged in a game by a Jazz player. … Monday was Hall of Fame guard John Stockton's 50th birthday.

NBA: Utah Jazz stifle Deron Williams, defeat Nets, 105-84--Salt Lake Tribune

Women's Basketball To Host Three Summer

Reports Surface (Then Squashed) That Rob Jeter Headed To MSU. Ummm, WHO?--For Whom the Cowbell Tolls

Valpo's Broekhoff Named Honorable Mention All-American--Horizon League Network

Monday, March 26, 2012

News On The Horizon 3/26/2012

Utah Jazz lose quadruple-OT game to Hawks, 139-133--Deseret News

All five Jazz starters logged 50 minutes or more, led by Gordon Hayward's 57-minute effort.

Jazz-Nets: Report card--Deseret News

Guards: Monday didn't mark the finest performance of the season for either Gordon Hayward or Devin Harris as the two shot 3-of-8 and 3-of-9, respectively. Alec Burks' minutes continue to rise. The rookie scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds in 31 minutes. Burks has now logged 20 or more minutes in seven of the past eight games. Former Jazz superstar Deron Williams may have tallied 11 assists, but he shot 7-of-21 from the field. GRADE: B

NBA: Jazz lose to Hawks 139-133 in quadruple overtime--Salt Lake Tribune
College basketball notebook: Butler's Brad Stevens out of Illini's sights; Ohio's John Groce next?--The Indy Star

Miami Heat hits bumpy road, loses to Indiana Pacers--Miami Herald

The Heat’s points guards were grossly outplayed for the second night in a row. Pacers starter Darren Collison finished with 20 points and was too quick for Mario Chalmers to guard one-on-one. Chalmers finished with 13 points and reserve guard Norris Cole was held scoreless in 20 minutes.

Pacers pound Heat 105-90; Spoelstra: 'It's been a struggle for us'--South Florida Sun Sentinel

Indiana carried that energy into the second half behind the play of Collison and Granger. Collison got the better of Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole, the second straight game the Heat were outplayed at point guard.

Averkamp Named Horizon League Scholar-Athlete Of The Month For

Women's basketball: UWGB is losing brightest star but still expects to shine--Green Bay Press Gazette

Report: Rob Jeter to Mississippi State--PantherU

Broekhoff Named AP Honorable Mention

YSU has familiar face in unfamiliar place--Youngstown Vindicator

Knoppe and Averkamp Earn Scholar-Athlete of the Month Honors--Horizon League Network

Sunday, March 25, 2012

News On The Horizon 3/25/2012

It Ends As It Began--The Mid-Majority
Report: Butler, George Mason, VCU in talks to join A-10--CollegeBasketballTalk
Stevens says he's staying at Butler--Associated Press
Current Utah Jazz look like ol' Utah Jazz in routing Denver Nuggets--Deseret News

"We started giving up transition baskets and open 3s and they didn't look back," said Denver guard Arron Afflalo, whose frustration boiled over to the point that he was ejected midway through the third period after throwing an elbow at Gordon Hayward's face.

"We came out in the second half and just kind of took it at them," Hayward said. "I'm just proud of the team."

Jazz fans, no doubt, feel much the same way.

These days, the names that are called are usually Jefferson (Big Al), Millsap (that'd be Paul) and Hayward (that good guy Gordon), with daily contributions from Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, C.J. Miles, Alec Burks and Enes Kanter. Heck, Jamaal Tinsley and DeMarre Carroll are getting into the act for coach Tyrone Corbin now, too.

Utah Jazz: Resurgent Jazz will try to keep it rolling on road trip--Deseret News

The good thing, according to second-year forward Gordon Hayward, is that the Jazz are as confident as they've been all season. That confidence is showing up on the defensive end where teammates trust and believe in each other, he said. And it also is showing up on the offensive end, where Utah has been putting up a lot points of late.

"We're going to need to bring this momentum on this road trip," Hayward said following Friday's 121-102 blowout of Denver. "It will be a tough road trip for us, so we've got to be prepared."

Utah Jazz-Atlanta Hawks: Instant analysis--Deseret News

Each team have seven players in double figure scoring, with Joe Johnson pacing all with 37 points.

Shoulder to the grindstone: With the game lasting three hours and 16 minutes, a look at the minute totals is mind-boggling. All five Jazz starters played 50 or more minutes, with Gordon Hayward going the longest at 57 minutes. Paul Millsap had 52 and Al Jefferson 51, before each of them fouled out in the final overtime. Hayward, C.J. Miles and Devin Harris went the entire stretch runs, all playing the final 26 minutes — including all four extra periods.

Hawks beat Jazz in NBA’s first 4OT game since 1997--Salt Lake Tribune
Statement From Brad

Report: Bloodman to Visit Cleveland State in April--Cleveland State Hoops

UWGB men land transfer from Eastern Illinois--UWGB Basketball

A10's moves could affect Milwaukee beyond Butler--PantherU

Scott Drew has brought Baylor from the brink--The Post-Tribune

Saturday, March 24, 2012

News On The Horizon 3/24/2012

Pittsburgh rallies late to beat Butler 68-62 in OT--Associated Press
The Parting Glass--The Mid-Majority
Book Proposal: The Palestra Hot Box Diet--The Mid-Majority
2012 NCAA Tournament: Not being in Big Dance is ‘killing’ Butler’s Brad Stevens, who has Bulldogs in CBI--New York Daily News
Brad Stevens says ‘absolutely no truth to’ to Illinois rumors--CollegeBasketballTalk
Utah Jazz- Sacramento Kings: Report card--Deseret News

Guards: Devin Harris and Gordon Hayward combined for 32 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds from the starting backcourt. Hayward has scored in double figures in five of his last six games, something Utah desperately needs in the wake of Josh Howard's season-ending surgery and as Raja Bell struggles to routinely stay on the floor. Harris was smooth in delivering six assists and just one turnover. Utah didn't quite keep down all the guards defensively: Sacramento's Marcus Thornton shot 7-of-18, but Tyreke Evans scored 25 on 11-of-17 shooting off the bench. GRADE: B

Utah Jazz-Sacramento Kings: Instant Analysis--Deseret News

Including the game-winner, Jefferson had a smooth scoring game, abusing the Sacramento front court with 26 big points on 13 of 19 shooting. Gordon Hayward had another all-around performance with 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Harris chipped in 14 points and six assists.

Utah Jazz bury Denver Nuggets 121-102 in late-night rout--Deseret News

The Jazz had seven players in double figures, led by Al Jefferson with 23 points. Fellow starters Gordon Hayward (15), Paul Millsap (14), Devin Harris (13) and C.J. Miles (12) also scored in double digits, as did reserves Alec Burks (15) and Derrick Favors (12). Jefferson also grabbed eight rebounds, Favors had seven, Millsap grabbed six more and Hayward — shades of Andrei Kirilenko — had seven boards, seven assists and three blocked shots. Harris also had nine assists.
Arron Afflalo added 14 before being ejected for a flagrant foul when he threw an elbow in Hayward's face midway through the third quarter. Wilson Chandler chipped in with 13 points and JaVale McGee was also in double figures for the Nuggets with 11 points and six rebounds.

Utah Jazz-Denver Nuggets: Instant Analysis--Deseret News

Seven players scored between 12 and 23 points: Al Jefferson (23), Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks (15 apiece), Paul Millsap (14), Devin Harris (13), and Derrick Favors and C.J. Miles (12 each). It should be noted that six Nuggets players also reached double-digit points.
Quick hits:

The past two games have highlighted Hayward’s all-around abilities, as evidenced by his averages of 16.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 2.0 blocks, and 1.5 steals in those outings.

Utah Jazz-Denver Nuggets: Report Card--Deseret News

GUARDS: The first two matchups of the season between point guards Devin Harris and Ty Lawson were fairly even. Not this time. Harris greatly outplayed him, and was more productive and efficient. Gordon Hayward had a well-rounded game with 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. He played so well, he frustrated Arron Afflalo into committing a flagrant two against him, earning Afflalo an ejection.

Grade: A

Last-second floater gives Jazz 103-102 win over Kings--Salt Lake Tribune

Utah is stacking up playoff-worthy wins by blending veteran poise with thrilling youth. Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Burks are carrying the same weight as trusted pros such as Paul Millsap and Jamaal Tinsley. And Jefferson believes the Jazz are building something that’s only just begun.

Jazz’s offense erupts against Nuggets by embracing full potential--Salt Lake Tribune

By the early fourth quarter, all five Utah starters — Devin Harris, Gordon Hayward, C.J. Miles, Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson — had hit double figures in scoring.
Harris continued his resurgence, Hayward was at his aggressive best, Jefferson and Millsap worked their normal wonders, and Miles found a touch that had eluded him since moving into the starting lineup.

Kragthorpe: Utah Jazz’s rout brings playoffs into focus--Salt Lake Tribune

Undoubtedly, the Jazz have come a long way since Feb. 7, when they fell out of the West’s top eight with a loss at Indiana in a homecoming game for forward Gordon Hayward. With his parents in town to observe his 22nd birthday Friday, Hayward posted 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists — and he was far from the only star in a Jazz uniform.
The Jazz hardly eased off against Denver. The sixth victory of the streak came routinely, compared with the others. "That’s the best part about tonight: We didn’t let ’em stick around," Hayward said.

Utah Jazz beat Nuggets 121-102, improve playoff outlook--Salt Lake Tribune

Gordon Hayward scored nine of his 15 points in the decisive third quarter, while Paul Millsap and Jefferson each added eight.
In all, the Jazz had seven players score at least 12 points.

Rookie Alec Burks joined Hayward with 15 while Millsap ended up with 14 despite early foul trouble.
Before the game, Denver coach George Karl addressed Utah’s improvement since the All-Star break.

Specifically, he mentioned the play of Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Burks and Hayward.

"I like how their team is coming together," Karl said. "Their bench has gotten strong. The big kids are playing great. The Burks kid is developing. …

"I love their wings. Their wings are playing at a high level. The Hayward kid is [getting] better every week."

Wizards prepare for dreaded first set of three games in three nights--Washington Post

Rookie point guard Shelvin Mack said adjusting to the grind of the NBA schedule has been a challenge, but he is actually excited about the upcoming stretch. “I think everyone would rather play games than have practice, but to go out there and compete, you’re going to enjoy it,” Mack said. “It’s kind of like AAU tournaments, when you used to play seven or eight games in two days. So you kind of know how to go through it, but it’s a different level with better athletes.”

Butler Bulldogs' season ends in 68-62 OT loss to Pittsburgh at Hinkle--The Indy Star
Nored leaves leadership void--Indy Star Butler Insider
Stevens and the rumor mill--Indy Star Butler Insider
Bulldogs' Season Ends With OT Loss To

2011-12 Butler Women's Basketball: Season In

Report: Gee Interviews for Canisius head coaching job--Cleveland State Hoops

Awards, Laughter & Tears Highlight Women's Basketball

Moore to Sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame at Wrigley on April

Women's basketball: Indiana, Illinois may be eyeing UWGB's Matt Bollant--Green Bay Press Gazette
Women's basketball: Only offer from major would tempt UWGB's Bollant--Green Bay Press Gazette
Season in Review: 2011-12 Among Program's
Wojta One of 12 Wade Trophy

Sykes has Rookie Season Among Program's

Louisville reaches Elite Eight with ugly win vs. Michigan St.--CollegeBasketballTalk

Think about it like this: it wasn’t until the six minute mark of the second half — when Brandon Wood scored on back-to-back possessions to cut a 13 point lead to eight — that a Spartan other than Green hit a second field goal. It wasn’t until the final seconds — when Derrick Nix threw down a breakaway dunk — that the Spartans had a third player make a second field goal.

Hawaii guard transfers to VU--The Post-Tribune
Brandon Wood had to adapt to Spartans' defensive mind-set--The Detroit Free Press
Michigan State underclassmen take time to thank seniors--The Detroit News

Junior Derrick Nix wanted them all to know — Green, Austin Thornton, Brandon Wood and Anthony Ianni — how much they were appreciated.

"I hate losing bad enough, but when you've got to send your seniors out like that it hurts even worse."

"It's hard because of how much they've given to the program," Trice said. "Austin for five years, Day-Day for four years and Brandon Wood only came in for a year but he gave it his all. It just hurts to see guys end their careers like that.

Added Nix, "We appreciated what they did for us. They changed this program back around and I'm pretty sure they all be successful, all four of them. It's just a learning experience for next year that we gotta match the same leadership they brought this year in order for us to get as far as did this year."

The result wasn't what they wanted and the individual play was not what they hoped for, either.

Green had 13 points and 16 rebounds but was 5-for-16 shooting and turned the ball over six times. Wood was just 4-for-11 form the field and Thornton made just one shot.

Butler's Season Comes to Close with Overtime Loss in CBI Semifinals--Horizon League Network
Detroit's McCallum Named to Lou Henson All-America Team--Horizon League Network

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

News On The Horizon 3/21/2012

The Morning Mix--CollegeBasketballTalk

- It looks like Butler is going to join the Atlantic-10 Conference. The addition would be great for the conference. But the loss would absolutely crush the Horizon League, which had been relying on Butler’s success for the last half decade

Days of NBA Lives: Wherein Gordon Hayward stays himself--Ball Don't Lie
Utah Jazz: Riding a three-win streak, Jazz prepare to face the Thunder--Deseret News

Second-year swingman Gordon Hayward will also get time against Durant, and the Jazz's key reserve had an excellent defensive showing in the teams' first game in Utah this season (only 19 points).

Utah Jazz knock off the Oklahoma City Thunder 97-90--Deseret News

Paul Millsap's 20 points paced six Utah players in double figures. Al Jefferson added 16 points, Devin Harris 15, Gordon Hayward and Jamaal Tinsley 11 each and C.J. Miles 10 more for the Jazz. Derrick Favors grabbed nine rebounds and Hayward had eight.

Utah Jazz-Oklahoma City Thunder: Instant Analysis--Deseret News

Durant struggled as C.J. Miles and Gordon Hayward deserve credit for playing some tough defense. Both draped the superstar and bodied up on him just enough to assist in a very subpar six of 22 (27.3 percent) from the field outing — far below his 50.0 percent season average.
Balanced basketball: While the Jazz do not have the superstar cachet of their division rivals, Utah exuded teamwork with six players in double figures: Paul Millsap (20), Al Jefferson (16), Harris (15), Hayward (11), Tinsley (11), and Miles (10).
Quick hits:
Utah received the bad news that starting small forward Josh Howard will be missing the rest of the season with a knee injury. His 23.4 minutes per game average were divvied out to Miles (28 Tuesday, compared to his 19.2 average), Hayward (32 compared to 27.4) and rookie Alec Burks (25 compared to 13.9).

Utah Jazz-Oklahoma City Thunder: Report card--Deseret News

GUARDS: It wasn't a completely solid effort for Devin Harris, who scored 13 of his 15 points in a three-minute span in the third quarter. But that was an impressive display he put together in those three minutes, hitting three 3-pointers. Gordon Hayward started at shooting guard in place of Raja Bell. He didn't shoot all that well, but he helped out with eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. Russell Westbrook was Oklahoma City's best player on Tuesday night and kept the Thunder in the game. Thabo Sefolosha was a no-show.

Grade: B

Utah Jazz: Players buying in to Tyrone Corbin's philosophy, starting to shut down opponents--Deseret News

"Sacramento, they have some talent on their team," Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward said. "It's going to be another team effort and challenge to stop them defensively."

While Millsap has been on a stealing spree (including eight vs. Minnesota), Hayward and C.J. Miles are a couple of players whose defensive games have received the most attention recently. They hounded Kobe Bryant into a career-worst 3-for-20 shooting night, and the pair limited Kevin Durant to 18 points on 6-for-22 shooting on Tuesday.

"C.J. has done a tremendous job," Hayward said. "And I think the biggest thing, we've been able to have help from our other teammates when they drive. It's not just us guarding them. It's Paul stepping over or Al stepping over or Derrick stepping over and shutting them off. It kind of forces them to take tough jump shots and we're there to contest. It's a team defense."

Ah, those sweet words a coach loves to hear again.

Corbin emphasized that the improved defense leads to a better offense as well because the Jazz get more transition baskets, play in rhythm and feel better about themselves, which translates to confident playmaking.

Hayward senses a "renewed effort and a renewed focus" on the defensive end.

"I think we realize that we're getting down to crunch time," Hayward said. "Every game matters, especially in the West trying to make the playoffs."

And the proof of success is in the standings, where the Jazz (24-22) are only a half-game out of a playoff spot. It's no secret what they need to continue to do well and work on to leap into the top eight and get back into the postseason after a year out.

"Any time we can play well defensively," Hayward added, "that's when we're at our best."

Utah Jazz notebook: Tyrone Corbin toys with making room in the starting lineup for Raja Bell--Deseret News

Utah has played well with C.J. Miles in the first five the past three games, and Gordon Hayward replaced Josh Howard as a starter against the Thunder after the veteran small forward found out he'd need possible season-ending surgery on his left knee.
Hayward believes road success begins on one side of the court.

"Defense is always first," he said. "I think that's what we have to have here."

Monson: Jazz really believe they now can beat anybody--Salt Lake Tribune

But the Jazz’s Fab Four — Favors, Enes Kanter, Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward — are improving as rapidly as their sometimes stubborn coach, Corbin, allows them minutes on the floor. That’s another difference between the two teams.

The Thunder, the league’s best young outfit, have completely turned their fate over to their youngsters. The Jazz have not yet done so.

On the other hand, the 23-year-old Durant turned pro four years ago. Westbrook, who also is 23, has been in the league for three seasons. Harden and Serge Ibaka are both 22.

They are just a tick or two ahead of Favors and Hayward, who are in their second seasons, and rooks Burks and Kanter.
Against the Thunder, six Jazz players scored in double figures, and nearly everyone, particularly Hayward, played strong defense against Durant and his normally high-flying offensive teammates.

It was impressive.

Jazz show confidence in win over West-leading Thunder--Salt Lake Tribune

There was Utah’s C.J. Miles and Gordon Hayward defensively pairing up, holding Durant to 6-of-22 shooting. The Jazz outscoring the Thunder 50-20 in the paint while forcing 20 OKC turnovers. Thirteen points in just 2 minutes and 47 seconds from Devin Harris, including three 3-pointers, which pushed Utah to a 14-point lead early during the third quarter.

Bell or Burks, Hayward or Miles: Jazz’s Corbin about to make big call--Salt Lake Tribune
As Butler hosts Pitt in CBI, memories of NCAA matchup loom--The Indy Star
‘Underdawgs’ excerpt: The Pitt game--Indy Star Butler Insider
Butler Closes Their 2011-2012 Campaign With Pittsburgh--Butler Blue Fever
Bulldogs Host Pitt In CBI

Three Heat Things: Dexter Pittman, Derek Fisher, Norris Cole--South Florida Sun Sentinel
Video: Ira Winderman: Has Norris Cole hit rookie wall?--South Florida Sun Sentinel
CSU bounced from NIT first round--The Cauldron

Vikings dismantled by Detroit, 79-43--The Cauldron

Oakland's Hamilton, UDM's McCallum named to mid-major All-American team--The Detroit News
McCallum Named Lou Henson

NCAA women's basketball: Kentucky ends UWGB's run--Green Bay Press Gazette
Women's basketball: Last-second miss can't diminish Phoenix's regular-season feats--Green Bay Press Gazette
Phoenix clash with Titans, claim crown--UWGB Fourth Estate
Phoenix rip through cyclones, advance--UWGB Fourth Estate
Phoenix rip through cyclones, advance--UWGB Fourth Estate
Phoenix’ season ends in heartbreak--UWGB Fourth Estate
Phoenix’ season ends in heartbreak--UWGB Fourth Estate

Phoenix men built for the future--UWGB Fourth Estate
Phoenix men built for the future--UWGB Fourth Estate

Valparaiso picks up transfer from the Big East--CollegeBasketballTalk
Valpo lands South Florida transfer--The Post-Tribune
Valparaiso adds Big East transfer in Dority--The NWI Times
Nuness is feeling sweet all over again--The NWI Times
Crusaders add two transfer guards--The NWI Times
Michigan State guard Brandon Wood cuts a winding path--The Detroit News

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

News On The Horizon 3/20/2012

Butler in the Atlantic 10 just makes sense--CollegeBasketballTalk
Utah Jazz down Lakers 103-99 in youth-powered win--Salt Lake Tribune

Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Gordon Hayward, Burks — four lottery picks from the 2010 and 2011 drafts. Four of the best young players in the NBA. Four crucial pieces in one of the Jazz’s best wins of the season — a victory Utah captured without starters Al Jefferson and Raja Bell, and with key reserve Earl Watson stuck on the bench.

Kanter added a season-high 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting for the Jazz (23-22), grabbing six rebounds and at times embarrassing Los Angeles’ weak interior defense. Favors traded his second consecutive start for 12 points and a team-high 10 boards, including five offensive rebounds. And even though Hayward was held scoreless, he ran the court at critical times and never played out of character.

CBI Tournament 2012 Bracket: Butler Moves On To Semifinals With 63-53 Win--SB Nation Indiana
Butler still in the hunt for College Basketball Invitational title--The Indy Star
Of Atlantic 10, CBI and Pitt rematch--Indy Star Butler Insider
Butler Beats Penn In CBI

Metro + state: UDM's Ray McCallum named Titans' MVP at banquet--The Detroit Free Press

Green Bay falls short despite brilliant
NCAA women's basketball: Kentucky ends UWGB's run--Green Bay Press Gazette
UWGB women's notebook: PMI willing to help with NCAA bid--Green Bay Press Gazette
Postseason Props: Quilling Gives Phoenix Much-Needed

Rob Demovsky column: Horizon League's credibility will take hit with loss of Butler--Green Bay Press Gazette

Little things make big difference for MSU--Fox Sports Detroit

Izzo’s main message to the youngsters was that the margin of error is very small in this one-and-done tournament.

And it can get even smaller with each round.

“One free throw, one missed switch, one missed uncontested three, one missed cut-out can mean the game,” Izzo said. “If Day-Day (Green) and Austin (Thornton) and (Brandon) Wood and (Anthony) Ianni are done (all are seniors), you’re going to feel bad that we made that mistake.

Improvements, construction on horizon for YSU--Youngstown Vindicator

Butler Headed to CBI Semis After 63-53 Win Over Penn--Horizon League Network

Green Bay's Comeback Against Kentucky Falls Short--Horizon League Network