Monday, April 30, 2012

News On The Horizon 4/30/2012

Utah Jazz: Can the Jazz steal one against the San Antonio Spurs--Deseret News

New Jersey made it clear before Derrick Favors stepped on any of their courts last season that they wanted to trade him. Some wondered if Gordon Hayward was worthy of a top 10 pick.

Jazz fall to Spurs 106-91 in Game 1--Deseret News

Paul Millsap led Utah with 20 points, while Gordon Hayward added 17 points and Al Jefferson added 16.

Utah Jazz-San Antonio Spurs: Game 1 Analysis--Deseret News

Gordon Hayward had a nice playoff debut, tallying 17 points and three rebounds. His aggressiveness earned him a 12-12 free throw outing. He mixed it up defensively and did not back down from Ginobili.

Utah Jazz notebook: Josh Howard starts, Gordon Hayward not out and Blake Ahearn's family survives storm--Deseret News

ONE-NOT-DONE: Gordon Hayward hit the basketball map while leading Butler to the 2010 NCAA championship game, but Sunday was his first time in an NBA playoff game.

After Game 1's results, Hayward is happy he's in the pros.

"Everybody's been asking me, 'You played in an NCAA game, are they similar?'" Hayward said. "One thing that's different is our season would be done if it was NCAA. We've got three more games to make a run at this and make adjustments and try to come back."

And that would only get the Jazz to the Elite Eight.

Utah Jazz: Spurs romp past Jazz for 106-91 win in Game 1--Salt Lake Tribune

Paul Millsap scored a team-high 20 points for the Jazz, while Gordon Hayward added 17 and made all 12 of his free throws during his playoff debut. But Jefferson never came close to taking over, Utah committed 16 turnovers, and only three Jazz players scored more than nine points for a team that shot just 42.1 percent from the field.

Kragthorpe: Jazz must make changes to compete with Spurs--Salt Lake Tribune

"The biggest thing that we’re going to learn," the Jazz’s Gordon Hayward said, "is the different ways that we need to guard the pick-and-roll — what worked and what didn’t."

Really, not much worked Sunday. My solution: Hayward should defend Parker occasionally, making him go against a much bigger defender, who’s as athletic as Devin Harris or Jamaal Tinsley.

NBA: Jazz’s Josh Howard surprised by starting role against Spurs--Salt Lake Tribune

Paint problem

Normally, the Jazz own the lane. Not Sunday. San Antonio outscored Utah 58-44 in the paint, with Tony Parker alternately sinking layups and setting up the Spurs’ big men for power slams.

According to ESPN, San Antonio scored 48 points within five feet of the basket, the most by any team during the past two postseasons.

"They get the ball in the paint, and then it is pick your poison: [They] kick out, start shooting 3s, dump down passes or [hit] little floaters," Jazz guard Gordon Hayward said. "We have to find some way to keep it out of the paint and make it difficult."

NBA: Methodical Spurs beat Jazz 106-91 in Game 1--Salt Lake Tribune

Paul Millsap scored a team-high 20 points for the Jazz, and Gordon Hayward added 17 and made all 12 of his free throws during his playoff debut. But Jefferson never came close to taking over, Utah committed 16 turnovers, and only three Jazz players scored more than nine points for a team that shot just 42.1 percent from the field.

NBA: Utah Jazz’s playoff novices not feeling overwhelmed--Salt Lake Tribune

Second-year players Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors played well, and so did DeMarre Carroll in his first postseason action. Jazz rookies Alec Burks and Enes Kanter also had some decent moments in a 106-91 loss to the Spurs at the AT&T Center.

Hayward posted 17 points, thanks mostly to aggressive driving that resulted in his 12-for-12 free-throw shooting. Favors and Carroll teamed for 14 points and 12 rebounds, even though Carroll lost his starting position to Josh Howard.
Hayward applied what he learned during Butler’s 2010 run to the NCAA championship game to his first playoff appearance.

"I tried to treat it just like a normal game," he said. "If you try to make it out to be bigger than it is, that’s when you start to struggle."

Butler Bulldogs and Atlantic 10: A relationship on hold--The Indy Star
Who's Committed to Their School Now?--Raptors HQ

NCAA Division I Commitments
Junior Lomomba, Memorial in Wisc. (Montreal) – Cleveland State

Here's what UW-Milwaukee needs to do with its athletic program--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Personnel foul--UWM Post
University slow on athletics transparency--UWM Post

Sunday, April 29, 2012

News On The Horizon 4/29/2012

Utah Jazz forward Josh Howard known as 'The Spurs Killer'--Deseret News

Howard is just one of several Jazz players with playoff experience, but there are plenty who don't have it. Carroll, Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, Enes Kanter, Blake Ahearn and Derrick Favors have never been in the playoffs. Al Jefferson has only been there once, with Boston in 2005.

Upsetting the Spurs a tall task for Utah Jazz--Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Both Al Jefferson and Gordon Hayward used the phrase "shock the world" when talking about the Utah Jazz toppling the San Antonio Spurs in the first round.
Most concur with Hayward and Jefferson that it might "shock the world" if the Jazz win the series — let alone more than one game. But it wouldn't be that much of a shocker if the smooth-as-ever Spurs go on to add another Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy to their set of four.

Utah Jazz head-to-head matchups against the San Antonio Spurs--Deseret News

Gordon Hayward

Shooting guard

11.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg

The former Butler star has made huge strides in his second year and has gotten better as the season has worn on. Over the last 15 games, he has averaged 17 points, five rebounds and four assists, while shooting above 50 percent from the field. He's also turned into a 3-point threat, hitting 42.4 percent since the All-Star break after connecting on only 24.6 percent before.

Howard, Bell could be Jazz’s X-factor vs. Spurs--Salt Lake Tribune

More than Bell, who finds himself behind Gordon Hayward and Alex Burks in the shooting guard rotation, Howard seems positioned for a significant opportunity against the Spurs.

NBA playoffs: Analyzing the matchups in Jazz-Spurs series--Salt Lake Tribune

The Spurs start Tony Parker and sharpshooter Danny Green. At crunch time, however, Manu Ginobili joins Parker. They form one of the best tandems in the NBA, with Parker enjoying an MVP-caliber season. Both players can get to the basket and create open shots for others. They fuel the league’s second-best offense (103.7 ppg). The Jazz counter with Devin Harris and Gordon Hayward. Both made critical contributions during a 21-12 finish to the regular season, which got Utah into the playoffs. Like Parker, Harris can penetrate and disrupt the defense. Like Ginobili, Hayward can score or facilitate.

Monson: Jazz have mastered the art of being good--Salt Lake Tribune

After Sloan’s sudden resignation a year ago, Corbin utilized players like Paul Millsap, Jefferson and Harris, meshing them with youngsters Gordon Hayward, Favors, Alec Burks and Kanter, all of whom are 22 years old or younger.

Do dollars make sense for Butler to join Atlantic 10?--The Indy Star

Richardson's Game 1 take: Heat 100, Knicks 67--South Florida Sun Sentinel

Coaching: A- Spoelstra once again raised a few eyebrows with his rotation, but getting quality minutes from Battier and Mike Miller were beneficial moves. He also appeared to have the Heat locked in defensively, considering the number of turnovers forced and charges taken. The fact the team kept its foot on the pedal in the second quarter is further proof Spoelstra made focus a priority. About the only questionable move was turning to rookie Norris Cole so early.

Eligibility update--Off The Mark

Saturday, April 28, 2012

News On The Horizon 4/28/2012

Who’s Got Next? Tony Parker Commits, Ripple Effect of Greenberg Firing--Rush The Court

What They’re Saying...Junior Monte Morris on who he plans on visiting: “I’m going to Indiana May 4 for a visit and then I’m planning on attending Butler’s Elite Camp June 2. Then I’m going to try to get out to Iowa State, USC and Georgia Tech. These schools were the ones who I’ve been talking to the most and they’ve been wanting me to come down since the winter.”

Ball Don’t Lie’s playoff predictions: San Antonio Spurs vs. Utah Jazz--Ball Don't Lie

This doesn't mean this series won't be competitive or fun. You're going to love watching Gordon Hayward fill in all the holes, or Spurs rookie Kawhi Leonard look like he could morph into something that even Scottie Pippen would be jealous of. And a five-game series means the Spurs will only roll the ball out five times between April 27 and May 10, which is plenty of time for a team that has ably handled the divide between rest and relocating the jaw of their opponents all season.
Only two players, backup point guard Jamaal Tinsley and just-back-from-injury forward Josh Howard, are on the far side of 30, and five — Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Alec Burks, Enes Kanter and DeMarre Carroll — are 25 or under. For those young Jazzmen, the opening-round tilt against the Spurs will be their first taste of NBA playoff action; for Utah veterans like Al Jefferson (first trip since '04-'05), Tinsley ('05-'06), Devin Harris ('06-'07) and Howard ('08-'09), it'll be a return to a brand of game they've not seen in a minute. It'll be Corbin's first time running the show from the sidelines, too. So this series will be either a learning or re-learning experience for just about every member of the Jazz.

Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers report card--Deseret News

GUARDS: It was a light duty night for starters Devin Harris and Gordon Hayward. Neither guard played after the first quarter, and it was a well-earned break before the playoffs. Alec Burks, Jamaal Tinsley and Blake Ahearn all did a nice job of filling in for them with Burks scoring a career-high. Former Jazzman Wesley Matthews couldn't buy a basket in his former arena, with his costliest miss coming as time expired. (Ahearn's tackle, of course, helped him miss.) Rookie Nolan Smith was outstanding in the second half for Portland.

Grade: B+

For 8th-place team, Utah Jazz have appeal--Deseret News

This year's Jazz are interesting, whether it's Jamaal Tinsley and Josh Howard resurrecting their careers, or Favors and Gordon Hayward beginning theirs. It's compelling to see Alec Burks not even trying to hide his ambition and Enes Kanter scattering bodies like bowling pins. It's entertaining to see Al Jefferson, in all his emotional swings, making quirky one-handed jump-hooks in the clutch and Devin Harris — Utah's most-maligned player — finally spurring the offense. You wonder: How good will these guys get?
This team is a different deal. There's something about watching kids grow up and grown-ups mature. It's hard not to like DeMarre Carroll, who was out of work 21/2 months ago but is now starting for the Jazz; Paul Millsap who, just like Malone, finds something to improve every season; Hayward, who's biggest fault is that he's too unselfish. Plus, it has a coach who, just like his players, is starting to find himself.

Utah Jazz relish spot in the playoffs, despite challenge--Deseret News

"It's going to be exciting. It's going to be fun," Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward said about his first playoff experience. "It's going to be a challenge."
"It's cool you get to go in there and have a chance to shock the world," said Hayward, who has some NCAA experience of doing that with his Butler team. "I think we'll be ready for it."

Utah Jazz's Kevin O'Connor isn't surprised by team's success--Deseret News

He thought promising second-year players Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors "could bounce back" from up-and-down rookie seasons.
What he thinks of fans who'd prefer team keeping first-round pick instead of making playoffs: "We have had two first-round picks two years ago (Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors), two first-round picks a year ago (Enes Kanter and Alec Burks) and we got Jeremy (Evans), who we like. That's five young players. It's not like we have to have an infusion of younger talent. That's not something that's paramount.…We got kids that have busted their butt for 65 games to make the playoffs. For us to say, we're disappointed we made (the playoffs) because we didn't get the 13th or 14th pick in the draft is sacrilegious to me. You keep score. Why not win."

Utah Jazz hope youthful exuberance can overcome experience--Deseret News

What's more, Utah's starting center/leading scorer and rebounder, Al Jefferson, has been to the playoffs just once in his NBA career — a seven-game series that the Boston Celtics lost in his rookie season. And seven other members of the Jazz lineup, including starters Gordon Hayward and DeMarre Carroll and key reserves Derrick Favors, Alec Burks and Enes Kanter, will be sticking their toes into the postseason pool for the first time.

No. 8 Utah Jazz face No. 1 San Antonio Spurs in first round of NBA playoffs--Salt Lake Tribune

"It’s going to be a challenge. But we’re looking forward to that," Utah small forward Gordon Hayward said. "We’ve shown this season if we play our game we can hang around with anybody and compete with the best teams in the league. We have to just focus on us and do what we do."
Although Corbin said beating the Blazers remains a priority, the victory over the Suns puts less pressure on the Jazz to do so. As a result, players like Al Jefferson,Millsap, Hayward and Devin Harris might get a little more rest than usual.
• Hayward played 42 minutes against Phoenix. He has played at least 34 minutes in 15 straight games, going back to March 18.

Analysis: Jazz return to playoffs by doing it their way--Salt Lake Tribune

Jamaal Tinsley, Josh Howard, DeMarre Carroll and Blake Ahearn don’t exactly sound like playoff basketball. They don’t sound like Jazz basketball, either. But neither did Al Jefferson for seven years of non-postseason misery. Same for Devin Harris, whose career was trashed in New Jersey and bottomed out during the first two months of 2011-12 in Salt Lake City. Heavily debated lottery picks Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Alec Burks? O’Connor and Corbin made everything work. And they did it by bucking trends, ignoring experts and swearing by what they know best: basketball.
Utah’s Big Four of Millsap, Favors, Jefferson and Kanter was huge. Harris’ late-season resurgence, Hayward’s thrilling ascension and one of the deepest rosters in the NBA — a lineup O’Connor specifically assembled with a lockout-compressed schedule in mind — pushed the Jazz over the top.

After finishing off Portland, Jazz eye series vs. Spurs--Salt Lake Tribune

"We’ve proven we can beat the best teams if we do things our way," said Utah’s Gordon Hayward. "So that’s what we’re going to have to do. …

"It’s going to be exciting. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a challenge. It gives us a chance to shock the world. So we have to be ready for it."

Monson: Scott Layden once ruled the Jazz, now he serves them--Salt Lake Tribune

Paul Millsap blew past the hapless defender, who stood flat-footed in the lane, extending his hand only to bother the shot, not block it. Devin Harris flew by, then Al Jefferson … Gordon Hayward … Jamaal Tinsley … Derrick Favors … DeMarre Carroll.

NBA: Playoff-bound Utah Jazz swear by coach Tyrone Corbin--Salt Lake Tribune

How could he get an uneven, unproven Utah team to return to Jazz basketball? What would it take to finally maximize Al Jefferson’s talent? Could promising but diverse pieces such as Devin Harris, Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors be glued together to form a strong, complete whole?
The Jazz haven’t just bought in. They believe. Jefferson swears by Corbin. Millsap nightly pours out his heart and soul. Hayward has blossomed, while Favors has only grown taller. And after initially failing to synch up with a coach who constantly pushed for a faster tempo and a more aggressive style of play, Harris’ relationship with Corbin has evolved to the point the like-minded duo can trade inside jokes before practice, then dish in-game dirt about the best way to attack an opposing point guard.

Wizards vs. Cavaliers: John Wall’s 21 points, 13 assists power Washington to fifth straight win--Washington Post

After the game, the locker room was filled with jokes, laughter and fashion advice, as John Wall chided rookie Shelvin Mack: “What kind of jeans you wearing, Wrangler? You got those Brett Favres on.” Wall later claimed that he would continue to give Mack a hard time for his clothing choices on Twitter.

Wizards tie bow around lockout-shortened season--Washington Post

Rookies Vesely, Shelvin Mack and Chris Singleton got ample opportunity to contribute. Singleton had an uneven season but started more games than any player except Wall, Mack led all rookies in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.95 to 1) and Vesely relied on his athleticism and high-energy play to get time as he worked on refining his offensive game.

Butler hosts tourney at Hinkle today--The Indy Star
Butler free of transfer outbreak--Indy Star Butler Insider
Mack finishes rookie year on upswing--Indy Star Butler Insider

Ball Don’t Lie’s playoff predictions: Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks--Ball Don't Lie

But we're friends, now. The regular season is over, and I'm here to be your pal. And I'm also here to tell you that the New York Knicks, all sturdy with that defensive mindset and Tyson Chandler skulking around the paint in a surgical mask so as not to infect Norris Cole, could make a go of this. I understand the Heat ably held off the Knicks in New York a couple of weeks ago, but Madison Square Garden in early May is an entirely different beast altogether. Maybe it's just that organ, which frightened many a May of this Bulls fan growing up. Geez, my birthday is in May. Thanks a lot, Knicks.

Miami Heat falls to Wizards, will face New York Knicks in playoffs--Miami Herald

For the Heat it was the only thing of note in the season finale, other than allowing the Wizards to win the season series between the two teams and losing by more points (34) than in any other game this season. Norris Cole led the Heat with 14 points.

Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks: Who has the edge?--Miami Herald


• Heat: The Heat enters these playoffs with a better starting lineup but a worse bench than a year ago. Erik Spoelstra’s rotation finally appears settled after considerable upheaval, with Haslem starting; Battier, Miller and Anthony as the top reserves, and others (James Jones, Norris Cole, Ronnie Turiaf) playing on an as-needed basis. Miami handled the Knicks in three games this season, winning by an average margin of 10.7, and its three marquee players are simply better than the Knicks’ top three.

Looking back at Heat vs. Knicks in regular season--South Florida Sun Sentinel

Feb 23 at AmericanAirlines Arena

Heat 102, Knicks 88

At the time, the Knicks and Linsanity were the story of the NBA. At the end of the night, it was the Heat showing why they were still the team to beat in the East. Guard Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole took turns slowing New York guard Jeremy Lin, who finished 1 of 11 from the field and had eight turnovers.

Leaders Heat Knicks

Points Bosh 25, Anthony 19

Rebounds James and Udonis Haslem 9, Chandler 9

Assists James 8, Baron Davis, Jeremy Lin, J.R. Smith 3

Butler's upcoming departure to the Atlantic-10 creates opportunities for Cleveland State Vikings, Horizon League--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Report: Cleveland State Lands Former Missouri Commit Aaron Scales--Cleveland State Hoops
Aaron Scales Signs With Men's

Howard Moore Will Throw Out First Pitch at U.S. Cellular Field

Averkamp And Gibler Named To National Jesuit All-Academic
Porter Moser Visits Wrigley

Former Phoenix Standout Earns MVP
VIDEO: Wojta Provides Inside Look on WNBA Draft

Former St. Catherine's point guard joins Panthers--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Scouting: Nike Spring Showdown Part B--UM Hoops

Ryan Fazekas: 6-7 Forward, Marquette Catholic (Ind.)/Meanstreets, Class of 2015

As a 6-7, 180-pound 2015 prospect, Fazekas has an unlimited upside. After one year at Marquette Catholic High School, he has over 15 schools interested in his services, and received an offer at 14 years old from Valparaiso. He has a great touch, and a lethal three-point shot. He’s a good catch-and-shoot player, but can put the ball on the floor, and create his own shot. Fazekas is athletic and has good court awareness, always finding open space. He moves well without the ball and gets involved on the glass at both ends of the floor.

Very disciplined for a freshman, Fazekas doesn’t take bad shots, and makes good decisions with the ball. With good ball skills, he has a knack for getting to the line and knocking down free throws. He scored a game-high 27 points in his team’s last pool play game on Saturday, and was the best player on the floor.

Fazekas needs to continue to gain muscle and adjust to a new position as he grows. He’s grown six inches since last summer, put on eight pounds since March, and said he plans on being 6-9 next year. He needs to get better driving through the lane, and could improve finishing down low.

Grad student exemption adds to spin of transfer turnstiles--USA Today

The Big Ten has dominated this trend in basketball, too. Michigan State reached the Sweet 16 with Valparaiso transfer Brandon Wood as its third-leading scorer. Illinois had Sam Maniscalco, a Bradley transfer, who contributed 6.1 points a game. Northwestern recently acquired Louisville senior Jared Swopshire, who left because the Cardinals didn't have an available scholarship. Swopshire will be eligible to play in 2012-13 as a graduate student.

Wood explained the process, saying once he found out about the graduate student exemption, it opened up a new recruiting period for him. He chose Michigan State over Purdue and Tennessee to work on his defensive skills under coach Tom Izzo's guidance. Wood enrolled in MSU's advertising program after two years at Valparaiso (which was preceded by stops at Southern Illinois and Highland Community College in Illinois).

"I did everything my first four years that each school asked me to do on and off the court," Wood said. "I feel like once I graduated … If I had the opportunity to transfer and better my family and myself on and off the court by networking, meeting a whole different group of people, then that's what I feel like I needed to do.

"Sometimes, in life you have to make selfish decisions. … I don't think it's a bad rule. If players handle their business and do what they have to do in the classroom and have the opportunity to do this, take advantage of this rule to better themselves, then I think it's something people should look into doing."
"It's unfortunate when players want to pursue a different pastures to maybe better themselves in the classroom or on the court, and they're not allowed to," Wood said. "You have to have an open mind, whether you're a player or coach. … If players handle their business and do what they're asked on and off the court, I don't think it should be a problem."

Profiles In Badassery: Brad Miller--Hammer and Rails

Expectations were high in 1997-98 with Miller as a senior. Some guy named Brian Cardinal was starting to come along, and Cornell, Austin, and Robinson were coming along. An aggressive non-conference schedule saw Purdue fall to North Carolina by four in the Great Alaska Shootout final and Kentucky in the Great Eight. Purdue did beat Louisville at Louisville and No. 10 Xavier in Indianapolis. Our Boilers were in the top 10 most of the year and finished 28-8, 12-4 in the Big Ten. In the first ever Big Ten Tournament Purdue reached the final, but lost to Michigan a team that most certainly did not play any college basketball that season according to the NCAA.

Purdue earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAAs and easily dispatched Delaware and Detroit before getting upset in St. Louis by Stanford and Mark Madsen. This is one reason a red mist of anger descends when I see Madsen's Laker celebration dance. You see, on the other half of the bracket was Rhode Island (who had upset No. 1 seed Kansas in round 2) and the Bryce Drew Valparaiso Crusaders. The path had been cleared to the Final Four, but we couldn't get past Stanford.

Stebbins grad sets lofty goal for WSU women's basketball--Dayton Daily News

WSU basketball recruit a ‘coach on the floor’--Dayton Daily News

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

News On The Horizon 4/25/2012

2012-13 Comprehensive Early Season Events List--Eye On College Basketball


Dates: Nov. 19-21

Teams: Butler, Illinois, Marquette, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Texas, USC, Chaminade

For some, home really is sweet--ESPN

SMU is hardly alone on a list of schools that have had trouble hiring coaches in recent years. Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart and Butler's Brad Stevens both turned down a $2.6 million offer last month to coach Illinois, which eventually hired Ohio's John Groce.

Valparaiso's Bryce Drew spurned an opportunity to coach at Mississippi State, and Wichita State's Gregg Marshall said "no thanks" when Nebraska showed interest.
On the flip side, Marshall feels mid-major schools stand just as good a chance of going on a postseason run and reaching the Final Four as does, say, the sixth-place team from a major conference such as the Big 12 or Big Ten.

Butler and VCU are proof.

The Bulldogs reached the NCAA title game in 2010 and '11. And VCU made the Final Four in 2011.Because of that, it's no surprise that VCU's Smart and Butler's Stevens are among the first names that pop up whenever a job becomes available in a top-six conference. Both have been content to stay put.
Stevens has faced those same kinds of questions ever since leading Butler to a near-upset of Duke in the 2010 NCAA title game -- and they only intensified one year later, when the Bulldogs reached the championship once again.

"What everyone might consider to be a great job on the outside … it may not be looked at that way among coaches," Stevens said. "To each his own. What's important to one person may not be important to another."

Illinois has hardly been the only suitor for Stevens, who doesn't seem to have intentions of leaving Butler.

At least not in the immediate future.

Stevens, who is married with two young children, said it's difficult to imagine uprooting his wife and two young children and moving to a different city or state. Stevens grew up in Indiana and began his coaching career as an assistant at Butler in 2001.

"The coaching carousel is a lot of fun to talk about and form opinions on and speculate about -- until it hits your family," Stevens said. "Then it's not fun. It's not fun to think about the impact it has on your family. No decision is made, no move is made until you examine the impact it has on your family."

My mom lives here, my dad lives here. I know people all over town. It's a great job. A great life. I don't know if it'd be like that everywhere else. But I know it's like that here.

"Most coaches at non-BCS schools aren't compensated as well as Stevens, Smart and Marshall. But even the chance to earn twice as much money isn't appealing enough for some to leave a successful program to take over one that is in bad shape.
Another factor that can make non-BCS coaches think twice before jumping to power conferences is recruiting. Bigger schools often pursue higher-caliber players, which sometimes means dealing with the underbelly of college basketball.

"Recruiting at the high-major level is extremely complicated and, in many cases, corrupt," said one coach from a mid-major school. "If I was to take a high-major job, I could be entering myself in all sorts of scenarios that I can usually avoid where I am now. That's a factor for certain people.

"If you go to that level and you go about it the 'right way,' the deck could be stacked against you."

It's a scenario coaches like Marshall, Smart and Stevens likely won't have to deal with any time soon.If ever."I never even dreamed I'd be the coach at Butler," Stevens said. "I sure as heck never had a goal -- and still don't -- to have a BCS job. I don't have any goals written on a napkin. In a lot of ways, this has already been a fairy tale."

Morning Five: 04.23.12 Edition--Rush The Court

It’s the offseason so clearly it’s time for schools to haphazardly jump around again. And you thought this M5 would only focus on player transfers? A report by the New York Post’s Lenn Robbins on Friday afternoon claimed for the second time in a month that CAA stalwarts George Mason and VCU were preparing to move to the Atlantic 10 as soon as early May, and that Horizon League and national power Butler is also ready to join a new and improved A-10. At this point, all interested parties are publicly denying everything, but if we’ve learned anything in the past two years of conference realignment madness, such denials are virtually meaningless. Assuming that Xavier and St. Louis aren’t headed anywhere, the top of the Atlantic 10 could be poised to become one heck of a basketball league for years to come.

Early Preseason Top 40 for 2012-13--ESPN

Analysis: Brad Stevens' team will be back in the big picture. Rotnei Clarke, the transfer from Arkansas, will help from long range.

Does the Utah Jazz’s ‘big lineup’ make them dangerous in the NBA playoffs--Ball Don't Lie

Heading into Tuesday night's action, the Jazz had played Jefferson, Millsap and Favors together for a shade over 97 total minutes on the season — just under 51 minutes with the backcourt of Devin Harris and Gordon Hayward, just under 30 with Hayward and backup point guard Jamaal Tinsley, and less than 10 minutes each in stints with the combinations of Tinsley and rookie Alec Burks, Burks and Harris, Burks and Earl Watson, and Hayward and Watson, according to's Jazz lineup numbers. In those 97.27 minutes, lineups featuring the Jefferson/Favors/Millsap troika scored 115.8 points per 100 possessions for the Jazz, while allowing just 84-per-100. A Wednesday morning update following the win over the Suns via Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe shows a dip in the offensive efficiency numbers to 111.9-per-100, but even stronger defensive stats, as Utah's big lineups have now allowed just 82.3-per-100 in 113 total minutes together.
Add to that the defensive activity of moving, engaged wings like Hayward, Burks and Harris, and while 84 points per 100 possessions seems like an awful tough number to continually replicate, you definitely have the makings of a defensive lineup that can hold up better than it seems to on paper.

Utah Jazz punch playoff ticket with 100-88 win over Suns--Deseret News

Gordon Hayward, one of seven Jazz players who've never been in the NBA postseason, added 11 points and eight assists.
Gordon Hayward, Devin Harris and Favors all played strong in the second quarter, leading the Jazz to a 49-42 halftime lead.

Harris and Hayward sent the Jazz into the locker room with something to cheer about. Harris poked the ball away from Nash and it ended up in Hayward's hands. He flung it downcourt to a sprinting Harris, who finished off the sequence with a layup.

Utah Jazz-Phoenix Suns report card--Deseret News

GUARDS: Devin Harris did more than just hold his own against Steve Nash and the rest of the Suns' backcourt. He produced with 14 points, four rebounds and three assists. But his biggest play probably came when he drew a charge on Sebastian Telfair with 6:15 remaining as the Jazz led 82-78. Gordon Hayward didn't shoot the ball well but was otherwise outstanding. He played great defense and had two steals to go along with 11 points and eight assists. Steve Nash's stat line was similar to the last time the Suns played in Utah, but he didn't impact the game nearly as much. Shannon Brown had decent stats, but his turnovers and overall sloppy play were a detriment to Phoenix.

Grade: A-

Utah Jazz-Phoenix Suns: Instant Analysis--Deseret News

Undeniably talented: The much-touted core of Utah’s youngsters were integral in the playoffs-clinching win. In quiet fashion, sophomore guard Gordon Hayward used his exceptional passing skills to help jumpstart a sometimes sputtering offense. He finished with eight assists, as well as 11 points and a pair of steals. He also recorded no turnovers.

Utah Jazz big men dominate the paint, guards hold Nash in check--Deseret News

After a timeout, Phoenix was going for a final shot, but Devin Harris came up from behind Nash and knocked the ball forward, right to Gordon Hayward, who in turn flung a pass to a streaking Harris for a layup. Instead of possibly leading by three, the Jazz went into halftime with a seven-point advantage.

Utah Jazz players moving past just being kids with big win--Deseret News

Kids. They can find the darndest things to enjoy. Enes Kanter looked like it was his birthday. Same with Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors. Veteran Devin Harris emotionally hugged coach Ty Corbin. Even the "old" guys like 27-year-old Al Jefferson fought back the emotion.

That's understandable. Eight years in the league and Jefferson hasn't paid many visits to Respectville. Just one previous playoff appearance. But after scoring eight straight points to pull the Jazz ahead for good, he's not just Big Al the scorer, he's Big Al the possible postseason leader. It's not just Gordon Hayward, the promising young player, it's Hayward the veteran. As for playoff intensity, now they can all enjoy the feel. Asked whether this team was more excited than those that routinely make the playoffs, Harris said, "I would think so. It's just a young group not expected to do anything."

Utah Jazz big men come up big to put team in postseason--Deseret News

And with Devin Harris adding 14 points, Gordon Hayward 11 points with eight assists and rookie Alec Burks chipping in eight more key points off the bench, it propelled an over-achieving Jazz ballclub — one which most so-called experts expected very little success from in their preseason predictions — into postseason play as either the No. 7 or No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.
For guys like second-year players Favors and Hayward, and the rookie Burks, the wait won't be nearly so long as Jefferson's, but it'll be their first taste of postseason play in their young NBA careers.

Clinched: After season-long struggle, Utah Jazz secure spot in playoffs--Deseret News

Gordon Hayward, one of seven Jazz players who've never been in the NBA postseason, added 11 points and eight assists. Alec Burks added eight points, and the Jazz even had a nice four-point contribution from Josh Howard, back after a month rehab from knee surgery.

Jazz notes: Utah’s top players stay healthy in lockout season--Salt Lake Tribune

After taking the court Tuesday night against Phoenix, rookie Enes Kanter and second-year forward Gordon Hayward have played in all 65 of the Jazz’s games. With Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors and Devin Harris recording time in at least 62 with one game to go, Utah’s on the verge of having most of its top athletes successfully navigate what’s been an injury-plagued season for many teams.

Monson: Good news, bad news — the Jazz are headed to the playoffs--Salt Lake Tribune

Gordon Hayward was so caught up in the moment, he actually said, without laughing: "The goal isn’t just to get to the playoffs, it’s to win the whole thing."

Utah Jazz make NBA playoffs with 100-88 win over Phoenix--Salt Lake Tribune

Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor was smiling. President Randy Rigby was giving fist bumps. Jefferson joked and hollered, while everyone from Gordon Hayward to Harris beamed while discussing their team — one they told anyone who’d listen all season never to count out.

Utah Jazz: Top Jazz players likely to get a breather against Portland--Salt Lake Tribune

Although Corbin said beating the Blazers remains a priority, the victory over the Suns puts less pressure on the Jazz to do so. As a result, players like Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Gordon Hayward and Devin Harris might get a little more rest than usual.
• Hayward played 42 minutes against Phoenix. He has played at least 34 minutes in 15 straight games, going back to March 18.

Ernie Grunfeld, Wizards need to stick together--Washington Post

On draft day this year, Grunfeld used the sixth pick on Jan Vesely, the 18th pick on Singleton and the 34th pick on Shelvin Mack, who have shown during the second half of this season they can be complementary players.

Ernie Grunfeld to stay with Wizards, who beat Charlotte, 101-73--Washington Post

Vesely scored a career-high 16 points on 8-for-8 shooting against the Bobcats, but he and fellow rookies Singleton and Shelvin Mack have had minimal impact in their rookie seasons, despite plenty of opportunity to contribute.

Gordon Hayward prepares for 1st NBA playoff game--The Indy Star
Hayward goes to first playoffs--Indy Star Butler Insider
Ronald Nored Earns Academic All-League

Heat Big Three insist chemistry still there as they sit out 78-66 loss to Celtics--South Florida Sun Sentinel

With James getting his hoped-for rest, Wade working his way through a dislocated left index finger and Bosh dealing with a lingering hamstring issue, the Heat left the challenge of the Celtics to the likes of Dexter Pittman, Norris Cole and Juwan Howard.

Cedric Jackson Wins Ring Down Under--Let's Go Vikes!

Seven Titans Named to Horizon League Winter Academic

The 2011-12 Season Is Just A Start For The

Howard Moore Visits Wrigley

Loyola Places Six On Academic All-Horizon League
1963 Ramblers Honored At State
Join The Ramblers On A Tour Of Italy This

Phoenix Basketball's Top-10: Individual Efforts of

UWM searching again for AD--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Change before change--PantherU
Timeline of Turmoil--PantherU
Panthers Land League-Best 13 On Winter All-Academic

Valpo men lose Harris, add Rice transfer--The Post-Tribune
Jay Harris transferring from Valparaiso--Off The Mark
David Chadwick transferring to Valparaiso--Off The Mark
Jay Harris to leave Valparaiso men's hoops team--The NWI Times
Chadwick commits to VU men's basketball team--The NWI Times
Harris leaves Valparaiso--Inside VU Sports
Harris to Transfer From Crusader Men’s Basketball
Chadwick to Join Valpo Men's Basketball

Valparaiso selects Dorow to be its new women’s basketball coach--The Post-Tribune
Dorow named new Valparaiso women’s basketball coach--The NWI Times
Tracey Dorow Named Valpo’s Women’s Basketball
Westendorp Named Valpo Women’s Hoops
Gerardot Named to Horizon League’s All-Academic

Commentary: Rowdies lured top talent to WSU--Dayton Daily News

Raiders sign 3 recruits, 2 locals--Dayton Daily News
Women's Basketball Adds Three to

Infusion of height, talent--The Jambar

Penguins Land Eight on Winter Horizon League All-Academic

Tracey Dorow Named Valparaiso's Women's Basketball Coach--Horizon League Network

Monday, April 23, 2012

News On The Horizon 4/23/2012

Atlantic 10 Remains Serious About Its Basketball Presence--Rush The Court Jazz outlast Orlando in OT to set up play-in game vs. Phoenix--Deseret News

Eventually, it was back-to-back 3-pointers by the Jazz's Gordon Hayward and Harris that helped Utah survive this big scare and pick up the big win.

Jazz once again 'refuse to lose'--Deseret News

Then with Jefferson, Millsap, Harris, Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors each taking turns making huge contributions, the Jazz pulled away in overtime to take another giant step toward turning their postseason dream into a reality.

"We survived," said Hayward, who hit a huge 3-pointer in overtime to give the Jazz a 110-105 lead. "That's the best way to describe it.

"They knocked down a lot of shots, early especially, but we were able to come through late and get stops when we needed and get the win."

Yep, all part of that "refuse to lose" mentality.

Report card: Orland Magic vs. Utah Jazz--Deseret News

GUARDS: It certainly wasn't the most consistent effort from start to finish for Devin Harris and Gordon Hayward, but each played a huge role in saving the Jazz's victory. Harris provided one of the game's biggest plays when he blocked Jameer Nelson's shot at the end of the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime. His 3-pointer with 37.9 seconds remaining sealed it for Utah. Hayward, who has played spectacularly for much of the month, hit a 3-pointer to make it 110-105 with 1:38 left in the game. That shot helped make up for his six turnovers. Nelson led Orlando with 23 points. J.J. Redick hit a key 3-pointer during Orlando's 16-0 run in the third quarter, but didn't score in the fourth quarter or overtime.

Grade: B-

Utah Jazz-Orlando Magic: Instant Analysis--Deseret News

Odds n’ Ends:
Gordon Hayward made a big trey in overtime, but had an uncharacteristic six turnovers.

Jazz roar back to outshoot Magic in 117-107 OT win--Salt Lake Tribune

"We survived," said Jazz forward Gordon Hayward, who drained a game-changing 3-pointer with 1 minute and 38 seconds left in OT that made it 110-105 Utah.

"They knocked down a lot of shots early. … But we were able to come through late and get stops when we needed to and get the win."

The Jazz outscored the Magic 16-6 in the extra period. Five Utah players recorded points during OT. And critical 3s by Hayward and Devin Harris erased the Magic’s perimeter-based attack, which saw a height-challenged Orlando club fire up 38 overall 3s and connect on 39.5 percent of them.

"That’s how they play, and we knew that going into the game," Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said.

NBA: 3-point shooting revs up Utah Jazz’s offense--Salt Lake Tribune

That, right there, is how the Utah Jazz offense has gone to another level in the past month. On consecutive possessions, Gordon Hayward and Devin Harris knocked home wide-open 3-point looks, blowing open their matchup with the Magic in overtime and leading the Jazz to a 117-107 win on Saturday night.

No longer is it prudent strategy to slap a simple zone on the Jazz, collapse on Jefferson and Paul Millsap and dare the guards to shoot from the perimeter. No longer is it easy to defend Harris and Hayward by slacking off and playing them to drive to the basket.

The Jazz have started to make the 3-pointer consistently. And that has made them more dangerous as they head into a matchup with the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night that could propel them into the playoffs.

"It’s something that we knew we had to start doing," Hayward said. "We know that we have the ability to shoot the ball, and when we’re doing it well, the big men have more room to work with in the paint."

Truly, Utah’s resurgence from the perimeter has had a ripple effect. It started with Harris, who rediscovered his game and figured out how to be aggressive and run the offense at the same time. And it has spread to Hayward, who has been playing his best basketball of the season in the past month.

Gordon Monson: Is Kevin O’Connor building the Jazz into a title contender?--Salt Lake Tribune

It’s back out now, the Jazz having moved into a favorable situation where they can nourish that core of young players — Favors, Kanter, Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward, all 22 and under — mixed with a still-improving Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson, who are under contract for another year, and a list of useful role players, including second-chance vets such as Jamaal Tinsley and Josh Howard.

James, Heat win home finale over Houston, 97-88--Miami Herald

MIAMI -- LeBron James had 32 points and eight rebounds, Norris Cole added 16 points and the Miami Heat pulled away in the final minutes to beat Houston 97-88 on Sunday night and eliminate the Rockets from postseason contention.

Miami Heat tops the Houston Rockets, LeBron James makes case for MVP--Miami Herald

With Wade and Chris Bosh sitting out, the Heat fielded its 16th different starting lineup of the season with James starting alongside Norris Cole, Udonis Haslem, James Jones and Dexter Pittman.
Cole finished with 16 points. Joel Anthony, who provided a nice lift off the bench, added 11 points and six rebounds. Miller finished with 11 points on 4 of 12 shooting.

Wade, Bosh, Chalmers out; LeBron plays vs. Rockets--South Florida Sun Sentinel

Forward LeBron James, who did not play Saturday against the Washington Wizards, will play in the regular-season home finale. Chalmers is a scratch because of the flu. He was replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Norris Cole.

Heat expect Chris Bosh back before playoffs--South Florida Sun Sentinel

Bosh was one of four players to miss Sunday's game. Center Ronny Turiaf was out for a seventh consecutive game with a strained hamstring while Mario Chalmers was sidelined with flu-like symptoms. Rookie Norris Cole started in his place.

LeBron James' 32 lift Heat over Rockets 97-88, with Wade, Bosh out--South Florida Sun Sentinel

For the seventh time in seven games, Spoelstra rolled out a different lineup, this time with James Jones starting in place of Dwyane Wade, Norris Cole in place of Mario Chalmers and Dexter Pittman in place of Chris Bosh.

Report: Cleveland State Offers John Hay's O'Field--Cleveland State Hoops

2012 target Matt Tiby decides--PantherU

Saturday, April 21, 2012

News On The Horizon 4/21/2012

A-10 could have George Mason, VCU added by May 1 (maybe)--CollegeBasketballTalk
Devin Harris, Gordon Hayward lead Utah Jazz to a big win against Portland Trail Blazers--Deseret News
Utah Jazz-Portland Trail Blazers: Report card--Deseret News

Guards: Devin Harris truly played one of his best games of the season, scoring 27 points on 8-of-15 shooting, with four rebounds. Harris' outing marked his second-best point output of the season, exceeded only by a 28-point effort on April 6 against Golden State. Harris, an 11 points-per-game scorer this season, has now scored 18 or more points in six of the past eight games. With 23 points, four rebounds and three 3-pointers, Gordon Hayward also was excellent. Nolan Smith and Matthews did damage for the Blazers, scoring 37 combined points.


Utah Jazz-Portland Trail Blazers: Instant Analysis--Deseret News

Big-time backcourt: Utah’s starting backcourt of Devin Harris and Gordon Hayward picked up right where they left off Monday against the Dallas Mavericks. Against a mix-and-match Portland guard line, Harris started out on absolute fire, scoring 14 points in the first quarter and finishing with 25 in the first half. While he only added two more points in the second half, he put the game out of reach early on. He added four assists and four rebounds.

Hayward continues his stellar play, scoring easily on a variety of smooth jumpers and sly moves to the basket. He hit 8-11 from the field en route to 23 points and four boards.
Much-needed rest: After the draining Utah-Dallas marathon, the blowout allowed Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin to sit his headliners more than usual as they continue their postseason push. Hayward played 34 minutes, but Harris (30), Al Jefferson (29) and Paul Millsap (25) watched the fourth quarter from the bench.

Treys and trifectas: After hitting 12 3-pointers their last outing, Utah continued their torrid perimeter marksmanship, connecting on 10-17 (58.8 percent) on Wednesday. Harris hit all six of his triples in the first half and Hayward hit 3-4 from downtown. Alec Burks made the final trifecta.

Jazz in playoff driver’s seat with win over Blazers--Salt Lake Tribune

Minutes after downing the Blazers (28-35), Utah’s locker room was as proud and strong as it’s been all year. Al Jefferson sang. Paul Millsap laughed and teased. Gordon Hayward smiled and slapped a low-five. All the while, Harris quietly but confidently talked about his game.

Jazz forwards Derrick Favors and DeMarre Carroll bumped heads during the second half. They were cleared by doctors after the game. … Burks tied a season-high with 17 points, while Hayward added 23 on 8-of-11 shooting and hit 3 of 4 3-pointers. … Utah won’t practice Thursday and doesn’t play again until Saturday against the Magic, who’ll be without All-Star center Dwight Howard. … Ex-Utah guard Wesley Matthews scored a team-high 21 points for the Blazers.

Who needs a Big Three? Utah Jazz have Big Four--Salt Lake Tribune

Devin Harris’ midseason turnaround was crucial. Gordon Hayward’s evolution has been key. Coach Tyrone Corbin, a deep bench, young athletes blending with proven veterans and the ability to weather a lockout-shortened season better than most have all played parts.

Butler Could Join Atlantic 10 On May 1, According To Report--SB Nation Indiana
Hayward's hot hand helping Jazz during stretch run--The Indy Star
Butler to A-10 May Day for Horizon?--The Indy Star
More A-10 speculation about Butler--Indy Star Butler Insider

Heat, Bulls game looks anything but meaningless--Miami Herald

Spoelstra continued to tinker with different combinations. There was the Mario Chalmers-Dwyane Wade-James-Udonis Haslem-Dexter Pittman lineup. Or Norris Cole-Shane Battier-James-Mike Miller-Joel Anthony. Or Cole-James-Miller-Haslem-Pittman. Spoelstra kept mixing and matching, like he was in his closet figuring out the best look for a party. A very important party. If the Heat doesn’t get it right and win an NBA championship in the second season of the Big3, Spoelstra’s job will be in jeopardy.

Still unresolved: Where does Miller, still brittle and inconsistent, fit in? Who is the starting center — Joel Anthony or the hamstring-hobbled Ronny Turiaf? Can Cole be trusted? Will the Heat bench, outscored 47-7 in Chicago and outscored again Thursday, be more productive during the stretch run?

Question were raised Thursday, but so was anticipation.

McCallum Named to National All-Jesuit

Brown Named To The National All-Jesuit Basketball

Loyola Women's Basketball Signees Turn In Terrific Senior

Men's basketball: Phoenix adds 7-2 walk-on Bross--Green Bay Press Gazette
By the Numbers: A Look at Alec Brown's First Two

Phoenix Fans Invited to Support Wojta in WNBA Debut May

Alec Brown Already Becoming One of Green Bay's Elite--Horizon League Network

Thursday, April 19, 2012

News On The Horizon 4/19/2012

News and notes from IndyBall Shootout--The Indy Star

* Got a look at Eron Gordon, the incoming North Central freshman guard and youngest brother of Eric Gordon Jr., the former North Central/Indiana star currently playing the NBA. The 6-1 Gordon, playing up a grade level with the Eric Gordon Central Stars 15s, had 32 points in a blowout win. While of the offensive production seemed to come easy, so did his ability get his teammates involved and spread the wealth. Gordon, who is receiving interest from Butler, Indiana and Purdue, among others, will face unreasonable expectations because of his brother, but doesn’t seem fazed in the least. I’d expect him to be a difference-maker from Day One at North Central.
* It’s hard not to appreciate the toughness of Kokomo’s Tayler Persons, who plays the point for the Eric Gordon 16s. The 6-1 Persons said he is receiving college interest from Indiana State and Loyola (Ill.) and has also heard from Georgia State and IUPUI. Persons isn’t flashy but is about as hard-nosed as they come.

* Mooreville’s Jacob Johnson is probably a bit under-the-radar at this point, but college coaches are starting to find out about the 6-6 left-handed rising junior. Johnson said Valparaiso, Evansville, Indiana State, Butler, Xavier and Purdue have been in contact and he hopes to visit Butler and Valparaiso this spring. The college interest is all relatively new for Johnson, who averaged 10.7 points and 6.1 rebounds as a sophomore. Didn’t get to see him shoot much from the perimeter, but very athletic.

* Sean Sellers, a 6-6 rising junior, said he’s hearing more from Evansville and Indiana State, as well as Butler, Michigan and Dayton. He said he hopes to attend the Butler elite camp, but it may conflict with the state track meet, as he competes in the high jump. … His high school teammate, 6-3 guard Bryant McIntosh is gaining interest from Ball State and Indiana State, as coaches from both schools plan to see him the coming week.

* Chandler White, a strong 6-2 rising sophomore guard from Fort Wayne Carroll, has had coaches from several schools in to see him, including Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Butler and Xavier. He’s visited Indiana, Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State for games. White, who is playing for Indiana Elite/Team Indiana 15s, said Indiana and Michigan have been after him the hardest to this point. He doesn’t yet have an offer.

* Grant Weatherford, a 6-foot rising sophomore guard from Hamilton Heights, is getting some early Division I interest. He is also playing with Indiana Elite/Team Indiana, a team loaded with guards. Joining him the backcourt is Sean McGee Jr., a 5-10 point guard from Fort Wayne North Side. Butler, Indiana, Michigan State and Purdue have sent coaches to see McGee and he’s also been to Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue and Xavier. McGee, who doesn’t yet have any offers, said Indiana and Michigan State are his favorite schools to this point.
* Sean Sellers, a 6-6 rising junior, said he’s hearing more from Evansville and Indiana State, as well as Butler, Michigan and Dayton. He said he hopes to attend the Butler elite camp, but it may conflict with the state track meet, as he competes in the high jump. … His high school teammate, 6-3 guard Bryant McIntosh is gaining interest from Ball State and Indiana State, as coaches from both schools plan to see him the coming week.

* Chandler White, a strong 6-2 rising sophomore guard from Fort Wayne Carroll, has had coaches from several schools in to see him, including Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Butler and Xavier. He’s visited Indiana, Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State for games. White, who is playing for Indiana Elite/Team Indiana 15s, said Indiana and Michigan have been after him the hardest to this point. He doesn’t yet have an offer.

* Grant Weatherford, a 6-foot rising sophomore guard from Hamilton Heights, is getting some early Division I interest. He is also playing with Indiana Elite/Team Indiana, a team loaded with guards. Joining him the backcourt is Sean McGee Jr., a 5-10 point guard from Fort Wayne North Side. Butler, Indiana, Michigan State and Purdue have sent coaches to see McGee and he’s also been to Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue and Xavier. McGee, who doesn’t yet have any offers, said Indiana and Michigan State are his favorite schools to this point.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Michael Orris granted release from Illini--The NWI Times

Among the schools showing interest are Kansas State, where Weber is now the head coach, Pitt, Boston College, Missouri State, Valparaiso and Wisconsin-Green Bay. Orris' high school teammate Greg Mays is a freshman at UW-Green Bay.

College Hoops Top 25 For 2012-2013 [Amended to Reflect Recruits/NBA Decisions]--The Big Lead

18. Butler (22-15, NIT). Top four scorers back plus high-impact transfer in Clarke.

Ball Don't Lie
Delonte West sticks his finger in Gordon Hayward’s ear, gets T’d up, is matter-of-fact about it (VIDEO)
--Ball Don't Lie
Utah Jazz-Dallas Mavericks: Instant Analysis--Deseret News

An NBA first: In the annals of recorded NBA lore, it is doubtful that a player has ever put his finger in an opponent’s ear during a dead ball. Well, that changed Monday night.

In the second quarter, Mavs guard Delonte West did just that, angrily poking a digit into Gordon Hayward’s ear. The former had fouled the latter, and as the whistle was called, West waltzed over, taunting the Utah Jazz sophomore. Before anyone knew it, he put his finger in Hayward’s ear.

He was given a technical and while Hayward missed the free throw, it was the Jazz guard who had the last laugh. Hayward’s 24 points, five assists and four rebounds were seemingly spurred on by the disrespectful action by West.
Devin Harris led the triple charge, hitting a game-high 5-12 from downtown against the team that drafted him. Backcourt partner Gordon Hayward was more efficient, nailing 4 of 6. Carroll, Jamaal Tinsley and Blake Ahearn each hit one, with Ahearn scoring his first points in a Jazz uniform.

Utah Jazz quintet logs strong performance to hold off Mavericks--Deseret News
Big win vs. 'Big D': Utah Jazz hang on to beat Mavericks in triple overtime--Deseret News

And Gordon Hayward had clutch plays while scoring 24 points with five assists and four boards.
Setting the tone for a weird and wild game, West stuck his finger in Hayward's ear after getting called for a foul on the Jazz shooting guard. West was given a technical — somehow avoiding getting tossed for the bizarre act — and Utah got the last laugh.

West's explanation?

"(Hayward) had some lint in his hair. I was just trying to get it out for him," West said. "I was giving him a wet willy. That's all. We are two warriors. We're out here battling on the battlefield."

Jazz notebook: A straight-forward scenario for reaching playoffs--Deseret News

"We realize how big of a game it is (tonight). We've just got to go out there and execute the game plan and not have any mental lapses," Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward said. "We realize a loss here or there could mean that we go home early, and none of us want that."

Utah Jazz: Hayward keeps his head during pursuit of playoffs--Deseret News
Rock On: Why not rename the Marriott Center?--Deseret News


Remember the '60s phrase, "Stick it in your ear!"

Delonte West does.

Apparently upset about being called for a foul against the Jazz on Monday, the Dallas guard jammed his index finger into Gordon Hayward's ear.

West's explanation: "He just had some lint in his hair. I was trying to get it out for him. I was giving him a wet willy. That's all. We are two warriors. We're out here battling on the battlefield."

Same thing the Duke of Wellington did to Napoleon, right?

Or maybe West has just been watching too many "Three Stooges" trailers.

Al Jefferson lifts Utah Jazz to 3OT win over Dallas Mavericks--Salt Lake Tribune

With the Jazz’s playoff hopes wavering, Utah relied on everyone from Gordon Hayward and Devin Harris to Carroll to pull out a win clearly worthy of a team clawing for a postseason spot.

Jamaal Tinsley approaches career assists milestone--Salt Lake Tribune

"Wet willy" aftermath

The morning after Delonte West stuck a finger in his ear during Utah’s 123-121 triple-overtime win over Dallas, Gordon Hayward admitted his first instinct was to confront the Mavs’ veteran guard.

Instead, he walked away.

"You have to keep your composure more than getting into a fight or anything like that," Hayward said.

The incident began when West fouled Hayward as the two ran up the floor. West kept talking to Hayward and, at one point, stuck a finger in his ear.

After reviewing the play on TV, the officials gave West a technical foul but, strangely perhaps, did not eject him for an incident that could have triggered something worse.

Said Hayward, "He bumped me and it’s like, ‘O.K., he’s obviously frustrated.’ Then, when he did the second [thing], it’s like, ‘Man, we’ve got him right where we want him.’"

According to Hayward, the Jazz "got the last laugh" by beating the Mavericks.

West could be facing disciplinary action by the NBA, which Hayward’s teammates criticized.

" ... I thought it was childish," Jeremy Evans said. "But, as far as Gordon, I thought he was really strong — keeping his composure. A lot of guys really can’t do that."

Said rookie Alec Burks: "There’s no call for that. I mean, we’re all grown men. You can’t challenge somebody’s manhood out there like that. I didn’t like that at all."

Asked if he’s ever seen anything like it, Burks said, "In pick-up ball, it happens a lot. But we’re out here playing a game and we get paid for it. There ain’t no need for that."

Jazz notes: Blake Ahearn hoping for second contract with Utah--Salt Lake Tribune

Soft crime

The NBA announced Wednesday it fined Dallas guard Delonte West $25,000 for a physical taunt of Jazz forward Gordon Hayward during Utah’s 123-121 triple-overtime home victory Monday.

West intentionally stuck a finger in Hayward’s ear during the game and received a technical foul.

"He bumped me and it’s, ‘OK, he’s obviously frustrated,’ " Hayward said Tuesday. "Then when he did the second one, it’s like, ‘Man, we’ve got him right where we want him.’ … We got the last laugh with the win."

Wizards vs. Bulls: Kevin Seraphin, John Wall lead upset of team with NBA’s best record--Washington Post

Kevin Seraphin, Maurice Evans, Brian Cook and Shelvin Mack refused to let their team give in, and the Wizards battled on both ends, getting two defensive stops in the final seconds to escape with one of their grittiest wins of the season.
Chicago took a 68-57 lead less than a minute into the fourth quarter when guard Richard Hamilton (22 points) made a baseline jumper and Seraphin fouled Bulls reserve Omer Asik, who made the free throw to complete the odd three-point play. But Seraphin started a 13-0 run by converting a three-point play on the other end. Cook tied the score with a three-pointer and Mack followed with a driving layup to give the Wizards a 70-68 lead.

Go finger: Hayward, Jazz stay alive--Indy Star Butler Insider
Recruiting strategy: Leave one open?--Indy Star Butler Insider

LeBron James introduces rookie Norris Cole to Jay-Z after a Heat win (VIDEO)--Ball Don't Lie
Resting players will be priority for Miami Heat for remaining games--Miami Herald

Playing time

Rookies will likely get more opportunities like Terrel Harris did against the Nets.

In his first career start, Harris played 23 minutes at the shooting guard spot and finished with seven points on 3-of-5 shooting, two assists and one turnover.

Norris Cole has struggled to recapture his early season form. Cole played several minutes in the fourth quarter Monday and finished with nine points.

Press Release: Josh Ivory Signs With Cleveland State--Cleveland State Hoops
Report: Cleveland State Offers Midland College's Majok--Cleveland State Hoops

Detroit Mercy's Ray McCallum earns national Jesuit honor--The Detroit Free Press
McCallum Named to National All-Jesuit

Guards Joey Miller, Jay Parker Join UIC Basketball as

Women's Basketball Celebrates Historic Season at Awards

Loyola Recruits Have Outstanding 2011-12

Men's basketball: UWGB's Turner on track in ACL recovery--Green Bay Press Gazette

UWGB's Wojta drafted by WNBA's Minnesota Lynx--Green Bay Press Gazette
Women's basketball: Borseth retains 4 Bollant recruits--Green Bay Press Gazette
Minnesota Lynx drafts UWGB's Wojta in WNBA Draft--UWGB Basketball
Wojta Selected as 18th Overall Pick in WNBA
Green Bay Hands Out Postseason

Season In Review: Panthers Earn Postseason Berth For Second-Straight
Milwaukee Basketball Golf Classic Set For July

Milwaukee's Alex Klawitter Returns From Mission

Roundtable: Tommy Kurth keeping perspective through ailment-laced basketball career--Elkhart Truth Valpo coach values Kurth’s presence on roster--Elkhart Truth Basketball: Valpo or Loyola likely for Rossi--BearTalk No way to ignore Drew’s flaws now--The Post-Tribune
Dority, Coleman transfers official--Off The Mark
Crusaders Announce Addition of Two Transfer

Women’s Hoops Hands Out Year-End

Wright State mourns the loss of Fred Moore--Dayton Daily News
WSU fans, coach and former players to take on OSU alums tonight at Nutter Center Local coaches, Chivington, Tincher and Sam to play, Dailies' Wayne Baker and Jon Rudy to hoop--Xenia Daily Gazette

Basketball Programs Recognize Accomplishments at Annual Awards
Damian Eargle Named to Mid-Major All-Defensive

Basketball Programs Recognize Accomplishments at Annual Awards

Green Bay's Julie Wojta Selected 18th in WNBA Draft--Horizon League Network
Milwaukee's Alex Klawitter Returns From Mission Trip--Horizon League Network