With his team set to visit Pittsburgh on Saturday in a critical Big East tilt for both teams, Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez spent part of Thursday’s Big East conference call clarifying his decision to pull Jeremy Hazell with four minutes remaining in Tuesday’s 81-71 loss at No. 2 Villanova.
“There is a lot of misinterpretation, a lot of misinformation. I’m the head coach of this program and I make those decisions—not the athletic director, not the administration, not a prep school coach, not a high school coach. I make the decisions. There’s been a lot of confusion out there and I just want to make sure there is no confusion,” Gonzalez said of the decision to pull Hazell, who had 32 points in the game and is the second-leading scorer in the Big East.
“I didn’t take Jeremy out just because of shot selection. People think he missed some shots and I yanked him. What needs to be cleared up is Jeremy didn’t run back on defense, which is basically a cardinal sin.” To read more of this story, click here
Today marks one of the biggest days in college hoops in a long time, with a full slate of critical games, none more interesting than the Louisville-Kentucky tilt that features a battle between old rivals Rick Pitino and John Calipari.
Here’s a column from Rick Bozich on the relationship between the two coaches.
After his admissions of marital infidelity and a pending trial, Pitino is sure to get an earful from the UK faithful and it should be something to watch (3:30, CBS).
**I’ll be at Cincinnati-Rutgers tonight in what should be an entertaining affair. Rutgers, which won only two Big East games last season, needs to win this game to defend the RAC, while Rashad Bishop and the Bearcats are coming off a 71-69 victory over No. 10 UConn in which Lance Stephenson hit two key foul shots with .7 seconds left. The game will be shown live on SNY at 8 p.m. SNY also has the Pitt-Syracuse game at noon.
**In another key tilt, No. 1 Kansas visits Juan Fernandez and Temple. In one of three bylines he has in today’s New York Times (take a break, my man), Kevin Armstrong has this interesting feature on Fernandez‘s journey from Argentina to Philly. Kevin also has a piece on Army coach Zach Spiker.
**In the high school ranks, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins and South Florida coach Stan Heath watched as Paterson Catholic improved to 5-0 with a 70-67 OT victory over Huntington (West Va.) Prep in Wheeling, West Va.. Junior guard Myles Mack was named MVP after putting up 21 points on 9 for 15 shooting to go with 6 rebounds and 3 steals and Seton Hall-bound forward Fuquan Edwin added 19 points. Junior forward Derrick Randall added 12 points and 11 boards. PC, ranked No. 8 in the PrepNation.com poll, was coming off winning the City of Palms tournament with a win over Austin Rivers and Winter Park (Fla.).
Cougars coach Damon Wright said Heath inquired about the 5-9 Mack, who has had a tremendous season thusfar.
***Undefeated Big East powers Cincinnati and South Florida are preparing for an Oct. 15 battle on ESPN. Read about it here.***
Greg Schiano says he’s “hoping” that true freshman QB Tom Savage will start Saturday against Texas Southern in the Homecoming game.
“I hope he does. He has been practicing for two days now. I guess the only way that would preclude him from playing is if something took a turn in the other direction. Right now, he is on the way up, Schiano said Monday.
Savage suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter of the win against Florida International Sept. 19. To read more of this story, click here
New York point guard Lamont “Momo” Jones spent the last couple of days visiting Florida and will land in Arizona Thursday night.
The 5-foot-11 Jones got his release from USC after Tim Floyd stepped down and will likely land at Arizona or Florida. Memphis is also interested but sources say he likely won’t land there.
Jones’ Godfather is on the Arizona staff.
GORDON TEARS TENDON
Drew Gordon of UCLA partially tore the patellar tendon in his right To read more of this story, click here
South Florida finished 14th in the 16-team Big East last season, but head coach Stan Heath believes things will be much better this season.
The Bulls have secured an impressive recruiting class that includes 6-11 JUCO forward Jarrid Famous, forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick and guards Mike Burwell Jr., Jordan Dumars and Shaun Noriega. Anthony Crater, who transferred from Ohio State last December, can suit up Dec. 12
Junior transfer Ron Anderson, a 6-8 forward from Kansas State, will have to sit out next year as per transfer regulations.
“I think we can improve a lot,” Heath said by phone. “We didn’t have much depth last season. We had significant injuries. With a full roster where we can play for 40 minutes, I think it really gives us a different situation out there on the court. We return some key players. We add some key players. Anthony Crater, a transfer from Ohio State, should help us.” To read more of this story, click here
After South Florida head coach Stan Heath visited with recruit Jarrid Famous Sunday night, the news is that Famous is still planning on attending the school.
“There didn’t have to be any smoothing over,” Westchester Community College coach Tyrone Mushatt, who also attended the meeting, told Greg Auman of the St. Petersburg Times. “There won’t be any confusion about this. He’s going to South Florida.”
WCC assistant Mickey Carey had previously said the 6-foot-11 Famous wanted to get out of his Letter of Intent because he hadn’t heard from Heath in some time and hadn’t been informed of the departure of assistants Dan Hipsher and Byron Samuels.
“I can only go by what Jarrid has told me, and the comments that were made [from Carey] were never comments that Jarrid made to me,” Heath told the St. Pete Times.
Famous, who did not answer his cell phone and is reportedly ill, averaged 25.2 points and 13.7 rebounds last year at WCC. He chose USF over Arizona, Missouri and Seton Hall. He is due to arrive at USF June 25.
Lance Stephenson still hasn’t picked a college, but he is scheduled to play hoops on Thursday.
The 6-foot-5 Stephenson is one of several high-profile players who will compete in the 2nd Annual Frankie Williams Charity Classic at the Theodore D. Young Community Center in Greenburgh, N.Y. (See game info below.)
The event is slated to feature Kevin Parrom (South Kent/Arizona), Sean Kilpatrick (White Plains HS/Cincinnati), Dante Taylor (National Christian Academy/Pittsburgh), Durand Scott (Rice/Miami), Omari Lawrence (South Kent/St John’s) and Sherrod Wright (Mt. Vernon/George Mason). To read more of this story, click here
The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that one of Derrick Rose’s former Chicago Simeon teammates may have taken his SAT for him.
‘‘ [The NCAA] thinks that [former Simeon player Kevin Johnson] took [the SAT test] for him,” Luther Topps, who coached Rose’s club basketball team with Derrick’s brother Reggie, told the newspaper.
Topps said he and Simeon coach Robert Smith don’t know anything firsthand.
‘‘[Smith and I] didn’t know anything about his test,’’ Topps said. ‘‘Reggie moved me and him out of the way long before that, as soon as the money got involved.’’ To read more of this story, click here
Jarrid Famous wants out of his Letter of Intent to South Florida, multiple sources said Tuesday.
“Jarrid Famous is trying to get out of his letter,” one source with direct knowledge said.
The 6-foot-11 Famous chose South Florida last month over Arizona, Missouri and Seton Hall and could end up at one of those places if he gets out. Arizona appears to be a likely destination.
Famous’ father, however, told the St. Petersburg Times that his son would attend South Florida.
“Jarrid is going to South Florida. He’s not switching schools,” the father said. “He’s going to South Florida, no doubt about it.”
Famous is reportedly upset because he hasn’t heard from USF head coach Stan Heath. He also wasn’t notified of the coaching changes at USF which saw the departure of Byron Samuels, who helped recruit Famous, and of Dan Hipsher, now at Alabama. To read more of this story, click here
There is a great deal of news coming out of the basketball office at Westchester Community College, and some of it is very sad.
Head coach Winston Nicholas passed away Monday morning after a long battle with cancer, according to assistant coach Mickey Carey.
“Coach Nicholas passed away this morning,” he said Monday by phone. To read more of this story, click here