Posts Tagged ‘college basketball’

Hoops insider: Does UGA have a shot versus No. 1 Wildcats?

Will it be a stress-free night for Coach Cal at the Stegasaurus? (AP photo)

A stressful night for Coach Cal at the Stegasaurus? (AP photo)

(Yet again, let me note that this feature is part — but only a small part — of our weekly college basketball package, which runs every Tuesday in the print AJC. I offer my contribution for your digital perusal.)

Hoops Hysterics

1. Does Georgia have a prayer against No. 1 Kentucky on Tuesday? Sure. As good as the Wildcats can be, they trailed in the second halves of both SEC road games, and neither of those — at Auburn, at Tennessee — was against top-shelf competition. At 1-4 in league play, the Bulldogs aren’t top-shelf, either. But they’re at home, which means something.

2. If you had to pick one team against the field to win the national championship, would it be Kentucky? North Carolina? Missouri? Syracuse? None of the above. I’d pick the same team I picked — incorrectly — last March. I’d pick Ohio State because I think Jared Sullinger, whose numbers are almost the same as a sophomore as they were as a …

Continue reading Hoops insider: Does UGA have a shot versus No. 1 Wildcats? »

College hoops insider: Georgia State as an at-large team? Nah

If Georgia State doesn't win the CAA tournament, it won't be celebrating on Selection Sunday. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

No CAA tournament title would mean no Selection Sunday glee. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

(Again, let me note that these, er, nuggets are part of our weekly college basketball package, which runs every Tuesday in the print AJC. I offer them for your digital delight.)

Hoops Hysterics

1. What’s the best conference in the land? It’s not the ACC (too top-heavy) or the SEC (too Kentucky-heavy), and it’s not the Pac-12 (nary a team in the Top 25). That leaves the Big Ten (five teams in the Top 25), the Big East (also five in the Top 25) and the Big 12 (three in the top seven). For quality at the top, we’ll say the Big 12. For overall depth, we’ll say the Big Ten.

2. Who’s the best freshman in the land? Take your pick between Kentucky Wildcats. Center Anthony Davis — he of the unibrow so famous it’s already a feature on Bluegrass T-shirts — could be the first player drafted this summer, but forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has been the Big Blue’s MVP to date, scoring 24 points against …

Continue reading College hoops insider: Georgia State as an at-large team? Nah »

College basketball insider: Georgia State, conference champ?

Georgia State's Ron Hunter: Setting his cap for a title? (AJC photo by Phil Skinner.)

Georgia State's Ron Hunter: Setting his cap for a title? (AJC photo by Phil Skinner.)

(A word of explanation: This feature was part of our first weekly college basketball package, which is scheduled to run every Tuesday in the print AJC. I offer it to you in the interest of full digital disclosure.)

Hoops hysterics

1. Who’s the third-best team (behind North Carolina and Duke) in the ACC? Right now it’s Virginia, but there’s some question as to how the deliberative Cavaliers have gotten to 14-1. Their only win over a ranked team came against Michigan, and their loss was to unranked TCU. Their next two games are on the road — at Duke and then at Georgia Tech. We’ll know more soon.

2. Who’s the second-best team (behind Kentucky) in the SEC? Florida lost its conference opener at Tennessee. Mississippi State lost its conference opener at Arkansas. The team to watch is Vanderbilt, which lost four times in pre-conference play (twice in overtime) but has won five in a row and …

Continue reading College basketball insider: Georgia State, conference champ? »

Mixed AAU message: McCray to UCLA, UGA players in trouble

Jarvis Jones when he was at Carver-Columbus and one of our Super 11. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Jarvis Jones, then at Carver-Columbus, was one of our Super 11. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Who says you can’t get an education while school’s out of session? This summer, we in Georgia are seeing both the power and the peril of AAU basketball.

The power: UCLA, the school of Wooden and Abdul-Jabbar and Walton and 11 NCAA titles, hired Korey McCray away from the Atlanta Celtics to become an assistant coach. Why? Because UCLA believes McCray can be an effective recruiter.

The peril: The collegiate eligibility of two Georgia players — Jarvis Jones, projected as a starting linebacker, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the biggest Bulldog hoops recruit in nearly two decades — has been jeopardized by their ties to the Georgia Blazers, an AAU team based in Columbus.

Speaking in April, Korey McCray said: “AAU guys get such a bad rap.” And it’s true that AAU ball has come to be seen as too powerful. AAU teams can and do hammer out their own shoe deals: The Atlanta Celtics are sponsored by …

Continue reading Mixed AAU message: McCray to UCLA, UGA players in trouble »

Lorenzo Charles made more than just one basket, you know

"They won it! On the dunk!" (Sports Illustrated photo by Rich Clarkson)

"They won it! On the dunk!" (Sports Illustrated photo by Rich Clarkson)

Lorenzo Charles made the most famous basket in the history of college basketball. What people forget is that he made a few — more than a few, actually — other baskets. He wasn’t just the guy who got lucky and dunked home an air ball to fell mighty Houston. He was a very good player who was drafted by the wrong NBA team.

That team was the Atlanta Hawks. The year was 1985. He was the Round 2 pick (41st overall) of what would become a famous rookie class. The Round 1 pick was Jon Koncak; the Round 4 pick was John Battle. And there was a rookie free agent by the name of Spud Webb whose claim to fame at that time was that he’d played college ball with Lorenzo Charles.

The Hawks were the wrong team for Charles — known as “Lo” or “Zo,” FYI — because he played forward. These were the forwards ahead of him: Dominique Wilkins, Kevin Willis, Cliff Levingston and Antoine Carr. Charles played in 36 games as a rookie …

Continue reading Lorenzo Charles made more than just one basket, you know »

Kennesaw’s Tony Ingle: An overnight sensation after 36 years

Tony Ingle on the night KSU made nationwide noise. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Tony Ingle on KSU's night of nights. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Tony Ingle began coaching in 1974. (Or, as he says, “when Moby Dick was a minnow.”) He’s 58 and has five grandchildren. He awoke Tuesday to find himself an overnight sensation.

Kennesaw State beat Georgia Tech of the snooty ACC by 17 points Monday night, and on Tuesday ESPN’s “SportsCenter” kept asking/answering the question, “Who is Kennesaw State?” And KSU’s coach, the aforementioned Tony Ingle, heard from everyone he’d ever known via every means of modern communication — e-mail, text message and calls on his home, office and cell phones.

Not that sudden fame is always a blessing. Said Ingle: “I even heard from a bill collector. He thought I’d died.”

So now we’re asking: Who is Tony Ingle? And we start by saying, “Pull up a chair.”

He was born in Dalton with a facial deformity that has required five surgeries. His dad worked in a saw mill and a cotton mill. Ingle played guard at North Whitfield High and then …

Continue reading Kennesaw’s Tony Ingle: An overnight sensation after 36 years »

College basketball 2010-2011: Will these Dawgs really hunt?

Is there a lid on how high Trey Thompkins and UGA can climb? (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Is there a lid on how high Trey Thompkins and UGA can climb? (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

With the season almost here, our thoughts naturally turn to that bastion of college basketball — the University of … Georgia?

Speaking of which, will the Bulldogs be as good as some people seem to think?

Florida coach Billy Donovan suggests Georgia could be the conference’s best team. The Bulldogs’ Trey Thompkins, already projected as an NBA lottery pick, was voted the SEC’s preseason player of the year. And here we pause to wonder: Is all this too much too soon?

Reality check: The Bulldogs were 14-17 last season. They finished last in the SEC East. They were 0-11 on the road. For all the good work done in Mark Fox’s first season — beating Illinois, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Florida — Georgia operated without an ounce of pressure. Fox’s second band of Hounds is expected to reach the NCAA tournament. That’s at least 16 ounces of pressure.

For Georgia, the cheery news is that the …

Continue reading College basketball 2010-2011: Will these Dawgs really hunt? »

Brackets will feel brunt of early Madness

The Madness began early this time. Four potential No. 1 seeds – Oklahoma, Kansas, Pittsburgh and Connecticut – fell on one dizzying day (and night, and early morning), and two more crashed Saturday afternoon. And now there’s a chance only one of the four No. 1 seeds announced Sunday will enter the Big Dance off a victory.

UConn lost in six overtimes, the end coming around 1:30 a.m. Friday. Oklahoma and Kansas were upset in the Big 12 tournament, and Pittsburgh was one-and-out in the Big East. Michigan State fell to Ohio State in the Big Ten, and finally North Carolina, the nation’s No. 1 team, was undone by Florida State at the Georgia Dome.

There’s a good chance all this motion will carry little down-the-road meaning. As Carolina coach Roy Williams noted Saturday, he has taken teams to six Final Fours, and only one of them entered off a conference tournament title.

Then again, it’s March, and the margin for error has just vanished. “There’s no tomorrow now,” Williams …

Continue reading Brackets will feel brunt of early Madness »