NCAA reveals guidelines as hoops season approaches
The NCAA on Friday revealed strict guidelines in advance of the approaching 2020-21 NCAA basketball season with athletes and essential personnel separated into a "Tier 1" group that is distanced from outsiders.According to the guidelines, the Tier 1 group will receive COVID-19 testing three times a week and not on consecutive days. That core group would consist of 15 players, coaches and essential staff up to as many as 30 people.The recommended testing cycle is suggested to begin one week before competition begins. The start date for basketball has been set for Nov. 25, one day before Thanksgiving.On team benches, all Tier 1 personnel need to be separated from all others not in the group. That Tier 2 group will require masks, as well as the physical distancing.In case of a positive COVID-19 test among a Tier 1 player or coach, the entire group will be required to go into quarantine for 14 days."(The guidance) is predicated on the assumption that rapid testing capabilities will be readily available later this year," NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. "We will constantly assess emerging information as we prepare for the start of the basketball season at the end of November."
Calipari: No neutral site for Louisville game
Kentucky coach John Calipari said Friday that he intends to lead his Wildcats into Louisville this season and not play their in-state rivalry game at a neutral site.Cardinals coach Chris Mack said earlier this week that he because of the likelihood of limited or no fans in the stands, the game should be moved. Kentucky, he said, would have a competitive advantage in the 2021-22 rivalry game, scheduled to be played in Lexington, with the assumption that COVID-19 fears will have subsided and the Wildcats can pack Rupp Arena."Chris and I have talked and he expressed his concerns," Calipari said in a statement issued Friday to the Courier Journal in Louisville. "While I understand the difficulty and the complications created by the pandemic, we are prepared to come to Louisville to play this season under the previously agreed upon terms, and we fully expect Louisville to honor the agreement with a return game to Rupp Arena next season."The date for the 2020-21 game has not been set.Speaking on "The Full Court Press" on Wednesday, Mack said moving the game would be fair, and he also said he wasn't sure it would be played."Where is the equity of Kentucky coming here in front of no fans and then having to go back to Rupp Arena in front of 21,000 fans?" Mack said on the podcast. "But I recognize and we recognize, man, the best rivalry -- I know I'm biased -- in all of college basketball. If there was somehow we could do this at a neutral site again, that's without talking to Kentucky and what their scheduling is."
British G Hildreth commits to Wake Forest
British guard Cameron Hildreth committed to Wake Forest on Thursday.One of the top international recruits in the Class of 2021, the 6-foot-5 Hildreth confirmed his decision with ESPN and 247 Sports. He chose the Demon Deacons over Arkansas, Xavier, Georgia Tech and Utah."The main thing that stood out to me for Wake was the unbelievable staff members, from the education teachers to the team physio to the nutritionist and all the coaches. They all really appealed to me," Hildreth told ESPN. "Wake Forest has an amazing setup for the 'professional athlete,' which I really wanted to experience, that lifestyle of a pro basketball player."Hildreth has been a member of Great Britain's U16 and U18 national teams.He delivered a breakout performance at the EuroLeague's Adidas Next Generation Tournament in Lithuania in February, averaging 25.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists to earn a spot on the all-tournament team.
Texas State coach Kaspar resigns amid allegations of racism
Texas State men's basketball coach Danny Kaspar resigned on Tuesday in the midst of an investigation into allegations he repeatedly made racist statements to student-athletes.Former Texas State point guard Jaylen Shead, now at Washington State, said in a social media post in June that Kaspar pushed players to run faster in practice by yelling "chase that chicken." Shead also said that if he was in front of other players in sprints, Kaspar said he was "running like the cops are behind him."Terrence Johnson, an assistant with the team for the past five seasons, was named interim basketball coach, according to a statement issued by the university: "Texas State Director of Athletics Larry Teis announced that he accepted the resignation of Head Basketball Coach Danny Kaspar. Teis also announced that Terrence Johnson would serve as head men's basketball coach for the 2020-21 season. The university will not be making any additional statements."In June, the university opened an independent investigation into allegations from former players that Kaspar used racist language.The school's Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX opened the investigation after former players accused him of making racially insensitive comments. The school did not make any results of an investigation public, nor did it provide any status updates.
ESPN planning to move basketball tournaments to Orlando
ESPN is planning to move at least eight of its men's college basketball tournaments to its Wide World of Sports campus near Orlando, the network reported Tuesday.The property at Disney World has been the site of the NBA bubble. However, different safety protocols are expected to be put in place to protect against the coronavirus, according to the report.The Champions Classic, Charleston Classic, Myrtle Beach Invitational, NIT Season Tip-Off, Wooden Legacy, Orlando Invitational, Jimmy V Classic and Diamond Head Classic are expected to move to Disney, per the report.The tournaments are expected to run concurrently and begin Nov. 25, the new date for the college basketball season. The events will overlap with up to three games going on at once, per the report.
NCAA men's, women's hoops can start in late November
Tipoff for the 2020-21 men's and women's college basketball seasons will be on or around Nov. 25, the NCAA Division I Council announced Wednesday.The beginning of the season was delayed just over two weeks from the originally scheduled start of Nov. 10 as college athletics continue to wrestle with the COVID-19 pandemic."The new season start date near the Thanksgiving holiday provides the optimal opportunity to successfully launch the basketball season," NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said in a statement. "It is a grand compromise of sorts and a unified approach that focuses on the health and safety of student-athletes competing towards the 2021 Division I basketball championships."The Nov. 25 date is only a guideline for the start date, as conferences and individual schools will make adjustments to best fit their respective schedules. Gavitt said the NCAA is still planning for the NCAA Tournament to proceed as scheduled with 68 teams and 14 sites in March and April.The Division I Council also changed the maximum number of games a men's team can play, reducing it by four. Teams are allowed to play 24 or 25 games plus one multiple-team event. The minimum total was dropped to 13 games.
Oregon lands coveted center Bittle for 2021 class
Oregon picked up highly-regarded big man Nathan Bittle on Tuesday, beating out West Coast basketball powers Gonzaga and UCLA for the 6-foot-11 center's services.Bittle is ranked No. 8 overall by ESPN for the class of 2021 and the No. 2 center. The 247 Sports Composite has Bittle ranked No. 17 overall in the 2021 class."The way they treat the players was important to me," Bittle said, according to 247Sports. "All the coaches treat their players with respect. They're basketball fathers and coaches at the same time who care about you. It's a great experience."
Council to vote on Nov. 21 start date to 2020-21 season
A start date for college basketball could be determined Wednesday when the Division I council is set to vote on the proposed Nov. 21 tipoff to the 2020-21 season.Due to the coronavirus pandemic, workouts are being limited and teams are not allowed to scrimmage or practice against other programs.That could change Wednesday, with a vote scheduled on the proposal to begin the season in late November with each team playing a minimum of four non-conference games.CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein reported Monday that the Battle 4 Atlantis, typically played in the Bahamas over Thanksgiving weekend, will instead take place in South Dakota at Sanford Pentagon.The November headliner is scheduled to include Duke, West Virginia, Memphis and Ohio State, among others.Practices are also on the agenda Wednesday.
Buffalo suspends G Zachery after arrest
Buffalo suspended transfer guard Malik Zachery from its basketball team after police said he stabbed a player from Canisius College in a pickup game.Zachery was arrested by police in suburban North Tonawanda, N.Y., on Friday and held pending arraignment.A police news release said officers were called to an address in the city, where St. Matthew Lutheran Church is located, on Wednesday to investigate reports of a stabbing. When police arrived, they found a "single victim with a puncture wound to the leg," according to the news release. Their investigation found that the victim was a player at Canisius, also in Buffalo."At some time during the basketball game there was a physical altercation that occurred between the players," according to the news release. "During the physical fight, a member of the Canisius College basketball team was stabbed in the leg."Zachery was charged with second-degree assault and fourth-degree possession of a weapon."The University at Buffalo and its Division of Athletics are aware that North Tonawanda Police is investigating an alleged incident involving a member of our men's basketball team," the Buffalo athletic department said in a statement. "We are cooperating fully with its investigation. Until we learn more from police, we won't have further comment."
NCAA: No plans to modify men's basketball tournament
The NCAA has no plans to expand the men's basketball tournament beyond the current 68 teams, despite a proposal by the Atlantic Coast Conference to place every eligible Division I program in the field.That's according to Dan Gavitt, NCAA's senior vice president of basketball, who issued a statement Thursday that politely rejected the ACC plan."Every college basketball team's goal is to play in the NCAA tournament because everyone loves March Madness," Gavitt said. "Certainly we missed it this year and can't wait for 2021. While all who care about the game are entitled to their opinion, and we'll always listen respectfully, at this time we are not working on any contingency plan that involves expanding the tournament field."The NCAA Tournament, for both men and women, was called off in March as the coronavirus reached pandemic proportions.ACC men's basketball coaches reportedly voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the proposal, which would give all 346 eligible teams -- 11 teams are ineligible -- a chance at the NCAA championship. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is leading the push after telling ESPN last month that the NCAA needs to explore all alternatives because of the devastating financial implications to schools if the tournament is not held for a second straight year."Given the uncertainty of this upcoming season, I join my fellow ACC coaches in fully supporting the inclusion of all eligible Division I teams to participate in the 2021 NCAA tournament," Krzyzewski said.
Reports: ACC pitches NCAA tourney with every D1 team
The Atlantic Coast Conference reportedly is proposing a massive expansion to the 2021 NCAA Tournament that would invite every eligible Division I men's basketball team to the Big Dance.The ACC plan was voted on unanimously Wednesday by the league's coaches and theoretically would give nearly 350 schools a shot at the title, according to reports from Stadium's Jeff Goodman and Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde.As proposed, the week of conference tournaments would serve as the first week of the NCAA Tournament, with the field trimmed to 64 or 68 teams in the following week, according to SI. Other details are still being ironed out."This is a unique time and it's time to do something different," Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim told Stadium.
Former star guard Anderson dies at 59
Former star guard Dwight Anderson, who split his career between Kentucky and Southern California, has died. He was 59.Anderson died Saturday in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio. A cause of death hasn't been announced.Anderson averaged 16.3 points in 79 career games from 1978-82, which included 1 1/2 seasons at Kentucky and 1 1/2 at USC. He transferred from Kentucky midway through his sophomore campaign and sat out two semesters before being eligible for the Trojans.Anderson was nicknamed "The Blur" due to his speed. After averaging 13.3 and 10.7 points during his seasons with the Wildcats, his scoring averages increased to 19.3 and 20.3 at USC. He earned All-America honorable mention honors as a senior.In a contest on March 6, 1982, against Washington, Anderson made a memorable shot. He chased down a wild pass and spun as he was about to fall out of bounds and put up a shot that went over the backboard and dropped through the hoop. That type of shot is now illegal.
Former college coach Gaines dies at 80
David "Smokey" Gaines, a pioneering college basketball coach after his playing days in the American Basketball Association and the Harlem Globetrotters, died Saturday. He was 80.He died after a long battle with brain and liver cancer. The Detroit News reported he also recently tested positive for COVID-19.A native of Detroit, Gaines played college basketball at LeMoyne-Owen in Tennessee. He turned down a chance to play for the hometown Pistons to fulfill a dream of playing with the Globetrotters, which he did from 1963-67, followed by a short stint with the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA.After his playing days, he went into coaching and in 1973, Dick Vitale hired him as a part-time assistant coach at Detroit Mercy, where Gaines became the first Black coach in team history. He was promoted to a full-time assistant, and when Vitale stepped down from the job, Gaines became the head coach before the 1977-78 season.In his first year on the job, Gaines led the Titans to a 25-4 finish and an appearance in the NIT. The following season, Detroit Mercy made the NCAA Tournament with a 22-6 record."Smokey was a motivator, he just had his way of doing it and he got the most out of you," said Earl Cureton, who played for Gaines before embarking on a 12-year NBA career."We had one of our most successful seasons when he took over, but he just wasn't a great coach, he was a great individual. He came from some hard times and made his way out and reached his dream of playing with the Globetrotters and in the ABA."
San Diego State's Dutcher extended through 2025-26
San Diego State coach Brian Dutcher signed a revised contract through the 2025-26 season, the university announced on Friday.The deal is worth $7.855 million over the next six seasons, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Dutcher can earn more income through bonuses that include NCAA appearances and Coach of the Year awards.Dutcher had three seasons remaining on the original six-year contract he received when promoted to head coach prior to the 2017-18 season.Dutcher, who turns 61 next month, guided the Aztecs to a 30-2 record last season before the coronavirus pandemic halted the season in March. San Diego State was pegged to be either a 1 or 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.Dutcher was named National Coach of the Year by USA Today after the campaign, which included a school-record 26-game winning streak.The success came in Dutcher's third season at the helm after he served as Steve Fisher's lead assistant for the previous 18 seasons."Having spent more than 20 years at San Diego State University, I understand what a special place this is," Dutcher said in a news release. "I am humbled and honored to continue to represent SDSU and Aztec Basketball as its head coach."The Aztecs were unranked prior to last season and finished with a No. 6 ranking. San Diego State's highest in-season ranking was No. 4.
Reports: Maui Invitational, other tourneys could move to bubbles
The Maui Invitational could move to a North Carolina bubble this fall -- and reports Thursday indicated it wouldn't be the only NCAA in-season tournament to relocate amid the coronavirus pandemic.CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein said organizers of the prominent Maui tournament are considering a move to Harrah's Cherokee Center in Asheville, N.C. Indiana, North Carolina, Alabama and Providence are among the eight teams set to take part in the Nov. 22-24 event.Former Wake Forest coach Dave Odom, the tournament chairman of the Maui Invitational, told The Athletic that several options are under consideration."We're certainly not sitting on our hands," Odom said. "We want to make sure we have a tournament. That's the only goal."The Athletic said other bubbles are likely to pop up in the 2020-21 basketball season.
Villanova's Wright not interested in 76ers' vacancy
Villanova coach Jay Wright shot down any speculation about his interest in the Philadelphia 76ers' head coaching vacancy on Wednesday."I am not a candidate for the job," he posted on Twitter. "I am very happy and honored to coach at Villanova."Wright, who led the suburban Philadelphia school to NCAA Tournament championships in 2016 and 2018, was rumored as a possible replacement for Brett Brown.Sixers general manager Elton Brand fired Brown on Aug. 24 after the team was swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Tyronn Lue also has been mentioned as a top candidate. Lue was the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers for parts of four seasons, leading them to an NBA championship in 2015-16.
Report: College basketball could begin Nov. 25
The NCAA women's and men's basketball oversight committees will forward a proposal to the Division I Council to begin the 2020-21 college basketball season on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving, CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein reported.He said the two committees agreed on the date Tuesday. The Division I Council is scheduled to meet Sept. 16 and could vote on the proposal then. Whatever start date is set undoubtedly will be conditional on the coronavirus pandemic not worsening as winter approaches.Nov. 10 was the originally scheduled start date.Rothstein said the Pac-12, which announced last month that its teams wouldn't play until January, had lobbied to the committees for a Dec. 4 start date but said a source indicated the conference "could probably work with" the Nov. 25 start.
Harris granted waiver to play this season for Iowa St.
Guard Tyler Harris has been granted a waiver by the NCAA that will allow the Memphis transfer to play this season for Iowa State.The school made the announcement Monday.In 2018-19, Harris started 15 of his 36 games at Memphis and averaged 10.8 points while setting a school freshman record with 79 made 3-pointers. The 5-foot-9 guard made the American Athletic Conference All-Freshman Team.
HOF coach John Thompson dies at 78
Hall of Fame and longtime Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson died Monday at the age of 78.The cause of death was not immediately known."We are heartbroken to share the news of the passing of our father, John Thompson, Jr. Our father was an inspiration to many and devoted his life to developing young people not simply on, but most importantly, off the basketball court," the Thompson Family said in a statement Monday. "He is revered as a historic shepherd of the sport, dedicated to the welfare of his community above all else."However, for us, his greatest legacy remains as a father, grandfather, uncle, and friend. More than a coach, he was our foundation. More than a legend, he was the voice in our ear everyday," the statement read in part.Thompson amassed a record of 596-239 (.714 winning percentage) in 27 years at Georgetown, including winning the national title in 1984. He led the Hoyas to the NCAA Tournament 20 times, including three Final Fours (1982, '84, '85).Thompson, who carried the moniker "Big John" to basketball observers and "Big Ace" among his own family, was the first Black coach to win an NCAA basketball championship. He was inducted into the Naismith basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.Along the way, Thompson was a strong voice for social justice and against racism.He famously walked off the court prior to a game in 1989 to protest Proposition 48, an NCAA rule that banned academically ineligible freshmen from receiving scholarships. Thompson's protest was his way of bringing attention to a measure he believed mostly impacted Black players and limited their opportunities."He was a giant," former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese told Yahoo Sports on Monday. "What he did coaching speaks for itself. As we've sat here and watched what's going on with the NBA and social justice, John did it 30 years ago. But he did it by himself."At 6-feet-10, Thompson averaged 19.2 points per game in a three-year career at Providence (1961-64). He led the Friars to the 1963 NIT title and was the captain for the school's first NCAA Tournament team in 1964."He was a legendary player and even great person," Providence tweeted out Monday morning.Thompson was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the third round of the 1964 NBA draft. Thompson played behind Bill Russell in winning two NBA titles with the team in 1965 and '66. Thompson averaged 3.5 points in 74 games with Boston.
Reports: Hall of Fame coach Olson dead at 85
Hall of Fame college basketball coach Lute Olson, who won 776 games over 34 seasons and led the Arizona Wildcats to the 1997 NCAA championship, died Thursday, multiple outlets reported.He was 85 years old.In February 2019, Olson was hospitalized in Tucson after suffering what the University of Arizona called a "minor stroke."The Olson family reportedly confirmed Lute Olson's death to numerous college basketball and area reporters.Olson began his career in Southern California, coaching Long Beach State for the 1973-74 season. He spent the next nine seasons at Iowa -- making the NCAA Tournament each of his final five seasons -- then headed to Tucson, where he built the Wildcats into a national power.