Bruce Pearl Calls Lane Kiffin A ‘Dumbass’

Bruce Pearl loves attention.  Anyone who has seen him in action knows that’s the case.  You think he really wears that loud orange suit just because he’s proud to be a Tennessee Volunteer?  That may be part of it, but the guy loves the spotlight.  Unless, of course, the spotlight comes in the form of major recruting violations and lying to NCAA investigators.

So what’s a funny guy to do when he finds himself in a sticky situation?  Thank everyone for their support, apologize, and make a funny.  Check, check, and check.  If I coached at a school with a Lane Kiffin connection, I’d probably use him, too.  Kiffin is known for things like taking jersey numbers without explanation.  He also wasted no time getting himself into hot water when he took over the USC football program.

For those reasons and more, Pearl decided to lighten the mood by taking a shot at Kiffin.  Sports by Brooks Live called our attention to Pearl’s comments, as told by Go Vols Xtra, which he made after admitting that he had embarrassed and humiliated the university.

I’ve made mistakes, I clearly did, but what I was hoping for was that some other dumbass would get on the front page and take me off the hook,” Pearl said. “I miss Lane Kiffin.”

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.  I understand he was trying to loosen up the room, but I doubt Kiffin will appreciate being called a dumbass.  On second thought, who cares what Kiffin thinks?  We certainly love it.

Cal Basketball Scores 5 Points in First Half Against Notre Dame

How is it possible to score five points in 20 minutes of a basketball game?  I still can’t believe it actually happened, but as LBS contributor Danny Lee pointed out, Cal scored only five points in the first half against Notre Dame on Friday.  That has to be as ugly as it can possibly get.

As for the numbers: how does 2 for 25 from the floor sound, including 0 for 8 on three-pointers?  Now I didn’t watch the game but — if my logic serves me correctly — at least one of the made field goals was a layup.  If Cal hit zero threes and managed five points, that means there had to have been a three-point play because of a foul which likely came on a layup, right?  Wow.

Naturally, Notre Dame won the game.  Let’s not be fooled into thinking that means they played well, however.  The Irish took a 21-5 lead into halftime after shooting 9 for 32 from the floor, including 0 for 13 from three-point range.  For those who are keeping count, that’s a combined 11 for 57 and 0 for 21 from beyond the arc for the teams.

Your final score: Notre Dame 57, Cal 44 in a game that both coaches will certainly want to forget.

UConn’s Kemba Walker Emerging as One of the Nation’s Top Players

You know how people tend to remember where they are when important events happen — presidential elections, natural disasters, and so on?  Call me crazy, but I remember where I was the day I found out Kemba Walker committed to the University of Connecticut.  Am I saying a recruit signing a letter of intent compares to the magnitude of the aforementioned events?  Not quite.  But I was a sophomore at UConn at the time and like most of the other bonehead sports fans who go to a Division 1 school, I wanted to see a national championship before my four years were up more than I wanted a degree.

The degree came.  The championship never did.  Yes, I know that little piece of stamped, signed, and sealed paper will carry me further in life than witnessing the Huskies cut down the nets would have, but I digress.  I had done enough research about UConn’s recruiting class to know Walker could be something special.  Maybe not a one-and-done guy, but my friends and I were sure he’d show enough in two years to jet for the NBA.

Three years later, Kemba is still a Husky.  With A.J. Price in the fold his freshman year, there wasn’t much opportunity for playing time.  When the opportunities presented themselves, Walker chipped in.  His play off the bench in the 2009 NCAA Tournament had as much to do with UConn’s run to the Final Four as Hasheem Thabeet’s low-post presence on defense.

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West Virginia Misspells Danny Jennings’ Name on Jersey

How common is it for athletes in the national spotlight to have to play with misspelled names on their jerseys?  Pretty common if Sunday was any indication.  If we were talking intramural sports at the local middle school, it might not be as shocking — but we aren’t.  We already showed you a picture of Kevin Williams’ misspelled jersey on Sunday, and now SbB Live has pointed out that the same thing happened to West Virginia’s Danny Jennings.  Here’s a picture of Danny Jennings’ misspelled West Virginia jersey:

Are we missing something here?  This type of thing practically never happens, let alone twice in the same day.  Was Sunday National Piss Players Off by Spelling Their Names Wrong Day or something?  Let’s be serious, “Jennings” and “Williams” are not the most difficult names to spell.

Oregon State Sporting Turquoise Uniforms for Native American Heritage Month

Oregon State is known for its black and orange colors. If you plan on watching the Beavers play basketball and don’t recognize them, you won’t be alone. Oregon State will be wearing turquoise uniforms against Texas Southern to raise awareness for Native American Heritage Month.

Why turquoise? It’s a color of friendship in Native American culture. Why is Oregon State doing it? Sophomore Joe Burton is a part of the Soboba Tribe and believed to be the first Native American to earn a scholarship in the Pac-10. Oregon State is teaming up with Nike’s N7 division on the project, which helped design those baby blue badboys. So what do you think?

BYU Apologizes for Utah State Scoreboard Taunt After Game

BYU beat Utah State on Wednesday night 78-72 to go to 2-0 on the season. Cougars star player Jimmer Fredette had an off night shooting just 9-for-21 while Utah State was its typical sharp self going 7-for-11 on threes, but BYU still pulled off the win. They also managed to get in a taunt at the end of the game that didn’t go unnoticed. Check out this message that appeared on the Marriott Center scoreboard at the end of the game:

“Dear UT St. Enjoy the loss heart Your Big Brother BYU,” is what appeared on the scoreboard as YouTube user melonhead8397 shows us. How did it get there? From the apology issued by the athletic department:

“Athletics does not operate the scoreboard in the Marriott Center; instead, this is handled by the university’s IT department. In this incident, the usual person was not at work because of a family emergency. The student employee filling in took the liberty of putting up what he thought was a humorous message. This matter has been addressed with the student, who regrets his action.”

Yeah, that sounds like something a brazen freshman or sophomore would do. I can buy that. Thanks to Jay Drew for the link to the video and apology.

NCAA Has No Plans to Expand Past Current 68-Team Tournament Field

Many people (us included) were freaking out when reports throughout last year’s college basketball season suggested the NCAA tournament would expand to a 96-team field. It got to the point where the plans for expansion were said to be a done deal. What was really going on is that reports were leaked in order for the NCAA to gauge public opinion. They probably figured most fans would be delighted to have more games to watch and (shhh) bet on during March Madness. Turns out the public outcry against the move was pretty strong, so the plans were altered.

Ultimately the NCAA decided to expand to a 68-team field that includes extra play-in games. Additionally, CBS and Turner came together on a television deal that should keep the NCAA and the participating schools rolling in the cash they were seeking. So with the new TV deal in hand, that means we can forget about plans for expansion, right? Sure seems like that is the case.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, the new chairman of the men’s basketball committee, said Wednesday “There are no plans for further expansion. It isn’t even on our radar screen.” You know the best part of the story? Public pressure from the fans is what kept the tournament field from expanding. See what kind of power we have when we bind together for a cause? Now if we could only do something about replay in baseball …