Maya Moore Rejects DeMarcus Cousins Despite His Crush on Her

The hottest story in women’s college hoops is UConn and their utter domination in the sport. The Huskies have now won 72 straight games — all by double digits — and one of their star players is Maya Moore. One of the hottest stories in men’s college hoops is Kentucky and their studly play the entire season. Their two star players are freshmen John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins. Wall and Moore collaborated for an interview with USA Weekend. Wall got a chance to interview Moore for a question and attempted to play matchmaker, as Diamond Leung pointed out:

John: You know anything about my teammate, DeMarcus Cousins?
Maya: Besides watching you guys play? No. Why?
John: I think he’s got a little crush on you.
Maya: Thanks! But I’m not looking.

That might be the first time DeMarcus was rejected the entire season. Poor guy. I’m guessing that this is more about Maya’s current love interest than DeMarcus, so Cousins shouldn’t take it personally. Should Maya change her mind, the two would undoubtedly overtake Shelden Williams and Candace Parker as the basketball supercouple. I am all in favor of that.

One-on-one with March Madness’ top hoopsters [USA Weekend]
Wall playing matchmaker with Cousins? [College Basketball Nation Blog]

Kashif Watson Crushes Coach on Twitter, Pays the Price

With all the stories coming down about people getting into trouble for what they’re writing on Facebook and Twitter, we might have to come up with a word to describe the situation. For instance, two weeks ago Jamere Holland posted some idiotic, profane comments on his Facebook profile and that got him kicked off Oregon’s football team. Idaho guard Kashif Watson didn’t get officially kicked off his team for his comments but that’s only because there are just two games left. Check out what the frustrated Watson wrote on his twitter that got him in hot water via College Basketball Nation:

“Don’t gett how we pose to win wit this guy coachin us, just don’t want it that bad I guess.”

That is only part of the tweet because some profanity was removed. Watson finally wised up and protected his account from outsiders but that was until after his suspension. Watson made that comment following Idaho’s loss to Louisiana Tech but the coach wasn’t made aware of it until after their game on Thursday night. The result was Watson being suspended for Senior Night on Saturday against Hawaii. So what’s the lesson to be learned? Unless you’re a superstar in the NBA, calling out your coach is a one-way ticket out of the program if you’re in college. Good thing Watson is a senior.

Steve Alford Cusses at BYU’s Jonathan Tavernari After New Mexico’s Win

Last time we heard from BYU senior Jonathan Tavernari, he was in the middle of a Holy War skirmish between BYU and Utah. Not much has changed for the 6’6″ forward. Tavernari was guarding New Mexico star player Darington Hobson with 52 seconds left when the clock was stopped because of a timeout. Hobson was upset that Tavernari was playing him so closely and it appeared as if Hobson threw an elbow at Tavernari. The refs didn’t see anything wrong in the replay so the game played on. New Mexico won 83-81 but the hostility between the teams spilled over into the handshake lineup after the game. Check out this video of Steve Alford cussing at Jonathan Tavernari after the game via The Sporting Blog (warning: profanity):

While the video makes Alford out to be the bad guy, The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Tavernari went into New Mexico’s locker room after the game to apologize for his behavior. Moreover, “Alford told Tavernari that he initially was just trying to tell him that he had a heck of a career at BYU.” Sure sounds to me like Tavernari is the a-hole in this one, even if Alford is getting all the bad press. By the way, that’s a heck of a win for New Mexico. At 27-3, they’re likely headed for a three or four seed in the tourney and they’ve proven they can win anywhere.

Steve Lavin Knows: Blogs are Watching

I was watching the Purdue/Illinois game on Saturday on ESPN with Dave O’Brien and Steve Lavin providing the commentary. Lavin was talking about UCONN and how he expects them to go on a run now that Jim Calhoun is back. The production team then brought up a graphic regarding tournament regulars in danger of missing The Big Dance. Those teams included Arizona (13-12, on the verge of missing the tourney for the first time in 26 years), UCONN (5-9 in conference), North Carolina (3-9 in the ACC), Oklahoma (13-12 overall), and UCLA (12-13 overall). It’s pretty well known that UCLA has been horrendous this year, especially by their standard. Lavin, as a former Bruins coach who generally speaks positively about his former school, played it safely in his commentary:

Lavin: And Ben Howland still in the mix in terms of the conference race but has struggled overall. He’s done a nice job adjusting in Pac-10 play going to a zone defense (cut off by O’Brien)

O’Brien: Struggling? Yeah, you’re being kind there. It’s been an awful year for UCLA.

Lavin: Of course Dave, if I said that, I’d be getting lit up on the blogs tonight so I tread carefully.

Well Steve, just wanted to let you know that the blogs indeed are watching and they appreciate your careful treading. Matter of conjecture, both announcers were right; as O’Brien said, it has been an awful year for UCLA. Regardless of how many studs they lose to the pros, they shouldn’t be below .500 this late in the year. Losing to Cal-State Fullerton, Long Beach St, and getting blown out by Portland is pretty much unacceptable. As Lavin pointed out (and it may have taken a six-game losing streak), Howland has adjusted and done the unthinkable by incorporating a zone defense in conference play. Yes the Pac-10 is down this year because several players have been drafted recently but at least the Bruins have reached the point of respectability in the conference. Also, let it be known that Lavin is almost always complimentary of UCLA and Ben Howland. For a guy who got fired by the school and replaced with Howland, it probably isn’t easy to speak as positively about UCLA as he does and I respect Lavin a lot for not holding hard feelings.

Pac-10 Should Add Utah and BYU

There’s no doubt that the Pac-10 has the talent and programs to compete with any conference in America across all sports in any given year. The one area where the Pac-10 can’t match other conferences however is TV deals. The Big Ten and Mountain West have their own TV networks. Most other BCS conferences get good TV exposure during the season and the ACC, SEC, and Big 12 already have conference title games. The Pac-10 doesn’t have the money-making game and worse, their games sometimes get lost on Versus, TBS (in the past), or local FSN affiliates where they’re even tape delayed! The Pac-10 is one of the elite conferences in America and needs to start acting like it. That’s exactly why they’ve announced their contemplating expansion.

I think it’s a fine idea to expand and I would make the suggestion for the conference to approach Mountain West powers Utah and BYU to join. The fit would be natural for several reasons. For one, both schools consistently field competitive basketball and football teams while BYU particularly has a strong football tradition. Secondly, the schools are natural rivals as are every other regional couple in the conference. Thirdly, both schools would fit well with the travel model the conference has already established; along with the Norcal, Socal, Oregon, Arizona, and Washington trips, schools would now add in a Utah trip. Lastly, the conference would then have divisions — the Washington, Oregon, and Norcal schools in the Pac-10 North and the Socal, Arizona, and Utah schools in the Pac-10 South. To me, this alignment would be perfect and it would add some nice juice to the conference.

I’ve read that the conference is targeting Utah and Colorado. I prefer BYU over Colorado for several reasons. BYU has been much more competitive in basketball and football recently. BYU and Utah also are natural rivals while Utah and Colorado aren’t; the Pac-10 is based on rivalries. I understand the appeal of Colorado because of the Denver TV market but BYU makes much more sense. That would be my vote for expansion. If the Pac-10 decides to let in the likes of Fresno State, San Diego State, or Boise State, then they will have ignored everything the conference is predicated upon and they will be expanding for the sake of expansion. Let’s hope they do it the right way and in the spirit of the conference.

Announcer Mark Adams Flips Out During Backyard Brawl

As if it wasn’t bad enough that Bob Huggins had to address the West Virginia fans in attendance for throwing crap on the court, things got worse later in the game. A brief altercation amongst the players was broken up pretty quickly by the refs but then they had another issue on their hands: Pitt assistant coach Tom Herrion was hit in the cheek by a coin. While chucking a coin at an opposing team’s coach is pretty low, nothing compares to the outrage expressed by announcer Mark Adams. It’s priceless:

Here are some of the highlights: “That’s crap. That is simply not acceptable in college basketball … or any place else! That is not acceptable. You should be able to come to a place and play basketball and not be fearful of your personal safety!”

It’s no surprise to find out that Mark Adams is a motivational speaker whose website boasts, “Mark is Prepared, Entertaining, Educational and always Passionate during his broadcasts and presentations.” While I can’t speak for adjectives one and three, he definitely nailed the entertaining and passionate parts. There’s no doubt that if I ever needed a motivational speaker, I’d book with EnthusiAdams!

Bob Huggins Has a Message for You Stupid West Virginia Fans

Man, this is the second time in a week that we saw a basketball version of a rivalry take a turn for the worst. First it was the Holy War on the hardwood, now it’s the Backyard Brawl. With a packed house of 15,419 — third most ever at the Coliseum — things got rowdy in Morgantown. West Virginia went wire-to-wire for the easy 70-51 win but there were two notable moments of tension. One was when the fans started throwing stuff on the court and the other was when a mini-brawl broke out. Check out Bob Huggins addressing the crowd after they started throwing crap on the court:

In case you can’t watch the video, here’s what Huggy-bear said:

“Hey, don’t throw anything on the floor. You could hurt someone. You could hurt one of the players. That’s stupid. If you see someone throw something on the floor point them out. Throw ‘em out.”

I’m glad Huggins set a good example and tried to diffuse the problem. That’s probably much easier to do when your team is winning the game — by a comfortable margin no less. If that wasn’t embarrassing enough, things got worse when later in the game, one of Pitt’s assistants was pelted in the face by a coin.