June, 2014


An early look at Southeastern Conference basketball, Part II

Today’s installment of our early look at Southeastern Conference basketball includes LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. Full profiles, from 2,000 words to 5,000 words, of all Tennessee’s SEC opponents will be featured in the 2014-15 edition of Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, which ships in October. LSU LSU is showing steady improvement under Johnny Jones, last season earning an NIT bid, and could continue on an upward path despite the early departure of post man Johnny O’Bryant to the NBA. Three otherRead More

An early look at Southeastern Conference basketball, Part I

Here’s part one of a two-part early look at SEC basketball. Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Kentucky are in this first installment, to be followed by the rest of the league. Full profiles, from 2,000 words to 5,000 words, of all Tennessee’s SEC opponents will be featured in the 2014-15 edition of Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, which ships in October. Alabama Last season Anthony Grant’s program building effort suffered a derailment, so much so that rumors circulated his job was in jeopardy. Those rumors proved unfounded, but theRead More

Taking a closer look at Tennessee’s non-conference schedule

Tennessee’s non-conference basketball schedule, released on Wednesday, provides another clear illustration of how new coach Donnie Tyndall and his staff are going to operate. Make that illustrations: • Tyndall, director of basketball operations Justin Phelps and associate athletic director Jon Gilbert, who oversees men’s basketball, aren’t going to play around with the schedule. They work quickly, much like the staff did in corralling an eight-man recruiting class in about a month. Having a schedule completed in June is increasingly rare; some power conference schools don’t wrap up their schedules untilRead More

Vols’ Tyndall could play small ball to get his best players on the floor

Tennessee basketball coach Donnie Tyndall is hoping to identify a starting point guard and a backup or two during summer individual workout sessions, but he’s also looking for post players. Just as IUPUI transfer Ian Chiles hernia surgery, which will sideline him for two to three weeks, has hampered Tyndall’s search for a point guard, so has the absence of two newcomers—6-foot-9 FGCU transfer Eric McKnight and 6-10 freshman Tariq Owens—from the first summer session. But both will be available in the second session, and Tyndall can’t wait to getRead More

Tennessee sorting through point guard options

High atop new Tennessee basketball coach Donnie Tyndall’s list of priorities is finding a point guard, which makes summer skills sessions of paramount importance. Unfortunately for the Vols, the man Tyndall expects to claim the starting job, IUPUI transfer Ian Chiles, is on the sidelines after undergoing surgery to repair a hernia. Tyndall expects Chiles to be ready for the Summer Two session, but until then, Tyndall has been forced to consider other options. “I certainly hope and expect that Ian Chiles can play there at least part time,” TyndallRead More

Sharpshooter Bader aims to prove he belongs in the NBA

Bader v Rochester 1

It’s an early-February Horizon League game between Oakland and Milwaukee, and the Grizzlies’ Travis Bader, en route to an appointment with the NCAA record book, is perfectly executing a play his coach, Greg Kampe, learned from the great Chuck Daly. The play is called “Atlanta.” Kampe can’t remember the year, maybe 1984, maybe ’85, he asked Daly, then in the early stages of building the two-time NBA champion Detroit Pistons, for a set that could get shooters open 3-pointers. Daly suggested one he’d seen used many times by the AtlantaRead More

Opinions mixed on experiment with 30-second clock in college hoops

Belmont basketball coach Rick Byrd.

Atlantic Coast and Southeastern Conference coaches voted at their respective spring meetings to experiment with a 30-second shot clock in 2014-15 exhibition games, obviously demonstrating a unified front on what could be a monumental decision. (SEC athletic directors still have to vote on the issue). But the rest of the country isn’t so unified. In a poll of Division I coaches, opinions were split almost down the middle. Whether a coach is for the reduction from the 35-second clock or against it depends largely on the system he runs. CaseRead More

Knee Injury won’t stop Dinwiddie from reaching his NBA dreams


Colorado point guard Spencer Dinwiddie was motoring up the court in a game at Washington in January when he stopped and planted his left foot, just as he had done thousands of times before in a lifetime of playing basketball. But this time, the result was different. As soon as he came to a stop, Dinwiddie’s leg buckled and he fell to the court in a heap. Colorado coach Tad Boyle, whose view of the play had been obstructed by players and officials, wasn’t quite sure what happened. “But IRead More

Tyndall pleased with Vols’ effort and energy

Tennessee basketball coach Donnie Tyndall got what he wanted out of his first skills session with his new team on Monday night. “Guys had great energy,” Tyndall said. “Guys were coachable. Everybody really tried hard, and we didn’t have one guy who got tired and didn’t try to push himself through fatigue. The first day was a lot of technique and teaching, and you’re talking about guys having to learn a new system and new terminology. But the effort and energy was there.” The group included returning players Josh Richardson, ArmaniRead More