Posted April 22, 2014

Louisville’s first ACC schedule features two games with UNC, road date at Syracuse

ACC, Louisville Cardinals
Montrezl Harrell, Rick Pitino

Montrezl Harrell (left) and Rick Pitino helped Louisville win a national title in 2012. Now they’ll lead the Cardinals into a new league in 2014-15. (Robin Alam/Icon SMI)

After a season in which it welcomed Syracuse, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh, the ACC’s delayed growth to 16 teams will finally be complete next season when Louisville joins the conference. The Cardinals will immediately be one of the top teams in their new league, bringing back forwards Montrezl Harrell and Wayne Blackshear and guards Chris Jones and Terry Rozier. While they don’t yet know when or against whom they will begin their maiden ACC voyage — the dates and order of the full schedule will not be known for a few more months — on Tuesday, the Cards and the 15 other teams at least learned a little bit about what the conference slate will look like for the next two years.

It may not have been a rude welcome for Rick Pitino’s squad, but it’s not a very hospitable one, either. Here’s a look at the challenges of Louisville’s first ACC schedule, with a peek at 2015-16 as well:

Continue Reading

Posted April 22, 2014

Donnie Tyndall takes over as Tennessee’s new head coach

Coaches, SEC, Sweet 16, Tennessee Volunteers
New Tennessee basketball coach Donnie Tyndall must prove his commitment to the program

Donnie Tyndall inherits a Tennessee program that reached the Sweet 16 this March amid discord within the fan base. (Danny Johnston/AP)

While attending the Final Four, Donnie Tyndall took a call from Tulsa and the people running its search for a head coach. He got dressed, left his two daughters and his fiancee and went downstairs to do the interview. When he returned, his kids asked for his thoughts. The then-Southern Miss coach said he didn’t think that was the right spot for Daddy. Something down the road, Tyndall told them, might be a better fit.

He said the Tennessee job, after all, might be coming open.

Continue Reading

Posted April 22, 2014

Top uncommitted senior Myles Turner attracts plenty of eyes with college decision

AAU, Jordan Brand Classic, Recruiting
Top uncommitted senior Myles Turner still undecided on his college basketball future

The rest of the country’s top prospects have settled their college plans, but Myles Turner (35) remains undecided. (Andrew Nelles/AP)

NEW YORK — Less than a half hour before tip-off of the Jordan Brand Classic last Friday, Myles Turner stood with his arms folded across his chest as he gazed out at the basketball court inside Barclays Center, where a group of the nation’s top high school players eased its way through various warm-up routines.

There was Jahlil Okafor, the star center from Chicago who signed with Duke, and Emmanuel Mudiay, a heralded point guard who will attend Southern Methodist. There were players set to join storied programs in different conferences, on the East Coast and in the heartland, and some considered one-and-done prospects. They had received myriad scholarship offers, whittled down their choices and, in some instances, partaken in grand announcement ceremonies inside packed high school gymnasiums. One piece of knowledge united them: They know where they are going to college. Continue Reading

Posted April 21, 2014

Missouri, Marquette, Houston top list of best jobs to come open this offseason

Coaches, Houston, Marquette, Missouri, Tennessee Volunteers
New Auburn coach Bruce Pearl is expected to breathe new life into the Tigers. (Porter Binks/SI)

New Auburn coach Bruce Pearl is expected to breathe new life into the Tigers. (Porter Binks/SI)

As of Monday afternoon, five head coaching jobs in Division I remain open. Filling the two best available gigs – Missouri and Tennessee – might have a ripple effect that creates more vacancies elsewhere.

But before that happens, here’s a ranking of the best jobs that have come open this offseason – whether they’ve been filled or not. You can decide how lucky your new coach – or eventual coach-to-be – really is.

Continue Reading

Posted April 19, 2014

Jahlil Okafor, Cliff Alexander, others shine at Jordan Brand Classic

Jordan Brand Classic
Jahlil Okafor will attend Duke next season. (Robin Alam/Icon SMI)

Jahlil Okafor will attend Duke next season. (Robin Alam/Icon SMI)

NEW YORK — The top high school prospects in the country were on display Friday night at Barclays Center for the Jordan Brand Classic national game. The East topped the West, 158-147.

But in a game in which neither team was particularly committed to playing defense — Mike Bethea, the coach of the West, said at the postgame news conference, “Defense was out the window” — the outcome isn’t all that important. What college hoops fans are interested in are the players who shined. Here are four: Continue Reading