Bo Ryan

Bo Ryan’s appearance on ‘Mike and Mike’ didn’t go too well

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Following Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan’s appearance on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” radio program on Thursday morning, it’s easy to see why much wasn’t heard from Saint Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli during the Todd O’Brien saga.

Ryan went on the show in attempt to defend the limiting of options for freshman forward Jarrod Uthoff, who decided to transfer after realizing during his redshirt campaign that his skills wouldn’t mesh with Ryan’s system.

To say the least it did not go well in the court of public opinion, with many disagreeing with Ryan’s stance on the blocking of possible destinations for Uthoff.

“I don’t know how to deal with transfers like some other guys who do it a heck of a lot more often so here’s what I did: I called some coaches and I said, ‘guys, what do you do when a situation comes up like this?’, said Ryan.

“Every coach that I talked to said, ‘coach, you block the conference and then any schools, especially if you’re in a major conference, if there are any [major conference] schools around in a contiguous area.”

That last bit would explain the reasoning behind the blocking of Iowa State and Marquette, and with the Badgers playing Marquette annually that should come as no surprise.

But what about the block placed on the entire ACC? Well that’s where things got a little ugly, with the Big Ten/ACC Challenge being the crutch used by Ryan.

“Over the next 3-4 years we’re going to play different teams in the ACC,” said Ryan when addressing this. “You have to tell the administrator why you want to go to a particular school in the ACC.”

Should there be this many restrictions on where Uthoff can go to school and receive a scholarship? No. But the bigger issue here is the fact that a school is allowed to do such a thing to begin with.

Ryan cited “rules” to the scholarship that a player receives but those scholarships are one-year renewable, meaning that the player and school need to sign those papers annually.

Essentially Uthoff doesn’t have much in the way of leverage here, and Wisconsin has taken advantage of that whether they’re willing to admit that or not.

Ryan made the point of saying that he didn’t make the rules, but he did have a choice when it came to taking advantage of them.

Regardless of what the rules allow or what other coaches may have told Ryan in regards to his decision on this matter, it’s a no-win situation for both he and the school.

With his first public comments on Wednesday and the radio interview on Thursday, Bo Ryan didn’t look too good in the eyes of many throughout the country.

And that could be all the momentum Jarrod Uthoff needs in order to finally receive a fair release from his scholarship.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Johnson, Paige help No. 9 Tar Heels roll past Panthers 85-64

North Carolina's Isaiah Hicks (4) dunks against Pittsburgh during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
AP Photo/Gerry Broome
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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) Brice Johnson scored 19 points to lead a dominating offensive performance that helped No. 9 North Carolina beat Pittsburgh 85-64 on Sunday.

Marcus Paige added 15 points for the Tar Heels (21-4, 10-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who shot 59 percent to stay atop the league ahead of the next renewal of their fierce rivalry with Duke.

UNC had plenty of balance, shared the ball and got out in transition in arguably their best performance in weeks, using a 13-0 second-half burst to blow the game open. UNC finished with 26 assists on 32 baskets, 24 points off turnovers and scored 16 fast-break points after managing a combined five in the past two games.

Michael Young and James Robinson each scored 15 points to lead Pitt (17-7, 6-6). But the Panthers shot 37 percent and committed 19 turnovers, and a strong effort on the glass did little to offset their troubles.

The Tar Heels were playing their first home game in two weeks after a difficult three-game road trip that started with losses at Louisville and Notre Dame. Then came Tuesday’s game at Boston College, where the Tar Heels struggled against a winless league team then had a scare when Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams briefly collapsed in a second-half huddle after an attack of vertigo and had to leave the sideline for the rest of the game.

Williams was back in the office on Wednesday’s off day, returned to practice Thursday and told reporters Friday he was fine and even cracked jokes about a two-decade history with vertigo dating to his Kansas years.

Getting back home certainly helped everyone feel better. After wrestling with shooting struggles for much of the past month, UNC’s offense kicked back into an efficient and balanced gear, while Paige – the player the Tar Heels are practically begging to jolt free from a prolonged shooting slump – looked more like his old self against the Panthers.

That included one second-half play in which he caught a crosscourt pass from Theo Pinson in transition and made sure to step back behind the arc before burying a 3-pointer.

The Panthers had lost three of four since a 5-2 league start coming in, including 65-63 on a late tip-in at No. 12 Miami on Tuesday. And Pitt again had trouble getting their offense going, failing to crack 70 points for the third straight game.

TIP-INS

Pittsburgh: Second-leading scorer Jamel Artis scored five points on 2-for-8 shooting. … Pitt finished with a 41-29 rebounding advantage. … Pitt made 9 of 21 3-point attempts.

UNC: Justin Jackson scored 14 points. … UNC made 8 of 15 shots from 3-point range and 13 of 15 free throws. … Jackson and Pinson had six assists each. … UNC managed just one offensive rebound.

UP NEXT

Pittsburgh hosts Wake Forest on Tuesday.

UNC hosts Duke on Wednesday.

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap and the AP’s college basketball site at http://collegebasketball.ap.org

Denzel Valentine dominant as No. 8 Michigan State whips Indiana

Michigan State's Denzel Valentine (45) shoots over Indiana's Kevin Yogi Ferrell during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
AP Photo/Al Goldis
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Trailing by one point at the half, Indiana appeared to be in good shape at No. 8 Michigan State. However the fact that they were unable to slow down Denzel Valentine, who scored 15 first-half points, was a major concern for Tom Crean’s Hoosiers. Sure enough the national Player of the Year candidate continued on his tour de force in the second half, scoring another 15 points and dishing out seven assists as the Spartans rolled to an 88-69 victory.

For the game Valentine finished with 30 points, five rebounds, 13 assists and just one turnover. Of Michigan State’s 48 second half points, Valentine had a hand in 29 of them with all seven of his assists resulting in Michigan State layups. It was a dominant performance from one of the nation’s best players, a versatile guard whose four games missed due to injury may have led to some overlooking him when it comes to those national Player of the Year conversations.

When Valentine’s on everything else flows smoothly for Tom Izzo’s team, as his ability to both score and create results in quality looks for teammates who would struggle if they had to get that part of the job done themselves.

The biggest beneficiary Sunday afternoon was forward Matt Costello, who finished the game with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Of Costello’s ten made field goals (10-for-12 FG) five were assisted by Valentine, and he accounted for 13 points and seven rebounds in the second half. As a team Michigan State shot 63.3 percent from the field and assisted on 16 of their 19 made field goals in the second half, turning a tight contest into a blowout.

Tum Tum Nairn returned the court for the first time in seven games, but he played just two minutes and his time on the court will be managed carefully by Izzo moving forward. For many teams not having your point guard at full strength would represent a crippling blow, but that hasn’t been the case for Michigan State thanks in large part to Valentine. Michigan State went 4-3 in those seven games without Nairn, but the three losses were by a total of three points.

Valentine’s ability to make his teammates better will be a key factor down the stretch for Michigan State, and that skill was what led to the Spartans blowing out Indiana on Sunday.