Jim Boeheim

Jim Boeheim to reporters: “Go get your Pulitzer someplace else”

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Jim Boeheim seems super-grumpy these days, even for the nation’s most curmudgeonly head coach.

Two weeks ago, Boeheim snapped at ESPN.com’s Andy Katz in a press conference, calling him an “idiot” and “disloyal” and refusing to answer any questions from the most well-recognized college hoops reporter in the country. Last week, he neglected to give any credit to Vincent Council, the Providence point guard that set the Big East’s career-assist record against his team in a 25 point loss.

And after Syracuse blew a double-digit first half lead in a loss at Marquette last night, the 68-year old Boeheim’s emotions boiled over once again.

(CLICK HERE to listen to the entirety of Boeheim’s nine-minute press conference)

It started when Boeheim was asked a question about the 26 points that Davante Gardner score and whether or not burly freshman DaJuan Coleman could have helped slow him down.

His response?

“Our two best defensive players were in the game,” Boeheim said before pausing for about ten seconds and following up that statement. “But you should try coaching maybe. Let’s see what you think you are. So maybe you should try that.”

After a couple more questions, CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman asked Boeheim about his team’s leadership and whether or not it’s becoming a problem:

“We’re the same team we’ve been all year. I don’t even understand that. You think because you come to Marquette and lose by two or three points you need a new guy? I don’t.”

It’s something you said earlier in the year, you were able to get away without it.

“I don’t think I said that. ”

You don’t need a killer type guy? A leader? It just doesn’t seem like anybody’s talking.

“It may seem like that to you.”

To his credit, Boeheim did eventually respond to that question, saying that, more or less, the issues that Syracuse has right now has to do with their ability to shoot the ball, the zone defenses that they have been facing of late, bad turnovers at inopportune times and a lack of offensive rebounding.

While that seemed like classic Boeheim, he once again saved his best for the end.

“Any more coaches here?” Boeheim said with a chuckle. “Want to ask another coaching question? I’d be happy to take it. I’ve only been doing this 37 years, I’m sure you’ve got more ideas of who we should play or we shouldn’t play or who should lead? What do I know?”

After preaching about how the Big East should have taken the TV deal back in 2011 that would have netted each school in the conference $17 million, Boeheim closed with this:

“I think you oughta know by now, you start asking me those questions, I just laugh at you. that’s all I do.”

“Go get your Pulitzer someplace else.”

Some in the media hate Boeheim when he goes on the rants, but I love it. He’s not a machine; he’s human. He’s frustrated and emotional about a loss and he doesn’t have the time to be answering these inane questions about his ability to coach.

In a day and age where everyone is so concerned about their public image and being politically correct, it’s fun to see a coach that’s not afraid of snapping back at a question he doesn’t like from a reporter.

Just as long as I’m not on the wrong end of one of his verbal tail-whippings.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Arizona lands first commitment in 2017 class

Alex Barcello (Jon Lopez/Nike)
(Jon Lopez/Nike)
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Arizona landed their first commitment in the Class of 2017 on Friday night as point guard Alex Barcello pledged to Sean Miller and the Wildcats.

Barcello is a 6-foot-2 point guard from Tempe who plays his high school ball for Corona del Sol. He committed to the Wildcats on an official visit to the Tucson campus.

Barcello is a borderline top 100 prospect who sits at No. 123 in the Rivals top 150. He’s known for his ability to shoot, and he’s more of a combo-guard — i.e. shoot-first — than a point guard at times, but he’s a nice pickup and projects as a solid four-year player for the Wildcats.

Virginia, Indiana, Stanford and Butler were the other four schools on Barcello’s list.

Duke lands first commitment in 2017 class

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Alex O’Connell knew exactly where he wanted to play his college ball, which is why, just two days after picking up an offer from Coach K and the Blue Devils, he became Duke’s first recruit in the Class of 2017.

O’Connell announced the on twitter on Friday afternoon:

O’Connell is a four-star prospect from Georgia that had a terrific summer, going from being a borderline top 75 prospect to a player that caught the interest of Duke, who, along with Kentucky, sit atop the college recruiting hierarchy. He’s an explosively athletic and lanky 6-foot-6 wing with three-point range on his jumper. He needs to add some weight and some strength — he’s listed as a crisp 175 pounds — but he has the tools, and the swagger, to develop into a very effective player in the ACC.

Is he a one-and-done prospect?

Probably not. In fact, since 2010, Duke has landed just two players that were rated lower than O’Connell: Antonio Vrankovic and Jack White. If you know who both of them are, you’re probably either Jon Scheyer or lying.

But what O’Connell is is a kid who put in the work to get better this past year and who has the skill set, the physical tools and work ethic to continue to improve. He may not be on Grayson Allen’s trajectory, but O’Connell has the makings of being an impact player for the Blue Devils for three or four years.

Alex O'Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)
Alex O’Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)

Shaka Smart lands contract extension at Texas

Texas head coach Shaka Smart instructs his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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Shaka Smart has already landed himself a contract extension at Texas.

The school, according to the Austin American-Statesman, has given Shaka a one-year extension — through the 2022-23 season — and bumped his salary up to a cool $3 million, a raise of $100,000 annually.

Smart’s Longhorns went 20-13 last season and lost on a half court buzzer beater from Northern Iowa’s Paul Jespersen. It will be tough for Smart to match the success that he had last season, specifically because he lost senior point guard Isaiah Taylor to the professional ranks.

That said, the former VCU head man has been reeling in quite a bit of talent from the state of Texas — namely, Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen — and is not all that far from turning the Longhorns back into a relevant member of the Big 12 title race.

Arizona and Texas headline Lone Star Shootout

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17:  Head coach Sean Miller of the Arizona Wildcats reacts in the first half against the Wichita State Shockers during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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Another marquee, early season event is on the books for the college basketball season as four potential tournament teams will be squaring off at the Toyota Center in Houston on Dec. 17th.

The highlight of the double-header, which has been dubbed the Lone Star Shootout, will probably end up being Arizona vs. Texas A&M. The Wildcats are a Pac-12 contender and a borderline top 10 team as we enter the season, and while the Aggies will have work to do replacing the seniors they lost off of last season’s roster, they’re a borderline top 25 team.

The other matchup will feature a pair of former Southwest Conference rivals facing off in Texas and Arkansas. Texas will be talented but young while Arkansas may actually have the best player on the floor in Moses Kingsley. What will make this matchup interesting is that both Mike Anderson and Shaka Smart are known for being coaches that prefer a full court pressing system.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to play in front of our fans at the Toyota Center in Houston,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said in a statement. “It is one of the most important areas in this state as it relates to our recruiting and fan base.

Five-star 2017 guard Lonnie Walker cuts list to five schools

Men's U18 trials head shots and team photo on 6.15.16
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Five-star shooting guard Lonnie Walker is coming off of a very good summer as he trimmed his list to five schools on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-4 native of Reading, Pennsylvania is still considering Arizona, Kentucky, Miami, Syracuse and Villanova, he announced on Twitter.

Regarded as the No. 26 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, Walker played with Team Final in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer as he averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Walker shot 45 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and 72 percent from the free-throw line.

An efficient scorer who is learning to drive with both hands, Walker is very talented and the type of guard who might also be able to handle a bit as well.