Rick Pitino, Quentin Ghelardini

Last-minute father’s day gift? How about a call from a title-winner?

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Father’s day is one of the most legendary goof-off holidays in human history. Does dad want a tie? No, but he’s getting one anyway. And the old man is so cool, he’ll smile fondly anyway.


Unless dad happens to be a big college hoops fan, in which case you can throw a surprise curveball at him tomorrow. CelebCalls.com is offering up dad-to-dad phoners from John Calipari, Bill Self and even reigning national champion coach Rick Pitino.

If your pops isn’t so enamored of swapping stories with other old dudes, maybe he’ll enjoy the fact that one of his favorite players from last season is now out from under the NCAA thumb and able to make money off of his dialing skills:

I can personally vouch for the fact that Rick Pitino is a very understanding guy when it comes to fatherly duties. A few years back, I called to set up an interview with him over the summer, and his assistant took my number. And let me tell you, big time coaches NEVER call you back.

Except this one did. He called around 8pm, while I was sitting on the couch watching Pixar movies with my son. In other words, I was completely unready to conduct an interview. I stammered and stuttered for a few minutes as I tried to find my computer and recorder, and finally just admitted to him that I had been watching movies with my son and would take a second to get ready. I thought he’d be pretty annoyed, since he’d taken the time to call me back.

But he just said, somewhat wistfully, that he remembered those days, even though his kids are older now. I guess you don’t get too much time to sit and watch Toy Story 2 when your son is your assistant coach (as Richard Pitino was at that time), let alone head coach at Minnesota (as he is now).

Anyway, happy father’s day, dads, from all of us here at CBT.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

Tom Izzo’s point is valid, but he’s wrong about the new fouling rules

Eron Harris, Tom Izzo
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
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On Sunday night, after No. 3 Michigan State knocked off No. 23 Providence in the final of the Wooden Legacy, Spartans head coach Tom Izzo made sure to make his feelings known about the new college basketball officiating mandates.

He doesn’t like them.

At all.

“I just think we’re taking the flow of the game away,” Izzo said. “Maybe it’ll change. We’ll play by the same rules everybody else does. But I think I can voice my opinion to say that I don’t agree with it.”

Part of what frustrated Izzo was that, in a matchup between the two best players in college basketball, both Denzel Valentine and Kris Dunn were sent to the bench with foul trouble.

“I didn’t like it either way,” Izzo said. “I didn’t like having Denzel on the bench, and I didn’t even like watching Dunn on the bench.”

“Don’t tweet this now and leave out the officials,” he added, according to CBSSports.com. “It’s not their fault. Because that’s the way they’re mandated to call them. So I am really either blaming the rules committee, which ends up on the coaches somewhat. So I’m looking in the mirror and blaming myself because I should have argued it more maybe. I just don’t think it’s fun to have these guys sitting.”

This is nothing new for Izzo. This was calculated. He basically said the same thing after Michigan State, then No. 1 in the country, beat Oklahoma in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic two seasons ago, when the rules committee tried to implement these same rules. It was his pushback that started the campaign to get rid of the freedom of movement rules.

But here’s the thing: we all knew this was going to happen. We knew there was going to be an adjustment period, for coaches and players and referees alike. In the long run, freedom of movement is good for basketball. It’s part of the reason the NBA is so much fun to watch these days, as their emphasis on the freedom of movement got us out of the days where the Detroit Pistons were winning titles without scoring 80 points.

Physicality is ingrained in college basketball. Coaches teach defense a certain way. Players play defense a certain way. The guys in the NBA are stronger, but the style of play is much more physical in the college game than the pro game. That doesn’t change overnight.

It changes when those rules are enforced and those fouls are called, and, as a result, the players and coaches learn to adjust to them.

Kennesaw State blows eight-point lead in 16 seconds, loses to Elon

Elon Athletics
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Kennesaw State entered Monday night at 1-6 on the season, but with 19 seconds left, it looked like the Owls have their second of the season locked up. Kendrick Ray made a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left to put KSU up 89-81, and all they had to do was avoid a complete meltdown to get out with a win.

They couldn’t.

A Luke Eddy layup with 16 seconds left cut the lead to six, and after KSU’s Nigel Pruitt missed two free throws, Dainan Swoope his a three with seven seconds left to make the score 89-86.

On the ensuing inbounds, Kennesaw State threw the ball away … and then proceeded to foul Eddy when he was shooting a three. This is what that disaster looked like:

Eddy would hit all three threes before, shockingly, KSU turned the ball over again. Elon could not capitalize this time, sending the game to overtime, where the Phoenix outscored the Owls 14-4.

Elon won 104-94.

Here’s what the comeback looked like on the play-by-play:

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