College Hoopsters Vie for Professional Opportunities at the 2014 PIT

PIT logo

By Wayne Otto

College Basketball Columnist
College Sports Journal 

 

PORTSMOUTH, VA - In most areas of the country spring is getting ready bloom, the NCAA basketball tournament is in the books, the NBA Playoffs are upon us and Portsmouth is the epicenter of the basketball universe for the week.

 

That means the 62nd annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament is here and has a huge congregation of NBA GM's, scouts, assistant coaches, European and Asian pro league personnel along with several hundred players agents and basketball scouting services.

 

The PIT is an annual rite of passage for 64 of the top college seniors in the country in their quest to get to the professional basketball ranks. Players such as John Stockton, Rick Barry, Dennis Rodman and others have showcased their talents over the years at the PIT.

Read more: College Hoopsters Vie for Professional Opportunities at the 2014 PIT

Pay Coaches for Grades, Not Final Fours

THESE GUYS WON'T BE IN THE FINAL FOUR. WILL THEY BE IN PSYCHOLOGY CLASS? PHOTOGRAPHER: GRANT HALVERSON/GETTY IMAGES

By Bloomberg View Editorial Staff

Special Report

College Sports Journal

 

(Reprinted by special permission from Bloomberg View.  The original article can be accessed here.)

 

NEW YORK, NY. — At many American colleges and universities, the relationship between athletics and academics needs to be rebalanced.

 

Over the weekend, as fans were watching their March Madness brackets explode, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan again offered a modest but useful proposal toward that end: Align compensation for coaches and athletic directors with their teams’ academic performance.

 

Coaches care about winning. That’s their job. Yet they also share some responsibility for the education of their players, many of whom would never have made it past the admissions office but for the coach’s decision to extend a scholarship offer.

 

Read more: Pay Coaches for Grades, Not Final Fours

Summit Final: Thundar and the Bison Are Going Dancing

NDSU Thundar 2014

By Wayne Otto

College Basketball Columnist
College Sports Journal 

 

SIOUX FALLS, SD - Thundar, the North Dakota State University bison mascot, has had a busy year.

 

First, the Bison complete a perfect 15-0 football season capped off by its third straight NCAA FCS national championship game title in Frisco, Texas in January.

 

The championship football run started in August in Manhattan, Kansas with a win over defending Big XII champions Kansas State.

 

Thundar roamed the plains the rest of the football season - mostly around home, with a field trip to Frisco, Texas - then jumped to basketball, where Thundar's Bison now have a record that stands at 25-6 and an invite to the NCAA basketball championships, the 'Big Dance.”

Read more: Summit Final: Thundar and the Bison Are Going Dancing

Southland Conference's Battle of Texas Won By Stephen F. Austin, 68-49

Stephen F. Austin Southland Tourney 2014

By Wayne Otto

College Basketball Columnist
College Sports Journal 

 

KATY, TX - In 1836, former soldier Sam Houston defeated original Texas colonizer Stephen F. Austin to become the first president of the Republic of Texas by a substantial margin. Austin was considered the father of Texas and Sam Houston was considered the top statesman from early Texas.

 

With the Southland Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA basketball tournament on the line in 2014, that championship became a battle of Texas of a different sort.

 

Their two namesake universities battled for the Southland Conference championship, in front of a boisterous and rowdy crowd, and the big prize that comes with it, the elusive bid to the NCAA tournament.

 

This time Sam Houston did not win but Stephen F. Austin's namesake university won the championship 68-49.

Read more: Southland Conference's Battle of Texas Won By Stephen F. Austin, 68-49

Bison In Summit Men's Final, Lady Jacks Tripped Up By Coyotes

South Dakota Women's Basketball Summit Tourney 2014

By Wayne Otto

College Basketball Columnist
College Sports Journal 

 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The Summit League championship tournament semi-finals got off with a bang on Monday with 5,871 rabid fans filling the Sioux Falls Arena for a noon tipoff with women's number one seed and defending champion South Dakota State Jackrabbits and the fourth seeded South Dakota Coyotes.

 

South Dakota's Raeshel Contreras hit a 22' 3 point shot with less than a second left in the quarterfinal round to down Western Illinois 96-94 to advance to play the Jacks, who had a bye into the semi's in the seven team field.

 

The Coyotes trailed by as many as 17 points and mounted their comeback behind 26 points from Nicoe Seekamp and 22 from Contreras.

Read more: Bison In Summit Men's Final, Lady Jacks Tripped Up By Coyotes
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