Jun 10, 2012, 7:59 PM EST
To say that Donnie Tyndall didn’t leave Sean Woods with a bare cupboard when he decided to take over at Southern Miss would be an accurate statement to make.
The Morehead State program has been a consistent contender in the OVC in recent years, which includes a 2011 OVC title and an NCAA tournament win over Louisville.
The task for Woods, who took the job after leading Mississippi Valley State to the NCAA tournament last season, is to pick up where Tyndall led off and take the Eagles to new heights.
With that in mind the former Kentucky Wildcat point guard has been a busy man since taking over, making multiple speeches to alumni groups and other supporters of the university.
This off-season’s been about firing up a fan base that expects Morehead State to compete for conference championships, and Woods has not backed away from the expectations.
As he said at his introductory news conference, Woods wants to make Morehead State “the Gonzaga of the South.” That is to say a mid-major program that can compete with any college team.
Woods smiled and nodded when asked if he used the same line — Gonzaga of the South — to describe his intentions when he became coach at Mississippi Valley State.
“I did,” he said, “and we were headed that way.”
To say the least that’s a very lofty goal to have when considering what Gonzaga has accomplished since they made that first run to the Elite 8 in 1999.
That season was the first of 13 straight that culminated with an NCAA appearance for the Bulldogs, who have also gone out and accepted many challenges in their non-conference schedule as well.
If that’s what Woods has in mind for Morehead State that certainly isn’t a bad goal to shoot for. But it won’t be easy given the presence of programs such as Murray State and league newcomer Belmont.
Coming off of an 18-15 season (10-6 OVC), Morehead State has to account for the loss of two of their top three scorers (Terrance Hill and Ty Proffitt) this season.
Hill missed the second half of the season with a knee injury so there’s some experience in that regard, and 6-7 forward Drew Kelly returns for his senior campaign as do guard Marsell Holden and forward Milton Chavis.
Taking over a new program is never easy, but the fact that Morehead State has a history of success should help Woods and his staff as they look to return the program to the NCAA tournament.
Dec 22, 2013, 3:40 AM EST
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 3 Ohio State 64, Notre Dame 61 Notre Dame had their marquee victory all locked up. Losses at home to Indiana State and North Dakota State were nullified. The Irish were back in the conversation as one of the best teams in the ACC. With less than a minute left,…
Dec 22, 2013, 3:17 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — When Marcus Smart, Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash all announced that they would be returning to Stillwater for another season, Oklahoma State fans immediately began to think championship thoughts. Oklahoma State hasn’t won the Big 12 regular season title since 2004, and their last Big 12 tournament title came in 2005,…
Dec 22, 2013, 1:58 AM EST
No. 13 Oregon scored the first bucket against BYU on Saturday night, taking a 2-0 at Matthew Knight Arena. Their next lead? 96-94 in overtime. In between that time, the Cougars more or less controlled the game, riding Tyler Haws’ hot-hand to a lead that grew to double-digits in the second half. It looked like…
Dec 22, 2013, 1:37 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — While the matchup between Marquette and New Mexico didn’t receive the same billing as No. 7 Oklahoma State/No. 20 Colorado, viewed as the undercard for the main event by many. But there was no debating the importance of the meeting if taking the long-term view. Both teams entered the game in…
Dec 22, 2013, 12:44 AM EST
Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson became the most famous coach in the country for a day after going on a memorable rant during his postgame press conference. Among the notable quotes from Hinson’s three-minute long venting session was that he called his players Mama’s Boys. It’s since been memorialized in a t-shirt, as modeled adorably…
Dec 22, 2013, 12:35 AM EST
St. Bonaventure point guard Charlon Kloof did his best Tyus Edney impression, going coast-to-coast after a Niagara shot-clock violation to give the Bonnies a 74-72 road win. Kloof finished with 18 points while playing all 40 minutes. (h/t The Trizzle) Follow @robdauster
Dec 21, 2013, 11:53 PM EST
Michigan got 19 points from Nik Stauskas and 17 from Glenn Robinson III as the Wolverines knocked off Stanford 68-65 at the Barclays Center on Saturday night. It was a win that Michigan needed, as they whiffed on four chances to lock down a marquee victory already this season. That’s not to say that Stanford is…
Dec 21, 2013, 11:36 PM EST
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — On a night that saw leading scorers Alex Kirk and Kendall Williams held in check, New Mexico received valuable contributions from a freshman guard and a senior forward. And thanks to those two players the preseason favorite to win the Mountain West picked up a needed non-conference victory for its resume.…
Dec 21, 2013, 10:10 PM EST
There is no questioning No. 3 Ohio State’s ability on the defensive end of the floor. Aaron Craft and Shannon Scott may be the two best on-ball defenders in the country, and Sam Thompson isn’t too far behind them. The Buckeyes have played a fairly weak schedule, but it’s not a mistake or a statistical…
Dec 21, 2013, 8:46 PM EST
VCU got back on track on Saturday afternoon with an 82-52 win over in-state rival Virginia Tech. This was never a game. VCU used a 31-0 run to open up a 37-8 lead and threw it into cruise controls. Shaka Smart’s squad forced 27 turnovers, but the big news was the play of Melvin Johnson.…
Dec 21, 2013, 8:12 PM EST
Tracy Abrams answered a Jabari Brown three by drawing a foul and hitting two free throws with 4.6 seconds left as Illinois claimed Braggin’ Rights over No. 23 Missouri with a 65-64 win in St. Louis on Saturday evening. Abrams finished with 22 points and Rayvonte Rice chipped in with 14 for the Illini, who…
Dec 21, 2013, 7:52 PM EST
North Carolina sophomore wing J.P. Tokoto has shown signs of improvement this season, raising both his scoring (9.6 ppg entering Saturday) and rebounding (4.8 rpg) averages from a season ago. Part of that has come with an increased number of opportunities, as Reggie Bullock’s now a Los Angeles Clipper and P.J. Hairston’s no longer a…
Dec 21, 2013, 6:55 PM EST
Even though No. 5 Michigan State has a number of players dealing with injuries during the early part of this season, it didn’t stop them from earning a big 92-78 road win over Texas on Saturday. Despite battling plantar fasciitis, senior forward Adreian Payne played one of the best games of this college basketball season…
Dec 21, 2013, 6:54 PM EST
In the late stages of Michigan State’s 92-78 win over Texas on Saturday afternoon, Denzel Valentine set up Branden Dawson for one of the year’s best highlights. Valentine tossed an alley-oop off the glass for Dawson, who finished the pass the way that you would expect one of the nation’s best athletes to finish it.
Dec 21, 2013, 6:01 PM EST
Marcus Foster and Thomas Gibson both scored 14 points for Kansas State as the Wildcats knocked off No. 21 Gonzaga 72-62 in Manhattan, KS, on Saturday afternoon. Bruce Weber’s club held Kevin Pangos to 4-for-11 shooting on the night, as he finished with just 12 points and six assists. Sam Dower went down with a…
Dec 21, 2013, 6:01 PM EST
Given how much production James Madison lost from last season’s NCAA tournament team and the fact that Andre Nation won’t be available until the Dukes begin CAA play, it comes as no surprise that they’ve struggled offensively this season. Charles Cooke (15.6 ppg, 4.0 rgp, 2.1 apg), Ron Curry (11.9, 4.5, 2.7) and Andre Semenov…
Dec 21, 2013, 4:50 PM EST
Marcus Foster has been one of the nation’s most underrated freshmen this season, starring for a Kansas State team that has remained well off the national radar. Well, not anymore. Foster is on fire as Kansas State as the Wildcats are currently beating No. 21 Gonzaga. We’ll see if that lead holds, but for now,…
Dec 21, 2013, 4:45 PM EST
Florida State dictated tempo and slowed down unbeaten No. 22 UMass and senior point guard Chaz Williams as the Seminoles held on for a 60-55 victory in the Orange Bowl Classic. Despite a controversial ending that featured a missed foul call on a Cady Lalanne dunk that would have cut UMass’ deficit to a point…
Dec 21, 2013, 3:00 PM EST
Later in the season we’ll all surely have a laugh about how Kansas was once the No. 18 team in the country. This Jayhawks team is far too talented for that ranking and showed how good they can be during a monster second-half surge in its 86-64 win over Georgetown on Saturday afternoon. The Jayhawks…
Dec 21, 2013, 2:47 PM EST
After getting hit in the back of the head by Georgetown’s Nate Lubick, Perry Ellis looked wobbly while shooting a free throw that hit the bottom of the backboard a good three feet to the left of the rim. He pointed to his head after the miss, leaving the game with 18 minutes left in…
- Notre Dame chokes away eight-point lead in 58 seconds vs. No. 3 Ohio State 0
- Is it time to start being worried about No. 21 Gonzaga and the WCC? 1
- P.J. Hairston’s UNC career comes to an end as the school will not apply for his reinstatement 3
- Weekend Preview: Saturday’s slate is thrilling from noon until midnight 2
- UCLA has a lot to learn if they are going to be a contender in the Pac-12 0
- WATCH: Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson unloads in press conference (10)
- Leslie McDonald has been cleared, while reports say P.J. Hairston unlikely to play this season (7)
- Difference between Kentucky, ’12 title team: role players? (5)
- Late Night Snacks: UK loses, Arizona survives, and Naadir Tharpe awakens (4)
- College Basketball Talk’s latest top 25 (4)