Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Clippers Memories Fade, But Livingston Doesn't

Sunday night's Lakers game against the Wizards felt like a Clippers reunion.  Washington's roster included four former Clippers--Shaun Livingston, Al Thornton, Quinton Ross, James Singleton--and another, Sam Cassell, is an assistant coach on Flip Saunders' staff.

As I talked to some of the guys, I had two prevailing thoughts:  1) The 2006 NBA Playoffs when the Clippers nearly beat the Suns to advance to the Western Conference Finals-all of the above mentioned played on that team, except Thornton and Boykins.  2)  Livingston's horrific knee injury the following season.

foxsports.com: Clippers' Memories Fade, But Livingston Doesn't

USBWA Names Jim Boeheim National Coach Of The Year

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) - Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, the winningest coach in Big East Conference history and the second winningest active coach in Division I basketball, is this year's recipient of the Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award, presented annually to the National Coach of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

The USBWA District II Coach of the Year now has 829 career wins - 371 of them in Big East Conference play - and has led the Orange into the NCAA Regionals for a 16th time in his career. Overall under Boeheim, Syracuse has played in 27 NCAA Tournaments and three times the Orange have played for the national championship, winning the 2003 title.

In a season in which Boeheim won his 800th career game, Syracuse captured its first outright Big East regular-season title since 1991 and was ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll on March 1. This season, the coach registered his record 32nd 20-win season and the Orange are 30-4 entering their West Regional Semifinal game vs. Butler. A win will tie Boeheim with Jim Phelan of Mt. St. Mary's as the fifth all-time winningest coach in Division I basketball.

Yet, with all those accolades, this marks the first time the legendary Syracuse coach has been named National Coach of the Year by the USBWA. Boeheim also becomes the first Big East coach to earn the honor since Pittsburgh's Ben Howland in 2002.

Now in his 34th season as the head coach at his alma mater, the Lyons, N.Y., native started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Syracuse in 1969, before being promoted to assistant coach and then head coach in 1976. A former walk-on player at Syracuse, Boeheim was co-captain of the team with Dave Bing as a senior. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005 and Syracuse named the court at the Carrier Dome "Jim Boeheim Court" in 2002.

Through the newly-formed Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation, Boeheim is also active with numerous charitable causes. His annual "Basket Ball" gala has raised more than $3 million and he is among the most active coaches in the "Coaches vs. Cancer" campaign.

Boeheim will receive the Henry Iba Award at the USBWA's College Basketball Awards Breakfast held in conjunction with the NCAA Final Four in Indianapolis on Friday, April 2, at The Columbia Club at 8 a.m. For tickets to the breakfast, visit the usbwa website, usbwa.com.

USBWA Names Evan Turner National Player Of The Year

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) - The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected Ohio State guard/forward Evan Turner as the winner of the 2009-10 Oscar Robertson Trophy, annually presented to the National Player of the Year.

The 6-7, 210-pound junior from Chicago, Ill., was the consensus choice by voters in all nine geographical districts of the USBWA. Turner becomes the first national player of the year from Ohio State since Jerry Lucas won his second straight USBWA Player of the Year award in 1962. Turner is also the first Big Ten player to win the honor since Purdue's Glenn Robinson in 1994.

Turner will be presented with the Oscar Robertson Trophy by its namesake Oscar Robertson at the USBWA's annual College Basketball Awards Breakfast on Friday, April 2 at 8 a.m. at The Columbia Club in downtown Indianapolis in conjunction with the NCAA Men's Final Four. For tickets to the awards breakfast, visit the USBWA website, usbwa.com.

Turner, a first-team USBWA All-American and USBWA District V Player of the Year, was chosen as the national player of the year from a field of 16 finalists. The Big Ten Player of the Year has the led Buckeyes (29-7) to the Big Ten regular-season and tournament championships and into the Midwest Regional in St. Louis, where they face Tennessee on Friday.

"I think he's very deserving," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. "I am very proud of what he's done, the work he's done to put himself in position to win the award is something that's truly amazing. He's one of the most multi-dimensional players in the country. He has an ability to score the basketball, drive it, get to the foul line, and shoot threes. His passing makes everyone on the floor that much better."

Despite missing six games due to injury early in the season, Turner led the Big Ten in scoring and rebounding. Including his two NCAA Tournament games, Turner is averaging 20.0 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. He was second in the conference in assists and steals. Turner was also third in the conference in field-goal percentage and 14th in free-throw percentage. He has recorded two triple-doubles and 16 double-doubles this season.

The Oscar Robertson Trophy is voted on by the entire membership of the association, which consists of more than 900 journalists. It is the nation's oldest award and the only one named after a former player. The legendary Oscar Robertson was the USBWA's first player of the year in 1959. The USBWA renamed its player of the year award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in 1998.

USBWA Names John Wall National Freshman of the Year

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) - Kentucky guard John Wall has been selected National Freshman of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association for the 2009-10 season.

The 6-4, 195-pound Wall, from Raleigh, N.C., has averaged 16.8 points, 6.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game for the Wildcats. He is a first-team USBWA All-American as well as the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and the USBWA District IV Player of the Year. He has led Kentucky into the East Regional with a 34-2 record that includes both the SEC Eastern Division championship and the SEC Tournament championship.

Wall was a unanimous choice in voting by USBWA members in all nine of the association's geographical districts for Freshman of the Year and was among 16 finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, given to the USBWA's National Player of the Year. He is the just the second SEC player to win the USBWA's National Freshman of the Year award joining LSU's Chris Jackson, who was the first winner of the award in 1989.

"He's a deserving player by how he has led this team - an inexperienced team - and his ability to make plays when the game is in the balance," said Kentucky coach John Calipari. "I'm happy for him because he's as hard-working a player as any I've been around - on the court, in the weight room and in the classroom. This is a great honor for John to be recognized by the USBWA and another reflection of how our team success leads to individual accolades."

All-Time USBWA Freshmen of the Year:
1988-89 Chris Jackson, LSU
1989-90 Kenny Anderson, Georgia Tech
1990-91 Rodney Rogers, Wake Forest
1991-92 Chris Webber, Michigan
1992-93 Jason Kidd, California
1993-94 Joe Smith, Maryland
1994-95 None selected
1995-96 None selected
1996-97 None selected
1997-98 Larry Hughes, Saint Louis
1998-99 Quentin Richardson, DePaul
1999-00 Jason Gardner, Arizona
2000-01 Eddie Griffin, Seton Hall
2001-02 T.J. Ford, Texas
2002-03 Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse
2003-04 Luol Deng, Duke
2004-05 Marvin Williams, North Carolina
2005-06 Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina
2006-07 Kevin Durant, Texas
2007-08 Michael Beasley, Kansas State
2008-09 Tyreke Evans, Memphis
2009-10 John Wall, Kentucky

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Charles Pierce: John Calipari Is The Sleaziest Coach In A Sleazy Game

One of the aspects of being successful is criticism of your methods.  And every rung up the ladder you climb brings more, and oftentimes, harsher criticism.

Take John Calipari for example.  Since he's been the head coach at Kentucky, I get people constantly coming up to be talking about how dirty he is.  They seem to get joy out of proclaiming that UK will end up on NCAA probation in the next few years.  Their argument is that since it happened to Calipari's previous schools--Massachusetts and Memphis--then it will happen at Kentucky too.

By now, I've grown a little tired of bringing up the points that in both of those instances, Calipari was cleared of any wrongdoing.  Not once did the NCAA find that Calipari did anything illegal or unethical, but as we have all learned in our lives, the truth doesn't always make for the best story or opinion column.

Case in point is this article from Slate.com's Charles P. Pierce, in which he calls Calipari "the sleaziest coach in a sleazy game." 

Pierce makes some pretty serious claims, including that John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins "have already partly checked out. Their concern for their draft status might be enough to motivate them to play hard in the tournament. But if they do, it won't be because of the motivational genius of John Calipari. He's already distant white noise in their lives."

That's a pretty bold statement considering I very strongly doubt Pierce has spent very much time with either Wall or Cousins or members of their families.  Just because you believe--or want to believe--something to be true, doesn't mean it is.

I was also a little taken back by this passage:  "I watched them beat the tar out of Tennessee in the SEC tournament, a ridiculous 74-45 blowout during which freshman center DeMarcus Cousins took the opportunity to give head coach John Calipari one of the greatest "Honky, please" looks since the demise of Richard Pryor, and a backup named Daniel Orton was told to absent himself briefly from the proceedings and walked up the tunnel, leaving Kentucky undermanned and the broadcast crew completely baffled."

I was not seated courtside at Bridgestone Arena during the SEC Tournament to be able to witness or affirm what Pierce alleges, but I also haven't heard anyone else speak to such incidents either.  I mean, seriously Charlie, those are some pretty strong statements you made.  Honky, please?  Who even says that anymore?  And the fact that Pierce would try to attribute something so foul to a 18-year old kid is beyond petty.  It's pathetic!

So, I encourage you to check out the full article yourself.  And you decide.  Is the criticism justified or is it just some dude spewing Hater-ade??  Either way, knowing Calipari the way I do, it won't slow down Kentucky's march back to the Final Four.  If anything, it will just make that march even more determined!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

UCLA Fans Shouldn't Easily Forget What They Had

Watching the Hornets light up the Clippers in the 4th quarter of Monday’s 108-100 loss reminded me of something.  UCLA’s run of back-to-back to back Final Four appearances from 2006-2008 was probably more impressive than most people realize, including Bruins fans.

Seeing Darren Collison guide the Hornets to their 13th straight win over the Clippers by scoring 18 points and dishing out 14 assists in 48 minutes of action took me back to the years when he ran the point for Ben Howland.  Talk about his skills all you want, but Collison is a winner.  Plain and simple.  And you can say that about the other players who came through Westwood during that remarkable run.  From Jordan Farmar and Arron Afflalo to Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Alfred Aboya to Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love, they were all about putting up W’s, even in games in which they probably shouldn’t have.

foxsportswest.com: Bruin Faithful Should Continue To Hold Their Heads High

Monday, March 15, 2010

US Basketball Writers Association Announces All-America Team

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) - Two pairs of teammates from the nation's top two teams headline the 2009-10 U.S. Basketball Writers Association's All-America Team. Senior guard Sherron Collins of Kansas and freshman guard John Wall of Kentucky pace the first team. Along with Collins, Notre Dame senior forward Luke Harangody returns to the All-America team as a second-team choice. Collins and Harangody were both second-team selections a year ago.

Each of the ten selections is among the 16 Oscar Robertson Trophy finalists. The USBWA's National Player of the Year Award will be announced next Monday and presented on Friday, April 2 at the 2010 USBWA College Basketball Awards Breakfast at the Columbia Club in Indianapolis.

Collins' Kansas teammate Cole Aldrich earned second-team honors, while Wall's Kentucky teammate DeMarcus Cousins also earned a spot on the second team. A pair of Big East standouts - Wesley Johnson of Syracuse and Scottie Rodgers of Villanova - were first-team selections along with Ohio State's Evan Turner.

Joining Aldrich, Cousins and Harangody on the second team are James Anderson of Oklahoma State and Jon Scheyer of Duke.

Following is the complete 2009-10 USBWA All-America team:

First Team
Sherron Collins, Kansas (G, 5-11, 205, Sr., Chicago, Ill.)
Wesley Johnson, Syracuse (F, 6-7, 205, Jr., Corsicana, Texas)
Scottie Reynolds, Villanova (G, 6-2, 190, Sr., Herndon, Va.)
Evan Turner, Ohio State (G/F, 6-7, 205, Jr., Chicago, Ill.)
John Wall, Kentucky (G, 6-4, 195, Fr., Raleigh, N.C.)

Second Team
Cole Aldrich, Kansas (C, 6-11, 245, Jr., Bloomington, Ind.)
James Anderson, Oklahoma State (G, 6-6, 210, Jr., Junction City, Ark.)
DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky (F, 6-11, 260, Fr., Mobile, Ala.)
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame (F, 6-8, 246, Sr., Schererville, Ind.)
Jon Scheyer, Duke (G, 6-5, 190, Sr., Northbrook, Ill.)

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. Today, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and its All-America team, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-421-0339.

Landmine Relief Fund To Hold Fundraiser

Cambodia Self Help Demining (CSHD) completed its first year in operation at the end of 2009.  We are holding a fundraiser and auction in Palm Springs on April 6, 2010.  It starts at 7pm at Peabody's Cafe, 134 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs.
The Auction will be to benefit the Landmine Relief Fund, a 501c3 Charity that supports Cambodian Self Help Demining (CSHD).
In our first year in the field CSHD:
  • cleared over 163,000 square meters of land
  • put over 2,400 people back on land that was, quite literally, killing them before we showed up
  • and we did it for $4,313 per month
This year we plan on adding our 2nd de-mining team.  It will be an all woman team.  Not the first in the country, but it will be the first run by and for Khmers. 

Our team leader is named Sophary.  She is currently our Office Manager.  She works for us full time, goes to school full time, is putting her brother and sister through school.  She's helping her parents pay off their mortgage, and in her spare time, she has a volunteer job.

She is graduating from university in July with a degree in accounting.  She has the opportunity to go to grad school on a full scholarship.  She wants to clear landmines.  One of her best friends was Akira's late wife, Hourt.  Watch the video at the following link.  It's about CSHD and Hourt gives her vision at the end.  It was and is Sophary's vision too.

Sophary is 23 years old.  I've attached her photo.

The Cambodia Landmine Museum, also started by Akira, was founded to spread the word about the after effects of our stupid actions, and to care for the children he and his wife took in.  We currently have 26 kids and will be adding 20+ more before the end of the year.  Á photo of them are also included.  Some are landmine derfulvictims, some were born without limbs, some are orphans and others come from families to poor to feed and clothe them.  We do all that.

I'll be returning to LA for a few days to help organize and run the event.  If you can be there, that would be wonderful.  If you can help with publicity, that would be outstanding.  If you have questions, call me here (my number is noted below) or send me an email.  If you use Verizon, you can text me.

We all work very hard to make this event special, and worthwhile for all.  We've got some great items including jewelry made from eunexplooded ordinance (bombs that didn't go boom and were waiting to kill), B&Bs in Maine, lots of Khmer items, and 2 nights iand 3 days in Siem Reap Cambodia, dinner with Akira and a chance to 'push the button' and blow up a landmine.

Thanks for your help


William W. Morse   
Bill Morse              Post Office Box 4904                          
Palm Springs, CA 92263
President                             International Project Manager
Landmine Relief Fund            Cambodian Self Help Demining   
1.760.834.5613  in the USA          
(855) 015 674 163  in Cambodia         
Click here for   Bill's Facebook page
Click here for our Blog:  Aki Ra, Landmine and News from the Jungle
May I become at all times, both now and forever, a protector for those without protection, a guide for those who have lost their way, a ship for those with oceans to cross, a bridge for those with rivers to cross, a sanctuary for those in danger, a lamp for those without light, a place of refuge for those who lack shelter, and a servant to all in need.- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Former Arizona Hoopster To Produce Updated Version Of "One Shining Moment"

Harvey Mason Jr. is currently producing an updated version of the classic One Shining Moment which airs every year during the NCAA Final Four. Harvey is a successful music producer who has worked with industry legends such as Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Luther Vandross, and Justin Timberlake just to name a few.

This latest version of One Shining Moment will be performed by Jennifer Hudson, with whom Mason has collaborated with in the past on the Oscar nominated soundtrack for Dreamgirls and her Grammy Award winning solo album. He is also doing production on her next album due out later this year.

Mason is uniquely qualified to produce One Shining Moment not just because of his decorated career in the music business, but because of his basketball background. He played on the University of Arizona team that spent most of 1988 as the #1 ranked team in the nation and competed in the Final Four in Kansas City.

He had dreams of being featured in that year’s One Shining Moment highlight reel with a championship trophy in hand. Unfortunately, Arizona lost to Oklahoma in the semifinal game, but now, Mason has his chance to be attached to this special song.

His love for basketball didn’t end with a loss at the Final Four. He continues to play in the NBA Entertainment League and has coached his son’s AAU team for the past seven years. Mason remains very close to his former teammates including Steve Kerr, Sean Elliott, and Kenny Lofton as well as Hall of Fame Coach Lute Olson.

You can also see the impact basketball has had on Mason in his production of the feature documentary, More Than A Game. This award winning film follows LeBron James and his high school teammates as they work to reach their dream of winning a high school national championship. Harvey spent the past five years producing this film, which earned first runner up honors at the Toronto Film Festival behind Slumdog Millionaire.

You can learn more about Harvey by visiting his website and Wikipedia pages at:

For more information please contact:
Jeannine Sharp at jeannine@harveymasonmedia.com

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Expect The Unexpected At The PAC-10 Tournament

I had the opportunity Monday to host the annual PAC-10 Tournament Tip-off Luncheon put on by the LA Sports and Entertainment Commission.  For the past three years, the LASEC has invited various clients and business partners of the PAC-10 to take part in a Q & A with the head coaches from UCLA and USC as a way of setting up the annual conference tournament held at Staples Center.

This year was slightly different because USC will not be participating in the tourney.  So instead of Kevin O'Neill joining Ben Howland at the luncheon, FSN college basketball analyst Marques Johnson shared his thoughts about both this year's regular season and the upcoming tournament.

Marques once again shared his mantra for the season and applied it to this year's tournament:  Expect the unexpected!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


EL SEGUNDO – The Los Angeles Lakers will hold their first ever Lakers Fan Jam at the Los Angeles Convention Center Saturday, March 20th from 10am to 10pm and Sunday, March 21st from 10am to 6pm.  Lakers Fan Jam is a unique experience for the whole family to enjoy.  Those in attendance will have the chance to get autographs from Lakers players, legends and broadcasters, see the Laker Girls and test their basketball skills with a variety of games like “Pop-A-Shot,” “Bungee Run” and “Sling Shot Jam.”

Basketball contests include, but are not limited to, “Kobe’s Clutch Performer Shootout,” “Derek’s Last Second Shot” and “Ron’s Relay Race,” plus a free throw and three-point challenge.  Guests can show off their jumping ability and dunking creativity on the Slam Dunk Courts with 7’, 8’, 9’ and 10’ hoops.

There will also be a Lakers Kid Zone, providing a variety of activities for younger Lakers fans including a mini court, mini net for dunking, boardwalk games and much more. 

Fans in attendance will have the opportunity to take a picture with the 2009 NBA Championship Trophy and measure up to their favorite Lakers by comparing their hand and shoe size, height and arm span at the Get-A-Grip and Walk of Fame areas.  Lakers players and Lakers legends will also make appearances throughout the weekend to sign autographs.  Fans can meet their favorite Laker Girls, who will provide special appearances, performances and clinics all weekend, including an autograph signing stage.

Tickets to Lakers Fan Jam are on sale through ticketmaster.com and the STAPLES Center Box Office.  Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under.  To get information on group tickets, please contact Donovan Holvay at dholvay@la-lakers.com or 310-426-6042.


ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association (of which, I am a member) has released its 2009-10 Men's All-District Teams, based on voting from its national membership. There are nine regions from coast to coast and a player and coach of the year are selected in each. Following is the entire region-by-region listing:

USBWA Names Men's All-District Teams

Monday, March 8, 2010

PAC-10 Announces Men's Basketball Award Winners

WALNUT CREEK, Calif., - In a vote of the 10 Conference coaches, CALIFORNIA senior guard Jerome Randle has been named the 2009-10 Pacific-10 Men's Basketball Player of the Year, ARIZONA forward Derrick Williams has been named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year; OREGON STATE senior guard/forward Seth Tarver has been named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year; USC sophomore forward Nikola Vucevic has been named Pac-10 Most Improved Player of the Year and Herb Sendek of ARIZONA STATE is the Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Commissioner Larry Scott announced today. 

The Complete Conference Honors:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Next Year Starts Now For The Clippers

When Mike Dunleavy resigned as head coach of the Clippers in February, the fans pretty much took that move as an indication that the season was lost.  A season that started with so much promise and hope had turned into yet another injury-riddled disappointment.

Once again, it’s all about next year for the Clippers.

Well, here’s a news flash for the fans and the organization.  Next year starts now for the Clippers.  I’ve always been a huge fan of the phrase: “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”  Simplistic in its nature, yet so clairvoyant.

Everyone has thought about ways to improve themselves in order to have a more satisfying future.  I’m going to lose weight.  I’m going back to college.  I’m going to save more money. But instead of jumping on those ideas right away, most of us have a tendency to put things off.  A great idea will still be a great idea in two days, right?  Of course, but the problem becomes when those days turn into weeks, months and then years.

There’s never a better time than right this very minute to start improving aspects of your life for the betterment of your future.

foxsportswest.com:  Next Year Starts Now For The Clippers