NCAA

CFB Notes from the Newsroom 2012 - Week 1

CFB Notes from the Newsroom 2012 - Week 1

By Michele Gordon
CSNwashington.com

It's that time of year again but it seemed like forever to get here. Another season of college football in the DMV is on the horizon so without further ado, let's get started.

Pretty much everyone is aware of the obstacles facing the Terps heading into the season. The injury bug showed up in College Park early in fall camp and did some serious damage. Quarterback C.J. Brown is out for the season with a torn ACL. Linebacker Kenny Tate is dealing with more knee issues and will miss 2-3 weeks.

This Saturday the Terps will start true freshman Perry Hills at quarterback. I've spoken to quite a few players and they have all said that they are impressed with his poise. Hills himself feels he is ready to go against William & Mary and insists he does not get nervous or the "butterflies. Redshirt freshman Brandon Ross earned the starting job at running back so new offensive coordinator Mike Locksley has his hands full.

Maryland hosts the Tribe this weekend at Byrd Stadium. The CAA has had a lot of success against the ACC in past years so you can never count anyone out. However, Jimmye Laycock's squad no longer has superstar Jonathan Grimes.

PREDICTION: MARYLAND

Mike London's squad enters this season as the unknown. Many say the Cavaliers overachieved last year but I wouldn't be surprised if they had another strong season in 2012. Quarterback Michael Rocco has been named the starter for Saturday's game against Richmond (coached by his uncle, Danny Rocco). However, Alabama transfer Phillip Sims continues to learn the offense and is not far behind. London told the media on Monday that his goal is to redshirt sophomore quarterback David Watford. Tailback Perry Jones should have another impressive season. He told me in late July that he's waiting for Coach Reid (defensive coordinator) to use him on defense.

The Wahoos host Richmond this Saturday at 3:00 (you can watch it on Comcast SportsNet). As I said above with Maryland, you can never count out the CAA. I believe new head coach Danny Rocco will do a great job with this program but I don't see an upset happening in Week 1.

PREDICTION: VIRGINIA

The Hokies have faced big-time opponents including Alabama and Boise State in season openers but this year's week one contest takes the cake. Virginia Tech hosts Georgia Tech on Labor Day night at Lane Stadium. In each of the last seven seasons, the winner of the GT-VT game has gone on to claim the Coastal Division title and play in the ACC Championship Game. Junior quarterback Logan Thomas is expected to have a HUGE year for the Hokies and Bud Foster's defense looks to be as dominant as ever. This is always a terrific contest but I think the Hokies have the advantage with home field plus a month to prepare for Paul Johnson's triple option offense.

PREDICTION: VIRGINIA TECH

It will be fun to watch the CAA this season. Defending CAA champion Towson has been picked to win again but Old Dominion is hot on their heels. The Monarchs are departing for Conference USA next year so this is their last chance to win a conference title and participate in the playoffs for a few years.

There are plenty of intriguing matchups this weekend but I'm most looking forward to watching Towson face Kent State Thursday night (on Comcast SportsNet Plus). I spoke to head coach Rob Ambrose and a couple of players at the end of July and they are a very confident and motivated bunch.

PREDICTION: TOWSON

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

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USA TODAY Sports

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.

MORE NCAA: TOP BUZZER BEATERS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.

After historic season, Virginia's Tony Bennett named AP Coach of the Year

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USA TODAY Sports

After historic season, Virginia's Tony Bennett named AP Coach of the Year

SAN ANTONIO -- Virginia coach Tony Bennett isn't going to waver from his foundation, whether it's the philosophy that built the Cavaliers into a contender or the big-picture perspective that helps him handle the sting of a historically improbable loss.

Both ends of that approach are fully on display now as he is named The Associated Press men's college basketball coach of the year.

Bennett won the honor Thursday after his Cavaliers set a program single-season record for wins, dominated the Atlantic Coast Conference and reached No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the first time since the Ralph Sampson era. Yet that wildly successful season ended abruptly in the most unexpected way: with the Cavaliers falling to UMBC to become the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16-seed in NCAA Tournament history.

"They experienced things a lot of guys don't," Bennett said in an interview with the AP. "That kind of success? Oh my gosh. And then that kind of loss? ... But again, their body of work deserves to be celebrated.

"And then so much of what society looks at -- it begs the question -- is it just about how you do in March? Or is it about the whole thing? It's a fair debate (on) what matters. But I told them: I wouldn't trade this team for anything. Even the experiences, as hard as they are, this is part of the process."

Bennett was the runaway winner for the award, which is being presented at the Final Four. He earned 50 of 65 votes from AP Top 25 writers with ballots submitted before the start of the NCAA Tournament.

Tennessee's Rick Barnes was second with five votes after leading the Volunteers to 26 wins and an NCAA bid despite being picked to finish 13th in the 14-team Southeastern Conference. First-year Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann was third with four votes.

This marks the second time Bennett has won the award, the other coming in 2007 when he was at Washington State.

In Bennett's ninth season, the Cavaliers (31-3) went from being picked to finish sixth in the ACC to winning the regular-season race by four games -- the first to win the ACC by that wide a margin since 2000. It then won the ACC Tournament to complete a 20-1 run against league opponents.

MORE NCAA: BEST BUZZER BEATERS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Virginia also reached No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the first time since December 1982 and stayed there the final five weeks of the regular season, the last two unanimously.

And yet, the 48-year-old coach knows much of the focus will be on how things ended: that 74-54 loss to the Retrievers while playing without ACC sixth man of the year De'Andre Hunter.

Dealing with a roster of players in pained disbelief, Bennett said he has told them that they have "an unbelievable captive audience" waiting to see how they would handle it.

"I said how you respond to this will matter to your mom and dads, to your brothers, your sisters, your friends," Bennett said. "If they see that you're not fake about it, that yeah, of course you're going to be discouraged and down after a loss like that, but that you're OK. You can live with it.

"I said: you don't know the power that that's going to have in their life and in your life."

Bennett said he appreciated other coaches offering support, which included Syracuse Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim noting: "If I could hire a coach in this country and I could get Tony Bennett, there would be nobody in second place."

He said he's still reviewing what worked and what didn't, but "certainly you don't overreact" by changing everything that had brought the Cavaliers to this point.

This is, after all, a program that has been a 1-seed three times in the past five seasons with three ACC regular-season titles.

And Bennett won't be deterred from chasing more, even if it means stumbling a few more times on the way to reaching his goals.

"You better have something beyond the opinion of man or just how you feel, because this stuff is fleeting," Bennett said.

"So that's where obviously my faith is everything to me. You hear people talk about their faith in the lord and the relationship with the people that they care about, their family and their trusted friends. Those things stand the test of time. And that's what you have to draw from. And then you move on."