Posts Tagged ‘College Basketball’

Do Not Let the Madness March Over HBCU Basketball

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

by Gus Griffin








March Madness is here and we college basketball fans are excited.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) annual ritual is the single most entertaining sports event in the world for me.

It is also a cash cow. The NCAA will get $857 million from Turner this year. Within a few years, it will be generating over $1 Billion in TV revenue alone.

I am also a proud Historically Black College and University (HBCU) graduate of Howard University!

As March Madness grows to include more teams, it is crucial that we fight against efforts that would exclude HBCU’s. The most specific threat against HBCU’s is the call to eliminate the automatic bid system.

The current system allows any Division 1 team that wins its conference championship to secure an automatic bid to the tournament.

This is how you sometimes end up with teams with say a 15-15 record in the tournament. ESPN commentator Jay Bilas, whose opinion I generally respect, would do away with this. His contention is that the best 68 teams should be selected via record, who you played, and where you played them, as well as the infamous “eye test”. In a vacuum, it is a compelling case. Who among us that are sports fans don’t want the best teams in the playoffs?

The problem is that nothing in this world is ever in a vacuum. There is both a historical and current day context for all understanding and college basketball is no different.

The history is that up until 1957, HBCU’s were not permitted to participate at all due to the Jim Crow laws of that day. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) was actually the first to admit such schools. The NCAA was forced to admit schools in order to compete.  There was a time when only conference champions made the tournament. This is why arguably the greatest team in the history of Maryland basketball did not get to play in the tournament. The 1973-74 team that featured John Lucas, Tom McMillan, and Len Elmore finished 23-5. All of their losses were to North Carolina, 8-time defending champion UCLA, and eventual national champion North Carolina State, that beat Maryland in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. Some say that game was the greatest college basketball game ever played.  There were calls to eliminate the automatic bid at that time but the alternative of awarding at-large bids won out and was implemented in 1980. This was a boon for the power conference schools, while keeping the automatic bid process.

The tournament has expanded over the years largely due to its incredible popularity. However, with every expansion comes the call to eliminate the automatic bid process.

Doing so would be a deathblow for HBCU basketball.

Contrary to what the current Secretary of Education thinks, HBCU’s were not born out of choice but out of a necessary response to racism. That same factor has always undermined these institutions’ financial struggles. Participation in this tournament not only gives them a rightful cut of the eventual $1 billion TV pie, but also helps with recruitment of both athletes and non-student athletes.

You may think if they want to participate, they should have to earn it like every other school. How did that work out for Central Florida in college football? They went undefeated, concluding by whipping Auburn from the mighty SEC, which beat both title game finalists. Yet they were systemically locked out of any chance to win the college football title. There was nothing that they could do differently because the power schools do not have to play them. The same would and already does happen to HBCU’s. The best they get is a “pay to play” trip across the country to play larger programs for a check. Only in the tournament do they get to compete in a neutral site.

It is not as if HBCU’s have no history of success.  Of the eight number 15 seeds to win a game, three were from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC, the home of my Howard University).

We are talking about a basketball legacy that has produced Willis Reed, Earl Monroe, and Sam Jones. Such talent now rarely considers HBCU’s in basketball, which is a byproduct of the raid that integration brought about. Simply put, the struggles of HBCU basketball are not from bad coaching or management, but they are a direct result of the expansion of opportunities for the players. The automatic bid process is the only safeguard that keeps HBCU’s at the table. The system is rigged to favor the power schools and without the automatic bid, HBCU’s will be shut out.

It should remain and we should fight any argument otherwise.


Gus Griffin, for War Room Sports


Friday, March 17th, 2017

by Gus Griffin







For those of you so caught up and even “outraged” over LaVar Ball’s mouth, relax! You are missing a much larger business and commerce point which is the fact that the NCAA, shoe companies, and even coaches routinely do to its athletes, what we fear and complain he is doing to his son.  Which do you think has his best interest at heart?

The only thoughts that I will add center around Harold Miner, or better known at the time as “Baby Jordan”.

That’s right, there was once a player, also out of Southern California, he literally went to and played for USC, hyped to be the next Michael Jordan. With that hype was a shoe brand which both the maker and he profited off well. He did win 1 or 2 slam dunk contests, if that impresses you. Beyond that, he had an enduring 4-year NBA career, averaging 9 points a game. And in the end: who cares?

Here is what those annoyed by Daddy Ball don’t understand. When it comes to hype or promotion, it doesn’t matter if the words are true. It doesn’t matter if there is reason to project them to be true in the future. Hell it doesn’t even matter if either the father or son believe the hype themselves. All that matters is that we are talking about it, and by that measure, LaVar Ball is indeed crazy…crazy like a fox.

As for those who contend he is putting undue pressure on his son, it would seem to me that you would actually have to know his son personally to confirm that, and most of his father’s critics do not know the son. If on the court play is any indication of him feeling the pressure, my guess is that UCLA wants his father to talk even more. Last year they won 15 games. With Ball as the only major addition they have won 29 games thus far this year, including road wins over Kentucky and Arizona. He averages 14 points 6 assists, and nearly 8 boards a game. If you have actually watched him play, a more athletic version of Jason Kidd is a valid basketball-based comparison. Where is the evidence of his father’s mouth adversely affecting him?

In the end, my money is on LaVar Ball looking a lot more like Richard Williams than Marv Marinovich, and both he and his son(s) will take that to the bank. If more parents of phenom college athletes took his approach, maybe we could make more progress in breaking the NCAA’s monopoly on its endless supply of free labor.


Gus Griffin, for War Room Sports

After Further Review (#679)

Monday, April 6th, 2015

by Christopher Dinkins

Christopher Dinkins Blog





After Further Review

AFTER FURTHER REVIEW #679 SHOUTOUT to you CHUCK TANNER…..((MLB)) CARDINALS 3 CUBS 0……ITS OPENING DAY ((you HAPPY now…i am !!!))…todays games include—–> AL…BLUE JAYS (hutchinson) v YANKEES (tanaka)…..TWINS (hughes) v TIGERS (price)…..ORIOLES (tillman) v RAYS (archer)…..WHITE SOX (samardzija) v ROYALS (ventura)…..ANGELS (weaver) v MARINERS (hernandez)…..INDIANS (kluber) v ASTROS (keuchel)…..RANGERS (gallardo)v ATHLETICS (gray)…..NL…ROCKIES (kendrick) v BREWERS (lohse)…..METS (colon) v NATIONALS (scherzer)…..PIRATES (liriano) v REDS (cueto)…..PADRES (shields) v DODGERS (kershaw)…..BRAVES (teheran) v MARLINS (alvarez)…..GIANTS (bumgarner) v DIAMONDBACKS (collmenter)….INTERLEAGUE….RED SOX (buchholz) v PHILLIES (hamels)…….we will talk some baseball tonight on THE SPROTS HOUSE ((6pm…WACKO BOB NETWORK….646-478-5337))…..((NBA)) ROCKETS 115(harden 41) THUNDER 112(westbrook 40/13a)….KNICKS 101(bargnani 25) SIXERS 91(smith/thompson 17)….CAVALIERS 99(irving 27) BULLS 94(dunleavy 24)….PACERS 112(scola 23/12) HEAT 89(wade 27)….SPURS 107(leonard 26) WARRIORS 92(curry 24)….JAZZ 101(hood 25) KINGS 95(cousins 26/12)….CLIPPERS 106(griffin 18) LAKERS 78 (johnson 16)……PAUL GEORGE (pacers) returns from leg injury with 13 points….race for eighth spot EAST…..CELTICS —..HEAT/PACERS -1..HORNETS -1.5…..WEST…..THUNDER—..PELICANS -.5..SUNS -3…….((NHL)) FLYERS 4 PENGUINS 1….CANADIENS 4 PANTHERS 1….CAPITALS 2 RED WINGS 1….MAPLE LEAFS 3 SENATORS 2(so)….BLUES 2 BLACKHAWKS 1….NHL PLAYOFFS EAST (NYR…MON…TB…WASH)…5 teams 4 spots…..WEST (ANA…STL…NAS…CHI)…7 teams 4 spots……..((NCAAHOOPERY)) ***MENS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME*** DUKE BLUE DEVILS (34-4) v WISCONSIN BADGERS (36-3)….9pm/CBS….the “ONE SHINING MOMENT” thing goes down tonight…AFR 2.0 likes WISCONSIN to win tonight !!!!!!!……ladies side***FINAL FOUR*** NOTRE DAME 66(loyd 22) SOUTH CAROLINA 65(wilson 20)…..CONNECTICUT 81(stewart 25) MARYLAND 58(jones 14)…***WOMENS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME*** CONNECTICUT HUSKIES (37-1) v NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH (36-2)….830pm/ESPN on tuesday night…..speaking of tuesday night….make sure you check out AFTER FURTHER REVIEW tomorrow night(8-10pm/TWBN/646-478-5337)…we will have YAKIRI THOMAS (author/sportshead) on the show and will chop it up about ATLANTA SPORTS……make sure you lock in….its gonna be dope !!!!!….((GOLF)) THE MASTERS begins on APRIL 9……who YOU got ????…..((SOCCER)) REAL SALT LAKE 1 SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES 0…..SPORTING KANSAS CITY 3 PHILADELPHIA UNION 2…..NBA GAME of the day BLAZERS(50-26) v NETS(35-41)….NHL GAME of the day….KINGS(92pts) v CANUCKS(95pts)…..TRUE SCHOOL JAM of the day “HEED THE WORD OF THE BROTHER” – X CLAN…..its MONDAY…..the best day of the year….HAPPY OPENING DAY !!!!!!!!…….LETS GOOOOOOOOOO YANKEES !!!!!!……the BALLISTICS have been kicked !!!!!!……AFR.


Christopher “The Mayor” Dinkins of the After Further Review Podcast, for War Room Sports

Ulric Maligi Makes His First Visit to The War Room!

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013



Ulric Maligi, Southern Methodist University (SMU) assistant men’s basketball coach, will be in The War Room this Thursday, November 7th, to discuss his ascension up the coaching ladder, his tutelage under hall of fame coach Larry Brown, and more!

Tune in Thursday, November 7th at 6pm ET to hear our conversation with Ulric!  To tune in, go to and click the “Listen Live” button…or dial 323-410-0012 to listen LIVE by phone.

In the meantime, follow Coach Ulric Maligi on Twitter @Coach_Maligi, and check out the SMU Men’s Basketball website at

While you’re at it, you should also join the War Room Sports Facebook page at and follow us on Twitter @WarRoomSports!

Finally, if you own an Android phone or tablet…an I-Phone, I-Pad, or I-Pod, please go to your Google Play and/or App Store and download the FREE War Room Sports mobile app!  It’s the VERY BEST way to stay up on all of our media content from one central location!

What Happened to College Basketball?

Monday, March 26th, 2012

By Brandon McConnell

Growing up, I lived and breathed college basketball.  My earliest basketball memory was watching Keith Smart (above) hit the game-winner against Syracuse.  I remember when everyone was a Running Rebels fan.  Does anybody remember that “Fab 5” member that called the timeout against Carolina in the championship game, or number 32 for the Duke Blue Devils that hit the shot against Kentucky?  What memories do you have of the last 10 years of college basketball?  Absolutely nothing!

In the ’90’s, college basketball had great teams and great players to carry the sport.  Back then you actually watched the whole NBA draft to see your favorite player get picked.  Now we stop watching after the 5th pick.  The ’90’s were full of great college players like Larry Johnson, Christian Laettner, Chris Webber, and Glen “Big Dog” Robinson.  There were actually great teams of which you could remember the whole starting five.  You had the 1991 Duke Blue Devils, 1994 Arkansas Razorbacks, and the 1996 Kentucky Wildcats teams.  I could name you the starting five of all those teams.

So, what happened to the sport?  I actually had to Google who won the national championship last year.  Nobody is going to remember Kemba Walker or the other 4 players that played with him 10 years from now.  This year the media is predicting that Kentucky’s freshman center Anthony Davis will win the Naismith Player of the Year.  I checked his stats and found out he averages 14.3 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks per game.  Are you kidding me.  I’m going to give you the stats of some of the Naismith winners in the 1990’s.

1991 Larry Johnson  22.7 pts 10.9 rbs 3 ast
1992 Christian Laettner 21.5 pts 7.9 rbs 2 ast
1994 Glen Robinson 30.3 pts 10.1 rbs 1.9 ast
1996 Marcus Camby 20.5 pts 8.2 rbs 1.8 ast
1997 Tim Duncan 20.8pts 14.7 rbs 3.2 ast

What has happened to college basketball when a FRESHMAN who averages 14.3 points per game is our possible player of the year.  Nothing against Anthony Davis, but I have a problem with the lack of talent that is being produced in college.  We don’t even draft from college anymore.  The majority of the players drafted come from overseas.  Reminds me of our economy.  MESSAGE!  Let me know what you think and how can we improve the talent we produce in college basketball.

Brandon McConnell of “Respect Da Game”, for War Room Sports

College Hoops Top Ten Prospects

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

By Brandon Pemberton

The College basketball season is heading towards March, one of my favorite sports times of the year and I’ve watched hundreds of games on TV and via my laptop. Here is my third version of “College Hoops Top Ten Pro Prospects” and there are plenty of changes since my last update: .  Be sure to listen to Sports Trap Radio hosted by myself and Chris Marshall (@215_sports_guy) from 10am-2pm every Saturday from 10am-2pm on (@UeradioLive).

1. Anthony Davis PF/SF/C 6-10 220lbs Kentucky Fr. : Has jumped from 4th on my list to the clear cut #1 prospect in my opinion.  Davis is on his way to probably winning the Naismith Award, Defensive player of the year award, and being the number one pick in the 2012 draft.  This freshman is a game changer defensively, not only in the paint, but he’s able to cover ground and guard out on the perimeter as well.  His offensive game has gotten better since the beginning of the season, and look for a big NCAA tournament out of Davis.

2. Thomas Robinson PF/SF 6-8 240lbs Kansas Jr. : Has jumped to the 2nd spot in this month’s rankings.  Robinson is also a legit candidate for player of the year and while Kansas lost the Morris Twins, Selby, and Xavier Henry from last season’s roster, Robinson’s play has this team playing better with less overall talent.  I told people last year if he came out, I would pick him over all of the previous named above, and I was told I was nuts.  Well Robinson’s developing post game, 12-15 foot jump shot, rebounding, and defensive versatility has him locked in as a top 5 pick in 2012.

3. Harrison Barnes 6-8 220lbs SF North Carolina So. : Was previously number two on this list, Barnes drops to three this month.  As I’ve said before, he is probably one of the more safe picks in this draft, even though he’s just a sophomore.  Has the ablilty to score from mid range, 3-point range, the post, off picks and pull ups off of the dribble.  I would like to see him drive to the hoop more and get to the line more though.  Scouts are worried about his low rebounding and assist numbers, but I really haven’t put much value on them.  He has an NBA skill, the ability to put the ball in the basket at a high rate.

4.  Perry Jones III 6-11 235lbs PF/SF Baylor So. : Was the number one prospect previously, but his two disappearing acts over the last month against Kansas and once against Missouri has caused me to move him down on the list.  Jones III has all of the physical tools, along with skills and game to be the clear cut number one pick in this draft.  I don’t know why, but he appears mentally gone in big games during the season.  If I’m a GM, I have to take a look at that.  Mental make-up is just as important as physical talent and basketball skills.

5. Jared Sullinger PF/C 6-8 275lbs Ohio St. So. : Has come back after an All-American freshman year in which he could have been a sure top ten pick in better shape and it’s pretty obvious.  Sullinger has more endurance, quickness, and is getting up and down the court much better than he did as a freshman.  He’s become a better mid range shooter, even though he rarely needs to display the talent because he’s soo dominant in the paint in college.  Is a great rebounder on both ends and the weight loss has made him a better out of space rebounder as well.  He won’t be a superstar, but he will be a solid pro for the next ten years.

6. Andre Drummond C/PF 6-11 275lbs UConn Fr. : Is a legit big man, with freakish athleticism and if he puts in the work as did Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum, he could be a star in this league for a long time.  But honestly, I really believe he could use another year in college to hone his skills and just play more basketball.  But if he comes out this year, he will most likely go in the top 3 picks.  He’s one of the biggest risk/reward picks to come through in a long time.  He could be Howard/Bynum good, or be Kwame Brown or Patrick O’Bryant.

7. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist SF/SG 6-6 215lbs Kentucky Fr. : Is one of the fiercest competitors I’ve seen in college basketball in a long time.  And the fact that he’s soo talented and was heavily recruited and puts forth this effort makes me as a scout drool and I know NBA scouts and GM’s love this kid.  He is an elite defender, great rebounder for a player his size, and has a knack for driving to the hole and drawing contact while being able to finish as well.  His outside shot needs work and maybe his ball handling, but he seems to be the type of kid who will live in the gym and get better.

8. Bradley Beal SG/PG 6-5 198lbs Florida Fr: Is a well built player for a 18 year old kid, with classic combo guard skills.  Has range on his jump shot, the ability to put it on the floor and finish at the rim in traffic.  Is a very good and willing defender as well.  His long arms allow him to play bigger than his actual height.  Loads of potential with this kid.

9. Jeremy Lamb 6-5 185lbs SG UConn So. : Lamb has spent a majority of the season in the top 5, but his play has fallen off and I’m starting to get a little worried.  I still believe he’s a lottery pick, but he needs to have a strong finish in the regular season and a good showing in the Big East tourney to lock himself in as a 10 top pick.  His energy’s been low over the last five games, and its obvious on the defensive end of the court.

10. Meyers Leonard C 7-1 245lbs Illinois So. : I’m starting to like this kid and his game more each time I watch him play.  He has so much ability, but I think he defers to the wing players on his team, such as Brandon Paul too often.  He is a great athlete, really gets off of the ground well for a player his size, has a nice touch in the paint and goes up hard, trying to dunk pretty much everything close to the basket.  Another year in college might do him well, but if I were giving him advice right now, I wouldn’t be against it.

Next Five: Terrence Jones PF/SF  6-8 250lbs Kentucky So., Cody Zeller PF/C 6-10 215lbs Indiana Fr, Quincy Miller SF/PF 6-9-210lbs Baylor Fr , Tony Wroten Jr PG/SG 6-5 210lbs Washington Fr, Terrence Ross SG/SF 6-7 190lbs Washington So.

Brandon Pemberton of Sports Trap Radio, for War Room Sports

Steve Blake & John Gilchrist Fight!

Friday, August 26th, 2011

HOF or FOH? (Grant Hill)

Monday, April 4th, 2011