Jim Calhoun won't appeal suspension

March, 10, 2011

Quick hits for Championship Week Wednesday:

1. Jim Calhoun won't appeal his three-game suspension to the NCAA, his attorney Scott Tompsett told ESPN.com on Wednesday. The Connecticut coach is suspended for the first three games of the 2011-12 Big East season, and Tompsett said Calhoun is "moving forward and focusing on his team and the postseason." Calhoun was tagged with a failure to create an atmosphere of compliance during the recruitment of former student Nate Miles. The Committee on Infractions then hit the Hall of Fame coach with a three-game penalty for next season.

2. Conference USA named UAB's Mike Davis as its coach of the year. Davis never got the credit he deserved at Indiana after coaching the Hoosiers to the 2002 national title game. He did so under the unbelievably difficult circumstances of replacing Bob Knight. No one in the Knight camp was thrilled that Davis, a former Knight assistant, took the head-coaching job. Davis dealt with being the coach no one wanted and hung on through the adversity. He brought plenty on himself with frantic on-court behavior and postgame quotes that were odd at times. Davis then got a job back home in Alabama at UAB. He has been at home ever since, winning the regular-season title in C-USA after flirting with the NCAAs the past two seasons. His team probably has to win the conference championship to get a bid, but if it does, then Davis' return to the NCAAs should be quite the comeback.

3. Butler coach Brad Stevens is now 2-0 with his glasses after suffering a corneal edema that had him fearing for his vision due to a bad reaction to contact lenses. The Bulldogs played fearlessly in a hostile environment on Tuesday night, beating Milwaukee for the first time in three games this season to earn the Horizon League's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament again. Stevens said Wednesday that his "guys played with a ton of purpose." He was proud of the team, and he should be since Butler once again rose to the occasion and won a game it was supposed to win.

4. For the mainstream fan, it's good to have Butler and Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament bracket.

5. The NCAA tournament selection committee can't wait to see if Chris Wright (broken left non-shooting hand) returns to Georgetown this week. The committee has to judge the Hoyas on what it saw this past week, and it wasn't good. Georgetown lost to Cincinnati for the second time in two weeks, and then got crushed by UConn on Wednesday in the Big East tournament for its fourth straight defeat. Georgetown shot 5-of-22 on 3s against the Huskies. The Hoyas will have their NCAA seed dramatically affected by the losses and the loss of Wright.

6. Villanova will make the NCAA tournament based on its résumé, but the committee should seed the Wildcats based on how they're playing versus what their numbers indicate. Villanova is playing like a double-digit seed right now.

7. Nebraska's early exit from the Big 12 tournament puts the Huskers in the NIT. That's probably where they belonged anyway. Doc Sadler did a fine job in positioning Nebraska for a bid, but this really wasn't an NCAA-caliber team.

8. Upsets in conference tournaments can show that a coach didn't lose his team. South Florida's Stan Heath should be applauded because his players are still playing for him -- and for each other -- this late in the season. That should count for something when Heath faces a likely performance review soon.

9. The NIT doesn't have to give an automatic bid to the loser of the Harvard-Princeton game since they tied for the Ivy title -- but it should.

10. Central Florida lost to East Carolina in the first round of the C-USA tournament. The Knights had one strange season, which included wins over South Florida, Florida in Orlando, Miami in Sunrise, Fla., Princeton at home and a 14-0 start to the season. They were also in the top 25 before falling apart in the league. Donnie Jones is still rebuilding and has plenty of quality pieces. UCF, despite a 6-10 C-USA mark, finished 19-11 overall and probably will be invited to some sort of postseason event.

11. East Carolina advances in the C-USA tournament, and the Jeff Lebo project continues. Lebo led the Pirates to their first winning season since 1996 and has been a quality hire by athletic director Terry Holland.

12. Johnny Jones didn't get North Texas back to the NCAA tournament after the Mean Green fell to Arkansas-Little Rock in the Sun Belt, but that shouldn't count him out of being a candidate at Texas Tech.

13. Jeff Ruland, who is coaching at UDC in the nation's capital, should get a second chance at a higher-level job and would do well if given that opportunity.

14. Coach Ken McDonald hasn't met yet with the administration at Western Kentucky. That should occur this week now that the Hilltoppers are done playing.

15. Providence athletic director Bob Driscoll remained in New York after the Friars were eliminated by Marquette in the Big East tournament. Coach Keno Davis and the team returned to Providence. The two will likely meet soon to discuss Davis' future, if it hasn't already been decided.

16. Enes Kanter, who was ruled permanently ineligible at Kentucky, is still working out in Lexington and will likely travel with the Wildcats in the postseason. Kanter is projected as a top-two pick in the June NBA draft.

17. Why is Bobby Gonzalez still being quoted about Seton Hall? Why is he still relevant to the discussion?

18. Just when it appeared Saint Joseph's was headed for a disaster, the Hawks won in overtime at George Washington in the first round of the A-10 tournament. Phil Martelli's Hawks relish playing in the conference tournament.

19. Not sure how a team loses by 28 points at home in a postseason tournament, but UMass, after shooting 6-of-30 from long range, did just that against Dayton on Tuesday night.

20. Once again, the A-10 got it right by putting the first round on campus, as La Salle and St. Bonaventure played in double overtime to a solid atmosphere.

Andy Katz | email

ESPN Senior Writer



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?