Mullin elected to National Collegiate Basketball HOF

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Mullin elected to National Collegiate Basketball HOF

Feb. 28, 2011
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Bob Knight, who coached Indiana to three national titles and had 902 wins in 41 seasons, and St. John's great Chris Mullin are among the eight members of the Class of 2011 of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

Also in the class announced Monday are coach Eddie Sutton, players James Worthy, Cazzie Russell and Ralph Sampton and contributors Joe Vancisin and Eddie Einhorn.

Induction will take place at the Hall of Fame on Nov. 20 as part of a three-day celebration that includes the CBE Classic at Sprint Center featuring Missouri, California, Georgia and Notre Dame.

Knight also coached at Army and Texas Tech and finished with a record of 902-371, the most wins of any men's coach in Division I. In addition to NCAA titles in 1976, 1981 and 1987, Knight guided Indiana to 11 Big Ten championships.

He is one of three coaches to lead a team to NCAA and NIT titles and an Olympic gold medal. His teams had a graduation rate of 98 percent. Knight was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1991.

Mullin led St. John's to the Final Four as a senior in 1985 when he was a unanimous All-America selection and won the Wooden Award as the nation's top player. He was the first player at St. John's to break the 2,000-point mark and was credited with Georgetown's Patrick Ewing with establishing the Big East as one of the nation's top conferences. A two-time Olympian, he won gold medals in 1984 under Knight and in 1992 as part of the original "Dream Team." He was selected in the first round (seventh overall) of the 1985 NBA Draft by the Warriors

Sampson, a four-time All-America at Virginia, is one of three men to be national player of the year three times (1981-83). He joined Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson and UCLA's Bill Walton as three-time winners. The 7-foot-4 Sampson led Virginia to a 112-23 record, including an appearance in the 1981 Final Four. He was the sixth player in NCAA history to score more than 2,000 points (2,228) and have more than 1,500 rebounds (1,511).

Sutton was the first coach to take four schools to the NCAA tournament Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma State. His teams at Arkansas (1978) and Oklahoma State (1995, 2004) advanced to the Final Four. He had an 804-328 record in 36 seasons.

Worthy is one of seven North Carolina players to have his jersey number retired. He led the Tar Heels to the national championship game in 1981 as a sophomore and to the title the next season when he was a unanimous All-America selection. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 2003.

Russell, who played at Michigan from 1964-66, led the Wolverines to three Big Ten titles and a 65-17 record in his three seasons while scoring 2,164 points. A three-time All-America, Russell led Michigan to the Final Four as a sophomore and a junior, losing in the championship game to UCLA in 1965.

Vancisin spent 54 years in college basketball as a player, coach and administrator. He was a starting guard for Dartmouth when it lost to Utah in the 1944 NCAA championship game. He was the head coach at Yale for 19 seasons, winning two Ivy League titles. A respected clinician, Vancisin was member of the U.S. Olympic staffs in 1976 and 1980 team and he served as president of the NABC in 1974 and was its executive director for 17 years before retiring in 1992.

Einhorn, the founder and chairman of the TVS television network, was a leader of sports programming. His network's telecast of the Houston-UCLA game from the Astrodome in 1968 is credited for the growth in popularity of college basketball on television. He is the author of "How March Became Madness," which covered the evolution of the NCAA men's basketball championship.

Stanford star McCaffrey boosts NFL Draft stock with special teams skills

Stanford star McCaffrey boosts NFL Draft stock with special teams skills

INDIANAPOLIS -- More and more college coaches are putting their starters and even their stars on special teams as they seek to pile up every possible point in an era of pedal-to-the-metal shootouts and never-safe leads.

Fading fast are the days when superstars would catch their breath on the sideline when the kicker or punter trotted onto the field with the scrubs.

NFL teams love it.

Watching how players handle themselves as a blocker, gunner or returner provides a glimpse into a prospect's range, selflessness and versatility. It also delivers a sneak peek into how coachable he'll be, says Phil Savage, the SiriusXM NFL Radio host who spent two decades as an NFL coach, scout and executive and now oversees the Senior Bowl.

"I think because of the landscape of college football where scoring is at a premium, you've got to figure out a way to put points on the board not only on offense but through your special teams and defensively, as well," Savage says. "These coaches want to get these young players on the field as soon as possible, and a way to do that is utilize them on special teams."

These tapes provide a bonus to pro scouts.

"Now you have a vision of what that player might forecast to in the NFL as a young player and, specifically, as a rookie," Savage said.

Offensive and defensive coaches have a better idea of the types of players they're integrating into their schemes, and special teams coaches no longer get blank stares and blank canvases from the rookie class.

"Not only do you like the fact that they come in and have experience doing it, but you love the mentality if you're a coach and a decision maker that this guy isn't a diva, he's got no ego about it, he understands the team and puts team before self," says ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay.

"And he comes in with the mindset of 'What can I do to help the team and how can I contribute?' Those are the guys that seem to make it and last longer in the league because they're just willing to do different things and whatever it takes."

The prime example in this year's draft class is Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey , a "dynamic player than can do it all," according to Broncos GM John Elway.

McCaffrey gained more than 5,000 yards from scrimmage in his college career and added almost 2,000 more as a returner.

"There's just a lot of big plays open in the return game," McCaffrey says. "You see special teams have such an impact on the game today. Any time I can have the ball in my hands, I feel like I can do something dangerous, and that's really why I love the return game."

Other highly touted draft prospects who polished their resumes on special teams include Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers, LSU safety Jamal Adams, Washington wide receiver John Ross, and USC cornerback Adroee' Jackson, all of whom are projected as high selections.

McShay says "we're seeing more and more programs put an emphasis on special teams and having their key players contribute in one or more areas on special teams."

He pointed to Ohio State, where Urban Myers coaches special teams himself.

"It's a major emphasis there, and so you'll see some more guys typically lined up and contributing that are starters and stars," McShay says. "It's an honor to be on special teams."

Not a burden.

"It is not uncommon now to see people that are going to be picked in the first round having 100-plus special teams plays," suggests NFL draft consultant and former Dallas Cowboys executive Gil Brandt.

He pointed to the University of Florida, where Gators defensive backs cover kickoffs as well as they do receivers.

"Everyone's always trying to get their best guys on the field," Brandt says.

That's a change from years past when coaches feared exposing their star players to the extra hits.

The added value benefits the players, whose multiple talents allow NFL general managers to address many needs.

"We're seeing more emphasis on it in college, and I think NFL teams love to see it because if just means you're getting a bit more for your buck," McShay says.

Top talents who bolstered their value by playing special teams:

CHRISTIAN McCAFFREY , RB, STANFORD: He shined at the combine working out with the running backs and was as impressive running routes. Asked if there was anything he couldn't do, the son of former NFL wide receiver Ed McCaffrey said then: "I can't sing."

JABRILL PEPPERS , S, MICHIGAN: He worked out with safeties and linebackers at the combine, where teams talked of him playing RB and WR in addition to returning kicks. "The bottom line is I'm a ballplayer and I'm a hell of a ballplayer," Peppers said.

JOHN ROSS , WR, WASHINGTON: He caught 81 passes with 17 TDs last season but actually posted more return yards (2,069) than scrimmage yards (1,924) in his college career.

ADOREE' JACKSON , CB, USC: One of the best special teams coverage players in the NCAA, Jackson also scored eight TDs on punt and kick returns in college. His punt return averages rose from 6.0 yards to 10.5 and 15.8.

JAMAL ADAMS , S, LSU: Another star in coverage, Adams' defensive mentality extends to special teams. "I love being on the field and just playing football," said Adams, whose father, George, was a first-round pick by the Giants in 1985.

ALVIN KAMARA , RB, TENNESSEE: In a deep running back group, Kamara separates himself with his special teams acumen. "A lot of teams have been bringing up special teams," Kamara said.

DESMOND KING , CB, IOWA: He had eight interceptions as a junior and three as a senior. "I had a really good special teams season," King said. "Not being targeted as much, I still went out there and competed the best I could and was still making plays."

CHRIS WORMLEY , DE, MICHIGAN: Wormley touts playing for Jim Harbaugh as one of his attributes. "Coach Harbaugh came in and ran our program like an NFL program, like he had with the 49ers," said Wormley, who blocked three kicks his senior season.

ZAY JONES , WR, EAST CAROLINA: Like McCaffrey, he has good NFL bloodlines (son of Robert Jones, brother of Cayleb Jones). He caught 158 passes as a senior, but spent his first two seasons in college also making his mark as a returner.

Whether Brown or Kerr coach, Warriors sticking to same blueprint

Whether Brown or Kerr coach, Warriors sticking to same blueprint

OAKLAND -- For the first time since he joined the coaching staff last summer, Mike Brown on Wednesday morning arrived at the Warriors facility a man in charge.

As acting head coach, he would decide when practice started and when it ended, and conduct proceedings in between.

The general activity was not much different for anyone else, though, as it continues to become evident that everything the Warriors do for the foreseeable future will be a Brown-Kerr, or Kerr-Brown, production.

“Steve is going to be a part of this process the whole time,” Brown said after practice. “Almost before I do anything, I’m going to consult with him. The only time I won’t consult with him is probably during a game.”

Since Kerr’s announcement last Sunday that he was taking an indefinite leave to attend to personal health issues, Brown has been wielding the clipboard. He actually coached Game 3 against Portland last Saturday, in Kerr’s absence, before knowing in advance he’d also coach Game 4 Monday night.

Brown is 2-0, with the Game 4 win clinching a Warriors sweep of the Trail Blazers. Yet Brown is quick to remind anyone that he is following the plan laid out by Kerr. The two exchanged texts Tuesday and, according to Brown, “spoke at length” after the game between the Jazz and the Clippers -- one of which will face the Warriors in the next round.

Though the Warriors are operating under a different head coach, all indications are the atmosphere around the team remains stable and relatively unchanged.

“Obviously it’s different personalities, but when you make it about the players, when you make it about winning, all that other stuff really doesn’t matter,” Kevin Durant said. “He coaches us. He coaches the game of basketball and he does it very well. Our whole coaching staff does the same thing.

“When it’s about basketball, it’s not about trying to have authority over us. He’s just coaching us. He’s just coaching us up. He’s just telling us the proper way to do things on the basketball court. It’s pretty simple when you try to do that. Then it’s on us to try to execute.”

Execution has gone well, particularly over the last six quarters of the series against Portland. The Warriors wiped out a 16-point deficit in the second half to win Game 3, and then rolled to a 35-9 start in Game 4 before coasting to the closeout victory.

Brown was on the sideline in Game 4, with Kerr watching the game from the locker room.

It’s fairly apparent, though, that everyone involved feels a heightened sense of accountability and ownership.

“Mike has had a pretty big voice throughout the whole season,” Durant said. “He’s been a head coach before, understands what it takes to be a head coach. And the coaching staff is just so smart, and they empower each other.

“Anybody, if you’re around us on a day-to-day basis, anybody can tell that they work well as a group. Coach Kerr does a great job. He spearheads it all by empowering everybody, from the coaches to the players.”