Tonight’s episode of COURTSIDE WITH SETH DAVIS (6:30 PM, ET) on CBS Sports Network features interviews with Kansas head coach Bill Self and Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, as well as a writer’s round-table with CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman, SI.com’s Andy Glockner and The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy.
COURTSIDE WITH SETH DAVIS is a one-hour, fast-paced program hosted by college basketball insider Seth Davis that focuses on the latest developments, the most intriguing storylines and the inside scoop from the world of college basketball. Throughout the season, the show will feature a variety of high-profile guests from the college basketball community including coaches, players, writers and broadcasters.
Sean Whalen produces. Tyler Hale is Vice President, Studio Production, CBS Sports Network.
Following are excerpts from the show interview:
(TOM IZZO ON NON-CONFERNECE SCHEDULING):
I don’t know if it’s totally the reason (for our success in March). I do have a comfortable feeling that I can say we’ve played teams from different conferences. Even if we don’t play that team again, we might play somebody else from that conference. So I try to play one from three, four or five different conferences. That has helped us some because each conference plays a little differently. But I also think that if you can tell your team, ‘Hey, like this year, we played the Number 1, 3, 5, 7, 11, 12, 13th ranked teams at one point or another.’ That’s all you’re going to face in the NCAA Tournament. So it gives you a barometer of where you are and where you have to get to. This year, what’s happened that is a little different, is that our league has been so good.
(BILL SELF ON SENIOR GUARD ELIJAH JOHNSON):
We have to get more consistent guard play, there’s no question about that, and we will. Elijah is going to be our starting point guard as long as his health allows him to be. He is a two being forced to play the one. It’s like an offensive lineman that is a guard being forced to play tackle. I know there’s an adjustment period and it’s a pretty big adjustment. But our team is 20-4 with him at point guard. Yeah we had three bad games. But really those three losses can’t be put on any one person. It was a collective effort by coaches and players and everybody. I like Elijah a lot. We have no chance to be as good a team as we can be unless he plays well. I believe he’s going to play well just like he did last year when he was one of our key performers in getting to the championship game.
(ON KENTUCKY WITHOUT NERLENS NOEL):
Andy Glockner: The committee is going to have to take a really long look at the last seven games in SEC play and the SEC Tournament and see what this Kentucky team is going to look like without Noel in the center. It’s a very difficult proposition for a team to reinvent itself, especially defensively when it had depended on Noel as a shot blocker to such a huge extent. And now they’re not going to have that so the way they guard on the perimeter, the way they steer players off the dribble, the security blanket is not there anymore So it’s going to be a different Kentucky team and it will be interesting to see what John Calipari does.
Jeff Goodman: They’re not done. Why would we say they’re done? They can replace Nerlens Noel with another seven-footer who is athletic, who can’t score, who won’t be quite as dominant on the defensive end. But they weren’t great with Nerlens Noel. Why can’t this kick start this team and make Alex Poythress have to play well? Maybe they’ll do something with Archie Goodwin. I don’t think this team is done at all. I think they could, again could, play better without Nerlens Noel. I know it sounds nuts, but I think it could happen.
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