Archives for March 2011

Indiana Hoosiers Rebuilding Efforts Hinge on Cody Zeller


The fate of Indiana Hoosier basketball rests in the hands of McDonald’s All-American Cody Zeller.  Okay, not really… but if you listen to what others are saying, that’s the hype surrounding the 2011 recruit who chose to stay home and help Tom Crean with his re-building of the Hoosiers’ program.

And given the way things have gone for Indiana since 2007, their fans need something positive to latch onto.

(This is a Paul M. Banks and David Kay collaboration.)
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VOTE NOW: Anti-Bracket Title GAME! Black-Eyed Peas Vs. FNL Ignorance


It all started in 2009. Notre Dame football fans with zero connection to the school made a furious comeback in their Final Four game to narrowly defeat Alex Rodriguez. In the other semifinal, Rachel Nichols routed Ronnie Woo Woo. In the inaugural title game, ND bandwagoners ran away with it.

They were no doubt bouyed by the fact that the first Anti-Bracket (or douchebracket as it was known then) was held right after Chicago’s Southside Irish Parade, a 31 year-old tradition, was canceled for good. No doubt a lot of the disgusting, drunken, criminal white trash who got that party kiboshed were rocking ND clothes despite themselves (or anyone in their family) never having setting foot in a University building.

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This Kentucky (and Calipari) Team is Different


There is one huge thing missing from Kentucky coach John Calipari’s coaching resume: a national championship.

Kentucky Wildcat fans have seen this similar storyline- a freshman point guard leading a John Calipari team deep into the tournament and falling short at the end. It happened at Memphis with superstars Derrick Rose (he’s only the NBA MVP this year) and Tyreke Evans (vastly underrated and underappreciated in Sacramento). It happened last year in Coach Cal’s first year at Kentucky with an Elite 8 run and last year’s first overall pick John Wall. Fans hope there isn’t a repeat ending this year.

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Bruce Weber is Staying at Illinois, Not Going to Oklahoma

bruce weber erin andrews

After the Matt Painter mess fatigued us all the next Big Ten coaching carousel rumor mill to spin so rapidly it gave us vertigo (too many metaphors concentrated in one place!) was Illini coach Bruce Weber going to Oklahoma.

There was a whole series of tweets and leaks saying there was mutual interest- not true. Don’t you love this time of year in college basketball? When the whole industry plays the “mommy, mommy! Look at me I got this first!” routine.

According to Weber, there’s no story there. According to Illini an official announcement will come from the school later today regarding Weber staying Champaign.

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NBA Draft Stock Report: McDonald’s All-American Game Edition

anthony davis james mcadoo mcdonald's

Am I really doing a NBA Draft Stock Report on kids that have not even graduated from high school and will not be eligible for the draft for another year? Yup.

The McDonald’s All-American Game is like the Super Bowl for high school basketball players with NBA scouts flooding the United Center to get a look at some of the potential top prospects for the 2012 NBA Draft.  Even though it is a lot like the NBA All-Star Game– nothing more than a glorified pick-up game where defense is usually non-existent, it’s still a great venue to see how some of the top recruits stack up against equally talented players.

Besides, when I went to the 2008 game in Milwaukee, I fell love with Tyreke Evans’ game and started praising his pro potential.  And well, that turned out okay didn’t it?  Here are some players who really stood out and should be top prospects in the 2012 draft.

By: David Kay
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McDonald’s All-American Game Recap: East 111, West 96


The most historical aspect of tonight’s McDonald’s All-American game was the attendance, 19,909; highest in the all-star series history. The East All-Stars triumphed 111-96. This is the first time a squad failed to hit the C-note since the 2006 East team scored 94 in San Diego.

The East was led by game co-MVP James McAdoo, a North Carolina recruit, and one of the top rated players in the country, who scored 17 points on 8-13 shooting. Florida recruit Brad Beal tied McAdoo for the game high in scoring.

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Bruce Weber Not Going to Oklahoma, but what would Illini do Without Him?


Rumors released via the Twitter-verse that Illinois coach Bruce Weber is in talks with the Oklahoma Sooners on their head coaching vacancy.  Two newspapers in Oklahoma are apparently releasing statements about the rumor today.

Of course, it’s all about CYA in college basketball reporting, since no one wants to “pull a Bernie Miklasz,” but ironically, the same newspaper that employs Milkasz, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, was the one that squashed the rumors. Stu Durando texted Weber, and the coach told him all the reports were false.

A quick timeline of the Weber to OU rumors.

But if you’re an Illini fan, this probably got you thinking about what life would be like if Weber left.

Why would he leave Champaign?

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Notre Dame Kickoff Times, Schedule Announced


For the first time in 21 years, there will be a night game at Notre Dame Stadium. The Notre Dame-USC game slated for Oct. 22, 2011, will kick off at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to play host to a home night game. While we will do this only on a selective basis, we think it is important to occasionally use the platform of a prime-time game to promote the University and our football program,” said Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick. [Read more…]

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Must Hold Bernie Miklasz Accountable


Today, Bernie Miklasz did for the world of sports media what William Ligue Jr. and his son (the infamous, extremely white trash father and son duo who attacked Kansas City Royals base coach Tom Gamboa) did for Chicago White Sox fans.

This may sound hyperbolic, but when a story becomes that big, it can create an entire script or schema for a subset of people. Miklasz horribly besmirched the name of college basketball journalists everywhere.

Bernie reported that Matt Painter left the Purdue Boilermakers for the Missouri Tigers without any sources or any confirmation. Now that he’s proven to be on the total opposite side of truth, will there be repercussions for him? Where’s his retraction?

Let’s say one of my blogging brethren tried something like this. They’d be crucified and we’d all have to hear for 24 hours just how awful “new media” is and how “bloggers” are ruining the news cycle and reporting rumors instead of news. But because this is a newspaper guy doing it, not to mention one who does a radio show for The Mothership, the Evil Empire of ESPN, nothing will happen.

By Paul M. Banks

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Buzz Williams, Marquette Agree to Extension

Buzz Williams

Buzz isn’t going anywhere.  Marquette announced today that the university and head coach Buzz Williams have agreed to a contract extension that is believed to pay him in the ballpark of around $2 million per year.

By: David Kay
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Update: Purdue University Rep Blames Donors For Matt Painter Situation


As you may have heard, Matt Painter left the Purdue Boilermakers in order to take the Mizzou job. At least that’s what every single person on Twitter with an interest in college hoops said Monday night. This was of course retracted. But then legit media outlets like Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported Matt Painter called Missouri AD Mike Alden to accept his offer. 670 The Score Chicago said it’s a done deal. The Indy Star disputed it.

And now multiple outlets are saying that he is staying in West Lafayette. Word is still not official until it comes from either school.

Purdue has a reputation as one of the lower paying jobs in the Big Ten. Not actually a low-paying job; just low by what the other leagues coaches make. Therefore, the idea of Painter’s status in limbo meant it was a perfect situation for the Athletic Department to exploit; by scaring their donors into giving more money.

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The Sports Bank Featured in Technology Advertising Newsletter

cowboys stadium

Check it out The Sports Bank featured in another online media outlet. Brand Affinity Technologies, creators of Net Bat profiled us and interviewed me for their latest newsletter.

March Publisher Profile:

This month, Fantapper visits with Paul M. Banks, the CEO of


BAT: When did you start

Paul: Beginning of 2007, right after I returned from Berlin upon completion of my media fellowship with the Fulbright Foundation. I studied with a small, select group of American journalists on an exchange program with German media, and the experience was extremely stimulating and eye-opening. Upon returning to the states, I realized it was time to put into practice my own ideas about media, the media industry and the changing ways in which people were getting their news. It was time to stop following, and start leading.

The first year of the site was a feeling out period. By early ’08 I had upgraded the technical and presentation side, and that’s when I feel TSB really became legit.

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