College Basketball Nation: Binghamton Bearcats

Video: Michigan 67, Binghamton 39

December, 11, 2012
Trey Burke had 19 points and 5 assists as No. 3 Michigan rolled over Binghamton, 67-39, to improve to 10-0.'s America East preview

October, 15, 2012
Before we get to the Blue Ribbon team-by-team previews for the America East, here is Eamonn Brennan's wind sprint through the league:

Blue Ribbon's in-depth previews of all nine America East teams: Insider

Boston U.
New Hampshire
Stony Brook
On its face, there is little mystery to Binghamton's firing of coach Mark Macon, which the school announced Monday afternoon via Twitter. The Bearcats went 2-29 in 2012. When you go 2-29 in a season -- when you flirt with a winless season and you're a charter regular in the Bottom 10 -- it isn't all that difficult to figure out why you might be fired. Your basketball team was bad. The school wants it to be better. End of story.

Still, Macon's situation at Binghamton was not a typical one, and the timing of this decision certainly follows suit. Why fire a coach now, weeks after the height of the coaching carousel, when candidates are sparse in the first place? What happened between the end of the Bearcats' season and Monday afternoon? Why delay the decision?

Macon doesn't know the answer to that question. It will be up to athletic director Patrick Elliott to provide the answers in the coming days as he begins a search for the coach that can lift Binghamton out of its post-scandal doldrums and begin a new, less depressing era at the school.

Because Macon's job was never an easy one. Binghamton fell into shambles after Kevin Broadus was fired amid an academic and drug-related scandal and the resulting score of departures and sanctions by both the school and the NCAA. Macon's job was less about winning -- though apparently that could have helped -- than restoring the priorities of a proud academic institution and reducing the lingering embarrassment from the Broadus fiasco.

Clearly, Elliott will be looking for a coach with those priorities in mind. The last thing Binghamton needs is even a whiff of another scandal, or academic impropriety. But it's just as clear that the Bearcats AD isn't content with the trajectory of the program on the court. Three years ago, Binghamton men's basketball would have been happy merely to exist. Now, that very low bar isn't high enough.

As he searches for that coach, Elliott will have to explain why Macon wasn't the man for that job -- and why Binghamton didn't realize as much until April 30.

Video: Binghamton snaps 27-game skid

February, 21, 2012

Binghamton coach Mark Macon joins SportsCenter to talk about his team's first win of the season, a 57-53 upset over Vermont.
It's OK to admit it: This is hardly the best Saturday we've seen this season. But here's the good news: It's Feb. 18. We're well within sniffing distance of Selection Sunday, and so every game is meaningful -- including, but certainly not limited to, the various BracketBusters matchups around the country. We're in crunch time, the time when tourney hopefuls have to go out and actually prove they belong. That's exactly what Kansas State did at Baylor this afternoon. Let's start there.

[Editor's note: Per usual, we encourage you to stay with the blog all day for on-site reports from our writers across the country and, later, our recaps of all the big-time Saturday night action, including Saint Mary's-Murray State and Ohio State-Michigan.]

Kansas State 57, No. 10 Baylor 56: I found myself defending Baylor quite a bit in recent days. Myron Medcalf and I have been pretty hard on the Bears at times this season, and for good reason -- this team should be much better than it is. Frankly, it should be dominant. But for all of the struggles and frustrations and close scrapes with obviously inferior teams, it was important to remember one thing: Two teams had beaten Baylor all season. One of them was Kansas. The other was Missouri. There's something to be said for that.

At least there was before Saturday. Kansas State went ahead and spoiled that line, toppling Baylor in Waco in an ugly, questionably officiated contest. Not that the Wildcats minded. For obvious reasons, this was the win of the season for Frank Martin's team. K-State has long been dogged in the bubble discussion by an inexplicably anemic RPI figure, one that threatened to derail a mediocre but otherwise tourney-worthy at-large résumé. The Wildcats needed a big win down the stretch to compensate for that RPI number. An escape from Baylor with a one-point margin, aesthetically displeasing though it may have been, is just what the doctor ordered.

As for the Bears, well, what's left to say? You know the drill by now: This team is as talented as any in the country. It is also every bit as suspect. For whatever reason -- growth, personality, sheepishness, your guess is as good as mine -- Perry Jones III continues to register games like this: 6 shots, 4 points, 4 rebounds, 5 fouls and zero (yes, zero) free throw attempts. In each of Baylor's past four losses, Jones posted single-digit scoring and rebounding efforts. We hate to be openly critical of a college kid, but for a player of Jones' talent, isn't that inexcusable? For a team as long and active as this one, why are the Bears so blasé on the boards, so mediocre on the defensive end? Why, after a 2010-11 season derailed by constant turnovers, haven't these guys learned to value the ball?

It's not like Baylor is having a bad season. (Though since starting 17-0 they are a disconcerting 5-5 in their past 10 games.) The standard defense in the first paragraph still, for all intents and purposes, makes sense. But it's impossible to watch this team and not know that the product on the floor is merely a fraction of what it could be. We only ever get hints. That's what's frustrating.

New Mexico 65, No. 11 UNLV 45: If you failed to notice what New Mexico did earlier this week (winning at San Diego State, moving to 7-2 and alone atop the Mountain West conference standings) and haven't seen just how good this team has been playing over the past three weeks (before Saturday, UNM had won six in a row and risen to No. 11 overall in Ken Pomeroy's adjusted efficiency rankings) it's officially time to take note. The Lobos are rolling, kids -- and Saturday was no different.

The lopsided outcome wasn't a foregone conclusion from the opening tip, and UNLV was in solid shape in a typically frenzied Pit atmosphere for nearly 30 minutes. But with 12:15 remaining, the Lobos did what they do best: They locked down on the defensive end. At that point, the score was 36-36. Just four minutes later, after a handful of impressive plays by Tony Snell, Demetrius Walker and Drew Gordon, the Lobos led 48-36. UNLV scored just nine points the rest of the way.

This is where New Mexico really shines. For as good as UNLV and SDSU have been this season, the Lobos are the MWC's best defensive team. They rank No. 1 in the league (and No. 11 in the nation) in adjusted defensive efficiency, primarily thanks to really good first-shot defense. The Runnin' Rebels have been struggling lately -- this week's 101-97 loss at TCU was profoundly strange, and they're now just 5-6 on the road this season, with four of those coming to unranked teams. But they're still awfully talented, and their struggles today had as much to do with the Lobos' pressure as any self-inflicted cause.

In the game's final moments, as Walker poured in another bucket and Gordon topped off his beast-mode 27-point, 20-rebound performance (Gordon was just the eighth player in the past 10 seasons to drop a 20-20 game on a Top-25 team, and just the fifth to do so in regulation), CBS play-by-play man Tim Brando said the affair had "become a New Mexico coronation." He was absolutely right. For too long, the Lobos slipped slightly under the radar. Their gaudy efficiency numbers belied a team that, when you got right down to it, hadn't beaten a team better than Saint Louis all season. It was easy to cast doubt.

No more. In the past week, New Mexico has held Wyoming to 38 points, beaten San Diego State in Viejas Arena by 10, and coasted right by a very good UNLV team. Steve Alford has built a beast in Albuquerque. If you were sleeping on UNM before, it will be impossible to do so now.

Washington 79, Arizona 70:Both of these teams' at-large pictures remain in flux, and that didn't change much today. A win over Arizona won't put Washington in the tournament in any definite way; a loss to Washington won't drop Arizona off the bubble. This is life in the current Pac-12, a power-six league in name only. (PSINO? PINO? We'll work on it.) This league was 2-31 against the RPI top 50 in nonconference play and 0-15 against the top 25. Simply put, this conference offers zero opportunities for marquee wins. At this point, the best the at-large contenders can do is just keep winning.

On Senior Day, the Huskies did exactly that, dinging the defensively resurgent Wildcats in the process. Terrence Ross was fantastic, and his line -- 25 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals, 1 assist, 1 block -- was the stuff of fantasy basketball fever dreams. That's a pretty good example of why this Washington team has been so frustrating this season. With Ross and freshman guard Tony Wroten (not to mention Aziz N'Diaye and Abdul Gaddy and so on) this team has obvious Top-25 talent. But here it is, struggling to get in the field. The Huskies have been better in Pac-12 play and are 12-3 atop the standings, but as recently as last week were absolutely drubbed 82-57 at Oregon.

If this team makes a run in the NCAA tournament, I won't be the least bit surprised. A first-round loss wouldn't shock me, either. Everything is on the table here. But the Huskies have to get there first. With their final three games on the road, and opportunities for bad losses -- at Washington State, at USC, at UCLA -- any and all outcomes are on the table. Should be interesting.

No. 21 Florida State 76, NC State 62: This is not what NC State needed. OK, sure, Thursday night's loss at Duke -- wherein the Wolfpack coughed up a 20-point second-half lead -- was hard to swallow. I get that, and I empathize. But NC State still has much to accomplish in Mark Gottfried's first season, chief among it a possible NCAA tournament bid. And so Saturday's game could have gone two ways: Either NCSU would come out angry at Thursday's letdown and focused on fixing it, or the Wolfpack would be emotionally (and physically, on one day's rest) exhausted.

Turns out it was the latter. Gottfried's team committed 17 turnovers and it shot just 29 percent. (Some of that is FSU's lockdown defense, but still.) In doing so, the Pack saw a chance to get a quality résumé win slip away. Will NC State's tourney chances, already very much in doubt, do the same?

For the Seminoles, this win was their 10th in the ACC. In each of the past four years, Leonard Hamilton's team has won at least 10 league games. FSU has stamped its position as the third-best team in its conference as Hamilton has built a program with staying power at a school that has traditionally treated its basketball as an only occasionally worthwhile diversion from breathless updates about the next great football recruiting class. Really impressive.

Wichita State 91, Davidson 74: Davidson, with that December win over Kansas in its back pocket, desperately needed a win here if it wanted to hold on to any scant hope of an at-large look. Obviously, that's done now. Wichita State just keeps beating up on people. Forget the mid-major label -- there are few teams in the country, regardless of conference, playing as well as this team right now. How many? Five? Maybe six? If that?

Anyway, before we move on, let's pause and reflect on the insane performance Joe Ragland unleashed Saturday. He scored 30 points and grabbed seven boards at the guard position. Even better? His points came on 11-of-14 from the field. He shot 3-of-4 from 3 and 5-of-5 from the charity stripe. He was about as close to offensive perfection as a college basketball player can ever get. Bravo, sir.

Other observations from the afternoon action:
  • After the big win, I thought it was pretty much impossible (or unpossible!) for Steve Alford's day to get any better. And then it did: San Diego State fell to lowly Air Force on Saturday, 58-56, thanks to an 18-of-52 mark from the field and -- even worse for this perimeter-oriented team -- a 3-of-16 mark from behind the line. The Aztecs got to the line with relative ease. But they went 17-of-25, and when you're shooting that poorly on the road, and you leave eight points on the board, look out.
  • Following UConn's home loss to Marquette -- the Huskies' seventh loss in their past nine games -- guard Shabazz Napier, who has tried (and failed) all year to emerge as a bona fide leader of a UConn team that desperately needs just that, told reporters the following: "I hate to say it, but I have to question some of these guys' heart." Anyone who's seen Connecticut play this season has no choice but to agree. What a timid, lifeless bunch. That's the polar opposite of the Golden Eagles' scrappy style, and it showed all 40 minutes Saturday. (For colleague Andy Katz's dispatch from this game, click here)
  • A win at Cleveland State doesn't quite look as great as it might have, say, three weeks ago, but no matter: Drexel's 20-point road victory was its 15th win in a row and 21st in its past 22 games. The committee may have a problem getting past the Dragons' cruddy performances in November (including the loss to Norfolk State), and those nonconference issues are part of the reason the CAA isn't getting much at-large love or even remotely passable RPI numbers for top teams like Drexel, VCU and George Mason. But 21-1 in 22 games? That's awfully hard to ignore.
  • Speaking of mid-major teams with gaudy records that haven't earned much of a tourney look, how about Oral Roberts? The Golden Eagles held on to top Akron in their BracketBusters affair, moving to 25-5 overall in the process. ORU is 18-1 in the Summit League. If it wins out but loses in the conference tournament, can it get a bid? We'll see. Unlike those CAA squads, this team's RPI is certainly in the picture. The question is whether the committee can look past ORU's lack of quality wins (the victory at Xavier came just a few days after the Dec. 10 brawl against a skeletal, half-suspended Musketeers lineup) and ugly nonconference strength-of-schedule figure. ORU might want to play it safe and just go ahead and win the tournament. Why leave it to chance? Either way, this is an undeniably above-average team.
  • Missouri is really good. Texas A&M is not. Our research group passed along two stats that rather tidily demonstrate as much: (1) This victory was Missouri's first win in College Station since 2001, and (2) Missouri's 56 percent shooting made the Tigers the first team to shoot better than 50 percent against A&M all season. Just a solid, workmanlike win from a really self-assured club. Fun to watch.
  • DePaul is a little unlucky to be just 2-9 in Big East play after today's overtime loss to Louisville. It's not that the loss itself was particularly unlucky -- DePaul played well for 40 minutes, but the Cardinals were too much in OT -- it's just that this team's obvious improvements on the floor haven't quite shown up in its record. Such is life at a rebuilding project, I suppose.
  • Nice win for Iona. The Gaels were probably a bit hard done by their BracketBusters matchup -- they needed a higher-profile game to really make a dent in the bubble picture -- but we can't fault the aesthetic quality of the end result. In other words, this was still a pretty awesome game. Iona won 90-84, and the replay is available on ESPN3. It's worth your while. Iona's offense was scorching hot: The Gaels went 33-of-53 from the field (62.3 percent) and 8-of-14 from beyond the arc, and had five players score 13 points or more. Point guard Scott Machado had 15 assists, which is nothing new; Machado's 9.9 assists per game lead the nation (his assist rate of 44.3 percent is the nation's third-highest; word to Tim Frazier!) and his brilliance is emblematic of this team in general. With Machado, MoMo Jones and Michael Glover, Iona might the most talented mid-major squad in the country. The only problem? The Gaels don't really defend. But if that changes even marginally in the coming weeks, look out. Points in bunches, and all that.
  • Kentucky and North Carolina both easily handled their middling conference foes, and both looked great doing so. The Wildcats' win was their 50th in a row at home. John Calipari doesn't lose at Rupp Arena. That's just the way it goes.
  • And then there's Binghamton. The nation's last winless team had its best remaining opportunity to notch a victory on the road at 5-23 Radford. Unfortunately, the Bearcats lost 64-59, and so the sad story of their brutal season rolls on. Binghamton's next two opponents (Vermont, Albany) are both much better than lowly Radford (though the Bearcats do get both games at home, so that's good), and their season finale at New Hampshire isn't a totally insurmountable challenge (though Pomeroy's predictive model gives the Bearcats just a 7 percent chance of winning). Bottom line? This team could very well go the entire length of its season without a win. Poor Binghamton. Can you say Bottom 10?
For the second time this season, USC was held to 40 points or fewer.
Two weeks after scoring 36 points in a loss to Cal Poly, the Trojans fell to Minnesota 55-40. At 55.1 ppg, USC is on track for its lowest scoring season since averaging 52.8 in 1948-49. That’s also the last season in which the Trojans were twice held to 40 points or fewer.

Wildcats can’t score in first loss
Both Northwestern and Baylor entered Sunday’s contest undefeated, but you wouldn’t know it from the result. Baylor won 69-41, holding Northwestern to 24.1 percent from the field. It was the worst shooting performance by the Wildcats in nearly 10 years. The 41 points are the fewest Northwestern has scored in its home court since a 40-39 win over North Florida in 2006. Meanwhile, Baylor was 25-for-30 from two-point range, an 83.3 two-point field goal percentage that is their highest over the past 15 years.

Freshmen shine off the bench
A pair of freshmen starred off the bench on Saturday in Connecticut’s 75-62 win over Arkansas. Playing in just his second game, Ryan Boatright led the Huskies with 23 points, adding five rebounds and six assists. He’s the first UConn freshman with a 20-5-5 game off the bench since Kemba Walker against Missouri in the 2009 Elite Eight. Meanwhile, B.J. Young led all scorers with a career-high 28 points in the losing effort. It was the third most points by a freshman off the bench this season. The rest of the Razorbacks combined to shoot 24.6 percent from the field.

16 points and no field goals
Despite not connecting on a field goal, Durand Scott was Miami's top scorer in Saturday's 83-75 win over Massachusetts. Scott missed all six of his field goal attempts, and his 16 points came courtesy of a 16-for-18 performance at the line. It's the most points scored by a Division I player without a field goal since Binghamton's Sebastian Hermenier's 17 against Vermont in 2006. Scott's total is the most by a major conference player without a field goal since Indiana's Michael Lewis also scored 16 against Minnesota in 1998.

Top scoring performance of season
Weber State's Damian Lillard had the nation's top scoring game of the season, finishing with 41 points in a 91-89 double-overtime win over San Jose State. Lillard only had 24 points at the end of regulation, but scored 17 of the Wildcats' 24 points in the two overtimes. The 41 points are the second most in school history behind Stan Mayhew's 45 points in 1977. He's the first Division I player to crack the 40-point mark since Harrison Barnes in the 2011 ACC tournament. Lillard is the top scorer in the nation, averaging 28.2 ppg.

Binghamton's perfect APR score pays off

October, 31, 2011
Basketball programs struggling to wrap their heads around the NCAA's new emphasis on Academic Progress Rate standards now have a model they can follow, and would you believe that it's Binghamton?

The Binghamton men's basketball program that has been troubled in years past announced Monday that it achieved its first perfect APR score of 1,000, boosting the Bearcats' four-year average to a level where it can regain its full scholarship allotment of 13.

Under coach Mark Macon, the team has gotten serious about academics and will now have all its scholarships available after self-imposing a two-scholarship reduction last year. The mass exodus of players had caused bad headlines and the APR score to dip, but now the program averages an acceptable score of 900, which is right on the NCAA cutline.

From the Press & Sun-Bulletin:
The men's program had been down to 11 scholarships following the turmoil prior to the 2009-10 season, which included six players being dismissed from the team and two others transferring at season's end.

"To get your scholarships back is good, but the overall thing is that the guys have met the expectations academically," BU head coach Mark Macon said.

Macon also confirmed one of the reinstated scholarships has been awarded to junior point guard Jimmy Gray, a former Binghamton High School standout.

Binghamton isn't out of the woods yet since the NCAA will look to increase the APR threshold to 930 in the coming years for teams to qualify in the postseason, but considering the program was in deep trouble not long ago, regaining the scholarships and reestablishing graduation rates is a credit to Macon. The former Temple star inherited a mess, and now little by little it's being cleaned up.

Any program struggling with academic concerns should take notice and know it's not an impossible situation.'s America East preview

October, 14, 2011
Before we get to the Blue Ribbon team-by-team previews for the America East, here is Eamonn Brennan's one-minute wind sprint through the league:

Blue Ribbon breakdowns of all nine teams in the America East:

Boston University InsiderFree
New Hampshire
Stony Brook

More America East content:

The numbers you need to know

March, 4, 2011
Inside the numbers behind Thursday’s top performances:

1. Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor had 39 points and outscored the rest of his teammates combined as the Badgers beat Indiana 77-67. Only twice has a UW player scored more points in a game -- Michael Finley and Ken Barnes both scored 42. It ties the most points by a Big Ten player in a conference game over the past 10 seasons, and is the most on the road in at least 15 years. Taylor’s performance is all the more impressive considering the system he plays in. Wisconsin averages only 58.1 possessions per 40 minutes, fewest in Division I. Thursday was no exception, as the Badgers had only 53 possessions according to Taylor sat for one possession, meaning he scored 39 points in 52 team possessions for which he was on the court. For some perspective, it took the entire Wake Forest team 79 possessions to score 54 points on Thursday.

2. Seton Hall shot 64.3 percent from the field in an 84-70 win over 15th-ranked St. John’s. The Pirates came into the game with a 40.5 field goal percentage, and were coming off a 30.4 percent performance against Notre Dame. It was the highest field goal percentage for Seton Hall in the past 15 seasons, and the highest in any Big East game since Georgetown shot 68.2 percent against Seton Hall last season. Perhaps most impressive was their performance from long distance. The Pirates entered the game ranked 342nd in the nation with a 28.4 3-point percentage. On Thursday, they hit 12 of 18, including five of seven in the second half. This was all the starters, by the way. Not a single bench player attempted a shot in the game, the first time that’s happened for Seton Hall in the past 15 seasons.

3. DeAngelo Casto posted a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds as Washington State beat USC 85-77. Casto went 10-for-11 from the field for the second time this season, having also done so against Stanford. Those are the two best shooting performances in the Pac-10 this season for player with at least 10 attempts. Casto appears to be emerging as the clear second option (or perhaps the first now?) that the Cougars have lacked. This was his third straight double-double, and over the past six games he’s averaging 17.7 ppg and 8.0 rpg.

4. Not much has gone right for Arizona State this season. The Sun Devils endured a nine-game losing streak, and entered yesterday 2-14 in the Pac-10. So Thursday’s 73-53 win over Oregon is the exception to that -- the Sun Devils’ first decisive win in almost two months. The Sun Devils hit a season-high 16 3s, with the bulk of the damage coming from a pair of seniors playing their second-to-last home game. Ty Abbott and Rihards Kuksiks combined to go 13-for-27 from long distance. Meanwhile, Oregon went 6-of-25 (24.0 pct) from two-point range. That’s the worst by a Pac-10 team since Oregon shot 20.0 percent against Washington State in 2009.

5. Maybe Binghamton was just saving all its points for the conference tournament. The Bearcats hit an America East Tournament record 18 3s on their way to a 91-65 win over UMBC. Consider that Binghamton scored 93 points in its previous two games combined. On three occasions this season, the Bearcats have been held below 40 points. But Thursday was different thanks to a pair of seniors who didn’t want their college careers to end just yet. Moussa Camara (30 points) and Greer Wright (31 points) both put up career highs. At halftime, the two had outscored UMBC 31-29, and nearly finished the game with more points than the Retrievers. Camara tied a school record with 8 3-pointers.

The numbers you need to know

January, 11, 2011
An inside look at the numbers behind Monday's top performances:

1. Marquette toppled Notre Dame 79-57 courtesy of some lights out 3-point shooting. The Golden Eagles shot 70.6 percent (12-for-17) from long distance, coming up just shy of a school-record 80.0 percent set in 2001 against Tulane. No one was hotter than Dwight Buycks, who hit all five of this 3-point attempts on the way to a career-high 21 points. On Jan. 5 against Rutgers, the senior guard suffered a thigh contusion that limited him to 11 scoreless minutes. But since then, he’s been a different player. Over the last two games, Buycks has scored 40 points and hit eight of nine 3-pointers. In the 14 previous games, he’d only hit 12 from beyond the arc. The win on Monday was critical for MU. Entering the game 0-4 against ranked foes, this was game two of a stretch in which Marquette plays seven of eight games against ranked opponents.

2. It was a quite a night for the winless. Both Alcorn State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff won for the first time this season. Alcorn State overcame a 22-point deficit to beat Grambling State. It snapped a 34-game road losing streak for the Braves, who were approaching two years since their last road win. Meanwhile, Arkansas-Pine Bluff snapped a 15-game losing streak that dated back to facing Duke in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Golden Lions beat Alabama A&M despite not hitting a field goal for the first 10 minutes of the second half. With those two winning, that leaves Centenary and UNC Greensboro as the lone remaining winless teams.

3. Delaware State’s Jay Threatt knocked down a jump shot as time expired to give the Hornets a 62-60 win over South Carolina State. Threatt did much more than just hit that shot, once again filling up the stat sheet. The former George Mason guard finished with 11 points, nine assists and six steals. Threatt, who led the nation in steals last season, and Ohio’s D.J. Cooper are the only two players who rank in the top 15 in the nation in both steals and assists. That’s even more impressive when you consider that Delaware State has played eight straight on the road.

4. Josh Slater scored half of his 30 points from the free throw line, as Lipscomb topped North Florida 80-76. The senior guard went 15-for-19 from the line and added seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. That’s just another night for a player who fills the stat sheet with the best of them. Slater and teammate Adnan Hodzic are both averaging over 18 points and seven rebounds per game. Only 20 D-I players can make that claim, and they are the only teammates doing so. Slater is also one of only four D-I players averaging four assists and seven rebounds. Among guards listed 6-foot-3 or shorter, only Iowa State’s Darion “Jake” Anderson (8.5 rpg) has a higher rebounding average than Slater (7.0).

5. Moussa Camara came off the bench to score a career-high 28 points in Binghamton’s 57-50 win over Stony Brook. The senior from Paris significantly outscored the entire Binghamton starting lineup, which combined for only 19 points on 7-of-25 from the field (28.0 percent). That’s tied for the third-fewest points by a starting lineup in a win this season. On Saturday, Alabama State’s starters scored only nine points in a win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Given the way the Binghamton program deteriorated under Kevin Broadus, you wouldn't assume the man was in line for a buyout. But, thanks to the NCAA's finding that no major violations occurred even as Broadus' team lost six players thanks to academic issues, drug-related crime and a handful of other reasons, there was a chance the school could have reinstated Broadus and tried to move forward.

That's what Broadus and his lawyer, Don Jackson, wanted; Broadus wanted to be coach again. But it's about the last thing Binghamton wanted. The solution? Buyout! From the Greater Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin (now THAT'S a name for a newspaper):
Kevin Broadus has entered a $1.2 million settlement with Binghamton University. [...] The university will pay $819,115.89 as required by his contract, BU spokeswoman Gail Glover said. The State University of New York will pay an additional $380,884.11. In exchange for the settlement, Broadus will resign and withdraw all claims and future lawsuits, Glover said.

Mark Macon, the man who somewhat awkwardly signed a two-year contract with the school while Broadus was on suspension, will remain the head coach. Perhaps most important, Binghamton can officially end the Kevin Broadus era. It was the best of times, it was the ... well, you know.

(Special "still catching up after Big Ten media day" hat tip: The Dagger)

Binghamton avoids 'big bad stuff'

October, 19, 2010
After months of assuming Binghamton, in the wake of its Kevin Broadus-led nightmare, was set to receive the blunt end of a concluded NCAA investigation, something strange happened: The program survived after all.

Interim athletic director Jim Norris received a letter from the NCAA Monday stating that it didn't believe Binghamton committed major infractions during the Broadus era. It did say the school committed two minor infractions related to impermissible travel provided to two former players by former assistant coach Mark Hsu. But, all things considered, interim university president C. Peter Magrath has this about right:
C. Peter Magrath, the university’s interim president, said in a telephone interview that the N.C.A.A. found two secondary violations, but not “the big bad stuff that can get you sanctioned.”

"Big bad stuff." I believe that's the forensic term, yes.

What that all means is that despite the school's terrifying slide under Broadus -- which included six player dismissals, former athletic director Joel Thirer's resignation, Broadus' suspension and a general (and previously unheard of at Binghamton) attitude that academics was secondary to a winning basketball team -- Binghamton isn't in danger of any scary, death-penalty-esque punishments anytime soon.

That means the school has to figure out what to do with Broadus. Broadus has been reinstated by the program and is once again receiving his salary, but there are no plans to move him from his current position of senior athletic administrator for academic assessment (a pretty hilarious title, given this whole mess). Broadus, however, seems to want his coaching job back, and we could have a standoff on our hands. From the New York Times:
One of Broadus’s lawyers, Don Jackson, said that the report cleared Broadus’s name with the N.C.A.A. and that he looked forward to resuming coaching. Jackson blamed the university for the off-court problems.

“It’s the fault of a university to not have the infrastructure in place to support the student-athletes,” he said.

Oh boy. This could get ugly. Er, you know: uglier.

Previewing the America East

October, 15, 2010
Eamonn Brennan takes a quick look at the America East:

For in-depth previews of all nine America East teams, check out Blue Ribbon's breakdowns: Insider

Boston University
Maine InsiderFree
New Hampshire
Stony Brook

Binghamton withdraws from postseason

March, 1, 2010
Binghamton announced Monday that it has voluntarily withdrawn from the America East Conference tournament, citing "possible distractions" while the school addresses a review of the troubled program.

The defending tournament champion Bearcats were to have been the No. 5 seed in this year's tournament. One year after making the NCAAs, Binghamton (13-18) has had coaches placed on leave and players kicked off the team stemming from all sorts of allegations against the program as detailed in a recent report led by retired New York chief judge Judith Kaye.

"We commend our student-athletes and coaches for the dedication and determination they have maintained throughout this very challenging year," outgoing president Lois DeFleur said in a statement. "They have surpassed expectations. However with the controversy currently surrounding the program it is not appropriate we play in this year's postseason."

Inside Sunday's box scores

January, 25, 2010
Five things to know from Sunday's action:

1. Seton Hall’s defense was the story in its 64-61 upset of Pittsburgh. The Panthers lost their second straight game, committing 20 turnovers and shooting just 35.4 percent from the floor. After starting 1-4 in Big East play, Seton Hall has now defeated Louisville and Pittsburgh in back-to-back games. The story of those two wins has been their success despite the quiet play of Jeremy Hazell. Over the first five conference games, Hazell was averaging 28.4 ppg on 24 shots per game. After 9 points in 16 foul-plagued minutes on Sunday, Hazell is averaging 17.0 ppg on just 10 shots over the last two games.

2. Wisconsin’s 11-game win streak against Penn State appeared headed for an end on Sunday with the Nittany Lions up 16 midway through the second half. But then the Badgers went on a 15-0 run to get right back in the game. However, with two minutes to play, PSU had rallied back to an eight-point lead. That’s when Jordan Taylor arrived. Taylor, who had two points up until that point, scored 18 of his 20 points in the final two minutes of regulation and then in overtime to lead the Badgers to the win. Wisconsin is now 51-0 against unranked Big Ten foes at home under Bo Ryan.

3. Iowa had lost 15 straight road games and was winless in Big Ten road games since the 2007-08 season. But on Sunday, the Hawkeyes went into Assembly Hall and held the Hoosiers to 43 points and outrebounded them by 16. It marked the fewest points scored by IU at home against Iowa since 1945. Adding even more insult, Indiana was 0-of-9 from 3-point range, snapping a streak of 277 straight games with a trey.

4. The nation’s top freshman scorer isn’t in Lexington or Lawrence. He’s in Kennesaw, Georgia. Markeith Cummings, a redshirt freshman, had quite a weekend in leading Kennesaw State to its first back-to-back conference road wins since 2005-06. He scored 30 in Friday’s win over Florida Gulf Coast and then posted a double-double Sunday over Stetson. Cummings has scored in double figures in every game for the Owls, who, with three Atlantic Sun wins, have equaled their total from last season.

5. Greer Wright scored a career-high 30 points in Binghamton’s win over Vermont on Sunday. He shot 10-fo-15 from the floor, including 5-for-6 from 3-point range. After starting the season 4-10, Binghamton has won four of their last seven games thanks in large part to the improved play of Wright. In those seven games, Wright is averaging 19.3 ppg while shooting 43.1 percent. During the 4-10 start, he was putting up just 12.6 ppg for a team that was starving for a scoring punch.