Thursday, December 15, 2011
Meyer's Coaching Staff - Cavaliers amnesty Baron Davis - Sullinger has double-double as Ohio St. cruises
Sullinger has double-double as Ohio St. cruises
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Everyone was pleased with how All-America forward Jared Sullinger played in his first game back after missing two because of back spasms.
Everybody but Sullinger, that is.
Deshaun Thomas scored 23 points and No. 2 Ohio State welcomed back Sullinger in an 82-58 victory over South Carolina Upstate on Wednesday night.
"I was terrible tonight," he said with a laugh after collecting a workmanlike 12 points and 10 rebounds in 33 minutes. "I was tired. Taking two weeks off is a killer."
The 6-foot-9 sophomore wasn't cleared to play until earlier Wednesday. He had missed the Buckeyes' win over Texas-Pan American and Saturday's 78-67 loss at No. 13 Kansas.
Coach Thad Matta said Sullinger played just about the way he expected.
"I thought he did a pretty decent job," Matta said. "He hadn't played since the Duke game (an 85-63 rout on Nov. 29). To get him out there and get him moving, he knew he was going to be rusty and probably a little bit winded. But now that gives him some confidence to get back (to where he was) and to go to work."
Sullinger received polite applause when he entered the game at the 14:37 mark of the first half. He took his time getting into the pace of the game.
"Sullinger looked like all really good players," Spartans coach Eddie Payne said. "He had quiet production. He had 12 and 10 and didn't seem like he did a whole lot."
It was Sullinger who suggested to Matta that he not start.
"That was actually my decision," Sullinger said. "Evan (Ravenel) worked so hard these past two weeks and I really didn't practice even yesterday. It's kind of unfair to Evan. He deserved to start. So I told Coach Matta, `Start Evan tonight and have me come off the bench."'
Torrey Craig had 20 points for Upstate (6-5), playing its third game in a monthlong, seven-game road swing. The Spartans, in their fifth season of Division I competition, and are 0-20 against teams from the six major conferences.
The win was Ohio State's 31st straight at home, the second-longest streak ever at the school behind only the 50 in a row from 1959-64 while Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek and Gary Bradds were the stars.
William Buford added 14 points for the Buckeyes.
After the Spartans scored the first four points of the second half to cut the deficit to 37-31, the Buckeyes pulled away.
Sullinger, who played the last 14:37 of the first half and the first 7:20 of the second and a couple of minutes late, hit two free throws and Lenzelle Smith Jr. made a drive down the heart of the lane. After a basket by Upstate, Ohio State scored on its next three possessions - a dunk by Sullinger, Thomas off a long pass from Smith and Aaron Craft on left-handed layup off a baseline drive.
That made it 47-36 and the lead never dropped below nine points again.
"I felt I played really well," Thomas said. "It's a learning process. I'm just trying to get better as a player."
It was Upstate which set the pace for most of the first half, playing sticky defense at one end and patiently distributing the ball at the other.
The Spartans led 21-17, scoring 16 of 21 points after Sullinger entered the game.
But order was restored late in the half.
From a tie at 26, the Buckeyes sprinted to an 11-2 run to finish the half.
Sullinger, who finished the half with eight points and five rebounds, started it with an uncontested dunk off a quick pass from Buford before Thomas hit a half-hook off an offensive rebound. After Adrian Rodgers hit a perimeter jumper for the Spartans, Buford poured in a 3 from the right wing. Sullinger hit two free throws in the final seconds and after a turnover by Rodgers, Sam Thompson tossed a long pass to Ravenel for a dunk with 3 seconds left.
Thompson also had a stunning blocked shot during the surge, running down Ty Greene on a breakaway to swat the ball away.
Suddenly, the crowd of 13,552 was breathing a lot easier.
"We played 18 1-2 good minutes in the first half and then after that the experienced talent and coaching scheme and their team really hurt us," Payne said.
Source: Everett Withers to join Ohio St.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina coach Everett Withers has been hired as an assistant by Urban Meyer and Ohio State, a source close to the hiring told ESPN's Joe Schad.
For now, Withers still plans to coach the Tar Heels in the Independence Bowl.
Withers said Wednesday he's "disappointed" that he isn't the permanent choice to lead the UNC football program. But he said coaches "learn to move on fast."
North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham interviewed Withers before hiring Larry Fedora from Southern Mississippi. That leaves Withers and his staff to prepare for the Dec. 26 game against Missouri in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl knowing it's their last at UNC.
Withers took over when the school fired Butch Davis before the season amid an NCAA investigation into the program. Withers led the Tar Heels (7-5) to a fourth straight bowl game.
Cavaliers amnesty Baron Davis
The Cleveland Cavaliers have decided to waive Baron Davis through the league's amnesty clause.
The Cavaliers announced Wednesday night that they're releasing Davis in advance of Friday's amnesty deadline after exploring both trade and buyout possibilities with the former All-Star.
Rougly $27 million of the nearly $30 million left on Davis' contract is guaranteed. The Cavs would still have to pay Davis all that money if they send him away, but the amnesty clause in the new labor agreement -- unlike the 2005 version -- give teams salary cap relief as well as tax relief on a player released via amnesty.
"We would like to thank Baron for his contributions to the team during his time in Cleveland," general manager Chris Grant said in a statement. "He has been an absolute professional since the day he joined the Cavs and we now wish him the best in the future."
Once he's formally released, Davis will first be made available to teams with salary cap space in a waiver auction. That's the mechanism which allowed the Los Angeles Clippers to put in a winning blind bid of just over $2 million for Chauncey Billups after Billups was released by the New York Knicks via amnesty.
But the immediate priority for Davis is getting healthy. A back injury has kept Davis off the floor since training camps opened last week and has sidelined him indefinitely.
Davis' agent, Todd Ramasar, told ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley that "Baron is out a minimum of 8-10 weeks if there's no setbacks in his physical therapy."
If he clears waivers 48 hours after his release, Davis, 32, will then have the right to proceed to free agency and pick his next team.
Sources with knowledge of Davis' thinking told ESPN.com in early November that the former UCLA star's hometown Los Angeles Lakers and the Knicks are the two teams he's always dreamed of playing for. Davis also still has a good relationship with the Charlotte community, Bobcats coach Paul Silas and Bobcats assistant coach Stephen Silas, factors which would likewise make the Bobcats an option if owner Michael Jordan is interested.
The Cavs weighed whether to keep Davis for one more season and try to play him alongside No. 1 overall pick Kyrie Irving. Cleveland coach Byron Scott, who had Davis in New Orleans, had also spoken optimistically of the idea that Irving and Davis could function well together in the same backcourt.
Yet the overriding sentiment within the organization calls for handing the keys of the franchise to Irving right away. With Ramon Sessions on the books in Cleveland for two more seasons at a cap-friendly salary and Daniel Gibson coming off his best season, letting Davis go now eases a potential backcourt logjam.
The recently re-signed Anthony Parker, furthermore, is also expected to play a lot of shooting guard for Cleveland to free up minutes at small forward for the newly acquired Omri Casspi.
Davis arrived in Cleveland in February in a trade-deadline deal for Mo Williams that was clinched by the Clippers' willingness to include their first overall pick in the June draft unprotected. That pick became Irving
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