From Comcast SportsNetBATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Tyrann Mathieu has opened a new chapter at LSU.Whether the 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist known as the Honey Badger ever plays football for the Tigers again remains to be seen.As Mathieu was enrolling in school for the fall semester on Tuesday, LSU coach Les Miles was maintaining his stance that the time is not right to speculate on the former star cornerback's future with the program.All that is certain at this point is that Mathieu, who was dismissed from the team Aug. 10 for failed drug tests, won't be playing this season, which continues Saturday night with the Washington Huskies' visit to Tiger Stadium."I think he's making some quality decisions for himself," Miles said of Mathieu's efforts to address personal matters and his return to school exclusively as a student. "My focus is about my team and preparing game week. ... We certainly wish (Mathieu) the very best."When Mathieu was dismissed, Miles and LSU athletic officials said the move was required by school policies. They assumed Mathieu's departure was permanent, for practical purposes, because he was immediately eligible to transfer to a football program in the FCS, the second tier of Division I, and also will have the option of entering the 2013 NFL draft.However, Mathieu instead went to Houston to check himself into the Right Step recovery center run by former NBA player and coach John Lucas, who battled drug and alcohol problems during his career and now counsels others."(Returning) was a pretty easy decision for me," Mathieu told WVUE-TV. "I had to come back and finish what I started. The team means a lot to me, the staff, the athletic department, the teachers I formed a relationship with. All of that played a role in my decision to come back and do it the right way this time."With Mathieu back on campus, Miles said he was not aware of any school policies that would prevent the popular ex-Tiger from rejoining the team in 2013. That means it would be up to Miles and top athletic administrators to decide if Mathieu can be trusted to avoid further trouble. However, Miles and athletic director Joe Alleva are declining to comment on the matter at this time.LSU safety Eric Reid said he ran into his old teammate on a quad at the center of campus, walking to class."He was very positive, smiling. He knows this is something he has to do and it's going to be better for him in the long run," said Reid. "He knows he made a mistake, and he's moving on from that. He's just looking forward to the future and doing things right from now on."Tigers players who had spoken with Mathieu recently said they were not entirely sure if Mathieu would try to rejoin the Tigers in 2013."I guess we'll just have to wait and see," Reid said. "I'd support any decision that he makes. He's my friend, he's my brother, he's a Tiger, so we're just happy he's back here on campus and we get to see him."Reid, a junior, who also will be eligible for the 2013 NFL draft, said he would not be surprised if Mathieu hoped to delay pro football another year and return to the Tigers."He's from Louisiana. His family's here. We're his family and we're here for him," Reid said. "He has a great support system here, so I don't see why he'd leave."This is college. This is a fun time," Reid continued. "You build relationships that you have the rest of your life."The 20-year-old Mathieu won the Bednarik Award as national defensive player of the year last season and was a big-play machine at cornerback and on special teams. The All-American scored four touchdowns -- two on punt returns and two on fumble returns -- intercepted two passes, caused six fumbles and recovered four.He has two years of college eligibility remaining."I'm still going to train and work out really hard, but it's not going to be my focus right now," said Mathieu. "Instead, I'm going to stay humble, stay grounded and view football from a different angle this time around so I can appreciate it more when I do get the chance to play it again."Freshman Jalen Mills is now starting in Mathieu's old cornerback spot and moving to nickel back on passing downs, when redshirt freshman Jalen Collins comes in.Punt return duties have been taken over by sophomore Odell Beckham Jr., spectacularly so far. Beckham returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown in LSU's season-opening 41-14 victory over North Texas last Saturday. He would have had a 76-yard return for a score had it not been nullified by an illegal block.Still, Beckham was quick to say he would welcome Mathieu back to the team."I would love it, not just the things he does on defense or punt returns," Beckham said. "Just the vibe that he brings to this team is something that is unmatched."
How do you measure the success of a program? National Championships, NCAA tournament appearances, conference championships, continued success, etc.
The Associated Press just gave another way to measure the top men's basketball programs of all time: their weekly rankings.
Since January of 1949, the AP has been ranking the top teams in college basketball on a weekly basis. It has ranged from the top 10 teams all the way to the top 25 that we know today. Looking back into those over 1,100 rankings, the AP associated a point system to calculate the success; one point for being in a ranking, two points to be at the No. 1 ranking.
In their release, the AP also wanted to point out that they do not have a post-national championship rankings so the national champs are not factored into the rankings.
Both Georgetown and Maryland were ranked as two of the top 20 teams in the country:
No. 15. GEORGETOWN (421 Points)
Total appearances: 34.67% of all polls
First appearance: Jan. 13, 1953
No.1 ranking: 12
Best full decade: 1980s, appeared in 83.13% of polls.
Worst full decade: 1960s, didn’t appear in a single poll during the decade.
Poll point: After making their first appearance in the Jan. 13, 1953, poll, the Hoyas didn’t appear again for 25 seasons. Not until January 1978. After that, they were ranked at least once for the next 19 seasons, all under John Thompson’s coaching tenure.
No. 17. MARYLAND (400 Points)
Total appearances: 34.93% of all polls
First appearance: Jan. 29, 1954
No.1 ranking: 0
Best full decade: 2000s, appeared in 75.79% of polls.
Worst full decade: 1960s, appeared in only one poll.
Poll point: The Terrapins have the claim of being ranked the most without ever being No. 1. In six different seasons, including four straight in the mid-1970s, Maryland reached No. 2 at least once, but just hasn’t managed to get enough votes to take the top spot.
Other notable teams:
No. 32 Virginia (283 points)
No. 42 West Virginia (229 points)
No. 88 George Washington (74 points)
No. 99 Virginia Tech (50 points)
LOS ANGELES -- Amid the joyful chaos in the locker room following the Wizards' first division title in four decades, a vital piece of Tuesday's accomplishment, Kelly Oubre, eased his way out of Staples Center wearing a tray of diamonds over his teeth.
Ian Mahinmi did the same. Meaning, left the locker room virtually unnoticed. Minus the grill Oubre wore.
If it weren't for those two second-unit players, there likely wouldn't have been a 16-point comeback to drop the L.A. Lakers 117-108 in the first game of a back-to-back. They helped make up for a first-quarter in which the first unit spotted them a 20-8 lead only to squander it.
"Trash to cash. That's all it was," Oubre, who had nine of his 14 points in the fourth when the Wizards outscored them 37-13. "We weren't anything in the first quarter. Fourth quarter, we stepped it up. We know what our identity is. That's the difference. We know when we're not doing something right. We just streamlined it and got back to being ourselves."
Mahinmi terrorized the Lakers in the paint. He had 10 points and five rebounds overall, but that doesn't even begin to explain his impact. He was a big reason why the Lakers shot just 5-for-21 in the fourth and committed five turnovers.
Oubre's first bucket of the fourth quarter came because of Mahinmi. He stole Tyler Ennis' pass which led to the dunk. Recognizing he was being defended by inferior post players, Mahinmi confidently isolated and went to work with a counter move at the rim to get the layup and the foul. After making the free throw, the Wizards' deficit was down to 101-97.
When he left the floor around the four-minute mark, the Wizards were even and the starters closed it out.
"His defense, his presence as he finished around the basket, his deflections, his protecting the basket, his protecting the paint, it's huge," coach Scott Brooks said. "They were having their way inside with us. I think their first quarter they had nine or 10 layups it seems like. All the guys in the end of the third, fourth quarter played with their heart, played with their toughness and it gave us an opportunity to get stops and get out in transition where we are at our best."
Mahinmi had only played five games because of procedures on both knees entering All-Star break. He has played in 19 since then, and his field-goal shooting has gone from 37.5% to 60.3%; his rebounding from 2.6 to 5.1; his steals from 0.6 to 1.2; his free-throw shooting from 50% to 65.3%; and his on-court/off-court rating from minus-6.8 to plus-3.3.
"He's a great defender. He's what we've been missing in the paint," Oubre said. "I can't wait until he's dunking on people like he used to."