CBB Review: Who we are and what we do
In August of 2016, CBB Review was founded with a goal of bringing the best news in college basketball. Now, almost four years later, here are some of the best experiences from some of our staff. (Both with CBB Review and college basketball in general)
Mat Mlodzinski, Senior at Seton Hall University and Incoming Graduate Student at Syracuse University (Founder): When I started CBB Review four years ago, I never thought it would get this big. From conducting interviews to being credentialed to games and tournaments, it’s helped my broadcasting career tremendously. However, a few things have stood out more than others. For one, the first credential I ever got was to a Duke and St. John’s game in the winter of 2018. Duke was highly ranked, I believe number four overall, and the Johnnies were under .500. However, that didn’t matter that day. Shamorie Ponds had himself a game and St. John’s took down the Blue Devils. This was the first of two straight big time wins for them, with the next one coming over Villanova.
I’ve also been fortunate enough to conduct many interviews, including Josh Boone, Ed Cooley, and Mike Daum. However, Frank Haith, the head coach of Tulsa has been kind enough to talk with me for three separate interviews. His basketball knowledge is of course some of the best in the college landscape, but his overall genuineness stands out. A great overall guy and fantastic coach.
Sam Bass, Incoming Freshman at Jefferson University (Senior Writer): It would have to be one of two for me. Before CBB Review, I got to see my favorite team, the Virginia Cavaliers, win the 2018 Preseason NIT against Rhode Island. The best part of that day was not the win though, but was staying after the game to talk to and meet some of the players at the time. Nigel Johnson and Kyle Guy were especially friendly to me, and Ty Jerome was cracking jokes to my brother and I. Not to mention i caught Joe Harris, current Brooklyn Net and former Wahoo in the tunnel of the arena watching his alma mater.
The other choice would be my interview with Liberty head coach Ritchie McKay, who was so down to Earth, humble, and kind. We had a 20 minute conversation and I became a fan of the Flames instantly. We kept contact and keep in contact to this day, and he is someone I now look up to.
Ariel Puterman, Sophomore at Kansas University (Senior Writer): I’ve had the privilege of interviewing players and coaches like Tyshawn Taylor and Mike Young, but my best experience was having a media pass for Kansas home games. I remember the first game was against Vermont, a quality game. I got to sit next to the head of athletics of Vermont and Kansas right behind the basket, a seat that you couldn’t get without paying hundreds of dollars. After the game, I went to the media room and got to hear the postgame from both team’s players, and even had the chance to directly ask the players individual questions. I have also gotten to meet great people who share the interest of college basketball with me and have great conversations with them.
Jake Lieberman, High School (Writer since Mar. 2020): Before CBB Review, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the phenomenal Xavier Arizona round of 32 game in San Jose in 2017. During halftime, I remember walking with my family to grab some food, when a man in front of us turned his face to look back. That man was the great Bill Murray. We chatted for a while, got a pic and went on with our business. I was ecstatic! Throughout the second half, whenever there was a break in the action, I remember scanning the Xavier fan section to find Murray. At last, with minutes to go, I found the man. My eyes were flying back and forth between him and the game. Finally, when Xavier won a thriller and upset the heavy favorite Arizona, he was able to go on the court and talk with coaches and players. I said to myself: “Wow, that’s pretty neat because I just met him.”
Ivanna Guerrero, Sophomore at Rutgers University (Video Editor) CBB Review was my first experience into the sports industry and it opened so many opportunities for me. Throughout my time here, I have learned so much about the sports industry especially within the basketball field. I have edited different basketball highlights for social media and had a highlight video actually retweeted by the basketball player’s father (Jordan Nwora)! I made promo videos for the season, a decade highlight video, and much more. Having this experience helped me be able to now camera operate for my school’s live college basketball games and I’m also on the field making highlight videos for my school’s football team.
Nikhil Binny, Freshman at Penn State University (Writer since June 2019): The best gift that CBB Review has given to me is the opportunity to give my thoughts and opinions on a shared platform that I could creatively present in any way I wanted to. I’ve always loved talking about college basketball with my friends and people that I have met along the way, however, I never actually had the opportunity to write or even speak about predictions and opinions about teams during the season. Now that I have joined CBB Review for almost a year, it’s allowed me to write about college basketball and share my opinions about the sport itself. I look forward to many of the new experiences that I will share with CBB Review and the many articles I will hope to write in the future!
Nick Musial, Sophomore at Kansas University (Senior Writer): One of the many highlights during my time contributing for CBBReview was getting the opportunity to cover the 2018 NCAA Tournament First and Second Rounds in Detroit, Michigan. Little Caesars Arena (LCA) was in its first year of use and was the perfect host site. The four Friday games I covered included future NBA draft picks, Miles Bridges, Carsen Edwards, Vincent Edwards and Daniel Gafford. The main highlight of the session occurred during the TCU-Syracuse game. Although LCA was not the host of the infamous UVA-UMBC bout, everyone in attendance knew what was going on in Charlotte at the time. A live feed of the UVA-UMBC game went on the videoboard during halftime. Once the game went final, the sounds of cheering in the crowd were louder than any one moment during TCU-Syracuse. A moment I’ll never forget.
Collin Speicher, Junior at the University of South Carolina (Senior Writer): I have been a sports fanatic my whole life. Sports run through my blood and have been through multiple heartbreaks and created plenty of happy memories for me. When I first joined CBB Review, I never expected to be part of such an incredible group. When Mat, our founder, reached out in the University of South Carolina facebook group, I had no idea what to expect, other than this was a chance to expand my writing skills and talk about one of the most important things to me in life, sports. That decision to join this company has forever changed my life.
An experience that I was lucky enough to have thanks to CBB Review was to interview Jay Huff, Forward at the University of Virginia. That was my first ever professional interview and it was following their National Championship season. That interview helped me build my confidence, become a better writer, and learn the small details to remember during interviews. I will always remember my first interview and it’s all because of CBB Review.
Pascale Bushaw, Sophomore at Arizona State University (On-Air Entertainment): I have never truly been into sports but when I was given the opportunity to apply for CBB Review, I fell in love with basketball. When I first joined this outlet, I was very excited to see what was in store for me. I have been with CBB Review since January 2018 and since then have grown my skill set through WordPress, reporting videos on-air, improving my writing skills, and overall becoming more familiar with this amazing sport we call basketball.
Thanks to CBB Review, I have now gained so much more experience that can help me be successful within my career path. I have had this role since my senior year of high school and I felt that I have developed immensely when it comes to being a Broadcast Journalism major. If I hadn’t got the opportunity to start this internship before hitting college, I feel that I wouldn’t know what it is truly like to be a journalist. This internship opened up many more opportunities for me because it gave me experience and multiple writing/on-air examples I can use in the future. CBB Review is a family and I am so happy to continue this journey with them for much more time to come.