ATB: OJ Mayo’s Debut – “Mercer Mercer Me!”

Posted by rtmsf on November 11th, 2007

ATB v.4

11.10.07

Story of the Night. Is the A-Sun the best conference in college hoops this season? Three nights after Gardner-Webb shocked the hoops world against Kentucky, and one night after Belmont whacked Cincy… the Mercer Bears went into LA and pushed around #25 USC and OJ Mayo. That’s three road wins against three BCS teams in the span of about 72 hrs (remember: the A-Sun was 0-34 v. BCS teams last year!) As for this game, sure OJ got his numbers (32/7/4 assts on 12-27 FG + 8 tos), and isn’t that really why he’s there? In shooting 59% for the game (led by James Florence’s 30), Mercer rode a 17-pt halftime lead into an easy win. We have a bad feeling that more of this is on the horizon for USC with Mayo running the show. We’re just sayin… (Mercer 96, USC 81)

Things We Didn’t See. #5 Georgetown appears to have had a shaky opening game against Bill & Mary tonight, leading by only 2 pts with under 10 mins to play. When the Hoyas finally realized they have something nobody else in CBB has – a skilled 7’2 center named Roy Hibbert (23/8/3 blks) – they put the game away. We love the Hoya backcourt of Wallace and Sapp (combined for 33/10 assts), but we’ll continue to have a lingering concern over the long-term prospects of this year’s version until we see if Dajuan Summers or someone else can adequately fill the departed role of Jeff Green (Georgetown 68, William & Mary 53). Staying in the Big East, Pitt is a team we never know what to make of from year to year game to game. Tonight they throttled a solid NC A&T team, with a big contribution from Sam Young (career-high 24/11/4 stls). We’re sure they’re on their way to another 20-25 win season and a top 4 seed, where we’ll either pick them to go to the E8 and they’ll lose in the first round; or, the reverse (Pittsburgh 86, NC A&T 61). Tubby Smith’s debut today at Minnesota went much as his debuts at Kentucky (88-49 v. Morehead St.) and Georgia (91-71 v. W. Carolina), with a blowout win versus an overmatched team. In typical Tubby fashion, the Gophers held Army to 35% shooting and forced 23 turnovers. One Gopher blog lauded the hustle and dedication from players that has been missing in recent years (Minnesota 84, Army 52). Over at Oregon, we were interested to see how the Ducks would respond to the loss of Aaron Brooks, and so far, so good, as a balanced attack quickly overwhelmed Pepperdine tonight. Malik Hairston, Tajuan Porter and Bryce Taylor all had 17 pts each as the Ducks raced out to a 30-pt lead at halftime and cruised the rest of the way – we likey (Oregon 100, Pepperdine 70). Vandy is an SEC team that we probably have overlooked this year, but the Dores picked up a solid win over a mid-major tonight by beating Austin Peay. Showing just how tough it is to beat Vandy in Memorial Gym once again, the Commodores shot 55% from the field and 52% from three in keeping AP comfortably at bay most of the night. Shan Foster (21 pts) and AJ Ogilvy (18/9/2 blks) led the way for Vandy, while AP star Drake Reed had a rough night (12/7 on 3-16 shooting) (Vanderbilt 81, Austin Peay 67). There was a great game tonight in Milwaukee when Marquette took on another talented mid-major, IUPUI. Marquette’s 8-pt halftime lead was quickly erased by a second-half 17-2 run by IUPUI, but spurred by Jerel McNeal’s 20 pts, the Warriors came storming back with a 23-8 run of their own to ensure victory (Marquette 76, IUPUI 68).

Score of the Night. Unbelievably, we’re going back to The Farm. For the second consecutive night, Stanford had a 30+ pt halftime lead over an opponent, and again, no starter played more than 20 minutes. Tonight’s beneficiary was Northwestern St. – what’s TJ giving those boys (Stanford 97, Northwestern St. 58)?

Upset Alert. Other than the above USC game, there were no big upsets today.

Joey Dorsey Award. OJ Mayo (USC). Not for his game tonight, but for his quote that hearing his name called in the starting lineup “was a lot of fun. I wish we would’ve won.” Maybe we’re being nitpicky here, but after getting thumped by Mercer, we’re not sure any part of the night should be remembered as fun.

On Tap Today (all times EST). 47 games on tap, several of which are worthwhile (assuming Comcast doesn’t screw us again and gets FC working).

  • Loyola (MD) (-5) v. Pennsylvania 12pm – our favorites in the Ivy and the MAAC.
  • Rutgers (NL) v. North Dakota St. 1pm - NDSU gave Florida trouble; they can do more than that with Rutgers.
  • Seton Hall (NL) v. Monmouth (ESPN FC) 1pm – um, we’ll be washing our hair at that time.
  • Virginia (NL) v. Vermont 2pm – don’t understand why this isn’t FC worthy but the garbage game above is.
  • Florida (-17.5) v. Tennessee Tech 3pm – really would like to see if Calathes can keep it up.
  • Gonzaga (-12.5) v. Montana 4pm – we’re very high on Gonzaga this year, but Montana is no slouch.
  • Stanford (NL) v. UCSB 6pm – if Stanford is up 30+ at half of this game, we’re putting them #1 in Monday’s blogpoll ballot.
  • Pittsburgh (NL) v. St. Louis (ESPN FC) 6pm – we’re tuning in just to see Majerus back on the sidelines.
  • Kansas (NL) v. UMKC (ESPN FC) 8pm – let the Kansas Kremations continue.
  • Oregon (NL) v. Pacific (ESPN FC) 9pm – both of these teams had great first games.
rtmsf (3726 Posts)


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7 Responses to “ATB: OJ Mayo’s Debut – “Mercer Mercer Me!””

  1. Ty Keenan says:

    I’m going to hold you to that Stanford promise. Thoughts on tonight’s game: another awful team, so I don’t know how much to take from it. But there’s certainly nothing bad going on with the team right now, and it’s nice to see some blowouts again.

    I can’t say I ever tire of seeing USC lose, but I feel like Mayo’s getting too much blame for this one (not that he should go blameless). Not having seen the game, it’s hard to say exactly how he played it, but Durant had a lot of impressive 12/27, high turnover games last year and no one said he played poorly. Also, with Hackett and Jefferson out it’s hard to blame him for shooting a lot; frankly, I think Taj Gibson deserves crap for not dominating a weak opponent like Mercer. As for that quote, well, I’d like to know his tone of voice. Because I’ve heard a lot of reporters ask stupid questions like “How did it feel hearing your name called in an NCAA arena?” You know, the kind of question for which the only answer is a bored “It was a lot of fun. I wish we’d won, though.”

    But I still don’t like the guy.

  2. Brett says:

    rtmsf.

    Have you seen Matt Sarz’ excellent College Hoops on TV web site?

    http://mattsarz44017.tripod.com/basketball2007.html

    The reason I ask is that your games scheduled to be on FC and/or some FCS channel don’t always match his. For instance, the Zags’ game against Montana is possibly on FCS Central today. I’ve found the FCS channels are weird though, sometimes showing games I didn’t expect to get and other times not showing “scheduled” games.

    Side Note: I live near St. Louis in southern Illinois, and the Majerus signing is big news around these parts. I hope he makes SLU relevant again, at the very least in the A-10.

    Brett

  3. rtmsf says:

    Ty:

    You’re right – context w/ the OJ Mayo quote could have changed its meaning. It just struck us the wrong way. And somewhere we read that 25 of his 32 came after the game was pretty much out of reach for USC. In other words, garbage time. As for Stanford, we won’t have to put them #1 after all, but they will be moving up. :)

    Brett –

    You know, the FCS channels are weird like that. We tuned in today to see a game and they had something else on, then later there was an unannounced game on. We didn’t know about the Sarz site, though, thanks for the linkage.

  4. Ty Keenan says:

    Good call on Mayo’s scoring. I guess I’m just not ready to blame the guy for his style of play when I didn’t see the game. And even if those points came with Mercer up big, I assume that he scored many of those 25 when the game was theoretically within reach.

    Today’s Stanford game has me feeling much better about the team’s long-term prospects if only because they dismantled a likely conference champion with Law Hill taking just one shot. Fred Washington locked up Alex Harris in the second half, too. I’m feeling really good about the defense.

    Fox confuses me to no end; I don’t really understand what they’re trying to do as a channel. Why don’t they put Pac-10 games on the broadcast network during the winter? They have to be better than whatever the affiliates put on there.

  5. booo says:

    There is nothing wrong with that Mayo quote. My lord, talk about a stretch. You have no idea how the reporter asked the question. It probably went something like, “describe the experience of your first ever D1 game.” . He doesn’t talk about his scoring 32 points. He freaking MENTIONS he doesn’t like the loss. You love to tout your knowledge of the game and rip the major media for all sorts of things, but you are just as bad. You’d never let espn.com get away with such a spearing of an individual…

  6. booo says:

    And maybe if you are looking for a scapegoat you should turn to “veteran supreme” Taj Gibson, whose frontcourt unit allowed Mercer to shoot 69% on 2-point baskets, shot just 5-14 from the floor and 5-10 from the line, and had 5 turnovers.

    But yeah, its perfectly logical to blame it all on the guy who scored 32, and equate a quote where he mentionsit was cool to hear his name announced in a D1 arena for the first time to Dorsey’s ridiculous smack talk followed up by an zero point, 18-mintue, foul out disaster in the Elite Eight last year…you guys aren’t biased at all.

  7. rtmsf says:

    Booo…

    We did say maybe we were being nitpicky. But trust us, we’re not biased against USC or Mayo – we’ve seen him at least a dozen times since he was in eighth grade and we’d just like to see a little more fire/interest/teamwork/yourchoice from him. He has amazing talent.

    Agreed on Gibson, though. He didn’t have a good game.

    Maybe Tim Floyd (0-3 in openers) should have gotten the award, but we tend to want to give it to players. Thanks for the comments.

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