ATB: Hey Tom Izzo, What’s a Mastodon?Posted by rtmsf on November 19th, 2008
News & Notes. One piece of news worth reporting tonight. The NCAA denied USC transfer Alex Stepheson’s (from UNC) request to waive the requirement that he sit out this season. He petitioned to the NCAA based on the poor health of his father (similar to Tyler Smith at Tennessee last year), but the powers-that-be decided against him. This is a fairly big loss to Tim Floyd’s Trojans, but could we get some clarity and transparency from the NCAA on how these decisions are made?
Game of the Night. Kent St. 76, St. Louis 74 (OT). Tonight we check in on our good friend and epicurean Rick Majerus at St. Louis. Last we saw Majerus he was busily putting together some of the ugliest games in college basketball history. We hoped better for one of the seemingly nicest guys in the game this season. So far, we’re not sure things are working out much better. The Billikens scored 48 pts in a win against Missouri-St. Louis in their opener, but KSU’s Al Fisher ensured that Majerus’ team wouldn’t reach 2-0. Fisher scored 16 of his team’s 17 pts in the overtime period, including the game winner with 2.1 seconds remaining. He finished with 35/5 stls.
Upset of the Night. Mercer 78, Auburn 74. Are there any good teams in the SEC other than Tennessee? Granted, we didn’t expect much from Auburn this year, but for the second time in four days, Mercer has gone into an SEC gym in Alabama and pulled off a win (Mercer 72, Alabama 69). At this point, Mercer could lay a reasonable claim to being the best team in the SEC West. The difference in this game? Mercer outrebounded Auburn 36 to 18. Yep, you read that right. An A-Sun team with a front line that goes 6’6, 6’6, and 6’8 absolutely WHIPPED an SEC team on the boards. Heart, much?
Near-Upset of the Night. Michigan St. 70, IPFW 59. With 10:47 left in the second half, the score was IPFW 45-44 (what is it with Indiana and these infernal acronym schools???). A 13-0 MSU run over the next five minutes salted away the game for the Spartans. Somehow IPFW convinced Izzo to come to their place, and he almost seriously regretted it tonight. Raymar Morgan (22/6) led the way for MSU, who did not shoot the ball well (43% FG; 27% 3FG), and didn’t really defend all that well either (IPFW shot 46%). Props to former Hoosier Dane Fife’s team for throwing a mild scare into a top ten team.
Other Games of Mild Interest.
- Wake Forest 120, UNC-Wilmington 88. Well, we know Wake can score (214 pts in two games). But can they defend (allowed 48% tonight)? Jeff Teague had 31, James Johnson 25, and AFA 11/12/5 assts in a blowout win.
- Villanova 77, Niagara 62. Scottie Reynolds shook off a poor shooting night (4-14) by making almost all of his FTs (9-10) to help Villanova hold off a team that just wouldn’t go away. Corey Fisher added 15/6.
- Butler 64, Ball St. 55. Butler’s Matt Howard contributed 15/6 in a typical home win for the Bulldogs, who are holding opponents to 35% shooting so far this season.
On Tap Thursday (all times EST). Sigh… another bunch of games we can’t wach b/c they’re on the U.
- Virginia Tech (-10.5) v. Fairfield (ESPNU) – 11am (PR Tipoff)
- Xavier (-4) v. Missouri (ESPNU) – 1pm (PR Tipoff)
- Memphis (-21.5) v. UT-Chattanooga – 4:30pm (PR Tipoff)
- Duke (-12.5) v. S. Illinois (ESPN2 & 360) – 7pm (CvC)
- USC (-8) v. Seton Hall (ESPNU) – 7pm (PR Tipoff)
- Florida v. S. Utah (ESPN FC & 360) – 8pm
- Oklahoma St. (-7.5) v. Tulsa (ESPN FC & 360) – 8pm
- Vanderbilt (-5) v. Illinois (ESPN FC & 360) – 8pm
- UCLA (-11) v. Michigan (ESPN2 & 360) – 9pm (CvC)