ATB: Northwestern Really Misses Kevin CoblePosted by rtmsf on November 19th, 2009
A quiet day following the storm of the 24-hour marathon and on the eve of two tremendous CvC semifinal matchups tomorrow night in New York City…
Story of the Day. Butler Passes Its First Non-Conference Test. #10 Butler 67, Northwestern 54. It was a balanced effort last night for the Bulldogs who shook off a sluggish opener against Davidson to down the shorthanded Wildcats. Northwestern could have used leading scorer and rebounder Kevin Coble along with senior forward Jeff Ryan (both out with season-ending injuries) against a deeper Butler squad that saw five players notch nine points or better. The effort was led by sophomore point guard Shelvin Mack’s 15 points and eight assists while Gordon Hayward chipped in with 14 of his own. Butler was able to win despite shooting a lackluster 8-16 from the charity stripe, a statistic I’m sure coach Brad Stevens won’t ignore. Butler now has a road date with Evansville before departing for Anaheim next week. For mor e details from this one, our RTC Live post is on it.
Longhorn Domination (or Was It?). #3 Texas 73, Western Carolina 41. Dominating win for the Longhorns against weak competition, but 21 turnovers and 18-31 from the free throw line have to be concerning numbers for Rick Barnes. A balanced scoring effort last night with some highlights including Damion James ’18/7/2 on 4-9 FG, 2-3 3pt and 8-10 FT, Gary Johnson with 10 points on 4-4 FG and potential starting point guard J’Covan Brown with 10 points on 3-3 FG. Remember: the Longhorns still don’t have Jai Lucas eligible. This is still the second-best team in the nation in my humble estimation.
Other Games of National Interest.
- Utah 68, Utah State 67. The Utes bounced back from their stunning home loss to Idaho for a tight one-point victory over a dangerous Utah State team, enacting a hint of revenge from their heartbreaker two-point falter to the Aggies a year ago. After exchanging free throws with Utah leading by three, three-point looks from Tyler Newbold and Jared Quayle went begging and a Kim Tillie free throw clinched the win for Utah. For more details, check our RTC Live coverage of this game.
- Florida State 80, Stetson 38. Much like the abominable UNC-Asheville performance of a night ago, Stetson managed just three first-half field goals including a near-12 minute scoring drought in a ten-point opening frame. Florida State’s athletic and smothering defense blocked ten shots, forced 17 turnovers and held Stetson to 27.5% shooting. Michael Snaer played 23 minutes but managed just a 5/2/1 line.
- Florida 69, Georgia Southern 49. After a lackluster first half that saw the Gators shoot 26% from the floor, 0-9 from downtown and register a horrible 2:10 A/TO ratio, Kenny Boynton’s 22 points helped Florida break out in the second half for a much-improved 50% FG as a unit. Florida now invites Troy to Gainesville before their annual battle with Florida State.
- Oklahoma State 93, Southern 61. As the Cowboys normally do, Travis Ford’s team annihilated a weak opponent at Gallagher-Iba with offensive firepower. The main culprit? All Big-12 candidate James Anderson with 30 points on 12-24 FG. All five Cowboys starters scored in double-figures in the convincing win.
- Cincinnati 92, Toledo 68. A mixed bag tonight for Mick Cronin’s team. Bright spots: Lance Stephenson notching 16 points on 6-13 shooting and Rashad Bishop going for a career-high 20 points along with a 17-3 run to start the contest. Concerning areas: A disappointing defensive effort that saw a young Toledo team shoot 48% and pull within eight with 14 minutes remaining after making seven of eight shots. This can’t happen in Big East play.
- Saint Louis 69, Nebraska 55. Something to build on for Rick Majerus’ young Billikens squad that starts four sophomores and one freshman? Even though Nebraska should join Colorado in the Big 12 cellar, it’s still an encouraging victory for a floundering program. Guard Kwamain Mitchell is quickly becoming Majerus’ best player, scoring 20 points on 7-10 FG in the winning effort.
- Wisconsin 58, Oakland 42. The Badgers won a sneaky non-conference game against the projected Summit League winners in Oakland, who now fall to 0-2 on the season. Trevon Hughes led Wisconsin with 15 points in their final tune-up before Maui.
- Wake Forest 83, High Point 60. Al-Farouq Aminu continues his quest for All-America honors with another stellar effort against lesser competition: 22/10/3 on 8-10 FG and 6-7 FT. Chas McFarland also notched a double-double for the Deacs.
- Colorado 88, Texas Southern 77. Cory Higgins continues to deliver for the 3-0 Buffaloes with 26/6/3 on 9-12 FG. They now head to Maui to face Gonzaga in the opening round.
- Cornell 74, Massachusetts 61. Another solid road victory for the Big Red despite star Ryan Wittman making just one field goal. It was Louis Dale who stole the show with 24/4/4 stl on 4-9 from deep for Cornell that, with every non-conference win, keeps enhancing their future NCAA seed.
- Oral Roberts 83, Stanford 81. ORU got a nice road win against a BCS school behind Dominique Morrison’s 31/9, but it was Roderick Pearson’s runner as time expired that won the game for the Golden Eagles. If you’re counting at home, the Pac-10 now has losses against ORU, San Diego, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Cal St. Fullerton so far, and it’s only November 18.
- UNLV 88, Nevada 75. Weird game. Nevada led by 12 pts with fourteen minutes remaining until UNLV turned on the pressure and went on a 23-4 run over the next six minutes to shock the Wolfpack and put the game away. Despite the high point total, UNLV only had two players in double figures — Oscar Bellfield with 22/4 and Justin Hawkins with 16/5. Nevada was paced by Brandon Fields’ 22/4 and Luke Babbitt’s 14/10.
On Tap Thursday (all times ET).
- Coaches vs. Cancer.
- #12 California vs. #24 Syracuse (ESPN2) – 7 pm. Great shooting guards vs. a long, rangy zone defense. Quasi-home crowd vs. a “soft” Pac-10 foe. Should be a great one in the Garden.
- #4 UNC vs. #15 Ohio State (ESPN2) – 9 pm. Could the best player on the floor actually not for once play in a Carolina uniform? Evan Turner will answer that question for us tomorrow night.
- Puerto Rico Tipoff. There are four strong opening round games in this largely overlooked tournament tomorrow. For a detailed breakdown of this field, take a look at our Preseason Tourneys post from two weeks ago. Here’s an even briefer analysis:
- #21 Dayton vs. #19 Georgia Tech – 11:30 am – the obvious question is how will Dayton handle Tech’s size of Favors and Lawal, but the less apparent but equally important question is whether Paul Hewitt’s team has learned to trust each other yet. We know Dayton does.
- #6 Villanova vs. George Mason (ESPNU) - 2 pm – Nova thoroughly dominated Penn last time out, but they’ll find an opponent that relishes shocking the big boys in this one. We can’t wait to see what Jim Larranaga cooks up to counter the VU guards.
- Ole Miss vs. Indiana (ESPN2) – 5 pm - Ole Miss should be able to handle IU in this one, but it’ll be interesting to see the level of progression that IU has made since last season.
- Kansas State vs. Boston U. – 7:30 pm – a good day for K-State with the announcement that Freddy Asprilla is en route to Manhattan next season. BU is 0-2, but they’re still dangerous with Corey Lowe and John Holland firing away.
- Charleston Classic. This tournament hasn’t gotten much hype or love from us, but there are some semi-intriguing games here.
- Miami (FL) vs. Tulane – 1:30 pm – Miami is pretty much an unknown commodity so far this year. It’ll be interesting to see if this is a blowout or a close game in determining their relative strength.
- Penn St. vs. UNC-Wilmington (ESPNU) – 4 pm – Talor Battle is just fun to watch, and for that reason alone Comcast should give us ESPNU to watch him more often.
- Davidson vs. South Florida – 7pm – Stan Heath vs. Bob McKillop – we’re going McKillop here on principle alone.
- South Carolina vs. Lasalle (ESPNU – 9:30 pm – really not seeing how Lasalle can slow Downey & Archie of SC.
- #5 Kentucky vs. Sam Houston State (ESPN FC) – 7 pm – SHSU won’t pull a Miami (OH), but the John Wall show is always exciting nevertheless.
- #1 Kansas vs. Central Arkansas (ESPN FC) – 8 pm - all of Bill Self’s frustrations from Tuesday night will manifest in a torching of CAU here.
- #18 Minnesota vs. Utah Valley – 8 pm – Team Tubby has looked better than expected so far given all the suspensions and issues surrounding the team right now.
- Pittsburgh vs. Eastern Kentucky – 7 pm – Pitt really struggled against Wofford, and EKU is no patsy either (Binghamton in its present state isn’t worth discussing). Jamie Dixon really needs to get Jermaine Dixon back in his lineup.
- Virginia vs. Rider – 7 pm. Rider already has one BCS scalp (Mississippi State) and UVa is nowhere near as talented as the Dawgs. However, they’ve lost their element of surprise too. Still, expect Rider to take UVa in this one.
- Missisippi State vs. SE Louisiana – 8 pm. No Sidney, no Riek, no Augustus. MSU should still roll to its first win of the year.
- Arizona vs. Rice – 10:30 pm. Amazingly, Ben Braun’s Rice team is already 3-0. Let’s see if Solomon Hill can duplicate his first effort of 17/8.