ATB: Feast Week DebutsPosted by rtmsf on November 24th, 2009
Game of the Night. Purdue 73, Tennessee 72. This game between two of the best teams in the Big Ten and SEC was a back-and-forth affair that predictably came down to the final possession. It was that final possession, however, that exhibited why we tend to not believe in Bruce Pearl’s Vols as a true contender while giving Purdue much more credit. After Purdue’s Kelsey Barlow bricked two FTs that would have given the Boilermakers a three-point lead with 17 seconds remaining, UT’s Bobby Maze dribbled down and found career 32% three-point shooter Wayne Chism at the top of the key… for a three? Um, guys, all you need is a two! Penetrate the lane and put it on the rim! It’s not that Chism couldn’t have made the shot — he was in fact having a great game with 24/6 — but it wasn’t a high-percentage shot, and the Vol players need to know that. It’s that kind of shoddy decisionmaking (and defense) that we’ve routinely seen out of these Vols that makes us have our doubts. Purdue gutted out this one behind Robbie Hummel’s 20/7 and E’Twaun Moore’s 22/3/3 assts, and Matt Painter’s team will go home with the trophy from the Paradise Jam this year.
- Gonzaga 76, Colorado 72. The Zags’ heads were clearly still on the mainland tonight as they came out very sluggish and allowed Colorado to build a double-digit lead and shoot 53% from the floor before rallying back to take a late lead and win a first-round Maui tilt against Colorado. Steven Gray (27/4) and Matt Bouldin (25/4/4 assts) led the way for Gonzaga, while Cory Higgins (19/6) led the charge for the Buffs.
- Wisconsin 65, Arizona 61. Other than UT-Purdue, this was the next best game of the day, and for a while, it appeared that Sean Miller’s young Arizona team might get a confidence-inspiring win after getting off to a horrific start (down 16-2) in this game. In a typically ugly fashion, Wisconsin defended all over the place, but Arizona freshman Derrick Williams (25/8) kept making big plays on the interior to keep UA in the game. Is it possible that Arizona, with all their personnel losses, is one of the best teams in the Pac-10 (answer: yes)?
- #22 Maryland 79, Chaminade 51. Is something wrong with Greivis Vasquez? For the fourth straight game this season, the electrifying guard put up only single-figure points (6/5 assts). Having not seen his games, it’s possible that he is eschewing individual scoring to set up his teammates (such as Sean Mosley, who had 19/8), but we’re intrigued at this point to see what he does against Cincinnati tomorrow.
- Cincinnati 67, #24 Vanderbilt 58. This is the Cincy team that everyone was talking about leading up to the season, as the tougher Bearcats dominated Vandy on the glass (45-27) and took residence in their jerseys the rest of the time, holding Vandy to a paltry 28% from the field. In an ugly game, Yancy Gates led the way with 16/10, and hyped super-recruit Lance Stephenson contributed 8/5.
Upset of the Night (aka Pac-10 Loser of the Night). Montana 68, Oregon 55. When oh when will the embarrassments for the Pac-10 end? Sacramento State, Loyola Marymount, Cal State Fullerton… now add Montana to the list. Look, we know that Montana is a favorite in the Big Sky, but this is Oregon’s McArthur Court, a place that used to be a difficult venue for opposing teams — especially those from mid-major conferences — to play. The Grizzlies’ star, Anthony Johnson, lived at the line for 20/4/3 assts as the league picked up its twelfth loss of the early season already. Montana shot 51% while Oregon foundered in the low 30s… at home. Things may not get better for this league until they start playing each other in January (it doesn’t look so bad because not everyone can lose).
- Northern Iowa 81, Boston College 69. Northern Iowa looked like the team picked as the favorite to win the MVC for the first time this season, as guard Kwadzo Aheledgbe torched the Eagles for 32 pts on 14-17 shooting from the field. BC took a lead into the half, but turnovers and Aheledgbe made sure that the ACC team would not go home with fourth place in the Paradise Jam today.
- Depaul 58, St. Joseph’s 51. Is Depaul better than everyone thinks? The Blue Demons had a nice trip to VI, defeating two solid middies in Northern Iowa and St. Joe’s while giving SEC power Tennessee all it wanted in a loss. Will Walker had 25/7 and Depaul still managed to win despite having its leading scorer Mac Koshwal out with an injury.
CBE Classic/RTC Live.
- Pittsburgh 68, Wichita State 55. In tonight’s first game, Wichita State from the Missouri Valley Conference was hoping to have the “home” court advantage in nearby KC and surprise Pittsburgh to advance to Tuesday night’s finals. However, a stellar performance from Pittsburgh’s Travon Woodall with 19 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals, along with a physical defense from Pittsburgh helped the Panthers advance to the finals. The Shockers ended the game with 24 turnovers and the absence of Clevin Hannah (due to paperwork issues on his amateur status which resulted in a 3-game suspension from the NCAA) at the point for Wichita hurt them more than they realize. Hannah will get his first opportunity to play this season Tuesday evening. Pittsburgh’s defense pushed the Shocker offense way outside the lane and Pitt took advantage with a 29-22 edge in points in the paint. Will that physicality come into play Tuesday night?
- Texas 85, Iowa 60. In the second game of the night, Texas was expected to do some damage to Iowa after Iowa’s first couple games of the CBE that turned into losses (UT-San Antonio & Duquesne). Texas was well on their way, but then started playing some questionable defense and taking bad shots while Iowa milked the shot clock and got back into the game along with an amazing ¾ shot by Cully Payne for the Hawkeyes at the halftime buzzer to tie it at 38 (see below). Coach Rick Barnes told Dexter Pittman and Damion James that they “did not show up to play in the first half,” so then in the 2nd half after an early 3-pointer to give Iowa a short-lived lead, James and Pittman got involved on the offensive and defensive end of things and held Iowa to 18% second-half shooting which led to the 25-point victory. Five players finished in double-figures for Texas, including freshmen Avery Bradley (11), J’Covan Brown (14) and Jordan Hamilton (16). James ended with a double-double (10/12) and became only the 3rd player in Texas history with 1000 rebounds.
Shot of the Night. Iowa’s Cully Payne knew it was in the entire way…
Other Games of National Interest.
- #12 UNC 93, Gardner-Webb 72. G-W’s Grayson Flittner (32/5/6 assts) and his nine threes weren’t going to catch UNC sleeping coming off a loss last week, especially with their beefy frontcourt duo of Deon Thompson and Ed Davis combining for 37/23.
- #16 Louisville 80, Appalachian State 53. Louisville got its third win in three days as part of the round-robin portion of the HOF Showcase by wearing down App. State in the second half as eleven players scored for the Cards tonight.
- #19 Clemson 102, Winthrop 66. Clemson throttled outmatched Winthrop for the Tigers’ thirtieth straight November win dating back to 2005 behind Trevor Booker’s 15/11, but a total of thirteen CU players got on the scoreboard tonight.
- UCLA 71, Pepperdine 52. The Bruins got 18/9 from Drew Gordon and 17/5 from Michael Roll as Nikola Dragovic sat on the bench in street clothes as a result of his recent arrest and charges for battery over the weekend.