ATB: Just Call Him Oscar…Posted by rtmsf on November 25th, 2009
Story of the Night. Evan Turner’s Date With History. It’s only a matter of time. So long as Evan Turner stays healthy this year, he should have the new record for triple-doubles in a single season by around New Year’s Eve. He’s already got two in November, which puts him in select company of 33 others players in the entire history of the NCAA to have multiple trip-dubs in one season. The record is four, held by Stephane Lasme (UMass), Jason Kidd (Cal), Brian Shaw (UCSB) and Michael Anderson (Drexel). We should go ahead and dust off the record book because Turner is on pace to not only beat this record, but obliterate it. With his 16/10/11 asst night in an 84-64 win over Lipscomb, he’s now averaging an absurd 21/14/7 apg over five games this season. He’s really not that far from approaching an Oscar Robertson-esque season-long triple-double average, but suffice it to say that we’re calling the over/under on this year’s total at 10. The mere fact that you’re thinking about this — really thinking about this! — should give you pause as to the ridiculousness of how well Turner is playing. If Ohio State continues to hang around the top 10-15 in America this year, does anyone else stand a chance at NPOY?
Upset of the Night. Morgan State 97, Arkansas 94. We guess that the Pac-10 and SEC are simply going to trade spots in this section for the rest of the nonconference season. Arkansas, with several really good players in their lineup (Michael Washington, Rotnei Clarke, Marshon Powell), dropped a barnburner of a game to a nonconference foe for the first time in a long time (45 games). Morgan State’s Reggie Holmes went off for 34/5/4 stls, but there’s really no excuse for a loss like this for a team like Arkansas. Maybe it was something we saw in the body language of John Pelphrey’s players last week in St. Louis, but we feel like there are fundamental problems on this team beyond basic basketball skills.
Co-Upset 0f the Night. Seattle 77, Utah 74. This is nothing short of amazing, as Cameron Dollar’s Seattle club is playing its first full season as a member of D1, and to get a win on the road in a fairly tough environment as that at Utah is very impressive. Seattle’s Charles Garcia blew up for 24/8 and is it too early to tell Lorenzo Romar to start looking over his shoulder in the Emerald City? The Redhawks are already 3-2 this season with wins over Fresno State and Weber State in addition to the Utes.
- Cincinnati 69, #22 Maryland 57. Cincinnati is looking good. Yancy Gates dominated the inside, dropping 17/13 on the Maryland frontline, who often looked confused about where to be and what to do during this game — UC was also +15 on the boards. Greivis Vasquez finally broke through for double-figure points (19), but he shot poorly (5-17, 0-5 from three) and his percentage for the year is downright icy (30%). The Bearcats will take one of the other surprises of the young season in Gonzaga tomorrow night in the title game.
- Gonzaga 74, Wisconsin 61. Why was anyone worried about how Mark Few would replace all his missing pieces this year? The Zags just keep on winning games, and they do it with defense and fundamental basketball. Gonzaga held Wisconsin to 39% from the field, but more importantly, just 5-24 from deep, forcing the Badgers to repeatedly go one-and-done in the halfcourt. And with only seven GU turnovers, Wisconsin didn’t get many opportunities to score. Matt Bouldin had 18/6/5 assts as the Zags put four players in double figures. They will meet Cincinnati tomorrow night.
- Arizona 91, Colorado 87 (OT). In the wildest Maui game of the day, Arizona guard Nic Wise and Colorado guard Cory Higgins got into an old-fashioned shootout that saw Wise score 16 of his team’s final 19 points and Higgins set up and/or score his team’s final eight points to send the game to overtime. Arizona actually blew an 8-pt lead with under a minute to go, but Nic Wise refused to let his team lose, and it took every bit of Arizona’s fourteen threes to get his team into the overtime and out of an 0-2 hole in Maui.
- #24 Vanderbilt 68, Chaminade 41. Vandy used a 24-0 second-half run to blow open a close game and keep host Chaminade from earning its sixth all-time win in its own tournament. Freshman John Jenkins came off the bench to rain in four threes and 14 pts for the Commodores, who will play Arizona for fifth place tomorrow.
CBE Classic/RTC Live.
- #3 Texas 78, Pittsburgh 62. In the CBE Championship game, there were some fireworks before the game. Varez Ward was warming up for Texas and landed wrong as he came down from a layup. He injured his knee and had to be rolled away on a stretcher. That might have had an effect on Texas as Pittsburgh kept fighting their way against Texas and took a lead at halftime, 34-32. The second half was back and forth early and with Dexter Pittman battling foul trouble, took over. James led Texas with 20 points and 9 rebounds as five Longhorns reached double figures, and Brad Wanamaker and Gary McGhee kept Pitt in the game with 13/8 and 11/7, respectively. Pittman and James walked away on the all-tourney team along with Toure Murry from Wichita State, Cully Payne from Iowa and McGhee. James was the tournament MVP. Texas won this tournament, but we’re left wondering how they will perform after two unimpressive performances in the CBE Classic. While you’re trying to figure it out, take a look at these two bizarre Texas shot attempts from the second half of tonight’s game.
- Wichita State 74, Iowa 57. In the consolation game, Wichita got the early 44-30 lead in the first half shooting almost 61% from the field and 8-12 from three. Garrett Stutz was hot in the first half with 16 points and Clevin Hannah dished out 5 assists in his first game of the season for the Shockers. The 2d half saw Iowa hanging around for the first part as defensive intensity was not a priority for the Shockers. Toure Murry led the Shockers with 18/5 while Stutz finished with 18 points and Hannah with 6 assists. Iowa shot 50% for the second half, but only got up 14 shots. Cully Payne led the way for Iowa with 18 points and probably made another Sportscenter moment as he went to pass for an alley-oop, but the ball went in the basket for a three. Iowa is not good — they’re going to have a tough season.
- #5 Kentucky 73, Cleveland State 49. Playing in a converted ballroom with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and a buffet of all things just beyond one endline (see below pic), Kentucky took control of this one in the second half behind John Wall’s 15/4/6 assts. John Calipari complained about UK’s defensive effort last week, but he had to be pleased with this performance, as the Cats held CSU to 27% from the field and were +20 on the boards.
- Stanford 57, Virginia 52. The sacrificial lamb for Kentucky Wednesday night comes from the bottom of the Pac-10 rather than the ACC, which probably disappointed many UK fans (who love to rip the ACC at any opportunity). Nevertheless, it was the Cardinal’s Landry Fields, who had 25/13 and several key buckets down the stretch to put the game away for Stanford.
Other Games of National Interest.
- #8 West Virginia 69, The Citadel 50. Devin Ebanks sat the bench in street clothes, but he did not pull a Superman and enter the game. Bob Huggins said he’ll make the trip to Anaheim this weekend but he is not sure whether he’ll play. As for this game, John Flowers came off the bench to contribute 13 pts in a low-energy game that The Citadel kept close through three-point shooting (9-16).
- #9 Syracuse 88, Cornell 73. Many people, including Jim Boeheim, viewed this game against a very good Cornell team as a potential trap for the newly-ranked Cuse. But the Orange defense made sure that an upset wasn’t in the cards, shutting down the Big Red’s three-point attack in the second half (4-18) to ensure SU’s 32d straight victory over Cornell. Brandon Triche had 21 pts while budding superstar Wesley Johnson added 15/10.
- #21 Illinois 78, Wofford 64. Illinois held off a pesky Wofford team by shooting a lights-out 57% from the field behind Demetri McCamey’s 21/4/4 assts. A second half 8-0 run broke a 50-all tie for the Illini to advance in the Las Vegas Invitational.
- #23 California 79, Jacksonville 47. Patrick Christopher had his best game of the season so far, with 23/4/4 stls including 4-6 on threes in an easy win for the Bears coming off of the two losses last week in Madison Square Garden.
- Florida 68, Florida State 52. This was one of the more surprising scores of the night, given how FSU has dominated this series the last several years (last UF win – 2005). Florida wasted no time running out ahead of its top rival by twenty points at halftime, utililizing its pressure and trapping defense to harass the sluggish Seminoles. FSU had a 19-2 run in the second half to close the gap to a reasonable margin, but Florida came right back with another 12-0 run to put them away.
- Providence 106, Vermont 64. Providence decimated its America East visitors by killing the smaller Catamounts on the boards (+13) and raining threes from all over the court (15 for PC vs. 2 for Vermont). Really surprised this wasn’t a closer game.
- Mississippi State 75, Texas-Pan American 50. This is only on here because of Jarvis Varnado’s absurd line tonight: 12 pts, 15 boards and 8 blks. Wow.
On Tap Wednesday (all times ET). Forget football. There’s more hoops than humanly watchable on this holiday weekend.
- #22 Maryland vs. Wisconsin (ESPN2) – 4:30 pm – will the real Greivis Vasquez please stand up? Or the Maryland frontline? Terps don’t want to leave Maui with two losses.
- #13 UConn vs. LSU (ESPN2) – 7 pm – RTC Live will be there at the Preseason NIT Wednesday night to see if UConn gets going after a less-than-impressive start. LSU will be the best team the Huskies have faced thus far.
- Vanderbilt vs. Arizona (ESPNU) – 7 pm – sneaky feeling that this will be another really good game. God knows that each of their respective leagues needs the win.
- #1 Kansas vs. Oakland (ESPN FC) – 8 pm – KU goes for its 44th in a row at Allen Fieldhouse against a solid Summit League team led by Johnathan Jones (12/6 assts) and Keith Benson (16/10).
- #7 Duke vs. Arizona State (ESPN2) – 9 pm – Herb Sendek is 2-22 (.083) against Coach K in his career, and after losing his stars Harden and Pendergraph, we don’t expect him to improve on that record this year in the other semifinal of the PNIT. Duke is playing great ball so far.
- #5 Kentucky vs. Stanford (CBS CS) – 9:30 pm – we’ll be watching this one just in hopes that someone will hit one of those chandeliers with a basketball.
- Cincinnati vs. Gonzaga (ESPN) – 10 pm – two of the surprise teams of November will face off for the Maui championship.
- Pacific vs. San Diego State – 10 pm – this is an interesting Big West/MWC game between two teams that have NCAA aspirations this year.
- #25 Oklahoma vs. San Diego – 1:45 am – this game in the Great Alaska Shootout is intriguing if for no other reason than OU just played a game in Richmond, Virginia, on Saturday night, and now they’re playing five time zones and 4,400 miles away.