ATB: Don’t You EVER Give Up…

Posted by rtmsf on December 9th, 2009


Jimmy V Classic.  As someone whose family and loved ones have been seriously impacted by cancer, this is always one of our favorite events of the season.  We vividly remember the night at the ESPYs in March 1993 when Jim Valvano gave his inspirational speech, and even sixteen years later, it continues to stand the test of time.  “Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up” became a mantra for people of our generation, and the positive effects that the Jimmy V Foundation has produced over the years gives Valvano a lasting legacy that many of his fellow coaches, many of whom were more successful at coaching basketball, will never know.  As long as this site exists, we’ll do this every year, and we’ll do it for the Green Bay Packers, Coach!

And now, on to the games…  RTC Live was in the building.

  • #13 Georgetown 72, #20 Butler 65.  Georgetown got 25 points and 14 rebounds from Greg Monroe as the Hoyas dominated Butler on the inside, outrebounding the Bulldogs 43-30. Perhaps Monroe’s biggest impact came on the defensive end, as he helped force Matt Howard into one of the worst games  of his career as he finished 1-9 from the floor while looking intimidated in the post before fouling out. Georgetown jumped out to a 52-35 second-half lead, which Butler couldn’t bounce back from. Austin Freeman was 4-5 from deep in adding 18 points for the Hoyas, who picked up a must-needed statement win. Butler, who got 24 and 8 boards from Gordon Hayward, is not the top 10 team that many predicted they would be during the preseason right now, but this is still an impressive win nonetheless. For Butler to be in position to earn an at-large bid should it come to that, they are now probably going to have to beat both Ohio State and Xavier in coming weeks.
  • Indiana 74, Pittsburgh 64.  Indiana picked up their first relevant win over a BCS team (beating Iowa last year doesn’t count) in the Tom Crean era as they thoroughly outplayed Pitt in MSG tonight. Indiana go 20 from Verdell Jones and 18 from Christian Watford as they finally broke through for a good win after losing three heartbreakers this season. The Hoosiers are going to be a dangerous team, as they do have some talented youngsters (we didn’t even get a good feel for Maurice Creek tonight), but IU may still be a year away from really being able to compete and make a run at the NCAA Tournament. Pitt, on the other hand, didn’t look like Pitt. They struggled defensively, they were beat up inside, and they settled for tough, deep jumpers. If Ashton Gibbs hadn’t been hitting from three (he had 25 on 8-25 shooting, 5-15 from three), this one could have been ugly (although, uglier than being down 17 to Indiana in this stage of their rebuild is tough to do).

Not an Upset of the Night Illinois 79, #24 Vanderbilt 68. Yes, Vandy was the ranked team, but Illinois was ranked as recently as last week and these teams are roughly even in our eyes.  A very nice intersectional matchup nonetheless.  The Illini shot a lights-out 59% from the field and ran out to a 9-0 early lead that put Vandy behind the eight-ball from the beginning.  Illinois guard Demetri McCamey lit up the Commodore defense for 8-10 from the field and 23/5 assts, while DJ Richardson added 16/3/3 assts in the win.  The Illinois defense has been somewhat maligned thus far this season, but they did a good job tonight of limiting AJ Ogilvy’s (8/3) touches and forced Jermaine Beal into a 4-14 shooting night.

Some Mid-Major Revenge (Some Not).  There were a few good opportunities for mid-majors to take down BCS teams tonight, and the little guys got a split this evening among the four games up for grabs.

  • Texas Tech 80, TCU 70. Pat Knight’s team moved to 9-0 with this hard-fought win tonight one day after becoming ranked for the first time in his coaching tenure at the school.  The Red Raiders found themselves down 14 pts early in the game, though, before Knight ripped into his team to play defense and they went on a 23-3 run to take control of the game.  TTU’s John Roberson had 21/10 assts and D’Walyn Roberts (9/19) got every board in sight, but we’re still not sure that we believe in this team yet.  If they win their next three (@ Wichita State, vs. Stanford, @ New Mexico), we’ll be more convinced.
  • Northern Iowa 67, Iowa 50.  UNI easily handled its in-state rival for the first time since 2006, making it a clean sweep against the two major state universities this year for the Panthers.  Iowa was without its coach Todd Lickliter who had surgery over the weekend to treat a serious carotid artery issue that was causing headaches.  The other headache is what to do with this Iowa team, which with its best win over Prairie View A&M, is in serious running for the worst BCS team in America this year.  Let’s hope that Lickliter’s return next week will give this team something to rally around.
  • Kansas State 71, Xavier 56.  K-State got some measure of revenge for a brutal loss two years ago to Xavier 103-77 with this return game in Manhattan, which saw the Wildcats hold the Muskies to 29% from the field and the three-point line.  Guards Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente shot poorly (4-16 FG), but 14 of Pullen’s 16 points came in the second half, Curtis Kelly picked up the slack with 15/9 and KSU at 8-1 now continues to look like the team many of us thought they could be this year.
  • BYU 81, Arizona State 68.  BYU held off a strong second half of three-point shooting from ASU (8-15) to get a nice home win over a Pac-10 foe for the Mountain West tonight.  The Cougars still won despite a miserable shooting night from their two stars, Jimmer Fredette (1-13, 0-5 from three) and Jonathan Tavernari (2-8), proving that this is more than a two-man show.  ASU put Derek Glasser (22/5 assts) and Rihards Kuksiks (13/3) into double figures, and the Sun Devils made a valiant comeback to pressure BYU near the end of the game, but they were never able to get the lead under four points in the loss.

Other Games of National Interest.

  • Minnesota 94, Morgan State 64.  Devron Bostick gave Tubby Smith 9/5 in a mere ten minutes of action in his second game back from suspension, as the Gophers rolled all over Morgan State.  Still no word on when or whether Trevor Mbakwe and Royce White will be allowed to play, but it appears the hype might be true about Bostick.
  • Temple 64, Miami (OH) 42. The Owls used a ridiculous 25-0 run in the first half to run out to a 30-6 lead and never looked back from there.  The Temple offense isn’t much to look at, but Fran Dunphy’s defense is holding teams to 84.1 points per 100 possessions, ninth best in the country.  And forget about getting an open look from deep (23%).  Lavoy Allen had 15/7/4 assts in the win.  Hard to believe that MU took Kentucky to the last possession in Rupp, as the Redhawks move to 2-6 on the season.
  • Dayton 56, George Mason 55.  Dayton took down the homestanding Patriots for their first home loss in 18 games, even though the Flyer starters only contributed 24 total points and got only a single bucket from superstar Chris Wright (1-4 in 19 minutes).  The defense was effective, though, as Mason was only able to hit for 39% from the field and hit three treys over the course of the night.  Dayton had a 35-19 halftime lead in this one but was able to hold off a late Mason rally to get the nice road win.
  • Marquette 71, Milwaukee 51.  Marquette bounced back from their loss to NC State with their 37th consecutive win in this series (second-longest active streak) behind Jimmy Butler’s 19/5.  Lazar Hayward also chipped in 13/4 in the easy win for the Golden Eagles.
rtmsf (3954 Posts)

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