Boom Goes The Dynamite: 01.23.10 EditionPosted by jstevrtc on January 23rd, 2010
Once again we find ourselves with another stacked weekend of college basketball. 142 games in Division I today, and quite a number of those are somewhere on the tube. It’s getting interesting. Some of the big names are starting to come back to the pack a little, and some teams we’d all forgotten about are starting to put some wins together. We’ll be here all day, watching it, commenting on it, enjoying it. We’d like to know what you’re watching and what you think of it all, too, which is why we’re back with another version of BGTD today. We’ll start off checking out Michigan State vs Minnesota and Villanova vs St. John’s, and head for points south and west after that. We’ve even got a man on the ground for RTC Live at the latter game, there, as well as a few more spots today. By all means, join us for a bit. We’ll kick it off in about 10-15 minutes!
12:11 PM ET: Greetings from us to you on this big hoops day. JStev here, starting it off with you. My goodness, Villanova sure has wasted no time in jumping on the Johnnies. Up by seven early and they’ve already forced SJU into five turnovers. We’re just now at the under-16 TVTO. Over on the Big East Network we have Georgetown/Rutgers, with the Hoyas trying to avoid a letdown after their impressive performance at Pittsburgh a few nights ago. Against Rutgers at home that should be no problem, and I’m thinking G’town will have quite a jump in the polls, come Monday. Hoyas up by three early, and Rutgers is already standing straight up in their zone. Minnesota has also shown up early and taken a quick nine-point lead against Michigan State…and ladies and gentlemen, say hello to MR. GUS JOHNSON on the call on CBS. I’ve found my primary game.
12:28: Gus Johnson could comment on the progress of a slug slithering along a rain gutter and, if you heard it, it’d be the most exciting thing you did that day. We’ve said that — or something similar — about a gazillion times on this site and it’s always the truth. He’s showing you why in this game, even this early. Minnesota’s kept their lead in this one despite a little comeback from MSU. Still up seven under seven minutes to play. Dwight Hardy has come out on fire, hitting 5-6 against the Hoyas, and the Johnnies have looked like a different team in the last ten minutes. They’re up by TEN on ‘Nova, now! It’s physical, and if St. John’s wants to have a shot at pulling this off, they better be ready to grind it out against Villanova. They’re glad to bang it out with anyone.
12:46: Great point by Doris Burke as they go to commercial in the ‘Nova/SJU game. When it comes to pulling an upset, you can’t expect to play on an equal footing in ANY aspect of the game. You have to OUT-do your opponent in EVERY aspect of the game. You can’t just hustle as much as them, you have to OUThustle them, etc. That seems like an obvious point, but I bet coaches out there have a harder time getting that across to their teams than you might think. Oh, and Scottie Reynolds just hit a running bank shot off glass that was so gorgeous it almost brought tears. It’ll bring him millions of bucks. Soon.
12:56: Remember that scene in 48 Hours when Nick Nolte “goes crazy with the car door” on Luther? That’s what Georgetown is doing to Rutgers right now, up 17 at half. And yeah, Pico, we see those Johnnies, up one at half. Can they finish? We’re amazed that a program like that — in such a fertile recruiting area, in one of the great cities on the planet, a school with a notable hoops heritage — can’t fare a little better than they do. Kind of like DePaul in that respect. Michigan State can’t let Minnesota get too comfy, here…MSU down eight to start the half. Raymar Morgan’s been absent, probably due to caution, given his two fouls early.
1:11: Does Raymar Morgan have a target on his back? He just picked up his FOURTH FOUL with 17:50 left in the game!! The fighting Tubbies are still up nine…getting interesting….
1:17: Minnesota’s Damian Johnson has five blocks and six points, talk about a player who knows his role. Gus Johnson is REALLY starting to get into this game. Those may be the sweetest words in college basketball. If this one gets exciting down the stretch and even close to an upset, I may have to see my doctor on Monday.
1:25: Tom Izzo now COMES BACK with Morgan and his four fouls…with over 12 minutes left. I think I’d understand that one if it was a 25-point blowout or something. But now? Hmm. By the way, I think Gus said that Kalin Lucas was his favorite player in college basketball. If I were Kalin, I’d put that on my iPod. I’ve been ignoring St. John’s/’Nova because of Gus, but the Johnnies are hanging around…up one with the ball with 14 minutes left.
1:33: Lawrence Westbrook does the in-bounds off the back of the MSU player and lays it in! Gus yelled “OOH! GREAT PLAY!!” and I began running around the room. Michigan State bangs a three at the other end. The Spartans have NINE threes today, but are down by seven.
1:39: ESPN just tweeted that Manny Harris has been suspended for today’s game against Purdue because of “conduct during practice.” A shame for the Wolverines, because they need to pile up all the signature wins they can. I gotta say, Raymar Morgan has really played excellent ball with four fouls…he hasn’t missed a shot today: 6-6 FG, 2-2 from three, 1-1 at the line. We have Gus Johnson on the call for an exciting game that could be an important upset for the home team. Life is good.
1:45: Coming down to the wire in Minnesota..MSU has fought back and taken a one-point lead…back and forth…
1:55: Michigan State misses, Minnesota can’t get a great shot out of a time out, and Michigan State SOMEHOW manages to pull this one out. Incredible performance by Raymar Morgan, playing with four fouls for almost the whole second half and ending with 17/6 on a perfect shooting day. I think Gus Johnson wanted Minnesota to pull off that upset. His voice went way down when Minnesota’s shot didn’t fall. He actually seemed disappointed that Michigan State won. Strange…
2:13: Over to CBS, now, where we have Ohio State/WVU and the Buckeyes up early. Raftery on the color commentary! On 360, we have Auburn whooping a good Vanderbilt team at home early on; Kansas up a deuce at Iowa State about five minutes in, Middle Tennessee up on Western Kentucky by four with 13 minutes left on ESPN2, and Syracuse up by two on a struggling Marquette team. GREAT day of hoops! And ESPN has GameDay later this evening. I’m keeping OSU/WVU as my primary game, but we’ll keep an eye on the others.
2:37: Sorry, there. Dealing with some internal issues and some site maintenance. In the meantime, OSU has continued to hold a lead at WVU, up 12 with seconds to go in the half. CBS writer Gary Parrish is there and tweeted out that the WVU students are calling OSU’s Evan Turner by a certain obscene nickname, specifically something related to proctology. That’s a shame — Turner’s a good guy. Nothing but glowing reviews about that kid.
2:53: So it’s OSU up at 12 at the half on the road, and over on 360 Auburn is still taking Vanderbilt back behind the shed, up 45-32….and literally as I was typing that, Vandy goes on an 11-2 run forcing Auburn into a TO. Vandy is on the verge of breaking back into the Top 25, and Auburn is a team they should be handling, especially at home. We’ll see if they can finish.
3:11: WVU’s on a 10-0 run. It seems that every time I comment on a team having a lead, the other team goes on a run. If you’d like your team to make a run, let me know, and I’ll comment on the other side. Mail your payments to me at RushThe Court Towers.
3:22: OSU has weathered this storm, to be honest. William Buford hit a big three and OSU is still up four almost halfway through the second half. Buford actually leads the Buckeyes today with 18 points, and when other players start hitting shots, Even Turner becomes even more dangerous. Turner looks so smooth and natural with the ball that he has a little of that John Wall quality, meaning you sort of imperceptibly move up in your seat when he gets it. Vanderbilt has taken the lead back at home against Auburn by a bucket. Speaking of the SEC, in a bit of a upset, Alabama has beaten Mississippi State, 62-57. And look for a pass on highlights tonight that Evan Turner just dished to Dallas Lauderdale. Beautiful. Turner has 13/8/5, but Buford leads with 20 on 8-11 shooting. Still, WVU has moved out to a three point lead, and on defense Darryl Bryant pulls a HUGE Shane Battier flop…and gets it.
3:37: Evan Turner has been to the free throw line on two straight trips for the Buckeyes. He’ll either beat you getting to the hole, or, because he’s so quick and has such a great handle, he’ll beat you at the line. Make it three straight trips. Also, has anyone else noticed that we haven’t heard a lot of the traditional Rafteryisms? WVU is getting quite a few lay-ups, though. Lots of cutters in the lane who aren’t being challenged.
3:50: It’s lay-up after lay-up for WVU. Where is the OSU interior defense? WVU has gotten out to an eight point lead that just got cut to four has I typed that sentence. Hey, Scott…I agree. Turner can be Turner no matter what, but if other players are contributing, you obviously stand a better chance of winning and Turner becomes MORE dangerous…it’s an interesting battle — Turner wants to get everyone involved, and the other players, with the exception of Buford, want Turner to carry them.
4:00: WVU holds on to win it, 71-65. Vandy held on against Auburn, 82-74. Kansas is having no trouble at Iowa State, and Syracuse looks to be about to hold on against Marquette and their powder blue uniforms.
4:07: Kentucky, on the 360, has started their game at home against Arkansas with a 10-0 run…Arkansas gets on the board with an old fashioned three-point play. The way that Kentucky has defended the three this season — that is, not great — it will be interesting to see how many treys Rotnei Clarke gets up.
4:15: We’ve got Texas/UConn on CBS, Michigan/Purdue (remember, no Manny Harris in this one) on ESPN, Baylor/OK State (talk about two Big 12 teams who need to start stockpiling wins) on ESPN2, and a slew of 360 games. Handing it off to rtmsf who’ll take you through tonight, and I may be back to spell him later. Enjoy the hoops! Lots to come from here…
4:23: Just turned it over to Texas/UConn to see Stanley Robinson seemingly flying in from the rafters to catch a lob from halfcourt and throw it down with AUTHORITY. Just a ridiculously athletic play. So on my tvs during this slot, I’ve got that one (obviously), the Purdue-Michigan game (can’t wait to hear Knight tell us how to cheer this one…) and the Kentucky-Arkansas game on CSN. On 360 I’m giving K-State, Oklahoma State some run, we’ll see how that one plays.
4:30: I actually also have the UCLA-Wazzu game on FSN, but that’s a low priority game right now with so much else going on. Huge three for Texas’ Hamilton off the turnover. From what I’ve seen of this game so far, you’d think but for the TOs, UConn is the better team. Turnovers can kill you, though, as the Huskies are learning.
4:33: UConn would be pretty damn good if they could just dunk the ball every time downcourt. Big day around the RTC West Coast Compound today, as we’re anxiously awaiting the Dish Network guy to come and install the package here. No more reliance on Comcast cable and their worthless service and channel lineup. Mostly we’re excited about FINALLY getting access to ESPNU. It may be late in the year for it, but it’ll help make BGTD even better in future weeks.
4:42: We’re on a 101-100 pace in this UConn-Texas game, and both teams are really going after it. You know Clark Kellogg is getting excited when he talks about squeezing things.
4:48: Things have slowed down at UConn, as expected. Is anyone else concerned with the Texas offense? According to Pomeroy, they’re offense is rated in the 30s, while their defense is in the top two. Just a slight concern as we head into the home stretch of February. I do love the talent and combinations they can put on the floor, though.
4:56: Bob Knight is over on ESPN talking about the difference between ‘basketball players’ and athletes as we head into the half in W. Lafayette. Michigan is of course playing without Manny Harris today, but I’m not sure it matters much. Holy cow – Kentucky clearly wants that #1 ranking… they’re obliterating Arkansas by 30 at the half! Look, I know Arkansas is down, but they seem to quit way too much on John Pelphrey for my tastes. I’m wondering if he’s going to be around next season in Fayetteville.
5:01: A couple of other scores to check in on… K-State is up three on OSU, and wow, the Virginia dream appears to be ending in Winston-Salem with Wake up 19 on the Cavs at the half 34-15. Fifteen points at the half – there’s the downside to the Tony Bennett offense.
5:05: Texas goes into the half with an 8-pt lead, having forced SIXTEEN UConn turnovers. I hate this – I have five games I’m tracking and all five are currently at halftime. Argh.
5:14: We’re back in action at Purdue, so I’m going to focus on this game for a bit. JJJ has 12/4 and, as we’ve discussed before, when he’s playing well, Purdue is a much better team. Oddly Michigan is hitting 57% and down fifteen points. The Manny Harris thing is weird. What the hell did he do? Undercut one of his own players? Curse out a coach? Deck somebody? Pull an Arenas in the locker room? It has to be pretty bad to get an unsportsmanlike conduct charge in your own practice.
5:20: Kentucky started the second half with a 12-0 run to push their lead up to 42 points. Do you think maybe Calipari gave a motivational speech about getting to the #1 ranking to his guys in this one? Good grief. Maybe Pelphrey should just have his team walk back to Fayetteville.
5:21: Just turned it over to the Texas-UConn game… Balbay had a brilliant pass to get a dunk, but UConn is roaring back with a run to get it within three, and the fans are going wild. Just took a quick look at UK-Arkansas, and that score is ridiculous. Now a 46 point lead. Purdue has gone on a run against Michigan and they’re up 55-32 in that one. The game to watch right now is definitely in the Northeast.
5:59: Hey, sorry guys, but the Dish guy has knocked all my tvs offline for a bit. I’ll be back when I can get everything back in order here…
6:45: OK, John back here for a bit while rtmsf upgrades his cable. That probably just means he’s gone to grab a quick nap, since he’s been up for…well, about four hours straight, now! Anyway, lots going on. Georgia is murdering Tennessee late in the second half, 74-53, and Travis Leslie had a NICE reverse breakaway jam in that one that will be seen on highlights tonight, and I’ll try to find video for us here. And people are STILL talking about his jam over DeMarcus Cousins from earlier this month. Florida and South Carolina are deadlocked at a low-scoring 25 at halftime, and Maryland is up 41-33 at halftime against N.C. State. Speaking of DeMarcus Cousins, he lost parts of his two front teeth early in the game against Arkansas and is probably in the dentist’s chair as we speak, but he STILL had 16/14 (I think he had a double-double at half) as his Wildcats will be #1 as of Monday afternoon. And we don’t know what to say about this…Connecticut beat lame-duck #1 Texas earlier today — and rushed the court on them. I can tell you right now that one will never be approved by our RTC Review Board. UConn was in the Final Four last year and has titles in 1999 and 2004. They should NEVER be RTCing anyone unless they beat another blue-blood team on a last second shot, and MAYBE not even then. We’ll be commenting on this more…
7:14: Hey there, Bruno. Yeah, I think you’re right. I thought about that Gus Johnson comment right after the game was over but I wasn’t sure, so thanks for the correction. It was Draymond Green, not Kalin Lucas. Meanwhile, Florida starts on a 6-0 run to open the second half against South Carolina. ESPN-U just came back to an A-10 battle in Dayton at St. Joseph’s, which will probably be my primary game for right now. Dayton can be very fun to watch, especially when Chris Wright starts flying all over the gym. And Dayton needs to tack on a few Ws, sitting at 14-4 right now. This was a ranked team early in the year, and they still get some votes. They’ve got some work to do, down six and we’re almost to the under-12.
7:30: So obviously Kansas and Kentucky are #1 seeds if the tournament began tomorrow — and yeah, I know it doesn’t. But Lunardi was on ESPN-U talking about the probable top seeds. Texas has lost two straight, even though they were TOUGH road games (at Kansas State and at UConn), but can’t be considered a #1 now. I agree with Lunardi right now, you have to give it to the two Big East squads, Syracuse and Villanova. Do you guys prefer it when there’s an obvious #1 like last year that everyone shoots for, or when there is no runaway top team like this year? There are cases for both.
7:36: Two games I forgot to mention earlier were the Kansas State loss at home to Oklahoma State, 73-69, and Wake Forest handing Virginia their first ACC loss, beating the Cavaliers 69-57. That game can’t really be considered an upset, since Wake is playing VERY well recently and were at home.
7:41: St. Joe’s has extended their lead to ten, and Dayton better fix this if they want to stay in the Top 25 hunt. Chris Wright has 20, and the Flyers are OWNING the boards…but they’re 1-16 from three point land. That’ ll get you every time. Maryland is up by 19 on NC State, 72-59, and the best game is probably Florida/South Carolina where UF is only up three with less than five minutes left. Looks like rtmsf is up from his nap, so he’s back for the duration. Maybe. Enjoy the rest of the night with him…
7:48: (yawn…) I’m rested and ready here. Seriously though, the Dish guy came, saw, kicked some Comcast ass, and now I have access to channels that I have never had before, including the much-anticipated ESPNU and the full complement of FSNs.
7:51: While I was peacefully napping, UConn put the whomp down on Texas with what looks to have been a fairly devastating second half onslaught. I haven’t seen evidence of it yet, but I’ve been told that UConn students rushed the court? Jeez. This really is getting out of hand. UConn went to the Final Four JUST LAST YEAR. They’ve won two titles in the last eleven tourneys, AND it’s not like UConn is having that bad of a year. Ridiculous.
7:56: There’s a pretty good game in Gator-land between Florida and South Carolina, with Devan Downey scoring nearly two-thirds of his team’s points (30 of 52!). Florida is already bubble-worthy. Losing at home again would make things even hotter down there in Gainesville.
7:59: WHY would you reach in on a 3-pt shooter, which is what Ramon Galloway from SC did on Kenny Boynton’s three attempt. Devan Downey had just put the Gamecocks up by two… stay tuned.
8:01: Kenny Boynton comes through with all three at the line there. Hey, who do you think might take the final shot for South Carolina here? Could it be someone whose initials match the chest size of Heidi Montag these days?
8:03: WOW! Downey takes all five Florida defenders to SCHOOL, throwing in a ridiculously difficult off-balance runner with around five seconds remaining, only to be countered by a game-winning three by Chandler Parsons at the buzzer! What an amazing ending!
8:04: Chandler Parsons is getting a reputation for this stuff. An 80-footer versus NC State and a 25-footer today. Seriously, those two shots could easily be the difference between Florida making or not making the Dance this year. Forget Tebow – Parsons is the BMOC on campus on this night.
8:11: Ok, I’m already loving this new cable package. Here are my choices for the next hour. A pretty good matchup in CUSA with Houston visiting Memphis, Illinois at Northwestern over on the Big Ten Network, LMU at Gonzaga on one of the FSNs, and Oklahoma at Texas Tech on another. Let’s see which game gets good in the next hour…
8:18: There’s also South Florida at Providence on ESPN2 if anyone is interested in that nonsense. Right now I’m going to peek in on Memphis, who is up 13-5 early. They just showed a before/after on Pierre Henderson-Niles and it looks like the guy on the left (before) ate the one on the right (after). Pretty amazing. Almost like a Biggest Loser shot there. That is one guy I would not want to run into if he was in a bad mood.
8:22: Breaking news: Urban Meyer will coach spring practice. Breaking news: Urban Meyer is not really all that ill anymore. Breaking news: Urban Meyer just had a bowel movement.
8:25: Gonzaga up 22-20 on LMU. The Lions have had an interesting year, beating Notre Dame and USC, but losing to just about everyone else. Matt Bouldin is dialed in from three so far in this one, knocking two down in just the last minute. Back over at Memphis, the Tigers are up seven mid-first half. Aubrey Coleman reminds me a lot of an Eddie House from a few years back – just a scoring machine when he gets into a groove. He’s currently third in the nation in scoring at 24.2 per game, but he’s only a half-point behind Luke Harangody, so he could theoretically win it this year.
8:35: It’s always interesting when poor decisions are rewarded. Gonzaga’s Grant Gibbs just passed up two wide-open layups with a pass and pump fake, and his bad decision resulted in a pass coming back to him for a layup and-1. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
8:42: They just put up a promo for Big Monday, and that Georgetown-Syracuse game should be quite the battle. For my money, those are the best two teams in the Big East this year (no offense to Villanova). It’s just that they have the appropriate mixture of inside/outside play that you want to see in teams that are suited for a deep run in March. Bring back big JT for that one – of course Boeheim is still on the other sideline.
8:51: Houston has come back on Memphis and we’re now tied at 34-all there. Of course, the entire philosophy of Tom Penders is to force turnovers and convert fast break opportunities. This team is really good in that regard, forcing TOs on 25% of their opponents” possessions, but where they struggle is on the boards and stopping people inside.
8:57: 39-even going into the half in Memphis, and Aubrey Coleman already has 18 points. Like I said — scorer. Gonzaga and LMU are also tied, as they’re at 42-all in Spokane. It’s not on tv here, but another key CUSA battle is going down at Marshall, who leads UAB by one point with five minutes to go in that one. They’re both 4-0 in the conference race.
9:04: Back on ESPN, we’re getting prepped for the GameDay game at Clemson. We all know about Duke’s struggles in true road games and the destruction that the Blue Devils took down there last year. I’m expecting a closer game tonight, but I am concerned with the way Duke is playing in hostile environments.
9:09: Duke starts out 5-0 early. It appears to me that Clemson is a little too jacked up so far. Shots are a little long, players are a little too excited for this game.
9:13: Is there a more powerful dunker than Trevor Booker? Maybe Tiny Gallon given his size and girth, but GOODNESS. Every year he’s been there, it seems as if he has about one dunk like that per game. Where the entire arena wobbles on its axis a little bit.
9:15: I’m looking in on the Illinois-NW game, where the Illini lead by three coming out of the half. You have to believe that NW is going to need to win this one in order to keep their NCAA hopes alive. A loss here would put the Wildcats at 2-5 in the league with trips to Minnesota and Michigan State next week.
9:19: Oliver Purnell has taken a page from Bruce Pearl’s sartorial splendor with the orange sportcoat. That’s a little overdone, in my opinion. Sidney Lowe with his red tomato-can coat, for example. If these guys really want to do something cool and unique, I say wear orange pants (or insert appropriate color). Now that would take some stones. Meanwhile, in the actual game, Duke is making a host of mistakes (well, mostly Zoubek).
9:25: DJ Richardson with a fantastic reverse layup to put the Illini up eight. NW had better be careful of they’re going to get themselves too far down in this one. On the other channel, Memphis has come out of the locker room on a 13-2 run to open up an 11-pt lead on Houston.
9:29: Thanks, Erin Andrews. “Court storming.” I wonder if Clemson students will RTC tonight if they win. I would hope not unless it was some dramatic victory, but these days it seems as if the students are rushing for 6-pt wins over “others receiving votes” teams.
9:34: Northwestern is back within five, and Gonzaga is up 12 against LMU. Big win for UAB on the road at Marshall tonight to move to 5-0 in CUSA. So far this Duke-Clemson game is pretty ugly. A lot of bricks getting thrown up on both ends, and a good amount of turnovers as well. I’d think that uglifying the game probably favors Clemson at home, though.
9:40: Looking back at Memphis-Houston, Aubrey Coleman just showed again why he’s such a difficult player to defend. He spun and hung and dropped in a very difficult layup, but his team is still down 12.
9:48: Clemson finally get back on top by one as Duke continues to turn the ball over. It feels like Clemson is going to have a run here at the end of the half. Can K’s team avoid it?
9:52: Very big three to quiet the crowd by Duke’s Nolan Smith. The Booker brothers should have that pass perfected, right? Like they haven’t’ done that a million times in their playing lives together!
9:55: Really ugly half on the offensive end, but Clemson has to feel pretty good right now. Memphis is obliterating Houston now, leading by 22, and well well well, Northwestern is now up four on the Illini. 2:41 left from Evanston, so I’m sticking here for now.
9:58: NW’s John Shurna hits a big three from the corner and they’re now up seven with under-2 to go. Brandon Paul answers with a three to bring it back to four. The BTN announcers here are losing it as if this game was for the national championship.
10:05: Northwestern still up five with 20.8 to go, and they’d have to seriously do something wrong to screw this one up (always possible for this school). I wonder if the students will RTC, though. They shouldn’t, but I’m not dismissing it after the last week or so…
10:08: Illinois hits another three to cut it to three. Jeremy Nash for NW better make sure he hits one of these two FTs, or I’d almost bet that Illinois will hit one to put into overtime. That should do it, though.
10:09: Very nice comeback win for Northwestern. If they can manage to get one of the two road wins this week, they’re still in contention. Nice to also see the students have the sense to not RTC after that win.
10:12 Back to Littlejohn, and the last two turnovers from Clemson looked like something out of the grade school level. Just throwing the ball right to Duke for fast break opportunities. Quick 7-0 run to start the half for the Devils. Just looked over at the ESPNU game and South Florida-Providence is a shootout! 100-97 USF in the first OT.
10:18: Great block by Booker at rim level there, but the ballhandling is still a problem for the Tigers this half. Providence is back within two at USF – the Dish thing provides a pretty cool split-screen feature which I plan on utilizing, oh, pretty much all the time now that I’ve learned about it.
10:21: Clemson needs to be careful here. If Duke starts hitting threes, they can get themselves into trouble quickly. Smith, Singler and Scheyer are starting to get things going. And yet another Clemson turnover where two players just weren’t coordinating together.
10:24: It looks like Providence is going to lose at home to USF. Sharaud Curry just airballed a three that would have tied it at 106-all. USF will get their fourth road win in the last three years in the Big East Conference. Dominique Jones has been phenomenal with 45 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists! Definitely the line of the night!
10:32: These Clemson turnovers are horrible. And Duke is getting whatever they want offensively. Clemson had in my mind the next three minutes to either get back into this game or get their doors blown off.
10:35: Booker is an energy player and he certainly has the prerogative to talk some smack when he throws Singler’s shot about 6 rows deep, but his team is down thirteen, they can’t make a shot and he may want to save the chatter for if/when he brings his team back into this game. Because right now they look beat out there.
10:36: That’s more like it, Trevor. Now who wants to help him out for the Tigers? Have I mentioned how much I love my new tv package? The Arizona-ASU game is now on one of the FSNs. And if that gets boring, there’s always UC Davis-Pacific. :)
10:41: The Tigers really are missing T. Oglesby here, the kind of guy who can hit a couple of timely threes to bring you back from about ten down. Young and Potter are solid, but neither of them seem to have the big-game stones that Oglesby had.
10:45: Arizona and ASU are in a two-point game at the half. I’ll concentrate more on this one once the Duke-Clemson game ends, but no question that Herb Sendek has the pace he likes. If ASU wins this one, they’re in the early driver’s seat along with Cal in the Pac-10 race at 5-2.
10:51: Oh no, the clock froze! Does that mean we take away the last 4:50 and declare the game officially over? Duke wins? Ugh. Clemson doesn’t have a run in them, I’m convinced. There’s nothing they’re doing on offense that inspires any confidence whatsoever.
10:55: In a game like this where the Tigers have only hit two threes, a 9-pt lead might as well by 1,000. It would take a major, major meltdown by Duke (not prone to them) to lose this game.
10:59: One of my gambling degenerate friends just texted to say you can get UK to not go undefeated at -1400, which means basically 14:1. If that’s for the entire season (regular + postseason), I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a greater lock.
11:05: Pomeroy gives UK a 0.8% chance to have an unbeaten regular season. If you include the progressively better teams they’d play in both the SEC and NCAA Tournaments, you figure the odds are less than 0.1%. So 1 chance in a 1000. Sounds like a really good bet to me.
11:06: Jumping back to the Clemson-Duke finish, and we all knew it was over for the last 6-8 minutes, Duke should be very proud of their defensive performance tonight. They needed a big road win for their confidence. They’re definitely still the ACC favorite, with Ga Tech and Wake (?) the next best teams…
11:08 We’re going to finish it off with the last 11 minutes at Arizona State. The Sun Devils are down six at home, and Rihards Kuksiks just nailed a three to cut into that lead.
11:12: Arizona is now 16-16 from the line tonight. When I saw them last week, they also feasted on the line. And of course as I type that they miss their first of the night (17-18). Thanks Derrick Williams. Speaking of him, is there a more underrated/unknown freshman in the country? He averages 15/7 on 58% shooting, and he’s getting better as the season progresses.
11:19: Ty Abbott just got decked from behind by Kevin Parrom on a breakaway attempt, and he was none too happy about it. It appeared that Parrom put his forearm into Abbott’s back as he went up for the dunk, and continued to extend it through into the stanchion. I liked Parrom’s response, though, he just smiled and laughed at him. Still, probably a flagrant by the intent and definition of the rule, even though nobody took a spill.
11:23: That was Parrom’s fifth, though, so he’s finished for tonight. ASU had a golden opportunity to cut into the lead, but missed out on it. VERY nice response by Arizona to hit a three and a layup off the turnover. I continue to wonder if Arizona won’t be the best team in the Pac-10 by the time this season is over.
11:27: One of the big reasons for that thinking is the talented Mr. Williams, who has just passed 20 points for his third consecutive game. Herb Sendek just got teched up, but with a sixteen-point lead, Arizona appears to be in complete control.