ATB: The Season’s First RTC?Posted by rtmsf on December 10th, 2010
The Lede. To RTC or to not RTC, that is the question. Tonight Temple “upset” Georgetown in a battle between two teams that began the season a little over a month ago at essentially the same ranking. Since that time, the Hoyas have shot up the rankings into the top ten, while the Owls have fallen out after losing games to California and Texas A&M in the Old Spice Classic. Still, it’s not exactly as if Georgetown rose to #1 and Temple has been a huge disappointment this year. In the eyes of most folks who cover this game regularly (and Vegas, who set the line at 1.5 points), the teams came into tonight roughly equal. The Hoyas might have a bit more upside than the Owls, but everyone expected a close game and both teams are considered dangerous possibilities to do some damage in March. Apparently the Temple students weren’t hearing it. Acting like they’d just beaten Big John, Pat Ewing and Reggie Williams at the height of Hoya Paranoia, the Owl fans spilled out of the student section when Austin Freeman’s 50-foot shot went 60 feet, covering the Liacouras floor with what we believe to be the season’s first RTC within seconds. What’s the basis — an unranked team defeating a top ten squad? A close game that came down to the final shot? Does it matter that the two programs are not that far apart in talent or relative stature this year? Do Georgetown’s Final Fours, national title, and Big East pedigree make a difference? These and other questions must be considered when making a determination on whether fans should rush the court, but it ultimately comes down to the simplest of analyses — feel. We’ve been doing these things for a while, and while we love the uniqueness of a great court-rush and the unabashed excitement of a student body sharing the joy of victory with its team, tonight’s Temple RTC just didn’t feel right. You may disagree, but that’s our stance. But let’s hear what you have to say — was Temple’s RTC tonight warranted?
Your Watercooler Moment. The first verified RTC of the 2010-11 season, of course. Whether appropriate or not, we still recognize it. The first two students who can verify they were a part of tonight’s court-rush at Liacouras Center will receive an RTC t-shirt in your team’s colors. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us on Twitter @rushthecourt.
Tonight’s Quick Hits…
- Atlantic 10. Temple’s win over Georgetown in addition to Xavier’s tough victory over Butler resulted in a memorable night for the A-10. The conference has had a bit of a rough start to the season, with no team having fewer than two losses at this point and traditional power XU struggling. Still, the Owls and Musketeers in one night did much to raise the overall profile of the league, especially on an otherwise light night of hoops across the country.
- Ramone Moore. With teammates Juan Fernandez (7 points on 2-8 FG) and Lavoy Allen (6 points on 2-9 FG) struggling offensively tonight, it was the unheralded Moore who came up with a huge career-high 30-point game on 12-18 shooting to give coach Fran Dunphy his 400th career win. Moore has emerged as a solid scoring option on the wing this year (14.5 PPG), picking up for the departed Ryan Brooks.
- Jared Sullinger’s 40. Now especially true with Kyrie Irving on the shelf at Duke with a toe injury, but we chafed a little bit when we kept hearing that Irving was without question the best frosh in the land. That hadn’t been proven yet. Both Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and Terrence Jones at Kentucky have looked equally fantastic, and tonight’s 40/13 on 12-17 FGs and 16-23 FTs for Sully definitely catapulted the Buckeye big man to the top of the list. He played the game with his recently-passed uncle in mind, and when Sullinger puts his mind to it there is nobody in college basketball who can stop him on the interior.
- Kenny Boynton’s Three-Pointers. If we were Billy Donovan, we’d set some kind of a limit on Boynton’s three-point gunning. Something like, if he hasn’t hit his first two of the game, he doesn’t get to take any more that night. After another 1-8 night from beyond the arc (coming on the heels of an 0-6 vs. American, an 0-3 vs. UCF, a 2-7 vs. Florida Atlantic and a 2-8 vs. Morehead State), possessions that end with Boynton firing a long bomb are almost as good as turnovers. The sophomore guard takes 56% of his shots from deep, yet he only makes 23% of them! How’s that for expected value?
- Butler’s In Trouble. Now with a 4-4 record after tonight’s close loss at Xavier, the Bulldogs are facing a serious uphill climb simply to make it back to the NCAA Tournament where they were the runner-up last season. Other than the Diamond Head Classic, they will not face another likely Tourney team the rest of the way, unless you want to count HL member Cleveland State (11-0) as a possibility. Butler has an RPI of #36 right now, but it will inevitably slip the farther into the Horizon League they get. You’d have to figure that in order to have a reasonable chance at an at-large bid in March (presuming they fail to win the HL again), they’re going to have to beat Stanford and Utah handily, perform well in the DHC and then rip through the Horizon with a 17-1 record or similar. The lack of a game-changing scorer like Gordon Hayward is really hurting them right now — Shelvin Mack had a tremendous summer, but he’s struggled with his shot and nobody else beyond the known commodity Matt Howard has stepped up.
Tweet of the Night. We don’t like his chosen reference to “court-storming,” but our sentiment is the same.