BGTD: Late Afternoon Games Analysis

Posted by jstevrtc on February 5th, 2011

The afternoon games gave us a couple of squads needing and getting redemption wins, despite still having a lot of work to do on their resumes. We also saw The Jimmer get creative and show you other aspects of his game besides the leaning scissor-kick threes from the hash marks (though those are really fun to watch), and we’re preplexed by Washington’s road-o-phobia.

  • Wildcats Win a Wild One. We’ve written so much negative stuff about Kansas State this year, let’s say something good for once. Jacob Pullen used a tasty little crossover to wrong-foot his defender and get to the hoop for an easy lay-in with about two seconds left to give the Wildcats their first Big 12 road win this season, an 86-85 squeaker over Iowa State. Congrats on the nice win, but let’s keep a big-picture perspective. KSU’s next two are at Colorado (tough) and at home against Kansas. If they can win those two, then they’ll have our attention. That’d put them at 18-8 (6-5) with a late-season win over a title contender. Ironically, that KSU vs KU game is a Valentine’s Day tilt.
  • Speaking of Wildcats Needing Wins… Northwestern has a pulse, at least, having pulled out a close road win at Illinois, 71-70. We’re still scratching our collective head regarding the change over the last month in Demetri McCamey (14/4 asst). In the Illini’s first 16 games, McCamey had only one game in which he had less than five assists (three in a win vs Oakland on 12/8). At that point, they were 13-3. In their last seven games, McCamey has had only one game with more than five assists (11 in a win vs Michigan State on 1/18). The Illini have lost five of those seven games.
  • Along Came (the other) Jones.  Another team that earned a little redemption (and needed it) with a road win: the Baylor Bears. Perry Jones (27/7) deserves every bit of the hype he gets, but today it was Anthony Jones (10/8) who saved the Bears with a lay-in with 3.1 seconds remaining, giving Baylor a good solid win (76-74) over a 16th-ranked Texas A&M squad. Checking the schedule, Baylor has seven Big 12 games remaining, and we see a minimum of three wins out of those (Nebraska, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M, all at home). That would make Baylor 8-8 in the Big 12…which isn’t even as encouraging as it sounds. In the past 18 years, a .500-or-worse team has only been to the NCAA Tournament four times. The Bears still have two games against Texas ahead of them. They might need to steal one of those.

  • Fredette Tames the Free Throw Line. The Jimmer put up 29 in BYU’s 78-64 win over UNLV and became the Mountain West’s all-time leading scorer with that 27th point, which — appropriately for today — he scored at the free throw line. Of his six field goals (on “just” 14 attempts), only one was a three. True, it came from about 25 feet and had a little forward lean to it with a double-pump motion in the legs, so it was an impressive one. But UNLV actually did a good job in limiting Fredette’s looks from three, allowing him only five attempts. The only Jimmer holdouts at this point are the ones who feel that he shoots too much and are overly annoyed by that habit he has of turning the ball over when he leaves his feet and doesn’t have a shot. And yes, his defense is average on its best day. But today showed how he can kill you in other ways besides raining long-range bombs. He built a three-story summer home at the line, getting there 16 times and hitting all of them. He dished out seven assists. He shot nine twos (hitting five) along with his five three-point attempts. He doesn’t care how he helps his team win. He’s totally cool with letting Jackson Emery have his own fun behind the arc (15/5/4 asst/4 stls), or distributing the pill to guys like Stephen Rogers (12/8) and Charles Abouo (10 pts on 4-8). That’s 22 points from those two Cougar bench players, by the way, and that’s going to be important come Tournament time.
  • The Washington Husky Enigma. Washington may be ranked 19th, and it really seems like college basketball fans want the Huskies to be a good team because you almost never hear anything bad said about them. There’s no sugarcoating today’s 81-76  loss at Oregon, though. Sure it’s a road game, but on paper UW is just head-and-shoulders above everyone else in this league with the possible exception of Arizona. That makes three straight losses, two of them to the Oregon schools. They’re still on solid ground for the Tournament, and they’re just a game and a half back of Arizona in the Pac-10 race, but we expected more from the Huskies this season. Isaiah Thomas (16/6 asst) has done a highly admirable job in filling in for Abdul Gaddy, but after road wins at UCLA and USC just after Christmas, UW is looking incredibly shaky away from Edmundson Pavilion these days. Our tip to the Huskies: cut down on the fouls. They sent Oregon to the FT line 23 times and the Ducks hit 18 of them. UW only went to the line 11 times and hit five. That difference at the stripe all but neutralized the five extra threes that Washington hit.
jstevrtc (547 Posts)


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3 Responses to “BGTD: Late Afternoon Games Analysis”

  1. I wrote a really nice writeup of the Oregon game.

    Cliff Harris Notes:

    Ducks won first game against ranked team in 13 months.

    Oregon has a better record since the last Washington/Oregon game than Washington. Oregon has since beaten or been each of the four teams to beat Washington in that stretch.

    Matthew Knight Arena is a great place to watch a basketball game … as long as you’re not in it for the atmosphere.

  2. And I resent that “two of them to the Oregon schools” comment. Oregon has won five of its last seven games.

  3. Andrew says:

    So… Dana Altman… Pac-10 Coach of the Year for sure, right? NCOY consideration?

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