RTC Live: CBE Classic Consolation & FinalsPosted by rtmsf on November 22nd, 2011
After a night of convincing victories in the City of Fountains, we’re back for the consolation and final rounds of the CBE Classic. Join us for the conversation tonight, after the jump.
Games #33-34. Tonight’s undercard features a Notre Dame team that will look to rebound following a blowout at the hands of Missouri. The game marked Tim Abromaitis’ season debut, and he wasted no time getting back into the swing of things, posting 22 points and eight rebounds, but the supporting staff came up short, with the rest of the team shooting a meager 11-36 from the field They’ll look to do better tonight against a Georgia team that was waxed by Cal in the second game. The Bulldogs looked disinterested on defense once Cal started pulling away, so if the Irish can get a run going early, it could be curtains again for Georgia. Mark Fox has a back line big enough to contain Abromaitis if it’s assertive and smart about defending him, but those are very big ifs.
Monday night’s games were out of reach early, with both Missouri and Cal winning by margins much wider than expected. The play should tighten up in the CBE Classic final, with two terrific backcourts locking horns. Marcus Denmon, Phillip Pressey and Michael Dixon made life miserable for Notre Dame on Monday, making penetration and entry passes a nightmare for the Irish while forcing their will on the other end. In Cal’s win over Georgia, Jorge Gutierrez altered passes and rebounded well, but also showed prowess as a scorer, going 5-10 from the field and 4-5 at the line. Kansas City native David Kravish also chipped in, adding a team-high nine boards in front of a hometown crowd. The backcourt play will be in the spotlight tonight, so the forwards like Kamp and Ricardo Ratliffe could end up being the difference.
Tuesday night’s consolation match between Georgia and Notre Dame was much closer than the respective losses they took on Monday, but Tuesday, Georgia prevailed 61-57. Notre Dame built a six-point lead, but it melted away thanks to a hot-shooting night from the Bulldogs, who went 12-26 from long range. The accuracy helped cancel out a lack of aggression, as Mark Fox’s team didn’t attempt a free throw until 5:45 remained in the second half. We also got a look at what happens to the Irish when Tim Abromaitis goes cold, as he went a frosty 1-12 from the floor. Recalling that Jacob Pullen went similarly absent against Duke in this event last season, there could be a trend building around star players in the CBE Classic. Redshirt freshman Jerian Grant led the way for Notre Dame with 20 points and four assists, while true frosh Kentavious Caledwell-Pope paced Georgia with 16 on a 5-12 performance from the floor.
The final featured another completely dominant performance by Missouri in a 92-53 thrashing of Cal. The Tigers got a first-half boost from forward Steve Moore with ten points, but the backcourt of Kim English (19 points), Marcus Denmon (18 points), Matt Pressey and Michael Dixon put on one of the most impressive showings of the young season throughout the night. The Golden Bears managed just two players in double figures – Jorge Gutierrez and Justin Cobbs. The Tigers got it done with a 10-25 night from downtown and a strong 22-26 effort from the free throw line in capturing the CBE Classic title. Look for Frank Haith’s team to rocket up the rankings next Monday.