SEC M5: 11.20.12 Edition

Posted by Brian Joyce on November 20th, 2012

  1. Former Kentucky player and current Morehead State coach Sean Woods was critical of the “vibe” he received from the Wildcats’ young players at the recent Hurricane Sandy relief telethon. “They didn’t seem like Kentucky basketball players to me, and I’ll leave it at that,” Woods said. “There is just a certain way and a certain look Kentucky basketball players should have, and not have such sense of entitlement. I think today it’s still an honor to wear that uniform.” Woods played for UK from 1988-92 and graduated as part of The Unforgettables, a senior-laden Rick Pitino coached team along with John Pelphrey, Deron Feldhaus, and Richie Farmer. All four were Kentucky-bred players who remained with the Cats for all four years of their playing career despite severe sanctions from the NCAA during that time. Woods’ Eagles will take on Kentucky on Wednesday.
  2. Freshman Braxton Ogbueze has spent most of his time on the bench, but Florida coach Billy Donovan says he still has confidence in his young point guard. “I have confidence in Braxton,” Donovan said. “I have confidence in all of those (freshmen), I think they are great kids, they still have a lot to learn but they are eager to learn and get better.” Ogbueze played just three minutes against Wisconsin and six minutes versus Middle Tennessee State. With the return of starter Scottie Wilbekin at the point, Ogbueze’s time remains up in the air. “(I’m) trying to put those freshmen in position where they have an opportunity to be successful on the court,” Donovan said. “It’s a lot for Braxton or any freshman to come in without a lot of older guys on the floor. It’s not good for our team if we have Braxton, Michael Frazier and DeVon Walker on the floor together at the same time, there’s too much inexperience.” Ogbueze was Florida’s top-ranked recruit coming into the year, but is averaging just 2.3 points and 1.7 rebounds per game in the first three games.
  3. It is never too early to begin evaluating the play on the court, and the Missouri blog, Rock M Nation, has put together some analysis from the first five games (including the two exhibition games) of the season. The most amazing stat of all is the Tiges’ balance on offense, as Mizzou possesses five players averaging double figures in scoring (And that doesn’t include Negus Webster-Chan at 9.7 PPG nor Michael Dixon who has been suspended). The least impressive stat thus far? That would be the Tigers’ three-point defense. SIU Edwardsville connected on 11 three-pointers, helping put Mizzou at 231st nationally in defensive three-point percentage. Missouri will get its first big test with Stanford on Thursday on a neutral court in the Bahamas.
  4. Flop-gate set the college basketball and Twitter worlds ablaze last week, but was there any merit to John Calipari’s halftime critique of Duke’s defensive philosophy? Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News took a look at the four first half charges drawn by Duke, prior to Calipari’s comments. DeCourcy concluded that one of the contact plays called by the referees was clearly a flop by the Duke defender, while the other three were legitimate charging calls. Of course this research was probably much ado about nothing since Calipari doesn’t even remember the conversation, but Cal certainly gained a new legion of followers for calling out the Blue Devils on national TV for a long time criticism of the Dukie’s patented defensive style.
  5. Calipari is looking for a little something extra from his team, and he is hoping they take the cue from the play of center Nerlens Noel. “The guy’s diving on the floor, playing with energy,” Calipari said. “Would the rest of you please look at him and try to do what he’s doing or do you think just let him do that and you’re not going to do it?” Statistically, Noel is already a standout. He is averaging 11.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 3.3 steals, and 2.3 blocks per game. But Calipari isn’t getting that same hustle out of the rest of his freshmen. “I told Nerlens, ‘Just keep doing it, and they’ll get it,’ ” Calipari said. “Because it becomes embarrassing when he’s diving and you’re jogging or you’re standing straight up and get beat on the back door, and this kid’s diving on the floor.” And to think, Noel is just three games into his college career. He, and the rest of Cal’s Cats, have a lot of potential that hasn’t even begun to be uncovered yet.
Brian Joyce (333 Posts)

Brian Joyce is an advanced metrics enthusiast, college hoops junkie, and writer for the SEC basketball microsite for Rush the Court.

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