Big East M5: 01.08.13 EditionPosted by Will Tucker on January 9th, 2013
- DeAndre Daniels went off against DePaul in UConn’s 99-78 win last night, pouring in a career-high 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting. More importantly, the 6’8″ Daniels grabbed eight rebounds, marking the first time he’s collected more than five in a game since November. The Huskies rank #307 in the country in rebounds per game, and last night was their first dominant performance of the season on the boards, out-rebounding the Blue Demons by 20. In thumping DePaul, UConn scored its most points in a league game since the six-overtime battle with Syracuse in the 2009 Big East Tournament. After failing to eclipse 70 points in six of their first nine games this season, the Huskies have become more prolific since mid-December, scoring 80 in three of their last five.
- DePaul certainly didn’t help its cause against UConn last night when news broke hours before tipoff that Donnavan Kirk and Charles McKinney had been suspended for a violation of team rules. Kirk is the Blue Demons’ tallest player at 6’9″, and appropriately leads the team in blocks at 1.9 BPG. The suspensions also left a combined 11.4 PPG on the bench. It’s unclear how long the players will be out, and it will be interesting to see who picks up the slack on both ends of the floor. DePaul returns home to face Cincinnati and St. John’s next week.
- Just when it seemed as though Louisville had returned to full strength at the perfect time, we learned yesterday that Chane Behanan would miss seven to 10 days with a high ankle sprain he suffered in practice on Monday. He will be replaced in the starting lineup by freshman power forward Montrezl Harrell, who acquitted himself well in extensive play during Gorgui Dieng’s injury but lacks Behanan’s aggression on the boards and polished footwork in the low post. As Card Chronicle’s medical advisor points out, high ankle sprains require, on average, “three to six weeks” to fully heal, so there’s no guarantee we’ll see Behanan in the Syracuse game in 10 days.
- After dropping its first two Big East games, Jamie Dixon’s Pittsburgh squad rebounded by traveling to D.C. and handing Georgetown its “worst loss of the JTIII era” last night. The 73-45 drubbing, which was statistically over with six minutes left, “exposed Georgetown’s limitations like none of its predecessors,” says Casual Hoya. The Hoyas have scored 46.5 PPG through two straight Big East losses, and it’s hard to visualize JTIII’s team as the contender we envisioned in the preseason given their many offensive handicaps.
- The Big East reportedly hit up ESPN for $300 million in annual television rights during their exclusive negotiation window this past fall. This revelation was obviously met with derision and mockery across the Internet. Lost in the Big East’s implosion and subsequent media rubbernecking is the fact that the league was in the midst of negotiating a pretty lucrative television contract before the wheels finally came off. As The UConn Blog pointed out on Twitter, such an exorbitant request would have only been made to force ESPN’s hand in closing its exclusive negotiation window with the Big East, allowing the league to shop around with other networks.