College Basketball by the Tweets: A Kaminsky, Carson & Smart Sort of NightPosted by David Harten on November 20th, 2013
We’ve seen about two weeks of the college basketball season fly by, and between ESPN’s 24 Hours of College Basketball, the State Farm Champions Classic, and the bevy of compelling storylines, there’s been no shortage of great things to discuss. So this week’s College Basketball by the Tweets focuses on Tuesday night, with a strong slate of games to choose from and an unlimited supply of tweets to embed. The night belonged to the scorers — the men who eschewed passing and got their shots up. When it was all said and done, seven players finished with more than 30 points, led by Wisconsin forward Frank Kaminsky‘s 43, which was a school record. Jahii Carson poured in 40 as well for Arizona State. What were some of the reactions around the Twitter-verse?
Jahii Carson. 40.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) November 20, 2013
Ariz St finishes off UNLV. Jahii Carson had 40 points and 7 assts. Not a bad night at the office.
— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) November 20, 2013
— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) November 20, 2013
Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky scored a total of 63 points in his freshman year. He scored 43 points against North Dakota tonight. Wow.
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) November 20, 2013
Tell me the Avatar photo isn't terrific of Frank "The Tank" Kaminsky. Take a close look. It's phenomenal.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) November 20, 2013
Also, lost in all this is the play of North Dakota’s Troy Huff, who scored 37 points of his own in the 103-85 loss to the Badgers.
Troy Huff came off the bench to score 37 pts in 28 mins. @GMT_ronreezy also scored 19 off the bench on 7/10 FG. Crazy offensive numbers.
— Jonathan Reed (@bigskybball) November 20, 2013
We also saw those same freshman we were introduced to last week, and they backed up their first big-time performance with solid games on Tuesday night. Jabari Parker, for instance, went end-to-end for a huge dunk the Duke’s 83-74 victory over East Carolina. And Twitter went off.
Jabari Parker went coast to coast in like seven steps.
— Mark Ennis (@Mengus22) November 20, 2013
— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) November 20, 2013
Jabari Parker better go to the league next year
— Nate Caldwell (@Nate_Cwell_10) November 20, 2013
Then there was Joel Embiid, who went for 16 points and 13 rebounds in Kansas’ victory over Iona. He, like Parker, Kentucky’s Julius Randle and his Jayhawk freshman counterpart, Andrew Wiggins, is more than living up to expectations.
I get that Joel Embiid is very raw but his tools are absolutely off the charts.
— Adam Finkelstein (@AdamFinkelstein) November 20, 2013
The game of the night, however, came with #11 Memphis visiting #7 Oklahoma State. Marcus Smart did what everyone expects him to do, score in bunches and do everything else in the process. He dropped in a career-high 39 points in the 101-80 victory. That also came with a lot of help from the rest of the Cowboys, such as Le’Bryan Nash and Markel Starks.
Marcus Smart the early favorite for national coach of the year in college basketball
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) November 20, 2013
Marcus Smart now with a new career high, 31 points, and there is still 14 minutes left .#MEMvsOKST
— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) November 20, 2013
Marcus Smart almost did the coolest thing in the history of ever. I jumped out of my living room chair.
— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) November 20, 2013
It was also a proving ground-type of night for the Tigers, who did prove something alright — that they’re not yet elite. Maybe it was because they had only played one game before this contest (they were the final Division I team to open their season this year) or maybe it was something else. But with the guard play this team has available, they should have competed better than they did. Memphis went 2-of-13 from three-point range, and often looked completely out of sync.
At some point, you are what you are. And Memphis is a team that can’t beat good teams until it proves otherwise. That’s a fair opinion.
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) November 20, 2013
It’s a valid point from Parrish. Memphis, for at least the last three seasons, has been hyped and primed for a breakout year, meaning a return to the John Calipari era. It hasn’t happened. Joe Johnson is a senior and other players like Geron Johnson are experienced in the system. Michael Dixon, Jr. is a transfer, but he should be a calming presence as a senior. Shaq Goodwin has performed well (13 points in the loss), but they’ll also need more from Austin Nichols (seven points and three rebounds in 19 minutes) in the post to help out Nick King, who had a team-high 23 off the bench on Tuesday. If those younger players on their roster can eventually come around, this loss can be easily put away. Still, it’s going to be worth watching to see how the Tigers bounce back from this.