CBE Hall Of Fame Classic: Reactions From Night Two

Posted by Brian Goodman on November 25th, 2015

Brian Goodman is the lead Big 12 correspondent for Rush The Court. He’s in Kansas City this week for the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. You can follow Brian on Twitter @BSGoodman or the RTC Big 12 Twitter account @b12hoops.

The CBE Hall Of Fame Classic wrapped in Kansas City on Tuesday night, with North Carolina overcoming a hot night from Kansas State to take the title by a score of 80-70. In the consolation round, Northwestern withstood a second half Missouri run to topple the Tigers 67-62.

  • North Carolina’s late run deflates Kansas State. The Tar Heels and Wildcats traded jabs for most of the night, with Kansas State pulling ahead for a prolonged stretch in the second half. In the closing minutes, however, North Carolina reeled off a 21-3 run to put Bruce Weber’s team away. It was a collective effort down the stretch for North Carolina, but one specific play turned the tide in the Tar Heels’ favor. Coming out of a media timeout with a touch under four minutes left, Roy Williams drew up a baseline out-of-bounds designed play for Joel Berry, who found himself open thanks to a pair of screens to bury a three-pointer off a pass from Brice Johnson. The Tar Heels were soft on offense for the better part of 35 minutes, allowing Kansas State to keep up on the glass and get some steals, but they tightened their game up when it mattered most and showed some toughness to close things out.
Down the stretch, Kennedy Meeks and UNC had just enough to hold off hometown Kansas State. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Down the stretch, Kennedy Meeks and UNC had just enough to hold off hometown Kansas State. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Kamau Stokes puts on a show as the young Wildcats put a scare into UNC. We talked yesterday about Dean Wade‘s great effort on the blocks on Monday, but it was a different Kansas State newcomer who grabbed the attention of everyone in the Sprint Center last night. Stokes came into Tuesday’s final shooting a paltry 3-of-14 from distance on the season, but caught fire against North Carolina with a 6-of-8 effort from distance. With each passing bucket, Stokes grew more confident, firing up the crowd and his teammates. Stokes’ hot stretch even drew a double-team from the Tar Heels at one point. His night was made even more unexpected by the fact that he required an extra year at prep school just to get a Division-I scholarship offer. It’s just unfortunate that the rest of the Wildcats shot just 36 percent from the floor and couldn’t buy a stop late in the game. Tonight served as a reminder that even though Bruce Weber has a young team full of guys that want to play for him, it’s still going to be a process. Stokes will continue to get opportunities as Weber figures out his rotation, but while we wouldn’t expect him to be this hot regularly, even decent three-point shooting would be a big lift to Kansas State as it retools.

  • Potent perimeter attack makes Northwestern’s offense work. The Wildcats’ defense needs work, but their offense was more effective against Missouri than it was against Kansas State. After a cold shooting night on Monday, Chris Collins’ team went 10-of-23 from deep, with all five starters hitting at least one trey. Point guard Bryant McIntosh was especially efficient in the first half. Northwestern also got value from its supporting cast, which was something it sorely missed in Monday’s loss to Kansas State. It’s unrealistic to expect the Wildcats to shoot 43.5% from distance all season, but if the Wildcats can get the kind of shooting needed to open things up for Tre Demps and Alex Olah, they’ll be a sleeper team in the Big Ten.
Whatever Chris Collins did to fire up his team worked as the Wildcats were hot from deep. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

Whatever Chris Collins did to fire up his team worked as the Wildcats were hot from deep. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

  • Terrence Phillips fuels a strong second half for Missouri, but the Tigers come up short. Missouri’s level of activity for the first three halves of this event was tough to watch. Kim Anderson struggled keep his team engaged against Kansas State while the Wildcats pulled away early; In the Tigers’ first-half effort against Northwestern on Tuesday, they showed signs of waking up, but it wasn’t until after halftime that they found life. Feeding off the bulldog mentality of freshman guard Terrence Phillips, the Tigers cut a 20-point deficit to four, but couldn’t get over the hump. Wins against competitive opposition need to come for Anderson at some point, but whether or not Anderson sees Missouri’s rebuild to completion, the program appears to have itself a building block in the freshman from California.
Brian Goodman (987 Posts)

Brian Goodman a Big 12 microsite writer. You can follow him on Twitter @BSGoodman.

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