2019-20 RTC16: Week Five

Posted by Walker Carey on December 16th, 2019

The past week of the college basketball season was marked by unbeaten teams falling victim to unranked opponents away from home. It began Tuesday night when #4 Louisville fell to Texas Tech in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden, while #7 Maryland was unable to overcome a slow start in a loss at Penn State. Both defeats showed that each team is a bit more susceptible offensively than previously thought, as Louisville only shot 34 percent from the field while committing 19 turnovers and Maryland shot just 33 percent while committing 20 miscues. Both the Cardinals and Terrapins also failed to get strong performances from their stars, as Louisville forward Jordan Nwora was held to just 4-of-16 shooting and Maryland forward Jalen Smith logged only five field goal attempts. #3 Ohio State joined the fray late Sunday afternoon when it trailed throughout the game in an 84-71 loss at Minnesota. Much like Louisville and Maryland, the Buckeyes were done in by poor shooting (38.3% FG), turnovers (14), and a poor performance from a key contributor (forward Kaleb Wesson was just 4-of-13 from the field while committing six turnovers). Louisville, Maryland and Ohio State are all primed for successful seasons, but they must view setbacks like those from the past week as something to learn from and correct. This week’s Quick N’ Dirty after the jump.

Quick N’ Dirty Analysis.

  • Kansas is the new #1. Kansas enters the top spot in the RTC16 following blowout wins over Milwaukee and UMKC that moved the Jayhawks to 9-1 on the season (a season-opening loss to #5 Duke at the Champions Classic remains the team’s lone blemish). Bill Self‘s group has continued to be successful by relying on its star players to carry the team. Sophomore guard Devon Dotson has taken an expected leap in his second season, as he is logging a robust 19.6 points and 4.8 assists per game. Senior big man Udoka Azubuike is finally healthy and has been a force in the interior, averaging 14.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game while shooting an absurd 83.1 percent from the field. Kansas will have its first road test of the season this weekend when it will travel to Philadelphia to take on Villanova.
  • #9 Baylor, #11 Oregon and #13 Memphis picked up key victories. In a week that was defined by the top teams losing, it must be noted that several teams did in fact earn impressive wins. Baylor was able to outlast #15 Butler in Waco on Wednesday to earn what will go down as a strong résumé victory. Oregon used a first half flurry to get up on #13 Michigan on Saturday in Ann Arbor and then relied on senior guard Payton Pritchard and stout defense down the stretch to escape with a solid road win. Memphis has earned most of its headlines this season due to the James Wiseman eligibility saga, but Penny Hardaway has still put together a quality team that moved to 9-1 overall Saturday with a hard fought 51-47 road win over intrastate rival Tennessee. In a season where top teams have been clipped on a weekly basis, it is important to note when good teams are able to earn premium wins.

Game of the Week. #3 Ohio State vs. #6 Kentucky. The Buckeyes and Wildcats will meet at the CBS Sports Classic in Las Vegas on Saturday in what could be among the best games of the season. Both teams have only one loss on their dossiers and there will be high-level talent all over the court. An item to keep an eye on in the lead up to this game will be Ohio State guard Duane Washington Jr.‘s injury status. The sophomore was held out of Sunday’s loss to Minnesota with a rib injury and it is currently unknown when he will be available to return to the court. If the Buckeyes do not have Washington available, it will be interesting to what the team’s contingency plan is when it comes to dealing with Ashton Hagans, Tyrese Maxey and the talented Kentucky backcourt.

Keep Tabs On. #2 Gonzaga vs. North Carolina; #6 Kentucky vs. Utah; #7 Maryland vs. Seton Hall; #12 Auburn vs. NC State; #1 Kansas vs. Villanova; #15 Butler vs. Purdue; #9 Dayton vs. Colorado.

Conference Call. Big Ten (4), ACC (3), SEC (2), Big 12 (2), Pac-12 (1), AAC (1), Atlantic 10 (1), Big East (1), WCC (1).

WCarey (311 Posts)


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