2013-14 RTC Conference Preview: Colonial Athletic Association

Posted by Mark Selig on November 4th, 2013

Mark Selig is the RTC correspondent for the Colonial Athletic Association. You can also find his musings online on Twitter @markrselig.

Reader’s Take

 

Looking Back

Since the last CAA game — a James Madison championship that its fans waited nearly two decades to see — the league has officially said goodbye to perennial powers George Mason (off to the Atlantic 10) and Old Dominion (now in Conference USA in a football-driven move), and hello to intriguing newcomer College of Charleston (formerly of the Southern Conference). Based on last year’s RPIs, the CAA won’t immediately suffer, but Mason — with a Final Four appearance last decade — is obviously a more high-profile program than Charleston. ODU is too. The swap is just the latest in the CAA’s geographical shift. The league is losing its Virginia members (VCU exited before last season) and seems to be trending south.

New Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich is just one of several newcomers to an ever changing CAA. (AP)

New Niagara coach Joe Mihalich is just one of several newcomers to an ever changing CAA. (AP)

The league also said goodbye to Mo Cassara, Hofstra’s hard-luck coach who took the job in tough circumstances (replacing Tim Welsh after a DUI) and was let go in equally difficult ones. His replacement? Longtime Niagara coach Joe Mihalich, who said he’ll have to donate all the purple wardrobe accumulated from 15 years with the Purple Eagles to JMU coach Matt Brady (ironically, Mihalich and Brady both have wives named Mary, and both have three sons, including a set of twins — with the same May 30 birthday!). Brady, meanwhile, parlayed his CAA title into a four-year contract extension, although the talks were a bit drawn out, nearly lingering until his previous contract expired. As for a new coach joining Mihalich in the league, second-year Charleston coach Doug Wojcik becomes every CAA reporter and copy editor’s worst nightmare. Wojcik (I’m already getting the hang of it), is no stranger to the CAA, having played with David Robinson at Navy in the 1980s.

The final goodbye from the CAA was to the city of Richmond — home of the league’s last 24 postseason tournaments. The league offices are still located in Richmond, but the CAA will host its annual playoff in Baltimore this year. Trying to establish Charm City as a sort of hub for CAA hoops, the conference held its media day at the Renaissance Baltimore, a swanky hotel overlooking the Inner Harbor. “Crab Cakes and basketball. That’s what we’re going to do here in Charm City,” Towson coach Pat Skerry, channeling a Wedding Crashers line, said during a lunchtime speech at media day.

Power Rankings

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The Other 26: You Will Be Entertained

Posted by IRenko on January 19th, 2013

I. Renko is an RTC columnist. He will kick off each weekend during the season with his analysis of the 26 other non-power conferences. Follow him on Twitter @IRenkoHoops.

After a one-week hiatus, we are back and just in time for a veritable orgy of great college hoops matchups today.  Yes, there is Louisville v. Syracuse, Florida v. Missouri, Oregon v. UCLA, and Ohio State v. Michigan State.  But things get no less interesting as you move down to the mid-major level, where several compelling matchups featuring conference contenders will unfold.  Before we get to the Top 10, let’s take a look at what’s on tap today:

  • Gonzaga at Butler — The nation’s two Cinderella darlings will square off at the storied Hinkle Fieldhouse in a made-for-TV (yes, ESPN College Gameday will be in the house) contest.  It will be the final game of Gonzaga’s non-conference schedule and, arguably, its toughest.  The loss of Rotnei Clarke to a frightening neck injury will take some of the luster off of this matchup, as Butler will be playing without their leading scorer.  The task will be no easier on the other end of the Court, as the Bulldogs will have to contend with a potent Gonzaga frontcourt, led by 7-footer Kelly Olynyk, who has emerged into a bona fide All-American candidate.  But as we all know, being the underdog suits Brad Stevens just fine.
  • Creighton at Wichita StateDoug McDermott has wowed the nation over the past week with a pair of 30-point games, and between his dominance and Creighton’s three-point shooting, the Bluejays’ offense has become quite difficult to stop.  But if there’s a team in the MVC who can do it, it’s Wichita State.  The Shockers have the best defense in the league, which will have the added boost of a raucous home crowd for this premier matchup.  The Shockers’ strong, quick guards will challenge Creighton at the other end, and Cleanthony Early might prove a tough matchup for McDermott.  Carl Hall is also back in the lineup for the Shockers, so both teams will be at full strength.
Siyani Chambers Is Having An Outstanding Freshman Year (Anthony Nesmith/CSM/Cal Sport Media/AP Images)

Siyani Chambers Is Having An Outstanding Freshman Year (Anthony Nesmith/CSM/Cal Sport Media/AP Images)

  • Harvard at Memphis — With Conference USA muddling through a down year, this could be be Memphis’ toughest opponent of the 2013 calendar year.  The Crimson have turned in a quality season despite the unexpected one-year withdrawals of senior leaders Brandyn Curry and Kyle Casey due to an academic cheating scandal.  Much of the credit for that goes to freshman point guard Siyani Chambers, who is fifth in the country in minutes per game.  Tommy Amaker has put a great deal of faith in the young man, but he has rewarded him with a 31% assist rate, 50% three-point shooting average, and 88% FT shooting average.  Chambers will lock horns with Joe Jackson, who has steadied himself this season to become a reliable scorer and team leader.  The senior point guard has hit double-digits in points in 12 straight games, the longest mark of his college career.
  • Western Illinois at North Dakota State — North Dakota State has been one of the great underreported stories of the season, rolling up a 16-3 record and supplanting South Dakota State as the Summit League’s favorite.  But Western Illinois has also creeped to the top of the league standings, just a game behind NDSU at 6-1.  The Leathernecks are led by an inside-out combo of big man Terrell Parks (13.9 ppg, 9.4 rbg) and do-everything senior guard Ceola Clark.  Clark is an excellent defender, and he’ll need to be at his best to help stop a North Dakota State that is a well-oiled, methodical, efficient machine.  Marshall Bjorkland, the Bison’s 6-8 junior, is arguably the most efficient scorer in the country.  He leads the nation in effective FG percentage (72.4%) and is fourth in true shooting percentage (71.2%).
  • Utah State at Denver — Louisiana Tech remains at the top of the WAC standings after holding off Idaho on Thursday night, but these two squads are just one loss behind them.  So tonight’s game has a lot riding on it.  Expect a low-scoring contest between two of the lowest tempo teams in the country.  Royce O’Neale and Chris Udofia lead Denver’s Princeton offense, which wears down opponents with movement and relies heavily on the three-point shot.  Utah State will look to Preston Medlin, who leads the team with 16.3 points per game, and center Jarred Shaw who gets lots of touches in Stew Morrill’s offense. 
  • College of Charleston at Davidson — Charleston will have a chance to move into a tie atop the Southern Conference South standings with a win at Davidson.  They’ll be led by their backcourt combo of Andrew Lawrence and Anthony Stitt, while their hosts will rely more heavily on their frontcourt tandem of De’Mon Brooks and Jake Cohen.  Davidson can fall in love with the three-point shot to their detriment.  They’re better when they get the ball to the versatile Brooks and Cohen.  Getting the ball in the basket won’t be easy against Charleston, which has a pretty good defense anchored in the middle by Adjehi Baru.
  • Belmont v. Tennessee State – You would think that this game between the OVC’s two undefeated teams would lose its luster with the absence of Tennessee State’s star big man, Robert Covington, except for one thing — they’ve won every one of their six OVC games without him.  Covington went down with a torn meniscus in a December 18 trip to Middle Tennessee State that the Tigers went on to lose by 38 points.  At that point, they were 5-7 on the season but they’ve reeled off seven straight since and now sit atop the OVC East standings.   But they may need more than the Ewing Effect when they travel across town to face off with Belmont.  The switch from the A-Sun to the OVC hasn’t dimmed the Bruins’ ability to dominate their conference competition.

So there it is, a day-long feast for the glutton who craves mid-major hoops.  We move on, now, to the updated Top 10 rankings, our weekly (starting this week) Honor Roll, and a few more games to keep an eye on as the week unfolds.

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Freeze Frame: Tennessee’s Three-Point Defense

Posted by Brian Joyce on December 20th, 2011

Tennessee lost 71-65 to a good College of Charleston team in Knoxville on December 14, but this loss was avoidable. The Volunteers looked lost on defense because of inconsistencies in effort and a lack of communication on perimeter screens. The Vols didn’t body up to Charleston’s shooters, allowing open looks all night. This is not a new problem for Cuonzo Martin’s club. Tennessee has allowed opposing guards to light it up all season long. In each of its losses this year, Tennessee has been unable to lock down the opposition’s star player:

  • Duke: Seth Curry – 17 points, four assists
  • Memphis: Will Barton – 25 points, one assist
  • Oakland: Reggie Hamilton – 35 points, three assists
  • Pittsburgh: Ashton Gibbs – 16 points, six assists
  • Austin Peay: TyShwan Edmondson – 19 points, two assists
  • College of Charleston: Antwaine Wiggins – 24 points, eight rebounds

College of Charleston came into this game making 34.9% of its three-point attempts. Against the Vols, the Cougars were 7-15 (46.7%). In this installment of Freeze Frame, we will examine UT’s inability to close out on good shooters, which allowed CofC to win this game.

Play 1 (17 minutes remaining in the first half)

Antwaine Wiggins is the Cougars’ most prolific scorer at 18.1 points per game. Cameron Tatum started out the game defending him, however, Tatum got tangled up on screens several times allowing Wiggins to get free. In the first play, Wiggins takes Tatum through two screens to find an open three point shot on the perimeter. Trent Weideman (#44) for CofC sets the first screen at the top of the key.

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Morning Five: 10.26.11 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on October 26th, 2011

  1. The big news of the day came in the world of conference realignment as Oral Roberts announced that it would be leaving the Summit League and moving to the Southland Conference next year. The move is big for the Southland Conference because the addition brings it back to 10 teams after three schools (Texas State, UT-Arlington, and UT-San Antonio) announced that they would be moving to the WAC next year. The Golden Eagles should be one of the better basketball teams in the Southland as the move will be a major step down in terms of the quality of basketball played in the conference even before those three teams left the conference.
  2. Oh, you were expecting the “other” conference realignment news to lead off today? I guess we will get to that too. Yesterday, an anonymous source reported that the Big 12 was set to offer West Virginia an opportunity to join the conference when Missouri completes their move to the SEC, a move that has not become official yet, but seems to be a near certainty. Before the past few months we would have looked down on this move by West Virginia from a basketball perspective because the Big East was a much better basketball conference, but the way things are going we are not even sure if the Big East will exist in a recognizable form in five years.
  3. One team that appears to be staying in the Big East for now is defending national champion Connecticut. As we mentioned yesterday, the Huskies appeared to have trouble headed their way with a potential (ridiculous) ruling by the NCAA related to APR scores that turned out to be a miscommunication by the NCAA. While the Huskies avoided the NCAA’s wrath for now they need to step it up because their graduation rate of 25% is appalling especially when compared to the increased graduation rate nationwide where 82% of all student-athletes and 68% of men’s basketball players graduate. The full data set is available here and is pretty interesting if you have the time to browse through it.
  4. DaJuan Coleman decided to stay close to home for college as he committed to Syracuse yesterday in a press conference at his high school. Coleman opted to play for the Orange over Kentucky and Ohio State. Although Coleman listed those three schools as his finalists it was pretty clear to most observers that he was staying home as he went to Big Blue Madness then Syracuse this weekend at which point he called the press conference and never even went on an official visit to Columbus. In a move that is symbolic for the current state of college sports Syracuse celebrated his commitment by announcing it on two of their official Twitter accounts, which is a secondary violation (the tweets were deleted before any screencaps were taken).
  5. ESPN’s Diamond Leung had a nice feature story on College of Charleston freshman Adjehi Baru and the path he took to become a Division I basketball player from the Ivory Coast. Last year, Baru shocked many observers when he chose Charleston over several other higher-profile programs including North Carolina, but from Leung’s piece it seems like Baru felt a connection with the program and Bobby Cremins. We are sure that Baru’s story will be told many times over the next few years and he should be featured prominently on this year’s telecasts as he could play a significant role for a team that will be adjusting to life after Andrew Goudelock although the team does return a solid supporting cast.
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RTC Conference Primers: #15 – Southern Conference

Posted by rtmsf on October 21st, 2011

Will Rothschild is the RTC correspondent for the Southern and the Atlantic Sun conferences. He can be found on twitter @warothschild.

Reader’s Take I

Top Storylines

  • The Arrival of Adjehi Baru. The highest-rated prospect ever to choose the College of Charleston, Baru is a 6’9″ native of the Ivory Coast who picked the Cougars from a final group that included North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia Tech. Bobby Cremins has always been known as a great recruiter – if not exactly John Wooden on the bench – but this was clearly his biggest coup since he beat out North Carolina, Georgetown, St. John’s and Syracuse for Kenny Anderson back in 1988. Though Baru has only been playing basketball a short time and his offensive game is a major work in progress, he quickly established himself as a game-changer on the AAU circuit and shot up the recruiting rankings, eventually settling in as a consensus top-five center prospect. He will be an absolute load to deal with in the SoCon. After his eligibility was initially held up the NCAA Clearinghouse, he was cleared to play this season in early October.

Steward Will Be an Absolute Load in the SoCon

  • The Big Dogs Are Back: Will it be Davidson or Chattanooga?  The two most tradition-rich programs in the Southern Conference are back on top this season and appear head and shoulders above what otherwise looks to be a very balanced league. Each team returns four starters, top-notch point guards, and a nice blend of versatile wings and size in the post. They also have coaches – Bob McKillop at Davidson and John Shulman at Chattanooga – who know how to get a team through the SoCon tournament and into the Dance. Davidson will be looking for its 6th NCAA trip under McKillop and its 11th overall, but its first since the team that was a rimmed-out Jason Richards jumpshot from making it to the Final Four in 2008. Chattanooga is also after its 11th NCAA trip, its third in eight seasons under Shulman, and its first since 2009.
  • How Far Will Wofford Fall?  After two straight Southern Conference championships and NCAA Tournament bids (in which they lost first-round games to Wisconsin and BYU by a combined 12 points), the consensus is Wofford won’t be much of a threat in 2011-12. Coach Mike Young, who has turned down a couple of overtures from other schools the past two springs, watched five of the most celebrated players in program history graduate in May. But even with POY Noah Dahlman, the two title teams were more a testament to Young and his staff’s ability to bring the right kind of players to Wofford, one of the most challenging liberal arts colleges in the South. Indeed, those teams always had a sum-is-better-then-their-parts ethos about them. Meanwhile, Young and his staff are excited about their past two recruiting classes, including a freshman group seven strong. Expecting the Terriers to win 20 games for the third straight season isn’t realistic, but in his 10th season Young has this program rolling and stocked with young talent that will keep the Terriers from slipping very far down the standings.
  • Will Appalachian State be better WITHOUT Donald Sims?  While the 6’1″ Sims was a dominant scorer (21 PPG in 2010-11) he also dominated the basketball, and his teammates deferred too much at times to his one-on-one offensive ability. With the graduation of the school’s all-time leading scorer and 2010 SoCon POY, the sense around Boone is that Jason Capel’s second team will be much more balanced and difficult to defend. Omar Carter, a 6’5″ forward, is back after averaging 16.3 points and nearly 6 rebounds, and 6’10″ center Isaac Butts returns after missing all of last season with an injury. As a junior in 2009-10, Butts averaged 8.5 points and 8.1 rebounds, and he makes Appalachian one of the few teams in the league with someone to physically match up with Baru. Capel also welcome a pair JUCO transfers – Rodney Milum, a 6’0″ guard from Houston, and Jamaal Trice, a 6’6″ forward from L.A. – who are expected to step in and contribute immediately.

Predicted Order of Finish

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Who’s Got Next? Updating the Class of 2011 Rankings…

Posted by Josh Paunil on April 26th, 2011

Who’s Got Next? is a weekly column by Josh Paunil, the RTC recruiting guru. We encourage you to check out his website dedicated solely to college basketball recruiting, National Recruiting Spotlight, for more detailed recruiting information. Each week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to who the hot prospects are in the lower levels of the sport. If you have any suggestions as to areas we’re missing, please let us know at rushthecourt@yahoo.com.

Introduction

This week has been full of events ranging from my final class of 2011 rankings to high-profile commitments to big-time performances to much rumor mill chatter. Players being lost in their recruitment, underclassmen making names for themselves and conference champions rescinding scholarship offers from top-five recruits are just a few things that happened in a very eventful week in the world of college basketball recruiting.

What We Learned

Former class of 2012 top-15 prospect small forward Alex Murphy (#34 – Duke) decided to join the Blue Devils a year early.

Murphy Heads to Duke a Year Early. Former class of 2012 top-15 prospect small forward Alex Murphy (#34) decided to join the Blue Devils a year early (to see why, check out the “What They’re Saying” section below) as he has already passed the necessary courses to graduate and has been in high school for four years. There was speculation since he first committed to Duke that he would reclassify to the class of 2011 and the fact that he never denied it just added to the conjecture. The scouting report on Murphy is that he has a very nice shooting stroke from both the perimeter and mid-range game and is a superb slasher who finishes well around the basket. Given his length and athleticism, he is also versatile and will be able to play either forward position for Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. However, he needs to add strength to his frame and become a better rebounder, but there have been rumors that he will redshirt so if true he will have another year to develop both of those attributes.

Kevin Ware is a Knight… I think. Shooting guard Kevin Ware committed to Central Florida Monday joining an impressive class including center Michael Chandler, small forward Rod Days and power forwards Wayne Martin and Kasey Wilson. However, we don’t know whether Ware still wants to be a Knight. Since he already signed a letter of intent with Tennessee (which they released him from after Bruce Pearl was fired), NCAA rules prohibit him from signing another one in the same year with UCF, so Ware is free to do whatever he wants. The first thing that raised eyebrows about his future college choice was the fact that he was announced as “undecided” in the Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic over the weekend (although his stepfather later said he filled out the forms before he committed and didn’t feel like changing it). The next thing that made people question his commitment was when a Louisville website reported that Ware told them his recruitment to UCF wasn’t a done deal and that he was “absolutely” still considering Louisville (see the “What They’re Saying” section for Ware’s quotes on this). Also, he reportedly told fans at the Derby Classic while signing autographs that he was still considering the Cardinals. The excuse for all of this that has been picking up steam lately is that Ware was simply afraid of potential backlash from Louisville fans at the event, which is plausible since Ware tweeted he was afraid of a backlash before he left for it. We still don’t know what is going on with him but hopefully by next week we will have a clearer picture of his college choice.

UNC Rescinds Shabazz Muhammad Scholarship Offer. In a surprising move, North Carolina head coach Roy Williams pulled the scholarship offer from junior small forward Shabazz Muhammad (#5) this week while at the same time offering his teammate, small forward Rosco Allen (#27). It has seemed as though Carolina was losing steam with Muhammad ever since he didn’t attend the North Carolina vs. Duke game at Chapel Hill (although a reason to why he missed it was never confirmed), and the rumor going around now is that he is close to making a commitment elsewhere. The other schools that he would be presumably choose between are Duke, Kentucky, Texas and UCLA. Muhammad is an impact player who will start from day one no matter the program he goes to since he is such a prolific scorer on the offensive end and is so athletic and versatile. He is a better scorer inside the arc than anyone else in the class of 2012 but needs to work on consistently rebounding and improving his ball-handling to become a complete player.

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The Other 26: Week Four

Posted by rtmsf on December 10th, 2010

Kevin Doyle is an RTC contributor.  For an introduction to this series, please click here.

Introduction

As every week of the college basketball season evaporates right before our eyes—like a double-digit lead is whittled down to a single possession in a matter of minutes—more and more stories subsequently develop. To draw a comparison to mathematics for you brainiacs out there, this is the classic inverse relationship. As “X”—the number of weeks in the season—decreases, “Y”—the amount of stories—increases. Think about it, when are there the most stories surrounding college basketball? At the end of the year during the NCAA Tournament, of course. From the moment Selection Sunday rolls around all the way to that final, depressing buzzer in the NCAA Championship game rings signaling an end to another season, it seems as if college hoops are being discussed 24/7. Just this past week, there were several major developments in the world of the Other 26:

  • The top three teams in the Mountain West—SDSU, BYU, and UNLV—are a combined 27-0.
  • Butler and Gonzaga have identical, albeit very mediocre, records: 4-4.
  • Temple defeated Maryland and Georgetown, and in the process Fran Dunphy picked up his 400th win.
  • Cleveland State has the most victories in the country with 11.
  • One of the biggest recruits in the nation—Adjehi Baru—signed with the College of Charleston over a couple of ACC schools. Bobby Cremins really has something brewing down there in South Carolina. Could Charleston be the next Davidson? Both schools, after all, hail from the Southern Conference.
  • Illinois and Oakland were getting in touch with their feminine side by using a women’s basketball for the first seven minutes of the first half of their game.

The inverse relationship will not fail as the season progresses. I promise.

Tidbits from the Rankings:

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Morning Five: 12.07.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on December 7th, 2010

  1. For those of you who, like us, are into such things, Ken Pomeroy added the player ratings to his website late last night.  Some of the more interesting findings after one month of the season?  Arizona’s Derrick Williams and UConn’s Kemba Walker have the two highest offensive ratings in the nation, Miami’s Reggie Johnson has been the best offensive rebounder in the country, and St. Mary’s guard Steve Holt is the nation’s best pickpocket.  Steve Holt! You can spend hours fiddling around on there learning the hidden secrets of the game, secure in the knowledge that Pomeroy’s work has made the college basketball world a slightly better place.
  2. From the you-don’t-see-this-every-day department, College of Charleston announced on Monday that the school had signed top-50 recruit Adjehi Baru, a 6’9 forward who spurned offers from several ACC schools including North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia Tech.  Needless to say, Baru represents the highest-rated recruit ever signed by the school.  The SoCon occasionally puts players into the NBA (most notably, Stephen Curry), but rarely are those players considered elite recruits coming out of high school.  Tremendous get for CofC head coach Bobby Cremins.
  3. Seth Davis takes a look at some of the intricacies of calling a foul when a player swings his elbows around, and even though he warned us, we came out of it more confused that we were before we started.  One of the more interesting nuggets of the article, though, is that it appears that the use of the block/charge semi-circle underneath the basket in select preseason tournaments was a rousing success.  We’ve been asking for that thing for years (familiarly called the “Battier zone”), and with that sort of a commendation it may be well on its way.
  4. Some injury news…  Duke’s Kyrie Irving will likely not play in Wednesday’s game at home against Bradley as a result of a toe injury that they’re hopeful will not become a serious problem.  They clearly want to be careful with him, but with games against the Braves, St. Louis, Elon and UNC-Greensboro between now and the new year, they can afford to take their time with him.  In less important-to-his-team news, Baylor will lose freshman guard Stargell Love for up to two months as a result of a stress fracture in his left foot.  He was playing about sixteen minutes per game, but with AJ Walton and LaceDarius Dunn manning most of the backcourt minutes, the Bears should be alright in his absence (assuming no further injuries).
  5. We hate doing these, but long-time Marquette Warrior Hank Raymonds passed away on Monday after a battle with cancer.  Raymonds was not nearly as well-known nationally as his boss Al McGuire, but he was an integral part of the Marquette program as the masterful x & o tactician/assistant behind the charismatic McGuire.  After the 1977 national title and McGuire’s retirement, Raymonds took over the program as head coach and athletic director, and led the Warriors to a 126-50 (.716) record in six seasons, including five NCAA Tournament appearances and a Sweet Sixteen in 1979.  In reading through the comments in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s story on Raymonds, it’s easy to see just how beloved this man was in the Marquette community.  RIP, Hank.
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Around The Blogosphere: December 7, 2010

Posted by nvr1983 on December 7th, 2010

If you are interested in participating in our ATB2 feature, send in your submissions to rushthecourt@gmail.com.

[Ed. Note: Many of these are from Sunday night, but weren't up in time for our Monday edition.]

Games of Interest

  • Montana 66, UCLA 57: “Just when you thought the weekend could not get any worse it did.  UCLA lost to Montana 66-57 and it was not really that close. . . Maybe Fox Sports did us a favor not televising it live so most Bruins could hear the score and not watch it.” (Bruins Nation)
  • USC 73, Texas 56: “Ah, that first game of the season where the opponent fully exposes the team’s weaknesses. It is inevitable, but it always provides clarity as to the challenges of the road ahead.” (Burnt Orange Nation)
  • Arizona 83, Oklahoma 60: “Oklahoma was outmatched once again on the basketball floor by a team superior in talent. Arizona at all of the answers for an Oklahoma squad that managed to only shoot 48% from the floor and was out rebounded by a margin of 30-17.” (Crimson and Cream Machine)

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Around The Blogosphere: Where We Decide Titles On The Floor

Posted by nvr1983 on December 5th, 2010

If you are interested in participating in our ATB2 feature, send in your submissions to rushthecourt@gmail.com.

Top 25 Games

  • #1 Duke 82, Butler 70: “There is absolutely zero belief in moral victories on this end, as Butler lost to a team who was better than it was and who, in crunch time, played better than it did. There are several reasons why that happened – which will be brought up in a bit – yet there were some positives to come out of losing to the Blue Devils in a contest that was within a couple possessions both ways for most of the day.” (Victory Firelight)
  • #9 Villanova 71, St. Joseph’s 60: “The Hawks of Saint Joseph’s held the lead over the Wildcats of Villanova for the first 4:30 of the game, relinquishing the lead briefly to regain it at the 13:53 mark. They would hold it for only 30 seconds more before releasing it for the last time. For the next 33 and half minutes the question was only by how much the Wildcats would win. The answer turned out to be 11, as Villanova won 71-60 and ran their Big 5 record to 2-0 for 2010-11.” (Villanova by the Numbers)
  • #10 Georgetown 68, Utah State 51: “No matter how thrilling and enjoyable Tuesday night’s win against Missouri was, I will take a game like today every single time.  After a back and forth first half, the Hoyas came out of halftime and tore the Aggies apart, winning 68-51 in Washington, DC. Chris Wright was the best of Run DMV The Holy Trinity our dynamite three guards that have yet to be named.  Wright attacked the basket time and time again, getting easy layups while scoring 21 points on 9 shots.  He added 4 steals and 2 assists.  No other Hoya was in double figures, but 5 other players had 6 points or more.” (Casual Hoya)
  • #12 Minnesota 71, Cornell 66: “The Gophers pulled out a 71-66 win Saturday night over the Cornell Big Red. That’s the good news. The bad? The  Gophers again played no perimeter defense, had just occasional consistency on offense, and shot free throws at a 59 percent clip (26-44). It wasn’t pretty. At all.” (The Daily Gopher)
  • UNC 75, #14 Kentucky 73: “For Kentucky, this is a tough, brutal loss.  Speaking as a Kentucky fan, my disappointment on losing this game could be measured on the Richter scale.  I know we played well enough to win, and a gritty effort by Doron Lamb and DeAndre Liggins now goes by the boards.  I know that this is sometimes how basketball goes, but right now, I am absolutely inconsolable.  This is a game Kentucky should have won, and frankly deserved to win.  Alas, we did not.” (A Sea of Blue)
  • #16 Syracuse 65, NC State 59: Breaking down a lackluster performance by the Orange. (Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician)
  • #18 Purdue 66, Alabama 47: “It’s funny. We were ribbed the other day during the Va Tech game via Twitter about “Purdue’s vaunted offense” and how we were wrong to have taken issue with people like John Gasaway and other MSM types. Sure, Purdue’s offense isn’t blowing people away, but they won that night and they won again today. It’s always fun to have your team’s offensive prowess mocked… while they’re still winning. Matt Painter trademarks are pressure defense and smart play. The Boilers, while sloppy at times today, used their suffocating defense and their plenty-good offense to win today’s game with the Crimson Tide, 66-47.” (Boiled Sports)
  • #23 Illinois 73, #24 Gonzaga 61: “Stop me if you’ve heard this before.  Another big time, nationally televised game; another big time, nationally televised Gonzaga flop. It has truly become an abysmal trend that Gonzaga can’t shake.  There is going to be a lot of finger pointing after this game so I’ll go ahead and fuel the fire.” (The Slipper Still Fits)

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Recruiting Rumor Mill: 10.11.10 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on October 11th, 2010

After a few weeks of huge commitments this week was a little more quiet as it seems like most of the big pieces have committed with the exception of Quincy Miller, LeBryan Nash, and Adonis Thomas, but don’t forget that none of the currently committed players have done more than verbally commit and we all know how fickle teenagers can be so we could see some minds change between now and Signing Day. Having said that there were a few notable commitments this week and other news worth following.

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