Your Watercooler Moment. Yes, Paul Hewitt is still at Georgia Tech, and yes, the Ramblin’ Wreck is still one. If your memory was hazy as to why major conference schools don’t like visiting mid-majors on their home floors, Kennesaw State’s blitzing of Georgia Tech tonight, 80-63, is your reminder. But be honest — have you even heard of Kennesaw State before? The Owls joined Division I a mere five years ago and its best win in five-plus years of basketball at the highest collegiate level was a two-point victory over conference rival Belmont in 2007-08. It’s quite a leap to go from sneaking by a mid-100s RPI conference opponent to obliterating an ACC foe from start to finish, even one as generally unpredictable and disappointing as Georgia Tech, but the sellout crowd at the school a half-hour north of Atlanta loved it. Kennesaw State took a fourteen-point lead into the half, and except for a couple of minor pushes by the Jackets, they were never truly threatened tonight. Paul Hewitt reportedly has a huge buyout in his contract, but we figure eventually Georgia Tech is going to tire of year after year of mediocrity despite the lure and promise of star recruits coming onto campus, right? We think there’s no greater tell of the abilities of Hewitt to get it done at Georgia Tech than the fact that he’s never in ten years in Atlanta finished better than 9-7 in the ACC — and he’s only done that once (in 2004). And consider the players who have come through GT: Chris Bosh, Jarrett Jack, Will Bynum, Javaris Crittenton, Anthony Morrow, Thaddeus Young, Derrick Favors, Gani Lawal. Only a handful of schools nationally have put more players into the NBA than Paul Hewitt, yet this surfeit of talent simply hasn’t translated to success at the collegiate level. He needs to go, and this loss may have been the ugly slap to the face that Tech administrators need to finally cut him loose.
- Mini-RTC at Kennesaw State. Honestly, we’re not sure when a school like Kennesaw would get another shot at something like this, so we’re somewhat shocked that the entire student body wasn’t immediately on the floor after the final buzzer. Maybe they’re still new to this whole basketball thing. Nevertheless, there was a mini-RTC of which we found photographic evidence. If anyone has a better photo or can show more students filling the floor, we’ll count it as a full one, and the first of the 2010-11 season.
- Clarence Jackson. During several portions of tonight’s Siena game at Minnesota, it appeared that the confident Jackson was going to win the game all by himself. He had 29/5/4 assts including five threes and if he’d gotten any help from his teammates — he had more FGs and points than the other four starters combined — Siena may have been able to walk out of the Barn with a big win.
- Fordham’s Streak. It took 322 days and 23 games but the nation’s current longest losing streak ended tonight when Fordham defeated Sacred Heart, 69-51. Good for those guys, and even better that they really did it in a convincing fashion. Chris Gaston had 12/17/4 blks.
- Nikola Vucevic. Could be one of the more underrated and unknown big men in the nation — through two games the USC forward is averaging 21/13 against not-terrible competition (UC Irvine and Santa Clara).
- Double Your Morris Trouble. The Kansas twins Marcus and Markieff Morris both had dub-dubs tonight — Marcus went for 22/11 while his brother dropped 12/13 in an easy win over Valparaiso. The win was also KU’s 61st consecutive home victory, one short of its all-time record. Watch out, North Texas (Friday night’s opponent).
- Atlantic Sun! Just a few days after Stetson took out Wake Forest, Kennesaw State did the same to Georgia Tech. What’s the lesson here? Maybe yellow and gold teams shouldn’t play A-Sun squads? Or maybe those ACC teams are really struggling right now.
- Oakland. The Golden Grizzlies going into the MAC favorite’s gym and easily dispatching them after getting rolled up over the weekend by WVU was an impressive win, and the kind of thing that will be very helpful come March. Keith Benson didn’t even play all that well (10/6/3 blks while in foul trouble), but OU was still able to win easily.
- Steve Lavin. Lavin gets a nod here for having the cojones to schedule his team to play 3,000 miles away in a bandbox gym at 2 am ET. This was going to almost assuredly be a loss for his team, but we have a sneaky suspicion that putting his players through this will be a good learning and bonding experience for them that will help come the rigors of Big East play later this year.