02.24.09 Fast Breaks

Posted by nvr1983 on February 24th, 2009

Our intern comes through with a great set of links again today.

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We’re #66!

Posted by rtmsf on April 4th, 2008

From the in-case-you-missed-it file, and we know you did, THE Ohio State University played in the Dave Odom Invitational NIT Championship last night against UMass, and since the Buckeyes were not playing Florida in a collegiate postseason event, they actually managed to win this one 92-85.

Photo Credit: 11 Warriors

Kosta Koufos led the way for OSU with 23 pts while Ricky Harris poured in 27 for the losing team.  This is probably a good thing for Thad Matta’s team, as he stands to lose his top three scorers (Othello Hunter and Jamar Butler to graduation; Kosta Koufos to Europe?), leaving the Buckeyes to rely predominantly on David Lighty, Evan Turner, Jon Diebler and superfrosh BJ Mullens next season.  We’re not saying that a Thad Matta team is ever out of the picture, but this time next season an NIT championship may seem like manna from the gods.

Meanwhile, here was C-bus’s reaction to the ever-elusive NIT title…

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ATB: Can Raftery Wear Hawaiian Shirts Every Game?

Posted by rtmsf on November 21st, 2007

ATB v.4

11.21.07

Game of the Day. #10 Duke 77 #12 Marquette 73. There were several games we were looking forward to watching today, but truthfully this was the only game that stepped up to the plate and delivered an interesting result as Duke won its fourth Maui Invitational. We continue to be impressed by what Duke is accomplishing without any semblance of an inside presence. Literally, none. Everything they get is off the drive or off the jumper. Luckily for them, the Devils have the right mix of slashers and shooters to make that work. The long-term problem that Duke will ultimately face is what happens when they have to stare down a team with talented bigs as well as guards. In the Maui, Illinois had nice bigs but weak guard play. Marquette was the polar opposite – fantastic guards, but nothing inside. Duke can ride this strategy to a really nice season (as usual), but we don’t really see them making noise deep into March because of that fundamental weakness. Are we wrong about this? As for tonight’s game, it was fun to watch a close one but we never really believed Marquette would/could clutch this game away from Duke. Too many poor decisions with the ball, missed layups and fouls (some of which, of course, were dubious). Kyle Singler (25/7) led Duke with another great game, and Demarcus Nelson (16/7) had a nice game as well, but our takeaway tonight comes from the Marquette side. Why is it every time we watch MU we end up feeling like Jerel McNeal (11/2 on 4-7 shooting) and Wes Matthews (12/4 on 4-7 shooting) are better than the much-publicized Dominic James (12/6 on 4-16 shooting)? Just a thought. Final take – Duke and Marquette are good teams, but both have such a major fundamental flaw in the lack of any respectable inside game that their long-term prospects seem no better than the Sweet 16 this year.

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Other Games We Saw. Ohio St. 79, #22 Syracuse 65. This game wasn’t as close as the score indicated. We have to hand it again to Thad Matta – he gets his personnel to play hard and under control. Which is more than we can say for Jim Boeheim’s team tonight. While both teams are using several freshmen, it was OSU that looked far more poised. OSU’s Kosta Koufos (24/9) seemed unstoppable at times, showing three-point range on his jumper and a variety of bank shots and short Js in the paint. We may have severely underestimated this guy – if Duke had him, they would probably be F4-bound this year. Jamar Butler also hit several threes at opportune moments to keep Syracuse from ever getting a serious run mounted in the second half. The sole bright spot for the Cuse was from jumping jack rookie Donte Greene (21/10), but his classmate Jonny Flynn was simply horrid, putting up an 0-6 zero-pt night. What has happened to Flynn since his initial 28-pt explosion against Siena? After starting the year 10-13, he’s gone 4-19 since. #6 Louisville 68, UNLV 48. We had high hopes for this game as well, but it turned out to be a very ugly contest. Still, breaking a team’s 19-game winning streak at home is no joke, and the Cards (using only 8 scholarship players) should be commended for the convincing win. UNLV (eFG% = 30%) couldn’t find the basket with both hands tonight, and Louisville spent much of the game in the same Vegas Strip-induced fog. Earl Clark stepped up for the Cards with a dub-dub (16/13) and Terrence Williams did his usual thing (9/5/6 assts), and that was pretty much all they needed. We’re hopeful that the UL games coming up this weekend in Vegas will be a little more exciting. #16 Texas A&M 77, Washington 63. This was another game we had circled that didn’t really come through. UW looked lethargic and uninterested while Texas A&M methodically went about its business in winning the game. What is it about Pac-10 teams playing away from home so far this year – with the exception of UCLA, they all look terrible. Jon Brockman (21/15) was solid for Washington in the loss, but the props should go to the Texas A&M guards Dominique Kirk and Donald Sloan who combined for 33/6/6 assts while harassing the UW guards into a poor shooting night. Mark Turgeon is a great coach, so it should be no surprise that TAMU’s program remains strong after Billy Gillispie’s departure. Ohio St. and Texas A&M will meet in the PNIT finals.

Upset of the Night. Western Michigan 83, #21 Davidson 76. When is an upset not really an upset – how about this game? Davidson is ranked, but was favored by a mere 4 pts with good reason. W. Michigan is one of the leading contenders for the MAC title this year. In this game, WMU basically just shot the lights out, with an eFG% of 73% (v. 52% for Davidson). They hit 63% from two-point range and 55% (12-22) from three, as all five starters had double figures. For Davidson, Stephen Curry did his best to keep the Wildcats in the game as he had 25 pts (incl. 5 threes), but his only help came from backcourt mate Jason Richards (23/3/8 assts). While this loss may cause pollster consternation because WMU is a no-name opponent, we’re not ready to buy into that just yet. WMU is a good team and they were playing at home, but we still believe that Davidson can compete with (and beat) one or two of the remaining three biggies on its schedule (NC State or Duke, but not UCLA).

Other Ranked Teams.

  • #4 Kansas 87, N. Arizona 46. Darrell Arthur led the way with 17/6 in the blowout.
  • #5 Georgetown 57, Ball St. 48. Very surprised JT3 didn’t pour it on in this game.
  • #17 Butler 79, Michigan 65. Started to watch, but got sleepy…
  • #24 Clemson 74, Presbyterian 57. Clemson off to its usual unbeaten Nov/Dec.

Other Scores of Note.

  • Arizona St. 87, LSU 84. It’s so hard to sit back and watch good talent wasted (ahem, LSU).
  • Illinois 65, Oklahoma St. 49. The Illini are going to be their typical difficult selves this year.
  • Chaminade 74, Princeton 70. You go, Silverswords!
  • #24 Clemson 74, Presbyterian 57. Clemson off to its usual unbeaten Nov/Dec.

On Tap Today (all times EST). The Thanksgiving holiday isn’t a hoops day, so there are only ten games on tap, but wow, we get Beastley and Mayo late-night as we’re coming out of our food coma…

  • South Carolina (-2.5) v. Penn St. (ESPN2) 12pm – two hapless teams searching for a respectable win in the Old Spice Classic.
  • Mississippi St. (-10.5) v. UC Irvine (ESPNU) 2pm - MSU cannot afford to lose this game in UCI’s back yard (Anaheim).
  • NC State (-13.5) v. Rider (ESPN2) 2pm – NC State gets a chance to recover from the UNO loss.
  • S. Illinois (-16) v. Chattanooga (ESPNU) 4pm – our first television look at SIU this year.
  • Villanova (-6.5) v. Central Florida (ESPN2) 7pm – the game is in Orlando; will anyone be there?
  • Kansas St. (-2) v. George Mason (ESPN2) 9pm – not only is it our first look at Beastley, it’s also a great matchup!
  • Miami (OH) (-3) v. South Alabama (ESPNU) 9:30pm – won’t be watching this one much.
  • Gonzaga (-6) v. W. Kentucky (ESPNU) 11:30pm - a tremendous matchup in the Great Alaska.
  • USC (-13) v. San Diego (ESPN2) 11:30pm – conveniently timed post-Beastley and with our second turkey sandwich.

Happy Thanksgiving Day everyone!

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ATB: Please Never Make Us Watch Columbia Again

Posted by rtmsf on November 14th, 2007

ATB v.4

11.12.07

Story of the Night. Boring. There was really only one good game tonight – Syracuse 72, St. Joseph’s 69. We had this one on our upset alert radar last night, and it took a three from Jonny Flynn at the top of the key to put the Hawks away at the Carrier Dome tonight (see vid below). Amazingly, that was Flynn’s only hoop of the game, coming after his record 28 pts last night. His backcourt mate Paul Harris picked up the slack tonight, going for 18/14/6 assts/2 stls in the win. How a 6’5 guard tallies 29 rebounds in two games confounds us. Syracuse has shown that it has the guards to play with anyone, but will the Orange have anything on the interior this year? We shall see, but until then, Cuse blog Axeman Cometh tells us to get the popcorn ready.

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Things We Saw. Not much else tonight. Ohio St.-Columbia was the other ESPN game tonight, and although the Ivy League Lions gave a good effort, there was never a realistic chance for the upset. Once again, OSU didn’t really impress us, but we thought back to last year, and when did they ever impress us then either? They won 35 freakin’ games last year and we can only remember a handful where we thought ‘this is a pretty good team’ – the Big 10 championship game v. Wisconsin, the Tennessee second half comeback, and the Georgetown F4 game. So that’s how they do. We’re not going to count them out this year based on first impressions. Koufos (19/7/3 blks), Butler (18/7/3 assts) and Lighty (13/4/4 assts) led the way (Ohio St. 68, Columbia 54).

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SEC Goes on the Road. Two interesting games for SEC teams involved Vanderbilt going on the road to Toledo and Alabama going to upstart Mercer tonight. These were games that neither could afford to lose if they expect to be seriously considered for at-large bids next March. Vandy burst out to an 18-0 lead before Toledo bothered to score a single point, and although the game got close, Vandy continues to show with a balanced attack from Shan Foster and AJ Ogilvy why it will be heard from in the SEC East this year (Vanderbilt 77, Toledo 70). Bama went into a sold-out arena at Mercer and survived A-Sun Mayhem thanks to Richard Hendrix’s 28/14, but we’re patiently waiting the bottom to fall out on this team without a true point guard (Alabama 90, Mercer 83). Ole Miss also got a solid mid-major win at home over South Alabama tonight (Ole Miss 81, South Alabama 78).

Big Halftime Leads. #8 Michigan St. up 19 on Chicago St., Missouri up 30 on Fordham, #2 UCLA up 35-11 on Cal St.-San Bernardino, Washington up 21 on NJIT… (all blowout wins).

Ranked Teams.
#9 Washington St. 86, Boise St. 74. Wazzu struggled before blowing it open with a 60-pt second half.
#16 Gonzaga 80, Idaho 43. Another huge second half (44-13) led by Austin Daye (18/4/3 assts/6 blks).
#19 Texas A&M 67, Oral Roberts 53. This surprised us that it wasn’t very close.
#20 Arizona 76, N. Arizona 69. Lute is due back soon. Budinger with 25/6/4.

Upset Alert. Like we said, it was a boring night.

On Tap Tonight (all times EST). 50 more games tonight, including numerous ho-hums on FC .

  • Florida (NL) v. NC Central (ESPN FC) 7pm – yes, this is the same team Duke beat by 1000 pts.
  • UNC (-11) v. Davidson (ESPN) 7pm - Stephen Curry, neutral court??? Naaaah…..
  • St. John’s (NL) v. St. Francis (NY) (ESPN FC) 7:30pm – these are the games we wish we could give back to ESPN FC.
  • LSU (NL) v. McNeese St. (ESPN FC) 8pm – tune in just 5 mins to see Anthony Randolph.
  • North Texas (NL) v. Oklahoma St. (ESPN FC) 8pm – see above re: St. John’s.
  • Sam Houston St. (NL) v. Texas Tech (ESPN FC) 8pm – upset alert! SHSU is legit, and Knight isn’t what he used to be.
  • Bradley (NL) v. Iowa St. (ESPN FC) 8pm – Bradley should win this game for the Valley.
  • Texas A&M (NL) v. UTEP 9pm - Turgeon’s crew impressed tonight.
  • California (-8) v. Southern Mississippi 10:30pm – if Ben Braun weren’t still coaching there, Cal could surprise this year.
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Maybe the Big 10 Should Join D3…

Posted by rtmsf on November 6th, 2007

… since they can’t seem to handle D2 teams at home.

Findlay Logo

Another UF is Coming For You, Buckeyes!!!

First Michigan St. lost to Grand Valley St. on Saturday. Tonight Ohio St. went down 70-68 at the hands of Findlay (OH). To be fair, Findlay is the #5 ranked team in the D2 preseason poll, and they were 29-2 last year. But still… Findlay? Guard Marcus Parker led the way for the Oilers with 18 pts, and said that MSU’s loss inspired his team.

“I saw Grand Valley beat a Big Ten team (Michigan State),” Parker said, “and I felt we could come down here and do the same thing.”

He was right. From the OSU side of things, the few that are paying attention to hoops this time of year are stressing that this was from a lack of effort, not a lack of talent. From the Ohio St. blog Eleven Warriors:

Thad Matta’s squad simply didn’t match Findlay’s intensity, especially at the defensive end of the floor losing the rebounding battle 34-27 (13 offensive) while surrendering 10 threes. The lack of passion combined with another poor night at the stripe (11/17 64%) was more than enough to hand OSU their most embarassing defeat in the Thad Matta Era.

The good news is that freshman center Kosta Koufos led a second-half comeback with 20/7, but the other forward Othello Hunter laid a prodigious egg (0/1). Jamar Butler had a nice game with 22/3 asst, but the rest of the Buckeyes contributed very little. Looking at their lineup, we’re just not sure where their offense is going to come from this year outside of Butler and Koufos. Please don’t say Terwilliger.

To crib from Doug Gottlieb tonight, you think it might be time to consider replacing the ACC with the Great Lakes Conference in the ACC-B10 Challenge? You know, a league with some teams the Big 10 could bea… uh, nevermind.

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04.24.07 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on April 24th, 2007

  • Another 1-and-done: Georgia Tech’s Thaddeus Young is going pro, but will not sign with an agent.
  • Matta needs to recruit another Thad Five – is Jamar Butler going League too?
  • UCLA wasn’t counting on this. First Afflalo, now Darren Collison reportedly will declare for the NBA draft.
  • Is anyone staying in school? Sean Singletary is also testing the waters.
  • And finally, the WAC’s leading scorer last year, Utah St.’s Jaycee Carroll also declared for the draft today.
  • At least someone is staying in college this year – Reginald Delk is transferring to Louisville. His brother, Richard, is also transferring but has not yet announced a destination.
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