ATB: Northwestern Really Misses Kevin Coble

Posted by rtmsf on November 19th, 2009

atb

A quiet day following the storm of the 24-hour marathon and on the eve of two tremendous CvC semifinal matchups tomorrow night in New York City…

Story of the Day Butler Passes Its First Non-Conference Test. #10 Butler 67, Northwestern 54. It was a balanced effort last night for the Bulldogs who shook off a sluggish opener against Davidson to down the shorthanded Wildcats. Northwestern could have used leading scorer and rebounder Kevin Coble along with senior forward Jeff Ryan (both out with season-ending injuries) against a deeper Butler squad that saw five players notch nine points or better. The effort was led by sophomore point guard Shelvin Mack’s 15 points and eight assists while Gordon Hayward chipped in with 14 of his own. Butler was able to win despite shooting a lackluster 8-16 from the charity stripe, a statistic I’m sure coach Brad Stevens won’t ignore. Butler now has a road date with Evansville before departing for Anaheim next week.  For mor e details from this one, our RTC Live post is on it.

Longhorn Domination (or Was It?). #3 Texas 73, Western Carolina 41. Dominating win for the Longhorns against weak competition, but 21 turnovers and 18-31 from the free throw line have to be concerning numbers for Rick Barnes. A balanced scoring effort last night with some highlights including Damion James ’18/7/2 on 4-9 FG, 2-3 3pt and 8-10 FT, Gary Johnson with 10 points on 4-4 FG and potential starting point guard J’Covan Brown with 10 points on 3-3 FG. Remember: the Longhorns still don’t have Jai Lucas eligible. This is still the second-best team in the nation in my humble estimation.

Other Games of National Interest.

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RTC Live: Butler @ Northwestern

Posted by rtmsf on November 18th, 2009

RTCLive

Welcome back to RTC Live as we continue our coast-to-coast coverage of key games of national interest.  Tonight we’re coming to you from the campus of Northwestern University, along the shore of Lake Michigan, as the Wildcats take on #10 Butler in an interesting game between the Big Ten and the Horizon League.  As I’m sure you’re well aware, Northwestern has been hit with a string of bad news lately, losing star forward Kevin Coble to a foot injury for the season and reserve Jeff Ryan to an ACL tear.  Butler returns at full strength with stars Gordon Hayward, Shelvin Mack and Matt Howard, but as we saw on Saturday afternoon, they struggled for a good portion of the game before finally putting away Davidson in a battle of mid-majors.  Both teams will need to have this win on their resumes for March – Butler to have a quality road win over a Big Ten foe and Northwestern to have a win over a ranked team.  Our correspondent John Templon will be onsite tonight at Welsh-Ryan Arena, and we invite you to join him tonight with your questions and comments.

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Morning Five: 11.16.09 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on November 16th, 2009

morning5

  1. Northwestern head coach Bill Carmody said today that his star Kevin Coble’s foot bones are “out of alignment” due to an awkward landing last week and, barring an unforeseen diagnosis today, he will need surgery and have to miss the 2009-10 season.  When it rains it pours, we guess, as Carmody also confirmed that senior guard Jeff Ryan was also done for the season after tearing his ACL in the Wildcats’ home opener on Friday night.  Although Ryan isn’t a scorer, he provides necessary depth in the backcourt.  Carmody isn’t taking the ‘blessing in disguise’ approach even though Northwestern will presumably bring back all but two players in 2010-11, stating that this year’s team will keep the same goals and move forward.
  2. Mike DeCourcy wonders if UNC really needed to sign Harrison Barnes given the glut of talent Roy Williams will have on his perimeter the next few years.  Is there something to the idea that Roy went after him in order to keep him out of rival Duke’s clutches?
  3. There will be no criminal charges filed stemming from the brawls between the Kansas football and basketball teams on September 22 and 23 of this year, but it would have been nice if Bill Self had shown the public a peek inside the looking glass in punishing those responsible.
  4. Gary Parrish makes a reasonable argument that blue-chippers should wait until the late signing period (next April) to decide where to sign.  Of course, the official RTC stance is that they shouldn’t sign a binding LOI with the schools at all.  The scholarships for the top players will be there regardless, and by signing a LOI, the player gives up some of his rights (e.g., to transfer to another school w/o losing eligibility if the coach leaves) while the school gives up very little in return.
  5. We had to give this a mention in this space.  Brandon Jennings’ double-nickel performance on Saturday night was phenomenal to see, especially when you consider that he’s the youngest player and only the seventh rookie to ever drop 50+ in a game.  But the question is how is this possible?  Jennings was a surefire top five pick coming out of high school, but after his mostly disappointing year playing overseas (averaging 6-7 ppg in two different leagues) instead of Arizona, he dropped to  the #10 pick and there were serious questions about his decisionmaking and jump shot.  So of course, he’s now averaging 26 ppg  against professional defenses and dropping twenty-nine points in a single quarter of an NBA game.  That makes complete sense.  Can anyone explain this?

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RTC Live: Week 2

Posted by rtmsf on November 16th, 2009

RTCLive

What a week of RTC Live events, huh?!?  We managed to cover a total of six games literally from coast to coast, and this coming week should be even better.  RTC Live will be at no fewer than eleven games this week, including four top ten teams and two tremendous events, the Hall of Fame Showcase in St. Louis on Tuesday night, and the Coaches vs. Cancer semis and finals in Madison Square Garden on Thursday and Friday evenings.  We hope to see you with us along for the ride!

Monday November 16

  • Miami (OH) @ #5 Kentucky – 7 pm ET (also on ESPN FC) – John Wall’s collegiate debut is all we need to say here.
  • Pennsylvania @ #6 Villanova – 7 pm ET – Big Five games are always intense, and this one should be no different as the Quakers visit the top ten Wildcats.
  • San Diego State @ St. Mary’s – 2 am ET – SDSU is a little banged up, but this has been a great series over the past several years.

Tuesday November 17

  • Arkansas vs. #23 Louisville (in St. Louis) – 7:30 pm ET (also on ESPN2) – John Pelphrey takes on his collegiate mentor as part of the Hall of Fame Showcase event, but we’re more interested in seeing how the Cardinals react to their offseason of turmoil.
  • Fairfield @ Maryland – 8 pm ET – we’ll also be coming live from College Park for our first visit to the Comcast Center to see Greivis Vasquez and company in action.
  • Memphis vs. #1 Kansas (in St. Louis) – 10 pm ET (also on ESPN) – The showcase game of ESPN’s 24 Hours of Hoops pits the top-ranked Jayhawks against Josh Pastner’s revamped Tigers.  This game should have an NCAA Tournament environment.

Wednesday November 18

  • #10 Butler @ Northwestern - 8 pm ET (also on BTN) – this would have been a little more exciting had NW’s Kevin Coble not injured his foot, but Butler is going to have to be ready for this one if they want the win in addition to the RPI boost for playing a Big Ten team away.
  • Utah State @ Utah – 8 pm ET (also on The Mtn) – Utah is coming off a home loss to Idaho where they allowed the Vandals to drop 94 pts on them.  It’ll be interesting to see how the Utes respond against one of their in-state rivals, a very good team in their own right.

Thursday November 19

  • #12 California vs. #25 Syracuse (in New York) – 7 pm ET (also on ESPN2) – semifinal matchup of the Coaches vs. Cancer between Cal’s exceptional shooters and the long, sticky Syracuse zone defense should result in a great game at MSG.
  • #17 Ohio State vs. #4 North Carolina (in New York) – 9:30 pm ET (also on ESPN2) – the other semifinal will feature Mr. Everything Evan Turner for OSU navigating the athletic frontline of UNC.  Who will be tasked with guarding Turner — Marcus Ginyard?  John Henson?

Friday November 20

  • Coaches vs. Cancer Consolation Game – 5 pm ET (also on ESPN2) – we expect to see Cal vs. UNC in this matchup after Ohio State pulls the upset the night before.  If so, UNC will dominate the much weaker California front line.
  • Coaches vs. Cancer Championship Game – 7:30 pm ET (also on ESPN2) – in the title tilt, we’re expecting OSU to take on the near-home crowd of Syracuse, with Evan Turner leading his team to the early season championship and a top ten ranking.
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Late Morning Five: 11.14.09

Posted by rtmsf on November 14th, 2009

morning5

Since it’s the weekend, we’ll allow you a couple more hours to sleep in after last night’s mammoth-sized slate of games.

  1. Kevin Coble Watch: Northwestern announced Friday that Coble will be seeking a second medical opinion on his foot injury.  Does that mean he didn’t like what he heard from the first doctor?
  2. Three BC players (Rakim Sanders, Corey Raji and Courtney Dunn) have been suspended by coach Al Skinner for unspecified team rules violations.  It didn’t impact the Eagles tonight in a 31-pt thrashing of Dartmouth (look at Tyler Roche with 30/5 blks!), and it won’t on Tuesday night against St. Francis (NY) either…
  3. Colorado head coach Jeff Bzdelik had to miss his team’s opener against Arkansas-Pine Bluff due to a family emergency.  Assistant coach Steve McClain, who was a head coach at Wyoming for ten years, took over admirably, leading the Buffs to an 88-72 win over UAPB last night.
  4. This is a really great story.  BYU head coach Dave Rose, who battled and defeated pancreatic cancer over the summer, was rewarded with a five-year contract extension today that will ensure his family’s security over the next half-decade and beyond.  Does he deserve it? — well, he’s only off to the best four-year start in the school’s history (97-34, .740) — so we’d say that’s a resounding yes.
  5. Shameless self-promotion – remember that RTC Live will have two really good mid-major battles today.  We’ll be at the Creighton-Dayton game beginning at 1pm ET and the Davidson-Butler game starting at 2pm this afternoon.  We hope to see you stop by.
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Morning Five: 11.13.09 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on November 13th, 2009

morning5

  1. As of late Thursday night, we were expecting to have heard the results from Northwestern star Kevin Coble’s visit to a foot specialist that afternoon, but news was not forthcoming.  Instead, the school said that there would be an update on Friday morning, but NU officials are expecting that Coble will be out at least a month and possibly more with his injury.  Terrible news for a team in a loaded conference that will absolutely need every single nonconference win to have a shot at the Big Dance this year.  Assuming Coble is out until late December or early January, do you consider a redshirt to make the run next year?
  2. This Mouphtaou Yarou thing at Villanova is just getting weirder.  It all sounds very suspicious, but Villanova is claiming that they have his birth certificate which clearly shows Yarou as born in 1990, not 1985 as was alleged on the FIBA website.  If VU has any reservation whatsoever, they’d hold him out of tonight’s game against Fairleigh Dickinson – guess we’ll find out what they really think soon enough.
  3. The University of New Orleans may be moving to Division III after all, as the school continues to struggle in a post-Katrina Bourbon City.  A major drop in enrollment and state budget slashes have put the athletic department in an untenable position with respect to funding its sports programs, and this time around even Hornets owner George Shinn probably won’t be able to save them.
  4. Jeff Goodman says UNC isn’t a top five team, and hopefully he will note that RTC’s editing team voted the Heels #7 in our preseason poll, but he’s right.  We’re less concerned with the inexperience (because Roy always figures that out by the end of the season) than the personnel, and the fact of the matter is that Larry Drew II isn’t an elite point guard and the rest of the backcourt is average at best.
  5. Finally, Mike DeCourcy gives us ten things to watch for in a weekend full of games, but very few good ones.  Remember, RTC Live will be going strong all weekend long, with Wake Forest vs. Oral Roberts on Friday night, Creighton vs. Dayton AND Butler vs. Davidson on Saturday, and FIU vs. Tulsa on Sunday.  Join us!
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Morning Five: 11.12.09 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on November 12th, 2009

morning5

  1. The Big Lead scored an interview with Dick Vitale recently, and the elder statesman (he’s 70!) of college basketball announcers riffed on Calipari/Pitino, UNC/Duke and one-and-dones.  Worth the few-minutes read, and we hope to meet him again next week in NYC.
  2. It appears that John Feinstein only recently figured out that the 2kSports Classic and others have already slotted the elite teams into their showcase events for the semifinal and final rounds.  He should read RTC more often.
  3. Virginia’s Jamil Tucker is taking an indefinite leave of absence from the team to deal with some personal issues — he averaged 7/4 last year in a reserve forward role, and Northwestern star forward Kevin Coble injured his foot in practice and could possibly miss time because of it.  It’s currently unclear the extent of the injury, but he will be examined Friday and a determination will be made at that time.  This could be devastating for Northwestern’s high hopes for this season.  Moving away from injuries, there were some more suspensions yesterday, including Charlotte PF Shamari Spears, who will miss the 49ers’ first game on Friday against UNC Asheville, and Hawaii’s Douglas Kurtz, whose heart of darkness begins the season with a six-game suspension for playing three games in a Brazilian professional league in 2007.
  4. Things aren’t going very well for Tubby Smith at Minnesota lately.  One of his prized recruits, Royce White, who was already suspended for a violation of team rules and has recently caused trouble (shoplifting and assault) at the Mall of America, is now under suspicion for the theft of a laptop computer.  We’re not exactly experts in this sort of thing, but is it safe to say that White will be at a junior college very soon?
  5. Yesterday was the beginning of the early signing period, and John Stevens wrote a nice breakdown of some of the interesting recruiting gets.  Scout also blogged all day about it and broke down some of the big winners from yesterday — it appears that Ohio State and Memphis both have big smiles on their faces this week in light of their recruiting hauls.  There are seventeen of the top 100 players still undecided, and it appears most of them will wait until spring to make their final decisions.

* for recaps of last night’s games and RTC Live from Cal vs. Detroit, visit After the Buzzer.

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RTC 2009-10 Impact Players: Lower Midwest Region

Posted by zhayes9 on October 13th, 2009

impactplayers

Ed. Note: the previous posts in this series (Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Atlantic South, Deep South and Mid-South) are located here.

It’s time for the sixth installment of our RTC 2009-10 Impact Players series, the group of rust belt and farming states that we like to call the Lower Midwest.   Each week we’ll pick a geographic area of the country and break down the five players who we feel will have the most impact on their teams (and by the transitive property, college basketball) this season.  Our criteria is once again subjective – there are so many good players in every region of the country that it’s difficult to narrow them down to only five  in each – but we feel at the end of this exercise that we’ll have discussed nearly every player of major impact in the nation.  Just to be fair and to make this not too high-major-centric, we’re also going to pick a mid-major impact player in each region as our sixth man.  We welcome you guys, our faithful and very knowledgeable readers, to critique us in the comments where we left players off.  The only request is that you provide an argument – why will your choice be more influential this season than those we chose?

Lower Midwest Region (OH, IN, IL, IA, NE, KS)

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Ed. Note: for the purposes of our analysis in this region, Butler was considered a high-major program.

  • Cole Aldrich – Jr, C – Kansas. Much like North Carolina one October ago, Kansas appears to be the unanimous selection to begin the season atop every poll and ranking. One of the main reasons for such accolades is the continued improvement of Cole Aldrich, the Kansas double-double machine in the post. Remember the national semifinals against UNC in 2008 when Aldrich burst onto the scene recording eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks in a then career-high 17 minutes? That was the night college hoops fans first saw what Aldrich can provide for Bill Self and his Jayhawks. In a full season of play, Aldrich and guard Sherron Collins were the anchors behind Kansas’ surprising run to a #3 seed and a Sweet 16 berth in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year. Cole Aldrich and a pretty good player named Blake Griffin were the only players in the Big 12 to average a double-double in 2008-09. Speaking of stats, Aldrich’s triple-double in the second round against Dayton – 13/20/10 blks- was the first recorded triple double in KU’s illustrious basketball history. Aldrich led the conference in blocks with at 2.7 BPG, finished second in rebounding at 12.4 RPG, second in FG% at 60% and tenth in FT% at an impressive 79% for a 6’11 center.  Aldrich possesses great length, a high motor and displays the fundamentals under the basket that Self loves. The insane talent around Aldrich this season will only put less of a load on his shoulders as the big man can rely on Collins for the clutch outside shot, Xavier Henry on the wings, Thomas Robinson on the block or Tyrel Reed to knock down the long-range three. But the pressure will be on Aldrich to provide a post presence that simply cannot be matched in the Big 12 (sorry Dexter Pittman).  If he achieves his potential, a national POY award isn’t out of the realm of possibility for Kansas’ prized junior center.
  • Craig Brackins – Jr, F – Iowa St. Craig Brackins won’t get half the airtime this season as any of the other high-major names on this list, but he could end up becoming the best player of the group when it’s all said and done.  It’s not as if Brackins came out of nowhere – he was a five-star recruit out of Brewster (NH) Academy in 2007, and he turned down offers from Indiana and Pitt, among others – but, when you play in the Big 12 and your team is generally an afterthought (4-12 in 2008-09), it’s tough to get noticed.  But noticed he got on Jan. 24th in a nationally-televised home game against the defending champion Kansas Jayhawks.  Brackins sliced and diced the vaunted Jayhawk defense for 42/14 in a losing effort that had Bill Self afterwards stating that the lanky center could be the “best player in the country today.”  That single game may have put the Iowa State star on the casual fan’s radar screen, but it’s not like Brackins wasn’t tearing it up against everyone else too:  32/16 against N. Iowa; 28/17 against Jacksonville St.; 38/14 against Houston; 25/13 against Nebraska.  The all-Big 12 first teamer nearly averaged a double-double for the season (20.2 PPG and 9.5 RPG) despite seeing hard and fast double-teams every time he touched the ball.  It was widely presumed that Brackins would jump into the NBA Draft last summer after such a spectacular season; after all, projections for him of the lottery and mid-first round were prevalent.  However, Brackins said that he had some unfinished business to attend to at ISU (meaning, getting the Cyclones to an NCAA Tournament), and he returned to what should be an improved squad with 6’7 juco transfer Marquis Gilstrap’s arrival on the blocks and a solid returning backcourt of Diante Garrett and Lucca Staiger.  The only true weakness he has exhibited so far in his career is his 28% from beyond the arc, but with more firepower on the team this year he may be less inclined to feel like he has to do it all (Brackins attempted 37% of ISU’s shots last year).  Regardless of how the team’s season plays out in 2009-10, there should be no doubt that Brackins is on the short list of best post men in America.  With another year of seasoning under his belt at the collegiate level, however, we could be looking at a top five pick next June.  Don’t flip the channel so quickly if you see that Iowa St. is playing on the tube this year – it may be one of your few chances to see one of the best big men in the country.
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Checking in on the… Big Ten

Posted by nvr1983 on February 25th, 2009

Josh & Mike from Big Ten Geeks are the RTC correspondents for the Big Ten Conference.

Looking Back
As Lester Bangs told William Miller, “you’ll meet them all again on their long journey to the middle.” He could just as well have been talking to most of the Big Ten this season, as we now see 5 conference teams bunched up with 7 or 8 losses, all fighting for their NCAA Tournament lives. Penn State got a big boost from their ugly 38-33 victory at Illinois, then lost a winnable game at Ohio State to rejoin the masses. Penn State now has a 3-2 record against the top of the conference (Michigan State, Purdue, and Illinois), with a home game still remaining against the Illini. This ability to hang with the best of the conference is their sole basis for an at-large bid – their best non-conference win was at Georgia Tech (currently 1-12 in the ACC), so the Nittany Lions figure to need at least 10 Big Ten wins to even be considered.

Speaking of Illinois, they shook off the Penn State loss to get a nice road victory at Ohio State, putting them back on track for at least third place in the conference. Mike Davis continued his superb sophomore season, dropping floater after floater over Ohio State’s shot-blockers. Davis shot 11 for 14 from the field to finish with 22 points to go along with 8 rebounds and continues to lead the Big Ten in Defensive Rebound %.

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Checking in on the… Big Ten

Posted by nvr1983 on January 28th, 2009

Josh & Mike from Big Ten Geeks are the RTC correspondents for the Big Ten Conference.

Looking Back
Wow! Northwestern scored a thrilling upset over Michigan State at the Breslin Center this past week  prevailing 70-63. While the Wildcats still face a (very) uphill battle to get to the NCAA Tournament, at least this win made the other teams in the conference take notice. Kevin Coble put on one of the finest performances we have seen all season pouring in 31 points on just 16 shots. He’s not a household name yet, but with a couple performances like that, he will be.

Illinois also separated itself from the pack a bit, scoring home wins over Ohio State and Wisconsin, two teams that now appear to be in free fall. Wisconsin has lost four straight games as of this writing (and tips off against Purdue in a couple of hours) [Ed. Note: Now 5 straight], and Ohio State now sits at 3-4 after dropping a home game against Michigan State. To be fair, that’s the only home loss for the Buckeyes in the conference season, who might go on a run once the schedule eases up a bit.

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ATB: Wake Us When You’re Ready For Prime Time

Posted by rtmsf on January 22nd, 2009

afterbuzzer1

RTC corresponent Ryan ZumMallen contributed to tonight’s ATB.

#1 Falls – Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate. Virginia Tech 78, Wake Forest 71. It seemingly never fails – whenever Wake starts to get the nation’s attention, the Deacs cave like Roger McNamee in front of a Congressional hearing.  We watched most of this game, and two things were apparent from the get-go: 1) the Deacs were not sharp on either end of the court (evident by Va Tech running out to a quick 30-14 lead); and 2) it is clear to us that Wake relies too much on pure athleticism and skill rather than actual execution and know-how.  This was especially true in the last few minutes of the game when Wake continuously took forced shots and made inexplicable fouls instead of managing the clock effectively, even though the game was still in the balance.  From the 1:42 mark, Wake threw up five desperate-looking three-pointers (making none), even though the lead was never greater than six points until there was 0:14 remaining.  Additionally, the Deacs fouled Virginia Tech eight times during the same period, and even though the Hokies were missing their FTs (7-14 down the stretch), the smarter move would have been to simply play defense (remember, Wake was #2 in defensive efficiency coming into this game) and continue running the offense to get layups and dunks.  Didn’t happen.  We’re not buying the Wake was mentally fatigued argument; the Deacs need to learn some discipline to maximize their potential this year.  As for Virginia Tech, at one point in the second half they were shooting 70% for the half and 56% for the game, which shows just how effectively they were picking apart that Wake defense.   Malcolm Delaney, AD Vassallo and Jeff Allen combined for 53/21, as the Hokie won their fifth of six against Wake in the last few years.  We’re not ready to anoint the Hokies as an NCAA team just yet, but at 3-1 in the ACC and only one loss in their last nine games (@ Duke), they’re a team to keep an eye on.

Next Best Upset of the Night. Northwestern 70, Michigan St. 63. A Tom Izzo team faithfully followed tradition and lost to a team they should have beaten, allowing Northwestern forward Kevin Coble to hang 31 on the Michigan State defense in a 70-63 Wildcat victory.  MSU’s 28-game home winning streak was snapped, and the Spartans drop to 5-1 in Big Ten play while the mighty Wildcats improve to 2-4.  Wildcats Coble, Craig Moore and Michael Thompson combined to score just one point less than Michigan State.  Izzo had this to say about losing at home despite outrebounding his opponent 39-19: “That’s what happens when you don’t make shots.” Ha! Or when you commit 18 turnovers and only force seven yourselves.

More Tremendousness on a Wednesday Night.

  • Connecticut 89, Villanova 83. UConn point guard AJ Price nearly doubled his scoring average in the first half tonight, as the #3 Huskies held off a scrappy Villanova team to win, 89-83.  Price had 20 by halftime and abused ‘Nova for a career-high 29, outdueling the Wildcats’ leading scorer Scottie Reynolds – held scoreless for the game’s first fifteen minutes, and finishing with 14.  How good is the Big East right now?  A 14-4 Villanova team currently sits in tenth place with a 2-3 conference record.  If Haseem Thabeet can properly execute a dropstep at some point this season, the Huskies are right up there with Pitt as conference favorites.
  • UNC 94, Clemson 70. Avoiding upsets likes those that befell the likes of powerhouses Wake Forest, Michigan State and (of course) Bryant last night, the #6 Tar Heels continued their complete dominance over #9 Clemson with a 94-70 victory. Wayne Ellington poured in 25 on 9-15 shooting to lead the way.  The victory improved North Carolina’s home record against Clemson to… wait for it… 54-0.  For those of you who think you’ve figured out how to stop Tyler Hansbrough, I hope your idea had nothing to do with elbowing him in the teeth because THAT DOESN’T WORK. The human-like-robot-warrior just shoved in a mouthpiece and kept on trucking his way to 20 and 10.

Almost As Good As Cleveland St. Marshall 53, SMU 50. Just watch.

Better than Cleveland St. and Marshall. South Carolina 70, Florida 69. This would have never happened under Dave Odom.

51-Pick Up. NJIT 61, Bryant 51. Definitely RTC-worthy.  Check our post on this here.


Other Scores of Narrower Interest.

  • Iowa 73, Wisconsin 69 (OT). UW’s Jordan Taylor drilled a 30-foot three at the buzzer to send this game to overtime, but Iowa held on behind David Palmer’s 21/7.  Interesting stat – all five Hawkeyes hit at least one three in this one.
  • Kentucky 73, Auburn 64. Jodie Meeks watch: 31 pts (5-8 threes), 0 assists, 5 turnovers.  UK should be ranked next week.
  • Missouri 97, Oklahoma St. 95.  This was a big win for Missouri on the road tonight.  They nearly blew a 15-pt lead with four minutes remaining, as OSU missed seven chances to tie or take the lead in the last two minutes.  Mizzou has a favorable Big 12 schedule and already sit at 3-1 – this looks like an NCAA team to us.
  • Oklahoma 72, Nebraska 61. This game was much closer than the score indicates.  Blake Griffin had 27/18 as he faced constant double- and triple-teams.  Only when Nebraska had a very late scoring drought did the Sooners take over and put them away.
  • Baylor 83, Kansas St. 65. Wow, how quickly did KSU go from must-watch tv to irrelevance?  Baylor’s LaceDarius Dunn came off the bench for 33 pts on 9-12 from three-point land.  Baylor at Oklahoma should be a great one this weekend.
  • UNLV 76, BYU 70. Wow, it was understandable when BYU lost to Wake at home, but we didn’t see them losing a 13-pt halftime lead at home to conference foe UNLV three weeks later.  UNLV’s Wink Adams led the way with 22 pts for the Rebels.
  • Arizona St. 53, Arizona 47. Remember when the Wildcats would run and gun?  Things have changed in the desert.  What’s interesting about this one is that Jamelle Horne was indeed spotted on the floor in the final minute of a close game.  Yes, Russ Pennell must enjoy playing with fire.
  • Northeastern 58, George Mason 57. Northeastern got a necessary home win to tie up GMU at the top of the CAA standings (along with VCU) when Manny Adako’s layup gave them the lead for good with 25 seconds remaining.
  • Louisville 78, Rutgers 59. No RAC troubles for the Cards tonight, as T-Will dunked everything in sight on his way to 23/11/4 stls.  The Cards shot 60% as a team and are looking more and more like the team everyone thought they’d be when the season started.
  • Xavier 84, St. Bonaventure 64. XU dominated St. Bonnie from start to finish in a balanced effort (11 players scored for Xavier).
  • Davidson 83, Furman 43. Steph Curry watch:  30/5/5 stls on 12-18 (6-10 threes).  Is anyone surprised?
  • Miami (FL) 75, Florida St. 69. This was a must-win for Miami to keep itself in the race for 4th place in the ACC this year.
  • LSU 81, Mississippi St. 57. LSU is absolutely manhandling teams at home.  Too bad they have six road games remaining in the SEC.
  • Northern Iowa 66, Bradley 61. UNI continues to impress in another home win against a competitor for the MVC crown, Bradley.

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10.16.07 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on October 16th, 2007

An absolute ton of newsworthy stuff to catch up on from the weekend…

  • 2008 #1 player Greg Monroe committed to Georgetown after his visit there this weekend.  It couldn’t have had anything to do with that now-ubiquitous Jerry Rice dance, could it?  “Hoops” Weiss has the definitive take on how Monroe will impact the Hoyas.  Above the Rim writes that Duke (who was hot-n-heavy for Monroe) isn’t used to losing out on these guys. 
  • Making the Dance reports that after Georgetown (who obviously had the best MM weekend), Illinois (Bruce Weber can recruit after all?!?!), Indiana, Louisville and several others had good weekends. 
  • Lots of Midnight Madness and practice coverage from the weekend…
    • Huggins taking over the reins at his alma mater.  (there’s an amusing wmv file floating around where Huggins is giving a speech to some WVU booster club - it’s longwinded and rambling, but the DerMarr Johnson payoff is funny) 
    • A general roundup of MM from Lexington to Lawrence.
    • Catching up with Tubby in Minnesota. 
    • Pat Forde takes in the scene at UK with Billy Gillispie.  Apparently Goodman did the same.   
    • Andy Katz checks in on the hype surrounding Memphis. 
    • Goodman also took a road trip to Saluki country to report on the best mid-major not named Gonzaga, while en route to seeing Pitino in Louisville
    • Wake’s first practice without Skip Prosser
    • Dave Odom tries to save his job with transfers at South Carolina.
    • Pitt has XXXL expectations for DeJuan Blair
    • The defending champs (2x) start the rebuilding process.
  • Sad news that former Georgia star and current surgeon Alec Kessler died of a heart attack last weekend. 
  • Injuries, suspensions and dismissals:
    • Gonzaga’s Josh Heytvelt was reinstated on Friday but will miss the first week of practice due to shroom farming foot pain.
    • Louisville’s Juan Palacios injured his ankle and may have to redshirt his senior season. 
    • Brandon Rush reports that he’s on target for his Dec. 1 return to Kansas.
    • Georgia suspended three players for not attending classes, including top two scorers Takais Brown (9 games) and Mike Mercer (15 games).  Seriously, fellas?  SEC Hoops:TGTBTD has the take on how this will affect the Bulldogs.
    • Northwestern’s best player Kevin Coble is taking a leave of absence to be with his sick mother. 
    • Ball St. coach Billy Taylor booted two more players off the team, making a total of six since he was hired in August. 
  • More Preseason goodies:
    • Gary Parrish and Ben Howland converse about whether the Pac-10 will have the most first round picks ever this year.
    • Pitino bitches about the difficulty of the unbalanced league schedule Louisville is being forced to play. 
    • MMAS continues its comprehensive review with its non-BCS top 25
    • Seth Davis asks us 20 questions, then he answers them. 
    • Gary Parrish lists his start-of-practice top 26.  Memphis, eh?
    • The Fanhouse wonders if Memphis is even the best team in its own state.
    • Jeff Goodman takes a realistic look at Duke’s expectations for this season.
    • ESPN plans on showing a grand total of TWO Pac-10 games this year!  Up from zero last year. 
    • The Big 12 handed out its preseason awards – DJ Augustin is the projected POY. 
    • Shawn Siegel lists his top 25 Big 12 players and top 25 Big 10 players for 07-08. 
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