Three Up, Three Down in the Big East

Posted by George Hershey on November 21st, 2014

The Big East has gotten off to a strong start this season, having lost only one game among all 10 teams and heading into next week with tests which will help determine how it stacks up against some of the nation’s best. Here are three positives and three negatives from the opening week in Big East basketball.

Three Up

Blueitt has produced from the get go for the Musketeers (Frank Victores/USA Today Sports)

Trevon Blueitt has produced from the get go for the Musketeers
(Frank Victores/USA Today Sports)

  1. Xavier Freshmen – Chris Mack brought in a highly-ranked group of freshmen to restock the Musketeers, and they have produced from the get-go. In Tuesday night’s win over Long Beach State, Trevon Bluiett and JP Macura led the team in scoring, with 20 and 17 points, respectively. Both shot the ball well from three, combining to connect five times, and Bluiett especially had a phenomenal game, stuffing the stat sheet with eight rebounds and five assists to boot. With a strong group of experienced players led by Matt Stainbrook and Myles Davis, Mack does not need his freshmen to lead every night, but their demonstrated ability to score in bunches is helpful for any team over the course of a season.
  2. DePaul Transfers – This DePaul team is not your typical DePaul team. That might be said nearly every preseason, but after a couple of games, it appears that this could be the team that finally breaks through. Oliver Purnell returns two sophomore studs in Billy Garrett Jr. and Tommy Hamilton IV, but he also brought in four transfers to turn the program around. Myke HenryAaron Simpson, and the injured Rashaun Stimage have returned home to Chicago, and Darrick Wood arrives by way of junior college in Kansas. In Tuesday’s win over Drake, Henry contributed 13 points, six rebounds and three assists, while Simpson and Wood both contributed five points each. Stimage and Henry are athletic bigs which will pair nicely with big-bodied Hamilton, while Simpson and Wood can handle the ball and provide a spark off the bench when Garrett needs a break. Purnell needs smart players who buy into the system, and all signs point to his group of newbies doing just that. Read the rest of this entry »
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Morning Five: 07.20.11 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on July 20th, 2011

  1. Sporting News‘ Mike DeCourcy posted a fine summary yesterday of 2012 prospect Myles Davis‘ decision to verbally commit to Xavier, and we also saw that Mr. DeCourcy later tweeted a confirmation that Myles Davis was indeed named after…Miles Davis. This automatically makes him the coolest player in the 2012 class. We hope someone someday challenges Davis about his shot selection in some post-game press conference, so he can reply with something to the effect of, “There are no bad shots, just shots in the wrong places.” If this happens, inasmuch as we can’t reward Davis, we pledge to mow Chris Mack’s lawn on an as-needed basis for the entire off-season next summer.
  2. As MSNBC’s Mike Miller tweeted early yesterday, the fallout from this David Salinas possible Ponzi scheme story will come in the form of a “slow burn of incriminating details” over the rest of the summer.’s Pablo Torre has the latest on this fiasco, including names of coaches, amounts of money with which they entrusted Salinas, and a list of players who came through Salinas’ AAU program in Houston that, as the author says, “sparks potential questions.” Certainly true, especially when considering what (as the author notes in his article) former Houston coach Tom Penders told The Daily on Monday — that Salinas once offered him the chance to invest $100,000 with him, in the process making “a strong, strong implication” that the 100-large would grease the rails for Penders in terms of access to prospects at Salinas’ program. Yeesh. By the way, the biggest loss from Salinas’ business practices appears to have been $2.3 million (!!) that once belonged to new Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie.
  3. Kentucky’s Jon Hood tore his right ACL during a pick-up game on Monday and will likely have to redshirt the 2011-12 season. Surgery has yet to be scheduled as they wait for inflammation around the knee to subside. You might look at Hood’s 0.8 PPG and 4.3 MPG from last season and write this off as an unfortunate incident for the young man and just a minor loss for the team, but beware; Hood is the only rising junior on the team, and Kentucky lost a potential senior when DeAndre Liggins left a year early for the NBA. They still have Darius Miller and Eloy Vargas as returning seniors, but when you’re as heavy on freshmen and sophomores as Kentucky, you’ll take any upperclassmen leadership you can get.
  4. Any coach will tell you that when you take over for another coach at a struggling program, it’s not just about new offenses and new defenses and so on. It often involves a change of the very culture of the place, and sometimes even a re-commitment to basic matters of professionalism by everyone concerned, and the process can sometimes take a couple of years. Coach-turned-announcer-turned-coach Mark Gottfried has a long row to hoe at NC State, but he knows that his first job is to convince his players that success begins with things as elementary as daily off-court habits that have little or nothing to do with basketball.
  5. If the latest “Hoop Thoughts” from Seth Davis doesn’t get your mid-July college basketball juices flowing, we wonder what will. In the latest edition, Davis takes the pulses of nine programs, each based on recent conversations he had with the coaches of those teams. We don’t want to give too much away, but Duke, Louisville, Michigan State, and Ohio State backers should take note. And he leads off with a proclamation of who will be the next official Cinderella in the vein of Gonzaga and Butler.
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