Feast Week Mission Briefing: Oklahoma in the Battle 4 Atlantis

Posted by Chris Stone on November 26th, 2014

In a loaded Feast Week of action, several Big 12 schools will head to a neutral site to take on all comers and hopefully build their resumes. Let’s take a look at each, this time with Oklahoma in the Bahamas.  

Catching Up: Oklahoma opened its season led by an impressive performance from junior Buddy Hield. Hield, a likely All-Big 12 first teamer, scored 25 points and hit seven 3-pointers in the Sooners’ 25 point win over Southeastern Louisiana. However, Oklahoma stumbled on the road against Creighton in their second game when they gave up an 18 point lead in the second half and fell to the Bluejays in Omaha. OU bounced back against Northwestern State behind 20 points from junior Isaiah Cousins. The addition of TaShawn Thomas gave the Sooners one of the best starting fives in the Big 12 and although Thomas hasn’t lived up to the expectations yet (averaging just 8.0 points 4.3 rebounds per game), expect him to get acclimated to coach Lon Kruger’s system in the near future.

Buddy Hield will lead Oklahoma into the Battle 4 Atlantis

Buddy Hield will lead Oklahoma into the Battle 4 Atlantis

Opening Round Preview: Oklahoma opens the tournament on Wednesday afternoon when they square off with Steve Alford’s UCLA squad.  Alford has his team playing well and ranked in both of the top 25 polls. The Bruins have started the season with one of the top 10 offenses in the country according to KenPom with five players averaging double figure points through four games. Two of those players, Bryce Alford and Norman Powell, are scoring over 20 points per game. The good news for Oklahoma is that the Bruins have played one of the worst schedules in Division I so far. UCLA’s first four games rank 328th in strength of schedule according to KenPom. On the other side of the ball, Oklahoma should be able to challenge the perimeter players of UCLA with the likes of Hield, Cousins, and Jordan Woodard. The Sooners possess the outside shooting (40.9 percent on 3-pointers) to challenge the Bruins should Steve Alford choose to play zone and are balanced enough with the addition of Thomas against a man-to-man defense. With two high powered offenses, this contest will likely be a fan-pleasing, high-scoring affair. A win would bolster the resume of either team and, in particular, would be a great way for the Sooners to bounce back from their defeat at Creighton.

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The RTC Podblast: Episode 2.5

Posted by rtmsf on November 22nd, 2013

Two weeks into the regular season and plenty, plenty, plenty of games and storylines to talk about. We’re back with the second RTC Podblast of the year, our shorter-and-sweeter Friday review of a few of the week’s highlights and look-aheads to the weekend’s upcoming big games. Your host, Shane Connolly (@sconnolly114) leads us through a discussion of the trials and tribulations of Memphis basketball, a status check on Oklahoma State, some Iowa State discussion, and a number of other interesting things, all in a tidy 20-minute blast. The complete rundown is below.

Make sure to add the RTC Podcast to your iTunes lineup so that you’ll automatically upload it on your listening device after we record. And feel free to contact us through Twitter or email — we’re listening.

  • 0:00-3:58 – Memphis Proves Randy Right
  • 3:58-8:57 – Oklahoma State-ment
  • 8:57-11:35 – Ranking the Terrific Tuesday Performances
  • 11:35-14:37 – Cyclones With Another Impressive Win
  • 14:37-20:55 – What We Look For In The Holiday Tournaments
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The Pre-Conference Tournaments and the ACC

Posted by KCarpenter on November 18th, 2011

While technically speaking the pre-conference tournaments started long before yesterday, counting the opening rounds of the NIT and a few others with qualifiers, but Thursday was the day that the tournaments began in earnest. I thought it would be a useful exercise to go through the list of all 12 ACC teams and evaluate their individual chances of winning their respective tournaments.

Boston College – 76 Classic

The Boston College team picked to finish last in the ACC would have a tough time in just about any competitive tournament field. An opening game against St. Louis will be challenging enough, as SLU is one of the better teams in a very strong Atlantic 10 this year. If they pass St. Louis, they will probably have to play Villanova, a tough out for an ultra-young BC team. The rest of the field includes New Mexico and Santa Clara, both capable of pushing Boston College to the breaking point. There’s not a good chance that the Eagles win this tournament, but they could at least win the opener.

Clemson – Diamond Head Classic

Xavier is the easy favorite for this tournament, but fortunately for Clemson, they are positioned on the other side of the bracket along with the (by-December) battle-hardened Long Beach State. The Beach is gunning for upsets and Xavier will have to take care to win its opening matchup against Casper Ware and company. Clemson’s path to the finals is significantly easier. The Tigers’ side of the bracket features rebuilding Kansas State, inexperienced UTEP, and a Southern Illinois team that isn’t what it once was. Clemson should make the finals, but taking down XU will be a challenge.

Duke – Maui Invitational

Duke Has Never Lost In Maui (12-0)

The Maui Invitational is loaded, but I’d say that Duke has a good shot at a heavyweight bout with Kansas, and a fair shot at winning considering the troubles the Jayhawks had against Kentucky. Duke will have to beat either a talented Michigan or Memphis team after beating Tennessee (which the Blue Devils should). Michigan and Memphis are both teams with a lot of potential that hasn’t necessarily translated to wins yet and both are trying to make the leap this year. Beating Duke is a great way to make such a statement. On the other side of the bracket, Kansas just has to beat Georgetown to have a clear shot at the final considering the troubles that have plagued Ben Howland’s UCLA team. Beating Kansas, even in a down year is a tall order, but in a head-to-head match-up, I think Duke is certainly good enough to win.

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Morning Five: 11.15.11 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on November 15th, 2011

SPONSORED: Rush the Court is pleased to bring you a one-day fantasy college basketball league courtesy of FanDuel.com to tip off the season. The league, which is completely free to enter, starts TONIGHT involving several teams — Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State, Duke, Florida, Ohio State, Miami (FL), Rutgers — and features $200 in prizes. Even better, if you beat our trained monkey that we’ve assigned to make our picks (username: RTCmonkey), you’ll win even more. Test your college hoops knowledge to win! Click here to enter.

  1. Maybe you’ve forgotten or maybe you’re just dropping by, but today is pretty much a national holiday around these parts. One of ESPN’s better ideas, the 24-Hour Tip-Off Marathon, tipped off at Midnight ET last night in Spokane and is currently plowing its way through sunrise in the eastern time zone after stopovers in California and Hawaii overnight. Of course, the late night and morning games are mere appetizers to a $50 steak dinner coming up this evening when we’ll be rewarded with two games from the Champions Classic (Duke vs. Michigan State and Kentucky vs. Kansas) and a Top Ten matchup between Florida and Ohio State in Columbus. From Coach K’s pursuit of win #903 to the fascinating development of Cal’s young Cats to the return of OSU’s Jared Sullinger for a second season, storylines abound on this day. If you’re lucky enough to not have to work on a random Tuesday in November (hint, hint), strap yourselves in for a smorgasbord of college basketball a full week before you’re legally allowed to stuff your face.
  2. Of course, the top storyline of the day remains Mike Krzyzewski‘s chance tonight to become the sport’s all-time wins leader in Division I men’s basketball. Coming into the Champions Classic game against Michigan State this evening, Coach K sits tied with his former coach and mentor, Bob Knight, at 902 total wins, and if you believe in Vegas odds, he has a 72% chance of doing the trick tonight in Madison Square Garden. We’re sure that the testimonials for K’s greatness will come fast and furious all day long, but here’s two good interviews to get you started.  Former Duke superstar and all-around good guy Grant Hill spoke with TSN’s Ryan Fagan recently about K’s far-reaching positive influence on him, and recent graduate Nolan Smith spoke with TSN’s Mike DeCourcy about some of the life lessons K imparted to him as a father figure. Expect to see many more of these in the next 24-48 hours.
  3. What UCLA head coach Ben Howland needs is more attitude problems on his team. Let’s recap recent events, shall we? After the vaunted Class of 2008 recruiting class nearly brought his program to its knees through various busts, poor attitudes and problem children, it appeared that the Bruins may have been turning the corner by shedding itself of most of those players (Jerime Anderson, currently on suspension, remains). Then, over the weekend, sophomore center Joshua Smith tweeted that his team had lost to a bunch of “bums” after an opening night loss to Loyola Marymount — but perhaps worse than that, he ‘lol’-ed about it, suggesting an alarming irreverence from a player whom Howland needs to stay on the floor (he contributed a paltry 5/4 in only 16 minutes of action). The latest kerfuffle involves UCLA’s leading returning scorer and rebounder, Reeves Nelson, a player whom an ESPN report alleges is causing problems within the UCLA team as a result of his attitude. After skipping practice Monday, he has been suspended for tonight’s game versus Middle Tennessee State and his long-term future with the team appears in doubt. What in the name of the Wizard is going on in Westwood?
  4. Seth Davis gives us his Hoops Thoughts for the opening weekend of college basketball and his first point about the ridiculous (and slippery) decals stuck to the floors of the various pre-conference events around the country is a salient one.  As he points out, Michigan State’s Branden Dawson is only the latest of disasters averted, as his right knee buckled on a Quicken Loans decal for the Carrier Classic, and for a few minutes it appeared as if the injury may have been much worse than it was. What’s amazing about this phenomenon is that college athletics has all kinds of rules meant to protect players in its various sports from injury, and yet even after years of complaining from coaches and media alike, the decals stay. Here’s an idea that seems a reasonable compromise — use the yellow-line first down technology in football to digitally layer the advertising images onto the floor. That way, the dollars that support these events remain secured, but not at the expense of potentially losing a player to severe injury. What are we missing here?
  5. Perhaps not since Damon Bailey was recruited to Indiana in the late 1980s has a single player held so much hope and promise for the Crimson and Cream denizens of the Hoosier State.  But freshman Cody Zeller represents a new beginning to many IU fans wishing for a return to the glory days of Indiana basketball under the General and even before him, Branch McCracken. Basketball Prospectus takes a closer look at the enormous expectations that are being placed on the young player, effectively (and graphically) showing that he faces perhaps more homegrown pressure than any other major recruit in the last four years. Can’t say we disagree with the premise, but it’s a little unfair that so much is riding on a young man who may need some time to develop into an effective player at the Big Ten level.
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09.17.07 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on September 17th, 2007

Can’t quite get that image below out of our head…  but we’ll try.

  • Pitt incumbent PG Levance Fields decided no he will not go quietly and in fact, he would rather be tasered, when asked to do so by the Pittsburgh PD last weekend.   
  • Ball St. found no evidence that Ronny Thompson put racially inflammatory notes under Ronny Thompson’s office door while he was still coaching there. 
  • The guy who will be responsible for throwing the ball to OJ Mayo and getting the hell outta the way is now eligible (Angelo Johnson). 
  • Coaching news.  GW’s Karl Hobbs was given an extension to 2012, and FAMU tabbed Eugene Harris (asst. at Georgia St.) to take over for Mike Gillespie. 
  • Haven’t we heard this before?  John Beilein and Bruce Weber (particularly Bruce Weber) can’t recruit. 
  • Digger for Prez.  Haven’t we had enough bumbling around/making no sense/talking in circles for one generation? 
  • UCLA fans are already talking basketball season.  Come on home, friends.  Others (ahem, Louisville, Notre Dame, Michigan, UNC, etc.) are already here.  More to come.
  • SEC Hoops:  Good, Bad & Dirty breaks down and gives predictions for the 12 SEC basketball schedules.  We’ll give odds on Mississippi St. not going 27-3! 
  • Frank Burlison at foxsports.com gives us a viewer’s guide to the best early-season tournaments to watch. 
  • MMAS gives us a list of key transfers to watch out for and teams looking to make the jump in 07-08. 
  • Finally, today Hoopwise has a Q&A with arguably the best college hoops analyst out there – Fran Fraschilla (apologies to Raff, Bilas, Tirico and others). 
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