Where 2011-12 Happens: Reason #8 We Love College Basketball

Posted by rtmsf on October 29th, 2011

Another preseason preview gives us reason to roll out the 2011-12 edition of Thirty Reasons We Love College Basketball, our annual compendium of YouTube clips from the previous season 100% guaranteed to make you wish games were starting tonight. We’ve captured the most compelling moments from the 2010-11 season, many of which will bring back the goosebumps and some of which will leave you shaking your head in frustration. For the complete list of this year’s reasons, click here. Enjoy!

#8 – Where Get On That Floor Happens

We also encourage you to re-visit the entire archive of this feature from the 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11 seasons.

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Morning Five: 02.01.11 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on February 1st, 2011

  1. Kansas State’s season continues to implode, as news dropped on Monday that sophomore forward and former McDonald’s All-American Wally Judge has quit the team.  Judge wasn’t a major contributor this season, averaging only 6/4 in about fifteen minutes per game, but he only got a single minute of action in recent games against Texas A&M and Baylor, and he had already missed five games earlier this season due to “personal issues.”  There’s no indication yet where Judge might transfer to, but he hails from the Washington, DC, area, so you’d have to figure that the Big East and ACC schools will be inquiring about his services soon.
  2. If you hadn’t heard, Syracuse has now lost four games in a row after starting the season 18-0.  Four-game losing streaks are not common in upstate New York, as Jim Boeheim has only had three teams in his career do so before; and surely none of those started the first two-and-a-half months of the year without a loss.  With a game at Connecticut on Wednesday and the possibility of an absurd five-game losing streak, it’s gut-check time for SU, according to this article from the Daily Orange.
  3. It’s been a trying season for West Virginia and Bob Huggins, but even with only eight remaining scholarship players in tow (seven of whom actually play), the Mountaineers used its game over the weekend against Cincinnati to rally around what they have remaining and push forward through the rest of the year.  WVU has been a tough team to figure, what with wins over Vanderbilt, Duquesne, Georgetown and Purdue, but losses to Marshall, Miami (FL), and St. John’s in Morgantown.  The thing is, with Joe Mazzulla, Kevin Jones and the rest, if Huggins can get Casey Mitchell back in action, he has enough talent and experience here to put together another run.
  4. Seth Davis’ Hoop Thoughts this week tackles the touchy subject of whether college basketball parity equals mediocrity, a possible turning point to UNC’s season, Mike Rice’s histrionics on the sideline, Rick Pitino’s masterful coaching, and Kemba Walker’s prolonged slump.  And that’ represents only the first half of it.  As always, a great read as part of your can’t-miss list each week.
  5. This comes from the sometimes-you-just-need-to-let-it-happen department.  Especially when your team is in the midst of pulling off its greatest victory in years on its presumed home court.  We realize that the MSG security folks are trained to keep people off the floor (and the players out of the stands) in an NBA environment, but they could use a little training up on what we call rushing the court in the collegiate game.  NBA fans don’t RTC — they don’t even know what it is; but for college students, it’s a time-honored and generally harmless tradition used to celebrate huge wins (well, it used to be, at least).  That is, until some d-bag Pinkerton wannabe starts choking a 19-year old for trying to run onto the court and jump up and down with his team.  Are we serious with this?  What did the felonious assaulter think was going to happen here — light the goals on fire and take a dump at center court?  Get over yourself, whoever you are, and we hope that MSG’s draconian security team gets killed for this.
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Boom Goes the Dynamite: Evening Games

Posted by rtmsf on December 11th, 2010

The evening set of games wasn’t chock full of great matchups on paper, but there were a few good ones that we were able to catch so here are tonight’s thoughts…

  • Washington: Nothing New to See Here.  Through nine games, Washington has convincingly beaten the six teams that it’s clearly better than and found ways to lose close games against the three teams it’s not.  KenPom loves this team because the Husky offense is regularly capable of throwing up triple-digits against bad teams, but unfortunately it doesn’t account for the ability to finish against similarly talented teams.  Blame Lorenzo Romar’s coaching or the basketball IQ of the players, but we’ve seen this song and dance from Washington for a number of seasons now — this year appears to be no different.  The Huskies are very talented, but they don’t perform well in the clutch.  Witness today’s finish against Texas A&M — Isaiah Thomas made a brilliant defensive play to steal the ball  in the backcourt with the Aggies leading by a single point and about six seconds remaining, but instead of using his ridiculous quickness and leaping ability to attack the basket, he instead inexplicably killed his dribble at the foul line and was forced into a fadeaway jumper that only got inches out of his hand (see below).  TAMU’s David Loubeau immediately rejected it and saved the game for his team in the process.  That’s not a winning decision, and Thomas, a vociferous jabberer on Twitter, has been getting killed for it this evening.  Through the first quarter of the season, what do we know about the Huskies?  Against nobodies, they can score and look spectacular doing so; but good teams can defend them, as both Kentucky (38.5%) and A&M have proven (37.7%).  They’re probably still a co-favorite with Arizona in the Pac-10, but so what — until they learn how to make better decisions against good teams it won’t get them very far into the postseason.
  • IU Progressing.  Indiana is by no means ‘back,’ but for the first time in a while it didn’t appear in today’s game against Kentucky that they were completely outclassed in talent on the court.  The Wildcats amped up its defense in the last part of the game and ultimately blew the Hoosiers out of the building, 81-62, but it was a close back-and-forth contest and IU actually still led the game at the 8:05 mark.  With a solid core of Christian Watford (19/9), Maurice Creek and Verdell Jones continuing to develop and Cody Zeller joining the Hoosiers next season, it appears that Indiana is on the right track again.  The next step in the progression is for Indiana to break through against one of these teams like Boston College or Kentucky — they’ve shown they can play with these teams, but they’re not yet capable of finishing those games.
  • Fab Melo Can’t Even Score Against Colgate.  Syracuse ran out to a 46-8 halftime lead and defeated winless Colgate 100-43, but freshman center Fab Melo still couldn’t get a point.  The seven-footer only played six minutes, but in that time he missed his only shot and managed to put up his fifth donut in ten games this season.  Considering the hype that Melo had coming into the season, we’re not sure that there’s been a bigger disappointment this season (2.1 PPG/2.2 RPG).  Still, it doesn’t appear to affect Jim Boeheim’s team at all, as the Orange just keep trucking along (now at 10-0).  Imagine if the big guy starts to figure it all out by midseason?
  • RTC at Fordham!  We’re still waiting to see photographic or video evidence of this, but we understand that Fordham fans RTC’d tonight to celebrate its first win over a Big East team (St. John’s) in ten years.  Keep in mind that the Rams, 4-4 this year, had won a total of five games the last two seasons, so this was a huge victory for their program, and it was made all the better by coming back from 21 down in the second half (60-39).  The Johnnies, hyped considerably this year with the hire of Steve Lavin, have now taken back-to-back losses to Atlantic 10 teams.  Not exactly the best way to endear yourself to the NYC Big East-centric media, coach.

RTC at Fordham (credit: Daily Dose of Hoops)

  • Gonzaga With a Losing Record.  Mark Few always loads up on quality opponents in the early going, but this year’s gauntlet has resulted in his team sporting a 4-5 record midway through December after tonight’s 83-79 loss at Notre Dame.  Elias Harris and his injured Achilles looked good this evening (19/5/4 assts), but the reason the Zags continue to lose these games is that their defense is failing them.  Gonzaga once again gave up a bunch of threes (11 tonight) and their three-point defense is among the worst in the nation this year (nearly 40%).  It’s very difficult for them to find enough points against good teams when they’re matadoring everyone, especially on the perimeter.  The Zags have one quality win over Marquette, but the opportunities for more are quickly dwindling.  Could Butler and Gonzaga both miss the NCAAs this year?
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    After the Buzzer: Paul Hewitt Provides Season’s First (mini) RTC

    Posted by rtmsf on November 16th, 2010

    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.

    Hewitt Has No Answers (AJC/C. Compton)

    Tonight’s Hits…

    • 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.

    There Was a Mini-RTC at Kennesaw Tonight

    • 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.

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    Where 2010-11 Happens: Reason #12 Why We Love College Basketball

    Posted by rtmsf on October 25th, 2010

    Shamelessly cribbing from the clever NBA catch phrase, we here at RTC will present you with the 2010-11 edition of Thirty Reasons We Love College Basketball as we ramp up to the start of the season a little over a month from now.  We’ll be bringing you players to watch for this season and moments to remember from last season, courtesy of the series of dump trucks, wires and effluvia known as YouTube.  If you want to have some fun while killing time, we encourage you to re-visit the entire archive of this feature from the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons.  Enjoy.

    #12- Where Get On That Floor Happens

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