November 18: The Day After
Posted by Tommy on November 18, 2008
ESPN Tip-off Marathon
The inaugural College Hoops Tip-off Marathon kicked off last night on ESPN after Monday Night Football. For myself, it was the first opportunity to watch college hoops in HD since the National Championship. I must say, there is nothing better than Hi-Def college basketball. The opening matchup pitted two coaches and programs with plenty of ties in Memphis and UMass. John Calipari, the former coach at UMass, coached against his former team captain and disciple in Derek Kellogg. The game itself started off like a playground match with plenty of cherry-picking and more turnovers than field goals. Once the nerves settled it was all Memphis. After the 8-minute media timeout, the Tigers never looked back. Neither team broke 40% from the field and Memphis was just 2-19 from deep, but the Tigers forced UMass into 23 turnovers. After watching last night’s game, it looks like Calipari needs to slow his kids down a bit. They don’t have a point guard the caliber of Derrick Rose to reign free in the open court. Taggart and Dozier are great defenders and rebounders, but can’t score on the break like Dorsey could last season. I know Calipari has his coaching identity, but I think the Tigers would benefit from slowing their pace, especially with a pretty short bench.
The next game, a 2 AM tip for those on the east coast, was Saint Mary’s and Fresno State. Pat Mills put on a 27 point, 6 steal and 5 assist display against the Bulldogs. One blemish in Mills’ game last night was his four turnovers. Omar Samhan added 18 points and snatched 13 rebounds for the Gaels. Diamon Simpson also had a double double with 10 points and 10 boards. He also negated 3 shots. In their second game of the season, Saint Mary’s already seems to be living up to their expectations as a contender in the WCC. Saint Mary’s was efficient, shooting 44.6% from the field and 40.9% from deep. They out-rebounded the Bulldogs by 9 and were +9 in the turnover column.
The third game of the marathon tipped at 4 AM this morning. For you insomniacs/unbelievably die-hard basketball fans who did watch this game, you caught a dandy. Idaho State traveled down to Hawaii to square off against the Rainbow Warriors. The largest lead of the game for either team was seven and it fittingly went into overtime. Hawaii held on 67-64 as Bill Amis intercepted the inbound after Adhar Mayen hit the second free throw with less than a second left.
Stars are Shining: Stephen Curry is playing like, well, Stephen Curry. Curry contributed 33 points, 9 assists and 4 steals in Davidson’s rout of James Madison. He was 14-19 from the field and 4-6 from beyond the arc. He seems to be settling into the point pretty quickly, but we’ll really get a gauge of what Curry is like at the point tonight against Oklahoma.
Blake Griffin looked to be in peak form with 20 points and 19 rebounds. He also contributed 6 steals in the Sooners’ rout of Mississippi Valley State. It’ll really be something to see Griffin and Curry square off tonight on ESPN2.
- #2 UConn blew Hartford out of the water late 99-56 despite the absence of AJ Price
- #6 Pitt outscored Miami (OH) 47-23 in the 2nd half on their way to a 82-53 victory
- #10 Purdue used great defense to break down Eastern Michigan in a 87-58 “W”. Hummel led the way with 18.
- #12 Memphis opened the game sloppily, but pulled away and won 80-58 win.
- # 14 Oklahoma dismantled the Sun Devils, Griffin was a rebound away from a 20-20 game.
- # 17 Marquette rolled at home behind a 26 point performance from Wes Matthews.
- #18 Georgetown held on against Jacksonville 71-62, despite being out-scored in the second half.
- #21 Davidson dominated James Madison, Curry was an assist away from a double-double.
- #23 Villanova’s Dante Cunningham scored 31, leading the Cats to a 107-68 victory over Fordham.
NW Wins Horse Trailer Player of the Day: Stephen Curry, Davidson.
Tuesday on the Tube:
- Liberty @ UNC-Asheville, 2 ET (ESPN)
- Centenary @ Baylor, 4 ET (ESPN)
- Richmond @ Syracuse, 6 ET (ESPN)
- Loyola (IL) @ #10 Purdure, 7 ET (ESPNU)
- Tennesee-Martin @ #13 Tennessee, 7 ET (ESPN FC)
- St. John’s @ Boston College, 7:30 ET (ESPN2)
- Tulane @ #8 Texas, 8 ET
- Kentucky @ #1 North Carolina, 9 ET (ESPN)
- Florida Gulf Coast @ #24 Kansas, 9 ET (ESPNU)
- #21 Davidson @ #14 Oklahoma, 9:30 ET (ESPN2)
- Nevada @ San Diego, 10 ET (ESPN FC)
- UAB @ Arizona, 11:30 ET (ESPN2)
Zach: Couple other notes from last night:
- How about Virginia Tech struggling again at home? Mount St. Mary’s led most of the game in Blacksburg before the Hokies used a late run to win 62-57. Three VT players scored in double figures, led by Malcolm Delaney at 17 points. Virginia Tech isn’t known as a high-scoring team, but only 62 points against MSM has to be troubling. Look for coach Greenberg to push these guys into shape sooner than later.
- Could be a very long year in Eugene. After dodging the upset bullet in their first game, Oregon lost at home to Oakland 82-79 in overtime last night. That extension giving you some nice security, Ernie? Johnathon Jones stole the show for Oakland with 32 points on 13/23 FG, including 10 in overtime. The Ducks had a 16-game non conference home winning streak snapped.
- Also upset last night was Georgia, losing at home to Loyola (IL) of the Horizon League. The same Loyola that lost to Division II Rockhurst last week. And the game wasn’t particularly competitive either, with the final scoring being 74-53 in favor of the Ramblers. J.R. Blount led the way with 16 points. They’ll advance to play Purdue while Georgia faces Eastern Michigan. You have to be thinking Dennis Felton may be on the way out soon.
- Marquette gave up 87 points to Chicago State at home. This has to be of concern to coach Buzz Williams. The Golden Eagles must step up the defense if they expect to finish in the top five of a loaded Big East this year. Luckily for Williams, Marquette scored the most points in a game since 1980 and won 106-87 with Wes Matthews having another huge night. Domnic James: 2-9 FT.