Northwestern Wins: A College Hoops Blog

An ode to Verne Lundquist’s calls and everything college basketball

Archive for November 12th, 2008

November 13: The Day After

Posted by Patrick on November 12, 2008

PATRICK: Here are some notes on the games that took place last night in the 2k Sports Classic:

Miami (OH) defeats Weber State in a close one: I guess this is a bit of an upset because Miami is traveling halfway across the country to play this game. Congratulations, now you get UCLA at Pauley Pavilion.

Michigan wiped the floor with Northeastern: I thought this was going to be a much closer contest, but I was mistaken. Michigan dominated the second half of this game offensively and defensively. They forced Northeastern to put up bad shots and the Wolverines lived at the free throw line where they missed only 1 of 26 attempts.

Manny Harris- In my opinion, Harris is the frontrunner for Big Ten Player Of The Year; this kid has ridiculous game. 26 points and 10 rebounds tonight, and against a formidable opponent. It will be nice to see how he performs on the national stage at Madison Square Garden.

Michigan a Sleeper?- Just the fact that they have Manny Harris on their roster makes them a potential surprise in the Big Ten, but tonight some other players stepped it up. DeShawn Sims, a junior forward, scored 19 points, and fellow big man Zack Gibson had a great game as well. The Michigan coaching staff is saying that Laval-Lucas Perry (transfer from Arizona that will be eligible after the fall semester) is the “hardest player to stop in practice”. Unless Harris doesn’t practice, that’s saying a lot for this young man.


ZACH: I know this blog is quickly turning into the Manny Harris Fan Site, but I have to give my own tip of the cap to his performance against a quality mid-major opponent. The scoring total isn’t all that surprising given the potential of Harris, but 10 rebounds and 8 assists, too? Only a sophomore, Harris, as Pat so astutely pointed out, is the frontrunner for Big Ten Player of the Year. Raymar Morgan still hasn’t shown me enough consistency to garner the favorite tag, the Purdue guys don’t put up the numbers, and Mullens is still TBD. I feel like Trevon Hughes can be a sleeper. No doubt it’s Harris at this early stage, though. The fashion in which he dominated scoring-wise while also keeping Sims, Gibson and others involved was a thing of beauty. Harris went 13-14 from the FT line, also. This is enough to give him the Horse Trailer for the second consecutive day!

A game I was really looking forward to seeing the result of was Southern Illinois vs. Massachusetts. How would the defensive-minded, slow-paced Saluki offense match up against the run-and-gun UMass scoring attack? The Minutemen led by 11 at half and Chris Lowery’s team was 0 for 8 from three. In the second half, Southern Illinois hit nine threes and Bryan Mullins finished with 13 assists. The 52 points SIU notched in the second frame has to be a high total for them in a long time.  Overall, not a great night for the commonwealth of Massachusetts. The dynamic backcourt trio of Lowe-Gurley-Harris combined for 56 of the 73 UMass points, but they ultimately fell 80-73 in Carbondale. Why did I pick against them at home??

The preseason top-five UCLA Bruins kicked off their season last night against Prairie View A&M, winning 82-58 and leading comfortably throughout. I wasn’t able to see any of this game, but I’m hoping to catch some UCLA-Miami (OH) action after the Patriots-Jets game tonight. Darren Collison led the way for the Bruins with 19 points, 4 assists and his usual solid defense. The freshmen: Morgan with 4, Gordon with 6, Holiday with 11.

NW Wins Horse Trailer Player of the Day: Manny Harris, Michigan- 26 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, 6-9 FG, 13-14 FT

Other quick notes as I peruse the box scores:

– Massachusetts point guard Chris Lowe committed a whopping 10 turnovers with zero assists last night. I know the Saluki defense is mauling, but coach Kellogg is going to need much more proficiency out of his point guard if he wants to win big A10 road games at Xavier, Charlotte and St. Joe’s

– Miami (OH) barely escaped on a late Kenny Hayes three to defeat Weber State, as Pat mentioned. Hayes actually hit all seven threes he attempted (no relation). Their matchup tonight should be catastrophically slow-paced until Darren Collison is racing up the floor with another steal. Miami was dominated on the boards, outshot, and nearly outplayed by Weber State. This can’t spell good fortunes for their matchup tonight if they had any upset thoughts.

UM Hoops and Rush the Court points out that Northeastern grabbed 20 offensive rebounds last night. Where art thou on the offensive boards, DeShawn Sims? They’ll need to improve on the glass or the Big Ten won’t be happy times.

Tonight on the tube: Miami (OH) vs. UCLA- 11 PM ET (ESPNU)

Posted in The Day After | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Final Pre-Season Mid Major Top 15

Posted by Patrick on November 12, 2008

Here’s the link to my first Mid-Major Top 15.

(I will not include: Gonzaga, Xavier, C-USA, WAC, or MWC)

The teams are the same but just some rearranging:

1. Davidson- Curry has obviously made a smooth transition to point guard, as expected, scoring 41 in the Wildcats exhibition game. If Curry plays anything like this during the regular season, those supporting players should be enough to keep Davidson rolling.

2. San Diego- I’m still a strong believer that San Diego is one of the better Non-BCS teams out there. They have a senior heavy lineup led by Gyno Pomare and Brandon Johnson, plus sophomores Trumaine Johnson and Rob Jones are studs that can play with anyone in the nation.

3. Siena- Brings back all five starters from the team that made fools out of Vanderbilt in last year’s tournament. They shouldn’t have too much trouble winning the MAAC, but it will be interesting to see how they stack up against the powerhouses in the Old Spice Classic.

4. Saint Mary’s- Patrick Mills, Omar Samhan, Diamon Simpson, and Ian O’Leary will lead a Gaels team that looks to be back in the NCAA tournament.

5. Saint Joseph’s- This team probably has the best chance to upset Xavier and win the A-10. Ahmad Nivins is the best center in the conference and can give any team a headache thats trying to stop him.

6. Virginia Commonwealth- Eric Maynor is certainly up there with the best point guards in the nation, but will this team choke once again when the conference tournament rolls around.

7. Cleveland State- This team is one of the more athletic teams in the mid-west and should be the favorites to win the Horizon League. Athletic big man J’Nathan Bullock (above) and stellar point guard Cedric Jackson look to lead the Vikings to the NCAA tournament just two years after posting a terrible conference record.

8. Cal State Fullerton- Keep your eye on Josh Akognon (below) all season, he’s a tremendous player that goes unnoticed for playing in a small conference. As for the rest of the team, they bring back a lot of experience from the squad that made the NCAA tournament last season.

9. Creighton- In my opinion, the Blue Jays are the favorites to win the MVC. A team that just lost three seniors a year ago should be poised to make the NCAA tournament after being routed by Florida in the NIT.

10. Dayton- Also a team that can surprise; London Warren and Chris Wright are two very underrated players that should make some noise in the A-10.

11. Wright State- Vaughn Duggins and Todd Brown will try to bring the Raiders back to the NCAA tournament for the 2nd time in 3 seasons. However, it won’t be easy with Cleveland State in their way.

12. Tennessee Martin- Lester Hudson and Marquis Weddle should easily take control of the Ohio Valley Conference from the get go, as long as these two are on the court they will be a tough game for any team.

13. Belmont- Until they prove me wrong, I have to give the Bruins some love for what they almost did to Duke last season. Plus, they have built a dynasty in the Atlantic Sun and I don’t expect any underdog teams to steal their throne.

14. Oral Roberts- Do these guys ever go away? Not when you have players like Robert Jarvis. I don’t see anyone that can contend in the Summit League.

15. Drake- This will be a very tough season for the Bulldogs. With Josh Young running the offense they should still experience success, but certainly not at the magnitude of last season’s.

Also Considered: Santa Clara, Butler, Vermont, Northeastern, Southern Illinois, UMass

Posted in Predictions, Team Rankings | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Wednesday’s Selections

Posted by Zach on November 12, 2008

Guys, I made it so you can edit the posts instead of putting your picks in the comments.

Zach’s Picks: (Season Record: 0-2-0)

Massachusetts (+4) over SOUTHERN ILLINOIS- LOSS
Northeastern (+5.5) over MICHIGAN- LOSS

Patrick’s Picks: (Season Record: 2-0-0)

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (-4) over Massachusetts- WIN
MICHIGAN (-5.5) over Northeastern- WIN

Tommy’s Picks: (Season Record: 1-1-0)

Massachusetts (+4) over SOUTHERN ILLINOIS- LOSS
MICHIGAN (-5.5) over Northeastern- WIN

Posted in Daily Selections | 3 Comments »

November 12: The Day After

Posted by Zach on November 12, 2008

ZACH: I caught bits and pieces of the Michigan Tech-Michigan and Georgia Southern-Duke games on The U last night. Taking too much credence out of a performance against a Division II team (although Michigan Tech was picked second in their conference behind Grand Valley State…so I guess they’re not gawd-awful) would be foolish…but Manny Harris was terrific, dropping 30 points and notching 7 rebounds in 30 minutes. He showed a variety of elaborate moves driving to the hoop and shot well from the outside, nailing three long balls. I considered Harris for my Big Ten Player of the Year award before ultimately deciding on Keaton Grant as a sleeper, especially because Michigan won’t be especially competitive this season. He looks like he’s on a mission to prove me wrong. But, again. Division 2.

Duke put on an absolute clinic in defeating Georgia Southern. They played much better than the first night’s performance against Presbyterian- most notably rebounding, limiting turnovers, and playing active defense. Nolan Smith went 3/4 from deep, showing that it’s entirely possible Greg Paulus’ one major strength (outside shooting) won’t even present a downgrade in the starting five. Kyle Singler appears to be the total package early- the outside jumper is still there, but he’s attacking the rim and boards with more ferocity, getting easy shots and converted. Freshman Elliot Williams grabbed 11 rebounds in 14 minutes of garbage time a day after his ridiculous 360 dunk with Duke leading by 300.

A Duke recap wouldn’t be complete without a frontcourt update. Duke played their usual dribble-drive, spread the floor around the perimeter type offense, which will work fine against Georgia Southern, but against opponents with multiple big men, they’ll need someone to emerge in the post. Brian Zoubek picked up four more fouls in 14 minutes. Miles Plumlee played sparingly, and Lance Thomas looked like he was slightly improved. The jury’s still out. Speaking of Thomas, he went 1 for 8 from the stripe, and Duke as a whole went 25-49. That has to be a point of concern. But, again. Georgia Southern.

Southern Illinois struggled with Division 2 California (PA) last night in Carbondale. The game was actually tied at halftime before the Salukis and Carlton Fay (16/11) pulled away in the second half. Massachusetts and Corey Lowe (11 assists) dominated their D2 opponent and these two teams will face off tonight for a visit with Duke at MSG. In the Ann Arbor Regional, Northeastern handled IUPUI with ease and will play the Wolverines tonight. This one will be much closer than expected unless Michigan’s supporting cast around Harris steps up.

Michigan vs. Northeastern – 8 PM ET (ESPNU), UCLA vs. Prairie View A&M- 10 PM ET (ESPNU)

NW Wins Horse Trailer Player of the Day: Manny Harris, Michigan: 30 points, 10/15 FG, 3/5 3PT, 7/9 FT, 7 rebounds, 2 assists

We’ll have the Wednesday selections up when the lines are released.

Posted in The Day After | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »