Northwestern Wins: A College Hoops Blog

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

Archive for November 16th, 2008

November 17: The Day After

Posted by Zach on November 16, 2008

Rhode Island Duke basketball

Headliner: If you were told a certain Duke opponent was going to march into Cameron Indoor Stadium and seriously threaten the Blue Devils near-perfect home record against unranked opponents under Coach K, most would have predicted Virginia Tech. Or Maryland. Or possibly Florida State.

I doubt anyone would have suggested the Rhode Island Rams. Not even Vegas saw this coming with the spread at 21.5. Both myself and Nostradamus Patrick (look at that record!) went with the Dukies. Sure, URI has been dangerous in previous years, getting off to a tremendous early season start last year before fading down the stretch. They’re well-coached and have some talent. But in Cameron? No chance.

Well, they almost pulled it off. Behind the absolutely unreal shooting of Jimmy Baron and the all-around game of Delroy James, the Rams almost shocked the college basketball world in the first week of the season. Would it have been bigger than VMI over Kentucky? Considering Duke is ranked #5 in the land according to the coaches poll, I’d say so.

But Kyle Singler would not let it happen. I can’t possibly stress how much this kid has improved from last season. He’s stronger, he’s more aggressive, and he appears to be the dominant force the Blue Devils have lacked since Redick and Williams departed. DeMarcus Nelson was never one to decide he was going to take over a game and not let anyone stop him. Same with Gerald Henderson. Singler appears to be that man- he did everything for Duke last night, not letting them lose that game. Whether it be nailing clutch free throws, swishing threes in the face of Baron or contributing defensively, Singler was awesome. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Jon Scheyer hitting all 13 free throws he took in the game, none of them under especially relaxing circumstances.

Two other Duke notes: Lance Thomas played well once again and was on the floor for every crunch time minute late. Who wasn’t? Greg Paulus. He was buried on the bench for Scheyer-Singler-Smith-Thomas-Henderson. Delroy James went 9/12 from the floor, totaling 21 points and 8 rebounds and was the best player on the floor for most of the contest. Jimmy Baron hit some miraculous threes for URI, 8 of 9 altogether. He has unlimited range and should be feared in the A-10 this season.

Clemson and Creighton with quality wins: Clemson was able to hold off red hot Dionte Christmas and Temple in the championship game of the Charleston Classic. They improve to 3-0 after holding off a late Temple run that cut the lead to 2 with 38 seconds remaining. Clemson is shooting the three ball very well early in the season, namely long range bomber Terrence Oglesby. Also, Creighton defeated a decent New Mexico squad behind a tremendous effort from P’Allen Stinnett- 30 points, 4 rebounds, 11/16 FG, 21 points in the second half. Congrats P’Allen, your effort earns you the Horse Trailer for Sunday!

Old Dominion might contend for the CAA title this year and got off on the right foot defeating Charlotte on the road; Iowa State went 15-27 from deep in their win over Milwaukee, a school record.

UPSET ALERT!!!- Mercer has done it again. Last year, they marched into Los Angeles and defeated USC in O.J. Mayo’s debut. This year they go into Tuscaloosa and knock off Alabama in JaMychal Green’s debut, 72-69. Not a good start to a campaign where Mark Gottfried is trying to keep his job. Bama fans can be encouraged with Ronald Steele’s return- 7/15 FG, 6/7 FT, 25 points, 3 steals, 3 assists. But they were outrebounded 49-32 by an Atlantic Sun team. Another shocker in college hoops.

NW Wins Horse Trailer of the Day– P’Allen Stinnett, Creighton

Top 25 Action

  • #7 Michigan State dominated Idaho 100-62 behind a career high 21 points from Chris Allen
  • #9 Notre Dame out-muscled USC Upstate 94-58 with Luke Harangody totaling 30 points/14 boards
  • #19 Florida looks great thus far, dominating Bradley 81-58; Werner and Hodge with 17 points each
  • #21 Wisconsin escaped at home against Long Beach State 68-61; senior Marcus Landry with 23 points
  • #23 Kansas defended their crown by downing UMKC 71-56 behind 16 from Sherron Collins

Monday on the Tube

  • Eastern Michigan @ Purdue- 7pm (ESPN2)
  • Loyola (MD) @ Boston College- 7pm (ESPNU)
  • New Jersey Tech @ Penn State- 7pm (BTN)
  • Hartford @ Connecticut- 7pm (ESPN FC)
  • Miami (OH) @ Pittsburgh- 7pm (ESPN FC)
  • North Texas @ Oklahoma State- 8pm (ESPN FC)
  • Chattanooga @ Missouri- 8pm (ESPN FC)
  • Sam Houston State @ Texas Tech- 8pm (ESPN FC)
  • Chicago State @ Marquette- 8pm (ESPN FC)
  • Mississippi Valley State @ Oklahoma- 9pm (ESPNU)
  • Florida Atlantic @ Arizona- 11pm (ESPNU)

Posted in The Day After | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

A Look Back at the Opening Week of 2008-09

Posted by Tommy on November 16, 2008

If this week has been an indication of how the rest of the season will play out, college hoops fans better strap themselves tightly to their favorite chair and get ready for a ride. Usually the first week consists of the big schools tuning up against weaker opponents, but a number of big programs failed to avoid upsets or barely did so.

Most notably, Kentucky suffers another upset at the hands of a weak non-conference opponent. Some may question the choice of the high-octane Keydet offense as an opponent to open the season, but a team like Kentucky has no business losing to VMI. Virginia, a bottom feeder in the ACC, beat VMI by 10 today led by freshman Sylvan Landesburg. Wildcats have no reason to fret quite yet, just look at last season.

Alabama, another contender in the watered-down SEC, lost to Mercer earlier today in Tuscaloosa. Guards Brandon Hollinger and Alonzo Gee were a combined 3-16 from the field. The Tide shot 66.7% from the line and were out-rebounded 49-32.

In my opinion, the worst loss of the week belongs to Lorenzo Romar and the Washington Huskies in their debacle against Portland. Brockman had 30 points and 14 rebounds, but even that effort couldn’t prevent the Pilots from flying past the Huskies. Quincy Pondexter and Darnell Grant couldn’t buy a bucket. Pat’s #3 team in the Pac-10 has some serious work to do in their supporting cast if they want to live up to that prediction.

Another terrible loss took place in Utah, where the Utes lost to the Division II Southwest Baptist. The Bearcats drained 16 3-pointers. No matter who you are, you’re not going to win if you let the other team make 16 3’s. I really liked the Utes chances to challenge UNLV at the top of the Mountain West, but this loss is giving me some second thoughts…

A couple of teams in the ACC dodged some bullets over the week. Duke played host to URI, who beat Brown by just two points earlier in the week. Nobody thought the Rams could charge into Cameron and play with the Dukies, but Jim Baron and his sharpshooting son had other plans. The Crazies haven’t seen a shooting performance quite like the one Jimmy Baron put on since J.J Redick. He was bombing them from the “Coach K Court” symbol, fading into the Crazies and sinking shots pretty much everywhere else from beyond the arc. Singler hit two go-ahead free throws with just under 20 seconds to go and stopped Baron on URI’s final possession to win the game 82-79.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb were looking to pull off another upset at a major conference team’s arena. Virginia Tech, who had a handle on the game for a large portion, saw their lead dwindle to one point with 24 seconds left. Malcolm Delaney hit two clutch free throws to put the Hokies up by three, and their defense did the rest to hold on 65-62.

The parity that is developing in college basketball should make for an exciting 2008-09. We’ve already had a fair share of upsets and a couple of overtime games. Just hope that your team doesn’t fall to the upset bug.

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Sunday’s Selections

Posted by Zach on November 16, 2008

Zach’s Picks: (Season Record: 10-13-0)

FLORIDA (-15.5) over Bradley- WIN
CREIGHTON (-3) over New Mexico- WIN
DUKE (-23.5) over Rhode Island- LOSS
Temple (+7.5) over Clemson- WIN
Old Dominion (+7.5) over CHARLOTTE- WIN
IOWA STATE (-3.5) over Milwaukee- WIN

Tommy’s Picks (Season Record: 13-10-0)

FLORIDA (-15.5) over Bradley- WIN
New Mexico (+3) over CREIGHTON- LOSS
Rhode Island (+23.5) over DUKE- WIN
Clemson (-7.5) over Temple- LOSS
Old Dominion (+7.5) over CHARLOTTE- WIN
IOWA STATE (-3.5) over Milwaukee- WIN

Patrick’s Picks: (Season Record: 15-8-0)

FLORIDA (-15.5) over Bradley- WIN
CREIGHTON (-3) over New Mexico- WIN
DUKE (-23.5) over Rhode Island- LOSS
Temple (+7.5) over Clemson- WIN
CHARLOTTE (-7.5) over Old Dominion- LOSS
Milwaukee (+3.5) over IOWA STATE- LOSS

Posted in Daily Selections | 1 Comment »

November 16: The Day After

Posted by Zach on November 16, 2008

UC Irvine USC Basketball

Top Mid-Majors Battle

Two of the top games Saturday featured potential NCAA Tournament mid-majors duking it out in mid-November- George Mason @ Vermont and San Diego @ UNLV. In the first game, the reloaded Catamounts, led by the three-headed monster of Mike Trimboli, Marques Blakely and Maurice Joseph, fell on two last second Darryl Monroe free throws with 0.7 left in overtime. Monroe was the star for Mason, totaling 19 points and 17 rebounds. Coach Jim Laranaga needs Monroe to mold into a big-time player to win the CAA this season over VCU, Old Dominion and Northeastern. I really wish I could have seen this game- I followed parts on Gamecast and it seemed like an exciting, back and forth duel between two quality opponents in a sold out environment.

The second game I ranked tops on my Games of the Week list, San Diego @ UNLV, was tempered a bit due to the suspensions of two of San Diego’s top guns- Gyno Pomare and Trumaine Johnson. They did a valiant job of battling in a difficult place to play against a potential Top 25 team. In fact, neither team built more than an eight point lead, while there were 17 ties and eight lead changes. Sophomore Rob Jones led the way for SD with 19 points and 10 rebounds, with NCAA Tournament hero Brandon Johnson notching 14. UNLV was slightly better, though, getting 17 from Wink Adams and 13 from freshman Oscar Bellfield. The Rebels won despite shooting 27% from deep. You can’t help but wonder if the result would have been the same had Pomare and Johnson been able to suit up.

North Carolina Debuts Sans Hansbrough

The unanimous preseason #1 Tar Heels debuted yesterday at home against Penn without Player of the Year frontrunner Tyler Hansbrough and fellow starter Marcus Ginyard (Bobby Frasor did play despite spraining his ankle in practice Monday…can’t you do the same Michael Redd? You’re killing my fantasy team, man). Coach Williams probably isn’t overly pleased with the Heels performance Saturday; Penn was down just 10 points with four minutes left, the second half score was 38-38 and UNC failed to go on one of their patented game-ending runs. They’ll need Deon Thompson to step up in Hansbrough’s absence and he did just that, scoring 17 points, while freshmen frontmen Ed Davis finished with a double-double (4-8 FT, 4 TO) and Tyler Zeller totaled a team-high 18 points (just 2 rebounds). UNC faces Kentucky Tuesday with College Gameday in the house. Will Jay Bilas gather a Prop-8 style protest saying the game shouldn’t be played to honor the injured Hansbrough? Tune in to find out.

Other Top 25 Action

  • #11 Gonzaga handled MT St. Billings 83-52 behind Austin Daye’s 15 points and 12 rebounds
  • #12 Memphis throttled Fairfield 90-63 with Tyreke Evans scoring 19 on 7/12 shooting
  • #13 Tennessee dismantled a quality mid-major Chattanooga 114-75. Freshman Bobby Maze with 10 assists debuting at point guard
  • #16 Miami dominated Florida Southern 96-60 behind 18 from Jack McClinton and Dwayne Collins
  • #21 USC avoided the early season upset bug this year, beating UC Irvine 78-55. DeMar DeRozan’s debut went well: 14 points on 6/11

Other Notes

– I wonder what Houston coach Tom Penders said in the locker room with his team losing by 10 to Western Kentucky at home Saturday. Maybe, “do you want our season to end in November???…oh, and I WANT TO KEEP MY JOB!” Whatever he said, it worked. Down 10 to WKU at home, Houston went on a 19-8 run to begin the second half and avoided a 1-2 start to the season.

– Could Tulsa be the team that contends with Memphis in Conference USA? They won a grinder last night at home against a quality Oral Roberts team. 7 foot center Jerome Jordan was contained to just 8 points in 21 minutes, so it looks like they won through 1) Ben Uzoh’s 20 points and 2) defense. What a concept. Anyway, watch out for Tulsa as a sleeper this season.

– Not a great debut for Keno Davis at Providence. After the Northeastern Huskies were thrashed by Manny Harris and Michigan, they turned around and defeated a tougher opponent in Providence. Hot-shooting Matt Janning notched 24 points on 10/14 FG while fellow star Eugene Spates added 17 points for the Huskies. Overall, Northeastern shot 48.1%. Could be another year of defensive inepititude in Providence.

– Worth noting that Illinois State went into Dayton and defeated the preseason #2 in the Horizon- Wright State. Quality win for the Missouri Valley. HL favorite Cleveland State played poorly and were nearly upset at home by Oakland, winning 58-55. Last year’s Cinderella Drake got a dose of reality last night, taking it on the chin to Butler 58-48 at home. It really doesn’t matter how many players Butler loses, they’re always going to play ferocious defense (same with Washington State…MVSU scored 27 on them Saturday in the game). Drake shot just 31.1% from the floor. Also, Milwaukee overcame a 24-point deficit in the World Vision Classic to defeat UC Davis. They get Iowa State today.

UPSET ALERT!!!– #3 in the Pac-10, huh Pat? Jon Brockman scored 30 points on 11/17 FG and grabbed 14 rebounds for the Washington Huskies. Oh, they lost 80-74 to the Portland Pilots.

NW Wins Horse Trailer of the Day– Darryl Monroe, George Mason (19 points, 17 rebounds, 5/10 FG, 9/10 FT, Game winning FT)

Sunday on the Tube (if you want a break from football)

  • Bradley @ Florida- 2:15pm (ESPNU)
  • Long Beach State @ Wisconsin- 4pm (BTN)
  • Winthrop @ South Carolina- 4pm (ESPN FC)
  • Rhode Island @ Duke- 430pm (ESPNU)
  • Idaho @ Michigan State- 6pm (BTN)
  • South Dakota @ Cincinnati- 6pm (SNY, FSNO)
  • LeMoyne @ Syracuse- 630pm (ESPNU)
  • Clemson vs. Temple- 8pm (CSS)
  • UMKC @ Kansas- 830pm (ESPNU)

Sunday’s picks and Games to Watch for next week up later today….

Posted in The Day After | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »