Northwestern Wins: A College Hoops Blog

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

Archive for December 8th, 2008

Big Ten Poll

Posted by Zach on December 8, 2008

First poll of the year!

Posted in Polls | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Brandon Johnson Out For The Season With Torn ACL

Posted by Zach on December 8, 2008

This was supposed to be a huge year for Bill Grier and the San Diego Toreros.

We all know what his team did last season, marching into Rupp Arena and knocking off Kentucky as a prelude to their stunning upset of Connecticut in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. With all five starters returning, most believed San Diego could contend with Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s for the WCC title.

Grier received news today that his leading scorer and four year starter, guard Brandon Johnson, will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Couple that with a disappointing beginning to the season and various other team injuries and suspensions, and you have a San Diego squad that went from contender to middle-of-the-pack WCC team in a matter of weeks. Johnson was averaging 13.5 PPG and 3.9 APG for San Diego, including 19 vs. Wisconsin in the Virgin Islands. He averaged 16.9 PPG a season ago.

Already Grier has dealt with distractions in the early going. He suspended three players for their opening loss at UNLV, Clinton Houston missed six games, Gyno Pomare missed one and emerging sophomore guard Trumaine Johnson remains suspended, although he could return for San Diego’s next game. De’Jon Jackson, a solid contributor and top defender, also has a knee injury and has been out as of late.

San Diego is off to a disappointing 4-4 start with wins over Nevada and Valparaiso but losses to Miami, Wisconsin, UNLV and San Diego State. Their primary chances for impressive resume-building wins are gone, although they do play Mississippi State, Oregon and New Mexico in December. Those teams will likely not be NCAA Tournament bound, meaning the Toreros will have to win the WCC regular season or tournament, quite a daunting task without Brandon Johnson.

A promising year for San Diego is looking like a real struggle.

Posted in Injuries | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Weekend Roundup: 12/6 & 12/7

Posted by Tommy on December 8, 2008

Saturday, 12/6: Saturday’s slate was highlighted by a couple Top 10 teams getting toppled by unranked opponents. The first upset came from the Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, where the Wolverines avenged their loss to Duke in the 2K Sports Classic. Michigan picked up their second win against a Top 5 team behind a career-high 28 points from DeShawn Sims. The Blue Devils shot 7-33 from deep, which wasn’t enough to shoot the Wolverines out of their 1-3-1 zone. Outside of Sims’ 28, Manny Harris provided 17 and Zack Novak had 14 off the bench. For the Dukies, this loss shows that they can’t rely on the three as much as they have been if they want to make it to the Final Four. Singler was 1-9 from deep and Paulus and Elliot Williams were a combined 0-7 from the field.

The second upset came from another Big 10 team. Ohio State’s Evan Turner led the 5-0 Buckeyes in five categories with 28 of OSU’s 67 points, 10 boards, 5 assists, 2 steals and 40 minutes. Despite the return of Harangody’s presence in the paint, Turner drove to the hoop time and time again, testing the big men of Notre Dame and scoring at will. Harangody had a great first game back on the offensive end with 25 points to go along with 16 boards. Kyle McAlarney came back down to earth after going 3-11 from the field and 0-6 from deep. B.J. Mullens cracked the double digit mark with 11 points in 18 minutes of play. Thad Matta had his team playing great defense and shutdown everybody but Harangody and Tory Jackson. The Irish shot 38.1% from the field and 53.8% from the stripe, not encouraging stats for a team that usually doesn’t shoot itself in the foot.

Staying in the midwest, Wisconsin was also looking for a resume quality win against Marquette. The Badgers pulled out to a 6 point halftime lead, but saw it vanish in the last 6 minutes of the game. Jerel McNeal carried the Golden Eagles with 19 of his 26 points in the second half. McNeal was 10-18 from the field and 4-7 from deep, including the go-ahead three with 5:26 to go.  Both teams struggled shooting the ball from deep and from the free throw line. The win over Wisconsin was a huge one for Marquette, who needed a pick up after their loss to Dayton.

Other Notes:

  • Stephen Curry does it again. His 44 points lifted Davidson over NC State.
  • Big East darkhorse Cincinati, led by Mike Williams, picked up a nice win over UAB.
  • Boston College took down UMass despite 35 from Ricky Harris
  • Baylor continues to impress as they took down Washington St despite the difference in style of play.

Top 25 in Action:

  • #3 Pittsburgh’s Sam Young stays hot with his 28 point performance in Pitt’s 80-51 rout of Vermont.
  • #5 Gonzaga took care of Indiana 70-54 in Indianapolis, Heyvelt led the Zags with 17.
  • #10 Purdue forced 35 turnovers in their 90-42 win over winless Arkansas Pine-Bluff.
  • #11 Louisville jumped out to a 50-17 halftime lead in their win over Indiana State.
  • #17 Wake Forest stays undefeated after crushing Buknell 81-52, Teague had 26.
  • #18 Georgetown dismantled American 73-49. Wright led all scorers with 22.
  • #22 Miami withstands a late comeback vs. Kentucky and holds on to win 73-67.
  • #24 Davidson beat NC State 72-67 thanks to Curry’s second 44 point performance of the year.
  • #25 Kansas scored 50 points in the second half of their 86-62 win over Jackson State.

NW Wins Horse Trailer Player of the Day: DeShawn Sims, Michigan

Sunday, 12/7: Sunday had nowhere near the action Saturday provided, but another Top 25 team went down. Florida State took down the #21 Florida Gators at home despite shooting just 31% from the field. The Seminoles’ leading scorer Toney Douglas was limited to just two points and was 1-9 from the field. It’s tough to win games when your leading scorer was completely shut down and your team shoots 31 percent, but Leonard Hamilton had his squad playing great defense. The ‘Noles forced Florida into 16 turnovers. Role players like Ryan Reid, Solomon Alabai and Jordan DeMercy stepped up for FSU in Toney Douglas’ absence from the scoring column. This is a big win for Leonard Hamilton, who’s been on the hot seat for some time now.

In the Big 12/Pac 10 Hardwood Classic, Oregon improved their record to 4-4 with a 75-70 win over Kansas State. Tajuan Porter was locked in, shooting 8-13 from the field and 6-9 from deep. The Ducks, who shot 48% from the field, got nice contributions from guards LeKendric Longmire and Garrett Sim. Kansas State outscored Oregon 39-10 from the bench and out-rebounded the Ducks 34-24 but allowed Oregon to shoot 31 free throws, 22 of which were made.

Liberty gave the Clemson Tigers all they could handle at Littlejohn Coliseum. The Flames, led by Seth Curry’s 24 points, had a 7 point halftime lead on the road but K.C. Rivers proved to be too much for Liberty to handle. Rivers had 32 points, 11 boards and a pair of steals. His nine points in the final 2 and a half minutes put the Tigers over the top after trailing a large portion of the game. Both teams shot right around 50% from the field and were 80% from the line, but Clemson had five more rebounds, eight more assists and 6 less turnovers than the Flames, crucial stats in a close game like this. I know people like to say there isn’t such thing a good loss, but this game shows that Liberty is a contender to win the Big South.

Other Notes:

  • Indiana State picked up their first win against Lamar, who was 6-1 going into the matchup.
  • Virginia Tech overcomes a six point halftime deficit to Navy in their 79-70 win in the BB&T Classic.
  • Maryland’s Landon Milbourne scored a career-high 20 points in the Terps’ 76-53 win over George Washington.

Top 25 in Action:

  • #6 Oklahoma rolls over Tulsa 69-44 thanks to a 43-19 halftime lead.
  • #9 UCLA shot 58% from the field in their 85-67 win of Cal State Northridge.
  • #11 Louisville’s Earl Clark had 17/14/8 in their 91-56 win over Ohio.
  • #12 Michigan State was 9-19 from deep in their 75-59 win against Bradley.
  • #19 Arizona State handled Nebraska 64-44, Harden had 20/9/6.

NW Wins Horse Trailer Player of the Day: K.C. Rivers, Clemson

Posted in The Day After | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Zach’s Weekly Top 25

Posted by Zach on December 8, 2008

Week of December 8

1. North Carolina (1)
2. Pittsburgh (3)
3. Connecticut (2)
4. Gonzaga (4)
5. Oklahoma (6)
6. Texas (8)
7. Duke (5)
8. Tennessee (9)
9. Wake Forest (11)
10. Louisville (12)
11. Notre Dame (7)
12. Xavier (18)
13. Arizona State (15)
14. Georgetown (16)
15. Purdue (10)
16. UCLA (13)
17. Ohio State (NR)
18. Syracuse (19)
19. Baylor (20)
20. Villanova (22)
21. Marquette (21)
22. Michigan State (14)
23. Clemson (23)
24. Wisconsin (24)
25. Kansas (25)

New Additions: #17 Ohio State
Dropped Out: #17 Miami (FL)
Just missed: Davidson, Miami (FL), Memphis, Dayton, Missouri, BYU.

Posted in Top 25 | 1 Comment »