Archive - Dec 2011
Indiana freshman Cody Zeller may not be the NBA prospect that some of his fellow first year big men are, but it is hard to say that any freshman has been more impactful on his team. Zeller had 21 points, 8 boards and a couple blocks to keep the Hoosiers a perfect 10-0 in their 69-58 victory over Notre Dame in the second match-up of the Crossroads Classic. While Notre Dame kept the game close, it seemed they had no answer for the freshman big man, who leads the team in scoring, rebounding, blocks, steals and field goal percentage.
In yet another major weekend performance by a freshman, Todd "OJ's Brother" Mayo scored a team high 22 points as the Marquette Golden Eagles crushed Northern Colorado, 93-72. The Golden Eagles were without leading scorer Darius Johnson-Odom, who was suspended one game for breaking team rules. Mayo has been a major spark plug off of the bench for Marquette and seems to be making a name for himself, beyond his famous older sibling. Golden Eagles senior PF Jae Crowder was his usual solid self with 19 and 11 in the win.
The Kansas State Wildcats continued their solid early season play with a 71-58 victory over the ranked Crimson Tide of Alabama. NBADraft.net forum legend JNixon-Iggy9 is a notorious fan of Frank Martin's team and had to be loving this victory in getting the Wildcats some credibility after losing some key players from last season. 7 foot junior Jordan Henriquez had a career performance with 17 points and 9 rebounds, while senior Jamar Samuels triggered a late run that helped K-State survive a tough shooting start.
After a disappointing early season loss to Akron, Mississippi State held on for their 10th win in a row over Detroit, 80-75. The Bulldogs imposing front court combination of junior Arnett Moultrie and Renardo Sidney did damage, with 17/13 for the former and 16/7 for the latter. Bulldogs Freshman Rodney Hood made a key jumper near games end to put things out of reach. Mississippi State has some solid guards and athletes, but if they expect to compete with the nations best, their size with Moultrie and Sidney will be their greatest attribute.
The Washington Huskies continued their string of erratic play in a 93-72 home loss to the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. The Huskies were burned by Jackrabbits guard Nate Wolters, who had 34 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists to lead the 10-4 teams "upset" over the now 5-5 UW. Wolters played the entire game and did not commit a single turnover, garnering high praise from the opposing coach.
The Missouri Tigers have not played the toughest early season schedule, but they certainly seem to look the part of a national contender as they keep crushing the competition. Their latest 94-56 whupping of William & Mary had 6th man Michael Dixon scoring a career high 30 points for the nations 2nd leading scoring offense. In what was a slow day for usual scoring leader Marcus Denmon, Dixon stepped up, Kim English scored 17 points and Ricardo Ratliffe shot 5-6 for the Tigers. Other than Denmon's slow day, this has become the norm for this team.
After a couple of down seasons in Norman after the departure of current NBA star Blake Griffin, the Sooners are coming back with a vengeance this season. Coach Lon Kruger is looking to turn the team around and his star thus far has been junior guard Steven Pledger. The 6'4, 220 pound Virginia native had 31 points on 10-13 FG, 4-5 3PT and 7-7 FT in a 79-74 win over Houston. He is averaging 19.5 ppg on the season for the 8-1 Sooners while shooting over 60% from the field and over 50% from long distance.
The University of Central Florida Knights overcame a slow start to beat the Old Dominion Monarchs, 61-53. The teams leading scorer on the season is Michael Jordan's younger son, Marcus Jordan, while his elder son Jeff also plays on the team. But, the teams star is burly junior PF Keith Clanton, who had 23 points and 16 boards in this latest contest.
Tu Holloway, Mark Lyons and Dezmine Wells were all unavailable for Xavier's tilt yesterday with Oral Roberts. Without the three starters, the Musketeers suffered an embarassing 64-42 loss to the Golden Eagles, their first of the season and their lowest point total in 11 years. The three starters were sidelined due to a brawl that took place in their game against rival Cincinnati. The return of star PG Holloway should help in Xavier's next game, but Lyons and Wells still will be sidelined as Xavier takes on scrappy Long Beach State on Thursday.
The Texas Longhorns had a solid home victory over tough Atlantic-10 opponent Temple, winning 77-65. Junior guard J'Covan Brown scored 23 points to lead the team and they got another solid performance out of freshman PG Myck Kabongo. The 6'1 lightning fast Canadian import was seen as one of the top PG's in last years HS Class, but struggled with turnovers and poor shooting to begin the season. In Texas' last few games, however, Kabongo has been living up to expectations as a talented floor general. He had 18 points as the Longhorns are now 8-2.