Archive - Feb 10, 2012
UConn received some potentially crushing news to their 2013 post-season tournament hopes as the NCAA has denied their APR waiver. The request would have been for UConn to play fewer games, which would still allow them a chance to make a post-season and hopefully NCAA Tournament. The reason for the situation is due to the low Academic Progress Rate scores of the university.
Forgive me for being proud of the Oregon basketball team, but I cannot help it. After checking out Matthew Knight Arena on a recent trip back to Eugene, I definitely approved of the Ducks new home court. They played an excellent game last night against University of Washington, winning 82-57. Outshooting the Huskies 56.4%-36.4% definitely helped as Oregon moved to 17-7 on the year. More importantly, they are only one game back of Cal and Washington in the conference standings.
In 2000, Larry Eustachy was named the AP National Coach of the Year for his work on the sidelines at Iowa State. Three short years later, pictures surfaced of him drinking and partying with students. Although the accusations did not go beyond this and Eustachy taking steps to enter treatment, he was terminated by the school.
The Racers of Murray State were the last NCAA Division 1 school without a loss. Last night, they were handed their first blemish of the season courtesy of Ohio Valley Conference foe Tennessee State. Many expected Murray State to cause a possible conundrum for the NCAA Tournament selection committee if they indeed ran the table in the OVC and finished the season undefeated. This loss does little to Murray State's tourney hopes, they still look like a lock, but it could hurt their seeding.
Add another chapter to the legend of Canadian freshman PG KEVIN PANGOS. Ever since his first big game, a 33 point scorching of Washington State, Seth Sommerfeld called for his name to be capitalized. Well, NCAA Daily obliges. After scoring 27 points to end St. Mary's 12 game winning streak, KEVIN PANGOS deserves his props. He went 5-6 from long distance, made all of his foul shots and just added to the lore of a first year that has him leading the Bulldogs in scoring.
Player of the Week
Brock Motum, PF Washington State
It would be entirely justifiable to give this award to Arizona's Kyle Fogg, who averaged 18.5 points in two huge victories over the bay area schools this past week, due to team success. But I just can not ignore the outstanding individual play of Wazzu's junior 6-10 big man Brock Motum. Washington State lost their leading scorer in senior SG Faisal Aden two weeks ago to a season ending injury, and the team desperately needed someone to step up in his place and assume a greater scoring role. In the three games since Aden's loss, Brock has scored 25, 26 and 34 points doing everything in his power to put the Cougars on his back. In that three game stretch, he shot 65% from the field, grabbed 9 boards per and showed his perimeter versatility by stepping out and connecting on 5 of 9 three point attempts. The team is struggling in the win/loss column, but they are competitive and a tough game for opponents primarily due to their star big man.
Josh Smith, UCLA
After pointing how Smith was sliding in terms of minutes and production in my last blog, we have since been given a glimpse of the tantalizing skilled big man that many expected to be a key piece in leading the UCLA program towards success. Josh was dominant inside this past week vs the Washington schools to the tune of 21.5 points on 17 of 22 field goal attempts and 7 boards per. The defense has looked helpless once Smith seals his man deep and the help has to get to him before the ball or risk being pushed around. It remains to be seen if Smith can turn this into some momentum and grow from these games showing consistency, but the manner in which he played with passion and aggressiveness is promising.
In a clash of two of the premier pivots in the Big 10 conference, Cody Zeller's Hoosiers bested Meyers Leonard's Illini 84-71. The freshman Zeller outscored the sophomore Leonard 22-17 while neither were a big factor on the glass. In a game that saw both schools shoot over 50% from the field, Indiana was just that much more efficient with the ball and maintained home court advantage at Assembly Hall.