Inside the College Game

Thu, 01/08/2009 - 11:37am

By Brian Cerone

Up and Down Eagels


Tyrese Rice
AP Photo


The ‘Perfect Season’ talk ended abruptly for the North Carolina Tarheels last Sunday as Boston College, picked to finish 11th in a 12-team ACC, came into Chapel Hill and beat the #1 ranked college basketball titans, 85-78. The Eagles were leading 46-40 at the half and got the lead up to as many as 15 in the 2nd half. North Carolina struggled all day shooting the ball. They shot 38% from the field and 55% from the line on Sunday, which is considerably lower than their shooting percentages during their first 13 games of the season (52% from field, 74% on free throws).

Senior guard Tyrese Rice continues to dominate North Carolina. On Sunday he led the Eagles with 25 points and 8 assists. Last year, in a near upset, Rice exploded for 46 points against North Carolina. Rice’s performance from the previous year seemed to give him a great deal of confidence going into this years contest as he did whatever he wanted on the court, and the North Carolina defenders, especially Ty Lawson, looked like they were at his mercy for the most part of the game. Sophomore Rakim Sanders (22 points, 7 steals) and freshman Reggie Jackson (17 points) also gave the Tarheels problems all day.

The win over North Carolina was the Eagles first win vs. the #1 ranked team in the country since March, 1994 when Bill Curley led Boston College over North Carolina in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament.

Boston College deservedly jumped up the rankings into the top 25 in the country, all the way to 17 in the AP Poll. But, just as quickly as they have jumped in, they might be jumping right out because on Wednesday night, the first game after defeating North Carolina, the Eagles dropped a game to Harvard 82-70. Al Skinner was very adamant about not letting up versus the Crimson Tide, but apparently he could not get the players to listen too well.

It has been the ultimate up and down week for Boston College. After playing in front of more than 20,000 people at the Smith Center on Sunday, the Eagles struggled to get into a rhythm at home in front of just about 3,000 fans. Jeremy Lin was a nightmare all night long for the Eagles, scoring 27 points, dishing out 8 assists, and stealing the ball 6 times. Tyrese Rice didn’t play well, scoring 14 points on 4 of 10 shooting. He had 5 turnovers and eventually fouled out of the game.

5 shooters that you have not heard of:

UCLA’s Michael Roll: The Bruins look like they have gotten their act together and it hasn’t hurt that this senior has been absolutely deadly from beyond the arc. Most recently he has done his best work: in the last six games (all wins) Roll has been unconscious, making 19 out of his 27 attempts from deep. On the year he is shooting 60.0% from 3-point land, which is 2nd in the nation.

Liberty’s Seth Curry: If you have not heard yet, superstar Stephen Curry has a younger brother who can also play a little bit. Seth, a freshman guard, has out shot his brother this year in a couple of different ways: more 3-pointers made (52 to 46) and shooting a better percentage (40.9 to 35.9). Now, undoubtedly Seth hasn’t played the preseason schedule that his brother has at Davidson, and he does not garner the attention that Stephen receives. But, this does not mean that Seth has it easy. He is averaging just about 20 ppg and is clearly the main concern for opposing defenses every night.

California’s Theo Robertson & Jerome Randle: The Golden Bears are off to a fast start (13-2) and their shooting has put them in this position. Robertson and Randle (1st and 3rd in the nation in 3-point shooting percentage, respectively) have combined to connect on 58% from deep on the year. Randle, a junior guard, has improved his 3-point shooting immensely from previous years where he shot 31% as a freshman and 39% as a sophomore. The same can be said for Robertson, also a junior guard, who missed all of last season with hip surgery. Robertson shot 35% from beyond the arc as a sophomore.

Arizona State’s Rihards Kuksiks: Great scorers need shooters around them, and that is exactly what Kuksiks has been providing for ASU star James Harden. The freshman from Latvia has been able to keep the defense honest and make opponents worry about someone other than Harden. Kuksiks is shooting 52% from beyond the arc and has had some big shooting nights. In a one point win against IUPUI he had six 3-pointers, and he made four deep balls vs. California.

Game Notes:

Marquette has gotten off to a 3-0 start in the Big East, beating Villanova, crushing Cincinnati, and a nice win at Rutgers. Versus Villanova, a game that was won 79-72 at home, the Golden Eagles had four guys scoring over 15 points in the game, which is fitting because Marquette is the only team in the top 25 that has three players averaging over 15 points per game. Senior Wesley Matthews leads them in scoring at 19.3 pgg, while senior Jerel McNeal and junior Lazar Hayward are chipping in at 18.0 ppg and 16.6 ppg, respectively. McNeal has been especially hot of late knocking down a perfect 7-7 from 3 and 9-10 overall vs Cincy … Arkansas needs to be in the top 25 next week. In back to back weeks the Razorbacks (12-1) have knocked off top 10 teams. This week it was the 7th ranked Texas Longhorns who were beaten, 67-61. Junior Michael Washington had 22 points and 9 rebounds in the upset … Gonzaga got a much needed win, 89-79 in overtime at 25th ranked Tennessee after dropping 3 straight losses and finding its way out of the top 25. The Zags got 26 points from junior guard Matt Bouldin, in a game that arguably should not have gone to overtime. Bouldin took a running shot in the last few seconds of regulation as a Tennessee defender clearly put his hand through the rim to try and block the shot. It ended up being a non-factor as the Zags took care of business in overtime.

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Struggling teams

Purdue and Gonzaga will be fine come March.

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Teammates Malik Hairston and Maarty Luenen unexpectedly heard their names called but Taylor didn’t.
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Siirler Hikayeler Fikralar Programlar Guzel Sozler Resimler freetemplates Taylor was arguably Oregon’s best player last season, but his 6-foot-4 frame makes him a undersized at the next level. Nonetheless, his scoring ability, length and athleticism give him a chance to make in in the league.

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