NCAA Daily Links

Fri, 11/25/2011 - 6:44pm

November 25, 2011

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving; let’s get caught up with what is happening in college basketball:

Duke beats Kansas For Maui Invitational Title
(Lehia Apana/Maui News)

Ryan KellyRyan KellyMuch to my chagrin (full disclosure, I'm not exactly the biggest Duke fan), Duke has been in the news quite a bit lately. Still, have to hand it to the Blue Devils as they had an impressive run through the Maui Invitational Tournament, improving Coach K’s record to 15-0 in Maui. The Blue Devils won the championship game over the Kansas Jayhawks, 68-61. It was a very close game that came down to some late game heroics from a very improbable source.

Back-up guard Tyler Thornton, who coach Mike Krzyzewski called his best defender, was in for the games final moments. After Elijah Johnson made a big shot for the Jayhawks to push them to a 61-60 lead, Thornton hit a 3 to put the Blue Devils up by a shot inside the arc. Than, with the shot clock running down after Duke obtained the ball from a Tyshawn Taylor TO, Thornton hit another miracle triple with the shot clock expiring. Mason Plumlee sunk two FT’s to seal the game, with Coach K calling the junior the MVP of the Championship game. Plumlee had 17 and 12 in the game, playing solid interior defense.

The MVP of the tournament went to "R. Kelly" Ryan Kelly, who scored 17 points in all three games he played. Kelly stretched the floor beautifully for the Blue Devils and has really shown a major improvement from year one to year three. Austin Rivers went for 10 against Kansas, though his Maui tourney average was a solid 16 ppg. Seth Curry had 9 in the game, but 14.3 ppg on the tourney.

Tyshawn Taylor leadthe Jayhawks with 17 points with some beautiful drives, but his 11 TO’s on the game killed his teams chances. The Jayhawks front court had solid days as well, with Thomas Robinson being a definite All-Tournament performer in Maui after getting a double-double in all 3 games, putting up 16 and 15 versus Duke. Jeff Withey also had his best game as a Jayhawk with 14 and 10. Kansas’ lack of a “true” PG was absolutely evident and Tyshawn Taylor’s TO situation was almost laughable at times. He is a very talented scorer, but having a different primary ball handler than Taylor would help the team exponentially.

Central Florida Upsets UConn in Battle 4 Atlantis

The Paradise Islands were anything but for the Connecticut Huskies Friday as they lost 68-63 to the University of Central Florida Knights. The Knights were led by Marcus Jordan, the son of a slightly famous basketball player and NBA owner, who had a 20, 7 and 7 stat line. Fellow star junior Keith Clanton also chipped in with 20. After going into the half with a 9-point lead, the UConn Huskies were outscored 39-25 in the 2nd half. The loss puts UConn at 5-1 and UCF at 4-1, their lone loss coming at the hands of Florida State.

Andre Drummond had his highest scoring performance as a UConn player with 13 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks in a season high 34 minutes. Drummond, who has been plagued by foul trouble, only had a single hack (supposedly) on the game and made his second start of the season for the Huskies. The surprising player he replaced in the line-up, Alex Oriakhi, had a nice game as well with 14 points, 10 boards and 5 blocks in 26 minutes off of the bench. Oriakhi, who tweeted his disapproval of the demotion, seems determined to either displace Drummond or sophomore Tyler Olander to get back in the starting line-up. While Olander has played well, I believe this team will look best with Drummond and Oriakhi holding it down up front.

Jeremy Lamb had a rather poor shooting day, going only 5-16 from the field on his way to 15 points. Shabazz Napier also had his worst game of the young season with 4 points, 5 boards and dimes, plus 7 TO’s. Truly, Jim Calhoun was right to be worried about his teams cohesiveness. They definitely need to develop an identity and this loss should be a major wake-up call. UConn has some guys who are incredibly talented and NBA Draft prospects, but you need to develop as a team to win. As for Donnie Jones and the UCF Knights, this is a monster win. I am sure they are looking to make a run at a NCAA tournament spot, and this win will look fantastic on this seasons resume.

Kentucky Rocks Radford at Rupp
(Kyle Tucker/Courier-Journal)

Kentucky had all starters score in double figures, which is a mathematically problematic factor given that Radford only scored 40 points. #2 Kentucky ended up with 88, getting 17 and 8 from Terrence Jones while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 15 and 9. Marrquis Teague had 5 assists with his 13 points and Anthony Davis went for 12 points getting 4 swats.

Forward Johnathan Edwards had 10 points and 8 boards, with his Radford team losing the rebounding battle, 48-26. Kentucky has looked solid thus far, though it will be great to see them go up against a deep team that could maybe challenge them down low. Will have to wait around a week for them to play North Carolina December 3 at Rupp Arena.

Buckeyes Too Much For Keydets in 107-74 Victory
(Tom Reed/The Plain Dealer)

Jared Sullinger had 17 and 12 to lead Ohio State to a big time victory over Virginia Military Institute. William Buford also carved the Keydets up 23 points and 6 helpers. The Buckeyes moved to 5-0 getting season highs in points, assists (30) and FG% with 67.6. The Keydets got a nice payday out of the trip, which is pretty much what made it worth it for the program. Also, VMI guard Keith Gabriel gets to tell his grandkids he put up 21 points on this strong Buckeyes team, while 6’4 F Ron Burks can say he outscored Jared Sullinger in their match-up.

Undefeated Teams Syracuse and Stanford Meet in NIT Tip-Off Finals
(Marc Berman/NY Post)

For Syracuse, a team currently ranked #5 in the Nation, having a 5-0 record and getting to the NIT Tip-Off Finals at Madison Square Garden was not overly surprising. Stanford, on the other hand, has been playing surprisingly well and are also 5-0 going into their meeting with the Orangemen. The Pac-12 has seen every team pick up a loss of some sort (usually surprising, or lopsided) other than a Stanford team predicted to be in the middle to lower part of the Pac-12. They will have their hands full with a DEEP Syracuse squad, but they have been up for the challenge thus far and are playing very well as a unit.

Stanford has won all five of their games thus far by double digits and played very well against a decent Oklahoma State team to get to the NIT Tip-Off finals. Strong senior F/C Josh Owens had 21 points on a fantastic 10-12 FG during the win over Oklahoma State, with support from freshman PG Chasson Randle with 17 and Aaron Bright with 15.

Syracuse had its closest game of the season in their 69-58 semi-final win over Virginia Tech getting 20 and 10 from senior F Kris Joseph. Guard Brandon Triche scored 18 and the team only had 9 TO’s to VT’s 15. Cuse has to be the favorite to close out the NIT Tip-Off, but Stanford is certainly showing it could one of the more promising teams in the Pac-12.

Double Double For Quincy/Quincy

In the last game before the return of Perry Jones III from a 5 game suspension, Quincy Miller and Quincy Acy both notched double digit points and rebounds for the Baylor Bears. Miller had 17 and 11 while Acy went for 10 and 11 in the 75-65 victory over Texas-Arlington. Pierre Jackson chipped in with 16 for the Bears and LaMarcus Reed III had 21 for the losing Texas-Arlington Mavericks. Now, we get to see how Perry Jones III fits into the equation and whether he takes the reigns or is more of a compliment to Quincy Miller, who has been the go-to guy for the Bears thus far.

Another OT for Memphis in Maui, This Time Falling to Georgetown
(AP/Seattle Times)

After beating Tennessee in double OT the day before, Memphis lost an OT thriller to the Georgetown Hoya’s in the 5th place consolation game in Maui. Jason Clark had his stroke going once more and finished with a game high 26. Hoyas center Henry Sims went for 24 and 8 in the victory, a career day for the senior. Will Barton had 22 for the Tigers and PG Joe Jackson chipped in with 20. The Hoyas moved to 4-1 on the season while #8 Memphis will surely dip in the polls after finishing 1-2 in Maui for a 2-2 record on the year.

Michigan Grabs Bronze in Maui
(Nick Baumgardner/

Well, at the very least they finished in 3rd place in the tournament after besting UCLA, 79-63. The #15 Wolverines were lead by Zack Novak with 22 and leading scorer on the season Tim Hardaway Jr. got a solid 20, 4 and 4. Jon Horford also had a strong game for the Wolverines off of the bench with 12 points, 7 caroms and 3 rejections; he has looked like a vastly improved player this season. UCLA once again struggled from long range, going 4-17 from 3. Travis Wear lead the Bruins with 16 points, but the team is now 1-4 on the season. Definitely one of the more disappointing teams in my eyes as far as the early season is concerned.

Bama 6-0 After Beating of Local Alabama A&M
(Bill Bryant/The Huntsville Times)

The #13 Alabama Crimson Tide have looked quite strong in the early season and now stand at a perfect 6-0. Granted, they have yet to play a ranked team, but they have played projected NCAA tourney participants Wichita St. and Purdue, beating them by 10 and 9 respectively. This particular contest saw Bama produce 5 double-digit scorers, including freshmen guards Trevor Lacey (12) and Levi Randolph (11). Charles Hankerson Jr. led the charge with 16 and 9, with F Nick Jacobs going for 15 and 10 while Rodney Cooper also had 15 on the day.

SDSU Drops Arizona at the McKale Center, Ends 22 Game Home Win Streak
(Bruce Pascoe/Arizona DailyStar)

Steve Fisher’s San Diego State team had a pretty jam packed non-conference schedule, but besides a setback against Baylor, they have been up for the challenge. The SDSU Aztecs went into the Wildcats home court and held things down with a 61-57 victory. This ended a 22 Game win streak at Zona’s home court, the McKale Center. This also gives SDSU two wins over Pac-12 foes this season, with a game against Cal set for December 4. Chase Tapley continued his solid play with 17 points with James Rahon contributing 13. Zona was lead by Solomon Hill with 14 and 9. Freshmen Nick Johnson and Josiah Turner both had 10, this being Turner’s first game in double figures for the Wildcats.

Ducks Holds Off Huskers 2nd Half Rally
(Brian Rosenthal/Lincoln Journal Star)

Have to throw in my support for a great game by the Oregon Ducks basketball team at Nebraska. Garrett Sim had 20 points for Oregon, who ended a 26 game home winning streak against non-conference foes for Nebraska with a 83-76 W. EJ Singler had 14 as well for the Ducks and Olu Ashaolu got 12, including a monstrous ESPN worthy slam. The Huskers were lead by Puerto Rican import Jorge Brian-Diaz, a near 7 foot Center who came up with 21 points on 8-11 FG shooting and going 5-7 from the FT line. The Ducks move to 3-1 on the year. Also will have more on the Ducks in the next Daily, wishing Jabari Brown the best on his reported transfer to San Diego State.

That is it for this weeks NCAA Daily, tune in Monday for more. Still am trying to get used to having a set time and have been on vacation in Oregon, so have been doing the best I can. Due to (more) technical difficulties, if you want to see Wednesday’s Daily post, here is the link: Hope you all have a great weekend and thank you for reading! If you have anything you want me to cover or have any input on the column, please leave a comment below!

paradigmn's picture
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Joined: 04/17/2011
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Nice Job man!!!

Nice Job Mikey!!!


Keep it up bro!!!

Da1pot's picture
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Joined: 08/01/2008
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I also don't' understand why

I also don't' understand why Olander is starting instead of Oriakhi and Drummond both starting....... Olander is currently getting more minutes per game than both Drummond and Oriakhi

mikeyvthedon's picture
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Joined: 06/13/2008
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Think it is probably a message

I am hearing not only about Olander being vastly improved, but also working very hard in practice. He was playing within his role quite well, while both Drummond and Alex Oriakhi got off to slow starts. Still, I feel it was probably used as motivation more than anything and that this loss is going to be a wake-up call. By Big East play, I would be incredibly surprised if Drummond and Oriakhi were not either starting or playing the majority of minutes at the 4/5 position. It's a long season and I think that Jim Calhoun is probably trying to motivate his two best front court players rather than doing it out of disrespect.

Also, the fact that Oriakhi responded the way he did to Jamal Coombs-McDaniels' tweet probably lead to him being in the dog house today, with playing only 10 minutes. UConn obviously has not made the adjustments they needed to from last years team as swiftly as one might think, but they beat a tough FSU team and hopefully will be motivated and more cohesive as a unit by Big East play. Having Ryan Boatright will be huge, he is a quick and explosive athlete. He will take over the role Shabazz Napier had last season, maybe with even more impact as a scoring guard.

@paradigmn13: Thanks man! I will do my best.

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