NCAA Daily Links
November 30, 2011
It's the last day of November and we have gotten a decent read on the NCAA Basketball landscape. There is still a lot more to come, but last night we saw the first contest between top 5 ranked teams this season, which starts off our Daily:
Ohio State Downs Defenseless Duke
(Rick Bonnell/McClatchy Newspapers)
Duke is usually known for their floor pounding defense, but you certainly would not know that from the game they played last night in Columbus, Ohio. #2 Ohio State used the home court to their advantage and sent #4 Duke back to the drawing board on the opening night of the ACC-Big 10 Challenge. Jared Sullinger led the way for the Buckeyes, scoring 21 points and grabbing 8 boards. William Buford finished with 20, Aaron Craft with 17 plus 8 assists and DeShaun Thomas had 18. The aforementioned three also had 5 rebounds each as Ohio State won the battle of the boards 32-23.
The real eyeball popping statistic was the efficiency in which Ohio State managed to score. The Buckeyes shot a fantastic 35-59 (59.3%) from the field and 8-14 (57.1%) from long distance. Duke did not shoot terribly themselves, but even they conceded that this was not their best defensive game. Mike Krzyzewski said post-game, "I was trying to figure out how not to lose by 30." He also pointed out the dominating presence Jared Sullinger has offensively by saying, "You can run your offense through him or he can be your offense."
The bright spot for the Blue Devils was the play of Austin Rivers. Rivers had a career high 22 points and was Duke's most consistent form of creating offense. Mason Plumlee also had a respectable 16 points and 8 rebounds, but was thoroughly overpowered by Jared Sullinger on the defensive end. While Ohio State had a balanced scoring attack from their 4 key players, Duke only had those two players score in double figures. Ryan Kelly and Andre Dawkins, two players who had a strong start to the season, finished the game with the same number of points as the number on Austin Rivers' jersey (0). This game definitely justifies why Frank Burlison started the season with, and continues to have Ohio State ranked #1 on his NCAA Power 16 (http://www.nbadraft.net/ncaa-power-16-rankings-24).
Baylor Welcomes Back Perry Jones III
(Daniel Wallace/Baylor Lariat)
Making his season debut after a five game suspension, Baylor's Perry Jones III proved to be worth the wait. Jones III tied a career high with 27 points in the Bears 90-54 over Prairie View A&M. He shot 10-14 (71.4%) from the field, 7-9 (77.8%) from the line and added 6 rebounds. The 6'11 and 235 pound F/C Jones III is seen as having an incredible amount of potential as a basketball prospect. While he had a solid season last year as a freshman, the Bears underwhelmed as a team and Jones III served a suspension at the end of the season.
He was criticized for disappearing at times and for not always playing with a sense of urgency. Many (including myself) thought that Jones III was a lock to enter the 2011 NBA Draft, but he decided to come back and try to prove critics wrong. This game was only against Prairie View A&M, but it was definitely not a bad start. The Bears were without star freshman Quincy Miller, who tweaked his ankle. Jones III and Miller give Baylor two of the top NBA prospects in college basketball.
Even though the best team they have faced in the early season is San Diego State, the Bears are 6-0 and are looking to be competitive in the Big 12 this year. Perry Jones III was the major story, but their were some more great performances in this game from the Baylor team. Talented JUCO transfer Pierre Jackson scored 17 points on 4-4 FG, 2-2 3PT and 7-7 FT, chipping in 8 assists as well. Senior forward Quincy Acy had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Scott Drew's team has an incredible amount of talent and potential, but I am not the biggest fan of their early season schedule, which seems to set them up with cupcakes. We will get a much better gauge on Baylor as a team once Big 12 play starts.
Loyola Marymount Beats Another Ranked Opponent
(Beth Harris/AP Sports Writer/Mercury News)
I apologize to Brian Conklin and the St. Louis Billikens, as my column yesterday apparently cursed them. Loyola Marymount, the same team that handed than #17 UCLA their first loss of the season, handed the #23 Billikens their first loss as well. Defensive stalwarts Gary Payton and Matt Barnes were in attendance at Albert Gersten Pavillion as the LMU Lions used defense to win 75-68. Senior forward LaRon Armstead had the game of his career for LMU, with 22 points, 5 rebounds and finishing a perfect 10-10 from the charity stripe.
It seems that defense was the game's key, however, as the Billikens recorded a season high 15 TO's. As Armstead described, "Coach (Max Good) instills defense," Armstead said. "On offense, he lets us do what we want." Guards Anthony Ireland and Jared DuBois did what they wanted to the tune of 17 and 16 points respectively. Australian import Cody Ellis lead St. Louis with 18 in the loss. Team stars Brian Conklin and Kwamain Mitchell had 13 each for the Billikens, who may be down, but definitely are not out. Under the radar is what seems to be what was working best for St. Louis, so they can take that with their first loss as a Top 25 team.
Virginia Upsets #15 Michigan, 70-58
(Nicole Auerbach/USA Today)
A late game 15-0 run by the Virginia Cavaliers helped them get the win over the #15 ranked Michigan Wolverines in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge. Forward Mike Scott led the charge with 18 points and 11 rebounds, with 18 and 7 coming from guard Joe Harris. Scott, who was averaging a double-double last year before succumbing to an ankle injury, seems to be back and better than ever for Tony Bennett's Virginia Cavaliers. The burly PF was granted a 5th year of eligibility after playing in 10 games last season. He clearly has made the most of it, with averages of over 15 and 10, plus his play in this big win.
The Wolverines were outrebounded 33-24 and were shut down in the clutch by the Cavaliers tight defense. Michigan star guard Tim Hardaway Jr. was held to only 5 points on 2-9 shooting from the field. Wolverines coach John Beilein was clearly disappointed in his team's performance and their inability to crack the 60 point barrier. While Wolverines freshman guard Trey Burke put in 11 points, Virginia got 16 from a freshman guard of their own, Malcolm Brogdon. Michigan got a big win in Maui over Memphis, but it appears that size in the post is a weakness for the Wolverines. It will definitely be something to monitor over the season.
Cuse Cruises, Boeheim Gets an Ovation
In the first game following the firing of Coach Bernie Fine, Syracuse fans welcomed Jim Boeheim to the Carrier Dome with a standing ovation. This seems to be a sign of solidarity amongst the fans that Boeheim was not part of any wrong doing pertaining to the allegations against Fine. The 36 year Syracuse coach Boeheim has stated that he has every interest in keeping his job, which the fans certainly seem to agree with.
Syracuse showed no signs of distress in dismantling Eastern Michigan (and former Syracuse assitant Rob Murphy) 84-48. James Southerland matched a career high with 19 points, while scoring 3 of the Orangemen's 13 three pointers. Brandon Triche finished with 12 points and Kris Joseph added 11. Darrell Lampley led the Eastern Michigan Eagles with 19 points in the loss.
Harrison Barnes Expected To Play Tonight Against Wisconsin
After being reported as doubtful for #5 North Carolina's clash with #7 Wisconsin tonight, it appears that Harrison Barnes is in fact going to play tonight. This is a marquee match-up in the ACC-Big 10 challenge and after a surprising loss to UNLV, the Tar Heels clearly could use the services of their leading scorer in Barnes. Barnes practiced with the team on Tuesday and seemed to be feeling alright.
He injured his ankle with approximately 6 minutes left in the 90-80 loss to the Runnin' Rebels on Saturday. Though he returned to the game with 3 minutes remaining, it was reported that he left the stadium on crutches and might have to miss some time. He and the Tar Heels will get a very tough challenge in a Wisconsin team playing fantastic basketball right now. Luckily for the Heels, the game will be in the Dean Dome, with some rowdy fans cheering them on.
Sam Maniscalco Leads Illinois to W over Maryland
(John Supine/GateHouse News Service/Peoria Journal-Star)
Bruce Weber won his 200th game with the Illini as his team got a road win over Mark Turgeon and the Maryland Terrapins, 71-62. It was a banner performance by Bradley transfer and senior Sam Maniscalco scored a season high 24 points, draining 5 triples and going perfect from the line. Maniscalco is putting up ideal percentages in the early season, shooting 54.7% FG, 41.9% 3PT and 88% FT. Guard Brandon Paul put up 17 for the Illini and center Meyers Leonard put up 12.
Maryland was led by Terrell Stoglin, who scored 25 points with 4 triples. Stoglin is a 6'1 sophomore scoring guard who has been scoring 21 ppg on the year. The Terps also got 16 points from junior F James Padgett. Illinois is 7-0 on the season, though the Terps were their first major conference foe. They will face their first ranked opponent of the season Saturday, with a game against Gonzaga. The Terps are off to a 3-3 start, though they have faced some tough early season tests in what should be an adjustment year for Maryland.
Hummel Leads Purdue Over The U
University of Miami is often called, "The U", by their football players. Well, the Hurricanes basketball team got a L yesterday in another ACC-Big 10 challenge game with the Purdue Boilermakers. Purdue won 76-65 in front of their fans at Mackey Arena.The Boilermakers are making the most of the services of Robbie Hummel, who had a game leading 17 points.
Hummel, who had his junior season ended by a torn ACL, was supposed to be a marquee senior on Purdue's team last year. Unfortunately, Hummel tore his ACL again before the start of last season, meaning he was unable to join JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore on a team that had legitimate championship hopes. The Boilermakers are 7-1 after the win over Miami, with Hummel averaging 19 ppg to start the season.
Nick Johnson's 19 Helps Wildcats Win
Athletic freshman guard Nick Johnson scored notched a season high 19 points and lead the Arizona Wildcats to an 83-76 win over the New Mexico State Aggies. Jesse Perry provided another strong game with 15 points and 12 rebounds. The 5-2 Wildcats held the Aggies to 38.4% shooting while shooting a very solid 51.7% themselves. NMSU's star for the game was senior forward Wendell McKines, who had 28 points and 10 boards. The 6'6 McKines is averaging 18.6 ppg and 9.6 rpg on the season, shooting 42.3% from behind the arc for the 5-2 Aggies.
Ducks Win Against UTEP, Lose Another Player to Transfer
(Lindsay Schnell/The Oregonian)
5'8 Sophomore G Johnathan Loyd scored 24 points in a Ducks 64-59 win over UTEP, but the Ducks did indeed suffer a loss on the day as well. After the surprising announcement of Jabari Brown leaving the team after only 2 games, fellow freshman Bruce Barron announced his plans to leave the program as well. Barron, a freshman combo guard from Illinois, was apparently very close with Brown and was not happy with his playing time thus far.
Altman did not really leave the door open for Barron's return and it appears the Ducks are prepared to play without either freshman. This seems like somewhat of a hit, but I feel that Altman's no-nonsense style was not really a fit with either player. I wish both Jabari Brown and Bruce Barron the best, but even with their departure, I still feel Altman has this team on the rise.
That is all for today, have fun watching more of the ACC-Big 10 Challenge and I will be back with more tomorrow!