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. Definitely a player to watch, as Oklahoma has become a team to watch behind his solid play.
December 20, 2011
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.
Clanton is a stat sheet stuffer, averaging solid numbers across the board. While you might want to see him shoot a slightly higher percentage from the field and line, he has shown he has decent range and can stretch the floor. He seems to be a more likely NBA prospect than either of the Jordan boys, though he is undoubtedly greatful for their help in the team being 8-2 on the year.
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. Next up will be a major test against North Carolina. We will see if Kabongo can continue his recent play, or if UNC brings to life his early season struggles.
Despite taking a lead into the half, the Oregon Ducks could not hold off the Virginia Cavaliers as they lost, 67-54. The loss was indeed reminiscent of the Ducks loss to the Cavaliers last season in Virginia, though this time hurt a bit more being at home. Mike Scott continues his strong senior season for coach Tony Bennett's Cavs as he finished with a game high 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Virginia is now 9-1 on the season and look to be one of the fringe teams in the ACC behind Duke and North Carolina. The Ducks now move to 6-3 on the year, led by senior guard and Minnesota transfer Devoe Joseph with 16 points. Joseph has averaged 15.7 ppg in his first three games at Oregon and may become the Ducks primary scoring option in conference play.
That is all for today, I know I even missed a few big performances. Shout out to New Mexico's Drew Gordon for his 20 rebounds against Oklahoma State and to Oakland's Reggie Hamilton for putting up 41 in a narrow victory over Valparaiso. Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season, I will be back with more on the state of college basketball tomorrow!