Monthly Archives: November 2009

Wednesday

On the recruiting front it is looking like Tobias Harris to Tennessee and as a result Jayvaughn Pinkston is holding off on his decision for now.

Nothing new surrounding Roscoe Smith.

As far what occurred on the court yesterday..

- Gota give credit to Josh Pastner and his team..while I believe KU brought their ‘D Game’..Memphis had been able to ugly things up under Cal when need be and that occurred last night. Not too sure about the last possession. Williams is still not a good shooter and Sherron Collins would have been the man he met at the rim.

- Siena witnessed something very good yesterday despite a sloppy start…Eddie Ubiles taking control. Being passive and hesitant at times has always been a concern, it is now his team if he wants it and he took a step toward doing so yesterday.

- Georgetown and Temple…I am fully supportive of what JT3 does on both ends of the court, and people will overreact to this one performance based on last year. It was not impressive but we’ve seen some damn good Hoya teams put out dog games like that before. The key thing is they won, that team last year would have folded when down 6 in the 2nd half. Temple is solid, and Lavoy Allen is in for a great year. BOTH teams need to make shots. Not too be forgotten is the history between III and Fran Dunphy from the Ivy League. It shouldn’t have been that bad offensively but not a surprise at the low score.

- Bruiser Flint has some tough minded kids and almost pulled off the 8am start with a win. Niagara was without Tyrone Lewis, a big part of what they do. The MAAC right now, looks it will be quality enough to possible get 2 bids this year.

- Michigan Sate did not look great, but when they get rolling and click in…they should be a lot of fun to watch. Durrell Summers has more talent than he knows what to do with. Kalin Lucas still is the best PG in the nation as far as I can see. We’ll wait on Wall. Zags looked plenty good for a team that lost so much. Really, should not be a surprise anymore with Mark Few at the head of the program.

- If Melquan Bolding can get healthy now for Duquesne, they will be a nice team in the A10..Iowa is god awful, but winning on the road in November is always a good step forward.

- Duke finally got the Nolan Smith they’ve been hoping for. He needs to step up this year and that was a fine start.

- Trent Johnson has led LSU to two pretty decent wins now considering the losses of Thornton and Johnson. Western Kentucky is solid, and they handled them pretty well last night.

- You can wake me up about Clemson and Tennessee when they play someone..

For tonight..

Rather slow…but..Cornell @ Umass, Butler @ Northwestern, Nevada @ UNLV are some decent games to keep an eye on

Marathon

I’d like to be able to multi task, but there’s too much hoops. Thoughts to come late night..

But I do believe Siena and Georgetown are both pushed today…

We’ll see how Duquesne does without their top gun.

Kansas should roll, in my opinon.

Coble done for the year

Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said Sunday night senior forward Kevin Coble will miss the 2009-10 season with a foot injury, barring some unforeseen diagnosis Monday afternoon when Coble goes to see another specialist.

Huge loss for a team that actually had hopes of a tournament bid this year.

Monday

In recruiting, following the Kendrick commit we have now, Tony Mitchell going to Mizzou. A great fit for him. Now the other dominoe to fall is, Roscoe Smith. Does conventional wisdom say that Roscoe gave a verbal to JTIII a few days ago and then Kendrick and Mitchell pulled the trigger? Sure. Is that a definite? Absolutely not..we’ll see how it plays out.

Not much to talk about from yesterday, no upsets. Baylor almost did get nipped by Hartford and Providence won another close one.

ESPN’s 24 hour marathon gets kicked off tonight, and we actually have an ACC-Big East match up earlier…problem is it’s USF and UVA.

Sunday

First congratulations are in oder to Jelan Kendrick. Wonderful young man who will succeed at Memphis on and off the court. The feature on him from the summer can be found here http://cuttingdownnets.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/jelan-kendrick/

As far as the Memphis program, Joe Jackson, Will Barton and Jelan? Won’t even matter much if Pastner can coach.

As for the action yesterday..

- Is there a better player west of Kansas than Luke Babbitt? 26 last night on 11-17 shooting.

- Cornell beats Alabama, should not be classified as an upset. Ryan Whittman, Lou Dale and Jeff Foote can flat out play.

- Butler and Dayton looked underwhelming to start but eventually just were too much for Davidson and Creighton. Chris Wright of Dayton is a stud.

- Our friend Lavoy Allen pulls in 15 boards, 7 on the offensive side. Typical.

- Derrick Favors debut resulted in 10 points and 8 boards after facing early foul trouble.

- UNLV is deep and talented, Tre’Von Willis led the way last night.

Roundup

- The answer to my Arkansas question was answered by one man, Rotnei Clarke. 51?! on 13-17 from deep. Incredible.

- Almost a Rough night for the Big East, while none dropped games, Pitt and Seton Hall escaped in games which they were out played. Pitt is just in a rebuilding year, you don’t lose what they lost and not be in one. Their talent level sans Brown and Dixon isn’t all that great, either. The Seton Hall experiment is off to a rough start, just not sure if they’ll ever mesh. And if Hazzell regulates himself to a spot up shooter, not good. Villanova and Uconn didn’t look great out of the gate. USF and G’Town went on the road for good wins.

- I have jinxed Miss. State or I’m always high on a team I likely shouldn’t be…Varnado, 22, 14 and 7 blocks in a loss? Wow.

- Great night for the MAAC, if Niagara and St. Pete’s don’t blow their games they sweep, still, a great night for the MAAC. Siena’s core looked good and Clarence Jackson filled Hasbrouck’s void with 24 points in 21 minutes. What a win for Rider behind Little Brother Thompson. 2 bid league down the road?

- Hasn’t taken long for Derek Kellogg to bring Travis Ford’s momentum to a halt, has it?

- Wright State is solid and UDub needed baby Zeke to carry them. On the surface it looks like a rough start, but against that opponent they should be content with the win.

- Eric Bledsoe is better than I thought. Will be interesting to see how he plays with Wall. Pat Patterson shooting 3′s is probably a trend that needs to stop.

- Talor Battle needs help. Can his little brother enroll early?

- Oregon State..ouch…Texas AM CC can play and defend, but c’mon..think they’ll be fine, though. Likely, they played over their heads last year and while this year they are improved they may not meet expectations.

- Good win for San Diego and nice to see Brandon Johnson return. Stanford isn’t working with much.

- Utah is in for a down year, but losing to Idaho is still surprising, especially with star guard Mac Hopson turning it over 6 times.

- Lacedarius Dunn, 32 points and 1 assist. At least he got 1.

- Great debut for Xavier Henry.

- Teams need to reel in the 3 point shooting. I’m looking at Villanova and Memphis in particular after last night. Those are teams that should be attacking.

Friday the 13th

13 Things to Watch

- Greg Monroe’s Nola return. Seeing how much stronger has got and using his right hand are things to watch for. Momma Monroe had some good home cooked food for the Hoyas.

- Kentucky’s Debut. No John Wall tonight but still the debut of Cal & Co will be something to watch. Who makes shots from the outside?

- Isiah Thomas and Abdul Gaddy back court. Gaddy pushes Baby Zeke off the ball, should be interesting to see how they work together.

- Philly Battle..Drexel and St. Joes, if this one gets out of the 50′s, I’ll be surprised.

- Craig Robinson carrying momentum. Texas A&M CC is not the easiest of starts on a neutral floor with 4 starters back. A continued jump for the Beavers and the big schools will start calling.

- Dukes Depth..No Nolan Smith, no young Plumlee. Andre Dawkins and Ryan Kelly should be handed playing time they likely aren’t ready for.

- Dave Rose and BYU..A big storyline to watch all year as Rose has faced cancer. The cougars will be playing for him all year long.

- The Larry Sanders show..Without Maynor and Anthony Grant, it is his team.

- Life without Mills and Simpson..Does St. Mary’s reload? Have they taken the momentum those two had brought to the program and enhanced the talent level?

- Kemba Walkers jumper..If he has one, there won’t be too many guards, or players better.

- Siena..Opening on the road, look for Ryan Rossiter’s physical development and how well Clarence Jackson steps into Hasbrouck’s void.

- Who plays for Arkansas…Really, who’s left?

- Blocking/Charge calls…we got a first real look across the board at the supposed change that will not allow people to be right under the basket and draw a charge. *cough* duke *cough*

Friday Lookahead

Not much to talk about from last night. UNC rolled again without having to need a perimeter game, Cuse overwhelms another opponent but still turns it over a ton and Cal looked better.

The Evan Turner show continues tonight..

For Friday..we have a full slate, here are a look at games that should provide the best play on both sides or at least be competitive..

UMASS @ UCF – Jermaine Taylor moves on and leaves a huge absence for UCF. Keith Clanton, Marcus Jordan and Nik Garcia headline a solid group of freshmen on an overall young team. Taylor Young, AJ Tyler and AJ Rompza are 3 returning starters who all enter their junior year. Young was actually more efficient than Taylor last year and should get many more opportunities in his absence. On the UMASS side, Derrok Kellogg will try to get things going this year after a rough year that failed to live up to expectations. Gone are Chris Lowe and Tony Gaffney. Ricky Harris, Anthony Gurley and David Gibbs are good wing players to work with and Hashim Bailey, a Memphis transfer should be the big man to watch. Terrell Vinson leads the freshmen class. Small edge to UCF here at home.

Cleveland State @ St. Bonaventure
- A great year, culminanting in an upset win over Wake Forest, was the result of a senior laden, hard nosed team. Now, only Norris Cole returns for CSU. St. Bonaventure returns 4 starters from a young 15 win team that dropped a few close ones. It’s a program that has been revived and should take a few more steps forward this year. Again, an edge to the home team.

Rider @ Mississippi State – One reason this shows up, Ryan Thompson. The younger brother of Jason is good enough to keep Rider, a consensus top 3 pick in the MAAC, close. Mississippi State is a big and talented team, but if they resort to shooting a ton of 3 balls, Rider may be in this one toward the end.

Niagara @ Auburn – Another top MAAC team on the road at an SEC school. In this one, Niagara may win straight up. The Purple Eagles are always well coached and Tyrone Lewis, Bilal Benn and Rob Garrison lead the way this year. DeWayne Reed is the man to watch on the Auburn side.

Stanford @ San Diego
– Landry Fields and Josh Owens will have to lead the way to grab a win with a tough road opener here for the Cardinal. Brandon Johson returns for San Diego after suffering injury last year. He was great in 07-08 with their tournament appearance. Devin Ginty, Matt Dorr, and De’Jon Jackson all return as starters to go alongside Johnson.

New Mexico St @ St. Mary’s
– Omar Samhan returns for what seems like his 6th year of college hoops. Despite resembling Josh Peck from The Wackness, he has improved each and every year. Gone is star Patty Mills and All League player Diamon Simpson. The result of that is that it is Samhan’s team now and we’ll see what Randy Bennett is made of. NMSU is a young and talented team, returning all 5 starters from a 17 win team. Per nmstatesports.com, The Aggies had four players average double figures in 2008-09, guard Jahmar Young (17.9), guard Jonathan Gibson (14.1), forward Troy Gillenwater (12.1) and forward Wendell McKines (12.1). The NM State point guard, Hernst Laroche ranked No. 18 in the NCAA in assist to turnover ratio (2.48) and was the No. 2 freshman in the country a year ago. I’ll go with NMSU with an impressive road win here.

Wednesday

First, finally the fallout from Arkansas..

Top returning scorer Courtney Fortson and starter Stefan Welsh both have been suspended indefinitely while key reserve Marcus Britt will miss the first six regular-season games. Freshman Glenn Bryant will miss the Razorbacks’ first two games while walk-on Nick Mason will not be allowed to play during the fall semester.

Arkansas already is without Michael Sanchez, who is battling plantar fasciitis, leaving a roster of nine players that includes former football team member Brandon Mitchell and golfer Stephen Cox.

There goes beating Louisville next week..

NEWARK, N.J. — A Seton Hall University basketball player has been suspended indefinitely from the team after police charged he was under the influence when he drove the wrong way on the Garden State Parkway and collided with another car.

Keon Lawrence was treated for severe facial cuts, while the driver of the other car suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash early Monday, police said.

Coach Bobby Gonzalez announced Lawrence’s suspension Tuesday in a news release, saying he was relieved those involved in the crash were not more seriously injured.

“We will respond accordingly when all of the facts of this matter have been collected,” Gonzalez said. “Effective immediately, Keon Lawrence has been suspended from the team indefinitely.”

No surprises here, this year on the court, SHU does have back court depth, though.

For tonight..

Andy Rautins looks questionable, and if he doesn’t go, it could make things interesting. Rob Morris is always a solid ball club and returns 4 starters. Lord knows they can’t be any worse than Albany the other night. If they are strong with the ball and can find the soft spots in the zone, they will hang around.

Cal should get going a little bit tonight, as Randle and Christopher look to bounce back from sub par games. Detroit is a team that won only 7 games last year.

UNC is a 46 point favorite, yeah..

Only OSU on the slate tomorrow and then we get into full gear on Friday, an early look at the schedule and these games look to be the most competitive..

Umass @ UCF
Cleveland State @ St. Bonaventure
Drexel @ St. Joes
Niagara @ Auburn
Stanford @ San Diego
New Mexico St @ St. Mary’s

Initial Thoughts

- Carolina decided to basically play down a position across the board at times, which, included seeing Marcus Ginyard at the 1. Who makes shots for this team? Who is the secondary ball handler? Look, the front court is as good as it gets, but that guard play has to perform and be given the opportunity to do so. I do not believe you can get too far playing 4 forwards at the same time. The good news is, Larry Drew looked better than we ever saw him last year.

- Turner/Buford/Lighty/Diebler…they will have to carry OSU this year, and I’m not betting against them to do so. I think when we see them match up with UNC they pack things in and force Carolina to hit shots. They will need to rebound over their heads, but I think they can do it. I give the advantage to OSU in that one.

- Syracuse, I can see why they dropped that game to LeMoyne, just sloppy play. Harris and Devo may have exited but their bonehead type of play seems entrenched in the program. If Albany had any type of idea of how to work the zone and be strong with the ball or any of their guards have a clue on rotating back on D, this could have been a game. The Cuse frontline is impressive and Johnson is an athlete, but is he a go to guy? Still don’t know. Triche is an impressive freshmen, body wise and his demeanor but he will be a freshmen point guard in the Big East, that never bodes too well.

- Cal will create the most cause for concern with just a glance of the team names and box score. However, that Murray State team was far and away the best opponent to the big guys last night and scrapped all game long. Cal started to break it open in the 2nd half up 18 and just could not close Murray State out. The lack of a big man was evident, Jamal Boykin was solid but if he’s all ya got..

- Mark Gottfried on that call was surprisingly insightful, it may have been due to his Murray State ties, but a nice job for Game #1. Jay Williams is brutal, just brutal. Tim Welsch is solid and knows the Big East through and through.

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