Kentucky hosted their Blue & White scrimmage on Wednesday evening, giving Big Blue Nation their first opportunity to see the newest crop of freshmen play.
And as is usually the case in scrimmages like this, the final numbers don’t mean all that much, but we’ll pass them along anyway. Archie Griffin had 32 points, Alex Poythress finished with 25 and Willie Cauley-Stein finished with 14 points and 12 boards.
The most noteworthy piece of information to come out of this game was that Nerlens Noel was slowed with a sore back. Nagging injuries to star players are never, ever a good thing, so it’s a bit worrisome that something is already bothering Noel less than two weeks into practice.
But, again, a sore back isn’t quite the same as a sprained ankle or separated shoulder.
I’ll tell you who did learn something on Wednesday night: Cauley-Stein. After taking the internets by storm with a posterization of Nerlens Noel at Big Blue Madness, Cauley-Stein tried to take a charge on Poythress and, well, it didn’t turn out too well:
Willie, buddy, you’re seven feet tall. You weren’t recruited to Kentucky to take charges. You’re not going to get attention from NBA scouts for getting your feet outside the charge circle. It’s a scrimmage. At least try to block the shot.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.
No. 15 Cincinnati pounced on Memphis from the start, taking a 51-32 lead into halftime.
Then, Gary Clark decided to add insult to injury to start the second half. Seriously, how did he catch that?
Mick Cronin’s team is much better offensively than in previous seasons. I’m sure fans in the Fifth Third Arena can get used to seeing more plays like this.
Michigan State freshman guard Cassius Winston had just one field goal in the first half. And it was a half-court buzzer-beater as the Spartans capped a sizable run to take a 49-31 lead over Nebraska going into the break.
The Spartans ended the half on a 21-5 run.
Winston provided a serious boost off the bench during that stanza. Moments earlier, he helped the Breslin Center erupt when he lobbed a pass off the backboard to teammate Miles Bridges.
Michigan State opened the day projected as one of the final at-large bids in the NCAA Tournament. The margin for error is thing and it appears the Spartans are playing with a sense of urgency.
Wednesday’s slate of games had several wild results.
Former Ohio State walk-on turned blogger turned author Mark Titus, who is currently writing for The Ringer, joined Rob Dauster on the latest episode of the CBT Podcast to go over last night’s games. The two also discussed who is the best team in the nation at the moment, as well Frank Mason III’s rap single from several years ago #BIFM
You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Audioboom
North Carolina’s Roy Williams called fellow Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino to apologize for a fan’s behavior during Wednesday night’s game in Chapel Hill.
While leaving the floor at halftime, Pitino had to be restrained by members of the Louisville coaching staff and he and a UNC fan exchanged words as he made his way to the locker rom. There’s video of Pitino pointing and shouting at a fan, who reportedly said, “Pitino, you suck!”
“I don’t like that,” Williams said, according to the Charlotte Observer. “I mean we’re in North Carolina. We don’t have to be like everybody else. We can raise Cain. You can boo, but you don’t have to say the stuff that we as coaches have to put up with.”
“I hope that never happens at North Carolina ever again.”
No. 8 North Carolina defeated No. 7 Louisville, 74-63.
STILL TO PLAY
Georgia at Alabama (RPI: 68, KenPom: 61, next four teams), 7:00 p.m.
Nebraska at Michigan State (RPI: 43, KenPom: 55, No. 10 seed), 7:00 p.m.
Towson at UNC Wilmington (RPI: 41, KenPom: 57, No. 12 seed), 7:00 p.m.