When No. 13 UCLA opened the renovated Pauley Pavilion – after 18-months and spending $132 million – the star freshman performance was expected to be from shooting guard Shabazz Muhammad
Instead, Muhammad was ruled ineligible before the game. Luckily, freshman guard Jordan Adams came off the bench to drop a game-high 21 points off 7-of-12 shooting, to go along with eight boards.
The Shabazz Muhammad-less Bruins were able to pull away from Indiana State in the second half to take the first game of the season 86-59
Adams provided a much-needed spark in a slow starting game. The Bruins were able to walk into halftime with a 36-27 lead, aided by an 8-0 run.
The second half is when UCLA got going. The Bruins ended the night with a 23-7 run.
There’s a lot of good and bad that comes from this game:
The good – UCLA won a game without Shabazz Muhammad. Not saying that they won’t need them, they will. But UCLA showed why the freshman class is so highly-touted with solid debuts from Adams and point forward Kyle Anderson.
David and Travis Wear combined for 3o points (13 for David, 17 for Travis). Both bigs were able to knock down mid-range jumpers and remained active and pick-and-roll/pop situations. Fellow North Carolina transfer, Larry Drew played well. He didn’t score the ball, but he had five assists to one turnover. Drew dislocated his finger in the second half, but will be fine, according to multiple reports.
The Bruins also held the Sycamores to a dreadful 31 percent shooting.
The bad – Not having Muhammad clearly tops this list. Josh Smith’s size still remains a question, finishing with five points and five rebounds.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
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.
Jim Boeheim was on the DP Show on Thursday morning, and he admitted that John Gillon’s 23-foot banked-in three at the buzzer was (shocker!) a lucky shot.
But that wasn’t the most interesting thing that he said on the show.
Patrick asked him about his future in Syracuse, and Boeheim had an interesting response.
“I don’t know what’s etched in stone these days,” Boeheim said. “I really don’t. There’s a plan in place, and we’re going to see what happens. But basically right now, I might be done this year. You just don’t know. You just have to wait until the season’s over.”
Boeheim also responded to a column written by Pete Thamel in SI that speculated on when his time in Syracuse would come to an end, saying the only accurate part of the story was that “he spelled my name right”, before adding that, like anyone else nearing the end of a career, when he has a bad day or a bad week, he thinks about calling it a career.
Creighton announced on Wednesday that injured point guard Mo Watson Jr. was suspended from the program on Feb. 13th for “alleged actions that are contrary to university policies and core values.”
The reason for that suspension, according to a report from the Omaha World-Herald, is that he is being investigated for an alleged sexual assault that happened in Omaha this month.
No charges have been filed and Watson was not arrested as of Wednesday night, according to the paper.
Watson was having an all-american season and leading the nation in assists when he tore his ACL on Jan. 16th in a win at Xavier. He underwent surgery in his hometown of Philadelphia a couple of weeks later, but he has not been a part of a Creighton team activity since his return.
Creighton is 4-5 since Watson’s injury, losing on Wednesday night at home against Providence. They’ll likely make the NCAA tournament still.
Watson is not going to participate in Senior Night festivities in Omaha next week, per the OWH.