In the early going of a long night of college basketball, Youngstown State delivers the first surprise of the night.
The Penguins (I still love the mascot) beat Georgia in Athens in the Progressive Legends Classic, 68-56. The loss is the first for the Bulldogs this season.
While Youngstown State was billed as a much-improved team in the Horizon League, I don’t think anyone thought this would be the case. Georgia never led and only scored 14 points in the first half (YSU led 25-14 at halftime).
While every team has their struggles in the early season, the biggest problem was probably that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was the lone Bulldog in double-figures in points — and it wasn’t even close — with 27, making 10 of the team’s 17 field goals, including five of their six threes. Tim Dixon and Marcus Thornton had eight each for Georgia.
Kendrick Perry, a front-runner for Horizon League Player of the Year, led the Penguins (seriously though, isn’t that animal just awesome for a mascot?) with 23 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals. He was also 10-for-11 from the free throw line as well.
In yet another stupid rule that needs to be changed, however, Youngstown State won’t get a berth in the tournament semifinals in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center, because the last four teams that make it are predetermined. What a waste, because I think Perry could hang with the big boys.
David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.
After reviewing video for a second straight day, the Mountain West has determined that Boise State should have beaten Colorado State on Wednesday night, but that due to an NCAA rule the outcome of the game cannot be changed.
Boise State’s James Webb III hit a one-handed, banked-in three at the end of overtime in Colorado State’s Moby Arena, breaking an 84-all tie, but after officials reviewed the play on the video monitor, they waived off the basket. Webb got the shot off in time, but the clock operator did not start the clock on time. After using stopwatch technology embedded in the video monitor, the referees determined that it took 1.3 seconds from the time that Webb caught the pass until the time that he got the shot off.
There were 0.8 seconds left when Boise State took the ball out of bounds.
On Thursday, the league announced that the referees followed the correct protocol to make the call.
They released a video that the referees used to make the decision, but upon further analysis — and amid a push on social media — it was determined that there was a difference between the “rate at which the embedded digital stopwatch advanced and the rate at which the game clock regressed during the instant replay review.”
In other words, the referees made the correct call with the evidence they had available, but the conference provided them with flawed evidence.
Boise State lost 97-93 in double-overtime.
The loss came four days after officials botched a call at the end of San Diego State’s win over New Mexico.
When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.
LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.
Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).
All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.