Cal Poly v UCLA

Late Night Snacks: Cal Poly upsets No. 11 UCLA, champions crowned in Anaheim and Orlando

Leave a comment

Games of the Day

1. Cal Poly 70, No. 11 UCLA 68
A day that began with news of Tyler Lamb deciding to transfer ended with a comeback that boggles the mind. With 12:21 remaining the Bruins led 51-33, and many (myself included) determined that to be the end for the Mustangs given their half-court style. But Joe Callero’s team didn’t quit and the Bruins took possessions off, and the end result is a stunning upset. Jordan Adams tied the game at 68 but for some reason Norman Powell gave the foul thinking UCLA was still behind. Kyle Odister’s free throws clinched a huge win for the Cal Poly program.

2. Illinois 63, Gardner-Webb 62
A post-Maui title hangover nearly did in the Fighting Illini, who won thanks to a Tyler Griffey three-pointer in the final seconds. Four Illinois players finished with 13 points, and Gardner-Webb’s Donta Harper led all players with 16 points. With the victory it’s probably safe to assume that John Groce’s club will make its debut in the national polls on Monday.

3. No. 25 San Diego State 66, USC 60
San Diego State jumped out to a 29-8 lead and looked as if they were going to run the Trojans out of their own arena. But the absence of Chase Tapley caught up with the Aztecs in the form of sloppy play and Kevin O’Neil’s team refused to quit, opening the second half on an 18-4 run to take a 41-39 lead. SDSU ultimately won the chippy affair thanks to Jamaal Franklin’s big shots late and 17 points from James Rahon.

Important Outcomes

1. California 78, Pacific 58 
The Golden Bears didn’t know it at the time but their win over the Tigers in the title game of the DirecTV Classic saved the Pac-12 from going 0-2 against the Big West on Sunday. Justin Cobbs, who was named MVP of the tournament, tallied 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists and Allen Crabbe scored a game-high 24 points.

2. La Salle 77, Villanova 74 (OT)
The first Philadelphia Big 5 game of the season was won by the Explorers, who were led by guards Ramon Galloway (26 points) and Tyreek Duren (23). Mouphtaou Yarou (20 points) and JayVaughn Pinkston (19) led the Wildcats but freshman point guard Ryan Arcidiacono (1-of-7 FG) had a tough afternoon offensively. One more positive for Dr. John Giannini’s team: Steve Zack accounting for eight points and 14 rebounds.

3. Temple 80, Delaware 75
Jamelle Hagins and Devon Saddler combined to score 54 points for the Blue Hens but it was the Owls’ balance that carried the day. Four Temple players finished in double figures, with Scootie Randall and Khalif Wyatt scoring 18 apiece to lead the way. Delaware misses out on their third opportunity in less than a week to pick up a quality non-conference win.

Starred

1. G Xavier Munford (Rhode Island) 
Munford shot just 11-of-24 from the field but without him bombing away (eight three-pointers) the Rams don’t pick up their first win of the season. Munford went for 33 to lead the Rams to a 78-72 double overtime win at Auburn.

2. G Ed Townsel (Arkansas State) 
Townsel finished with 27 points (10-of-17 FG), seven steals and five rebounds in the Red Wolves’ 93-53 pasting of Lamar.

3. F Jamelle Hagins (Delaware)
29 points (11-of-17 FG) and 12 rebounds in the Blue Hens’ 80-75 loss at Temple.

Struggled

1. UTEP
Like some I believed than a favorable Conference USA slate and some solid returning players could make the Miners a factor in that mélange of teams picked to finish behind Memphis. But after their 73-49 loss to Vanderbilt in the 7th place game to go 0-3 at the Old Spice Classic? Not so much.

2. G Jamaal Franklin (San Diego State)
Franklin made some big plays late, make no mistake about it. But he also finished the night 4-of-15 from the field and turned the ball over five times. With Chase Tapley out of the lineup the reigning Mountain West Player of the Year has to be more efficient.

3. F Ryan Anderson and F Dennis Clifford (Boston College)
Anderson (4-of-14) and Clifford (1-of-4) both struggled for the Eagles, who lost 56-54 to Bryant. BC won each of the prior four meetings by at least 16 points.

Three Facts

1. McCollum makes history
Congratulations are in order for Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum, who became the Patriot League’s all-time leading scorer in the Mountain Hawks’ 91-77 win at Sacred Heart.

2. Louisville loses Dieng 
Louisville released the news that fans did not want to hear on Sunday, announcing that center Gorgui Dieng broke the scaphoid bone in his left wrist. There’s no timetable just yet on how long the Cardinals will be without their starting pivot.

3. Zeigler runs afoul of the law
Pittsburgh junior guard Trey Zeigler has been a bit quiet on the floor in his first six games with the program after spending two years at Central Michigan. And Zeigler got into some trouble off of it, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on Sunday night that he’s been charged with driving under the influence.

Other notable scores

1. No. 1 Indiana 101, Ball State 53
Things got out of hand in Bloomington, as the Hoosiers rolled in their final tune-up before hosting North Carolina in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Tuesday night.

2. No. 15 Michigan State 63, Louisiana-Lafayette 60
The Spartans are without injured freshman Gary Harris, and it certainly looked like they missed him in holding off the Ragin’ Cajuns. Keith Appling led the way with 19 points and five assists, and Michigan State won despite turning the ball over 20 times.

3. No. 6 Syracuse 87, Colgate 51
James Southerland scored 18 points off the bench and Michael Carter-Williams dished out 13 assists with just one turnover for Syracuse. Jim Boeheim is now just six wins away from 900 for his career.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Ole Miss’ Brooks taken to hospital after collapse

Mississippi guard Rasheed Brooks (14) is called for charging against Tennessee guard Shembari Phillips (25) during an NCAA college basketball game in Oxford, Miss. on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. (Bruce Newman/Oxford Eagle via AP)
Leave a comment

Ole Miss senior Rasheed Brooks has been taken to an Oxford area hospital during the Rebels’ game against Tennessee on Tuesday evening, the school announced.

Brooks reportedly was taken by stretcher out of the arena after he collapsed during a timeout.

Obviously, a scary situation, but immediately there were few details. The game did commence following the incident.

VIDEO: Patsos shakes imaginary hands after Rider storms off court

DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 13:  Head coach Jimmy Patsos of the Siena Saints watches on during their game against the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium on November 13, 2015 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Apparently unhappy with how the game unfolded late, Rider decided against the traditional handshake line Tuesday in its 78-68 loss to Siena.

That didn’t stop Saints coach Jimmy Patsos from going through with it anyway.

The animosity apparently extends from the ejections of Siena’s Marquis Wright and Rider’s Anthony Durham following an altercation between the two, according to the Times-Union. Both Patsos and Rider coach Kevin Baggett were also hit with technicals. Baggett, who had to be held back by assistants, apparently had words with Wright.

Theatrics aside, the win was the fourth-straight for Patsos’ Saints after a 1-3 start to MAAC play. Lavon Long had 29 points to lead the way. Rider has now dropped three in a row and is 4-4 in the league.

Creighton’s Mo Watson Jr. has a torn ACL

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 25:  Head coach Greg McDermott of the Creighton Bluejays talks with Maurice Watson Jr. #10 during the team's game against the Massachusetts Minutemen during the championship game of the Men Who Speak Up Main Event basketball tournament at MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 25, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Creighton won 97-76.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Mo Watson Jr.’s Creighton career is over.

The star point guard for the Blue Jays had an MRI on Tuesday to determine the damage suffered in his left knee, and it revealed a torn ACL. Watson entered Monday’s game at Xavier averaging 13.4 points and a nation’s-best 8.8 assists on the season. He was the engine that made Creighton’s high-octane offense work.

“Devastated for [him],” head coach Greg McDermott said. “His impact on our program has been incredible. His leadership will continue to be vital to our success.”

With Watson, who was having an all-american season and was seventh in our Player of the Year Power Rankings as of Tuesday, Creighton was a team with Final Four upside. Their defense was a concern, but their ability to score in transition and to get easy looks from three – both of which were largely due to the ability of Watson – ensured that teams were going to have to score in the 80s to beat them.

Without Watson, Creighton was able to hang on to beat Xavier in Cincinnati, but it’s unclear what the future will hold. Isaiah Zierdan replaced Watson at the point down the stretch, and Greg McDermott does have a number of talented guards on his roster, but that doesn’t do much to mitigate was is a devastating loss for this team.

Watson released a statement on twitter on Tuesday:

Player of the Year Power Rankings: Mason, Hart, Lonzo. Who ya got?

629031118-e1481486624660
AP Photos
Leave a comment

1. Frank Mason III, Kansas
2. Josh Hart, Villanova
3. Lonzo Ball, UCLA: At this point in the year, I feel pretty comfortable making the guarantee that the National Player of the year is going to be one of these three players for three reasons:

  1. All three of them are not just an important piece but the critical component to their team’s success.
  2. The team’s that they play on could very well be the three best teams in college basketball, and I’ve always been of the mindset that winning matters when it comes to Player of the Year and all-american honors.
  3. Their numbers alone are good enough to get them into the conversation even if they didn’t happen to be the best player on one of the best teams in the country.

Frankly, the more that I think about it, labeling this a two-horse race was probably wrong. I’ve had Lonzo Ball third in these rankings for more or less the entire season, but there’s always been a gap between him and the two guys slotted above. Ball’s numbers are ridiculous – 14.6 points, 8.0 assists, 5.5 boards, 1.8 steals, 2.3 turnovers – but it’s what he’s done to that UCLA team that I’ve under-valued. Ball is a talent, and so is T.J. Leaf, but on paper, the difference between this team and last year’s team shouldn’t be as stark as going from a 15-17 season to a year where they are a buzzer-beating three at Oregon away from being undefeated on Jan. 17th. Ball’s presence did that.

The other difference?

I have Frank Mason III as the current leader for the award. Part of that is because Josh Hart has had a couple of bad games in a row and Mason, in the three games since we last convened here, led comebacks at Oklahoma and against Oklahoma State before guiding Kansas to a win at Iowa State. But there is also an argument to be made that Josh Hart has been somewhat figured out in league play. Teams can key in on him and he isn’t quite to the point where he has a response. Big 12 opponents haven’t been able to do that against Kansas.

That, however, is the definition of picking nits, but that’s what we have to do to differentiate these three at this point.

Because when the chips are down, those three players, at this point in the season, have all been sensational, and I would have no issue with someone picking either of the three to win the award.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Audioboom

4. Caleb Swanigan, Purdue: In Purdue’s only game last week, Swanigan had “just” 17 points and eight boards, but he had a late turnover, missed a critical, point-black shot with less than a minute left and then watched a ball bounce out of bounds that was ruled – probably incorrectly – to be off of Purdue. It wasn’t the greatest finish we’ve seen out of a player this year.

5. Luke Kennard, Duke: In the first 14 games of the season, Luke Kennard averaged 13.9 shots per night and consistently churned out enough terrific performances that he deservedly has been the only Duke player considered for a spot on all-american teams all season long. In the last four games, however, Kennard is averaging just 9.8 shots, which can be attributed to a couple of different things. I don’t think the issue is defenses being more focused in on stopping him, mainly because I think the issue is Jayson Tatum.

Tatum has led the Blue Devils in field goal attempts in six of the last seven games. His usage rate (the percentage of possessions that end with him while he’s on the floor) is 27.8 on the season despite posting an offensive rating of 105.1, meaning he scores 1.051 points-per-possession. In the last seven games, he’s only had an offensive rating better than 109 in home games against Georgia Tech and Boston College.

Kennard, on the season, has an offensive rating of 133.5, which is third nationally for players that with a usage rate above 20, but his usage rate is stuck at 21.7. In other words, the numbers back up what our eyes have been telling us – that Duke’s offensive isn’t as good when the offense flows through Tatum instead of Kennard.

LEXINGTON, KY - DECEMBER 07: De'Aaron Fox #0 of the Kentucky Wildcats dribbles the ball during the game against the Valparaiso Crusaders at Rupp Arena on December 7, 2016 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
De’Aaron Fox (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

6. De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky: Fox is the most important player on Kentucky, and I don’t understand people that argue otherwise. Malik Monk can win games with his ability to score, but Fox ‘s ability to defend and to turn defense into offense is why the Wildcats are in a position for Monk to win games with his scoring alone.

7. Mo Watson Jr., Creighton: It looks like Creighton dodged a bullet on Monday. There has yet to be an official diagnosis, but what initially to be a non-contact knee injury for Watson, it appears that there is no ligament damage. A torn meniscus will not be an easy thing to recover from, but a bone bruise would be. Here’s to hoping he’s OK, but Watson is the engine that makes Creighton’s high-powered offense run.

(UPDATE: Watson’s career is over. He tore his ACL.)

8. Joel Berry II, North Carolina: Berry has been fantastic this season, and there’s a very strong argument to be made that he’s the ACC’s Player of the Year as of today. He is everything we wanted Marcus Paige to be over the course of the last two seasons.

9. Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga: Williams-Goss has been terrific this season, and I’m not sure how many people have noticed. After posting 19 points and six assists in a 23-point win over No. 21 Saint Mary’s, he’s averaging 15.2 points, 5.8 boards, 4.9 assists and 1.7 steals with shooting splits of 49.5/41.1/89.5. This is the best Gonzaga team Mark Few has ever had, and Williams-Goss is the best player on the roster.

10. Lauri Markkanen, Arizona: Luke Kennard is third nationally in offensive rating for players with a usage rate that’s better than 20. No. 1 on that list? Lauri Markkanen, who is quietly having a terrific season for the Wildcats.

JUST MISSED THE CUT

Malik Monk, Kentucky
Johnathan Motley, Baylor
Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame
Dwayne Bacon, Florida State
Markelle Fultz, Washington
Josh Jackson, Kansas
Ethan Happ, Wisconsin
Justin Jackson, North Carolina
Jock Landale, Saint Mary’s
Alec Peters, Valparaiso
Melo Trimble, Maryland

Lauri Markkanen, Arizona Athletics
Lauri Markkanen, Arizona Athletics

CBT Podcast: Luke Winn joins to talk Kansas and their unorthodox backcourt

LAWRENCE, KS - DECEMBER 03:  Devonte' Graham #4 of the Kansas Jayhawks celebrates with Frank Mason III #0 after making a three-pointer during the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Allen Fieldhouse on December 3, 2016 in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Sports Illustrated’s Luke Winn, Mr. Power Rankings himself, joined the podcast this week to talk about something other than the Power Rankings.

Luke wrote a long feature on Kansas’ back court of Frank Mason III and Devonte’ Graham, a serendipitous pairing of former mid-major recruits that have turned into arguably the nation’s best pair of guards and the next great two-point guard back court. You can read that story here. You can listen to the podcast below.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Audioboom