Remember when that guy in Titanic shouted “Iceberg, straight ahead!”?
That guy should be courtside at Rupp Arena these days.
Not only did Kentucky lose in their raucous homeplace again, proving that a December drop to Baylor was no fluke, but they allowed a monster scoring night from a player whose NBA draft stock may be far lower than that of any Wildcat starter.
Elston Turner, a senior guard, had never even cracked 30 points in a single game during his Texas A&M career. So imagine his surprise when shot after shot went in in his first visit to Rupp Arena. By the time the final buzzer went off, Turner had tallied 40 points. Not only that, but his team had beat the defending national champs by a convincing 83-71 margin. Elston hit 14-19 shots, including 6-10 from downtown, in the big win. He was two points short of the season high of 42 points, set by Tyler Haws of BYU.
Turner didn’t have to go it alone, exactly, Fabyon Harris chipped in 14, and forward Kourtney Roberson had ten points and nine rebounds, but it was mostly Turner.
Kentucky’s defensive shortcomings continue to be exposed in the most baffling way. If the Aggies had had a balanced scoring attack, perhaps we could understand, but one guy? No amount of defensive trickery or individual athleticism could stop… Elston Turner? That’s tough to swallow. Ryan Harrow and Archie Goodwin combined for nine backcourt turnovers in the loss.
Nerlens Noel was the lone bright spot for Kentucky. He flirted with a triple-double, tallying 15 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and 7 blocked shots. Clearly, the Wildcats can’t rely on just one guy. The great mystery is how the allowed A&M to do so.
Michigan gets Caris LeVert back in a win over No. 18 Purdue
Zak Irvin scored 22 points and Michigan’s outmanned front line held Purdue’s redwoods to just seven offensive boards, six second chance points and just 22 points in the paint as the Wolverines landed a critical, 61-56, win over the No. 18 Boilermakers.
Depending on who you listen to, Michigan entered the day, at worst, on the bubble and at best, in headed for the 8-9 game.
And they picked up a top 25 win.
So yes, this win was big for them moving forward.
But more important than the win itself was that Wolverine fans got a glimpse of all-american guard Caris LeVert. He played just 11 points and didn’t return in the second half, he didn’t score and he missed the only shot that he took, but LeVert took the court for the first time since Dec. 30th. That day, LeVert rolled his left ankle and most likely reinjured a foot that had had a broken bone surgically repaired twice in the last 20 months. Michigan never confirmed what the actual injury was and never gave a timetable for when he would be back in the lineup, which is what made his brief appearance so important.
LeVert isn’t done for the season.
And since the Wolverines managed to post a 9-4 Big Ten record with LeVert acting as little more than a spectator, they have a chance to make a run in the Big Ten tournament and get into the NCAA tournament.
That will happen with LeVert in the rotation and, if all goes according to plan, the starting lineup.
So even with a loss against Purdue, the Wolverines had a good day. Bolstering their NCAA tournament profile was an added bonus.
VIDEO: Memphis’ Shaq Goodwin gets technical foul for copying famous Vince Carter dunk
Memphis senior forward Shaq Goodwin picked up one of the dumbest technical fouls of the season on Saturday with the Tigers on the road against Tulane. Goodwin attempted to copy Vince Carter’s famous arm-in-the-rim dunk from the 2000 NBA dunk contest. This would have been okay during pregame warmups, but Goodwin tried to pull this off on a breakaway near the end of the first half. He was quickly hit with the T for hanging on the rim.
Goodwin has good timing when it comes to current events, as the NBA’s dunk contest airs on Saturday night, but the timing of pulling this off in the first half of a tight conference game is not so great.
For past reference, here’s Carter’s original arm-in-the-rim dunk from 2000, which had everyone astonished since it had never been done before.