Tyreek Duren, Rob Brandenderg

Late Night Snacks: La Salle rolls up the A-10 welcome mat

Leave a comment

Game of the Night

La Salle 69, No. 19 VCU 61: Want to make someone feel unwelcome in the A-10? Let them play La Salle. The Explorers knocked off No. 9 Butler in Philly a few days ago, and then traveled to Richmond and laid the hurt on No. 19 VCU as well. John Giannini played a four-guard lineup to counter the Rams, and got a game-high 31 from Ramon Galloway to reinforce La Salle’s growing tournament resume. Juvonte Reddic and Treveon Graham each had a double-double, but it wasn’t enough to keep VCU from falling victim to the A-10’s old school reps.

Meaningful Results

No. 23 Ole Miss 63, Auburn 61: So what, you’re saying. A ranked team beat an unranked team. If you’ve been watching any hoops at all this past week or two, you know just how hard that is. Ole Miss is a relative newcomer to the polls as well, so earning a road win in a tight game is good stuff. The Rebel Black Bears got their usual good night out of Marshall Henderson, who had 15, and guards Jarvis Summers and Ladarius White combined for 31 to keep Ole Miss unbeaten in SEC play.

San Diego State 55, N0. 15 New Mexico 34: And the Mountain West rolls on. What else can you say? The league is like a microcosm of DI as a whole, where no ranking is safe, and parity reigns supreme. The Aztecs got a great night from J.J. O’Brien, who posted 12 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks in the nominal upset.

No. 18 N.C State 91, North Carolina 83: The Wolfpack used a balanced scoring attack to prove that the balance of power has, indeed shifted in the Triangle.

No. 16 Oregon 81, Washington 76: This was a game of who could mess up least, apparently. The Ducks stayed unbeaten in Pac-12 play, but they didn’t do it in a pretty way. The two teams combined to throw away 44 turnovers.


Oakland Grizzlies head coach Greg Kampe:

Christian Standhardinger, Hawaii: The Nebraska transfer had 31 points, 16 rebounds, 1 steal and 2 blocked shots in a 78-73 Hawaii win at UCSB.


Several teams and individuals struggled tonight, but can we really put them in the same boat with Northern Illinois? The team that scored all of four first-half points in a 42-25 loss to Eastern Michigan? I think not.

And then we found out that it was even worse than we had originally thought. NIU broke their own record, in fact.

Brutal, indeed.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

Syracuse upsets No. 18 UConn as Tyler Lydon stars again

St Bonaventure Syracuse Basketball
AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth
Leave a comment

Michael Gbinije and Trevor Cooney combined for 34 points as Syracuse overcame an early 10-point deficit to knock off No. 18 UConn in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis, 79-76.

The talking point at the end of this game is probably going to end up being UConn’s decision not to foul Syracuse with 36 seconds left on the clock. Trevor Cooney dribbled out the clock and, with six seconds left, missed a 35-foot prayer, the offensive rebound getting corralled by Tyler Roberson, sealing the win.

But that’s not the real story here.

That would be Tyler Lydon, who suddenly looks like he may end up being the difference maker for this Syracuse team.

If you don’t know the name, I don’t blame you. Lydon was a low-end top 100 recruit that had been committed to the Orange for a long time. He’s not exactly a game-changing prospect, but he’s a perfect fit for Syracuse. At 6-foot-9, Lydon has the length to be a shot-blocker in the middle of the 2-3 zone — he entered Thursday averaging 3.3 blocks — but his biggest skill is his ability to shoot the ball from beyond the arc. When he plays the middle of that zone, when he is essentially the five for the Orange, they become incredibly difficult to matchup with defensively.

The question is whether or not he can consistently be that guy on the defensive end of the floor. Against UConn, Lydon had 16 points and 12 boards. Against Charlotte, he finished with 18 points, eight boards and six blocks. But neither the Huskies nor the 49ers have a big front line that crashes the offensive glass.

Lydon is great at using his length to make shots in the lane difficult, but at (a generous) 205 pounds, he may run into trouble against bigger, stronger front court players.

The perfect test?

Texas A&M, who the Orange will play in the title game on Friday.

USC holds on to beat No. 20 Wichita State

Andy Enfield
Associated Press
1 Comment

With guards Fred VanVleet and Landry Shamet both sidelined due to injury, No. 20 Wichita State arrived at the Advocare Invitational shorthanded. But even with that being the case the highly successful Shockers represented quite the opportunity for USC, and Thursday afternoon the Trojans took advantage.

Despite turning the ball over 23 times Andy Enfield’s team found a way to win, hanging on to beat the Shockers by the final score of 72-69. Freshman forward Bennie Boatwright, a tough matchup for most teams as a 6-foot-10 stretch forward who can score from the perimeter, shot 5-for-9 from three and scored a team-high (and career-high) 22 points.

The tandem of he and junior Nikola Jovanovic, who added 14 points and 11 rebounds, outplayed the Wichita State front court on a day in which the Shockers needed greater contributions from those players. Add in 15 points and four assists from Jordan McLaughlin, ten points off the bench from Katin Reinhardt and a 12-for-23 afternoon from three, and the Trojans were able to do enough to make up for their high turnover count and Wichita State’s 24 points off of turnovers.

Given the absence of VanVleet and Shamet there’s no reason to panic regarding Wichita State. Ron Baker, who was exhausted by the end of the game due to the heavy load he was asked to shoulder, scored a game-high 25 points and the play of freshman Markis McDuffie was a positive to build on.

McDuffie, who entered Thursday’s game without a made field goal in his first two appearances as a Shocker, shot 5-for-9 from the field and contributed 14 points and three rebounds off the bench. With their current perimeter rotation being what it is McDuffie will have opportunities to contribute, and the Shockers will need him to take advantage as they await the returns of VanVleet and Shamet (and the addition of Conner Frankamp).

Doing so will not only help Wichita State in the short term but in the long-term as well, thus giving Gregg Marshall another option to call upon on his bench.

Thursday’s outcome, even with the desire to see more from Anton Grady (eight points, seven rebounds), says more about USC at this point in time than Wichita State. Enfield’s first two seasons at the helm were about amassing the talent needed to compete in the Pac-12 while also gaining valuable (and at times painful) experience. In year three the Trojans hope to take a step forward within the conference, and wins like this one provide evidence of the program’s growth.