For those who attempted to stay up for much (if not all) of Tuesday’s 24-hour college basketball marathon, getting through Wednesday was quite the task. So consider what the Hartford Hawks were confronted with: at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday Hartford’s game at FGCU tipped off, and after holding their own for much of the contest the Hawks fell by the final score of 65-51.
From Fort Myers head coach John Gallagher’s team hopped on a plane, with a game on Wednesday night at Fairfield next on the schedule. A quick turnaround for most teams would represent a near-impossible task but that wasn’t the case for Hartford, who beat the Stags 63-53 with big men Yasin Kolo (20 points, six rebounds) and Mark Nwakamma (17 points, 11 rebounds) leading the way.
A ten-point edge at the foul line (16-6) and their work on the defensive end, limiting Fairfield to 37.0% shooting from the field (37.1% on two-point shots), made the difference for a Hartford team playing its second game in 36 hours. And it’s not like the two locations were in the same neighborhood, with Mapquest calculating the distance from Fort Myers, Fla. to Bridgeport, Conn. to be over 1,300 miles. Sure the Hawks didn’t have to make the trek via bus, but their ability to win in spite of the irregular travel schedule should be commended.
And the Hawks won’t have much time to celebrate Wednesday’s result either, as they host Fairleigh Dickinson in their home opener on Friday.
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.