GAME OF THE NIGHT: Creighton 83, St. Joseph’s 79
Doug McDermott had 20 points, including the the game-winning basket with less than ten seconds left on the clock, as Creighton went into Philly and knocked off St. Joseph’s. Ethan Wragge led the way for the Bluejays with 21 points, which came on 7-for-11 shooting from three.
1) No. 20 Wisconsin moved to 3-0 on the season as they picked up yet another impressive win, this time knocking off UW-Green Bay on the road, 69-66. The Badgers now have beaten Green Bay, Florida and St. John’s this season.
2) Marshall Henderson returned to the court on Saturday night, finishing with 19 points as Ole Miss went into Coastal Carolina and left with a win.
3) Mercer picked up a double-overtime win against Seton Hall on Saturday night thanks to 24 points and five assists from Langston Hall. Hall scored 19 of his 24 points after the last TV timeout. Mercer is the favorite to win the Atlantic Sun over Florida-Gulf Coast.
1) J.J. Avila finished with 30 points, seven boards and six assists as Colorado State put a whooping on Weber State on Saturday night.
2) George Beamon finished with 34 points for Manhattan, but it wasn’t enough to knocked off George Washington and the 27 points they got from Indiana transfer Maurice Creek.
3) T.J. Warren might end up leading the ACC in scoring this season. He had 23 points for N.C. State in a win over Campbell last night.
1) Marquette’s offense. They lost to Ohio State 52-35 and shot 18.9% from the floor. It was hard to watch.
2) Joe Harris finished with one point and shot 0-5 from the floor, but Virginia was still able to knocked off Davidson on the road.
3) Vermont got trucked by Bryant on Saturday, losing 87-64 as they allowed the Bulldogs to shoot 55.8% from the floor. Dyami Starks had 30 points.
Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.
After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.
Video credit: Wyoming Athletics
Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.
Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.
Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.
Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.
Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.
But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.