11/15 – College Hoops Week in Review

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Game of the Week: Maryland 75, College of Charleston 74

This was a sloppy, yet wildly entertaining, basketball game. (I was lucky enough to be on press row, and write this and this
about it afterwards.) The two teams went back and forth, with Maryland looking like they were going to take control early and Charleston
stealing the momentum back in the second half. Jordan Williams, who finished with 26 points and 15 boards, and Andrew Goudelock, who had 27
points and 10 boards, went on a five minutes stretch in the second half where they were trading buckets.

Eventually, Charleston took
control late in the game, going up 72-66. But the combination of
Williams and freshman guard Pe’Shon Howard lead a comeback. On the
final possession, down 74-73, Howard did this:

Player of the Week: Chris Singleton, Florida State

I
really wanted to go with Jordan Williams here, but Singleton deserves
this award after his performance on Sunday. Simply put, Singleton
played what may end up being the best all-around game of the season
when we are all said and done. He had 22 points on 7-14 shooting, 11
rebounds, 10 steals, 6 assists, and 4 blocks. He is the first ACC
player to ever record a triple-double including steals and was one away
from setting the league record with 11. More important that his
defense, however, was the fact that Singleton became a threat on the
offensive end of the floor. Florida State really needs him to become a
scorer this season if they want to compete at the top of the ACC.

The All-they-were-good-too team:

  • G: Joey Rodriguez, VCU:
    Rodriguez was terrific in the one game he played last week, putting up
    22 points, 17 assists, four rebounds, and four steal against
    UNC-Greensboro, the same team that Singleton had his triple-double
    against.
  • G: Steven Gray, Gonzaga: Gray’s number are pretty impressive through two games — 21 ppg, 8.5 apg, and 7.5 rpg.
  • G: Brad Tinsley, Vanderbilt:
    Tinsley answered the people that doubted his ability to run the point
    with a 11 point, 10 rebound, 10 assist triple double of his own against
    Presbyterian.
  • F: Omar Carter, Appalachian State: Carter scored 35 points to lead the Mountaineers to a win on the road at Tulsa.
  • F: Jordan Williams, Maryland: Is Williams the best big man in the ACC? The 21 ppg and 13.7 rpg he is averaging in Maryland’s 3-0 start says year.
  • Bench: Ravern Johnson, Mississippi State; Brad Wanamaker, Pitt; Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Washington; Joevan Catron, Oregon

Team of the Week: Oregon Ducks

This
may be the only love that Oregon gets all season long, but I think they
deserve it. Playing for a new coach with a depleted roster on a team
and in a league that has gotten zero respect the last year or two, the
Ducks came out and won three closely contested games. Granted, they
beat North Dakota State, Denver, and UC-Santa Barbara — Denver was
good last year and UCSB will compete for a conference title. Still,
winning games lie that not only builds confidence for a team like the
Ducks, it teaches them how to win close games. When they play well,
they should be competitive in the Pac-10. If they can pull out some of
their close wins, they could end up with a respectable record in the
league. Leading the way for the Ducks right now is 6’6″ forward Joevan
Catron, who is averaging 20.6 ppg and 6.0 rpg.

Questions Raised:

  • Georgetown’s front court:
    No one should judge Georgetown for their 62-59 comeback win over Old
    Dominion on Friday night. The Monarchs are a very good, very physical
    basketball team that look to be destined for the NCAA Tournament this
    season. And while Georgetown’s big three guards were terrific —
    especially down the stretch — in scoring 54 points, the Hoyas were
    more or less beat up in the paint. Old Dominion is tough inside, but
    they aren’t tough by Big East standards. The Hoyas reliance on their
    back court wasn’t a secret, but it is still worrisome to see it
    reinforced this way.
  • Georgia really needs Trey Thompkins back: Arguably the best player in the SEC is out for an extended period of time with an ankle injury.
    Without him, the Bulldogs, who were expected to compete for a spot in
    the NCAA Tournament, need 20 points and back-to-back three point plays
    late in the game from Jeremy Price to survive Mississippi Valley State,
    72-70. Not exactly the way you want to start the season.
  • And the same goes for Mississippi State and Renardo Sidney/Dee Bost:
    No one expected the Bulldogs to dominate early in the season, not with
    two of their best players sitting out. MSU needed a career-high 32
    points from Ravern Johnson, and 14 and 14 from Kodi Augustus, to avoid
    the upset. Mississippi State is going to lose at least once before
    Sidney becomes eligible. Bet that.
  • Can Xavier survive their personnel losses?:
    The Musketeers were one of, if not the, favorites in the A-10 heading
    into the season, but after an ugly performance against a rebuilding
    Western Michigan team, the question must be asked. Judgements cannot be
    made off of one game — especially a season-opener — but with Brad
    Redford (acl) and Justin Martin (academics) out this season, and Jamel
    McLean still working way back from a broken orbital bone, Musketeer
    fans have to be, at the least, concerned. That said, Tu Holloway scored
    20 second half points, Dante Jackson knocked down four threes, and Mark
    Lyons showed why he was such a touted recruit coming into school by
    dropping 10 assists to 2 turnovers. Was this a sluggish start, or a
    sign of things to come?

  • Conference USA doesn’t look that intimidating:
    Memphis does. UTEP, who lost to Pacific at home, and Tulsa, who lost to
    Appalachian State at home, do not. Southern Miss did beat South Florida
    on the road, and South Florida is in the Big East’s cellar.
    That’s a big win for USM, who doesn’t have that tough of a
    non-conference schedule, but overall it was a disappointing week for
    the league.
  • Wait, wasn’t Villanova supposed to have a front court?:
    That’s what the talk of the Big East was. The Wildcats, known for their
    endless string of talented guards, were going to actually have some
    beef in the paint. That still may end up being true, but after seeing
    Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes, Maalik Wayns, and Dominic Cheek combine for
    56 points in a 68-52 win, there is reason for some concern. That said,
    Villanova — as predicted — will actually defend this year. They held
    Bucknell, who is a favorite to win the Patriot League, to 33.9%
    shooting and 52 points.
  • What’s going on with Curtis Kelly?:
    Frank Martin held him out against James Madison on Friday night. He’s
    sitting him against on Tuesday. “He probably won’t go on Tuesday,” Martin said.
    “We need to be at our best in March, so I need him to be consistently
    good for me than the last two days. I’m not happy with the way he’s
    been the last two weeks. We’re a very young team and I need good
    leadership from him.” Yikes.

Statements Made:

  • John Henson:
    North Carolina didn’t look great in their win over Lipscomb. Neither
    did Harrison Barnes or UNC’s guard. But Henson showed that he could end
    up being a very good player in the paint, as he posted 10 points, 17
    boards, and 7 blocks while outplaying Lipscomb’s Adnan Hodzic in an
    80-66 win.

  • NC State:
    The Wolfpack were good and bad on Friday night. The good is that they
    did, in fact, win while getting 51 points out of their trio of
    freshmen, CJ Leslie, Ryan Harrow, and Lorenzo Brown. The bad is that
    the 82-69 win wasn’t pretty or dominating. But hey, when you are Sidney
    Lowe, a win is a win.
  • Minnesota’s front court:
    Could the Golden Gophers have the best front court in the Big Ten? Its
    not as far-fetched as you would think. Minnesota got a combined 42
    points and 32 boards from Trevor Mbakwe, Ralph Sampson, and Colton
    Iverson in a 69-55 win over a very good Wofford team.
  • BYU’s too:
    The Cougars beat Fresno State 83-56, but the big win isn’t what’s
    important. Neither is Jimmer Fredette’s stat line. What I care about?
    Noah Hartsock out played Greg Smith, Fresno’s sophomore center and an
    NBA prospect at center. Hartsock had 21 points and 5 boards. Smith had
    more turnovers (three) than FGA’s (two).
  • Seton Hall:
    True, the Pirates did lose to Temple on Friday night. Its also true
    that there were times, especially in the second half, where the Pirates
    looked a bit like the Seton Hall team from last year with their shot
    selection. But the Pirates, while struggling offensively (which happens
    against Temple), played very well defensively and are still getting
    Herb Pope used to playing basketball again. And keep in mind, in Seton
    Hall’s 92-68 win over Cornell, Jeremy Hazell scored 28 points on 11
    shots. I saw nothing but positive signs from the Hall this weekend.
  • Bucknell:
    The Bison have to be considered the favorite in the Patriot League
    after competing with Villanova and throwing a scare into Marquette. The
    Golden Eagles needed a late 24-0 run to comeback and beat Bucknell
    72-61.
  • Oregon:
    Look, its going to be a long season for the Ducks. We all know that.
    But a 3-0 start against decent mid-major competition is far from a bad
    thing.
  • James Rahon:
    SDSU picked up an 81-65 win over Long Beach State on Saturday. Kawhi
    Leonard had 21 points and 12 boards, and DJ Gay went for 20. But the
    best news? Rahon, a transfer from Santa Clara, had 14 points, including
    three huge threes as the Aztecs pulled away late in the second half.

  • Brockeith Pane:
    Playing without starting forward Nate Bendall, Utah State found
    themselves down 45-37 midway through the second half to a good Weber
    State team before a 17-0 run put away the Wildcats. Who led the Aggies
    in scoring? Not Tai Wesley, but JuCo transfer Pane, who finished with
    23 points, 5 boards, and 4 assists.

Odd Box:

  • Northwestern
    plays a Princeton-style offensive, which isn’t exactly conducive to
    high scoring out puts. Yet, the Wildcats beat Northern Illinois 97-78
    on Friday thanks in large part to 31 from John Shurna. Even weirder?
    Northwestern scored 97 points despite missing 13 of their first 14
    shots.
  • Northwestern’s Big Ten rival Wisconsin doesn’t fill
    the stat sheets either, but they also had a huge season opener. Jon
    Leuer led the way with 24 as the Badgers put 99 points on Prairie View.
  • The
    Washington Huskies scored 118 points against McNeese State. That’s not
    all that surprising considering the pace they play at and the talent on
    their roster. What is surprising? That DePaul was able to score 114
    points against Chicago State on Sunday.
  • Playing without star Tre’Von Willis, the Runnin’ Rebels beat UC Riverside 85-41. Maybe we underestimated this team…
  • St.
    Peter’s lost to Robert Morris 55-30. They shot 16.7% from the floor
    (making just six field goals all game), turned the ball over 19 times,
    and missed 16 of their 32 free throw attempts. Yuck.
  • Dallas
    Lauderdale was two blocks away from a triple-double on the night that
    he notched his first career double-double, finishing with 12 points, 13
    boards, and 8 blocks in a 102-61 win over NC A&T.
  • Idaho
    State’s Broderick Gilchrist went for 39 points in an 88-80 loss to
    Colorado. He then went for four points in a 90-42 loss to Arizona.

Must-see games next week:

  • 11/16 – ESPN’s 24 Hour Tip-Off Marathon
  • 11/18-11/19 – Coaches vs. Cancer in NYC
  • 11/15 – Oakland @ Ohio
  • 11/15 – Wofford @ Clemson
  • 11/15 – William & Mary @ Richmond
  • 11/15 – East Tennessee State @ Murray State
  • 11/15 – Siena at Minnesota
  • 11/16 – Arizona State @ New Mexico
  • 11/16 – Colorado @ Georgia
  • 11/16 – Coastal Carolina @ Charleston
  • 11/17 – Murray State @ Mississippi
  • 11/17 – Utah State @ BYU
  • 11/18 – Hofstra vs. UNC
  • 11/18 – Coastal Carolina @ Georgetown
  • 11/18 – New Mexico State @ Arizona
  • 11/19 – Rhode Island @ Charleston
  • 11/20 – Wisconsin @ UNLV
  • 11/20 – Dayton @ Ole Miss
  • 11/20 – New Mexico @ Cal
  • 11/21 – Morehead State @ Florida
  • 11/21 – William & Mary @ Syracuse
  • 11/21 – USC @ New Mexico State

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.

Three Things To Know: Memphis embarrassed; Luka Garza shows out again

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The story of the night in hoops was Zion Williamson’s return to the basketball court.

But there was plenty of action in the college ranks that is worthy of talking about.

Here are the three things that you need to know:

1. No. 20 MEMPHIS LOST BY 40 TO TULSA

That is not a typo.

The 20th-ranked team in the country went into Tulsa, Okla., and lost to the Golden Hurricane, 80-40. Tulsa was up 40-17 at halftime. This was a butt-whooping that was so bad that all Tulsa needed to do was score a single point in the second half and they would have been able to get the win.

Memphis shot 28 percent from the floor. They were 2-for-21 from three. They finished the night with more turnovers (20) and fouls (22) than field goals (16). This was the worst loss that a top 25 team has suffered against a ranked team in 27 years, since UConn beat then-No. 12 Virginia by 41 points.

For Tulsa, this is a massive, massive win. They are currently sitting all alone in first place in the American standings, a half-game up on Houston.

So good for Frank Haith.

But the story here is Memphis, because the Tigers, considered title contenders before the season began, look anything-but right now.

“We let our defense dictate our offense,” head coach Penny Hardaway told reporters after the game. “We didn’t play any defense today. I think today was the first day we’ve done that ll year. I don’t know if guys overlooked Tulsa because of the name. We did our due diligence as a coaching staff to let them know what was going to happen with the matchup zone and how hard they play.

“It’s pretty embarrassing.”

2. LUKA GARZA WENT NUTS AGAIN

If it seems like Garza is putting up monster numbers every games, it’s because he is.

On Wednesday night, the Hawkeyes welcomed newly-ranked Rutgers to campus and sent them home with an entertaining, hard-fought, 85-80 win. And Garza was the star of the show. He finished with 28 points, 13 boards, four blocks and two steals in the win, anchoring the paint as Iowa out-scored Rutgers 47-37 in the second half.

The big fella is now averaging 23 points and 10.5 boards.

Iowa has now won four straight games to move into a tie for third in the Big Ten standings — with Rutgers, among others — and they have won eight straight games in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. They are a third of the way through a three-game homestand as well.

3. VIRGINIA TECH TAKES DOWN NORTH CAROLINA

Virginia Tech kept up their push to finish as the fourth-best team in the ACC with a 79-77 double-overtime win over North Carolina.

The Hokies are now 14-5 overall and 5-3 in the ACC, but the more interesting story might actually be the Tar Heels.

They are 8-10 on the season and 1-6 in the ACC. They have been a disaster for the last month, but there may be some reinforcements on the way in the shape of Cole Anthony. If he returns and the Tar Heels, who are 2-7 in his absence but have wins over Alabama and Oregon with him, get things back on the right track, they are likely going to find themselves in an incredibly awkward situation on Selection Sunday.

Big 12 hands down Kansas-Kansas State fight suspensions

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The Big 12 handed down suspensions to four Kansas and Kansas State players for their role in the fight that occurred in Phog Allen Fieldhouse on Tuesday night.

Silvio De Sousa, who tried to fight three different Kansas State players and picked up a stool during the melee, received a 12 game suspension from the conference. David McCormack, who went into the stands to confront James Love III, received a two game suspension. Love was given eight games for part in the fight, while Antonio Gordon, the freshman that turned a messy situation into a fight, was hit with a three game suspension.

“This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated and these suspensions reflect the severity of last evening’s events,” said Commissioner Bob Bowlsby.  “I am appreciative of the cooperation of both institutions in resolving this matter.”

In the final seconds on Tuesday night, after DaJuan Gordon stole the ball from him at halfcourt, De Sousa blocked Gordon’s shot and towered over him. That sparked an incident that turned into a full-fledged brawl, as De Sousa threw punches at three different players on Kansas State before picking up a stool as the fight spilled into the handicapped section of Kansas seating.

Self called the fight “an embarrassment” after the game, adding on Wednesday that “we are disappointed in [De Sousa’s] actions and there is no place in the game for that behavior.”

McCormack will be eligible to return for Kansas on Feb. 1st when they play Texas Tech at home. De Sousa will be available to play in the final game of the regular season at Texas Tech. Gordon can return on Feb. 3rd, when the Wildcats host Baylor, while Love will be out until late February. But he has played just one game and two minutes on the season, so there is no clear indication of when he will actually put on a Kansas State jersey again.

The four most important questions after Kansas-Kansas State fight

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Very other sport can treat brawls like comedy, and I think it’s about time that we did the same for basketball.

So let’s take a look at the four funniest moments from last night’s Kansas-Kansas State fight. Shouts to Jomboy:

1. IS THE KANSAS MASCOT OK?

Throughout the entire fight, the mascot is just in utter disbelief. He cannot believe what he just saw, and he certainly cannot be consoled:

2. CAN JEREMY CASE START AT LINEBACKER FOR KU’S FOOTBALL TEAM?

Case is the video coordinator for Kansas. He’s also a former Kansas point guard. He knows what this rivalry is all about, and he also is not going to be afraid to get in the middle of it.

Case starts out on the wrong side of the melee:

But when he sees De Sousa and Love squaring up and throwing punches, he intervenes by throwing himself into a player six inches taller than him:

3. WHAT HAPPENED TO JAMES LOVE III’S SHOE?

James Love the third has played in exactly one game this season. He has spent more time on the court fighting that he has actually playing, but he still found a way to get into the middle of this fight and, in the process, lost his shoe:

He’s not dressed for the game.

Did he bring an extra pair of shoes? Did he have to head back onto the bus without a shoe on this right foot? So many questions, so few answers.

4. WHO IS THE MAN IN THE ORANGE HAT?

He’s some kind of photographer.

He got his shot, that’s for sure:

Kansas-Kansas State fight: Nuance, context the key in Silvio De Sousa discussion

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So I wanted to elaborate on a point that I made on twitter this morning because 280 characters just is not enough to be able to parse through the nuance of this situation.

If you missed it, the thread is here.

First and foremost, everyone involved in this needs to be punished. Silvio De Sousa needs to be suspended. Antonio Gordon needs to be suspended. James Love III needs to be suspended. David McCormack, and potentially Marcus Garrett, probably need to be suspended, although I’m not sure either of them actually through a punch. Point being, anyone else that threw a punch needs to be suspended.

Full stop.

I am not saying otherwise.

But I think that it is important to add some context to the conversation, and I also think that it is important to say this: This doesn’t make any of the young men involved in this fight bad people. Silvio De Sousa is not inherently a bad person because he picked up a stool, and the faux-trage of people calling for him to get booted out of school, arrested or even deported are, at best, completely over-reacting and, at worst, showing off a bit of their racial bias.

Before I get into this, one more thing: I am not condoning any of it. Fights like this should not happen.

But the reality of hyper-competitive athletics is that in emotionally charged situations, fights are going to happen. And if you’ve ever been in a fight like this, you know that things happen incredibly quickly. You’re not thinking, you’re reacting. You can’t call a 20 second time out to come up with a way to defend yourself when someone is throwing haymakers, you just do what you can in the moment.

So let’s talk about the moment, shall we?

De Sousa is the guy that set this entire thing in motion with the way that he reacted to DaJuan Gordon’s steal and layup attempt. The reason the Kansas State bench rushes over to the scene is because De Sousa is towering over one of their freshman teammates, and the reason the Kansas sideline runs over is because the Kansas State sideline does. What turned this incident into a full-fledged brawl was Antonio Gordon flying in and shoving De Sousa over the back of the basket stanchion. De Sousa reacts by throwing punches at two different Kansas State players when a third player — James Love III, in the black polo — comes flying in and squares up with him. They both throw a few punches at each other, knocking De Sousa back over the stanchion again as Kansas staffer Jeremy Case comes flying in to break them up.

Put yourself in De Sousa’s shoes here. In the span of 10 seconds, he’s fought three different Kansas State players, sees nothing but purple in front of him and just got knocked to the ground. Is he getting jumped? Does he have to fight them 1-on-3? That’s when he grabs the stool, to defend himself, and when he sees that no one is coming after him anymore, he drops it:

Context.

He should be suspended for 8-10 games.

He set this entire thing in motion.

But maybe, just maybe, tone down the rhetoric.

Women’s Wednesday: A new column dedicated to the women of college basketball

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Welcome to CBT’s first ever weekly women’s basketball column. I’m here to help provide you with some insight into the world of women’s college hoops.

Women’s sports are reaching new heights, especially in basketball. The WNBA announced a new collective bargaining agreement starting in the 2020 season that includes a 53 percent raise, maternity benefits, a base salary and performance-based bonuses. This year’s NCAA women’s basketball tournament will be broadcasted in its entirety on ESPN, with the semifinals and championship game premiering in primetime.

Female athletes are beginning to garner the attention they deserve. Sabrina Ionescu is drawing national attention for a historic senior season, as she has 22 career triple-doubles and became Oregon’s all-time leading basketball scorer in her career-high 37-point performance against Stanford last week. In the WNBA, women such as Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, and more are shattering gender stereotypes and proving that women can play basketball at a high level, just as men can.

While women’s sports have made a push into the public eye, there is still quite a way to go. It’s important to place an emphasis on the women who excel in their sport and give them the spotlight they deserve. Too many times women are only given credit through a masculine lens, whether that’s only getting attention after receiving praise from men, being compared to a male counterpart, or being a footnote in a male athlete’s story. Female athletes deserve to be their own story.

That’s what I’m hoping to do with this column over the rest of the season — give women a place to shine. I’d like to use this space to highlight some of the amazing women that play in the NCAA and hear from them about their experiences, the records they’re setting and their basketball journey. While I won’t even begin to make a dent in the breadth of talent available in women’s college basketball, I hope to use this column each week to take a deeper dive into some incredible women, as well as give you an idea of what’s happening around the country that week.

WEDNESDAY’S NEWS AND NOTES

South Carolina sits atop the world of college hoops, earning 22 first-place votes from the AP panel to nab the No. 1 spot. The Gamecocks have an 18-1 record with wins over ranked opponents such as Maryland, Baylor, Kentucky and most recently Mississippi State.

Baylor — the reigning national champs —- sits in the No. 2 spot in the rankings after dethroning UConn and ending its dominant 98-game winning streak at home. The Lady Bears received six of the first-place votes from the AP committee.

The rest of the top five is filled out by UConn at No. 3, Oregon at No. 4 after beating then-No. 3 Stanford, and Louisville rounds it out at fifth, receiving the last two first-place votes.

In a monster performance against Stanford, Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu had a career-high 37 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. She has four triple-doubles on the season and has a chance to become the NCAA’s first player to eclipse 2,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 1,000 career assists. As of Jan. 18, she has 2,265 points, 904 rebounds and 928 assists.

DePaul remains unbeaten in the Big East, with Chante Stonewall leading the team with 17.9 ppg while Kelly Campbell has 102 assists on the season, ranking No. 8 in the country.

Baylor’s 40-point victory over then-No. 17 West Virginia is their 45th consecutive Big 12 win.

Mississippi State’s JaMya Mingo-Young and Aliyah Matharu combined for 24 points and four steals off the bench in a close 79-81 loss to South Carolina on Monday.

Star freshman and No. 1 recruit Haley Jones suffered an apparent right knee injury and left Stanford’s Sunday win over Oregon State. She is scheduled to have an MRI but the team has given no further updates.

North Carolina State’s Elissa Cunane has 20+ points in four of her last six games and 10 double-doubles on the season, helping the Wolfpack to a dominant win over Florida State last week.

UCLA became the last undefeated team to fall with a double overtime loss to USC — who hadn’t yet won a Pac-12 matchup —  on Friday.

Northwestern made its debut this season in the Top-25, coming in at No. 22 — its first ranking since the 2015-2016 season.

No. 3 Oregon faces rival No. 7 Oregon State on Friday in a crucial Pac-12 matchup.

Stanford freshman Fran Belini threw down a one-handed dunk in pregame warmup before facing Oregon that you HAVE to see: