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.