Wrappin’ It Up: College Hoops on December 1st
While most of the country was focused on college football, there was still plenty of college hoops on the docket and it wasn’t just cupcake city. There were quite a few close scares for some of the big boys, some pathetic losses and even an upset or two. Let’s break it down starting from this morning.
Kentucky has got some major problems. Thanks to their success over the last couple of years, voters gave them a break but there’s no way this is a top 15 team even. They need to rectify their point guard situation although Ryan Harrow was slightly better today. Most of their offense though is coming in the open court and then off offensive rebounds. Baylor got Brady Heslip back in the rotation and while he wasn’t great it helped their other guards. Every time Kentucky made a run, either AJ Walton or Pierre Jackson answered.
The Missouri Valley Conference is back. They could easily get 3 or 4 bids like we saw a few years ago. A name you’ll want to watch this year is Tyler Brown. The JUCO transfer is a flat out scorer. He sizzled early on and nearly helped his team knock off Louisville. Peyton Siva was awesome despite being in foul trouble for most of the game and Chane Behanan did an outstanding job on the glass in the 2nd half.
An impressive “restart” so far for Virginia Tech. Erick Green could led the ACC in scoring this year. He was huge down the stretch as well. I love Oklahoma State’s dynamic duo of LeBryan Nash and Marcus Smart but they’ll need some depth once we get to conference play.
The UIC Flames stun the Northwestern Wildcats-
You cannot make the NCAA tourney as a bubble team with sub 200 RPI loss. Northwestern clearly had a hangover after the Maryland Terrapins game. Ugly shooting, ugly result.
New Mexico had a big lead in this one which Indiana State did a heck of a job eating away at. However, the Lobos owned the OT. Tony Snell had an off night but Kendall Williams picked him up scoring a season-high 24 points.
Thankfully for Alabama most of their fans were watching football but Cashmere Wright didn’t care and he hit a game winning jumper at the buzzer. I liked Alabama going to a zone for most of the game. Unless Sean Kilpatrick is going off, that’s a way to hold down any rhythm Cincy can get.
The Wyoming Cowboys knock off the 19th ranked Colorado Buffaloes-
Give Wyoming fans credit. That was one hell of an atmosphere tonight and Colorado’s last couple close games caught up with them. Askia Booker has been phenomenal through the first month but he was awful tonight. That killed much of the supplemental pieces who play off his game. Wyoming got on the floor and did a lot of the dirty work an underdog needs to win. Hats off.
Shabazz Muhammed was so damn good in the 1st half but then he disappears for most of the 2nd half? Bizarre. I like UCLA working in the 2-3 zone but they forgot to move from the start of the 2nd half on. You have to rotate! San Diego State plays with tremendous emotion and even some issues with their interior D couldn’t stop them. Xavier Thames and Jamaal Franklin cut up the UCLA defense.
Like my article? Hate it? Let me know on Twitter (@tmichaelcronin). I look forward to your thoughts.