College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, November 19, 2009
Talk about lighting it up. Kentucky outscored Sam Houston State, 102-92, for their third straight win to open the 2009-10 campaign, but the margins of victory haven't been as wide as new head coach John Calipari might have liked.
After topping Miami (OH), 72-70, the Wildcats had to go longer and deeper with their starters in order to stave off the upset-minded Bearcats. In the end, the strategy worked, but not until senior Corey Allmond had thrown down 37 points for Sam Houston on 13-of-22 shooting, including an incredible 11-of-16 3-pointers. Allmond's monster night was eventually outdone by Kentucky freshman DeMarcus Cousins' 27-point, 18-rebound effort. The 6'11" Cousins didn't even attempt a 3-point shot, doing the majority of his damage within 5 feet of the hoop. His 18 rebounds included 8 offensive boards which resulted in a good number of put-backs. Both his points and rebound totals were career highs.
NOTABLE: The opening round of the third-annual Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan, featured two quality games, one upset and once close call for the 3-0 Villanova Wildcats, who slipped past George Mason, 69-68, after trailing almost the entire game. The opener of the tourney did produce the minor upset, as the #18 Dayton Flyers dropped #21 Georgia Tech, 63-59. Dayton will play Villanova for the championship on Friday.
In the Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic at Madison Square Garden, Syracuse defeated an obviously-overrated #13 Cal squad by a 95-73 score, while the Tar Heels took down Ohio State, 77-73. The Orangemen will face North Carolina in the title match on Friday night.