College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, November 27, 2009
With college basketball becoming more and more competitive in the early going, the number of upsets - and the term should be used lightly as this early juncture - has increased this season as never before. On Friday, five top 25 teams were dumped by unranked schools, giving credence to the camp which believes pre-season and early rankings are worthless.
The games must be played on the court, and some of these smaller schools have talent popping right out of the hardwood.
The biggest surprise was probably Florida's 77-74 win over #2 Michigan State. Though out-shooting the Gators, the Spartans turned the ball over 24 times, while Florida hit 22-of-25 from the charity stripe for the win.
Here's a quick run-down of the other eye-popping upsets:
Utah 60, #20 Illinois 58
Northwestern 72, #23 Notre Dame 58
Portland 61, #22 Minnesota 56
Marquette 79, #15 Michigan 65
What stands out is that four of the teams upset came out of the Big Ten, so, maybe these aren't really all that surprising after all.
In Syracuse's 85-60 thumping of Columbia (this was a real creampuff opponent), forward Wesley Johnson tallied a season-high 26 points, going 8-for-13 from the field, including 4-of-5 from three-point land. Johnson also hit all 6 of his free throws, grabbed 3 rebounds, dished three assists and had two steals.
The Orangemen are 6-0, and face Colgate and Maine this coming week, prior to a trip South to face the Gators on December 10. That should prove interesting.