College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, December 14, 2010
With the spread of talent and coaches in the college ranks, big conference teams simply cannot afford to take small conference teams lightly. That point was never more vividly expressed than in Tuesday's 89-82 upset win by the Oakland Golden Grizzlies over the #7 Tennessee Volunteers, and the small school did it on the big school's home court.
Out of the surging Summit League, the Grizzlies have been in search of a statement win, after playing Purdue, Illinois and Michigan State close, but losing all three games. 6'11" senior Keith Benson couldn't be stopped in the post, hitting 9 of 16 shots for a game-high 26 points to lead the Grizzlies to their sixth win against five losses. Benson, the team's leading scorer and rebounder, also snagged 10 boards for his 8th double-double of the season.
The Grizzlies are 2-0 in Summit League play, and, even though 6-5 overall, they're likely better than their record might indicate, as 8 of their 11 games thus far have been played on the road and included some heavy hitters. They still have a date with #2 Ohio State ahead of them, on December 23, prior to a steady diet of Summit League foes.
Notable: It wasn't just the Summit League pulling off upsets Tuesday night. Drexel, out of the Colonial Athletic Conference, stormed into Freedom Hall and shocked #20 Louisville, 52-46. The Dragons improved to 7-1, while Rick Pitino's Cardinals suffered their first loss of the season. Louisville holds wins over UNLV and Butler, and are now 8-1.