Saturday, December 31, 2011

George Mason Tops Charleston, 84-76, as Ryan Pearson Pours in 35

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, December 30, 2011

George Mason's leading scorer, Ryan Pearson, pumped in 35 points as the Patriots finished off their 2011 schedule in fine fashion with an 84-76 road win over a solid Charleston team from the Southern Conference.

Pearson, a 6'6" senior forward, made 15 of 25 shots from the field, one of three from beyond the arc, cashed all four of his free throws and hauled in a game high 14 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. His 35 points were a career high, and he added four assists, two steals and a blocked shot in an all-around superior performance.

Antwaine Wiggins had 19 points and 9 boards for the 10-3 Cougars.

The Patriots, out of the Colonial Athletic Association, shot 52% for the game, improving to 9-4 on the season and 1-0 in conference play (defeated Towson, 65-53). George Mason is best remembered for their 2006 NCAA tournament run, when they topped Michigan State, North Carolina, Wichita State and Connecticut, before falling to eventual champion Florida in the Final Four semi-final, 73-58.

Last season, the Patriots won 16 straight games, lost in the CAA championship game to VCU, 79=63, but were an at-large invite to the NCAA tourney where they beat Villanova in their opening game before losing to Ohio State in the second round.

Friday, December 30, 2011

St. Mary's 12-2 After Whipping BYU on Jones, Delladevoda Double Doubles

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, December 29, 2011

There are a slew of teams scattered across the landscape of America with solid records that have somehow escaped the notice of poll participants.

One such under-appreciated squad is the St. Mary's Gaels, which opened their West Coast Conference (WCC) campaign with a strong, 98-82, victory over Brigham Young, improving their record to 12-2.

The talented Geals, which missed out on an NCAA invitation last season after losing the conference championship to Gonzaga, were led Thursday night by a pair of double doubles from junior point guard Matthew Delladevoda and senior forward Rob Jones.

Jones led all scorers with 24 points and held sway in the paint with 15 boards for his 9th double-double of the season Jones was just 6-for-14 from the field, but was a perfect 10-for-10 from the foul line. Delladevoda pitched in 18 points while dishing a career high 12 assists. The gritty guard also grabbed six rebounds and had four steals.

The Gaels took a 53-43 lead into the half and held the Cougars at bay for the duration, opening up a lead of 22 points in the second half. St. Mary's shot a combined 55% for the game, including 12 3-pointers.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Customer Service

Guest post from: Kent Lara

I am really not a phone person at all. I don’t like long phone calls because I find them really boring and awkward. I especially hate talking on the phone when it’s not to someone who is a good friend or family. I get so annoyed listening to a customer service representative speaking off of a script and being so fake. It used to be something I couldn’t really avoid when anything went wrong with a new product I bought because there were no other options. That is why I’m glad I have HughesNet Internet at home now. I didn’t realize that most companies have started giving customers the option to do a live chat with customer service over the internet instead of a call. It is so much better for me when I don’t have to talk to someone over the phone. If I can get my things fixed without having a long, drawn out phone conversation it’s great for me. It’s also easier to do a live chat because I don’t have to do it during regular business hours. There are usually people available to help at all hours. I really have a hard time understanding why anyone would call a customer service hotline when they have a live chat available.

Syracuse, Ohio State Retain 1-2 Status in Polls; Fab Melo, Will Buford Star

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Undefeated Syracuse opened their 2011-12 Big East campaign with a trademark, 75-49, victory over Seton Hall in which the Orange deployed coach Jim Boeheim's 2-3 zone defense to force 23 turnovers, 17 steals and 15 blocked shots.

Sophomore center Fab Melo collected 10 of those blocks, a school record, to go with his 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting for his first career double-double. The 7-foot Brazilian also added seven rebounds in the rout of the Pirates, which shot just 32% from the field.

Syracuse, ranked #1 in the AP Poll, improved to 14-0. The win was the 870th for coach Boeheim, leaving him in fifth place all time, six behind Kentucky's Adolph Rupp and nine behind North Carolina's Dean Smith.

#2 Ohio State was also opening conference action, theirs the Big Ten, and the Buckeyes responded with an 87-54 trouncing of Northwestern.

The Buckeyes shot 48% while holding the wildcats to 32% shooting for the game. Ohio State made 10 of 20 3-pointers, including 5-for-7 by senior guard William Buford, who led all scorers with a career high 28 points on 9-for-14 shooting.

Sophomore Jared Sullinger tossed in 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Buckeyes held the top two scorers in the conference - John Shurna and Drew Crawford - to a combined 24 points on 9-for-30 shooting.

The 6'6" Buford continues to move up the Buckeye's career scoring leaders list, chasing Dennis Hopson's 2,096. Buford is averaging 16.6 points per game and needs 439 to catch Hopson.

The Buckeyes are 13-1 and favored to capture the Big Ten championship. Their win over Northwestern was the 31st straight time the Buckeyes have downed the Wildcats in Columbus, dating back to 1977.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Moe Harkless Goes for 32 and 13 as Red Storm Dumps Providence

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Conference play opened in the Big Ten and the Big East on Tuesday, and the spotlight fell on the St. John's Red Storm, at home in Carneseca Arena to face Providence, which came into the game sporting a gaudy 10-2 record.

But it was St. John's, which improved to 7-5 with a dominating, 91-67, victory led by true freshman Moe Harkless, who was simply unstoppable, hitting 14 of 17 shots from the field for a career high 32 points.

Harkless, a 6'8" forward with considerable upside, also controlled the boards, snatching a game high 13 rebounds, for his 4th double-double of the season, all coming within the last five games.

The Red Storm hasn't fared well against ranked opponents this season, losing to Kentucky, Arizona and Texas A&M, but they got off to a fine start in conference play. Their other losses were to Northeastern and Detroit.

With three straight wins, St. John's looks forward to their next test, when they face the Connecticut Huskies in Storrs, CN, at noon on New Year's Eve.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Rodney McGruder Scores 26 as Kansas State Captures Diamond Head Classic

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, December 25, 2011

There were only four college basketball games played on Christmas, all of them out on the island of Hawaii, in the Diamond Head Classic at Honolulu.

Kansas State took one of those games, 77-60, over Long Beach State, capturing the championship to improve their record to 10-1, completing a successful trip with their third win in four days.

The Wildcats knocked off Southern Illinois in the opening round, 83-58, and reached the final with a 78-70 win over UTEP on the 23rd.

In the championship game, junior guard Rodney McGruger was nearly flawless on the court, making 10 of 11 shots from the field, including two of three 3-pointers, and six of seven from the foul line for a game high and career high 28 points.

McGruder's scoring outburst made him the team's leading scorer. Kansas State hosts Howard on New Year's Eve, then opens 2012 with a conference match-up at Kansas on January 4th.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pierre Jackson Lifts Baylor Past Kevin Jones and West Virginia, in OT, 83-81

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, December 23, 2011

Reserve guard Pierre Jackson scored the last five points in regulation, including a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left to send the game into overtime and scored the first three points in overtime with another bomb from beyond the arc as the #6 Baylor Bears were pressed into an extra session by West Virginia, finally emerging with the 83-81 OT win, in Las Vegas.

Jackson, a 5'10" Las Vegas native put on a show back in his hometown, scoring a career high 23 points on 9-for-16 shooting (4-for-7 from 3-point range) to go with five rebounds, four assists and three steals, helping to keep the Bears undefeated at 12-0.

For West Virginia, a 9-3 team that didn't receive a single vote in the latest AP Top 25 poll, the narrow loss was bittersweet, at least proving that the Mountaineers could go toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the country.

They wouldn't have done it without the monster performance of Kevin Jones, who was simply unstoppable in the paint, scoring a game high 26 points and ripping down 17 rebounds. Jones was 13-for-21 from the field, including a pair of three pointers. His board work included six offensive rebounds.

Jones, who averages a double-double (20.4, 11.5) had his eighth of the year. Amazingly, neither his point nor rebound total was a season high for the 6'8" senior. He had 18 rebounds in a loss to Kent State on November 15th, then scored 29 two nights later in a 97-62 win over Alcorn State.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Arnett Moultrie Double-doubles with 24 and 14 as Miss. State Wins 11th Straight

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, December 22, 2011

On a night in which three starters - Dee Bost, Rodney Hood and Jalen Steele - were a combined 8-for-31 from the field, Mississippi's State's junior forward, Arnett Moultrie, put his team on his back and delivered one of his finest performances of the season.

Moultrie hit eight of 11 field goals, was 8-for-8 from the foul line for 24 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and dished four assists - each game highs - as the Bulldogs outlasted Northwestern State, 82-67, for their 11th straight win and an overall 12-1 record. Their only loss was to Arkon, 68-58, in their second game of the season.

At 6'11", Moultrie present a difficult match-up for most teams, but Moultrie really had his way against the undersized Demons. Thursday marked the 7th time this season he's recorded a double-double and he's only played in 10 of the Bulldogs' 13 games.

Mississippi State has been on the cusp of breaking out the past two seasons - going 17-14 last season, without Moultrie, and 24-12 in 2009-10 - though they're still awaiting an NCAA tournament bid. With their hot start and Moultrie on his game, the Bulldogs appear poised to challenge Kentucky, Florida and Vanderbilt in the SEC when conference play begins in January.

Next up for the Bulldogs will be their toughest test of the year, as they host unbeaten Baylor on December 28. The Bears are 11-0 and ranked #6 in the AP Poll. The game will be televised on ESPN, starting at 9:00 pm ET.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Vanderbilt Buries Layfayette as John Jenkins Drops in 27

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Vanderbilt junior guard John Jenkins hit seven of nine 3-pointers and was 9-for-12 overall, leading the Commodores to a dominating, 89-58, victory over the Lafayette Leopards.

Jenkins finished with 27 points in 27 minutes, pushing his season-long average to an even 20 points per game, tops on the team. The 6'4" Tennessee native added four assists, a rebound and one steal.

The Commodores have put together an 8-4 record this season, with odd losses to Cleveland State and Indiana State, plus back-to-back overtime defeats at the hands of Xavier and Louisville.

Vandy's next game is also a tough one, at Marquette, on December 29. The Golden Eagles are 10-1 and rank 10th in the latest AP Poll.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Darien Brothers Lights Up ODU with 38 Points for Richmond

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Darien Brothers, a 6'3" Richmond guard averaging less than 10 points per game, scored 12 of his career high 38 points in overtime to lead the Spiders to a 90-82 victory over Old Dominion.

Brothers spent most of the night torching the Monarchs from beyond the 3-point line, where he was 7-for-11. He went 9-for-15 overall and added 14 of 15 free throws.

Richmond, out of the Atlantic-10 conference, is now 7-5, but should be considered one of the contenders in their conference, which they won last season, taking down Dayton in the final of the A-10 tourney, 67-54, and closing out their season with nine straight wins (two in the NCAA tourney) before losing to Kansas, 77-57, in the Sweet 16 round.

The Spiders take their game out to the West coast next, to battle UCLA in what should prove an interesting road test for Richmond and a gut check for the Bruins, on Friday, December 23. The A-10 regular season opener for the Spiders is on January 4, at the Charlotte.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Winter the Perfect Time for Golf

With the holidays upon us, many people will have time off from work, and planning a short trip - especially from the cold Northeast to the warm South - might be part of one's plans to ring out the old year and ring in the new.

With snow on the ground and temperatures the past few months not conducive to optimal outdoors activities like tennis or golf, heading to a lower latitude is probably the best way to avoid winter blahs and, so to speak, get back into the swing of things.

If golf is on the agenda, there are plenty of courses in the Southern states, especially the hot spots of Florida Alabama and Mississippi, so be sure to pack or ship your clubs and stock up on some premium golf balls to make your excursion not only enjoyable, but satisfying from a handicap perspective.

Another idea is to wait for the inevitable sales on golf equipment in January, where clubs, bags, shoes, caps and specialty items like distance golf balls will be on sale.

You can save, snatching up good deals by buying at the right time, then taking your gear down to the lush links of the sunny South.

Kevin Jones Scores 25 with 14 Boards as West Virginia Rolls

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, December 19, 2011

On a day in which two ranked teams met defeat on the courts, coach Bob Huggins and his West Virginia Mountaineers made their case for inclusion in the Top 25.

#13 Kansas was dumped by Davidson, 80-74 and LSU dropped #11 Marquette, 67-59. Meanwhile, West Virginia improved to 8-2 with a 72-53 blowout over Tennessee Tech.

The Mountaineers were buoyed by the all-around performance of Kevin Jones, who scored a game-high 25 points and hauled in 14 rebounds, also tops for the contest.

A 6'8" senior forward, Jones, the Mountaineers' leading scorer and rebounder (20.3, 11.4), had his sixth double-double of the season, going 11-for-20 from the field despite missing both of his 3-point attempts. He's scored in double figures every game this season, and the four times he didn't have double figures in rebounds, Jones pulled down eight and nine, twice each.

The Mountaineers two losses came against Kent on November 15 and Mississippi State on December 3. Since their loss to the Bulldogs, West Virginia has won four straight, including a double overtime win against then-unbeaten Kansas State and a 77-66 win over Miami.

Whether or not West Virginia belonga in the Top 25 will be put to the test in back-to-back games at Baylor on December 23 and in their home opener of their Big East schedule, against Villanova on the 28th.

The Mountaineers received no votes in the latest AP Top 25 poll, released Monday.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Super-sub Michael Dixon Pours in 30 as Missouri Improves to 11-0

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, December 18, 2011

When it comes to winning conference championships and making deep runs in the NCAA tournament, depth is a key ingredient, which includes having a solid sixth man coming off the bench to add a spark to the offense.

Missouri's Michael Dixon, probably the best sixth man in the country, dropped 30 points on William & Mary in 28 minutes as the Tigers improved to 11-0 (8-0 at home) with a 97-56 romp over the visiting Tribe.

The #10 Tigers raced off to a 19-0 lead and never looked back. They've won all of their home games by a minimum of 15 points, but also hammered Notre Dame by 29 and Cal by 39 at neutral locations. Villanova came the closest to beating the Mizzou, losing by 10 at Madison Square Garden in the Jimmy V Classic on December 6.

Dixon was firing at will in his career high effort, hitting 13 of 19 shots, including 3 of 7 from 3-point range. His 30-point output easily eclipsed his prior best scoring effort of 19, which he had against Northwestern State on December 2nd.

The Tigers face Illinois nest, on December 22, and begin conference play on January 3rd, against Oklahoma.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Zeller Goes for 31 in 26 Minutes as Tar Heels Roll to 9-2

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, December 17, 2011

Even though they've dropped two games already, the North Carolina Tar Heels are still a force with which to be reckoned, especially when their twin towers, John Henson and Tyler Zeller, are having their way in the paint.

Henson scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds, but Zeller led all scorers with 31 points, to go with his 10 rebounds, as the Tar Heels dominated Appalachian State, 97-82, improving to 9-2 on the season and 6-0 at home.

The final score doesn't truly indicate just how badly the smaller Mountaineers were outplayed, as no North Carolina starter played more than 29 minutes. Zeller, the 7-foot forward many believe to be one of the top three big men in the country, did his damage in just 26 minutes, making 11 of 15 shots and hitting nine of 10 from the foul line.

Zeller's 31 was just one shy of his career high, which he scored in North Carolina's opening game in last season's NCAA tournament, a 102-87 rout of Long Island. The ten boards gave him his third double-double of the current season.

The 6th-ranked Tar Heels shot 55% for the game, racing out to a 48-32 lead at the break. Coach Roy Williams played mostly subs in the second half, allowing the Mountaineers to stay relatively close, though never threatening North Carolina's lead.

With just four more games before opening ACC play on January 7 against Boston College, North Carolina's toughest opponent in upcoming games will be the Texas Longhorns, on December 21. On Saturday, the unranked, 9-2 Longhorns knocked off Temple, 77-65.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Jorge Gutierrez Stops Nation's Leading Scorer, Pops for 24 as Golden Bears Win 8th Straight at Home

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, December 16, 2011

Cal's Golden Bears improved to 8-0 at home and 9-2 overall, as they held the nation's leading scorer, Weber State's Damian Lillard, to a season-low 14 points, with a 77-57 win.

The reason for Lillard's dull performance was due in large part to the defense of Cal senior guard Jorge Gutierrez, who limited Lillard to 4-for-17 shooting while pumping in a game high 24 points himself.

Gutierrez was on the money from the field, canning 8 of 12 shots, including 3 of 5 3-pointers and making 5 of 6 from the foul line.

The Golden Bears took an early lead and expanded it to 32-18 by the break and cruised home with one of their easier wins of the season. Cal has been pounding opponents at home of late, beating San Jose State, 81-36 and Jackson State 73-46 in their previous two games at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holdiay Break Perfect Time to Hit the Beach

Since this is a slow time for college hoops - most colleges are in the midst of term finals or have already broken for their holiday break, perhaps some other sporting activities will prove entertaining enough to get yur winterized body off the couch and out the door, preferably to a beach for surfing or to a nice cove or bay for scuba diving or snorkeling.

In either scenario a proper wetsuit would be required wear against the possibly cool conditions of the water, and while squeezing into a skin-tight wrapper isn't for everyone, not alwetsuitsare created equal.

If your outdoor closet isn't already equipped with suitable surf or diving gear, one should expect to spend upwards of $125 for a full suit or anywhere from $65 to $150 for a jacket alone. Of course, savings can be found by buying a combination of a full suit and jacket and adding accessories, like gloves or hooded vests.

Some of the best wetsuits available are those produced by Body Glove, which can be found in most better scuba and surf shops or at the company website. One advantage is that the holidays aren't actually the biggest time of year for surf and beach gear dealers, so deals are out there.

If you're lucky enough to already have your wetsuit ready, then you're all set for some holiday surf.

Missouri at 10-0 after Dominating Kennesaw St., 104-67

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, December 15, 2011

#8 Missouri reached the 10-0 mark with a win over Kennesaw State that looked more like a pick-up scrimmage or a shoot-around as the Tigers shot 60% against their undermanned opponents.

Missouri had five players in double figures in the 104-67 rout, including 18 points from both forward Ricardo Ratliffe and sixth man, guard Michael Dixon, who was seemingly everywhere in his 25 minutes of floor time, hitting five of seven shots, including a pair of treys, 6-for-6 from the foul line, and had two rebounds, four assists, three steals and a blocked shot.

Dixon is one of the most productive bench players in the Big 12, providing a spark for Mizzou whenever he steps on the floor, averaging 10.9 points per game with 2.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.2 steals.

Ratliffe led the Tigers with seven rebounds - three on the offensive end - and also had one of Missouri's 14 steals. The Tigers hit 39 of 65 shots, only six of 18 from 3-point range and were 20-for-25 from the foul line.

The Owls' Delbert Love led all scorers with 27 points, but he was one of just two players in double figures for Kennesaw State.

Missouri is 7-0 at home and will have the opportunity to extend that streak when they host William & Mary on December 17 and #19 Illinois on December 22.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Antwaine Wiggins Scores 24, 8-1 Charleston Drops Tennessee, 71-65

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Charleston forward Antwaine Wiggins couldn't get his free throws to drop, hitting just one of five foul shots in College of Charleston's 71-65 win over Tennessee.

Fortunately, for him and the Cougars, he was lights out from the field, hitting 10 of 12 shots, including three of four from 3-point range for a game-high 24 points.

Normally, Wiggins, a 6'7" senior from Greenville, Tennessee, is OK from the charity stripe at about 60%, but his 1-for-5 effort was a career low on a night in which he tied a career best for the 8-1 Cougars. He also helped out on the boards, with eight rebounds. Wiggins leads the Cougars in scoring this season, averaging 18.1 points per game.

Last season, Charleston just missed an automatic invitation to the NCAA tournament, losing to Wofford in the final of the Southern conference tourney, 77-67. Instead, the Cougars accepted an offer to play in the NIT, where they won two games - over Dayton and Cleveland State - before falling in the quarterfinals to Wichita State, 82-75.

Tennessee dropped to 3-6 on the year. The Vols have suffered under first year head coach Cuonzo Martin, who took over the basketball program after Bruce Pearl was fired in March.

Next up for the Cougars is a home game with plenty of local flavor, as they battle Charleston Southern on December 17 before traveling to play #4 Louisville on the 20th.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Marcus Jordan Matches Career High 28 in UCF Win over NCA&T

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Like his father Michael, UCF junior Marcus Jordan is turning into a prolific scorer. In Tuesday's 77-65 win over North Carolina A&T, Jordan matched his career high with 28 points, helping the Knights improve to 7-2 on the season, in preparation for what appears to be a Central Florida run at the Conference-USA championship as the Knights, along with Tulane, Marshall and Southern Miss seek an end to Memphis dominating the conference.

Jordan got his game going early on, scoring 17 in the first half, including four of his five 3-pointers, as UCF built a 39-26 lead at the break. Jordan has scored in double figures in each of the seven games he's played this season and got some help from his older brother, Jeff, a senior, who came off the bench to score nine points and distribute six assists. Marcus finished 8-for-17 from the field, adding three assists and a pair of steals.

UCF began last season with a 14-0 mark, but then lost eight straight games as they struggled to a 6-10 mark in conference play. The Knights finished the 2010-11 season a respectable 21-12, however, eventually losing in the semi-final of the College Basketball Invitational to Creighton.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

E.J. Singler Leads Ducks to 79-70 Win over Portland State; Murray State Racers in Top 25

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, December 12, 2011

With no Top 25 teams in action on Monday, one meaningful game was played in the Pacific Northwest, as the Oregon Ducks improved to 6-2 with a 79-70 home win over Portland State.

Leading all scorers was Oregon's junior forward, E.J. Singler, with 19 points on 7-for-12 shooting. Singler, the younger brother of Duke alum, Kyle Singler, who led the Blue Devils to the national championship last season, also grabbed seven rebounds for the Ducks.

NOTABLE: As expected, the latest AP Top 25 poll, released on Monday, has Syracuse as the #1 team in the country, followed by Ohio State and Kentucky, two teams that suffered their first loss of the season on Sunday.

Polls being what they are, the teams that beat the Buckeyes and Wildcats - Kansas and Indiana - were ranked #12 and #18 respectively.

The real shocker, however, was Murray State's inclusion in the Top 25. The Racers come in at #24 and are 10-0, but play in the relative obscurity of the Ohio Valley conference. Their 76-72 win at Memphis on Sunday had a great deal to do with their inclusion among college basketball's elite teams. Murray State hasn't been ranked since the end of the 1997-98 season, when they showed up at #25.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Murray State Upends Memphis, 76-72, as Donte Poole scores 20, Hits 6 of 8 Threes

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Memphis Tigers are almost certain to fall out of the Top 25 in Monday's polls after losing its third game of the season, dropping their record to 5-3 with a 76-72 loss to unbeaten (10-0) Murray State.

The Racers, the only undefeated team out of the Ohio Valley conference, looks like a lock to capture that conference title and proceed to the NCAA tourney. Their win at Memphis, over a ranked opponent, bolsters their already impressive resume and likely marks the end of Memphis domination of Conference-USA. The Tigers have won the conference tournament five of the last six years.

Murray State was paced by senior guard, Donte Poole's 20 points. The sharpshooter was on target on seven of 11 attempts from the field, including going 6-for-8 from outside the 3-point line. Memphis' Will Barton led all scorers with 27 points in the losing effort.

NOTABLE: Following the despicable display of unsportsmanlike behavior in Sunday's Xavier-Cincinnati game (won by Xavier, 76-53) which ended in a bench-clearing brawl with 9.4 seconds left, the two programs issued suspensions to a total of eight players, four from each squad.

For the Bearcats, the major blow will come in the middle, with center Yancy Gates receiving a six-game suspension along with junior Cheikh Mbodj and freshman Octavius Ellis. Freshman Ge'Lawn Guyn will be suspended for one game.

Xavier issued a one-game suspension to senior guard Tu Holloway and will sit freshman Dez Wells and walk-on Landen Amos for four games. Junior guard Mark Lyons received a two game suspension.

The two conferences which the teams represent - the Atlantic-10 (Xavier) and Big East (Cincinnati) - indicated that they will not issue additional suspensions. The NCAA has not weighed in on the matter, though they could issue additional penalties.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Thomas Robinson, Christian Watford Lead Kansas, Indiana Past #2 Ohio State, #1 Kentucky

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, December 10, 2011

With only the Army-Navy game and some Division 1 playoff games on tap Saturday for college sports fans, attention turned to college hoops as ESPN presented back-to-back "road test" games featuring the two top teams in the AP Poll, #1 Kentucky and #2 Ohio State.

In the first match-up, the Buckeyes were overwhelmed by an aggressive Kansas team which led from the opening tip to the final buzzer and handed Ohio State its first loss of the season, 78-67.

Paced by junior forward, Thomas Robinson's 21 points, the Buckeyes had few answers inside as their star player, Jared Sullinger, sat out the contest with a foot injury.

Robinson's 21 points tied Will Buford's total for Ohio State for game-high honors, though Robinson was much more deadly in the lane and around the hoop, going 7-for-9 from the field and nailing 7 of 8 free throws while ripping down seven rebounds.

In the second game, unranked Indiana remained unbeaten at 9-0, knocking off the #1 Kentucky Wildcats, 73-72, on Christian Watford's buzzer-beating three-pointer that sent players and fans streaming onto the court like the Hoosiers had just captured the national championship.

The game was a statistical oddity, in that Kentucky outshot Indiana, 56%-43%, but the Hoosiers made hay outside the three-point line, hitting nine of 15 attempts, easily outshining the Wildcats' 2-for-9 effort from beyond the arc.

At one point in the second half, the red-hot Hoosiers made seven straight threes to build their lead to 10 points, but Kentucky continued to play hard inside and eventually take a two-point lead with just 5.7 seconds remaining on Doron Lamb's free throw.

Watford, a 6'9" junior with range, led all scorers with 20 points, made 8 of 15 shots from the field, going 4-for-6 from three-point range, including the clutch game winner.

With upsets to the top two teams in the polls, #3 Syracuse, an easy, 85-50, winner over George Washington went to 10-0 and will likely be the nation's #1 team when the new poll comes out on Monday. Indiana will surely be ranked, how high they go and how low Kentucky and Ohio State fall is a matter left to the voters.

No matter what, the Wildcats and Buckeyes each took home failing grades from their early-season road tests.

Hospital Scurbs Making Bold Fashion Statement

What more can be said about Blue Sky Scrubs and their fantastic line of fashionable line of hospital scrub uniforms other than that they are transforming dull, drab, everyday hospital wear into a trendy, stylish fashion segment with work clothes that are not only functional, but attention-getting, comfortable and diverse.

Some of the company's latest offerings include urban cell scrubs in a variety of colors with shirt pockets designed to keep cell phones handy and scrub hats in a wide variety of custom patterns including florals, polka dots, and geometrical designs.

For those less-inclined to go the completely fashion-ista route, the company offers - on it's easily-navigable, eye-catching website, a complete line of scrubs for women which can be accessed by following the link below:

Blue Sky Scrubs has been offering choice in a clothing line that previously had been dominated by the typical and mundane style that has dominated the medical field for decades. The offerings of shirts, pants, lab coats, hats and accessories - for both men and women - are not only transforming the look of hospital and medical workers, but are also adding an element of fun and individuality that is likely to have an overall effect on worker and patient well-being.

The line of clothing is so good-looking that some of the outfits will easily double as lounge wear or comfort clothing around the house.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Boynton Pours in 28, #12 Gators Roll Past Rider, 90-69

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, December 9, 2011

After an early season schedule that saw the Florida Gators play Ohio State, Syracuse and Arizona, coach Billy Donovan and his players got a bit of a break in the schedule, topping Metro Atlantic's Rider Broncs, 90-69, on a neutral court in Jacksonville.

Fewer than 3500 fans were in attendance to see junior guard Kenny Boynton put on an offensive display with a season high 26 points on 9 of 13 shooting, including five 3-pointers on nine attempts.

Despite two losses, the 7-2 Gators are ranked #12 in the country, basically because their defeats came at the hands of two powerhouse programs, Ohio State and Syracuse, currently the #2 and #3 teams in the country, respectively, according to AP voters.

Boynton added five rebounds and three assists, and has scored in double figures in all but one of Florida's games this season.

The Gators look to be one of the top teams in the SEC this season, along with Kentucky, Alabama and Mississippi State. Last season, they lost in the SEC championship to the John Calipari's Wildcats, currently the top team in the polls, and reached the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament, falling to eventual runner-up Butler, 74-71.

Even though Florida and Rider each shot 49% from the field and 42% from 3-point range, the difference in the game was possessions and three-point shots. Florida only turned to ball over six times, while Rider committed 12 turnovers. The Gators also squeezed off 14 more shots than the Broncs, and hit 14 treys to Riders eight.

The Gators will be off for a week, their next game not until December 17, when they host #25, Texas A&M.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Kevin Jones Drops 30 on K-State in Double OT Win

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, December 8, 2011

Kevin Jones scored 30 points, including a tying 3-pointer in the waning seconds of regulation that sent the game into its first overtime as West Virginia dealt the Kansas State wildcats their first loss of the season, in double OT, 85-80.

The nationally-televised (ESPN) basketball treat was one of the most closely-contested games of the season, with Bob Huggins' Mountaineers facing the Wildcats, coached by Frank Martin, a former assistant under Huggins at both Cincinnati and Kansas State.

Played at a suspect "neutral" court in Wichita, fan support was largely in favor of Kansas State. The two teams batted through 17 ties, nine lead changes and an extra ten minutes of play in the two overtime periods.

Jones, a 6'8" senior forward and the Wildcats' leading scorer at 21.8 points per game, popped a career high with his 30, breaking the mark he set just three weeks ago when he pumped in 29 points in a 97-62 win over Alcorn State. Getting 30 - even in 49 minutes of floor time - against an unbeaten opponent in unfriendly territory, was a defining achievement.

Hitting 12 of 17 shots, including two of three 3-pointers, Jones led all scorers and recorded his fifth double double of the season with 12 rebounds.

Darryl (Truck) Bryant, a senior guard from Brooklyn, knocked down 24 points for the Mountaineers. Rodney McGruder led the Kansas State scoring with 20 points.

The loss dropped Kansas State to 5-1. 5-2 West Virginia previously suffered losses against Kent State and Mississippi State.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Jeffery Taylor Pops in 30 as Vanderbilt Halts Two-Game Skid

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Commodores of Vanderbilt improved to 6-3 on the year with a tight, 87-83, road win over the Davidson Wildcats.

The victory was keyed by a career high 30 points from senior forward Jeffery Taylor and 22 points from junior guard John Jenkins, who leads the Commodores in scoring at 21.3 points per game.

Taylor hit 12 of 17 shots from the field, including three of four from 3-point range, leading Vanderbilt back from two straight losses - to Xavier and Louisville.

While the Commodores field a competitive team night in and night out, their three losses so far this season stem from a lack of depth. On Wednesday, Taylor and Jenkins accounted for 60% of the scoring. Add in Festus Ezeli's 15 points, playing in his first game of the season, and that's 77% of the scoring from just three players, not exactly what one might call balance.

If Vanderbilt can develop some players who can contribute off the bench, they should do very well in the SEC. Even with the scoring set-up as it is currently configured, Vanderbilt will be a competitive team in the conference, as there are only three or four teams with comparable ability.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Thomas Robinson Leads Jayhawks Past Long Beach with Career High 26 Points

College Hoops Player of the Day for DAY, Month, 2011

It hasn't been the best of starts for 6-2 Kansas, having already suffered a couple of tough losses - to Kentucky and Duke - but the 13th-ranked Jayhawks are surely a prime contender in the Big 12, as usual.

Led by Thomas Robinson's career high 26 points, the Jayhawks took down Long Beach State on Tuesday, 88-80, in advance of another tough outing on December 10, when they host #2 Ohio State, unbeaten through eight games.

Robinson, a 6'9" junior forward from the Washington, DC area, spent most of his first two seasons at Kansas riding the bench, but has emerged as a major force in the paint on both ends of the court. Averaging a double-double this season with 17.4 points and 12.0 rebounds per game, Robinson snatched 11 rebounds to complement his scoring, his seventh double-double of the season.

Last season, Kansas had one of the best seasons in its long and storied basketball history, finishing 35-3, fallling just short of reaching the Final Four when they fell to VCU, 71-61, in the fourth round of the NCAA tournament.

They hope to repeat as Big 12 champions this year, though there is tough opposition in the conference from teams such as Baylor, Texas A&M and Missouri.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Providence Tops Brown as Vincent Council Misses Triple-Double by One Rebound

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, December 5, 2011

There are few constants in the wide-open world of college hoops, but one dogmatic dictum is that Ivy League colleges are generally no match for teams from the Big East (with a tip of the hat to Harvard and their first ever Top 25 ranking, this week).

This condition has been thoroughly tested in the past, but Ivy League coaches and ADs still like to schedule the games just to use as a measuring stick in evaluating their squads, such as Brown did Monday night when they took on cross-town rival, Providence at the Dunkin' Donuts Center, and dunkin' was part of the Friars' agenda as they whipped the Bears handily, 80-49 before a sparse crowd of just over 5,000.

With the result never in question, Providence took an early lead, expanded their advantage to 15 points at the half and cruised to an easy victory as three starters played more than 35 minutes. One of those starters was Providence's assist and scoring leader, junior point guard, Vincent Council, who did some stat-padding by coming within a whisker of his first triple-double in 37 minutes of court time.

Council tossed in a game high 21 points on 9-for-16 shooting with a pari of treys, dished out 11 assists and ripped down nine rebounds as the 7-2 Friars geared up for Big East play which begins - for them - on December 27 at St. John's.

A three-year starter, Council has improved with each season, bettering his scoring average (10.3, 13.7, 19.1) and assist totals (4.5, 5.9, 6.3) every year.

The Friars, one of the few Big East teams with losing records over the past two seasons - 12-19 in 09-10 and 15-17 in 10-11 - are off to a solid start and hoping to play at least .500 ball through the conference schedule. With Council directing the attack, they appear poised for an improved season in basketball's most competitive conference.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Wichita State Sends UNLV to First Loss, 89-70, as Joe Ragland Bags 31

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, December 4, 2011

Just over a week ago, #18 UNLV handed the North Carolina Tar Heels its first loss of the season, employing a combination of tenacious defense and hot shooting to overwhelm the visitors in the finals of the Las Vegas Invitational.

On Sunday, they ran into a team more than matching their intensity when they stepped onto the floor of Charles Koch Arena, in Wichita, Kansas. There, the hometown Shockers took it to them with great interior play the dagger-like 3-point shooting of senior Joe Ragland for an 89-70 stunner.

Ragland, a six-foot guard who redshirted his first two seasons, pumped in a career high 31 points, including 8 of 9 from 3-point range, as the Shockers took charge midway through the first half with a 9-0 run and never looked back.

Wichita State led 47-32 at the half and kept the Runnin' Rebels mired in a double digit deficit, never allowing them closer than 14 points from tying the game.

Ragland's open threes were a complement to sturdy inside play from teammates Carl Hall and Garrett Stutz, who chipped in 17 and 13 points, respectively. Ragland also added five rebounds and three assists as the Shockers handed the Rebels their first loss of the season.

5-2 Wichita State dropped a pair of back-to-back games to Alabama and Temple, but have since regrouped to win three in a row. The Shockers had a solid, 29-8, season last year and look ahead to Missouri Valley conference play which begins December 28 at Bradley.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Noah Hartsock Scores 23 with 12 Boards as BYU Downs Oregon, Goes 6-2

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, December 3, 2011

After their prolific scorer, Jimmer Fredette, graduated, fans of the BYU Cougars wondered just who would pick up the scoring and how well the Cougars would do in 2011-12 season.

After getting to 6-2 with a 79-65 win over Oregon, some of the answers are emerging.

Nobody is going to score at the pace of Fredette, though Noah Hartsock is leading the team with 16.9 points per game, but the team is more front court oriented as seniors Hartsock and Charles Abouo do most of the damage inside and on the boards.

Hartsock had his best game of the season against Oregon, scoring a career high 23 points on 8-for-14 shooting while pulling down 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Improving his scoring average each of his four years as a Cougar, Hartsock, a 6'8" forward, is hitting at 57.8 from the field.

Last season, the Cougars were 32-5, losing in the third round of the NCAA tournament to Florida to finish their season.

Hartsock and the Cougars will get a quality check come December 17 when they host the Baylor Bears. The team opens West Coast conference play on December 29, at St. Mary's.

NOTABLE: The early season showdown between North Carolina and #1 Kentucky did not disappoint. Anthony Davis blocked John Henson's potential game winner with less than four seconds on the clock to seal the Wildcats' 73-72 victory. Freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with his first collegiate double-double, leading all scorers with 17 points and hauling down 11 boards. It was the second loss for the Tar Heels, while Kentucky improved to 8-0.

The Big East won two of the four games on Saturday, with UConn downing Arkansas, 75-62 and Pitt taking down Tennessee, 61-56 to capture the Big East - SEC Challenge, eight games to four. Winners for the SEC on Saturday were LSU, with a 55-50 win over Rutgers, and Mississipi State, which topped West Virginia, 75-62.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Mizzou Win 8th Straight as Marcus Denmon Pours in 31

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, December 2, 2011

The Big 12 regular season is still about a month away, but the Missouri Tigers are already in mid-season form, winning their 8th straight to start the 2011-12 campaign with a 90-56 victory over Northwestern State Friday night.

Setting career highs for both points and 3-pointers was Marcus Denmon, the 6'3" senior guard leading all scorers with 31 points on 11-for-16 shooting, including making 7 of 10 from outside the arc. Denmon also added six rebounds and two assists as the Tigers romped home again with another blowout win.

Missouri has won every game by at least 17 points, their largest margin of victory actually coming in their only road game, a 39-point, 92-53 win at Cal.

Denman, a four-year player, has improved his shooting percentage and scoring each season, now hitting at a 53.3% rate from the floor and scoring 20.3 points per game on a Mizzou squad chock full of scoring threats.

The Tigers were 23-11 for the second straight season, ousted in the opening round of the NCAA tournament last year, losing to Cincinnati, 78-63.

Next up for the Mizzou is a visit to Philadelphia on December 6, to play the struggling, 4-2, Villanova Wildcats.

NOTABLE: After splitting four games Thursday night, the Big East took all four of their Friday games in the Big East-SEC Challenge as Syracuse, Cincinnati, Louisville and Seton Hall each notched wins over their SEC rivals. The series concludes with four more games on Saturday. The only SEC winners thus far have been Kentucky - an 81-59 winner over St. John's - and Mississippi, which held off a furious second half rally to win 70-68 over DePaul.

Friday, December 02, 2011

7-0 Wildcats Rip Red Storm Behind 26 from Terrence Jones and 15-15 from Anthony Davis

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, December 2, 2011

It's still early in the season, but the Kentucky Wildcats, ranked #1 in the country this week after North Carolina's loss to UNLV, look like a good bet to make it to the Final Four come March.

As usual, coach John Calipari has done a great recruiting job and has assembled a team loaded with hungry, talented underclassmen, two of which - sophomore Terrence Jones and freshman Anthony Davis - led the Wildcats to their seventh win without a loss, dropping St. John's, 81-59, on Kentucky's home court at Rupp Arena.

Jones pumped in a game-high 26 points on seven of 12 shooting, adding 11 points from the foul line, on 16 free throw attempts. A 6'9" forward, Jones also snagged nine rebounds, blocked four shots and ripped off four steals.

His performance wasn't enough to overshadow his front court running mate. 6'10" Davis had a double-double with 15 points and 15 boards. He also blocked eight shots and picked off a couple of steals.

The Wildcats were not only impressive on the offensive end, but their stifling interior defense held the Red Storm to just 32% and out-rebounded the Johnnies, 48-43.

Kentucky will have a great opportunity to prove just how good they are on Saturday, when the North Carolina Tar Heels come calling for a nationally-televised game at high noon in Rupp Arena.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Mike Moser Gets Career High 34 as UNLV Goes to 8-0; Orlando Johnson Scores 36 in Defeat

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, November 30, Month, 2011

Fresh off their upset win over then-#1 North Carolina, the UNLV Runnin' Rebels ran smack into a determined foe when they took on UC_Santa Barbara Wednesday night.

The Gauchos came into the game 4-1, having lost their previous game in overtime to San Diego State, 76-75, and took UNLV to double overtime before finally falling, 94-88, as Mike Moser, the NCAA leader in rebounds (13.3 per game), exploded for a career high 34 points, adding 10 boards as the 18th-ranked Rebels improved their record to 8-0.

As versatile a forward as there is in the country, the 6'6" Moser, who sat out last season after transferring from UCLA, hit on 12 of 18 shots from the field, including 6 of 9 3-pointers, but he was not the high scorer for the game, that honor falling to the Gauchos' Orlando Johnson, a 6'5" senior, who had 36 points and also hauled in 10 rebounds. After six games, Johnson is third nationally in scoring, with a 23.8 per game average.

The game was tight throughout, with Santa Barbara taking a 28-27 lead into the half and UNLV's Chace Stanback extended the game into a second overtime with a clutch 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds left in the first extra period.

UNLV, which finished the 2010-11 season with a 24-9 record, was 11-5 in the Mountain West conference, finishing third behind San Diego State and BYU. Their next game is Sunday, December 4, at Wichita State.