College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, November 24, 2012
Bucketfuls of Top 25 action adorned the holiday hoops weekend. For some, life was a breeze; for others, just hanging on to a ranking was enough.
Down on Tobacco Rosd, in Raleigh, North Carolina, the Wolf Pack had their hands full with unwelcome guests from NC-Asheville, as Jeremy Atkinson led all scorers with 28 points and the Bulldogs led most of the game, until Richard Howell bailed out the 16th-ranked Wolfpack, scoring the go-ahead bucket with 3:06 remaining in an 82-80 NC State victory.
Howell, a 6'8" senior forward, scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, registering his second double-double of the season. The Wolfpack improved to 4-1, bouncing back from a 76-56 drubbing by Oklahoma State on November 18.
Howell was 8-for-10 from the field and 7-for-11 from the foul line. Five of his 15 boards were offensive.
Elsewhere, in the "romp-over-cupcake" category, #3 Ohio State blasted Missouri-Kansas City, 91-45; #8 Kentucky bombed LIU Brooklyn, 104-75.
In the best holiday tournament action, the Battle for Atlantis got down to two teams for the finals, with #5 Duke topping a determined and sure to be heard from again VCU squad, 67-58.
On the other side of the draw, #2 Louisville erased Missouri, 84-61. Russ Smith popped in 18 points, but junior forward matched a career high with 19 points on six of nine shooting, making five of seven threes in just 21 minutes.
For the Memphis Tigers, the trip to the Bahamas was a veritable disaster. After losing to VCU in the opening round, 78-65, the Tigers were humbled in a consolation game by Minnesota, 84-75. The #19 Tigers went from 2-0 to 2-2 in the span of 24 hours and are unlikely to remained ranked when the new poll is released on Monday.
Also encountering early season issues was #18 UNLV, losing at home to Oregon, 83-79. The Runnin' Rebels are 2-1.