Tuesday, December 31, 2013

10-3 Hawaii Rolls Past Norfolk State, 77-66, as Christian Standhardinger Scores 29

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, December 30, 2013

One wouldn't normally expect the Hawaii Warriors to be competitive in the Big West conference, but, then again, one wouldn't expect them to have a 6'9" senior from Munich, Germany patrolling the paint.

Scoring 50 points in the second half, Hawaii improved to 10-3 this season, rolling past visiting Norfolk State, 77-66, as Christian Standhardinger scored 29 points on 8-for-12 shooting and 12-for-14 from the foul line.

Standhardinger, who played as an underclassman at Nebraska but didn't see much playing time, came to Hawaii as a junior and put in an average of 30 minutes per game, scoring 15.8 with 7.9 rebounds per game last season. This year's numbers are similar (18.4, 7.2) and the Warriors are off to a solid start in pre-conference play.

With eight rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and three steals, Standhardinger did it all in his 36 minutes of floor time, even making his only three-point attempt of the game, coming to within two points of his career-best. He scored 31 in a 94-84 win over Chaminade earlier this month.

Trailing at the half, 28-27, and two minutes into the second half, 32-30, the Warriors took the lead on back-to-back threes by Garrett Nevels and Brandon Spearman, eventually expanding their advantage to 13 on Standhardinger's three-pointer with just over five minutes left in the game.

Down the stretch, the big man took over, scoring 11 of Hawaii's final 11 points.

The Warriors have one more out-of-conference game, January 4, against Nebraska-Omaha, before starting Big West games, opeing on the road at Cal Poly on January 9.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Antoine Mason's Career-High 39 Leads Niagara over Brown, 68-63

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, December 29, 2013

Antoine Mason, the nation's leading scorer, at 29.1 points pr game, scored more than half of his team's points as the Niagara Purple Eagles topped the Brown Bears, 68-65.

On the court for 36 minutes, Mason hit 11 of 25 shots, making three of five from three-point land, and hit 14 of 17 free throws for a career-high 39 points.

A see-saw battle in the opening minutes, Niagara took the lead for good on a Mason layup with 6:50 left in the first half, as part of a run of 14 straight points by the 6'3" junior from Queens, NY.

Mason also contributed heartily on the defensive end, snatching six steals and helping out with a pair of boards. Niagara led by as many as 17 points during the second half, but the Bears battled back to within three points with a minute remaining, but Mason's final jumper with 20 seconds left put the Purple eagles up by five, making Sean McGonagill's two-pointer at the buzzer inconsequential.

Niagara won for the third time in its last four games after a horrendous 1-8 start. Last season the Purple Eagles lost to Sienna in the second round of the MEAC tournament and were eliminated by Maryland, 86-70, by Maryland, in the opening round of the NIT.

The 4-9 Purple eagles are already 1-1 in conference, and begin their MEAC schedule in earnest with a pair of road games at Rider College on January 2nd. and Iona on January 4.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Keith Appling Scores 27 as #5 Michigan State Rolls to 11-1

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, December 28, 2013

Michigan State head coach, Tom Izzo, emptied the bench in the second half and 12 different players scored as the Spartans rolled New Orleans, 101-48, Sunday afternoon in East Lansing.

Four of five starters for Michigan State scored in double figures, including point guard, Keith Appling, who was the game's high-scorer with 27 points. Appling, the 6'1" senior from Detroit, was 7-for-10 from the field, made all four of his three-point attempts and was 9-for-12 from the foul line, mixing in eight assists, five rebounds and a steal before taking a seat on the bench for the final six minutes of the game.

The Spartans improved to 11-1 on the season, their only loss a December 4 setback to North Carolina. With their non-conference schedule complete, Michigan State opens Big Ten play at Penn State on December 31.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Stephen Maxwell, Josh Greene Score 28 Each in Cal State Northridge Victory

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, December 27, 2013

The Matadors of Cal State Northridge employed the inside power of Stephen Maxwell and the outside sharp-shooting of Josh Greene to fend off the invaders from Morgan State, improving to 7-1 at home with an 86-80 triumph.

Both players scored a game-high 28 points, but went at it with entirely difference approaches. Maxwell, a 6'7' junior, made 11 of 16 shots from close range and was 6-for-10 from the foul line for his scoring, adding 12 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the year, breaking his personal best in scoring by one point.

Greene, a senior guard, did his damage from the perimeter, knocking down five of six from three-point range, going 8-for-10 overall and nailing seven of eight from the foul line. Greene's deft touch was augmented by his solid all-around play, with five rebounds, four assists and three steals. His scoring was a season high. Last season he set a personal best with 37 points in a win over Hawaii.

Out of the Big West, the Matadors are 8-5 in non-conference games. They begin conference play January 9th when they host Cal State Davis.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Buffalo Bulls Romp Behind Javon McCrea's 25 Points, 14 Rebounds

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, December 23, 2013

The Buffalo Bulls football team fared relatively well in the Mid-American conference this season. How well their basketball team does rests largely on the broad shoulders of senior forward Javon McCrea, a 6'7" force from Newark, NY.

Just prior to the holiday break, McCrea had another marvelous performance, scoring 25 points with 14 rebounds, as the Bulls trashed the Binghamtom Bearcats, 87-57. These kinds of games are becoming something of the norm for McCrea, who registered 11 double-doubles as a junior and already has five under his belt this season.

In 29 minutes, McCrea was 8-for-15 from the floor and 9-for-13 from the foul line. Perhaps more impressive was his rebounding, which included seven each on the offensive and defensive ends. For good measure, McCrea added four assists, three steals and three blocks, in what was likely his most dominant performance this season. He scored 31 points with 14 rebounds in a 92-81 loss to Niagara in November.

Not the only scorer on the court, McCrea was aided by Joshua Freelove's five three-pointers and 19 points, and 18 points from fellow forward, Will Regan.

The Bulls improved to 5-1 at home with the win and 5-4 overall. Their next appearance will be on December 29, at Drexel. After a January 3 home game against South Dakota State, the Bulls open their MAC campaign January 8, hosting Northern Illinois.

Monday, December 23, 2013

41 Points by Georgia State Sophomore R.J. Hunter Buries UTSA, 99-68

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, December 22, 2013

Georgia State got its first win on the road and evened its record at 6-6 as sophomore guard, R.J. Hunter bombed away from deep, burying 12 three-pointers en route to a mammoth, 99-68 victory over UTSA (3-8).

Hunter made 12 of 19 from outside the arc and was 14-for-21 overall for a career-high 41 points. His first points of the game, three consecutive treys in 51 seconds early in the first half, set the tone for the game, increasing the Panthers' lead from 9-7 to 18-7, and the rout was on. Hunter also scored a three-pointer with two seconds left in the first half, giving him 20 and the Panthers an unassailable 46-28 lead.

Early in the second half, Hunter again scored three straight from long distance. In a span of 1:08, he upped Georgia State's advantage to 67-36. Hunter took just two shots inside the three-point line and made them both. He went to the foul line once, making his only free throw on the night, adding three rebounds, three blocks and a steal for an impressive, 34-minute performance.

The win was Georgia State's third straight following a December 7 loss at Southern Miss. The Panthers travel to East Carolina on December 29 to complete their non-conference schedule, then open Sun Belt play on January 2nd when they host Troy.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Career-High 33 by Michigan State's Adreian Payne Leads Spartans over Longhorns

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, December 21, 2013

After traveling to Chapel Hill and topping North Carolina, 86-83, this past Wednesday, the 10-1 Texas Longhorns were brimming with confidence in advance of their home game with the #5 Michigan State Spartans.

Even after the first half, with the Longhorns taking a 38-36 lead into the locker room, there was plenty of reason for optimism, but that changed through the second half, as Adreian Payne, who scored Michigan State's first nine points of the game and finished with 14 in the first half, went on a tear, scoring 19 of his game-high 33 points in the second half and the Spartans made 16 of 20 free throws in the final six minutes to run away for the 92-78 victory.

The Spartans broke the game open midway through the second half. Down 52-54, Michigan State went on a 14-2 run capped by a pair of Payne free throws to establish a 66-56 lead with 7:26 left.

Payne was perfect inside the three-point arc, making 10 of 13 shots. His only misses were from the other side of the line, where he was 2-for-5 on three-point attempts. Adding 11 of 12 from the foul line, Payne, a 6'10" senior out of Dayton, Ohio, just missed his fifth double-double of the season, hauling down nine rebounds. He did manage to set a personal high mark with the 33-point outburst, eclipsing his previous best of 29, set just a month ago in a 96-77 win over Virginia Tech.

The result dropped the Longhorns to 10-2, while Michigan State improved to 10-1. Ironically, Michigan State's only loss was to North Carolina, a 79-65 setback. The Spartans are 3-0 on the road this season and have just one more game - at home, against the New Orleans Privateers on December 29 - before opeing Big Ten play at Penn State on New Year's Eve.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Furman Tops Liberty on Steven Croone's 40 Points, 11 Boards

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, December 20, 2013

For Stephen Croone, a six-foot sophomore guard from Covington, Georgia, it was lights out as he led the Furman Paladins to an 86-83 victory over the Liberty Flames Friday night.

Croone, who scored 30 points in a win over Gardner Webb earlier in the season, set a personal best mark with 40 points on 11-for-16 shooting, including 5-for-7 from three-point range. He cashed in 13 of 21 free throws and nabbed 11 rebounds for his second career double-double and first of this season to go with three assists and a steal.

Furman (5-6) outscored Liberty, 43-32 in the first half, and held off a late rally by the Flames for the win. The Paladins led by as many as 22 points midway through the second half, and were up 77-68 with three minutes to go after a pair of free throws by Croone. Liberty cut the lead to two points with 39 seconds left, but could get no closer as Furman players cashed in their foul shots down the stretch. Furman shot 56% for the game and knocked down 10 of 19 threes, a 53% rate.

The Paladins next take the court on December 28 at Cal, as part of a two-day, West coast trip. They play at UC-Davis on the 30th before returning home to open their Southern conference season at home, hosting the Chattanooga Mocs on January 4.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Jabari Parker Leads Blue Devils to 9th Win, 80-63 over UCLA

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, December 19, 2013

Duke freshman, Jabari Parker, is probably the most talked-about player in college basketball this season, and for good reason.

Parker, a 6'8" forward out of Chicago, is part of a talent-laden Blue Devil squad that appears headed to the top of the polls and to the lead position in the expanded ACC. He's scored in double figures in all of his 11 games this season, is averaging 22.1 points and 7.8 rebounds and on Thursday recorded his third double-double in Duke's 80-63 rout of UCLA in a showcase game at Madison Square Garden.

With 23 points, 10 boards and five assists, Parker helped the Blue Devils unknot a 37-all tie at the half and pull away late for the relatively easy victory. Parker played 37 minutes, hit seven of 13 shots, was 4-for-8 from three-point range and made all five of his free throws, scoring 11 points in the first half and 12 in the second twenty minutes. Parker leads the 8th-ranked Blue Devils in both scoring and rebounding.

Duke's 9-2 record includes losses to Arizona and Kansas. Next up for the Blue Devils is a December 29 meeting with Eastern Michigan. They begin conference play on January 4, at Notre Dame.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Texas Southern's Aaric Murray Drops in 48 Points to Lead Tigers over Temple

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Texas Southern's Aaric Murray scored 48 points in the Tigers' 90-89 victory at Temple, just the fourth win for Texas Southern, against seven losses.

The well-traveled Murray, who began his college hoops career at LaSalle, is a transfer from West Virginia. At 6'10", 245 pounds, he's a powerful force in the lane, averaging 24.5 points with 7.0 rebounds for the Tigers.

His previous career high of 33 was eclipsed midway through the second half, as the senior center made 20 of 28 shots from the field, even stepping out beyond the arc to nail two of five three-pointers. He added six of eight free throws to score the most points in a single game this season, passing Wisconsin's Mike Kaminsky, who scored 43 earlier in the season. Murray also nabbed eight rebounds, dished a pair of assists, had a steal and one blocked shot.

The Tigers led by six points when Murray finished his scoring for the night, a layup with 47 seconds left, but the Owls took the lead on a three-pointer, a lay-in and a pair of free throws with 14 seconds remaining. Texas Southern's Madarious Gibbs was fouled with seven seconds left, making both foul shots to earn the one-point win.

Texas Southern has played nine of their eleven games on the road thus far, and will get a well-deserved rest before their final non-conference game, at TCU on December 29. They begin SWAC competition January 4th, at home, hosting Alcorn State.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Aaron Thomas Comes Off the Bench to Score 26 Points in 22 Minutes as Florida State Rolls

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Florida State is loaded with talented athletes.

While the Seminole football team makes preparations to play Auburn for the national championship, there's no drop-off in the hoops program, where the 'Noles improved to 7-3 (5-1 at home) with an absolutely crushing defeat of Charlotte, 106-62.

Emptying the bench, Florida State put six players in double figures, led by sophomore Aaron Thomas, who hit the floor running, pumping in 26 points in 22 minutes off the bench.

The 6'5" guard hit 10 of 14 shots, nailing three of five from beyond the arc. Thomas didn't rest on the defensive end, either, snagging seven rebounds to go with a steal, a blocked shot and a pair of assists.

The Seminoles can hardly be shamed for their trio of losses. After stomping VCU (then #10), 85-67, they lost to Minnesota the following night, 82-80, in overtime. As their part of the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, Florida State lost at Minnesota, 71-61. Their other loss was also on the road, to Florida, 67-66.

Next up for the Seminoles is UMass on Saturday, December 21.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Billy Baron Drops 31 on Holy Cross as Golden Griffins Win, 83-73

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, December 16, 2013

A power shift may be underway in the MAAC, and it will manifest itself in wins for Canisius College, if senior guard Billy Baron keeps putting up numbers like he did in the Golden Griffins' 83-73 win at Holy Cross Monday night.

Baron pumped in a season-high 31 points on 7-for-15 shooting, including making four of eight from beyond the arc. Baron was also perfect from the foul line, dropping in all 13 of his free throw attempts. Playing 39 minutes, Baron had nine rebounds and five assists for an all-around fine performance, one of many over the course of his four years at Canisius.

He's scored in double figures in 10 of Canisius' 11 games, his 20.4 points per game helping the Golden Griffins to a 7-4 wins and a 2-0 mark in the MAAC with wins over Perennial powerhouse Sienna, and St. Peter's.

The Golden Griffins host Lamar on the 21st, but then play three straight road games, at Notre Dame, St. Peter's and Marist through January 6th. Surviving that stretch will go a long way in determining the team's desire and depth.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Denver Tops Wyoming, 64-61, Despite 38 and 12 from Larry Nance Jr.

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Summit League, with its hodgepodge of teams like Nebraska-Omaha, IPFW and South Dakota State, fields some solid players, and that was in evidence Sunday when the Denver Pioneers won for the fourth time in their last five games, whipping Wyoming, 64-61.

The Pioneers had no answer in the paint for Wyoming's Larry Nance Jr., the 6'8" junior forward who's led the Cowboys to a 7-3 record, except for the outside shooting of Marcus Byrd, who made four of five three-pointers, and the sharp shooting of team leader Brett Olson, who was 8-for-12 from the field and led Denver with 23 points.

Nance scored nearly two-thirds of Wyoming's points, putting down 38 on 15-for-21 shooting and going 8-for-8 from the foul line. When he wasn't dunking or scoring inside, he was rebounding, ripping down 12 boards for just his second double-double of the season.

After Denver took a 32-23 lead into the locker room at the half, the Cowboys fought back, largely on Nance's effort, to tie the game at 57-all, when Nance made a jumper with 2:34 left. From there, Olson and Nance took over, scoring the remaining points for their respective teams. Olson hit a pair from the field and knocked down three free throws, while Nance was sent to the line twice, where he nailed all four of his foul shots, which eventually was not enough.

Denver improved to 4-5, and hosts the Belmont Bruins on Tuesday. Wyoming suffered its third road loss in four away games. They'll be back home to meet SMU on Friday.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Oklahoma State Goes to 9-1 off Le'Bryan Nash's Double-Double

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, December 14, 2013

Oklahoma State's leading scorer, Marcus Smart, didn't have to do much, tallying just 13 points, as the #7 Cowboys overwhelmed Louisiana State, 70-55, for their ninth win against just one loss.

Powered by junior forward Le'Bryan Nash's first double-double since their opener against Mississippi Valley State, the Cowboys opened a 31-18 gash at the break thanks largely to Nash's eight points in the final 4:38 of the first half and costed to an easy win.

Nash led four Cowboys in double figures, finishing with a game-high 22 points, 10 boards, an assist, three steals and a blocked shot. He was 8-for-17 from the floor and 6-for-8 from the foul line. Five of his rebounds came off the offensive glass, helping Oklahoma State overcome a poor shooting day from three-point range, where they were just 2-for-12.

The Cowboys appear ready to make a run at Kansas as the class of the Big 12 this year after ending last season with a disappointing loss in the opening round of the NCAA tournament, falling to Oregon, 68-55.

Oklahoma State begins conference play January 4 at Kansas State.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Iowa State Tops Iowa Despite 25 Points, 17 Boards from Aaron White

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, December 13, 2013

Junior forward, Aaron White, had the biggest game of his college career, but it wasn't enough, as the Iowa Hawkeyes fell to host Iowa State, 85-82.

This was a heavyweight match-up of Top 25 talent. The Cyclones came into the game ranked 17th nationally, the Hawkeyes, 23rd.

White scored a game-high 25 points on 11-for-15 shooting, making his only three-point attempt and hitting two of two from the foul line. He also was dominant on the boards, ripping down 17 rebounds as the Hawkeyes forged a 49-35 advantage on the glass.

Though White's effort resulted in personal career bests in both scoring and rebounding, the Cyclones reversed a 45-38 deficit at the break to draw even with the Hawkeyes midway through the second half, but fell behind, 82-77 with just under a minute-and-a-half left. Iowa State outscored the visitors 8-0 over the final 1:28 for their eighth victory without a loss as Georges Niang, who led the Cyclones with 24 points, scored the go-ahead bucket in the closing stretch, and added a pair free throws. The other four Iowa State points also came from the charity stripe.

Iowa fell to 10-2 on the season, their other loss an 88-83 overtime defeat to Villanova.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Dez Wells Gives Maryland First ACC Win with Career-High 33 Points

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Maryland Terrapins will have an uphill fight in the expanded ACC this season, but for now, they're in first place (tied ay 1-0 with Virginia Tech) after an 88-80 win at Boston College Thursday night.

Dez Wells led all scorers with 33 points, out-shooting his BC counterpart, Olivier Hanlon, who finished with 26, making the most of his free throws while hitting just five of 14 shots.

Wells was 12-for-18, with just one three-pointer, and was 8-for-11 from the foul line. While setting a presonal career high mark for scoring, Wells, a 6'5" junior from Raleigh, NC, also grabbed five rebounds, helping the Terrapins edge BC on the boards, 28-27.

The early conference game was just the second in the ACC thus far this season. This past Sunday, Virginia Tech edged Miami, 61-60.

With the victory, Maryland ended a two-game losing streak (to Ohio State and George Washington) and is 6-4 overall. They lost their season opener to UConn, 78-77, and also were defeated by Oregon State, 90-83.

Last season, the Terrapins took an NIT invite to the semi-finals, where they lost to Iowa, 71-60. They hope to receive an NCAA invitation this time around.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

T.J. Bray Scores 23 vs. Rutgers, Leads Princeton to 7-1 Mark

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Led by senior T.J. Bray's 23 points, the Princeton Tigers won their sixth straight and improved to 7-1 overall, with a 78-73 victory at Rutgers, Wednesday night.

Bray played 38 minutes and was high-scorer for the game, making seven of 11 from the field, 5-for-7 from three-point range. He also handed out eight assists, helping three other starters each score 14 points.

It was just the fourth game of the season for the senior guard, who missed Saturday's 77-55 romp over Farleigh Dickenson due to disciplinary reasons and was his high point total for the year.

Missing from Princeton's lineup was starting guard Jimmy Sherburne, serving part of a three-game suspension imposed by coach Mitch Henderson.

When the Tigers have their full complement of players, they are an imposing Ivy League squad. Last year, the Tigers went through November and December's non-conference schedule with a 5-7 mark and appear to be much-improved this season.

Bray, despite his limited playing time, leads Princeton in scoring average and assists per game and is second on the team in rebounds. The Tigers look to go 4-1 on the road when they play at Penn State Saturday afternoon. Their only loss was at Butler, 70-67, on November 16.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Jordan Loveridge Lifts 8-1 Utah over Idaho State, 74-66

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, December 10, 2012

Jordan Loveridge scored a career-high 27 points and the Utah Utes dispatched with Idaho State, 74-66, for their eighth win in nine outings.

The Utes didn't get off to the best of starts, and found themselves on the wrong end of a 37-28 score at the break, but turned things around in the second half, outscoring the Bengals by 15 points. Loveridge scored 12 in the first half and 15 after intermission, eventually giving Utah the lead, 47-46, with a three-point play eight minutes into the second half.

The lead grew to as many as eight, but Idaho State cut it to four with a minute to go. Loveridge's fourth three-pointer of the night upped the lead to seven with 52 seconds remaining to seal the win.

A 6'6" sophomore, Loveridge also collected seven boards to go with four assists and three blocked shots. He was 10-for-14 from the field, hitting four of seven from three-point range.

The team leader, at 17.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, Loveridge has scored in double digits in all but one game and has four double-doubles this season.

The Utes' sole loss was also their only road game, a 69-67 defeat at Boise State. Unranked, the 8-1 Utes could be up for making the PAC-12 interesting, once conference play gets underway. Their PAC-12 schedule starts on January 2nd, hosting Oregon, and play at #1 Arizona on January 26.

Utah was 15-18 last season. After winning two games in the PAC-12 tourney, they fell to Oregon, 64-45.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Jerian Grant Leads Fighting Irish to 7-2 Mark

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, December 9, 2013

Having jumped from the Big East to the ACC, Notre Dame continued tuning up in anticipation of a rugged conference schedule with a 70-59 home win over Bryant, Monday night.

Powered by senior Jerian Grant, who leads the Irish in scoring and assists, Notre Dame improved to 7-2 overall, with a 7-1 mark at home.

Grant was just 5-for-12 from the floor (two of three from three-point range), but made hay at the foul line, canning 11 of 13 freebies for a game-high 23 points. He also doled out nine of Notre Dame's 17 assists as the Irish took a 12-point lead into the half and maintained their edge over the final 20 minutes. Rounding out his game, Grant finished with two rebounds, four steals and a couple of blocked shots in 38 minutes of playing time.

The schedule soon will get a lot tougher, even prior to conference play, very soon for the Fighting Irish. After a sate with North Dakota State, Wednesday, they have home games with Indiana and Ohio State on the 14th and 21st. They open ACC play on January 4th, hosting the Duke Blue Devils.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Juvonte Reddic Wrecks Old Dominion, as VCU Triumphs, 69-48

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, December 8, 2013

If a team is going to play the VCU Rams, and plan on beating them, that team better have a solid low post presence to deal with senior forward Juvonte Reddic, as Old Dominion found out Sunday afternoon in Richmond, Virginia.

Reddic, if left to his own devices, can absolutely take over and dominate a game, as he did while on the court for 30 minutes in VCU's 69-48 plastering of the Monarchs.

Notching his fourth double-double of the season, the 6'9" Reddic scored a season-high and game-high 24 points on 12-for-16 shooting, while hauling down 12 rebounds, five of them on the offensive end. Reddic was also a defensive stud, blocking four shots and coming away with a pair of steals.

VCU broke open a close game (34-31) at the half, outscoring Old Dominion 35-17 in the second half. The Rams also held a huge rebounding edge, 50-34.

The Rams, improving to 8-2, have been a NCAA tournament fixture the past few seasons and have the potential to do damage within and outside of the powerful Atlantic 10 Conference.

VCU has won four straight and head to Northern Illinois next, on Saturday, December 14.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

With 32 Points, 15 Assists, Chaz Williams Sends UMass to 8-0 Mark

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, December 7, 2013

With a 105-96 win over BYU, the Massachusetts Minutemen are off to an 8-0 start, their best since the 1995-96 season when they went 26-0 before taking a loss.

Senior point guard, Chaz Williams, was, as usual, the smallest player on the court, but put larger foes to shame with career highs in points and assists, scoring 32 while dishing 15 times to teammates.

Williams was 9-for-14 overall, including 5-for-7 from three-point range, making all nine of his free throw attempts. The Cougars took an early lead, but that was quickly erased by Massachusetts by the midpoint of the first half. Once they had the lead, the Minutemen did not give it up, leading by as many as 17 points in the second half.

Ranked 21 last week, UMass figures to move up when the new poll is released on Monday. They've already topped a couple of ACC teams (Boston College and Clemson) and have a win over a ranked opponent, beating then-#19 New Mexico, 81-65, two weeks ago.

Last season, the Minutemen were knocked out of the NIT tournament by Stony Brook, 71-58, but are clearly looking for an NCAA tourney appearance this time around.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Kenny Chery Leads #20 Baylor over #3 Kentucky, 67-62

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, December 6, 2013

Following a long delay due to the 4-overtime game between the Kentucky and Baylor womens' teams, the #3 Wildcats and #20 Bears took the court at Jerry Jones' palatial AT&T Stadium for a little Top 25 tip.

The Bears, whose only loss was to Syracuse, 74-67, on November 27, was ready for the meeting that was the finale of the SEC-Big 12 Challenge, and, thanks to some heady play down the stretch and a game-high, 18 points from point guard Kenny Chery, came away on the top side of a 67-62 victory, sending the Wildcats to their second loss of the season (7-2).

Chery, a 5'11" junior from Montreal, couldn't buy a bucket from long range, going 0-for-5 from beyond the arc, but was money inside, hitting eight of 10 two-pointers while dishing five assists. He also hit a key bucket with 43 seconds left, giving Baylor a 65-61 lead as the Bears outscored the Wildcats, 26-12, over the final 13 minutes, eight points supplied by Chery during the final push.

Beyond Chery's contributions on the scoreboard, Baylor badly out-rebounded Kentucky, 41-25, including 18 offensive boards.

The 8-1 Bears won't be hitting the hardwoods for nearly two weeks, when they host Northwestern State on December 18. Kentucky will get little rest, as they play Boise State on the 10th and travel to Chapel Hill to meet the North Carolina Tar Heels on December 14.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Gene Teague Inside, Brian Oliver Outside a Winning Formula for Seton Hall

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, December 5, 2013

Seton Hall outscored visiting LIU-Brooklyn by 17 points in the first half, en route to a 92-81 victory over the Blackbirds.

Gene Teague was a monster in the paint, notching season-highs in scoring and rebounding with 16 points and 17 boards, his second double-double in his last three games.

Teague's effort inside was matched on the outside by fellow senior, Brian Oliver, who didn't take a shot from inside the three-point arc, nailing eight of his 17 attempts from long range, adding a pair of free throws for a game-high 26 points, also a season high.

The Pirates are just 5-3 as they make their way through the non-conference portion of their schedule, though their three losses have been by a total of just eight points, including an 86-85 defeat to Oklahoma on November 22.

Staying in New Jersey for their next game, the Pirates play at Rutgers (4-5) on Sunday, December 8. While Seton Hall remained in the Big East as the once-powerful conference disintegrated last season, Rutgers jumped to the newly-formed American conference, where former Big East teams, Louisville, Cincinnati and Connecticut are expected to dominate.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Kennedy Meeks, Tar Heels Light Up #1 Michigan State in 79-65 Upset

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Freshman forward Kennedy Meeks came off the bench to score a team-high 15 points, leading the North Carolina Tar Heels to a 79-65 victory over top-ranked Michigan State.

Meeks played just 18 minutes, but terrorized the Spartans when he was on the floor, hitting six of eight from the field and three of four from the foul line. He also snatched seven rebounds, along with an assist and a blocked shot, helping the 5-2 Tar Heels send Michigan State to its first loss of the season, holding them to 36% shooting.

Michigan State's Gary Harris led all scorers with 17 points, but only three Spartans scored in double figures. North Carolina was more balanced, with five players posting double-digit scoring while also out-rebounding the Spartans, 49-38.

The game was played at the Jack Breslin Student Event Center in Lansing, Michigan as part of the annual Big Ten-ACC Challenge.

The enigmatic Tar Heels upset then-#3 Louisville earlier in the season, but also suffered losses to Belmont and UAB. Unranked, North Carolina may now be deserving of more respect and will see if they're up to the challenge when they face Kentucky, currently #3, on December 14.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Jarell Eddie Pours in 34 as Hokies Whip Winthrop

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Virginia Tech doesn't stand much of a chance in the newly-aligned ACC; the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the power-packed conference adds to the burden of having to face the likes of North Carolina and Duke.

What the Hokies do have is a sharp-shooting senior forward in Jarell Eddie, who hit on an incredible 72% of his shots Tuesday night as Virginia Tech topped Winthrop, 81-63, for their sixth win against three losses.

Eddie was 13-for-18 from the field, making six of eight from beyond the three-point arc for a career-high 34 points. While he wasn't helping to build an insurmountable lead for the Hokies, he was wiping the glass, finishing with seven rebounds.

Eddie has recorded three double-doubles already this year and has increased his scoring output year-over-year each season with the Hokies. He's averaging 16.9 points and 6.9 boards this season.

Virginia Tech gets their first taste of ACC play when they travel to Miami this Sunday, December 8.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Dustin Hogue's Double-Double Leads #17 Iowa State to 6th Straight Win

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, December 2, 2013

Iowa State improved to 6-0 on the season with a blowout, 99-70, win over Auburn, putting a bullet next to their ranking of #17 in the AP poll.

Junior forward, Dustin Hogue, paced the Cyclones with 22 points and 16 rebounds, helping Iowa State establish an early lead, power to a 47-28 advantage at half time and coast to the easy win.

Hailing from Yonkers, NY, 6'6" Hogue was 8-for-10 from the field, making two of three form long range. His rebounding prowess was a factor as the Cyclones out-boarded the Tigers, 47-36. It was Hogue's second double-double of the year. He is averaging 1 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.

NOTABLE: #12 Connecticut barely avoided their first loss of the season, improving to 8-0 when Shabazz Napier hit the winning bucket with time expiring to give the Huskies a 65-64 victory over #15 Florida. Napier, who missed a potential game winner from the free throw circle, snatched his own rebound and put back the bucket for the win, leading all scorers with 26 points on 9-for-16 shooting.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Xavier Thames, Aztecs Rip Marquette to Capture Wooden Legacy Title

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, December 1, 2013

It was a weird Sunday for a few of college basketball's Top 25 as the UAB Blazers shot just 31%, but managed to upset #16 North Carolina, 63-59; star forward Doug McDermott was held to a season-low seven points in George Washington's 60-53 victory over #20 Creighton; and, Xavier Thames scored nearly half of his team's points in San Diego State's 67-59 win over #25 Marquette.

The 5-1 Aztecs won their fourth straight to capture the final of the Wooden Legacy tournament at Fullerton, California, having already topped Charleston, 72-52, in the opening round and dumping Creighton, 86-80, in the semi-final on Friday.

Thames, a senior guard, had a career-high 29 points to pace the Aztecs. Though he could not get his two-point shots to drop (2-for-10), he was money from beyond the arc, hitting five of six three-pointers, and, at the foul line, where he canned 10 of 11.

Named tournament MVP, Thames scored 26 in the Creighton win and had 11 points in the easy win over Charleston.

With victories over two ranked teams during the holiday weekend, it's a good bet that the Aztecs will find themselves among the ranked teams when the new polls are released Monday. San Deigo State's only loss was a 69-60 setback to #6 Arizona.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Georgetown Wins Third Straight Behind D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, November 30, 2013

With all the conference changes during the off-season, Georgetown was one school that decided to stay put, remaining as one of the original Big East teams.

The Hoyas will have their hands full with the likes of Villanova, Providence, Butler and Creighton, but should do well if they can play the kind of defense they did against Lipscomb on Saturday at the Verizon Center, holding the visiting Bisons to 27% shooting in a 70-49 rout.

Georgetown didn't really get into their game until the second half. After taking a one-point lead into the break, they outscored the Bisons, 43-23, for their fourth win of the season, against two losses.

The Hoyas were led in offensive categories by sophomore guard, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, who was everywhere with 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

Smith-Rivera, Georgetown's leading scorer, was held below his season average of 18.7 per game, but hit six of 10 from the field, including going 4-for-6 from three-point range.

Georgetown started the season 1-2, with losses to Oregon and Northeastern, but has rebounded with three straight wins, defeating Kansas State and VCU prior to their Saturday win. A big test for the Hoyas comes December 21, when they play at Kansas.