Sunday, February 17, 2013

Duke Upset at Maryland; Michael Lyons Scores 45 for Air Force in Defeat

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, February 16, 2013

Eighteen of the nation's top 25 teams hit the hardwoods on Saturday. All but one game pitted ranked vs. unranked, that being the Big East battle won by #18 Marquette, besting #16 Pittsburgh, 69-59, tying the Golden Eagles for first place in the conference with Syracuse and Georgetown at 9-3.

Notre Dame (21) was one of the few ranked teams to suffer defeat, running into a buzz-saw at Providence, where Vincent Council scored just seven points for the Friars, but dished 11 assists and snatched the same number of rebounds in the 71-54 rout.

Another losing effort was seen at Tennessee, where the Volunteers whalloped #25 Kentucky, 88-58. At 17-8 (8-4, SEC) and without flashy frosh, Nerlens Noel, for the rest of the season, the Wildcats are in deep trouble.

#1 Indiana powered past Purdue, 83-55, but #2 Duke took it on the chin at the Verizon Center as the Maryland Terrapins - despite 26 turnovers - upset them, 83-81. It was the final meeting between the two schools as ACC participants, Maryland moving over to the Big Ten next season. Mason Plumlee was held completely in check by the Terrapins' seven-footer, Alex Len, who scored 19 points and grabbed nine boards while limiting Plumlee to season lows in points (4) and rebounds (3).

The performance of the day, however, came in a losing effort by Air Force, the Falcons coming up just short in an 86-83 defeat by #22 Colorado State. Michael Lyons, a 6'5" senior guard, pumped in a career-high 45 points on 17-for-25 shooting, making seven of 13 from three-point range and five of eight from the foul line. Lyons also chipped in a couple of rebounds and a pair of assists.

Lyons' effort was the most scored by a Mountain West player this season, the most ever by a Falcon in a conference game and just five short of the school record of 50, set by Bob Beckel in 1959.

Colorado State's win left them 1/2 game behind conference-leading New Mexico with an 8-2 record. The Lobos (9-2) kept their edge with a 60-50 win over Boise State.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Kenyatta Smith Leads Harvard to Big Road Win; Big East Scambled

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, February 15, 2013

The Harvard Crimson got a huge effort from sophomore center Kenyatta Smith, winning on the road at Penn, 73-54, to maintain a 1/2 game lead over Princeton in the Ivy league.

Smith put up a career high with 20 points on 8-for-9 shooting, adding 4-for-5 from the foul line. A monster in the paint, Smith also set a career high with nine rebounds and set a school-record with 10 blocked shots. Riding Smith's inside prowess, the Crimson expanded a ten-point half time lead to win by 19.

If Harvard is to continue on to capture the conference crown - and earn a trip to the NCAA tourney in the process - they'll have to compete hard over the next five games. Following Saturday's home game with Princeton, the Crimson embark on a pair of weekend road trips - at Brown and Yale next weekend and at Princeton and Penn the following Friday and Saturday.

Harvard is 14-7 overall with a 6-1 mark in the Ivy. Last season they went 25-6, won the Ivy League and lost to Vanderbilt, 79-70, in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

NOTABLE: In a rare Friday night Big East tilt, #15 Georgetown improved to 9-3 in the conference with a 62-55 victory at Cincinnati. The win gave them a 1/2 game lead over Syracuse and Marquette, both at 8-3. The Orange play at Seton Hall Saturday night; Marquette hosts Pitt earlier in the day.

The Big East scramble is monumental, with six teams within a game of the lead. In addition to the top three, Louisville, Pitt and Notre Dame have each posted 8-4 conference marks. All six of the leading contenders in the conference are ranked.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Davidson Closing on Division Crown as Jake Cohen Racks 32

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Davidson Wildcats took another step towards wrapping up the Southern conference South division title with a 75-59 victory at Charleston Thursday night, boosting their record in the conference to a gaudy 13-1, with four games remaining on their regular season schedule.

Led by 6'10" senior, Jake Cohen, the Wildcats have a three-game bulge in the division over the Cougars. Cohen was simply unstoppable as an offensive force from anywhere on the court, but especially in the paint. Scoring a career-high 32 points, Cohen was 13-for-24 from the field, including 3-for-7 from outside the arc. He added three rebounds, an assist, a steal and four blocked shots in 31 minutes of action as the Wildcats won their ninth straight.

Davidson broke open a close contest in the second half, outscoring Charleston 43-29 in the period, hitting 10 of 24 from three-point range (42%).

The Wildcats have a February 27 date with North division leader, Elon, though by that time the outcome should be academic. Davidson can wrap up the division with wins over their next two opponents - Citadel and Furman - who have a combined conference record of 6-21.

NOTABLE: Central Connecticut State's sophomore Kyle Vinales scored a career-high 42 points in the Blue Devils' 101-82 loss at Wagner, making eight of 13 three-pointers. Vinales is fifth in scoring nationally, checking in at 22.1 points per game. At 10-13, the Blue Devils are unlikely to reach any higher than possibly an NIT invitation, so Vinales massive talents won't be on display for the nation to see.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Markel Brown's 7 Treys Lead Oklahoma State Rout of Texas Tech

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, February 13, 2013

With just a few weeks remaining before the end of regular season conference schedules, it's time to start winnowing down the field of possible entrants to the field for the NCAA tournament.

In the Big 12, Baylor - a possible player in March - and Oklahoma State did some narrowing of the field on Wednesday, topping, respectively, West Virginia, 80-60, and Texas Tech, 91-67.

In Lubbock, Texas, Oklahoma State took care of business in the first half, on their way to the massive, 24-point rout of the Red Raiders, getting a game-high 25 points from Markel Brown, who hit seven first half three-pointers as the Cowboys took a 55-34 lead into intermission.

Brown, who had just 25 minutes of playing time, added four assists, a pair of rebounds and a couple of steals. The #17 Cowboys are locked into a three-way tie with Kansas and Kansas State atop the conference standings, each with 8-3 records. The good news for OK-State is that they play both of their chief rivals at home, with Kansas coming to town February 20 and the Wildcats visiting on March 9, the regular season finale. The Cowboys have won six straight.

NOTABLE: There was more than enough Top 25 action on Wednesday to satisfy everyone, with the top two teams, Indiana and Duke, both hitting the hardwoods. #1 Indiana cruised past Nebraska, 76-47, while the Blue Devils came from behind to upend North Carolina, 75-68, at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

#3 Miami won their 12th straight, invading Florida State for a 74-68 victory, maintaining their two-game lead in the ACC over 9-2 Duke with an 11-0 record.

Upsets included #6 Syracuse getting whacked by arch-rival UConn, 66-58, and Charlotte dumping #11 Butler, 71-67, producing quite the scramble in the A-10, as seven teams are within two games of each other, vying for the top spot, currently claimed by VCU and St. Louis, both with 7-2 marks.

Flying stealthily under the radar, Memphis has moved up to #22, winning over UCF, 93-71, their 15th straight victory. The Tigers are a perfect 10-0 in Conference-USA play, two ahead of 8-2 Southern Miss., and are 21-3 overall.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

State of the Hoop: Florida, Michigan State Romp; Nick Minnerath Leads Detroit with 34 and 12

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, February 12, 2013

President Obama's State of the Union address wasn't particularly exciting, and neither were Tuesday's pair of top 25 match-ups, though they looked as though they might be prior to the opening tips.

In Gainseville, the 20-3 Florida Gators cemented their lead over the rest of the SEC with a 69-52 breeze past #25 Kentucky, dropping the Wildcats into a second-place tie with Alabama at 8-3 in the conference standings. 7th-ranked Florida, winners of 12 of their last 13, improved to 10-1 in the SEC with the victory, holding the Wildcats to just 42% shooting.

While the president was speaking, Tom Izzo's Spartans were making a statement of their own, dumping #4 Michigan, 75-52. The win moved #8 Michigan State into first place in the Big Ten with a 10-2 record, a half game better than 9-2 Indiana. The Spartans took an early lead, were up 14 at the half, and never looked back.

Following a game at Nebraska this Saturday, the Spartans embark on a rugged four-game stretch against Indiana, on the road for Ohio State and Michigan, and then back home for #20 Wisconsin. How Michigan State survives the upcoming schedule will largely determine the standings in the Big Ten, and will surely prepare the Spartans for the Big Dance in March.

In Detroit, Nick Minnerath was making his presence felt in a 92-62 rout of Cleveland State. Minnerath scored a game-high 34 points on 12-for-22 shooting with a pair of threes, and went 8-for-10 from the charity stripe. He also nabbed 12 boards, six on the offensive end.

Detroit is chasing Valparaiso in the Horizon League, the Titans in second place at 9-4 with Valpo on top with a 10-2 mark. The two meet for the second time this season on Saturday, February 16. In their first meeting, Valparaiso came out of the Titans' home court with an 89-88 victory. The Titans will be looking to return the favor.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Jayhawks End 3-Game Losing Streak as Ben McLemore Pumps in 30 for Win over K-State

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, February 11, 2013

A pair of games Monday matched up ranked teams in conference play.

At the Verizon Center in Washington DC, the #15 Georgetown Hoyas held off #18 Marquette, 63-55, despite shooting just 39% from the field. Marquette was sloppy with the ball, turning it over 19 times, and were also out-rebounded, 32-28, allowing 11 offensive boards by the Hoyas. Otto Porter scored 21 points for the Hoyas to lead all scorers.

Having lost three straight - the last two on the road at TCU and Oklahoma - the Kansas Jayhawks were pleased to be back at Allen Fieldhouse to face #10 Kansas State in an attempt to regain some winning form and hopefully tied the Wildcats for first place in the Big 12.

Freshman Ben McLemore provided ample firepower, making six of 10 from beyond the arc on 9-for-13 shooting overall in an 83-62 blowout.

McLemore was also a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line and collected six rebounds en route to scoring an even 30 points.

Seven-footer, Jeff Whithey had his usual dominant inside game, scoring 17 points with 11 boards and five blocked shots. The Jayhawks fell from $5 in the nation last week to #14 in Monday's poll.

Monday's result produced a tie between the Jayhawks and Wildcats for the Big 12 lead, both teams at 8-3, with Oklahoma 1/2 game back with a 7-3 mark. The Jayhawks play at Oklahoma State, Wednesday, February 20, looing to erase their 85-80 loss to the Cowboys on February 2nd.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Indiana May Retain #1 Ranking off Victor Oladipo's 26 in Win at Ohio State

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, February 10, 2013

After Thursday's last-second loss at Illinois, the Indiana Hoosiers weren't about to let another game go down to the wire, so they took out their frustrations at Ohio State, taking a 41-33 lead into half time en route to an 81-68 laugher.

6'5" Victor Oladipo took the game to the Buckeyes, his 26 points good for a share of the high-scoring honor with Ohio State's DeShaun Thomas. A match-up nightmare, Oladipo - too quick for big men and too big for smaller guards - made eight of 10 from the field, none of 10 from the foul line and helped out on the boards with eight rebounds. He added three assists and two steals in 33 minutes of playing time.

Indiana took the lead early and were never seriously threatened, cruising to their 21st win against three losses, tying Michigan State for the top spot in the Big Ten, at 9-2. Michigan and Wisconsin are a game back at 8-3, the loss sending the Buckeyes down to fifth place, with a 7-4 mark.

When the new poll is released on Monday, the Hoosiers may retain their number one ranking despite their loss earlier in the week, in part because Illinois continued their winning way on Sunday, topping #18 Minnesota, 57-53. Also, #4 Duke barely squeaked by Boston College, winning, 62-61, at BC.

Elsewhere, the Cal Golden Bears got 31 points out of Allen Crabbe and knocked off #7 Arizona, 77-69, and James Southerland returned to the Syracuse lineup after a six-game academic absence to score 13 points as the #9 Orange manhandled St. John's, 77-58.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Alex Oriakhi Scores 22 with 18 Boards as Missouri Prevails over Mississippi

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, February 9, 2013

Even though they're only 6-4 in SEC play, the Missouri Tigers - along with Florida - are among the elite teams in the conference, evidenced in their 98-79 rout of Mississippi Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers have one of the country's best point guards in Phil Pressey, who scored 22 points in the win, tying him with Alex Oriakhi for high scoring honors.

While Pressey generally controls the perimeter and pace, Oriakhi, the 6'9" senior transfer from UConn, has given the Tigers a new look with a ferocious presence inside and on the boards. Oriakhi's 22 points was a career high on 7-for-10 shooting, helped along by his 18 rebounds, 10 of which came on the offensive end.

Missouri's glass cleaning resulted in the game's most lopsided statistic, as they out-rebounded the Rebels, 50-32.

The 21st-ranked Tigers improved to 17-6 overall, avenging an earlier, 64-49, loss at Ole Miss, but they are still only in fifth place in the conference standings, led by #2 Florida, at 9-1, after putting it on Mississippi State, 83-58.

The 19-3 Gators rebounded from Tuesday's 80-69 loss at Arkansas and have won 11 of their last 12. They are likely to remain in the top five - and may even be #1 - come Monday's new poll, as #1 Indiana and #3 Michigan both suffered defeats this week, the Hoosiers losing on a buzzer-beater to Illinois on Thursday, 74-72, and Michigan going down to Wisconsin in overtime Saturday, 65-62.

The #1 ranking may fall, by default, to Duke, which plays at Boston College on Sunday, in a game they are widely expected to win.

#5 Kansas also will be further down in the rankings after losing at Oklahoma, 72-66, their third straight loss. Likely to take the Jawhawks' place is Miami, the Hurricanes winning their 11th straight on Saturday with an 87-61 pounding of North Carolina. The #8 Hurricanes are all alone atop the ACC standings, at 10-0.

Further down the rankings, #23 Pitt overwhelmed #17 Cincinnati in the second half for a 62-52 win; #11 Louisville's Chane Behanan scored 30 points and had 15 rebounds - both game highs - but came up short in five overtimes to #25 Notre Dame, 104-101.

#15 New Mexico lost at UNLV, 64-55, and #16 Creighton continued to slide, losing their second straight in a 75-72 home loss to Illinois State, setting up a three-way tie for first place in the Missouri Valley Conference with Wichita State and Indiana State, each team at 9-4.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Siyani Chambers Keeps Harvard on Top in Ivy with 18 over Cornell

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, February 8, 2013

Siyani Chambers scored a game-high 18 points to go with 11 assists and five boards as the Harvard Crimson prevailed on the road over Cornell's Big Red, 67-65.

A freshman guard averaging 13.5 points per outing, Chambers had a solid shooting night, making eight of 12 from the field, including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc.

Harvard held on for the close victory in the face of a furious Cornell comeback. The Crimson led by 16 at the break, only to see the Big Red whittle away their edge with 43 points in the second half.

The win was the fifth straight - without a loss - in the Ivy league, keeping them a half-game ahead of Princeton at 4-0 after defeating Brown on Friday, 63-46.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Brandon Paul, DJ Richardson Lead Illinois to Upset of #1 Indiana

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, February 7, 2013

Holding onto the #1 ranking in college basketball this season is becoming an exercise in futility, akin to grabbing a live salmon with oiled hands.

The Indiana Hooisers need no explanation or reminder after what happened to them at Assembly Hall in Champagne, as the Fighting Illini came from eight points down with under three minutes to play to defeat the Hoosiers, 74-72, the go-ahead bucket coming on an easy layup by Tyler Griffey off an inbounds pass with 0.9 seconds left.

Griffey, a senior, scored 14 for the Illini, but none were bigger than what was one of the easiest buckets of his career. With the score tied at 72, Illinois inbounded the ball from the sideline, about six feet from the baseline, setting up their players near the perimeter. Griffey slipped by Tyler Zeller and raced to the basket, where the pass from Brandon Paul hit him in stride without no Indiana player within ten feet of him.

Paul scored 21 points, while teammate D.J. Richardson had a game-high 24, eight of them coming on consecutive trips under three minutes when he hit two threes and a deuce to tie the game at 70. The Illini traded a pair of Paul free throws after a Victor Oladipo basket to knot the game at 72, setting up the decisive score.

Richardson was 8-for-15, hitting four of eight from three-point range with three steals. Paul was less accurate, making six of 14 from the floor with three treys, but he added two rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Illinois turned the ball over just nine times, as compared to 14 for the Hoosiers.

Prior to the win, Illinois had lost eight of their last 11 and were just 2-7 in conference play. The Indiana loss produced a three-way tie atop the Big Ten, with Indiana, Michigan and Michigan State each with identical 8-2 records.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

A-10 Tightens as Dwayne Evans Leads St. Louis over Fordham

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, February 6, 2013

An interesting night in college hoops was in evidence Wednesday as eleven Top 25 teams took to the hardwood, with four taking losses.

Topping the list was #5 Kansas, a 62-55 loser at TCU. Indiana State tightened the Missouri Valley Conference race with a 76-57 win over #16 Creighton. Kadeem Batts ripped Cincinnati for 25 points and nine rebounds, sending the #17 Bearcats to a 54-50 defeat; while in the Big Ten, #12 Michigan State trounced #18 Minnesota, 61-50.

The most interesting development was in the Atlantic-10 conference, where all eyes are focused on Butler, an easy, 77-58 winner over St. Bonaventure, though the result from St. Louis, where the unranked Billikens swamped Fordham, 90-73, causing a three-way tie for first place with Butler, St. Louis and VCU all at 6-2.

Dwayne Evans, who leads St. Louis in scoring and rebounding, was a nightmare for the Rams, scoring a game-high 24 points to go with his 10 boards. Evans was 10-for-12 from the field, adding four points on six attempts from the foul line. A 6'5" junior, Evans appears to be rounding into late-season form, having scored in double figures the past five games. Wednesday's effort was his first double-double of the season.

Since back-to-back mid-January losses to Temple and Rhode Island, the Billikens have strrung together five straight wins, and can look ahead to Tuesday, February 19 and Friday, February 22, when they will host VCU before traveling to play at Butler. The pair of games will go a long way toward not only determining the overall winner of the A-10 regular season, but how many teams from the often-overlooked conference will be heading to the NCAA tourney in March.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Tim Hardaway Jr. Hits Six 3-Pointers as Michigan Defeats Ohio State in OT

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, February 5, 2012

Tuesday night's Big Ten showdown between #2 Michigan and #10 Ohio State turned out to be as good as expected, the teams battling to a 72-all tie in regulation, with the home-standing Wolverines eventually coming out on top in a defensive overtime period which produced just six points total for a 76-74 Michigan victory.

While the Buckeyes shot 52% for the game, Michigan was kept in the contest by Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored a game-high 23 points on 7-for-14 shooting, making six of nine from beyond the arc. Hardaway's buckets came at critical points of the game, often putting the Wolverines ahead or answering a Buckeye basket.

Trey Burke, hounded by Ohio State's Aaron Craft throughout, chipped in with 16 points and eight assists, turning the ball over just twice against Craft's relentless defense.

The victory pushed the Wolverines into second place in the Big Ten, behind Indiana, which has an 8-1 conference record. Michigan is 8-2 in the Big Ten, with a stellar, 21-2 record overall, Tuesday's win avenging an earlier, 56-53, loss at Ohio State. Their other loss was on the road to the Hoosiers, coming out on the wrong end of an 81-73 score.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

CJ Fair Scores 18 as Syracuse Ends 2-Game Slide

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, February 4, 2013

With two straight Big East road losses - at Villanova and Pitt - the Syracuse Orange were happy to be back within the friendly confines of the Carrier Dome for their Monday night match-up with Notre Dame.

The Orange slipped from #6 to #9 in the latest poll, and a win was needed to get them back on the right track.

C.J. Fair came to the rescue, scoring a game-high 18 points in the 63-47 Syracuse victory.

Fair, a 6'8" junior with fast-developing skills both inside and out, made five of 10 shots from the floor, including a three-pointer, went 7-for-8 from the foul line and corralled 10 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season.

Fair and his teammates clamped down on the Irish defensively, holding them to 35% shooting, forced 13 turnovers, made seven steals and out-rebounded the South Bend invaders, 32-28.

The win put SU a half game ahead of 6-2 Marquette, in first place in the Big East at 7-2. The Orange won't meet the Golden Eagles until Monday, February 25, at Marquette.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Shabazz Napier Hoists Huskies over South Florida, 69-64

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, February 3, 2013

Shabazz Napier scored a game-high 24 points as the Connecticut Huskies overcame a 12-point half time deficit to defeat South Florida, 69-64, handing the Bulls their fourth straight Big East loss.

Napier made five of ten three-pointers on 7-for-15 shooting from the field, adding eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.

The Huskies have won three straight, but are on the road their next two games - at St. John's and Seton Hall - before returning home to host #6 Syracuse on Wednesday, February 13. Connecticut is 5-3 in the conference, trailing 6-2 Syracuse and Marquette for the top spot. In its final season under the current alignment, the Big East is a jumble, with nine teams within two games of first place.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Super Bowl XLVII Special: Latest Odds and Picks

Super Bowl Latest Odds and Picks

Super Bowl XLVII pits the Baltimore Ravens against the San Francisco 49ers. Game time is 6:30 pm ET, and Doc's Sports, one of the oldest, classiest and best handicapping services on the internet has up-to-date odds as time winds toward the first ever showdown between brothers in the Super Bowl. Jim Harbaugh is the coach of the 49ers; older brother John coaches the Ravens.

Just go to for the latest odds. Doc's also has plenty of other features on the site, including odds and handicapping advice for all major sports.

If you still aren't sure which side you'll be backing, and need analysis and picks, check out Fearless Rick's Super Bowl pick. Rick's been handicapping the NFL since 1982 and usually has the figure for big games right on the money.

Enjoy the game with the latest odds and best picks.

Indiana Tops #1 Michigan, 81-73, Behind Cody Zeller's 19 Points

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, February 2, 2013

Michigan may have been #1 for a week, but that week ends Sunday, and, along with it, their short stay atop the college hoops rankings.

Finding few ways to counter the front line of the #3 Hoosiers' Cody Zeller, Christian Watford and Victor Oladipo, the Wolverines fell at Indiana's Assembly Hall, 81-73, and with that, another team - most likely either Indiana or #4 Florida - will assume the position of the nation's top team... for a while.

For the first five weeks of the season, the Hoosiers were ranked #1, but a loss in mid-December boosted Duke to the top spot for four weeks, until Louisville got the nod on January 14. Duke took it back on the 21st, relinquishing it to Michigan this past Monday. If there anything for certain, nobody knows which team is the best at this point.

In their win over Michigan, the Hoosiers took back first place in the Big Ten, posting a record of 8-1 in the conference, but they are by no means alone. The Wolverines, along with Michigan State and Ohio State are all just a game back, at 7-2, and Indiana still has two games with the Buckeyes and one each with the two Michigan teams before the regular season ends.

What the Hoosiers have, however, is possibly the best front line in the country, emphatically proven in their win over Michigan. Cody Zeller had one of his finest games, scoring 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting, with 10 rebounds (his 7th double-double of the season) and two blocked shots in 34 minutes. Watford pitched in 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Mr. Do-it-all, Oladipo, had 15 points, two boards, two assists and a pair of steals.

Despite 16 turnovers, the Hoosiers dominated the rest of the game, hitting at a 52% clip with seven three pointers. They also out-rebounded the Wolverines, 38-29. Most telling was the free throw line. Indiana went to the stripe 25 times, making 22 (88%), while Michigan was only 6-for-7.

NOTABLE: #2 Kansas will not be elevated to the #1 spot come Monday, as they suffered their second loss of the season in an 85-80 loss to Oklahoma State. Markel Brown led the Cowboys with 28 points. #14 Miami won their ninth straight, topping #19 NC State, 79-78. Pitt topped #6 Syracuse, 65-55, #10 Oregon lost at Cal, 58-54, #15 Wichita State fell at Iowa State, 57-52, and #22 San Diego State dropped a 70-67 decision at Air Force.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Nick Minnerath's 27 Points Lead Detroit over Youngstown State

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, February 1, 2013

With a very light schedule (9 games) in college hoops Friday, the top two teams from the Horizon League were in action, as first place Valparaiso (7-2) defeated Wisconsin Milwaukee, 71-40, and second place Detroit (7-3) got 27 points from Nick Minnerath en route to an 88-77 victory over Youngstown State.

A 6'9" forward, Minnerath was a shooting machine, making 11 of 25 shots, including 2-for-5 from beyond the arc. He added five boards and a pair of steals, his point total the second highest of the season for the senior.

The Titans' leading scorer, Ray McCallum, tossed in 23 points in the winning effort, keeping Detroit a half-game back of Valpo. In their first meeting with Valparaiso earlier this season, McCallum was held to a season-low six points, but Minnerath picked up the slack, scoring a career high 36 against the Crusaders in an 89-88 defeat.

The Titans travel to Valaraiso for a rematch on Saturday, February 16, a game which will go a long way toward determining the eventual conference champion.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Keith Appling Leads Spartans to 80-75 Victory over Illinois

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, January 31, 2013

Big Ten basketball is not for the feint of heart.

There are five ranked teams and that list doesn't presently include Wisconsin and Illinois, both of which were ranked earlier in the season and are safe bets to be heading to the NCAA tournament in about six weeks, assuming they can grind out tough schedules in conference play.

The Fighting Illini came out smoking at Michigan State Thursday night, but eventually fell to the Spartans, 80-75, in a pivotal match-up for both squads.

Illinois took a ten-point, 37-27, lead into the half, but the Spartans responded with 12 straight points to open the second half, taking the lead and never relinquishing it.

Point guard Keith Appling took over the game when it counted the most, scoring 19 of his game-high 24 points after the break. Quietly emerging as a team leader, Appling dazzled the Illini with crossover dribbles and deft passes, dishing the ball seven times to teammates, twice finding Brandon Dawson (12 points, 9 rebounds) at the rim for thunderous, momentum-building dunks.

The 6'1" junior was 7-for-12 from the field, making two of four from three-point land and eight of 12 at the charity stripe. He also snagged a season high eight boards as the Spartans out-rebounded Illinois, 33-24.

The win was crucial for the 13th-ranked Spartans, following their 75-70 loss at Indiana this past Sunday.

For the Illini, the loss was their fifth in their last six games, lowering their Big Ten mark to a putrid 2-6. In the midst of a challenging stretch, Illinois has already lost consecutive games to Michigan and Michigan State, and have Wisconsin, Indiana and Minnesota straight ahead.

Michigan and Indiana top the conference at 7-1, followed by the 7-2 Spartans.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Blue Devils Win at Wake Forest, 75-70, Behind Mason Plumlee's 32 Points

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Eleven of the nation's top 25 teams were in action Wednesday night, with only two ending up on the wrong side of the scoreboard, those being #10 Oregon, a 76-52 loser at Stanford, and #17 Missouri, which, despite 25 points from Phil Pressey, lost at LSU, 73-70. It was the third loss against four wins in the SEC for the Tigers, jeopardizing not only their ranking, but their chances of making a solid showing in the conference.

#5 Duke improved to 18-2, winning on the road at Wake Forest, 75-70, on the strength of Mason Plumlee's career-high 32 points, falling just one rebound short of his 13th double-double of the season. The 6'10" senior hit 12 of 15 shots from the field, eight of 10 from the foul line with nine boards, two assists, two steals and two blocks in 35 minutes of floor time.

Duke kept pace with Miami, 73-64 winners at Virginia Tech, but continue to trail the ACC leaders by two games. Miami is 7-0. Duke trails in second place, at 5-2, along with Virginia.

NOTABLE: #4 Florida held host South Carolina to 10 first half points in a 75-36 rout, the ninth straight win for the Gators.

Doug McDermott had 29 points as #21 Creighton improved to 19-3 with a 91-77 victory over Missouri State. McDermott is second nationally in scoring, at 23.9 points per game, trailing Virginia Tech's Erick Green (25.5).

Other Top 25 winners were Michigan, Indiana, Kansas State, New Mexico and Cincinnati.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Kyle Wiltjer Has 26 as Kentucky Tops Mississippi, 87-74

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A trio of Top 25 teams took it on the chin Tuesday night in a light college hoops schedule.

At Virginia, #18 NC State fell to the Cavaliers, 58-55, and #15 Wichita State lost at home to Indiana State, 68-55, dropping their third game against 19 wins.

The game of the day was in Mississippi, where the 16th-ranked Rebels sought to keep their SEC record pristine, seeking their seventh straight win when Kentucky came calling.

It was not to be, as the Wildcat defensive effort held Ole Miss to 38% shooting, running off late for the 87-74 victory.

The Wildcats scored 50 second half points, led by 6'10" sophomore forward, Kyle Wiltjer, who threw down a career high 26 points, leading all scorers. Wiltjer made 10 of 19 shots, including five of 12 from beyond the arc, adding seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Teammates Nerlens Noel and Archice Goodwin supported with 12 blocked shots and 24 points, respectively.

The result left #4 Florida alone atop the SEC at 6-0, trailed by Mississippi at 6-1 and Kentucky at 5-2. The Wildcats travel to Florida on February 12.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Louisville Ends Three-Game Losing Streak as Dieng Has Double-Double

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, January 28, 2013

Being ranked number one in the polls does have its downside. Just ask the Louiville Cardinals, who achieved the position two weeks ago before promptly losing three straight games.

Serving as a wake-up call for coach Rick Pitino's troops, the Cardinals finally got back to their usua, winning ways with a 64-61 home win over the Pitt Panthers Monday night.

As games for the Cardinals and Panthers have been of late, it was nip-and-tuck all the way, Louisville desperately holding on for the win.

Junior guard, Russ Smith, was the game's leading scorer with 21 points, but forward Gorgui Dieng was strong on both ends of the floor, scoring 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting while snatching 12 rebounds - his fifth double-double of the season. Dieng had a solid all-around game with four assists and five blocked shots.

Despite the consecutive losses to Syracuse, Villanova and Georgetown, the Cardinals still managed to hold onto the #12 spot in the most recent poll. despite being 5-3 in the Big East, two games behind co-leaders, #6 Syracuse and #25 Marquette, both at 6-1.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Miami Routs Florida State; Clemson Improves as Milton Jennings Pumps In 28

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, January 27, 2013

With seven consecutive wins - six straight over conference opponents - the Miami Hurricanes are threatening to run away with the ACC regular season title, their 6-0 record leaving them 1 1/2 ahead of NC State, their closest pursuer.

The last two games were particularly convincing of just how good the 25th-ranked Hurricanes really are. After a 90-63 trouncing of Duke, Miami pummeled in-state rival, Florida State, 71-47, holding the Seminoles to just 31% from the field.

Miami's low ranking is sure to get a significant boost in the new poll out Monday.

Elsewhere in the ACC, Clemson is seeking to become relevant. The Tigers got a huge effort from senior Milton Jennings, the 6'9" forward scoring a career best 28 points while also wiping the glass clean with 14 rebounds as Clemson defeated Virginia Tech, 77-70.

Jennings was 0-for-3 from beyond the arc, but was 6-for-12 overall and canned 16 of 18 from the stripe to lead all scorers.

The win put the Tigers at 3-4 in the conference (11-8 overall) with hopes of putting together a little winning streak as their upcoming schedule shows successive games against Georgia Tech, Boston College and Virginia.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Rotnei Clarke Returns to Lead Butler Past Temple, 83-71

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, January 26, 2013

Now who's number one?

That question will be answered when the new pol is released on Monday, the most likely candidate being 18-1 Michigan, if they survive a trip to Illinois at 6:00 pm ET Sunday. Right behind them would be Kansas, also sporting an 18-1 record after defeating Oklahoma, 67-54, Saturday.

All this shuffling around is because both #1 Duke and #3 Syracuse suffered losses during the week, the latter losing at Villanova in overtime, 75-71, Saturday afternoon.

Other top 25 teams losing on Saturday were #11 Kansas State, a 73-76 loser at Iowa State, and Louisville, losing their third in a row after being proclaimed #1 a week ago, the latest loss at Georgetown, 53-51.

#12 Wisconsin, #15 New Mexico, and #19 VCU also were taken down in conference games.

One team bouncing back is Butler. After defeating Gonzaga in a thriller last Saturday, the Bulldogs were spent in a 53-52 loss at La Salle, but the good news is that they got senior point guard Rotnei Clarke back from a brief injury, and he led all scorers with 24 points in their 83-71 win over Temple on Saturday.

Clarke missed three games, but came back firing at home against the Owls. A bit rusty, Clarke hit just four of 14 shots, including 3-for-10 from three-point range, but he made 13 of 14 from the foul line and distributed the ball efficiently with nine assists and just four turnovers.

Butler remains atop the Atlantic-10 (the conference now has 16 teams) with a 4-1 record, but they are closely followed by a gang of five teams at 4-2.

The Bulldogs next play at St. Louis on Thursday, january 31.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Niagara's Juan'ya Green Tears Up Sienna as Purple Eagles Win 5th Straight

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, January 25, 2013

Unsure whether there are any purple eagles living in the wild, but one thing's for sure, the Sienna Saints surely don't want to see any more emblazoned on the uniforms of Niagara players.

For the second time in eight days, the Purple Eagles tore up the Saints, winning by sharing the ball (18 assists) and forcing 12 turnovers in a 79-68 victory, the fifth straight for the top team in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).

And, if the Saints could choose one player to never see again, it would have to be Juan'ya Green, who fell just short of a triple-double, with 19 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds.

Green wasn't all that accurate from the field, going 6-for-17, but he made up for it on the line, making six of six. His rebounding and assist totals were also career highs (the assist number equaling his output in a win at Canisius last season).

The 12-8 Purple Eagles are 8-1 in conference games, clutching a one-game lead over 7-2 Iona and Loyola (MD). They face those two main rivals in back-to-back home games January 31 and February 2.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Kelly Olynyk, Elias Harris Too Much for BYU as Gonzaga Rebounds

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, January 24, 2013 BYU is an improved team this season, but they'll have to go a ways in order to compete with the top team in the WCC, as Gonzaga proved too powerful on the interior, cruising to an easy, 83-63, home win over the Cougars.

Seven-footer, Kelly Olynyk, was perfect both from the field and the foul line, making nine of nine shots and hitting all eight of his free throws for a game-high 26 points.

Falling just one rebound short of his third double-double of the season, Olynyk wiped the boards with nine rebounds.

Complementing his center's perfect play, Elias Harris did get his third double-double of the season, chipping in with 26 points on 8-for-11 shooting and 9-for-13 from the foul line with 10 boards.

The Bulldogs got off early and were up 40-21 at the half. For the game, they held BYU to just 36% shooting and out-rebounded them 37-29. The Bulldogs shot 57% for the game.

Gonzaga was coming off a last-second, one-point loss at Butler, but showed no negative hangover effect, winning for the 18th time against just two losses.

The Bulldogs lead the West Coast Conference with a 5-0 mark, trailed by St. Mary's (5-1), and 5-2 BYU.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Seniors Kenny Kadji and Durand Scott Lead as Hurricanes Storm #1 Duke, 90-63

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, January 23, 2013 March is shaping up to be a wide open scramble for the crown of college hoops, as fans stormed the court in Coral Gables, Florida, where the Miami Hurricanes tore apart top-ranked Duke, 90-63, the fourth time this season a #1 team has fallen, and the second time that Duke has been the patsy.

The Hurricanes (14-3) broke open a close game early in the first half, going on a 25-1 run that turned a 14-13 deficit into a 38-15 lead and a commanding, 42-19, edge at intermission.

The final margin was the third-worst defeat eve for a #1 team and the first time Miami had ever defeated a top-ranked school. The Hurricanes suddenly find themselves all alone atop the ACC, with a 5-0 record. No other team in the conference has fewer than two losses.

A pair of senior starters accounted for more than half of the Hurricane scoring. Durand Scott poured in a game-high 25 points on 9-for-14 shooting with three 3-pointers while Kenny Kadji dominated the lane, making nine of 11 for a season-high 22 points to go with six boards.

Scott also added six rebounds and had four assists. His point toal was also a season high.

Ranked #25 in the most recent poll, the Hurricanes host Florida State on Sunday, seeking their seventh straight win. If they're successful, voters will have a difficult time keeping Miami out of the top 15.

Elsewhere around the hoops universe, #9 Butler was upended at LaSalle, 54-53, and #12 Minnesota fell to 55-48. 17th-ranked Creighton lost at Drake, 74-69.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Freshman Devin Thomas Conquers Wolfpack with 25 Points, 14 Boards in Wake Forest Win

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Louisville's reign at #1 was a very short one, ended when they lost to Syracuse on Saturday, and, on Tuesday, they followed up with another clunker, shooting just 40% in a 73-65 loss at Villanova.

In another top 25 defeat, #18 NC State found no answers for Wake Forest's freshman forward, Devin Thomas, who scored a game-high and career-high 25 points and hauled in 14 rebounds, nine of them off the offensive glass, in an 86-84 win by the Demon Deacons.

Thomas was red hot from the field, canning 10 of 13 shots from the field, while also finding time in his 37 minutes of playing time to dish four assists, snatch three steals and block four shots.

The win evened Wake's ACC record at 3-3. Thy are 10-8 overall.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Michael Carter-Williams Leads Syracuse past Cincinnati, 57-55

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, January 21, 2013

Michael Carter-Williams scored 16 points as #3 Syracuse barely held on over visiting Cincinnati for a 57-55 victory.

Carter-Williams, the assist leader for the Orange, was 6-for-10 from the floor, including a pair of three-pointers, otherwise dishing to teammates seven times for scores. He also had five rebounds as the Orange put just three players in double figures.

The Orange shot 46%, but that was far better than Cincinnati's 33%. The Bearcats kept it close by controlling the boards, out-rebounding Syracuse, 38-28, and making nine of ten from the foul line.

Winners of their last eight straight, Syracuse improved to 18-1 and maintained their Big East lead with a 6-0 mark. Their closest pursuers in the conference are Louisville and Marquette, both at 4-1.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hossiers Looking at #1 after Cody Zelller Leads Win at Northwestern

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, January 20, 2013

The #2 Indiana Hoosiers invaded Welsh-Ryan Arena, in Evanstown, Illinois, on Sunday and wasted little time dictating play to the host Northwestern Wildcats, running off to an early lead off hard-nosed defense to forge a 31-17 lead at intermission.

The Hoosiers relied on their All-American candidate, Cody Zeller, to provide scoring and rebounding in their 67-59 win.

Zeller finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. He was 6-for-11 from the field and made nine of 10 free throws.

Improving to 16-2, the Hoosiers are tied with Michigan and Wisconson for second place in the Big Ten. The trio trails 5-1 Michigan State by 1/2 game.

With #1 Louisville losing on Saturday to Syracuse, the Hoosiers should get the nod for #1 from the pollsters when the new Top 25 results are posted on Monday.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Roosevelt Jones Beats Buzzer as Butler Drops Gonzaga

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, January 19, 2013

There were a slew of Top 25 teams in action this third Saturday in January, with five games featuring ranked opponents playing each other.

#13 Butler survived on a last-second shot by Roosevelt Jones, keeping the Bulldogs undefeated at home, with a 64-63 victory over eighth-ranked Gonzaga.

With five seconds left to play, Gonzaga led 63-62 after a pair of made free throws by Kelly Olynyk. After a missed opportunity by Butler, Gonzaga had the ball out-of-bounds near mid-court, but when Dave Stockton lobbed a pass in the direction of Olynyk, the seven-footer was heading in another direction and the ball came right to the waiting Jones, who peeled downcourt and hit the running jumper in the lane, the ball leaving his hand just before time expired.

It was Butler's 13th straight win, making them 16-2 on the season. Gonzaga dropped to 17-2, and should not be penalized to severely by poll voters on Monday, when new rankings are released.

Jones finished with a team-high 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting, with five rebounds and four assists. Elias Harris and Sam Dower each had 20 points to lead Gonzaga.

Elsewhere, #6 Syracuse outlasted top-ranked Louisville, 70-68; #10 Florida hamered #17 Missouri, 83-52; #21 Oregon won at #24 UCLA, 76-67; and, #18 Michigan State prevailed over the visiting, 11th-ranked, Ohio State Buckeyes, 59-56.

In a key Missouri Valley Conference game, unranked Wichita State upended #12 Creighton, 67-64.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Vermont Leads American East after Solid Effort by Juniors Candon Rusin and Clancy Rugg

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, January 18, 2013

After making the NCAA tournament last season and winning their play-in game over Lamar, 71-59, only to lose to North Carolina in the next round, 77-58, Vermont's returning players want to repeat the experience by capturing the American East conference.

With their victory over Stony Brook, handing the Seawolves their first conference loss, the Catamounts seem to be well on their way towards reaching that goal.

Winning at home, 81-73, Vermont takes a 1/2 game lead over Stony Brook and Albany with a 5-1 record, their only conference loss coming at Boston U., January 8. Since then the Catamounts have reeled off three consecutive victories.

Junior guard, Candon Rusin, poured in a career-high 25 points on 9-for-15 shooting, including a 4-for-9 mark from beyond the arc. He was the game's high scorer.

6'8" forward, Clancy Rugg, also a Junior, set career marks in scoring and rebounding, tying his top points effort with 19 points, along with 15 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Rugg, who appears to be rounding into midseason form, played 33 minutes and had his most productive outing of the season. The only other time he's been on the floor more than 30 minutes was a week ago, when he scored 19 with 9 boards in Vermont's 68-53 win over Maryland-Baltimore County.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Darius Theus, Treveon Graham, Juvonte Reddic Lead VCU to 10th Straight Win

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, January 17, 2013

Don't look now, but after a 3-3 start to their season, the VCU Rams have reeled off 12 straight wins including their 92-86 win in OT against the visiting St. Joseph's Hawks.

Point guard Darius Theus was distributing the ball to teammates, with 10 assists, and when he wasn't passing off, he scored 22 points on 9-for-17 shooting.

Sophomore Treveon Graham led all scorers with 25 points, hitting 10 of 17 shots, including four of seven from 3-point range. He also chipped in with seven boards, three off the offensive glass.

The most dominant player on the court was Juvonte Reddic. The 6'9" junior forward scored 15 points on 7-for-11 shooting, and ripped down 17 rebounds, a career high.

The Rams are undefeated in Atlantic 10 play, but they have plenty of company. Xavier, Butler and Charlotte are each tied for the lead with VCU, at 3-0. Look for the A-10 to send three, if not four, teams to the NCAA tournament in March. VCU almost certainly will be one of them.

NOTABLE: #5 Michigan may have missed their opportunity to be ranked number one when they lost at Ohio State, 56-53, on Sunday, but they were having no part of losing a second consecutive game, despite being on the road again, at #8 Minnesota. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 21 points to lead the Wolverines to the 83-75 win. Michigan broke the game open early in the second half and led by as many as 19 points.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Marshawn Powell Pumps in 28 as Razorbacks Prevail in 2OT

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It took two overtimes, but Marshawn Powell and the Arkansas Razorbacks managed to finally put away the Auburn Tigers, 88-80.

Powell, a 6'7" forward, scored 22 of his game high 28 points in the second half and extra periods for the Razorbacks' second straight win and a 2-1 record in the SEC, putting them right in the midst of a nine-team scramble for the conference lead.

Going 11-for-20 with a pair of three-pointers, Powell also grabbed 11 boards for his second double-double of the season, adding three steals, two assists and a blocked shot.

3-0 Mississippi currently leads the conference standings, followed by Florida and Texas A&M at 2-0. There are six teams with 2-1 records, including Missouri and Kentucky.

Arkansas plays at Mississippi this Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Indiana, Notre Dame Lose, But Creighton Prevails on Doug McDermott's 31-Point Effort

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Three Top 25 teams hit the hardwoods on Tuesday, but only one came away a winner.

#2 Indiana, despite a 20-point, 10-rebound effort by Cody Zeller, found no home court advantage in a 64-59 loss to Wisconsin, the Badgers' 11th straight victory over the Hoosiers.

#20 Notre Dame struggled on the road against St. John's, as the Red Storm treated the Madison Square Garden fans to a 67-63 victory.

Doug McDermott proved too much for Northern Iowa, scoring a game high 31 points, as Creighton prevailed at home, 79-68, winning their 10th straight and boosting their overall record to 17-1.

McDermott, one of the nation's top scorers, was 12-for-22 from the field with just one three-pointer and 6-for-7 from the foul line. The 6'8" native of Ames, Iowa grabbed four boards and dished three assists.

Creighton leads the Missouri Valley Conference with a 6-0 record.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Russ Smith, Chane Behanan Power #1 Louisville Past UConn

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, January 14, 2013

With Duke and Michigan each suffering losses over the weekend, Louisville was raised to the #1 position in the latest Top 25 Poll (AP), and, right away they were offered the opportunity to defend their position as the top team in the land.

Traveling to Connecticut to take on the Huskies, who had just toppled Notre Dame, 65-58, on Saturday, the Cardinals entered enemy territory with expectations as lofty as their ranking.

The Huskies took it to the Cardinals in the first half, shooting 50% from the field to take a 34-28 edge into the break, but the Cardinals came out breathing fire in the second half, quickly erased the lead and went on to dominate with 45 points in the half, cruising late to the 75-58 victory.

Led by a game high 23 points from Russ Smith (10-for-20, 2-for-6 on threes) and 16 points, nine boards and five assists by Chane Behanan, the Cardinals rolled to their 16th win against just one loss (76-71, to Duke), a 4-0 record in the Big East, tying them with #6 Syracuse for the conference lead.

The Cardinals will be put to the test again on Saturday, January 19, when they host the Orange in a 4:00 pm ET showdown, but for now, the #1 ranking rests peacefully in Kentucky, the ancestral home of hoops.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Buckeyes Hand Wolverines First Loss; Iona's Sean Armand Powers Gaels

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, January 13, 2013

The theme of the weekend was completed in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday, where the Ohio State Buckeyes downed previously-undefeated Michigan, 53-56, holding the Wolverines to just 38% shooting.

That score followed NC State's Saturday win over Duke, leaving the nation with no unbeaten teams and a big question mark over who's really #1. On Monday, new polls will be out and we'll have an answer, at least temporarily.

Far from the top of the heap in the rankings, Iona College improved to 11-6 overall and into a tie with Niagara, at 5-1, for the lead in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), with a 97-87 win over Conesius.

Junior swingman, Sean Armand, tied his career high with 32 points to lead the Gaels to their fifth straight victory.

Armand, who has scored in double figures in 16 of Iona's 17 games, lit it up from downtown, making nine of 15 three-pointers on 11-for-18 shooting overall. He rounded out his his game with five rebounds, three assists, a pair of blocked shots and a steal.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Richard Howell Leads #20 NC State over #1 Duke, 84-76

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, January 12, 2013

And Then there was one.

With Duke's loss to North Carolina State on Saturday, there remains only one team in the country without a loss, the 2nd-ranked Michigan Wolverines, but they must survive a trip to Columbus Ohio on Sunday, where they will play the #15 Ohio State Buckeyes - in order to last through the weekend and into Monday's poll as the presumptive #1 team in the country. Tip time for the Buckeyes and Wolverines is 1:30 pm ET.

Duke's demise came a short bus ride from their home court, at PNC Arena, home to the #20 Wolfpack, sure to rise in the rankings after their 84-76 victory over the previously-unbeaten Blue Devils.

Richard Howell, one of the nation's most accurate shooters, striking the iron at 62.3%, was a beast in the paint, scoring 16 points on 7-for-12 shooting, in addition to hauling down a game high 18 rebounds, six of them on the offensive end.

Besides denying the Blue Devils second opportunities with his board work, Howell also kept Wolfpack possessions alive by battling Mason Plumlee and other Duke rebounders.

Howell, who averages a double-double (12.4 points, 10.6 rebounds), turned in his ninth such performance of the season, helping NC State improve to 14-2, but, more importantly, push the Wolfpack to the top of the ACC standings, at 3-1.

Howell had plenty of help in upending Duke. The team's leading scorer, CJ Leslie, pumped in a game-high 25 points, and NC State's assist leader, Lorenzo Brown, dished 13 times and scored 12 points.

NOTABLE: 19 of the nation's top 25 teams were in action on Saturday, with all of them winning except for the Blue Devils, #8 Minnesota (dumped at #5 Indiana, 88-81), #17 Notre Dame, a 65-58 loser at home to unranked UConn, and 10th-ranked Missouri, finding early trouble in the SEC, falling at Mississippi, 64-49.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

#13 Creighton Goes to 16-1 Behind Doug McDermott's 39 Points

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, January 11, 2013

Hitting 15 of 19 shots from the field, Doug McDermott had his way against Missouri State as the Creighton Bluejays improved to 16-1 and 5-0 in the MVC with a 72-54 romp at Missouri State.

McDermott's season-high tally was the second-most he's ever scored in a college game. Last season, he lit up Bradley for 44 points in a 92-83 Creighton victory.

Nearly flawless in his execution, McDermott hit three of four from three-point range and six of seven from the foul line, also collecting 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.

Averaging 23.6 points per game, McDermott is third in scoring nationally, close behind Virginia Tech's Erick Green (24.6) and C.J. McCollum of Lehigh (23.9).

Vreighton's only loss came in an 83-70 setback by Boise State on November 28. Since then, they've won 10 straight and have a pair of important games upcoming: Tuesday, January 15, against Northern Iowa and Saturday, January 19, at 15-1 Wichita State, currently 4-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Kelly Olynyk Leads Gonzaga over St. Mary's; Arizona Tastes First Defeat in 70-66 Loss at Oregon

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, January 10, 2013

The biggest upset of the night came late into it, as the Oregon Ducks won their 17th straight home game, downing the Arizona Wildcats, 70-66, with balanced scoring, quality distribution and a nagging defense.

The 13-2 Ducks had 10 steals and six blocked shots against the previously unbeaten Wildcats (14-1), forcing 14 turnovers. As a team, Oregon dished 17 assists. The result left just two undefeated teams within the college ranks: #1 Duke and #2 Michigan.

Even later into the night, the #9 Gonzaga Bulldogs continued an impressive run with their seventh straight win, this time holding home court against their cheif rival in the WCC, the St. Mary's Gaels, 83-78.

Seven-footer, Kelly Olynyk, was unstoppable in the post, hitting 11 of 19 shots for a game-high 31 points, fresh on the heels of a 33-point outburst at Santa Clara this past Saturday.

Olynyk was 8-for-11 from the foul line and snatched eight rebounds, three on the offensive end.

The 16-1 Bulldogs now share the West Coast Conference lead at 3-0 with BYU. San Diego is a half game back at 2-0

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cleanthony Early Lights Up Salukis with 39 Points in Wichita State Victory

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A bundle of good teams are playing in the Missouri Valley Conference, a general hotbed of college hoops that is often overlooked, but the pollsters have already determined that two of them - Creighton and Wichita State - are worthy of Top 25 designations, while Evansville and Indiana State are providing depth for the league.

In Wednesday's 81-76 victory at Southern Illinois, the 15-1 Shockers of Wichita State applied a stamp to their #23 ranking, rallying from a 43-34 half time deficit for the win.

After the slow start, the Shockers lit it up in the second half, especially junior forward, Cleanthony Early, who set a career high mark with 39 points on 13-for-19 shooting, making five of eight from three point range and eight of 10 from the foul line.

Scoring the first 10 points of the of the second period, the Shockers quickly erased their host's lead, and battled the rest of the way against the determined Salukis.

Early, who leads the Shockers in scoring at 15.4 points per game, easily outdid his previous high mark of 25, made in a 75-63 win over Iowa earlier in the season. Red-shirted his first two years at Wichita State, Early has arrived in time to give the Shockers a versatile scoring threat.

Wichita State is tied with Creighton at 4-0, atop the MVC standings. The top two teams meet on Saturday, January 19 at Wichita State.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Brandon Young Scores Career High 35 as DePaul Falls to UConn

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Connecticut Huskies blew away DePaul in the first half, outscoring them, 54-34, en route to an easy, 99-78, victory, the Huskies' 11th against three losses, evening their Big East record at 1-1, after losing to Marquette on New Years' Day, 82-76.

While UConn was victorious, they couldn't stop the Blue Demons' junior guard, Brandon Young, who set a career-high mark with 35 points on 13-for-22 shooting, including three of four from beyond the arc, in addition to making all six of his foul shots.

Young is a big time scorer, averaging 17.3 points per game, but he also contributes elsewhere, with 4.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game. Against the Huskies, he outdid his averages, snatching four board and dishing five assists, though his efforts fell short as only he and Cleveland Melvin (18 points) scored in double figures.

The Huskies were paced by 26 from DeAndre Daniels and 22 from Ryan Boatwright.

NOTABLE: #1 Duke keeps rolling along, winning their 15th straight without a loss, pounding Clemson, 68-40, for their second ACC win. The Blue Devils did it with defense, holding the Tigers to just 28% shooting for the game and 10 first half points.

#10 Missouri should love life in the SEC, shifting to the new conference after leaving the Big 12. Hosting Alabama, the Mizzou cruised to an 84-68 win, in the first SEC game this season, giving the Tigers a leg up. The anticipated showdown at #11 Florida is set for January 19.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Sam Rowley's Double-Double Lifts Albany over Binghamton

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, January 7, 2013

Every conference gets an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament in March, including obscure ones like the American East, where the Albany Great Danes have a chance to get the invite, especially if they ride one of their big dogs, like sophomore forward Sam Rowley, who set career highs for points and rebounds in Albany's 71-59 win at Binghamton.

Hailing from Syndey, Australia, the 6'6" Rowley turned in his first double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds, going 8-for-9 from the field and 5-for-5 from the charity stripe.

The Great Danes are off to a 13-4 start to their season and are 2-1 in conference play.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Kenny Boynton Scores Career High 28 as Gators Chomp on Bulldogs

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, January 6, 2013

Most of the teams across the country have begun conference play. The Ivy League and the SEC are among a few that are still working through non-conference schedules, so it was that the #13 Florida Gators trundled up to Yale and showed off their ball skills in a 79-58 trouncing of the Bulldogs.

The game was largely a mismatch, but Florida senior guard Kenny Boynton enjoyed himself, getting enough good looks to go 9-for-12 from the field, including 8-for-10 from three-point range, for a game-high, career-high, 28 points.

Playing 37 minutes, Boynton also added two assists and a pair of rebounds as the Gators improved to 10-2 in their final tune-up before heading into SEC play beginning January 9, at home against another Bulldog team, this one from Georgia.

Florida and Missouri appear the teams to beat in the conference. Missouri is currently ranked #12, with an 11-2 record.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Kelly Olynyk Has Career High 33 in Gonzaga Win at Santa Clara

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mark Few, head coach of the Gonzaga Bulldogs since 1999, has built the program into one of national prominence, routinely dominating the West Coast Conference. This season, he may have one of his best teams ever.

Few's record with the Zags is impressive, going 357–91 (.797) overall and an even better 162–22 (.882) in conference play. The 10th-ranked, 15-1 Bulldogs won their second straight conference game, winning at Santa Clara, 81-74, to remain tied with BYU for the early lead at 2-0 thanks to a career high, 33-point, 10-rebound effort from their outstanding junior forward, Kelly Olynyk.

Olynyk had a nearly flawless game, making 12 of 15 shots from the field, including going 1-for-1 from three-point range and canned seven of eight free throws, displaying a deft shooting touch for a big man. Olynyk, a native of Kamloop, British Columbia, stand's seven feet tall and finds few opposing players who can defend him. He's scored in double figures in all but one of Ganzaga's 16 games.

With three straight road wins under their collective belts, the Bulldogs appear ready for their next big test, a January 10 meeting with traditional conference rival, St. Mary's. It will mark Olynyk's first game as a starter against the Gaels, since he sat out last season.

NOTABLE: Life is tough in the big conferences. There were 16 Top 25 teams in action on Saturday, and five of them suffered defeats at the hands of conference foes.

In the Big East, the carnage was widespread, with #15 Georgetown falling to Marquette, 49-48, Rutgers topping #24 Pitt, 67-62, and #15 Cincinnati losing at home to St. John's, 53-52.

In the Big Ten, the #11 Fighting Illini took down #8 Ohio State, 74-55, while #25 Kansas State prevailed at home, 73-67, over #22 Oklahoma State in Big 12 action.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

O.D. Anosike Gets 19 Points, 15 Rebounds in Sienna Loss

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, January 4, 2013

Just 16 games dotted the college hoops landscape on Friday night, none of the games featuring any teams even close to the top rankings.

Among the contested hardcourts was in upstate New York, at Siena College, where the Saints were hosting the Iona Gaels in a MAAC game.

Siena, 0-2 in the conference going in, kept the game close, but eventually succumbed to the Gaels, 66-62, despite a monster effort from senior forward, O.D. Ansike, a one-man gang averaging a double-double (13.7 points, 12.9 rebounds).

Anosike kept Siena in the game on both ends, scoring 19 points - equalling his season high - and hauling in 15 boards.

Anosike was 8-for-11 from the field, but he didn't get much support from his teammates, who made just 16 of 47 field goals (34%).

Iona improved to 8-6 overall and are part of a six=team tie for first place in the conference with a 2-1 mark. Siena slumped to 0-3 in the MAAC and 2-12 overall.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Kyle Anderson Provides Lift as Bruins Open PAC-12 Play with a Win over Cal

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, January 3, 2013

Continuing their quest for respectability, the UCLA Bruins took another step forward, defeating the Cal Golden Bears, 79-65, opening their PAC-12 schedule with a solid win, their sixth in a row.

The Bruins were led by freshman Kyle Anderson, who, at 6'9", s listed as a guard but plays more like a forward, operating in the post and on the wings. Anderson recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 19 points and 12 boards, adding a pair of assists, two steals and two blocked shots, and is becoming an integral part of the UCLA scheme. Anderson was 5-for-8 from the field and a perfect 8-for-9 from the foul line, where his improvement has been notable.

In his first seven games, Anderson was 13-for-26 from the stripe (50%), but, in his last seven has hit 30 of 35 freebies, an 86% rate.

Anderson was just a point off his career high, set just two games past, when he displayed his huge potential with 20 points and 17 rebounds in the Bruins' 91-78 win over Fresno State. Averaging close to a double-double, with 9.5 points and 8.7 rebounds, Anderson is one of the keys to UCLA challenging for the conference title, their main opposition being the unbeaten Arizona Wildcats (13-0), who struggled to a 92-83 overtime win against Colorado.

The 11-3 Bruins meet up with the Wildcats in three weeks, on January 24, at Arizona.

NOTABLE: #2 Michigan stormed into Northwestern to open their Big Ten schedule and ripped up the place with a 94-66 victory. Trey Burke led the way with 23 points for the 14-0 Wolverines.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

D'Angelo Harrison Scores 36 in St. John's Loss at Villanova; Boeheim Gets Win #903

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Conference play got started in a big way on Wednesday, with eight ranked teams hitting the hardwood.

#1 Duke was still in tune-up mode, playing its final non-conference game, at Davidson, and the Blue Devils came through with a 67-50 victory.

#11 Illinois suffered its second loss of the season (13-2), starting off Big Ten action with a 68-61 loss at Purdue, as the Illini shot just 38% and Purdue's Terone Johnson torched then for a game-high 25 points.

The inevitable occurred in the Carrier Dome at Syracuse, as Jim Boeheim's #7 Orange carried him to win #903, passing Bobby Knight and moving into second place all-time in wins behind Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, with a 78-53 win over Rutgers. The Orange blew open a tight game with a 21-0 run to close out the first half and never looked back.

In game of the night was in Philadelphia, where visiting St. John's batted Villanova to a 83-83 tie in regulation before submitting in the extra period, the Wildcats prevailing by a 98-86 final score.

The Red Storm's sophomore guard, D'Angelo Harrison, pumped in a career-high 36 points on 11-for-21 shooting with six three=pointers. Harrison's heroics fell short, however, as Villanova's Ryan Arcidiacono and JayVaughn Pinkston threw down 32 and 26 points, respectively.

St. John's dropped to 8-5 while the Wildcats improved to a 10-4 mark.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Adonis Filer a Perfect 7-for-7 in Clemson Rout of the Citadel

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

With New Year's Day focused on college football bowl games, the schedule of hopps actions was sparse, to say the least. You know it's a slow day when Presbyterian can more than double up an opponent, as the 2-11 Blue Hose (yes, that's actually the team name) blew out the Montreat (not a typo) Cavaliers, 77-35.

The Big East got in an early conference game, with Shabazz Napier scoring 29 points in a losing overtime effort at Marquette, 82-76. Both teams are 10-3, but the Golden Eagles get a leg up on the rest of the conference.

But, the player who enjoyed playing against a loose defense the most was Clemson's Adonis Filer, who was a perfect 7-for-7 from the field in the Tigers' 92-51 romp over the Citadel.

Filer, a 6'2" freshman guard who is a regular off the bench, scored a game-high and career-high 21 points, which included four three-pointers. Ironically, the only shot he missed was a free throw, as he made three of four from the line. Filer also chipped in with a rebound, one assist and three steals.

The 8-4 Tigers open their ACC season on January 5th, hosting Florida State, then travel to play the #1 Duke Blue Devils on January 8, certainly a far cry from, say, Montreat.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Michael Carter-Williams Dominates as Syracuse Improves to 12-1

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, December 31, 2012

#7 Syracuse ended 2012 the same way they started the season, by whipping up on a lesser opponent and getting their starters and reserves valuable playing time in advance of the heady Big East season.

The 12-1 Orange raced off to an early lead, taking a 47=26 edge into the half and cruised to a 96-62 victory over Central Connecticut State, led by point guard Michael Carter-Williams, who fell just one rebound short of a triple double, with 18 points, 13 assists and nine boards.

Averaging a double-double (12.2 points, 10.2 assists), the 6'6" guard had his way with the Central Connecticut back court. It was his second game of the season that he missed a triple-double by the narrowest of margins. On November 30, at Arkansas, he scored 17 points, snagged 10 boards, but dished out just nine assists.

Syracuse opens Big East play on January 3rd at Rutgers.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Jeff Elorriaga Hits 10 Treys, Scores 30, as Boise State Romps

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, December 30, 2012

No Top 25 teams were in action on Sunday, but Boise State was, and the Broncos continue to make their case for inclusion in the elite ranks of college hoops.

Boise won their fourth straight, improving to 10-2 on the season, with a monstrous, 105-49, defeat of the visiting Corban Warriors. Obviously, this was a mismatch of mammoth proportions, but Boise State players took advantage of the opportunity to hone their skills prior to conference play in the Mountain West.

One of those players working on specific skills was junior guard, Jeff Elorriaga, who got plenty of open looks from beyond the arc and used the space to practice his long-range bombing.

Making 10 of 16 from three-point range, a school record for made threes, Elorriaga threw down a career high 30 points, scoring all of his points from long range, never even stepping to the foul line and missing his only shot from inside the arc.

Elorriaga, already a specialist from range, improved his three-point percentage to an excellent 45.6 on the season.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tyler Haws Pumps in 42 as BYU tops Virginia Tech, 96-71

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, December 29, 2012

There's no lack of offensive players in college hoops this season, and on Saturday, two of the best in the business hooked up when Virginia Tech made the trek out West to play BYU.

Hokie guard Erick Green, the leading scorer in the nation (24.4 ppg) was looking to extend his steak of scoring at least 20 points to 13 games, but the Cougars had other ideas, defending the perimeter and denying Green good looks. The result was Green's worst shooting performance of the season, going 4-for-17 and 0-for-5 from three-point range for a season-low 12 points.

Meanwhile, on the offensive end, Tyler Haws was lighting up the Hokies, helping BYU build an insurmountable, 56-31 lead at the break, en route to a decisive, 97-71 victory, their second straight win and 10th in 14 outings.

Haws, a 6'5" sophomore out of Alpine, Utah, was firing at will, nailing 14 of 25 shots, including six of eight from beyond the arc, adding eight of nine from the foul line for a career high 42 points.

Haws leads the Cougars in scoring, averaging 20.9 points per game and has scored in double figures in 13 of 14 games this season.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Phil Pressey Dishes 19 Assists, but Shabazz Muhammad Leads UCLA over Missouri

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, December 28, 2012

When the UCLA Bruins lost at Georgetown, it was understandable. But, after home losses to Cal Poly and San Diego State, there were those declaring the Bruins' season a bust, and college hoops at Pauley Pavilion a dead issue.

However, five straight wins later, like Mark Twain, reports of the Bruins' death may have been greatly exaggerated.

On Friday night, UCLA hosted the #7 Missouri Tigers and their superlative point guard, Phil Pressey, who lit up the arena with 12 assists in the first half en route to a career-high 19 for the game. Despite Pressey's efforts, though, the Tigers couldn't pull away from the Bruins, the scored knotted at 47 at the break.

The second half was more of the same. More crisp passes from Pressey, more spurts from David and Travis Wear, more scoring by both Pressey and the Bruins' standout freshman, Shabazz Muhammad. Trailing by eight with under five minutes to play, UCLA rallied to tie the game at 88-all and send it into overtime.

In the extra period, it was the Bruins who dictated pace and made plays. Muhammad scored a key three-pointer with 1:01 to play which gave UCLA the lead for good, finally prevailing, 97-94, improving their record to a respectable 10-3.

Muhammad led all scorers with 27 points, tying his career high. Pressey led Missouri with his own career high, 19 points.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Brandon Davies Leads BYU to 84-54 Win over Northern Arizona

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, December 27, 2012

The holiday-shortened week was witness to another day of sparse collegiate hoops action, with just 11 games nationally and only one involving a Top 25 team, that being #8 Cincinnati, which entered their last home game of the season undefeated, facing the 12-1 New Mexico Lobos, but ended the night with their first loss of the season, a 55-54 defeat.

That leaves just four teams with unblemished records: Duke, Michigan, and Arizona, ranked 1, 2, and 3 respectively, plus unranked Wyoming, hailing from the Mountain West conference.

In Provo, Utah, the BYU Cougars improved to 9-4, pounding visiting Northern Arizona, 84-54, behind 27 points and 10 rebounds from senior forward, Brandon Davies.

At 6'9", Davies dominated the paint, making good on 13 of his 16 shots. Averaging 20.3 points per game, Davies is the #15 scorer in the nation, and his shooting percentage of 56.5 is the best among the top 25 scorers. He also holds the distinction of averaging the fewest minutes of all the leading 20 scorers in the nation, a mere 28.4 per game.

Playing in the West Coast Conference, Davies will probably see more floor time when the Cougars match up against conference powerhouses, Gonzaga, St. Mary's and Santa Clara. The Cougars open conference play at home against Loyola Marymount on January 3.