Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rodney McGruder Pours in 33 as Kansas State Whips Texas, 84-80

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, January 18, 2012

If you're going to compete in the rugged Big 12 conference, your team has to have a go-to guy who can score a load of points and keep your squad in the game.

For the Kansas State Wildcats, that would be junior shooting guard Rodney McGruder, who ripped the nylons for a career high 33 points, helping the Wildcats over a testy Texas team, 84-80, Wednesday night in Manhattan, Kansas.

McGruder's big night wasn't just all about shooting, though he was 11-for-17 from the field, including four 3-pointers and 7-for-10 from the foul line. The 6'4" McGruder was also hitting the boards with regularity, snatching eight rebounds (4 on the offensive end) and dishing a pair of assists.

The Wildcats, clinging to the #25 spot in the AP poll, needed the win badly, having lost three of their last four and falling to 1-3 in the conference. The victory improved their overall record to 13-4 and 2-3 inside the Big 12.

Texas, a talented, though not very deep team, fell to 2-3 in the conference and 12-6 for the season.

NOTABLE: There were a number of upsets in college hoops on Wednesday, including Cincinnati's 70-67 win over Connecticut on Sean Kilpatrick's clutch 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left, and Nebraska's stunning upset of Indiana, 70-69, but the lesson of the night comes from the Pavilion in Philadelphia, where the struggling Villanova Wildcats (9-10) took advantage of 41 trips to the foul line to defeat 15-4 Seton Hall, 84-76.

Led by junior guard Maalik Wyans and freshman forward JayVaughn Pinkston, who scored 25 and 22, respectively (a career high for Pinkston), the Wildcats showed great form at the foul line, something a few of the top teams still need to work on before the pressure of tournament play in March. Wyans, hitting 89.7% of his foul shots this season, displayed textbook form, making 15 of 16 freebies, while Pinkston hit 13 of 17 from the stripe.

Seton Hall committed 27 fouls and went to the line themselves only 16 times, making 12, while the Wildcats, just 22 of 51 from the field, made 34 of 41 free throws. Practice, practice, practice makes perfect.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kentucky Goes to 18-1 Behind Anthony Davis' 27 Points and 14 Boards

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, January 17, 2012

#2 Kentucky rolled past another SEC opponent Tuesday night, topping the Arkansas Razorbacks (13-5), 86-63, behind a career high 27 points and 14 rebounds from their likely one-and-done freshman sensation, Anthony Davis.

The outcome never in doubt on Kentucky's home court, Rupp Arena, the Wildcats opened with a flurry and never looked back, stretching their 37-21 half time lead to the 23-point victory.

Davis, the 6'10" forward on every NBA scout's must-see list, also swatted away seven shots, setting a new single-season mark for Kentucky ballers. Leading the nation in blocked shots with 89, Davis broke the Kentucky record of 84, previously held by Melvin Turpin and Andre Riddick.

The fabulous freshman hit 10 of 12 shots and made seven of eight free throws. four of his 14 rebounds were on the defensive end.

Kentucky outshot the Razorbacks, 57% to 40%, and out-rebounded them, 38-26.

The 18-1 Wildcats stretched the nation's longest winning streak to 46 straight. They've won ten in a row since their only loss of the season, a 73-72 defeat at Indiana.

NOTABLE: When your team loses by 100 points, maybe the AD might want to reconsider the scheduling. That could be the case for Toccoa Falls, after falling victim to the Western Carolina Catamounts, 141-39, who put nine players in double figures, led 72-17 at the half and out-rebounded the Eagles, 62-16.

Toccoa Falls plays in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) and maybe should just stay there.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson Stop Baylor, as Kansas Wins,92-74

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, January, 2012

The Kansas Jayhawks reduced the number of undefeated college basketball teams to two with a 92-74 win over the Baylor Bears, as Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson provided more inside-outside offense than the previously 17-0 Bears could handle.

Robinson, a certain player of the year candidate, dominated the interior, scoring 27 points on 11-for-18 shooting, including a number of rim-shaking dunks and swift spin moves in the paint that ignited the sold out crowd at Allen Field House.

The 6'9" junior was also responsible for limiting Baylor's second chance opportunities, wiping the boards with 14 rebounds, 13 of which came on the defensive end. It was Robinson's 13th double-double of the season. He leads the Jayhawks in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 17.8 points and 12.3 rebounds.

Taylor, playing the best ball of his four-year collegiate career, matched his career high - set just two days ago in an 82-73 win over Iowa State - with 28 points, scoring on 10 of 14 shots, with four of his six 3-point attempts hitting their mark. Taylor also led Kansas with six assists.

Kansas took a 10 point lead into the break, but Baylor responded in the early part of the second half, cutting the lead to six before Kansas completely took over, pressuring every one of the Bears' shots while sizzling on their own offensive end to up the lead eventually to 20 points.

The Jayhawks shot 57% from the field and completely dominated the boards, out-rebounding Baylor, 39-24. It was their 16th straight win at Phog Allen Field House and improved their record to 15-3. The Jayhawks now stand alone atop the Big 12 standings at 5-0, with Missouri and Baylor chasing them, at 4-1.

NOTABLE: Syracuse beat Pitt in the Carrier Dome for the first time in five years, extending their winning streak to a school record 20 straight wins to open a season with a 71-63 decision over the struggling Panthers, who have lost seven straight and fallen to the bottom of the Big East standings, at 0-6. The top-ranked Orange used their familiar combination of tight zone defense and run-outs to lead start to finish. The Orange opened the game with a 13-0 run and were never headed.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lenzelle Smith Jr. Pops for 28 as Buckeyes Down Hoosiers

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, January 15, 2012

Maybe it was the home court advantage, or better preparedness, but whatever the case, Ohio State avenged an earlier, 74-70, loss to Indiana by thumping the Hoosiers, 80-63, dropping #7th-ranked Indiana to 3-3 in the wide-open Big Ten.

The Buckeyes got a career high 27 points from unheralded sophomore guard, Lenzelle Smith Jr., who more than tripled his scoring average, hitting 10 of 12 shots from the floor, including 4 of 5 three-pointers. Smith also pulled down seven rebounds as the #5 Buckeyes rolled to the convincing win, and are now 15-3 on the season and 4-2 in the conference, in third place, behind co-leaders Illinois and Michigan State, at 4-1.

Ohio State left little doubt about the outcome of this rematch, taking an early lead and outscoring the Hoosiers, 35-14, in the first half. The Buckeyes shot 54% for the game and forced 18 Indiana turnovers.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Deividas Dulkys Buries 8 3-Pointers as Florida State Hammers #3 North Carolina, 90-57

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, January 14, 2012

The ACC is normally a tough conference, but what happened to #3 North Carolina Saturday afternoon in Tallahassee was downright scary.

Deividas Dulkys pumped in a career high 32 points and the Tar Heels shot just 37% as the Florida State Seminoles absolutely trashed North Carolina, 90-57.

Dulkys, a senior guard from Lithuania averaging just seven points a game, was firing bullets from 3-point range, hitting 8 of 10 from outside the arc and 10 of 14 overall as the Seminoles took command right from the opening tip and expanded on a 36-28 lead at the half to turn the game into a rout.

There seemed to be little the Tar Heels could do right, turning the ball over 22 times while being dominated by the spirited Seminoles, who also won the battle of the boards, 43-35. Tyler Zeller scored 14 points and had 14 rebounds, but otherwise, North Carolia was outplayed. Florida State's Okaro White scored 12 points with 10 rebounds, in just his second double-double of the season.

Improving to 11-6 overall, the Seminoles tied North Carolina, NC State and Boston College for second place in the ACC, at 2-1, all chasing Duke, with their 2-0 conference record. North Carolina lost for just the third time this season against 15 wins, all of their defeats coming on the road. Their other two losses were to UNLV and Kentucky.

NOTABLE: All three of the remaining unbeaten teams took to the courts on Saturday, and each of them came away unscathed. #1 Syracuse exploded in the latter stages of the first half to lead Providence 38-21 at the break and eventually turn in their 19th straight win with a 78-55 victory, tying the school record for best start to a basketball season.

#4 Baylor had their highest scoring total of the season, blasting Oklahoma State, 106-65, behind 19 points and 12 rebounds from Perry Jones III. Next up for the Bears is a big test at Kansas, Monday, January 16.

Murray State, ranked 15th, dispatched Tennessee Tech, 82-64, for their 18th straight win. The Racers lead the Ohio Valley conference at 6-0.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Gregory White a Key Player in France Rugby League

Time out this afternoon for some rugby news.

French Rugby League 2011 squad player, Greg White, a rugby league and rugby union player originally from Australia, who holds Australian, English and French passports, was a key player with Toulouse Olympique in the Co-operative Championship, the second tier competition below the Super League Europe.

White, who played in a friendly against the Catalan Dragons, is to play in the Elite 1 competition in France through 2012.

Be sure to catch some of White's play in the France Rugby League Toulouse Olympique 2011 video highlights.

Doug McDermott Leads #23 Creighton to Fifth Straight Win and 15-2 Record

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, January 13, 2012

In limited action, there were just two games involving Top 25 teams Friday night. #24 Seton Hall was stopped at South Florida, 56-55, while #23 Creighton won their fifth in a row, topping Missouri Valley rival, Illinois State, 87-78, behind their sensational sophomore, Doug McDermott.

The 6'7" forward hit 9 of 14 shots from the field to score 20 points, below his average of 24.2, which is second in the country behind Weber State's Damian Lillard (25.8). McDermott, who's been in double figures every game this season, also grabbed nine boards and hit the only 3-point shot he took.

McDermott currently has the high single-game scoring total in Division I this season, pouring in 44 points in a 92-83 win over Bradley on January 9.

The Bluejays are tied for the lead in the Missouri Valley conference standings with Wichita State at 5-1 and are 15-2 overall. The unranked Shockers have run their record to 14-3, pasting Bradley on Friday by a 78-41 score.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Gaels Rout Gonzaga, 83-62, Behind Matthew Dellavedova's 26 Points

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, January 12, 2012

Memo to Top 25: Make way for Matthew Dellavedova and the St. Mary Gaels.

Dellavedova, the sparkplug senior point guard for the Gaels, led a mid-season rout of their arch-rivals, Gonzaga, to take sole possession of the lead in the West Coast conference at 5-0 with an 83-62 home win Thursday night.

After scoring a career high 27 in St. Mary's 87-72 win over San Francisco on Tuesday, Australian-born Dellavedova scored a game high 26 points and dished out six assists, helping the Gaels improve to 5-0 in the conference and 16-2 overall.

Dellavedova hit 10 of 16 field goals, including 5 of 10 from 3-point range as the Gaels shot 51% from the field while holding #21 Gonzaga to just 40%. Robert Sacre, the powerful forward for the Bulldogs was held to just four points over 18 minutes. Sacre's production has tailed off recently, especially against quality teams. He scored just two points in a 71-55 win over Butler and tallied a mere five points in 29 minutes against Xavier. he Bulldogs beat the Musketeers, 72-65.

NOTABLE: After knocking off Kentucky and Ohio State and rising to #7 in the AP Poll, the Indiana Hoosiers suffered their first home loss of the season, going down to Minnesota, 77-74. Cody Zeller led all scorers with 23 points, but the Hoosiers were cold from outside, hitting just four of 18 shots (22%) from 3-point range. Indiana dropped to 15-2 while the Golden Gophers improved to 13-5.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Davante Gardner Scores 22 with 15 Rebounds to Lead Marquette Over St. John's

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ranked number 25 in the most recent AP poll, the Marquette Golden Eagles used home court and 22 points and 15 rebounds from Davante Gardner to stop upset-minded St. John's, 83-64, before more than 14,000 fans at Milwaukee's Bradley Center.

After back-to-back losses at Georgetown and Syracuse, Marquette needed a big effort and got one from Gardner, a 6'8" sophomore forward who hit 8 of 13 shots from the floor and added six of eight free throws to achieve a career high in scoring. His 15 boards, another career high, included six on the offensive end, as the Red Storm was out-rebounded by Marquette, 38-29 and shot just 40% from the field while the Golden Eagles were pumping it in at a blazing 56%.

St. John's fell to 8-8, with Marquette improving to 13-4, evening their Big East record at 2-2.

NOTABLE: Top-ranked Syracuse made quick work of an overmatched Villanova squad, 79-66 improving to 18-0 to start the season for the second year in a row.

Super sub Dion Waiters led the Orange with 20 points, as the Orange zone defense held the Wildcats to just 33% shooting. Syracuse has played four road games this season, winning all of them by double digit margins.

Syracuse, one of just three unbeaten Division I teams - Baylor and Murray State are the others - will seek to tie the school record for most consecutive victories to start a season when they host the Providence Friars at the Carrier Dome on Saturday, January 14.

The Orange led the Big East standings with a 5-0 conference record. 4-1 Seton Hall is a surprising second place, followed by Notre Dame and Cincinnati at 3-1.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Illinois Upsets Ohio State Behind Brandon Paul's 43 Points

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

It was a great night for fellows with the surname Paul.

Texas representative Ron Paul scored a clear second in the Republican party's New Hampshire primary, but Illinois sophomore swingman Brandon Paul was first in the hearts and minds of Fighting Illini fans as he scored a career high 43 points en route to Illinois dumping #5 Ohio State, 79-74.

Paul was brilliant, going 8-for-10 from 3-point range and 11 of 15 overall, in addition to hitting 13 of 15 free throws. A homegrown product from Gurnee, Illinois, Paul more than doubled his previous season high of 21, significantly boosting his scoring average which was 12.1 points per game heading into the fray with the Buckeyes..

In addition to producing the second-highest point total in Division I this season, Paul added eight boards, two assists, two steals and four blocks, including a crucial rejection of Ohio State's star center, Jared Sullinger, in the final minute of play.

The unranked Illini improved to 15-3 and 4-1 in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes dropped to 3-2 in the conference, behind a host of contenders led by 4-0 Michigan State, who demolished Iowa, 95-61. Ohio State is 15-3 overall.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cincinnati Upsets Georgetown as Sean Kilpatrick Scores 27

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, January 9, 2012

Sean Kilpatrick scored a career-high 27 points with four steals to lead the Cincinnati Bearcats to a 68-64 win over Georgetown.

Cincinnati went 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the final 70 seconds, and allowed the Hoyas to get off only four shots in the final six minutes as the Bearcats rallied from a six-point deficit.

The Hoyas fell for the second straight time, losing to West Virginia on Saturday, 74-62.

Kilpatrick, a sophomore fuard, was 10-for-16 from the field, hitting 3 of 5 3-pointers, making four of his five free throw attempts. Averaging 16.6 points per game, Kilpatrick has socred in double figures in all but two of Cincinnati's 17 games this season. The two times he fell short of double digits he had 9 points.

The Bearcats are unranked despite being 13-4 overall and 3-1 in Big East contests. Georgetown, ranked 11th in the latest AP poll (Monday), fell to 13-3.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Jordan Hulls and Matt Roth Lead Hoosiers to 88-82 Win Over Penn State

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, January 8, 2012

A few days ago, it was duly noted here how Indiana's Cody Zeller and Christian Watford were dominant inside players. On Sunday, the Hoosiers went out and proved that they had dead-eye shooters on the outside as well.

In their 88-82 struggle over Penn State, Jordan Hulls and Matt Roth popped for a combined 50 points, missing just three shots from the field as the 12-ranked Hoosiers improved to 15-1 and are certain to move up in the rankings when the new poll is released Monday.

Hulls, a junior guard, led all scorers with 28 points, going 7-for-9 from 3-point range and the same from the free throw line. The only two shots he took from inside the arc were misses, but his teammates were more impressed with his career high scoring effort.

Roth, a 6'3" senior guard, missed just once, going 5-for-6 from 3-point range and made all seven of his free throws for 22 points. The duo was a combined 12-for-15 from beyond the arc, accounting for 36 points on 12 of the Hoosiers' 16 3-point makes. Zeller and Watford each scored 10.

The win snapped Indiana's 16-game Big Ten road losing streak that dated back to late January, 2010. They've come a long way since then and have raised eyebrows around the country after going 12-20 last season.

NOTABLE: It isn't often that a player - none less a senior - sets career highs in two categories, but that's exactly what Yale's Greg Mangano did in the Bulldogs' 101-86 victory over St. Joseph's of Long Island. Mangano scored 35 points, making 14 of 26 shots, including 3-for-6 on 3-pointers. He also hauled down 22 rebounds as the 6'10" Yalite dominated the boards. Mangano is averaging a double-double this season, with 19.9 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. Yale is 10-4 and opens Ivy League play on January 14 against Brown University.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Upsets Galore as Darryl Bryant and Kevin Jones Lead West Virginia Past 9th-Ranked Hoyas

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, January 7, 2011

One of the more amazing aspects of West Virginia's 74-62 victory over #9 Georgetown is that 12-4 Mountaineers have received no votes - that's right, zero - in any of the AP polls this season.

One might think that West Virginia is on probation (not the case) or that the entire voting community of coaches holds a grudge against Mountaineer head coach Bob Huggins (well, maybe), but that all may change on Monday when the new poll comes out after Darryl (Truck) Bryant paced all scorers with 25 points and Kevin Jones notched his 11th double-double of the season with 22 points and 16 hard-earned boards.

Both players are seniors and coach Huggins leans heavily on his two stars for scoring as well as leadership. The Mountaineers were 21-12 last season, ousted from the NCAA tournament in the second round by Kentucky. This year, votes or no votes, ranked or unranked, West Virginia is poised to make noise come March.

NOTABLE: Upsets dominated the college basketball landscape on Saturday, with no fewer than seven ranked units being knocked off. #1 Syracuse - seldom mentioned here due to their balanced scoring which rarely produces a 20-point scorer - took care of business with a 73-66 win over #20 Marquette, but that was business as usual for the 17-0 Orange.

Elsewhere, Tennessee topped #13 Florida, 67-56, #23 Kansas State took down previously-unbeaten #7 Missouri, 75-59.

Rutgers won at home over #9 Connecticut, 67-60, while the Fighting Irish went on the road to defeat #11 Louisville in double overtime, 67-65.

In the usually wide-open SEC West, Arkansas took down #15 Mississippi State, with a 98-88 home win.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Iona Tops Niagara on 19 Points from Michael Glover

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, January 6, 2012

With very limited action on Friday nights (only 4 games this Friday), the opportunity to focus on some of the better, less-publicized programs across the country is afforded. One such team is the Iona Gaels, currently leading the MAAC with a 4-0 conference record and a solid 12-3 mark overall after taking down the Niagara Purple Eagles by a 73-61 score.

The Gaels didn't overpower Niagara, leading by only four points at the half, but managed to pull away late, establishing themselves as a contender in the conference that includes only a few perennial small-college powerhouses, such as Fairfield (3-1 in the MAAC) and Loyola of Maryland (also 3-1).

Iona's defense did the trick against Niagara, limiting their opponent to just 36% shooting, including 4-for-19 on three-pointers. Meanwhile, the Gaels' leading scorer, senior forward Michael Glover, provided efficient offense, hitting 6 of 7 shots from the field and making 7 of 8 free throws for a game high 19 points.

Glover also inhaled six rebounds, and provided two steals.

Iona lost to St. Peter's in last season's MAAC tournament championship and made it through three games of the of the CIT Tournament before falling in the final to Santa Clara, 79-69. Missing out narrowly on making the cut for the NCAA tourney last year seems to have provided the Gaels with some added motivation this time around and they are blazing a trail that may land them a spot at the Big Dance come March.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Christian Watford, Cody Zeller Lead Indiana Over Mighigan, 73-71

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tom Crean is building a champion at Indiana.

Crean's 12th-ranked Hoosiers won for the third time this season over a ranked opponent with a 73-71 home win over #16 Michigan, improving their record to 14-1 and 2-1 in the Big Ten.

The Hoosiers, already victorious over then-#1 Kentucky and #2 Ohio State, are becoming a force to reckon with both inside and out of the rugged Big Ten conference. Thursday night's win over the Wolverines was a testament to the power of their inside-outside game, wherein forwards Cody Zeller and Christian Watford dominated inside, scoring 18 and 25 points, respectively, with Watford grabbing high-scorer honors for the game. Watford also grabbed seven rebounds and had four assists.

Indiana led for most of the game, taking a 39-32 lead into the break, but the Wolverines fought back in the second half to tie the game and briefly lead in the final moments, but Zeller and Watford were simply too much to handle and the Hoosiers held on for the win.

Watford, a 6'9" junior forward from Alabama, hit on eight of 11 shots from the field and had three 3-pointers in four attempts, while freshman Zeller - who's older brother Tyler plays for the North Carolina Tar Heels - was eight for 10 and displayed moves in the paint that belied his tender age.

The Hoosiers finished last season with nine straight losses and did not play in any post-season tournaments past the Big Ten. This season, with the addition of Zeller as a complement to Watford inside, they appear to have their sights set on a lengthy run beyond the regular season.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Hollis Thompson, Jason Clark Lead Hoyas to Comeback Win over Marquette, 73-70

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hollis Thompson hit a tie-breaking, game-winning 3-pointer with 24 seconds left and Jason Clark pumped in 18 of his game high 26 points in the second half, as the 9th-ranked Georgetown Hoyas defeated #20 Marquette, 73-70, before more than 11,000 rabid fans at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.

Trailing by as many as 17 points in the second half, Clark and his Hoya teammates stages a furious rally to catch and finally surpass the Golden Eagles, sending them to their third loss against 12 wins. Georgetown improved to 13-1 and 3-0 in the Big East with their 11th straight victory. The Hoyas' only loss was a November 21, 67-63, setback to Kansas.

Sharpshooting Thompson was deadly from the field, hitting 6 of 7 shots, including 4 of 5 from three-point range. He finished with 16 points. Clark was less accurate but more persistent, making nine of 14 shots (2-for-7 on 3-pointers). The Hoyas shot an incredible 63% (27-43) for the game while holding Marquette to 44%.

Thompson, a junior forward, is second on the team in scoring at 13.9 points per game. Clark, a senior guard, leads the squad with a 15.9 points per game average. It was Clark's fourth 20+ point outburst this season, two shy of his season high 28, which he scored against Chaminade in the Aloha Classic.

Off to one of their best starts in school history, the Hoyas hope to continue improving as the Big East season unfolds. Last season, they lost five of their last six Big East games - including an first round loss to UConn in the conference tournament, but still made the NCAA tourney, though they were eliminated in the opening round by VCU, 74-56.

NOTABLE: Khalif Wyatt pumped in 21 points to lead the Temple Owls to a 78-73 win over #5 Duke. It was Temple's first win over the Blue Devils since 1996. The unranked Owls are 10-3. Both Temple and 12-2 Duke have not lost at home this season.

#14 Kansas (11-3) got their Big 12 season started with a convincing, 67-49 home win over 23rd-ranked, 12-2, Kansas State.

Top-ranked Syracuse outscored Providence 51-39 in the second half to extend their winning streak to 16 games to open the season with an 87-73 win. The #1 Orange are one of just three unbeaten college squads. Missouri (14-0) and Murray State (15-0).

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Anthony Davis Has 4th Straight Double-Double as Kentucky Rolls to 14-1

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Leading at half time with a 30-27 edge, the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans gave #2 Kentucky something to discuss during intermission.

Apparently, with conference play beginning in just four days - January 7 vs. South Carolina - the Wildcats worked things out and blitzed the Trojans in the second half, scoring 46 points to Little Rock's 21 for an easy-looking 73-51 victory.

When all was said and done, the Wildcats held their opponents to just 31% shooting, while Kentucky hit half their field goal attempts (28-56), out-rebounded them 47-19 and blocked 12 shots. Despite their slow start and 19 turnovers, the Wildcats proved too much for the smaller Trojan squad.

Three of those blocks belonged to freshman sensation Anthony Davis, who leads the nation with 67 blocks. Davis also led the Wildcats on the scoreboard with 22 points, and rebounds, with 16.

The 6'10" Davis hit on 9 of 11 shots from the field and notched his 4th straight double-double and 8th overall.

Kentucky is 14-1 and have won six straight following their only setback, a 73-72 loss at Indiana.

NOTABLE: Seton Hall topped the Huskies of Connecticut for the first time in ten years (2001), 75-63, as Jordan Theodore scored 19 points and distributed 11 assists. Three other Pirate starters scored in double figures and held the Huskies to just 35% shooting.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Kenny Gabriel Posts Triple-Double for Auburn in 67-41 Win

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, January 2, 2012

Auburn won its ninth straight home game, defeating Bethune-Cookman decisively, 67-41 as the 10-3 Tigers held the Wildcats to just 24% shooting from the field and won the battle of the boards, 41-28.

The main component of Auburn's defensive display was also their leading scorer. Kenny Gabriel scored a game high 24 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and added 10 blocked shots for the rare triple-double. The senior forward also contributed four steals and three assists, going 11-for-13 from the floor without ever stepping to the foul line. Gabriel hit two of his three 3-point shots.

Gabriel's double dozen points matched his career high. This was the third time he's scored 24 points, the most recent coming about a week ago when he put in 24 in an 83-76 loss to UTEP.

The Tigers face stiff competition in the SEC from a handful of teams, including Kentucky, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi State. The Tigers hit the road on Wednesday, January 4, when they conclude the non-conference part of their schedule with a visit to Florida State, then open SEC play at Vanderbilt on January 7 and host #2 Kentucky on January 11.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Trey Burke Is Lights Out for Michigan in Win over Minnesota; Pitt Loses Third Straight

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Michigan Wolverines are hoping to get back to the kind of quality team that was a regular at the NVAA tournament, but they've only been to the tournament twice since 1998 - in 2009 and 2011 - both times being beaten in the second round.

This season's vintage of Wolverine basketball may make a better showing, especially if they begin shooting the ball better. In Sunday's 61-56 win over Minnesota, the Wolverines shot just 38.5% from the field, but were bailed out by Trey Burke's sharpshooting.

The 6'1" freshman guard scored a game high and career-best 27 points on 8-for-11 shooting, including going 2-for-2 from outside the 3-point line and making 9 of 11 free throws. While Burke was efficient, the rest of the Michigan squad sot a combined 12-for-41 for the game, making just 4 of 18 3-point attempts and hitting 6 of 12 from the foul line.

The Wolverines, ranked 18th in the latest AP poll, won their seventh straight, improving to 12-2 and 2-0 in the Big Ten. Their next two games are both against ranked opponents. Michigan travels to Indiana on January 5 and then returns home for a meeting with Wisconsin on January 8.

NOTABLE: Once a top 10 team, the Pittsburgh Panthers have hit a rough spot in their schedule, losing their last three straight, including Sunday's 66-63 loss to 13-2 Cincinnati. The two previous losses were to Wagner and Notre Dame, after the Panthers had won nine straight and were cruising with an 11-1 record. Now, at 11-4, he Panthers are in danger of falling out of the Top 25.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Kidd-Gilchrist Leads Kentucky Past Louisville with 24 Points and 19 Rebounds

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, December 31, 2011

Whenever Kentucky and Louisville get together for a friendly game of college hoops, it's usually a good time for the fans, as Wildcats' coach John Calipari and Cardinals' coach Rick Pitino routinely send to the floor some of the top talent in the nation.

Saturday's festivities at Rupp Arena were well worth the price of admission as #3 Kentucky bettered #4 Louisville, 69-62, extending the Wildcats' home win streak to 44 games.

Kentucky is notable for Calipari's recruiting, which every year produces freshmen blessed with an abundance of talent and the current squad is not an exception. This year's starting five features three freshmen, including 6'7" forward, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who guided the Wildcats to victory with 24 points and 19 rebounds.

Kidd-Gilchrist was 7-for-16 from the field, with two of three from 3-point range, and 8-for-13 from the foul line. Both his scoring an rebounding were career (14 games) bests for the Somerdale, NJ native. His double-double effort was just his second of the season.

Fellow frosh Anthony Davis pitched in 18 points, 10 boards and six blocked shots. Davis saved all his scoring for the second half.

The game featured some of the most contentious defense of the season, with Kentucky winning while shooting just 30%. Louisville shot 32%, but Kentucky really made hay at the foul line, cashing 32 of 43 charity shots.

Louisville reserve guard Russ Smith came off the bench to score 30 points in 27 minutes for the Cardinals.

NOTABLE: Indiana did it again, knocking off #2 Ohio State, 74-70, just three weeks after setting down then-#1 Kentucky, 73-72. Entering the game, the 13-1 Hoosiers were ranked #13 in the last AP poll, and are certain to move up on Monday, when the new poll is released. Ohio State suffered just its second loss of the season. Their #2 ranking appears to be in jeopardy.