Monday, December 30, 2013

Welcome to Bracketville--Conference Play Begins Edition

The non-conference part of the schedule allows teams to take inventory of their roster…conference play truly defines you as a coach, player and program. Let conference play begin.
Raise your hand if you had Villanova doing this well…no takers…didn’t think so. Point guard Ryan Arcidiacono averaged three turnovers a game last year…this season, just 12 in his first 11 games.
If North Carolina makes their next 106 straight free throws, they will reach 70%.
I certainly expected big things from BC this season…maybe even third place in the ACC. Not to be, even with a pair of possible all-conference players {Oliver Hanlan and Ryan Anderson}.
Giving up an average of 1.1 points per possession is not good for business.
In their loss to VCU on Saturday, BC had 23 turnovers and 17 field goals…and went 3-for-18 from three.
It doesn’t get any easier as BC plays at Harvard on Wednesday prior to their conference opener.
St. Mary’s is one of my perennial favorites. They were undefeated going into the Diamond Head Tournament…then lost three in a row {by a combined 11 points.}
As Florida gets healthier, they become more and more dangerous.
Arizona may not have enough depth for a title run. They share the ball excellently and take good shots. Their top five scorers are all shooting at least b50% from the field…can anyone keep that up?
Duke’s Jabari Parker says, “Rodney Hood has that sneaky bounce.” On Hood’s first half dunk against Eastern Michigan, his head was above the rim.
Eastern Michigan employed a 2-3 zone---but Duke found one way to get the better of the zone is ball movement. They had 19 assists on 24 field goals.
Larry Brown’s SMU team was sneaky good in non-conference play. Will that hold up once conference play starts?
Jumpin’ Jehosophat: Wisconsin committed just two turnovers and eight fouls in their weekend victory over Prairie View A&M.
If you thought that Louisville missed the presence of Gorgui Dieng…what is going to happen with the departure of Chane Behanan?
If Kentucky had just a couple of role players, I think they would be a better team.
Do you think that Kentucky coach John Calipari regrets saying, “We don’t just play college basketball, we are college basketball?” Me neither!
Before the home victory over Louisville, UK’s most notable attribute was being extremely tall.
Wisconsin is 101-7 at home under Bo Ryan.
Louisville needs to get more from players other than its dynamic duo of Russ Smith and Chris Jones.
Louisville, Ohio State and Wichita State are the only teams in the Top-25 without a victory against a Top-25 team.
Belmont played six consecutive games against teams that made last season’s NCAA Tournament…going 1-5, including five straight road games.
Cincinnati has held opponents to under 70 points for 20 games in a row.
UMass is averaging 15 turnovers per game. Remember that come March.
Gonzaga started conference play with a victory…but zero impressive wins. This year, David Stockton is my favorite player to watch.
North Carolina State has just three players back from last year’s team.
Raise your hand if you knew that Niagara’s Antoine Mason is the nation’s leading scorer. Doug McDermott is second…almost five ppg fewer than Mason.

Not so fast: As of now, Louisville’s best win is against Southern Miss. Ouch!
One more thing: Joel Embiid’s rapid development is going to be big for Kansas going forward. KU’s front line is as good as anyone’s. A little more consistency in the backcourt [especially Naadir Tharp] and they will appear in the Top-5.
Congratulations! You made it to the end -- celebrate by watching some basketball. 
 Tuesday, espn2 goes from 1 PM to 11 PM featuring Ohio State, Purdue, Indiana, Louisville, Memphis and UConn.

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