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djsalway

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djsalway last won the day on May 10 2015

djsalway had the most liked content!

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About djsalway

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    All Big Ten 2nd Team
  • Birthday 02/12/1995

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    Male
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    Bloomington, IN
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    I love sports.

    Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia Phillies, Miami Dolphins, Indiana Hoosiers.

    Senior at Indiana University studying Sports Marketing and Management.

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  1. djsalway

    Q&A With OG Anunoby

    Question: Your commitment happened a long time ago now, but what made the Indiana Hoosiers stand out compared to the other teams you considered? Answer: My connection with the coaching staff and players and the tradition of the team. Q: What other offers did you have and was there another team that stood out or made it difficult to choose? A: Iowa, Gonzaga, Georgia, Wichita State, Kansas State, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss. That's all I remember for now, but it was hard turning down the first three schools. Q: What would you say are your strengths, as both a player and a teammate? A: I would say athleticism, 3 point shooting, and defense, and as a teammate being unselfish and always supporting my teammates. I would also say passing is a strength of mine. Q: Your weaknesses? What do you need to improve the most before the season starts in November? A: Tightening up my ball handling, upper body strength and consistency in my shooting. Q: Do you have a plan in place to improve those areas? A: I plan to shoot 10,000 threes (similar to Troy) this summer and really, really work on my ball handling to the point I can play point guard. Q: What do you believe you can contribute to the Hoosiers in your freshman year? A: Being a versatile athletic wing that can shoot and play all over the floor offensively and defensively. Q: In the past, IU has had some players your size play in the post. Have you ever played down low and are you comfortable doing so? A: Yes I did on my AAU team last season and I'm comfortable doing it. Q: Having played with the other two commits this past weekend (and playing against Juwan in the past), how would you assess what the impact of this class could be? A: I think our class can make a great impact and do really big things. Q: What is your relationship with the current team members? Have you been in contact with Yogi specifically, amid speculation that he could declare for the draft on April 25th? A: I'm pretty close with Rob, Devin, and Troy. I don’t know anything really (about the Yogi decision). I hope Yogi stays, but I know playing in the NBA is a dream of his as it is for me. Q: When do you plan on coming to Bloomington this summer and what are you most looking forward to during your time at IU? A: I’m coming in the middle of June and I'm looking forward to playing for a program with so much tradition and the opportunity to get better every day. Q: Have you gotten any sense of the types of offensive sets the ‘15-‘16 team will run? Do you think your game translates well to an up-tempo style offense? A: Yes I do. I like playing in transition and I really like shooting 3s. Q: Are you looking forward to a certain game next year? What are your thoughts on going to the Maui Invitational in Hawaii in November? A: I have yet to see the full schedule, but the Maui should be fun and when we play Iowa because I have some friends going to play there. Q: What are your expectations for the team for next season? A: I think we can win the Big Ten and also compete for a national championship. We will be really talented next year. Q: What other sports did you play growing up? A: I played soccer, baseball, and football. Q: Do you have a favorite nickname? A: No nickname yet. Q: Have you thought about what number you will wear next year yet? A: I will wear number 3. Q: What is your favorite dunk to do? A: Behind the back dunk is my favorite or any kind of between the legs.
  2. djsalway

    Around the NCAA (Week 1)

    Well, the 2014-2015 college basketball season is upon us. Sure, Indiana has had a rough offseason, but the fact that the season is starting is good news for any sports fan. This season will, once again, be dominated by talk of freshmen in college basketball. Duke’s number one recruiting class features Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones, arguably the best big man/guard combo to pair up in the past decade. Along with that, they brought in two more top 25 recruits, meaning that losing Jabari Parker won’t be as bad as some may have thought. Kentucky has reloaded with freshmen and Calipari has implemented a “platoon system” where he will play two different five man units. However, there is basically no way that this will last because he will need the best five players on the court in crunch time. I’m sure UK fans are hoping for 40-0 this season, but let’s face it, it isn’t happening. Other top five teams include Wisconsin, who returns basically everybody from last year’s Final Four team, Kansas, who brought in to freshmen Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre, and Arizona, a team that brought in yet another stellar recruiting class and has a top-notch coach in Sean Miller. Last year was filled with huge expectations for the freshman (some called it the best class EVER), an undefeated team entering the tournament (Wichita State), and a guard-oriented team winning the championship (UConn). This year, we can expect more surprises, but only time will tell what comes from the 2014-2015 season. Everything leads to Indianapolis this year and I believe that there are plenty of teams that could end up in the Final Four in April. The Preseason AP Top 25 is as follows: Kentucky Arizona Wisconsin Duke Kansas North Carolina Florida Louisville Virginia Texas Wichita State Villanova Gonzaga Iowa State Virginia Commonwealth San Diego State Connecticut Michigan State Oklahoma Ohio State Nebraska SMU Syracuse Michigan T25. Utah T25. Harvard What to Watch Around the NCAA: Miami (FL) vs. (7) Florida Date and Time: November 17 @ 7 PM Television Coverage: ESPNU Preview: Miami had a rough season last year after being a national title contender in 2012-2013, but are hoping for a bounce-back season under head coach Jim Larranaga. With Florida having lost a good portion of their team (four of five starters were seniors), they will rely on young talent to keep them in the SEC race this season. They brought in a top recruiting class, but freshman Brandone Francis has been ruled ineligible for the upcoming season. However, they have Devin Robinson and brought in Jon Horford, brother of former Florida star Al Horford, from Michigan as a graduate transfer. This could be a good, in-state “rivalry” game to open the season. Miami will improve upon last year’s down season, but Florida will still be too much to handle. (22) SMU vs. (13) Gonzaga Date and Time: November 17 @ 11 PM Television Coverage: ESPN Preview: Just three days before SMU comes to Assembly Hall, they will travel to Spokane to take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs. SMU came out of last season finishing as the runners-up in the NIT, losing to Minnesota in the championship game, but had high hopes for the upcoming season, expecting to bring in star freshman Emmanuel Mudiay. However, he decided to go overseas and play in China, also signing a multi-million dollar shoe contract. Led by point guard Nic Moore, from Warsaw, Indiana, and big man Markus Kennedy, SMU will still be a formidable team and should be one of the favorites in the AAC. Gonzaga will, once again, most likely win the WCC, a conference that is still relatively weak, even with Gonzaga’s continued success. They return many key players from last year, including Gary Bell Jr. and Kevin Pangos, while adding Kentucky transfer Kyle Wiltjer and USC transfer Byron Wesley. This is by far one of the best matchups of the first week of the season, but I believe the Gonzaga hype has gone too far. SMU will win behind their deep lineup and stars. (23) Syracuse vs. California (In New York) Date and Time: November 20 @ 9 PM Television Coverage: ESPN2 Preview: For the second season in a row, Syracuse will be with a brand new starting point guard. They return quite a few key players, but lost their top three leading scorers to the NBA. Trevor Cooney is one of the best shooters in the country and Boeheim will use his typical 2-3 zone to force turnovers and run in transition, making sure to get Cooney some looks along the way. Cal has some shooters of their own and shooting is the main way to get the Syracuse zone to fall apart. Jabari Bird, once a top recruit, is back for his sophomore season and will look to improve upon his 8.3 ppg last year. California is very young, with only two seniors, but will be looking for production from their young guys and new coach Cuonzo Martin is the right man to lead this young squad. Cal will be dangerous this season and could pull a few upsets, but in the end Syracuse is too good to lose this matchup, especially in New York. What to Watch in the Big Ten (8) Louisville vs. Minnesota (In Puerto Rico) Date and Time: November 14 @ 7 PM Television Coverage: ESPN Preview: Minnesota is coming off of an NIT championship last year and Louisville is a top ten team, but the real storyline in this game is the two coaches. This will be the first matchup between Louisville coach Rick Pitino and his son, Richard Pitino, the coach of Minnesota. Rick Pitino is a Hall of Fame coach and has the talent to wreak havoc on the ACC this year, in their first season with the conference, while Minnesota is still a middle of the pack B1G team. This will be a crucial matchup for the younger Pitino, not only because he can be his father, but to establish an image for Minnesota in the coming years. This will be the first of many matchups between the father and son combo, but unfortunately for the Big Ten, I cannot fathom a way that Louisville gets beaten in this game. (4) Duke vs. (18) Michigan State (In Indianapolis) Date and Time: November 18 @ 7 PM Television Coverage: ESPN Preview: This could very possibly be a down year for Michigan State after losing Keith Appling, Adreian Payne, Gary Harris, along with a few offseason departures. Duke also lost their biggest player, Jabari Parker, but were able to bring in a much better recruiting class than that of Michigan State. However, the coach of the Spartans is still Tom Izzo last time I checked, and as long as he is the coach they have a chance to be a solid team. Michigan State still has formidable guards such as Travis Trice and Denzel Valentine, as well as Branden Dawson as a forward, but they do not have a dominant big man that can defend Jahlil Okafor in the post, which could prove to be their biggest downfall in this matchup. Duke has too much star power to lose this game, especially on the big stage in the Champions Classic in Indy, where they could very possibly end the season. Marquette vs. (20) Ohio State Date and Time: November 18 @ 7:30 PM Television Coverage: ESPN2 Preview: Marquette is coming into this season with a brand new coach after Buzz Williams’ departure to Virginia Tech. The new coach is former Duke Assistant Steve Wojciechowski and I’m sure the Golden Eagles are hoping he can bring a little bit of Coach K’s knowledge with him. They also only have eleven players on their roster, with Luke Fischer being out for the first semester. Ohio State, on the other hand, is loaded with talent. This will be the first year since the turn of the millennium that the Buckeyes are without Aaron Craft, their red-cheeked, scrappy little point guard and they will be looking for leadership from someone else this season. They bring in one of the best recruiting classes in the nation, including star D’Angelo Russell and will compete for a top four seed in the NCAA tournament come March. In this matchup, Wojciechowski’s first as a head coach, will unfortunately for him not end in his favor. Ohio State will win this one… Big. (10) Texas vs. Iowa (In New York) Date and Time: November 20 @ 7 PM Television Coverage: ESPN2 Preview: There is a pretty good chance that Texas will end Kansas’ streak of 10 straight Big 12 regular season titles, and for good reason. Texas brought in a top five player in Myles Turner, while returning numerous key players from last year’s team that went 24-11, including big man Cameron Ridley. With another year of improvement under their belts and adding Turner, they will be one of the best teams in the country by the end of the season. Their opponents, however, will be a competitor in the Big Ten this season and could very possibly make the NCAA tournament for a second straight season. Roy Devyn Marble will be hard to replace for the Hawkeyes, but returning Aaron White and the emergence of Peter Jok will be huge in 2014-2015. This could be a much closer game than the Longhorns would like it to be, but Myles Turner and company are too good and should bring home a win in this one. (22) SMU vs. Indiana Date and Time: November 20 @ 8 PM Television Coverage: BTN Preview: There is simply no reason for me to preview this game. It will receive a bunch of coverage leading up to it and is the first huge test for the young Indiana Hoosiers. It will be the first game back for sophomores Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson, as well as freshman Emmitt Holt. This could be a great game and let’s hope that Assembly Hall is rocking when Larry Brown and his team come to town. Once again this year, ESPN is airing their annual Tip-Off Marathon on November 17th and 18th. Here is the schedule for the two-day event: Monday, November 17th: 7 PM – Miami (FL) at Florida (ESPNU) 11 PM – SMU at Gonzaga (ESPN2) 11 PM – Detroit at Oregon (ESPNU) Tuesday, November 18th: 1 AM – Auburn at Colorado (ESPN2) 3 AM – New Mexico State at Saint Mary’s (ESPN2) 5 AM – High Point at Hawaii (ESPN2) 7 AM – Iona at Wofford (ESPN2) 9 AM – Northern Iowa at Stephen F. Austin (ESPN2) 11 AM – Manhattan at Massachusetts (ESPN2) Noon – Baylor at South Carolina (ESPN) 2 PM – Wichita State vs. Memphis (ESPN) 4 PM – Utah at San Diego State (ESPN) 6 PM – Toledo at VCU (ESPNU) 7 PM – Michigan State vs. Duke (ESPN) 7:30 PM – Marquette at Ohio State (ESPN2) 9:30 PM – Kansas vs. Kentucky (ESPN) 9:30 PM – Texas Tech at LSU (ESPN2)
  3. djsalway

    Robert Johnson Q & A

    Question: This happened a long time ago now, but what made the Indiana Hoosiers stand out compared to the other teams you considered? Answer: I always wanted to play for a big time basketball school and with the impact that Coach Crean wants me to make as a freshman, I couldn’t turn it down. Q: I know you’ve probably gotten this question a million times, but what do you think your strengths are, as both a player and a teammate? A: I think my strengths are shooting and scoring the ball and playing tough. As a teammate, I’m a natural leader so I take pride in leading by example and doing whatever it takes to win. Q: Your weaknesses? What do you need to improve the most before the season starts in November? A: I think I can improve on every area of my game as far as weaknesses go, but I think getting stronger will definitely be key. Q: What do you believe you can contribute to the Hoosiers in your freshman year? A: Next year I will contribute leadership, scoring, toughness, and a will to win. Q: What are your thoughts on the incoming recruiting class? Have you talked to the newest commits, Jeremiah April and Tim Priller? A: I think we have a strong class. I would put me and James up against any other incoming guards in the country. Everybody in our class can shoot, even Jeremiah has a soft touch from what I have seen, so shooting won’t be a problem next year. I talk to James and Max all the time, but I haven’t gotten a chance to talk to Tim or Jeremiah yet. Q: What kind of player do you think will fill the last open scholarship? A: I’m not sure who will fill the last spot, but I’m thinking anyone from a wing to a big from everything that I’ve seen. Q: What is your relationship with the current team members? A: I’m cool with everyone on the team and got to meet them all. I’ve talked to Troy, Stan, and Noah the most out of everybody. Q: How excited are you to wear the Cream and Crimson in just a few months? A: I’m super excited. I’m counting down the days until I’m in Btown. Q: Have you gotten any sense of the types of offensive sets the ‘14-‘15 team will run? Do you think playing an up-tempo offensive style will be successful? A: Coach Crean sent me a tape of guard play in our offense, so I have a good feel of what most sets will consist of. I think playing up-tempo will be great for us with our backcourt and the way everyone can spread the floor. Gonna be hard guarding us. Q: Are you looking forward to a certain game next year? As of now, the general public knows about Pittsburgh, Louisville, SMU, Butler, and the teams in the Big Ten. A: I look forward to all of those games because all of those games are against talented teams and give us a chance to make a statement outside of conference play. Q: What are your expectations for both yourself and the team for next season? A: I want to come and contribute to us winning right away. I expect us to bounce back from last year and win a lot of games. Q: Do you have a favorite nickname? A: Fans have gave a couple of funny ones like “OG Robby Johnson,” but I just stick with Rob. Q: Since you’re wearing the number 4 next year, what are your thoughts on Victor Oladipo? A: Vic is a great player and he had a good rookie season this year. The thing I like most about him is his toughness. He does it all with no questions asked.
  4. djsalway

    Tim Priller Interview

    Question: First off, how much did the Indiana offer mean to you? What made you choose Indiana over the other schools recruiting you? Answer: It meant a lot, it's a great opportunity, and is a very successful school in terms of basketball and education. Q: How meaningful is it to come back to the state of Indiana to play basketball, especially with the history of IU and the basketball-crazy fan base? A: I was only born there, not raised there, but given the history and fan base, it means a lot. I'm a very humble person. Q: What would you consider your strengths, as both a basketball player and a teammate? A: I can score the ball, I'm a team player first, I want to win by all means and will do whatever it takes to win, and my IQ for Basketball is high. I can set good, solid screens, talk on defense, and get my teammates the ball. Q: What part of your game needs the most work before the season starts in November? A: Getting stronger. Once I'm stronger I'll be fine, and I could be more aggressive on rebounding. Q: What parts of your game do you see fitting well in Coach Crean’s system? Are you familiar with it? A: Not very familiar with it but from what I'm hearing it sounds like bigs that can shoot well and are more skilled, but we haven't really talked about that yet. Q: What do you believe you can contribute to the program in your Freshman season? A: I think I can contribute by working hard, having a good winning mentality. I’m definitely a positive player. No minutes have been promised, but I'm going to work as hard as I can to try and earn those minutes. And if I play, I can score, and once I get stronger I'll be able to score, rebound, and play defense. Q: What does it mean to you to be a Hoosier and have the opportunity to wear the Cream and Crimson? A: It means a lot, Indiana is a huge school and seems to have many good people. I'm very excited to be a Hoosier and can't wait. Q: Will you be visiting Bloomington before the summer? If so, when? A: Yes, hopefully sometime in the next week and a half. Q: Have you spoken to any of the other commits for Indiana’s 2014 class? What are your thoughts on the incoming recruits? A: I've texted Max and told him there is a lot of haters out there and let's prove them wrong and let's do big things at Indiana. I think I'll fit in well with the rest of the guys. Q: To finish up with a bit of a fun question, do you have a specific nickname you would like Hoosier Nation to call you by? A: I've never really had a nickname but I've been seeing on Twitter people saying "thrilla prilla" or “thriller priller," but it doesn't really matter to me, if the fans want a nickname for me they can make it! Q: Do you have a number you want to wear, or does that not matter either? A: I'm not a selfish person and not the type to put myself first, any number would be fine with me. It’s not about me or my number. It's about the team and winning games and winning a NCAA championship.
  5. Games to Watch: Who: (19) Texas @ (17) Iowa State When: Tuesday, February 18 @ 7 PM Where: ESPN2 Preview: This game is an interesting one because Texas has been dominant against certain teams, but they dropped a game against Kansas State just last week by 17 points. DeAndre Kane for the Cyclones has been one of the best stories of the year. He is a graduate transfer who was not much of a star at Marshall, but has become a fantastic player at Iowa State. This will come down to the matchup between Kane and Texas’ point guard Javan Felix. Along with that, Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim has been arguably the best player in the Big 12 and will look to have another great game. Who: (4) Arizona @ Utah When: Wednesday, February 19 @ 10 PM Where: Fox Sports 1 Preview: Last time these two teams played, Arizona was undefeated and looked as if they could run the table in the Pac-12. Utah played them close until the final buzzer, but Arizona, once again, came out on top. Since then, Arizona has faltered twice, losing two of their last three, causing their ranking to drop. The reason for their suspect play of late is the foot injury of Brandon Ashley, a key starter. Utah’s Jordan Loveridge has been one of the top scorers in the Pac-12 this year and has led Utah to a 17-8 overall record, making them possibly a bubble team. This could be a good game since it was so close last time between these two teams, but Arizona needs to prove that they belong as a 1 seed for the NCAA tournament, making me believe that they will come out motivated. Who: (5) Duke @ North Carolina When: Thursday, February 20 @ 9 PM Where: ESPN Preview: What do I even need to say about this? This is Tobacco Road. This is possibly the best rivalry in all of college basketball. These two schools are separated by just 8 miles and hate each other with a deep passion. North Carolina was inconsistent earlier in the season, but they have won their last 6 and are playing at home in this game. Duke has been playing some great basketball but are in the middle of a schedule which includes 4 games in 8 days, which has had some people complaining. I see Duke coming out and beating down on this North Carolina team in order to stay on a roll going into their game at Cameron Indoor against Syracuse on Saturday. Who: Mercer @ Florida Gulf Coast University When: Friday, February 21 @ 6:05 PM Where: ESPNU / ESPN3 Preview: This game is between the top two teams in the Atlantic Sun. Florida Gulf Coast is currently one game behind Mercer for the top spot in the league, which could prove to be important come conference tournament time. Whoever ends up winning the conference tournament will be the only one to get a bid for the NCAA tournament, making this game extremely important for both teams. Florida Gulf Coast is the ultimate “Cinderella story” and have followed up last year with another solid year, returning most of their players from last season. Mercer has been solid, only slipping up twice in conference and destroying FGCU last time they played each other. This will be a fantastic game. Catch it if possible. Who: VCU @ UMass When: Friday, February 21 @ 7 PM Where: ESPN2 Preview: This is an interesting matchup between these two schools because both are near the top in the Atlantic 10 this year and will be looking to keep pace with the undefeated (in conference) Saint Louis Billikens. UMass has a solid little guard in Chaz Williams, who can spur the team on to victory with both his scoring and facilitating ability. They are one of the more athletic teams in the country, which allows them to get up and down the court for a full 40 minutes. VCU will look to slow them down with their “havoc” defense, which is a full-court pressure defense. This could be a great game and one that will determine seeding for the tournament, as both teams are likely to get into the big dance. Who: (2) Florida @ Ole Miss When: Saturday, February 22 @ 12 PM Where: CBS Preview: Florida has proven to be one of the best and most consistent teams in the past two months. Scottie Wilbekin has led this team to one of the best records and an undefeated record in the SEC. With their great winning streak on the line, they take on a streaky Ole Miss squad who has Marshall Henderson. He could very possibly go off for 40 points just by getting hot at the 3 point line. It will be an interesting game, but with Florida’s front line power, they have the advantage. Who: (11) Louisville @ (7) Cincinnati When: Saturday, February 22 @ 12 PM Where: CBS Preview: Cincinnati is leading the newly-formed American Athletic Conference and looking to solidify that lead with a win against Louisville. Even though the league isn’t deep, this is a matchup between two marquee teams. Louisville’s back court will have their hands full with Sean Kilpatrick, but at the same time Russ Smith will be leading the Louisville squad. This could end up being a good game, but because of Cincinnati’s struggles recently, I’ll give the advantage to Louisville. Who: (16) Wisconsin @ (15) Iowa When: Saturday, February 22 @ 12 PM Where: ESPN2 Preview: This game is important for the Big Ten race and who will end up near the top to challenge the Michigan and Michigan State teams that lead the conference currently. Wisconsin has gotten hot after a little stumble in the middle of their season, while Iowa has consistently won by scoring a lot of points with their deep bench. The battle of the big men will be important in this game, but also the matchup of Devyn Marble and Sam Dekker. Watch out for this game because it could very easily become a classic. Who: (1) Syracuse @ (5) Duke When: Saturday, February 22 @ 7 PM Where: ESPN Preview: College Game Day will once again be at this marquee matchup, putting it on the big stage. The last matchup between these two teams was a serious classic right from the beginning to the last second of the game. There were many ups and downs for both teams throughout that game which allowed for it to be a once in a lifetime type of game. The fact that Syracuse is struggling to beat every team they play is a reason that Duke should feel so confident in this game. Duke is hot at the moment and I believe they continue that through this game, handing Syracuse their first loss of the season. Updated AP Poll: Syracuse (64) Florida (1) Wichita State Arizona Duke San Diego State Cincinnati Kansas Villanova Saint Louis Louisville Creighton Michigan State Virginia Iowa Wisconsin Iowa State Kentucky Texas Michigan Connecticut Memphis UCLA Ohio State Gonzaga
  6. djsalway

    Big Ten Roundup

    Ohio State and Wisconsin Coming into the Big Ten season, the two hottest teams were Ohio State and Wisconsin. These two teams were two of the last five undefeated teams just a few weeks ago. Since then, each team has hit a wall, with Ohio State currently on a four game losing streak and Wisconsin on a three game losing streak. Suddenly, the Big Ten has taken a whole different form than originally thought. Heading into the new year of 2014, everyone would have had both Wisconsin and Ohio State near the top of the Big Ten standings less than a month into play. Sure, Michigan State has rounded into the team that everyone thought they would be at the beginning of the season, but the other two teams have headed in the opposite direction. Momentum is the key here. Once Wisconsin and Ohio State had their weaknesses exploited, the next few teams to face them knew where to attack them. Ohio State cannot find an offensive flow and Wisconsin can’t guard very well. These two squads will need to patch up their weak areas if they want to get back to where they were earlier in the season. Both teams still have the potential to be dangerous Top 10 teams. Northwestern Northwestern, yes Northwestern, is a half-game ahead of Ohio State with 1/3 of Big Ten play completed. No one could’ve predicted that turn of events. Northwestern was 7-6 in non-conference play with losses to teams like DePaul and Illinois State on their home court. They gave up 95 points in a loss against UCLA, but have since turned into a defensive juggernaut. Although they are one of the worst offensive teams in the nation, they have found ways to beat Illinois, Purdue, and Indiana. Sure, their expectations for the rest of the year are mediocre at best. They can’t possibly continue this defensive tear that they’ve been on for the past two weeks. But if they can, every team better be watching out. They held Michigan State to 54 points. If they can straighten out their offense and get their point guard back reasonably soon, they will a team that can keep handing out upsets. Michigan Michigan has possibly been the most surprising team. After the loss of big man, and future lottery pick, Mitch McGary, most people were writing them off. Since he went down with a back injury, Jordan Morgan and John Horford have stepped up, averaging a double-double between the two of them. Nik Stauskas is playing like a Big Ten POY candidate at this point, leading the team to their 6-0 start in conference play. They have a big showdown with Michigan State at the Breslin Center this Saturday. Another key player that has added to this run in the Big Ten is much improved Caris LeVert, who is the team’s second leading scorer. Michigan faces an extremely tough stretch of their schedule coming up, with two games against Michigan State, on the road at Ohio State and Iowa, and a home game against Wisconsin all in the next three weeks. Iowa Iowa has become one of the best teams in the country before our eyes, with all five starters returning from last year’s NIT runner-up team. If Aaron White continues to play the way he has, their offense can definitely continue to be one of the elite offenses in the Big Ten. I’m looking forward to watching this team for the rest of the year. They are two deep at every single position and have scoring ability from pretty much every player. After Fran McCaffery’s meltdown against Wisconsin, Iowa went on a tear until their loss last night against Michigan. Even in that game, they were able to come back multiple times from double-digits down. This team has experience and offensive firepower. That is a deadly combination, especially later on in the season. Iowa is a real threat to challenge for the Big Ten title this year. Indiana Then there is Indiana. Sure, the Hoosiers haven’t lived up to expectations yet. They hung around the rankings early on the year, but hadn’t beaten any quality opponents in the non-conference portion of their schedule. They had opportunities, but couldn’t take advantage of the moment. The upcoming schedule is the easiest stretch that we’ve had yet. With two games against Michigan State out of the way, we are coming into a few games that are winnable. Starting this Sunday against Illinois, we need to avenge the loss of New Year’s Eve. This team will only go as far as Yogi Ferrell and Noah Vonleh can take it. The defense has been rather impressive to this point, but there are stretches in each game where the defense tends to fall apart. If Coach Tom Crean can have a perfect gameplan against Wisconsin, we should be able to beat other top teams down the road. The Hoosiers need to execute down the stretch if they want any chance of making the NCAA tournament in March. At this point, it is looking like their only chance is to win the Big Ten Tournament. Can they get hot at the right time? We will see, especially with the inexperience that the Hoosiers possess. So the Big Ten isn’t quite what it was expected to be at the beginning of the season. Does that make it a worse conference? Not at all. The Big Ten is still the best conference in college basketball, says Ken Pomeroy. With multiple teams in the top 25, the Big Ten is set for another year of a large amount of bids. Just because Wisconsin and Ohio State aren’t living up to expectations doesn’t make it any worse of a conference. The fact that Northwestern and Michigan are exceeding what people expected of them makes it that much better.
  7. djsalway

    Around the Country (12/16)

    Around the Country: (18) Kansas Jayhawks 61, (16) Florida Gators 67 Wrap Up: Scottie Wilbekin comes back from injury to post 18 to overcome star freshman Andrew Wiggins’ double-double. Boise State Broncos 55, (19) Kentucky Wildcats 70 Wrap Up: The Wildcats were backed by James Young’s 21 points and Julius Randle’s double-double to knock off the undefeated Broncos. (19) Kentucky Wildcats 77, (14) North Carolina Tarheels 82 Wrap Up: Once again, North Carolina comes up big against a ranked team by knocking off the freshman-led Wildcats. Tennessee Volunteers 61, (11) Wichita State Shockers 70 Wrap Up: Tekele Cotton was able to power the Shockers past the Volunteers to start 10-0 for the first time in Wichita State history. (2) Syracuse Orangemen 68, Saint John’s Red Storm 63 Wrap Up: Syracuse wasn’t very dominant early on and were down with just five minutes left in the game, but were able to come back to beat the Red Storm. Here are the games to look out for in the upcoming week (all times Eastern): (16) University of Florida vs. (15) Memphis University Date and Time: December 17 @ 9 PM Television Coverage: ESPN Preview: Florida comes into this game coming off of a huge week in which they knocked off Kansas. They face yet another big challenge in the Memphis Tigers as a part of the Jimmy V Classic in Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Gators will be looking to beat another ranked opponent to strengthen their résumé as they head into conference play in January. Memphis has a big win against Oklahoma State, but will need more, making this a good opportunity for the Tigers. With the way Florida is playing though, I can’t see them losing. University of Texas vs. (14) University of North Carolina Date and Time: December 18 @ 7 PM Television Coverage: ESPN2 Preview: North Carolina has got to be one of the most bi-polar teams this season, as they have lost to two unranked teams, but beaten three really good ranked teams. Texas has had a good start to the season, starting off 9-1 and will be looking to carry some momentum into their weekend matchup with Michigan State (see below). With the way that North Carolina plays up or down to their competition, this could be a close one. I think they’ve learned their lesson after some close ones in the past. North Carolina big. (8) Duke University vs. UCLA Date and Time: December 19 @ 7:30 PM Television Coverage: ESPN Preview: Duke has had a couple of disappointing losses early on in the season, but are still one of the most talented teams in the country. UCLA, led by Coach Steve Alford, have only lost once, but left the rankings after that loss. Zach LaVine is one of the more underrated freshmen in the country, averaging a near triple-double. UCLA can make this close, as this is going to be played in Madison Square Garden, which doesn’t give a clear home-court advantage. This is going to be one of the best early season games. Don’t miss it. Georgetown University vs. (18) Kansas University Date and Time: December 21 @ 12 PM Television Coverage: ESPN Preview: Georgetown has had an up and down season so far with some very inconsistent play along the way. Kansas has also been a team that has struggled at times, while looking like an elite squad at other times. Andrew Wiggins should dominate this game against a much lesser athletically gifted team in Georgetown. It’ll be close in the first half, but Wiggins will dominate the second. (7) Oklahoma State University vs. (20) Colorado University Date and Time: December 21 @ 11:30 PM Television Coverage: ESPN2 Preview: Marcus Smart is one of the early favorites for the Player of the Year awards that circulate the game of college basketball. He has been dominant so far, but it is quite possible that Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie could slow him down a bit. Oklahoma State has a big supporting cast for Smart though, which will ultimately be the difference in this game. By no means am I saying that Colorado is not good, but Oklahoma State is THAT much better. Around the Big Ten: Milwaukee Panthers 52, (4) Wisconsin Badgers 78 Wrap Up: Wisconsin’s random high-octane offense came to play against in-state foe Milwaukee, winning by 26. (25) Iowa Hawkeyes 82, (17) Iowa State Cyclones 85 Wrap Up: Iowa had a great game throughout, but couldn’t hold on in the end. The Hawkeyes’ Aaron White had 26 points and 17 boards in the loss. (1) Arizona Wildcats 72, Michigan Wolverines 70 Wrap Up: Michigan led the whole game, but Arizona was able to come through in the end as the Wolverines’ offense stalled down the stretch. Butler Bulldogs 76, Purdue Boilermakers 70 Wrap Up: Butler was led by Kellen Dunham with 25 points as they win the second game of the Crossroads Classic. Illinois Fighting Illini 64, (13) Oregon Ducks 71 Wrap Up: Illinois played a spirited game, but were knocked off by the high-ranked Ducks of Oregon, backed by Moser’s 14 and 9. Here are the games to look out for in the upcoming week (all times Eastern): University of Nebraska-Omaha vs. Minnesota University Date and Time: December 20 @ 9 PM Television Coverage: BTN Preview: This is about the best game that airs on the Big Ten Network this week, with the rest of the marquee matchups coming on ESPN’s family of networks and CBS. With that being said, this is still a good one to watch. Minnesota is coming on as one of the better teams in the Big Ten and will be looking to continue their hot streak against a decent Omaha team that is trying to win its first Division I conference title. Minnesota’s athleticism will carry them through this game, as the Hollins’ (not brothers) will take over. (5) Michigan State University vs. University of Texas Date and Time: December 21 @ 4 PM Television Coverage: CBS Preview: This could either be a really good game at Texas, or a not so good game, depending on how Texas fares against North Carolina earlier in the week. Michigan State lost to North Carolina, so if Texas can beat UNC that gives them an “advantage.” Yes, I understand, it doesn’t work that way but for today, it does. Texas has a pretty balanced attack. Michigan State does also, but only if Gary Harris is healthy. Without him, they are limited to Adreian Payne and Keith Appling to carry the offense. With this one being at Texas, it will be close. Michigan State hasn’t looked great lately. If they have Gary Harris, they will prevail; if not, uh oh… Illinois University vs. (23) Missouri University Date and Time: December 21 @ 5:30 PM Television Coverage: ESPN2 Preview: Missouri is one of the last undefeated teams in college basketball and made their way into the rankings by beating UCLA a couple weeks ago. Illinois has played some good teams, but has not beat a quality opponent thus far. With this game at Missouri, Illinois can finally get the win that they have been looking for. Missouri’s long, athletic guard play will be tough to handle for the Illini, but if they can withstand Missouri’s runs, it should be close. Notre Dame University vs. (3) Ohio State University Date and Time: December 21 @ 7:30 PM Television Coverage: ESPN2 Preview: Notre Dame is a very inconsistent team, as they have lost to some pretty bad teams, but played other decent teams close. Ohio State has yet to play a better team than Marquette, but are still within the top 5 in the country. OSU is going to need this win to continue to gain supporters for their number one seed in the year-end tournament. Guard play will be huge in this one, with Craft and Thompson for the Buckeyes and Grant and Atkins for the Fighting Irish. It might be close halfway through the second half, but I believe the Buckeyes have too much firepower and defense for the Irish to hang around. Purdue University vs. West Virginia University Date and Time: December 22 @ 1 PM Television Coverage: ESPNU Preview: Purdue is coming off of a loss to Butler at the Crossroads Classic, while West Virginia is playing really good basketball early on. Purdue has been up and down, which makes me believe that this one could go either way. Freshmen Bryson Scott and Kendall Stephens will have to lead the charge and make shots for the Boilermakers to take down a solid offensive team in West Virginia. In the end, I don’t think Bob Huggins will let his team lose to the mighty Boilermakers. If the big men from the Mountaineers can make a difference, it should be an easy victory. West Virginia by double digits.
  8. We have finally found a man who can provide a spark off the bench. EG (No, not Eric Gordon!) scored 26 points off the bench in a fantastic spectacle of shooting. Hopefully Evan Gordon can continue to play with his hair (which is almost non-existent) on fire. He was the driving force as far as offense was in the last ten minutes of the first half and most of the second half. The crowd’s loudest point during the game came after a pair of Gordon threes, which had the student section chanting “Ev-an Gor-dan.” It was quite a spectacle. Let me tell you, I’ve been to a bunch of games at Assembly Hall against cupcakes, but this was by far the loudest it has been in any of those games. There is a certain aura about Evan that the crowd seems to like (we all know that this is because of his brother). Apart from Evan’s outstanding performance, Yogi had 11 points, Troy had 13 points, and Noah added a solid 8 points and 10 boards. I’m glad that Assembly Hall, even though it was about 65% full, was able to finally get extremely excited about something. The future is bright, meaning there will be many more games with crowd excitement, but for now, we have to be happy with what we’ve got. And we’ve got the new-look Evan Gordon on our team. It was the last game for students before the upcoming Winter Break, which we are surely looking forward to. It’s been a great first 10 games and let’s hope the only direction we will go from here is up! Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell – Yogi has gotten a lot better over the past couple weeks about randomly chucking up shots. He finds teammates all over the floor, but there had to be at least five times in which he passed it to someone for a wide open shot and they missed it. He is able to distribute the ball, but there needs to be some work done on the end of those dimes. Will Sheehey – Will obviously didn’t have a great game on the offensive end, only putting up 3 points and 2 assists, but he was instrumental in shutting down the leading 3 point shooter in the country, Travis Bader. Prior to this game, Bader had hit a 3 pointer in 61 straight games. Sheehey had a solid game defensively, but there is plenty to work on from an offensive perspective, especially with the weak shots he puts up close to the rim. I’m waiting for the Sheehey of old to come back. Maybe Coach Crean will bring him off the bench, where Will seems to be more comfortable anyway. Jeremy Hollowell – This is the first game this year where Jeremy was able to contribute in other areas of his game while having an off night shooting. He grabbed 10 rebounds and had 4 assists to go along with his 6 points, which helped the squad immensely. If he could become this type of role player, along with becoming more consistent shooting the ball, he will surely be the X-Factor this season. Noah Vonleh – This man is a beast on the boards. I think I can keep opening his analysis with that sentence. Another double-digit performance on the boards, but not as solid as far as scoring goes. Sure, he only had 5 shots all night, but he wasn’t nearly as aggressive as we’d like to see on multiple possessions throughout. He even missed a dunk during a scramble on the offensive end. No matter what though, he’s awesome. Troy Williams – Troy came out very aggressive in the first half, which I LOVED. He attacked the rim when needed and even hit a three near the beginning of the game. The only criticism I can offer to Troy is the fact that he dove after a ball with two seconds left in the game - with a 27 point lead - and came away limping. Stanford Robinson – This game was by far the most Stan has contributed this year. He hit a three and drove the ball well to draw a few fouls. Stan even grabbed 3 boards and had 2 assists. If he continues to get the playing time, I can only see these statistics increasing. He has a bright future ahead of him, he just needs to hone in his ballhandling skills, as he is a little too loose with it at times. Devin Davis – DNP; injury Hanner Mosquera-Perea – Hanner had a few good possessions, but still looked a little lost on the defensive end, as he has throughout his career at IU. I’m thoroughly impressed with how well he is coming along on the offensive end, though. If he can use his size, he should become a more consistent threat on the offensive glass. Evan Gordon – Evan is finally becoming the scorer we knew he was. I explained pretty much everything about his night in the opening paragraph, but let’s just hope he can continue this hot streak. Luke Fischer – This game was the most impressed I have been with Luke all year. He grabbed some key boards down low and added 6 points in the paint. If he can play this way more often, he will start to see the court a lot more. Austin Etherington – Still not a fan of Austin Etherington. He fouled Bader on a three point shot at one point and he was late closing out on his man on numerous occasions. I’d like to see him be a spot up shooter, a la Matt Roth, more than a man who drives and distributes. Yes, I realize he’s struggling from the three point line, but all he needs is a little confidence. He can still contribute to this team, but Collin Hartman is almost the same player, so why not get him some experience? These players have so much room to grow, with so many young guys. Our upside is tremendous. We need our seniors (EG and Sheehey) to step up and be consistent. If that happens, we will be dangerous while dancing in the tournament. If not, it might be a long year for #HoosierNation.
  9. djsalway

    Around the Country (12/9/13)

    Around the Country: (19) Florida Gators 64, (9) Connecticut Huskies 65 Wrap Up: Shabazz Napier nails a shot at the buzzer on a second attempt to knock off the 15th ranked Florida Gators. (11) Kentucky Wildcats 62, (14) Baylor Bears 67 Wrap Up: Baylor’s Kenny Chery leads Baylor with 18 points to top the freshman-loaded Kentucky squad. (13) Kansas Jayhawks 72, (21) Colorado Buffaloes 75 Wrap Up: Askia Booker eurosteps to a buzzer-beating three pointer to beat Kansas, even with Andrew Wiggins knocking home 22 points. New Mexico State Aggies 68, (20) Gonzaga Bulldogs 80 Wrap Up: Gonzaga wins easily with a balanced attack, led by Sam Dower with 22 points. (15) Oregon Ducks 115, Ole Miss Rebels 105 (OT) Wrap Up: This high scoring game ended with a buzzer beater to send it into overtime, but the Ducks were able to overcome Marshall Henderson’s 39 points en route to a victory. Here are the games to look out for in the upcoming week (all times Eastern): (13) Kansas University vs. (19) University of Florida Date and Time: December 10 @ 7 PM Television Coverage: ESPN Preview: Both of these teams are looking to bounce back from disappointing last-second losses in the past week. The Gators are banged up and don’t have a real point guard in the equation right now, with both Kasey Hill and Scottie Wilbekin out indefinitely. Kansas superstar freshman Andrew Wiggins has struggled of late, but both he and Joel Embiid will have big games against this Florida squad. Look for a good one, but Kansas should get back on track. Boise State University vs. (11) University of Kentucky Date and Time: December 10 @ 9 PM Television Coverage: ESPN Preview: Boise State is still undefeated, led by Anthony Drmic, after a run to the NCAA tournament last season. They have a good core returning and are looking to make another run this year, starting with this big game. Kentucky is coming off of a disappointing loss to Baylor in which Coach Calipari was disappointed in the fight by his players. On paper, Kentucky should dominate, but Boise State is better than expected. It should really be a good one. (11) University of Kentucky vs. (18) University of North Carolina Date and Time: December 14 @ 5:15 PM Television Coverage: ESPN Preview: Here’s another big game for Kentucky AT North Carolina. Both losses this year for the Wildcats have come at neutral sites and this is their first road game on the season. With a bunch of freshmen, they may crack under the pressure again. Also, North Carolina only really shows up for big games this year against ranked teams, so they should make it a close one. UNC all the way. University of Tennessee vs. (12) Wichita State University Date and Time: December 14 @ 2 PM Television Coverage: ESPN2 Preview: Tennessee has had a decent season so far under coach Cuonzo Martin, but they have yet to have a marquee win. Wichita State is a mid-major but they have spent all of the season in the top 25 after a run to the Final Four last year. Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet run this team’s backcourt and are regularly dominant. Tennessee has good front court play, but I think the Shockers will pull this out in a close one. (2) Syracuse University vs. Saint John’s University Date and Time: December 15 @ 12 PM Television Coverage: Fox Sports 1 Preview: Syracuse is still undefeated and quickly making a run at the top overall ranking in the country. Their 2-3 zone is extremely difficult to figure out, no matter what team is facing them. Saint John’s will be looking to attack with their athletic wings and knock off the high ranked Orangemen. The Johnnies will need some great shooting out of D’Angelo Harrison, otherwise they will get blown out. Around the Big Ten: Indiana Hoosiers 52, (2) Syracuse Orangemen 69 Wrap Up: Syracuse’s 2-3 zone was enough to hold high-scoring Indiana to a season-low of 52 points. Michigan Wolverines 69, (8) Duke Blue Devils 79 Wrap Up: Quinn Cook guides the Blue Devils to an easy win with 24 points and 9 assists. Notre Dame Fighting Irish 93, (23) Iowa Hawkeyes 98 Wrap Up: High-scoring Iowa is led to a win behind Aaron White’s stat sheet stuffing performance with 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. (18) North Carolina Tarheels 79, (5) Michigan State Spartans 65 Wrap Up: North Carolina was able to get up early and the Spartans couldn’t fight back, plagued by injuries. Marquette Golden Eagles 64, (4) Wisconsin Badgers 70 Wrap Up: Sam Dekker leads Wisconsin to another win over a quality opponent with a double-double (20 points, 10 rebounds). Here are the games to look out for in the upcoming week (all times Eastern): University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee vs. (4) University of Wisconsin Date and Time: December 11 @ 8 PM Television Coverage: TBD Preview: Milwaukee is one of the best mid-major teams this year, coming in at 9-2 on the season. Wisconsin has been arguably the most dominant team this season with easily the most impressive résumé thus far. With the way the Badgers play defense, I don’t see any way that Milwaukee can come away with this game. Look for a Badgers rout. (23) Iowa University vs. (17) Iowa State University Date and Time: December 13 @ 9:30 PM Television Coverage: ESPNU Preview: Iowa has been impressive thus far, but so has Iowa State. This is an in-state rivalry game that most likely favors Iowa State due to the fact that they are the home team. With the bad blood in this game, mixed with all of the Iowa players that have lost this game in the past, I see Iowa coming away with this one led by Devyn Marble and Aaron White. BUT… Iowa State will have something to say about that. (1) University of Arizona vs. Michigan University Date and Time: December 14 @ 12 PM Television Coverage: CBS Preview: Arizona is the number one team in the country and Michigan is not nearly as good as they were last year, with both Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III not playing up to their full ability. Arizona’s Aaron Gordon will play a big role in this one, shutting down one, if not both, of those key players for Michigan. Arizona’s backcourt will have their way with the Michigan guards, and Arizona will run away with this one. Illinois University vs. (15) Oregon University Date and Time: December 14 @ 9 PM Television Coverage: ESPN2 Preview: Illinois has had a solid season to this point and this is Oregon’s last game without two of their starters who were suspended at the beginning of the season. Oregon looks to be one of the top teams in the nation, even without those great starters that they are missing. Illinois will be looking to slow down Mike Moser and Johnathon Loyd, but Oregon has too much firepower on offense. Illinois will keep it close in the first half, but Oregon will handily come away with this one. Butler University vs. Purdue University Date and Time: December 14 @ 6 PM Television Coverage: BTN Preview: This is the second game of the Crossroads Classic, which also includes Indiana and Notre Dame. It will be played in Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis, which gives the Butler fan base an advantage as far as travelling goes. Purdue played well in the Big Ten – ACC Challenge last week against Boston College and that should carry over into this game. Without Brad Stevens on the sideline, the Bulldogs just aren’t the same. It’s a dangerous one for Purdue, but in reality they should come away with a victory.
  10. djsalway

    Around the Country (12/2/14)

    Around the Country: Marquette Golden Eagles 77, Arizona State Sun Devils 79 Wrap Up: Jahii Carson led the Sun Devils to a solid win over the Golden Eagles, holding Marquette to 37 points. (2) Arizona Wildcats 72, (10) Duke Blue Devils 66 Wrap Up: Duke had the lead throughout most of the game, but the Wildcats came through in the clutch, led by Aaron Gordon and Nick Johnson. Florida State Seminoles 66, (15) Florida Gators 67 Wrap Up: Florida State had big performances from their big men, but Florida was too much to handle down the stretch, winning by the smallest of margins. (11) Wichita State Shockers 70, Saint Louis Billikens 65 Wrap Up: Wichita State and Saint Louis stayed close for the most part during this battle, but the Shockers pulled away with efforts from Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet. Providence Friars 65, (3) Kentucky Wildcats 79 Wrap Up: Willie Cauley-Stein essentially put a lid on the basket for Providence as he led Kentucky to a win with 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 blocks. Here are the games to look out for in the upcoming week (all times Eastern): (15) University of Florida vs. (12) University of Connecticut Date and Time: December 2 @ 7 PM Television Coverage: ESPN2 Preview: Connecticut is still undefeated coming into this showdown with Florida, but the Gators are coming off of a key win against rival Florida State. The Gators will be looking to slow down the dynamic backcourt of Connecticut, which features Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright. (3) University of Kentucky vs. (20) Baylor University Date and Time: December 6 @ 10 PM Television Coverage: ESPN Preview: Coach Calipari replaced the beloved rivalry with Indiana last year to play Baylor, who ended up beating them at Rupp Arena. This year, stacked with freshmen, they will be looking to go to Waco and take down the Bears. The matchup to watch for in this game is Julius Randle and Willie Cauley-Stein going against the frontcourt of Baylor (Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin). (6) Kansas University vs. Colorado University Date and Time: December 7 @ 3:15 PM Television Coverage: ESPN2 Preview: Kansas is coming off of a rather disappointing trip to Atlantis, where they got dominated for most of the game against Villanova and struggled through a win against UTEP. Andrew Wiggins had only 6 points in their final game of the tournament, but should be able to bounce back for this one. Colorado has a solid team up and down, so it shouldn’t be an assumed win for the Jayhawks. With the way Kansas is playing, this one should be a close one. New Mexico State University vs. (19) Gonzaga University Date and Time: December 7 @ 11 PM Television Coverage: ESPNU Preview: New Mexico State actually received 7 points worth of votes in the coaches’ poll a week ago, proving that they aren’t necessarily a bust. They have the Bhullar twins (Sim is 7 foot 5, Tanveer is 7 foot 3) and should be able to be bullies inside. They return some key players from a solid team last year, and Gonzaga is coming off of a loss in Maui. Gonzaga’s backcourt should be able to dominate the Aggies, but New Mexico State won’t go away quietly because of their big men. (13) Oregon University vs. Ole Miss University Date and Time: December 8 @ 5 PM Television Coverage: ESPNU Preview: Oregon is still suffering from the suspensions of two of their starters, but will be getting them back soon. Ole Miss has had a really good season so far, but have been quiet. With this game being televised, I would bet that Marshall Henderson will have some kind of sissy-fit. He’s a great player and might keep his team in the game against Oregon. It’ll be a good one. Around the Big Ten: Minnesota Golden Gophers 67, (4) Syracuse Orangemen 75 Wrap Up: Minnesota did a great job of attacking the Syracuse zone throughout the game, but Syracuse’s CJ Fair was too powerful and led the Orangemen to the victory. Saint Louis Billikens 57, (8) Wisconsin Badgers 63 Wrap Up: Saint Louis is a great mid-major squad and kept this game close, but Wisconsin’s defense and discipline overcame the Billikens’ surge. (9) Oklahoma State Cowboys 97, Purdue Boilermakers 87 Wrap Up: Purdue was able to withstand an early letdown with a huge comeback in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to top Marcus Smart and the Cowboys. (14) Villanova Wildcats 88, (23) Iowa Hawkeyes 83 (OT) Wrap Up: Iowa made the final of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament having wins over Xavier and UTEP, but Villanova was upset-minded, knocking off (2) Kansas and (23) Iowa. Northwestern Wildcats 79, (18) UCLA Bruins 95 Wrap Up: Once again, the Northwestern Wildcats came up short as they traveled to try to make a résumé-improving win on the west coast. Here are the games to look out for in the upcoming week (all times Eastern): Indiana University vs. (4) Syracuse University Date and Time: December 3 @ 7:15 PM Television Coverage: ESPN Preview: This matchup is a part of the Big Ten – ACC Challenge, a yearly occurrence between the conferences. Syracuse comes in off of a win in the Maui Invitational, and Indiana comes in after a week off, beating Evansville easily last Tuesday. This is a rematch from the Sweet Sixteen of last year’s NCAA Tournament. If Indiana can attack the zone, they should win, but with the way Syracuse is playing, they should win. (22) Michigan University vs. (10) Duke University Date and Time: December 3 @ 9:15 PM Television Coverage: ESPN Preview: This game is also a part of the Big Ten – ACC Challenge. Michigan is coming off of a rough loss to Charlotte a week ago, and Duke is coming off of a loss to Arizona at Madison Square Garden. Duke’s athleticism may end up being too much for Michigan, especially if Glenn Robinson III keeps being as tentative as he has been in the past few weeks. Duke should win this one easily. Notre Dame University vs. (23) Iowa University Date and Time: December 3 @ 9:15 PM Television Coverage: ESPN2 Preview: Iowa just got back from the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas and may be a little tired from that experience. They lost in the finals to a good Villanova team and it went to overtime as well. Notre Dame has one loss on the season (Indiana State) and should be well rested for this matchup. Iowa should win it, but Notre Dame has a realistic shot. University North Carolina vs. (1) Michigan State University Date and Time: December 4 @ 9 PM Television Coverage: ESPN Preview: North Carolina is one of the most inconsistent teams of the season. First they lost to Belmont, only to follow it up with a win against Louisville. After beating number 3 Louisville, they took to the road to face UAB, but lost by 4. With that inconsistency, facing the number 1 team in the nation should be very difficult, especially on the road. Michigan State hasn’t had too much trouble with any opponent since Kentucky, and they should breeze through this one. Marquette University vs. (8) University of Wisconsin Date and Time: December 7 @ 2:15 PM Television Coverage: BTN Preview: Marquette is coming off of a couple of losses last week to San Diego State and Arizona State. They should be able to get up for this game though, as they face an in-state rival. Wisconsin has been playing extremely well this whole season, passing each tough test that they have faced. Wisconsin should have no trouble knocking off the Golden Eagles at home.
  11. djsalway

    Around the Country (11/25)

    Around the Country: Robert Morris Colonials 49, (4) Kentucky Wildcats 87 Wrap Up: Kentucky was able to get the revenge that has been so long awaited. After a year’s worth of jokes about the loss to Robert Morris in last year’s NIT, the Wildcats came out from the beginning and dominated the Colonials. Aaron Harrison had a game-high 28 points and Julius Randle notched his fourth straight double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds. (11) Memphis Tigers 80, (7) Oklahoma State Cowboys 101 Wrap Up: Marcus Smart led off this game with 24 points in the first 12 minutes of play, which is ridiculous by college standards. He was on fire from everywhere, even from distance where he hit four three-pointers (his main weakness). Smart ended with a total of 39 points and was unstoppable all night. Memphis has had a reputation of not being able to beat the top teams in the nation, and this only cements that thought. They have struggled to beat any good teams since Calipari left and it won’t be easy this year as they enter a conference with a lot more depth than the C-USA. (18) Connecticut Huskies 72, Boston College Eagles 70 Wrap Up: The Connecticut Huskies got a great game out of Shabazz Napier, as well as a great tournament. Olivier Hanlan couldn’t get going when he needed to, so the Huskies were able to keep their lead throughout the game. It ended up being a two point game as the Eagles tried to scratch their way back, but it was too much too late. Here are the games to look out for in the upcoming week (all times Eastern): (25) Marquette University vs. Arizona State University Date and Time: November 25 @ 9 PM Television Coverage: FOX Sports 1 Preview: Marquette is still only a one loss team after their beat down against Ohio State. They should look to bounce back, although Arizona State is coming off of some good wins as well. Jahii Carson has become one of the best scoring guards in the nation and I’m assuming Arizona State will ride him to a victory. Marquette kept their ranking this week even though there was some scrutiny over their spot in the polls. This one should be good. Alabama University vs. (6) Duke University Date and Time: November 27 @ 9:30 PM Television Coverage: ESPN2 Preview: Duke is coming off of a really close victory against Vermont where they won 91-90. Their defense has been struggling this year, especially inside without a rim protector. Alabama may be able to pull this one off, but I think Duke should bounce back and play with more authority after a close win against a sub-par team. Florida State University vs. (15) University of Florida Date and Time: November 29 @ 7:30 PM Television Coverage: ESPN2 Preview: Florida State had a great tournament in the Puerto Rico Tip-off, coming away 2-1 with a win over number 10 VCU. Okaro White and Ian Miller are their two big scorers and should have their way with Florida. The Gators come into this game at 4-1, with their only loss coming against Wisconsin. This is a great in-state rivalry, look for it to be a close one with all of the momentum Florida State carries into it. (12) Wichita State University vs. Saint Louis University Date and Time: December 1 @ 1 PM Television Coverage: CBS Sports Network Preview: This is a marquee matchup between two of the best teams in mid-major conferences. Wichita State is coming off of a year in which they made the Final Four, led by Cleanthony Early. Saint Louis returns their leading scorer in Dwayne Evans after a breakout season under Coach Jim Crews last year. This game should be a good one, especially since Saint Louis has home-court advantage. Providence College vs. (3) University of Kentucky Date and Time: December 1 @ 8 PM Television Coverage: TBD Preview: The Providence Friars come into this game undefeated, looking to knock off the Wildcats in order to crack the top 25. Kentucky only has one loss at the hands of Michigan State and have been solid ever since. Providence is led by Kadeem Batts, who will be looking to slow down freshman phenom Julius Randle. Kentucky will most likely win this one by a large margin, but don’t be surprised if the Friars put a little scare into them. Around the Big Ten: (8) Ohio State Buckeyes 52, (25) Marquette Golden Eagles 35 Wrap Up: The Ohio State Buckeyes played some fantastic defense en route to a blowout of the Golden Eagles. It was tied at half, but still relatively low-scoring at 19-19. Ohio State then took the lead early in the second half and ran away with it. Shannon Scott and Sam Thompson led the Buckeyes with 13 points and Aaron Craft added 10 assists to the cause. This is a great early season win for the Buckeyes, but likewise is a setback for the Golden Eagles, who were previously ranked 17th in the AP poll. (14) Michigan Wolverines 70, (21) Iowa State Cyclones 77 Wrap Up: Michigan big man Mitch McGary made his season debut in this game, but he wasn’t impactful enough to lead the Wolverines to a victory. He added 9 points in limited minutes off of the bench due to foul trouble. Just like the Cyclones gave Ohio State fits in the NCAA tournament last year, they kept fighting back in this game. Multiple times, they got down by a few baskets, but they were able to come right back with their shooting. Melvin Ejim, coming off of the bench after a suspension to start the season, scored 22 points. Nebraska Cornhuskers 90, Massachusetts Minutemen 96 Wrap Up: I was very impressed by Nebraska’s Terran Petteway, as he led the team in points. Other than that, there wasn’t much to Nebraska’s team. They were down the whole game, but made it close at the end. With UMass on a roll, there was no stopping them. UMass ended up winning the whole tournament (Charleston Classic). UMass is led by a scrappy little point guard, Chaz Williams, and the whole team is very athletic. They will be in the top 25 all year and possibly win the A-10. Here are the games to look out for in the upcoming week (all times Eastern): Minnesota University vs. (8) Syracuse University Date and Time: November 25 @ 5:30 PM Television Coverage: ESPN2 Preview: Minnesota comes into this game undefeated, as does Syracuse. This game is a part of the 2013 EA Sports Maui Invitational. Syracuse’s zone will be stout against a team like Minnesota, but it has had its problems. As long as the Hollins’ from Minnesota can penetrate the zone, Minnesota should be able to put up points. Syracuse has struggled against lesser opponents, but I think they show up on the big stage. Syracuse by double-digits. Saint Louis University vs. (10) University of Wisconsin Date and Time: November 26 @ 8:30 PM Television Coverage: CBS Sports Network Preview: Another big game for Saint Louis and Dwayne Evans, this one before the matchup with Wichita State. Saint Louis will be looking to get a solid win to put on their résumé, while Wisconsin is trying to continue to stay undefeated. This should be a good one, but Wisconsin has been way too hot of late. Dwayne Evans is going to have to step up and score a lot of points. In the end, Wisconsin wins easily. (5) Oklahoma State University vs. Purdue University Date and Time: November 28 @ 12 PM Television Coverage: TBD Preview: With the way Purdue has been playing against inferior opponents, I don’t see any way they can even keep this one close. After Oklahoma State blew out Memphis last week, they look like a lock to stay in the top ten the rest of the year. Purdue is going to need to score lots of points, because there is no way that they can stop Marcus Smart and company. Xavier University vs. (23) University of Iowa Date and Time: November 28 @ 7 PM Television Coverage: NBC Sports Network Preview: Iowa is now ranked for the first time this year, looking to build upon that with a win over Xavier of the new Big East. Semaj Christon is beginning to look like a first round pick and becoming the leader of Xavier. Iowa has returned most of their important players from a year ago, and should be able to win this one at home. Northwestern University vs. (19) University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) Date and Time: November 29 @ 11:30 PM Television Coverage: ESPN2 Preview: After losing to Stanford earlier this year, the Wildcats of Northwestern will head back to the west coast to take on the UCLA Bruins. Northwestern is trying to get a big win on their schedule to help with their prospects for the NCAA tournament. After a coaching change, they have looked decent, but will need a great non-conference season for any hope. UCLA is way too powerful for the Wildcats, though, so this won’t be too pretty.
  12. The Hoosiers played a great game after the wakeup call that was LIU-Brooklyn. Yogi Ferrell found his scoring game, exploding for 26 points, and it was a well-rounded team attack. There were dunks this game that were highlight-reel material, with Hanner Mosquera-Perea’s jam making #4 on the SportsCenter Top 10. Assembly Hall took a while to fill up, with a lot of seats in the bottom left open. Although it wasn’t quite full, it was still loud during certain parts. Troy Williams had an awesome put back dunk early on to get the crowd going, and with us scoring 54 points in the first half, the fans were completely engaged. Our 54 points are the most in a half for the Hoosiers since the game against Florida Atlantic last season. With a good performance like this, it further proves that the Hoosiers’ athleticism can take them far. I expect the arena to be a little fuller for upcoming games; it was kind of sad to see it so empty for that long. In Bennie Seltzer’s return to Assembly Hall, he had a great ovation. Along with that, referee Ed Hightower was honored with a couple minutes left in the game as Coach Tom Crean took the microphone and decided to give a speech. It was a very special night from both perspectives, and the great game by our Hoosiers only made it better. Analysis of (ALL) Players: Everyone had a great game, and there really isn’t much to say about each player. Yogi Ferrell led all scorers with 26 points and Noah Vonleh had another double-double with 13 points and 10 boards. Let’s hope that this type of play continues in the following games going into the 2K Sports Classic in New York when we play Washington.
  13. djsalway

    Around the Country (11/15-11/21)

    Around the Country: It was an exciting week with some big time talent in Chicago for the Champions Classic. It was the first time that a national audience got a glimpse of talents like Julius Randle, Andrew Wiggins, and Jabari Parker on the college level. Along with that, there were numerous great matchups that were a part of the ESPN Tip-Off Marathon, which provided close games all day long. This season is already setting up to be a great one, with countless story lines that will continue during the next few months. Wooden Award candidate Doug McDermott had a 37 point game. Kevin Ware should be making his return to a regular season game pretty soon after a horrendous injury in last year’s Elite Eight. In the end, the freshman are going to take over most storylines this season because the upcoming NBA Draft is looking like it will be one of the best drafts in history. Here we go, folks, the season is underway. Let’s take a look back to the highlighted games of the past week: (18) Connecticut Huskies 78, Maryland Terrapins 77 Wrap Up: Shabazz Napier led the Huskies with 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists, en route to a close matchup with the Terrapins. After being up 12 at halftime, the Huskies had a little bit of a letup which allowed Maryland to climb back in it. Dez Wells had two chances to win the game in the final minute, but missed on both opportunities. Georgetown Hoyas 75, (19) Oregon Ducks 82 Wrap Up: Although the Ducks were missing two of their five starters (Carter and Artis) to suspension, they were able to pull out the win in South Korea for the Armed Forces Classic. Josh Smith, transfer from UCLA, led the Hoyas with 25 points, but it was not enough to top the electrifying Ducks. It was a great way to honor our Army members on Veterans Day weekend. North Carolina State Wolfpack 57, Cincinnati Bearcats 68 Wrap Up: Sean Kilpatrick and Justin Jackson led the charge for the Bearcats in this low-scoring affair. Jackson ended with a double-double and Kilpatrick had a game-high 21 points. With the loss of important players from last year’s squad, the Wolfpack struggled to score for much of the game. Both teams will find a way to be solid teams come tournament time. (14) Virginia Commonwealth Rams 59, (25) Virginia Cavaliers 56 Wrap Up: Treveon Graham led the Rams with 22 points with a 30 foot three pointer to win the game with approximately one second left. It was a game filled with emotion, competing for the best team in the state. The Rams “Havoc” full-court pressure forced 20 turnovers which ultimately led to the demise of the Cavaliers. (5) Kansas Jayhawks 94, (4) Duke Blue Devils 83 Wrap Up: This was a battle of the number one freshman against the number two freshman. Jabari Parker impressed throughout with his shooting, athleticism, and poise. Andrew Wiggins ended with a quiet 22 points and a double-double by adding 10 rebounds. This was a fantastic game, but the Kansas squad ran away with it in the second half. Both of these teams will be making runs in March. Here are the games to look out for in the upcoming week (all times Eastern): Robert Morris University vs. (1) University of Kentucky Date and Time: November 17 @ 7 PM Television Coverage: ESPN2 Preview: Kentucky is looking for revenge in this one. Last year, they had to play at Robert Morris in the opening round of the NIT because of scheduling conflicts with Rupp Arena. Kentucky ended up losing that game, one of the biggest upsets of the year, even though it didn’t really matter at all. This year, Kentucky is much better with arguably the best recruiting class in history. They get to play in Rupp Arena this year. Sorry about this one guys, but it won’t even be close. Robert Morris got lucky last year and they will need a lot more of it to come away with a win in this one. ( 13 ) Memphis University vs. ( 8 ) Oklahoma State University Date and Time: November 19 @ 8 PM Television Coverage: ESPN Preview: Here is yet another big time matchup between ranked teams early in the season. Although it can be argued that Memphis shouldn’t be ranked this high and that Oklahoma State, with the return of LeBryan Nash and Marcus Smart, should be ranked higher. So far, Oklahoma State has started off 2-0 with two complete blowouts. Oklahoma State is good this year, so I fully expect them to come away with this one, but Memphis is always sneaky. They could come away with this one if they play a perfect game. Either way, it’ll be worth watching. (19) University of Connecticut vs. Boston College Date and Time: November 21 @ 7 PM Television Coverage: ESPN2 Preview: This game is a part of the 2K Sports Classic in New York City at Madison Square Garden. The winner of this matchup will play the winner of the game between Indiana University and the University of Washington, which is why this game is so important. Connecticut has one of the best backcourts in the nation and they are going to be a very solid team this year, but Boston College has an elite guard/scorer in Olivier Hanlan. In my opinion, this one could go either way. Both games in this tournament will be fun to watch and the final will be even better. Around the Big Ten: The conference looks really good again; possibly still the best in the nation. Indiana has started its season with an easy win, followed by a much tougher victory. Mitch McGary is still out with a back injury, but Michigan has found their groove. Michigan State is shaping into a national title contender with their unique blend of talent and experience. Wisconsin has had a couple of quality wins in the past week and they are looking for more. Ohio State has controlled both of their opponents with no problem. To put it simply, every Big Ten team is undefeated thus far, except for Penn State after their loss to Bucknell. It’s looking like this will be another great year for the Big Ten in non-conference play. Let’s take a look back to the highlighted games of the past week: St. John’s Red Storm 75, (20) Wisconsin Badgers 86 Wrap Up: This was a very atypical game for the Bo Ryan led Wisconsin Badgers by allowing 75 points. The Badgers were able to withstand a 27 point performance by D’Angelo Harrison of the Red Storm. Wisconsin had five of their players score in double figures on their way to a solid win. Florida Gulf Coast Eagles 55, Nebraska Cornhuskers 79 Wrap Up: Florida Gulf Coast, in their new era of coaching, came out flat in this game and it wasn’t close throughout. Nebraska looked like the better team and a much improved squad over a year ago, especially without suspended player Ray Gallegos. Florida Gulf Coast looks like they had a little bit of luck last year, but Nebraska looks like a middle of the pack contender in the Big Ten. (2) Michgan State Spartans 78, (1) Kentucky Wildcats 74 Wrap Up: Coach Calipari said that this game wasn’t fair. Tom Izzo responded by saying the Wildcats should forfeit. I think old Tom got the best of Coach Cal this time. The Spartans took a 10-0 lead just four minutes in, which helped them quite a bit. Keith Appling, Gary Harris, and Adreian Payne led the Spartans charge, while trying to stop Julius Randle of Kentucky. Both teams look like serious title contenders, but Michigan State is the clear favorite to win the Big Ten now after they will take over the number 1 ranking in the upcoming polls. (11) Florida Gators 53, (20) Wisconsin Badgers 59 Wrap Up: The Gators had a couple important players suspended for this game and the Wisconsin Badgers took advantage. The Badgers played good defense in this game, holding the Gators to 53 points, and had a big game from Sam Dekker, who led with 16 points. Bo Ryan’s team had started off the season with two quality wins over quality opponents, setting them up for yet another great year. Northwestern Wildcats 59, Stanford Cardinal 71 Wrap Up: The Wildcats were not able to come away with a victory in Palo Alto, as Stanford had a strong second half to pull away. Northwestern, in their first year under Chris Collins, has some key returning members that could help with a run to the NCAA tournament for the first time ever, but they couldn’t win this one; an important résumé builder. Stanford’s star player, Dwight Powell, was held to only 9 points and 3 rebounds, but other members of the Cardinal were able to step up and lead the team to victory in this Power Conference matchup. Here are the games to look out for in the upcoming week (all times Eastern): (10) Ohio State University vs. (17) Marquette University Date and Time: November 16 @ 1 PM Television Coverage: FOX Preview: This is an early season matchup of two teams ranked in the top 20. Marquette lost their leading scorer from last year in Vander Blue, but are still returning key members. Similarly, Ohio State lost their leading scorer in DeShaun Thomas, but have other players such as Aaron Craft, Lenzelle Smith, Jr., LaQuinton Ross, and Shannon Scott. Both teams come into this game at 2-0 looking for a quality win to put on their résumé. This will be a pretty good game with March seeding implications. I’m looking for Ohio State to come away with a win, but it won’t be easy for the Buckeyes. (7) Michigan University vs. Iowa State University Date and Time: November 17 @ 5 PM Television Coverage: ESPN2 Preview: Michigan has a tough time in their first half of the season, but have been dominant since then. Both of these teams were tough teams last year and are returning key players. Iowa State gave Ohio State trouble last year in the tournament and should be just a tough this year if they are able to shoot the ball. Michigan’s biggest questions come in with their point guard play and the health of Mitch McGary, who has yet to play this year with back issues. I’m sure Michigan will end up pulling this one out, but I wouldn’t write the Cyclones off just yet. Nebraska University vs. University of Massachusetts Date and Time: November 21 @ 12:30 PM Television Coverage: ESPNU Preview: UMass is coming off of two big wins against LSU in the Tip-Off Marathon and Boston College in their opener. This is a really good team that should end at the top of the Atlantic Ten this year, led by point guard Chaz Williams. He is a small point guard, but he is one of the best in the nation. Every one of their other players is extremely athletic and long, which will help them against Nebraska. Ray Gallegos should be back from his suspension for the Cornhuskers, adding another scoring threat. I think the Minutemen will run away with this one, but Nebraska is still a much improved team over last year. UMass is dangerous; watch out for them.
  14. I think we can all agree on one thing: we did not expect this game to be nearly as close as it was. But in the end, a win is a win, right? It goes on the résumé as a W and we are 2-0 once again. It’s safe to say that with every basket that went in en route to our comeback, Assembly Hall got louder. Will Sheehey and Troy Williams both hit big shots down the stretch when the team needed them most. Noah Vonleh kept the team in the game throughout the first half, banging down low and grabbing rebounds left and right. Vonleh ended with his second straight double-double. The ultimate takeaway from this game and the atmosphere surrounding it is that the fans had something huge to cheer about. A dunk is a dunk, a blocked shot is a blocked shot, and so on. But for the first time this year, there was tension. Whether you like it or not, human beings enjoy tension. Even though it was our Indiana Hoosiers, there was still a sense of tension that just proved, once and for all, that college basketball is back. We love college basketball because of upsets like the one we averted last night. This is a learning experience. We can all get better from this. Fans don’t need to overreact; the team didn’t. Look where they ended up. They all kept their cool and came back from an early deficit. Now it's time for some Player Analysis: Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell – Yogi was able to score last night like we know he is able to this season. He knocked down 3 three-pointers which helped him end with a solid 17 points. He is one of our leaders and many scrutinized his actions after taking out his frustration on the bench. Personally, I like to see the fire within him come out like that. Last year, he knew it would be easy to run a team with four 1,000 point scorers. This season, it will be challenging. He knows that, and I think he’s willing to take the challenge. Will Sheehey – Will stepped up when we needed him the most. He scored a game-high 19 points, with 15 coming in the second half. Will stuffed the stat sheet with a total of 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals. He struggled mightily in the first half, not making a single shot from the field. After last night, I can say that Will is going to be the senior leader that we need. He knew when to “take over” and hit huge shots down the stretch, especially from long range. Jeremy Hollowell – Jeremy, after a career-high 16 points in game one against Chicago State, looked a little lost in this game. He finished with 6 points and 6 boards. He was in foul trouble for most of the night, which didn’t help his performance whatsoever. He will bounce back. It wasn’t just a tough night for him, it was a tough night for everybody. Noah Vonleh – This man is a beast on the boards. I think I can keep opening his analysis with that sentence. He kept us in the game in the first half when everybody else looked as if they had no idea how to play basketball. He was willing to put the team on his shoulders and go down on the block and bang with the big men from LIU-Brooklyn. He tallied another double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. I cannot wait to see where he can take this team and how he grows throughout the rest of the year. Troy Williams – No one expected Troy Williams to hit a three to keep us in the game, but he did it. When he put that shot up, everyone was yelling “NO!” But it went in. Troy’s athleticism becomes a problem at times because he wants to make the highlight play, rather than the simple play. I expect that to be tamed a little from now on, but I still love his upside. He is extremely athletic and long. Although I think he could have a bigger impact on defense, he still played a great game (second half). Stanford Robinson – Once again, I’m not really sure where Stan was last night. He did make two of his three shots and got to the line for two free throws, but other than that he didn’t look great. His one turnover was awful; he just let the defender take the ball. I know Stan can have an enormous impact on this team and I expect it to come soon. Devin Davis – Devin had a huge rebound with 4.8 seconds left to give us a one and one at the free throw line at the other end. Although he missed it, at least he was able to get the ball down to our side of the court with that rebound. He didn’t score this game after having double-digits in the opener, but his defensive prowess made an impact late. He played big minutes in the big parts of the game, which is key for a freshman like him. I’m excited to see where he goes. Hanner Mosquera-Perea – I would love to talk about how much I love his athleticism once again, but he just wasn’t active last night. I don’t know what was up with him. He grabbed a couple rebounds, but it really didn’t matter. I just want him to try to make a difference in the game, but he just doesn’t seem to want to. Evan Gordon – He does a really good job of taking care of the ball when asked to do so. He didn’t score and looked bad in the first half. He still hasn’t hit a three for us, which we really need. But he is a leader, albeit a quiet leader. He looks like he has the poise and confidence that it takes to win games like last night’s. Luke Fischer – We need to work on Luke’s hands. He missed a couple passes that were simple catches. He didn’t play until late in the second half and came in with a protective mask on his face. Although I don’t know why he had the mask, he ended up throwing it off after a few seconds of play anyway. We could use Luke’s big body down low, but he still hasn’t looked like the great player we thought we were getting. Austin Etherington – He played early in the game and never saw the floor again. I don’t think he’s that great and while he was out there, he didn’t make an impact. Here’s to wishing he can make an impact in limited minutes from here on out. Otherwise, he may end up transferring, a la Mo Creek (who had 19 points last night for GW). All in all, this can be used for growth. I love the upside of the team and multiple players, so cut them a little slack. This season is not completely over. Not even close.
  15. djsalway

    Thoughts from the Student Section

    This was an electric game for the Hoosiers, scoring 100 points. And let me tell you, when Jeff Howard laid the ball in the basket to get to 100, the roof almost came off of the building. You can say the same thing for Hanner’s tomahawk dunk and Troy’s huge dunk down the lane. Not everyone was necessarily engaged the whole game, as there were lulls, such as the 7-0 run from Chicago State midway through the first half. But trust me, there were still some spectacular moments that had everyone’s attention. Behind me, as always, there was a group of guys that kept running their mouths, acting like they were better than every player on the team. I really don’t get that; these boys were brought here for $40,000 a year (I mean scholarships; don’t worry, we don’t pay our players) to play basketball, so please shut up. Other than that, the atmosphere was exactly what I expected from the home opener. There were still quite a few open seats throughout the arena, but I’m sure that’ll change as the season goes on. It’s going to be an exciting season with this group of young, talented, athletic guys. I can’t wait to see what’s in store when we play some better teams, but for now, I’ll take a 28 point victory over a team that features 9 seniors. Chicago State could become more dangerous as the year goes on, so I’m glad we got them now. On to the next one Tuesday at home, but for now, go Hoosiers! Now for some quick player analysis: Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell – Yogi had an off night from downtown, not hitting any of his five attempts, but he was still a facilitator and made plays when they needed to be made. He drove the lane well and helped bust the zones and presses that Chicago State put in. Will Sheehey – This is the role that I expect him to play most of the year. He was a good leader, hustled a ton, and made shots when needed. Will may only average somewhere around 10 points per game this year, but they will all be important points. He knows what he is doing. Jeremy Hollowell – What can I say about this guy? He had his career-high in points scored, getting to the free throw line enough to make a difference. He hit the only three of the game for the Hoosiers and led in scoring with 16 points. Let’s hope he keeps this up. Noah Vonleh – This man is a beast on the boards. He had 8 rebounds through the first 9 minutes, an astounding pace. He then sat a little more in the second half, taking away from his total, but still managed to reach a double-double. I expect a lot of those this year. Troy Williams – He is electrifying. He gives the crowd something to cheer about. Even his turnovers are exciting. That’s why I like this kid, he plays with so much energy. Eventually, he’ll be able to keep the same energy but play under more control. His potential is unlimited. Stanford Robinson – He actually seemed lost tonight, after playing a great game in the last exhibition against Hillsdale College. Stan was still able to handle the ball at times against the press and make a few free throws. He’ll bounce back. Devin Davis – I’ve been saying it all preseason: this kid is an awesome rebounder and defender. I had not expected him to hit double digit points all season, but he proved me wrong. He played a great game and I only see him getting better. He’s almost athletic as Troy… That’s scary. Hanner Mosquera-Perea – His dunk early on in the game was simply amazing. Then later on he threw a bad pass and then swatted a layup in transition going the other way. His athleticism is out of the building, but there is still room to grow. He’s improved, but he can get even better. Once again, that’s very scary to think about. Evan Gordon – I’m almost positive the PA announcer called him “Eric Gordon” at one point. He is not his brother, but he still brings a spark to the team. His tenacity will get him places with this team. I like that he didn’t force any shots and was very under control. That’s what we need from a senior like him. Luke Fischer – There isn’t much to say about him. I’m happy with his first college game. He was tough down low when he was in, although at one point he played outside against the zone for some odd reason. He made a basket and had a couple good defensive sequences. Collin Hartman – I like the way he is playing defense so far, but I really wish he’d show us his shooting ability. In the last few minutes of the game, he had some open shots that he quickly passed up. If Collin is really the shooter everyone says he is, I want to see it. Austin Etherington – I’m not big on Austin, but I definitely think he deserves more playing time than he got tonight. He was decent defensively, but lost offensively. Here’s to hoping he comes back better in the future. Jeff Howard – He made the layup to get the Hoosiers to 100 points, so that’s good enough in itself, right? He’s already making key contributions to this squad. Jonny Marlin – He may not be anything special, but he made all four of his free throws near the end of the game. I like the way he played with confidence while he was leading all of the walk-ons on the court. Props to Jonny. Peter Jurkin – He had a couple chances to score. He had two free throws to put us at 100 before Jeff Howard scooped up a rebound and got us there. Peter, please make your free throws next time. We ALL want to see you score this season.
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