Sunday, January 30, 2011

Video: Manhattan's Half-Court Game Winner Vs. Marist

Posted by CoHoops Josh Dhani
Check out this amazing buzzer-beater as Manhattan beat Marist, 60-59. Just plain awesome.

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St. John With An Impressive Resume Win Over Duke

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The St. John's Red Storm (12-8, 4-5) picked up another impressive top 25 victory over the No. 3 ranked Duke Blue Devils (19-2, 6-1) 93-78.

This marked the first time the Dukies allowed 90+ points to an opponent since the then-No. 8 Demon Decons scored 91 on February 22, 2009, and the first loss against the Red Storm since the 2002-03 season.

St. John's came out aggressive early trading baskets with the defending champs, but once the lead was gained, the Red Storm continued to roll and built a 46-25 halftime lead.

St. John's continued to overpowered Duke with their athletic ability, which led to many easy buckets. As a team, St. Johns hit 32-of-54 (59%) from the field, and nailed 26-of-33 (78%) from the line.

Not to mention, throwing 18 assist on 32 made field goals.

Five Johnnies were in double-figures, including two 20-point scorers.

 Dwight Hardy has a productive first half scoring 12 points, and added 14 in the second half to end with 26 points, three rebounds, and three assist.

Justin Brownlee also ended with 20 points for St. John's and added eight rebounds, and four assist.

Sean Evans, and D.J Kennedy both had 10 apiece, while Paris Horne chipped in 15 off the bench.

After five first half points, Nolan Smith exploded in the second half to pick at the lead, but his 27 second half points wasn't enough to post a extraordinary comeback.

Smith had a game high 32 points, and added five rebounds, four assist, and three steals. Kyle Singler was the other Blue Devil in double digits with 20 points, and two rebounds.

If the media wasn't convincing enough to sell the Big East as the best conference in America, I'm sure St. John's did.

This is the third win over a ranked opponent in the Steve Lavin era. St. John's could be dancing come March despite being the 11th best team in the Big East conference.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jimmer Fredette Has Become a Can't Miss Player

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Jimmer Fredette’s name has to be a hot topic in the player of the year conversation after his display of his scoring ability all season. Not to mention, Fredette has the BYU Cougars (20-1, 5-0) ranked inside the top 10 and looking for their first conference title in years.

Coming into this season, Yahoo Rivals listed Fredette as the most explosive player in the country. Many also regarded Fredette as a lethal scorer, but nobody really expected him to put up 40-points multiple times in one season—let alone, twice in a row.

Fredette had surpassed former scoring leader Kemba Walker after his 47-point performance against Utah. Since then, Fredette has owned the top spot in the scoring column and is now up to 27.4 per game.

Fredette has also pushed his average up to 35.7 points during conference play

Fredette has scored 20-plus points in 17 games this season, including seven 30-plus games, and three 40-point outings.

After his most recent 43-point game against rival San Diego State, Fredette received props from many formidable players, including NBA stars.

“Jimmer Fredette is the best scorer in the world,” said Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant via Twitter. “Jimmer Fredette is cold, #respect” said Washington Wizards star John Wall.

Fredette isn’t the same player that got locked down in the ’09 NCAA tournament by Jacob Pullen. He finally gets it, and has grown from last year’s disappointment, which is one of the reasons BYU is one of the top teams in the nations.

“Jimmer has a relentless mindset toward scoring the ball, which you might think everyone has, but his is unique,” said coach Rose.

The past few gams, coach Dave Rose has stuck with the same offense that plays to Fredette’s strengths.

“He’s also playing with guys that want to get the best shot possible on every possession,” said Rose. “I think you can see that when Jimmer’s got a hot hand and is rolling pretty good that his teammates really look for him.”

The last two games combined, Fredette has been hot from deep nailing 9-of-17 (52%) of his three point baskets.

Fredette will continue to grow as the Cougars travel to take on the New Mexico Lobos (14-7, 2-4) who are underachieving, but still a formidable opponent for BYU.

If Fredette were to recreate another 40-point night against the Lobos, he would solidify everyone’s notion of being the most dominant scorer in the college game.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kansas Hopes to Return Back to Form

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The Kansas Jayhawks (18-1, 3-1), before the Texas game, were one of the hottest teams in College Basketball riding one of the most historic streaks in the game.

Kansas' struggles at home finally caught back up to the Jayhawks as their 69 game win streak was put to rest by the Texas Longhorns (16-3, 4-0).

Their 18-3 lead vanished after halftime, where Texas put on a show and scored 51-points in the second half. The Jayhawks experienced roster was counted as one of the teams biggest strengths and perhaps one of the most experienced groups in the country.

But it is still a mystery as to how an experienced team like the Jayhawks, could come on the wrong end of the losing column at home, by double-digits.

"It's one game. It's a big game, but it's just one game," said coach Bill Self. His Jayhawks were out-rebounded 40-33, as well as, shooting 11-of-18 (61%) from the free throw line.

"It was a tough loss, but it's just one game and we can't let it become two," said senior guard Tyrell Reed following his 17 point performance.

But, if you ask POY candidate Marcus Morris, the Jayhawks beat themselves. "I think we really beat ourselves this game," said Marcus Morris. "We have to move on and not dwell on this loss as a team."

"We have to stay together and be leaders and get the team's mind right and keep moving forward."

Kansas has the chance to do just that against a struggling Colorado team that has fell off the radar after defeating both Missouri, and Kansas State to open Big 12 play.

With Thomas Robinson losing his mother last week, he won't make the trip to Colorado. However, the Kansas players will surely bounce back for both losses.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Harrison Barnes: Will He Ever Live Up to the Hype?

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
I've seen unusual slumps watching College Basketball but none more interesting than the one in Raleigh.

Harrison Barnes, a 6-foot-7 freshman, at the age of 18 was the only kid his age to every be dubbed an AP Preseason All-American.

He was also rated the No. 1 recruit in the 2010 recruiting class that produced players such as Kyrie Irving, Brandon Knight, Jared Sullinger, and Terrence Jones.

Many people were prepping for a Carmelo Anthony-like run, and compared Barnes to the most clutch player in the game, Kobe Bryant.

Thus far, Barnes hasn't surpassed the 20-point mark and has one double-double on the season.

Many tend to point the finger at the lack of veteran leader. Similar to football, the chances of you winning without a veteran quarterback are slim.

Early-on in the season, critics hit Barnes hard with overrated tags, and even heard the chant as he shot free-throws against Illinois.

Coach Roy Williams often defended his highly-touted freshmen saying "If you've got enough [gumption] to make somebody a big hero like that, admit that you were wrong, and stop picking on the kid," referring to ESPN's hypocritical analysis on the freshman.

"It's silly if you're going to anoint the guy and three weeks later crucify him, that's ridiculous. He didn't ask to be voted first-team pre-season All-American."

Throughout this whole process, impressively, Barnes has ignored the critics, steadily improved and could be on the road to redemption.

In the North Carolina Tar Heels (13-5, 3-1 ACC) most recent game, Barnes nailed a three to put the 'Heels up late, and also nailed the game winner to keep North Carolina a perfect 55-0 at home against Clemson.

During ACC play, Barnes has stepped up in key situations in all games. More impressively, Barnes scored 10 of his 12 points with 10-minutes left to play to help the 'Heels rally back and hand the Hokies their second loss of ACC play.

Lately, Kendall Marshall has stepped up and continues to improve. He currently averaged 5.5 assist per game during conference play in 20-minutes of action.

Not to mention, Marshall has improved his assist-to-turnover ratio to 3.23 during conference play. With Marshall taking over the starting role, I expect Barnes to be more productive on both ends of the floor.

Going back to what I said earlier, the chances of you winning without a veteran leader are slim. Barnes is a gifted player, by all means, but you can't expect him to be spectacular when the point guard doesn't play his role.

Marshall isn't a veteran leader, just yet, but he's a nice compliment to a five-star forward like Barnes.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Grant Secures First Big Win Against Kentucky

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Down 20-points on the road against the Alabama Crimson Tide (11-7, 3-1 SEC) wasn't something John Calipari and his twelfth ranked Kentucky Wildcats (14-4, 2-2 SEC) envision.

One game removed from losing to Arkansas 70-65, and shooting 2-of-10 (20%) from deep, Alabama picked up its first marquee win on the season.

Alabama deserved this win after taking the lead with 11:01 left in the first half and not allowing Kentucky to get back into the game.

JaMychal Green paced Alabama with 18-points, and 11 rebounds on 7-of-15 (46%) shooting. "I just knew i had to come out here and give it my all and that's what I did," said Green following his magnificent performance.

"I wanted to win badly and my teammates did a great job on offense and defense."

Sophomore Tony Mitchell provided his contributions to the upset loss of Kentucky. Mitchell scored 15 points, and grabbed seven rebounds, despite picking up his fourth personal foul with 10-minutes left to play.

"I just helped my team as much as possible," said Mitchell. "I tried to do whatever I can to contribute to my team."

This loss places Alabama at (3-1) and in the driver seat of the SEC conference. With a solid core of players in Green, Mitchell, and freshmen Trevor Releford, Alabama could be looking at its first SEC divisional championship since '05.

For Kentucky, the Wildcats drops to (2-2) and is now tied for third place in the SEC East.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hoosiers Get First Big Ten Win, Beat Tough Michigan 80-61

Posted by CoHoops Josh Dhani

Verdell Jones III helped lead the Indiana Hoosiers to their first Big Ten win of the season with a 80-61 victory over the Michigan Wolverines in a tough battle as Indiana improves to 10-8 for the year now.

Jones fueled IU with his 24 points. Indiana played solid defense and amazing offense in the game, as they held Michigan to under 35-percent shooting. Indiana shot over 67-percent from the field. Jones was nine-of-ten overall.

Indiana played probably one of their best defenses of the decade. They held the Wolverines to under 24-percent shooting in the first half while limiting them to 15 points. That is the least amount of points IU held a team to in a half since they did to the Purdue Boilermakers in 2002. IU also rebounded well, having the first eight boards of the game. They were attacking the glass from all aspects of the court.

"Our players understood that it began with what our defensive transition was going to be like because of how well they push the ball up the court and get it up the court," said IU Coach Tom Crean. "They did an excellent job with that."

The Hoosiers basically did the same thing in the second half. Christian Watford got the crowd going louder with his three-pointer to put IU, 39-19. IU was creating excitement in Assembly Hall! However, with 8:33 to go, Michigan went on a late run of 12-2 to come within an eleven-point deficit, 46-35. But that is the closest they got, because every time they came within eleven points, Jordan Hulls would hit a triple.

"We were very, very solid in the half court," said Crean. "There were a couple of stretches where they got on some runs, but a lot of the things that we wanted to accomplish, things that we were keeping track of, our guys really bought into and they followed the gameplan."

This was simply a solid game by IU as they won their first big competitive game of the season. IU out-rebounded the Wolverines, 37-19, while also outscoring them on the bench, 16-6.

Christian Watford finished with 17 points and ten rebounds while Hulls had 13. Jeremiah Rivers had eight points.

Let's hope they carry this same effort following into the Wisconsin Badgers' game on Thursday.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Penn State Ready to Build On Recent Success

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The Penn State Nittany Lions (10-6) know history can be repeated. Their latest two game stretch will go down in the history books thanks to some great contributions.

Last season, both the Illinois Fighting Illini (13-4) and the Michigan State Spartans (11-5) swept the season series against Penn State. This year, the tables have turned, somewhat. The Nittany Lions have defeated Illinois and Michigan State for the first time since '08-09.

This also marked the first time Penn State defeated two ranked opponents consecutively since 1954, when the Nitty Lions reached their only Final Four.

Mind you, this is the same Penn State team that dropped to the Maine Black Bears (8-7) on their home court by 10.

But that loss only fueled the team if you ask sophomore guard Talor Battle.

"Whenever we win, someone always mentions how we lost to Maine," said Battle. "Maybe that's what sparked the fire. I think the last couple of games we've really been playing well together."

Penn State held both Michigan State, and Illinois well under their scoring average, as well as, limiting Michigan State to the second-lowest point total on the season, while limiting Illinois to 50-points for the second time.

"We kept them from getting comfortable," said Battle following their 57-55 win against Illinois. "We kept it a low scoring game; right where we had a chance to win and we came out with a win."

Penn State will not believe in the hype, and looks forward to its next few games on the road. "What we've been doing in practice is practicing like we lost the night before," said Battle. "We're going to do that when we come back Thursday to practice and get ready for a really good Ohio State team.

Whoever wins this game isn't going to be granted the Big Ten championship, but it will sure send a message to other teams.

Penn State coach Ed DeChellis says the hard work at practice leading up to both games and the dividends it paid is just "a confidence builder for us" and insists that his Nittany Lions have a long way to go.

"This is a very unforgiving league, so you can't get too excited about winning two games," coach DeChellis said. "It gives the guys some confidence going into the Ohio State game."

Penn State has been a good rebounding, and defensive team in their last two games but some credence should be given to senior Andrew Jones.

Jones dunked-in the game winner, and helped Penn State hang on to defeat Michigan State after a huge put back, and free-throw that put the Nittany Lions up 63-61 with 1:03 left to play.

Before the past two games, Jones hadn't scored in double figures since scoring 10-points in the season-finale last year.

"[Andrew] Jones is playing well," said coach DeChellis. "I haven't done anything different, just trying to get him to play harder and shoot a little better. He's playing with confidence now, and it's amazing how well that can work."

Jones isn't alone, leading scorer Battle has played a very crucial role for Penn State. His jumper with 20 seconds left on the clock against the Spartans ultimately put the game out of reach, as well as, nailing crucial three against Illinois to keep Penn State in the game.

Sitting at (3-2) in the Big 10 conference, with wins against then-No.19 Michigan State, and No. 16 Illinois on their resume, Penn State has another chance to add to their success against Ohio State.

"It's a good feeling," Jones said following his buzzer beater against Illinois. "It's a good win and we just got to keep on going and like T [Talor Battle] said, beat a really good Ohio State team.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

2010-11 College Basketball Week 9 Review and Week 10 Preview

By Marc Daley

Normally I take a look back at the week that was. Specifically, I take a look at who screwed up and who came to play, but considering the tragic events that took place in Tucson on Saturday I think we need a healthy dose of perspective instead.

Politics and sports have always been rife with debate but since the Internet and the abundance of talk radio we have gotten away from civilized discourse into full-blown rage that isn't backed up with verified information. We have potential Presidential candidates marking states with gun sights just because they don't agree with her position on health care reform. We have journalists getting killed in hotel rooms. We have sportswriters answering their phones to the sounds of vitriol because they dared to go against the grain in voting on a poll. We have fans taking up a cause of a star player's eligibility with the fervor that used to be reserved for political prisoners who were unjustifiably jailed for their beliefs.

The bottom line is that we need to relax. Health care and economic policies aren't worth getting death threats over. An ineligible player doesn't mean your team's season is in the tank. And guess what? If some player makes a game-winning shot does that mean you're going to get a raise? Your sick relative will make a miracle recovery? Your kids will feel safer in school or ace a critical test? And if that player misses does that mean you're going to lose your house or you won't be able to feed your family? Unless you're the person who was foolish enough to bet your paycheck on the outcome of a game then the answer should be pretty obvious.

I'm not saying we should all join hands and rise in a chorus of "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore". Disagreement – healthy disagreement – founded this country and has provided a lot of advancements in critical areas of life. Name-calling and overzealousness have brought about little progress and usually leave a wake of damage after it's all over including the shouting. So when Florida meets up with Tennessee and if the Vols lose on Tuesday, accept it for what it is. Bruce Pearl isn't the Antichrist and Scotty Hopson isn't an overrated malcontent who should be drawn and quartered. If North Carolina misses the Tournament Roy Williams isn't a blatant choke artist whose kids are probably meth-heads.

The bottom line is if those things happen those teams just weren't good enough. And that happens sometimes.

Here's this week's Top 25. Duke is still number 1. And last I checked Mike Krzyzewski wasn't turning water into wine. He's just a really good coach.

  1. Duke
  2. Ohio State
  3. Kansas
  4. Villanova
  5. Pittsburgh
  6. Syracuse
  7. Purdue
  8. San Diego State
  9. Texas A&M
  10. Missouri
  11. Connecticut
  12. Kentucky
  13. Brigham Young
  14. Kansas State
  15. Florida
  16. Memphis
  17. Texas
  18. Louisville
  19. Notre Dame
  20. Michigan State
  21. Minnesota
  22. Illinois
  23. Georgetown
  24. UCF
  25. Washington



Sunday, January 9, 2011

Burks Blossoming into Elite Player

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Alec Burks hasn't had a problem proving doubters wrong. After only receiving six scholarship offers, most of which that came very late, Burks has taken advantage of his time at Colorado University.

After his first season at Colorado, Burks was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year, winning the honor over soon-lottery pick Xavier Henry, after scoring 17.1 points, and grabbing five rebounds per game.

This season, Burks has emerged as one of the best shooting guards in the country.

Burks has certainly grew as a player after his first season. He makes better decisions, and is still as efficient as ever.

Standing at 6-foot-6, Burks is very quick off his feet, explosive, and has a NBA-ready jumper.

He has the ability to take the opposition off the dribble, step back and finish around the rim.

Burks ability to rebound the ball adds another dimension to his already polished game but his bright spot comes on the defensive end. He hasn't utilized his long frame on the defensive end, and could become a great defender with help.

Burks takes an average of 13 shots per game, and nails an outstanding (51%) of his shots. His proficient offense helps him score 20.1 a game, that includes his recent 36-point scoring outrage against the Missouri Tigers.

This season, compared to last, Burks has come out very aggressively attacking the opposition with his unique scoring ability.

"I try to start out every game aggressive," said Burks following his 36-point performance against Missouri. "Every time I step on the court, I want to be aggressive. It wasn't anything new. It's the same game every game."

He has improved his free-throw percentage shooting (82%) from the charity stripe, while nailing (35%) of his three balls.

"The thing I like about Alec [Burks] and probably the most proud of Alec, given our preseason, he is so talented offensively." said coach Tad Boyle. "He feels like he can make a play every time he has the ball."

His performances this season, and last, has many scouts labeling Burks as a definite lottery pick. He has the physical tools to excel at the next level, and the ceiling is sky high for the 6-foot-6 sophomore.

"I thought he [Alec Burks] played well," said Missouri's coach Mike Anderson. "He's a good player, looked like he was an all-league performer today."

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Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 NCAA Tournament Projection Number 1

Since the conference schedules have gotten underway and the RPI no longer looks like a jacked-up collection of overrated mid-majors it's time to start projecting who will make the NCAA Tournament and who won't. These projections will appear every Friday.

With the boilerplate out of the way I can now get down to the ranting and raving portion of the program. Whoever decided that expanding the tournament to 68 teams was a good idea needs to be forced to explain why Terrell Pryor gets to play in a bowl game while Enes Kanter continues to languish in limbo. Seriously, I can't see 37 teams that deserve an at-large bid to this field. Ever since someone came up with the bright idea of awarding participation trophies and ribbons we seem to reward mediocrity. But the NCAA has made it so which means more work for guys like me who clearly have too much time on their hands.

Number 1 Seeds: Duke, Syracuse, Ohio State and Kansas. This was pretty obvious as they're all undefeated, highly ranked and have top 10 RPIs except for Ohio State.

Last Four In: New Mexico, Butler, Washington State and Georgia. Obviously we have a veritable murderers row here. New Mexico got their butts handed to them by Cal and has no quality wins to speak of but has an RPI of 50. Butler is reeling from the loss of Gordon Hayward, comes off a 24-point loss to Wisconsin-Milwaukee but has an RPI of 30 (they have played a tough schedule). Washington State got off the conference schneid and had a nice run in December (though their win over Baylor isn't looking as strong at the moment). Georgia has a decent overall record but only beat Mississippi Valley by two, Mercer by three and was taken to overtime by Eastern Kentucky. My kingdom for tournament retraction!!

First Four Out: Portland, George Mason, Ole Miss and Missouri State. Portland will be counted in if bracketologists consider them to be the West Coast winner if the tournament started today. I counted St. Mary's and threw a bone to Gonzaga over Portland for the second West Coast bid (they will not get three teams in at this juncture). George Mason has a decent RPI for some reason even though they have lost to Wofford, North Carolina State and Hofstra. Ole Miss looks like the class of the SEC West, which makes them the Farmer Ted (Sixteen Candles reference) of Division I. Missouri State can feel confident that the Missouri Valley commissioner will piss and moan on television during the first week of March Madness that only one of their teams made it to the Dance. I'm sure this will give them great comfort while they play in the NIT.

As the bracket projections continue I will highlight teams that are making a move up and those teams that are begging the committee to tear up their bids into neat little bits of confetti.

Hopefully the at-large teams will be a little more deserving as the season progresses but somehow I did it.


East Region

1 Duke v. 16 Long Beach/Jackson State

2 Purdue v. 15 Florida Atlantic

3 Notre Dame v. 14 Furman

4 Vanderbilt v. 13 Vermont

5 Missouri v. 12 Princeton

6 Temple v. 11 Gonzaga

7 UNLV v. 10 Arizona

8 Minnesota v. 9 Cincinnati


Southeast Region


1 Ohio State v. 16 St. Francis(NY)

2 San Diego State v. 15 American

3 Connecticut v. 14 Hampton

4 Texas v. 13 Harvard

5 Florida v. 12 Butler/Washington State

6 Kansas State v. 11 Utah State

7 Wisconsin v. 10 Dayton

8 St. John's v. 9 Miami (Fla.)


Southwest Region


1 Syracuse v. 16 Fairfield

2 Kentucky v. 15 Coastal Carolina

3 Georgetown v. 14 Buffalo

4 Central Florida v. 13 Belmont

5 Texas A&M v. 12 New Mexico/Georgia

6 Michigan State v. 11 Oklahoma State

7 North Carolina v. 10 Louisville

8 Old Dominion v. 9 Cleveland State


West Region


1 Kansas v. 16 Austin Peay/Stephen F. Austin

2 Pittsburgh v. 15 Montana

3 BYU v. 14 IPFW

4 Villanova v. 13 Wichita State

5 Illinois v. 12 Xavier

6 Washington v. 11 Memphis

7 Tennessee v. 10 Boston College

8 St. Mary's v. 9 West Virginia

Thursday, January 6, 2011

UCF Knights Steadily Improving

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Since joining the Division I one ranks, the UCF Knights, (14-0) before the season, only received a total of two votes from national polls. (No type, only two votes.)

This season, the Knights are off to their best start since the 1979-80 season, when the team started the year off with 15 straight victories.

This seasons UCF squad hasn't matched the historic start, yet, but is the first team to be ranked inside both national polls and has continued to do its share of re-writing the history book.

UCF's 14-game winning streak is the longest in school history since moving to Division I action in 1984.

While riding the streak, the Knights have reached as high as the No. 18 ranking in the USA Today/ESPN poll, and is currently ranked before formidable programs such as Michigan State, Illinois, and Conference USA foe Memphis.

The Knights bread and butter has come on the defensive side of the ball under coach Donnie Jones. "Our defense has been our staple all year long," said coach Jones. "Everybody thinks we're an offensive team, but the thing we preach the most is defense."

The Knights defense holds teams to a dismal 56.7 points per game, while holding their opponents to 35 percent shooting from the field, and 28 percent from deep.

UCF defense is better described as swarming. The Knights are extremely athletic and coach Jones has utilized each player to perfection.

He has a few human erasers inside, as well as great guards that can defend one-on-one on the perimeter.

Sophomore Keith Clanton has improved tremendously this season, and it has shown on the basketball court. Clanton not only averages 15.9 points per game, but pulls down 8.8 rebounds, and blocks 2.2 shots per game.

Clanton has become a great talent to commend rising star Marcus Jordan. Jordan has been the most consistent player for the Knights this year leading UCF to victory in nearly every game this season.

Jordan, the leading scorer for UCF with 16.7, has tallied two back-to-back 20-point efforts to pull the Knights over Princeton and Marshall.

"Every time I go to the paint I want to put the decision on the referee to either call a foul or a charge," Jordan said. "That's what I'm looking to do."

Jordan loves to penetrate the lane, and does convert when he gets to the line. Jordan is a 79 percent free-throw shooter and nails a team-high 4.4 free-throws per game.

Clanton and Jordan have developed into a wonderful duo, but the two aren't the only thing UCF has to lean on. Talented transfer Tom Herzog doesn't have the flashiest stats but gets it done on the defensive end and that's what makes him such a valuable asset.

Herzog loggs 17.8 minutes per game but still manages to block 2.9 shots per game, which is a team-high.

UCF opened conference play with a huge win over Marshall, led by Jordan's 18-point second half. The Knights have reenergized its fan base, and has many media outlets picking UCF to finish first in Conference USA.

The jump from Marshall to UCF has worked for coach Jones. His players are playing consistent basketball, as well as being discipline on both ends of the floor.

The Knights not only have a great lead guard in Jordan, but also an up-and-coming coach in Donnie Jones, who could be in contention for Coach of the Year honors if UCF continues to win ball games.

UCF will be on the road next to take on a Houston Cougars team that has struggled early, but is still capable of pulling off an upset.

"We have to realize that we have that target on our backs when we go on the road," said coach Jones. "We're in different waters than this program has ever been in before because we're ranked."

"We just have to realize that people are going to play at a different level against us night-in and night-out."

UCF played away from home this season four times, but only two true road wins, with the other two coming on a neutral court.

The upcoming game against Houston will be a great way to challenge UCF and see how well they handle playing on the road with the target on their back.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Duke Waits For An Update on Freshman Kyrie Irving

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
"As long as no surgery is needed, or it appears that it might not be needed, we're going with this action," Duke's coach Mike Krzyzewski said following their ACC opening win against Miami.

Reports say freshman guard Kyrie Irving received a new boot, and will have his big right toe scanned this week, and remains out indefinitely.

Irving injured his foot in the second half on December 4, 2010 when Duke took on Butler in a National Championship rematch.

Irving was able to return and finished the game with 21 points as Duke pulled away.

Irving, one of the best point guards in the country, watched the past five games from the bench.

He appears to be in a great deal of pain wearing a boot, as well as, coach Krzyzewski telling reporters his freshman guard could be out for a long time.

Such an injury could cause Irving to miss up to weeks, or possibly the season. Irving is a valuable asset to the Duke Blue Devils (13-0), and fans would love to see him back in action.

Irving averaged 17.4 points, 5.1 assist, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.5 steals, while shooting 45 percent from deep in eight games of action.

"I think we are good, we've just got to get more experience especially with Kyrie [Irving] out," said Krzyzewski.

Nolan Smith, the talented senior has stepped up tremendously with Irving sidelined pacing Duke with four straight 20-point games.

After defeating Miami, and pacing the Blue Devils with 28-points, five rebounds, and five assist, Smith stated "the first thing we learned is that we're a very good team," replying to playing without talented frosh Irving.

"Guys are still looking to step up. Andre [Dawkins] and Seth [Curry] did a great job tonight defensively on one of the hottest players coming into the game in Malcolm Grant."

Smith added, "Our defense was there all night, and going forward that's going to be our identity."

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Monday, January 3, 2011

2010-2011 College Basketball Week 8 Review and Week 9 Preview

By Marc Daley


If you remember last season (which shouldn't be too hard unless you woke up New Year's Day naked on your car roof with your keys in your, um, back door) Texas was ranked number one in mid-January and had won their first seventeen games. It looked like the Longhorns' collection of All-American bulls and thoroughbreds had paid off and they seemed primed to secure their fourth Final Four.

Then the wheels came off, starting with their first loss of the season to Kansas State. Eventually, they would lose three times to Baylor and split their series with Oklahoma, which had their worst season since 1981. They went out in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Wake Forest.

Duke isn't likely to go careening off the cliff but there are some programs that have stumbled out of the gate in the past few weeks after a strong beginning. Their own dance tickets might get lost in the mail if they keep struggling.

  • Minnesota. The Gophers had started 11-1 before they went into Big Ten play and dropped two straight road contests to Wisconsin and Michigan State. Tomorrow they could right the ship against Indiana in their first Big Ten home contest but then have to take on Ohio State and Purdue. A 1-4 start is a distinct possibility. The Big Ten is a strong conference and ten conference wins should get Tubby Smith's charges in the Dance but if they do start 1-4 they would have to go 9-4 the rest of the way. That "rest of the way" includes Illinois, Ohio State, Michigan twice and Northwestern twice.
  • Tennessee. The Vols started 7-0 with wins over Villanova and Pittsburgh. Inexplicably they lost for the first time to an Oakland squad that is currently 8-8 and doesn't have Mark McGwire or Jose Canseco in the lineup. Since then, they have dropped three of their last five to the likes of College of Charleston and Charlotte. Their two wins have been by a combined seven points to Belmont and UT-Martin. UT-Martin has had one winning record in the past sixteen years. Bruce Pearl has to miss half the conference season for lying to the NCAAs. The good news is that the SEC is watered down yet again and this team has the talent to finish in the top three in the SEC East. The bad news is that if they don't the Vols will not only find themselves in NIT land but Pearl could find himself out of a job.
  • West Virginia. The Mountaineers were within seven points of starting Big East play undefeated. Then they lost to St. John's (which seems rejuvenated under Steve Lavin) and Marquette (which is undergoing a transition phase). Tomorrow brings the Big East's version of a get-well card in DePaul but then Huggie Bear's charges tangle with Georgetown, Providence, Purdue and Louisville. A 2-5 start to Big East play is a real possibility. From there they would probably have to go 8-3 the rest of the way to feel secure about a dance ticket with games against Pittsburgh (twice), Syracuse, Notre Dame and UConn.
  • Washington State. The Pac-10 has been worse than a lot of non-BCS conferences in the past year. They're a little better this year but still not strong enough to get four or five teams into the dance. Ken Bone had done a nice job turning the Cougars around but they since they beat Baylor they have dropped their last three games. Unlike the other conferences teams should try to win eleven conference games to feel reasonably confident about getting their tickets punched. In order for the Cougars to do that they have to go 11-5 the rest of the way in Pac-10 play.


With that setup in mind it's obvious that now is the time for teams to get it together. Some big matchups occur this week.


  • UConn-Notre Dame (Tuesday, 7ET). Kemba Walker should still be a Player of the Year candidate but he needs help. In their overtime win over bottom-feeders South Florida Walker and no. 2 option Alex Oriakhi scored 39 of their 66 points while the rest of the team shot eight for 29 from the field. In their loss to Pittsburgh Walker scored nearly half of their 63 points while the rest of the team shot nine for 33. It seems that the nation has figured out how to slow the Huskies, which is to let Walker get his and concentrate on stopping the rest of the team. Jim Calhoun has to get consistency on the offensive end from Oriakhi (he's a rebounding beast) and have somebody step forward as a no. 3 option.
  • Brigham Young-UNLV(Wednesday, 10 ET). The Mountain West has taken over as the best conference west of the Pecos. They should expect to get at least three teams in with a great shot at getting four in. UNLV could be that third or fourth team in and seem to have righted the ship since a mid-December loss to Cal-Santa Barbara, getting Frank Martin to cause a reporter to wet his pants following their win over Kansas State. Jimmer Fredette is a first-team All-America candidate again but has help from eight teammates who average at least ten minutes a game. Expect this one to go down to the wire.
  • UCF-Houston(Saturday, 5ET). This is rarified air for the Golden Knights, who have never won a NCAA Tournament game. They start their Conference USA schedule with Marshall on Wednesday before this matchup with a program that was one of the kings of the early 1980s. It is essential that Marcus Jordan and Co. start the C-USA schedule strong. They can probably afford to split with Memphis and have a couple of other losses but they have to be careful they don't stumble to ensure a dance invite.


For the first time this season there are no new additions to the Top 25. Louisville and Minnesota took big drops but are still in the polls for now.


  1. Duke
  2. Ohio State
  3. Kansas
  4. Villanova
  5. Pittsburgh
  6. Syracuse
  7. Purdue
  8. Missouri
  9. Kansas State
  10. San Diego State
  11. Kentucky
  12. Connecticut
  13. Memphis
  14. Michigan State
  15. Georgetown
  16. Texas A&M
  17. Brigham Young
  18. Texas
  19. UCF
  20. Minnesota
  21. Florida
  22. Illinois
  23. Louisville
  24. Baylor
  25. Notre Dame

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 NBA Draft Stock Watch: December Edition

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
An exciting month of December comes to a close with many numerous headline stories, suspensions, and transfers.

Renardo Sidney, the talented big man for Mississippi State may have done the most damage to his NBA draft stock this month fighting another teammate in the stands.

We were introduced to Anatoly Bose from Nicholls State, who at a point, lead the NCAA in scoring.

Harrison Barnes has shaken his slow start, somewhat, and the Tar Heels look great headed into conference play.

Kyrie Irving has been sidelined with a foot injury, that I believe will not have an effect on his draft stock.

During his time on the court as a Blue Devil, Irving proved that he was the best point guard in the College game by out playing two of the best in Jacob Pullen, and Kalin Lucas.

Nonetheless, here is my take on who has rising and falling NBA draft stock.


Jared Sullinger - Ohio State (Lottery Pick)

Jared Sullinger had a more productive month than any other player. He had a 40-13 game against IUPU, and also a 30-19 game against South Carolina. During December, Sullinger had scored 20 points, and grabbed 10.6 boards per game while shooting nearly 60 percent from the field.

His strength, and length down low is very beneficial and should help him if he choses to leap to the pros.

Josh Selby - Kansas (Lottery Pick)

After sitting out a nine game suspension dealt by the NCAA, freshman Josh Selby has shown his ability to hit big shots, just like his predecessor Sherron Collins. In his first game, Selby scored 21 points, while shooting 5-of-8 (62%) from three, and hitting the game winning bucket to put the Jayhawks over USC.

He has played the off-guard for Kansas, but has shown the ability to play point guard and will most likely grow into a great lead guard for the Jayhawks.

Tyler Honeycutt - UCLA (Lottery Pick)

Tyler Honeycutt stands at 6-foot-8 with the abilities of a guard and forward. Honeycutt exploded to begin December pouring in 33 points, nine rebounds, and four assist against Kansas. Since then, Honeycutt has continued his all around dominance and watched his stock elevate because of it.

Honeycutt reminds me a lot of Evan Turner without the Elite ball handling skills; terrific mid-range shooter, and slashing wing man.

Brandon Knight - Kentucky (Lottery Pick)

Brandon Knight continues to emerge as a lead guard versus a potent scorer. Knight continues to get his teammates involved, and has done work on offense as well. He dished out 4.4 assist per game in December, while scoring 18.5 points per game.

Many scouts wanted to see Knight emerge into a point guard, after December, you can't be mad at his progression.

Cory Joseph - Texas (Mid-First Round)

Cory Joseph has emerged as an great lead guard for the Texas Longhorns. Every since coach Barnes asked the frosh to be most assertive in the offense, Joseph has stepped up and filled the role.

In December, Joseph hit many clutch shots as well as scoring 14.8 points, while chipping in 4.1 rebounds, and three assist per game.

Watch: Jimmer Fredette (BYU); JaJuan Johnson (PUR); Derrick Williams (AU); Kyrie Irving (Duke); Terrence Jones (UK); Klay Thompson (WSU)


Renardo Sidney - Mississippi State (Late Second Round)

Renardo Sidney has damaged his chances at becoming a possible lottery pick after coming out of high school so highly-touted. Sidney was suspended for a game after crying out in practice in a unacceptable manner.

Soon after, Sidney was caught fighting his roommate on the schools trip in the stands. Many scouts tend to shy away from players with bad attitudes, and Sidney's performances in December have scouts looking away.

Elias Harris - Gonzaga (Second Round)

Harris was suppose to be one of the best players in all of College Basketball. However, since injuring himself in a loss to San Diego State, Harris hasn't been himself.

He has improved with a late push in December, but still hasn't proven he can get back to superstar status for the 'Zags.

Jacob Pullen - Kansas State (Second Round to Undrafted)

There was one thing the College game witnessed last season with Kansas State's Jacob Pullen; he can score the basketball. However, for a 6-foot guard, it's best suited if you're a point guard to make it to the league.

Pullen hasn't displayed leadership at all, and that has effected his draft stock.

Watch: Marcus Morris (KU); Steven Gray (GU); Corey Fisher (Vill); Nolan Smith (Duke)

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