Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday Morning Shootaround

Halfway through the ACC Big Ten Challenge, we are tied 3-3. It's actually absurd how close it is right now (h/t RTC for the screen grab). The Big Ten is in big trouble, however, if they plan on winning this thing. Wake Forest is going to beat Indiana at home. UNC is probably going to beat Michigan State even if Hansbrough doesn't play. Georgia Tech is going to be a big time favorite hosting Penn State. Northwestern is going to have to play their best game of the season to hold home court against Florida State. The Big Ten's best chance for a win comes when Michigan heads to Maryland (and the only reason I say that is because both teams have been wildly inconsistent this year). I would not be surprised if the Big Ten got swept tonight.

Anyway, enough about tonight, let's get to last night's hoops action. Duke smacked around a jittery Purdue team on the road 76-60 last night. The Blue Devils looked very impressive doing so. They jumped all over the Boilermakers early. Jon Scheyer hit a three two minutes into the game, and Purdue never got closer than that the rest of the way. Yesterday, I said that there were essentially three keys to the game. Well, Duke dominated all three areas. They out rebounded Purdue 44-26, and racked up offensive rebound after offensive rebound. When Purdue was making their little run in the second half that cut an 18 point lead down to 10 at different points, Duke slowed that run down by grabbing big offensive rebounds.

Duke was also much better defensively. Where Duke was able to handle Purdue's ball pressure and run their sets, the Devils completely took Purdue out of their game plan. After a while, it broke down into Purdue players trying to go 1-on-1, and they just don't have a roster full of guys that can do that. On the game, Purdue show just 37% from the floor and 2-13 from deep. The third key was, basically, whose stars would be better. Well, Kyle Singler finished with 20 and 12 boards (6 off), Jon Scheyer had 20, 4 boards, 3 dimes, and 2 steals, and Nolan Smith finished with 12 points and just one turnover. Conversely, Robbie Hummell and E'Twaun Moore combined for 25 points (with as many as 20 of those coming down the stretch with the game decided already), which is six points below their average. 

The rest of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge from last night:

  • Ohio State 73, Miami FL 68: The biggest thing I took from this game is that Jack McClinton is an idiot. He was absolutely on fire midway through the first half, which is why Anthony Crater was guarding McClinton closely. Crater caught McClinton with an inadvertent slap to the face while trying to make a steal on a pass, and McClinton responded with an open hand slap. He barely made contact, but it was enough to draw blood, and after checking the replays, the refs decided to give J-Mc the boot. With him out, Ohio State made a huge run early in the second half, led by three three's from Jon Diebler. Diebler finished with 20 and Evan Turner added 19. BJ Mullens looked much better in the second half than he did in the first. When he is active, going for rebounds and blocking shots, he is a much better player. Lance Hurdle led the 'Canes with 14.
  • Clemson 76, Illinois 74: The Tigers got a balanced scoring effort with four players in double figures and forced 17 Illini turnovers as they came back from eight down at the break. Demontez Stitt looked very impressive in the win. He led the Tigers with 18 and made a few big shots on tough drives to the hoop. Mike Davis looked sensational for the Illini, scoring 28 points. While a lot of those points came as the finisher against the press, he had one move that proved to me that he can play. Early in the second half, he caught the ball on the left block, took one dribble into the lane, gave a half spin and the Kobe shoulder shake to freeze the defender before going back over his left shoulder for a turn around jumper. 
  • Boston College 57, Iowa 55: After pushing their lead to 56-45, BC would not score again until a Tyrese Rice free throw put them up two. The Hawkeye's came down and threw the ball away, but in the scrum for the loose ball Iowa forward Andrew Brommer was fouled. He would miss a front end with .4 seconds left to give BC the win (to be fair, the kid is not 3-15 from the line on the season).
  • Minnesota 66, Virginia 56: Minnesota got 20 points off of 19 UVA turnovers and held Mickey D's freshman Sylvan Landesberg, who came in averaging 18.8 ppg, to 10 on 1-11 shooting. Colton Iverson had 14 and 7 boards in the win.
The rest of the yesterday's hoops action:
  • Notre Dame 102, South Dakota 76: The Irish hit 19 3's in the win, 9 by Ryan Ayers and 7 by Kyle McAlarney.
  • Memphis 100, Marist 61
  • Villanova 69, Penn 47
  • Florida 73, Florida A&M 58
  • Dayton 87, Troy 70
  • Missouri 95, Arkansas Pine-Bluff 41
  • Seton Hall 101, Monmouth 78
  • LSU 84, Cal St. Fullerton 63
  • Marquette 81, Central Michigan 67
  • Western Kentucky 67, Georgia 63: WKU's last three games have been wins over Georgia, Louisville, and Southern Illinois. Could the Hilltoppers be for real again?
  • Washington State 60, Idaho State 41

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