Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday's Shootaround: Brandon Paul, Baylor and the different directions of Seton Hall and Louisville

No. 4 Baylor 75, No. 18 Kansas State 73: See here

Illinois 79, No. 5 Ohio State 74: See here

Providence 90, No. 15 Louisville 59: This was just embarrassing for the Cardinals. There really is no other way to put it. Kadeem Betts and Bryce Cotton both scored 27 points as Providence absolutely steamrolled Louisville, taking a 19 point lead into the break and absolutely man handling the Cardinals in the second half. This was more than an off-night for Louisville. They quit, plain and simple.

I don't know if there is a quick fix here. I don't want to call this a doomsday scenario, because I've been on the wrong end of a blowout during a losing streak and it is absolutely no fun to be out there getting embarrassed. And mine didn't come on ESPN. But its quite obvious that Louisville has issues they need to work out. We all know about their offensive issues, but this was supposed to be a team that would be able to hang around with people because of their defensive prowess.

And now they gave up 90 to Providence.

Peyton Siva was the absolute worst. He finished with two points and one assists before fouling out in just 19 minutes on the floor. Russ Smith wasn't much better. He was just 1-4 from the floor and had a fairly heated discussion with Rick Pitino towards the end of the bench late in the second half. I don't have any answers here. It doesn't look like Pitino does either.

Seton Hall 94, DePaul 73: The Pirates are slowly but surely winning over converts. Its pretty easy when they get performances like this out of their stars. Jordan Theodore had 26 points and 11 assists, Fuquan Edwin added a career high 28 points and Herb Pope chipped in with a pedestrian 11 points and 13 boards.

Granted, this performance came against DePaul, but Seton Hall just looked so dominant offensively its hard not to get excited about this win. They legitimately have three go-to players on their roster right now, one of whom (Edwin) is one of the best defenders in the country. I still want to see them do something impressive on the road -- beating a struggling UConn team and getting obliterated by Syracuse keeps canceling each other out in my mind -- before I say this group has a chance to finish second in a wide open league race, but they certainly have to be mentioned in any conversation about Big East challengers.

Florida State 63, Virginia Tech 59: The Seminoles got 18 points and 15 boards out of Bernard James while Ian Miller added 15 points as Florida State was able to hang on against as the Hokies made a comeback down the stretch. Erick Green finished with 21 points, but he missed a runner in the lane that could have tied the game. This was a win that FSU really needed, and they've avoided falling to 1-1 in league play by stealing a game on the road against a fellow bubble team.

No. 21 Creighton 63, Northern Iowa 60: The Panthers put Adam Koch, who is two inches taller and 25 pounds heavier than Doug McDermott, on the Bluejay's all-american, and it worked. McDermott was averaging 25.2 ppg and coming off of a 44 point performance and he finished with just 14 points, eight boards and four assists. But UNI had no answer for Antoine Young, who went for 21 points and hit a key three in the second half, or Grant Gibbs, who has been a terrific leader for the Bluejays and made a number of big, big buckets down the stretch.

The rest of the top 25:

No. 3 UNC 73, Miami FL 56: Tyler Zeller led four players in double figures with 16 points as the Heels knocked off Miami despite shooting just 2-16 from deep.

No. 7 Michigan State 95, Iowa 61: Draymond Green's line -- 22 points, nine boards, five assists and three steals. Just another day at the office. Oh, and Fran McCaffrey channelled his inner Bobby Knight.

No. 19 Florida 70, Georgia 48: Brad Beal snapped out of a bit of a funk, finishing with 17 points and ten boards while shooting 4-6 from three.

No. 22 San Diego State 73, Chicago State 65: I am going to go ahead and chalk this performance up to SDSU looking ahead to their matchup with UNLV. Because that's the only way to explain this kind of performance against a winless team, right?

No. 25 Harvard 70, Monmouth 61: Keith Wright had 18 points and 15 boards as the Crimson won on the road against Monmouth. They never trailed, but this win was a lot closer than anyone expected.

Other notable scores:

- Notre Dame 60, South Florida 49
- La Salle 68, Penn 57
- Indiana State 80, Evansville 78
- Missouri State 77, Southern Illinois 65
- Vanderbilt 67, South Carolina 57

Top performers

Brandon Paul, Illinois: Duh.

Jordan Theodore and Fuquan Edwin, Seton Hall: Edwin had 24 of his 28 points in the first half and Theodore added 26 points and 11 assists.

CJ Wilcox, Washington: Wilcox finished with 25 points and five boards as the Huskies knocked off Seattle 91-83.

Taylor Brown, Bradley: Brown's 28 points and 12 boards weren't enough for the Braves to be able to knock off Drake. They lost 82-74.

Bernard James, Florida State: A man amongst boys. Literally. He finished with 18 points, 15 boards and three blocks.

Providence: How about these lines: Kadeem Betts had 27 points and 10 boards, Bryce Cotton had 27 points on 6-7 shooting from the field (5-5 from three) and Vincent Council had 15 points, 14 assists and eight boards.

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