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Change in the air? (cont.)

Posted: Thursday February 22, 2007 9:22AM; Updated: Thursday February 22, 2007 9:22AM
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Other Hoop Thoughts

Jessie Sapp deserves more credit for the Hoya's recent surge than he's receiving.
Jessie Sapp deserves more credit for the Hoya's recent surge than he's receiving.
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• If Texas Tech goes into selection weekend as a bubble team, I think the Red Raiders should feel pretty good about their chances. There won't be a whole lot of bubble teams who have sweeps over a team such as Texas A&M plus a win over a squad like Kansas.

• I feel pretty confident in predicting Ohio State and Wisconsin will not meet in the Big Ten tournament final. With No. 1 seeds possibly sewn up by then and legitimate national-championship ambitions ahead, those guys have more important things to do than win their conference tournament.

• Don't look now, but Creighton has lost three of its last four. You think the Missouri Valley could end up a one-bid league?

• Are you sure you're hip to how good NC State freshman forward Brandon Costner is?

• Yet another reason to like Washington State: Oft-injured guard Taylor Rochestie, a transfer from Tulane, is finally healthy and giving the Cougs some perimeter punch off the bench. He turned in his best game of the season in last week's win at Washington, going for 16 points, four assists and three rebounds in a season-high 31 minutes.

• Speaking of the Pac-10, you do know Stanford is ahead of Arizona and Oregon in the league standings, don't you?

• Sophomore guard Jessie Sapp isn't getting a whole lot of credit for Georgetown's late-season surge, but he should.

• All-Glue honorable mentions who didn't quite make my cut: Reyshawn Terry, North Carolina; David McClure, Duke; Levon Kendall, Pittsburgh; Deron Washington, Virginia Tech; Tony Young, Southern Illinois; Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, UCLA; and Joe Krabbenhoft, Wisconsin.

• If you're a UConn fan looking for glimmers of hope for the future, you could do worse than Jerome Dyson's 27-point performance in the Huskies' loss to Syracuse last weekend.

• Don't know how Arizona State escaped getting more attention for almost going winless in the Pac-10, but give Herb Sendek's squad a hand for pulling out a 10-point win at home over USC on Sunday. I wonder if we can get the Sun Devils and Iona to set up a best-of-three series this postseason.

• I still think Air Force is really good, but the Falcons play such a deliberate style that it becomes hard for them to make up big deficits in a hurry.

• Kentucky has never solved its point guard problems. Freshman Derrick Jasper is still too tentative, and when the Cats fall behind, Ramel Bradley tends to panic and try to win games by himself.

• Man, Sherron Collins is playing some serious ball for Kansas. It will be interesting to watch Bill Self manage that situation, because Collins, a 5-11 freshman, is by far the team's best guard and may be its best player. He's coming off the bench because Self doesn't want to disrupt chemistry, but at some point you've got to go with the guys who give you a best chance to win and hope your older players swallow their pride.

• Oh, and as long as we're checking our list of great freshman point guards, we'd better be sure it includes Louisville's Edgar Sosa.

• Is there any team in America more Jekyll-and-Hyde inconsistent than Virginia Tech?

• On Jan. 9, Clemson and Oklahoma State were a combined 32-1. How many of you would have guessed then that on Feb. 22, they would both be bubble teams -- at best?

• Speaking of Oklahoma State, there's no single reason the Pokes have lost five of their last eight, but it certainly hasn't helped that their starting point guard, 5-11 sophomore Byron Eaton, is out of shape and clearly worn down. Remember, this team has essentially been down to seven players since freshman guard Obi Muonelo got injured back in December.

Bobby Frasor is going to be more important to North Carolina's NCAA tournament run than you think.

• There are several guys who run really good RPI Web sites, but as far as I know Jerry Palm of CollegeRPI.com is the only one who helps the NCAA change its data. Based on information Jerry provided, the NCAA recently changed five games it had deemed as neutral-site games to home games for one of the teams. They also switched the Jan. 27 game between Saint Joseph's and Penn at the Palestra from a home game for Saint Joe's to a home game for Penn.

• Villanova's road-heavy non-conference schedule has put the Wildcats in extremely good shape right now with respect to the RPI. You'd think more coaches would realize it and schedule accordingly, but they don't.

• Did you happen to see Florida reserve guard Brandon Powell almost hit a court-rushing Vanderbilt fan after the Commodores' upset over Florida last Saturday? I'm telling you, it's only a matter of time before something really Artest-like happens in one of these situations.

• Not only did Marquette get a badly-needed win over Villanova on Monday to snap a three-game losing streak, but the Golden Eagles got 18 points in 28 minutes (both season highs) from 6-6 freshman Lazar Hayward. If that's a sign of things to come, it could really change the game for Marquette.

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