The undefeated question (cont.)
Posted: Thursday January 10, 2008 12:04PM; Updated: Friday January 11, 2008 12:03PM
Other Hoop Thoughts
If you look at how down the Big Ten and SEC are, plus the fact that the Missouri Valley and the CAA are probably only going to send one team to the NCAA tournament, then it seems to me there could be a lot of at-large bids floating around out there heading into March.
You've got to wonder how hard it will be for Clemson to get over the emotional disappointment of that loss to North Carolina. (They followed it with a loss at home to Charlotte on Wednesday night.) It's not often you have the nation's No. 1 team in your sights.
Here's yet another reason to love Indiana freshman Eric Gordon: Besides shooting 44.6 percent from three-point range, he has also attempted 117 free throws, the most in the Big Ten, in just 13 games. He's also second in the conference in free throw percentage (.855). (OK, so that's three reasons to love Eric Gordon.)
Here's why it's dangerous to overreact when a team plays one great game. When Texas trounced Tennessee, Justin Mason scored 21 points. In the Longhorns' 10 games since, Mason has reached double figures just twice and has scored seven points in his last five games. He also went 0 for 7 in Texas' home loss to Wisconsin.
Speaking of that Wisconsin-Texas game, if you only read one newspaper story all year, read this excellent piece by Rob Schultz of the Madison Capital Times about the relationship Badgers guard Michael Flowers has forged with a 5-year-old boy who is battling leukemia. Just so you know, Michael: You're my hero, too.
The thing I love about Notre Dame's Kyle McAlarney is he's a great shooter AND a great scorer. Those guys are increasingly rare.
I was talking with a Pac-10 head coach two weeks ago, and he told me he thought Arizona State would finish fourth in the conference. I thought he was wacko. He wasn't.
Saw a quote from Wake Forest coach Dino Gaudio about how difficult it is to watch game tapes from last season and see images of Skip Prosser on the sideline. The rest of the college basketball world has moved on, but we forget that that sadness still lingers at Wake Forest on a daily basis.
Just for the record, it's only a matter of time before a No. 16 seed beats a No. 1, and that time is fast approaching.
I may be overreacting (not the first time), but did you see that UCLA's Darren Collison came down with food poisoning this week? It just seems this Bruins team is snakebit when it comes to health. Losing Michael Roll is a much bigger blow for them than most people realize.
For all the attention given to the Lopez twins at Stanford, you should know junior guard Anthony Goods, the Cardinal's second-leading scorer (13.0 ppg), is their most important player. You could tell how much they missed him when he was injured late last season.
Allow me to join all those folks who say to Eddie Sutton: I just don't get it.
North Carolina is still my pick to win it all (until further notice), but now that Bobby Frasor is lost to a season-ending injury, the Tar Heels' primary vulnerability is clear. Tywon Lawson is going to have to play 36 minutes a game without getting hurt or too worn down.
Ole Miss may not have gotten the win at Tennessee on Wednesday night, but this was my first chance to watch the Rebels play, and they were impressive. Given what else the SEC West has to offer, you've got to think this is an NCAA team at the least. So yeah, you can buy this stock again.
If you're a Michigan State fan, you've gotta love that Goran Suton doesn't turn invisible in games anymore.
Sophomore guard Josh Bone has the potential to give Southern Illinois the perimeter shooter it lacks, but he just doesn't seem ready to carry that load every game.
I also wonder if Texas A&M guards Dominique Kirk and Donald Sloan will be able to score when they need to. The Aggies are as solid up front as you can be, but at some point you need to have guards who can take over.
I gotta say Micah Downs has been a pretty big disappointment at Gonzaga.
There are a lot of differences between playing at home and on the road, but here's an important one: At home, you can shoot jump shots and three-pointers. On the road, you've got to pound it inside and drive to the rim.
I'm a little late on this, but congrats to Bruce Weber on getting Alex Legion, who transferred out of Kentucky. Just a word to Illini fans: There are good players out there who are not from Chicago.
Hard to imagine a more improved player than Kansas' Darnell Jackson.
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