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College Fast Break - NCAA Basketball - College Basketball

January 5th, 2009

Summit League Update

From yours truly, via Rush the Court.

1. Western Illinois (3-0, 6-8)
2. North Dakota State (3-1, 8-5)
3. Oakland (3-1, 10-7)
4. IUPUI (2-1, 9-5)
5. Oral Roberts (2-1, 4-11)
6. Southern Utah (2-2, 4-11)
7. IPFW (1-3, 6-9)
8. South Dakota State (1-3, 6-10)
9. UMKC (1-3, 5-12)
10. Centenary (0-3, 2-13)

Highlights

SDSU - 2 days before Christmas the Jackrabbits what is the best options trading platform beat Iowa State on the road by 7. While the Cyclones are anything but a powerhouse team, props to SDSU for getting this win and holding Iowa State’s second leading scorer to 5 points on 2-12 shooting.

IPFW - The Mastodons finally broke through for a W in league play with a 100-66 smackdown of South Dakota State (Jan.2). Former Kansas St. forward Deilvez Yearby scored 19, grabbed 9 boards and swatted 5 shots. Former Oakland forward David Carson scored 24.

UMKC senior guard Dane Brumagin - he was named the conference player of the week for Dec.23- Dec.29 after averaging 30 points and 6 rebounds in 2 games.

IUPUI - Beat Southern Utah by 5 without getting a single field goal from star senior guard Gary Patterson (Jan 2). IUPUI got 21 points from their only 2 bench players to see action in the game, Robert Glenn (13) and John Ashworth (8). Back on December 20th IUPUI beat Seton Hall with a Leroy Nobles layup as time expired.

Western Illinois - Just as likely to be the last undefeated Summit league team left as Eric Gordon is to be the future of the NBA. Senior guard David Dubois doesn’t shoot the 3 ball real well, won’t wow you with his athleticism, gets in foul trouble too much, and probably dances like Elaine, but still manages to cram more than 17 ppg down team’s throat.

Lowlights

Centenary - Losers of 7 in a row, it’s not looking good for the Gentlemen, or for my prediction of Centenary winning 8 games in the league.

UMKC - After drawing their conference record to 1-1 with a 8 point win against IPFW early on in December, the Kangaroos have lost their last two league contests by a combined 6 points. In both of the losses UMKC has been down by double digits at the half.

Oakland senior guard Derick Nelson - Head coach Greg Kampe options trading platform finally announced (Dec.30) Nelson would be redshirted (medical). Nelson tried to come back from a serious foot injury he suffered in practice the day before the season opener but just couldn’t do it.

Southern Utah got out of the gate quickly with 2 straight W’s but has since dropped 2 in a row. I said it wouldn’t last long.

NDSU @ Oakland (Jan.2)

I was fortunate enough to be in attendance as unarguably the two best teams in the league squared off. Neither team had more than an 8 point lead at any one time. I don’t think either coach sat down the entire game and I know neither was delighted with the officiating. NDSU guard Ben Woodside (23.5ppg) was held scoreless in the first half as was Oakland’s center Keith Benson (12.5ppg). Both stepped up their games in the second half but Keith Benson really woke up, scoring 17 (7-7 fts, 5-9 fg). The unequivocal iron man of the game was sickly 6′6 senior Brett Winkleman who only ate a piece of toast before the game because he was ill all day with a stomach virus. Brett not only played 32 minutes, but scored 33 points (6 treys) and had 3 steals. It was not enough.

Oakland’s Erik Kangas, bothered by a calf injury virtually throughout the whole game, drained a 3 pointer falling away with a little over 7 seconds left to give OU the lead by 1. It was his first 3 pointer of the game and it sent the O’Rena into a frenzy of sorts, yet seconds later Ben Woodside zigzagged his way down the court and got all the way to the hoop to attempt a wild (it was made wild by the stout defense supplied by Kangas, the only OU player who seemed to know the game wasn’t over yet) layup that just bounced off the back rim. If the game had been in NDSU’s place a foul would have been likely called in my opinion, as Kangas challenged him and probably got a little body, but Woodside was going at a hundred miles an hour ( just a tad out of control I’ll say). The refs got off the court in a hurry.

These teams meet again on the 29th of January in North Dakota.

I bet NDSU gets the call at the end. Or else head coach Saul Phillips will be right behind them like a hungry lion.

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By Ryan Pravato -- 0 comments

January 5th, 2009

USC Can’t Shake Oregon State in Football or Basketball

First the Beavers “ruined” the Trojans chances at a shot at the national championship this season when USC was ranked number one (as if USC could actually beat Oklahoma or Florida in the BCS title game).

Now the Beavers are at it again as they knocked off the Trojans 62-58 in overtime on Sunday.

The win snapped Oregon State’s 23-game Pac-10 Conference losing streak.

The loss snapped the Trojans five-game winning streak and seven-game winning options trading platforms streak against the Beavers.

USC, which got plenty of preseason top 25 love from just about everyone, drops to 10-4 overall and 1-1 in conference play.

Oregon State first year coach and First Brother-in-law Elect, Craig Robinson improve to 6-6 and 1-1.

I can feel the change already.

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By Kevin Hunter -- 1 comment

January 5th, 2009

Vols Start Program To Outlive Cancer

Any time I see a great cause like this it’s worth posting.

From the Associated Press via ESPN.com.

I’ve already ordered a t-shirt.

Team manager starts ‘Outlive’ program

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Former Tennessee guard Chris Lofton quietly went through cancer treatments during his senior season last year, while forward Tyler Smith’s father died from complications of lung cancer.

Brooks Savage saw how cancer affected his teammates and wanted to do something about it.

So the Vols’ graduate manager came up with the business plan for Tennessee’s “Outlive” program, a drive to raise money to support cancer programs and screenings, and showed it to Tennessee director of basketball operations Ken Johnson.

Now with help from coach Bruce Pearl, the school is selling Outlive T-shirts for $15 each at Knoxville-area sporting goods stores and at UTsports.com to raise money for cancer prevention programs at the University of Tennessee Medical Center Cancer Institute.

More than $10 from each sale will go toward the programs and screenings.

“I just kind of came up with this idea after being inspired by those stories,” Savage said, “and just felt this was a good way for the people in our program and our community to make a difference.”

Pearl is hoping fans who come to the Florida game on Jan. 31 will wear the shirt, giving the Vols’ arena a whiteout effect during the nationally televised game.

“We want to encourage our Tennessee fans to really step up like they always have, and I think we can make a great statement on Jan. 31 to the nation and do an awful lot of good here at home with the awareness that this thing is going to create,” Pearl said.

Lofton’s testicular cancer was discovered during a routine drug test required by the NCAA and caught early enough that, with treatment, he made a full recovery.

In 2008, the American Cancer Society estimated that more than 1.4 million new cases of cancer would be diagnosed in the U.S. and 560,000 people would die.

“The way to most quickly and easily improve those statistics is by early screening and prevention, and that’s what this is about,” said Dr. Dan Green, a radiation oncologist at UT Medical Center.

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By Kevin Hunter -- 0 comments

January 5th, 2009

Latest Division I Polls For January 5

North Carolina loses its number one spot after the Boston College defeat.

Big deal!

What’s more insulting is that Duke leaped over the Tar Heels to second while UNC drops to third.

So Pittsburgh is your new number one team.

Again - Big deal!

Yes, it’s the first time the Panthers have been at the top in the school’s history and they play a tough schedule and in a tough conference. And the last time Pittsburgh was number one in anything was when Dan Marino was throwing passes for the Panthers 30 years ago.

The Big East is so wild with Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Syracuse and Connecticut all in the top 10, and Notre Dame, Louisville, Marquette and West Virginia are all breathing down each others necks.

Don’t get me wrong here. I say congratulations to the Panthers for making it to the top, and for maybe giving me something else to talk about other than UNC and Old What’s His Name. But don’t expect a long stay at the top for the Panthers.

Here are the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls.

AP Top 25
1. Pittsburgh (70) 14-0, 1,798
2. Duke 12-1, 1,660
3. North Carolina (2) 13-1 1,651
4. Wake Forest 13-0, 1,553
5. Connecticut 12-1, 1,474
6. Oklahoma 13-1, 1,358
7. Texas 11-2, 1,348
8. Michigan State 11-2, 1,269
9. Georgetown 10-2, 1,208
10. UCLA 12-2, 1,162
11. Syracuse 14-1, 1,113
12. Clemson 14-0, 968
13. Notre Dame 10-3, 802
14. Purdue 11-3, 774
15. Tennessee 9-3, 533
16. Xavier 11-2, 483
17. Boston College 13-2, 453
18. Marquette 13-2, 436
18. Villanova 12-2, 436
20. Arizona State 12-2, 374
21. Butler 12-1, 341
22. Minnesota 13-1, 290
23. Baylor 12-2, 289
23. Louisville 9-3, 289
25. West Virginia 11-2, 230

Others Receiving Votes
Michigan 153, California 122, Arkansas 109, Illinois 108, Gonzaga 86, Wisconsin 86, Memphis 67, Davidson 56, Saint Mary’s 50, UNLV 43, Illinois State 39, Kansas 37, Ohio State 28, Texas A&M 27, Maryland 25, Dayton 22, Florida 13, Florida State 13, Brigham Young 12, Miami (FL) 8, Missouri 4.

Dropped From Rankings
Gonzaga 16, Michigan 23, Ohio State 24.

ESPN/USA Today Poll
1. Pittsburgh (30) 14-0, 774
2. Duke 12-1, 714
3. North Carolina (1) 13-1, 707
4. Wake Forest 13-0, 687
5. Connecticut 12-1, 630
6. Oklahoma 13-1, 593
7. Texas 11-2, 546
7. UCLA 12-2, 546
9. Syracuse 14-1, 526
10. Georgetown 10-2, 506
11. Clemson 14-0, 480
12. Michigan State 11-2, 452
13. Notre Dame 10-3, 277
14. Purdue 11-3, 261
15. Marquette 13-2, 251
16. Arizona State 12-2, 238
17. Villanova 12-2, 225
18. Xavier 11-2, 217
19. Minnesota 13-1, 183
20. Butler 12-1, 147
21. Louisville 9-3, 136
22. West Virginia 11-2, 132
23. Baylor 12-2, 98
24. Boston College 13-2, 90
25. Tennessee 9-3, 85

Others Receiving Votes
Dayton 54, Illinois State 50, Michigan 49, Saint Mary’s 43, Ohio State 40, Memphis 37, Illinois 34, Brigham Young 34, California 31, Davidson 31, Arkansas 27, Gonzaga 27, Wisconsin 26, Texas A&M 22, Missouri 21, Florida 11, UNLV 11, LSU 10, Kansas 7, Stanford 5, Maryland 1, Florida State 1, Utah State 1, Washington 1.

Dropped From Rankings
Gonzaga 17, Ohio State 23, Michigan 24.

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By Kevin Hunter -- 0 comments

January 5th, 2009

Little men doing BIG stuff

The outstanding little men (<6'0) in college basketball just keep coming up with monstrous games I tell you. Maybe it's because Darren Sproles has sparked them. Or maybe these guys just belong.

Jan. 4- California 5′10 junior Jerome Randle erupted for 26 and 10 feeds in a win against Arizona St. He’s averaging more than 19ppg and nearly 5 feeds this season.

Jan. 4- Drake 5′11 junior Craig Stanley scored a season high 17 points in a road win over Southern Illinois.

Jan. 3- One of the most superb freshman in the game right now is Arkansas’s 5′11 Courtney Fortson. He didn’t have his best game in a win against N.Texas (5 TO’s and 2-8 ft) but back on December the 30th in an upset win over Oklahoma, he nearly had a triple double (2 rebounds shy). For the season he’s rebounding the ball like a mad man with 5.4 rebounds and taking care of the point guard duties with over 7 feeds/gm. Meh, just 15.3ppg to boot.

Jan. 3- Can’t forget about the sixth man on last season’s championship team, Sherron Collins. In a 7 point victory over the Tennessee Volunteers, Collins netted 26 to go along with 9 assists.

Jan. 3- Oklahoma State’s 5′10 freshman Keiton Page, one of the best bench players out there, tied a career high with 21 (5-9 3ptfg) in a shellacking of Northwestern State. 5′11 starting point guard Byron Eaton didn’t light up the scoreboard but did get to his assist average with 6 helpers. Nice combo they got there in Stillwater.

Jan. 3- Howard 5′11 freshman Chris McHenry hit 4 three pointers on his way to 18 points in a loss to La Salle. McHenry had a 29 point performance earlier in the season.

Jan. 2- South Carolina 5′9 junior Devan Downey scored 23 and dished out 8 assists in route to a 1 point victory @ Baylor. Devan has been nothing short (pun intended) of amazing his entire collegiate career with averages like 15.7ppg and 4.8 assists. Although he doesn’t take many 3 pointers, just 3.0/gm this season, he’s connecting on over 41% of them.

Jan. 2- Mount St. Mary’s 5′9 junior Jeremy Goode scored 15 and pulled down 5 rebounds in a 5 point win versus Lafayette. He’s averaging over 15ppg this season

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By Ryan Pravato -- 0 comments

January 5th, 2009

A very efficient 11 minutes

Long Beach St. (Kevin, this guy should be on your radar) sophomore guard Greg Plater scored 15 points in just 11 minutes of action in a Jan. 4th victory against Cal Poly. Plater’s 9 out of 10 field goal attempts came from downtown. Coming into the game Plater was averaging 8.1 min/gm. Prater is fine proof that it is possible to be productive in limited minutes, something ‘Noopy’ Crater couldn’t quite grasp while briefly at Ohio State.

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By Ryan Pravato -- 0 comments

January 5th, 2009

Bobby Knight’s Wins Record Could Go Down In Flames Next Weekend

That’s because last night, Northern State University’s Bob Meyer tied Knight’s record for most wins in NCAA history with 902.

Northern State, a Division II school located in Aberdeen, South Dakota, defeated Upper Iowa University 63-58 in Fayette, Iowa.

Meyers could break Knight’s record next Saturday when the Wolves play host to the University of Mary (3-9).

Northern State is 11-2 and currently ranked 19th in the nation.

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By Kevin Hunter -- 0 comments

January 4th, 2009

Oh, That Carolina Team Lost Today

So I’m hanging out at a local coffeehouse this afternoon and a friend approaches me.

He says, “you know Carolina lost today, right?”

And I said “Carolina? The Panthers don’t play until next weekend against the Arizona Cardinals” in the NFL playoffs.

And he said, “no, your beloved Tar Heels lost to Boston College today. That means Pittsburgh is going to be number one tomorrow.”

I pulled out my trusty Blackberry to check ESPN and sure enough the North Carolina Tar Heels were upset and upended by unranked Boston College at Chapel Hill of all places 85-78.

“You’re going to write something about it on that blog you do, right?” my friend asked.

Aww man! Sunday is my off from life!

Oh well…

What’s that now, four top 10 teams losing this week?

Some kid named Tyrese Rice scored 25 points, and another kid named Rakim Sanders had 22 in the big time ACC upset win for Boston College (13-2).

The reason I don’t know who these guys are is because Boston College was picked to finish 11 in the ACC.

We here at College Fast Break only cover winners!

My boy Tyler Hansbrough’s 21 points couldn’t carry the Tar Heels today.

So the Tar Heels (13-1) go down in flames and sit in ninth place in the ACC standings.

I should have known they weren’t going to be that good.

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By Kevin Hunter -- 0 comments

January 3rd, 2009

Layups are so simple, even a 12-year-old can make them at Texas Tech

This is a cute story from the Associated Press via ESPN.com.

But it makes you wonder if Pat Knight is slowly taking the Bob Knight route to silliness and unusual stunts to motivate his team.

LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech Red Raiders coach Pat Knight grew tired of watching his team miss shots that even a child could make. So he found one to illustrate his frustration.

While the Red Raiders (10-4) were busy botching about 15 layups against Stephen F. Austin on Thursday, Knight scoured the stands and invited a youngster to join the team huddle.

Knight asked the boy whether he could make layups. The boy said he could.

“I was just tired of having 18- or 21-year-olds miss layups that a 12-year-old could hit, so I brought a 12-year-old in to let them know that he could hit layups,” Knight said. “He’s 12 and he can hit layups, so why can’t you when you’re 18 to 21?”

The psychological maneuver evidentally worked. A layup by Mike Singletary with 8:44 remaining in the game put Texas Tech up 52-36, and Stephen F. Austin (7-4) couldn’t cobble together a comeback. The Red Raiders beat the Lumberjacks 69-55.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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By Kevin Hunter -- 0 comments

January 1st, 2009

Gonzaga falls on face for second straight game

The Zags are teetering on the edge of total destruction right about now. 3 losses in a row for only the second time in the last 8 years.

First it was a wild overtime loss against the Connecticut Huskies in a tournament like atmosphere in Seattle’s Key Arena back on December 20th. Not a fall on your face kind of loss by any means. UConn can ball with the best of them.

The second loss (face smashing begins) was at the hands of Portland State, a team that had not beaten a Top 25 club since reinstating its basketball program in 1996-97. Even worse was the fact 5′6 Jeremiah Dominguez led the way with 25.

The Third Loss

So Gonzaga’s New Year’s Eve matchup with the sad sack Utah Utes seemed like a prime opportunity for the Zags to remember what it was like to whoop somebody. But the whooping didn’t go so well. Utah defeated the Zags 66-65.

See, everyone keeps underestimating the Utes ( maybe it’s just me). Yeah, it is true that Utah lost to Southwest Baptist University all the way back on the 15th of November. Humiliating loss, right? Well, hold on. Southwest Baptist ( I know, it’s hard to take a school seriously with a name like this) is actually the 3rd ranked team in all of DII basketball. Matt Rogers, their 6′11 center, is averaging more than 20 ppg. The SBU Bearcats are a legit squad. So anyways, sure, Utah lost to one of the finest DII schools around, but still, its DII. You got to take care of business. This is Utah we’re talking about, the once proud basketball school that made it to the Final Four in 1998 under Rick Majerus and had great college players like Andre Miller and Michael Doleac running around slaying dragons. Not to mention Keith Van Horn graced the landscape of the university just a year before that Final Four run happened. And I cannot overlook the drubbing the currently 3-10 Idaho State Bengals gave the Utes back on the 6th of December. Sure, Idaho State might end up being a quality team, seeing as they nearly knocked of Wisconsin earlier this season and have performed admirably against some other pretty good teams on the road, but give me a break, you can’t lose to a 3-10 team and not be called out for it.

Essentially what I’m saying is this: Gonzaga in no way should be losing to a squad such as Utah, a program that hasn’t been squat shit relevant since Andrew Bogut left early for the NBA draft in 2005. Had all of this Gonzaga tomfoolery happened before the first edition of the Room of Stink was published, I almost assure you this freak show Mark Few has been running in Spokane would have made the Stink list.

STAT of the DAY

I will leave you all with this amazing stat only a 7′5 sloth could manage and only a mother could love.

Gonzaga reserve center Will Foster, the abnormally tall sloth mentioned above, pulled off the feat known as a trillion. Except for the fact that Foster didn’t just play 1 minute in the game (this will make sense if you click on the link provided), he actually played 7 minutes. So his stat line is a 7 with a ton of zeroes behind it.

Well done Will.

Would have loved to see that 7 minutes of game tape.

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By Ryan Pravato -- 2 comments