11/22: Daily Dribble

November 22nd, 2006

Listening to Dukie V, you'd think Marquette's win over the Blue Devils last night was the biggest in the program's history. The fact is though that Marquette easily had the best player on the court in point guard Dominic James. James easily outclassed Greg Paulus with 25 and 7 assists as compared to his counterparts 7 and 1. Despite what V thinks (saying this man's full name is simply too painful), beating Duke doesn't automatically mean you're a lock to be a top 10 team all season. Both of these teams have flaws that will be exposed in the future.

Flipping back and forth, I also caught much of UCLA's impressive 73-68 win over Kentucky. While 18 points and 5 boards isn't Earth shattering, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute's play was extremely impressive. This is a kid who didn't score double digits until his 6th game last year and never had more than 15 all last season. With 24 in the season opener, and 18 last night, Mbah a Moute is on pace to be one of the season's most improved players. Its hard to imagine anyone else that has improved so much in the past two years. Perhaps Josh McRoberts should take some lessons from Luc Richard..

Big East teams aren't supposed to lose to SWAC teams.. ever. Jackson State's win on a neutral court against Rutgers is stunning. Last year, the SWAC had 8 non-conference wins ALL season, and was 1-24 coming into yesterday (Alabama A&M's victory over independent South Dakota State the lone win). Rutgers 71-70 loss is a bad sign for things to come.

Last year Clemson started 11-0, but then finished the season 8-13 and 7-9 in conference play. This year Clemson is 6-0 after beating Mississippi State, but its hard not to predict a similar fate for the Tigers this time around.

After exploding for 93 points in Oregon's first three games, freshman guard Tajuan Porter has come back to Earth with 27 points on 10 of 30 shooting in his last two. The Ducks are 5-0 and perhaps ready to atone for a couple seasons in a row of dissapointment though.

Bucknell lost again and is now 0-4, the lone Patriot Leage team yet to pick up a win. Is this the year that Lehigh or Holy Cross finally get over the Bison hump? My guess is that Bucknell will still turn it around.

JR Giddens is already making a big impact for New Mexico. The Kansas transfer is averaging 21 points per game and the Lobos are 4-0 after dispatching with Kansas State by a 24 point margin. New Mexico has a home and home series with in-state rival New Mexico State in the next few weeks after which we'll learn a lot about both of these potential mid-major sleepers.

Do Utah fans wish Rick Majerus was still around? The Utes are 0-3 after dropping games to Southern Utah, Santa Clara, and Colorado. To make things worse, the losses to Southern Utah and Colorado were at home. To make things even worse, Colorado had lost by 38 and 41 in their previous two games. Its pretty common knowledge that guards win college basketball teams.. but the Utes backcourt play is simply not up to par.