Its nice to see college athletics programs limiting games played during finals period.. its the only time of the year there's even a fake veil of caring about academics. Not all teams had the day off though..
Hofstra barely escaped with a 67-64 win over lowly Saint Francis (NY). Hofstra's bounced back from a dismal 0-3 start.. but mainly because they've now played 6 bad teams in a row. Wins over Alsaka Anchorage and 0-11 SFNY don't necessarily point to a big Hofstra turnaround as much as a big drop in quality of opponent. Things pick up again for the Pride as they now go on the road to face Syracuse, Saint Joseph's, and UNCW in the next couple of weeks.
I love keeping track of winless teams.. and SFNY is one of 4 left that hasn't beaten an opponent at any level. The other three are Southern, Iona, and Delaware. Usually, you figure the winless teams will come from the Independents, SWAC, or MEAC, but its odd that 3 of the 4 teams are from established Northeast leagues.
Philly legend Maureece Rice scored 22 points in GW's easy win over UMBC. The Colonials were left for dead following mass off-season departures by Hall, Mensah-Bonsu, Pinnock, etc. But the backcourt of Carl Elliott and Rice has helped GW improve to 7-2. The big surprise for GW hasn't been their backcourt, but the play of sophomore Rob Diggs. Diggs was a last resort on the bench last year, but is now averaging 13 points and 6 boards per game.
Texas A&M and Nevada were the lone ranked teams active on Monday night. #13 rolled to an easy 23 point win over Fordham. Nevada, coming off their first loss of the season, is up 7 at the half while I'm writing this.
I'm not going to lie.. I like offense. Defense might win games.. blah, blah, blah.. but offense is fun. I'd like to salute the 4 teams that are averaging over 90 ppg so far. VMI has been lighting up the scoreboards to the whopping tune of 102 points per game. That's my type of team. Reggie Williams leads the Keydets with 26 points per game. This is about 25% of his teams points.. so if you figure the average college team scores 70 per game, his 26 is equivalent to 17.5 per game on a normal team. Morris Almond, leading the country in scoring at 30 per game for Rice, puts in 40% of his teams points. Perhaps on VMI then, we could infer that he'd score 40 per game..
Behind VMI, the other 90+ teams are Houston, Georgia, and North Carolina who average between 90 and 92 per game. Unlike other sports where you think of the top teams as being the best defensive teams, there's often a correlation in basketball between good offense and a good record. The top 20 scoring teams (out of 330+ in D1) feature some of the best teams. Besides UNC, other Top 25ish teams in this zone are Arizona, Washington, Florida, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Texas, and Georgia Tech. The point is that if you want to be really good in college basketball.. its best not to follow the Princeton pattern, but to take some pointers from VMI.
- The family that Dribbles together, stays together -