Daily Dribble: 12/15
I took a slow Thursday of college hoops to watch some NBA Basketball on TNT. Adam Morrison and the Charlotte Bobcats faced JJ Redick and the Orlando Magic in the battle of the new white hopes (at least until Chase Budinger comes along). Morrison came through with 22 points off the bench to help lead Charlotte to a rare win. Morrison is coming off one of the worst shooting slumps of not just his young NBA career.. but of his life.. anybody's life for that matter. From December 3 to December 10, Morrison put up some the worst numbers I've seen in NBA history. December 3: 1-5 shooting, 2 points, 19 minutes. December 6: 1-10 shooting, 4 points, 35 minutes. December 8: 1-11 shooting, 2 points, 30 minutes. December 10: 1-8 shooting, 3 points, 26 minutes. Add it up.. 4 for 34 shooting (12%), 11 points, 110 minutes.. Awful. At least Morrison has shown flashes and is averaging 13 per game.
Though he's supposedly healthy now, JJ has been injured and has barely made an impact with Orlando. The 5 points he scored in the loss, upped his career total to 11. JJ simply seems afraid to shoot at this point. I've never seen a guy pump fake so many times in a half of basketball. We'll give him some time before judging completely..
Anyways, back to the college game. Harvard improved to 6-4 with a road win at Central Connecticut. The Crimson haven't been over .500 in the last handful of years, so this is an impressive start. They feature one of the country's most productive 7-footers in senior Brian Cusworth. Cusworth is averaging 17 points, 8 boards, and 2 blocks per game on the season. The Ivy isn't known for dominant big man play, so Cusworth gives Harvard a unique dimenson.
The win by Harvard continues what has been a pretty solid start for the Ivy League in non-conference play. The league is 31-38 (45%), which is a good amount better than last year's 39% finish. In fact, at 31-38, the Ivy has a better record than more respected leagues like the WCC (.446 to the Ivy's .449), MAC (.446), and Horizon (.406). In case you were wondering, the conference with the best overall winning percentage right now is.. the Pac-10 with an impressive 65-16 record (.802).
Congrats to Northwestern for proving they're one of the worst offensive teams in recent memory. The Wildcats scored 41 and won by 2 points.. over a D3 team. This is a Wheaton team that's already lost to two D3 teams by the way.. so its not like they're a bunch of world-beaters.
#19 Memphis bounced back from an embarassing loss to Tennessee by winning their second game in a row. The Tigers blew out Austin Peay, putting the game away from the tip with a 22-2 run. Chris Douglas-Roberts scored a career high 28 in the win. Memphis faces a big test next Wednesday night when they leave home to face Arizona. A loss in that game could drop the Tigers out of the Top 25.
Charleston ended a 4-game slide by beating Chattanooga 62-60 last night. It was only a few years back that Charleston was winning 20+ games consistently and giving major teams problems. Right now, the Cougars are 4-6 and seem set for a season of mediocrity. Bobby Cremins has some long-term work to do, because its not even like Charleston is that young right now. Three of their starters, and their 2 leading scorers are seniors.
Nothing too much happening on Friday's schedule. Eastern Washington heads to #24 Oregon in the most intriguing game. It gives high-scoring sophomore Rodney Stuckey (25 ppg) a chance to strut his stuff against a ranked opponent. Stuckey is coming off the lowest scoring game in his career, 12 points in a loss against Santa Clara, but he scored 31 in his last game against a ranked team.