Daily Dribble: 1/04
Lots of good tv action last night.. and I'm not talking about UNC's 38 point win over Penn. I like watching Brandan Wright dunk and all.. but this team has gone a month without playing a decent team.. lets get some competition before these games get televised.
The last team to beat UNC was.. Gonzaga, who got spanked at Virginia last night. The 108-87 final score isn't as bad as this game was.. it was 60-26 at half. Sean Singletary had 37 points on 7 threes, and 5 of those threes were in about the first 8 minutes of play. This game was done early. The Zags have lost 4 straight, 5 of 6, and are now 9-6. At least conference play starts, and the brutal string of non-conference foes ends. The last 7 games include Duke, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Washington State, Nevada, and Georgia.. and only one of those games was in Spokane.
The bigger win in the ACC though might have been Clemson beating FSU in Tallahasse. The Tigers were good at home last year, but just 2-7 in ACC road games, including a 9-point loss at FSU. With a home game against Ga Tech next and then a winnable trip to NC State, its conceivable Clemson will be 17-0, including 2-0 in conference road games by the end of next week.
St. John's and Seton Hall opened Big East play with a pair of hard fought home wins. The Jonnies held a DePaul team that had scored 90+ in the previous two games to just 53 points on 32% shooting. DePaul though is one of the biggest Jekyl and Hyde teams out there.. a bad 2-6 on the road (one of those wins was against Chaminade so it doesnt really count), and a perfect 7-0 at home including the big win over Kansas.
The Hall almost blew an early 18 point lead against a pesky Rutgers squad. Rutgers ultimately fell 77-72 despite a solid 17-point game from Anthony Farmer. Farmer let down his team by being suspended (academics) for their tv game against UNC.. but has bounced back with 2 solid games. He did have the ball stolen from him late though by Paul Gause (Rutgers claims he was fouled, but there was no excuse for that TO) which ended RU's chances. Also of note in the game was an obscene dunk by 7-0 freshman Hamady N'Diaye. N'Diaye only had 2 points and didn't do anything else, but he caught the ball in the middle of the lane, turned and dunked it from a few feet away as if he was Elastigirl from the Incredibles. (Good movie.)
I also watched a great double-ot game between Hofstra and UNCW. Loren Stokes 26 points eventually led 9-4 Hofstra to the win. UNCW's been struggling all year, just 3-8, and I didn't think they had a chance in this one. Especially after the first few minutes when UNCW came out in the zone, and Hofstra was whipping it around with their 3 guards on the perimeter. But it ended up being close the whole way through. Hofstra's problems are well-documented, no interior play and a lack of depth and these two things enabled UNCW to keep it close. Even though Hofstra's won 9 of 10 and is 2-0 in conference play, I'm not sold on the Pride. I just can't help but think Drexel, ODU, VCU, etc will expose them for being such a one-dimensional team.