A new series of articles I'll be writing daily, the Daily Report Card tells you all you need to know about the day in college hoops. From good to bad and bad to worse, I'll be laying down the law.
I'm on the road in California, preparing to cover UCLA/Washington State tomorrow and Pepperdine/Gonzaga Monday night, so today's Report Card will be a bit expedited.
A - Tony Bennett
Every time Washington State wins a game, there's justification to give Bennett an A. The fact that the Cougars are 14-0 and 40-8 in Bennett's tenure is simply amazing considering the lows the program had experienced in the 13 years since Kelvin Sampson left. So even though beating USC isn't A-worthy in itself, Bennett still deserves the love.
B - Louisville
Despite a slow start to the year, the Cardinals have quietly won of 6 of 7 games to get back on the right track. No surprise, the wins are coming now that they have a full assortment of front-court players. David Padgett and Juan Palacios are back in action, and Derrick Caracter has managed not to get suspended for a few weeks (a surprise for him). Four of their next five games are against bottom of the barrel Big East teams like Rutgers, South Florida, and St. John's so expect their record to be something like 15-5 by the time they face UCONN on the 28th.
C - Oral Roberts
The Golden Eagles non-conference performance has just been mediocre, 3-4 against D1 teams including a loss to lowly TAMU-CC (3-10). But after beating IPFW last night to improve to 4-0 in Summit League play, its becoming clear the race for the league title is solely between ORU and IUPUI (with Oakland slightly in the mix). Up next for ORU are those very two teams, an interesting stretch during which we'll learn a lot about the league.
D - Hotel Internet Connection
It's one thing to have to pay for internet at a relatively expensive hotel.. but its another thing when that connection doesn't even work. Even the Days Inn next door has free wi-fi that works. Oh well.. just expect updates on the site to be a bit inconsistent the next few days.
F - Saint Louis
Putting together the Report Card is easy when the selections are as obvious as this one. The Billikens have been bad on offense all year (15 point half vs Kent State, 19 against Boston College, etc), and there have been complaints by players and fans, but 20 points in a game is beyond bad. It's an early favorite for the ultimate F in the season-review Report Card
Previous Best / Worst
January 9th - DJ White / CSTV
January 8th - Robert Morris / Schedule Makers
January 7th - Wayne Ellington / Illinois
January 6th - Herb Sendek / Kentucky