The Report Card
A new series, 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.
A - Cleveland State
Beating #12 Butler is a nice accomplishment in itself. This is something that Florida State, Ohio State, Southern Illinois, Texas Tech, and Virginia Tech couldn't do. But beyond that, the Vikings get an A for somehow managing to be 6-0 in Horizon League play, with a 2-game advantage over the Bulldogs in the loss column. This is a program that hasn't won more than 10 games in forever, so this year's 13-5 record is shocking. Transfer Cedric Jackson has been a key addition, but this is a true team success story. CSU basically goes 10 deep, and 8 guys average over 19 minutes per game (an amazing statistic).
B - Saint Louis
This is what you call a pity B. The Bills have taken their lumps nationally thanks to their 20-point game, but they did beat ranked Rhode Island last night 68-61 so I felt the need to show some love.
C - Minnesota
I haven't given the 12-4 Gophers much respect this year so they deserve some for taking #10 Indiana down to the wire. But here's why I give them a C: They forced Indiana into 26 turnovers, only committed 10, and still lost despite a crazy high +16 turnover ratio. Its hard not to win when you do that.
D - Vance Walberg
In the midst of a struggling 6-12 season, Pepperdine's head coach has resigned. I recently covered a game in Malibu where the Wave got destroyed by Gonzaga.. so maybe it was something I said? Seriously though, he cited "family issues", but for whatever reasons the media doesn't necessarily buy that. Most get the sense he simply was unhappy with the way things were going in his efforts to build a strong program. Either way, the future at Pepperdine is somewhat bright, and all it will take is a new positive coach, and more importantly, a strong set of backcourt recruits to get this program back near the top of the WCC. Of course, if all the losing and turmoil forces quality freshmen like Malcolm Thomas and Tyrone Shelley to leave, then things wont be so easy.
F - Marquette
Okay, being 13-3 isn't the worst thing in the world and losing road games in league play isn't that big a deal.. but someone has to fail here, and this was as good as I could come up with. The Golden Eagles are 10-0 at home, but just 3-3 away from Milwaukee, and they haven't come close to winning their Big East road games. They lost by 15 at West Virginia and by 20 at Louisville. With a road game coming up at UCONN, they better figure things out fast or the Top 20 respect they've earned will be gone..
Previous Best / Worst
January 17th - Drake / HP Laptops
January 14th - Roy Hibbert / Michigan State
January 10th - Tony Bennett / Saint Louis
January 9th - DJ White / CSTV
January 8th - Robert Morris / Schedule Makers
January 7th - Wayne Ellington / Illinois
January 6th - Herb Sendek / Kentucky