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 - Nevada / Mark Fox
About 10 days ago, ESPN put up an article highlighting Nevada's "growing pains." But since then, the Pack have reeled in three straight wins to pull within a half-game of the WAC lead. Outside of the elder Marcelus Kemp, Nevada's other three main contributors are very green. JaVale McGee and Brandon Fields were end of the bench rookies last year, while Armon Johnson is a freshman. This trio, along with a pair of big-time recruits heading to Reno next year (Luke Babbitt & Mark McLaughlin).. gives the program hope for big things down the line. Many thought Fox couldn't sustain the good vibes started by Trent Johnson, nor did they think he could compete this year without Fazekas or Sessions, but the program still keeps moving in the right direction.
B - Ray Hall
Who is Ray Hall? Nobody really knows.. but the Providence big man who had scored 8 points all season, came through with 10 points and 7 boards against Notre Dame. Granted, Providence lost the game.. and Hall's abysmal free throw shooting (2 of 10, missing his last 8) was a big reason why.. but still, it's always nice to more than double your season's production in one night.
C - Arizona State
Once the darling of the west.. ASU has lost 4 straight games to fall back into the middle of the Pac-10. Last night's 33 point shellacking by UCLA was the first real bad effort in the streak, but the trend might continue with road games against USC and Arizona coming up. What once looked like a Tournament-bound team now has some serious work left to do.. as their remaining schedule is brutal.
D- Eric Gordon
I give Gordon a joking D because I predicted Indiana would win. Some Wiscy fan blog must have noticed the prediction because I got a few emails rubbing it in. Gordon had no business playing in the game.. as his injury was worse then I realized. If I knew his left arm would turn into a club, then I'd have went with the Badgers.. When the standings come out though, a win is a win, and Wisconsin is now locked into a first place tie.
F - Princeton / Penn
Princeton's precipitous decline in recent seasons is well documented, but not many have noted Penn's struggles this season. They're 5-12 right now, with an average 12-point margin of defeat.. and have an RPI of 302.. barely better than Princeton's 317 ranking. The good news is that Penn is a very young team, and they don't start their Ivy League schedule until tonight (against Harvard.) The bad news is that the Quakers haven't been a team ranked above 275th.. so there's little reason to think they can do that much damage in the Ivy.
Previous Best / Worst
January 31st - Kansas State / St. John's
January 29th - Winthrop / Dyson & Wiggins
January 28th - Rutgers / Doris Burke
January 25th - Ron Hunter / Princeton Offense
January 23rd - Kentucky / Archbishop Burke
January 22nd - DJ Augustin / Scott Sutton
January 21st - New York Giants / Marquette
January 20th - Maryland / ESPN.com editors
January 18th - Cleveland State / Marquette
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