The Report Card
A - Big West Race
The battle for top spot in the Big West is shaping up to be an exciting race. The top four teams in the conference met last night with Pacific beating Northridge in OT and UCSB getting the best of Fullerton. These four teams are now all within a game of each other. Northridge is still the favorite in my opinion, as their schedule shapes up nicely.. with a challenging road game at Fullerton, but otherwise home games or easy road games remaining.
B - Pittsburgh
When Levance Fields and Mike Cook went down right before New Year's, this team looked like it might collapse. But since the Dayton debacle, the Panthers have hung tough in Big East play and currently sit at 6-4 after Ramon's buzzer-beater upended West Virginia. The Panthers did enough in their non-conference schedule so that anything over .500 in league play should situate them nicely for the Big Dance. The rest of their schedule is by no means a walk in the park, four road games at Marquette, ND, WVU, and Syracuse remain, which is why last night's win was so important.
C - Shaun Pruitt
Watching the senior hit only 1 of 7 free throws, including two at the end of the 2nd OT that could have won the game, was painful. But it pains me to put Pruitt low on the list, because he's one of my favorite players in the Big Ten, is the team's most consistent player, and he's worked hard to improve since freshman year.
Remember when the Cavs beat Arizona back in November and then almost beat Syracuse a couple weeks later. They were 10-2 heading into January 1st, but are just 1-8 in 2008.. must have been some bad champagne on New Year's. Obviously the increased talent-level of the ACC competition is a big reason for the struggles, but they're not even coming close to winning games. Making things worse, its not like youth is an excuse. Singletary & Joseph are seniors, and Diane is a junior.
F - Illini Nation
Enough with the Eric Gordon obsession. It's not his fault your coach can't recruit.. brought in nobody with talent last year, and has no one good lined up for next year. At one point during the game, the announcers mentioned that this team "has more talent" than a 10-14 team. But that's completely wrong. This team barely has the talent of a 10-14 team.. but Weber's coaching (he can't recruit but he can coach) keeps them in games.
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.
Previous Best / Worst
February 6th - Chris Lofton / Dick Vitale
February 5th - Bob Knight / Josh Heytvelt
February 4th - New York Giants / Washington State
February 1st - Nevada / Penn
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