The Report Card
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.
A - Wayne Ellington
The sophomore had the game of his life against Clemson, helping the Tar Heels remain unbeaten thanks to a last second OT three. He finished with 36 points, beating his previous best by over 50%, hit 5 threes, and was a perfect 9 of 9 from the line. With 0.4 seconds left, Ellington caught a pass that was nearly picked off and swished the trey with a man right in his face. With three of four home games coming up, the Tar Heels have a serious chance to get to 20-0.
B - Clemson
Its odd to give a losing team a B grade.. but the Tigers took #1 down to the wire and had to be proud of the effort they put forth. Even though the Tigers came into the game 12-1 and ranked 19th, many (including myself) didn't give them much of a chance. Lets not forget that last year Clemson was 17-1 when they hosted #4 UNC, but ended up getting blown out 77-55. Just about everyone who played gave Oliver Purnell solid minutes, and the only off game came from Terrence Oglesby who shot 1 of 10. Clemson's known for good starts followed by collapses in ACC play, but this year's bunch seems to have a bit more spunk and confidence then year's past.
C - Marquette
The Golden Eagles really deserve a C- for losing to West Virginia by 15, but the game was back and forth for the first 30 minutes before the Mountaineers pulled away. This was probably a good wake up call for the 11th ranked team because they had won six straight against mostly weak opponents.
D - Pitt's Backcourt
22 turnovers simply won't get it done. Of course, without Levance Fields, its unfair to expect much out of a team playing without a true point guard.. but Sunday's schedule was limited and someone has to take a hit. The Panthers three starting guards (counting Gilbert Brown as a G instead of an SF) accounted for 14 turnovers as compared to just 6 assists and 1 steal. Because of this, Villanova managed to win the game despite shooting a brutal 33%.
F - Illinois
The Illini started the season 4-1 including wins over Arizona State and Oklahoma State in Maui. But since then, things have gone downhill fast including three straight home losses that leave their record at 8-7. The Illini couldn't beat Tennessee State, and lost to Ohio State and Penn State to start Big Ten play. Losing to Penn State on the road isn't so bad, but if you can't beat the Nittany Lions at home, then you might as well call it quits. Making things worse, Illinois now heads to Wisconsin and Indiana and could very well be 8-9 and 0-4 in Big Ten play by the end of the week.
Previous Best / Worst
January 6th - Herb Sendek / Kentucky