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 - Roy Hibbert
They say white men can't jump, and 7-2 guys can't shoot. Think again. Big Roy drilled a top of the arc three to knock out UCONN's upset chances. Coach Thompson and the G'Town staff were adamant that the shot was not shocking and that he hits long range bombs all day in practice.. which may be true.. but when you hit the 2nd three of your four year career to win a game with 4 seconds to go.. that's shocking. Then again, he's now shooting 100% from three (2-2), so maybe he's the next Reggie Miller?
B - Cincinnati
If you predicted that Cincy would by tied for second in the Big East at this point with a 3-1 record, then you obviously know more about college hoops than I do. The Bearcats were 5-7 in non-conference play, and those wins were over the likes of USC Upstate, Western Carolina, and Fairfield. Its hard to say what's changed for the better since the early losses since it's not like they suddenly got some star back from injury or suspension. Deonta Vaughn has been lights out in the last two wins over Syracuse and Villanova, and they'll need him to keep firing with a road game at Notre Dame next followed by home games against Pitt & UCONN.
C - Derrick Low
The ultimate Jekyll & Hyde performance. Picked up two early fouls against UCLA, and then sat on the bench most of the first half on the way to scoring 0 points.. an F-worthy 20 minutes. But then the Washington State guard showed why he is a member of the National Team by scoring 24 points in the second half, including 6 threes, most of which were contested after running around tough curls. It was too little, too late, for Low and the Cougars, but you combine the F first half with the A second half and you get a C.
D - Maryland
The Terps woes have been pretty well documented.. losing a non-conference home game for the first time in years, and then losing another their very next game. But coming into last night, Maryland had won 4 games in a row (against mostly bad teams) to push their record to 10-6. But a good effort against Virginia Tech was wasted as they blew a 66-61 lead with 1:46 to go. The final 67-66 score left their league record at 0-2. This sets up an absolute must-win game against Wake Forest next. The reason the game is so big is that after Wake they face ACC leaders UNC and Duke, so a loss could very well lead to an 0-5 start.
F - Michigan State
Conference road games are always supposed to be challenging (unless you head to Northwestern), but scoring 36 points and shooting 31% at lowly Iowa is shockingly bad. SLU scored 20 earlier in the week, but they've been bad on offense all year. MSU actually came in averaging 75 per game, one of the better totals in the Big Ten. As bad as the result was, this game was bigger for the Hawkeyes than it was hurtful for the Spartans. Ultimately Michigan State will still cruise into the Big Dance, and unless Indiana goes undefeated in league play (which is unlikely), MSU will still contend for the Big Ten title.
Previous Best / Worst
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