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 - Winthrop
The Eagles success shouldn't be a surprise by this point. Two years ago they won 23 games and were a few seconds from upsetting Tennessee to advance to the 2nd round of the Big Dance. Last year they did advance to the 2nd round, winning 29 games along the way. Yet, after the loss of Craig Bradshaw and others, this year's team is quietly going under the radar to the tune of 14 wins and a 5-1 conference record. Another tournament seems far-fetched in 08 as it will be hard to overcome challenges from UNCA and High Point just to win the Big South. But they have wins over ACC teams like Georgia Tech and Miami, and a win against UNCA later this week would push them back into first place in the conference.
B - Michael Beasley
There's no particular reason why he's on today's Report Card.. or why he gets a B and not an A. Mainly there was no one to fill this spot today and it gave me another chance to ogle at Beasley's ridiculous stats. You expect numbers to drop off in league play, but Beasley has just been silly. Against Iowa State, in only 22 minutes mind you, he had 35 points and 13 rebounds. That's in 22 minutes. Barely half a game. In his last two games, he has 62 points and 28 rebounds in just 50 minutes. 50 minutes is barely longer than an NBA game.. and Beasley put up 62 and 28 in that span. Wow.
C - The ACC
Outside of UNC and Duke.. what the hell is going on in the ACC? Boston College sits in third place.. while Virginia sits in last. Yet, these teams along with everyone in between are just about equally talented (though I expect FSU to slowly drift securely into last place). Last year, 9 league teams were in the Top 52 RPI. This year, only 4 teams are in the Top 49.. including Clemson and Miami who don't seem to be much better than the Georgia Tech or Maryland's of the world. What will be funny of course is when the season ends, out of this morass will come a handful of NCAA Tournament teams.. a few of which will be destined for early-round upsets.
The Keydets occasionally get pub for lighting up some poor D2 opponent for 150 points (they've scored 120+ three times this year). And Reggie Williams, their leading scorer (27 ppg) occasionally gets mentioned in NBA Draft circles because of his numbers. And on the season, they're scoring a ridiculous 93 ppg. Yet none of the scoring is leading to wins. Against D1 teams, they're just 5-9 and destined to fizzle out in Big South play. Like the reverse gimmick offense of Northwestern.. ultimately it doesn't matter how you play, it just matters if you win.
F - Jerome Dyson & Doug Wiggins
These guys don't get the low grade because I particularly care about whatever it is they did to get suspended. They get the low grade because without them in the lineup, UCONN has played two of its best games of the year.. beating Indiana and Louisville. These guys are like the Tiki Barber of college hoops.
Previous Best / Worst
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