College Basketball: 20 Random Thoughts & Observations

January 11th, 2009

A rare Sunday morning version of the ever popular 20 Random Thoughts & Observations by editor Shawn Siegel.

1 - Villanova's failed attempt to score from close range at the buzzer had to remind you of Charles Smith's Epic Fail with the Knicks. (1993 Playoffs, Knicks vs Bulls, Game 5. Still hilarious.)

2 - Kansas has yet to come close to winning on the road (0-2), but luckily their Big 12 road schedule begins with Colorado, Iowa State, and Nebraska.. a good chance for Bill Self's young squad to gain some confidence before their true road test (OU, Baylor, etc).

3 - Blake Griffin's line sounds good enough at face value: 29 & 15. But consider his 29 points were 48% of the Sooners total, and his 15 boards were 40% of their total as well. Talk about carrying a team.

4 - How did Duke and FSU only manage 33 points combined in the first half? Were they both facing the Ravens defense?

5 - Its been a forgone conclusion that Jerry Wainwright will not be DePaul's coach to begin next year. If you need more proof (and believe me, you don't) then how bout a 22 point home loss to South Florida. Ouch!

6 - If you didn't notice, 2 triple-OT games on the same day is impressive. Both URI/SJU and Cal/Washington played some bonus basketball. I've been slow to give Cal much credit.. but 15-2 is 15-2

7 - Statistically, UTM standout Lester Hudson hasn't improved that much from last year.. but now that OVC play has started, look out for some monster stat lines. How about these numbers from last night: 30 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists.. and 8 steals.

8 - Fred Hill brought in some big time names to Rutgers this yeas, but apparently it hasn't helped. The Knights are already 0-4 in league play.. and fans have already turned their attention to the recruiting trail.

9 - Gonzaga wasn't good enough to beat Porland State at home, but at least they knocked off Portland last night. Take that Rose City!

10 - Sure, UK beat Vandy in their SEC opener.. but 8 shots for Patrick Patterson? Can someone explain to me while he's still not getting the ball. I don't get it.

11 - UNLV, riding high on an 8 game winning streak fell back down to Earth with a 7 point loss at TCU.. which makes you wonder, when did TCU get any good? The Horned Frogs are 11-5, and coming off wins over UNLV and Texas Tech. This is a program that hasn't even finished at .500 the past 3 years. The emergence of JUCO big man Zvonko Buljan has been a major boost to a team that needed a solid inside presence. He's averaging about 17 & 9 over his last 3 games.

12 - Speaking of coming back to Earth, chalk down another loss for Boston College.. the #1 hit wonders.

13 - It's looking possible that the only team that might push Memphis in the CUSA race is Tulsa and not UAB as expected.

14 - Belmont's become a familiar face in the NCAA Tournament, and the Bears are once again beating up on ASun foes. They beat North Florida by 34, Stetson by 25, and now Campbell by 33.

15 - After being humbled in Maui, Oklahoma State is on a good run and is now up to 15th in the RPI. Still, their upcoming road trip to Baylor will prove if their recent form was just a matter of some home cooking.

16 - I mentioned this a couple weeks ago, that when Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount, it might be the worst WCC battle of all time. The Waves won by a point, and the 2 WCC doormats now have a combined 3 D1 wins on the year.

17 - Good job NJIT losing by 23 points to Columbia yesterday. And I'm not even being sarcastic. It was one of the Highlanders best road efforts of the season.

18 - Dayton's loss at UMASS on Saturday signified that the Flyers aren't ready to make a push for an at-large tourney bid. The A10 might have to settle for just 2 teams in the Dance.

19 - Utah State continues to be a highly efficient squad (3rd in KenPom's stats.) The Aggies once again hit over 50% of their shots in a win against NMSU, led by 7 of 10 from Gary Wilkinson who has amazingly shot over 50% in all but one game this season.

20 - I'll bet you think you can beat Indiana point guard Daniel Moore one on one.