While most of the nation was captivated by the battle for the Big East football title between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, Ohio State was blowing out Eastern Michigan in Columbus 111-60. But it was a costly win for the Buckeyes, who lost All America guard Evan Turner for eight weeks with two broken vertebra in his back. Turner suffered the injury on a dunk attempt early in the first half, landing squarely on his back on a fall after being fouled. The original thought of head coach Thad Matta was that the junior would be OK but that was before the tests were done at the hospital.
While much of the nation will focus on some big college football games on Saturday, there's also a number of attractive basketball games to check out as well. And the fun starts early, with Kentucky receiving their first major test of the season when North Carolina visits Rupp Arena. These are the two winningest programs in the history of college basketball with the Wildcats holding a slight edge, but these are also two very young teams who are still finding their way.
Benjamin Franklin used to say the only certainties in life are death and taxes. Well, with all due respect to Mr. Franklin, I think his list has a glaring omission…namely that it’s good to be John Wall.
An update of the day's college basketball action so far:
This is the time of year when college basketball takes a step back in terms of nationally televised games in favor of college football, but there are some intriguing games on the schedule. Kentucky, who's been lights out offensively but hasn't defended at the level that John Calipari desires, hosts a dangerous Rider team licking its wounds following a 79-46 beating at the hands of Virginia. Duke hosts the defending Big South champions in Radford and big men Artsiom Parakhouski and Joey Lynch-Flohr will look to hang with the deep Blue Devil frontcourt.
A new era of Kentucky basketball begins, but will the likes of Mississppi St, Tennesse, or Vanderbilt spoil John Calipari's entrance. Perhaps no league is loaded with NBA talent like the SEC.
Thankfully Monday was a busy night on the schedule even before ESPN's 24-hour marathon (even if you had fantasy football interests Ravens/Browns should not have been an option) and it didn't disappoint either. John Wall made his regular season debut for Kentucky and to say the least the phenom showed why people are touting him as a National POY possibility. And there were other key results on Monday/early Tuesday that could have a long-lasting impact on this season as well.
Three Key Happenings
A senior at Providence High School in Jacksonville, Fla., Poole is ranked the fourth best small forward (27th overall) by Rivals.com recruiting service and the 11th best small forward (58th overall) by Scout.com.
The 6-foot-5, 190-pound Poole, a first-team All-First Coast selection last season, averaged 17.3 points per game his junior season at Jackson High School.