Wed, 02/09/2011 - 07:59 — Raphielle Johnson
A lot of the talk leading into Tuesday's matchup between Kentucky and Tennessee at Rupp Arena surrounded the return of Bruce Pearl to the Tennessee sidelines after an eight-game SEC suspension. The Vols won five of eight with associate head coach Tony Jones in charge but there's something to be said in regards to the comfort level a team has when their head coach is on the bench. But the return to normalcy means nothing if you get outworked and that's exactly what happened to the Vols, ultimately falling 73-61 to the 18th-ranked Wildcats.
Tue, 02/08/2011 - 17:27 — Raphielle Johnson
Tuesday night marks the return of Bruce Pearl to SEC play, and it's just in time for an important matchup between his Tennessee (15-8, 5-3) Volunteers and the Kentucky (16-6, 4-4) Wildcats. The winner remains in the hunt for the SEC East title, and while the loser won't be finished per say with both teams already owning losses to first-place Florida they'd be in a bit of trouble. John Calipari's Wildcats have done what most young teams do: struggle on the road while getting the job done at home, owning a home record of 10-0 on the season.
Tue, 02/08/2011 - 17:19 — Raphielle Johnson
Missouri played one of their best offensive halves of the season in the first half on Monday night, making 57.7% of their shots and scoring 42 points. But they were down four at the break thanks to the combination of suspect defense and superior execution by the Kansas Jayhawks. And as the Tigers slid closer to their season average in regards to field goal percentage Kansas got even better offensively, making 66.7% of their shots in the second half to win going away 103-86.
Sun, 02/06/2011 - 07:53 — Raphielle Johnson
Heading into Saturday's action the Arizona Wildcats were already up by a game in the Pac-10 standings thanks to their win over Stanford combined with Washington's loss at Oregon State on Thursday night. With a golden opportunity to make themselves the clear favorite to win the regular season title at their fingertips as Washington lost at Oregon earlier in the day, the young Wildcats took a big step in that direction in Berkeley. It's just hard to imagine that anyone involved realized just how much effort would be needed to do so.
Sat, 02/05/2011 - 06:32 — Raphielle Johnson
There's just one game on Saturday matching ranked teams and surprisingly it comes in the SEC, where #11 Kentucky (16-5, 4-3) heads south to take on #23 Florida (17-5, 6-2). And while the SEC East has shown itself to be somewhat wide-open, John Calipari's young Wildcats would be well-served to win this one and avoid falling behind the Gators by two games in the loss column. But Kentucky also has just one road win in conference play (South Carolina) and they'll have their hands full with a talented group of Gators.
Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:42 — Raphielle Johnson
In a game that didn't provide much separation in terms of the starters and their production it was a reserve who proved to be the difference in Wisconsin's 66-59 win over Purdue in Madison. Ryan Evans supplied 10 points and some sold defense off the bench, most importantly tying up E'Twaun Moore on a drive to the basket with 25 seconds remaining and the Badgers up 63-59.
Tue, 02/01/2011 - 08:28 — Raphielle Johnson
Another Tuesday night means another important game in the Big Ten, with Purdue (18-4, 7-2) hitting the road to take on Wisconsin (15-5, 5-3) in the always-imposing Kohl Center. While there is quite the distance between both of these teams and undefeated Ohio State atop the conference standings, both get the Buckeyes at home later in the season, meaning that the winner on Tuesday night can still entertain some hope of winning a share of the Big Ten crown.
Wed, 01/19/2011 - 17:23 — Raphielle Johnson
Up by as many as 18 points in the second half, Anthony Grant's Alabama Crimson Tide looked to be in good shape after an Andrew Steele gave them a 59-43 lead with 11:31 remaining at Coleman Coliseum. But from that point the Crimson Tide struggled mightily in the face of mounting Kentucky defensive pressure as John Calipari's team finally answered his halftime challenge to "man up". Kentucky held Alabama without a field goal for more than eight minutes before a JaMychal Green tip-in made the score 64-61 with 3:04 remaining.
Mon, 12/20/2010 - 07:12 — Raphielle Johnson
A familiar argument early in the season is which conference is tops. The preseason hype tended to go in the direction of the Big Ten, but with strong starts by the Big East and Big 12 there has been room for discussion. But what about the opposite end of the spectrum: which BCS conference member is the worst team to this point in the year? Unlike the best conference question, that answer has been rather straightforward as the Auburn Tigers have put forth quite the display of ineptitude through the first ten games of the Tony Barbee era.
Sat, 12/11/2010 - 08:39 — Raphielle Johnson
A pair of undefeated teams will meet in the final game of the SEC/Big East Invitational as #11 Tennessee (6-0) takes on #3 Pittsburgh (10-0) at the new CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The Volunteers, who won the NIT Season Tip-Off by beating Villanova in the title game, are actually the top ranked team in the RPI and they've done a good job so far of not allowing the issues swirling around their head coach to affect their play. Three Volunteers are averaging double figures in scoring with freshman forward Tobias Harris (16.7 ppg) and junior guard Scotty Hopson (16.3 ppg) leading the way.