11/20: Daily Dribble
Rough Sunday for the Big East. Former #8 Georgetown fell to Old Dominion 75-62 and the headlines will wrongfully say this was a "stunner." Its easy in hindsight to say this.. but Georgetown was and even still might be overrated. Its hard to imagine a top 25 team with less depth than the Hoyas. Sure, Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert can play with anybody in the country, but Thompson's other three starters are glorified role players and the bench isn't ready for prime time yet. You catch Georgetown on a day when Green isn't scoring (he had just 2 points and was stuck in foul trouble yesterday) and they can be beat by lesser teams.
Villanova fell 71-66 to a solid Xavier team. No shame for the Wildcats to lose to a fringe top 25 team, working in a freshman point guard and Curtis Sumpter back into top form. For Xavier, our projected A-10 player of the year Stanley Burrell came through with a big 26 points.
Pittsburgh avoided disater by pulling away from a stingy Oakland team to win by 11. The Grizzlies actually led the #5 team in the country 33-29 at half. The Panthers relied heavily on Aaron Gray, who had 23 and 13 and almost half the team's field goals. Key for the Panthers will be Levance Fields who has struggled mightily to hit shots early on. He came into yesterday's game shooting under 30% (7 for 24) and was just 2 of 7 against Oakland.
I discussed Saint Louis in yesterday's Dribble and how guard Tommie Liddell was a potential sleeper of the year and how the Billikens would make an NCAA Tournament run. Then they go out and get shamed by shooting just 11 of 53 (21%) in a 69-33 rout at the hands of an impressive Texas A&M squad. It should be noted though that this was the Bills third game in three days playing in the Shelby Metcalf Classic at A&M's Reed Arena.
In one of the day's better quality games, Jermareo Davidson returned to lead Alabama to a 12 point win down in the Virgin Islands. Iowa was once again paced by freshman Tyler Smith (19 pts) who is already making an early push for Big Ten Newcomer of the Year honors.
Today is the beginning of the Maui Invitational. I always think of Duke's first game on cable as being the unofficial start to the season, but others think Maui is the real unofficial start. If you want to spend your day doing nothing but watching college hoops (ie, enjoying your day), then sit back and watch all five games on ESPN2 today. 2:30, 5:00, 7:00, 9:00, 11:30. The best game though might be the one of those games not out in Hawaii, the 7 o'clock game featuring #10 Duke and unbeaten Air Force in Kansas City (the semifinals of the CBE Classic). The Blue Devils finally leave Cameron Indoor to face a hot Academy squad that has destroyed Stanford and Oregon State on the road.