Sunday, December 11, 2011

News On The Horizon 12/11/2011

MAC Basketball Review: Close Game Overload--Hustle Belt

Harvard Struggles With UConn's Length--Basketball Predictions

#8 Xavier 73, Butler 61
Butler gave a good effort here and gave Xavier a little scare late, but once again offense has just been a tremendous problem for them. They have to exert so much effort to score every basket. They finished with a 32.3 eFG% in this game, and while that's their worst shooting performance of the season, the overall offensive performance is right in line with what they've done. In eight games against Division I opponents this season they have scored greater than 1 PPP precisely once, against cupcake Gardner Webb. They've played three games against teams in the Pomeroy or Sagarin PREDICTOR Top 100 (Louisville, Xavier and Indiana), and in those games have a combined 0.83 PPP. Their best offensive flurry in those three games was 0.85 PPP against Indiana.

What's holding the Butler offense back? As I've said a few times, the biggest problem is that they don't have any guards that can create offense. Ronald Nored is no Shelvin Mack, and Chrishawn Hopkins has had an awful season. Andrew Smith and Khyle Marshall are good front court players, but they need guards to open things up and create opportunities for them. A big problem has been that the quality 2011 recruiting class just hasn't produced at all yet. Jackson Aldridge was supposed to be one of the primary playmakers right away, and he just hasn't been ready to perform that role. Aldridge has only 4.3 points and 1.3 assists per game.

Butler is now 4-5 overall with bad losses to Evansville and Valparaiso, and nothing remotely resembling a quality win. They'll play at Ball State today and then will play Purdue next weekend. They also have games against Stanford and Gonzaga before starting Horizon League play. Theoretically, a win against all four of those quality opponents could get Butler back in the at-large discussion, but realistically they'll have to improve drastically to even win half of those games. Their focus needs to be winning the Horizon League's automatic bid.

Xavier Destroys Cincinnati, But Both Team Embarrass Themselves--Basketball Predictions

Ball State 58, Butler 55
The good news for Butler is that Khyle Marshall, after breaking out in last year's NCAA Tournament, has finally started playing like I and others thought he would this season. He had 21 points (on 9-for-15 shooting) and 16 rebounds here. But other than him, Butler's offense continues to be awful. Once again they were far under 1 PPP (they've only broken the 1 PPP barrier once in nine games against Division I opponents this season, after averaging 1.08 per game last season). Butler's backcourt is Ronald Nored, Chrishawn Hopkins, Chase Stigall and Jackson Aldridge. They played 76 minutes and had 18 points on 7-for-23 shooting with 9 assists and 10 turnovers. Not good.

Now 4-6, Butler will play Purdue next Saturday, followed by Gonzaga and Stanford. At this point, a win in any of those games would be a pretty big upset.

Utah Jazz better off, but NBA’s new CBA after lockout is more of same--Salt Lake Tribune

Staying competitive during the new CBA will always be a balance for Utah. If Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter or Alec Burks evolve into annual All-Stars, the Jazz will have a slightly better chance of keeping them in uniform through the latter part of the decade. Nothing is guaranteed, though.

Monson: Jazz say they will make the playoffs ... for sure, probably, possibly, maybe, uh, don’t know--Salt Lake Tribune

Gordon Hayward backed up Big Al:

“I expect us to go out and compete every game. I really don’t know what to expect, except for that. We’re going to go out and put it all on the line, and the results will probably take care of themselves.”

Notice the qualifier — probably — and then read into it what you will. Possibly? With any luck? If Derrick Favors grows into the league’s next great power forward? If all the planets in all the solar systems in all the universes align?

Wizards’ John Wall: “I feel this is my year to break out”--Washington Post

Wall is more vocal in practice, offering instruction and words of encouragement to rookies Shelvin Mack, Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely, who has the adjacent locker room stall.

Ball State defeats Butler for Bulldogs' third loss in a row--The Indy Star
Butler doomed by another slow start--The Indy Star
Seriously, Dawgs getting closer--Indy Star Butler Insider
Butler vs Ball State: Recap Notes--Butler Blue Fever
Ball State Gets Close Win Over Butler, 58-55--Butler Blue Fever
Ball State Edges Butler,

Cleveland State Vikings Pull Out Dramatic Victory Over Akron Zips, 69-66--Hoopville
Waters pleased by sweep of NE Ohio rivals: Cleveland State Insider--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Jeremy Montgomery's last-minute plays push Cleveland State past Akron, 69-66--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cleveland State 69, Akron 66: Jeremy Montgomery's 3-Pointer Lifts Vikings over Akron--Cleveland State Hoops
Akron vs Cleveland State: Recap Notes--Vikings Ball
Cleveland State Escapes Akron, 69-66--Vikings Ball
Cleveland State 69, Akron
Cleveland State 69, Akron
Montgomery's Late Three Pointer Gives CSU 69-66 Win Over

Vikings Fall At Toledo,

The NC-Double-Eh Schedule - Dec. 11--Raptors HQ

6:00pm Detroit @ Alabama – Against an Alabama team that will likely focus on Chase Simons and Ray McCallum, this could be a game that Jason Calliste can play big for Detroit.

Detroit (5-6) Takes On 16th Ranked Alabama (7-2)--Titans Update

UIC beats NIU with three-point shooting--The Chicago Sun-Times
Northern Illinois vs UIC: Recap Notes--Flame Fanatic
UIC Gets 62-55 Win Over Northern Illinois--Flame Fanatic
Flames Outlast NIU for Second-Straight Home Win,

Women's Basketball Journeys to Oakland on

I Can't Hate Toledo--The Mid-Majority
Toledo Loses To Loyola On Buzzer-Beater After Own Inbounds Pass Hits Scoreboard--Hustle Belt
Loyola (Chicago) vs Toledo: Recap Notes--LU Wolf Ball
Loyola (Chicago) Gets Close Win Over Toledo, 57-55--LU Wolf Ball
Averkamp's Big Day and Buzzer Beater Lifts Loyola Past Toledo,

Loyola Falls To Northwestern Despite Long Distance

Crowder has 21 as Marquette tops Green Bay
Big East Basketball Wrap-Up: No. 3 Syracuse And No. 11 Marquette Cruise To Saturday Victories--Big East Coast Bias
Men's basketball: UWGB's effort better in lopsided loss to Marquette--Green Bay Press Gazette
Game #10: UWGB at Marquette--UWGB Basketball
Green Bay vs Marquette: Recap Notes--Phoenix Fever
#11 Ranked Marquette Gets Win Over Green Bay, 79-61--Phoenix Fever
Brown's Effort Paces Phoenix in Loss at No. 11

Second-chance points hurt Panthers in loss at Northern Iowa--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Tickets for Tuesday going fast--PantherU
Sobering experience in Iowa--PantherU
Milwaukee vs Northern Iowa: Recap Notes--UWM Update
UPDATED: Lonnie Boga is doubtful for Tuesday's game against Wisconsin--UWM Update
Milwaukee Stumbles With Loss To Northern Iowa, 67-51--UWM Update
Mistake-Free Effort Leads UNI To Home Win Over

Milwaukee Road Trip Concludes At No. 24/23

Women’s basketball: Valpo hangs with Pittsburgh before falling--The Post-Tribune
Crusaders come up short at Pitt--The NWI Times
Crusaders Hang with Pitt Before Falling

Valparaiso wins back-and-forth thriller over Bowling Green--The Post-Tribune
Hutton: Drew, Vujic meet again today--The Post-Tribune
Bowling Green at Valparaiso, Dec. 10, Live Blog--Off The Mark
Crusaders hold off Bowling Green--The NWI Times
Valparaiso Men's Basketball Post-Game Interview--The NWI Times
On this day 15 years ago - Dec 10, 1996--Valpo Daily
Bowling Green vs Valparaiso: Recap Notes--Valpo Daily
Valparaiso Gets By Bowling Green, 82-79--Valpo Daily
Game Wrap Up: Dunk of the year goes to.....--SectionEE
PPS - 12/10--SectionEE
Crusaders Back on Winning Track With Victory Over

WSU earns first road victory of season--Dayton Daily News
Defense will lead to points, WSU's Donlon says--Dayton Daily News
WSU's Darling comes up big against Miami--Dayton Daily News
Wright State struggles to 51-49 win against Miami in slow offensive game--Wright State University Sports
Horizon League wins five of seven games against MAC on Saturday--Wright State University Sports
Four Cincinnati players will miss game vs. Wright State with suspensions--Wright State University Sports
Local college players prep success: 877-218 record during senior seasons--Wright State University Sports
Wright State vs Miami (OH): Recap Notes--Rowdy Review
Wright State Wins Close One, 51-49 Over Miami (OH)--Rowdy Review
Men Hold On For 51-49 Win at
Raiders Host Cincinnati and Ohio This

Women Defeat Southern

YSU ties 3-point record in loss to Buffalo--Youngstown Vindicator
Youngstown State men lose on road to Buffalo--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Youngstown State vs Buffalo: Recap Notes--Guin Report
Youngstown State Flops In 80-72 Loss to Buffalo--Guin Report
Men’s Basketball Makes 14 3’s in 80-72 Loss at

Horizon League Takes 5-of-7 Matchups with MAC on Saturday--Horizon League Network

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