Sunday, December 18, 2011

News On The Horizon 12/18/2011

MAC Basketball Review: Practically Perfect In Every Way--Hustle Belt

OHIO 82, Wright State 54 — Don't you just get the feeling this team, despite its strong start, is just getting stronger? Wright is not the pesky force it once was but this was a rather decisive rout. D.J Cooper was remarkably efficient, going for 20 points on just nine shots, tacking on nine rebounds and five assists. Ivo Baltic showed up out of nowhere — mostly in the paint — and added 15 points. The Bobcats shot a simply goofy 70.2 eFG%, including 21-for-26 on two-pointers. What in the world.
Toledo 86, Youngstown State 77 — I'll have more on this game later from a personal perspective (as it was the first one I attended on the year) but Toledo's young team again showed they can shoot anywhere on the floor, from the paint to the arc to the line. Dominique Buckley kept attacking and finished with 21 points. Juice Brown gave seven assists with his 15 points and Reese Holliday was an interior designer thanks to eight points and 14 rebounds.

The last time Toledo had this many points in a game at Savage Arena was … well, technically never, but they did muster 86 points against EMU on January 26, 2006 when it was known as Savage Hall.

VIDEO: Butler's last-second win over Purdue--Ballin' is a Habit
Baylor Gets A Huge Win At BYU--Basketball Predictions

Butler 67, Purdue 65
Andrew Smith has waited a while to get that big game winner for Butler. He had the shot that looked like it would be the game winner against Pitt in the NCAA Tournament last year (we all remember what happened after that, of course). Earlier this year he thought he had hit the game winner against Evansville, but the refs ruled that though he had been fouled with 0.2 seconds remaining, his shot didn't count since it left his hands after the clock would have run out (it was the correct call, though one that I can't recall seeing before). He missed both free throws and Butler fell in overtime. But this time it finally was to be, and he finished off a Butler comeback from 12 points down in the second half with a tip in with a second to go.

Butler came into this game 3-6 against Division I opponents, with all three wins coming over cupcakes. But they haven't been as bad as that sounds. Only two of those six losses were genuine blowouts - a couple of the losses even came in overtime. They were due to finally close one of these games out. This game was a veritable offensive breakout, too, as they actually finished with narrowly more than 1 PPP (see here for a breakdown of how awful their offense had been). There wasn't an obvious reason for the improvement - they just shot a little better, rebounded a little better and passed a little better.

This is the second brutal loss for Purdue after a large second half lead - the other was against Xavier. They also have a loss to Alabama to go with a few decent wins (Temple, Miami, Iona). It's not a resume that will blow people away, but I think they've been a little unlucky and will improve as the season goes along. They're not a contender to win the Big Ten, but I still think they're one of the four best teams.

Purdue's final non-conference game will be against IPFW on Tuesday. They'll open Big Ten play at Iowa on December 28th. Butler, meanwhile, doesn't get a long time to celebrate this win. They'll play at Gonzaga on Tuesday, and then at Stanford on Thursday.

Afternoon Delight: Plenty of daylight drama--Eye On College Basketball

No soup for you: That was a worse loss for Purdue than it was a good win for Butler. Andrew Smith picked up the trash and tipped the game-winner in with one second to give the Bulldogs a 67-65 win, but the Boilers gave away a 15 point led and was on the wrong end of a 21-8 run. Shaky free-throw shooting and not enough interior presence, either.
Delightful thoughts
As for the Horizon, consider: Detroit at home can't close out against Miss. St. Butler on neutral floor overtakes Purdue. Muscle memory, coaching, etc.

Utah Jazz: A reformed Howard hoping to do all the right things--Deseret News

He knows his fellow small forwards and believes "the sky's the limit for both of those guys." While with the Mavericks, he watched Dallas native C.J. Miles play in high school and thought he was a "great kid." He was also impressed watching Gordon Hayward play NCAA ball with Butler.

Utah Jazz: Kanter can't dance, but Jazz show crowd they can still play--Deseret News

Devin Harris joked Kanter's dancing performance might affect what kind of backpack he'll be assigned.

"I'm just glad that I wasn't out there again," second-year pro Gordon Hayward said.
"C.J.'s a great player," Hayward said. "It's been fun going at him. It'll be even more fun going with him. It was good to see him do well tonight."

Hayward looked sharp, driving and dunking and hitting jumpers in rhythm.
Final score: Utah White 48, Utah Blue 34. Utah White: Bell, Harris, Okur, Kanter, Miles, Reynolds and Gilder. Utah Blue: Hayward, Evans, Burks, Watson, Favors, Jamaal Tinsley, Keith McLeod, Paul Carter.

Utah Jazz: Coach Tyrone Corbin not announcing starters yet--Deseret News

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE: Corbin is banking on Josh Howard's signing to have a positive effect on the two guys who've been battling for small forward minutes in camp, Gordon Hayward and C.J. Miles.

"I think they'll respond to it very well," Corbin said. "He's a good guy and a competitor. They're good guys and they're competitors. We want everybody to compete."

Hayward and Miles also have the advantage of being familiar with the Jazz system.

"He's behind the guys a little bit," Corbin said. "He's got to catch up and learn the plays."

Jazz notes: Josh Howard eager to prove himself to Utah Jazz--Salt Lake Tribune

First showing

A White team led by C.J. Miles’ game-high 18 points won the scrimmage, 48-34. Gordon Hayward and Jeremy Evans led the Blue team with 10 points apiece.

Kragthorpe: Josh Howard’s arrival is healthy sign for Jazz--Salt Lake Tribune

In turn, Howard can accelerate the Jazz’s rebuilding process without significantly slowing the growth of Gordon Hayward and other young players. Adding another offensive weapon gives coach Tyrone Corbin more chance to succeed in his first full season.

Let's all touch each other...BUTLER just won at the buzzer!--Searching for Billy Edelin
Notebook: IU's Elston just a little early on half-ending 3-point attempt--The Indy Star

Bench prowess

Butler had a whopping 36-9 advantage in bench points. More than anything, that reflects an inconsistency that has kept Butler's starting lineup in flux.

The Bulldogs won on Andrew Smith's tap-in with one second left. If Smith hadn't tipped it in, reserve Kameron Woods might have. Woods, a freshman, scored a career-high 12 points in 27 minutes. Coach Brad Stevens said he decided at the last minute to start Khyle Marshall, who was coming off a 21-point game at Ball State, instead of Woods.

Unresolved is the role of sophomore guard Chrishawn Hopkins, who has started 10 of 11 games and had outputs of 22 and 19 points last month. Over the past four games, his minutes have been confined to 17, nine, 20 and four.

Freshman guard Jackson Aldridge came off the bench to deliver four points and three assists. Chase Stigall, who started during Butler's 14-game winning streak last season, came off the bench to score 11. Another bench player, sophomore Erik Fromm, scored all nine of his points in the first half. Those two combined to shoot 5-of-10 on 3-pointers.
Butler streaks

Butler has won three in a row over Purdue and five in a row at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Butler edges Purdue on late tap-in--The Indy Star
Bob Kravitz: Pairing state's Big 4 is a winner for all, must continue long term--The Indy Star
Butler rediscovers the magic--Indy Star Butler Insider
Butler vs Purdue: Recap Notes--Butler Blue Fever
Butler Gets Close Win Over Purdue, 67-65--Butler Blue Fever
Smith Lifts Butler Over Purdue,

Bulldogs Rout Marian

Miami Heat’s Norris Cole ready to move to the next level--Miami Herald

Vikings Set For Magnolia

Mississippi State Gets A Big Win At Detroit--Basketball Predictions
Mississippi State 80, Detroit Mercy 75: Bulldogs squeak past Titans in final seconds--The Detroit Free Press
Mississippi State vs Detroit: Recap Notes--Titans Update
Detroit Struggles in 80-75 Loss To #17 Ranked Mississippi State--Titans Update
Bulldogs Hang On in Final Minute for 80-75

UIC vs Central Michigan: Recap Notes--Flame Fanatic
UIC Struggles in Close 70-67 Loss To Central Michigan--Flame Fanatic

Loyola dominates Chicago State 64-49--Daily Herald
Chicago State vs Loyola (Chicago): Recap Notes--LU Wolf Ball
Loyola (Chicago) Beats Chicago State, 64-49--LU Wolf Ball
Averkamp, Gibler Help Loyola Roll Past Chicago State,
Surging Loyola Hosts Rockhurst In Final Home Non-Conference Game Of

Panthers take Nebraska-Omaha to school--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
On this day 9 years ago - Dec 17, 2002--UWM Update
Nebraska-Omaha vs Milwaukee: Recap Notes--UWM Update
Milwaukee Gets Blowout Win Over Nebraska-Omaha, 86-50--UWM Update
Postgame Report - Nebraska Omaha at Milwaukee--Panther Blog Zone
Panthers Start Fast, Cruise To 86-50 Win Over

Video: Catching Up With The Women's Basketball

No. 21 Michigan St. 74, Bowling Green 60--Associated Press

With the outcome in doubt, Brandon Wood and Branden Dawson stepped up in the second half, combining for 19 points. Wood finished with a game-high 16, while Dawson matched his career high with 13.
But Wood answered with a 3-pointer from the wing and Dawson added a three-point play for a 41-35 advantage, Michigan State's biggest of the evening to that point.

When Wood fed Green in the post, a pair of free throws upped the margin to eight. Dawson followed with another basket and foul shot to make it 46-35 during an 11-0 run.
Wood's alley-oop feed to Dawson for a reverse lay-in was the highlight of the last 10 minutes for the Spartans, who reverted to their early sloppiness and were outhustled again down the stretch.

Night Court: Some ugly Ls for Top 25 squads--Eye On College Basketball

Player who deserves improper benefits: Reggie Hamilton scored 41 points and won his team’s game like this (via Summit Madness).

Oakland 82, Valpo 80. Hamilton's awesome. Best player in the league (yeah, I guess better than Nate Wolters. Grr.)

College basketball roundup: Oakland wins at buzzer (with video)--The Detroit Free Press
Oakland stuns Valparaiso--The Post-Tribune
Hamilton silences VU men's basketball team--The NWI Times
Valparaiso men's basketball post-game interview--The NWI Times
Oakland vs Valparaiso: Recap Notes--Valpo Daily
Oakland Gets Close Win Over Valparaiso, 82-80--Valpo Daily
Game Wrap Up: I really hate to do this...--SectionEE
Game Preview: On the road again--SectionEE
Crusaders Fall to Oakland on

Women's basketball: Valparaiso (2-7) at Ball State (5-5)--The Post-Tribune

WSU suffers big defeat for second straight game--Dayton Daily News
WSU's Mays recovering from hard fall--Dayton Daily News
Ohio U. coach understands Wright State inexperience from his own young roster--Wright State University Sports
Game 12 Preview: Ohio University (8-1) at Wright State (4-7)--Wright State University Sports
Ohio starts fast in 82-54 win against Wright State--Wright State University Sports
Raiders clawed by ‘cats’ a second straight
Ohio vs Wright State: Recap Notes--Rowdy Review
Wright State Falls Hard To Ohio, 82-54--Rowdy Review
Men Fall to

YSU starts slow in loss to Toledo--Youngstown Vindicator
Penguins lose third straight road game--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Youngstown State vs Toledo: Recap Notes--Guin Report
Toledo Beats Youngstown State, 86-77--Guin Report
Men’s Basketball Cannot Overcome Slow Start in 86-77 Setback at

Butler Comeback Highlights Three-Win Day for Horizon League--Horizon League Network

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