Monday, January 30, 2012

News On The Horizon 1/31/2012

Week 12 Horizon League Powers Rankings: In Haiku--Horizon League Hoops
2012 Horizon League BracketBusters Pairings--Horizon League Hoops
St. Mary's & Murray St. highlight BracketBusters--Eye On College Basketball

Other Storylines
Defensive battle: Cleveland State and Drexel won’t wake you up if you’re tired on Saturday morning. However, the game will feature two of the better defensive teams in the country.
Game not to overlook: Valparaiso could be a threat in the Horizon heading into the final month, only a half-game out of first place. Meanwhile, Loyola Marymount has surprised some and already has a nice collection of wins.

Bracket Busters Breakdown--College Sports Madness
2012 NCAA Tournament: Four Teams (or More?) Primed To Dance From Indiana--SB Nation Indiana

Conference Tournament or Bust:

Valparaiso Crusaders - 15-8, 8-3 Horizon League - Valpo won't get an at large bid, but they are only a half game out in the Horizon League and they have a win over leader Cleveland State. They won 72-66 at home against the Vikings, and that could come into play with the conference tournament. The No. 1 seed hosts the league tourney and the top 2 seeds receive a bye to the semi-finals. That means Valpo would be two home wins away from the NCAA Tournament if they win the Horizon League.

On February 9 Valpo heads to Cleveland State for what could be a huge conference game. Win that, and Valpo will be looking very good.
Butler Bulldogs - 12-11, 6-5 Horizon - If Butler is going to go to a sixth straight NCAA Tournament they will have to do it the hard way, but never count them out. Butler was swept in Wisconsin this past weekend and is now 6-5, well off the pace in the Horizon League. Their best win is over Purdue, so there is no chance of an at large, but the Bulldogs have shown in the past they can get hot at the best time.


Horizon: A post-Norris-Cole league

W-L Pace PPP Opp. PPP EM
1. Cleveland St. 8-2 63.4 1.09 0.94 +0.15
2. Detroit 6-5 64.3 1.07 1.01 +0.06
3. Milwaukee 7-4 63.8 0.95 0.91 +0.04
4. Valparaiso 8-3 63.3 1.05 1.02 +0.03
5. Youngstown St. 6-4 62.3 1.03 1.00 +0.03
6. Wright St. 6-5 61.2 0.94 0.93 +0.01
7. Butler 6-5 64.4 0.94 0.96 -0.02
8. Green Bay 5-6 66.2 1.00 1.02 -0.02
9. UIC 2-9 62.4 0.95 1.04 -0.09
10. Loyola 0-11 57.7 0.86 1.07 -0.21

AVG. 62.9 0.99

In the past two weeks Cleveland State has achieved separation from the rest of the Horizon, and the fact that the Vikings have done so the year after saying goodbye to 2011 Horizon POY Norris Cole calls to mind the year Ohio State had in 2010-11 after bidding adieu to national POY Evan Turner. Gary Waters, I salute you! Your men still foul too much, but you have the best team in the Horizon. Carry that flag proudly. Your league has quite the NCAA tournament record the past couple years.

Utah Jazz extra: The 'OOOOs!' have it, where's Beyonce, Jimmer got Jazzed?--Deseret News

2. Been there, done that

Indiana's version of Jimmermania is Hayward hysteria. Or something like that. Gordon Hayward gets to go back next week. The ex-Butler hero's hoops homecoming was something to see and hear last year as dozens and dozens of Pacer loyalists sported No. 20 Jazz shirts in his honor. Conseco Fieldhouse went bonkers when he dunked over Paul George.

With that in mind, Hayward wasn't shocked by the positive reception the Kings' guard received in Jazzland.

"I was involved in that when I went home last year," Hayward fondly recalled. "It was the same type of thing, just on the opposite side for us (Saturday). It's good that we got the win."

A 21-point night from Hayward wasn't too shabby, either.

Utah Jazz: Raja bell out tonight, Al Jefferson ankle still causing problems--Deseret News

With the two veterans out, the Jazz will go with a starting lineup that includes point guard Devin Harris, shooting guard Gordon Hayward, small forward Josh Howard, power forward Paul Millsap and center Derrick Favors.

Cold-shooting Jazz trail by six at halftime to Blazers--Deseret News

Gordon Hayward, who's playing his natural shooting guard position in Bell's absence, has really struggled going 0-for-8 from the field in the half.

Utah Jazz-Portland Trailblazers: Instant Analysis--Deseret News

Ugly First Half: Where to begin? Here’s where the Jazz sat after 24 minutes: 14 of 46 from the field (30.4 percent), just 1 of 6 on three-pointers, and 10-15 from the free throw line. They had more turnovers (seven) than assists (just five) on the stat sheet. And after managing just 20 points in the first quarter, they were unable to match that in the second (19).

The individual shooting: Gordon Hayward 0-8, Paul Millsap 2-7, Enes Kanter 1-5, Alec Burks 0-2.

All that said, thanks to some strong rebounding work (27 boards) and some decent defense (five steals, four blocked shots), Utah found themselves down by just six at halftime — 45-39.

Not So Ugly Second Half: Minus a bout of nervous free throw shooting, the second half was an entirely different story. There was increased activity, teamwork, and defensive effort. As has been the case many times this year, Earl Watson was the leader with his energy being contagious.

After that miserable first half, Hayward settled down, going 3 for 4 from the field, while drilling a pair of treys. He also was clutch down the stretch, blocking a Jamal Crawford lay-up, stealing the ball from Nicolas Batum, and snaring the offensive board of a missed free throw with two second left and subsequently sinking the clinching free throws.

Utah improved greatly by hitting 18 of 38 field goals (47.3 percent). They also upped their assists (10) and decreased the miscues (four second-half turnovers).

Utah Jazz Report Card--Deseret News

GUARDS: Devin Harris played efficiently with 13 points, four assists and just one turnover in 23 minutes. Gordon Hayward, who moved over to shooting guard from his usual small forward spot with Raja Bell sitting out, followed up a disastrous first half with a solid second half. He had 12 points after halftime, and his offensive rebound after a missed free throw by C.J. Miles in the final seconds was one of the game's biggest plays.

Grade: B+

Jazz rally to pick up exciting 93-89 win over Portland--Deseret News

C.J. Miles and Gordon Hayward each hit key free throws (making up for a couple of misses) to wrap up the win in the final seconds.

Utah Jazz: Missing pieces not a problem in Jazz win over the Trail Blazers--Deseret News

Earl Watson 's revitalizing energy, Gordon Hayward's revived aim, Paul Millsap's resolve and rebounding, Devin Harris ' recharged drive and re-engerized contributions down the roster helped restore and rev up both the home team and the crowd.
Miles finished with 15 points off the bench, Harris had 13 points and four assists, Hayward shook off an 0-for-8 start to dial in a dozen and fill-in starter Josh Howard (Bell's replacement) added 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Paul Millsap, Jazz rally for 93-89 win over Portland--Salt Lake Tribune

Josh Howard played a part, as did Paul Millsap. The same for Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward and Devin Harris. Then Miles and Watson created sparks in the fourth, while Utah burned the Blazers in transition, dominated the boards and consistently punched Portland in the mouth.

NBA: Trail Blazers fizzle late in road loss to Jazz--Salt Lake Tribune

Sensing an opening, Utah took advantage, forcing turnovers and converting at the other end. It was Portland’s misfortune that Jazz forward Gordon Hayward played better in the second half, scoring 12 points after going 0-for-8 from the field in the first half.

Josh Howard cracks Jazz starting lineup--Salt Lake Tribune

With Howard at the 3, Gordon Hayward bumped down to the 2, while Derrick Favors replaced an injured Al Jefferson at center.

Millsap scores 19 as Jazz rally past Blazers 93-89--Miami Herald
Latest Butler book goes on sale--Indy Star Butler Insider
Roosevelt Jones Receives Honorable Mention for the StatSheet Horizon Freshman of the Week - January 30th, 2012--Butler Blue Fever
The Biggest 3-Pointer In Butler Basketball
Butler Draws State Foe In Sears BracketBusters

Beth Couture Show - Episode

Week in Review: Mike Moser shines, Notre Dame appears--Ballin' is a Habit

Teams deserving a shout out:
Cleveland State: The Vikings have taken full control of the Horizon League race, taking a one game lead on Valpo and a two game lead on Milwaukee and Youngstown State. How'd they do it? By beating Youngstown State by 20 on the road just six days after a 26 point win over Milwaukee.

A Viewer's Guide to BracketBusters: Ranking the TV games--Ballin' is a Habit

Make sure to record these games and watch them as NCAA Tournament prep work
4. Sat. 11:00 am: Drexel at Cleveland State (ESPNU): The odds of either of these teams earning an at-large bid is fairly slim. Both are sitting at or near the top of a competitive mid-major league; the Vikings currently lead the Horizon while Drexel is tied with three other teams at second place in the CAA. Where this game gets interesting is on the defensive end of the floor, where both teams thrive. Cleveland State thrives with a trapping pressure defense where Drexel is more equipped for grind-it-out half court games, winning games based on their ability to force tough shots and clean the defensive glass.

The Pulse of the NBA--Miami Herald


The Heat gladly welcomed Dwyane Wade back to the lineup on Friday, but they did just fine without him, winning eight of the nine games he was sidelined, including one in which LeBron James sat also. Chris Bosh, who has been tentative at times offensively, and has had to take a back seat to Wade and James since coming to Miami, really stepped up during Wade's absence, averaging 25.7 ppg during that stretch. The Heat were also helped by the fact they have a much deeper team this season with the additions of Shane Battier and rookie point guard Norris Cole.

Heat shake off slow start, beat Hornets 109-95--Miami Herald
Cleveland State, Akron earn TV spots in BracketBuster matchups--Cleveland Plain Dealer
ESPN Screws CSU With Poor Bracketbuster Game and Start Time--Let's Go Vikes!
D`Aundray Brown Receives Honorable Mention for the StatSheet Horizon Player of the Week - January 30th, 2012--Vikings Ball
Vikings Host Drexel in Bracket Buster

Kelly To Receive 2011 Cleveland Clinic Courage

The NC-Double-Eh Stat Leaders - Week 12--Raptors HQ

Jason Calliste, Detroit - 30.1

Detroit Mercy star Ray McCallum Jr. named Horizon League player of the week--The Detroit News
McCallum Named Horizon League Player of the
Detroit Draws James Madison for Sears BracketBusters

Flames Draw Eastern Illinois for BracketBusters

Loyola Invites Fans And Students To Attend Jesuit Jam Friday
Loyola Draws Bradley On Sears BracketBusters

Big day for UWGB women's basketball: Top 10 ranking, New York Times story--Green Bay Press Gazette
Women's basketball: UWGB rises to 10th in Associated Press poll--Green Bay Press Gazette

Men's basketball: UWGB hosts low-scoring Eastern Michigan in BracketBusters game--Green Bay Press Gazette
Rob Demovsky column: UWGB men's basketball team can build around young point guard Keifer Sykes--Green Bay Press Gazette
UWGB to play Eastern Michigan in BracketBuster; Sykes in the spotlight--UWGB Basketball
Alec Brown Wins the StatSheet Horizon Player of the Week - January 30th, 2012--Phoenix Fever
VIDEO: Three Jerseys, One Gutsy Effort for

Wojta Garners Player of the Week

UWM to play Fairfield in BracketBuster--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
It’s official: ESPN and the Horizon bone us again--PantherU
News and notes on Monday--PantherU
Icing the Penguins--PantherU
Milwaukee (14-9) Goes Up Against Youngstown State (11-9)--UWM Update
Panthers Finish Up Homestand With Tuesday Contest Against
Video: Panthers Set To Take On Hot-Shooting
Panthers Draw Defending MAAC Champion Fairfield For

VU gets Loyola Marymount in Bracketbusters--The Post-Tribune
Valparaiso and the ESPN BracketBuster--The NWI Times
Crusaders heading to California for BracketBuster--The NWI Times
Valparaiso gets Loyola Marymount in BracketBuster--Inside VU Sports
Michael Rosenberg: Michigan State, somehow, just keeps on winning--The Detroit Free Press

"Brandon Wood and Branden Dawson have to improve their defense," Izzo said. "They're getting better. But can they get enough better to play the way we're going to have to play against these top teams?"

Crusaders to Take On Loyola Marymount on ESPNU in

WSU, Miami learn BracketBusters foes--Dayton Daily News
Wright State will travel to Missouri-Kansas City in BracketBusters event--Wright State University Sports
Raiders to Play at UMKC as Part of

Demmings Receives Player of the Week

Improved Thompson makes mark for YSU--Youngstown Vindicator
Youngstown State (11-9) Battles Milwaukee (14-9)--Guin Report

Penguins prep for three-game road trip--The Jambar
Men's Basketball to Face Austin Peay in 2012 Sears
Men's Basketball Begins Week-Long Road Trip at

Cleveland State, Valpo Tabbed for TV Matchups in Sears BracketBusters X--Horizon League Network

News On The Horizon 1/30/2012

NBA: Utah Jazz’s C.J. Miles is attacking instead of worrying--Salt Lake Tribune

But Miles embraced them late Saturday inside Utah’s locker room, following a 96-93 home win against Sacramento. He jumped off the bench to score 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting, attacking the basket while refusing to settle for long-range jump shots. A slasher instead of a perimeter bystander, Miles scored his first 18 points in just 18 minutes, teaming with fellow wing Gordon Hayward to propel the Jazz to a 13-point fourth-quarter lead.
No conscience

Miles and Hayward aren’t the only Jazz wingmen who play better when they think less.

Rookie guard Alec Burks drilled two 3s against the Kings, showing off a quick release and smooth stroke that should silence any remaining critics who questioned whether the No. 12 overall pick in 2011 could shoot well enough to make a living in the NBA.

Burks has recently put in extra work with Utah assistant coach Jeff Hornacek, who’s also teamed with Hayward and knocked down 828 3s during his 14-year playing career.

Non-Conference Opponents Update: January 30--SB Nation Indiana

Butler Bulldogs - 12-11, 6-5 Horizon, RPI: 124 - Butler went to Wisconsin and got swept in both Horzion League games by double digits, thus severely damaging their conference title hopes. They now trail Cleveland State by three games in the loss column and have already lost to them at Hinkle Fieldhouse. It is officially conference tournament or bust for Butler if they want to return to the NCAAs, but I still applaud them for their last two years. This loss and the Penn State loss are anchors tied to Purdue's ankles, and I fear we're going to regret them.


Miami Heat skate by in close victory against Chicago Bulls--Miami Herald

Rose swished one of those patented, 10-foot running floaters with 7:35 left to cut the Heat’s lead to 84-82 and the Heat answered with a badly missed three-point attempt by rookie Norris Cole. A driving layup by Rose tied the score on the next possession.

Seminoles make big inroads after Tobacco Road victories: College Basketball Insider--Cleveland Plain Dealer

On the move: Both Cleveland State (18-4/RPI 53) and Akron (14-7/RPI 59) are creeping toward the fringe of the NCAA Tournament bubble discussion, which makes Tuesday’s BrackBuster pairings huge for both teams. Traveling Akron looks to draw either Iona (16-5/RPI 49), Oral Roberts (20-4/RPI 51) or Davidson (15-5/RPI 67), all currently leaders in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Summit and Southern conferences, respectively.

All three teams can score as ORU (74.5 ppg) relies on its wing players, Iona (83.0 ppg) relies on its guards and Davidson (78.9 ppg) on its inside/high post scoring with 6-10 Jake Cohen. A win over any of these teams would boost Akron’s at-large chances considerably.

CSU, however, could get stuck with a tough/bad draw at home. The possibilities look to be Long Beach State (16-6/RPI 33), Northern Iowa (14-9/RPI 56) and Nevada (18-3/RPI 61). If the Vikings are lucky, they will get either Long Beach or Nevada, leaders in the Big West and the Western Athletic Conference, respectively. Long Beach is clearly in the at-large picture, but quite likely could draw a closer pairing with Oral Roberts. Nevada is much like CSU, but could also wind up with a dance partner west of the Mississippi.

That would leave Northern Iowa, which has a good RPI, but struggles playing teams on the road and in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Vikings would have nothing really to gain by playing and beating Northern Iowa, and a ton to lose, as a setback to the seventh-place MVC Panthers, along with losses already to three teams outside the RPI Top 100 (Hofstra, Youngstown State, Valparaiso) would not look good on an at-large résumé.

On the Horizon: Don’t look now, but the second half of the Horizon League season begins with the preseason favorites, the Detroit Titans (12-11, 6-5) getting their act together. After suffering from the early-season loss of 6-10 Eli Holman for personal reasons, followed by the season-ending injury to 6-9 power forward Nick Minnerath, the Titans have finally regrouped. Holman is back in the fold, coming off the bench, and sophomore guard Ray McCallum Jr. is on a roll.

The Titans have won five of their last six games. In that run, McCallum, averaging 15.6 ppg on the season, has averaged 17.1 ppg, including two games of 23 points. In the past five games, Holman has delivered two double doubles with one game of nine rebounds and another with eight. The Titans are likely out of the title race, but if they keep this up, nobody will want to play them in the Horizon League Tournament.

On this day 5 years ago - Jan 29, 2007--LU Wolf Ball

Green Bay Featured in The New York

Honoring the honorable--UWM Post
Needing a little of “Michael’s secret stuff”--UWM Post

Over and back--UWM Post

Dissecting Saturday's Technical Fouls--The NWI Times

Wright State By the Numbers: League defensive performances strong--Wright State University Sports
Wright State home game vs. Green Bay to be broadcast on ESPNU--Wright State University Sports
Raiders to Play February 10 at 9 pm on

Green Bay's Julie Wojta Named Women's Basketball Player of the Week--Horizon League Network
Green Bay Women's Basketball Team Featured in New York Times--Horizon League Network

Detroit's McCallum Earns Player of the Week Recognition--Horizon League Network

Sunday, January 29, 2012

News On The Horizon 1/29/2012

The Morning After Recap: Sunday, January 29--Searching for Billy Edelin

Green Bay freshman Keifer Sykes' head wound blew the UFC on Fox event out of the water, gore-wise (via 30FPS)

1/28 Men's Basketball Bracket Buster Projections--College Sports Madness

Utah Jazz: Gordon Hayward, Jimmer Fredette know the transition from college to the pros isn't easy--Deseret News
Utah Jazz fall in Big D while big names sit--Deseret News
Jazz-Mavericks: Report card--Deseret News

FORWARDS: Paul Millsap provided yet another 20-point night — his third straight with at least that many points — while adding seven rebounds. However, Dallas' recent acquisition, Lamar Odom, essentially matched Utah's hot-handed big man with 19 points and five boards, including a trio of 3-pointers. Odom's ability to roam on the outside seemed to do more than keep Millsap on his toes. Gordon Hayward dished six assists to complement his eight points, but his counterpart, Shawn Marion, scored 16 points. Grade: C

Jimmer's 10 points helping Kings keep it close vs. Jazz--Deseret News

Gordon Hayward leads Utah with 12 points — more than he's had in a game since the Jazz won in Denver two weeks ago.

Utah Jazz-Sacramento Kings: Instant Analysis--Deseret News

While regular scoring leaders Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson struggled, swingmen Gordon Hayward and C.J. Miles responded with 21 and 20 points, respectively. The Kings were paced by a slicing-and-dicing Tyreke Evans’ 31 points and nine assists.
Hayward’s return: Another player made famous by the NCAA spotlight, Gordon Hayward, also enjoyed a nice breakout game. Showing an aggressiveness that has been noticeably absent recently, Hayward put forth a complete game. He scored a team-high 21 points, while recording five rebounds, four assists and two steals.

More importantly, Hayward was not hesitant to shoot. Throughout the night, he knew when to shoot and when to dish the ball. While he had a few struggles defensively, this was a game the Jazz coaching staff and fans hope will be the start to some more consistent play.

Utah Jazz vs. Sacramento Kings: Report card--Deseret News

FORWARDS: What's this, an off game from Paul Millsap? He only had six points, but still contributed with 14 rebounds. Gordon Hayward had what might have been a breakout game, finishing with a season-high 21 points. The Jazz struggled with Jason Thompson in the first half, but adjusted and quieted him in the second half. John Salmons was a non-factor.

Grade: B+

Utah Jazz escape Jimmer Fredette, Kings with 96-93 win--Deseret News

But it was the Jazz's Gordon Hayward and C.J. Miles who stole his thunder and saved the day for the Jazz on offnight for usually reliable Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson.

Hayward led Utah with 21 points and Miles scored 20 points off the bench, playing extended minutes and starting the second half after Raja Bell strained his right adductor.

Utah Jazz: Jimmer Fredette has heroic opportunity, but Jazz win--Deseret News

Gordon Hayward hit a free throw a second after Fredette's 25-foot airball and the Jazz survived their first encounter with Jimmermania, escaping with an emotional and much-needed 96-93 victory.
On this night, rather, the dynamic duo turned out to be Gordon Hayward (21 points) and C.J. Miles (20 points). Picking up the slack for their struggling stars, the young swingmen were instrumental in getting the Jazz (11-7) back on a winning path after tough losses to the defending NBA champs and to lowly Toronto at home Wednesday.
"It makes us a much harder team to guard," Hayward said, speaking of contributions from the Jazz wing players. "It's easy when you just throw it in the post and if they're not going then it's just like, 'What do you do then?' So it's good when we step up like that. We need to do that."

Utah Jazz notebook: Raja Bell glad he caught injury early--Deseret News

HOLDING ON: Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin shook his head in disbelief and relief at the end of Saturday's game.

Not because of Jimmer Fredette's 3-point attempt that could've won the game for the Kings. Rather, he couldn't believe second-year forward Gordon Hayward carelessly threw the ball to Earl Watson by the Sacramento bench in the final moments.

The ball harmlessly rolled away while time expired, but. ...

"Four seconds on the clock. Just hold it," Corbin said. "They're going to foul you. Don't jump in the air and throw it. If you throw it, throw it up so the clock can run out, but don't throw it toward the baseline and give them a chance to get another possession of the ball."

It worked like a charm, and Hayward sheepishly said he'll hold it next time.

"Just young," Corbin added. "That turned my stomach more than the Jimmer shot."

Utah Jazz: Hayward, Miles, Burks have a key role in win--Deseret News
Utah Jazz beat Jimmer, Sacramento Kings 96-93--Salt Lake Tribune
Utah Jazz edge Sacramento Kings, 96-93, after Fredette misfires--Salt Lake Tribune
Butler Vs. Green Bay Final Score: Bulldogs Lose Second Straight, 80-68--SB Nation Indiana
Butler falls to Green Bay--The Indy Star
Bulldogs get out-toughed by Phoenix--The Indy Star
Butler left scrambling for seeding--Indy Star Butler Insider
Butler Loses To Green Bay, 80-68--Butler Blue Fever
Second Half Sinks

Hamm, Bulldogs Run Past

Cleveland State men's basketball team puts together a masterpiece: Terry Pluto--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cleveland State takes inside track to victory over Youngstown State: Vikings Insider--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cleveland State men's basketball team routs Youngstown State, moves into first in Horizon League--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Vikings Throw Ice on Penguins Horizon League Hopes With Blowout Win--Let's Go Vikes!
Coach Waters Postgame Comments Following YSU Win--Let's Go Vikes!
Superfans Talk About Big Win Over YSU--Let's Go Vikes!
Cleveland State 67, Youngstown State 47--Cleveland State Hoops
Cleveland State Crushes Youngstown State, 67-47--Vikings Ball
StatSheet Projects Cleveland State as NCAA Tournament Bubble Team 13 Seed: 01/29/2012--Vikings Ball
First Place Vikings Roll Past Youngstown State,

Vikings Come Up Short Against Detroit,

Spirited comeback falls short--Whoosh!Net
On this day 14 years ago - Jan 29, 1998--Flame Fanatic
Flames Collect Fourth Straight Win; Defeat Loyola

UIC Holds Off Loyola,

Women's basketball: Phoenix defense dominates, again--Green Bay Press Gazette
No. 12/9 Green Bay Wraps up First Half of League Play with 65-37 Win over

Men's basketball: UWGB wins at home again, downs Butler--Green Bay Press Gazette
Game #21: UWGB vs. Butler (live updates)--UWGB Basketball
Green Bay Picks Up Win Over Butler, 80-68--Phoenix Fever
Sykes, Post Play Send Phoenix Past Butler,

Shooting woes doom Panthers vs. Valpo--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Valpo Uses Defense To Spark Comeback In Knocking Off
Battered and bruised--PantherU
Milwaukee Beaten By Valparaiso Late, 55-52--UWM Update

Panthers fade down the stretch--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Weekend Postgame Report - Milwaukee vs. Butler/Valparaiso--Panther Blog Zone
Late Butler Run Hands Milwaukee Tough

Crusaders rally for crucial road win--The Post-Tribune
Valparaiso at Milwaukee, Jan. 28, Live Blog--Off The Mark
Richie Edwards, taunting and technical fouls--Off The Mark
Crusaders notch biggest men's basketball win of the season--The NWI Times
Valparaiso Wins Close One, 55-52 Over Milwaukee--Valpo Daily
StatSheet Projects Valparaiso as CIT Team: 01/29/2012--Valpo Daily
Weekend Wrap Up: Wisconsin Split--Section EE
Valpo Uses Defense For Comeback Win at

Women’s basketball: Green Bay cruises past Valparaiso--The Post-Tribune
Green Bay remains undefeated against VU women--The NWI Times
#12/9 Green Bay Downs Valpo to Close First

Commentary: Horizon League format heightens interest--Dayton Daily News
Raiders relying on second-half free throws--Dayton Daily News

Wright State freshman combines 25 points, 14 rebounds, 9 assists in win--Wright State University Sports
Women Win in Overtime at Youngstown

YSU women fall in OT--Youngstown Vindicator
Penguins win big, snap losing streak--The Jambar
Lady Penguins fall in overtime thriller--The Jambar
Nortey Forces Overtime, But Penguins Fall Short to

YSU struggles, falls to CSU in front of 6,313--Youngstown Vindicator
Down and out--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Youngstown State Beaten By Cleveland State Big, 67-47--Guin Report
Vikings send sold-out crowd packing--The Jambar
YSU Has Off-Night in Loss to Cleveland

Cleveland State Grabs Control of League Ladder, Middle Tightens on Saturday--Horizon League Network

Saturday, January 28, 2012

News On The Horizon 1/28/2012

Previewing your college hoops weekend--Ballin' is a Habit

Sat. 2:00 pm: Valparaiso @ Milwaukee: There are four teams sitting within a game at the top of the Horizon League, and these are two of them. The Panthers are at the end of the toughest portion of their schedule, going 1-2 against Youngstown State, Cleveland State and Butler. Valpo, on the other hand, lost their last game at Green Bay, dropping them a game off the pace. Depending on what happens in the Cleveland State game, the loser of this game could end up two games behind first place in the league standings.
Sat. 7:05 pm: Cleveland State @ Youngstown State: The Horizon is as muddled as any league in the country. How muddled? Cleveland State is currently sitting in first place in the league. Youngstown State is a game behind them and all alone in fourth place. The Vikings, who are my pick to win the league, won the first matchup between these two at Youngstown State. Will the Penguins get their revenge?

Alabama Falls Onto The Bubble--Basketball Predictions

Wisconsin-Milwaukee 53, Butler 42
Butler has had a shocking number of horrific offensive efficiency games so far this season. They had a 28.9 eFG% and scored 0.67 PPP. It's the fourth time this year they've had an eFG% under 35%, and the sixth time they've scored less than 0.85 PPP. To put that in perspective, they only hit either of those low marks twice all of last season, with one being the National Title game. The problem continues to be backcourt play, which has been so inconsistent without anybody able to hit a shot. They have four guards that play regular minutes (Nored, Stigall, Hopkins and Aldridge), and they're shooting a combined 28.2% on threes. I give Brad Stevens credit for mixing up his lineup and trying new players, but if you don't have anybody on the perimeter that can hit a shot then there's not a whole lot that the coach can do.

The Butler frontcourt is still scoring efficiently. Even here, Khyle Marshall and Andrew Smith combined for 20 points on 9-for-21 shooting, with 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 3 turnovers... not that bad. And Wisconsin-Milwaukee deserves some credit here. They are third in the nation in 3P% against (25.2%). Butler's offense actually has been (other than here) playing better over the past month than they were back in November and early December.

This loss drops Butler to 6-4 and, with a home loss to Cleveland State, basically out of the Horizon regular season race. The key the rest of the season is going to be trying to figure out their offensive issues. They're running out of time before the Horizon League tournament. Butler's next game will be tomorrow at Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Wisconsin-Milwaukee moves only a half game behind Cleveland State with this win. They lost to CSU in Cleveland but will have a return visit on February 14th. With a soft upcoming schedule, it's really not so unlikely that Milwaukee could win a second straight surprise Horizon League regular season title. They'll play Valparaiso at home tomorrow before games against Youngstown State and Wisconsin-Green Bay.

LeBron James Alley-Oops and LeBron James Dunks on Bill Walker and LeBron James Lobs it to Dwyane Wade--The Big Lead

Norris Cole’s no-look oop to LeBron

Men's Basketball Games of the Weekend 1/28 - 1/29--College Sports Madness

VALPARAISO at MILWAUKEE (2 p.m. Saturday at US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

It isn’t quite as bad as the A-10, but four teams are within a game of the top spot in the Horizon League. The two teams tied for second place are Valparaiso and Milwaukee, and they meet in Wisconsin this weekend. Valparaiso (14-8, 7-3) hopes it has better luck against another Wisconsin school than it did against Green Bay, which beat the Crusaders 75-60 to snap Valpo’s four-game winning streak. Valparaiso’s other league losses came against Wright State and Milwaukee, which downed Valpo 57-55. Milwaukee (14-8, 7-3) beat Butler 53-42 in its last contest as James Haarsma’s 12 points led the way. Milwaukee lost to Youngstown State and Cleveland State before this, so hopefully it has better luck against the Crusaders.

Utah Jazz: Al Jefferson, Raja Bell game-time decisions tonight--Deseret News

As for the shooting guard spot, several scenarios could unfold, including having C.J. Miles or Josh Howard start at small forward with Gordon Hayward moving over to the off-guard spot. Rookie Alec Burks is another shooting guard starter possibility.

Utah Jazz let game slip away vs. Dallas Mavericks--Salt Lake Tribune

Wing players including Bell, Miles and Gordon Hayward said they’ve already absorbed one crucial point. After watching big men Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson carry Utah through its early-season run, the Jazz have become too reliant on the duo to will the team to victory.

Millsap delivered again Friday, scoring a team-high 20 points, while Jefferson played through an ankle injury to pour in 19. But as Dallas (12-8) continually mixed an all-around offensive attack that saw speedy reserve point guard Rodrigue Beaubois (game-high 22 points) rip apart Utah’s interior at the same time Jason Terry, Lamar Odom and Vince Carter fired away from the perimeter, the Jazz continued to perform as a two-man show.

Hayward and Bell disappeared from Utah’s offense; Miles was frustrated by Dallas’ length and size; Jazz point guard Devin Harris failed to score in the second half and took just one shot after recording 10 points during the initial two quarters.

At a Glance: Butler at Green Bay--The Indy Star
Butler hears BracketBuster foe on Monday--The Indy Star
Bumpy week for Bulldogs--Indy Star Butler Insider
Butler (12-10) Battles Green Bay (8-12)--Butler Blue Fever
Butler Wraps Up Road Stretch At Green

WHITE OUT: Bulldogs Host Milwaukee

It lacks punch, but Heat-Knicks still a heavyweight bout--Miami Herald

In the second quarter Friday, Norris Cole, displaying a deft touch, made a no-look, behind-the-shoulder alley oop lob to James for a dunk. In the fourth quarter, Cole grabbed a steal and fed James for a spinning drive to the basket.

A Norris Cole only comes around once in a life time, says Cleveland State coach Gary Waters--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Youngstown State men's basketball team looks to sweep Cleveland State--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cleveland State men's basketball team has chance to distinguish itself: Local College Basketball Insider--Cleveland Plain Dealer
On this day 12 years ago - Jan 27, 2000--Vikings Ball
Updated: Cleveland State (17-4) and Youngstown State (11-8) Square Off--Vikings Ball
Viking Notes: Cleveland State Opens Second Half of Horizon League Play At Youngstown State--Cleveland State Hoops

Preview capsules for this weekend's local college basketball games--Cleveland Plain Dealer


Cleveland State vs. Detroit

Tipoff: 2 p.m. at Wolstein Center.

Notable: Cleveland State (8-11, 3-5 Horizon League) got a four-game homestand off to a poor start with a loss, but looks to reverse that trend against Detroit (9-11, 5-3). Tickets are $1 to "Pack the House."

Next for CSU: Thursday vs. Butler, 5 p.m.

Vikings Host Detroit In Pack The House

The Ray McCallum Jr. Show--The Mid-Majority
College hoops roundup: Detroit Mercy holds off UIC--The Detroit Free Press
On this day 11 years ago - Jan 27, 2001--Titans Update
UIC vs Detroit: Recap Notes--Titans Update
Detroit Tops UIC, 70-66--Titans Update
Titans Douse Flames,

Titans Look For Split In

Detroit holds off Illinois-Chicago 70-66--The Chicago Tribune
Detroit holds off Illinois-Chicago 70-66--Daily Herald
UIC vs Detroit: Recap Notes--Flame Fanatic
UIC Sinking After 70-66 Loss To Detroit--Flame Fanatic
Flames Drop Another Heartbreaker, 70-66 at

Flames Ready For Cross-City Rival Loyola on

Loyola drops 9th straight, matches lowest point total of season--The Chicago Tribune
Wright State pulls away from Loyola 47-41--Daily Herald
Loyola (Chicago) vs Wright State: Recap Notes--LU Wolf Ball
Loyola (Chicago) Tripped Up By Wright State, 47-41--LU Wolf Ball
Loyola Drops Defensive Battle At Wright State,

Ramblers Face UIC In Saturday

Today's Horizon League women's basketball preview: UWGB vs. Valparaiso--Green Bay Press Gazette

Men's basketball: Numbers explain UWGB's home wins--Green Bay Press Gazette
Green Bay (8-12) Faces Butler (12-10)--Phoenix Fever
Phoenix Fans: Vote for Green Bay to Appear on
Green Bay to Host Throwback Night Against Butler on

PantherU Poll: Valpo--PantherU
Panthers Square Off With Valpo In Saturday Afternoon

Panther Men, Women Both Back In Action This

Panthers Look For Unbeaten Road Swing At

VU women brace for No. 9 Green Bay--The Post-Tribune

Valparaiso faces biggest test with visit to Milwaukee--The Post-Tribune
VU men looking for quick redemption--The NWI Times
Valparaiso (14-8) and Milwaukee (14-8) Square Off--Valpo Daily
Hall of Fame Homer--Section EE
Crusaders Look to Rebound at Milwaukee

Valpo Women Host Nationally-Ranked Green Bay Saturday

WSU's offense wakes up in second half to top Loyola--Dayton Daily News
Raiders keeping eye on close league race--Dayton Daily News
WSU's Mays playing hard despite pains--Dayton Daily News
Wright State overcomes slow offensive game to beat Loyola, 47-41--Wright State University Sports
“We were all yellin’ at each other. “--Through the Arch
Raiders slip past Ramblers
Loyola (Chicago) vs Wright State: Recap Notes--Rowdy Review
Wright State Wins 47-41 Over Loyola (Chicago)--Rowdy Review
Men Rally for 47-41 Win Over

All eyes on YSU--Youngstown Vindicator
YSU on the Horizon of first place--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
On this day 11 years ago - Jan 27, 2001--Guin Report
Youngstown State (11-8) Takes On Cleveland State (17-4)--Guin Report

Detroit, Wright State Climb Above .500 with Friday Victories--Horizon League Network

Friday, January 27, 2012

News On The Horizon 1/27/2012

Utah Jazz-Toronto Raptors: Report card--Deseret News

Forwards: Paul Millsap continues to build an All-Star resume. He carried the Jazz with 31 points, 11 rebounds and a 3-pointer that forced the second overtime. Gordon Hayward simply can't buy a bucket right now. He was 1-for-9 overall, and 0-for-5 from 3-point range with three airballs. Hayward usually finds other ways to contribute when he isn't shooting well, but not so much on this night.

Grade: B

Utah Jazz small forwards come up small in production--Deseret News

Gordon Hayward, Josh Howard and C.J. Miles were a combined 5-of-25 from the field — ouch! — and basically couldn't buy a basket between 'em. Hayward was 1-of-9, including an 0-for-5 night from 3-point range, while Howard went 0-for-5 from the field in a rare unproductive performance for the 6-foot-7 veteran.

And although Miles managed to score 11 points, he was just 4-of-11 from the floor.

"It's frustrating for me (because) I'm not shooting the ball well and I shoot so many in practice and I see them go in all the time," said Hayward, who did grab seven rebounds. "It's just something I'm working on and shoot it with more confidence."

Of course, it's tough to gain any confidence in your shot when you're struggling the way Hayward has. The second-year pro is now shooting just 37.6 percent (44-of-117) for the season, and only 23.1 percent (9-of-39) from beyond the arc.
Corbin admitted he was surprised to see his small forward trio of Hayward, Howard and Miles all struggle so much with their shooting — especially on the same night.

"It's just one of those things," he said. "We've got to find a way to get better. We've got to keep working at it. And I don't think the three of them will have a bad night on the same night much."

Utah Jazz shooters ice cold from the 3-point line--Salt Lake Tribune

As the Jazz continue to misfire from the 3-point line, the scrutiny of Gordon Hayward intensifies.

He shot 47.3 percent as a rookie and, this year, was expected to be a long-range shooter who stretches the defense.

Instead, Hayward has missed 30 of his 39 3-point attempts.

Since scoring 19 points in a 106-96 win at Denver on Jan. 15, Hayward has scored 18 points on 6-for-27 shooting.

In that four-game stretch, he is 0-for-10 on 3-pointers, including 0-for-5 against Toronto.

“He struggled a little bit — didn’t make shots,” Corbin said. “He’s not the only one but he was one guy, I think, who was thrown off a little by their zone [defense].

“He had a couple of good looks early and he turned them down looking for something better. That throws his rhythm off. … But he’ll be OK.”

Before Thursday morning’s practice, Hayward spoke quietly, vowed to keep working and suggested he’s thinking too much about which shots to take and which ones to turn down.

“That’s part of being a young guy — part of growing, man,” Corbin said. “He comes in early and works. He stays late and works on his shot. ... He’s a capable shooter. He’s just got to make them in a game.”

When it comes to struggling from the 3-point line, Hayward isn’t alone.
Hayward played a season-high 36 minutes against Toronto.

Given his struggles on offense, did Corbin consider going to Josh Howard, Alec Burks or Miles down the stretch?

“When you lose a game, you think a lot of different things,” Corbin said. “That’s one of the things I thought about. Do I leave my bench alone? Should I have done this or should we have run something different? When you lose a game, you critique everything and we’ll continue to do that.”

Bulldog bust: Butler's offense struggles in Milwaukee loss--The Indy Star
Bulldogs must buck up--Indy Star Butler Insider
VF on hold, migrating south--Victory Firelight
Butler vs Milwaukee: Recap Notes--Butler Blue Fever
Butler Beaten By Milwaukee, 53-42--Butler Blue Fever
Cold Shooting Sinks

Bulldogs Fall To Unbeaten Green

First Place CSU Heads to Youngstown State For Key Contest--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Viking rebound--Youngstown Vindicator

Vikings Fall To Wright State,

Detroit (11-11) Faces UIC (6-14)--Titans Update
Former Titan Green Honored at Davis Ellis
Detroit Aims to Keep Rolling

Titans Fall To Hot-Shooting Youngstown

UIC at Detroit--The Chicago Tribune
Hot Mays: Flame-retardant shooter--Whoosh!Net
UIC (6-14) vs. Detroit (11-11)--Flame Fanatic
Flames Trek to Detroit Eyeing Season

Loyola at Wright State--The Chicago Tribune
Loyola (Chicago) (5-15) Squares Off With Wright State (10-12)--LU Wolf Ball
Ramblers Wrap Up Road Trip At Wright State Friday

Women's basketball: UWGB crushes Bulldogs--Green Bay Press Gazette
No. 12/9 Green Bay Defense Stops Butler to Improve to
Phoenix Looks to Remain Unbeaten, Wrapping up Road Trip at

Men's basketball: UWGB answers call, tops first-place Valparaiso--Green Bay Press Gazette
Game #20: UWGB vs. Valparaiso (live updates)--UWGB Basketball
On this day 7 years ago - Jan 26, 2005--Phoenix Fever
Valparaiso vs Green Bay: Recap Notes--Phoenix Fever
Green Bay Gets Needed Win Over Valparaiso, 75-60--Phoenix Fever
Cerroni Leads Phoenix to Win Over League-Leading

Panthers their balance--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Postgame Report: Milwaukee at Valparaiso--Panther Blog Zone
UWM Puts Away Victory Over Valparaiso From Long

Panthers' smothering defense chokes Bulldogs--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Ugly but they’ll take it--PantherU
Work has just begun--PantherU
Butler vs Milwaukee: Recap Notes--UWM Update
Milwaukee Beats Butler, 53-42--UWM Update
StatSheet Projects Milwaukee as CIT Team: 01/27/2012--UWM Update
Milwaukee (14-8) vs. Valparaiso (14-8)--UWM Update
Defense Leads The Way As Panthers Pull Away From

Women’s basketball: Valparaiso’s offensive woes continue--The Post-Tribune
Crusaders rally but fall to Milwaukee women's basketball team--The NWI Times
Valpo Falls at Home to Milwaukee Thursday

Valparaiso starts key trip with a loss to Green Bay--The Post-Tribune
Graduate hoop transfers offer teams immediate help--The NWI Times
VU men trail from start to finish in loss at Green Bay--The NWI Times
Live from Resch Center: Valparaiso vs. Green Bay (MBB)--Inside VU Sports
Tom Izzo worried that Brandon Wood-type transfers could become national problem--The Detroit Free Press
Valparaiso vs Green Bay: Recap Notes--Valpo Daily
Valparaiso Drops One To Green Bay, 75-60--Valpo Daily
Valparaiso (14-8) and Milwaukee (14-8) Square Off--Valpo Daily
Boggs’ Career High Not Enough as Valpo Falls at Green

Preview: Wright State vs. Loyola--Dayton Daily News
WSU coach wants team to spread ball around--Dayton Daily News
Raiders face tough league road games--Dayton Daily News
Wright State (10-12) Battles Loyola (Chicago) (5-15)--Rowdy Review

Wright State women back alone in second place after road win--Wright State University Sports
Annual trip gives students a chance to travel in style--The Guardian
Women lose to Detroit, look for improved consistency in play--The Guardian
Women Win at Cleveland

Penguins tie school record for 3s in victory--Youngstown Vindicator
Kenya Middlebrooks Breaks Single-Game 3-Point Record in 80-67 Win Over

Men's Basketball Hosts Horizon League Leader Cleveland

Milwaukee, Green Bay Collect Wins to Further Close Standings--Horizon League Network
First Place On Line Throughout Weekend--Horizon League Network

Road Teams Take Three Games on Thursday Night in Women's Basketball--Horizon League Network