Thursday, December 24, 2015

News On The Horizon 12/24/2015

Trojans, Mavericks reminiscent of 1997-98 runs by UIC, Detroit--Hoopville
The Morning Dish – Wednesday, December 23, 2015--Hoopville
If your pleasure is single OT games, there were eight of them, from top-ranked Michigan State’s 99-93 escape from Oakland to Drexel and Penn’s 53-52 game (tied at 44 after regulation) eventually won by the Dragons. If you like two overtimes, there were two of those (Houston 94-89 over Wyoming and Marist edging Brown 84-83).

If you wanted three overtimes, you had it with Canisius and Louisiana-Monroe, where in one of the wildest games you’ll ever see the Golden Griffins came back from 13 points down with 1:02 left in regulation. Each team had a chance but failed to win in the first two overtimes with free throws in the final seconds, and then Canisius blanked ULM 12-0 in the third extra session.

As mentioned, No. 1 Michigan State almost went down in its first game without Denzel Valentine. The Spartans trailed by 13 at halftime before the two teams settled into a terrific back-and-forth at the end of regulation and in overtime. It’s possible the only thing that kept the game from going longer was a very poor charging foul on Oakland’s Kahlil Felder (37 points, nine assists) late in overtime, most noticeable for a lack of consistency as it came immediately after the exact same call had been ignored on the other end the play before.
Side Dishes
When Bo Ryan retired and Greg Gard was named Wisconsin interim coach, it left an opening on the Badgers’ coaching staff. Gard had said he would only fill the spot if he could find the right fit, but on Tuesday it was announced that Howard Moore will join the staff. It’s hard to think of a more perfect fit than Moore, a player and graduate of Wisconsin who also was an assistant with Gard under Ryan and recently spent five years as the head coach at Illinois-Chicago.

Today’s menu:
A pair of Wisconsin state schools challenge Big Ten foes on the road as Wisconsin-Milwaukee-already a winner at Wisconsin-faces Minnesota while Wisconsin-Green Bay faces the Badgers (9 p.m., BTN).
The Morning Dish – Thursday, December 24, 2015--Hoopville
Side Dishes
Greg Gard made his debut as Wisconsin’s interim coach, and the Badgers ran out to a huge lead on Wisconsin-Green Bay before the Phoenix made for some nervous moments late. Wisconsin eventually won 84-79.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee won for the second time this year against a Big Ten team, defeating Minnesota 74-65. Terrific junior college transfer guard Jordan Johnson nearly notched a triple-double (19 points, 10 assists, nine rebounds), while the Golden Gophers lost for the third time this month at home.
LATE NIGHT SNACKS: BYU’s Fischer, Davidson’s Gibbs go off--CollegeBasketballTalk
When discussing the Horizon League be sure to include Milwaukee with Valparaiso and Oakland as contenders. The Panthers moved to 9-4 on the season with a nine-point win at Minnesota.

Bowling Green pulls away from Cleveland State 62-47--CBS Sports
VIDEO: Shocker players discuss win over Nevada--Wichita Eagle
Day after: Wichita State 98, Nevada 69--Wichita Eagle
How the game turned: Shockers center Shaq Morris scored the game’s first two baskets, blocked a shot and passed to Evan Wessel for a layup to give WSU an 8-7 lead.

That sequence started WSU’s big men on their way to a productive night. Morris scored 12 points and grabbed four rebounds. Anton Grady finished with nine points and seven rebounds.
“The bigs did a great job being aggressive and attacking their inside presence,” Grady said. “We just did a great job as a team just attacking their strength and that took it away from them.”
Rotation watch: Morris and Grady grabbed the important minutes in the post. John Robert Simon earned some run in the first half and responded with a three-pointer.
Wamukota, who sat on the bench Tuesday, is also battling back stiffness. His long-term absence would rob WSU of a valuable defender and rebounder. If Grady and Morris are as productive as they were on Tuesday, his minutes will be limited.
Wichita State simplifies offense to adjust to demands of 30-second shot clock--Wichita Eagle
With VanVleet’s left hamstring at its strongest since late October and the return of center Anton Grady, the Shockers can take time off for Christmas and look forward to the potential for stability in 2016.
Buzzer thoughts: Cards overwhelm Utah Valley--Louisville Courier-Journal
U of L (11-1) left Utah Valley (5-8) in the dust by scoring easily against the Wolverines’ zone defense. The Cards hit seven 3-pointers and shot 69 percent from the floor in the first half while surging ahead 59-31 at halftime. Louisville finished 31 of 56 (55.4 percent) from the field, led by Trey Lewis (21 points), who was named MVP of the Minardi Classic.
**In addition to scoring a team-high 21 points (7-10 FGs, 3-6 3-pointers), Lewis also had seven rebounds, and as a 6-2 guard, he deserves praise for the way he pursues boards and pulls them down effectively at the peak of his jump.
Sullivan | Out of cupcakes, U of L moves on to UK--Louisville Courier-Journal
Michigan State's Bryn Forbes--The Detroit News
Without Valentine, Spartans hold off Grizzlies in OT--The Detroit News
Poor shooting dooms Cleveland State in loss to Bowling Green--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cleveland State Vikings Set to Battle Bowling Green in 1pm Tip--NEO Sports Insiders
CSU Vikings Fall in Afternoon Affair to Bowling Green 62-47--NEO Sports Insiders
Preview: BGSU vs. Cleveland State--Cleveland State Hoops
Vikings Fall to Bowling Green,

Cosby scores 17 to help Western Kentucky beat Detroit 79-74--CBS Sports
Detroit hoops falls 79-74 to Western Kentucky--The Detroit Free Press
Titans Fall In Final Seconds At Western

No. 1 Michigan State rallies to top Oakland in overtime without Denzel Valentine--CollegeBasketballTalk
Michigan State survives Kay Felder's onslaught to remain unbeaten--The Dagger
Oakland's Kay Felder posting big stats despite his small stature--Eye On College Basketball
Observations: Beating Kansas tonight could save San Diego State's season--Eye On College Basketball
Kay Felder gets his chance to shine Tuesday against Michigan State: Who is Felder?

If you haven't seen him you're missing out, but you don't have to for much longer.

Oakland's 5-foot-9 point guard is the best player in college basketball that nobody knows about and is coming off a game in which he torched Washington for 38 points, nine assists, and six rebounds.

After the Golden Grizzlies' win over the Huskies, Washington coach Lorenzo Romar compared him to Boston Celtics' guard Isaiah Thomas.

Now Felder (25.9 points, 8.9 assists, and 4.7 rebounds) -- who has scored 20 or more points in every game he's played in this season -- and his teammates get a chance to slay the giant Tuesday as they take on top-ranked Michigan State on Tuesday at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Why is this such is a big deal and one of my headlines today?

The last two times these two teams have played at The Palace the Spartans have only beaten the Golden Grizzlies by a combined five points and Michigan State was ranked in the top 10 each time.

Oakland coach Greg Kampe told CBS Sports this week that the game Tuesday is sold out and an industry source told CBS Sports that the Pistons didn't even sell out this season when they hosted LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Another reason why this game is a big deal?

The Golden Grizzlies are the type of team that can win multiple games in the NCAA Tournament.

Many people have already anointed Valpo as the team to beat in the Horizon League and that's for good reason, but the Crusaders are going to have their hands full with Oakland.

Kampe has turned the Golden Grizzlies' program into a mid-major version of Iowa State and has several transfers -- Sherron Dorsey-Walker (Iowa State), Percy Gibson (Iowa State), Martez Walker (Texas), and Max Hooper (St. John's) -- that began their careers at high-major programs.

Add Felder and you've got a heck of a team.

Kampe has been close to upsetting Michigan State several times in the past, but now he's got a player that is capable of being the most dangerous player on the floor in crunch time since Denzel Valentine is out with an injury.

Will Felder get that type of opportunity?

We'll find out Tuesday in Auburn Hills.
Michigan State escapes Oakland's upset bid, improves to 13-0 on season--Eye On College Basketball
Podcast: Who will win Saturday's Louisville-Kentucky game at Rupp?--Eye On College Basketball
Oakland's Kay Felder was great Tuesday night against Michigan State. (USATSI)

I got with Matt Norlander and Sam Vecenie on Wednesday to discuss a variety of college basketball topics and try to answer some questions. Among them:

• How awesome was Oakland's Kay Felder against Michigan State?
No. 1 Michigan State beats Oakland 99-93 in OT--CBS Sports
The top 11 candidates so far for Player of the Year in college basketball--CBS Sports
11. Kay Felder, junior, Oakland.

Rank on our preseason top 101 list: 73

Signature performance: It came Tuesday night, against the No. 1 team the country. Felder had 37 points, nine assists and three rebounds -- and almost willed his team to a win over shorthanded Michigan State.

Case file: Felder is averaging 26.9 points, 8.9 assists, 4.5 rebounds and shooting 40 percent from 3-point range. His points average is second-best in the country to Howard's James Daniel (28.4), while his assists average is college basketball's best by almost one full assist per game. (Milwaukee's Jordan Johnson is putting up 8.0 per game, good enough for second in the country.) My colleague, Gary Parrish, wrote a nice profile on Felder earlier this week. There's a good story there. Considering no player has ever ended the season leading the nation in points and assists, and the fact that Felder is flirting with that right now, we had to include him here.
Game Recap: Oakland Golden Grizzlies can't finish off No. 1 Michigan State Spartans--Mid-Major Madness
No. 1 MSU edges Oakland 99-93 in OT thriller at Palace--The Detroit Free Press
Despite Felder's 37 points, MSU played great D on him--The Detroit Free Press
Oakland's Felder is quick to watch film for fixes--The Detroit Free Press
Felder shines for Oakland on big stage--The Detroit News
Oakland announces new apparel deal with Nike--The Oakland Press
No moral victories for Kampe, Grizzlies--The Oakland Press
Golden Grizzlies cannot complete the upset of Spartans--Oakland Post
Twitter Reacts to Kay Felder's Performance vs. No. 1 Michigan

Snider, Illinois-Chicago beat Purdue Calumet 91-74--CBS Sports
UIC ends losing streak with win against Purdue-Calumet--The Catch and Shoot
Snider Helps UIC Shoot Past Purdue Calumet,

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: SMU looks to remain undefeated against Colorado--CollegeBasketballTalk

Wisconsin will be playing their first game with Greg Gard as their head coach when they host Green Bay at 9:00 p.m.
Wisconsin holds of charging Green-Bay 84-79--CBS Sports
Wisconsin avoids collapse, hangs on to defeat Green Bay--Bucky's 5th Quarter
Wisconsin holds off UWGB for Gard’s first win--Green Bay Press Gazette
Green Bay's Valiant Comeback Almost Enough to Top

UWGB beats Belmont with another late comeback--Green Bay Press Gazette

Johnson's near triple-double leads Milwaukee over Minnesota--CBS Sports
Johnson's near triple-double leads UWM over Minnesota--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Outside game could give Panthers edge over Minnesota--PantherU
Johnson’s Near Triple-Double Sparks Panthers Past

Hiedeman, Golden Eagles earn bragging rights--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Hot-Shooting Golden Eagles Take Down
Northern Kentucky beats Indiana-Kokomo 88-44--CBS Sports
NKU men blister the nets from long range, post third straight win with rout of Kokomo--Northern Kentucky Tribune
Norse Knock Down 13 Threes in Rout of IU-Kokomo--River City News
GALLERY: NKU delivers a beating to IU Kokomo--The Northerner
@NKUNorseMBB cruises by IU-Kokomo for third-straight home

Wright State dumps Murray State 65-49--CBS Sports
Three takeaways for Murray State in 65-49 loss to Wright State--Mid-Major Madness
Karena strong inside as Wright State wins third straight--Dayton Daily News
Wright State Men Defeat Murray State to Win Third

UIC & WSU Score Home Wins on Tuesday Night--Horizon League Network
UWM Victorious at Big Ten Foe Again; NKU Wins Easily--Horizon League Network

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