The Saint Mary's Gaels played a game on Tuesday which was noticed by virtually no one. The official attendance was 2,033. The game wasn't televised, and college basketball fans aren't paying attention because it's Exams Week and there are few games worth paying attention to.
The Saint Mary's game was no exception. They were hosting 0-5 Jackson State, a team from the weakest basketball conference in the nation - the SWAC. Saint Mary's was off to a pedestrian start which included losses to Pacific and Georgia Tech. So it's hard to fault fans for not paying attention.
But what happened on the court was worth seeing. The Gaels offense was ruthlessly efficient. Following the game Coach Randy Bennett said," we played really efficient offensively. I don't even know what the stats say, but I just know we played right offensively."
His comment about not knowing what the stats say made me want to look into them. So what do they say?no comments
Everyone on the interwebs has going on and on about the date - 12/12/12. People are publishing lists that have to do with twelve - the twelve best this, the twelve worst that. And then there's this angle:
12-12-12 I bet lots of ladies are trying to push out their babies today.— Luke Loucks (@lukeloucks) December 12, 2012
But one person who probably isn't thrilled about the date is former Duke legend and current Rhode Island assistant coach Bobby Hurley.no comments
1. For as much as a blowout as this was, imagine the game without Dudrecous Nelson. He scored 27 of Jackson State's 67 points, and had four of their seven assists. The transfer from Ole Miss had to sit out the first semester, but in his second game back he gave Jackson State at least a slimmer of hope that things will improve from their six win season (vs Division I teams) from a year ago.
2. Senior Matthew Dellavedova had his second straight 31-point game. And he's scored those 62 points off of a crazy efficient 24 shots, making 9-13 2s (69%), 10-13 3s (77%), and 14-15 FTs (93%). He's now averaging 19.8 points per game and has made 49% of his 3s and 93% of his free throws.no comments
Every year there is a schism between college basketball writers, and every year that schism is best illustrated by the thoughts on a single player. Last year the player was Mike Scott.
Group A (more in a moment) felt that Scott was a great player – many even voted him an All American. But when Group B mentioned him in the same breath as Thomas Robinson and Anthony Davis, Group A’s reactions ranged from dismissive to shocked to insulting.
This year that player is Marcus Smart. Group B feels that Smart is a great player – many (if the season ended today) would vote for him for post season awards. But when Group B fails to mention him in the same breath as Cody Zeller or Anthony Bennett, Group A’s reactions range from dismissive to shocked to insulting.no comments
Not sure what happens at the end of this play, but it's a good thing they're playing this game in Minnesota, because I'm pretty sure whatever it is is illegal in many southern states.
The conventional wisdom was that Mike Scott was Virginia basketball. He attempted over 31% of Virginia's shots when he was on the floor, which was more than every ACC player not named Terrell-Gimme-the-rock-Stoglin. Every time he touched the ball he got double teamed, but that was fine, because he scored anyway. He didn't turn the ball over. He didn't commit fouls. He got to the line 80 times more than the next closest Cavalier.
He was a dominant force in the ACC, and now he's gone. Luckily, before he left, he gave me the material for one of the most widely read stories to appear on Run the Floor.
Entering the season, it was logical to think that Virginia would take a step back. They finished the season ranked No. 33 at Ken Pomeroy's site, and began this year ranked No. 64. And things were rough right out of the gate. They kicked off the year with a loss to George Mason when they had a four point lead with under five to play. After a close win over Fairfield, Virginia was put away late by Delaware, a team which has since gone 1-6. At that point Virginia had dropped to No. 79 in the Pomeroy's, and it appeared that the Mike Scott hangover was in full effect.no comments
As a reminder to those who are inevitable going to spam my twitter account with outrage that your guy isn't on this list - this has nothing to do with who I think are the top freshmen in the nation. It's all based on what they've done on the court, to date. And no, one great game on national tv does not qualify your guy.
And now we're five weeks into the season. We're getting somewhere. Guys can't live off of three or four good games anymore. Now there's some data!
1. Anthony Bennett, UNLV (last week: 1)
Bennett continues to impress,and remains at No. 1 for the 3rd straight week. And now that Mike Moser is out with a horrible elbow injury, Bennett will be called upon to up his possession %. In two games this week he averaged 21.5 points and 9.5 boards. He also went to the line 19 times. Oh, and he did this.
2. Nerlens Noel, Kentucky (lw: 6)
I'm not sure that there's a more impressive stat stuffer in the nation than Nerlens Noel. In two wins this week he averaged 10 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6 blocks and 1.5 steals. His block % has now risen to 11.1%, and with a few more good games he'll begin to approach Anthony Davis' ridiculous 13.8% from last year.no comments
Most college basketball fans intuitively understand win shares. Football guys freak out when their team loses, whereas basketball guys understand that teams lose. Indiana, for example, is projected to be favored in every remaining game, but that doesn't mean they'll go undefeated. In fact, the odds are overwhelmingly against them going undefeated in the regular season.
A 15-point favorite is going to win roughly 90% of the time. So if a team played 10 straight games in which they were 15-point favorites, the odds are that they would go 9-1. It's just math.
Those are win shares. Teams lose.
Heading into Saturday there were 18 teams which had yet to drop a game. Four lost, leaving us with 14 undefeateds. Using Ken Pomeroy's projected point spreads for all 14 teams' remaining games, I was able to generate a rough look at the odds facing them if they want to be the first team since Indiana in 1976 to go undefeated. This obviously only considers the regular season, as post-season matchups won't be determined for months.
The list is ordered from the strongest team in the nation (according to Pomeroy) and working down from there. Does Indiana, since they're the best team, have the best chance of going undefeated?no comments
UIC (that's the University of Illinois at Chicago) ruined Colorado State's vacation in the Windy City over the weekend by upsetting the Rams, 64-55. The win cemented the Flames (their mascot is a reference to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which originated a few blocks from campus) as a legitimate mid-major contender from the newly Butler-less Horizon League and adds to a resume that also includes wins over Iona, Northwestern and Mercer.
In the Horizon League's preseason poll UIC was picked to finish second to last in head coach Howard Moore's third season after winning seven and then eight games in his first two seasons. Now, at 8-1 after winning seven straight, a week after they debuted at No. 22 in the CollegeInsider.com mid-major top 25 and at No. 15 in the ESPN College Basketball Nation's Mid-Major Power Rankings, the Flames are smashing expectations.
Here's a look inside the numbers.no comments