College Hoops 101

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By: David Kay

College Hoops 101 is a weekly article centering around all things college basketball.  David Kay looks back at the previous week, glances forward to what is ahead in the up-coming days, and keeps track of how many games I have watched this season in hopes of topping my mark from a year ago (274.)

This week’s College Hoops 101 comes one day late due to a long holiday weekend that left me exhausted and with 12 games loaded on my DVR.  This week’s edition breaks down Marquette’s heart-breaking losses, how stupid the four arrested player from Tennessee were, and the shot of the year so far this college basketball season.

Rewind
-Think of a way a team could suffer a heart-breaking loss.  Use your basketball knowledge to create any crazy scenario your mind can think of.  Got one? Okay, good.  Odds are Marquette has lost in the fashion in the past couple years.  It is becoming painful, not being a Chicago Cubs fan-painful, but painful nonetheless.

Twice this week, the Golden Eagles saw a lead disappear in the final seconds of the game.  First, at the hands of Da’Sean Butler’s turnaround jump shot and then Saturday with Scottie Reynolds extremely intelligent play of getting his defender in the air, drawing the foul, and hitting the jumper.  That is four times this season that MU has apparently had a game in hand only to let it slip away and lose by four points or less.  You cannot teach late-game experience, but if you could, I would start a collection to hire that person to teach Marquette how to finish games.  We could be 13-1 right now with two huge conference wins against West Virginia and Villanova to start the season.  Instead, we are 8-5.  At least we have proven that we can compete with some of the best talent in college basketball.

-Tennessee is now in major trouble after four key players including Tyler Smith were arrested after being pulled over and the police finding a firearm, marijuana, and opened alcohol in the car.  Dumb.  Now the Vols start SEC play with six scholarship players and three walk-ons eligible to play.

-Indiana received some terrible news when the leading freshman scorer in the country, Maurice Creek was lost for the season due to a knee fracture.  Give Tom Crean credit though for letting the injury affect the team’s morale as they gutted out a nice home win against Michigan in their first game without Creek.

-Hands down the shot of the year so far:

-Someday I will vote in the AP poll.  For now, here’s my top 10…
1. Kansas, 13-0 (Last Week Ranking: 1)
2. Texas, 13-0 (LWR: 2)
3. Kentucky, 15-0 (LWR: 4)
4. Purdue, 13-0 (LWR: 5)
5. Villanova, 12-1 (LWR: 7)
6. Duke, 11-1 (LWR: 8)
7. Syracuse, 13-1 (LWR: 4)
8. West Virginia, 11-1 (LWR: 6)
9. Kansas State, 13-1 (LWR: NR)
10. Georgetown, 11-1 (LWR: NR)

Fast Forward
Wisconsin at Michigan State (Wed. 5:30, BTN)
Purdue at Wisconsin (Sat. 12:30, BTN)

Shame, shame, shame on people for once again under-estimating how good of a college basketball coach Bo Ryan is.  The Badgers are one of the surprise teams in the country and have a huge stretch this week that will be a true test as to whether or not they are a Big Ten title contender.

Memphis at Syracuse (Wed. 6:00, ESPN2)
Not sure what happened to the ‘Cuse Saturday in their home loss to Pitt but the Orange need to bounce back against a Memphis team badly in need of a marquee non-conference win.

UNLV at BYU (Wed. 9:00)
UNLV at New Mexico (Sat. 3:00)

How about some Mountain West Conference love?  All three teams would be in the tourney if it started today and these early games will be huge for setting an early-season leader.

Kansas at Tennessee (Sun. 3:30, CBS)
Will the four suspended Vol players be re-instated for this game?  Bruce Pearl says it is possible.  If not, Tennessee is going to get slaughtered.

The Drive
Games watched through 1/4: 117
Games watched through 1/4/2009: 94
Teams I have seen play this season: 98

Games watched this past week (home teams in CAPS): 12

PITT 65, DePaul 52
Keep an eye out for Pitt’s Ashton Gibbs.  He definitely has “league” written all over him.

BYU 99, ARIZONA 69
This phrase appropriately described how this game went: “Fredette is absolutely banging the ‘Cats from deep.” –FSN color analyst Corey Williams

#6 WEST VIRGINIA 63, Marquette 62
Read the Rewind section for more on this game.

#3 KENTUCKY 104, Hartford 61
John Wall breaks a Kentucky record by dishing out 16 assists.  Seriously, he makes me moist.

CINCINNATI 71, #10 UConn 69
I really do not understand how other NBA Draft site’s have Lance Stephenson as a mid-second round pick.  He is this year’s Tyreke Evans.  Yup, I said it.

#23 WISCONSIN 65, #15 Ohio State 43
In typical Badger fashion, a dominating defensive performance.  The win is even more impressive considering Jon Leuer was limited due to foul trouble.

USC 56, Arizona 50
Man, do the Trojans get after it on the defensive end.  They have won eight straight and have not given up more than 56 points during that streak.  Too bad they are not post-season eligible this season due to the O.J. Mayo situation from two years ago.

#22 Gonzaga 85, Illinois 83
How did Dominique Keller’s overtime forcing three not get an “ONIONS” call from Bill Rafftery, but Matt Bouldin’s game-tying triple with a minute-plus left in OT did?

#4 PURDUE 77, #6 West Virginia 62
This game doesn’t count for my total on the year since the crazy Northwestern/Auburn bowl game went late and ESPN picked up the coverage of this game midway through the first half.  The Boilermakers looked great while the Mountaineers struggle for a fourth straight game.

#8 Villanova 74, MARQUETTE 72
Read the Rewind section for more on this game.

#3 KENTUCKY 71, Louisville 62
This game was extremely chippy early on with a lot of trash talking and pushing.  The Cards’ first field goal came at the 10:48 mark in the first half.  Their second one came at 5:48, yet L’Ville only lost by nine.

Wisconsin 63, PENN STATE 46
It is time to start serious discussions about Trevon Hughes being the best point guard in the Big Ten.

Pitt 74, CINCINNATI 71
Jaime Dixon has done an outstanding job in re-loading this Pitt team without DeJuan Blair, Sam Young, and LeVance Fields.

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