Topic: top 25
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December 3, 2012 at 1:01 PM
As expected, the pollsters punished Colorado after its loss at Wyoming and dropped the Buffaloes out of the top 25 rankings. CU was No. 19 last week in the AP and coaches’ polls.
Arizona (5-0) is the only Pac-12 team in the polls and the Wildcats climbed to No. 8 in both rankings, which is up one spot from last week.
Oregon (7-1) received votes as did Colorado (6-1).
Meanwhile, in the all-important RPI ranking the Buffaloes are No. 5. Despite two straight wins, Washington fell from No. 18 to 36.
Here’s where the other Pac-12 teams rank: Arizona (22), Oregon (29), California (31), Arizona State (78), USC (89), Stanford (105), Utah (110), Oregon State (116), UCLA (130) and Washington State (163).
December 3, 2012 at 5:38 AM
Here’s the top 25 ballot I emailed to the Associated Press this morning.
No. 1 Indiana (8-0)
No. 2 Duke (8-0)
No. 3 Michigan (7-0)
No. 4 Florida (6-0)
No. 5 Syracuse (5-0)
No. 6 Arizona (5-0)
No. 7 Gonzaga (8-0)
No. 8 Cincinnati (7-0)
No. 9 Ohio State (5-1)
No. 10 Louisville (6-1)
No. 11 Kansas (6-1)
No. 12 Creighton (7-1)
No. 13 Missouri (6-1)
No. 14 Oklahoma State (5-1)
No. 15 Illinois (8-0)
No. 16 Minnesota (8-1)
No. 17 Wichita State (7-0)
No. 18 New Mexico (8-0)
No. 19 UNLV (5-1)
No. 20 San Diego State (5-1)
No. 21 North Carolina (6-2)
No. 22 Michigan State (6-2)
No. 23 Alabama (6-1)
No. 24 Pittsburgh (7-1)
No. 25 Oregon (7-1)
Notable omissions include: Kentucky (4-3), Colorado (6-1), Georgetown (5-1), Connecticut (6-1), North Carolina State (4-2) and Wyoming (8-0).
November 19, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Coach Lorenzo Romar promised the upset defeat to Albany won’t define Washington’s season and nearly a week later it appears as if he’s right.
The 63-62 is a glaring blemish on the Huskies’ 2-2 record, however they’re 46th in the latest RPI.
The fairly respectable RPI is a result of UW’s win over Seton Hall and Albany’s surprising success. The Great Danes (3-2) are 76th in the RPI, which helps the Huskies. Albany’s losses are against No. 3 Ohio State and Loyola Maryland. Washington trounced Loyola in the season opener.
The RPI is a complicated system, but the Huskies are rooting for everyone it plays to do as well as possible. Wins and losses against teams outside the top 100 RPI is a determining factor in choosing at-large NCAA tournament teams.
MONDAY AFTERNOON LINKS:
— Fresh off of its Charleston Classic tournament victory, Colorado crashes into the Associated Press poll at No. 23. The Buffaloes (4-0) join No. 10 Arizona (2-0) and No. 11 UCLA (3-0) giving the Pac-12 three ranked teams. The last time the conference had three teams in the polls during the season was the 2008-09 season when Washington, UCLA and Arizona State were made frequent appearances in the top 25.
— UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad, who many feel is the best player in the Pac-12, makes his long-awaited and much-anticipated college basketball debut tonight against Georgetown.
— Oregon State lost senior center Angus Brandt to a season-ending knee injury. He plans to petition for a medical hardship waiver and return next season.
— After a 2-0 start, USC coach Kevin O’Neill told the Los Angeles Times: “I like how our team is playing.”
— Seth Davis at SI.com believes the off-season practices has raised the level of play early in the season.
November 18, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Here’s the top 25 list I emailed to the Associated Press tonight.
No. 1 Indiana (3-0)
No. 2 Louisville (3-0)
No. 3 Michigan (3-0)
No. 4 Ohio State (3-0)
No. 5 Florida (3-0)
No. 6 North Carolina (3-0)
No. 7 Duke (2-0)
No. 8 Syracuse (2-0)
No. 9 Arizona (2-0)
No. 10 UCLA (3-0)
No. 11 Missouri (3-0)
No. 12 Memphis (2-0)
No. 13 Creighton (3-0)
No. 14 Gonzaga (3-0)
No. 15 UNLV (2-0)
No. 16 Minnesota (3-0)
No. 17 Colorado (4-0)
No. 18 Oklahoma State (4-0)
No. 19 Kentucky (2-1)
No. 20 North Carolina State (3-1)
No. 21 Kansas (2-1)
No. 22 Baylor (4-1)
No. 23 Michigan State (2-1)
No. 24 Wisconsin (2-1)
No. 25 San Diego State (2-1)
November 18, 2012 at 3:42 PM
Washington fell behind midway in the first half, trailed by 10 at halftime and never mounted much of a threat in the second half before losing 77-66 to No. 4 Ohio State at the Mohegan Sun arena.
The Huskies had no answer for junior forward Deshaun Thomas, who scored a career-high tying 31 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Aaron Craft added 18 points and Evan Ravenel had 12 for Ohio State (3-0), which captured the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament title.
C.J. Wilcox led Washington (2-2) with 18 points, Abdul Gaddy had 15 and Scott Suggs 11.
NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:
— Coach Lorenzo Romar gambled at the start and put Suggs, 6-6 and 195 pounds, on Thomas, who is 6-7 and 225 pounds. The gamble didn’t work. Thomas got into a rhythm early and had 21 points at halftime. He shot over Suggs on the perimeter and used his length to score inside. Suggs didn’t have the height to alter Thomas’ shot and he didn’t have the weight to push Thomas off of his spot.
In all fairness, UW had few good options to defend Thomas. Redshirt freshman Jernard Jarreau, who started his fourth game, doesn’t have the experience to stop someone as versatile as the OSU preseason All-American. Perhaps the best option was Desmond Simmons, who drew the defensive assignment late in the game.
— Washington’s biggest problem offensively was the inability of its big men to finish at the rim against OSU’s shot blockers. Aziz N’Diaye did a nice job in the opening minutes catching a pass in transition and converting a difficult layup. But in the second half, he had an easier shot blocked on the baseline. Jarreau also had a layup stuffed and Simmons missed an open layup on a fast break.
TV replays showed Gaddy chewing out Jarreau after the blown layup. Without a consistent inside game, the Huskies relied heavily on their shooters who made 9 of 18 three-pointers.
— Ohio State converted 20 of 26 (76.9 percent) at the line while Washington was 11 of 17 (64.7).
— The Huskies forced just one turnover in the second half and only seven in the game. They never made the Buckeyes uncomfortable offensively. Washington didn’t press, which may have been the result of tired legs. The Huskies are using a seven-man rotation and they played an overtime game late Saturday night.
— While Washington gets adjusted to the new high-post offense, the big men can be expected to make at least four turnovers on bad passes and misreads. N’Diaye, Simmons and Jarreau combined for four TOs.
— Statistically it appears as if Abdul Gaddy (15 points, three rebounds and three assists) held his own against Craft. However, Gaddy did most of his damage in the second half. He was assertive offensively late in the game when UW trailed by double digits and got several baskets on dribble drives. He also sank 3 of 4 three-pointers.
— Suggs was the star Saturday, but he was quiet today. He had more field goal attempts (12) than points (11), which is never a good statistic. In all fairness, Suggs had his hands full defensively with Thomas and it may have sapped his energy on the offensive end.
— Andrew Andrews is starting to look like a freshman. He’s relentless attacking the basket, but he’s struggling to find his shot. Andrews was 0-2 today. He’s made 4 of 18 shots this season.
All for now.
November 18, 2012 at 5:08 AM
Scouting report: No. 4 Ohio State
Game info: 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Mohegan Sun Arena (10,000 capacity)
TV: ESPN2 (Mike Crispino and Derek Whittenburg.)
Radio: KJR 950 AM and 102.9 FM (Mike Gastineau and Jason Hamilton)
Stats/schedule: Click here.
Game notes: Click here.
Coach: Thad Matta is 223-65 in nine seasons with the Buckeyes. His career record is 323-96, which is the third best among active coaches. He’s coached at Xavier (78-23, three seasons) and Butler (24-8, one season).
Prediction: Picked to finish third in the 12-team Big Ten by media who cover the conference.
Series: Washington leads 8-3.
Last meeting: The Huskies won 67-63 on Dec. 1, 1972.
Previous game: Ohio State beat Rhode Island 69-58 on Saturday.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— Deshaun Thomas (right) is the heir apparent to Jared Sullinger who was taken in the first round of the 2012 NBA draft. While they’re similar in size, the 6-7 and 225-pound Thomas doesn’t mix it up below the rim like Sullinger. Still, Thomas is very dangerous. His career high is 31 points and he’s capable of scoring 40.
“Thomas gives defenders nightmares and when he gets on a roll, he can rattle off points from all three areas of the floor.” wrote ESPN.com’s Reggie Rankin.
After scoring 19 points in OSU’s first game, he had 25 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday’s win over Rhode Island. He averages a team-high 22.0 points and 6.5 rebounds. Thomas is dangerous on the offensive glass where he gets a lot of putbacks and draws fouls. He’s also a good three-pointer shooter, who has made 7 of 15 behind the arc this season. The biggest knock
Thomas is OSU’s top returning scorer (15.9 ppg.) and rebounder (5.4 rpg.) from last season. Among the starters from the 2011-12 season, he shot the highest field goal percentage (.520/243-467) while scoring 619 points and grabbing 209 rebounds, 100 of which came on the offensive end of the court. Thomas is one of six Associated Press preseason All-Americans. He was also selected to the Wooden and Naismith top preseason lists.
— Don’t let the rosy cheeks faced looks fool you, Aaron Craft (above) is a gritty, defensive-minded enforcer. He won the Big Ten defensive player of the year award last season. In just two seasons, the 6-2, 195-pound junior guard ranks second all-time at Ohio State with 171 steals. His forte is creating havoc on opposing guards. He has decent quickness and solid ball-handling abilities. But what separates him is his high-energy and motor that allows him to dominate despite the fact that he isn’t a great athlete.
Defensively, Craft is a game-changer. He plays like a bulldog with immense intensity and aggressiveness. He is strong enough and quick enough laterally to apply defensive pressure in the full-court, keep opposing point guards from getting into the lane, as well as disrupt the passing lanes. He puts himself in good positions and uses his body to steer opponents and beat them to spots to draw offensive fouls.
Craft drained five three-pointers and notched his career-best 20 points against Albany. He had 13 points and four assists versus Rhode Island. While it’s a small sample size, Craft has been amazingly efficient offensively this season. He’s connected on 10 of 19 (52.6 percent) from the field and 7 of 13 (53.8) on three-pointers. Craft has a team-high 11 assists, but he’s a good enough shooter that he can slide to the shooting guard position at times.
Craft is a first team all-Big Ten preseason pick. He’s also a first-team academic all-American last season.
November 16, 2012 at 8:05 PM
Not sure which is bigger.
Colorado beating No. 16 Baylor, which snapped the Pac-12′s 12-game winless streak against ranked opponents, or UCLA winning an appeal with the NCAA that allows star freshman Shabazz Muhammad to play immediately.
Both are reasons to celebrate for Pac-12 fans if you subscribe to the rising tide lifts all boats theory. With Muhammad, who many believe will be a NBA lottery pick in next year’s draft, No. 13 UCLA (3-0) figures to be a national title contender while the Buffaloes look as if they’ll return to the NCAA tournament.
That’s good news for the Pac-12, which is 27-4 in non-conference games this season.
FRIDAY NIGHT LINKS:
— Here’s our story on Nigel Williams-Goss who joined Darin Johnson and signed with Washington. The positive recruiting news has taken some of the sting out of Tuesday’s loss to Albany.
— Muhammad will be available Monday for UCLA’s game against Georgetown at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., as part of the Legends Classic.
— UCLA and UNLV were the favorites, but star recruit Isaac Hamilton surprised nearly everyone and chose UTEP during a nationally televised recruiting show on ESPNU. The 6-4 shooting guard also considered Washington, San Diego State and Baylor.
— Despite connecting on just 4 of 18 free throws, including several untimely missed in the final minutes, Colorado (3-0) somehow hung on to knock off Baylor 60-58, which avenged a loss in last season’s NCAA tournament. Askia Booker scored a game-high 19 points and Spencer Dinwiddie added 11.
— Devon Collier, who grew up in the Bronx, made his New York homecoming a memorable one. The Oregon State junior finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds – both career highs – to lead the Beavers (3-1) to a 66-58 win over Purdue in the third-place game in the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden.
— California’s Allen Crabbe followed a career-best 33-point outing earlier this week with a modest game-high 20 points in the Golden Bears’ 72-61 victory at Denver. Crabbe will be given Pac-12 Player of the Week considerations. Justin Cobb added 17 points and David Kravish had 11. Cal is 3-0.
— It didn’t receive as much attention as the Muhammad story, but Oregon forward Arsalan Kazemi received his eligibility after the NCAA approved his waiver request. The 6-foot-7 senior from Iran, averaged 12.6 points and 10.1 rebounds in three season at Rice. He had five points and seven rebounds in Friday’s 74-48 win over Vanderbilt. E.J. Singler led Oregon (3-0) with 22 points while Tony Woods and Damyean Dotson each had 10..
— Washington State went to Pepperdine and gave the Waves their first win, a 58-56 overtime victory. Brock Motum had a tough night shooting from the field. He missed nine of 13 shots, but managed to finish with a team-high 15 points because he made 7 of 8 at the line. WSU fell to 2-1.
— You almost wanted to believe in Utah after the Utes destroyed Division III opponent Willamette 104-47 in the season opener. But Utah (1-1) stumbled at home against a Division I foe and lost 74-71 to Sacramento State. Former Rainier Beach High star Glen Dean scored a team-high 16 points.
— Here’s USA Today’s top 25 high school boy’s basketball rankings. Nigel Williams-Goss’ team Findlay Prep is No. 2. Aaron Gordon’s Archbishop Mitty is No. 12 and Seattle’s Rainier Beach with 2014 prospect Shaqquan Aaron, a 6-8 forward, is 22.
— Saint Louis coach Rick Majerus, who is having treatment for a serious heart condition, will not return. Washington plays SLU on Nov. 28.
November 16, 2012 at 8:31 AM
Aaron Gordon, the top 2013 prospect on the West Coast, has narrowed his list to three teams – Washington, Arizona and Kentucky.
The 6-8 forward from Arch Bishop Mitty High in San Jose, Calif. eliminated Oregon, Kansas and California.
Gordon plans to sign in the spring.
FRIDAY MORNING LINKS:
— Isaac Hamilton is going to make his college decision 4 p.m. PT on ESPNU. He initially considered Washington, but canceled a recruiting trip. Many believe he’ll pick UCLA or UNLV. He’s also reportedly interested in Baylor, San Diego State and UTEP.
— California coach Mike Montgomery hopes Golden Bears signee Jabari Bird becomes a basketball Pied Piper who leads other elite recruits to Berkeley, Calif.
— UCLA is appealing to the NCAA today it’s ruling to make freshman Shabazz Muhammad ineligible. For the latest info, follow the Twitter feed from LA Times’ Baxter Holmes.
— No. 13 UCLA (3-0) didn’t need overtime to rout James Madison 100-70. Normal Powell led the way with a career-high 27 points, but Jordan Adams stole the show. He had 25 points and scored became the first UCLA freshman to begin his career with three consecutive games of 20 or more points.
— No. 12 Arizona’s young front line dominated its 72-51 win over UTEP. The Wildcats (2-0) led the battle of the boards 35-14 and held the Miners to 36.4 percent shooting. Arizona newcomer Mark Lyons scored a game-high 17 points.
— Josh Huestis scored a career-high 18 points, leading Stanford to a 69-51 victory over Alcorn State. Chasson Randle added 10 points and Dwight Powell grabbed 10 rebounds for the Cardinal (3-0), who have won nine straight dating to last year’s run to the Postseason NIT tournament title.
— Askia Booker scored 16 points, freshman Xavier Johnson had 15 and Colorado (2-0) rallied from seven points down in the second half to defeat the Flyers, 67-57. The Buffaloes (2-0) play No. 16 Baylor 9:30 a.m. Friday.
— Heartbreaking loss for Oregon State, which had several chances in the final minutes to force overtime but fell 65-62 to Alabama at New York’s Madison Square Garden in the 2K Sports Classic benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project. Devon Collier scored 21 points for the Beavers (2-1) while Angus Brandt had 10 points and 11 rebounds. Eric Moreland added six points and grabbed 14 rebounds.
— The Minnesota Timberwolves waived former Washington star Will Conroy. He appeared in four games, scored just one point and averaged five minutes.
November 12, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Every game this season just might be compared to this one. You can knock the quality of the opponent, but even the harshest critic had to be impressed with Washington following an 85-63 win over Loyola Maryland.
The season opener just might be the template that we judge the Huskies this season because in many ways it was a perfect game from a statistical perspective.
Washington received a game-high 22 points in 30 minutes from C.J. Wilcox (right), who looks to be the team’s new star. Abdul Gaddy was aggressive attacking the rim. Scott Suggs shot well and led UW with three assists. Aziz N’Diaye (below) was a defensive force and sank 4 of 6 free throws. Redshirt freshman Jernard Jarreau started in his UW debut and didn’t embarrass himself although his minutes were limited. Andrew Andrews and Desmond Simmons came off the bench and provided a spark while attacking the rim and drawing fouls. Hikeem Stewart looks like a defensive menace and Martin Breunig had a few shining moments.
The Huskies held Loyola to 36.5 percent shooting and they outscored the Greyhounds by 20 points in the second half. Washington led 33-31 at the break largely because it had 11 turnovers and gave up nine offensive rebounds equating to 20 extra possessions for Loyola.
In the second half, the Huskies had just one turnover while scoring 52 points.
There was a whole lot to like for a UW fan. The Huskies shot 73.3 percent (22 of 30) on free throws, received 17 points from the bench and outscored Loyola 20-2 on fast-break points.
There was also plenty for coach Lorenzo Romar to harp on. Washington allowed 19 offensive rebounds, which might have been a problem against other teams.
The Huskies still struggle against quick point guards like Loyola’s Dylon Cormier who had a team-high 19 points and got to the free throw line 10 times, making seven. Wilcox got the first crack at Cormier followed by Andrews and Stewart. Cormier was still unstoppable at times. However, he was a one-man show and no one else hurt the Huskies.
However, the most disturbing statistic for UW: Just 24 points in the paint. It remains to be seen if the Huskies’ new high-post offense, which tailors to the team’s jump shooters, will be able to score points on the road.
Rebounding is also a concern. N’Diaye collected a career-high 16 rebounds, but no one else had more than one offensive rebound. That could be a serious problem in games when Washington doesn’t shoot 54 percent from the field. If the Huskies don’t shoot well, then who’s going to offensive rebounds?
It won’t be Wilcox, Gaddy or Suggs because they’re taking 10-plus shots each game and their offensive responsibilities keeps them away from the rim. And it may not be Jarreau or Simmons because in the high-post offense, they’re roaming around the free throw line. So it falls to N’Diaye to gobble up almost every rebound much like Jon Brockman did in his heyday. N’Diaye is willing and able, but you have to wonder if he can stay healthy the entire season.
Still all in all, it was a good opening night for the Huskies.
MORE NOTES, QUOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:
November 11, 2012 at 4:26 PM
IT’S OVER — UW 85-63.
MOP-UP DUTY — Walk-on guard Dion Overstreet is in with many other reserves. Less than two minutes left.
ALMOST OVER — Suggs and Wilcox just drained three-pointers and Loyola is waiving the proverbial white flag. UW 79-58, 3:03.
FIRMLY IN CONTROL — Unless something goes horribly wrong, the Huskies will win the season opener. Washington has just one turnover in the second half. Good halftime adjustment. UW 69-53, 5:20.
BONUS — The Huskies have eight fouls and Loyola is in the bonus. Every UW foul sends the Greyhoudns to the line. UW 62-52, 7:34.
FANTASTIC AT THE LINE — Loyola is 10 of 19 (52.6 percent) on free throws. The Huskies are 12 of 16. UW 59-48, 8:35.
WEARING THEM DOWN — Looks like the Greyhounds are getting physically and mentally fatigued. Cormier is the only serious threat on dribble drives. Everything else is putbacks for Loyola. UW’s defense has forced two shot-clock violations in the second half. UW 52-44, 12:28.
STILL RUNNING — Simmons and Wilcox hit consecutive treys. The Huskies are on a 15-6 run. UW 48-39, 14:54.
NICE LITTLE SPURT — The defense is better and the Huskies are running. UW 42-37, 15:50.
SECOND HALF — Same starters for everyone.
HALFTIME OBSERVATIONS — Everything is seemingly working for Washington and yet for some reason the Huskies only have a two-point lead. The three guards (Wilcox, Gaddy and Suggs) are leading the way scoring. They have 9, 7 and 7 points respectively. N’Diaye is controlling the defense and has 10 rebounds. Loyola is shooting 35.3 percent and UW has more free throws (11 to 9).
Washington is doing many things right. Still the 11 turnovers are a problem. That’s got to change because those are wasted possessions. When you add the turnovers to Loyola’s nine offensive rebounds, that’s 18 extra possessions for the Greyhounds.
The Huskies also need for force more than six turnovers because when they do they’re magnificent in the open court. UW has a 11-2 lead in fastbreak points. Both teams are 2 of 6 on three-pointers.
Maybe this is the new normal for the Huskies. Maybe they can play seemingly well and opponents will remain within striking distance to steal the game. We’ll see if UW’s depth wears down Loyola in the second half.
The only foul issue pertains to Suggs who has three.
Not sure why Jarreau has only played seven minutes. I’m guessing it’s because he’s not boxing out on rebounds. The same goes for Breunig who has played four minutes.
HALFTIME STATS — Click here.