Shawn Siegel's Blog
In a battle of USCs, South Carolina got the best of Southern California in overtime last night. The Gamecocks got a Jason Kidd like 26 point, 8 rebound, 8 assist effort from Tre Kelley.. Tim Floyd though probably wasn't too worried about the loss considering he locked up top prospect OJ Mayo on Wednesday. 58-21 sounds like the score of a Patriots-Raiders game.. but its the first half spanking that Maryland gave St. John's. The Terps come into this season with less respect then they've had in a long time, but a win over Michigan State tonight and they could find themselves back in the top 25. They'll face the Spartans in the Coaches vs Cancer finals, because Drew Neitzel hit a shot near the buzzer to give MSU the win over Texas. The Maryland-MSU final will feature two top programs that are suddenly overlooked in the national eye. As inexperienced as MSU is, to have an experienced point guard like Neitzel gives them a heads up over most teams around the country. Despite the loss, the good news for Texas is that Kevin Durant is proving to be as good as advertised.. the heralded freshman is averaging 21 points, 9 boards, and almost 4 blocks per game. If you haven't seen him play, you can check him out on ESPN 2 tonight at 7 eastern.
Marchello Vealy.. not a dish at your local Italian joint, but a player who just walked into Lawrence, KS and busted the Jayhawks with an improbably 7 threes. The Oral Roberts sophomore had hit just two threes in his 31 previous career games. For Kansas, the effort was reminiscent of a Bill Self NCAA Tournament loss, but at least this one came early in the season. Kentucky struggled in their first game of the season last night.. escaping with a 57-46 win over Miami OH. Kentucky held Miami to just 31% shooting, and a crazy low 19% in the second half.. but like last year Tubby's boys just struggled to hit a shot.
UNC got their season started with a win over Sacred Heart.. This game was interesting to see how Roy would utilize his deep roster. Hansbrough was the man as usual with 29, but the three big freshmen scored 10 points apiece.. It looks like Quentin Thomas and Deon Thompson will be relegated to the bench for now though. Nice win for Western Kentucky over Georgia last night.. Projected Sun Belt Player of the Year Courtney Lee had 24 points in the win after putting up 20 in an easy win over Kennesay State.. Expect Lee to make a run at 20 ppg this season. Looks like its going to be another long season for Saint Bonaventure.. The Bonnies lost to independent Chicago St at home to start the season and barely beat 1st time D1 squad Central Arkansas in overtime.. If you cant beat these guys at home, who can you beat?
College basketball likes to ease itself into the season.. kind of like a shy guy trying to ask out an attractive girl. But when Duke plays on national tv, its an unoffocial point in this writer's mind that the season has finally begun. Enough with the previews, the predictions, and the prognostications.. on to the Monday morning, Tuesday morning, Wednesday morning, you get the point Quaterbacking.. BC losing to Vermont made some headlines last night.. perhaps this is a sign that the loss of Craig Smith will mean more than most anaylsts originally thought. Vermont can play some ball though. This is a team that improved by the day last year, and has a core that could be due for a couple of NCAA Tournament bids over the next handful of years. Also in the ACC, Duke struggled early but pulled away for an easy win over Georgia Southern. Despite the 24 point margin of victory, it was hard to be that overly impressed with the Blue Devils. Josh McRoberts is no longer a big man prospect, and he's not even a power forward either.. the 6-10 former post player has basically become a wing player. Even better (or worse depending on how you think of it), McRoberts seems to have taken a liking to bringing the ball up the court. I'm no Coach K, but seeing big Josh move the ball up the court made me cringe every time.