Daily Dribble: 12/10

    
December 10th, 2006

Wow.. what a day of college basketball.. big games, big wins, big performances.. this is what it's all about. I have so much to say.. I wont be able to give justice to any one game or team. Behold the power of stream of consciousness..

No need to see the #2 team in the country dancing around when they beat a 6-4 Buffalo team. I know people always say a win is a win, and Pitt is now 10-0.. but I have a hard time believing their close to the 2nd best team out there.

Texas A&M dropped their second game in a row.. but their 3 point loss at #1 UCLA was deserved of Top 10 respect. The aggies kept it close the whole, entertaining John Wooden and the rest of the large crowd. At 7-2, they'll probably drop to the 12-15 range, but their resume so far is certainly more impressive than higher ranked teams like Duke or Pitt.

Greg Oden showed flashes of dominance in OSU's easy 21 point win over Cleveland State. Oden was 8 for 8 from the floor, mostly on dunks, and added some blocks as well. Not bad for a guy who is basically playing one-handed as he's not fully recovered from wrist surgery on his right hand. Othello Hunter, who will surely lose minutes with Oden back, added 17 and 11 in the win.

Gonzaga bounced back from a disappointing loss to Washington State by handing #8 Washington their first loss. This game was played at a frenetic pace from the start, as Gonzaga poured in 56 first half points. Derek Raivio continued his hot shooting, scoring 25 points, his eighth game in a row over the 20 point mark. Freshman Spencer Hawes broke the 20 point mark for the 2nd time in a row in the loss.

Decent effort by #9 Duke against George Mason. Josh McRoberts only had 7 points, but he had some impressive moments in the 16 point win. His 8 assists were a season high, and he showed off real impressive court vision.. from long outlet passes that led to easy baskets.. to a nice alley oop lob to Demarcus Nelson.

In the battle of Wisconsin.. or ranked teams that have lost to North Dakota State recently.. Wisconsin handed #20 Marquette their second loss. For the Badgers, it was all about player of the year candidate Alando Tucker who had 28 points and 5 boards.

Kansas continues to be an enigma, struggling to put away a 2-5 Toledo team that has now lost 3 straight. Toledo though, depite the record, isn't that bad. They've played an extremely hard schedule that includes 6 out of 7 road games, and competitive losses to teams like Iowa, Missouri State, Vandy, and now Kansas.

#14 Butler's dream run came to an end.. as the Bulldogs lost to Indiana State. The Sycamores win was the 2nd by a non-ranked Valley team over a Top 25 opponent. Creighton knocked off #24 Xavier as well. Butler was done in by a slow start, a lack of speed, and 20 missed threes. Bulldogs can point to losing AJ Graves for the last two thirds of the game after getting poked in the eye as an excuse.. but Indiana State had already opened a substantial lead by that point.

For Creighton, the 2in over Xavier was much needed coming off their 2nd loss of the season at Xavier. Still, Creighton doesn't have any other marquee non-conference games left and their lone game against a BCS team was a loss to Nebraska. This team has a lot of work left in conference play if wants to make a run at an at-large bid. As usual, the Bluejays were led by Anthony Tolliver and Nate Funk on the scoring end.

Also in the Valley, SIU beat an 8-2 Western Kentucky team that had received some Top 25 votes and #16 Wichita State cruised to an easy win against Wyoming.

#19 Nevada dropped their first game of the season to UNLV. The Wolfpack were pretty abysmal at home, turning the ball over 21 times, shooting 1 of 15 from three, and ending with just 49 points. The loss will most likely drop them out of the Top 25 or close to it.

In a game that doesn't have the same lustre as in recent years.. Kentucky slogged through a 59-54 win against Indiana. As has been the case recently, Randolph Morris led the Cats with 17 points and 11 boards. For 5-3 Indiana.. even though its early, their tournament hopes are already slipping away. They'll get respect because they're Indiana, but this team's best win so far is against a mediocre Charlotte team. Obviously a lot can be made up in Big Ten play.. but I just dont see it happening.

Previously unbeaten Missouri is now 9-1 after losing at Purdue. The Boilers continue to be one the big turnaround stories of the season.. now just 1 win away form last year's total. Carl Landry added 23 and 11 in the win, though he amazingly missed 9 free throws in what could have been an even easier win.

6 points is a pretty meager total for a football team to score in a half.. its unheard of for a basketball team. #23 Air Force held Colorado College to 6 in the first half in a blow out win. Colorado College is D3.. but still, 6 points is rough.

Nice win for Vandy over Georgia Tech. The Commodores won 73-64 in large part due to Shan Foster's 25 points. Vandy had been struggling.. losing to Furman at home a couple weeks back, and barely avoiding losses to Lipscomb and Toledo as well. This win gets them back on the right track.. but I'm still not convinced they can do much in conference play. Foster was just hot, catching and shooting long-range threes, and this team doesn't have the firepower to beat good teams unless Foster or Byars catch fire.

Louisville improved to 4-2 with a win over Saint Joseph's. In his 2nd game, Derrick Caracter again struggled with foul problems.. picking up 4 as compared to 5 points. In 3 career games.. he almost has as many fouls (12) as points (16).

Some other BCS upsets to note.. Brandon Johnson had 23 points to lead San Diego over California. 6-2 Drexel handed Villanova their 2nd loss despite 31 from Curtis Sumpter. The Dragons have now won 4 straight and head up to Syracuse to face the Orange on Tuesday.

- I Dribble, Therefore I Am -