Daily Dribble: 1/19

January 18th, 2007

Duke had no problem with Wake Forest Thursday night, winning 62-40. Duke didn't even play that well.. Wake is just no good. The Deacons are 9-8 overall, 1-4 in the ACC, and its hard to see them winning another league game until they host Miami a month from now.

The MAC West is like the NBA's Atlantic Divison. First place Toledo has an 8-8 record and none of the other five teams are over .500. Thinks are better in the East where Ohio and Akron are 12-win teams. Big problem for those two teams is that this is only a one bid league..

Marist won again in the MAAC, to improve to 14-4, 6-1 in league play. Jared Jordan had a monster 26 point, 8 assist, 7 board game. He was haunted by the usual turnover problems though with 6.. then again thats less than Ishmael Smith's 8 against Duke. And Smith didn't have 1 assist.. brutal. Back to Marist though, the Red Foxes aren't running away with the league because suddenly hot Manhattan is also 6-1. The Jaspers were 3-8 before winning six straight out of nowhere (including a win over Rider last night).

Iona came so close to finally winning their first game.. but the 0-17 Gaels lost to Canisius in OT.

Appalachian State's dream season is slipping a bit (though its still a great season). The Mountaineers lost a close one to UNCG, their 2nd conference loss in 3 games. To make things worse, they now head to 16-3 Davidson and will probably fall to 13-6 overall.

Good win for Xavier over UMASS. No surprise that Stephane Lasme (18 and 9) and Rashaun Freeman (22 and 13) absolutely dominated the inside against the Musketeers, but Xavier got solid contributions all around. Both of these teams are now tied at 3-1 in the A10. Its hard to imagine any other A10 team besides these two getting an at-large bid at this point. Best hope for the conference might be one of these teams rolling through league play without any more losses, but the other of the two winning the league tournament.

With Sean Williams out of the picture, Lasme might now just be the best shot-blocker in the country not named Greg Oden.

Creighton's win over Bradley put the Bluejays back in the MVC league thanks to Missouri State's loss. The Bears lost to UNI, just their 2nd home loss of the season (to Oklahoma State). Meanwhile, just when it seemed like Wichita State might be turning it around after having won two solid league games, the Shockers fall on the road to Illinois State. Every time WSU loses an MVC not named Creighton or Missouri State, their at-large chances slip farther and farther away.. Is this fair? Probably not.. but as good as the bottom half of the MVC is, the committee wont accept these losses.

Pretty good high school game on ESPN between Oak Hill and Simeon of Chicago. Simeon upset the #1 ranked (and formerly unbeaten) Academy thanks to a big game from Derrick Rose (28 points and 9 assists). Rose, headed to Memphis, was clearly the best player in a game that featured lots of other D1 players. This includes Kevin Johnson and Tim Flowers of Simeon (both headed to UW-Milwaukee), and Nolan Smith (Duke), Brandon Jennings (USC), and Alex Legion (Michigan) amongst others on Oak Hill. The game ended with Jennings sitting on the bench crying. The point guard struggled the first three quarters, before exploding for 19 in the final stanza. The announcers dogged him for his offensive struggles and lack of effort for much of the game, so it was good to see him step up in the end. Jennings is only a junior, so give him time.. physically, he's like a baby compared to Rose.

- Thanks for Dribbling -