The Report Card
A - Wake Forest
In the last Report Card, I gave Wake some love simply for getting to .500 in league play. But I wrote that .500 would be a distant memory as they faced Duke and UNC next. Who knew that they'd go on to beat Duke in impressive fashion, responding well after losing the lead and doing just about everything right down the stretch. Watching Cuse/G'Town on Sunday.. so much was said about the youth and inexperience of Syracuse.. using that as an excuse for bonehead plays down the stretch. But here was an equally inexperienced squad that played consistently solid basketball against the country's 2nd ranked team. Suddenly Wake is in the NCAA Tournament conversation.. and they now have more Top 50 wins that teams like Florida, Maryland, Ohio State & Syracuse.B - Michigan
If you saw their three game winning streak coming, then you have some amazing predictive powers. After dropping to a dismal 5-17 record, the Wolverines have responded with wins over Penn State, Iowa, and Ohio State. Amazingly, Ohio State was the first team in the Top 125 that Michigan's beaten all year. Guess who their previous best win was against? Brown.. back on November 11th. As good as the win was for Coach Beilein and his young squad.. what does it say about OSU? If not for good name recognition and name recognition of the two other mediocre teams they've beaten (Florida & Syracuse), then the Buckeyes would be on the outside of the field looking in.
C - USC
I really want to like USC.. hot weather, attractive chearleaders, and cool young talent.. but strip all that away and you have a .500 Pac-10 team that has beaten one sure-fire NCAA Tournament team. Take away the UCLA win.. and you have a bunch of wins over bubble-level teams like Oklahoma, Oregon and Arizona State. I'm not suggesting USC is bad.. its just that I keep expecting more. Maybe I simply need to lower my expectations.
D- DJ Augustin
D is usually for Diebler, Ohio State's young shooting guard that has finally pushed his FG% above 30 on the season. Today, D is for DJ though.. as the Longhorns star guard is mired in an epic shooting slump. He's perhaps my favorite player in college ball today.. but the numbers don't lie: He's only hit 8 of his last 38 threes (21%).. and even worse, just 15 of his last 68 shots (22%). The only person who would take those numbers are another D.. Doug Gottlieb.
F - NJIT
I feel bad about this selection.. as the Highlanders represent my home state, and are an independent in over their heads. But 0-27 speaks for itself, especially now that they've completed their home schedule. Their only remaining games are at Longwood and Utah Valley State.. both probable losses. There is some hope against Longwood as they are the 325th RPI team and NJIT did beat them twice last year. But I'm just being kind, it would take a minor miracle for them to win.
The Daily Report Card tells you all you need to know about the day in college hoops. From good to bad and bad to worse, I'll be laying down the law.
Previous Best / Worst
February 15th - Oral Roberts / Big Ten Predictions
February 13th - Mike Green / Ed Donato
February 11th - Charron Fisher / Tim Morris
February 8th - Big West / Virginia
February 6th - Chris Lofton / Dick Vitale
February 5th - Bob Knight / Josh Heytvelt
February 4th - New York Giants / Washington State
February 1st - Nevada / Penn
January 31st - Kansas State / St. John's
January 29th - Winthrop / Dyson & Wiggins
January 28th - Rutgers / Doris Burke
January 25th - Ron Hunter / Princeton Offense
January 23rd - Kentucky / Archbishop Burke
January 22nd - DJ Augustin / Scott Sutton
January 21st - New York Giants / Marquette
January 20th - Maryland / ESPN.com editors
January 18th - Cleveland State / Marquette
January 17th - Drake / HP Laptops
January 14th - Roy Hibbert / Michigan State
January 10th - Tony Bennett / Saint Louis
January 9th - DJ White / CSTV
January 8th - Robert Morris / Schedule Makers
January 7th - Wayne Ellington / Illinois
January 6th - Herb Sendek / Kentucky