The Report Card
A new series, 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.
A - Rutgers
I like giving good grades to teams that I've ripped throughout the year. If Oregon State simply wins a game I might give them an A. Rutgers winning two in a row against Big East opponents, Villanova at home and Pittsburgh on the road, is absolutely shocking. Neither of those teams are playing lights-out basketball.. but both have been ranked during the year, and this is Rutgers we're talking about. The same Knights that had lost their previous 6 league games, 9 of 10 overall, and whose best win all year was against Lafayette. I'm not sure what's changed outside of the shooting prowess of freshman Mike Coburn, averaging 20 ppg in the wins compared to 6 on the rest of the year. Lets be honest, the Knights could lose 6 straight now.. but for now, they're at the top of the class.
B - Nick Calathes
For whatever reason, Calathes is quietly going on the radar so far. Which is odd considering he was a Top 15 recruit playing at the back-to-back National Champions. I don't think he minds though, because whatever he's doing is working. The Orlando-region native has been doing it all for the 18-3 Gators.. scoring, passing, and rebounding. He made a triple-double run against Vandy, putting up 15, 10 dimes, and 7 boards in the blowout victory. On the season, he's averaging 16, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds. Turnovers were an issue early in the season, but in the last 5 games he has a great 32/10 ratio. Challenging road games await at Arkansas and Tennessee.. but the Gators seem to be improving every week.
C - Purdue Fans
On the one hand, they deserve an A for boisterous support of the Boilermakers against Wisconsin.. and really they've been good fans all season. But rushing the court after you beat the Badgers.. acting like you just pulled off the biggest upset of all-time? Whatever happened to acting like you've been there before? After all, Purdue is tied with Wisconsin in the standings.. and with Wisconsin facing Indiana next, the Boilers might very well end up ahead by next Sunday. The next time the fans rush the court, the Big Ten title better be on the line.
D - Vanderbilt
All the good vibes that Vandy built up by going 16-0 to start the season seem to have disappeared. I guess that's what happens when you finally play challenging road games.. at UK, Tennessee, and Florida. Their 86-64 loss to the Gators was their 2nd in a row by 20 or more. Now, the Commodores head to Mississippi, a ranked squad that is 10-0 at home. Don't get me wrong, Vandy isn't bad.. but at this pace they're destined for an early-round tournament loss.
F - Doris Burke
Burke, who I usually don't mind, was doing color for the Purdue/Wisconsin game. But one thing I do mind is repetition.. it's a pet peeve of mine. If you say it once, I'll hear you.. you don't have to repeat it again. However, Doris must of had a small notecard with 4 checkpoints that she repeated over and over throughout the exciting game. Yes, E'Twaun Moore has a mature game.. he never gets too fast.. I heard you the first 12 times you mentioned that. Yes, good things happened when Brian Butch touched the ball.. I heard you the first 25 times you said that. You get the point.
Previous Best / Worst
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