This much became painfully obvious in Maryland's 69-57 loss to Cincinnati in the Maui Invitational on Tuesday: Greivis Vasquez needs another consistent offensive option to step up. The senior guard from Venezuela is still going to take the majority of the shots and he should. But for no other player to score more than nine points when Vasquez finished with nineteen won't get it done against the level of competition the Terps will have to beat to make a second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
The game of the day lived up to the hype as Purdue beat Tennessee 73-72 in the title game of the Paradise Jam. E'Twaun Moore led the Boilermakers with twenty-two points while Tennessee's Wayne Chism led all scorers with twenty-four. Tight throughout, the game changed in tempo from the first half to the second. Purdue led at the half 42-41 but the fast tempo made that lead a bit of fool's gold; a game in the eighties wouldn't bode well for the Boilermakers.
It’s Feast Week. This is one of the most exciting weeks in all of college basketball. There are multiple holiday tournaments taking place that include some big time matchups. Let’s take a deeper look…
One tournament concludes (Paradise Jam) while other either move on to the next stage (CBE Classic in Kansas City) or tip off (Maui Invitational). The game of the day on paper is Purdue taking on Tennessee in a matchup of contrasting styles in the Paradise Jam final. The Boilermakers will look to do things out of the halfcourt while the Volunteers want to speed things up with their full-court pressure. Bruce Pearl and Matt Painter are two of the better coaches in the game and the matchup between Tyler Smith and Robbie Hummel should be a treat.
Purdue got off to a slow start on Sunday night in the second semifinal of the Paradise Jam against Saint Joseph's due to some cold shooting and the Hawks finding open areas of their own on offense. But things took a turn about halfway through the first half with the Boilermakers harassing the young SJU guards into turnovers and rushed possessions, eventually resulting in Matt Painter's team going to the locker room up 31-30 at the half. Saint Joseph's had fifteen turnovers in the first twenty minutes and the game had the feel of one that was soon going to get out of hand.
While the Coaches vs. Cancer event moves onto the semifinal round at Madison Square Garden tournament play begins in Puerto Rico and Charleston with some intriguing matchups on the radar. Ohio State/North Carolina and Syracuse/California will get the lion's share of the attention and with good reason; all four will encounter their first true test of the season following routine beatings in the opening rounds of the event.