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NCAA Daily Links

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 5:15pm

November 18, 2011

On this glorious Friday we are now in full college hoops kick off. Almost every team has played multiple games, early season Invitational Tournaments are abound and we still have a lot left to come. Here is the NCAA Daily Report:

Lamb, Oriakhi Lead UConn over Maine
(Dom Amore/The Hartford Courant)

Alex Oriakhi & Shabazz NapierAlex Oriakhi & Shabazz NapierThe UConn Huskies move to 3-0 on the season by defeating the Maine Black Bears 80-60. Jeremy Lamb and Alex Oriakhi each put up 16 points, while freshman DeAndre Daniels made the most of his first start of the year with 15. Freshman big man Andre Drummond, still coming off the bench, finished with his first career double-double, going for 11 points, 14 rebounds and 4 blocks. Even with the win and solid performances from his newcomers, Huskies coach Jim Calhoun was not completely satisfied.

"I just haven't seen the enthusiasm with the particular group," Calhoun said, "which is surprising to me, particularly when we have eight kids back from a team that had the ultimate experience of success last year. … We don't know who we are yet."

While UConn may not be where Jim Calhoun wants them as of yet, this win has many positives to take out of it. One would be the fact that UConn had more offensive rebounds (30) than Maine had total rebounds (24). Another was the comforting feeling of Andre Drummond adapting to his teammates.

Sophomore Tyler Olander had a double-double as well, with 11 points and 10 rebounds, but Drummond may take his place in the starting line-up relatively soon. Drummond had 11 offensive rebounds, though supposedly many were on close shots. He also unfortunately only made 1-8 attempts from the foul line, another sign of just how raw of a talent he may be. The signs of potential are there for Drummond and the Huskies, and if they eventually develop that identity, they should be in for another fantastic March.

Syracuse Assistant Accused of Child Molestation
(Marlei Martinez/abcnews.com)

With the sexual abuse accusations of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky fresh in our minds, college basketball is seeing its own somewhat similar accusations. Bernie Fine, who has served as an assistant coach at Syracuse for 35 years, was placed on administrative leave after being accused of sexual molestation. The two men accusing Fine were both former Syracuse ball boys, who claimed the abuse began in 1983 and lasted over the course of 15 years.

Head Coach Jim Boeheim has stood behind his assistant coach, saying he never saw any signs of misconduct. Former Syracuse player Eric Devendorf, a close friend of Fine, also supports his former coach saying he believes the accusations are false. “It’s just not in his character to be accused of something like this”, said Devendorf. The Syracuse Police Department is still in the early stages of their investigation. Definitely sad news on either end, whether Fine was guilty or whether nothing is found. Truly paints a bad image on college sports and is very difficult to those close to the schools and these programs.

Two Oklahoma State Women’s Basketball Coaches Killed in Plane Crash
(CNN Wire Staff)

Unfortunately, we have one more tragic piece of news. Oklahoma State Women’s Basketball Coaches Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna were killed when their plane crashed on a recruiting trip to Arkansas. The crash happened in Perry County Arkansas and left no survivors. My heart and condolences go out to all of the victims families and to the Oklahoma State Cowboy nation for their incredibly tragic loss.

Mississippi St. upsets #19 Texas A&M
(AP/WashingtonPost.com)

Playing in the 2K Sports Classic Tournament, The Bulldogs of Miss St upset the Aggies of Texas A&M 69-60. Rick Stansbury’s boys will play Arizona in the championship game tonight. Unfortunately for Texas A&M, star wing Khris Middleton is injured.

The Bulldogs, 3-1, were lead by PG Dee Bost who scored 20 and helped by freshman SF Rodney Hood who had 10. This is Hood’s third double figure scoring game in a row. UTEP transfer Arnett Moultrie, who is averaging a double through 4 games, chipped in with 8 and 8. SG Elston Turner lead the Aggies with 13 points.

Arizona Out Shoots St. John’s
(Jim O’Connel/Boston.com)

In the other Semi-Final of the 2K Sports Classic, #15 Arizona beat St. John’s, 81-72. Arizona used the long ball in a major way, sinking 14-29 triples and spreading the floor quite well to distribute for open shots. Solomon Hill had 15 points to go along with Kyle Fogg’s 13 and 6 assists as well as Jesse Perry notching 11/10 boards. Josiah Turner had his best college game thus far with 8 points, though only 1 assist to 4 turnovers in 19 minutes. Nick Johnson continues to be Zona’s best early impact frosh finishing with 11.

St. John’s most definitely has some fantastic young talent and probable NBA prospects. Moe Harkless, a long and athletic freshman wing, had 13 and 9. Talented JUCO combo Nurideen Lindsey dropped in 18 to lead the Red Storm and D’Angelo Harrison has a sweet stroke as a freshman, putting up 16. A lot of young talent on both teams, but Zona’s shooting made a major difference.

Signee Snapshot: Brandon Ashley
(Anthony Gimino/Tuscon Citizen)

With the fall signing period passing by, some schools showed us that they will be stacked with talent for the 2012 NCAA Basketball season. The team that seems to be in the lead after fall is Arizona. The Wildcats signed exciting combo guard Gabe York, rugged PF/C Grant Jerrett and one of the most sought after Center prospects, 7 footer Kaleb Tarczewski. Still, the crown jewel of the class may indeed be versatile forward prospect Brandon Ashley.

This article breaks down how Sean Miller sees Ashley fitting into the Zona program. Miller sees the possibility of Ashley taking a SF role, similar to former Wildcat wing Richard Jefferson. He also might be in situations to play his natural position to this point, the 4 spot. Ashley goes to HS powerhouse Findlay Prep and had 30-point efforts in both of his first two games this season. Word is that he may be a one and done type player, but his impact on a stacked Arizona team should put them amongst the best in the nation next season.

Florida Brings a Depth Charge in Backcourt
(David Fox/Rivals.com/The Bellingham Herald)

#7 Florida destroyed North Florida yesterday, 91-55. Not surprisingly, this was done with their guards leading the way. Florida starts a three guard line-up, 5’8 Erving Walker running point, Kenny Boynton playing the 2 and freshman Bradley Beal at the 3 spot. They also have instant offense off of the bench in SG and former Rutgers transfer Mike Rosario.

Florida only has so many shots to go around, but it is an embarrassment of riches as far as talent at the guard positions. Erving Walker has taken on more of a distribution role as opposed to being the undersized scoring guard. Boynton and Rosario are both natural scorers, but the most talented seems to be the freshman Beal, who Donovan wants to be even more aggressive. With another shooter in PF Erik Murphy, the Gators hope for a lot of their interior play to be run around Center Patric Young. The guards are definitely the key to the Gators success, but they will need their size if they want to contend with the nations best.

#25 Missouri Tigers Trounce Niagara Purple Eagles
(Steve Walentik/ColumbiaTribune.com)

Missouri has been a balanced team for years and have used solid shooting and defense to compete. They did exactly that against Niagara, winning 83-52 behind 5 double figure scorers and 12-22 shooting from long distance. Guards Marcus Denmon and Kim English finished with 22 and 14 respectively while also draining a combined 9 triples.

Ricardo Ratliffe, Michael Dixon and Matt Pressey each had 12 while Matt’s younger brother Philip “Flip” Pressey had 8 points, 5 dimes and 5 steals. The Tigers are off to a 3-0 start and seem to be making the best of being without forward Laurence Bowers, who is out for the season with a torn ACL. They will certainly miss him, but they should still be a competitive team in the Big-12 before making the move to the SEC in 2012.

Bill Self Has High Praises For Calipari’s Current Kentucky Team
(Jeff Goodman/CBSSports.com)

I am sure even Bill Self was wondering what all the fuss was about after going into the locker room tied with #2 Kentucky on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. They were getting beat in the post by some more physical players, turning the ball over frequently and had little ball distribution. However, after halftime, Kentucky came out with an entire new energy and displayed the amazing athleticism that has them thought to be a Final Four and possible title contender.

"It's the most talented team he's had," Kansas coach Bill Self said after Kentucky's 75-65 victory against the Jayhawks.

That is a serious claim to make, especially seeing as Calipari had 5 first round picks on his 2009 Kentucky Elite 8 team and a group that made the Final 4 last season. Self also played Calipari for the championship in 2008 on a team with Derrick Rose, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Joey Dorsey. To me, this Kentucky team seems like one that can compete with any team in the nation.

Much like UConn, they are looking for an identity, but they have more speed and athleticism in their contributing players than any team in the nation. Their depth and lack of bulk could make them fall short like Calipari’s past squads, but at least Bill Self seems to think that this one may have it all.

Due to technical difficulties yesterday’s column was posted later than usual. Here is the link in case you wanted to get yesterday’s report: http://www.nbadraft.net/ncaa-daily-links-2. Thank you for reading and have a great weekend! I will see you all on Monday!

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