Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

Morning Dish

February 19, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, February 19th, 2003, 2003

by Michael Ermitage

What is wrong with Alabama? The Crimson Tide have taken a serious nosedive. The once-dominant club is now in danger of missing the NCAA tournament. It would be a first for a team previously raked atop the AP poll. On Tuesday night, in a must-win game at home, the Tide never came in. The Georgia Bulldogs dominated the first half of play, building a 12-point advantage, and won the game, 74-69. Actually, the improving Bulldogs dominated all but the final two minutes of the game. That’s when Georgia crumpled at the free throw line, allowing a trio of three-point baskets by the Tide to trim a 13-point lead to four. However, as the old saying goes, it was too little, too late.

It is hard to put a finger on Alabama’s problems. Although, for the most part, it seems that its offense has been sputtering during its slide. After a breakout 84-point performance against Auburn, the Tide had no such fireworks on Tuesday. Summing up the Tide’s frustrations was a terrible final 8:30 of the first half, in which Alabama made just one field goal and missed eight consecutive three-pointers. It really is a shame for such a talented team. Alabama still has time to turn it around, with a two-game road trip on the horizon. Sweeping Tennessee and Mississippi State may be their last chance at the Big Dance.

In other bubble news, Michigan State did nothing to impress the selection committee Tuesday night. The Spartans were absolutely dominated by the Illinois Fighting Illini in Champaign, 70-40. Michigan State was unable to put together any sort of offense; often turning the ball over and watching Illinois’ star freshman Dee Brown take the ball the other way for a layup. In total, Sparty had 18 turnovers and Brown finished with 24 points. The loss keeps Michigan State firmly on the bubble at 6-6 in the Big Ten. However, Izzo’s crew has four of its final five games at home. Plus, the committee may be a bit forgiving considering some of State’s injury problems.

Side Dishes

Senioritis: Prior to Tuesday night’s contest at Georgetown, it seemed that Pittsburgh guard Brandin Knight may be suffering from a case of senioritis. But the talented point guard snapped out of it in scoring a season-high 23 points in leading the Panthers to an 82-67 win. Knight, who has been struggling to match his third-team All-American season from a year ago, was 7-for-12 from the field and 6-for-6 from the free throw line in scoring more than 20 points for only the second time this season. The win moved Pittsburgh to 8-3 in conference play.

Notre Dame on the road: Notre Dame’s season began with several heartbreaking losses on the road. There was the 17-point loss at Pittsburgh and the 15-point loss at Kentucky. Things have only slightly improved. While the Domers have been unable to knock off a top team on the road, such as Syracuse or even Seton Hall, Notre Dame has become adept at beating the middle-of-the-pack clubs, such as Tuesday night’s 56-55 win against West Virginia. Despite blowing a 15-point lead, the Irish hung on, thanks to a late Dan Miller basket. Miller’s basket was just his second of the game on 13 tries.

Notre Dame’s victory didn’t do anything to clear up the muddled Big East picture. Six teams in the conference have three or four conference losses. Early front-runners Connecticut and Pittsburgh have struggled of late, while surprise teams Villanova and Seton Hall have refused to fade. All of this should make for an interesting stretch run and Big East tournament.

Mizzou Legal Troubles: About mid-day Tuesday, Missouri junior guard Ricky Clemons pleaded not guilty to felony charges. He is accused of choking a woman and not letting her leave his apartment. The whole scenario must of fired up Clemons because he went for 20 in Mizzou’s 67-50 win against Nebraska. The Clemons case is another black mark against men’s college basketball as he joins Iowa’s Pierre Pierce, former Southern Illinois Saluki Rolan Roberts and current UIC student Marcetteaus McGee who have run afoul of the law in crimes against women. I say let them play until proven guilty, but banish them from the game if they are convicted of even a negotiated misdemeanor in these deplorable crimes.

BYU to retire first jersey: Former BYU star and Celtic great Danny Ainge will be the first Cougar to ever has his basketball jersey retired. Ainge played for BYU from 1978-81 and took the Cougars to the NCAA quarterfinals his senior season.

”A tradition of retiring jerseys is long overdue at BYU,” BYU Director of Men’s Athletics Val Hale said. ”This is one more step we are taking to try to bring the past and present together for the benefit of our fans and our former and current athletes.”

Tonight’s Menu:

• When Maryland and Duke meet Wednesday night, it will not be the titanic matchup of the 2002 season. Both clubs have struggled enough that they are both now considered fringe candidates at winning the national title. But, nonetheless, both are entertaining good teams. And much is on the line tonight. The Terrapins sit atop the ACC at 8-3, with Duke a game behind at 7-4. Certainly a win by the Terps would go a long way in securing the conference title and top seed in the always-entertaining ACC tournament.

• Nothing revs up a rivalry like a meaningful game. In what looks like an elimination match in conference play, the Oklahoma Sooners host rival Oklahoma State Wednesday night. Both sit a game back behind conference leader Kansas. In addition to chasing a conference crown, both of these top-20 teams are seeking high seeds come NCAA tournament time. These teams are going in opposite directions, however, with the Sooners winning seven of eight and the Cowboys losing three of five.

• Every week seems like there is some matchup between two of the Big Ten’s top teams and that’s what happens again Wednesday night. Conference co-leaders Michigan and Purdue meet in West Lafayette, Ind. Home court has ruled the conference race thus far.

Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a bizarre finish to an early-season tournament game, the Pac-12’s early struggles, Florida teams going in different directions and two northeast teams trending less relevant even as they excite fans at a famous arena.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 by

In our pre-Thanksgiving podcast, we look at a key injury that is likely to be devastating for his team and an under-the-radar 4-0 week, then move on to some early SEC impressions and a couple of teams that just continue to win.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 9, 2017

November 10, 2017 by

The season is almost here, and we take a look at some of what to expect this coming season. We have preseason polls, conference changes, a look at some conferences and some matchups to start the season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 by

The FBI has zeroed in on college basketball in a big way, and what has happened may be the beginning of a massive hit to the sport. We discuss what we know thus far in our latest podcast.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – August 17, 2017

August 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we check in with some good news from a few teams overseas after a big scare, plus a big addition for a championship contender, a conference on the rise, and a great coach thinking about a return to the bench.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.