Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

Conference USA Notebook

December 8, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Conference USA Notebook

by Zach Van Hart

Buzzer blues

It was a week of unkind buzzer beaters in Conference USA last week, as three games ended in loses after made shots with very little time left. Two resulted with the first loss of the season for the respective losers, along with a near upset falling short.

The first buzzer bummer came in Saint Louis Saturday, as the Billikens hosted No. 5 Arizona. SLU came out strong and took a 38-30 halftime lead. The Wildcats struck back, going on a 21-4 run to take its first lead with eleven minutes remaining. The Billikens would fall behind by eight, but continued to claw its way back.

After Chris Sloan converted on a three-point play with fourteen seconds remaining cut the Arizona lead to one, Salim Stoudamire made two free throws with twelve ticks left. SLU trailed 68-65 and worked for a shot to tie. Reggie Bryant worked the ball at the top of the key and appeared to nail a game-tying shot with 3.1 seconds remaining.

But Bryant’s foot was on the line when he shot, keeping the ‘Cats lead at one. Billiken players did not realize it was only a two and did not attempt to foul. Bryant led SLU with 24 points, as three others scored in double figures.

Buzzer bummer number two came in Starkville as Lawrence Roberts made a short hook, again with 3.1 seconds remaining, to give Mississippi State an 86-84 win against previously unbeaten UAB. The Bulldogs ended the game on a 9-3 run and two big plays by Roberts.

First, Roberts collected an offensive rebound with 30 seconds remaining, giving MSU a chance to setup for the last shot. Then he made the game-winner around a host of Blazer defenders.

The finish ruined a career night from senior guard Morris Finley, who finished with 38 points. Finley went 5-of-7 from three-point land and 15-of-21 from the field. Roberts lead the Bulldogs with nineteen points.

Bummer number three came as Kyle Buggs nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to give New Orleans a 69-66 win against Tulane. The Privateers scored the final five points of the game. After the Green Wave went ahead 66-64 with 50 seconds left, New Orleans countered with a tying jump shot only seconds later.

Tulane miss-fired twice on its next possession and New Orleans got the ball back with eight seconds left. A.J. Meredith sprinted upcourt and found Buggs in the corner, who nailed the jumper to stun the crowd at Fogelman Arena.

Whitehead heads Louisville

With Ellis Myles sitting out the season to recover from knee surgery, senior forward Luke Whitehead knew he had to step up big time this season for No. 25 Louisville. So far, Whitehead has not disappointed.

After three games, Whitehead has averaged 16.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. More importantly, he has made big plays and been a leader for the Cardinals, something they needed with the departure of Reece Gaines.

Following a season-opening loss to Iowa Nov. 29, 70-69, Louisville responded with two wins last week. First they smoked Western Kentucky, 93-63 Thursday before struggling with Holy Cross, 56-40.

Whitehead has been aided by a couple of sensational sophomores, Francisco Garcia and Taquan Dean. Garcia is averaging fourteen points and seven assists per game, while Dean is contributing thirteen points and five assists.

A buzzer winner

Not all the buzzer beaters went against Conference USA last week. Charlotte, who is becoming the most exciting team in the league, held off Old Dominion in double overtime when Brendan Plavich hit a three-pointer with seven seconds remaining to win 105-102. The ‘W’ improved the 49ers to 4-2.

The Niners extended the game to a second extra period when Eddie Basden hit a layup with only two seconds remaining during the first overtime. Charlotte also overcame a ridiculous night from Alex Loughton, who finished with 45 points and fifteen rebounds. Loughton went 17-of-23 from the field, including hitting all five treys he took.

Plavich and Basden were two of four 49ers scored in double digits. Demon Brown, easily playing his best game of the season, led Charlotte with 26. He tallied a double-double, handing out ten assists.

While the Niners have lost at home to George Washington and on the road to Alabama, they already won at Syracuse and always provide exciting basketball. They will be a team no one wants to face at the rate they are going.

Cream rising early

Only a few weeks into the season and just two teams in Conference USA remain undefeated. No surprise here, those two are Cincinnati and Marquette. The Eagles are 6-0, while the Bearcats are 4-0.

Marquette earned its first quality win of the season last Monday, beating No. 21 Notre Dame 71-58. Cincinnati has yet to beat a ranked opponent, but easily disposed Valpo on the road Tuesday, 76-56, a team the Golden Eagles struggled to defeat in Milwaukee.

The Eagles will have a serious test this Saturday when they must travel to face No. 5 Arizona. The Bearcats are off all week for exams. They do not return to action until a home game Dec. 17 against Clemson.

Player of the Week

Demon Brown, Charlotte – Second straight week a 49er earns the award. Brown averaged 21.5 points and seven assists during a 1-1 week for Charlotte. He led the team with 26 points and ten assists during Charlotte’s double-overtime win against Old Dominion.

Games to watch

No. 3 Florida at No. 25 Louisville, Saturday at noon

Part I of showdown Saturday in C-USA. The Gators have looked pretty strong early on, with David Lee, Matt Walsh and Anthony Roberson playing great. The Dean-Roberson match-up will be the key to the game.

No. 5 Arizona vs. No. 24 Marquette, Saturday at 4 p.m.

Part II of the showdown will be another dandy. Stoudamire is explosive but can disappear from time-to-time. Look for Travis Diener to try and score more to keep the pressure on the Wildcats’ guards.

No. 10 Illinois vs. Memphis, Saturday at 9 p.m.

Part III is will pit upset-minded Memphis against revenge-minded Illinois. The Tigers knocked off the Illini at the Pyramid last year. Illinois is more than just Dee Brown and will likely be too much for the Tigers to handle.


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 – 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.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the NBA Draft, of course, but spend much more time on the happenings at Ohio State and Louisville and the implications starting next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 17, 2017

May 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we start with the NBA Draft Lottery, then talk about a big pickup for Duke, important transfers, the coaching carousel winding down and much more.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, the business of college sports, as well as that of sports media, takes center stage. We talk about the layoffs at ESPN, college basketball’s opening night, and Wichita State’s departure from the Missouri Valley Conference. We close with thoughts on a departed friend of the media business as well.

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.