Home » The Morning Dish » Currently Reading:

The Morning Dish – Sunday, December 28, 2014

December 28, 2014 The Morning Dish No Comments

The Kentucky hype wagon, already rolling along at NASCAR-like speeds, will only gain even more momentum after yesterday.

Whereas that wagon was humming at, say, Bristol Motor Speedway speeds before, though, it now is flying along at a Daytona-like pace after the Wildcats’ 58-50 win over Louisville Saturday afternoon.

And truthfully, why wouldn’t it be? Kentucky has beaten all comers this year, frequently in impressive fashion. In this one, UK held the Cardinals to 25.9% shooting and was so good that Louisville finished with one assist. One. In a road game against a bitter rival and top five team that has blown out almost everyone it faced.

Kentucky is really, really good. At the same time, this game changed nothing.

The Wildcats are still beatable, just like anyone else in the country. Not easily beatable, of course, but they can be toppled.

This is the same team that struggled mightily to put away Buffalo and Columbia. If the Columbia Lions can play Kentucky within 10 points, there’s no doubt-none-that the Wildcats can still lose to an Alabama or LSU this season.

Saturday’s Action:

  • Georgetown rallied from a 12-point second half deficit, then nearly coughed up a five-point lead in the final seconds of regulation before finishing off Indiana 91-87 in overtime. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 29 and was one of five players to score at least 20 points in an excellent game, one that overall speaks well of both teams.
  • The West Coast Conference tipped off its conference season in earnest. The headliner was Gonzaga winning at BYU 87-80, meaning the Bulldogs have already taken care of arguably their toughest conference road game (St. Mary’s will have something to say about that). Meanwhile, it’s way too early to pronounce the Cougars’ NCAA Tournament hopes to be in rough shape, but it is perfectly fair to say that Brigham Young’s margin for getting an at-large bid is getting slimmer and slimmer.
  • Also in the WCC, St. Mary’s defeated rival Santa Clara 73-60 while San Francisco (77-71 over Pacific) and Portland (61-58 over San Diego) both earned road wins. Portland scored the final nine points of the game, with Alec Wintering hitting the game-winning three-pointer with 0.3 left at the Slim Gym.
  • Colorado State remained undefeated-barely. The Rams nipped New Mexico State 59-58 in Las Cruces after the Aggies Pascal Siakam missed two free throws with four seconds left in overtime. CSU is 13-0, while NMSU (5-9 against a rotten-tough schedule) has five losses-to UTEP, Wyoming, Oral Roberts, New Mexico and Colorado State) by a combined 10 points.
  • North Carolina avenged its loss to UAB last year with an 89-58 blowout win Saturday.
  • Maryland held off Oakland 72-56 after the Golden Grizzlies trimmed a 23-point second half deficit to six. Dez Wells scored 10 points in his first game back from injury.
  • Seton Hall routed Maine 72-43 in its first game after Isaiah Whitehead’s injury. Sterling Gibbs stepped up with 18 points and the Pirates blew this open with a 21-0 run in the first half.
  • Wisconsin-Green Bay earned the split of its home-and-home with Georgia State this year with a 78-61 win. Don’t be misled by that final score; UWGB closed the game on a 21-3 run. The Phoenix continue to prove to be more than Keifer Sykes, as Carrington Love had a career-best 28 points.
  • Georgia outlasted Mercer 86-77 in three overtimes. Both teams had multiple chances to close this one out but the Bulldogs finally did in the third extra period. It also says a lot about Mercer that it would’ve surprised pretty much no one if it had won this game. Even with an almost new team from last year, Bob Hoffman’s Bears are still dangerous.
  • Finally, don’t normally like to give much credence to lopsided guarantee games, but Ohio State’s 100-55 win over Wright State is notable because a) Wright State is not that bad of a team from the Horizon League and b) D’Angelo Russell scored 24 points while making 7 of 8 shots, including all six of his three-point attempts.

Side Dishes:

  • CBSSports.com is reporting that former Duke forward Semi Ojeleye will transfer to SMU. Ojeleye will be eligible in December of 2015 and will have 2 1/2 years of eligibility remaining.

Today’s Menu:

Florida Gulf Coast at Xavier (4 p.m. EST, FS1)  Tasty matchup. Not sure the Eagles have enough to compete with the Musketeers inside, but they certainly do have enough to try to run up and down at the Cintas Center, where this Xavier team has been especially comfortable and likes to push the pace.
UCLA at Alabama (6:30 p.m. EST, ESPNU)  The Crimson Tide is impossible to get a read on (near-losses to Iowa State and Wichita State, near-wins against Western Carolina and Appalachian State). When Bama is on, though, it looks like a borderline NCAA Tournament team.
South Dakota State at Northern Iowa  Don’t be surprised at all if this is a tough one for the Panthers.
Harvard at Arizona State  The Crimson will have had a full week to think about their embarrassing performance against Virginia. Many will be curious to see how Harvard bounces back.
Belmont at Butler (6 p.m. EST, FS1)  The Bulldogs should be the better team at home, but Belmont is 8-1 when when Craig Bradshaw is in the lineup and 0-3 without him. Bradshaw is back. This one should be good.
Long Beach State at Syracuse (2 p.m. EST, ESPNU)  The 49ers’ death march of a December schedule continues.
Texas Southern at Kansas State  There are a number of games today involving SWAC or MEAC teams with rough-looking non-conference records that are not indicative of the quality of the teams (see also: Delaware State at Temple, Morgan State at Marquette). All of them are capable of making their games closer than some would expect.

Have an enjoyable holiday weekend Sunday.

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 – January 11, 2018

January 11, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about several big pieces of news away from game play, one of which puts a lot in perspective. We also talk about the lack of dominant teams and how this has shown up in the results, especially this past weekend.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 4, 2018

January 4, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we start with a big game in the Big East, then move on to the sudden lack of undefeated teams, a big injury in the ACC, and a powerhouse that looks vulnerable in a stacked conference they have long ruled.

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.

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.