Home » The Morning Dish » Currently Reading:

The Morning Dish – Sunday, February 1, 2015

February 1, 2015 The Morning Dish No Comments

Today is February 1st, which is unofficially the start of the stretch run for the college basketball season. Jockeying for NCAA Tournament bids heats up, and we’re just on the doorstep of the most exciting month in sports.

Rather than a time of anticipation, though, Feb. 1 this year is marked by disappointment. One can’t help but be sad for Virginia Commonwealth senior guard Briante Weber, whose college career is over after he tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus Saturday in the Rams’ surprising 64-55 loss to city rival Richmond.

You may not have seen saturation coverage of his VCU teams on TV the way you do for blueblood programs or the best one-and-done players, but it can be argued that Weber is stylistically one of the defining players in college basketball over the last four years.

In this Dead Ball era of college basketball, there are very few identifiable systems of play anymore. We still have the Syracuse zone, the Princeton offense, but there is no more distinct style of play right now than VCU’s “Havoc,” and no player will ever represent its attacking pressure defense better than Weber. With his long arms, distinctly wiry build and a boatload of steals (the fact that he played for four years helps, too), Briante Weber’s silhouette could be the logo for Havoc the way Jerry West’s is for the NBA.

Weber led NCAA Division I in steals last year and is leading again this year, and he finishes his career with 374 steals, cruelly coming up eleven shy of tying the D-I record of 385 held by Providence’s John Linehan (1998-2002). Though never a great offensive player, he was a stat sheet stuffer, and this year averaged 7.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 3.8 steals per game.

Where VCU goes from here obviously bears watching. The Rams are thought to be the best team in the Atlantic 10, and that doesn’t change even with Saturday’s loss, as this team still has enough parts to be effective. Undeniably, though, it will be a different team going forward, one missing its best defender. College basketball will miss him, too.

Side Dishes:

  • Phil Kasiecki has his recap of Saturday’s huge schedule of games here. Phil also was at the Ryan Center for Rhode Island’s 59-55 win over George Washington.
  • Win streaks continuing: Stephen F. Austin’s is now at 17 after beating Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 61-51, while Murray State also has won 17 straight after defeating Tennessee-Martin 65-62. Tulsa has reeled off 11 in a row after beating South Florida-barely, needing OT to get by the Bulls 78-71. Albany has won nine straight and is in full command of the America East after a 77-59 win at Maine.
  • Just six Division I teams have reached the 20-win mark so far. By far the most surprising of them is Valparaiso, which joined the list after holding off Illinois-Chicago 70-65. (The others: Arizona, Gonzaga, Kentucky, Northern Iowa, Notre Dame). Also a note on UIC: junior guard D’Juan Miller has left the program for personal reasons, according to a release from the school. Miller was averaging 4.7 points and 4.0 assists per game for the Flames, who are struggling through another tough season at 5-18 overall and 1-7 in the Horizon League.
  • A little bit of separation in the Mountain West, as there are now merely five teams separated by one loss or less instead of the seven we had coming into Saturday. Dropping back to 5-4 now: Fresno State (after losing to Colorado State 80-57) and Utah State (62-42 losers to San Diego State). Wyoming & SDSU lead at 7-2, Colorado State and New Mexico are 6-3, Boise State is 5-3.
  • Teams lighting it up: Eastern Washington and Idaho played a dandy in the Big Sky, with the Eagles holding off the Vandals 98-95 in overtime despite Tyler Harvey leaving in the second half with a bruised quadriceps muscle. Seton Hall and Xavier put on a show with the Pirates winning 90-82. Lehigh held off Boston University 89-86, while Maryland-Eastern Shore outlasted run-and-stun Coppin State 92-82.
  • From the “Is it news or isn’t it?” category, Illinois has suspended guards Rayvonte Rice and Aaron Cosby, and neither played in the Fighting Illini’s 60-58 win over Penn State on Saturday. Of course, Rice hasn’t played in any games since Jan. 3, missing the rest of January with a broken left hand. Cosby also was out for the previous two games with an eye injury. The Chicago Tribune was reporting that both had a chance of returning for Saturday’s game before the suspension. Stay tuned on this one.

Today’s Menu:  Twelve games total on the D-I docket. Among them:

Michigan at Michigan State (1 p.m. EST, CBS) Best game of a light schedule today, but these two could both be winless and this would be a rivalry game worth watching.
Miami (Fla.) at Florida State (Noon EST, ESPNU)  Dangerous game for the Hurricanes, who are still solidly in the NCAA Tournament. For now.
Cincinnati at East Carolina (1 p.m. EST, CBSSN)  Ditto for the Bearcats. Cincy should be able to beat ECU, but this is still a road game.
Utah at USC (2:30 p.m. EST, ESPNU)  A perfectly manageable road game for the Utes.
California at Washington  Two of the surprises of the non-conference season are now on the verge of both being some of the biggest disappointments in conference play.
Connecticut at Houston (3 p.m. EST, CBSSN)  If the Huskies can’t win at Hofheinz Pavilion, it may be time to make those NIT reservations.
Manhattan at Monmouth  The best game of the day of three of them in the MAAC.

Enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday.

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


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 – 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.

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.

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.