Home » The Morning Dish » Currently Reading:

The Morning Dish – Monday, March 2, 2015

March 2, 2015 The Morning Dish No Comments

Anyone who has followed the ACC the last few years might find it hard to believe that at one time, Wake Forest was among the ACC’s standard-bearers. They might never imagine that the small school in Winston-Salem was pretty good most years and produced some good NBA players, including Tim Duncan and Chris Paul. Danny Manning has a tall order in front of him, but there’s a lot to like so far, and that included on Sunday.

Wake Forest has been very competitive this year despite its 5-11 mark in ACC play. In the opener, they gave Louisville all they could handle and could easily have won that game. They were right there with Duke in the next game and took Syracuse to overtime in the Carrier Dome. They broke through against NC State and Miami, then nearly pulled off a huge upset at Virginia. On Sunday, they took on a Pittsburgh team that needs to keep winning for its NCAA at-large hopes, and the Demon Deacons pulled out a 69-66 win.

The win came despite the Panthers out-rebounding them 43-28 and the Demon Deacons giving the ball away just five times less. Wake Forest was 9-20 on three-pointers and held Pittsburgh to 41 percent shooting, making up for letting the Panthers go 6-11 from deep.

More than the numbers, though, they came up big when they had to. They were down 61-57 with 4:11 left, then tied it less than a minute later and then completed a decisive 7-0 run with a three-pointer by Konstantinos Mitoglou. They never surrendered the lead after that, forcing three turnovers in the final minute.

The win on Sunday is further evidence that Manning can get the job done in time. It’s hard to believe that just over six years ago, they were at one time ranked at the top of the polls, brief though that was (they promptly lost their next game and never ascended back to the top). The Demon Deacons haven’t been the same since they strangely fired Dino Gaudio in 2010 after they made the NCAA Tournament and won a game. Following that, the hire of Jeff Bzdelik was mind-boggling save for the fact that he’s a long-time close friend of athletic director Ron Wellman, and it was a disaster. Manning has to pick up the pieces, and while there are a couple of good starting points in juniors Codi Miller-McIntyre and Devin Thomas and freshmen Mitoglou and Mitchell Wilbekin, they need more than that.

In the era of conference realignment, it’s harder than ever for a program that’s been down to rise back up. A day earlier, a coach in a similar situation, Boston College’s Jim Christian, remarked, “There’s no miracle cures. If you look at the history of the ACC, nobody’s gone and turned it around in five minutes. It’s not going to happen.” It was a given that Manning wasn’t going to turn Wake Forest back into a champion this season. It’s clear, however, that he is making strides in his first season, and that’s a good start.

 

Side Dishes

It’s been a challenging year for defending national champion Connecticut, but the Huskies got a big win on Sunday. In beating SMU 81-73, they got their biggest win of the season and also knocked the Mustangs out of first place in the American Athletic Conference. The Huskies are still going to need to win the conference tournament to reach the NCAA Tournament, but this certainly boosts them heading into the final week and ultimately the AAC Tournament, which will be in nearby Hartford. SMU, meanwhile, hosts Tulsa on Sunday with the regular season title likely on the line.

Wisconsin clinched a share of the Big Ten regular season title by holding off Michigan State 68-61 behind 31 points from Frank Kaminsky. Later, Ohio State knocked Purdue out of a tie for second by holding off the Boilermakers 65-61 in Columbus.

The Pac-12 had a busy slate a day after the big showdown in Salt Lake City. In what might be a bubble elimination game of sorts, Oregon beat Stanford 73-70 in Palo Alto, strengthening the Ducks’ at-large candidacy while dealing a big blow to Stanford’s. The Cardinal will still get a shot at Arizona on Saturday in Tucson, and they’ll need to take a page from BYU’s book and then win a game or two in the Pac-12 Tournament for a chance. Arizona State, meanwhile, lost 87-81 at Colorado, a blow to their slim at-large hopes, while UCLA clings to hope as they avoided a bad home loss by beating Washington State 72-67.

Providence made an 11-point halftime lead stand up in knocking off Marquette 77-66 behind another monster game from LaDontae Henton (25 points, 15 rebounds). As postseason award lists come out and Henton is nowhere to be found on most, one has to wonder how that is the case. The Big East Player of the Year should come down to him and teammate Kris Dunn.

The MAAC saw a surprise on its final day of the regular season, though it won’t matter as it pertains to the top. St. Peter’s knocked off regular season champion Iona 68-60 in Jersey City, but Iona ends up winning the conference by two games. Next weekend’s tournament in Albany is what matters most for the postseason, however, and that figures to be a good one as always.

Dwayne Polee did not play in San Diego State‘s loss to Boise State on Saturday night, but is expected back on Wednesday according to ESPN. Doctors detected abnormal readings in a heart monitor he has had surgically implanted in his chest, and was not cleared in time for the game. You will recall that he collapsed in a game against UC Riverside just before Christmas, and later diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat. The school is playing it safe, but they expect he will be ready when they play UNLV in their next game.

Memphis may have to go the rest of the season without Austin Nichols, their leading scorer, after he re-injured his right ankle on Saturday against Tulsa. Nichols averages 13.3 points per game and is also second in rebounding at 6.1 per game

Washington has had a difficult season, one that started with promise but has turned ugly. But that doesn’t compare to news that hit the program on Sunday, as all-time scoring leader Christian Welp passed away at age 51. A three-time all-Pac-10 selection, he scored over 2,000 points in helping to lead them to three straight conference titles. He was drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft in 1987 by the Philadelphia 76ers and played three years in the NBA before winning nine championships in Europe.

 

Tonight’s Menu

The last Monday of regular season play is another light slate in terms of the number of games, but there are a couple of important ones among them.

  • Texas gets another opportunity for a quality win as Baylor comes to town, but the Bears have been playing very well and the Longhorns may well be a strictly automatic team at this point. In a later Big 12 tilt, Iowa State hosts Oklahoma.
  • In ACC play, Syracuse hosts Virginia, then later Virginia Tech hosts Boston College.
  • In the SWAC, Prairie View A&M travels to Alabama State with a chance to play spoiler, as the hosts are a game back of Texas Southern, who travels to Alabama A&M.

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

Coaching Changes

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

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!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 26, 2018

April 27, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we spend a lot of time looking at what the Commission on College Basketball came up with, as their report was just produced. We also look at the NBA Draft and transfers, which have many rosters potentially in flux for next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018 by

In our first podcast in the postseason, we look back one more time on the NCAA Tournament, which was just what we needed at this time. We also look at the NIT, CBI and CIT, as well as important transactions with players leaving early for the NBA Draft and coaching changes.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018 by

The 2018 national championship is in the books, and with it another season of college basketball. We break down the national championship game and some of its implications to wrap up the season.

College Basketball Tonight – April 1, 2018

April 2, 2018 by

Welcome to our Final Four edition of College Basketball Tonight. In this edition, we look ahead to Monday’s national championship game, and bring on two guests – long-time Villanova radio play-by-play broadcaster Ryan Fannon and Radford head coach Mike Jones – to get their thoughts and insights on the game.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 1, 2018

April 1, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we break d own the national semifinals, where one game went back and forth while the other was never really a ballgame thanks to an impressive performance for the ages by the winning team.

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.