Home » The Morning Dish » Currently Reading:

The Morning Dish – Friday, December 4, 2015

December 4, 2015 The Morning Dish No Comments

What a difference one game can make in a season.

Just over a week ago, UCLA was losing to Wake Forest in the Maui Invitational for its second loss in two days. Just under three weeks ago, the Bruins lost at home to Monmouth in their season opener in what will go down as one of the upsets of the season given its unknown-slaying-blueblood storyline, even as we’ve come to see the Hawks are a pretty darn good team themselves.

After last night, though, UCLA now holds one of the true trump cards for NCAA Tournament resumes that any team will hold all season. The Bruins upended No. 1-ranked Kentucky 87-77, leading almost the entire way and snapping the Wildcats’ 38-game regular season winning streak.

UCLA played just seven players in this game, but all seven contributed significantly. Thomas Welsh had 21 points and 11 rebounds. All five starters scored in double figures, while reserves Jonah Bolden and Prince Ali combined for 15 points. This was a textbook case of an entire team stepping up to accomplish something few anticipated.

Kentucky shot just 37.9% for the night and dealt with heavy foul trouble all game. Isaiah Briscoe was excellent again with 20 points but the rest of the team combined to shoot 18 of 56, barely 32%. Skal Labissiere in particular was nearly invisible-six points and one rebound in 16 minutes-showing once again that no matter how touted the freshman, there is no guarantee of night-in, night-out domination. The Wildcats also lost Marcus Lee to a head injury in the first half and he did not return.

Of course, there’s also the not-so-little matter of UCLA avenging a miserable result against the Wildcats last year. Kentucky famously led the Bruins 41-7 at halftime less than 12 months ago en route to an 83-44 win.

Whether UCLA can sustain this all season is another matter entirely. But for one night we saw once again that magic still happens in a place where so much has happened before.

Side Dishes

  • Valparaiso and Belmont began a December non-conference home-and-home with the Crusaders holding on for a 61-57 victory. Alec Peters scored 17 points and Valpo won despite shooting just 35.4%.
  • Long Beach State earned a quality road win, defeating Colorado State 83-77 at Moby Arena. Nick Faust scored a career-high 27 points.
  • Louisiana-Monroe upended Louisiana-Lafayette 81-70 behind 30 points from Majok Deng, who continues to develop nicely in his senior year and far ouplayed the more heralded Shawn Long for the Ragin’ Cajuns, who had 10 points and eight boards.
  • USC earned a solid road win, closing on a 14-4 run to take down UC Santa Barbara 75-63 at the Thunderdome.
  • Dan Majerle’s Grand Canyon team improved to 6-0 with a 75-72 win over Central Michigan. The Antelopes are still ineligible for an NCAA Tournament for a couple more years but continue to build a nice D-I program.
  • Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim heard back from the NCAA on Thursday and found out that his nine-game suspension as part of the school’s probation has been upheld. The one catch is that the suspension will kick in immediately and not with the start of ACC play. That means Boeheim will miss Saturday’s game against Georgetown, though he will return to conference play considerably sooner than first expected.
  • BYU freshman guard Nick Emery will be suspended one game for punching Utah’s Brandon Taylor in their heated game Wednesday night. He was ejected from the game for the punch and the ejection carries an automatic one-game suspension. Emery will miss the Cougars’ game Saturday against Weber State, a dangerous one for BYU.

Tonight’s menu: A fairly quiet Friday night in December

  • The best game is the latest one as Oregon is in Vegas to play UNLV (11 p.m. EST, ESPN2) for what should be some high-octane fun.
  • Interesting game for Pittsburgh, as the Panthers have to face city rival Duquesne on the road (6 p.m., CBSSN). The Panthers are on the rebound after a tough loss to Purdue, and the Dukes have enough offense to make this one difficult.
  • Undefeated Northern Illinois gets its toughest test when the Huskies go on the road to face Missouri.
  • The MAAC begins league play in earnest with five games. Monmouth has a tough road trip as it heads to Buffalo to face Canisius, while
  • Manhattan is at Siena in a contest that has two teams who have had ups and downs early but it would be no surprise if they’re in the thick at the end of the year.
  • Saint Joseph’s is at Columbia in a game with some star power with Deandre Bembry and Isaiah Miles against Maodo Lo and Alex Rosenberg.
  • Out west, UC Davis is at unbeaten St. Mary’s and UC Irvine goes to former Big West rival Pacific.

Enjoy your Friday and have a great weekend. Remember: 20 shopping days left until Christmas.

Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Your Phil of Hoops

Saturday Notes – December 3, 2016

December 4, 2016 by

The first big Saturday of the college basketball season gave us all we could hope for, and it started right away. We have notes from a number of the day’s games right here.

Thanks to a big backcourt boost, Gonzaga should be even better this season

November 7, 2016 by

Gonzaga might have needed the West Coast Conference title they won in Las Vegas last year in order to be in the NCAA Tournament. With better guards, there should be no doubt about that this time around.

For the Big 12, coming out on top again will be a challenge in 2016-17

October 21, 2016 by

The Big 12 has been on a great run to be the top conference in recent years, including last year. This year will be a challenge due to a big loss of experience throughout the conference.

Hoopville Archives

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.

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.

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

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

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.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.