Home » The Morning Dish » Currently Reading:

The Morning Dish – Thursday, January 7, 2016

January 7, 2016 The Morning Dish No Comments

One of what may be the games of the year in the Missouri Valley took place last night. And now, with one its back pocket, Wichita State gets ready for what could well be another one.

The Shockers held on to defeat upstart Evansville 67-64 at Koch Arena on Wednesday, improving to 3-0 in Valley play and dealing the Purple Aces their first conference loss and just their third loss of the season. The Shockers got their customary terrific game from Fred VanVleet (16 points, nine assists) but needed more, especially on a night when Ron Baker scored just nine points on 3-for-10 shooting and no other starter scored more than eight points.

WSU got it from Anton Grady, who scored a team-high 17 points off the bench. Many might remember Grady’s name, as he was the player who scared many when he was motionless with a head injury in Wichita State’s AdvoCare Invitational game against USC early this year. The Cleveland State transfer came back Dec. 19 in the Shockers’ overtime loss at Seton Hall and in this game played his biggest role yet, hitting 8 of 13 shots.

Evansville may well be WSU’s biggest threat in the MVC, with two of the conference’s best players in D.J. Balentine and Egidijus Mockevicius. Balentine was somewhat quiet with 14 points (6 of 17 from the field) while Mockevicius scored nine and hauled down 16 rebounds, but the Aces also have a player coming on in Jaylon Brown, who scored 18 points and is starting to give the team a third option behind its Big Two. Winning a game like this would’ve almost been a bonus for Marty Simmons’ team, but there’s no question now that his squad is ready to challenge for the league title.

As terrific as the atmosphere was for this game, if figures to be every bit as good or even better at Wichita State’s next one. The Shockers now get ready to face Southern Illinois on the road on Saturday in what is sure to be a rowdy crowd in Carbondale for the biggest game there in several years.

SIU improved to 14-2 overall with a 65-44 win at Bradley on Wednesday, and the Salukis also join WSU at 3-0 in the Valley. A team that was once a curiosity as it picked up wins against a mediocre schedule early, Southern Illinois is a ball rolling down the hill and picking up speed now, having won seven straight and defeating Northern Iowa last week. Anthony Beane (21.0 points per game) has thrust himself into candidacy for the Larry Bird Player of the Year award in the MVC for the vastly improved Salukis, and SIU Arena will be rocking the way it hasn’t in years, perhaps since College Gameday visited nearly seven years ago.

Side Dishes

  • UNLV is making news again, but not for the right reasons. The Runnin’ Rebels led by 10 with just over five minutes left but lost at Colorado State 66-65 as John Gillon made one of two free throws with 1.1 seconds left. Vegas now has lost four of five, some in painful fashion, and is squandering an excellent start to the season. Rebel starters scored just 29 points total in this one.
  • Texas Tech played on the road for the first time this year, and while the Red Raiders didn’t win, they gave a very good account of themselves in a 76-69 loss at Iowa State. Tech was down just three with less than three minutes to play at Hilton Coliseum, but Matt Thomas scored 22 for the Cyclones.
  • Villanova took care of Seton Hall for a 72-63 win as Daniel Ochefu was dominant-20 points, 18 rebounds.
  • Duke pulled away from Wake Forest to win 91-75 in Winston-Salem. Luke Kennard is starting to heat up-23 points, and the freshman now has 17 or more in four of the Blue Devils’ last five games.
  • It’s getting hard to ignore Ohio State’s improvement. The Buckeyes won again, defeating Northwestern 65-56 on the road. Kam Williams was huge off the bench with 21 points and OSU has now won seven straight since an ugly loss at Connecticut.
  • Texas A&M continues to quietly plug away, improving to 12-2 with a just-get-the-job-done 61-60 win at Mississippi State. The Aggies may well be the best team in the SEC right now.
  • Oregon nipped California 68-65 in another good Pac-12 game, with Chris Boucher and Tyler Dorsey combining for 35 points. Also, Stanford picked up its third consecutive win in league, winning at Oregon State 78-72.
  • One is an accident, two is a trend. George Washington may soon have a problem if it continues to lose games it shouldn’t on paper. The Colonials already had a recent loss to DePaul and last night lost at Saint Louis 65-62. That would be the same Billikens who have already lost at home this year to the likes of Morehead State and Tennessee-Martin.
  • A surprise result in the Mid-American Conference: Eastern Michigan shot 60% on the road in the first half at league favorite Central Michigan-and then shot even better in the second half at 72%. The Eagles finished at 66% (33 of 50) for the game in an unexpectedly easy 99-80 win over the Chippewas.
  • For only the second time since 1909 and the first time since World War II, Utah and BYU will not play next year. The Utes informed the Cougars that the series will not take place next year, feeling it needs a “cooling off period” after this year’s intense game that saw a punch thrown and ejections. BYU coach Dave Rose is not happy. While Utah’s idea is reasonable, the unilateral decision without the Cougars’ input is not. If it’s such an issue as to give a break to a 100-plus year old rivalry, isn’t this something that both schools should talk out together?

Tonight’s Menu:

  • Cincinnati and SMU played a pair of grinders last year which were both won by the Bearcats. This year’s first meeting is in Dallas (7 p..m. EST, ESPN) and the Mustangs look to remain undefeated.
  • Still the biggest rivalry on the West Coast, Arizona and UCLA stage their first meeting this year (9 p.m., ESPN2) in Los Angeles with the Bruins in bad need of a victory after a rough Washington trip to start Pac-12 play.
  • After two games of league play there are just two teams undefeated in the CAA-Hofstra and Northeastern. The former gets a challenge when it goes to the College of Charleston, while the Huskies are at home against Delaware.
  • Michigan has won six straight by an average of 31.7 points per game, including double-digit wins over Illinois and Penn State to start Big Ten play. The Wolverines could start to build some buzz if they can win at Purdue (7 p.m., ESPNU).
    North Carolina State has had almost a week to stew after a home loss to Virginia Tech and now has a toughie at home against Louisville (7 p.m., ESPNU2).
  • Mississippi opens its new arena, the lamely named Pavilion at Ole Miss (seriously?) by hosting Alabama (9 p.m., ESPNU).
    Tennessee Tech is 2-0 in the Ohio Valley and a rather surprising 10-5 overall, and the Golden Eagles can establish themselves as a bona fide contender in the league if they can win at Murray State.
  • One of the bigger games in the Sun Belt all year: preseason favorite Louisiana-Lafayette is at Arkansas-Little Rock. Fascinating matchup of big Shawn Long against the Trojans’ small-but-tough defense.
  • Old Dominion had a rough run in non-conference play, but the Monarchs are a prime example of a team that could turn it around in league. They’ll take their shot at ending Louisiana Tech’s 39-game homecourt winning streak (9 p.m., CBSSN).
    Finally, the Big West’s regular season champion last year takes on its tourney champ as UC Davis is at UC Irvine.

Have a terrific Thursday.


Twitter: @HoopvilleAdam
E-mail: hoopvilleadam@yahoo.com

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

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.