Home » The Morning Dish » Currently Reading:

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, December 14, 2016

December 14, 2016 The Morning Dish No Comments

There’s really no other way to put it: Villanova is a machine right now.

The Wildcats just keep on setting them up and knocking them down, navigating a sticky non-conference schedule loaded with traps and doing so in clinical fashion. Villanova’s latest achievement came Tuesday night, when it shut down Obi Enechionyia on the way to defeating Temple 78-57 to clinch the Philadelphia Big 5 title for the fourth straight year.

Enechionyia has been one of the hottest shooters anywhere much of the early season for the Owls, entering this game averaging 18.6 points and hitting nearly 50% from three-point range. Against Villanova, he had nearly as many turnovers (six) as points (eight) and never got to the free-throw line, either, essentially rendered a non-factor.

It was all in just another night’s work for the Wildcats. Josh Hart was again superb-26 points, Villanova played its typical excellent team defense, holding Temple to 36.7% shooting, and the top-ranked team in the country slowly pulled away to improve to 11-0 this year.

It’s hard to pick out what the best feature is of the Wildcats. Is it their experience? Is it their defense? Is it having a player in Hart who is on the short list for player of the year honors early on?

All we know is that Villanova has been tested time and again in its non-conference schedule, even before it faces a grueling 18-game Big East schedule. The Wildcats have won at Purdue and improving Pennsylvania, swept all four games against their Big 5 brethren, defeated Notre Dame on a neutral court even without their best defensive effort for 20 minutes, and have withstood challenges from teams like Western Michigan and La Salle who elevated their games and gave them a run, only to fall short in the end.

Villanova is playing with the confidence and self-assurance of a team that is the defending national champions. Even being a team that has limits in size and depth, nothing phases the Wildcats, and it’s a joy to watch them do their work.

Side Dishes:

  • Compared to all the damage it inflicted last season around this time, Monmouth has been quiet the first month of this season. No more. The Hawks rallied from 12 points down in the second half on the road to win at improving Memphis 82-79, as Justin Robinson hit the go-ahead free throw with 15 seconds left. Monmouth needed a win like this after falling at the buzzer in overtime at South Carolina and getting handled at Syracuse in its first two shots against brand-name opposition, and this one over an improving Tubby Smith-led team is an impressive road conquest.
  • Who knew Cincinnati could be an offensive juggernaut? The Bearcats ran away from Texas Southern 96-58, shooting 56.3% while limiting TSU to 30.4%. Jarron Cumberland scored 18 off the bench and Cincy committed just two turnovers and got terrific overall production from its bench: 51 points, 28 rebounds and 14 assists, including nine from Justin Jenifer.
  • The battle for bragging rights on Long Island was a mauling as Hofstra slammed Stony Brook 96-58, the same score as Cincinnati’s win. Justin Wright-Foreman scored 22 points off the bench to lead six players scoring in double figures, and the Pride outrebounded the Seawolves by a whopping 59-30.
  • New Mexico State is now 9-2 after a convincing 79-68 win at UTEP. Jemerrio Jones chipped in 18 points and 13 rebounds off the bench.
  • Clemson pulled away from South Carolina State 93-65 as Jaron Blossomgame starred with 29 points. LSU also got an outstanding lead performance from Antonio Blakeney, who scored 27 and needed them all in the Tigers’ narrow 70-66 escape from stubborn North Carolina Central.
  • Another team that needed a step-up performance and got it was Oregon, as Chris Boucher finished with 23 points, 19 rebounds and five blocked shots to lead the Ducks to an 81-67 win over Montana.
  • Eastern Washington edged Morehead State 88-86 in overtime as Bogdan Bliznyuk scored a career-high 34 points for EWU in the battle of Eagles. Morehead’s Eagles dropped to 2-7 and lost their seventh straight in what is rapidly becoming a nightmare season for the program and school. It was reported yesterday that suspended Morehead State coach Sean Woods is facing a misdemeanor battery charge in Indiana after two of his players accused him of assault during a game at Evansville earlier this year. According to the charges, he backhanded one player in the chest at halftime and shoved another during a timeout and again later in the locker room, both during a game at Evansville earlier this year. Especially in the case of the incident on the court, it will be interesting to see if there is video available of the incident. Woods has not coached since Nov. 22 when he was suspended after the school announced an investigation.
  • Another prominent transfer we missed yesterday: Georgetown junior Isaac Copeland plans to transfer at the end of the semester, per coach John Thompson III. Copeland is one of the seemingly never-ending list of Hoyas that was being awaited on as a breakout star, but never has broken out. This year he has averaged 5.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.

Tonight’s Menu:

  • Start it off with Princeton getting a chance at home against Saint Joseph’s (5 p.m. Eastern, ESPNU). Though this wouldn’t make up for lost chances on the road against the likes of BYU and VCU, it would be a start in the Tigers getting some momentum rolling before Ivy League play.
  • Louisiana-Lafayette has quietly won eight straight games after starting the season 0-2, and we’ll get a gauge on how good the Ragin’ Cajuns are when they go to Georgia. Enjoy the inside matchup featuring ULL’s Bryce Washington against the Bulldogs’ Yante Maten.
  • Fairleigh Dickinson has fought injuries in a disappointing start, but the Knights can get some positive vibes going if they can win at Rutgers.
  • Fourth-ranked Baylor hosts Southern, another of those over-traveled SWAC teams much better than its record (7 p.m., ESPNU).
  • One of the best games of the night has Middle Tennessee State, which has looked very good this year but faces a tough road test at Belmont.
  • Fresh off beating St. John’s, LIU now takes a trip to the Midwest to face much-improved Minnesota.
  • Arkansas State is at Tennessee-Martin in a matchup of solid Sun Belt and OVC teams.
  • Wisconsin-Green Bay goes to Wisconsin (9 p.m., BTN) in a matchup of a pair of NCAA tourney teams a year ago. Another in-state game has Illinois-Chicago at DePaul for a crosstown rivalry (8 p.m., FS1).
  • Western Kentucky just dumped Indiana State after the Sycamores had won at Butler, and now the Hilltoppers head west to take on Saint Mary’s.
  • Grand Canyon gets a shot at state foe Arizona (11 p.m., ESPNU).

Enjoy your Wednesday.

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 – 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.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, the business of college sports, as well as that of sports media, takes center stage. We talk about the layoffs at ESPN, college basketball’s opening night, and Wichita State’s departure from the Missouri Valley Conference. We close with thoughts on a departed friend of the media business as well.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 11, 2017

April 11, 2017 by

In our first off-season edition, we look back on the season that just ended, including redemption for one team and a big development for a conference that has had more questions than success on the hardwood. We also look at players coming and going, as well as big coaching news on a day where there was a lot of it.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2017

April 4, 2017 by

We look back at Monday’s national championship game, which was not a thing of beauty but had plenty of drama. Along the way we share some post-game quotes from both coaches.

College Basketball Tonight – April 2, 2017

April 3, 2017 by

In our Final Four special edition, three head coaches join us to offer their insights on the Final Four, as well as their own programs.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

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.

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