Home » The Morning Dish » Currently Reading:

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, December 21, 2016

December 21, 2016 The Morning Dish No Comments

Arizona and New Mexico are two teams that should be playing on a regular basis, even if the result Tuesday night from their first game in 17 years indicates otherwise.

The Wildcats jumped all over Lobos, winning 77-46 in Tucson. Chase Comanche came off the bench to score 14 points and add eight rebounds and a very thin team right now had five score in double figures and held UNM to 26.2% shooting.

The game was a far cry from how competitive and hot this series was when it ended in 1999. It ended with New Mexico winning the last two meetings, while then-Wildcats coach Lute Olson announced he would never schedule the Lobos again after some controversy in a loss in 1998. The last contract ran out the following year, and it unfortunately ended a series that was one of the best in the West at the time.

Arizona and New Mexico are natural rivals. Both are major state flagship universities with (usually) rabid fan bases and distinct home court advantages, and both schools sink considerable money into their programs. Thankfully, Wildcats coach Sean Miller seems to get it, as he had some insightful comments about getting the Lobos back on the schedule. Miller spoke specifically of scheduling New Mexico as being something Arizona wanted to do, and that it wasn’t an act of charity. He believes the games are good for his team.

Miller also realizes the importance of regional competition, which is something that should be extolled. It’s good for schools to play like teams in their region, and it’s refreshing to see a coach who acknowledges this, rather than falling back on the traditional lazy excuses in scheduling that so many seem to take as facts of life.

The Southwest is a unique part of the country for college basketball. New Mexico and New Mexico State play a regular home-and-home out of conference every year, and NMSU also faces Texas-El Paso twice a year. There’s a strong regional component to these teams’ schedules, and the rivalry games are always heated. Arizona and New Mexico also once was too-some of the games between these teams were classics, and incidences like a coach vowing to cancel the series because of officiating, and then following through, only add to the legend.

As far as the Lobos, it goes without saying they need to pick up their level quickly. It’s no secret that coach Craig Neal is starting to come under fire as attendance at the usually wild Pit has dwindled. The expectations in Albuquerque are too high to let 31-point losses like this become a norm. With the resources there, NCAA Tournament appearances are the goal, and UNM currently looks far, far from that.

Side Dishes:

  • On a night where a number of ranked teams in action played guarantee games in the comfort of home, the best game may well have been in New Jersey. Monmouth outlasted Princeton 96-90 in a game that went back and forth all night. The Tigers were deadly from deep with 14 three-pointers, and Steven Cook was terrific with 30 points, but the Hawks kept coming back and also hit 14 triples. Je’lon Hornbeak hit six of them and scored 25 points and Justin Robinson led Monmouth with 27. Quality game that deserved a national television audience.
  • Creighton remained undefeated with a road win at Arizona State, winning 96-85. The Jays have won 12 straight to start the year, and Greg McDermott’s formula of welcoming transfers with open arms, mixed with some solid recruiting of freshmen, seems to be working out quite well.
  • The battle for the Peach State was a convincing decision for Georgia, which won at Georgia Tech 60-43. The Bulldogs won at Tech for the first time since 2010, taking a cold-blooded victory in front of a sellout crowd.
  • After Northeastern’s win at Michigan State, the Huskies’ next game at one-loss Oakland suddenly became one of the more anticipated games of Tuesday, and it did not disappoint. Northeastern won 61-59 as T.J. Williams had a jumper at the buzzer, another exciting moment in a season that is rapidly being defined by them-this was the Huskies’ eighth game decided by four points or less. Not all was lost for the Golden Grizzlies, though, as coach Greg Kampe was a definite winner of the ugliest of ugly sweaters this Christmas season.
  • By the way, Kampe also is part of a terrific article in the Lansing State Journal today, one that should be required reading for all NCAA men’s basketball committee members. Kampe calls out their obvious bias in recent years.
  • After getting hammered by Florida by 41 points on Saturday, one had to expect UNC Charlotte would come out inspired on the road in its next game at Maryland, and the 49ers did, leading at halftime. The Terrapins asserted control in the second half, though, and won 88-72 to improve to 12-1.
  • UNC Wilmington is now 11-1 after an 81-71 win over former CAA rival East Carolina. Should the NCAA selection committee for any reason decide to lighten up its treatment of non-major football schools this year, the Seahawks could be a team that can work their way into an at-large spot in March if needed.
  • Iowa handled North Dakota 84-73, but the bigger news to come from the game came right at the end, when Iowa coach Fran McCaffery refused to shake hands with the UND coaches or team and ordered his players off the floor too immediately after the game. McCaffery was frustrated by a North Dakota player stealing the ball from Iowa in the final seconds that led to a layup at the buzzer, as well as a few other small incidents. At first this sounded like a gross overreaction by McCaffery to something that should’ve been a mild irritation at best, but after hearing postgame comments by him and UND coach Brian Jones, let’s just chalk this one up to the heat of competition, and maybe even enjoy a little bit that we’ve got coaches who can add a little spice to the sport.
  • Northern Illinois went on the road and defeated South Florida 59-48, completing a sweep of the Huskies’ two games in the state that also included a win at Florida International. The loss was only part of the bad news for the day for USF, though, as the school revealed Jahmal McMurray has received his release to transfer. McMurray was suspended for the Bulls’ first six games this season for an undisclosed reason, but he averaged 20 points per game in the three games he played in and was clearly the team’s go-to player down the stretch in its close loss Saturday to South Carolina.

Today’s Menu: It’s a busy day as teams squeeze in games before Christmas and the holidays.

  • The day starts early again with Jacksonville State at Tennessee-Chattanooga at 2 p.m. Eastern time.
    Fairfield takes on its second straight ACC team when it travels to Boston College (6 p.m., CBSSN).
  • Former Big East rivals meet again as St. John’s is at Syracuse.
  • The game of the night undoubtedly is Kentucky at Louisville (7 p.m., ESPN), one of the best rivalries in the sport right now. Congratulations on the Wildcats playing their first true road game of the season, and before Christmas!
  • Oakland plays for the second straight night, facing Michigan State (7 p.m., Big Ten Network).
  • The Braggin’ Rights rivalry game takes place with Missouri meeting Illinois again.
  • Arkansas-Little Rock is at Florida, as the Gators debut the refurbished O’Connell Center.
  • UAB plays at Texas in an attractive matchup of two teams looking desperately to get on track as the new year approaches.
  • Fresh off a win at Nebraska, Gardner-Webb takes a shot at another football school when it goes to Kansas State.
  • Big rivalry game in the Palmetto State as Clemson and South Carolina get together (9 p.m., ESPNU).
  • Intriguing non-conference game for much-improved Arkansas State as it goes against Alabama, this one in Huntsville. This would be another nice get for a Sun Belt team if the Red Wolves can handle the Crimson Tide’s size.
  • Finally, one of the best games of the night is one of the latest as Virginia travels to take on California (10 p.m., ESPN2), returning the Golden Bears’ trip to Charlottesville last year.

Have a great 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 – January 18, 2018

January 18, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about big road wins for a few teams, including a couple of bluebloods that looked destined for losses, as well as an unsettled Big Ten beyond one team, an SEC where you shouldn’t pay attention to bracketologists, and the problems with a proposed earlier start to the college basketball season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 11, 2018

January 11, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about several big pieces of news away from game play, one of which puts a lot in perspective. We also talk about the lack of dominant teams and how this has shown up in the results, especially this past weekend.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 4, 2018

January 4, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we start with a big game in the Big East, then move on to the sudden lack of undefeated teams, a big injury in the ACC, and a powerhouse that looks vulnerable in a stacked conference they have long ruled.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a bizarre finish to an early-season tournament game, the Pac-12’s early struggles, Florida teams going in different directions and two northeast teams trending less relevant even as they excite fans at a famous arena.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 by

In our pre-Thanksgiving podcast, we look at a key injury that is likely to be devastating for his team and an under-the-radar 4-0 week, then move on to some early SEC impressions and a couple of teams that just continue to win.

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.