With Hoopville czar Phil Kasiecki producing his Saturday notes regularly during the conference season, we typically enjoy taking a look at some of the best individual performances in the Sunday Dish.
It’s a day that always delivers some gaudy numbers, but yesterday brought us some of the biggest ones yet the season, including some with historic implications:
Central Michigan guard Marcus Keene has been leading NCAA Division I in scoring much of the season and at times has been flirting with being the first 30-point per game scorer in 20 years (Charles Jones, LIU, 30.1 ppg in 1996-97). Keene had his biggest game yet on Saturday, though, lighting up Miami (Ohio) for 50 points in the Chippewas’ 101-92 win. Keene hit 10 of 15 from three-point range (15 of 23 from the field overall) plus all 10 of his free throws in hitting 50 for the first time and 40+ for the third time this season.
South Dakota State’s Mike Daum has already received considerable recognition for his offensive prowess even as he’s a) a junior and b) playing outside the TV networks’ preferred ultra-narrow focus. Daum had his most prolific game yet, though, erupting for 42 points and also adding 10 rebounds in a 77-67 win over Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne. Daum is noted for his scoring touch from 15 feet and in with range extending to the three-point line, but on this night he suddenly looked like Stephen Curry or Ray Allen, drilling 10 three-pointers (just like Keene) to set a new school record.
UNC Wilmington sophomore forward Devontae Cacok has been best known for much of the season for leading the nation in field goal percentage, with an 81.2% shooting percentage that is on pace to set a new Division I record. Cacok also is an outstanding rebounder, though, averaging nearly 10 boards per game, and on Saturday he set new school and Colonial Athletic Association records with 24 rebounds in the Seahawks’ 87-74 win over Drexel. Cacok is one of the most improved players in the country, and he’s doing it on a UNCW team that is now 19-2 overall and at its current pace should (*should*) be an NCAA Tournament at-large selection if needed in March.
- Phil Kasiecki has his Saturday Notes on all of the day’s biggest games.
- Also, Phil and Ted Sarandis have their latest podcast here on Hoopville, available here.
- More star individual showings: Florida International guard Eric Nottage netted a career-best 37 points as the Panthers toppled UAB 94-85; North Florida guard Dallas Moore continues to carry the Ospreys, scoring 36 in a 90-84 win over Lipscomb; Georgia Southern and Tookie Brown (32 points) outdueled Appalachian State led by Ronshad Shabazz (36) in a 92-88 win to stay undefeated in the Sun Belt; UNC Charlotte’s Jon Davis scored 35, including the game-winner as the 49ers tipped Old Dominion 74-72; James Blackmon scored 33 for Indiana in its important 82-75 win over Michigan State, and Tra-Deon Hollins finished with 33 points, eight rebounds, nine assists and three steals, but Nebraska-Omaha fell to Oral Roberts 103-86.
- It’s been a tough week for injuries in college basketball, and there was more Saturday as it was announced Portland guard Alec Wintering tore his ACL Thursday against San Francisco. The senior’s career came to a premature end, spoiling a terrific season where he was averaging 19.5 points and 5.6 assists per game and a career where he will finish five assists shy of the Pilots school assists record.
- Seton Hall has lost three straight games, and though all three were on the road, it’s imperative that the Pirates respond when they host St. John’s (Noon Eastern, FS1). Eighth place in the Big East is not a good spot for teams looking for NCAA bids. Also in the Big East: Georgetown and Xavier have a date on national television (2 p.m., CBS).
- Northwestern has been off for a week and now may be playing for a top 25 spot when it goes to Ohio State (1 p.m., Big Ten Network).
- Monmouth has risen to the top in the MAAC, and the Hawks can solidify their position with a home win over dangerous Fairfield.
- One of the top games of the day is in the Atlantic 10 as currently streaking La Salle goes to formerly streaking VCU, which now has lost two straight (2 p.m., NBCSN).
- Two good ones in the Horizon League feature teams in the top half of the conference, with Oakland at Wright State and Illinois-Chicago at Valparaiso.
- Key game in the battle for positioning in the AAC as Central Florida is at Memphis (4 p.m., CBSSN).
- If Clemson is going to make a run, it has to start now with a home game against Virginia Tech (6:30 p.m., ESPNU).
Have a fantastic Sunday.