Home » The Morning Dish » Currently Reading:

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, February 8, 2017

February 8, 2017 The Morning Dish No Comments

A few days after Eastern Washington and Portland State played a three-overtime game that ended with two players scoring 45 points each and EWU finally winning 130-124, Alabama and South Carolina did their best to wrestle the mantle away for wildest game of the season.

On Tuesday, the Crimson Tide and Gamecocks played on, and on, and on. It took four overtimes, but Alabama finally earned a very nice road win, 90-86 over South Carolina. Again: in four overtimes.

In true SEC hoops fashion, the numbers for this one were a mix of amazing and bizarre. The Gamecocks’ Sindarius Thornwell scored 44 points and grabbed 21 rebounds, yet shot just 9-for-25 from the field. Thornwell didn’t need to convert a lot from the field to score 44 points, though, when he was hitting 25 of 33 from the free throw line, setting a new SEC record for foul shots made in a conference game-breaking a record formerly held by none other than Pistol Pete Maravich.

Thornwell’s shooting from the floor was still better than his team did collectively-South Carolina hit a miserable 23 of 88 shots (26.1%). And other than P.J. Dozier (24 points, but just 8-for-24 from the field and 2 of 6 at the line), no other Gamecock scored more than nine points.

The truth is, it took a gritty effort for USC to just get this game to overtime. Alabama led 32-16 at halftime, and the Gamecocks didn’t tie it until Thornwell scored with 12 seconds in regulation to knot it at 57-57, then had to sweat out a final shot attempt by Bama.

The Crimson Tide, meanwhile, got most of its best work from its bench. Avery Johnson Jr. (23 points) and Ar’mond Davis (19) led a reserve corps that scored 56 of the team’s 90 points. Riley Norris was the only starter in double figures, but he also yanked down 14 rebounds as Alabama out-toughed South Carolina inside.

While not a great loss for the Gamecocks, this is a quality win for Alabama, the type that still gives this team a glimmer of hope to make the NCAA Tournament, which is welcome news after the Tide recently lost for the second time this season to hated rival Auburn. At 7-4 in conference games, Bama also is lurking just two games behind the tri-leaders in the SEC, and a hot finish to the season could make for an interesting case come March.

Side Dishes:

  • Butler and Marquette both needed their game in Milwaukee, but in crunch time the Bulldogs were simply the tougher squad, going on to a 68-65 win to snap a two-game losing skid. It always seems any of a number of players can lead Butler, and this time it was Andrew Chrabascz with 21 points, including eight in a row down the stretch.
  • We noted it yesterday, Maryland’s trip to Penn State had all the looks of a trap game, and indeed the Nittany Lions toppled the Terrapins 70-64. The Terps played from behind all night and never could come back, following up their emotional loss to Purdue with a second straight defeat. Also in the Big Ten: Northwestern is missing Scottie Lindsey, but an NCAA tourney team still should probably be expected to beat Illinois at home, even without its best player. The Fighting Illini picked up the 68-61 win, though, keeping their own slim NCAA hopes alive. And Michigan State…what was that? Just nine days after the Spartans defeated Michigan at home, the Spartans were flat-out drubbed in Ann Arbor 86-57, an embarrassing defeat that may have to be ground zero if MSU is going to make its patented late-season run.
  • Increasingly, it’s looking like we’re going to have to get used to it: Syracuse is going to be back in the NCAA Tournament. The Cuse pulled out another one on Tuesday, winning at Clemson 82-81, as Tyus Battle hit a three-pointer at the buzzer. Syracuse keeps coming from behind to win ACC games, while the Tigers keep losing close ones at home.
  • We also may have to get used to the idea of TCU being in the NCAA Tournament, too. The Horned Frogs nabbed another one at home, edging Texas Tech 62-61 to get to 17-7 overall.
  • Akron nipped Ball State 65-63 in a battle of MAC division leaders, as big Isaiah Johnson hit the game-winner, a 19-footer from the wing in the final second off a baseline out of bounds play. What a finish, and this game was also a prime example of how college basketball screws up replay, as officials spent five minutes trying to find a reason to add two tenths of a second to the clock, completely blowing the emotion of an incredible finish. Also: the Zips kept alive two streaks: their homecourt winning streak, now at 29 games, second-best in NCAA Division I, and as their streak of 20-win seasons, which is now at 12 straight years, a terrific feat for Keith Dambrot’s program.
  • Also in the MAC: Marcus Keene did it again, going off for 41 points, and Central Michigan won at Ohio University 97-87.
  • Siena defeated Iona 81-79, a mild surprise in the MAAC standings given the Gaels came in having won six in a row, but the even bigger surprise came earlier in the day when Siena announced guard Nico Clareth had returned to the team after leaving the squad more than three weeks earlier, and not long after coach Jimmy Patsos indicated he didn’t know if Clareth would be back this year.

Tonight’s Menu:

  • Having played its way back into the NCAA Tournament picture, Oklahoma State now gets a primo shot to solidify its standing with Baylor coming to town (7 p.m. Eastern, ESPNU).
  • North Carolina State is at Florida State, and the Wolfpack being the Wolfpack, they’re probably due to pull off the win in this one (7 p.m., ESPN2).
  • Southern Illinois has third place in the MVC right now, but Northern Iowa can move into a tie with the Salukis if it can win at home tonight.
  • Providence goes to Seton Hall in a classic old school Big East matchup. Don’t count the Friars out this year just yet. (8:30 p.m., FS1).
  • Minnesota hosts Iowa in what isn’t so much a ‘must-win’ as a ‘cannot-lose’ game for the Golden Gophers (9 p.m., Big Ten Network).
  • Virginia Tech goes to Miami (Fla.) in an important game, one that could eventually be an NCAA tourney play-in, per Hoopville’s Paul Borden earlier this week.
  • West Virginia already lost to Oklahoma at home, and now the Mountaineers play at the Lloyd Noble Center (9 p.m., ESPN2).
  • Central Florida has backslid some in the American, but the Knights can make some noise if they could upset streaking Cincinnati on the road (9 p.m., ESPNU).
  • Regular rivals South Dakota State and North Dakota State meet again in the Summit League. Also, very surprising South Dakota-just half a game off the pace of league-leading NDSU-tries to keep pace when it faces Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne.
  • The Mountain West’s premier in-state rivalry resumes with UNLV at Nevada (11 p.m., CBSSN).

Have a terrific Wednesday.

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 – March 17, 2018

March 17, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, there is one main story to focus on: history being made in Charlotte and its aftermath. But we also talk about tough times for the Pac-12 and a key member school, plus an added challenge ahead at Pittsburgh.

College Basketball Tonight – March 11, 2018

March 12, 2018 by

College Basketball Tonight returns with a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament bracket, and in the second segment Mount St. Mary’s head coach Jamion Christian joins us.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 10, 2018

March 10, 2018 by

As Championship Week nears its climax on the big Saturday, we look at a pair of semifinals and a lot of bubble teams that may be sweating it out on Sunday.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 8, 2018

March 8, 2018 by

As Championship Week heats up, we talk about bubble teams who may or may not want to earn their way into the NCAA Tournament, as well as a couple of mid-majors whose conference championship game was played earlier in the week.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 22, 2018

February 22, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we start with floor issues in the Big East and an important NCAA ruling that was upheld. Then we go on to the Big 12, where Wednesday night had a new twist, as well as the ACC and how it shapes up along with no team going undefeated in conference play this year.

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.