Home » The Morning Dish » Currently Reading:

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, January 10, 2018

January 10, 2018 The Morning Dish No Comments

Conference play is a very different animal from non-conference play for a lot of reasons. The results often bear that out with many welcome examples, and right now we have two of them in Texas A&M and St. John’s.

Both teams at least showed a lot of promise in non-conference play. Both teams are currently staring at winless starts in their respective conferences after losing again on Tuesday night.

For Texas A&M, the fall has been especially noteworthy. The Aggies looked terrific in non-conference play, winning the Legends Classic quite convincingly over Oklahoma State and Penn State. In the season opener, they blew out West Virginia, who leads the Big 12 with a 4-0 start). They beat USC, a win that has lots value over time. They nearly beat Arizona in Phoenix. They were ranked in the top 10 in the polls, although that always seemed a bit much.

But since SEC play begun, it has not been pretty. They are 0-4 after losing at Kentucky 74-73 on Tuesday night, a Wildcat team that was without freshman point guard Kwade Green. The first two losses were by double digits, while the last two have been agonizing one-point losses. The Aggies have not been fully healthy, hit by injuries and illness, but a four-game losing streak likely wasn’t something many people saw coming. They are the lone winless team in the SEC right now. The SEC is certainly stronger this year, but the Aggies are not as big a part of that as first thought.

St. John’s, meanwhile, looked like they could be poised to really break through this year as Chris Mullin’s work running the program took further shape. With their only non-conference losses coming against Missouri and Arizona State, they looked like they could at least be the sleeper Big East team many thought they might be. Much more than that would have been a bit much since teams many picked ahead of them looked as good as advertised, from Villanova down to Providence, Seton Hall, Xavier and even Butler, who some thought might be due for a down year.

The Red Storm played a strong non-conference schedule as the numbers go, as theirs ranks near the top 10. But their best wins are against Nebraska and UCF, neither of which is a lock for the NCAA Tournament.

After Tuesday night, though, the Red Storm are Georgetown’s best win in Patrick Ewing’s first season at the helm, as the Hoyas beat them 69-66. Worse yet, the Red Storm have now lost to the only two Big East teams with RPIs that have three digits, and both losses have come at home. They are 0-5 with Villanova coming to town on Saturday and a trip to Xavier looming after that.

Conference play has familiarity as one equalizing factor, as teams develop styles of play and habits over time that teams who play them regularly pick up on. Home court is another one, as many teams who don’t go on the road much in non-conference play have to play road games against conference opponents. There’s also a little added competitiveness, because every team wants what their opponents want: a conference championship.

Every year we see a ready example or two of how different conference play is for a variety of reasons. Texas A&M and St. John’s serve as the best ones this season.


Side Dishes

It wasn’t a great night to be a road team, but Purdue picked up an especially good one as they pulled out a 70-69 win at Michigan. The Boilermakers led at halftime and some of the second, but needed a free throw in the final seconds and then a long heave bouncing off the rim to hang on and go to 5-0 in the Big Ten.

Two other good road wins on the night: Tennessee got 37 points from Grant Williams to knock off Vanderbilt 92-84 in Nashville, and Boise State held off Fresno State 70-64 to go to 4-1 in Mountain West play as Chandler Hutchison persevered through a tough night to still post a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Home teams ruled in the Big 12, which means West Virginia (57-54 over Baylor), Kansas (83-78 over 0-5 Iowa State) and Oklahoma (75-65 over Texas Tech) all won, with the Sooners handing the Red Raiders their first Big 12 loss. West Virginia is the lone undefeated team at 4-0, while Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech are all right behind at 3-1.

A somewhat surprising result: Seton Hall went to Marquette and got blasted 84-64. Marquette winning at home was not surprising; a 20-point margin is. Give the Golden Eagles credit for really keeping their foot on the gas pedal to build an eight-point halftime lead up to the final margin.

Texas guard Andrew Jones is still not ready to return to action just yet with an undisclosed illness. The Longhorns will host TCU on Wednesday night, and Jones is expected to sit it out.


Tonight’s Menu

It’s a busy night of action, though the best games appear to be concentrated in the latter part of the night.

  • The ACC is a busy conference with four games on tap: Duke at Pittsburgh, Notre Dame at Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech at Wake Forest early on (7 p.m.) and Louisville at Florida State later (9 p.m.)
  • Uconn may have finally gotten a conference win on Saturday against East Carolina, but they face a tougher matchup here as UCF visits Storrs (7 p.m.)
  • The SEC has three interesting games on tap: Mississippi State at Florida (7 p.m.), Georgia at Missouri and LSU at Arkansas (9 p.m.)
  • A dandy Big East matchup is on tap as Villanova hosts Xavier (8 p.m.)
  • The best Big 12 matchup on the night is TCU visiting Texas (9 p.m.)
  • Two Big Ten teams that have not lived up to preseason expectations battle as Minnesota visits Northwestern (9 p.m.)
  • Colorado tries to stay on a roll as they hit the road to play at USC (10 p.m.)

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 – May 30, 2018

May 30, 2018 by

The NBA Draft and its deadline to withdraw to return to school leads the way in our latest podcast. We also look at one conference’s new scheduling plans, a number of quick hitters, and pay tribute to a fallen conference leader.

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.

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.