It was a rather docile first full weekend of January, early in the conference portion of the college basketball season. Here are some quick hit notes from around the country, from A (Arizona) to…well, at least W (Western Illinois):
- Sometimes the effect of a single player being out of the lineup is overdone, but early on it sure looks like Sindarius Thornwell’s return for South Carolina is a game-changer. Thornwell totaled 19 points, 11 rebounds and six steals in his first game back and then posted 16, seven and five in those categories Saturday in a 79-68 win against Texas A&M. We’re thinking the Gamecocks look good to emerge as the second- or third-best team in the SEC; in fact, mark down Jan. 18 and Feb. 21. That’s when Frank Martin’s team plays Florida.