St. Louis University: 2012 CBE Hall of Fame Classic Preview

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St. Louis University: 2012 CBE Hall of Fame Classic Preview
Image via slubillikens.com

There is no simpler way to put it: the Saint Louis Billikens stunk up the joint last Wednesday against Santa Clara.

The 74-62 loss doesn't look as bad on paper as the play on the court actually reflected. The Billikens were down by double digits very early in the first half, and the lead bounced between 15 and 20 points for much of the rest of the game.

I'm not one for looking at a game's box score when the game stopped being interesting less than halfway through the actual game.

However, it's worth noting that in just the first half, Santa Clara scored 44 points while shooting 58 percent from the field. Kevin Foster already had 17 points, before finishing with a game-high 30.

In a most unlikely manner, turnovers bedeviled the Billikens. They allowed 17, which turned into 24 points for the Broncos.

It feels like the 2012-3 season has hit rock-bottom. After just two games.

SLU announced on Friday that Rick Majerus will not be returning to coach the Billikens next season. Majerus' contract expires as the end of this season and he was already ruled out for its entirety.

But the university, with Majerus' blessing, wanted to make the inevitable official. The coach's health problems are gravely serious and SLU probably felt as many fans do: they wanted to show their appreciation and send their well wishes to the Coach.

Freshman guard Keith Carter left the Santa Clara game early with a leg injury. There is no official indication of the injury's seriousness, and he was able to walk off the court under his own power.

Tom Timmerman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweeted Friday that Carter should be "good to go" on Monday.

However, when I asked Carter how the leg was feeling and whether he would be on the court for the team's next two games, Carter responded via Twitter saying it was "not looking 2 gud rite now."

Watching Carter's leg bend sideways, I can believe that this injury will not be one from which Carter quickly bounces back.

If Carter is out for an extended period of time, it will leave just two legitimate options at guard for SLU, juniors Jordair Jett and Mike McCall.

Jake Barnett came off the bench against Santa Clara and provided an offensive spark for the team, scoring seven points and grabbing five rebounds. But nobody planned such a large role for Barnett at the season's outset.

The Billikens now must pick up the pieces after a terrible loss, then travel to Kansas City for two matchups in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.

The Billikens will face Texas A&M (Nov. 19), and depending on the result, either Kansas or Washington State (Nov. 20).

Here is a preview of all three potential opponents for SLU.

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