Notre Dame vs. Indiana
The Hoosiers got a dose of Notre Dame’s balanced scoring attack in an ugly game that was out of hand by halftime. After racing out to a 19-point halftime lead, the Irish poured it on in the second half and destroyed Tom Crean’s overmatched Indiana squad 88-50.
Tory Jackson led the way for the Irish, putting together an all-around game of 21 points, five rebounds, and six assists. Kyle McAlarney chipped in 18 points, all on three-pointers, while Luke Harangody provided his usual in and out game.
There were few bright spots for the Hoosiers, as they shot under 40 percent from the field and turned it over 20 times.
A few game notes
Kyle McAlarney’s jumper is straight silk. But what I love most about this kid is that everyone knows he’s looking for the three—and he still finds ways to get good looks.
Indiana’s Daniel Moore and Brett Finkelmeier, both of whom could pass for members of Coach Norman Dale’s Hickory team, were each sporting clear face masks, kind of an odd look for backcourt mates.
Tom Crean was wearing a short-sleeved windbreaker on the sideline. No word on why exactly.
Florida vs. Syracuse
In a game that seemed to feature optional defense, Syracuse used a myriad of scoring weapons to wear down the Gators, claiming an 89-83 win.
While neither team looked overly impressive, Syracuse seems like a team with a bright future as they continue to gel over the season. Florida, meanwhile, is a lacking an identity altogether.
Andy Rautins was the star of the first half for Syracuse, connecting on five treys, while Jonny Flynn took over in the second half, scoring 16 of his 18 points after intermission. The Orange ended the game with five double-digit scorers.
The Gators were led by Alex Tyus’s career-high 24 points, but outside of scoring help from Nick Calathes, Florida couldn’t find a consistent threat in the halfcourt set—and the Gators were owned in the paint, mainly courtesy of Syracuse’s resident big body, Arinze Onuaku, who posted 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Florida was six-for-six against Big East teams coming into the game.
Despite being known for their 2-3 zone, Syracuse came out in man and stayed in it for quite a while.
Nick Calathes is 6’6” and can’t dunk on breakaways.
Walter Hodge, a senior with two national championship rings, provided zero points for the Gators. He did, however, apparently bet Andy Rautins on who could show up with the most amusing hairstyle.
While Rautins’ faux-hawk was fairly ridiculous, it did not match the absurdity that Hodge brought to the table. Hodge had a star shaved into the left side of his head, and on the other side was the name "Kiki" with stars dotting each of the i's.
Kansas vs. Washington
Whether it was pushing it up the floor or using a stifling zone defense, Kansas gave Washington fits all night en route to a 73-54 win.
The Jayhawks limited Washington’s star big man, Jon Brockman, to only seven points and never allowed him to get settled in. Washington struggled to score all game, but it was an early second half drought that ultimately did them in. From there, the Huskies were at the mercy of KU.
And when the Jayhawks look to push it, man, are they fast.
Cole Aldrich and Marcus Morris tag-teamed down low to hogtie Brockman—and hook up on the all-too-familiar Bill Self-taught high low game. If another team in the country runs a better high low than Kansas, please point me in their direction.
Overall, Kansas scored from everywhere on the court, getting double digits from four of their five starters—led by Sherron Collins’ 18 points.
Isaiah Thomas was the only Husky to put up decent offensive numbers, leading the team with 17 points. Other than that, it was pretty ugly for Washington. For Kansas, however, it was a huge win for a young team that already looks to be in mid-season form.
Conference Spotlight: The SEC
Outside of Tennessee and maybe LSU, things are looking bleak in the SEC.
First Florida’s appearance on ESPN last night exposed them as a young team still not ready for the limelight, but then there’s this:
Kentucky suffered another embarrassing season opening loss at home, Alabama and Auburn both lost to Mercer, Arkansas was beaten by Missouri State, Georgia was pounded by Loyola, and Florida—a team that has made a living on three-balls—shot 1-16 from three-point range against Southern Utah (with the lone trey coming with 22 seconds remaining).
VMI’s offense: The Keydets got the nation’s attention after they upset Kentucky in their first game. Now expect them to grab even more headlines as they continue to shatter more and more records.
Led by senior twins Travis and Chavis Holmes—who are on pace to break the all-time NCAA scoring record for twins—VMI is boasting a ridiculous 111.2 points per game after last night’s 97-92 win over Campbell.
And I know this will look like a misprint, but it’s not: VMI is averaging 18.5 steals per game as a team.
Tyler Hansbrough’s nickname: Psycho T sounds like a corny rapper’s name, like someone from the Insane Clown Posse. Let’s put this name to rest.
My buddy Eric has dubbed the big man “The Sugar Packet.” It makes sense. Go with it.
The best-laid plans...
Mike Jarvis is back! After a four-year layoff spent working for ESPN and Yahoo! Sports, Jarvis is back in the college game as head coach at FAU. Too bad his team had to play Stephen Curry’s Davidson squad last night, as Curry got loose for 39 points. Perhaps Jarvis never covered a Davidson game during his commentary.
NJIT, New Jersey Institute of Technology, recorded its 36th straight loss. 36 games, y’all.
From the Division II World
Because D-II ballers never get enough love, I’m going to try to highlight a different conference each week.
This week it’s the Peach Belt, an 11-member conference made up of teams from Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
Conference games have obviously not started yet, but preseason conference favorite, USC Aiken—led by senior Chris Commons—seems to be fitting the bill, running off to a quick 3-0 record while averaging 89 points per game.