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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gator (and Southern) Hoops Blog #10 - Season 2

My Beloved 95 Bloggees:

The 4 - 0 Tide keep rolling. With last year's NIT championship loss to Wichita State in their minds, Alabama secured revenge with a 70 - 60 win over the Shockers  . The Tide had a whopping 14 blocked shots and 6' 8 250 lb freshman Nick Jacobs had 5 of them in just 9 minutes! Swat!

Tony Mitchell shot 9 of 15 for 26 points leading the scoring for the Crimson and White. The Tide are for real and to be feared. March and early April might be quite busy for Alabama fans. You can't help but pull for a classy coach like Anthony Grant. Plus, I like his pedigree. NEXT

Some pundits have half-jokingly suggested that injured Peyton Manning might deserve the MVP award in the NFL this year because with him missing all of the games of the Indianapolis Colts they are winless. Could Arkansas's powerful 6' 7 235 lb Marshawn Powell possibly capture the SEC "Manning MVP" award this year?

Reports out of Arkansas are that Powell suffered a severe knee injury in practice Thursday. How much time he will miss has not been determined but he did have to sit out Friday's 87 - 78 loss to Houston  . The Razorbacks were outrebounded 38 - 27 by their Conference USA opponent, an indication of how much they missed Powell's bulk. NEXT

Southern Conference's Davidson Wildcats gave a scare to the Duke Blue Devils on Friday night leading by one at the half. Then Duke turned it up a notch as they are known to do and came out on top 82 - 69  . Gator decommit Austin Rivers scored 17 points on 8 for 13 from the field but suffered 4 turnovers. Seth Curry also contributed 17 points on 6 for 11. NEXT

Just because your dad played in the NBA like the sons of Doc Rivers and Dell Curry mentioned above, does not guarantee that you will have an impact on college basketball. Eastern Michigan's Quintin Dailey, Jr. fits that category. The Eagles senior only scored one point in just 8 minutes of play last night in the 62 - 51 victory over Arkansas-Little Rock. For the year, Dailey is only averaging 1.7 points per game and for his career just 2.4  .

Quintin Dailey, Sr, the troubled University of San Francisco star who played in the NBA for 10 years, died a year ago with heart complications . NEXT

Continuing the theme of NBA offspring, Georgia Tech was led by Glen Rice, Jr. off the bench in the Yellow Jackets 73 - 60 Friday win over last year's Final Four darling, VCU  . Rice, who missed the team's first three games because of a rules violation, had 19 points, 7 for 11 from the field, 3 for 6 beyond the arc.

In 1988, I was one of the 10 Gator fans in Salt Lake City, Utah to I see his dad, Glen Rice, Sr, score 39 on 16 for 24 shooting for Michigan to defeat Florida 108 - 85 in a Final 32 game of the Big Dance  .

That Michigan team had a Fab Five before the more famous early 90's version (that included Chris Weber and Juwan Howard). The 1988 Fab Five had five starters who played in the NBA. We will make this a trivia question, can you name them? Scroll down at the bottom for the answer. Reply if you answered correctly without googling. That would be impressive and I want to know. You already have one. NEXT

Mississippi State might be the only team that has already played five games. Their development as a top-notch SEC team was evident last night defeating 15th ranked Arizona 67 - 57 to win the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer at Madison Square Garden . The Bulldogs showed balanced scoring with UTEP transfer 6' 11 230 lb , junior Arnett Moutrie, who had a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards, the only one in double figures.

With preseason All-SEC first teamer, senior Dee Bost at the point and 6' 10 270 lb Renardo Sydney's presence in the post, along with Moutrie, Coach Rick Stansbury has an outstanding nucleus which will be a force in the SEC. NEXT

Congrats to Bloggee Alan who as AD saw his Jacksonville Dolphins win their first of the year, defeating his former employer, Samford, 70 - 57  . The Dolphins, who try to repeat last year's upset at Florida on Thanksgiving Friday night, shot an efficient 50 % led by Aloys Cabell and his 17 points. Samford's senior Jeffrey Merritt seemed to be the only Bulldog in sync offensively with 22 points on 9 for 14, including 3 for 4 long-range. THAT'S IT.

Enjoy....former Gator assistant, Lewis Preston, won his first game as head coach at Kennesaw State with a 65 - 59 victory over Southern Conference's newbie bloggees, let me know what you think so far....I always look forward to reading feedback, positive or negative,


Trivia Answer

Glen Rice

Loy Vaught

Rumeal Robinson

Gary Grant

Terry Mills

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gator (and Southern) Hoops Blog #9 - Season 2

My Beloved 95 Bloggees:

If I only had an editor, he or she would have caught my fumble in the last blog that South Carolina's point guard/wide receiver is Bruce Ellington not Wllkington. NEXT

On Thursday night, Florida manhandled North Florida 91 - 55   . Four of the Gators Fabulous Five guards, Kenny Boynton (20), Erving Walker (17), Mike Rosario (15) and Bradley Beal (12) were in double figures, while the other, defensive specialist Scottie Wilbekin, did his thing with 4 steals.

The lack of frontcourt depth is worrisome which was exacerbated by the absence of Will Yeguete who was sitting out due to concussion symptoms. He took an elbow to the face last game from Ohio State's Jared Sullinger. That is a big ouch. NEXT

When was the last time you saw an ACC team only score 42 points? That happened to first-year coach Mark Turgeon's Maryland Terrapins in Puerto Rico on Thursday when they ran into Anthony Grant's defensive machine, Alabama, 62 - 42.  ? It was a complete wipeout, with no Maryland player scoring double figures. Not only were the Turtles outrebounded 44 - 28 but they shot just 26.5 % against the pressure of the Crimson Tide.

Alabama was led by Tony Mitchell's double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. If I were the Tide AD. I would do everything possible to make Anthony Grant a long-time Tuscaloosa resident. I love his team and the future of Tide hoops with him at the helm. NEXT

Mike Anderson's Arkansas Razorbacks continue to be undefeated with a 91 - 68 victory over Oakland on Wednesday night in its second game of the season  . Marshawn Powell was the man again with his 20 points on 9 for 13.

However, here is a freshman to watch, point guard B. J. Young, who scored 16 points in just 20 minutes on 5 for 8 shooting, 3 for 5 from the deep end. Last year I saw an entertaining televised St. Louis high school basketball game that featured two All-Americans from that town, Young and the Gators' Bradley Beal . They are both so special. NEXT

Speaking of Arkansas, do you remember Corliss Williamson, the 1994 NCAA Tournament MVP when Arkansas won the Big Dance. "The Big Nasty" is currently the 2nd-year head coach at Central Arkansas (Scottie Pippen's alma mater) from the Southland Conference. His first year was disappoining with a 5 -24 record. This year could be worse. The Bears are 0 - 3 after Wednesday night's 97 - 90 loss to NAIA's Philander Smith College   . Nothing more needs to be said. NEXT

In a battle of future Gator in-state opponents, 25th ranked Florida State held off Stetson, 79 - 66 Wednesday night  . The Seminoles' Okaro White had 18 points on 8 for 11 from the field, while Bernard James had a double-double with 15 points on 7 for 8 along with 11 rebounds. Deividas Dulkys came off the bench shooting 6 times without a miss, 4 times outside of the arc for 16 points.

FSU has very large bodies with a a starting frontcourt of 6' 11, 6' 10 and 6 ' 8 and a backcourt of two 6' 5 guards, and even more size coming off the bench. It will be a "tall" challenge for the Gators when they host FSU on December 22. Also, Stetson is much improved under their new head coach, Casey Alexander, a long-time assistant (and former player) at the successful Belmont program. The November 28th battle against the Hatters in Orlando may not be a pushover for the Orange and Blue. Ask FSU. NEXT

Mark Gottfried's N C State Wolfpack won a 60 - 58 nail biter over Princeton Wednesday night  giving the Raleigh school a 3 - 0 record. The key stat was N. C. State winning the battle on the boards 34 - 22. The Pack's success has taken place even while not at full strength. Sophomore 6' 8 forward C.J. Leslie will be eligible to play Saturday against Vandy after serving a 3-game suspension for accepting improper benefits. NEXT

Visiting Creighton ruined UAB's opener on Wednesday 70 - 60 . Bloggee Doug who was in attendance raved about Doug McDermott and his 27 points on 11 for 18 shooting, 3 for 4 long distance. Bluejay head coach, Greg McDermott was also pleased with his son's play.

For the Blazers, former local high school star, Jordan Swing, a Western Kentucky transfer, had 14 points in his UAB debut. Pre-season Conference USA Player of the Year, 6' 10 Cameron Moore, was not a factor offensively with just 7 points, but he had 7 blocked shots and 12 rebounds. THAT'S IT.

Enjoy....Blogee Bob's 3 - 0 Campbell Camels defeated N.C. A&T 94 - 66.....freshman Trey Freeman hit both of his free throws so he is now 22 for 22 this year,


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gator (and Southern) Hoops Blog #8 - Season 2

My Beloved 95 Bloggees:

Florida dug themselves a 16-point second half hole last night in a 81 - 74 road loss to 3rd-ranked Ohio State  . The stats for the game were basically even for the two teams except free throws and turnovers. Florida was 13 for 21 while Ohio State was 27 for 34 from the charity stripe. Also, Florida had 16 turnovers (not terrible) but Ohio State just had 7.

I remember former broadcaster and Marquette coach, the late Al McGuire, used to say, "You cut the head off, you kill the body." If the Gators play Ohio State again, I would encourage that Florida give more minutes to shut-down defender Scottie Wilbekin and put him on Buckeye point guard Aaron Craft. During the short periods when that happened last night, Wilbekin gave Craft fits. Florida would sacrifice some offense but it would be more than offset by Ohio State being out of sync.

Gator center, Patric Young, certainly held he own against Ohio State's Player of the Year candidate, Jared Sullinger. Young outrebounded Sullinger 12 to 6 and was only outscored 16 to 14. That is a tremendous sign for the Orange and Blue, but more scoring needs to come from frontcourt reserves. NEXT

There were a couple worse losses by SEC teams on Tuesday night. LSU lost for the second straight year to the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, this time on the road 71 - 63  . Don't forget Coastal Carolina's head coach is the country music crooner and former head coach at South Alabama, Clemson and Auburn, Cliff Ellis.

The game was supposed to celebrate the opening of Coastal Carolina's new arena but construction was delayed. So they played in a 1,039 seating facility on campus. Of course it sold out. Back to the play on the court, the Chanticleers outrebounded their SEC opponent, 51 - 32. This does not bode well for LSU coach Trent Johnson who is probably regretting his move from Stanford. NEXT

In another shocker, South Carolina was upset on the road by Southern Conference's Elon 58 - 53  . The Gamecocks did not have a player in double figures, shooting 31 % and just 3 for 27 or 11 % from way out...."Paging Bruce Elkington, Bruce Elkington, please come from the football field to the basketball court." (referring to last year's freshman point guard sensation, now a wide receiver/wildcat QB on the Gamecock football team). NEXT

Kentucky won the battle of heavyweight programs with a 75 - 65 win over the Rock-Chalks of Kansas on Tuesday night  . The Wildcats started three freshmen (Marquis Teague, Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) and two sophomores (Terrence Jones and Deron Lamb), with each of them in double figures, playing at least 33 minutes. This just in, Coach John Calipari can recruit.

Florida transfer Eloy Vargas pitched in a rebound during his 7 minutes for the Wildcats. On the other side, Kansas's Travis Releford, brother of Alabama's point guard Trevor, had more turnovers (5) than points (4) in 28 minutes. NEXT

Vanderbilt's Tuesday 80 - 68 win over Bucknell is more impressive than the score indicates considering the 'Dores star guard, John Jenkins, was a spectator nursing a hurt ankle  . Jeffrey Taylor bounced back from his dismal performance in Sunday's Cleveland State loss, to lead 5 Vandy players in double figures with 14 points on 6 of 10 shooting. NEXT

The Gators may regret the transfer of 6' 11 255 lb Kenny Kadji . They could have used him last night against Ohio State after seeing his numbers in Miami's 72 - 57 win over Rutgers  . Kadji scored 13 points on 6 for 11 shooting along with 3 steals, 2 blocked shots and 5 rebounds in 30 minutes for Jim Larranaga's Hurricanes. NEXT

On Monday night, 16th ranked Alabama had an impressive home win over Oakland, 74 - 57  . The visitors were picked to finish second in the preseason Summit League poll and has represented the League in the NCAA tourney the last two years.

JaMychal Green led the Tide with 18 points on 7 for 13 shooting. Tony Mitchell just missed a double-double with 12 points and 9 rebounds. Coach Anthony Grant has to be ecstatic with the play of the highly-touted in-state freshmen Trevor Lacey and Levi Randolph who scored 10 and 9 points respectively. If the Tide continue playing this tight defense yielding just 40% shooting, 22% beyond the arc by the Grizzlies, something special could be happening at the Capstone. NEXT

Auburn had a similar home victory Monday night but with a different feel to it. The Tigers got by Kennesaw State 68 - 55 but the guests played without last year's Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, Markeith Cummings  . If you remember, Kennesaw State was crushed by Wisconsin on Saturday 85 - 31, and in that game Cummings scored 18 of those points.

Frankie Sullivan was in a groove for Auburn with 22 points on 6 for 11 shooting after a subpar 3 for 12 and 8 points on Auburn's opening night. NEXT

Monday night had an interesting matchup of head coaches in an overtime thriller. Isiah Thomas and Florida International defeated former Georgia Tech coach, Paul Hewitt and George Mason 79 - 76. Will Isiah take the Panthers to the next level after an 11 - 19 record in his collegiate coaching rookie year? Will Paul Hewitt continue the winning tradition at George Mason started by Miami Hurricanes coach, Jim Larranaga? NEXT

The Big South Conference shined on Monday night, especially during the following games:

High Point barely lost at Big Ten Purdue 67 - 65.

Presbyterian soundly defeated Eastern Kentucky from the Ohio Valley Conference 78 - 50.

But the game that means the most to Bloggee Bob was his 2 - 0 Campbell Camels defeating Jeff Lebo's East Carolina Pirates from Conference USA 76 - 74. Campbell's freshman point guard, Trey Freeman, sank 12 of 12 free throws in the victory. (I love to see 100 % free throw shooting by a player when he has double digit attempts). Freeman is now 20 for 20 this year. We will keep an eye on him. THAT'S IT

Enjoy.....there were more games to report during the last two nights, but I don't want to send out novels.....I will tell you Gator decomit Austin Rivers was 1 for 7 in Duke's win over Michigan State....also Bob Huggins and West Virginia have not recovered from their exhibition game loss, with a 70 - 60 home upset by Kent State.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Gator (and Southern) Hoops Blog #7 - Season 2

My Beloved 95 Bloggees (Welcome Bruce):

Florida decommit Austin Rivers had 15 points, 3 steals and no turnovers on Saturday to lead Duke to a 96 - 55 victory over the Blue Hose of Presbyterian College from the Big South Conference  . "Doc Jr." was 5 for 8 from the field contributing to the Blue Devils whopping 61 % shooting percentage.

For you Birmingham bloggees, Presbyterian's big William Truss from last year's State Final Four participant, Vestavia Hills High School, had 4 points in 8 minutes. Surprisingly his 257 pound frame did not fetch any rebounds. NEXT

Butler, who defeated the Gators in the Elite Eight last year, is off to a miserable start. After losing in an exhibition game to Northern State, it dropped its opening game in overtime at Evansville 80 - 77  . Gator killer Khyle Marshall only had 6 points and 2 offensive rebounds. He should have imagined that the Purple Aces were wearing Orange and Blue so that he could possibly duplicate the key numbers he had against Florida, 10 points and 7 offensive rebounds.

Butler is certainly looking forward to next year when the Arkansas transfer sharpshooter, Rotnei Clarke, will be eligible for the Bulldogs. NEXT

Wisconsin demolished Kennesaw State from the Atlantic Sun Conference 85 - 31on Saturday  . At halftime it was 41 - 8......for the game the Badgers outrebounded the Owls, 40 - 17 and outshot them, 59 % to 23 %. The number one-ranked point guard, Jordan Taylor, only had 11 points but distributed 7 assists for 15th ranked Wisconsin.

The first year coach for Kennesaw State is former Gator assistant Lewis Preston. Here are his frustrating words after the game: "When I go back and look at this film, if I don’t kick the TV in, I’m going to go back and look at the number of open shots. We probably missed five or six layups; we missed some easy shots in the sweet spot.” Take it easy, Coach. NEXT

On Sunday, Middle Tennessee State from the Sun Belt Conference defeated host Loyola Marymount 58 - 51  . What made this victory so meaningful for the Blue Raiders was Loyola Marymount's upset of then 17th ranked UCLA on Friday night. Middle Tennessee State gets a crack at UCLA themselves on Tuesday.

If you have DISH Network, on Tuesday night you can tune into Channel 411 Fox Sports Prime Ticket at 10:00 Central to watch that intersectional matchup. You may see a "not-so tall" guy wearing a suit on the Middle Tennessee State bench, prompting the question "Hey, Who is That Assistant Coach". It will be former Gator assistant Monte Towe, who recently was an assistant to Sidney Lowe at his alma mater, North Carolina State. NEXT

In a Sunday shocker, Cleveland State upset 7th ranked Vanderbilt 71 - 58 in Music City USA  . Does Mouse McFadden have any eligibilty left? (He was the star in 1986 who led Cleveland State to the Sweet Sixteen  ).

No, Mouse didn't play, but D’Aundray Brown did. The 6' 4 senior guard had 18 points, 7 of his team's 15 steals and 8 rebounds for a good day's work. John Jenkins was not sharp for the 'Dores, shooting 5 for 14 and just 2 for 8 from long range on his way to 17 points. Jeffrey Taylor also had a disappointing performance with 6 turnovers and just 9 points. NEXT

In Friday night's annual "Blogger Barry's IQ is not allowed near the building" rivalry game, Harvard defeated MIT 76 - 49 The Crimson of Harvard are Ivy League Champs coached by former Duke great Tommy Amaker who already has a history of big-time upsets while at the school. THAT'S IT

Enjoy....speaking of Ivy League, I feel bad for bloggee Barbara who went to Princeton, NJ and saw her alma mater lose to Wagner 73 - 57....looks like 28 Princeton turnovers were too tough to overcome.....on Wednesday her Tigers travel to Raleigh against Mark Gottfried's 2 - 0 NC State Wolfpack.....Barbara, I am pulling for Princeton,


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gator (and Southern) Hoops Blog #6 - Season 2

My Beloved 92 Bloggees:

The Veteran's Day battle between North Carolina and Michigan State on the USS Carl Vinson was a terrific way for the sports world to honor our military. The pre-game including President Obama addressing the brave men and women who defend our country was memorable. I am a firm believer when it comes to honoring these wonderful Americans, one leaves their partisanship at the door and enjoy the experience like I did watching on TV.

Michigan State probably did not enjoy the subsequent 40 minutes losing to North Carolina 67 - 55.  I believe I saw a couple of MSU players licking a finger and then putting it up to the wind to determine its we did when playing on the driveway. That didn't help their 31% overall shooting and just 10% from beyond the arc, 2 for 20. The outside elements did not affect the Spartans' Draymond Green who had 18 rebounds nor the Heels' top two players, Harrison Barnes (17 points) and John Henson (12 points....he is from Tampa, FL....grrrrrr). NEXT

Two future in-state Gator opponents FSU and Jacksonville, played each other on Friday night with the Seminoles coming out on top 79 - 67.  Terrance Shannon came off the bench with his 6' 8 220 lb frame achieving a rare double double for a reserve, 15 points and 12 rebounds. Deividas Dulkys and his 16 points also contributed to the Noles' reserves outscoring JU's 42 - 6. Jacksonville still should be a force again in the Atlantic Sun....Gator fans and Samford fans (which I qualify as both) won't forget last year's home upset losses to the Dolphins.

Here is a relevant trivia question ....which two Final Four coaches have been head coach at both FSU and JU? Scroll down to the bottom for the answer. NEXT

Two future out-of-state Gator opponents tangled on Friday night with Florida's next opponent, Ohio State, smashing Wright State 73 - 42.  Not surprisingly, Jared Sullinger led the Buckeyes with 19 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. For you wrasslin' fans, it will be like a cage match when Patric Young of Florida goes against Sullinger on Tuesday night. NEXT

With all due respect to current Gator assistant John Pelphrey (with whom I am upset because he did not follow-up on a lead I gave him over the phone that might have helped both the Gator basketball and football programs), Arkansas fans must be ecstatic to see Mike Anderson on the sidelines. I saw the impact he made when he was UAB coach, not just winning but the entertaining way his frenetic teams won during the regular season and at the Big Dance.

Anderson's Razorbacks won their first game on Friday night against South Carolina-Upstate from the Atlantic Sun Conference 83 - 63 . As expected, Marshawn Powell was a force with 6 for 8 shooting for 19 points.

Check out the shot at Pelphrey taken by former Arkansas coach, Nolan Richardson, for whom Anderson had served as an assistant for 17 years, “It’s good to see the energy back in this place.”  Ouch, babe. NEXT

Former Gator Final Four Coach Lon Kruger had a shaky debut at the helm of the Oklahoma Sooners who barely defeated Idaho State 78 - 74 Friday night  Coming into the game, the Bengals had lost 24 straight against BCS opponents. With that in mind, this slim win seems to indicate that Lon has a lot of work to do in Norman. NEXT

On Friday night, Vanderbilt got off to a solid start with a 78 - 64 win at the "Nashville Dungeon".  Sweet strokin' John Jenkins led the 'Dores with 24 points on 7 for 16 deep shots. Jeffrey Taylor had a double double for the victors, 21 points and 11 rebounds. Vanderbilt was upset on Sunday which will be discussed in the next blog. NEXT

Last year's Cinderella Final Four participant, VCU, had an opening night win against St. Francis (PA) 63 - 57.  The highlight or should I say lowlight was Shaka Smart's Rams having to overcome the 0 for 12 shooting by one of last year's March heroes, 6' 6 senior Bradford Burgess. He had consistently shot 48 % each of his previous three years for VCU.  NEXT

Look who got his first win as an ACC coach on Friday night. Former Alabama player and head coach, Mark Gottfried, and his NC State Wolfpack defeated UNC-Asheville 84 - 75.  The victors had two players with double-doubles: Richard Howell, 14 points 15 rebounds and DeShawn Pointer coming off the bench, 12 points and 12 boards. You might remember that UNC-Asheville did go dancing last year after winning the Big South Conference tourney. NEXT

Speaking of the Big South, how about a tip of the hat to bloggee Bob, the new AD at Campbell University for the Camels' opening night win over Houston Baptist  . Bob seems to have the golden touch, so look for Campbell hoops to begin to rise, just as its 4-year old football program has already done, going 6 - 4 so far this year.  THAT'S IT.

Enjoy....I don't want to wear you out ...the next blog will include the rest of the action this weekend,


The trivia answer is Hugh Durham and Joe Williams.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gator (and Southern) Hoops Blog # 5 - Season 2

My Beloved 92 Bloggees (Welcome Jerry, Mark and Bo):

Gulp! That is the way Jackson State might describe the Gator basketball team after last night's 99 - 59 thrashing by Florida.

The Gators started out to a scary 41 - 8 lead with virtually all aspects of their game clicking. They cruised the rest of the way to the 40-point victory. Jackson State is a young, inexperienced less-talented team, so it was difficult to learn much about Florida after this game except they are athletic and deep, which are both critical for Billyball's pressure defense to succeed. Also, they are entertaining the way they unselfishly make the extra pass.

The Gators might have the best backcourt in the country with 5 guards who could probably start anywhere. Most everyone knows about scorers Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton after making the Elite Eight last year. Don't forget Scottie Wilbekin might be the nation's top defender at the guard position. Then there is the freshman Bradley Beal who reminds me of Pavlov's dog because watching his all-around play makes you salivate . Finally, Rutgers transfer Mike Rosario, who led the Scarlet Knights in scoring two years ago with over 16 points per game, could be the cherry at the top of the sundae as evidenced by his 19 points in 20 minutes including 5 for 8 from way downtown against Jackson State.

We will know more about the Orange and Blue when they travel to Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday night in a televised revenge bout against Ohio State and Jared Sullinger. NEXT

Gator transfer 6' 11 Kenny Kadji started for the University of Miami in his debut for new coach Jim Larranaga (from George Mason) with some mixed results in his team's 69 - 58 win over Tennessee Tech. Kadji had a "bagel" in terms of scoring with 0 - 3 from the field. He did snatch 5 rebounds in his 19 minutes. Georgia transfer guard Zach Swansey led the Golden Eagles with 19 points.  NEXT

Gator transfer Eloy Vargas grabbed 8 rebounds and scored 5 points for the number two-ranked Kentucky Wildcats on their way to a 108 - 58 victory over Marist. Kentucky outrebounded their opponent a whopping 50 - 27. Where is Rik Smits when you need him?

Kentucky flexed their muscles with freshman Anthony Davis leading the way with 8 dunks among his 23 points. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist also represented the highly-touted freshman class with 15 points. Last year's super freshman, Terrence Jones, had 8 points coming off the bench after being involved in an early morning auto accident as a passenger.  Kansas is next on Tuesday. NEXT

The Southern Conference did not fare well against the SEC in three games:

Georgia defeated Wofford 62 - 49. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the 6' 4 highly-recruited freshman guard, led the Bulldogs with 15 points.

In a battle of Carolinas, South defeated Western 75 - 50 in spite of the Gamecocks point guard from last year, Bruce Elkington, busy on the gridiron as wide receiver and wildcat quarterback .

And the "Cuonzo era" (or post-Pearl era) began in Knoxville where the Volunteers upended UNC-Greeensboro 92 - 73 for their new coach, former Purdue great, Cuonzo Martin. We might have to remember the name of Tennessee sophomore 6' 1 guard Trae Golden who averaged just 3 points a game last year. On Friday night, he scored 29 on 10 of 14 from the field including 4 of 5 from long-range. Golden also contributed 9 assists.  NEXT

Alabama is a team to be feared. All the players seem to have now bought into Anthony Grant's disciplined system and their defense reflects that. The Crimson Tide limited North Florida, the runner-up in last year's Atlantic Sun tourney, to a stifling 23 % shooting, on 13 for 56 in the Alabama 64 - 44 victory. We should get used to the following game recap......JaMychal Green (18 pts) and Tony Mitchell (17 pts) were the top scorers for the Crimson Tide.  NEXT

Auburn looks to be a more dangerous team. With Tony Barbee and his John Calipari pedigree at the helm for his second year, expect much improvement as evidenced by its 84 - 62 win over McNeese State, picked to finish 2nd in the East Division of the Southland conference.  The decisive win even came during an off-shooting night by stud Frankie Sullivan who was just 3 for 12 and 8 points. Texas transfer Veraz Ward is a terrific upgrade at point guard. He began his War Eagle career with 14 points and 5 assists in 25 minutes. NEXT

Duke barely squeezed by Belmont 77 - 76. Austin Rivers, Doc's son who decomitted from Florida, tied for the team lead with 16 points. He was only 3 for 9 from the field and had a team-leading 5 turnovers. The other scoring leader for Duke was another son of a former NBA player, Seth Curry, Dell's son.  THAT'S IT

Enjoy.....the next blog will continue highlighting this weekend's action,


Friday, November 11, 2011

Gator (and Southern) Hoops Blog # 4 - Season 2

My Beloved 89 Bloggees (We had some attrition during the offseason...kindly help me get back to triple digits by spreading the word):

In this year's previous blogs we focused on exhibition game upsets. Last Saturday there was a near shocker. UMass Lowell missed a shot at the buzzer to barely fall to the Big East's Providence College 76 - 75 . One of the problems for Providence is they play at the Dunkin Donuts Center....I prefer Krispy Kreme.

Seriously, we will give a pass to the Friars for the close call. Ed Cooley, previously the head coach at Fairfield University, is now at the helm. Gator football fans can identify with first-year growing pains when there is a new leader. NEXT

I remember watching all-SEC Ole Miss guard/forward Elston Turner a few years back (technically it was 1978 - 1981). He played in the NBA and had a fine 8-year pro career followed by 14 years as an NBA assistant coach, including his new gig this year (if there is a this year) with the Phoenix Suns. .

On Wednesday night, his son, also Elston Turner, scored 16 points for Texas A & M in their 81 - 59 victory over Liberty University. It was Turner's first game as an Aggie after playing two years for the Washington Huskies and then sitting out his transfer year. Elston Turner, because I remember your dad playing, for the first time this season You Make Me Feel Old. NEXT

When I was growing up in Orlando I used to go to all the Rollins College Tars basketball games with bloggee Jim . In fact their big rival was the Stetson University Hatters with their legendary coach, bloggee Dr. Glenn.

Last week Division II Rollins played a pickup game against current and former Orlando Magic players (because of the NBA lockout) and defeated the pros 101 - 92. Be sure to watch the 2-minute video report of this game at  Go Tars!

By the way, former Gator walk-on, Kyle McClanahan has transferred to Rollins and will play on their hoops squad next year when he will be on scholarship. McClanahan is from the metro Orlando area. THAT'S IT

Enjoy.....Florida opens tonight at 6:00 CST against Jackson State (ranked 287 out of 345 in the Sagarin Computer Rankings) coached by Tevester Anderson, former assistant at Auburn and Georgia...the game is on Fox Sports Net Florida, Channel 634 on DirecTV, Channel 423 on Dish Network and if you live in a state that does not have an SEC school, you can view it online at  ....many other teams start their regular season schedule today and this time of year,