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BX News, Notes and Ramblings (Fri, Dec 14)
by: Drew Barnette - Staff Writer
December 14, 2007
NEWS AND NOTES

-Itís been a rather slow week due to most schools taking their final exams, but there was some action last week worth noting.

-Miami, FL remained unbeaten with a rather impressive win at Mississippi State last night 64-58. The game was close throughout, and Miami didnít really get full control until the end. Neither team shot the ball well at all, but Miami was 8-20 from beyond the arc as compared to Mississippi State being 6-24. Mississippi State has four losses, but two of those were to Miami and Clemson, both of whom are undefeated, so they are probably better than their current record indicates.

-Mississippi, got a battle from Winthrop, but pulled away in the end to remain undefeated on the season with a 76-71 win. The game was in Jackson, Mississippi rather than on campus, but it was still a pro (albeit smaller) Ole Miss crowd. Center Dwayne Curtis had a huge game for the Rebels with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Ole Miss should be able to win their next two games without too much trouble, but will then face Clemson, who is also currently undefeated on December 22nd.

-Xavier got a scare from crosstown rival Cincinnati, and actually trailed deep in the second half, but ended up with a 64-59 win. It wasnít anywhere near the blowout the Xavier fans were wanting and expecting, and had Cincinnati not missed so many layups Xavier wouldnít have gotten the win at all. There was a scary moment in the game when Cincinnati guard Marvin Gentry needed to be taken off the floor on a stretcher after he collided with a teammateís knee diving for a loose ball. Josh Duncan of Xavier also had to leave the game with a knee injury. Both players are expected to return. Cincinnati shot an abysmal 34% from the floor, but Xavier wasnít that much better at 38%, which allowed the Bearcats to keep the game within reach for as long as they did. XU just couldnít seem to get much going against Cincinnatiís zone.

-Massachusetts picked up their second big road win of the season with a victory over rival Boston College. UMass had been one of the teams I had on the bubble, but a road win like really puts them in a good position for now. Gary Forbes scored ten points in the final five minute for UMass, but they still almost blew a 15 point second half lead. The Minutemen were able to hold on and win, though, which ended an eight game losing streak to Boston College.


RANKINGS

-The actual Coaches Poll and AP Poll are not used by the selection committee, but they can be good indicators as to where teams will end up, especially considering that they are structured similarly to the NABC Rankings that are submitted to the committee. They are only helpful, however, when the voters arenít being ridiculous.

-Dayton has just one loss on the season, and that was on the road against George Mason. They have won their last three road games against Miami OH, Holy Cross and Louisville. Louisville is still ranked 20th in the Coaches Poll. Not only is Dayton not ranked, but they only received one vote. That means that one coach (or perhaps it was an assistant who was voting on behalf of the head coach) ranked Dayton #25, and thatís all the attention they got. Iím not saying that one win by itself is enough reason to rank one team ahead of another, but Dayton has a lot more than just one win. They have seven wins, and three were on the road against good teams. Iím still in shock that only one coach thought they were a top 25 team, and didnít vote them any higher than #25.

-Miami, FL and Mississippi are both undefeated on the season, and although their wins arenít as impressive as Daytonís, they arenít all against cupcakes either. One would think theyíd be getting more attention than what they are.

-Other than that, I canít say that I disagree with the current rankings all that much. Name recognition and a programís reputation impact the rankings early on, but weíre getting to a point to where what has happened on the court is catching up with how recognizable a team was coming into the season. Iím not sure Iíd have Louisville in at all, but I also realize that the voters may be taking into account that they arenít at full strength and will have some of their better players back by the end of the year. Itís just that if I had a vote (and I donít) I wouldnít vote them into the top 25 until I thought that they looked like a top 25 team.

-I believe Memphis is really good. They are currently #2, but I would vote them #1 with the current #1, North Carolina, right behind them. Memphis will probably be ranked #1 before the season is over simply because it is more likely that UNC will stumble a few times in conference play. The more recent a loss is, the more the voters will punish a team, and since Memphis looks like theyíll run all over Conference USA I think itís only a matter of time before they become the near unanimous #1. They do have some tough games coming up against Georgetown, Arizona, Gonzaga (who should be at full strength by then) and Tennessee, but theyíll face all of those teams at home. The committee does look at a teamís last ten games, but their focus is much more on a teamís entire body of work rather than when their most recent loss was, which is what the voters seem to concern themselves with.

-As far as North Carolina is concerned, if there ever is a point where they do drop from #1 it really wonít reflect their chances at getting a #1 seed, or for that matter the top #1 seed. Playing in the ACC gives them more shots at quality wins, and itís better to have several quality wins and a few losses than no losses and no quality wins. With first/second round games in Raleigh and a regional in Charlotte, there is a lot at stake for both Duke and North Carolina. Duke is also undefeated and both would love to be placed in Charlotte if they get a #1 seed. The thing is that there is only room for one of them, which should make ACC play all the more intense.


-A write-up of tomorrow's games will be posted late tonight/early tomorrow morning.
 


Feedback for this article may be sent to drew.barnette@draftexpress.com .

 

Dwayne Curtis
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 280 lbs.
Birthday: 04/01/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Whitney Young Magnet
Previous Team: Mississippi , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
4.0 Pts, 7.5 Rebs, 0.0 Asts


Josh Duncan
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 230 lbs.
Birthday: 05/12/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Moeller
Previous Team: Bamberg , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
13.0 Pts, 4.0 Rebs, 0.5 Asts


Gary Forbes
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 221 lbs.
Birthday: 02/25/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Benjamin Banneker Academy
Previous Team: Cremona , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SG/SF,
Possible: SG/SF
Quick Stats:
17.7 Pts, 5.0 Rebs, 2.1 Asts


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