Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Georgetown Escapes Missouri

#14 Georgetown 111, #8 Missouri 102, OT
This was a pretty tough loss for Missouri considering their lead in the final minute. You have to wonder why Missouri didn't slow down with that late lead, but Mike Anderson coaches his kids to play at 100 mph the entire game, no matter the score. He's willing to live and die by his style. It's a high-risk, high-reward style, and I'm actually shocked that the teams only combined to commit 29 turnovers. I didn't watch the whole game, but there were a lot of turnovers while I was watching. Missouri did create 14 steals, however. One player who really stood out was Marcus Denmon (27 points on 10-for-12 shooting), who is an explosive offensive player and can help provide a spark in the half court. I thought it was a little silly that Missouri was ranked so high, and I still think they're only the fifth best team in the Big 12, but this loss doesn't change the fact that this will be a very tough team to beat on its own floor, and they'll be a contender all season long. As for Georgetown, Jason Clark has been tremendous this season. We already knew that Austin Freeman and Chris Wright were elite guards (they showed it last season), but with Clark the Hoyas now have three tremendous guards. In fact, you can argue that they're the best guard trio in the nation. The frontcourt is uncharacteristically the question mark for the Hoyas this season, but they've got some young talent that could develop. The Hoyas are now 7-0, and should be 8-0 when they head to Temple for a brutal battle next Thursday. They also head to Memphis before Big East play begins.

#2 Ohio State 58, Florida State 44
Ohio State's offense was struggling all game, and they ended up shooting only 32% from the field despite a bunch of fast breaks off of 11 steals. But they showed how tough they are going to be all season, because despite the total lack of offense they dominated this game with powerful rebounding and suffocating defense. Florida State's superstar is Chris Singleton, and he was made nearly invisible on offense by Ohio State's superfrosh Jared Sullinger, who added six offensive rebounds (more than all of FSU combined). The Buckeyes are now 6-0 with wins over Florida and Florida State, and they shouldn't be too tested (other than a home game against South Carolina on December 18th) before January. As for FSU, this loss follows a tough home loss to Florida, leaving the Seminoles without a quality win yet this season. For some reason they will begin ACC play just 11 days from now, against Clemson. It should be an interesting battle between two teams really desperate to get off to a good start in ACC play.

Michigan 69, Clemson 61
Other than the Virginia/Minnesota game, this is definitely the biggest upset of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge so far. And while one might have chalked this up to Michigan finally hitting some three-pointers, the fact is that they actually are still struggling (30% in this game, 29.6% for the season). This win was about young guards Darius Morris and Tim Hardaway, Jr, players who will have to continue being the offensive playmakers for this team. This was also a breakout game for freshman Evan Smotrycz, who played the best game of his young career (18 points, 6 rebounds). The Wolverines still have a long way to improve, and still need to shoot fewer threes, but they're young and showing promise. I wouldn't be surprised to see them pull a few more upsets this season. They are now 4-2 and have a dangerous game upcoming against Harvard on Saturday. Harvard coach Tommy Amaker has tormented Michigan in the past, and this year Harvard is actually probably better than Michigan is, so we'll see if the Wolverines can collect another quality win. As for Clemson, they played this game like Michigan had played their previous few games. They kept settling for jump shots, and they kept bricking them. They weren't drawing fouls and getting to the line, and they weren't hitting their jump shots either (7-for-29 behind the arc). Clemson doesn't really have a big win yet, but they've already got two losses (this one, and also to Old Dominion). They have a tough stretch coming up with road games at South Carolina and Florida State. If Clemson is going to re-establish themselves as a Tournament team I'd really like to see them win both of those. FSU, in particular, will be desperate for a big win and will come ready to play.

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