Saturday, November 17, 2012

Oregon Rolls Vanderbilt

Oregon 74, Vanderbilt 48
This was a dominating victory for Oregon. They grabbed a 21 point lead at halftime and spent most of the second half with a lead vacillating between around 15 and 20 points.And they deserved those big leads. They forced 9 steals, while at the same time dominating the paint on both sides of the floor. They hit 57.6% of their two-point attempts, led by Tony Woods and Carlos Emory (a combined 6-for-9 on two-pointers). EJ Singler led all scorers with 22.

This game, more than anything, tells us just how much of a rebuilding season this is going to be for Vanderbilt. They lost their top six minute earners from last year's team, losing an extremely productive and successful core. They're very young, and they'll be better next season. But Vanderbilt fans should get used to some ugly results this season. And that's particularly true with the brutal non-conference schedule they have lined up. Next they're off to the Old Spice Classic, where they'll open against Davidson on Thursday and will play two more quality opponents after that. They also have Xavier, Butler, Villanova and Middle Tennessee (yes, Middle Tennessee belongs in this sentence) before starting SEC play.

Oregon moves to 3-0 with this win. They shouldn't have much trouble with Jacksonville State on Monday before heading to the Global Sports Classic in Las Vegas. They'll play UNLV on November 23rd, and then either Iowa State or Cincinnati in their second game out there.

Pepperdine 58, Washington State 56, OT
This was an ugly, ugly loss for Washington State. They went ahead 50-42 with 5:25 remaining in regulation... and then failed to score another point as Pepperdine sent it to overtime at 50-50. They then had multiple chance in overtime, ending up with three turnovers as well as misses on three of their final four free throw attempts. They also committed 19 turnovers, including 9 forced steals by Pepperdine.

Washington State is still 2-1 after this loss, but those two wins came over cupcakes. They will get a chance to prove that this loss was a fluke this week at the CBE Classic. They'll face Kansas on Monday, and then a more realistically beatable opponent (either St. Louis or Texas A&M) on Tuesday. As for Pepperdine, they can certainly celebrate a win over a Pac-12 team, but this win was more about Washington State's faults than their own play. They're still, in my opinion, one of the weaker WCC teams. Their next game will be Tuesday, on the road at Houston Baptist.

#25 San Diego State 60, Missouri State 44
Shooting was... difficult for both of these teams. The two teams shot a combined 8-for-45 behind the arc, and a combined 33.6 eFG%. Missouri State doubled down at the line, hitting only 50%. That, combined with San Diego State's dominance on the boards (19 offensive rebounds at a 47.5 OR% clip), was the difference in this game. Jamaal Franklin was the player of the game, pouring in 22 points along with 12 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks.

San Diego State, if you recall, couldn't hit a shot to save their lives against Syracuse either. But that game was on an aircraft carrier and they had to deal with the sun, the wind and glare. At some point they are going to need to hit some shots, but I'm not going to overreact to two games. They are clearly a very talented team, and I still believe in my preseason projection that they're around the 15-20th best team in the nation. They'll get a chance to get their shooting straight against a couple of cupcakes up next, beginning with Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Wednesday, Their next competitive game will be December 1st, against UCLA.

This was Missouri State's first game of the season against a Division I opponent. Obviously we shouldn't overreact to one game where they couldn't hit a shot, but they're not a team that I expect a ton out of anyway. They lost the two best players off of a team that only went 16-16 last season, including 9-9 in Missouri Valley play. Their next game will be on Monday, against Jacksonville.

No comments: