Saturday, November 17, 2012

So Is Colorado Good... Or Is Baylor Overrated?

Colorado 60, #16 Baylor 58
One of the interesting things that happens early in the season is that games get misinterpreted because the Top 25 rankings are out of whack. Some team that is in the Top Ten to start the season ends up being a bubble team, but we don't know that when the "Top Ten team goes down" in November. And that brings me to this game, which can have two interpretations. Maybe this win means that Colorado is an underrated team. Maybe Colorado should be getting more at-large buzz. Alternatively, maybe this loss means that Baylor just isn't that good. Maybe that "#16" next to their name is hype and not reality.

In my opinion, I think it's a combination of both. Colorado looks like they're better than last year, and they deserve bubble buzz, but I think a bubble team is all they are. At the same time, there is a lot not to like about Baylor. Their defensive rebounding continues to be a problem, and Pierre Jackson just isn't playing like a true point guard. They definitely have the talent to be a Top 25 (or even a Top 15) team, but it's just potential at this point.

Now 3-0, Colorado will face Murray State in the championship game of the Charleston Classic. Baylor will play St. John's in the third place game. After coming home, Colorado will have a couple of easy weeks. Baylor will play at Kentucky on December 1st.

Oklahoma State 62, Tennessee 45
This game was never particularly close. Oklahoma State led by double digits for the entire second half. Tennessee's offense just could not get anything going. They finished with 0.74 PPP on a 31.0 eFG%. They are hoping to have Jeronne Maymon back sometime soon, and that will certainly help. Also, they bricked a lot of open shots that on other days will fall. So I would say this game was more of a Tennessee stinker than any evidence of dramatic Oklahoma State improvement in fewer than 24 hours since escaping Akron in overtime.

Marcus Smart had another big game for Oklahoma State, scoring 17 points and adding 9 rebounds and 3 assists. The freshman could be Oklahoma State's top player by the end of the season. You certainly can see that he has superstar potential. Oklahoma State will have a chance to get a real resume-building win in the championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off against NC State. Tennessee will play in the third place game against UMass.

Dayton 87, Boston College 71
On its face, a win over an ACC team seems like a good day for Dayton, Certainly it's better than a loss. But besides the fact that Boston College isn't even particularly good this season, the reality is that the final score was wildly deceptive. Dayton just could not miss, hitting 8 of 14 three-pointers and finishing with a 69.1 eFG%, their best shooting performance since a 71.7 eFG% against Alabama last December. Freshman Dyshawn Pierce finished 8-for-8 from the field, including 5-for-5 behind the arc, to score 23 points. Boston College, meanwhile, just doesn't have the type of explosive scorer who can match a performance like this. They haven't had an efficient scorer since Reggie Jackson, honestly.

The bright spot from a slow start to the season for Boston College is that they are getting production from a bunch of very young players. Sophomore Ryan Anderson had 14 points and 8 rebounds, and is averaging 22.7 points per game. Meanwhile, freshman Joe Rahon had the best game of his young career with 16 points and 4 assists off the bench.

Now 2-1, Dayton will take on Auburn in the 5th place game at the Charleston Classic. Boston College will try to avoid getting swept at the Charleston Classic against the College of Charleston.

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