Category Archives: Big East

Steve Lavin’s Hair Greases the Broken Wheel

Since 2003, the floor at Pauley Pavilion hasn’t been quite so shiny.  They are currently preparing a Zamboni for the arrival of a savior in Rosemont, Illinois.  (where?)

Lavin, who took some other guy’s players to a 2001 Pac-10 Coach of the Year award at UCLA, hasn’t graced a sideline since 2003.  Lavin was one season away from returning UCLA to glory (source redacted)  What has this new Blue Demon excited about Lav’s interest is his that greasy mop situated on top of that massive, basketball knowledge vault (may or may not be true).

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Filed under Big East

All-President’s Day Team

Keepin' it Presidential Today.

Another day with Fetch bailing on us to live-blog the entirety of the Olympics (you should go visit him, he gets lonely over there sometimes), so again I’ve been left in charge, since SC hasn’t been heard from in days. Today’s President’s Day, which means some of you probably have the day off from work… yet for some strange reason, I don’t get the day off from school. Go figure.

Anyways, in honor of President’s Day, we bring to you the best college basketball players with presidential names:

G – Tweety Carter, Baylor. Much like our 39th president — James “Jimmy” Carter — Tweety Carter doesn’t go by his legal first name (Demond). Beyond that, though, Tweety Carter is averaging 16.1 points per game for the Bears (10th in the Big 12), and leads the conference in assists, with 6.05 per game.

G – Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin. Okay, maybe I’m getting lazy with this name, but Taylor shares a last name with Zachary Taylor, our 12th president. Jordan Taylor is second in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (and first in the Big Ten) at 3.4 to 1. He also led the team with a 2.2 ratio as a freshman last season. The more you know!

G/F – Kevin Palmer, Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Who said all the players on this team have to have nonfictional presidential names? Palmer shares a surname with two of the most prominent fictional presidents of our time: Wayne and David Palmer, of 24 fame. For the Islanders, Palmer is pouring in 19.75 points per with a TS% of 59.2. And yes, this will probably be one of the few times you see Corpus Christi get some pub from us.

F – D.J. Kennedy, St. John’s. See, his last name is Kennedy, and he plays for a school with John in its name, so there’s that. Then of course there’s the whole “he goes by initials, as did JFK,” thing. So it kinda works three-fold. High five! But seriously, D.J. Kennedy is doing work for the Red Storm this season. As a junior, he is averaging nearly 15 points and close to 7 boards per game. That’s sort of presidential.

F – Quincy Pondexter, Washington Huskies. Okay, so his name isn’t quite what you would expect for this team. But he plays for the University of Washington, and when I hear the name Quincy, two people come to mind: super-producer Quincy Jones — he of Thriller fame — and John Quincy Adams, our sixth POTUS. Pondexter is averaging over 20 points per game this season for the Huskies while pulling down eight boards per with a TS% of 62.

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Filed under Big 10, Big 12, Big East, Uncategorized, Whimsy

The Big East: Where Black is East and Up is White [Updated!]

It was an interesting weekend in the Big East, to say the least. Let’s recap it, shall we?

  • Jim Calhoun announced his return to the bench for UConn… which then promptly lost to Cincinnati, dropping them to 14-11 on the season.
  • USF has fallen back down to earth by dropping its second-consecutive game after knocking off two ranked teams in a row.
  • Pittsburgh and West Virginia gave us an exhilarating triple-overtime thriller Friday night, where Pitt toppled fifth-ranked West Virginia by three after Darryl Bryant took a jumper just inside the arc… down three.
  • Then today, Louisville put a halt to Syracuse’s 11-game win streak and Rutgers took down Georgetown behind 24 points from former-Florida Gator Jonathan Mitchell.

So what do we know about the Big East at this time?

Um.

Expect the unexpected? Yeah, that’s all I got for now.

It’s no doubt that Syracuse should still be considered one of the top teams in the nation this year — as should Villanova, who survived the weekend — and Georgetown is still a good team. Hell, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi currently has six Big East teams making the tournament, with another five just missing the cut… of course, there are still a few weeks left in the season, so things can undoubtedly change. But one thing is for sure when it comes to Big East basketball this season, anything can happen.

Oh, and for the record, Rutgers fans restrained themselves from storming the court after upsetting No. 8 Georgetown, so big props to those fans.

UPDATE: And the Big East continues to confound us, as UConn, coming off of a bad loss to Cincy, drops the No. 3 team in the nation, Villanova. For those scoring at home, the four highest-ranked Big East teams (including three of the top five ranked teams in the nation) have all lost since Friday… and two of those were at home (Syracuse and Nova). Is the Big East really this deep, or is the madness just getting started a month early, this season?

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Wednesday Open Thread

At the beginning of the season, it was thought to be one of the biggest CBB nights of the season. But scuffles by UConn, and a disaster of a season by North Carolina, have put a small damper on tonight.

Syracuse, the #3 team in the Pomeroy Ratings, looks to have an easy time with UConn at the surface, but if UConn can knock down some threes (which they haven’t done well) and get some offensive rebounds (which they have done well) they have a chance to beat the Orange, since Syracuse is abysmal at forcing turnovers. So is UConn, and Syracuse doesn’t turn it over too much, so there shouldn’t be a ton of empty possessions tonight. I’m takin the Cuse by 15 at home.

The night cap is Duke vs. some other team. Duke has shot the three well this year and not turned it over, staples for Duke teams, but they also have hit the offensive glass really well this year, 10th in the country. Carolina meanwhile has really struggled at the guard position. Larry Drew II or III or IV or V or whatever it is has played terribly this year. He does get quite a few assists, but turns it over like crazy. Meanwhile Carolina doesn’t turn their opponent over very often. I expect Jon Scheyer to have a great game, vaulting him back into the National POY race. Duke by 1o on the road.

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Filed under ACC, Big East

Big Monday Open Thread

Hello, fellow Beadlemaniacs! Tonight we have a great night as rivalry week officially kicks off. In the first game, Villanova and West Virginia, who practically are neighbors I guess, meet in a marquee Big East matchup.

Villanova and West Virginia are both teams with great offenses and not as good defenses. West Virginia’s defense is still good, ranked 2nd in the Big East, but it is overshadowed by the 4th best offense in the nation. However, due to the pace at which they play I am guessing the number of times you will hear their offense called elite will be less than 1.

Devin Ebanks is the player who gets the most ink for the Mountaineers, but he’s not even the best Sophomore on his team. Kevin Jones has the country’s 12th best O-rating if you include people with >16% of possessions used. Da’sean Butler has been great for the Mountaineers as well. In the end I am going to take the Mountaineers to win by 5-10 pts at home.

In the nightcap, perhaps the best matchup in the Big 12 conference takes place as Kansas visits Texas, where they haven’t won since 2002. The Jayhawks sit fairly comfortably at #1 in the KenPom ratings, due mostly to the #2 offense in the country. But it is their defense that Bill Self harps on. While Kansas has faced good three point shooting teams, their 2 point defense is the best in the country. They have finished in the top 10 every year since 2005, and the top 4 every year since 2006. As we all know, two point defense is more of a skill than 3 point defense, so expect the Jayhawks to trend upwards as the year goes on.

Texas has been hitting the skids lately, and actually sit in a tie for 4th in the Big 12. A loss tonight, and they could struggle to get a bye in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament. Damion James is undoubtedly their best player, but there hasn’t been a ton of support behind him. Dexter Pittman gets a lot of pub, but he’s not even playing in half of Texas’s minutes this year. Obviously Texas has struggled with free throw shooting this year (61%, 336th nationally) so in a close game, the advantage goes to their opponents.

The big key to this game will be how Avery Bradley and Dogus Balbay stop Sherron Collins from getting into the lane, and how Cole Aldrich and the Morris twins will matchup against James and Pittman. Austin has been a house of horrors for Kansas lately, and your guess is as good as mine as to how tonight’s game will shake out.

Enjoy the games, folks.

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Filed under Big 12, Big East, Open Thread

Dominique Jones > [Insert Your Favorite Player Here]

"Y'all come watch Dominique Jones play."

I know, I know: three Dominique Jones posts in less than two weeks. What gives?

Well, I figured if Fetch is allowed to have a man-crush on the whole Kansas team, and Cole Aldrich, complete with a (discontinued) Aldrich double-double tracker, then I should at least be able to write about my favorite player in college basketball this year, DoJo.

In case you missed it last night, DoJo led the Bulls with 29 points — 22 in the second half– 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals en route to an upset over No. 7 Georgetown in D.C.

The win gave USF its fourth-straight Big East win, and second consecutive win over a ranked team. It also gave DoJo 140 points during the Bulls’ run.

DoJo is putting this team on his back and making them respectable in one of the better conferences in

the nation. He has led them to two signature wins in a row, and if they keep it up, maybe even the possibility of an NCAA tournament berth — which would be USF’s third in school history.

And while the stats are eye-popping, and his game is incredibly entertaining to watch, the thing that makes DoJo especially awesome is this:

With a minute to play in perhaps the biggest win in South Florida history, the star player bellowed to the Georgetown crowd: ”Y’all come watch Dominique Jones play!”

You have to appreciate an incredible young talent with that kind of gall, going unranked into the house of the No. 7 team in the nation and telling that hostile crowd that this is his show.

And that’s just what the second half was: The DoJo Show [I’m totally trademarking that, by the way]. His 22-point second half effort rallied his team from a 9 point halftime deficit, and gave USF the biggest basketball win in school history.

And that, my friends, is why Dominique Jones > Your favorite player.

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Who is Dominique Jones?

Last week, we brought you a post featuring the rarely-mentioned South Florida Bulls and the man-sized performance of one Dominique Jones. Well that was one performance that merely caught our attention, but at the behest of my brother — a USF graduate — yours truly has decided to keep an eye on DoJo as of late.

Sunday, DoJo (yes, that is an awesome nickname) went off again. He scored 37 points while bringing down 8 rebounds and dishing out three dimes in a win over No. 17 Pitt. Not too bad, right?

Well let’s take a look at his last eight games, all of which were Big East conference games. In that span, DoJo has put up 26, 30, 28, 20, 21, 46, 28 and 37 points, respectively. So why haven’t you heard much about DoJo? Well, because he plays for the Bulls, a team that has, historically, not been very good.

USF's Dominique Jones has averaged 29 points over his last 8 games.

Anyways, my brother and I got to talking about DoJo, and tried to figure out who he reminded us of. One of us offered up a comparison of this 6-foot-4, 210-pound combo guard to another Big East* guard of the same build: Dwyane Wade, who balled at Marquette before being a lottery selection for the Heat.

At first, I thought it was a lofty comparison to be making, but then I decided to check out the stats of both players in what was (in Wade’s case) and what likely is (in DoJo’s case) their final college seasons.

How did the two match up? Surprisingly well.

DoJo this season is averaging 22.095 points compared to Wade’s 21.515 in his final season at Marquette. Both shot just about 50 percent from the field, and close to the same from the FT line — Wade shot 77.9 percent to DoJo’s 75 percent. From beyond the arc, DoJo shoots 37 percent to Wade’s 31 percent (an area that many agreed Wade didn’t excel at).

In terms of effective shooting percentage, DoJo shoots 55.7 percent to Wade’s 51.4 percent. DoJo’s true shooting percentage comes in at 60.3 to Wade’s 57.3.

But the shooting realm isn’t the only place where these two combo guards measure up remarkably close. Both average(d) just over six rebounds per game, just over four assists per game, and had nearly identical assist:turnover ratios at 1.5 for DoJo and 1.4 for Wade. Wade also averaged just over two steals per game, while DoJo comes in at just under two per (roughly 1.9). Oh, and Jones also turns it over a tad bit less: 2.8 per game to Wade’s 3.2.

Pretty similar, no? Heck, statistically speaking, DoJo is probably a better player than Wade was.

So do you still think it’s a lofty comparison for DoJo? Take a look at his game the next time you get a chance. It’s very similar to Wade’s in most facets, except DoJo lacks the same explosiveness to finish in the lane that Wade does so well. On a play where Wade will dunk it on a hard drive, DoJo will probably opt for a teardrop floater — a shot that he has added to his repertoire this season, which has become remarkably efficient for him.

If you’re not sold on DoJo, then I would seriously recommend trying to catch a USF game sometime this season, because the kid has improved incredibly since he first arrived at USF as a freshman, and if he keeps up this level of play, his draft stock will continue to raise and come summer time, he could be a steal for some NBA team out there.

*Yes, we are aware Marquette was still in Conference USA when Wade was there.

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Filed under Big East, Stats, Uncategorized