If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Kyle Whelliston’s mid major preview on ESPN. Whelliston has some teams he likes that are on my list and included some that I didn’t have. Kyle knows his stuff.
The Phoenix Suns of the CAA, UNC Wilmington, scored 88 points tonight. Problem is they gave up ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY to Wake Forest. Yes the Seahawks lost 120-88 to the Demon Deacons. The Seahawks were outrebounded 51-29. UNCW is exciting for sure, but more often than not, they are going to lose with that lack of defense. They have given up 101, 95 and 120 points respectively in three games. Eek.
Here at Midmajorhoops, I have started some “watches”. First is the “Tim Crossin Burial Watch” to see how much further Towson Coach Pat Kennedy can bury the former CAA First Team Rookie Member. Since we have a burial watch, we now have to have a resurrection watch. Welcome to the “Chris Galley Resurrection Watch”. For those of you in the know, Chris Gadley was a former Hofstra Pride center. Gadley, a highly touted prospect from the Buffalo area, was recruited by now Canisius Coach Tom Parrotta when Parrotta was the Pride’s Associate Head Coach. Parrotta is from the Buffalo area, having played at Niagara. Gadley had a very successful freshman season, with several big games. He looked to have a bright future and would be the big man to lead Hofstra to the NCAA tournament.
Unfortunately, Gadley seemed to have lost his way after Parrotta left for Canisius. His sophomore season was a bust. He played a few good games but was mostly on the bench, sulking in coach Tom Pecora’s doghouse. My “key player” for the Pride wasn’t much of a factor when the underachieving Pride was upset by George Mason in the quarterfinal round of the CAA tournament, leaving the Pride to go to the NIT and not fulfill their once destined run to the Big Dance.
Gadley transferred to Canisius to reunite with his mentor Parrotta. As per NCAA regulations, he sat out last season. And as my friend Tony Terentieff predicted, in his first two games he came out dominant. In a loss to Akron, Galley had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Then in his second game against another MAC opponent, Buffalo, Galley had 20 points and 11 rebounds. Two games, two double doubles. It’s a good start for Gadley. The question will be can he keep his focus. If so, Canisius has a real find.
Ok, its time for our MidMajorHoops Baker's Dozen Update. There was a lot of movement in the rankings this week as four teams dropped out and four new teams took their place.
Mid Major Hoops Baker’s Dozen - November 19
1) Gonzaga (2-0) - Two games, two wins by 30 plus points. Now mind you Montana Billings State and Idaho are not exactly St Mary’s and San Diego, but the balance is there early. When Jeremy Pargo only scores in single digits and you win by 30 plus, that’s a good thing. Austin Daye and Josh Heytvelt look like a great frontcourt tandem. Now let’s see how the #11 ranked Zags do vs Oklahoma State, Michigan State and Maryland in the Old Spice Classic.
2) St Mary’s (2-0)- Now the Gaels had a more formidable opponent than their fellow WCC member Zags in their most recent game. St Mary’s outran Fresno State 99-85 as Patty Mills scored 27 points to lead five players in double figures. Diamon Simpson and Omar Samhan each had double doubles in the victory over the Bulldogs. The Gaels had an earlier 88-55 win over Seattle Pacific The Gaels moved up one spot due to Davidson’s close loss to Oklahoma. The November 27 ESPNU game vs UTEP should be a good test.
3) Davidson (2-1) - #21 ranked Davidson lost a close game, 82-78 to #14 Oklahoma. Stephen Curry had 44 points for the Wildcats but Blake Griffin (25 points, 21 rebounds), Tyler Griffin and Willie Warren were too much for the Wildcats. The good news, Stephen Curry has taken to the point well. In his first game, a 24 point win over Guilford, Curry had 29 points, 10 assists and 9 steals. In a 35 point win over JMU, Curry had 33 points and 9 assists. He did all he could vs. Oklahoma, but it is very evident that the Wildcats miss Jason Richards scoring. Andrew Lovedale was the only other Wildcat in double figures with 10 (Lovedale is the only other player besides Curry who has scored in double figures in all three games for the Wildcats). They will need more balance to be successful.
4) Creighton (1-0) - A tough come from behind win over New Mexico at home keeps the Bluejays perched at #4. P’Allen Stinnett and Booker Woodfox combined for 56 of the 82 points the BlueJays scored. The Bluejays were down as many as 16 in the second half and down 10 with 4:34 left. The Bluejays shot 48 percent from the field but only Stinnett and Woodfox averaged in double figures as the rest of the team shot a paltry 6 for 25 from the field. As with Davidson, Creighton needs more balance.
5) Siena (1-0) - Now speaking of a team with balance, the Saints once again showed theirs against Boise State. Eight players had at least eight points, with six of the eight having exactly eight! Of course, Kenny Hasbrouck led the way with 20 points in an 82-52 drubbing of the Broncos. It was the second time in nine months that the Saints waxed the Broncos by at least 23 points (Siena won at Boise in February by 23 on BracketBuster Saturday). I think Boise has had enough of Siena for a while. Next up is a weekend home game vs. Cornell before the much ballyhooed game vs. Tennessee.
6) San Diego (1-1). The Toreros lost a very close game at UNLV 65-60 before rebounding to pound Nevada 65-51 at home. Had not three Toreros including all conference Center Gyno Pomare been suspended for the game against the Runnin Rebels due to violations of team policy, chances are San Diego would have won that game as well. Rob Jones has been the man so far for the Toreros having scored 42 points in two games. Pomare came off the bench in the game against Nevada and scored 12 points on 6 of 7 shooting. The Toreros play at undefeated Valpo on Friday night.
7) Middle Tenn State (2-0). Trevecca Nazarene and Houston Baptist. Not exactly South Alabama and Western Kentucky, but the Blue Raiders will take two wins early on. Desmond Yates scored 39 points in the first two games as the Blue Raiders shot 64 percent and 48 percent respectively in the two games. The Friday night game vs. Tennessee will be a much better test. What’s with the Volunteers playing all these Baker’s Dozen teams?!
8) Oakland (1-1). The Golden Grizzlies lost a tough road game to Cleveland State 58-55. Oakland was up 10 points with 15:44 left before the Vikings came back to win. But the Griz made up for that game with an 82-79 overtime upset win at Oregon. Keith Benson led Oakland with 15 points vs Cleveland State as the Griz were held to 33 percent shooting from the field. In the win over Oregon, Johnathan Jones had a career high 32 points including 10 in overtime. The Griz shot 43 percent from the field in the win. Things don’t get easier for Oakland as they play Syracuse on Friday night.
9) VCU (2-0). Ho Hum, two wins for the Rams. TJ Gwynn had 20 for the Rams off the bench in an 82-59 drubbing of the Citadel. Gwynn led four scorers in double figures. In a 72-56 win over South Dakota State in the Siegel Center , Eric Maynor had 29 points, 16 in the second half to lead VCU. VCU’s next contest won’t be so ho hum. A road game at Rhode Island, who barely lost to Duke, should prove to be a more difficult contest.
10) Kent State (2-0). Well it only took a week for the 2007-08 MAC champs to get back into the Baker’s Dozen. The Golden Flashes started with an 83-42 drubbing of North Carolina Central as Al Fisher led five scorers in double figures in the first round of the South Padre Invitational. Then the Golden Flashes followed that up with a 76-74 overtime win over at Saint Louis as Al Fisher scored SIXTEEN of the SEVENTEEN points Kent State had in overtime. Fisher scored 35 points total on 15 of 28 shooting. Kent State only had 9 turnovers to 18 for the Billikens.
11) George Mason (2-0). Another 2007-08 NCAA tournament member comes back into the fold after two big wins. The Patriots won 80-79 at Vermont in OT to start the season. Darryl Monroe sank the two game winning free throws with less than a second left to cap a 19 point 17 rebound performance. It was his first game back after sitting out last season due to injury. Monroe led four Patriot scorers in double figures. Mason then drubbed Brown (who beat Holy Cross at Holy Cross today) 89-52 as John Vaughan led all scorers with 18 points.
12) Akron (2-0). Akron beats out fellow member Ohio for the rankings by winning two games over solid competition. The Zips beat Canisius and Chris Gadley 56-46 as Brett McKnight scored all 12 of his points in the second half to lead Akron to a comeback win. Then in a 72-58 win over perennial NCAA tournament member and Big South Champ Winthrop, Darryl Roberts led the way with 17 points as the Zips only had 7 turnovers for the game.
13) Illinois State (1-0). The Redbirds make the rankings after knocking off previous member Wright State on their home court 69-61 in a rematch from February’s Bracketbuster, also won by Illinois State. Osiris Eldridge had 15 points and Champ Oguchi had 14 to lead five scorers in double digits. The author loves balanced scoring and perhaps the Redbirds have the balance to give the Bluejays a run for their money in the Missouri Valley.
A few teams dropped out of the Baker’s Dozen. Former #7 Belmont (1-1) lost at home to Austin Peay 86-84. As noted previously, former #11 Wright State (0-1) lost at home to Illinois State. Former #12 Miami Ohio played admirably against #4 UCLA, losing in the closing seconds. But unfortunately for the Redhawks, their next game against Pitt was only close at the half. Miami would lose by 35 to Pitt. Finally, in its own Charleston Classic tournament, former #13 the College of Charleston struggled to beat SIUE, then lost to Temple before bouncing back to beat TCU. I saw the first two games and though CofC is talented, they have major struggles at the free throw line and with shot selection. I think they will improve on both but they are not currently Baker’s Dozen material.