After beating Valpo, San Diego had an opportunity to strengthen their at large bid case. With a semifinal game against Wisconsin and either a championship or consolation game vs either Miami or UConn, the Toreros had two chances to make good. Unfortunately, the Toreros went down in a ball of flames in the last two games. First, they lost to the Badgers by 19, 76-57. Then only down eight against Miami at halftime of the third place game, the Toreros were outscored 42-15 in the second half to lose 80-45 to the Hurricanes. Eek!
I was at Hofstra last night as they hosted their first game of the season vs. Division III SUNY Old Westbury. Despite winning 68-50, the Pride have a LOT of work to do. First, outside of Charles Jenkins, the effort on average was abysmal. The Pride took a lot of bad shots outside the three point arc shooting 6 of 23 (the Pride shot 18 of 29 from the rest of the field). The big men did not play well. Though Hofstra outrebounded a much smaller Panthers team, the leading rebounder was the Panthers 6-10 Sidney Prosper with 11 rebounds (he actually had a nice touch scoring 10 points on short turn around jumpers). Prosper happens to be from where I live, Bellmore NY. The Pride must play a lot better against Manhattan on Saturday.
It's time for the weekly Baker’s Dozen. A few teams dropped out of the Bakers Dozen. Oakland has lost two games in a row, the second a smackdown at Syracuse. San Diego drops out after their dual Paradise Jam drubbings. Akron falls out after the beat down at Pittsburgh. Likewise Middle Tennessee State leaves after two tough losses to intrastate rivals Tennessee and Vanderbilt. So who goes in? Well, take a look below.
Mid Major Hoops Baker’s Dozen for November 25
1) Gonzaga (2-0) - Upcoming game vs. Oklahoma State starts their Old Spice Classic gauntlet.
2) St Mary’s (3-0)- Vanguard not quite Vanderbilt. UTEP should be a better test.
3) Davidson (4-1) -.Good win over Florida Atlantic. Next up Loyola Maryland in the second round of the NIT Tipoff in Davidson.
4) Creighton (3-0) - Cavell Witter and company keep rolling with win over Oral Roberts. Next up undefeated Arkansas Little Rock.
5) Siena (2-0) - Easy win over Cornell. Next it’s national TV prime time on Thanksgiving vs. Tennessee.
6) Kent State (3-0) - Perhaps their frontcourt losses were overstated as the Golden Flashes pound UNCW. Next up a big test vs. Illinois.
7) Illinois State (4-0) - Nice win over SMU on the road moves the undefeated Redbirds up two spots. Champ Oguchi is turning into a very nice compliment (28 points vs. Mustangs) to Osiris Eldridge. Next up a win most likely vs. Nicholls State.
8) VCU (2-1) - Lost a close game at Rhode Island due to too many turnovers. Still Rhode Island is a very good team as they proved vs. Duke. VCU looks to bounce back at East Carolina. Will be a good indicator where Rams are since George Mason won at ECU last week.
9) George Mason (3-1) - Nice win over East Carolina. First its home tonight vs Mount Saint Mary’s. Then next the revenge game against fellow Baker’s Dozen member Ohio on Saturday.
10) Butler (3-0) - Welcome back Matt Howard and company. With Cleveland State struggling and Wright State REALLY struggling, the Bulldogs are back as the team to beat in the Horizon. Early season revenge win over Drake gave Butler a good start. Undefeated Northwestern should be a good test for the young Bulldogs.
11) Ohio (2-0) - The Bobcats move in after Akron falters. Nice win at Austin Peay, never an easy task. Big time road test at George Mason on Saturday.
12) Charleston (4-1). Couple of nice wins after the Charleston Tournament. The Cougars are back in the Baker’s Dozen. Next up, a big intrastate home game vs. South Carolina.
13) Mercer (3-1). Two wins over SEC teams. An overtime loss to Georgia Tech. Got to give these Bears some love. However the love may end when they have another big road game at Dayton.