A turbulent week in College Basketball with 5 of the Top 10 teams in America losing games. Let’s see how the LMBF schools fared this week.
Alabama Crimson Tide (AP: RV Coaches: RV)
Bama used a balanced scoring attack to beat Rhode Island sans EC Matthews despite turning the ball over 24 times. The Tide then took to the road and lost a close game with up-and-down Arizona. It was a huge game for the Frosh as Deandre Ayton and Collin Sexton went at it going for 30 and 29 points respectively. Avery Johnson has a young team that is still going through growing pains. Once they figure out ball control and consistency on defense, the Tide could be a real threat in the SEC.
Butler Bulldogs (AP: NR Coaches: NR)
Wins over Utah and Youngstown State for the Dawgs this week and they averaged 88 points per game. Kelan Martin was dominant against Utah and a balanced offense got the job done against inferior Youngstown State. Butler has a whole week off before taking on Purdue this Saturday in their biggest game to date.
Creighton Bluejays (AP: NR Coaches: 25)
The high-powered Jays offense has continued to roll, dropping 111 against North Dakota this past Tuesday. They also took down in-state rival Nebraska 75-65 in a big bounce-back week following the loss to Gonzaga. After a sloppy first half that left the Bluejays down 5, they rallied late to clinch their 7th straight double-digit victory over the school that hasn’t won a conference championship in football since 1999. Greg McDermott is now 14-0 coaching against Tim Miles in his career.
It seems like each week I’m talking about a new Creighton player stepping up and this week is no different. Martin Krampelj had a big week with a pair of double-doubles averaging 12.5 points and 12.5 rebounds a game. Ronnie Harrell added the best game of his Creighton career against the Huskers – totaling 12 points, 11 rebounds, an assist and a block. The Jays have just one game this week Friday night against Maryland Eastern Shore, expect Creighton to top 90 points again. #LetItFly
Dayton Flyers (AP: NR Coaches: NR)
Strange week for Dayton, a win over Tennessee Tech and a home loss to Penn. The Flyers had 5 players in double figures in their win, the loss was a different story, only Josh Cunningham found the scoring touch with 21 points on a perfect 9-9 shooting. The rest of the starting 5 scored 18 points on 7-22 shooting and 3-9 from 3-point range. That’s not going to get it done in a tough A-10. Inconsistency on the defensive end and poor 3-point defense is the issue for Dayton if they can square that away, they will be a much tougher team.
Illinois Fighting Illini (AP: NR Coaches: NR)
Austin Peay took the Illini to the wire in Champaign forcing Illinois to turn the ball over 25 times. Illinois then took a trip to UNLV and lost by 7, former Chicagoan Brandon McCoy dominated with 22 points 10 rebounds 3 blocks and 2 steals. Brad Underwood got great production off of his bench and Mark Smith finally played well. Foul trouble really hurt the Illini in this one. Two games at home against Longwood and New Mexico State this week, Smith and Alstork need to get going at the same time.
Illinois State Redbirds (AP: NR Coaches: NR)
A winless week for the Redbirds as they lost in Provo to BYU and at home to Murray State. ISU scored just 17 points in the first half against BYU and William Tinsley and Madison Williams added very little to the starting lineup for the Birds. No Phil Fayne hurt in the Murray State game and Malik Yarbrough did all that he could (30 points 7 rebounds 3 assists) to win it for Illinois State, but it wasn’t enough. The Birds get a full week to prep for their road trip to Oxford to take on Ole Miss.
Indiana Hoosiers (AP: NR Coaches: NR)
Archie’s team beat Iowa to start the week and finished it with a loss to Louisville. Juwan Morgan had a big week for the Hoosiers with 16 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. The Hoosiers need De’Ron Davis and Josh Newkirk to play consistently and at the same level they did in the Louisville game. The defense hasn’t been great (KenPom: 175), but with more efficiency can win Indiana games. IU gets an entire week to prepare for Notre Dame.
James Madison Dukes (AP: NR Coaches: NR)
The Dukes dropped a pair of road games to high-scoring Citadel and Richmond. The Dukes have one of the worst defenses in the country and it showed against Citadel allowing 84 points. Turnovers were a big problem for the JMU starting five as they had 16. Stuckey Mosley is the guy that makes things go for James Madison and Develle Phillips is a monster down low. The Dukes have another road game ahead against Florida International on Saturday.
Marquette Golden Eagles (AP: NR Coaches: NR)
Marquette picked up wins over Vermont and in-state rival Wisconsin this week. Markus Howard is really finding his offensive game and it showed this week averaging 28.5 points per game. The win over Wisconsin was dominating fashion and the Golden Eagles will get a full week off as a reward.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (AP: 18 Coaches: 18)
Rough week for the Fighting Irish with a home loss to Ball State to open. They did get a road win at Delaware 92-68, but the Ball State loss is bad. The Irish got pounded on the glass 36-24 by the Cardinals and that was the big difference in the game. The Irish get a week off to prepare for Indiana.
Seton Hall Pirates (AP: 15 Coaches: 15)
The Hall followed up followed up their big week last week with a dominating win over VCU. The Pirates defense was smothering and all five starters scored 13+ points with Desi Rodriguez leading the way with 17. The win vaults Seton Hall to their highest ranking since January 9th, 2001, when they checked in at 11. It’s a big week for in-state foes as The Hall takes on St. Peter’s before a road trip to Rutgers for the Garden State Hardwood Classic.
St. John’s Johnnies (#21)
The Johnnies used a big week scoring 114 points at Macalester and then clamping down defensively against St. Olaf to get back into the Top 25. Lucas Walford had a big night against Macalester with 25 points and 11 rebounds. St. John’s also got to the stripe 48 times in the triple-digit effort. A 3-0 start in the MIAC is exactly what the Johnnies needed and they will look to grab their last win before December 29th (there’s a break between the next two games) against Hamline at home.
Washington University Bears (#11)
The Bears knocked off Central at home in a close 87-83 affair. Andrew Sanders was lights out scoring 29 points on 10-17 shooting and 9-12 from the charity stripe and adding 14 rebounds. WUSTL dominated the boards 58-36 and picked up 20 offensive rebounds in front of a raucous 419-person crowd. I jest, but that was actually the attendance. WUSTL looks like a real threat this season, they need to improve from the free throw line and cut down on the turnovers, but their rebounding prowess and stacked starting five make them a very tough out.
Northwestern Wildcats (AP: NR Coaches: NR)
Things haven’t gone well at all this season for Northwestern. The Cats had the entire week off to regroup as they prepared for Chicago State, Valpo, and DePaul this week. As I am writing this, Northwestern is up 53-6 on Chicago State late in the first half. Northwestern needs to find it defensively and in turn, it will greatly benefit their offense. They are a big 3-point shooting team and haven’t shot it too well from downtown, but if that changes they are a tough beat.