First off, sorry about the layoff between posts. We’ve all been very busy this week, but the posts will ramp up in the coming weeks. This weekend showed us quite a bit about several teams and conferences, and, although devoid of great matchups, was an entertaining one.
One Player Does Not a Team Make:
By now everyone has heard about the massive upset that Mercer pulled off over USC. OJ Mayo played extremely well in the loss, but it is clear that this will not be a Kevin Durant-like situation where one player leads a team to a 4-seed in the NCAA Tournament. The losses of Gabe Pruitt and Nick Young look to have hurt hard, especially in transition defense. I don’t care who you are playing, 19 turnovers combined with 18-32 from the free throw line is a recipe for disaster. Don’t get me wrong, OJ Mayo is a special player and USC will still be a dangerous out come march, but the supporting cast must step up. Follow me after the jump for the Big East’s woes, and more
The Bottom of the Big East is Terrible
This weekend illustrated just how shitty the bottom of the Big East really is. South Florida lost to a Cleveland St team that won 10 games last year. Depaul lost to Creighton, which would be respectable most years, but not after Creighton lost four starters last year, including Nate Funk. Finally, Cincinatti, who was only predicted to finish 12th in the league, got blown out by Belmont and struggled to beat Western Carolina by 2 at home. Seton Hall had to go to overtime against Monmouth, for Christ sake. We haven’t even seen what the true bottom of the league, Rutgers and St John’s, can do yet. There is no doubt in my mind that the Big East has the worst bottom five teams of any major conference.
The Missouri Valley is Down this Year
There was always an air of uncertainty over the MVC in the preseason. With half the league’s coaches gone, and many teams having lost seniors, it appeared that this year could be a down year for the MVC. Those predictions seem correct. Bradley, picked second in the league by the coaches, lost to Illinois-Chicago. Missouri St, also picked high in the league, and Drake, lost their first games. While the Valley might get multiple bids to the dance, it appears that the league will not have the stature it had last year.
Odds and Ends:
Manhattan held NJIT to 28 points in its opening win…With its two best players suspended, Boston College played a lineup with 4 freshmen and a sophmore and beat New Hampshire by 10…Marquette was tested by IUPUI, who could win the newly-christened Summit Conference, before winning by 9…Congrats to Savannah State, who went winless two years ago, on winning their opener, albeit against Carver Bible College. No word on the gambling line for next week’s clash with St. Francis’s College for the Deaf…The two highest scoring teams from last year, Duquesne and VMI, started in opposite directions, with Duquense winning in a blowout, while VMI lost two games while scoring under 100 points in each.