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5/14/2013 4:04 PM
Colorado St. Travels to DeKalb, Thumps Northern Illinois

DEKALB -- Senior John Hall has said that he would love to make a deep run in the NT in his final year.

His play is sure backing that up.

Hall scored a career high 27 points, including seven 3 pointers, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals, as the Rams dismantled Northern Illinois 75-45.

"It was easily one of the oddest games I have coached in my career," said Westcoast22.  "Over half of our attempts were from beyond the arc and only 5 free throws attempted from us.  Just a weird one."

Fellow Colorado St. (9-1) seniors Daniel Howlett and William Anderson both pitched in with 15 points each while Anderson also pulled down 11 boards for his 2nd double-double of the year.

Northern Illinois (8-2) were held to 34% shooting, well under their near 50% season average and nobody scored in double digits.

"We just didn't have it today," said senior SG Don Harvey.

The Rams went on a 13-2 run early in the 2nd half to pull away even farther and make the game unreachable.

"I was happy to contribute the way I did today.  We need to keep it up and remain focused as we head into conference play," said Hall.

Colorado St. outrebounded the Huskies 23-12 in the 2nd half, including 10-4 on the offensive glass.

NOTES -- Colorado St. opens up Mountain West play on the road in Denver while Northern Illinois hosts Toledo to open up the MAC.
5/16/2013 2:09 PM
Colorado St. Improves to 10-1; Wins MWC Opener

DENVER -- The Colorado St. Rams used a balanced second half to pull away from Denver in the conference opener, 86-73.

Senior PG John Hall scored 26 points, one shy of his career high from a game ago, and also dished 5 assists.  This is his 3rd straight game with at least 5 assists and his 5th out of his last 6 games.

"He is definitely our leader." said Westcoast22.  "When we need something offensively, he is our first option."

Colorado St. (10-1, 1-0) Senior William Anderson had a monster game.  Scoring 20 points on 8-14 shooting while also pulling down 14 rebounds.  He has recorded 3 double-doubles in the Rams' previous four games.

"I want to make an impact and contribute on both ends of the floor and I feel I am doing said," said Anderson.

In something you do not see very often, Denver's (1-10, 0-1) bench outscored their starters 41-32.

"We feel anyone on this team can start," said Denver head coach jenningss.  "When you can have a rotation like this, you can stay in ball games longer when things are not going right.  We just need to find a way to get over that hump and get some leads."

Denver has been struggling in games but their number 3 ranked schedule is partly to blame.  8 of Denver's 11 games are teams with 8 wins or more with over half of them having RPI's in the Top 100. 

Denver was led by Russian Ivan Ziedan who was 5-7 from the field for 14 points,4 rebounds, and 4 assists.

"It was a great win, but it's just beginning.  We have 15 more conference games left and it's going to get any easier," said Westcoast22.

NEXT UP:  Denver stays at Magness Arena and will welcome New Mexico tonight.  Colorado St. has their conference home opener against Wyoming.
5/16/2013 2:36 PM
Syracuse Remains Undefeated as Baird Beats Buzzer

SYRACUSE -- Orangemen Junior Greg Baird had 13 points in the game, but none bigger than his final 3.

Baird set the Carrier Dome into a frenzy as he hit a game winning three as time expired and #2 Syracuse escaped an upset bid from #9 St. Johns, 64-62.

"I got a good look and luckily it went down.  We haven't had too many close games this year and it woke us up.  St. Johns is tough and we were lucky to pull it out and remain without a loss," said Baird.

St. Johns was led by Senior Frank Dickens who crossed the 20 point barrier for the 4th time this year.  Unfortunately, Junior Jonathan Gaskin was held in check and only had 1 point.  He had been averaging over 11 prior.

"They (Syracuse) did a good job on Gaskin.  Luckily, we got good production from Dickens, Francis, and Demers," said Red Storm head coach gchuck.  "They made a shot when they had to.  What are you gonna do."

The Orange only had 2 players in double figures, Baird and sixth man Nicholas Berardi, who finished with 12.

"We will surely take it," said Syracuse head coach oldresorter.  "It wasn't the best looking win but St. Johns is a great team and any time you can open the Big East season with a win, it's a good day."

NEXT UP:  St. Johns has an off day before they head home to face Seton Hall.  Syracuse travels to the Yum Center to face undefeated Louisville. 



5/20/2013 7:06 PM
Best of the Smallest 

Complaints are heard far and wide about the Big 6, and their dominance of Naismith's Division 1. Last season, all teams in the Sweet 16 were from Big 6 conferences. There are quite a few schools looking to break that trend. "It's frustrating that schools from mid-major and lower-tier conferences often fizzle out in the national tournament" said Brown university coach slicknick777. "Big 6 schools have been looking past us for a while now, and we hope to change that trend soon".

In the new series, "Best of the Smallest", we will be rating the best - non Big Six schools, and letting folks out there know those schools that have a legitimate chance to shock the Big 6 powers come tourney time. 

1. Brown University ( 13-1, RPI 10, SOS 36)
Big Wins - 49-47 over Providence, 59-49 over Sacred Heart, 73-72 over Dartmouth.

No surprise here, as Slicknick's Brown Bears are a senior-laden bunch, led by phenomenal shooting guard (and Rhodes scholar) Edward Boyle, and versatile swingman John Ambrosino. Boyle's perimeter shooting and shut-down defense is often the catalyst for the Bears' success, as it was in a huge 73-72 OT victory over conference rival Dartmouth just recently.  If the Brown Bears finally make a deep national tourney run, they will do so with defense and senior leadership. 

2. BYU (14-1, RPI 19, SOS 78)
Big Wins - 65-60 over Fresno, 81-71 over Georgetown, 83-66 over Boston College, 73-60 over Oklahoma. 

A solid #1 in the small-school power rankings until their loss to UNLV, BYU has overcome some shoddy coaching by coach Sim AI to win some huge games purely on talent alone.  Michael Dimore and Dylan Pinkham aren't great athletes, but are extremely well rounded players and team leaders. 

#3 South Carolina St. (14-1, RPI 38, SOS 172)
Big Wins - 95-94 over Eastern Michigan, 58-55 over in-state rival South Carolina.

Chris Marsala and Chris Wooster are stud players, and are leading the pride of the MEAC into actually turning a conference title into a national tourney bid. South Carolina St. always has good regular seasons, but never gets in the big dance - however, this looks like their year. 

#4 Colorado St. (13-2, RPI 33, SOS 113)
Big Wins  53-48 over Brown, 85-66 at Monmouth

John Hall and Daniel Howlett make this an EXTREMELY dangerous team from 3-point land. Colorado St. has been very good for a while. Teams that rely on the 3 can flame out really quickly, but can also shock some powerful teams as well, as Brown found out earlier this season. 

#5 St. Bonaventure (13-2, RPI 35, SOS 99)
Big Wins - 71-70 over Arizona, 70-64 over Texas Tech, 64-62 over Fordham. 
Vashon and Richardson, their two starting guards, are what make the Bonnies tick. After inexplicable loss in the first game of the season to a poor American U. team, the Bonnies put it behind them, only losing to #1 Oregon after that. Big 6 schools don't scare them at all.  

#6 Mississippi Valley St. (15-0, RPI 61, SOS 240)
Big Wins - none
Miss Valley St. scores a ridiculous 102 points a game, but plays absolutely no legit competition. Nevertheless, Jake Smith and Alan Demmer lead a very talented roster. They hit 3's with great frequency, and force a whopping 25 turnovers a game. They could definitely be undefeated (and untested) come tourney time. This squad will be interesting to watch. 

#7 Dartmouth (12-3, RPI 41, SOS 55)
Big Wins - 74-67 vs. Florida St. 
Dartmouth played #1 Oregon very tough, and would have beaten Brown had it not been for a woeful night at the foul line. Nevertheless, the Big Green are impressing people with their talented 4-guard lineup, but are forced to bask in mostly moral victories for now. Cody Reynolds is a multi-talented player that is a handful for any opponent, and Donald Otto is a stud scorer off the bench. 

#8 James Madison (11-4, RPI 53, SOS 87)
Big Wins - 82-72 over Wake Forest, 75-72 over Old Dominion

2 heartbreaking losses to Maryland and Kent St. have James Madison worried about a potential at-large bid, if needed. That's a shame, because this is a very capable squad, beating a really good ACC team in Wake Forest. While most of the top smaller schools are perimeter based, James Madison has some great bigs, especially Leon Brown, who never met a rebound he couldn't corral.

#9 Drake (10-5, RPI 66, SOS 77)
Big Win - 69-56 over Arizona, 82-66 over Ball St. 
If moral victories meant something, Drake would be on top of the world. Coach Clone77 has to be going relatively insane after overtime losses to Ohio St. and Cincinatti, a 2 overtime loss to Alabama, and a 3 overtime loss to Georgia. Other than completely not being clutch, this team is scaring the heck out of some big-time powers. Led by Wilburn "Slick Willie" Anderson, this team has 9 upperclassmen and a lot of talent. If their confidence isn't completely shattered by their heartbreaking OT performances, they can make a great run. 

#10 University of San Diego (9-6, RPI 39, SOS 34)

Big Wins - 81-57 over Miami (FL), 77-76 over Georgia Tech
San Diego played a hellish non-conference schedule with mixed results, including a huge blowout victory over the Miami Hurricanes. They are 2-5 against big 6 schools, however, and lost an explicable one to Central Florida. They play great team basketball, with 9 starters averaging between 7 and 11 PPG. Godby is their leader, but they share the wealth. 

Best of the rest: Ball St., Eastern Michigan, UL-Monroe, Montana, Sacred Heart





5/22/2013 5:38 PM
Great article bbunch!
5/23/2013 3:28 PM
Nice job, bbunch. Its nice to see South Carolina State get some national attention. "South Carolina State always has good regular seasons, but never gets in the dance." Completely true! That would be because the league had two dominant coaches who would definitely have made this list had they not moved on to South Carolina and Richmond. Anyway, the path is clear for us this season. Planning on moving to a conference with a few more coaches next season (got my eye on the Ivy).
5/23/2013 5:37 PM
yeah, we would love to have you in the ivy, bitzy. It has the potential to be a very good conference. 
5/27/2013 1:28 PM (edited)

BEST OF THE SMALLEST - #2

I upped it to a top 15. Enjoy. 

1. Brown University ( 19-1, RPI 17, SOS 82) (Ivy League)
Previously #1
Big Wins - 49-47 over Providence, 59-49 over Sacred Heart, 73-72 over Dartmouth.

No surprise here, as Slicknick's Brown Bears are tearing through the Ivy league, demoralizing the rest of the league.

#2 Colorado St. (19-2, RPI 15, SOS 71) (Mountain West)
Previously #4
Big Wins  53-48 over Brown, 85-66 at Monmouth, 79-62 over UNLV

Still very 3-point reliant, but this team can be very scary. They’re playing great ball right now, as evidenced by their shellacking of a solid UNLV team.

#3 Evansville (15-5, RPI 46, SOS 72) (Missouri Valley)
Previously NR
Big Wins – 63-31 over Bama, 86-68 over Wisconsin, 88-68 over Butler, 74-55 over Drake

Completely my error for having these guys off my radar. I let their low record get in the way of their big non-conf wins, and now they just reeled off 6 straight victories, including a dominating revenge victory over in-conference rival Drake. Evansville has a great center in Brian Porter, and a 3-guard lineup featuring 3 seniors that can all hit the 3-pointer with excellent efficiency. Because of this dangerous inside-out game, Evansville is definitely a team to watch going forward.

4. Eastern Michigan (18-4, RPI 21, SOS 34) (Mid-American Conference)
Previously NR
Big Wins – 92-79 and 91-80 over Ball St.

2 big wins over Ball St. and an important conference victory over Ohio vaulted EMU into the top 10. Thanks to a stud 2-guard in Jerry Henderson and a bunch of role players that play within their limits, Eastern Michigan looks like they will be making a serious NT run. Very close losses to South Carolina St. and St. Bonaventure hurt their rankings to start off, but they look like they’re making progress and improving as a team.

5 St. Bonaventure (19-3, RPI 44, SOS 106) (Atlantic 10)
Previously #5
Big Wins - 71-70 over Arizona, 70-64 over Texas Tech, 64-62 over Fordham. 

Good win against Temple this week, but that one-point loss to a game Charlotte squad could hurt them in the long run


#6 South Carolina St. (20-2, RPI 31, SOS 115) (MEAC)
Previously #3
Big Wins - 95-94 over Eastern Michigan, 58-55 over in-state rival South Carolina.

I dropped them specifically because of their recent loss to in-conference Norfolk St. They should be dominating the MEAC, but they only split against Norfolk, their toughest in-conference competition. Neverthelss, this is still the best squad in the MEAC and one of the best truly small schools in the country.
  

#7 Mississippi Valley St. (22-0, RPI 58, SOS 264) (Big South)
Previously #6
Big Wins - none

Other than beating High Point by only 12, they beat everyone else down in conference with ferocity. Unfortunately for them, their conference stinks, and they’ve still played no real competition.

#8 Dartmouth (18-4, RPI 48, SOS 90) (Ivy League)
Previously #7
Big Wins - 74-67 vs. Florida St, 60-48 over Penn. 

A heartbreaking OT loss to Penn leaves them with 2 in-conference losses, both in overtime. They redeemed themselves by winning at home vs. Penn as well as at Bucknell, both solid conference opponents.

#9  UL- Monroe (21-0, RPI 67, SOS 297) (Southland)
Previously - NR
Big Wins – Nope.

Kind of like the mirror image of Mississippi Valley St., in that they have a cupcake schedule,  and instead of relying on a 100PPG offense, they’re shutting teams down by only allowing 49 PPG. Obviously a UL-Monroe vs. Miss Valley St. would be phenomenal to watch – hopefully the coaches set it up next season. Unfortunately, we probably won’t see that happen this season.  They have 10 upperclassmen,  so this team could be very dangerous once they play some decent competition.

#10 Drake (16-6, RPI 66, SOS 77) (Missouri Valley)
Previously - #9
Big Win - 69-56 over Arizona, 82-66 over Ball St. 

It’s a shame that this super-talented mid-major might be looking at a PIT bid after completely dropping the ball against Evansville in an embarrassing defeat. They played solid in the rest of their conference games against easy competition.

#11 James Madison (16-5, RPI 68, SOS 133) (Colonial Athletic)
Previously #8
Big Wins - 82-72 over Wake Forest, 75-72 over Old Dominion

If you’re going to be considered for an at-large bid should things go wrong, you have to be able to sweep solid but unspectacular teams like Old Dominion

#12  University of San Diego (14-7, RPI 35, SOS 66) (West Coast)
Previously #10
Big Wins - 81-57 over Miami (FL), 77-76 over Georgia Tech

All respect for the hellish non conf. schedule is noted, but a loss last night  to Grambling St.??? Really??? That could have hurt their NT chances.

 #13 UNLV (17-4, RPI 33, SOS 103) (Mountain West)
Previously NR
Big Wins – 71-66 over Old Dominion, 84-74 at BYU, 79-75 over Colorado St.

The Running Rebels are a bit bipolar (including an inexplicable loss to Texas Southern), and that kept them out of the rankings – but they have some good wins to their credit.

#14 BYU (16-6, RPI 72, SOS 112) (Mountain West)
Previously #2
Big Wins - 65-60 over Fresno, 81-71 over Georgetown, 83-66 over Boston College, 73-60 over Oklahoma. 

4 losses in 6 games will drop you from the rankings pretty quick. No more NT for you, robo-mormons. They still have some great non-conference victories.

#15 Ball St. (16-5 RPI 40 SOS 79) Mid-American Conference)
Previously NR
Big Wins – 73-68 over Temple, 73-67 over Norfolk St.   

I know they’re a good squad – but you can’t let Eastern Michigan dominate you like that and expect to be a legit contender.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Next up: Sacred Heart, Mercer, Old Dominion, Monmouth, Norfolk St.

5/30/2013 4:06 PM
Love this series bbunch. Keep up the good work.
5/31/2013 4:43 PM
Posted by dw172300 on 5/30/2013 4:06:00 PM (view original):
Love this series bbunch. Keep up the good work.
of course you love it...because you plan on seeing your bobcats on this list next season...but i agree with dw, fun articles...keep up the strong work!
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