I took Sunday off, meaning this is really the Morning after, after the morning after Saturday’s games. We’ll call it a day off for celebrating Notre Dame’s win over USC.
National Championship game is 43 days away. Meaning I’ll probably take another day off 44 days from now for either celebration or mourning. You’ve been warned.
Three Point Shot
- I said this in The Ride Home podcast, but I think Murray State isn’t going to win games with dominating defense like they’ve been known for the past few years. This is a team built more for scoring, led by one of the most dynamic guards in the nation in Isaiah Canaan.
- My worst pre-season prediction appears to be my boldest: missing Jerome Jones, SIU Edwardsville trails wire-to-wire in a loss to…1-5 Texas Pan-American. This team might not be ready for a big jump in the OVC just yet.
- Don’t buy in just yet to 5-0 Eastern Kentucky. They’re improved from last year, but they’ve played a horrific schedule. How bad exactly? It’s ranked 345th in the nation. There are only 347 eligible Division I teams.
Southeast Missouri 45, Illinois-Chicago 56
I called it in the First Word, but how is it possible to be this bad at forcing turnovers? The Redhawks manage just one steal, force just five UIC turnovers, and lose an offensive struggle on the road.
The Redhawks had three leads during the second half, but used a 10-2 run with about 9:00 to play to stretch the lead for good. Neither team could get their offense going: The Redhawks shot 30% from the field; the Flames just 29%.
The same trio that’s lead the Redhawks all year, Nino Johnson, Tyler Stone, and Corey Wilford combine for 35 of the Redhawks 45 points, and 22 of their 36 rebounds.
Southeast Missouri simply can’t contend in the OVC the way they’ve been playing lately. Those three players can’t make up over 3/4 of your offense every night. And somebody has to step in front of a pass on occasion.
Texas Pan-American 77, SIU Edwardsville 66
Texas Pan-American got off to a fast start, and never looked back in on their way to a win against a shorthanded SIU Edwardsville. The Cougars coughed up the ball 10 times in the first half, falling in a 34-16 hole before trying to dig their way out.
Kris Davis was the one bright spot for the Cougars, after struggling to start the season. The sophomore shot 10-16 from the field, finishing with a game high 24 points in the losing effort. No other Cougar really stepped up to replace Jerome Jones, suspended for today’s game after a scuffle with Southern Illinois.
The Cougars continue to struggle on the boards, pulling down just 6 offensive rebounds off of 29 missed shots, and were edged in the rebounding department by the Broncs. They also allowed Texas Pan-American 49% shooting.
Jones and Ray Lester will be back when SIUE takes on Chicago State on Saturday.
UT Martin 57, Bradley 80
Five Braves score in double-figures, as a 20-4 second half run puts the Skyhawks away, and leaves UT Martin still winless against Division I competition.
Myles Taylor continues to have a really good, and mostly unnoticed, season, finishing with a game high 17 points and 9 rebounds. Mike Liabo finished with 15, but most came late down the stretch when the game was all but decided. As a team, the Skyhawks struggle again from the floor, shooting just 33% on the night, and 32% from behind the arc.
Bradley is simply bigger and stronger, and it shows. The Braves shot 42%, got to the line more, and outrebounded the Skyhawks. Despite the stats the Skyhawks were within 3 with 14 minutes to play when Bradley went on the big run to put it away.
The Skyhawks first Division I win could come this week. After traveling to Memphis Thursday, the Skyhawks have a very winnable game at home this Saturday against Kennesaw State.