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Monday Morning Point Guard (11/30/15)

November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving week is the best.

Everything centered around a feast with the family.

Lots of good football with some traditional rivalries and some not so traditional.  When I was growing up, THE Thanksgiving college game was Texas vs. Texas A&M.  Now we’re treated to Texas vs. Texas Tech.  Conference realignment and athletic department egos sure make for some stupid decisions.

And college basketball really takes off traditionally with some great tournament play.  Lots of great match-ups throughout the weekend.  Here are some observations both local and national.

Colorado has jumped to the top of Crackers Front Range League – As expected, CU has started the CFRL season with a bang with a pair of blowouts of CFRL bottom feeders Air Force and Northern Colorado.  Solid play on both ends of the floor combined with significantly improved shooting from the perimeter has the Buffs looking a lot stronger than last season.  Their next test (and most important CFRL matchup) comes Sunday when they visit Moby Arena to take on CSU.  Backup big Tory Miller looked to get a head start on Thanksgiving dinner when he took a bite at AFA’s Hayden Graham’s shoulder. Gross!

Speaking of CSU – The Rams dropped their first game of the season, losing 99-90 in 2OT to UTEP after leading by 17 at the half.  CSU had played really well the night before in dismissing Portland and stormed to a huge first half lead against UTEP before their defense broke down and allowed the Miners to repeatedly score t the rim.  6th man extraordinaire Antwan Scott missed the UTEP game with a leg injury and yeoman efforts by the other backups like JD Paige were not enough to keep the Rams from coming up just short.  A late  3-ball by UTEP in regulation sent the game in OT and the Rams fought gamely until they finally succumbed.  Later that night, the CSU football teamroared back from a 17-point deficit to record a win over Fresno State, proving thaty 17-point leads are highly overrated.

The CSU Women travelled east and won 2 out of 3 – The Rams dropped a tough game to Penn at The Palestra 49-48 when an Ellen Nystrom jumped rattled off the rim at game’s end.  CSU had led most of the wayh before a furious comeback by rhe Quakers got their nose in front at the end (Isn’t it out of character for a uaker to do anything furious?).  After some sightseeing in Philly, the Rams headed down to Annapolis where they won a holiday tourney, defeating Morgan State and host Navy.  The win over Navy came in double overtime as once again the Rams fell victim to a wild comeback by the home team.  This time, they had enough to hold on through the first OT and then Alana Arias took over the game with 6 straight points, allowing them to return home with hardware.  Next up for the women – rival Colorado visits Moby Arena on Wednesday night.

Around the Mountain West Conference – UNLV scored a nice win over Indiana after losing to a less powerful than normal UCLA in the opening round of the Maui Invite.  A little bit of Jekyll and Hyde from a Dave Rice team – imagine that.  San Diego State beat Cal, then got dwarf-tossed by a very good West Virginia squad, losing 72-50; the only Aztecs who looked remotely interested were two freshmen – Zylan Cheatham and Jeremy Hemsley – not good.  San Jose State won their 3rd game of the season defeating Alaska-Anchorage in the Great Alaska Shootout; its noteworthy because that gives the Spartans one more win than they recorded all of last season.  Utah State travelled to Durham to take on Duke and were absolutely throttled 85-52, a score that looks better due to the Aggies leaving some starters in until the bitter end against Duke’s scout squad.  Boise State lost to national powers Michigan State and Arizona in the Wooden Classic; the Broncos field a nice group of starters, led by James Webb,  but are getting very little help from the bench.  Arizona showed how to play them by pounding the ball inside offensively and forcing the Broncos to drive offensively, taking away the three-ball attempts by Nick Duncan and Anthony Drmic.   Fresno remains the only MWC unbeaten at 5-0 but travel to Oregon this week for their first reat test.

The MWC is looking improved top to bottom but….  The bottom dwellers of last season all look improved.  The middle of the conference looks improved.  The problem is that the top of the conference (SDSU and Boise) have fallen off some. San Diego State has already lost three times nd Boise has lost four times.  While most of the losses are to good teams, the Aztecs also found a way to lose at home to Arkansas -Little Rock and the Broncos lost at Montana.  DOn’t laugh but the MWC might very well be a one-bid league at season’s end.  It is unclear whether any team will be able to put together a resume worthy of an at-large bid.

Around the nation… Lots of upsets as usual but the most fun little team that has emerged early in the year is Monmouth (NJ) University.  They are coached by King Rice, a high school legend from Binghamton, NY who played his college ball for Dean Smith in Chapel Hill.  The Hawks began their season with an OT win at UCLA and then lost to a pretty decent USC squad.  They subseuently defeated a ranked Notre Dame, lost a close one to a solid Dayton squad, then closed with a revenge win over USC.  They are not only good but they have a lot of fun.  SOme over the top antics by the scrubs on the sideline make them a must see on TV. They will be a team to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

 

One Comment leave one →
  1. Judge Smails permalink
    November 30, 2015 3:15 pm

    Why you no answer yo texts?

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