Basketball Prospectus: Unfiltered Everything Else is Fluff.

November 25, 2008

The Night of Living Dangerously

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Gasaway @ 10:35 am

We interrupt your regularly scheduled week of neutral-floor Thanksgiving week Classics (Maui, CBE, Old Spice, etc.) to bring you a couple notable results from last night that took place in good old-fashioned home-court games. Two high-major teams that are supposed to be pretty good struggled to win against feisty mid-majors. No upsets here, but it was close…. 

Baylor beat Jacksonville 76-68 in Waco. (Relatively) big things are expected from a veteran group of Bears this year, coming off their first NCAA appearance in 20 years. The worry with this team, however, will be defense, and, while it’s only November, yielding 61 percent two-point shooting on your home floor to an A-Sun opponent does little to assuage that particular worry. Still, it’s a W. Actually the big news here was that Bears freshman Quincy Acy actually missed a shot (it’s true!) after starting the season a perfect 17-for-17 from the field over three games. Alas, now the lad is a mere 19-of-20 for the season. Sounds like it’s time from some extra shooting drills. Meantime, the Dolphins are making a habit out of dropping close games to power-conference opponents, having previously lost at home to Florida State by two and at Georgetown by nine. Georgia Tech is next: the Fins travel to Atlanta Friday night.

Ohio State beat Bowling Green 61-57 in Columbus. Thad Matta is looking for offense to replace the possessions used and shots taken last year by Kosta Koufos and Jamar Butler. After watching his team score just 61 points in a 66-possession game against an opponent that just went 7-9 in the MAC, however, it’s safe to say the Buckeye coach is still looking. Matta, per usual, brought in two McDonald’s All-American freshmen this season (B.J. Mullens and William Buford), which is two more than the rest of the Big Ten combined. For now, however, the shots are being taken for the most part by (relative) geezers like Jon Diebler and junior college transfer Jeremie Simmons. That worked, barely, last night, but OSU will need more makes next week when they play at Miami in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

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