Posted on: December 26, 2012 9:51 pm
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Summit League Preseason Predictions

1. South Dakota State

The team that made the dance last year.  The team that returns the best player in the Summit League.  The team that everybody has heard about.  Did I mention they just went into New Mexico and upset the Lobos?  South Dakota State has a three headed monster in Wolters/Dykstra/Fiegen.  Nate Wolters is still the POY leader in the Summit League.  They stumbled big time at Belmont shooting only 27%; however, it has been their only big stumble.  Although they have not taken ahold of the conference like some thought they would, the Jackrabbits have contended with Minnesota and took Alabama to the buzzer.  They do not turn over the basketball and can rebound with the best of them.  This appears to be another good year for the Summit League and South Dakota State is leading the pack.

Resume

Record: 10-4 (1-0)

Wins: @ #16 New Mexico, @ Montana, Marshall, Omaha

Losses: Alabama, Minnesota, Belmont, Hofstra

Top 3 Players

Nate Wolters: 20.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 77.9% ft

Jordan Dykstra: 12.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 69.7% ft

Tony Fiegen: 10.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 65.4% ft

Team Stats (Summit Rank in Parenthesis)

Scoring Offense: 74.7 (1)

Scoring Defense: 67.3 (4)

Turnover Margin: +0.9 (3)

Rebounding Margin: +3.0 (3)

Free Throw Percentage: 73.8% (3)

Rankings Out of 345 Teams (Summit Rank in Parenthesis)

CBS RPI: 86 (2)

CBS SOS: 198 (4)

 

2. North Dakota State

All three losses have some strength to them.  Won at Duquesne and beat a good Youngstown State team.  Taylor Braun leads the way putting up his 15.6 points per game.  North Dakota State has continued to play their slow style of play and it shows as they give up 57 point a game.  Like their rival from the south, they do not turn the ball over and rebound.  It was a tough call picking them second… but until they beat the champions, they must wait to return to the tournament.

Resume

Record: 10-3 (1-0)

Wins: @ Duquesne, Morehead State (2), Youngstown State

Losses: #1 Indiana, #13 Minnesota, Green Bay

Top 3 Players

Taylor Braun: 15.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.0 apg, 78.2% ft

Marshall Bjorklund: 11.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 73.7 ft

Lawrence Alexander:10.0 ppg, 3.6 apg, 74.4 ft

Team Stats

Scoring Offense: 70.7  (2)

Scoring Defense: 57.1 (2)

Turnover Margin: +0.8 (4)

Rebounding Margin: +3.8 (2)

Free Throw Percentage: 75.9% (2)

Rankings

CBS RPI: 64 (1)

CBS SOS: 208 (5)

 

3. Western Illinois

Nothing has really changed from the preseason to now for the Leathernecks.  Western Illinois always plays the toughest defense in the league.  That is why they are ranked fourth in the nation in scoring defense.  Senior guard Ceola Clark and forward Terell Parks average 13.9 and 13.5 points respectively with Parks averaging 9 boards a game.  Although the team has yet to be tested against a big-time opponent, they took South Dakota State to overtime in the Summit League title game last year and may be poised to take the Summit League by surprise.  Not to say, however, that it would be surprising at all.

Resume

Record: 8-3 (2-0)

Wins: Illinois-Chicago, Yale, UMKC, South Dakota,

Losses: Evansville

Top 3 Players

Ceola Clark: 13.9 ppg, 3.9 apg, 82.6% ft

Terell Parks: 13.5 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 44.0% ft

Adam Link: 9.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 74.5% ft

Team Stats

Scoring Offense: 59.3 ppg (9)

Scoring Defense: 51.4 ppg (1)

Turnover Margin: +1.9 (1)

Rebounding Margin: 1.1 (4)

Free-Throw Percentage: 65.8% (8)

Rankings

CBS RPI: 164 (4)

CBS SOS: 340 (9)

 

4. Oakland

Greg Kampe continues to schedule the toughest non-conference games for his Golden Grizzlies.  Michigan State. Pittsburgh. Tennessee. West Virginia.  Oakland’s performance at Pittsburgh was impressive although they blew a 14 point halftime lead before falling in overtime.  After holding a two point halftime advantage at West Virginia, a Travis Bader three in the final second rimmed out spoiling his 25 point performance.  Transfer Duke Mondy has filled role left by Reggie Hamilton and has produced at the point.  They were tested last year, but did not help them in the Summit League where their defense let them down. As always, Oakland has the potential to play past their trip to Sioux Falls; however, they have to beat three really good teams ahead of them first.

Resume

Record: 5-8 (0-0)

Wins: Valparaiso, @ Eastern Michigan

Losses: @ Michigan State, @ Boise State, @ Pittsburgh, @ Tennessee, @ W. Michigan, @ West Virginia, @ Ohio

Top 3 Players

Travis Bader: 20.2 ppg, 53 3fg, 89.0% ft

Corey Petros: 13.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 66.3% ft

Duke Mondy: 12.3 ppg, 4.5 apg, 71.4% ft

Team Stats

Scoring Offense: 70.1 (4)

Scoring Defense: 73.8 (6)

Turnover Margin: +1.8 (2)

Rebounding Margin: -2.5 (6)

Free Throw Percentage: 70.6% (4)

Rankings

CBS RPI: 124 (3)

CBS SOS: 35 (1)

 

5. IPFW

After a disappointing first season under new head coach Tony Jasick (Dane Fife left to join Tom Izzo at Michigan State), IPFW has rebounded nicely.  And by rebounding, I mean having a 6.1 rebounding margin.  Their defense has really improved compared to last year in which was their main downfall.  Missing a true jump-shooter behind Frank Gaines.  Although Gaines can shoot, he gets the majority of his points slashing to the hoop.  Center Mario Hines plays out of position and plays more like a forward but can score inside.  Might get beat up in the league however.  Free throw shooting has been terrible and needs to improve.  If the Mastodons can score, they will win more games than they will lose.

Resume

Record: 6-7 (0-0)

Wins: Miami, Dartmouth, UT-Pan American

Losses: @ Notre Dame, @ Valparaiso, @ Eastern Michigan, @ Drake, @ Auburn

Top 3 Players

Frank Gaines: 19.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 75.5% ft

Mario Hines: 9.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 63.5% ft

Luis Jacobo: 9.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 66.7% ft

Team Stats

Scoring Offense: 65.4 (6)

Scoring Defense: 61.2 (3)

Turnover Margin: +0.7 (5)

Rebounding Margin: +6.1 (1)

Free Throw Percentage: 63.2% (9)

Rankings

CBS RPI: 276 (8)

CBS SOS: 326 (8)

 

6. IUPUI

Todd Howard has not been able to maintain the momentum gained by former head coach Ron Hunter who left for Georgia State.  They have loads of athleticism and even picked up former Purdue guard John Hart who graduated in May.  They have been tested as they played Butler, Michigan, and in-state foe Indiana State.  Mitchell Patton was hurt in the Western Kentucky game and his status is up in the air.  IUPUI did get Ian Chiles back who is a huge key to their success.  IUPUI’s problem continues to be defense as they give up 75.5 points a ballgame.  The Jaguars are the exact opposite of IPFW in terms of rebounding.  Started off with two rocky losses in the Summit League and will need to make those up between now and the tournament.

Resume

Record: 5-10 (0-2)

Wins: Utah Valley, @ Ball State

Losses: @ Michigan, @ Butler, Indiana State, @ Western Kentucky, @ Valparaiso

Top 3 Players

John Hart: 14.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 79.3% ft

Mitchell Patton: 14.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 71.8% ft

Donovan Gibbs: 8.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 58.6% ft

Team Stats

Scoring Offense: 68.3 (5)

Scoring Defense: 75.5 (8)

Turnover Margin: -0.4 (6)

Rebounding Margin: -6.5 (8)

Free Throw Percentage: 70.3% (5)

Rankings

CBS RPI: 219 (5)

CBS SOS: 270 (7)

 

7. South Dakota

There is not a huge divide between teams seven and eight.  The only main difference is this: It is tough to go up to the Dakota’s in February when it is below zero. Already beat IUPUI like UMKC did.  Myles leads the way with 16 points per contest and shoots and astounding 89.6% from the line.  South Dakota is eligible this year for the tournament.  They are still a few years away from being able to compete annually with the likes of the two other Dakotas.

Resume

Record: 5-8 (1-1)

Wins: NC Central, Morehead State, IUPUI

Losses: @ Gonzaga, @ Wyoming, @ Iowa, Western Illinois

Top 3 Players

Juevol Myles: 16.0 ppg, 3.5 apg, 89.6% ft

Trevor Gruis: 11.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 69.5% ft

Karim Rowson: 11.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 81.8% ft

Team Stats

Scoring Offense: 70.8 ppg (3)

Scoring Defense: 74.5 ppg (7)

Turnover Margin: -2.1

Rebounding Margin: -4.9 (7)

Free Throw Percentage: 78.9% (1)

Rankings

CBS RPI: 263 (7)

CBS SOS: 163 (3)

 

8. UMKC

Well, it’s obvious to understand where UMKC pays for their program.  Trips to Louisville, Ohio State, and Seton Hall where all games did not end especially well for the Kangaroos.  They have trouble scoring the basketball and like to turn the ball over.  Already beat IUPUI which could be important in seeding.  UMKC was the only team to miss the Summit League tourney last year as they fell at home to IPFW on the season’s last day.  They are guaranteed a spot this year, which has to make coach Matt Brown extremely happy.

Resume

Record: 4-8 (1-1)

Wins: Norfolk State, IUPUI, @ North Dakota

Losses: @ Louisville, @ Ohio State, Iowa State, @ Seton Hall, Western Illinois

Top 3 Players

Tyler Estan: 10.2 ppg, 3.8 apg, 92.9% ft

Thomas Stanton: 9.7 ppg, 73.3% ft

Nate Rogers: 7.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 55.6% ft

Team Stats

Scoring Offense: 63.4 (8)

Scoring Defense: 72.8 (5)

Turnover Margin: -2.7 (7)

Rebounding Margin: -0.9 (5)

Free Throw Percentage: 69.4 (6)

Rankings

CBS RPI: 250 (6)

CBS SOS: 135 (2)

 

9. Omaha

Not much to say on Omaha.  This is their inaugural season in the Summit League and are ineligible for the Summit League Tournament. And boy, are they ready to take their lumps! Worst rebounding and turnover margins in the league.  Trouble scoring, trouble defending.  Beat a MAC school in Northern Illinois (how bad are you NIU?).  Played both Dakota States already this year on the road.  That’s the best part of their season: Not having to head to Southern Canada in January and February.   

Resume

Record: 3-11 (0-2)

Wins: Northern Illinois, Chicago State

Losses: @ Iowa State, @ Nebraska, @ ND State, @ SD State, @ Wisconsin

Top 3 Players

Justin Simmons 12.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 77.8% ft

John Karhoff: 11.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 72.9% ft

Alex Phillips: 8.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 73.7% ft

Team Stats

Scoring Offense: 64.4 (7)

Scoring Defense: 81.8 (9)

Turnover Margin: -4.1 (9)

Rebounding Margin: -9.0 (9)

Free Throw Percentage: 67.9% (7)

Rankings

CBS RPI: 307 (9)

CBS SOS: 262 (6)

Posted on: January 14, 2009 5:44 pm
 

Big Ten Power Rankings (as of 1-14)

After roughly two or so weeks of Big Ten play, here is my take on the league:

1. Michigan State (3-0)- Playing better than any team in the big ten.  They look like the best team by far right now.  But can they hold it together until march?

2. Minnesota (3-1)- Only loss was to conference leader Michigan State by 12 points.  This team is on a three game winning streak and they look to contend.

3. Purdue (1-2)- Ok so they are in third place right?  Not deserving of third right?  Wrong!  This team lost those two games to Illinois and Penn State due to not having Robbie Hummel and Chris Krammer.  And then when both players were healthy in the Wisconsin game they played 40 minutes of good basketball.  That's why they are #3.

4. Illinois (2-1)- The win at Purdue was special but this team can flat out play.  They are physical on the glass and play with a passion that few teams can match.  Their only loss @ Michigan proves that they have some progress to make up but I guarantee that they will be in the talks come March.

5. Wisconsin (3-1)- Their win @ Michigan was special but after the Purdue game, I came away far from impressed.  Marcus Landry can play and has developed into a scorer and Krabbenhoft is as physical as they come but the team chemistry isn't quite there yet in my opinion. 

6. Michigan (3-1)- There isn't one big ten team that I am going to put in the top five that cant beat IU in regulation.  One might infer that this team comes to play some nights and not the next.  This can't happen in the Big Ten, even against IU.  But they did beat Illinois and their only loss is to Wisconsin.  This is the team I have to question the most.

7. Ohio State (2-2)- This is a team, I feel, that has a long way to go.  Right now, they are going to the NIT.  They have troubles scoring and last time I checked Thad Matta didn't specialize in defense.  Therefore, this team that lost by 24 to WV needs to find its voice.

8. Penn State (2-2)-  This team will shock everybody.  They already shocked the Boilers, even without B10 Preseason POY Robbie Hummel and Chris Kramer, and played great at Wisconsin, a place few teams win at.  But is this team ready to battle for the title?  Tonights game agianst Michigan State might give us that answer but even at 2-2, I dont see them as a contender.

9. Northwestern (0-3)- Northwestern is 0-3 because of their record, not because of their play.  We know they got blown out by Wisconsin but their quality games vs Michigan State and @ Penn State give them hope.  And they are better than Iowa because of...

10. Iowa (1-2)- Their play against IU was just terrible.  You can't give a team full of walk-ons a chance to win the game down the stretch at home!  Especially a team that beat Chamanade by gasp! 2 points!  What gives them hope is a close loss at Ohio State, a close loss against Minnesota, and a decent game against Michigan.  And I wouldn't dream of them being behind IU.

11. Indiana University (0-3)- Enough said, they suck.  They play hard but lack horizon league talent.  Good Luck in 09-10!

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 29, 2008 11:34 pm
 

Big Ten Season

      Big Ten fans in general have many questions about their teams heading the start of Big Ten play:

1. Purdue: Will their perimeter shooting come together and can Johnson emerge as a big time interior player.  Is a big man the only thing Purdue is missing?

2. Michigan State:  Can they overcome their poor play at the begining of the year and win the Big Ten?  I know Suton was missing and they beat Texas in Austin but if they play like the first month you can just call them a one and done in the tourney.

3. Wisconsin:  Can they contend for a Big Ten title?  In my opinion, after watching them lose to Texas, Wisconsin lacks a go to player.  If the team can come together and Trevon Hughes or Mr. Bohanon can step up, they can contend.  Count on their defense being their strength this year though (like I need to tell Big Ten fans this because their D has been one of the best in the Big Ten the last number of years).

4. Ohio State: We know they have Mullens.  We know the HAD Lighty.  Losing Lighty along with a young team might be a downfall to this team.  West Virginia isn't that good and OHST lost by 28 points AT HOME.  Offense is defintally an issue and their last place scoring ranking in the Big Ten during non-conference play confirms this.

5. Illinois: Not the team that surprises fans the most so far but by far 2nd best.  12-1 aint to bad but the compettition hasnt been superb.  Kent State win in overtime concerns me and and their play against Clemson at home was below average at best.  Still they are a contender and with a senior led team they might surprise someone.

6. Minnesota: The Louisville win wasn't a fluke.  Louisville is a good team and to beat them is remarkable in itself.  Also, they have shown that they can consistantly hold their opponents in the 60's and score in the 70's.  Will Tubby get his team into mid-March this year?  We will find out soon enough.

7. Michigan: They went from beating Savannah State by 2 points in overtime at home to beating Duke in Crystler Arena.  Although that seems like a 360, it really makes me wonder if this team will show up to a few games.  Every game is important in conference and the question will be whether the kids will realize it.  Sims can play, Harris is 1st team Big Ten without much question but will the role players succeed and can the bench step in? 

8. Iowa: Can they surprise and finish in the top 4 in the Big Ten?  There team may be ballanced but do they have a star player to make this team contend?  They almost beat a decent BC team, played West Virginia better than Ohio State did, but got baried by a good Drake team.  A lot we don't know about this team and we will see about their quest for the Big Ten crown.

9. Northwestern: They have a decent team.  They lost to Butler by four at Hinkle Fieldhouse and at Stanford by six, both respectable road losses.  Their smashing of Big East foe DePaul and their road victory at Brown are big but none is bigger than their victory against Florida State.  Moore and Thompson are good guards and Coble is their leader but will they come up big?

10. Penn State: I can hear the critics now "11-2 and you think they are the 10th best team in the Big Ten"?  Well my answer is yes.  They have had too many close calls with mid-major teams and in their loss to a good Temple team showed a lot of their weaknesses.  Cornley, Battle and Pringle all average over ten but can they come together as a TEAM? 

11. Indiana: Can they win a game in the Big Ten?  If losses at home to Northeastern and Lipscomb and blowout losses to St. Joe, Gonzaga (while were on the subject they may be overated), Notre Dame, a decent at best Kentucky team, and Wake Forest dont tell the story, what does?  But they did beat Chaminade by two points so they might be decent in the NAIA.  Still the question lingers will they be the Detroit Lions of the Big Ten?

Questions, Questions, Questions- If we all knew the answers...

Posted on: October 13, 2008 8:02 pm
 

Putting Football Aside, Basketball Look for Title

Maybe one Painter can't do crap this season, but Matt Painter's Boilers might not be termed the baby boilers this year.  Halloween night is just  18 short days away and midnight madness is this weekend.  But with the smell of burning leaves apon us, Purdue and Big Ten fans alike have one question about this team:  How good is this team?

Looking at last years squad that exceeded expectations by an overwelming amount wasn't supposed to win.  How many times have you seen a team exceed expectations the previous year, only to miss the tournament the next year and dissapoint many?  Just take a look at Clemson football who basically canned Bowden earlier today.  He was 3-3 but supposed to win the ACC.  Is this what is going to happen to the Boilers?

Taking into account the way Painter runs the show and the work ethic that has developed among the players, I wouldn't count on being disapointed.  Also, Purdue lost one player last year in Terrence Crump.  Although he hasn't steped out on to the court yet in front of 10,000 plus, it sounds like Lewis Jackson has more talent that Crump.  And just look at what a year of expierence does to a ball club.  If you journey back to that Xavier-Purdue second round game, that is all the proof you need.

Yes, the schedule is tougher than last year.  Yes, there will be more presure.  Yes, there will be new players to insert into the offense and defense.  But this team with its strong inner core will be what they were supposed to be this year.  Don't count on an elite eight of a final four, but don't count it out either.  Michigan State will be a test.  Hell, the whole big ten is a test, even Indiana or Northwestern.  Anyone can win on anygiven night.  One thing is certain though... the boilers will be out there on October 31st, ready for a new season and a chance at the ultimate goal.

NOTES: PURDUE WILL HOST MIDNIGHT MADNESS ON FRIDAY.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW.

http://purduesports.cstv.com/sports
/m-baskbl/spec-rel/100908aac.html

Posted on: September 3, 2008 9:14 pm
 

We Can Only Crush IU once!

Why cant we just add 2 more Big Ten games or keep our rivalries alive?  As the Purdue football team begins its season on Saturday, today it takes back seat to the basketball team because the schedule came out today.

Of course, we have known about the Wooden Tradition game vs Davidson for sometime and the ACC/Big Ten Challange game at Mackey vs Duke since April but Purdue plays IU ONCE this year!  The first year in a long time that we would beat them at Assembly Hall and we only are going to hand theirs to them once!  Oh well, I guess it helps our RPI in the long run/

Non conference games include the teams involved in the Preseason NIT, one away game at Ball State, games against instate D-1 teams such as Indiana State, IPFW, and Valparaiso, and two exhibiton games against  Florida Southern and Northern State starting Halloween night.

The all important Big Ten contests start on December 30 vs Illinois and ends at Michigan State March 7 or 8th opening up the chance for a possible national CBS televised game to decide the big ten champ.  Purdue will only play Minnesota once in Big Ten play other than IU. 

Set ESPN, ESPN 2, and CBS dates include:

12-2  Duke                        Mackey Arena              CBS                             

12-30 Illinois                     Mackey Arena              ESPN 2

1-11   Wisconsin             Mackey Arena              CBS

1-15 At Northwestern      Welsh-Ryan Arena    ESPN or ESPN 2

1-22 At Minnesota          Williams Arena             ESPN or ESPN 2

1-27 At Wisconsin         Kohl's Center                ESPN

1-31 Michigan                Mackey Arena                CBS

2-3 At Ohio State           Value City Arena           ESPN

2-8 At Illinois                  Assembly Hall              CBS

2-17 Michigan State     Mackey Arena                ESPN

2-26 At Michigan           Crisler Arena                 ESPN or ESPN 2

That means at least 11 games of National Exposure!  Now who is the king of Indiana! 

After taking a look into the schedule, considering everything goes right, Purdue could go into Big Ten play with 1 or even no losses.  Wisconsin will be wanting blood at Wisconsin and Michigan State will be the team to beat but Purdue has the talent to beat these teams.  My early pick to win the Big Ten is Michigan State because they have more expierence and possibly more talent (I will know after watching them in person at IPFW in Fort Wayne in November).  Yes they lost Neitzel but with Morgan, Grey, Lucas, and Suton leading the way, it could be a magic season for the Spartans. 

You can find the whole schedule at http://purduesports.cstv.com/sports
/m-baskbl/sched/pur-m-baskbl-sched.
html

Look for more posts as the jack-o-lanterns start to pop out and the weather becomes cooler in Northern Indiana.  Tomorrow I will look into the upcoming football contest vs Northern Colorado.

 

Posted on: March 26, 2008 6:10 pm
 

Pride

Any Purdue fan would say they were proud of the effort and play of such a young team this year.  In most of the preseason polls, Purdue was predicted to finish 5th or 6th.  Heck, Digger probably had them finishing 10th or 11th.  Yes they came up a little short against a very good Xavier team that should finish off West Virginia, but to just reach the NCAA tournament, finish second in the big ten, and advance one more round then an Indiana team that had more talent (o.k. maybe they did give up) is extremely special.  This program is making great strides to be back to where they were in the late 80's and 90's.  Of course I'm too young to remember those glorious days, Purdue has the coaching and talent that will bring you a long ways. 

Look at it this way.  Every player that will be on Purdue's roster this year and next  will stay all four years.  If Gordon stays four years, then I believe the moon is scheduled to fall from space and hit the planet at 9:00 tonight (you pick the time zone).  As that very good Xavier team showed us on Saturday, senior players that are strong and have smarts will go a long way.  When Kramer and Grant are seniors, and the "Freshman Fab Four" are juniors, Grant and Kramer will be playing in their 4th tourney while the other four will be playing in their 3rd.  That's experience.  That's mental toughness.

Also, congrats to Associate Head Coach Conzo Martin for becoming the new head coach at Missouri State.  I wish him luck in his future endeavors and he will be greatly missed roaming the sidelines of Mackey come this fall.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 21, 2008 10:55 pm
 

ESPN Hates Us

Why don't they give Purdue any air time.  No highlights, nothing.  Of course Digger is an idiot and will always hate Purdue, but that isn't all.  Gottlib had us getting blown away by Baylor's athleticism but Purdue showed the country that wasn't at all the case.  We are a good team and ESPN needs to recognize that.  Purdue will be in the top 25 for the next number of years.  Heck, (I hope I'm not getting ahead of myself)they might even get a two or one seed next year or the year after.  At least Parrish likes us. :)

On a side note, Xavier is one heck of a team.  They are an amazing group that could go a long ways.  But there are questions to this ballclub.  Are they slipping after losing to St. Joe in the A-10 tourney and struggling against Georgia.  I remember Lavender against Purdue in Oklahoma the year Purdue lost Chris Booker.  He played amazing and even hit the game winning shot with a few seconds left.  Despite his size, he is one heck of a player.  If Kramer can shut him down and the supporting cast can hit some shots and play some hard "in your face" defense, I believe we will win.

Prediction: Purdue 68     Xavier 64

(P.S.) I think Indiana might be calling it a season (down by 7 at half).

Category: NCAAB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com