My player of the year: Things can still change but I'm going to cast my early vote for my man Jimmer Fredette, who had 42 points as BYU beat Colorado State Saturday. That's 89 points in the last two games. He shoots a lot but he doesn't shoot too much. There's a difference. There's a lot of momentum for UConn's Kemba Walker, who's definitely been playing like a first-team All-American, but if Jimmer were on ESPN as much as Kemba, it would be no contest. This is all about exposure. Hopefully, those that receive CBS College Sports will watch Wednesday night's BYU-San Diego State game.
The Irish: I couldn't be more firmly on board. Notre Dame is an unselfish, good-shooting group that tries hard on defense. The only thing that the Irish couldn't do was win on the road ... until last night when they broke Pitt's 20-game home-court winning streak with as 56-51 victory. Pitt is an outstanding defensive team but couldn't keep ND guard Ben Hansbrough under control in the second half. Hansbrough has established himself as a top-notch guard. Pitt will no doubt learn from this.
Hofstra's got Mo: And Charles Jenkins, another outstanding under-the-radar player. Mo Cassara is the Hofstra coach. He is a former BC assistant under Al Skinner and he was supposed to be an assistant for Tim Welch at Hofstra until Welch was arrested for a DWI before he coached a game. Cassara was promoted and few people gave him a chance. He has Jenkins, an outstanding guard who has a tremendous offensive game, is dangerous behind the arc, and capable of overpowering people near the hoop. He's the best player in the CAA and he looked it last night scoring 35 points as Hofstra beat James Madison, 92-90, in overtime. JamMad led most of the game but inexplicably let its lead slip away in the final minutes of regulation just like it did last Saturday in a home loss to George Mason. I think James Madison coach Matt Brady has a big future; he has the most talented team in the CAA but his team did not play smart basketball in game-deciding situations Monday night. The reason the Dukes didn't win in regulation was because of lane violation on a made free throw; then they failed to get the ball to their best player, Denzel Bowles, with a chance to win at the end of OT. Amazingly, Hofstra is tied for first with Virginia Commonwealth in the CAA and the two teams meet Thursday night in Richmond.
Bouncing back: Kansas State can feel a little better about itself after manhandling Baylor 69-61 to win its second Big 12 game. It seems to be the case that Baylor's thin, athletic front-line has trouble against physical teams as K State pounded Baylor on the boards.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell