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Sully's Court: Marcus Smart proving his worth

Posted by Joe Sullivan, Globe Staff  November 20, 2013 11:21 AM

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Empirically, I canít prove scoring is up this season in college basketball. Even if it is, you could argue that itís because of so many fouls being called with the effort to reduce hand-checking by defenders. There are some interesting offensive things happening, however.

How about Arizona State sophomore guard Jahii Carson? He scored 40 points Tuesday night as Arizona State beat UNLV 86-80 in Vegas.

Then Wisconsinís Frank Kaminsky scored 43 points in the Badgersí 103-85 win over North Dakota.

Finally, the nationís best player proved his credentials when Marcus Smart scored 39 as Oklahoma State routed Memphis 101-80. For a stretch in the first half, Smart simply overwhelmed Memphis himself as the Cowboys ended the game early. He swished several long-range three-pointers and that appears to be the part of his game that has improved the most. Otherwise, he had his usual well-rounded game with five steals, four assists and four rebounds.

Assessing Tuesday night:

Big wins:
-- Okie State tops the list, totally blasting Memphis in Stillwater.
-- Butler beating Vanderbilt at Hinkle.
-- Drexel over Rutgers 70-59 to reach the preseason NIT semifinals at MSG.

Bad losses
-- LaSalle, last yearís NCAA darling, lost at Penn State (and earlier this season lost at home to Manhattan)
-- St. Bonaventure falling to Siena in Albany.
-- James Madison losing at home to Detroit. After a great run to the NCAA tournament, JamMad is struggling, especially without suspended guard Andre Nation.

Crediting for hanging tough:
-- East Carolina played Duke to a standstill for a while but faded at the end.
-- Bucknell led most of the way at St. Johnís, but the Johnnies' athletes eventually prevailed.

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