Have you been enjoying Feast Week? I like to think there’s been a little something for everyone: Michigan pissing down their leg, Iowa pissing down their leg—twice, Purdue pissing down their leg—twice... I don’t know when we got so well and truly blessed, but these are the times to be alive.
Some quick rundowns:
Iowa Hawkeyes - Cayman Islands Classic
The Hawks took a winnable tournament and...dear God. Louisiana-Lafayette assisted on 25 of their 30 buckets and ran Iowa out of the gym, and then South Dakota State compounded on the problems of the first game and got bench player David Jenkins Jr. free on the outside and into the lane. Fifteen turnovers in each of the first two matchups, along with wayyy too much dribble penetration allowed, really sunk the Hawks’ Caribbean dream.
Iowa righted the ship with a 95-85 win over UAB in the shitter game, but this is a team overly reliant on Jordan Bohannon and desperately missing the leadership of Nicholas Baer.
Michigan Wolverines - Maui Jim Maui Invitational
5th Place: L, 77-75, LSU Tigers; W, 102-64, Chaminade Silver Swords; W, 68-60, VCU Rams
After Michigan took the lead with 9:05 left in the second half, Tremont Waters no-look-assisted Skyler Mays on a dunk to give LSU a lead with a minute left and spoil Maui for the Wolverines. They recovered with a rout of Chaminade and a strangling of VCU to finish fifth.
We learned that...Michigan might actually have a center?! A real, actual center?! Jon Teske spelled the foul-plauged Moritz Wagner against VCU and put together a quality appearance. Kentucky transfer Charles Matthews was on fire for the Wolverines with a 22/34 shooting performance over the course of the tournament, averaging 20 points a game and leading the Wolverines’ offense.
Penn State Nittany Lions - Progressive Legends Classic
Pat Chambers’ vision might finally be coming to fruition in Happy Valley, as the Nittany Lions blew out a bad Pitt club with an explosive offensive performance that pushed the pace behind Tony Carr but limited the turnovers and...actually played some defense, too.
Meanwhile, Texas A&M still showed there’s a tenuous bit to the Lions’ rebuild; after halftime, as Aaron Yorke pointed out, the Aggies schemed to clamp down on Carr and did so effectively. Lamar Stevens performed admirably in his absence, but Penn State fell just short against a team with more weapons. Watch out for the Lions in Big Ten play—this was impressive.
Purdue Boilermakers - Battle 4 Atlantis
Jesus. Vince Edwards and Carsen Edwards have struggled from the field, Isaac Haas remembered at the worst times that he has hands of stone, and the athleticism of Tennessee bedeviled the Boilermakers on the offensive glass in an early-round loss.
As a matter of fact, shitty defensive rebounding was bad in both games—Purdue allowed an OReb% of over 33% in both games. There’s an issue in the paint for Matt Painter’s club, as Hilltoppers like Justin Johnson got into the lane and mashed on an uncharacteristically soft middle.
With a game against #2 Arizona in the toilet bowl tomorrow in what should’ve been a championship matchup, Purdue will need a much, much better showing if they’re to come back from the Bahamas with anything to show for themselves.
wisconsin badgers - Hall of Fame Classic
Ethan Happ’s double-doubles are not going to hold up if opponents have the size and athleticism to match the badgers on the wings. Against Baylor, it was the size and energy in the wings and paint, as the Bears had an offensive rebounding percentage of 39.4% to wisconsin’s 31.6%. Against UCLA, it was switching Happ onto Aaron Holiday with time running down. The latter is an uncharacteristic lapse in defense—both because a switch was a poor, poor call there, but moreso because no one grabbed and held Holiday and got away with it.
That said, these are two losses to ranked teams. The Bruins turned it over 19 times, but shot over 50% both from the field and deep. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t point and laugh at wisconsin.
This Weekend’s Games
A reminder, if you’re still looking for full previews of these tournaments: Here you go! (It’s actually pretty instructive, if I can toot my own horn. The Michigan one...well, we all make mistakes.)
Late, late last night Michigan State overcame a slow first half and eventually used their dribble-penetration and size to put away Tre’Darius McCallum and the DePaul Blue Demons, while across town Ohio State got caught as Gonzaga dictated the pace of the game and kept the Buckeyes’ attack off-balance. I don’t know what Nebraska did; I don’t care, either. I’m sure it involved a lot of James Palmer Jr. scoring and Tacko Fall being tall and scoring a lot. Sorry, Nebrasketball fans.
- Maryland Terrapins: Emerald Coast Classic (Nov. 24-26)
- Michigan State Spartans: PK80 Invitational (Nov. 23-24, 26)
- Minnesota Golden Gophers: Barclays Center Classic (Nov. 24-25)
- Nebraska Cornhuskers: AdvoCare Invitational (Nov. 23-24, 26)
- Ohio State Buckeyes: PK80 Invitational
- Purdue Boilermakers: Battle 4 Atlantis (Nov. 22-24)
Here’s the schedule and your open thread for the weekend of Big Ten basketball. Go nuts, you meddling kids.
(When I say “Facebook” for Minnesota, I mean “Stadium on Facebook,” whatever the fuck that is. Damn millennials are ruining my college basketball viewing.)