Some great football games and also Penn State-Michigan are on tap, but we’re going to stop and note what happened in Big Ten basketball as well:
#8 Illinois Fighting Illini 122, North Carolina A&T 60
#8 Illinois 98, Chicago State Cougars 37
Thump: Uhhhh wow. Our freshmen are really good. I know these games are pretty meaningless, but [guard] Adam Miller can roll with the starters.
In 2015, Jalen Coleman-Lands hit a buzzer-beater in Springfield to escape a god-awful Chicago State team that would finish last in the WAC.
In 2020...we damn near tripled them up.
This team might end up being better than last year’s squad. I know it’s a couple of games against tomato cans, but Ayo Dosunmu looks like a demigod, Kofi Cockburn remains Kofi Cockburn, and freshman Adam Miller seems to somehow be an upgrade from Andres Feliz. He brings the same intensity and quickness with his cuts to the basket, but adds outside shooting that’s probably better than anyone else on the team except Trent Frazier when he’s feeling it. Andre Curbelo looks promising, but Miller is the truth.
Again, the first two opponents are hardly a barometer for their success this season when they play Baylor and Duke in the next two weeks, but they outrebounded Chicago State by 45 rebounds. The Fighting Illini played a D1 opponent and got 45 more fucking rebounds than them. Holy SHIT.
MNW: I really think it’s worth noting that Chicago State literally should not exist as an accredited college or D1 basketball program—God love the Cougars, but it’s true—but yeah, I mean, good for Illinois beating a roster that will struggle to get a win against NAIA East-West College.
Indiana Hoosiers 89, Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles 59
#5 Iowa Hawkeyes 97, North Carolina Central Eagles 67
Stew, embracing the fire-drill nature of this recap: Luka Garza is good. Team is deep and needs to find a good rotation. Really nice having Jordan Bohannon back. Defense still gonna have trouble.
Got to see all the freshman: Keegan Murray might break the rotation, and Josh Ogundele is a big hoss.
Maryland Terrapins 85, Old Dominion Monarchs 67
DJ Carver: Step 1: better than ODU!
#25 Michigan Wolverines 96, Bowling Green Falcons 82
#13 Michigan State Spartans 83, Eastern Michigan Eagles 67
Andrew K: The Foster Loyer Era of MSU basketball is underway, I guess. He’s still going to get picked on defensively, but damn can he stroke it.
Stew: Damn, Joshua Langford is capable of being a monster. Almost forgot how good he is.
Andrew K: Relative to all the bullshit this year has been, I won’t call it a silver lining exactly, but seeing him out there again is a least, like, a few flakes of silver in this shit frosty.
As far as MSU goes, there was one impressive positive—how much more game-ready Marcus Bingham Jr. looks this year. Josh Langford and Joey Hauser were both plainly dealing with some rust, but I think they’re both going to be big contributors.
The remaining question is at PG. Foster Loyer looked great picking apart and shooting over a zone, but we’ll find out tomorrow (I think, maybe Notre Dame also runs a zone, Ionno) if he’s better able to deal with man defense. Have to hope so, because Rocket Watts did have the look of a guy who’s pressing too hard to try and grab a starting job right now. His ability will naturally get him there if he stays in the flow of the game a little better.
Minnesota Golden Gophers 89, Green Bay Phoenix 69
WhiteSpeedReceiver: BTN+ is a terrible concept. Supposedly the Gophers looked good against a bad opponent, but I’ll have to take other people’s word for it.
Nebraska Cornhuskers 102, McNeese State Cowboys 55
Nevada Wolf Pack 69, Nebraska 66
After a comfortable romp over the overmatched Cowboys, Nebraska got a rather-impromptu early test, as the UNL AD came up with the Steve Alford-led Wolf Pack for a Golden Window showdown in Lincoln. A late Grant Sherfield three won it for the Pack after a back-and-forth second half marked by runs of 14-2 for Nebraska and 17-3 for Nevada.
BRT: Who are we playing?
Jesse: This team is showing so much more than last year’s team and it’s not even close. Tough loss that they let get away but I still like this team more than I should.
Stew: Fucking UNL. Willingly plays fuckface mcdouchecanoe and can’t even beat him.
Andrew K: Only caught a few minutes, but Teddy Allen’s going to shoot you out of a few games. Makes juuuuust enough jacked-up 3s to make him think it’s a good shot.
Jesse: Yeah. 9/41 [from deep] is a problem. By the end of the year, [WIU transfer] Kobe Webster is gonna be the guy.
#23 Ohio State Buckeyes 94, Illinois State Redbirds 67
Purdue Boilermakers 77, Liberty Flames 64
Clemson Tigers 81, Purdue 70
BoilerBettor: Zach Edey has some nice potential. Better frame than Haarms. Not as stiff as Haas.
AK: Did they play him and Trevion Williams together?
BB: No. I think Painter finally learned that’s a recipe for disaster.
Purdue’s young guns showed a lot of promise. Edey is still somewhat raw but See Ball Dunk Ball is a formula for success. Not having Jaden Ivey (foot injury) against Clemson was killer. His pure athleticism is crazy and he’s not afraid to drive into the teeth of opposing defenses. Ethan Morton will continue to improve as he gets back up to game condition coming off a bout with mono.
This team is going to take it’s lumps but damn if they aren’t exciting to watch.
#24 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 86, Sacred Heart Pioneers 63
#7 Wisconsin Badgers 77, Eastern Illinois Panthers 67
MC ClapYoHandz: [When prompted to explain the close-ish scoreline:] Oh, it wasn’t close one moment.
AK: That Ben Carlson kid looks like he belongs in the rotation this year.
MC Clap: It’s not often you bring back everyone (except Brevin Pritzl) from a conference title team and still get to debut five freshmen, but here we are. With a five-senior lineup the known commodities are what they are, so we’ll focus on the newcomers. As advertised, Ben Carlson and Johnny Davis broke into the rotation immediately upon arrival and contributed early and often, adding 13 and 8 points, respectively, from the bench. Both look comfortable already and appear to have shored up the Badger bench which was needed. Also as advertised, Steven Crowl got some spot minutes and showed both promise and need for development, I think if this was a normal year he’d be redshirting. Looking forward to watching that progress.
Wisconsin fared better against an Eastern Illinois team that gave them problems last year. Not much has changed about the team’s DNA, they inverted the floor well and shot well from deep at every position while suffering a few defensive lapses that they need to stomp out to have a more Wisconsin-like team on that side of the ball. This one wasn’t as close as the final score indicates, as the Panthers cut the lead in half against the end of the bench in the final minutes.
Who’s Next? Weekend Schedule
It’s a quintuple-header on BTN today! Here’s what you can look forward to:
Friday, November 27
#8 Illinois vs. Ohio University Bobcats
12pm | BTN | Ill -17 | O/U 144.5
G Jason Preston and his majestic hair have been doing the heavy lifting for the Bobcats, who comfortably put away both N.C. A&T and Chicago State. Illinois should still roll.
Maryland Terrapins vs. Navy Midshipmen
2pm | BTN | MD -16.5 | O/U 134.5
I caught a few minutes of Navy taking down George Washington in their opener at Veterans Hall, and Maryland has a few defensive assignments that, if executed, should allow them to breeze past the Middies. John Carter Jr. will do some bombing away from deep, and Richard Njoku is a big body inside—but this is still a mid-tier Patriot League side and one that Maryland should have the horses to beat.
#5 Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Southern Jaguars
4pm | BTN | Iowa -26 | O/U 151.5
Southern lost to N.C. Central last night. That should tell you what you need to know.
BUT! The Jags at least line up a few guys at center who should give Luka Garza some practice—C James Edwards is undersized at 205 pounds, but is 6’11” and played the lion’s share for Southern against N.C. Central.
#24 Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Fairleigh Dickinson Knights
6pm | BTN | Rutgers -22.5 | O/U 144.5
The Fair Dick Fightin’ Chess Pieces are, once again, one of the worst teams in D1, they’re particularly bad on defense, and they’re not deep as a roster. Rutgers handles the Quebecois Pier-Olivier Racine [bitchin’ name, though] inside, runs the Knights off the three-point line, wins by 30.
#7 Wisconsin Badgers vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff Lions
8pm | BTN | wisc -34 | O/U 126.5
It’s incredible that I’ve actually watched two of the five tomato cans on the schedule for today, but MY Marquette Golden Eagles ran the Lions out of the Fiserv Forum on Wednesday night, and...woof.
Enjoyably, the Lions run their whole offense through Shaun Doss Jr., who ESPN lists both as a guard AND as “ATH”—which I really thought was only a football thing. Doss chucked up 25 in that effort, which was hilarious by itself.
Saturday, November 28
Nebraska vs. North Dakota State Bison
11am | BTN | UNL -9 | O/U 144
Actually the Bizon this time, BRT.
Ken Jennings-lookalike David Richman took Saul Phillips’ program and, after a couple years outside the NCAA Tournament, has NDSU right back to its winning ways. The Bizon will try to slow things down, though they got choked out by the Nevada defense on Wednesday. F/C Rocky Kreuser is a Minnesota product who could make the game a little challenging inside for Yvan Ouedraogo and the Huskers.
Penn State Nittany Lions vs. VMI Keydets
12pm | BTN+ | PSU -19.5 | O/U 148.5
Penn State alumnus Dan Earl coaches the Keydets. That’s all I have for you. They are Not Good.
Minnesota vs. Loyola Marymount Lions
5pm | BTN | Minn -14 | O/U 144
At grad school, we had a prospective student coming in to visit who was a Marymount grade. Dude was supposed to have about a 30-hour visit. Fly in, grab a cab to his downtown hotel, walk over to campus, I’d give him a tour and take him out for dinner.
His flight got delayed 4 hours because there was an 8-inch snowstorm that hit the area, then this poor kid in boat shoes, jeans, and a fleece zip-up comes walking up the road to meet me outside the department. Looked like a beach bum who got lost.
We went out for burgers and proceeded to get drunk, upon which he asked if it was always like this. I said yes, and usually it was colder, and that we spent most of our non-studies time (and some of our studies time, too) drinking beer to compensate.
He got an MA with us, then moved on to an East Coast PhD.
#13 Michigan State vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
7pm | BTN | MSU -10.5 | O/U 145.5
Prentiss Hubb should fill that role as an oft-chucking Irish PG, while stretch big Nate Laszewski can drain a few from outside when called upon. Sparty should sneak this out, but it’s another strong opening-season test for Izzo’s men.
Sunday, November 29
Maryland vs. Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers
1pm | BTN
#23 Ohio State vs. UMass-Lowell River Hawks
3pm | BTN
#24 Rutgers vs. Hofstra Pride
3pm | BTN
#25 Michigan vs. Oakland Golden Grizzlies
5pm | BTN
Anything Else Happening?
Probably! Check out DWT;WT for the full weekend slate of football and soccer and other sports:
Otherwise, here are a few basketball games of interest.
Friday, November 27
#1 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Auburn Tigers
10am | FOX | Zags -18 | O/U 170
This is fine:
Gonzaga had two players test positive for COVID-19 after Thursday’s win over Kansas — but the Zags are still planning to play Auburn today, according to @SRJimm.— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) November 27, 2020
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. #15 West Virginia Mountaineers
12:30pm | ESPN | WVU -8 | O/U 144
As we all predicted, the ‘Toppers have outlasted both perennial MVC power Northern Iowa AND the Memphis Tigers to make their appearance in the badly-colored rec room that is the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls.
They get Huggsybear, who has apparently grown a goatee.
Seton Hall Pirates at Louisville Cardinals
3pm | ESPN2 | Lou -6 | O/U 142.5
Wade Houston Tip-Off Classic, Louisville
Utah State Aggies vs. Northern Iowa Panthers
3pm | ESPNU | no line available
Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic, Sioux Falls
Good P6 matchup, seems reasonable. OR there’s the Friendship Game—what’d they call them when you were on a miserably bad traveling basketball team?
South Dakota State Jackrabbits vs. Saint Mary’s Gaels
5:30pm | ESPN2 | no line available
Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic, Sioux Falls
I noted yesterday during the South Dakota State-Utah State game (a somewhat surprising Jackrabbit romp) that the Jacks lined up a four-white guy lineup, with two of them wearing baggy t-shirts and a third wearing white sneakers with ankle socks.
Fuckin’ South Dakota, man.
Eastern Illinois at Marquette
6:30pm | FS2 | Marq -14.5 | O/U 149.5
I enjoy uw and Marquette doing a little partner-swap thing in the non-con. Ring out Ahoya!
7:30pm | ESPNU | Colo -5 | O/U 134
Just noting once again that K-State is 0-1 thanks to MY Drake Bulldogs.
GET OFF THE COURT, BRUCE!
VCU Rams vs. Memphis Tigers
8pm | ESPN2 | Mem -7 | O/U 141
Yeah, that’s a fine bedtime game.
Saturday, November 28
Much like Gertrude Stein said of Oakland, today there is no “there” there.
LSU Tigers at Saint Louis Billikens
2pm | ESPN+ | SLU -3 | O/U 147
Texas State Bobcats at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders
2pm | Team1Sports | TSU -6.5 | O/U 138.5
Practice up on using Team1Sports; Hawaii football is on tonight.
Rhode Island Rams vs. South Florida Bulls
4:30pm | ESPN3 | USF -1 | O/U 139
Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic, Uncasville, CT
7pm | ESPNU | Nova -9.5 | O/U 138
Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic, Uncasville, CT
St. Louis Pharmacy Eutectics vs. SIU Edwardsville Cougars
7:30pm | ESPN+ | Billiken Classic, St. Louis, MO
I’m not kidding about that last one. I want to see the legendary St. Louis College of Pharmacy, home of the Eutectics, they of the 106-game losing streak that ended in November 2018 with a win over nearby Lindenwood-Belleville.
Did I mention they’re called the Eutectics?!
Eastern Washington Eagles at Washington State Cougars
10pm | PAC-12 Digital | WSU -3.5 | O/U 148
Some bad late-night hoops, if you need.
Full schedule below. I’m not sure if this is an open thread or a recap piece or what; we’ll see how it evolves. If you’re looking for football or DWT;WT, I’ve linked them below:
Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the games, everyone.