Archive for February, 2011


Jimmer Fredette and BYU


As I watch Brigham Young University and San Diego State University a couple of thoughts on how far I think each team will go in the tournament come to mind. BYU and SDSU haven’t quite impressed me as much as they have everyone else.  I mean no disrespect towards either team in my analysis, I just want to point out some weaknesses that I think will catch up to them come tourney time.

BYU:  From watching BYU against SDSU I noticed that they rely way too much on the 3 point game.  With 3 minutes left in the game they’ve already chucked up 22 three’s, granted they hit 14 of them at this point.  I know that’s their style of play and they know they can knock down three’s consistently.  What worries me about this is the obvious, all teams at some point have an off game and have a cold shooting night.  I’m not convinced yet that BYU and stick in a game with their post players.  I think if they got far enough in the tournament and went cold they would have trouble with any of the teams in the Big 12, Big East, or the Big Ten.  Another note about BYU’s 3 point game is that they take a lot of bad 3’s, especially Jimmer.  This can obviously hurt them against fast transition teams that like to run.  With long rebounds landing in their opponents hands a lot of fast break points could potentially be scored on them.

I know that playing tough, in your face, defense is tiring for 40 minutes.  But at times I noticed BYU taking breaks, not hustling back, and sometimes playing lackadaisical D.  For obvious reasons you know why this could be bad.  Especially after a missed 3 and a long rebound not getting back on D will kill you.

Even though I’m a Jimmer Fredette fan the kid needs to get the ball out of his hands.  He runs the point and sometimes forces his own shots, which aren’t necessarily good shots.  He’s an amazing player and can score at will it seems but I just think if he didn’t have to run the point and create so many of his own shots BYU would be better off.  To counter that point Jimmer has probably the best court vision in the Mountain West Conference.  In such a big game Fredette put up 25 points and 9 assists! Those are career highs for some guys in different games.  I won’t take anything way from Jimmer but if BYU had the option to set off the ball screens for him he might have a few more open looks.

SDSU:   I haven’t been caught up in the hype of San Diego State all year.  Yeah I find their 27-2 record to be extremely impressive but who have they really played?  I’ll get more into that point for both squads later.  Personally I thought SDSU was too reliant on Kawhi Leonard and D.J. Gay to score.  Last year Purdue proved that only two guys couldn’t get the job done (E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson).  Leonard only averages 15.2 ppg and Gay 12.1, and Malcolm Thomas adds another 11.6 a game.  That’s only 3 players averaging over 10 points a game.  If you add those point totals up between the 3 of them you get 38.9 points per game.  Not that many.  I’m almost positive for SDSU to get far in the tournament these three will have to pick up their point averages per game.  If they can do this and take advantage of the way they share the ball as a team (14 assists/game) I think SDSU may have a chance to show me and all their other nonbelievers up.

I was not impressed with San Diego State’s defense.  I realize they were playing Jimmer Fredette and the high scoring BYU Cougars but I think they could have played better defense.  Too many time Fredette would split two defenders and get himself a 3 point play opportunity.  There was apparently a lack of communication on the defensive end of the floor.  I’m not going to question SDSU’s effort or hustle, it was there, I just don’t think they executed their game plan and it cost them a game.  If they continue to lack communication they will suffer and be knocked out fairly early from the tournament.

BYU and SDSU:   I still question The Mountain West Conference’s toughness and strength of schedule.  Yes, most of the teams have good records but I’m not completely sold that they all play tough non-conference schedules.  For SDSU I only see two solid non-conference victories: Gonzaga, at the time ranked 12th and Wichita State.  Not all that great of a resume.  I just don’t feel as if SDSU deserves as much credit as they have. I would like to see how they would do in lets say the Big 12 or even the Big Ten.  From what I saw today SDSU would be and above average (just above .500) in either of those conferences.  As for BYU, they have what I call 6 solid victories (SDSUx2, UNLVx2, Arizona, and Utah State).  I think they have a more impressive resume but I would still like to see them matched up in either the Big 12 or Big East (I think BYU’s style of play fits a tad better here than in the Big Ten).  With how crazy the Big East this season I think it would be very interesting to see how they would finish.  But, to each teams credit they beat the teams they’re supposed to beat and I can respect that.

I’m really looking forward to see how each team does in the tournament.  I think BYU is very deserving of a 3 seed at the worst, possibly a 2 seed.  As for SDSU, I’m not as convinced and think they deserve a 5 seed.  With these seedings and no idea of what possible match-ups may arise I’m going to go on my gut feeling and make some predictions as to how far I think each team will go.  I think BYU has the better shot making it deep in the tournament. However, with the possibility of them having a cold shooting night I don’t think BYU make it to the Final Four.  I see BYU making it to the Elite 8.  SDSU, I can’t say enough how unimpressed with this squad I am.  Honestly I don’t think they’re that good and depending again on match-ups I think SDSU makes it to the Sweet 16 but wouldn’t be surprised if they do get that 5 seed and they’re the 12:5 seed upset game of the year.

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Purdue @ IU


Tomorrow’s match up between the Purdue Boilermakers and the Indiana Hoosiers should be a good one…for Purdue fans that is.  Fans of both teams anticipate the match up for weeks to come.  (I know I sure have).  Usually it’s a good game but I fear tomorrow may entail a different story.  I feel bad for the Hoosiers and even worse for their fans.  No matter how terrible either team has been in the past it could be counted on that both teams would bring their best to the court to give the fans an exciting game to watch, and the winning team bragging rights until the next math up.

However, tomorrow I think the Boilers will run the Hoosiers off the court and embarrass them in their home stadium.  I’ve made it clear in previous posts that I’m a huge Boilermaker fan.  It’s hard to stay unbiased when writing about either Purdue or the Hoosiers (given their rivalry, I have a natural born hate  {but respect} for IU).  But, in this case I think it’s hard to ignore the numbers and the facts that surround tomorrow nights upcoming game.

I’ll start with IU (so that I can end on a more positive note).  IU is currently on a 4 game skid.  Not only are they on a 4 game loosing streak but their losses have come to subpar, but improving, teams.  These teams include Northwestern, Iowa, Michigan and They lost to then ranked #12 Purdue last time they met on February 8th.  Three of these teams are in the bottom half of the Big Ten including two of those teams currently 9th and 11th in the conference.  IU had an impressive streak….. to start the season that is. Since then IU has slowly gone down hill and will be lucky to survive the rest of the season.  I think the only chance IU really has tomorrow night is riding their home court advantage……..for as long as they can.  Granted that this is a rivalry game the Hoosiers could possibly pull out a  heroic upset and stun the nation.  Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening for Hoosier fans.  And here’s why,

Purdue, opposite of IU, is on a 4 game winning streak.  Which began with a win against IU on the 8th of February.  Purdue’s last two victories have come against two top 10 teams, #10 Wisconsin and most recently #3 Ohio State. Purdue is right in contention for the Big Ten Conference Championship, as co-champs, if Ohio State looses one of its next 4 games and Purdue wins out.  Purdue is hot, in contention for the conference championship, and it’s a rivalry game.  Purdue will be looking to continue their hot streak and their hopes for another share of the Big Ten Title. Some more high notes for Purdue are these; During their 4 game streak PU is averaging 73.5 points per game, Purdue is holding their opponents to only 62 ppg, and E’Twaun Moore is averaging 25.5 ppg and during their two wins against Wisconsin and Ohio State E’Twaun is averaging 33.5 points per game.

I think it’s pretty hard to ignore the HOT streak that Purdue is on and the downward spiral IU is on.  I hope that for the sake of basketball and the respect and enjoyment of a good basketball game Indiana somehow plays a great game.  I’m two for two in previous projections of scores (Purdue over Minnesota by 12, wrong the exact score, and Purdue by 8 over Wisconsin. Both games were in West Lafayette). So here is where I most likely get it wrong but I really don’t care as long as Purdue wins.  My prediction, Purdue over IU by 14.  It’ll probably be closer than that and we can only hope! Good luck to both teams…

Michigan State vs. Ohio State


I would be lying if I said I expected Tom Izzo and the Michigan St. Spartans to walk into Columbus and win against Ohio St.  However, after a very strong first half against the Buckeyes I thought I was watching the Spartan team everybody expected to see this season.  While watching the game on my lagging laptop in the middle of my night class I was able to notice a few things, mainly during the second half.

One thing I noticed very early was the calling of the refs.  I’m not going to blame the Spartans loss on the referee’s but when a team shoots 6 free throws compared to the home teams 29 free throw attempts one has reason to question the calls made during this game.  Michigan State made 5 of their 6 attempts (83.3%) while Ohio State made 23 of their 29 attempts (79.3%).  For all you non-math majors out there that’s 18 more points basically given to the Buckeyes.  Like I said I don’t think the refs cost the Spartans this game but personally I thought there were some pretty one sided calls all night.  When one team shoots 23 more free throws than another team, especially the home team, my “homered” meter sky rockets! However, I will speak my pleasure of the referee who FINALLY called Sullinger for a hooking call with his elbow.  Touche sir, somebody finally got it.

Another thing I noticed was Michigan State turning the ball over in crucial moments.  Not only were the Spartans turning the ball over when they really needed a bucket they were turning the ball over constantly.  The Spartans had 19 turnovers! Compare that to OSU’s 7 and you have yourself a recipe for disaster.  When you have close to 20 turnovers in a game your chances of winning are cut dramatically.  Michigan State averages 14 turnovers per game, this problem could be given credit to MSU’s sub par season thus far.

The last thing I noticed about MSU’s performance tonight was their inability to make shots when they needed to.  This was due in part to turning the ball over and Ohio State’s defense forcing the Spartans offense out of rhythm.  The Spartans simply choked the last 8-10 minutes of the game when making shots really counted.  Granted, Ohio State played really good defense and didn’t let the Spartans get very many good looks.

As mentioned above I didn’t expect to watch MSU beat Ohio State at home tonight.  After Ohio State’s loss in Madison this weekend I had the feeling they would be playing with a bit of a chip on their shoulder.  Coming home after a loss is always a good thing too.  I admit that my predictions on Ohio State earlier this season were far from right.  Even after Ohio State lost to Wisconsin I think they deserve the #1 ranking.  Yeah, many people want to argue for a 3 loss team in Texas but even with Texas’s RPI and Strength of Schedule Ohio State still is the best team in college basketball as of right now.  There was no argument for either Kansas or Texas before Ohio State’s loss and after losing in the Kohl Center, where Wisconsin and Bo Ryan are basically unbeatable, and there still shouldn’t be.  Make no mistake, I am not jumping on the OSU bandwagon. I hate Ohio State just as much as any non-Ohio State fan.  I was born to despise Ohio State and I always will.  But, being a college basketball fan you have to be unbiased and realistic (which some may argue I was not earlier and rightfully so).

Just a side note: I can’t wait until the Badgers at Purdue rematch tomorrow night! I was in Madison when Purdue visited the Kohl Center (I was in the student section decked out in all my Purdue gear) and it was awesome.  I was very surprised by the Boilers early second half surge to take a 9 point lead halfway through the second half.  Even though I knew a win at the Kohl Center was damn near impossible I was a little upset that my Boilers lost.  After the game I realized I snowed in for the Night and had to call up one of my buddies who knows Jordan Taylor, who I actually got to meet and had a brief conversation with.  It was awesome.  But, I look forward to my Boilermakers to reclaim some pride by defeating the Badgers in Mackey Arena tomorrow night! I look for the Boilermakers to reclaim sole position of 2nd place in the Big Ten with a victory of 8 points.


Hey Everyone,

It’s been a few days since I last posted.  Since my last post I attended the Minnesota vs Purdue game in West Lafayette.  I had a blast.  Purdue came out a little slow but you could tell Purdue was getting back to their old ways, playing solid tough defense and making shots to keep a slim lead.  At halftime the Boilers were up by 3 but I had confidence that they would open it up in the second half and send the gophers back to there little dams disappointed.

I was very pleased with the Boilermakers and had a great time watching them win the game.  However, tonight is the game I’m really excited for. I had a gut feeling that Purdue was going to win easy at home against Minnesota.  I was kind of right, they won but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be.  Tonight, however, will be a tough one. The Boiler senior class is currently 2-1 at the Kohl Center.  The Boilers seem to know how to win in Madison and I’m hoping they do the same.  Oh and have I mentioned that I will be decked out in my Purdue gear in the Wisconsin student section for tonight’s game? Well I will be and I hope I don’t get killed after Purdue pulls off the win.

I have much confidence after seeing my Purdue Boilermakers in person on Saturday and was able to see how they responded to Coach Painter during timeouts.  Being at the game gives so much more information about teams than watching on TV and I saw a lot of things that I really liked.  Purdue knows whats on the line tonight.  They need this win to maintain any chance of staying up with Ohio State.  They’ve had success in Madison at the Kohl Center and I look for it to be a much closer game than the rest of Wisconsin and America thinks it’s going to be.  I have much faith in Coach Painter and the senior class to get this team fired up and ready to go tonight.  JaJuan Johnson has already said they let one go against Ohio State in Columbus and they don’t want to let any other games go.  They understand the importance of this game and I think America will be in for a treat tonight.

Prediction: Purdue in a close game given the circumstances and importance of the game. Purdue 69 Scotty 67