NBE Basketball Report
Raphielle Johnson, Teams

LEFT COAST LAYUPS (11/15/2012): ADAMS, DREW II OFF TO GOOD STARTS AT UCLA

November 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Raphielle Johnson

 

Much was made of the potential that UCLA has to be one of the best teams in the country much less on the west coast, and even with Shabazz Muhammad still ineligible the Bruins have done enough to start 2-0. Two reasons for the success of Ben Howland’s team could be considered a surprise, as one was the overlooked member of that talented freshman class and the other a North Carolina transfer many killed for “quitting” on his old team. Freshman Jordan Adams, one of the best shooters in the 2012 class, has been a critical piece for UCLA this season and leads the team in scoring with an average of 23.5 points per game.

 

Adams scored 26 points (16 on free throws) on Tuesday night and the Bruins needed every one of those points in their 80-79 overtime win over UC Irvine. Tyler Lamb missed the game with swelling in his left knee (which was operated on during the offseason), and with no one having any idea what will happen with Muhammad it was imperative that Adams step up and be a factor for UCLA on the perimeter. Safe to say he’s done just that. But senior Larry Drew II may be the biggest surprise for UCLA, in spite of the fact that he’s averaging just 5.5 points per game.

 

UCLA doesn’t need him to score, but they do need him to play sound defense and take care of the basketball. Through two games the Los Angeles native has tallied 13 assists to just two turnovers, and to be fair his assist-to-turnover ratio was 1.6 or higher in each of his three seasons in Chapel Hill. But the stigma that came from the way in which he left North Carolina led many (myself included) to question not only how he would mesh with Kyle Anderson but how he would mesh with the rest of the team. Just two games in both Adams and Drew II have made contributions, and if that continues UCLA should be an NCAA tournament team.

 

Big Sky

Player of the Week: F Martin Seiferth (Eastern Washington)

Seiferth was the lone bright spot in the Eagles’ 96-79 loss at Cal State Northridge on Monday night, scoring 27 points, grabbing 17 rebounds and blocking a school-record seven shots. When adding in the season-opening loss at Washington State, Seiferth averaged 14.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game.

 

Bad start to the season for the Eagles: While Eastern Washington doesn’t have the longest losing streak in the Big Sky (that would be Northern Arizona, who has lost their last 18 games), it’s difficult to find a team in the conference that’s had an uglier start to the season. EWU wasn’t close in either of their defeats, 88-69 at Washington State and 96-79 at Cal State Northridge over the weekend, and there have been a number of issues for Jim Hayford’s team. While things haven’t been pretty on the offensive end of the floor, as EWU is shooting just 37.7% from the field, the defense has been the biggest culprit.

 

EWU has allowed their opponents to shoot 49.6% from the field, a mark that is tenth in the Big Sky, and they’re giving up 1.14 points per possession according to StatSheet.com (also 10th in the conference). Whether or not the shots are falling a successful team finds a way to make things difficult for the opposition on the other end of the floor, and that’s simply not happening for Eastern Washington right now. As noted above the play of Martin Seiferth has been a bright spot thus far, but players such as Justin Crosgile and Collin Chiverton will need to lead the way if EWU is to factor into the Big Sky race.

 

Schedule (Thursday-Sunday)

Thursday, November 15

10:05 PM Weber State at San Jose State

10:05 PM Idaho State at Portland

10:05 PM Northern Colorado at Cal Poly

 

Friday, November 16

9:05 PM Sacramento State at Utah (Pac-12 Networks)

11:35 PM Southern Utah vs. Green Bay (Reno, NV)

 

Saturday, November 17

2:05 PM North Dakota at Northern Iowa

9:05 PM Montana at Idaho

11:35 PM Southern Utah vs. Cal State Fullerton (Reno, NV)

 

Sunday, November 18

3:05 PM Portland at Montana State (Big Sky TV)

5:05 PM Northern Iowa at UC Davis

6:35 PM Southern Utah at Nevada

8:05 PM Eastern Washington at Saint Mary’s

 

Big West

Player of the Week: G Daman Starring (UC Irvine)

Starring played a pivotal role in the Anteaters’ 78-64 season-opening win over Nevada, scoring 25 points and grabbing seven rebounds as  Irvine snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Wolf Pack. Starring didn’t shoot well in Irvine’s 80-79 overtime loss to UCLA on Tuesday night (4-of-14 FG, nine points) but he did contribute ten rebounds and six assists. 

 

Warriors off to a 3-0 start: With Vander Joaquim coming off of a torn MCL and eight newcomers playing their first games for the program, it was tough to know what to expect of Hawaii as they opened the season with the Rainbow Classic. But Gib Arnold’s bunch acquitted themselves well in those three games, winning all three by double-digit margins. Joaquim, who came off the bench in wins over Maryland-Eastern Shore and Arkansas-Pine Bluff, celebrated his return to the starting lineup by going for 20 points and ten rebounds in Hawaii’s 73-60 win over Houston Baptist.

 

While it should be noted the competition that Hawaii faced over the weekend (outside of Houston Baptist, who will contend in the Great West before departing for the Southland, don’t look for any of the opponents to end up in postseason play), Arnold’s group looked far more cohesive in spite of the lack of on-court experience. If there’s one concern for Hawaii going forward it’s turnovers, as they handed the ball over 19 times in each of their first two games and then 17 in the win over Houston Baptist. With two of their next three games against Illinois and UNLV, we’re going to learn a lot more about the Warriors. 

 

Schedule (Thursday-Monday)

Thursday, November 15

10 PM Cal State Northridge at San Diego

10 PM Pacifica at UC Irvine

10:05 PM Northern Colorado at Cal Poly

 

Friday, November 16

7:30 PM Cal State Northridge vs. Siena (San Diego, CA)

9 PM Cal State Fullerton at Nevada

10 PM Pacific at Fresno State

11:10 PM North Carolina at Long Beach State (ESPNU)

12:30 AM Illinois at Hawaii

 

Saturday, November 17

4 PM Whitman College at UC Riverside

7:30 PM Cal State Northridge vs. Tulsa (San Diego, CA)

10 PM The Master’s College at UCSB

11:35 PM Cal State Fullerton vs. Southern Utah (Reno, NV)

 

Sunday, November 18

4 PM Cal State Fullerton vs. Green Bay (Reno, NV)

5 PM Northern Arizona at UC Davis

6:30 PM Cal State Northridge vs. Northern Kentucky (San Diego, CA)

 

Monday, November 19

7 PM UC Irvine vs. Liberty (Huntsville, TX)

9 PM Long Beach State at Arizona (Pac-12 Networks)

10 PM Fresno State at Cal Poly

10 PM Oral Roberts at Pacific

 

Mountain West

Player of the Week: C Colton Iverson (Colorado State)

Iverson’s debut for the Rams was a good one, as he posted 18 points and eight rebounds in Colorado State’s 72-65 win over Montana. CSU reached the NCAA tournament last year without a single rotation member taller than 6-6, but while this group has shown that they’re capable of getting to the Big Dance many expect the 6-10 Iverson to be a difference-maker in Larry Eustachy’s first season in Fort Collins.

 

Bennett’s debut a successful one for UNLV: The Mountain West doesn’t select a Rookie of the Week, but if they were to do so that player most likely would have been UNLV freshman forward Anthony Bennett. In the Rebels’ 92-54 win over Northern Arizona on Monday the Findlay Prep product scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds in just 20 minutes of action. The tandem of Bennett and Mike Moser could be lethal this season, and UNLV will only get deeper inside as Pittsburgh transfer Khem Birch becomes eligible at the end of the semester. Bennett made nine of his 13 shots from the field, the first of which came on a thunderous dunk in the first half. But to win Mountain West Rookie of the Year he’ll have to be at his best on a consistent basis, as teammate Katin Reinhardt (14 points in the opener) and SDSU’s Winston Shepard are two of his chief competitors for the honor.

 

Schedule (Thursday-Monday)

Thursday, November 15

9 PM Western State at Air Force

9 PM Chadron State at Colorado State

9 PM South Dakota at Wyoming

 

Friday, November 16

4 PM New Mexico vs. UIC (Paradise Jam/CBSSN)

9 PM Cal State Fullerton at Nevada

10 PM Pacific at Fresno State

10 PM Southern at Wyoming

 

Saturday, November 17

2 PM No. 23/25 San Diego State at Missouri State

2:30 PM New Mexico vs. TBD (Paradise Jam)

9 PM Green Bay at Nevada

10 PM Jacksonville State at No. 18/18 UNLV

 

Sunday, November 18

3 Pm Louisiana-Lafayette at Boise State

4 PM Regis at Air Force

6 PM New Mexico vs. TBD (Paradise Jam/CBSSN)

6:30 PM Southern Utah at Nevada

 

Monday, November 19

10 PM Fresno State at Cal Poly

 

Pac-12

Player of the Week: G Ahmad Starks (Oregon State)

Starks scored a career-high 33 points on Sunday night to lead the Beavers past New Mexico State on Sunday, and in two games the junior averaged 25.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Oregon State takes their show to New York for the 2K Sports Classic, where they’ll take on Alabama on Thursday and either Purdue or Villanova on Friday.

 

Washington loses Scott Suggs and falls to Albany: To say the least the Huskies’ Tip-Off Hall of Fame Classic game against Albany didn’t go as expected on Tuesday night. First there was the concussion suffered by senior wing Scott Suggs, but then there was the 63-62 loss to the Great Danes. One area of concern was the foul line, and not simply because of the fact that the Huskies shot 15-of-26. Seven of those misses can be attributed to Aziz N’Diaye, who made three of ten, but there’s also the fact that guards Abdul Gaddy and C.J. Wilcox combined to attempt just one free throw. In the Huskies’ new high post offense those two shouldn’t combine for that low of a number. With games against Seton Hall and possibly Ohio State this weekend, Washington has a chance to not only get back on track but also pick up a solid non-conference win or two. But in order to do so they need their two best offensive players to be more aggressive.

 

Schedule (Thursday-Monday)

Thursday, November 15

12:30 PM Colorado vs. Dayton (Charleston Classic/ESPN3)

7 PM Oregon State vs. Alabama (2K Sports Classic/ESPN2)

9 PM Alcorn State at Stanford (Pac-12 Networks)

10 PM UTEP at No. 12/12 Arizona (FSN)

11 PM James Madison at No. 13/14 UCLA (Pac-12 Networks)

 

Friday, November 16

TBD Colorado vs. No. 19 Baylor/Boston College (Charleston Classic/ESPNU)

TBD Oregon State vs. Villanova/Purdue (2K Sports Classic/ESPN2)

8 PM California at Denver (ROOT)

9 PM Sacramento State at Utah (Pac-12 Networks)

10 PM Washington State at Pepperdine

11 PM Vanderbilt at Oregon (Pac-12 Networks)

 

Saturday, November 17

7:30 PM Washington vs. Seton Hall (Tip-Off Hall of Fame Classic/ESPN3)

 

Sunday, November 18

TBD Colorado vs. TBD (Charleston Classic/ESPN2/U/3)

TBD Washington vs. No. 4/4 Ohio State/Rhode Island (Tip-Off Hall of Fame Classic/ESPN2/3)

3 PM Florida A&M at Arizona State (Pac-12 Networks)

9 PM Belmont at Stanford (Pac-12 Networks)

 

Monday, November 19

8 PM No. 13/14 UCLA vs. Georgetown (Legends Classic/ESPN2)

9 PM Long Beach State at No. 12/12 Arizona (Pac-12 Networks)

10 PM Washington State vs. No. 7/7 Kansas (CBE Classic/ESPN2)

11 PM Jacksonville State at Oregon (Pac-12 Networks)

12 AM USC vs. Illinois (Maui Invitational/ESPN2)

 

WCC

Player of the Week: G Kevin Foster (Santa Clara)

Foster, in his return to the court after being suspended for the spring semester last season, tallied 27 points and nine assists in the Broncos’ blowout win over Simpson University. Think that was a product of the competition? He dropped 30 and seven rebounds on Saint Louis is a big road victory for Santa Clara on Wednesday night.

 

Bulldogs kick off 24-hour marathon with a beating: The rematch of the NCAA tournament meeting between Gonzaga and West Virginia was expected to be a fine way in which to start ESPN’s 24-hour College Hoops Marathon, and it was. For one team. Mark Few’s squad may have gotten off to a slow start offensively, but once they got rolling the Mountaineers didn’t stand a chance in what would finish as an 84-50 whipping. After shooting 21% in the first half of the NCAA tournament game WVU wasn’t much better on Tuesday morning, shooting 27% from the field for the game and managing just 18 first-half points. Gonzaga was balanced offensively with Gary Bell Jr.’s 15 points leading five players in double figures, and the Bulldogs shot 52% from the field. Quite a few people have picked this group to get to the Final Four, and Gonzaga certainly looked the part for much of Tuesday’s contest.

 

Schedule (Thursday-Sunday)

Thursday, November 15

9:05 PM Saint Mary’s at Utah State

10 PM Cal State Northridge at San Diego

10 PM Idaho State at Portland

 

Friday, November 16

7 PM Florida State vs. BYU (Brooklyn, NY/truTV)

10 PM Tulsa at San Diego (FS San Diego)

10 PM Washington State at Pepperdine

 

Saturday, November 17

TBD BYU vs. TBD (Brooklyn, NY/truTV)

10 PM Loyola Marymount at Cal State Bakersfield

 

Sunday, November 18

3 PM Portland at Montana State

4 PM Siena at San Diego (FS San Diego)

4 PM South Dakota at Gonzaga (ROOT NW)

8 PM Eastern Washington at Saint Mary’s

 

WAC

Player of the Week: G Michael Hale III (UTSA)

In three games at the Liberty Tax Classic Hale averaged 20.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game for the Roadrunners, who went 2-1 and won the event title. That includes a 29-point performance against host Old Dominion on Sunday, with Hale III making ten of his 14 field goal attempts.

 

Big one for Utah State on Thursday: Stew Morrill’s Aggies didn’t look their best offensively in the season-opening victory over Idaho State, and with Saint Mary’s rolling into town Utah State can’t afford a repeat. WCC Player of the Year Matthew Dellavedova leads the way for an experienced backcourt that added Citrus JC transfer James Walker III, and redshirt sophomore power forward Brad Waldow is looking to build on a solid finish to the 2011-12 campaign. Why is game so big for a Utah State team expected to be one of the main contenders for the WAC title? Their three best non-conference games are all against WCC opponents, as there are also trips to Santa Clara and BYU, but overall the slate lacks bulk. If the Aggies were to need help in the form of an at-large bid this shot at the Gaels in Logan is very important. 

 

Schedule (Thursday-Monday)

Thursday, November 15

9:05 PM Saint Mary’s at Utah State

10 PM SE Louisiana at New Mexico State

10:30 PM Weber State at San Jose State

 

Friday, November 16

8 PM Oklahoma at UT Arlington (FS Southwest)

8 PM California at Denver

 

Saturday, November 17

3 PM USC Upstate at UTSA

4 PM Seattle at Virginia (ESPN3)

5:30 PM New Mexico State vs. Bucknell (2K Sports Classic)

8 PM SMU at Texas State

9:05 PM Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at Utah State

9:05 PM Montana at Idaho

 

Sunday, November 18

4 PM New Mexico State at Niagara (2K Sports Classic)

5 PM Louisiana Tech vs. Troy (Chattanooga, TN)

 

Monday, November 19

4:30 PM Louisiana Tech vs. Southeast Missouri St. (Chattanooga, TN)

 

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