Nine things you may have missed in the first week of the college basketball season, and the best games of the coming weekend. We’ll attempt to make this a regular feature, perhaps with the help of Jason Lisk. Look for it on Thursday or Friday.
1. S-E-C! S-E-C! One week, four upsets: Vanderbilt lost at home to Cleveland State. LSU lost to Coastal Carolina. Mississippi State lost at home to Akron. South Carolina lost to Elon.
2. Humpty Hitchens has the coolest name in college basketball. How he got snubbed from every all-name team in the country is a travesty. The senior guard scored 26 points in the Dukes’ season opener, and might be the most improved player in the CAA.
3. J’Covan Brown can score. I compared him to Adrian Autry in the preseason, but the more I see him, the more i think Hersey Hawkins. Brown dropped 28 points on 19 shots in a romp over Boston, and then scored 35 points on 22 shots in a victory over Rhode Island. For his career, he’s making 87 percent from the foul line. He has 14 assists against just one turnover. He could lead the country in scoring.
4. Get rid of those bloody decals on the floor! The stickers are a problem, NCAA. Wait until a star tears an ACL on one of them.
6. Indiana is back! Well, not really, but maybe. The Hoosiers are 3-0 after romping a decent Evansville team Wednesday night on the road. It is just Tom Crean’s 2nd road win with the Hoosiers (4th season). Before you scoff at the win … Evansville nipped Butler – which is down a bit this season – earlier in the week.
7. I told you guys Pittsburgh was overrated. Long Beach State 86, Pittsburgh 76, snapped the Panthers’ 58-game non-conference home-court winning streak. Casper Ware was the truth. Point guard Casper Ware, an unheralded recruit, scored 28 points. Guess the 49ers are a team to watch in the Big West. They play Louisville, Kansas, UNC and Xavier in the next month.
8. Can anyone at Louisville stay healthy? They lost shooter Mike Marra for the season with a torn ACL. Rakeem Buckeles and Wayne Blackshear, two wing players, have knee injuries. And now the team’s best player, Peyton Siva, has an ankle injury and won’t play this weekend against Butler.
9. The Hurleys: Sounds like a reality show. But Bobby (the Duke legend whose NBA career was derailed by a car accident) & Danny (who played at Seton Hall) are actual college basketball coaches. At Wagner.
10. This Weekend’s best games: Saturday – Vanderbilt vs. NC State (Wolfpack could use the win in the event it finds itself on the bubble in March); Sunday – Puerto Rico Shootout Championship game (could be Purdue vs. Alabama).