Friday, December 31, 2010

What's the Point?

It happens every year. The most prized college recruits go to power schools, and smash the competition. Then, after their freshman year is over, they declare for the NBA draft and go on to be first round picks. This is the present state of college basketball, where much of the talent is prematurely sucked out of the game due to the controversial "One year rule."

The one year rule was put in place to deter bona-fide talents from jumping directly to the NBA from high school. It has succeeded in doing this, but along the way has perverted the meaning of the term "student-athlete." Players who just stay in college for one year are on a fast-track to the NBA, and get nothing from the college experience besides the parties, since they do not have to worry about learning something, much less graduating. If athletes are only going to have to stay a year, they do not have to worry about annoyances like being academically ineligible.

What if basketball players were forced to complete at least two years of school? This would increase the chances of athletes actually getting something out of their education, and would maybe give them some incentive to pass their freshman year classes. It would also give them at least two years of schooling from a big university. Besides the extra knowledge gained, this two years would be a good start if they ever want to finish their schooling. When Michael Jordan had to sit out a season early in his career, he was able to finish his schooling and get his degree from UNC because he had already finished three years prior to his being drafted by the Bulls.

As my colleague and friend Sagar Parikh mentioned in an earlier post, John Calipari is the coach who most utilizes the one and done rule. But what do these freshman gain besides a little extra seasoning for the big dance? Nothing. Imagine if LeBron James had been forced to take a few business classes? He wouldn't have had to rely on his loser friend Malcom Carter for business advice, and maybe the "King" would have made better choices down the road. It is time to at least somewhat put the "student" back in student-athlete by making the required stay at school two years. The rules in place at the present time work great for the David Stern, but not so much for the overall welfare of the athletes themselves.

What's the Point is a weekly column written by David Straple. Feel free to comment

Is John Calipari a Genius?

The coach of the Kentucky Wildcats has certainly been involved in his fair share of controversy.  It all began when he was the coach of the University of Massachussets, when some of his players accepted gifts and money. It continued on with similar problems in Memphis and now he has found himself in Kentucky.  He is not the most liked guy in college basketball, but he continues to win and bring in star recruits; however, I don't think his method towards building a college basketball team is the smartest way to manage a college basketball team.  Now you're probably thinking, what do I know? I'm 5'11 and stopped playing competitive basketball at the age of 14, but his team shows its own weakness: too many good players focused on the NBA.

In his last two seasons coaching, Calipari has had Derrick Rose and John Wall.  Both are stellar point guard talents and were also the last two #1 overall picks in the NBA draft.  After hearing that, you're thinking he has had two very good basketball teams, and yes they were tremendous.  In 2009 Calipari led Memphis to the NCAA championship game and lost.  Earlier in 2010, Kentucky went 35-3, but lost in the Elite Eight int he NCAA tournament to West Virginia.  He saw great success in the two seasons, but in the end he lost, which is all that matters.  He had arguably the two most talented teams in the country both years, but that type of success is hard to maintain.  He relies on star freshmen to win his games, but the lack of experience on his teams has made these teams an underachieving bunch come the NCAA tournament.  In 2009 it was poor free throw shooting, in 2010 they shot 34% from the field.

This season, Calipari is putting his hope in to freshmen: Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones, and Doron Lamb, who are the teams top three scorers so far this year.  Again, you may be thinking, this is a tremendous opportunity for three freshman to gain experience so that next season or the year after that, they will be the best team in the country; however, these players are looking to enter the NBA draft next season.  That makes it even more difficult to win a championship because not only does the team rely on Freshmen, but they'll be gone next year and a few more Freshmen will come in to lead the team.

Compare Calipari's method to building a team to the current coaching legend: Mike Krzyzewski of Duke.  His teams have potential NBA players, but a majority of the Duke Blue Devils stay all four seasons.  Kyle Singler probably would have gone in the top 15 in the NBA draft last year, but he chose to stay and try to win another NCAA championship.  Krzyzewski attempts to graduate his players and that allows his teams to always be in contention and have a longer lasting success.  Unless Calipari is able to find a group of freshmen that have a great chemistry with each other and are able to win the championship, Kentucky will have trouble winning the title.  Finally, I find it nearly impossible for Calipari to win two championships in a row because his players would probably want to enter the NBA.  Yes, Calipari is one of the best recruiting coaches in the NCAA, but I don't see Kentucky winning a championship in the near future.  

Player Spotlight: Maalik Wayns

The 6-1 Villanova point guard is quickly becoming the leader of the Villanova Wildcats. The Wildcat followers have been waiting for this time to come, but it finally looks like he's getting there. Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes provide the veteran leadership, but Maalik has pushed Fisher over to an off the ball guard, where he has struggled. Wayns had his best game of the season last night vs. Temple in a Philadelphia showdown. The game meant more to Maalik simply because he is a Philadelphia native and has played against most of the Temple Owls players since he was a kid playing AAU.

Wayns had 21 points with 8 assists and 4 steals. For a college point guard, you can't ask for more than that. He drove to the hope at will with his unbelievable ball control. Maalik has been criticized for his lack of consistency and high amount of turnovers. He had 3 turnovers last night, but for shooting the ball 14 times and dishing out 8 assists, that's not a bad number by any means. Last season he fell in love with his jump shot and didn't focus on what he does best: taking it to the rim. He is a quick and athletic point guard that can cause mayhem for a defense when he's going to the hoop. There aren't many players in the country that can stay in front of Wayns and if he gains a rhythm with his big men, the pick and roll can becoming a deadly weapon for the Wildcats. Look for Wayns to gain even more minutes in the near future as long as he continues his stellar play.

The Point After BCS Bowl Predictions

BCS Bowls






Rose Bowl






Fiesta Bowl






Orange Bowl


Va Tech

Va Tech


Va Tech

Sugar Bowl






BCS Championship

Oregon (70)

Oregon (109)

Oregon (61)

Oregon (81)

Auburn (77)

The numbers next to the BCS Championship selections represent the predicted total score between Oregon and Auburn. Please tune-in for analysis on the BCS Bowl games throughout the week!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Villanova Finishes Annual Big 5 Competition against Temple

The #8 Villanova Wildcats will take on the 9-2 Temple Owls to finish up their Big 5 schedule for the year. Temple is not ranked by ESPN and USA Today; however, the Owls are #25 in the AP and are looking to defeat Villanova for the second consecutive year. Last year, Temple stunned Villanova in a 75-65 win against the third ranked team in the country. Temple is poised to continue its success in recent history as they are the favorites to win the A-10 Conference. Villanova, coming off a rout of Monmouth, is looking to sweep the Big 5 in 2010 after going 3-1 last season.

Junior Ramone Moore is the leading scorer for the Owls, averaging 15 points a game. Moore was the key in Temple's earlier upset of Georgetown with 30 points on 12-18 shooting. The last time these two rivals faced off, Juan Fernandez exploded for 33 points. Fernandez has seen his role diminished this year on this team as Moore has become a more prominent scorer, but Fernandez is always a threat to have a huge game.

Villanova has put together 5 straight victories after a defeat to Tennessee in the NIT Preseason Tip Off, although the strength of their opponents has not been particularly challenging. This is the last non-conference game left before Big East play begins for Villanova, but this game should not be overlooked by any means. Temple presents a tough obstacle to Villanova as they have proved they can win this game. This game will come down to the play inside the paint. In order for Villanova to win, Mouphtaou Yarou and Antonio Pena will have to own the defensive glass. Temple is a solid rebounding team, as all 5 players on the floor will come after the ball.

This game will be a hard fought game, but Villanova is just too talented to lose this game. Temple will give Villanova all they can handle and have a very good chance at pulling off this upset and move up into the top 25, but I see Villanova winning this game 67-54.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Two Teams, two directions: Bears and Jets

The Jets and the Bears are more similar then one might think. Both teams came into the game 10-4 and both teams are in the playoffs. Both have somewhat embattled head coaches that lead proud defenses. Both quarterbacks can be brilliant at times, but battle with bouts of inconsistency. Finally, both teams got walloped by the Patriots a short while ago. With playoff implications on the line, one had to come out on top.

Both defenses played pretty bad. Chicago gave up 393 yards and could not seem to get off the field on third down. The Jets, meanwhile, gave up 38 points to an up and down
Bears attack. For all of the exotic blitzes and the constant pressure, the maligned Bears offensive line only gave up two sacks, and gave Jay Cutler enough time to beat the Jets secondary badly on some of his throws. So the defenses were bad, and the offenses showed up. What was the difference in this game, and why is one team on track for a bye while the other will be in a tough wild-card game?

The difference was in special teams, and coaching. A huge turning point in the game was Rex Ryan's bonehead call to try a fake punt on 4th and 3 in the first half. The Bears' special teams were ready, as they stopped the Jets. Mike Martz and Lovie Smith, meanwhile, stuck to the plan that has gotten the Bears this far: a balanced offensive attack, relying more on the defense and special teams. Devin Hester's impact on this game was huge. Along with two 40 yard kick runbacks, the Jets were so afraid of him that they would short-kick the ball on kickoffs, or kick the ball out of bounds on punts in order to keep the ball away from him. This resulted in excellent field position nearly the entire game.

When you add in some of the outside factors for the Jets, (foot fetish video, DUI arrest, hard knocks series, for example), and contrast this with the steadying presence of Lovie Smith, it is easy to see who had the upper hand in this game, and who has a better chance of advancing in the postseason.

Monday, December 27, 2010

#4 Connecticut vs. #6 Pittsburgh

"The Big Beast" is dominating once again this year. 9 schools from the conference are in the top 25 and are looking to make an even stronger push throughout the season. However, the first Big East game of the season is always the hardest, as Coach Jim Calhoun says.
Tonight, the #4 Uconn Huskies head into the very hostile "Zoo" environment in Pittsburgh, PA to take on the #6 Pittsburgh Panthers. The majority of tough conference games begin after New Years, however this game has the potential to feel like a Big East Tournament final or an NCAA Tournament game. Funny thing is, the Panthers were chosen preseason to win the Big East while Connecticut was predicted to finish tenth. As Lee Corso says, " Not so fast my friends!!", Connecticut has the potential to win the Big East and take down any opponent they face, led by superstar Kemba Walker. Though Walker has shined so far this year, I see the 6th man, the wild Panther crowd, pumping up the Pittsburgh community in order to send Pitt back into the top 5 rankings.
Prediction: Pitt 86- Uconn 82

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tis the Season

The Point After would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday so far and we again appreciate all your support.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Foreign Dream

We all love the Jared Sullinger's and Kyle Singler's of basketball. When a story develops about a college "superstars" tough background we become very interested in that player, even if we don't know them.
Now picture this: A young boy growing up on a farm in Kazakhstan who comes to America when he is 6 years old because his mother wants to give her family a better opportunity. He spoke very little English and had a passion for following the Knicks vs. Pacers rivalry. It was him and his Sega Genesis, as he continued to always play NBA games. He got very little time playing backyard basketball in his neighborhood, but he chose to sit and watch the outstanding talent within his Russian dominated community.
I know what you're thinking...this is a no name player that I am writing about so that he can become known as a "superstar". Well, Anatoly Bose is already a superstar. This 6 ft 6 senior plays at Nicholls State in Louisiana. But his story doesn't end there, because at the age of 12 he moved to Australia, however he continued to admire players such as Adam Morrison and J.J. Redick. Bose soon headed back to the states though becaue he wanted to pursue a career in basketball.
You think you were busy with college applications? Try being Anatoly and sending out 600 letters to Division I and II schools telling each university about his background and experience with basketball. Nicholls State assistant coach saw his email and became veyr curious about Bose.
Bose's story and journey across the world has allowed him to be one of the most successful players in college basketball. He is ranked third in the nation in scoring, in which he is averaging 25 points a game and scores close to 37% of his teams points. Watch out for Bose, he's proven that nothing is a foreign dream in the world of sports.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Boise, Blue, and Backseat

It was one kick. Wide right. Round 2: Overtime, game winning kick..It's up and it's NO GOOD! As my favorite commentator Gus Johnson would say, " Heartbreak City!" That was the story to the ending of the Boise States Broncos season. Instead of qualifying for a BCS Bowl, they dropped far back into the MAACO Bowl against always good Utah.
It seemed as if in the beginning of the game Boise was dreaming of a BCS bowl game that they should have been in because the offense was unusually slow. The Utes scored their only points of the game in the first quarter. The Broncos then realized that they should make the most of their bowl appearance so the offense suddenly woke up thanks to an 84 yard sprint by running back Doug Martin. This set the tone for the remainder of the game as Kellen Moore caught on fire going 28/38 for 339 yards and 2 touchdowns. Utah was sloppy all night as their quarterback Terrance Cain had a horrible night, going 10/24 and only throwing for 93 yards with no touchdowns. Overall, the MAACO Bowl was something to watch if you were really bored. Boise did have a few trick plays as always but they weren't too successful. Congrats to Kellen Moore and an unbelievable career at Boise State.
Final Score: Boise State 26, Utah 3

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All Around the World

The Point After would like to thank everyone for their support so far. It's been less than a month and we are still expanding to as many schools as possible. If you are interested in writing a blog, or have suggestions definitely let us know. We really appreciate trhose have been following us so far and we look forward to building an even greater sports blog for everyone!

Also, shout out to those in Croatia, Canada, Russia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, India, and Slovenia. We hope you all are enjoying the blog so far as much as we are. Stay tuned for more updates and posts daily! Thanks.

Recap From the Day

*Yawn*...Oh sorry, you caught me falling asleep. Why am I so tired? Hmm, well it could be the fact that today's games were as exciting as hitting refresh on Facebook waiting for a wall post. Don't believe me? Well lets go through today.
1) Maybe when Harvard hears the chants "Go do homework", they should take the advice. Don't get me wrong, I love the "mid major" schools and am a huge fan of upsets, but c'mon now. When you play the #4 Uconn Huskies at least give them a little competition or swing some bows, do anything at all. Heck, you know the worlds against you for winning (except for me because I'd love for a big upset) so why not just throw a few punches here and there to at least make the game interesting. Unfortunately, this incredible academic university fell just short to the Uconn Huskies, losing 81-52.
2) "America, America, God shed his grace on thee!" Unfortunately, there was no grace or mercy shown to American University today as they took a short trip to Pennsylvania to play against the #6 Pittsburgh Panthers. Oh what a game this much happened that I don't even need to say anything. Pitt won and gots it's 200th victory under coach Dixon. American, good effort, I'll be pulling for you in the tournament. Pitt prevails 61-46.
You get my point now?
Other scores from today:
#8 Villanova 76, Monmouth 36
#5 Syracuse 93, Drexel 65
#14 Kentucky 89, Winthrop 52
#15 Baylor 83, San Diego 50
#20 Notre Dame 93, UMBC 53
#25 Louisville 114, Western Kentucky 82
However, there were at least two interesting games today.
The Florida game was much closer than expected. 2-9 Radford didn't care less about Florida's #19 ranking and gave them quite a scare. The Gators just barely squeaked by in this one, 66-55.
BUT, there was an upset today! #22 Texas went into #12 Michigan State's arena and jousted the Spartans 67-55. Texas now has some quality wins stacking up as they recently also beat UNC. Watch out for the Longhorns, they'll continue to hook every opponent they face.

Game of the Night

Take a little cold weather, some snow (depending on where you live) and add a little college basketball and you have the makings of a typical weekend during the season of March Madness. However, although we aren't quite there yet, there are a few games this evening that make it feel as if we are watching out favorite team play for a spot in the Final Four.
Let's begin with the #10 Missouri Tigers who battle against the #21 Illinois Fighting Illini. The Illini, after coming off a tough loss to University of Illinois-Chicago, look to climb back up on the polls with an upset of the Tigers. Led by senior gaurd Demetri McCamey, who averages almost 16 points a game, Illinois looks to gain its composure and prove they are the real deal. However, if you ask the Tigers junior gaurd Marcus Denmom, who averages 16.8 ppg, he'll tell you otherwise. Missouri is currently 10-1 and 1-0 on the road, while the Illini are 10-2 and are 7-0 at home. On the other hand, Illinois is going to have to prove themselves as this game will be played in St. Louis, Missouri. You know the Scottrade Center will be rockin' tonight with excitement as the Tigers look to defend their home arena. Look for a constant war at the gaurd postion tonight as these two teams looks to make early statements with convincing wins over a Top 25 opponent.
Prediction: Missouri 84 - Illinois 78

New Member

The Point After would like to welcome our newest member, Joey Jestus, to the crew. He's from Tennessee and will be covering the Tennessee Volunteers along with the SEC. Look for his first posts in the near future.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Record For The Ages

You may not be interested in basketball, let alone even interested in Women's Basketball, however I believe that everyone should respect what the Uconn women's team did this evening. 89 straight wins. Just think about that for a moment. 89 straight consecutive victories without one loss. For All-Star Maya Moore, she can barely even spell "losing" because she has only lost twice in her whole college career. For the juniors on the Lady Huskies team, they don't even know what it feels like to lose an NCAA game. I believe that everyone who has participated in sports would love to never lose a game in highschool, however that seems to be almost impossible. Yes, the UCLA Men's program was incredible and still is one of the greatest sport's teams in history (although now they aren't too great) but the Uconn Women's Basketball team should be commended for an amazing run. I've never been a Uconn men's fan, however I have always followed the women's team because of their amazing athletic ability, their ability to blow out teams (teams in the top 10 too) and they always play until the final whistle. Heck, I say put them on the court against a top 25 men's team in order to prove that these ladies are for real. So for those in Connecticut to California to other countries throughout the world, respect the Lady Huskies basketball team, because what they have done is simply unflappable.

ESPN/USA Coaches Poll Top 10

Surprise, surprise. The Duke Blue Devils are #1 again, but as you can see some big changes took place this weekend in the college basketball standings. While I was watching Ohio State play the South Carolina Gamecocks this weekend, I was looking for the Buckeyes to "slip up" or the Gamecocks to mount a comeback. I was wrong, Ohio State is for real and demolished USC through the dominance of their highly talented freshman, Jared Sullinger. Though the top two teams are college basketball powerhouses, Kansas is a shaky #3. What do I mean by this? Well, if you tuned into sports show this weekend you may have saw that Kansas just barely squeaked by the USC Trojans on the Jayhawks homecourt. Again, another freshman, Josh Selby, stepped up in order to hit a clutch three point pointer allowing Kansas to edge the Trojans, 70-68. Yes, there next three games are against California, Texas-Arlington, and Miami OH, but NOT SO FAST!! Circle January 17th and 22nd on your calendar sports fans, as the Jayhawks travel to Baylor (currently ranked #15) and host #22 Texas the next week. I predict both of these games to be losses for Kansas as the Longhorns are looking to climb in the ranks while Baylor continues to silently win games week in and out. Continue to check the Point After for upcoming games this week. Tis the season, "IT'S AWESOME BABY!!"
Oh yeah, and look where my San Diego State Aztecs are right now?
1) Duke
2) Ohio State
3) Kansas
4) Connecticut
5) Syracuse
6) Pittsburgh
8) Villanova
9) Georgetown
10) Missouri

Villanova in the Top 10

The Villanova Wildcats currently find themselves at 9-1 on the young season and ranked 8th in the country heading into a tune-up game against Monmouth tomorrow night. But after a loss to then #24 Tennessee, unconvincing wins against St. Joe's, La Salle and Penn, and a relatively weak non-conference schedule, the Wildcats basketball team continues to get the benefit of the doubt in the AP and Coaches Polls.
Many Villanova basketball critics may actually have an argument this year, as the Wildcats have not looked very sharp since starting 20-1 last season. Since then, they have a record of 14-9, and have not looked very impressive in any game against any formidable opponent. With the loss of Scottie Reynolds to the NBA, and a freshman class as thin and weak as one of Maurice Sutton's arms, Villanova and its young roster has a huge mountain to climb if they are going to prove that they deserve such a high ranking.
Don't be surprised if Villanova trips up more than a few times this season against a very strong Big East Conference, and a fall out of the top 25 may not be too far-fetched with several games against other top-10 Big East teams ahead of them. The next big challenge (yes, I am overlooking Monmouth) will be on December 30th against Lavoy Allen, Norristown's own Khalif Wyatt (gotta give the shout-out), and the Temple Owls, a team that beat Villanova last season 75-65.
It's going to be a very interesting season to say the least.

Monday, December 20, 2010

What's the Point?

The full court press is great in theory. As the offense is bringing the ball up, the point man on the press uses his length to make it hard to pass. He gets the ballhandler to dribble near half court, where he is then trapped by the man on the wing. Frantically trying to get out of the trap, the ballhandler panics under pressure and makes a bad pass, causing a turnover and leading to easy points for the pressing team. Since easy baskets build momentum and basketball is a game of runs, the press can be a great way to jump out to a lead or come back in a game. Villanova loves running the press for a significant portion of almost every game to try to do precisely this. Here's the problem: The press does not work in Big East play.

The full-court press does not work because of the quality of the vast majority of Big East teams. At the current time, seven are ranked in the top 25, with three in the top ten! If the teams are this good, then they surely know how to break a press. It is actually common knowledge that the best way to break a press is to pass out of it. This means that two guards bring the ball up, and pass the ball back and forth so that they do not dribble into the trap presented by the wing defenders. And not only do Big East teams know how to break the press, they have the athleticism to do it as well!

When a press is broken, the resulting play is not pretty for the defense. The defenders try to hustle back, but they are tired and out of posistion. As the offense is moving the ball around, the defense is still getting set! This leads to missed rotations, which consequently means wide open shots and easy layups. Good Big East teams do not miss wide open threes from the wing, which was the shot regularly given up by last year's team. Now, for Villanova's easy non-conference schedule, I do not see a problem using the press, as Villanova often posesses a significant edge in athleticism and coaching in these situations. But, when these advantages are mostly or entirely compromised, a consistent press for 20% or 30% of the game can only lead to trouble, and most likely, losses.

What's the Point is a weekly column written by David Straple. Feel free to comment

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Villanova Wins First Game in Newly Named Wells Fargo Center

Villanova handled Delaware 78-59 in a battle of two rival schools. Delaware, not known for its basketball program, dropped to 5-3 this season after winning its previous five contests. Villanova, now at 9-1, won its first game at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Wildcats typically play some of their key home games at the home of the Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers. Villanova University just ended their fall semester this past week, so the Wells Fargo Center was nearly an empty building. Villanova has one more tune-up game on Wednesday against Monmouth, before its contest against Temple on December 30th.

Corey Fisher led the team with 21 points, but had 5 turnovers in yet another sloppy win for Villanova. Maalik Wayns added 14 points, while Freshman James Bell had 10 points in 17 minutes off the bench. The team shot 45% from the field, while making 28-35 free throws. Villanova out-rebounded the Blue Hens 34-24, as the Blue Hens struggled throughout the game.

Delaware finished the game shooting just 33.3%, and a terrible 15% from long range. Forward Jamelle Hagins nearly had an unconventional triple-double with 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 blocks. The Blue Hens simply could not score enough to keep up with the Wildcats, and their 28 fouls did not help at all. They forced Villanova into 17 turnovers, but with most of the team in foul trouble, Villanova pulled ahead at the free throw line.

Saturday College Basketball Roundup

There were 22 ranked teams in play for Saturday in a total of 18 games. Here are the final scores of some of the notable games:

#2 Ohio State comfortable defeats South Carolina: 79-57

#3 Kansas squeaks by USC in Selby's debut: 70-68

#5 Syracuse holds on against Iona to stay undefeated: 83-77

#24 Florida upsets #6 Kansas State as Wildcats shoot 27%: 57-44

Gonzaga gives #9 Baylor its first loss of season: 68-64

#12 Missouri scores 116 in rout of Central Arkansas: 116-63

Illinois-Chicago of Horizon conference stuns #14 Illinois: 57-54

UCLA wins John Wooden Classic vs. #18 BYU: 86-79

#25 Texas wins on late jumper vs. North Carolina: 78-76

Weekend Bowl Recap

The weekend featured three bowl matchups with no ranked teams. The closest game was a 23 point blowout by Northern Illinois as they defeated Fresno State, 40-17. BYU defeated UTEP 52-24 as each team entered the game at .500. The third game of the day involved another dominating performance, as Troy dismantled Ohio 48-21. No game was exciting or even close for that matter.

Northern Illinois finished its regular season losing to Miami (OH) in the MAC championship game, but finished undefeated against the Western MAC, led by their 7th ranked rushing attack. In the Humanitarian Bowl, Chad Spann had 95 rushing yards and two touchdowns, as the Huskies ran for 203 yards. Fresno State had 288 passing yards, however, they were held to 2.1 yards per carry for just 74 yards rushing.

In the New Mexico Bowl, BYU jumped out to an early 17-3 lead in the first quarter, and never looked back. QB Jake Heaps tossed 4 touchdown passes, and BYU ran for 219 yards and 3 scores for an easy win over UTEP. BYU had a disappointing season in the MWC, finishing fifth but they earned a spot in a bowl game with a 6-6 record.

In the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Troy demolished Ohio through a consistent running and passing attack. QB Corey Robinson had 387 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. Troy ran for 220 yards on 6.7 yards per carry and went into halftime with a 38-7 lead. Troy finishes the season with a 8-5 record, after finishing 6-2 in the Sun Belt conference.

As we move through bowl season, we hope for at least more competitive matchups. The next bowl game is the Beef 'O' Brady Bowl featuring Southern Miss and Louisville, two more unranked teams. Wednesday's bowl game has the opportunity to be one of the more competitive matchups this season. #19 Utah takes on #10 Boise State in the MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas. Both games will be on ESPN at 8:00. Be sure to tune in to The Point After for analysis.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Villanova Turns Over Chance to Defend National Championship

Eastern Washington University advances to its first FCS championship game as they defeat the Villanova Wildcats 41-31.  Villanova turned the ball over 6 times, but still put up a fight as the game came down to the wire.  Two key fourth down conversions fueled the Eastern Washington Eagles, as they finished off the Wildcats with a late 23 yard touchdown pass from Bo Levi Mitchell to Greg Herd.

Mitchell had a great game for the Eagles, throwing for 292 yards and 4 touchdowns, but perhaps the most impressive stat was his completion percentage of 71%.  Freshman running back Mario Brown, making just his second start of his career, rushed for 104 yards as he kept Villanova's front line on their heels with his quickness.  Brandon Kaufman had 8 catches for 135 yards, as 76 of his total yards came on a touchdown pass from Mitchell.

Villanova struggled most of the game to string together a few drives, but every time Eastern Washington scored, Villanova seemed to have an answer.  Despite having some success in the second half, the six turnovers proved to be too crucial for the defending national champions.  Matt Szczur did not have the same impact as he had the last two weeks and finished his Villanova athletic career watching from the sidelines as he was injured on a hard collision.

Angelo Babbaro returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, but Eastern Washington answered with a quick touchdown.  Two consecutive Villanova offensive drives were stalled by fumbles in Villanova territory in the first quarter, but the Wildcat defense responded by holding the Eagles to two field goals.  Eastern Washington will play the winner of the Delaware and Georgia Southern.

Win and We're In!

Three's a charm! The Villanova Wildcats head cross country to take on the Eastern Washington Eagles in Nova's third straight playoff appearance. Tonight, however, is for a spot in the FCS National Championship game against either Georgia Southern or the Delware Blue Hens (game is tomorrow). Despite a shaky season, the Wildcats have been on a red hot streak throughout the playoffs through defeating Stephen F. Austin and #1 seeded Appalachian State. Nova has been on the road throughout the entire playoffs and looks to continue it's dominance. During the past two games, where the Wildcats have on paper been overmatched, Villanova has won by a combined total of 48 points.

Prediction: 28-24.
Location: Spokane, Washinton
Airing on ESPN2 and ESPN3
Go Nova!!

Dick Vitale

What is your favorite Dickie V saying?
1) "baby" as in "It's awesome baby!"
2) "PTPer" ( a prime time performer)
3)"dispy-doo dunkeroo slam-jam-bam, baby!"

Feel free to comment with a response.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

College Basketball Update

It's been a slow week thus far in terms of college basketball's top teams, but The Point After should pick up in the next few days.  22 of the top 25 teams in the country will be playing on Saturday, so this weekend will be very busy in college sports.  College Football will also see the first Bowl action for the FBS and the semi-finals for the FCS playoffs.  Be sure to tune in for the next few days as we will be providing coverage of all college sports!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Drexel Dragons Upset #21 Louisville Cardinals

When the score at halftime is 25-23 in a college basketball game, you usually turn your T.V. off. However, this low scoring affair had all the makings of a great upset. The Drexel Dragons, who are now 7-1 on the season, took a short trip down South to face the Louisville Cardinals, who were ranked #21 in the country.
As mentioned, there was very little offense throughout the game as the Cardinals looked to remain undefeated in their new arena. However, Gerald Colds, who led the Dragons with 20 points, and Chris Fouch, who scored 10 points, had something to prove as they strategically chipped away at the red hot Cardinals. Despite what Louisville fans originally thought, Colds mentioned that "Everybody came in thinking we were better than them" and followed by saying "We felt we could do it. We knew it would be physical. We had to rebound, be strong on offense, and slow them down". In fact, the slow pace of the game seemed to throw off Louisvilles offense as there was very little to be proud of after only putting up 46 points on the scoreboard.
The problems for the Cardinals occured mainly behind the three point line, as they only shot 4 out of 16 from behind the arch. Add that to eleven second chance points for Drexel and you have the makings of an upset. The Dragons now have alot of confidence as they continue their blazing start to the season and end Louisvilles best start since 1996.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oakland Defeats #7 Tennessee 89-82

The Oakland Golden Grizzlies provided the country with a shocking upset tonight against the hottest team in the country. Many have argued that Tennessee is a top 3 team in the country, but nobody told Keith Benson and the other Golden Grizzlies that tonight. Benson led all scorers with 26 points, while also grabbing ten rebounds. He also made his first two three pointers of the season, making this 6-11 center an inside/outside threat.

Tennessee and Oakland battled throughout the first half, but the Volunteers went into the locker room at halftime with a 50-37 lead. Oakland started its comeback run with approximately 13 minutes left in the game. They finally grabbed the lead on a Will Hudson free throw with four and a half minutes left and didn't look back. This was a duel between two of the highest scoring teams in the country, as both came in averaging over 75 points a game. The offenses did not disappoint as both teams posted 50 point halves. Tennessee shot 44% from the field, while Oakland shot an astonishing 54%.

It's been a struggle so far for Oakland as they have played a tough schedule and have competed in every single game this season. They pick up their sixth win of the season, just days after losing to Michigan State by one point. Look for Oakland to not only win the Summit League, but provide a scare to a team in the NCAA tournament in March. This team is a tough out and will dominate a weak Summit League once again.

Tennessee will take a hit in the rankings, but will definitely be a team to watch for a possible Final Four run. They have already beaten Villanova and Pittsburgh on their non-conference schedule. Bruce Pearl's eight-game SEC suspension will start in just a few weeks, so this team is one that we will definitely keep an eye on.

Bold Statements:3 for 3!

This just in: Our weekly bold statements have come true..every single time!
Temple over Georgetown, Tennessee upset Pitt, and Oakland beat Tennessee.

Postgame for the Oakland/Tennessee game coming soon!!

Fight Song

Something to take your mind off of finals...
College sports are amped up by the passion, pride, and hostile environments where teams play.
Question: What is your favorite college fight song or what university has the craziest sports atmosphere?

Let me know your thoughts.

'Cinderella's' Early Magic

Good morning. This is your captain speaking. Please remember to fasten your seatbelts as we take a long and bumpy trip to March Madness. Remember, if excitement gets too much for you, then oxygen masks are available. Throughout the flight we will be serving up some of our favorites, including upsets and buzzer beaters. We hope you enjoy flying with us and again, brace yourself for the ride ahead.
Our first stop will be to the "Sunshine State": the land of oranges, beaches, babes, and basketball...and did I mention babes? There's been a request that we check in with the Florida Gators basketball team, however their loss to UCF has those gators hiding themselves in 'The Swamp'. Head to Florida State you say? That sounds nice, however after watching a game of theirs a few weeks back, well..hmm how do i say this...they have no offense? Yeah, thats about it. The more those Seminole fans keep singing and chopping their arms back and forth, the more they lose their voices and can't feel their arms. So wait, why are we in this state again? Travel with me to UAB where I'll introduce you to Cameron. No, he didn't just win the Heisman, this is Cameron Moore the 6 ft 10, 230 pound junior who plays for the Blazers. Moore was the 8th leading scorer on the team last year, however Cameron has stepped up his game and is now the number one shooter for UAB. He is averaging 19.7 points a game to go along with 9.4 rebounds. Cameron has recorded five double-doubles already this season and has his scorching Blazers standing at 7-2 on the season. Not to mention, UAB's two losses have come to Arizona State by three and Georgia by two. Oh yeah, and they've already beaten Arkansas 70-65. In their last victory against Kent State, Geno Ford who is the coach of K-State said that Moore is "the most improved player in the country". Not too far away, their inner state rivals the UCF Black Knights are jousting opponents left and right. Led by Marcus Jordan, who is averaging 16.3 points per game, the Knights are out to a quick 8-0 start. No wonder Florida is known as the 'Sunshine State', because these bright young stars are beaming on the hardwood and are burning their competition.

Stay tuned as our flight continues next week!

Believe Me Now?

San Diego State (10-0) is now getting the national spotlight they deserve. After the ESPN coaches poll was released today, many saw the usually powerhouse schools in the top 10, such as Duke, Ohio State, and Michigan State. Oh wait, who's at number 10 now? Thats right, my Aztecs out on the West Coast. Glad to know what some would call a "mid major school" can get some respect from the country. Heck, put them on the floor against the other top 9 schools, I bet they upset one or two. Point being, those Aztecs are rockin and rollin out in warm, beautiful California (while the majority of us freeze across the country). The Aztecs will continue to climb the charts throughout the remainder of the season. This is only just the beginning.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bold Prediction of the Week

Since there are only a few games scheduled as many schools are finishing their first semester, The Point After will only be having one bold prediction this week.  Despite an undefeated record and two huge non-conference wins away from home, I believe Tennessee will lose this week to Oakland.  Yes, Oakland University is actually a school and the Golden Grizzlies have started the year playing solid basketball.  With a tough schedule, they have hung in games against Purdue and Illinois, and lost 77-76 to Michigan State.

The game will be played on Tuesday in Tennessee, which will provide a hostile environment for the Golden Grizzlies, but Tennessee might have a letdown after a tremendous win against Pittsburgh over the weekend.  Led by Senior Keith Benson, the 5-5 Oakland Golden Grizzlies of the Summit League, has a chance to upset the Volunteers.

Prediction: Oakland 84-76

Keith Benson will have a 20-20 game!

ESPN/USA Today Rankings 12/13

1. Duke (10-0) (31)

Games this week: No games scheduled

2. Ohio State (8-0):

Games this week: 12/15 vs. Florida Gulf Coast (2-5), 12/18 vs. South Carolina (7-1)

3. Kansas (9-0)

Games this week: 12/18 vs. USC (6-4)

4. Connecticut (8-0)

Games this week: No games scheduled

5. Syracuse (10-0)

Games this week: 12/18 Iona (7-3)

6. Kansas State (9-1)

Games this week: 12/18 vs. (24) Florida (7-2)

7. Tennessee (7-0)

Games this week: 12/14 vs. Oakland (5-5), 12/17 at Charlotte (4-6)

8. Pittsburgh (10-1)

Games this week: 12/18 vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore (2-7)

9. Baylor (6-0)

Games this week: 12/15 vs. Bethune-Cookman (4-5), 12/18 vs. Gonzaga (4-5)

10. San Diego State (10-0)

Games this week: 12/13 Cal Poly (3-5), 12/18 vs. UC Santa Barbara (4-3)

For the full rankings, click here

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Villanova 84- La Salle 81

La Salle jumped out to an early lead, but could not maintain it, as Villanova defeated La Salle 84-81 in a hard fought battle. The game featured great guard play, with tremendous outside shooting. Villanova shot 9-19 from three point range, while La Salle was 8-18. The game was played sloppily with 33 combined turnovers and 36 fouls. Villanova got to the charity strike 34 times, making 27.

Villanova had a balanced offensive attack as five players scored in double figures. Maalik Wayns' had 19 points, while Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes both added 16. Fisher shot poorly, converting only 3 of his 11 shots, but he was 9-12 from the free throw line and had 8 assists to go with an overall solid game from the senior point guard. Dominic Cheek had a great game off the bench with 14 points. He hit two key three pointers late in the game that sparked a 6-0 run in which Villanova grabbed the lead back from the Explorers with 3 minutes to play.

La Salle Senior Jerrell Williams had a big game for the Explorers with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Sam Mills added a spark off the bench with 14 points, draining 4 of his 5 three point attempts. La Salle shot efficiently in the field, hitting 47% of their shots from the field.

All Hail Szczur!

DeAndre Presely, who? Oh the guy from Appalachian State? Oh yeah I know who you're talking about, except where was he yesterday?
After all the hype about App. State being a #1 seed and running all over Villanova, my prediction held true. Led by Matt Szczur, who had 5 touchdowns, and Chris Whitney who held his own in the pocket, Villanova marched to victory by embarrassing the Mountaineers on their home field, 42-24.
Better luck next time Mountaineers, I geuss the "Boone" isn't as hostile as they say at Appalachian State.

Next Game: Villanova vs. Eastern Washington

#12 Villanova vs. La Salle

The Wildcats go into their third straight Big 5 game against La Salle after winning the first two comfortably. Led by Corey Stokes' career high 34 points, Villanova defeated rival UPenn for the eighth straight year. Likewise, Jay Wright and the Wildcats have strung together eight straight wins against La Salle, as they look to push it to nine this afternoon.

Senior Corey Fisher will be playing against former high school teammate Ruben Guillandeaux, as they meet for the final team in their college careers. Guillandeaux averages 15.9 points per game, but his three point stroke has really helped him in his final year. Shooting 47% from deep has really allowed C Aaric Murray to roam the paint with single coverage. Murray leads the team with 16.6 points per game along with 8.9 boards. The Explorers do pose a threat to Villanova this season, as their only losses have been to two ranked teams (Baylor and Missouri) and another in overtime to a good Oklahoma State team.

Prediction: Wildcats 74- Explorers 66

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Heisman Trophy Preview

Tonight at 8 PM on ESPN, a college football star will receive the prestigious Heisman Trophy. The four finalists are: QB Cameron Newton (Auburn), QB Andrew Luck (Stanford), RB LaMichael James (Oregon), and QB Kellen Moore (Boise State).

Cam Newton is the consensus favorite to win the award, after leading Auburn to an undefeated season and the Tostitos BCS Championship Game. Cam Newton has thrown for 28 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions, and added 20 rushing touchdowns. LaMichael James is the best player on the most explosive offense in the country and has also carried his team to the Championship Game against Cam Newton and the Tigers. James rushed for 1682 yards and 21 touchdowns, averaging 6 yards a carry for the #2 Ducks.

Andrew Luck, the highly touted NFL Draft prospect, led Stanford to a 11-1 record and entrance into the Discover Orange Bowl. Luck threw 28 touchdown passes and 7 interceptions. Additionally, he ran for 438 yards and three touchdowns. Boise State's Kellen Moore, now considered an underdog for this award due to Boise State's crushing loss to Nevada, had a 185.0 QB Rating, with 33 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions.

Despite Cam Newton being the favorite to win the Heisman, Cam Newton has been involved in a recruiting scandal, in which his father demanded and received payments from schools who were after rights to Newton. Many oppose Newton's eligibility in this award, after Reggie Bush was stripped of his Heisman just months ago. Even though it will be a controversial decision, Cam Newton is likely to become the Heisman Trophy winner.

Friday, December 10, 2010

First and 10, Upset Again?

Tomorrow the Villanova Wildcats will compete against the #1 seeded Appalachian State Mountaineers in the FCS quarterfinals. Led by their lighting quick quarterback, DeAndre Presley, App. State looks to jump all over the Wildcats and move into the semifinals. NOT SO FAST MY FRIENDS!! (as my hero Lee Corso would say) Don't count the Cats out yet, as senior Matt Szczur is back in action for Nova and is looking to shock the Mountaineers at home. Villanova prides themselves on defense, led by senior linebacker Terrence "TNT" Thomas. Though this may seem like an Appalachian State destruction of Villanova, the Wildcats will come to play and claw until the final whistle.

You can watch this game on ESPN tomorrow at 12:00.

Prediction: Villanova 30, Appalachian State 27

Jared Sullinger Drops 40 as OSU beats IUPUI 75-64

Jared Sullinger absolutely dominated the IUPUI Jaguars last night as he scored 40 points on 12-17 shooting. In an emotional game for Sullinger, after attending his uncle's funeral earlier Thursday. Sullinger responded with his career high mark in points, crushing his previous record of 26 against Florida. Despite the amazing game by Sullinger, the Buckeyes were tied at halftime against the 4-6 IUPUI Jaguars. The Jaguars were able to stay in the game with their 51% field goal percentage and knocking down 8 of 17 three pointers. Alex Young had 20 points for IUPUI, but it wasn't enough to take down Sullinger and the Buckeyes.

Sullinger had more than half of the points for Ohio State and corralled 13 rebounds. The Jaguars held a 50-41 lead with under 13 minutes left in the game; however, Sullinger responded by scoring 22 points in a 34-14 run by the Buckeyes to end the game. Most of the game Sullinger was not double teamed because IUPUI tried to focus on defending the three point threats of Ohio State. That gave Sullinger an easy time down low against undersized IUPUI big men. Ohio State is now 7-0, sneaking by the Jaguars.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Former Villanova AD, Art Mahan Dies at 97

Art Mahan, a former Villanova graduate, has passed away at the age of 97 on Tuesday. Mahan served as the Villanova Baseball coach from 1950-1973, racking up 236 wins and four NCAA tournament appearances. Between 1961-1973, he served as the Villanova Athletic Director, then later transitioned to Vice President of Athletics before his retirement in 1978.

Mahan was also a first baseman on the Philadelphia Phillies, compiling a .244 batting average and 2 homeruns in 1940, his only MLB season. He left the team to serve the US Navy during World War II. He was the fourth oldest living Major League Baseball player and the oldest Philadelphia Phillie.

Rise of the Aztecs

The majority of people would argue that the Big Ten and the Big East are currently the most dominating conferences in NCAA basketball. In the upcoming 2011 NCAA March Madness brackets, which will be here before we know it, teams such as Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois, Villanova, Pittsburgh and even Notre Dame will potentially sit within the top ten seeds if they continue playing like they are now. However, for those of you on Villanova's campus, you may be unaware of what I believe is the "powerhouse" basketball team of the West Coast.
Hmm, who could this be? Many who havent been following college basketball may immediately say USC!! (last time I heard about them, was well....who cares). But no, wrong! Your friend next to you may be saying, "This is easy, it has to be the UCLA Bruins." Sorry sweetheart, but UCLA just lost to Montana and is going nowhere fast after they got beat by the University of Cal-Fullerton on the 24 hours of basketball marathon (It's awesome baby!!!). So no one knows?
Well, for those individuals who have actually been reading about West Coast teams, I am referring to the San Diego State Aztecs. The Who??? Yes, the Aztecs. San Diego State is currently 9-0 and it sweeping the West Coast by storm. Dont believe me? Ask Gonzaga who after being ranked early in the season in the top 25 was upset by these mighty Aztecs. Yes, there are those critics who will look up their schedule and say that the Aztecs also have only beaten teams like IUPUI (what?) and Green Bay (Packers?).
The Aztecs next play host to cross town rival San Diego University, who is known for having a solid basketball team the past few years. If you remember, they even upset Uconn one year in the tournament. After that their schedule continues with schools like Cal Poly, Occidental (excuse me?...yes that's a schools name) and UC Santa Barbara. So where's the competition? Well, they play both TCU and Utah twice which could present a challenge, however the Aztecs will make March Madness this year and will upset a big named team, if not two. Call them the new George Mason or Butler of the West, because the Aztecs are here to even make Dickey V say " IT'S AWESOME BABY!!"

Oh, and did I mention that they're ranked #14 AND their football team is playing Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl. Go Aztecs!

Finding the Link Between Consistency and Greatness

In a sport like college basketball, it is incredibly tough to have a great, or even good team on a consistent basis. Teams like Duke, Michigan State, Syracuse, Villanova, and Kansas have been in the top 25 for what seems like decades, and look as if they will continue to be. The dynamics of college sports are vastly different from pro sports in the sense that the core of a pro sports team can stay together for five to ten years (Philadelphia Phillies, New England Patriots). In the college game, the core of a good team can only stay together for three or four years at the most. So how do these top-notch college basketball programs stay "top-notch?"

Year after year we see basketball programs rise to the pinnacle of the college basketball world, just to fall into the pool of mediocrity the very next year. Teams like Butler, our most recent example, have come within inches of winning the sport's biggest prize, and have struggled out of the gate the following season. Mid-major schools are more prone to this behavior, but big-name schools are not immune. Teams like UCLA and Oklahoma have caught this disease in recent years. So how have these top-notch college basketball programs fallen so hard and fast? The answer comes in what most programs don't have.

There are many reasons for success in college basketball. Money, recruiting, fan base, location, and resources such as practice facilities and equipment all factor in to the success of a team, but they do not explain how a team such as UCLA and a team like Villanova can be so vastly different. UCLA has a much larger fan base that can lead to more national exposure and draw in recruits. They reside in beautiful, sunny California compared to brisk and windy suburban Philadelphia. As part of the University of California system, UCLA has more resources and money at its disposal than that of a relatively small private school in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Having no knowledge of college basketball, and having read the last paragraph, you would think UCLA is the better basketball program. After all, it is far easier to recruit good players in a relatively watered down PAC-10 compared to the fierce competition of the Big East, "Big 5", and many other conferences cluttered into the North and East. Clearly that is not the case. UCLA, coming off a loss to Montana (MONTANA!!!), and more importantly a dreadful 14-18 '09-'10 campaign, sit at 3-4 and at the bottom of the (again I emphasize) watered down PAC-10. #12 Villanova, at 7-1, has a streak of six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, and is a perennial top-25 team in the toughest conference in America. How exactly does this happen? (I promise, this is the last time I ask)

The difference between these two programs is simple. Leadership. It is no coincidence that Tom Izzo at Michigan State, Mike Krz.... Coach K at Duke, Jay Wright at Villanova, Jim Boeheim at Syracuse, and Jim Calhoun in Connecticut always have their teams in great shape, ready to play, and are consistent winners. A great leader needs to have a great work ethic, understand his subordinates, have confidence, be organized, and have an unquestionable will to succeed. These characteristics have allowed these coaches and players to not only buy in to the team's objectives and succeed, but succeed year in and year out on a consistent basis.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Corey Stokes Sets Career High in Win Against Quakers

Villanova defeated UPenn 65-53 behind Corey Stokes 34 points, a career high for the Villanova G/F. Stokes also became the 53rd Villanovan to record 1000 points in his career. Antonio Pena added another solid effort, scoring 16 points and grabbing 8 rebounds. The Villanova offense shot 48.9% from the field, but played sloppily, giving away 16 turnovers.

Villanova recorded its eighth straight win against UPenn, but the Quakers played tough against the heavily favored Wildcats. Junior guard Zack Rosen led UPenn 20 points, while Jack Eggleston added 12 points. The Quakers were simply beat on the boards, as they had no answer for the Villanova frontcourt height.

Senior Corey Fisher started the game on the bench, as Jay Wright sat him on a teaching point. This is isn't the first instance where Fisher has been disciplined by Jay Wright, as both Fisher and Scottie Reynolds were benched to start the first round of the NCAA tournament against Robert Morris last season. Fisher had just four points in 37 minutes, but added 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 5 steals.

Villanova has won its first two games against the Big 5 so far this season, and will take on its third opponent, La Salle, on Sunday. UPenn travels to Delaware to take on the Blue Hens on 12/22.

Player of the Game: Corey Stokes: 34 points (11-15) and 4 rebounds

Note: The BEast Conference

The Big East Conference is absolutely dominating college basketball right now. With an overall record of 103-21, seven undefeated teams, six ranked teams and four top-ten teams, the Big East is the class of college basketball right now. The depth is the most amazing part as Cincinatti, Louisville, Providence, Marquette, West Virginia, and St. Johns are unranked teams that will be competing for spots in the NCAA tournament this season. The conference has had success in recent years, having three #1 seeds two years ago, and sending 8 of 16 teams to the NCAA tournament last season.

Conference games will begin in three weeks, when UConn battles Pittsburgh on 12/27. The Big East Tournament, which starts March 8th, 2011 at Madison Square Garden, will be very interesting, as many teams will have the ability to win the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Not only will many teams compete for the Big East Title, I would not be shocked to see even more teams make the NCAA tournament, than last year.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Syracuse Defeats Michigan State 72-58

The Syracuse Orangemen controlled all but a few minutes in their dominant performance on Tuesday night against Michigan State. Jim Boeheim's 2-3 zone frustrated the Spartans all night long, as Michigan State could not decipher the defense. Continually, the Spartans passed the ball around slowly, which allowed the the Orangmen to rotate easily. Whenever Michigan State had some success, they were running the ball on transition and scoring before the defense could get set up. However, the Orangemen were able to execute their half court offense to slow down the pace of the game. The offense for Syracuse was dynamic, as the interior passing dictated the game. They moved the ball quickly and effectively, while limiting turnovers. Playing inside allowed Syracuse to rack up 29 free throw attempts compared to the 9 of 16 free throws made by Michigan State.

Rick Jackson absolutely dominated this game on both ends of the floor. Jackson scored 17 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. He played tough interior defense with Fab Melo, limiting the Spartans to 24 points scored in the paint. Scoop Jardine led all scorers with 19 on an efficient 7-9 shooting from the field. Kris Joseph added 14 points for Syracuse, while Durrell Summers led Michigan State with 18 points.

Player of the Game: Rick Jackson

What's next:

Michigan State: Oakland 12/11

Syracuse: Colgate 12/11

#12 Villanova (6-1) at Pennsylvania (4-3)

Tomorrow, December 8th, Corey Fisher and the Villanova Wildcats will make the short drive to take on Jack Eggleston and city rival Pennsylvania. The Quakers are riding a two game winning streak and will be sure to turn in a great effort against a Villanova team that has definitely not played up to its potential. Villanova has beat Penn eight straight times dating back to 2002, and many of those victories have been as lopsided as they come, such as last season's 103-65 thrashing.

The Wildcats come in with some things to work on before Big East play starts. First, they must simply shoot better. For a team that relies on guard play and the three-point shot, Villanova has not been getting it done, only making 29 percent of its threes. The Cats also need to get healthy, with Isiah Armwood and Maurice Sutton nursing injuries. These injuries, along with JayVaughn Pinkston's recent suspension, caused the Cats to go to a seven man rotation last game, which is simply not sustainable. Although Penn is improving and building a program around guys like leading scorer Jack Eggleston, twelve-ranked Villanova should have no problem taking care of business as they continue to prep for conference play.

Prediction: Villanova-83, Penn-57

The Point After Blogger Expansion

I am pleased to announce that there will be additional bloggers added to The Point After who will contribute to the newest sports blog. All three are students at Villanova as well and will be providing their knowledge of sports to The Point After. I would like to welcome Eric McGann, David Straple, and Joseph Balcom to the blog!

A Bump in the Road

One play can change a game. One team can upset another leading to the loss of a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Take for example, the very famous Scottie Reynolds layup which pushed Nova past the #1 Pittsburgh Panthers.This huge upset broke the hearts of the Panthers while the Nova Nation went wild along the mainline. However, as always, when a team loses early in the season many fans start to question the team's ability and skill. The recent Nova loss to Tennessee in the NIT tournament may have a few Wildcat fans nervous about the remainder of the season. Have no fear Nova Nation, just take a look at the upcoming games and you will see that the Wildcats could gain a lot of momentum heading into December and 2011 when Big East play begins:
                 Dec. 8 @ Penn
                 Dec. 12 @ LaSalle
                 Dec. 18 vs. Delaware
                 Dec. 22 @ Monmouth
                 Dec. 30 vs. Temple

Game of the Week: Michigan State vs. Syracuse

Tonight, the #8 Spartans travel to Madison Square Garden to take on the #7 Orangemen, which will be this week's Game of the Week.  This will be the first true test for Syracuse (8-0), as Michigan State is their first ranked opponent.  On the other hand, Michigan State has played one of the toughest schedules in the country as they look to shake off a loss to the #1 Duke Blue Devils last week.  

With the high powered Spartan offense led by guards Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers it seems as if the game lies in their shooting strokes.  Both average just under 15 points per game, but shoot over 40% from beyond the arc.  Syracuse is led by Junior forward, Kris Joseph, who is scoring 13.8 points per game.  Fellow forward Rick Jackson is a force to be reckoned with, as has already recorded six double-doubles in his first eight games.  

Be sure to tune in tonight on ESPN at 9 PM for this top ten matchup.  After the game, be sure to come back to The Point After for post-game analysis.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Bold Predictions of the Week

This is the first of our bold predictions on The Point After.  Every week, Brendan and I will be picking an upset or a game that could potentially be a nail-biter.

#10 Georgetown at Temple:  The Temple Owls are my choice this week, as they look to win their third straight game.  Georgetown sitting at 8-0 has continued to climb the rankings, but I see problems arising with Temple's slower pace that could dictate the game. 

#13 Tennessee at #3 Pittsburgh: I believe that the Tennessee Volunteers will upset the dominating Pittsburgh Panthers. Tennessee, 6-0, is on a roll after beating VCU and Villanova in the NIT Tournament in New York. Though "The Zoo", home of the Panthers (9-0) will be a very hostile environment, I see the Volunteers silencing the crowd. 

Final Four?

A trip down memory lane:
Final Four
              Everyone knows that every's teams goal is to win the National Championship. With a stacked lineup of sophmores led by the three dominant seniors, Pena, Stokes, and Fisher, Nova looks to bounce back after a very tough year.
      Question of the Day:
          How far will Nova make it this season?
                 Let me know your thoughts

12/6 NCAA College Basketball ESPN/USA Today Rankings

1.      Duke (8-0)  (31)
Games this week: 12/8 vs. Bradley (4-4), 12/11 vs. Saint Louis (3-3)
2.      Ohio State (6-0):
Games this week: 12/9 vs. IUPUI (4-5), 12/12 vs. Western Carolina (4-6)
3.       Pittsburgh (9-0)
Games this week: 12/8 vs. Delaware State (3-3), 12/11 vs. (13) Tennessee (6-0)
4.      Kansas (7-0)
Games this week: 12/7 vs. (14) Memphis (7-0), 12/11 vs. Colorado State (4-1)
5.      Kansas State (7-1)
Games this week: 12/6 vs. Alcorn State (0-6), 12/11 at Loyola (IL) (7-2)
6.      Connecticut (7-0)
Games this week: 12/8 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson (3-3)
7.      Syracuse (8-0)
Games this week: 12/7 vs. (8) Michigan State (6-2), 12/11 vs. Colgate (0-6)
8.      Michigan State (6-2)
Games this week: 12/7 at (7) Syracuse (8-0), 12/11 vs. Oakland (5-3)
9.      Baylor (6-0)
Games this week: No games scheduled
10. Georgetown (8-0)
Games this week: 12/9 at Temple (5-2), 12/12 vs. Appalachian State (3-3)

For the complete rankings, read more here.

JayVaughn Pinkston Suspended for 2010-2011 Season

Villanova Freshman JayVaughn Pinkston has been suspended for the 2011 spring semester by Villanova University.  This news comes nearly a month after Pinkston was involved in an altercation with other Villanova students at an off-campus apartment.  He was charged with 2 counts of simple assault and harassment.  Villanova Basketball has announced that he will be red-shirted for his freshman season, so he will still have four years of eligibility left upon his return next season.

Villanova head coach, Jay Wright released the following statement on the situation on Monday: "I am in support of the university's decision.  JayVaughn understands that there are consequences to his actions and I believe he will continue to handle this in a mature manner. We look forward to his return in June."

Jay Wright was hoping Pinkston could provide some front court depth on a guard-heavy roster, but it leaves the team waiting until next year to see if Pinkston can get back on track.  

Welcome to The Point After

Welcome to The Point After created by Brendan Garrity and Sagar Parikh.  We are two avid sports fans ready to move into the trending blog world.  We will continue to develop The Point After, but as for now will be focusing on College Basketball, though we hope to expand to all different areas of sports.  Since we are both students at Villanova University, there will be extra emphasis on our Wildcats; however, through our large interest in sports, we will bring our knowledge of teams all over the country to The Point After.  Please feel free to email us ideas or if you are interested in a more defined role as an actual blogger.  We are also on Twitter, so be sure to follow us!

Twitter: pntafter