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Sully's Court: Florida impressive

Posted by Joe Sullivan, Globe Staff  November 25, 2009 11:21 AM

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My viewing habits: Florida has lost a lot of luster with two straight NIT bids and when I started the Tivo rolling last night, I expected Florida State to take care of business even if the game was in Gainesville. Boy, was I wrong. The Gators ran them off the court 68-52. Hard to believe but Florida is a little bit undersized and the big guys like to play facing the basket. Florida State is huge and had a distinct advantage inside but the Seminoles may have ball-handling issue, they couldn't handle the Florida press and then had difficulty getting the ball inside against a zone. The homecourt obviously help too. Florida will have to be monitored because the reliance on the perimeter game could make them inconsistent but they do have a bunch of talented offensive players and outside shooters.

The good MEAC team: Morgan State upset Arkansas 97-94 but it should be mentioned that Arkansas is missing five players who were suspended in the wake of rape allegations and reaction to those allegations. Morgan is coached by Todd Bozeman, who was banned from coaching for five years by the NCAA after it was discovered he had paid players at Cal. He's in his third year at Morgan and his team is 4-1 (after going 22-11 last season and winning the MEAC championship). The Bears lost by only nine at Louisville and have also beaten Albany on the road, UMBC, and East Tennessee. The Albany victory was the first opening-game victory for Morgan since 1988. MEAC and SWAC teams, the traditionally black colleges, play an inordinate amount of road games, usually getting guarantees and then losing big. Morgan has a few of those, like Arkansas and Minnesota also on the schedule, but Bozeman has basically put together a reasonable schedule and a team that's probably going to win a lot of games. Arkansas had won 45 straight home games against non-conference opponents.

Ballin' in the OC: Fullerton State followed up their upset of UCLA at Pauley Pavilion by beating New Mexico State 84-73. This was a home game and the third straight win for the Titans.

BC fans note: Ex-Eagle Samari Spears had 26 to lead Charlotte over Hofstra in New York. The 49ers are 4-1 with their only loss at Duke and Spears is averaging 24.3 points per game.

Lack of info: West Virginia coach Bob Huggins has benched star forward Kevin Ebanks but won't say why. Not even violated team rules.

Coach Cal is upset: Looks like he's finally cracking down on his all-star team which won in Cancun last night.

Surprising scores, amazing margins:
BYU 107, Southern 51:
See above Morgan State item as a point of reference.
Providence 106, Vermont 64: What a beating! And Vermont was coming off a victory over Rutgers.
Indiana State 64, Western Kentucky 63: The Hilltoppers have a notoriously tough home-court advantage that didn't help them Tuesday night.
Duquesne 75, Arkansas Monticello 72 in overtime: Whew! What a bad loss this would have been. The game, part of the O'Reilly Auto Parts tournament, was played on a neutral court in Cullowhee, N.C.
Seattle 77, Utah 74: This was in Salt Lake City and establishes Seattle as a real team. The is Seattle's second season back in Division after the school de-emphasized the sports in the 70s.
Utah State 77, Idaho State 44: Finally, the Aggies played a home game and it must have felt good.
Montana 68, Oregon 55: Montana is 4-0 but this game was in Eugene.
Clemson 102, Winthrop 66: The Big South dynasty of Winthrop is officially over. Clemson has won five games by an average of 37.8.
Eastern Kentucky 68, FDU 39:
Wouldn't think there would be that much difference between these two teams.
Army 56, Harvard 53: Thought the Crimson would win that one after winning the first three.

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