Impressions of opening weekend:
Kentucky’s curfew and freshmen: John “Bingo Long” Calipari instituted a curfew for his Traveling All-Star team after two players were involved in a car accident in the wee hours. Good to see he’s paying attention but who knew he wielded such power? The All-Stars weren’t challenged by Marist in their opener, winning 108-58 but two freshmen, Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, had great debuts Davis scored 23 points and had 10 rebounds, the first Kentucky freshman to have a 20-10 debut since the great Sam Bowie. Kidd-Gilchrist had 15 points and seven rebounds.
No-so hot debut: Andre Drummond, who’s on the UConn roster only because Jim Calhoun stole a scholarship away from another player, failed to scored in his debut.
Austin Rivers, with his dad Doc watching, had 16 points as Duke held off Belmont 77-76.
Transfer Mike Rosario and freshman guard Bradley Beal were the leading scorers as
Florida romped. Rosario carries a reputation of selfishness but he only took 12 shots and had 19 points. Beal added 14.
Louisville’s big recruit Chane Behanans had 14 points and 12 rebounds in an easy win over Tennessee Martin at the Pitino Palace and the victory over Tennessee Martin. Prince Rick to start musing about winning another national championship. He followed that up with another triple double Sunday but the Final Four musing were put on hold after Mike Marra was injured.
Quincy Miller might be the most heralded recruit in Baylor history and he led the Bears in scoring with 17 as the Bears beat Texas Southern.
Has Northeastern’s Bill Coen uncovered another hidden gem? Freshmen big man Reggie Spencer from Tuscaloosa, Ala. had 16 points and 10 rebounds as the Huskies upset BU.
BC transfer Rakim Sanders had 16 points as Fairfield beat Quinnipiac in the first game for new coach Sydney Johnson.
Cody Zeller, considered by many experts to be a job-saving recruit for Tom Crean at Indiana had 16 as the Hoosiers beat Stony Brook by 30.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a landmark recruit for Georgia coach Mark Fox, led the Bulldogs with 15 points as they beat Wofford.
AaronWhite had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Iowa. It’s the most points in a freshman debut since Ricky Davis had 18 in 1997. Yes, that Ricky Davis.
UMass’ new point guard Chaz Williams, a transfer from Hofstra, was tremendous with 18 points and 8 assists as the Minutemen won.
Royce White was a huge recruit for Minnesota two years ago but because of legal problems was never able to get on the court for the Gophers. He transferred to Iowa State and opened up with 25 points as the Cyclones, with four transfers playing key roles, beat Lehigh. Keep an eye on the Cyclones.
Seeking motivation: Ben Howland still has an underachieving bunch as UCLA dropped its opener to Loyola Marymount. The Bruins are playing home games at the old LA Sports Arena while Pauley Pavilion is refurbished. Loyola turned around and lost to Middle Tennessee Sunday.
Why I hate the BCS: Somehow I think it will bring to an end great rivalries like BYU and Utah State which played before a frenzied full house at Utah State Friday night. The atmosphere was highly charged, the game highly competitive but the Aggies prevailed 69-62. College basketball can’t lose games like this one.
Reality check: In case you’re wondering if Butler could make another run in the NCAA Tournament, the Bulldogs lose an exhibition game to Northern State and their regular-season opener to Evansville.
Non-BCS love: Two non-BCS teams I’m already liking a lot, Akron and Cleveland State. Akron won at Mississippi State and Cleveland State won at Vanderbilt.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell