The Bruins freshmen: UCLAís looked just OK in dismissing Indiana State Friday night. Highly touted freshman Kyle Anderson was also just OK, heís known for his passing and he had a couple of nice ones but his impact on the game was inconsistent. The Bruins had the No. 1 recruiting class but the top player, Shabazz Muhammad, has not been allowed to play because of questions surrounding his amateur status. Thereís a relationship between his family and an agent. Itís a new problem but one thatís not going away. He might never play college basketball. The Bruins best freshman was Jordan Adams who came off the bench to score 21 points and showed a great outside shot. For one game, he was the best freshman on the team. The Wear twins, Travis and David, both of whom transferred from North Carolina, looked much improved from their days in Chapel Hill.
Kentucky: Coach Calís Traveling All-Stars arenít as good as last season that was clear in their opener as they held on to beat Maryland is a sloppy, defensive-oriented game. Didnít see anyone who looked like John Wall or Anthony Davis out there.
Early NCAA upset alert: South Dakota State has a veteran team thatís favored to win the Summit League and the Jackrabbits nearly beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa Friday night. It took a three-pointer at the buzzer by Trevor Lacy for the Crimson Tide to escape, 70-67. If Nick Saban was coaching the Tide basketball team, he might have made them practice right after the game. Meanwhile, South Dakota State, itís where Adam Vinatieri went to school, could upend a higher seed in the NCAAs. Jackrabbitsí guard Nate Wolters is a tremendous player and he had 30 points.
Congrats to Mississippi State: The Bulldogs lost to Troy 56-53 Friday night but they deserve praise for serving as a good opponent for Troy on the night the Trojans opened their new arena. North Carolina did a similar thing for North Carolina Asheville. Itís a great thing to see.
Aircraft carrier games: Time to clear the deck and stop scheduling these after two postponements because of wet floors.
Strutting like a Peacock: What a win for Saint Peterís at Rutgers. The Peacocks won only five games last season but are a much better team this year. They were more mentally tough in the final minutes. This is the type of loss that dampens enthusiasm for Rutgers fans and it will take some big wins to get them back.
Some surprising results:
- Bucknell 70, Purdue 65: This was in West Lafayette. Maybe the Bison should be favored over Lehigh in the Patriot League.
- Norfolk State 67, Rhode Island 55: Lots of work for Danny Hurley to do.
- Holy Cross 46, Old Dominion 45: Great road win for the Crusaders.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell