The coming months of conference play will undoubtedly shake things up a bit as some teams will flourish while others perish. After all, the Jayhawks only two losses are to current ranked teams. You can’t just expect one guy to do it all the time.
St. Mary’s College has lived in the shadows for a while now. For years, St. Mary’s College has been best known as the West Coast Conference’s best team other than Gonzaga. While the Zags have piled up NCAA tournament bids and upsets for 10 years, the Gaels have toiled in the background while making NCAA tournaments of their own. However, they had not won any March games until two days ago against Richmond. Yet St. Mary’s College is no longer the other WCC power, after they won their second NCAA tournament game against Villanova.
In the end, Scottie Reynolds won it for the Wildcats on a play that will also be talked about for years. With relative ease he drove to the basket with 0.5 seconds left to make it 78-76. Although the Panthers Levance Fields would toss a 60-foot shot that hit the basket as time expired, Reynolds play all but punched the Wildcats ticket to the Final Four.
On what people should expect from this year’s team: “It’s just a new team. We’re not going to be settling for just staying close with everyone. I’m thinking win every game and I’m hoping everybody else feels that way.
As of this writing, the Big East is the only NCAA Division I conference with all teams above .500. Two are undefeated, four have just one loss and five are saddled with two losses. Yes, that’s nearly 75% of the conference with two losses or less going into the latter half of December. So far, Marquette, Providence, Rutgers and Seton Hall are having great seasons while DePaul, St. John’s, South Florida and Villanova are performing perhaps better than expected.
Kadeem Batts played one of his best games of the year. He carried the Friars, scoring nearly half of their points. He had 25 points and 9 rebounds while also taking several offensive fouls. He could have easily had 30 points if he hit his free throws better. He was only 5-for-12 from the line, but hit two big free throws with three seconds left to seal the victory. The more and more I see the 6-foot-10 junior develop, the more I am picturing a NBA prospect.
On C.J. Herbert: “Technically sound, he’s the best technician of the three [Tracy, Herbert and Lissemore]. Plays hard, he’s Mr. Consistency. He can rush the passer and he’s going to benefit a lot this fall from Adrain’s exposure and teams worrying about him. C.J. may step up and surprise some teams this fall. I would expect him to do that.
Sam Young scored 28 while DeJuan Blair added 20 points and 10 rebounds for Pittsburgh, who finish the year with a (31-5), slate. They also became the first No. 1 seed to lose in the tourney.