Thursday, January 19, 2006

Big South W/Th

Scores and Linkage from Wednesday and Thursday in the Big South:


That tugging sound you hear is the rest of the league loosening their collar after watching MacRadford beat the league's arguably second-best team by 20 points...with Holcomb-Faye only scoring 14. Chris Oliver went for 25 and 9, but the difference was that the Highlander role players had their best collective game of the conference season so far: Dan Ross stroked 7 threes (on 14 attempts) and finished with 23, Andre Bynum had 9 assists, and Kenny Thomas came off the bench to go for 10 and 4 in only 8 minutes! Maybe the "If you shut down Whit, they might as well quit" book on Radford isn't as good a read as previously thought.

AZ Reid did his usual yeoman's work for High Point (18 and 12 on 8-of-13 shooting). But when the rest of the team goes 17-of-51--contrast here with the Radford supporting cast--while allowing the opponent to score 38 points in less than 13 second-half minutes, well, 96-76 is what happens.

ALSO: The Roanoke Times congratulates Radford on scoring more against High Point than Kentucky did. Obviously they haven't seen Kentucky recently, since this isn't much different from congratulating them for tying their shoes.

Charleston's Post and Courier makes the curious decision to publish a "Look at High Point!" article the day after their worst loss of the season. Not that the I Can't Believe They're Not Panthers don't deserve one: leading the league in FG percentage while keeping up their jackrabbitesque pace (second in the league, 25th in the nation) can't be easy. Geoff Wilson also makes an interesting point about the league having so many guys with 20-points-plus per game (four), but fails to cite the Big South's preference for up-and-down games as a possible reason.


Consider this a game of Can-You-Top-This, but on Opposite Day. Coastal's Jack Leasure starts the bidding with a 1-of-11 three-point shooting night. Charleston answers with leading scorer Trent Draft's zero FGs and 4 points in 31 minutes. Coastal says "Oh yeah? 25 total rebounds and a minus-12 rebounding margin!" But Charleston finally goes over the top with 18 turnovers to CCU's 7 and wins/loses. The Fakecocks manage to get the W despite shooting 18 percent from outside (4-22) and 37 percent overall.

There are some bright points here: Chris Moore continued to carry the Othern Southern in Big South play, scoring 20 points (though it took him 20 shots to do so) and grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds (why is a 6-1 guard leading the team in boards?); Leasure went inside when he couldn't get his outside shot to fall and went 6-of-7 on 2's to still finish with 17.

But if Charleston doesn't the handle the ball better (26.4 percent TO rate) and if Coastal doesn't find some rebounds somewhere, neither team will offer much of a threat to the powers-that-be.

ALSO: So how bad are things in the frontcourt at Coastal? They're starting a 6-4 true freshman string bean at the 4... and he led them in boards Thursday with 6.


Yawn. Interesting only in that the Flames may have stumbled across the best way to keep the Winthrop offense under 70: find a way to make James Shuler a late scratch, and then come across as so completely unthreatening Marshall empties his bench early and often. You know it's a snoozer when the official Winthrop recap cites a series of plays that extended a completely safe second-half lead from 12 to 20 as the game's pivotal moment. When Venus pops up in tomorrow night's sky, expect the rest of the Big South to wish that Chris Gaynor's unusual 1:1 A:TO ratio (he had four of each) is the start of a long trend. Guys, just go ahead and crap in the other.

ALSO: James Shuler: World's Subtlest Smack Talker. Winthrop's unstoppable (except for surprise nightss off) small forward had this to say about putting team goals ahead of individual goals: "We have guys who could go for 37 or 40 a night ... and lose, but that's the sacrifice we make to win." it just coincidence, then, that the number of points Shuler picks out of thin air to equate with selfishness--37--is the exact same number MacRadford's Whit Holcomb-Faye scored against the Eagles in their loss last week? You tell me.

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