What we're reading as we shake off the last remnants of New Year’s Eve. Submit links via Twitter.
First things first: Washington State scored 25 points in a 40-minute basketball game Thursday night. No, seriously! I thought the headline said the Cougars lost by 25 — hardly noteworthy, given their road date at Arizona. But nope, Ken Bone’s team scored seven points in the first half — seven! — en route to 25 points in 54 possessions. That’s 0.46 points per trip, in case you were wondering. I have nothing else to add, and I hate to pile on. But, just … wow.
How often do inaugural members win their new conferences? Syracuse Post-Standard reporter Mike Waters ran the numbers. The answer? Almost never: “Since 1990, a total of 23 schools have moved from one conference to join one of the six major conferences. Of that group, only one captured the conference's regular-season basketball title in its first year in the new league. In 1991-92, Arkansas, which had left the now-defunct Southwest Conference, won the Southeastern Conference's regular-season championship. … But aside from Arkansas, no other team has moved into a power conference
the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12, Big East or Big 12 and won the league in its opening year.”
As expected, Michigan forward Mitch McGary is likely done for the season. On Friday, a source told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that McGary would undergo surgery Tuesday. His timetable is unlikely to include a return at any point this year, because that’s not how back surgery works.
Meanwhile, the Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy reminds you that McGary did not necessarily miss his draft opportunity by returning to school this season; indeed, there were no guarantees of his lottery status had he left last summer. That means the injury, while a brutally unlucky break, doesn’t really qualify as a cautionary tale.
John Templon’s unnatural obsession with New York-area college basketball makes for consistently enjoyable blog reading, and today’s post — a dive into the shot selection characteristics of the area’s teams, including St. Johns’ high rate of two-point field goals — is no different.