Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Afternoon Linkage: Villanova's hot January
By Eamonn Brennan
January is a cold month, but Villanova was hot hot hot! (Do you see what I did there? Weather jokes!) But really, Scottie Reynolds and company have been amazing in Big East play; the Wildcats scored 1.21 points per possession over eight games -- all conference wins -- in 2010. John Gasaway has this truth and many more in his conference tempo-free breakdowns, which, as more games are played, become less and less hampered by small sample size and more and more revealing about which teams you can expect to make deep runs in March and April.
What's the secret to Siena's success? Is it some sort of below-the-Red-Line potion only available to direct basketball descendants of Kenny Hansbrouck? Is it something cool we don't even know about? No, not really. It's just ... recruiting. Recruit well, play well -- as true for Siena as it is for Kentucky.
Speaking of Kentucky, here's the obligatory midseason feature on DeMarcus Cousins' improving maturity. One thing is certainly improving: Cousins' low-post versatility. If Cousins can develop one or two go-to moves in the post -- he showed signs of this with a pair of monster baseline spins against South Carolina -- and combine those abilities with his already-prodigious rebounding talent, he could be the best player on Kentucky's team down the stretch. Not kidding.
Michigan State's Darrell Summers is really good, sometimes. Other times he's sporadic and off-kilter, like there's all this talent bursting from him, but with no coherent outlet for it. (Picture Cyclops when he loses his glasses, and you'll see what I mean.) Both Summers and his coach, Tom Izzo, are trying to figure why.