Thursday, December 5, 2013
Afternoon Links: LaQuinton Ross, in bloom
By Eamonn Brennan
What we're reading this afternoon. Submit via Twitter.
- Ohio State forward LaQuinton Ross was lights-out against Maryland Wednesday night, hitting the positive end of a crucial season thus far built on extremes. From Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch: "It was 10 days ago that Matta benched Ross for the last 10 minutes of a game against Wyoming. At that point, Ross had missed 18 of his previous 20 shots and was shooting 22 percent from the field on the season, worst on the team. Matta was flummoxed. He was getting scoring from all over the place -- even the center position -- but Ross was curiously absent. Matta needs him. Maybe not against Wyoming, but sooner or later, Ross will have to be a factor. If the Buckeyes aspire to do big things, they must have Ross as a weapon. 'LaQuinton is one of these guys that the second he relaxes, he becomes an average player,' Matta said this week. 'He’s starting to come to grips with that.'"
- Kansas coach Bill Self was not particularly pleased with his team after its 2-1 performance in the Battle 4 Atlantis last weekend. That displeasure came through in his press conference Saturday, which is useful listening in advance of the coming Saturday's trip to Colorado, particularly if you want to construct a mental picture for how much fun Kansas's practices were this week. "I just think our energy sucks," Self said. "[We're] way too casual. I thought we would have errors of trying too hard, rather than errors of casualness. And that’s the thing that’s really frustrating to me … As a coach, you should be judged on basically three things. Do they play together -- are they unselfish? Do they play extremely hard, and are they tough? And I’d say we went Oh-for-three. So that’s frustrating to me."
- While we were all locked in to the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, Temple beat St. Joe's in a Big Five rivalry game, 77-69, and Temple students turned the "I believe that we will win" chant into a funeral for the St. Joseph's Hawk. Philly sports fans are the best. (Also, Temple's new arena detail is terrifying.)
- Misix takes a comprehensive, analytical look at the Marquette-Wisconsin game on deck this weekend -- a much bigger game for the former than the latter, now.
- What's harder than losing at Duke? Flying back to Ann Arbor and going to class the next day. The Wolverines are young, John Beilein told MLive.com, and they are tired: "I think the second-year players are … almost there with understanding the scouting report we put together," Beilein said. "But the freshmen are just swimming right now. I mean, they’re just trying to figure out all the things they have to remember during a game."