College Basketball Nation: Charles Garcia
The WAC is scheduled to visit the campus in the near future, and commissioner Karl Benson reiterated his interest level Monday in extending an invitation to Seattle to join.
"Seattle U was on our list and is still on our list," said Benson, whose league is in flux and could lose another team if Hawaii basketball heads to the Big West.
That's all good news for Seattle coach Cameron Dollar, who lost Charles Garcia when he declared early for the NBA draft and went undrafted, but is building for the future after receiving a long-term contract in the offseason.
Freshman guard Sterling Carter leads the Redhawks averaging 16.6 points per game after transferring from Pacific, where he redshirted last season and then gained immediate eligibility upon receiving a hardship waiver.
Carter went to Franklin High in Seattle, and Dollar also expects to get three years of 6-foot-5 forward Clarence Trent, a Tacoma native who is sitting out the season after transferring from Washington.
The Seattle area is a plentiful recruiting base for Dollar, with the team also playing its games in KeyArena.
There will be days where the Redhawks (2-5) lose badly, but they won 17 games last season playing Division I teams and last week beat Oregon State for a second straight year.
"The plan is to make ourselves as attractive as we can be," Dollar said. "My deal is to keep building it."
While the school made a presentation to WAC officials in Dallas while bidding for future membership in the conference, Dollar got an in-home recruiting visit with guard Tony Wroten Jr., ESPNU's No. 31-ranked player in the 2011 class.
Neither courtship means a match will be made, but that Seattle has gotten itself into the conversation means a seat at the table with the big boys might not be far away.
Already it's a coup that Dollar managed to make Seattle a finalist in the mind of Wroten, who attends high school in the city and is also considering Washington, Louisville, Connecticut and Villanova.
Seattle might be an underdog in this race, but it's clear that Dollar's development of Charles Garcia as a pro prospect has introduced the program to recruits who might not have otherwise given the Redhawks a second thought.
Meanwhile, WAC conference commissioner Karl Benson has made clear his interest in having non-football playing schools Seattle and Denver potentially join the league.
If invited, Seattle would be in line for WAC membership beginning in the 2012-13 season when the program becomes eligible for the NCAA tournament.
Benson said this morning that in the next 30 to 60 days, the WAC would make campus visits to Seattle, Denver, Montana, Texas-San Antonio and Texas State. The conference could extend invitations during that period, with the domino effect of expansion especially benefiting Seattle.
All the while, for a coach who recently received a contract extension, Dollar has to be sitting in a Starbucks somewhere smiling.
Dollar, 34, developed a star player in Charles Garcia and, despite not being selected for a postseason tournament, managed to finish with a winning record.
"This contract speaks to Cameron's commitment to building a successful Division I program at Seattle University," athletic director Bill Hogan said in a statement. "As one of the top young coaches in the country, he has the skills and experience to grow and strengthen the program in the coming years."
Dollar, the former UCLA player and Washington assistant, will face challenges in trying to complete the transition to Division I for a program without a conference. Garcia left school early and declared for the NBA draft. Washington transfer Clarence Trent will not be eligible to play until the 2011-2012 season.
The last time Seattle made a Division I postseason appearance was in the 1969 NCAA tournament. But Dollar already has the program thinking about playing after the regular season. He submitted bids to the NIT, CBI and CIT after last season.
"My wife and I came here with the idea of entering a long-term partnership with the university," Dollar said in a statement. "We are excited and blessed with the university’s commitment to the program and I look forward to competing for postseason play every year."
But the basketball-driven WCC did discuss the expansion issue, and a task force involving university presidents decided in March not to pursue another member at this time, according to commissioner Jamie Zaninovich.
That means Seattle, which currently competes as a Division I independent in basketball, will have to wait. The school was a member of the WCC from 1971-80 and is currently completing the transition phase back into Division I.
"We went through an expansion process and decided not to expand right now short of something game-changing in the environment, which hasn't happened," Zaninovich said after Wednesday's Collegiate Commissioners Association meetings.
"Seattle, we play them in a lot of sports, and they're a school that I think if they grow competitively, then they will be viable in terms of the conversation for our conference. I don't think they're there yet. We've had conversations with them directly about that."
Seattle's basketball team behind coach Cameron Dollar and possible NBA draft pick Charles Garcia went 17-14 this season.
One question mark regarding adding the Redhawks to the conference might be how playing them twice per season could hurt the RPI for Gonzaga and other teams looking to make the NCAA tournament.
Seattle certainly showed signs of transitioning well this season with wins against such teams as Oregon State from the Pac-10 and Utah, which is expected to be the latest school to catch the fever.
Let's go to the video from Tuesday that proves it, shall we?
That's Dollar wearing his old No. 5 during Seattle's charity game that pitted staff members against the students. With time winding down and the staff leading by two, Dollar tries to get out on the 3-point shooting student.
Swish -- at the buzzer.
And to make things worse, as Dollar walks off the court and congratulates the kids, the public address announcer channels his inner Gus Johnson, exclaiming "Heartbreak City!"
"Fatigue will make you do nothing on defense," Dollar lamented.
The game raised money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and donors were allowed to "buy" points throughout the evening. That meant even though the staff was up big at times during the game, all the money pouring in for a good cause was used to set up the game-ending scenario.
"You don't have to see the video to know I'm washed up," Dollar joked. "I've been washed up."
Of course, Dollar's promising coaching career is just getting started. In his first year at Seattle, he sent Charles Garcia to the NBA draft, and the Redhawks notched a 17-14 record playing a complete Division I schedule during the program's transition period.
The team was ineligible for the NCAA tournament this year and couldn't get a bid to any of the other postseason tournaments, but the future appears bright. Today, Dollar signed a six-player recruiting class.
Just to clarify, it didn't include the kid who hit the buzzer-beater over him the previous night.
- Today's links start in-house, where Diamond has a tremendous account of the way St. Mary's fans have embraced their team's upstart success in the NCAA tournament: "Once he announced that the bus had turned onto Saint Mary's Road, many ran to the school's main entrance and found that the fire truck and police cars that escorted the Gaels back were blasting their sirens and laying on their horns. The hundreds who lined the road mobbed the players at the door of the charter bus and chanted coach Randy Bennett's name. It took the team nearly an hour to get back to the locker room. Samhan, who had come off the bus holding a camcorder to document the wild scene, was so fired up afterward that he went into the gym and put shots up until 3 a.m." The story also features a fellow Eamonn, though this one spells his name in the more common one-n format. Of course, he's every bit as handsome and erudite as you would expect from someone with such a name.
- March is the time of year when celebrities take breaks from their otherwise captivating lives to peer in on this thing we commoners call "sport"; Rush The Court has a list of celebrities' various Twitter comments on the first weekend of the NCAA tournament. Unsurprisingly, Conan O'Brien's is the best.
- Joe Posnanski looks back at the Kansas Jayhawks and wonders if he should have known something was amiss: "'Oh, we're good,' [Self] said, which seemed an odd thing to say. Good? Well, sure they were good. Everyone knew they were good. They were ranked No. 1 in the country. And yet, he said it more than once and earnestly -- 'Oh, we're a good basketball team' -- and I remember even then thinking about the line in Casablanca: 'You know how you sound, Monsieur Self? Like a man who's trying to convince himself of something he doesn't believe in his heart.'"
- The big brains at Basketball Prospectus come together for a conversation recap of the first round.
- On that note, Ken Pomeroy tells us what the log5 projections say about the remaining 16 teams in the tournament. The seeding actually correlates quite well with each team's win probability, which is not a good sign if you, like me, want an all mid-major Final Four.
- The Memphis Commercial-Appeal's Geoff Calkins writes that Memphis' NCAA appeal was always just for show, and that anyone who pretended otherwise was fooling herself.
- Apparently, Houston's Tom Penders couldn't save his job by stealing an NCAA tournament berth from the jaws of another mediocre season. And guess who many consider the favorite to be his replacement? I'll give you a hint: His name starts with "B" and ends with "illy Gillispie."
- Hammer And Rails notes that Purdue, despite the Robbie Hummel injury, manages to keep fighting the good fight. It's pretty admirable stuff. Not to get too maudlin, but everyone would be so lucky as to root for a team with that kind of heart.
- USA Today's Michael Heistand discusses the ramifications of expansion, saying that an expanded first round tourney won't be the dealmaker that fans and folks like me seem to dwell on: "While fans fixate on the tournament field expanding, that's a small potato in the stew. First-round NCAA action isn't a big TV draw. More games with teams that couldn't make today's tournament would sweeten a deal — not be key. New early-round games might not be worth much more than what NBC paid for the 1979 tournament, whose Bird-Magic final was the highest-rated college basketball game ever. Just $5.2 million."
- Luke Winn hits us with his tournament's all-first-weekend team, starring Mr. Omar Samhan, the most quotable man on the planet.
- The AP checks in on Duke's relatively quiet first two rounds and finds that the Blue Devil big men are finally complimenting the Devils' big three in a rather formidable way.
- Seattle's Charles Garcia completes what might be the most ferocious dunk that didn't actually count in the game. Be forewarned.
- A Sea of Blue takes stock of Kentucky's dominant first two rounds and starts seeing visions of the school's famous 1996 title-winning team.
- The Only Colors violates its "normal no-cliche rule" in praising Michigan State's toughness during its last-second win over Maryland Sunday.
- On the other side of that coin are the fans at Maryland blog Testudo Times, which have since recovered from the devastating loss and written a fitting tribute to their departing seniors, most notable among them Grievis Vasquez: "They played the game the right way. They are more like the National Championship team than any other team Maryland has had since or before, at least in terms of work ethic. They played like Gary wanted them to, and that's not always easy. Not since Juan Dixon has Maryland had a player as likable as Greivis Vasquez. Before then, maybe not since Len Bias. Walt Williams might be more important for what he did for the program, but biding [sic] Greivis good-bye has been an awfully hard process. His passion and mentality are all that is great about college basketball. Having fun and entertaining the fans, defending his honor and representing his team, but never at the cost of winning." As with any description of Vasquez as "likable," it's a relative term; much of the ACC probably disagrees. But there's no question Greivis was one of a kind. College basketball will miss him.
- As usual, let's close the day with some in-house stuff, too: Pat Forde has tremendous a rundown of the NCAA tournament's first-weekend winners and losers. ESPN Insider maven and all-around chill bro Chris Sprow (Insider link, natch) takes you through what the ESPN Predictor thinks is going to happen in these next two rounds. (For what it's worth, even with all this upheaval the computer is doing quite well in its bracket thus far -- if the Predictor entered a tournament challenge, he (it?) would be hovering right around the 85th percentile.) Andy Katz has a must-read Sweet 16 primer and a chat to catch up on. And Gene Wojciechowski joined me in Milwaukee Sunday and came away with this thesis: It's anybody's tournament.
NBA scouts are definitely taking notice because it just so happens that during those two games, they've been out in full force at the Event Center checking out Seattle's Charles Garcia on Monday and Nevada's Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson last night. Even Suns general manager Steve Kerr was watching.
Oliver told me Monday that the presence of scouts hasn't affected him much, but you have to believe there's a part of the junior guard that's thinking, "I'll show you."
Also in San Jose, another player who (kind of) got noticed by scouts on Monday was Seattle's Taylor Olson.
The 5-foot-10 guard, after hitting the game-winning 3-pointer, runs down to the other end of the floor to give a flying chest bump to Spencer Hawes, a former Seattle-area high school rival who plays for the Sacramento Kings.
Hawes attended the game in part to catch up with his former Washington teammate Oliver, but after celebrating with Olson, he smiles broadly and flashes Olson's jersey number to the NBA officials sitting at the press table.
Check him out.
Scouts, who have the toiling in anonymity thing down, surely got a kick out of that one.
Seattle’s star junior gives away his answer by revealing a gap-toothed grin before saying, “I think I’m ready.”
That emphatic statement, he said, should provide a bit of a hint as to his mindset heading into an offseason that could see the 6-foot-10, 230-pound forward go from community college to declaring for the NBA draft in only two seasons.
“I like to say rock band,” coach Cameron Dollar said. “They’ve followed us all year long.”
And for a fourth straight game, the scouts needed to wait to see the main attraction. Garcia, who leads the team with 19.4 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, has been coming off the bench.
Dollar said Garcia’s absence from the starting lineup had more to do with teammates who were showing the most effort in practice getting rewarded. Dollar also noted scouts might also be getting a preview of how the project that is Garcia might respond to sitting during his developmental years in the NBA.
Maturity has admittedly been a question mark for Garcia, who is attending his fifth school (Sacramento State, Diablo Valley College, Riverside Community College and Yuba College came before Seattle).
A 4-inch growth spurt after high school and impressive performances in Riverside led to Garcia signing a national letter of intent to play at Washington, but the school did not admit him due to academics.
Garcia also had prematurely left the RCC program, with coach John Smith struggling to get him to buy into playing defense and Garcia frustrated with playing predominantly the low block.
Smith said Garcia was a big teddy bear at heart.
“He’s so easily influenced that anybody can say, ‘Hey, you ain’t got to worry about [defense]. You have the NBA,’” Smith said. “He may listen and shut it down.”
Garcia said he’s done a lot of growing up and changed his ways under the former Washington assistant Dollar, who sent a message with the recent benching, but also has allowed the raw talent to handle the ball and shoot it where he feels comfortable doing it.
Garcia entered the game leading the nation in scoring per 40 minutes averaging 29.3 points, and looks the part with his quickness, wingspan and ability to handle the ball at his size.
He also shoots .267 from three-point range and .617 from the free throw line despite leading the nation in attempts at the charity stripe.
Still, the ability was always off the charts. Long before the scouts started showing up to Seattle games in droves, Smith was so certain Garcia was NBA material that he brought Nuggets assistant Tim Grgurich, Smith’s former coach at UNLV, to Riverside just to get a sneak peak at the kid.
After scoring 17 of his 20 points in the second half, Garcia said it’s still nerve-wracking to have scouts eyeballing him, but that he hasn’t made his NBA aspirations a distraction.
His current goal is to get to New York, and by that, he doesn’t mean the Knicks. Seattle isn’t eligible to play in the NCAA tournament, and the next best thing would be reaching the NIT championship game at Madison Square Garden.
Also staged at MSG? The NBA draft, coming in June.
McKines eventually apologized for that and his arrest on a warrant for unpaid fines, but also wrote, "I really feel like something special is going to happen this year."
Lo and behold, attendance is up in Las Cruces as the Aggies have won seven of eight following McKines' online meltdown, are sitting only a game behind Utah State in the standings and could be the sleeper of the conference tournament.
The Aggies' high-powered offense features five players who average double figures, led by guard Jahmar Young (20.9 ppg). McKines (11.7 ppg) and forward Troy Gillenwater (15 ppg) both began the season academically ineligible, and their returns have sparked the team.
Louisiana Tech started 5-0 in conference play, but eventually fell back when New Mexico State completed the season sweep last week at home in front of 5,549 on an unlikely play -- Hernst Laroche's game-winning jumper with 1.1 seconds left.
That leaves perennial postseason team Utah State at the top and gives New Mexico State at least a shot to make itself heard down the stretch.
Paul George, G/F, Fresno State, So. -- How good he George? After missing four games with a severely sprained ankle, he dropped 30 on New Mexico State in his first game back last week.
Luke Babbitt, F, Nevada, So. -- The 6-foot-9 lefty leads the WAC with 9.6 rebounds per game and can score from all over the court, averaging 21.6 points per game.
Armon Johnson, G, Nevada, Jr. -- Johnson is the reigning WAC player of the week after scoring 23, including the game-winning bucket against Idaho, and leads the conference in assists.
Adrian Oliver, G, San Jose State, Jr. -- The transfer from Washington poured in 28 points on Saturday against Utah State, the most by an Aggies opponent this season.
Mac Hopson, G, Idaho, Sr. -- In the three games since being suspended for a curfew violation, he's scored in double figures and had 20 in Saturday's win at Fresno State.
Magnum Rolle, C/F, Louisiana Tech, Sr. -- The 6-foot-11 transfer from LSU by way of the Bahamas has been especially dominant on the offensive glass.
Hawaii -- Second-leading scorer Dwain Williams has been suspended indefinitely, and fourth-leading scorer Jeremy Lay is set to undergo season-ending hernia surgery, as the Warriors have lost seven straight.
Boise State -- The Broncos haven't won this month, but hope they can have better luck with upcoming nonconference opponents Cal State Bakersfield and UC Davis.
Idaho -- The Vandals' one-point loss to Nevada last week left coach Don Verlin declaring his team was no "doormat," complaining about the officiating and earning a reprimand from WAC conference commissioner Karl Benson.
Key games to watch
Feb. 20 -- Louisiana Tech at Northeastern: Utah State lost in Boston in November, so it'll be interesting to see if the Bulldogs can steal a BracketBuster win there.
Feb. 25 -- Nevada at San Jose State: Oliver and Babbitt, the conference's top two scorers, square off in what could be a high-scoring affair three nights after Oliver goes up against Seattle's Charles Garcia.
March 6 -- New Mexico State at Utah State: This could be the deciding game for the regular-season championship, but Utah State is riding a 21-game conference winning streak at the Spectrum.
No. 1 Kentucky at South Carolina, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN: Only four players in the country use more of their team's possessions than South Carolina star Devan Downey. DeMarcus Cousins is one of them. But where Cousins probably takes a few too many shots in Kentucky's offense -- John Wall and Eric Bledsoe are standing right there, DeMarcus -- the Gamecocks rely on Downey's production much the same way as Ohio State relies on Evan Turner. Perhaps even more. The question is whether Downey's gaudy offensive production is enough to stand up to a Kentucky team that is better than South Carolina in literally every way. The Gamecocks are especially vulnerable when the ball hits their own rim; they rank 339th in the country at preventing opposing offensive rebounds. Here's where it gets worse: Thanks to Cousins' prodigious rebounding ability, Kentucky ranks No. 1 in the country in grabbing their own misses. This smells like disaster. If the Gamecocks can keep Kentucky off the glass even occasionally, and thus give Downey a chance to go at Kentucky's defense on the other end, maybe South Carolina can hang with a Kentucky team that has had trouble putting away inferior opponents in the past. But if not -- if Cousins works as freely on the glass as the numbers suggest -- South Carolina has no shot. No matter how good Downey is.
In any case, tonight is Kentucky's first game as the No. 1 team in the country. Will that affect the Cats' play? Will it matter at all? This is not a team unused to hype, so I'm betting no ... but it's worth some attention all the same.
No. 5 Michigan State at Michigan, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN: Can Michigan get a reschedule? This is really not a good time. Manny Harris is coming off a suspension. The Wolverines are still desperately looking for leadership. And John Beilein is saying things like this: "It's almost like the old-time days in the mid-majors. You got to go on a big string at the end of the year or you have to peak at tournament time and win the tournament. Those are our two options right now." Meanwhile, Michigan State is playing its best basketball of the season, or at least coming off its most emotional win, a come-from-behind last-second win at Minnesota on Saturday, the kind of win Tom Izzo teams always seem to get right before they figure things out and tear through the second half of their season. There are a lot of ancillary factors for Michigan at work here, and none of them look particularly positive.
No. 12 Kansas State at Baylor, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN360: Fire up the laptops; this is tonight's best game. Baylor nearly beat Kansas at the Phog last week. Kansas State toppled Texas before dropping a home game to Oklahoma State on Saturday. So K-State is vulnerable, and Baylor is at home. This has the makings of a close one. Baylor's key? Keep the Wildcats off the free throw line, which they go to more than any other team in the country. K-State's key? Get to the free throw line (naturally), and also keep Baylor's perimeter shooting (the Bears make 40 percent of their threes and 53.3 percent of their twos) under wraps.
Everywhere else: West Virginia visits a DePaul team that's playing slightly better since interim coach Tracey Webster took over ... Clemson will take on Boston College in Boston on ESPN2 ... Maryland will attempt to preserve their hot ACC start (Gary Williams' team is playing the best offense in the conference thus far) against a cupcake-bloated Miami (FL) team in College Park ... North Carolina State has been better than expected and North Carolina has been far worse; which wins out when the Heels head to Raleigh? ... Seattle will visit Washington with its secret weapon, former Washington juco recruit Charles Garcia in tow; check out Diamond's post about Garcia, who uses more of his team's possessions than any other player in the country, here.
Garcia now leads the nation with 30.1 points per 40 minutes and is an NBA prospect, but is doing it for former assistant Cameron Dollar over at Seattle University.
The two teams meet tonight, and the scuffling Huskies are left to wonder what might have happened had Garcia gotten into school, as Todd Dybas of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer writes:
While Washington struggles, fans and Washington players lament what might have been.
"It would have been lovely," [Isaiah] Thomas, who played pickup with Garcia in the summer, said. "It would have been great. He's a good player and he would have made it a lot easier for me, Quincy [Pondexter], anybody on this team because he's a talent."
Would he have added a win or two?
"A lot [of wins]," Thomas said. "Not just a win or two."
Romar, beyond having to counter Garcia tomorrow, is over it.
"I think we're past that," Romar said. "When initially he wasn't coming it was tough. But when he started playing earlier in the year, you saw the things he was doing, obviously you would have loved to have had him -- not just his game, but his personality. But that's behind us now."
At halftime against Seton Hall, Jerome Dyson was 0-for-4 from the field with 2 points. When the final buzzer sounded, Dyson had completed one of the best all-around games of his career. He finished with 16 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds. In the first 91 games of his career, Dyson had never reached double-digit assists and had only two double-doubles. He’s now gone for 10 assists in each of the last two games, both of which were double-doubles.
Sherron Collins did a lot of things on Wednesday against Cornell, including almost single-handedly keeping the Jayhawks undefeated and extending their now 51-game home winning streak. Collins finished with a career-high 33 points, and scored 15 of Kansas’ last 22 points. In fact, Collins’ nine field goals were as many as the rest of his teammates combined. While Collins shot 56.3 percent, the rest of his team shot just 27.3 percent.
Oregon State lost by 51 points at home on Wednesday, matching its worst loss in school history. However, there is one key difference between the two defeats. In 1997, the Beavers lost by 51 to Arizona, the eventual national champ. Wednesday’s loss was to Seattle, a school that is in the process of reclassifying to Division I. The Beavers did have a player score in double figures and shot just 31.7 from the field and 31.6 from the line. Seattle outscored Oregon State 58-21 in the second half after coming out of halftime on a 19-2 run. Even more embarrassing for the Beavers is the fact that Seattle did all of this while its best player, Charles Garcia, connected on just one field goal in 15 minutes while plagued by foul trouble.
In Houston’s 83-66 win over Rice, the Cougars committed only six turnovers, while forcing 13. That’s been a typical theme for Houston this season. The Cougars are averaging only 8.9 turnovers per game, putting them on pace for the lowest turnover average since Temple’s 7.7 in 2005-06. On top of that, Houston’s Aubrey Coleman leads the nation with 3.4 steals per game and the team is seventh in the nation in steals. So it should be no surprise that Houston’s plus-10.1 turnovers per game differential is the best in the nation. The Cougars are on pace for the best turnover differential since Long Island was plus-11.1 in 1997-98.
That's because Harvard is in town.
Yes, it's going to be somewhat of a circus tonight when Harvard guard Jeremy Lin plays in front of a hometown crowd that is expected to include a big Asian American presence in the stands and on press row.
The former Palo Alto (Calif.) High star has made a name for himself with a fallaway buzzer beater against William & Mary, a 30-point performance against Connecticut, and 25 more in an upset of Boston College.
On Saturday against Seattle, Lin scored a game-high 21 points, topping NBA prospect Charles Garcia, who is the NCAA's leading scorer per 40 minutes.
Harvard is off to a 10-3 start and is out looking for respect, as evidenced by the Seattle game recap on the Crimson's Web site, which notes a two-month-old shot at Harvard taken by a Seattle online magazine.
Respect is what Lin is getting more and more of these days, as Dana O'Neil recently wrote.
1. Kentucky's John Wall set a school record with 16 assists in the Wildcats' win over Hartford. He broke Travis Ford's record of 15 set in 1993 against Eastern Kentucky. Wall's 16 assists are the most by a Division-I player this season, and the most since Pittsburgh's Levance Fields also had 16 last February. Wall is now averaging 7.5 APG, second in the nation to Siena's Ronald Moore (who had a mere 12 assists on Tuesday). In addition to the huge assist total, Wall tied a career-low with just one turnover. He also failed to score in double figures for the first time in his career, a minor footnote on a historic night.
2. Ryan Wittman and Cornell are making a lot of noise in the Ivy League. Wittman, the son of former NBA player and coach Randy Wittman, scored a career-high 34 points Tuesday in Cornell's 78-75 win at La Salle. Wittman also set Cornell's all-time scoring record in the game, surpassing John Bajusz's 1,663 points. The Big Red won their eighth straight despite missing a pair of starters. Cornell is 10-2 despite having only played two home games. It is now 6-1 in true road games, including wins at St. John's, Massachusetts and Alabama.
3. Wall may be getting the majority of the press, but what DeMarcus Cousins is doing is fairly astonishing. The freshman big man scored 19 points and added 12 rebounds on Tuesday for his seventh double-double this season. He did so in just 19 minutes. In fact, he has played fewer than 20 minutes in each of his last three games, all double-doubles. While battling foul trouble (though he had no fouls Tuesday), Cousins is averaging only 18.7 minutes per game this season. But in that time, he is also averaging 15.2 PPG and 9.0 RPG. That makes him the most efficient scorer and rebounder in the nation. Cousins is averaging 32.5 points per 40 minutes, first in the nation ahead of Seattle's Charles Garcia, and 19.2 rebounds per 40 minutes, first in the nation ahead of Duke's Brian Zoubek.
4. Seton Hall suffered its second tough conference loss in four days when it fell to Syracuse 80-73. But no one can blame those losses on not getting the ball in the hands of its superstar. Days after scoring a career-high 41 points against West Virginia, Jeremy Hazell poured in 38 on Tuesday. Hazell has attempted 64 shots (including 34 treys) in those two Big East games. His 33 attempts on Saturday were the most by a player this season. Tuesday's 31 attempts are tied for the second most in a game. There were 26 teams that attempted fewer 3s than Hazell's 15 on Tuesday.
5. Louisiana Tech improved to 12-2 with a 99-94 win at Houston on Tuesday. Rebounding was the story of the game, as the Bulldogs held a 55-32 edge on the boards. Olu Ashaolu had a career-high 21 rebounds, the fifth most in Division-I this season, to go with 17 points. Louisiana Tech got 98 of its 99 points from its starters, the third most points in a game for a starting lineup this season. Former LSU big man Magnum Rolle scored a career-high 29 points on 13-for-15 from the field.
1. Duke’s Jon Scheyer put up one of the great stat lines of the season on Tuesday with 36 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists against Gardner-Webb. Over the last 10 seasons, that is just the fourth 36-8-8 game, and the first by a player in a major conference. It was just the third 30-8-8 game by a power six conference player this decade, joining Greivis Vasquez (Maryland) and Adam Haluska (Iowa). Scheyer was 4-of-4 from two-point range, 7-of-9 from beyond the arc and a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe. His effective field goal percentage -- which adjusts for the fact that a three-pointer is worth more -- was 111.5, which is the third-best this decade by a Blue Devil with at least 10 field goals.
2. Omar Samhan poured in 31 points (22 in the second half) and grabbed 17 rebounds in Saint Mary’s 101-80 win over Portland State. All but one of Samhan’s points came on two-point field goals. He is just the second player this season with 15 field goals and 15 rebounds in a game, joining Radford’s Artsiom Parakhouski. Last season, it happened just three times. Samhan’s was the first 30-point, 15-rebound game this decade by a Saint Mary’s player.
3. Seattle’s Charles Garcia -- a junior college transfer and former Washington signee -- is only 11 games into his Division I career, but he is off to a tremendous start. After 29 points and 13 rebounds in Tuesday’s win over UC-Irvine, Garcia is averaging 25.0 ppg and 10.5 rpg. If he can somehow keep that up, he’d be in pretty special company. The only players to average 25 and 10 this decade were Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley.
4. A game decided by a 62-point margin is bound to have some strange stats. Texas’ 104-42 win over Texas-Pan American was the ninth-largest margin in school history. The Longhorns pulled down 64 rebounds, the most any team has had against a D-I opponent this season. Yet somehow, Texas did not have a player with double-digit boards. Twelve different Longhorns had a rebound, led by Clint Chapman and Damion James with nine. The last time a team had at least 64 rebounds, but no one in double figures was in 1996, when Louisville grabbed 64 rebounds against Tennessee State, while being led by B.J. Flynn’s eight rebounds.
5. With Tennessee leading by just one point at halftime, it looked like Wyoming’s up-tempo style could spell doom for the Vols. However, the second half was a different story, as Tennessee’s defense allowed only 17 points and Wyoming shot 26.3 percent. Wyoming finished with 29 turnovers, tied for its most in a game this decade. The Cowboys’ top player, Afam Muojeke, turned it over 10 times. He is just the second D-I player this season with 10 or more turnovers and one or fewer assists. He is also the second D-I player with 10 turnovers and 10 missed field goals in a game this season.