College Basketball Nation: Chris Wroblewski

Wednesday night by the numbers

January, 20, 2011
Here's an inside look at the numbers behind Wednesday's top performances:

1. It’s tough to pick the most embarrassing stat from Wake Forest’s 74-39 loss to Georgia Tech. Let’s start with those 39 points, which were the fewest by the Demon Deacons since Jan. 8, 1959. Wake Forest shot just 25.9 percent from the field, its worst over the last 15 years. Even the free throw line wasn’t friendly, as they hit just 9 of 26 from the charity stripe. At 34.6 percent, that’s the worst free throw performance over the last 15 years by an ACC team attempting at least 25 free throws. The second half was particularly ugly, as the Deacons didn’t connect on a field goal until there was 7:28 left in the game. They finished the half with only 13 points on 4-of-21 from the field. It could have been much worse if you’ll believe it. The score was 74-32 with five minutes to go, and Wake Forest went on a 7-0 run in garbage time to end the game.

2. Since the calendar turned to 2011, no one has been hotter than BYU’s Jimmer Fredette, who is averaging 28.4 ppg in the new year. You’d have to be under a rock to miss the Jimmer Show, but under the radar, there’s another player raising his game since the ball dropped. Richmond’s Justin Harper is averaging 25.2 ppg on 65.7 percent shooting since Jan. 1. He put on another show on Wednesday, scoring a career-high 30 points and adding 10 rebounds in a win over George Washington. On the season, the 6-10 senior is in the top 25 in the nation in both field goal percentage (57.4) and 3-point percentage (51.1).

Highest scoring average since Jan. 1

28.4 -- Jimmer Fredette, BYU

27.3 -- Cameron Jones, Northern Arizona

26.4 -- Randy Culpepper, UTEP

25.5 -- Klay Thompson, Washington St

25.2 -- Justin Harper, Richmond

3. Texas State’s Ryan White scored 22 points to go with 11 assists in a 95-91 win over Sam Houston State. It was the 25th 20-point, 10-assist game in D-I this season. So what made this performance so special? White came off the bench. Incredibly, it’s his second 20-10 game off the bench this season. The only other player to accomplish a 20-point, 10-assist game off the bench this season was Cornell’s Chris Wroblewski. But prior to this season, you have to back nearly six years to find the last time this happened. Current San Antonio Spurs guard George Hill had 26 points and 11 assists coming off the bench for IUPUI as a freshman in 2005.

4. Peyton Siva was benched in favor of a freshman late in Louisville’s game on Saturday. Wednesday was a much better day. Siva had 10 points to go with career highs in assists (10) and steals (7), as the Cardinals crushed St. John’s 88-63. It’s been almost 10 years since a Big East player had at least 10 steals and seven assists in a game. In November 2001, Notre Dame’s Chris Thomas posted a triple-double that included 11 steals.

5. Navy attempts 26.2 3-pointers per game, the sixth-most in the nation. So things can get a little ugly when the Midshipmen have an off night shooting. On Wednesday, Navy went 1-for-25 from beyond the arc in a 71-50 loss to Holy Cross. That’s just 4.0 percent. For a team that attempted at least 25 3s, it’s the worst performance since 2003, when The Citadel also went 1-for-25.

Final: Cornell 87, Wisconsin 69

March, 21, 2010
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Brain Train keeps chugging along.

Cornell didn't just win two games here in Jacksonville this weekend; it dominated them both. After a 13-point win over Temple on Friday, the 12th-seeded Ivy Leaguers destroyed No. 4 seed Wisconsin 87-69 Sunday to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history.

Cornell scored the first eight points, led by 12 at halftime and blew the doors open early in the second half. The Big Red scored more points against Wisconsin in regulation than any of the Badgers' opponents this year. They shot a sizzling 61 percent and probably could have scored 100 had they not called off the dogs late in the game.

Ryan Wittman and Louis Dale each had 24 points, while Jeff Foote and Chris Wroblewski added 12 each.

The Badgers looked dazed and confused throughout the second half, as if they couldn't believe anyone, let alone an Ivy League school, could so thoroughly dissect their defense like that. Bo Ryan even earned a technical foul during the half.

Like most people, I expected the Big Red to be good. But the level of their performance this weekend was simply astounding, and it's not crazy to suggest that they can beat No. 1 seed Kentucky in the next round.

If they play the way they did in Jacksonville this weekend, the Brain Train is going to be tough for anyone to stop.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Quick impressions of the first half here at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, where 12th-seeded Cornell leads No. 4 Wisconsin, 43-31:

  • Can't say this result is all that surprising, since Cornell was the most impressive team here Friday outside of maybe Duke. After shooting 57 percent in a first-round win over Temple, the Big Red connected on 59.3 percent in the first half against Wisconsin. This is a Badgers team that only allows 56 points per game, and Cornell is 13 points away from that figure already. The reason? Steve Donahue's team runs crisp, offensive sets, and his guys just don't miss open looks. The Big Red also look like the quicker and more athletic team, and they've hustled to keep many balls alive. Emblematic of that was a play late in the half, when Jeff Foote tipped out an offensive rebound to Chris Wroblewski, who drained a three from the top of the key. Cornell has scored 21 points off turnovers or offensive rebounds, or almost half its points so far.
  • Jon Leuer scored Wisconsin's first 12 points, and for a while it looked like he might have to carry the entire load. But Jason Bohannon chipped in seven first-half points, breaking out of a prolonged shooting slump. When he hit his first three-pointer, the Badgers fan section erupted. They know how important he is to this team as a bona fide third scoring option behind Leuer and Trevon Hughes.
  • Hughes, though, has struggled. He has five points but also five turnovers. Wisconsin as a team had only four turnovers against Wofford on Friday. Louis Dale has done a great job of slowing down Hughes's penetration, and Dale has scored eight points on the other end.
  • Like they did against Temple, the Big Red aren't getting a ton of stops, as Wisconsin shot 52.2 percent in the half. But as long as they keep making the Badgers have to score every time down to keep pace, they'll be just fine. Bo Ryan needs his team to get back to its patented suffocating defense in the second half to make a rally.