College Basketball Nation: Columbia

Daily awards: Dunham leads the way

November, 21, 2012
11/21/12
1:48
PM ET
Player of the Night (non-Jack Taylor edition) – Jeff Withey

Withey became just the fourth player in Big 12 history with 25 points and seven blocks in a game, as Kansas topped St. Louis 73-59. It’s been 10 years Colorado’s David Harrison became the last Big 12 player to pull it off. In his case, it was a triple-double. Before Harrison, both Chris Mihm and Kelvin Cato posted at least 25 points and seven blocks.

Freshman of the Night – Kellen Dunham

Dunham scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half as Butler held off a late rally to upset UNC 82-71 in Maui. In the span of less than five minutes, he connected on four 3-pointers to keep the Tar Heels at arm’s length. Dunham showed why his ESPN 100 recruiting profile called his shooting “akin to a master craftsman applying his trade.”

Strange Stat Line of the Night – Brian Barbour

Columbia stunned Villanova 75-57, to give the Lions their first win over a Big East opponent in 27 years. It came courtesy of a bizarre game from leading senior Brian Barbour. He sunk all 12 of his free throws, but went just 1-for-12 from the field. That included missing all eight of his 3s. The last player with an even more striking disparity between free throws and field goals was Vermont’s Tony Orciari in 2000. He went 0-for-10 from the field and 14-for-14 from the line in a game against Maine.

Stat Sheet Stuffer – Anthony Hickey

Hickey had something of a breakout game in LSU’s 102-95 win over Northwestern State. The sophomore guard finished with 21 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals. He’s the first SEC player to reach all of those numbers since Florida’s Corey Brewer in 2006. The last LSU player with a 20-5-5-5 game was Torris Bright in 2000.

Behind the box scores: Friday's games

March, 3, 2012
3/03/12
10:09
AM ET
A scan of the college basketball box scores each night guarantees all kinds of statistical oddities and standout performances. Here are some we found from Friday:

Delaware 72, Towson 65
Robert Nwankwo of Towson tallied 27 points and 20 rebounds in the Tigers’ CAA opening-round loss. Nwankwo is the second player to record 25-plus points and 20-plus rebounds in a loss this season (Jeronne Maymon of Tennessee being the other on Nov. 22 against Memphis).

On another note, Towson lost its 31st game of the season, breaking the Division I record for most losses in a season (according to the NCAA record book).

Harvard 77, Columbia 70 and Princeton 64, Yale 57
Blaise Stabb of Columbia and Greg Kelley of Yale each played five minutes without accumulating a single stat.
Have something you want linked? Got a new hoops blog you think we should see? Follow me on Twitter and hit me up with your stuff. Now, as always, the links:
  • Education secretary Arne Duncan, whose first name always looks weird to me when I type it -- not that I type "Arne Duncan" all that often, but still -- is hitting college basketball where it hurts: Graduation rates. This might be worthy of a longer discussion later, but Duncan's idea is to tie graduation rates to NCAA tournament admission; if you're not graduating players, you can't play in the postseason: "You had four teams that didn't graduate any African-American players. Zero. If that was my son, I don't know if I would want him playing there," Duncan said. "And why did we allow them to play in this tournament, make all this money, be on national TV, and they're not graduating any kids?" Oooh, I know! (Furiously raises hand.) Because no one actually thinks college basketball is an academic enterprise? That only the most naive college basketball viewers argue that college basketball is great because they're watching student-athletes? That, for better or worse (definitely worse), no one really cares? Is that why?
  • I have no idea who to believe in this mess, because no one -- neither Mike Garrett nor Tim Floyd -- seems particularly trustworthy.
  • Speaking of USC, women's coach Michael Cooper (yes, the Showtime Lakers Michael Cooper) issued an apology for opening a news conference with, "My opening statement is [expletive] UCLA." Hilarious! Also kind of mean, and definitely the sort of thing you have to apologize for if you plan on being a head coach at any program for very long. But still, Michael Cooper, well done. Big round of applause. You, sir, are 90 percent onions.
  • Saturday's Cornell-Columbia game at Columbia's Levien Gymnasium is sold out. Yes, a sold out Ivy League basketball game at CUNY. What? It's not like there's anything better to do in New York.
  • UCLA still believes it can improve. This is where a smart aleck like me says that at 7-10, there's no way UCLA can get worse, and so promising improvement is a little like me promising that I'll get better at blogging today: When you're this bad, there's nowhere to go but up.
  • Royce White returns! After retiring from basketball, the Minnesota forward has returned to Tubby Smith's squad at long last. White's legal issues still need to be resolved -- White plead guilty to disorderly conduct and theft for his role in a mall altercation last year, and he's still a focus of an investigation involving a stolen laptop -- but if Smith allows him, White could return to the floor soon.
  • New Orleans quit the Sun Belt, which brings the school one step closer to settling in at the Division III level. When asked for comment, one New Orleans fan screamed "Uh, OK? GO SAINNNNNTSSSSSAHHH!"
  • I like college basketball. I like ridiculous haircuts. You can find me wherever the 'twain shall meet.
  • Casual Hoya breaks down and aggregates Georgetown's huge win over Pitt last night.
  • From the ESPN file, check out Dana O'Neil's excellent look at the surprising Binghamton Bearcats, who suffered one of the worst offseasons of all-time and are somehow not only not winless, but downright competitive. Keep in mind this is a team that had to have open tryouts on campus to fill the 2009-10 squad. It's shocking, really. And speaking of Dana, IU blog Inside The Hall sat her down for a Q & A on her gig, the Hoosiers, and her current All-American picks.
  • A Sea Of Blue takes a look at Kentucky's average margin of victory in 2009-10 and compares it to years' past. Despite the occasional Wildcat letdown and Kentucky's willingness to allow inferior teams to stick around -- think Georgia at Rupp Arena, for example -- the Cats' average margin of victory compares well with the more successful of former coach Rick Pitino's teams.
  • Finally, one quick note on this nonsense: Saying regular-season games don't matter is like saying any given week of the NFL doesn't matter. By itself, no. It's just one-sixteenth, or in college basketball's case, one-thirty-second of a season. The marginal value is low. But the games matter in the aggregate. Which team wins the NCAA title has as much to do with seeding and chance as talent, and every game on the way to the tournament has tiny little reverberations and consequences for March's massive payoff. You know, just like any other sport. Decrying college basketball's regular season as nothing but entertaining TV filler seems more than a little off-base.

SPONSORED HEADLINES