College Basketball Nation: Jake Odum

Tuesday recap: Thorns, TCU trip up UNLV

February, 15, 2012
2/15/12
10:56
AM ET
Player of the Night – Hank Thorns
TCU stormed back from an 18-point deficit to beat UNLV 102-97 in overtime. Thorns posted a career-high 32 points, including eight in overtime. He also knocked down eight 3-pointers, matching the second most in school history and most since 1998. The Horned Frogs snapped a 15-game losing streak against ranked opponents.

Stat Sheet Stuffer – Jake Odum
Odum scored a career-high 34 points as Indiana State beat Illinois State 83-77 in overtime. It’s the most points in a game by a Sycamore since Marcus Stinson in 2006. He added seven assists and seven rebounds, becoming the first player to go 34-7-7 this season. Odum did most of his damage at the line, hitting 17 free throws. He’s the first player with 17 free throws and seven assists since Ben Woodside’s epic 60-point game in 2008.

Making History – Creighton Bluejays
Creighton broke a 28-year old Missouri Valley record by shooting 77.5 percent from the field in an 88-69 win over Southern Illinois. Bradley previously held the record with a 74.5 percent performance against West Texas State in 1984. It matched the 20th-best shooting performance in NCAA history and the best since Utah shot 80 percent in 2005.

Freshman of the Night – Myles Taylor
Taylor scored a career-high 31 points as Tennessee-Martin beat Kennesaw State 76-75 in overtime. The win snapped a 15-game losing streak for the Skyhawks and a 19-game losing streak against Division I opponents. Meanwhile, Kennesaw State has dropped 15 in a row.

Ugly Stat Line of the Night – Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech had a historically bad offensive performance in a 47-38 loss to Texas A&M. It was the fewest points by the Red Raiders in the shot-clock era. In fact, Texas Tech last scored under 40 in 1981 against Arkansas. Texas Tech actually led by nine at halftime, but scored only 12 in the second half. This is just the third time since the formation of the conference that a Big 12 team has failed to hit a free throw.

Behind the box scores: Tuesday's games

February, 15, 2012
2/15/12
6:40
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 Tuesday:

Creighton 88, Southern Illinois 69
Creighton shot a school- and MVC-record 77.5 percent (31-for-40) from the field in Tuesday’s win, the best shooting performance by a team in more than seven years. Utah shot 80 percent (24-for-30) against Air Force on Jan. 24, 2005. Not surprisingly, Southern Illinois’ seven defensive rebounds is a season-low for a team.

Indiana State 83, Illinois State 77
Indiana State’s Jake Odum had 34 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists in the win. He’s the first player to reach all three of those levels in a game since Cleveland State’s Norris Cole on Feb. 12, 2011 (41 pts., 20 reb., 9 ast.).

Delaware 71, Hofstra 57
Delaware’s Jarvis Threatt made 13 free throws in back-to-back games off the Blue Hens’ bench. Six substitutes have made at least 13 free throws in game this season, but Threatt is the first to do it twice.

Clemson 60, Virginia 48
Virginia made its only free throw attempt of the game in the loss. The Cavaliers are the sixth team this season to shoot no more than one free throw in a game.

CLEVELAND -- Larry Bird is not walking through that door.

Indiana State played with a lot of heart, but Syracuse was the team with a lot of size. And that made a literal huge difference.

A team with four starters 6-foot-5 and under simply can't combat the length in Syracuse's 2-3 zone without burying a bunch of 3s. Indiana State was only 7-of-21 behind the arc. Syracuse used its superior size to pull away late, making the 77-60 final score look worse than how the game actually went most of the night.

With that, the first -- whoops, make that second -- round of the NCAA tournament is officially over. Syracuse avoided another Big East loss and ensured that the two non-Dayton days ended with the top three seeds in each region advancing.

Turning point: Indiana State's best counterpunch came early in the second half, when it closed the gap to 42-38 by driving to the basket and drawing contact. The Orange then turned to their strength on offense -- going down low --- and reeled off a 9-0 run. From there, it was a methodical dismantling, as the lead never again reached single digits.

Key stat: Syracuse shot 52.3 percent and got to the free-throw line 31 times, both indicators of how its size advantage played out.

Star player: Rick Jackson was far too much of a load for the smaller Sycamores to handle. The Orange big man scored a season-high 23 points, including 9-of-11 from the free-throw line, and pulled down seven rebounds.

Miscellany: There were some very questionable whistles in the second half, and calls that went against both teams, but Indiana State seemed to get more rattled by the refs. Several Sycamores spent more time barking at the zebras than they should have. ... Indiana State guard Jake Odum has a lot of flair to his game, reminiscent of Jason "White Chocolate" Williams. He made some sweet wraparound passes in the lane and finished with six assists. He could have had more if his teammates would have finished better around the rim. Credit Syracuse's defense for that. ... Thank goodness for the George Mason-Villanova finish. The subsequent three games in Cleveland were all decided by at least 11 points.

What's next: The Orange are headed for a Big East rematch with Marquette, whom they lost to in the regular season, on Sunday. That wouldn't have happened under the old tournament rules designed to prevent conference mates from meeting this early. But with 11 Big East teams in the Big Dance, it was almost inevitable.

CLEVELAND -- Here's a look at Friday's evening action from the East Regional at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena:

No. 6 seed Xavier (24-7) vs. No. 11 Marquette (20-14), 7:27 ET (truTV)

What to watch: Two basketball-obsessed, big-city, Jesuit schools known for their outstanding guard play and March success. Yes, please. Xavier dominated the Atlantic 10 and has a legitimate superstar in guard Tu Holloway. Marquette was just 7-8 in its final 15 games but had the highest scoring attack in the Big East. If the shots are falling, the Golden Eagles can beat anyone.

Who to watch: Holloway. Marquette players saw some great guards in their league, including UConn's Kemba Walker and Providence's Marshon Brooks, and they say Holloway compares favorably. "Kemba from what I can tell is a little faster, but they both have their scoring mentality," Golden Eagles guard Jimmy Butler said. "They both can shoot it. They both get to the line extremely well, and they both run their team extremely well." Butler is no slouch, either, averaging 16 points and 6.1 rebounds as a dangerous penetrator.

Why to watch: They say guards win in March, which is a debatable cliché. But this matchup should ensure an entertaining game. These are different types of teams, though. Xavier excels on defense and has better big men than it gets credited for, while Marquette usually needs to shoot well from the outside and get to the free throw line to win. Either one could pose a difficult potential opponent for Syracuse in Round Two.

What they're saying: "I think the biggest focus for us would be the ball screen. Focus a lot on that because every possession they're going to set two to three ball screens and try to get into the paint and distribute off of a ball screen, that being a side or flat ball screen, or to the baseline or things like that. So we've got to be ready for many types of ball screens they'll throw at us." -- Butler, on the defensive keys for Marquette.

"New York is full of great point guards every year. And I was fortunate enough to play against and with Kemba. And it's not new to me what he's doing in the college basketball world. I watched him do it firsthand in the backcourt. He never had a game like that against me, I'll say." -- Holloway, on the Kemba Walker comparisons.

Of note: The Golden Eagles have made more free throws than their opponents have attempted this season. "And it's odd in a way, because they don't necessarily have Shaquille O'Neal in the low post that's drawing fouls left and right -- they do it by committee," Xavier coach Chris Mack said. "They do it by driving the basketball." ... These two teams met early last season, with Marquette winning by 10. Xavier went on to win two 2010 NCAA tournament games on Marquette's home court, the Bradley Center.

No. 3 seed Syracuse (26-7) vs. No. 14 seed Indiana State (20-13), Approx. 9:57 ET (truTV)

What to watch: If you want to boil this down to a simple storyline, it's Syracuse's size and 2-3 zone against Indiana State's four-guard attack. All but one Sycamores starter stands between 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-5, and they spread the floor with their abundance of ballhandlers and shooters. How will that work against the Orange, who shorten the court defensively with guys like Rick Jackson and Kris Joseph? In an effort to simulate Syracuse's length, Indiana State practiced against a six-man zone this week, with the sixth defender standing in the low post holding up a hockey stick. The actual game may be even more difficult. On defense, the Sycamores can switch every screen, but they could get pounded on the glass.

Who to watch: The 6-foot-10 Jackson, who was named Big East defensive player of the year, could dominate the paint. Indiana State will have to use its quickness to neutralize him. The Sycamores define balance; they have seven players averaging between six and 11 points. Point guard Jake Odum will have to get in the lane against that 2-3 zone and kick out to shooters.

Why to watch: Never underestimate the Missouri Valley champion, even in a down year for the league. Just ask Kansas last year. Syracuse's 2010 tournament run came to an end in the Sweet 16 against another mid-major from Indiana: Butler. The Orange made this year's motto "Unfinished Business" in remembrance of that defeat.

What they're saying: "[On] selection Sunday, all we know about Indiana State was Larry Bird went there. And after watching film on them and reading the scouting report, they're a good team just like us. ... And I can tell you one thing, they can all shoot. And when a team all can shoot, that's kind of tough for our zone." -- Syracuse guard Scoop Jardine.

"It's pretty hard to prepare for the type of athleticism that they have. I mean, in the [Missouri] Valley, it's very few teams that have that type of frontcourt lineup. You can't really simulate that type of stuff. It's really just about willpower." -- Indiana State swingman Carl Richard.

Of note: Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim will be coaching in his 71st NCAA tournament game. This will be the first one for Indiana State coach Greg Lansing. ... The Sycamores played in the 2000 and 2001 tournaments, but they will always be remembered as the 1979 runner-up led by Larry Bird. Lansing said the first thing he did when he came to Indiana State was to watch tapes of that '79 team to get a feel for what the heyday was like. "He wished us luck," guard Jake Kelly said of Bird. "He had some nice comments in some of the news coverage. We walk down the halls everywhere and there's pictures and stuff still. That gets us excited that somebody like Larry Bird is following us and wishing us luck."

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