College Basketball Nation: John Roberson

Inside Tuesday's box scores

December, 9, 2009
Five things to remember from Tuesday night's action:

1. Alex Stepheson was all over the map in USC’s 51-36 win over Sacramento State. On one hand, he recorded his second career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The transfer from North Carolina added seven blocks, more than doubling his previous career-best. On the other hand, Stepheson also set a career-high with eight turnovers and did not record an assist. That is tied for the most turnovers without an assist in Division I this season.

2. In leading Texas Tech to a comeback win over TCU, John Roberson had 21 points and 10 assists for the 9-0 Red Raiders, who are off to their best start in 80 years. Roberson is the 10th player to have 20-plus points and 10-plus assists in a game this season. He has now gone for 20 and 10 twice in his career. Before him, the last Red Raider with 20 points and 10 assists in a game was Jamal Brown in 2000. Over his last three games, Roberson is averaging 20.7 ppg and 8.7 apg, while shooting 55.9 percent from the floor.

3. On Tuesday, Georgetown’s Greg Monroe did something that his predecessor in the paint, Roy Hibbert, never managed to do. Monroe notched career-highs in both points (24) and rebounds (15) in the Hoyas’ win over Butler. The last Georgetown player with a 20-15 was Mike Sweetney in 2003. Sweetney had seven such games in his career.

4. Justin Rutty did just about everything he could, but Quinnipiac fell to Rhode Island 83-74. Rutty (30 points, 15 rebounds) became the third player this season with 30-plus points and 15-plus rebounds in a game. However, Rutty is the first to do so while on the losing end of the game. The last player to lose while posting a 30-15 game was Radford’s Artsiom Parakhouski last February against Liberty.

5. Butler’s Avery Jukes fouled out in just six minutes of play against Georgetown. It was Butler’s quickest foul out this decade (Jeff James fouled out in seven minutes in 2003). If Jukes’ exit seems quick, it is. But it’s actually not the fastest this season. Four D-I players have fouled out in five or fewer minutes this season. The winner of the quickest foul-out of the season belongs to UTEP’s Wayne Portalatin, who picked up five fouls in just four minutes against Arkansas State on Nov. 21.

Will TTU become a player in the Big 12?

December, 3, 2009
OK, so who had Texas Tech undefeated through eight games?

Ummm, nobody?

Pat Knight coached a wonderful game Thursday night in leading the Red Raiders to a 99-92 victory over No. 10 Washington to jump-start the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.

Texas Tech’s John Roberson scored 25 points to lead the Red Raiders, who nearly won the game in regulation when Mike Singletary let a 3-pointer fly at the buzzer. The crowd stormed the court but the officials, led by Tom O’Neill, made the right call in sending the game into overtime.

[+] EnlargeJohn Roberson
AP Photo/Geoffrey McAllister John Roberson scored a season-high 25 points Thursday night.
This could have been the perfect way for UW to come back and snuff out the Red Raiders with momentum suddenly back in their favor. But the Raiders followed what was a poised Knight under duress to pull away and outscore the Huskies 19-12 in overtime. Texas Tech looked like it had a ball playing this game, enjoying every minute of it in playing for Knight.

But the questions going forward are these: How will Texas Tech handle the success and can the Red Raiders be a player in a loaded Big 12?

The schedule gets even tougher with TCU and Wichita State on the road next (the latter likely a harder outing than the former), home to an erratic Stanford and then at surging New Mexico to close out the month. If the Red Raiders can survive this stretch with a 3-1 record, they will be on their way toward at least a bubble-bound bid process barring a total collapse in the league. The problem is the schedule doesn’t get any easier. Right before league play begins at Oklahoma State, TTU has to take on Conference USA co-favorite UTEP.

But what we saw Thursday night is a team that won’t quit, will play scrappy and will be a tough out no matter who comes to Lubbock.

What we saw from Washington wasn’t awful, though. The Huskies were playing a true road game, a difficult one and the only one the Huskies will play in the nonconference. Washington plays a neutral site game against Georgetown on Dec. 12 in the Wooden Classic in Anaheim. U-Dub may need to win that game to get something significant on the résumé in the nonconference. A home game against Portland after the matchup with the Hoyas suddenly looks tougher after the Pilots' run to the title game in the 76 Classic in Anaheim.

Washington is still the favorite for the Pac-10 title with Cal fading and facing injury issues. But the Huskies are likely destined for a mediocre seed, even if they were to win the conference title again. The Pac-10 is heading for its worst season in maybe a quarter-century with the possibility that only two or three bids could be had come March.

Senior Quincy Pondexter has matured into a solid leader and was averaging 20 and 11 even prior to Thursday's 31-point performance at TTU. The UW guard play has to be solid with Isaiah Thomas, Venoy Overton and Abdul Gaddy, but making better decisions with passes, having better shot selection and limiting fouls (Gaddy fouled out Thursday) still must happen for the Huskies to become a more dangerous player come March.