College Basketball Nation: Michael Glover

Let’s just call this the Mike Scott list. Scott’s supporters are quick to say that he’s the most underrated player in America. But he’s not alone.

Multiple players aren’t getting enough national love, either.

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    Jim Z Rider/US PresswireIt's been no surprise this season that Mike Scott gets the ball when Virginia needs a bucket.
  1. Mike Scott (Virginia) -- He’s averaging 16.6 ppg and 8.7 rpg. He’s ranked third in Ken Pomeroy’s offensive efficiency ratings (at least 28% of possessions used). Yes, Scott deserves more praise. But Virginia’s slow pace and a lukewarm performance in Sunday’s 47-45 loss to Virginia Tech (10 points, six rebounds, three turnovers) won’t help his cause.
  2. Robbie Hummel (Purdue) -- He’s the best comeback story in America. After tearing the same ACL twice and missing nearly two years of competitive basketball, Hummel (15.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg) regained his post as Purdue’s star this season. His team is 4-4 in Big Ten play and contending for an NCAA tournament slot.
  3. Darius Johnson-Odom/Jae Crowder (Marquette) -- I couldn’t pick one. Johnson-Odom, a 6-2 guard, is averaging 18.1 ppg for a Marquette team that’s won five in a row. And he’s shooting 40 percent from 3-point range. His teammate, 6-6 forward Crowder, could use some more buzz, too. He’s averaging 16.2 ppg and 7.2 rpg.
  4. Michael Glover (Iona) -- Teammate Scott Machado made the Wooden Award’s midseason list. But Glover, a 6-7 forward, might be the most important player for the Gaels. He’s recorded eight double-doubles this season. Remember this name in March.
  5. Mike Moser (UNLV) -- His numbers are legit (14.2 ppg and 11.7 rpb). He scored 16 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in UNLV’s Nov. 26 win over North Carolina. If UNLV wins the Mountain West, Moser will get more credit. But he has to show up in every game (3-for-11 at San Diego State, four points at Wisconsin).
  6. Kevin Jones (West Virginia) -- Even in a bad game for his team (West Virginia suffered a 78-62 loss at St. John’s Wednesday night), Jones was a monster (26 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, two blocks). He’s averaging 20.9 ppg and 11.6 rpg for a young team. The folks clamoring for Jones to get more love in the national player of the year conversation … they’re right.
  7. Hollis Thompson (Georgetown) -- No surprise: John Thompson III doesn’t get enough consideration for coach of the year. His team doesn’t get the proper respect, either. You could pick a few players from this roster. But Thompson (14.2 ppg, 50.6 percent from beyond the arc, 61.9 effective field goal percentage) has been a major factor in Big East play. He’s not a highlight machine. Just a ballplayer. Appreciate it.
  8. Rodney McGruder (Kansas State) -- The Wildcats lost three of their first four Big 12 games. But they’ve won their past three with McGruder (15.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg) having scored 60 points during the streak.
  9. Dominique Morrison (Oral Roberts) -- Ever heard of him? You will. The senior is averaging 20.3 ppg for an Oral Roberts squad that’s won 11 straight. But the Golden Eagles are ranked 70th in Ken Pomeroy’s ratings. Still, this is a dangerous team that continues to improve.
  10. C.J. Aiken (Saint Joseph’s) -- Saint Joseph’s has the top field goal percentage defense in the Atlantic 10 (38.8 percent). It helps to have a guy like Aiken (4.3 bpg, second in America) who alters so many shots. The 6-9 sophomore has also found a rhythm on offense (11.5 ppg, 58.3 field goal percentage).
A little advice for Iona’s upcoming opponents: Don’t leave forward Randy Dezouvre open in late-game situations. Ever.

The senior sealed Iona’s dramatic 80-78 overtime win at Denver on Wednesday night by drilling a 19-footer with 1.6 seconds remaining in the extra period of a battle between two of the nation’s top mid-majors.

Scott Machado drove to the bucket, Denver’s Chase Hallam followed him and teammate Chris Udofia went to help. Machado found Dezouvre open near the top of the key, where the Montreal native hit the game-winner.

Coaches and players weren’t surprised. Dezouvre has been a clutch player in Iona’s practices.

The day before the Denver game, Machado’s practice squad lost an intrasquad scrimmage after Dezouvre hit the winner for the opposing team. And that wasn’t the first time.

“He’s hit that shot four times, at least, to win the game in practice,” Machado told ESPN.com. “He’s consistently doing that.”

Dezouvre said he had a flashback after he hit the game-winner Wednesday. But it wasn’t tied to a clutch shot he’d hit in practice.

In 2009, his Monroe College (N.Y.) squad was down by one in overtime with eight seconds to play against junior college power Southern Idaho. Dezouvre found space in the corner and hit the game-winning 3-pointer.

“One of the guards drove and I was open for the 3,” Dezouvre said about the 2009 matchup in Las Vegas. “It was real similar [to Wednesday night].”

Dezouvre is averaging just 5.0 points per game off the bench. But his clutch performance points to Iona’s surprising depth.

“MoMo” Jones, Michael Glover and Machado comprise the most talented trio in the mid-major ranks. But they get help from a solid bench, coach Tim Cluess said.

“That’s what makes us good, we do have more depth,” he said.

Cluess said he was disappointed by his team’s energy level Wednesday. The Gaels were down by 13 in the second half. They committed 19 turnovers and recorded 11 assists. They entered Wednesday’s game leading the nation in assists with more than 21 per game.

But Cluess also said he was proud of the way his team fought on the road, a point buttressed by its willingness to fight off a second-half deficit and finish strong in overtime.

And now he knows what to do whenever the game is on the line.

“We’ll just throw [Dezouvre] the ball from anywhere,” Cluess joked.

Or maybe, he wasn’t joking.

3-point shots: Would SEC kill KU-Mizzou?

October, 21, 2011
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1. Amid speculation of Missouri possibly leaving for the SEC, Kansas coach Bill Self reiterated that he sees no need to continue the Missouri-Kansas rivalry if the two teams aren’t in the same league. “I don’t feel any obligation to play Missouri,’’ said Self at Thursday’s Big 12 media day in Kansas City. “The Missouri fans want us to play, but I’m not sure Kansas fans care. If they’re not in our league then we should do what’s best for us. If it’s to play them in the Sprint Center, then so be it. But I’m not sure that will be the case.’’

2. Iona and Fairfield should have one of the best conference title races in the country now that Lamont Jones has been granted a waiver to play this season without sitting out after transferring from Arizona. The Gaels have quite a trio with Jones, Michael Glover and Scott Machado to go against Fairfield’s Derek Needham and Rakim Sanders. Don’t be shocked to see the winner of the MAAC as a team capable of pulling an upset in the NCAA tournament.

3. Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson said Thursday that the Tigers have sold 18,000 season tickets. He said he has to keep 700 tickets available for opposing teams and a few others that the department can sell on gameday. This figure speaks volumes about to the interest in college basketball in Memphis, where coach Josh Pastner says there's as much pressure to win as any top-10 gig. Johnson can’t get a return call from the Big East so clearly the Tigers aren’t on the league's wish list. But the Tigers’ fans clearly are showing their commitment, as they always have. Memphis is the pick to win Conference USA and was ranked No. 9 in the country in the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll released Thursday.

Video: Fraschilla on the mid-major scene

September, 22, 2011
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Fran Fraschilla on some of the top mid-major teams and players he's looking forward to seeing this season.

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