College Basketball Nation: Sam Grooms

Numbers to know: Pac-12 all gobbled up

November, 25, 2011
11/25/11
12:52
PM ET
Harvard continues to roll
The newest members of the Pac-12 would probably be fine not seeing Harvard on their schedule in the near future. Last year, Colorado took an 8-1 all-time record against the Ivy League into Cambridge, but fell to Harvard 82-66. On Thanksgiving, it was Utah's turn. Harvard won 75-47, the fewest points the Utes have scored since February 2007. With multiple 10-0 runs in the first half, Harvard actually led 49-24 at halftime before resting its starters. The Crimson entered this one 1-19 all-time against current Pac-12 members. Harvard is now an impressive 6-8 against power conference schools under Tommy Amaker. Utah falls to 0-3 against Division I opponents.

More bad news for the Pac-12
It’s not often that the MAAC beats the Pac-12 despite shooting just 33.9 percent from the field. Fairfield toppled Arizona State 55-44, defeating a Pac-12 school for just the second time in school history and the first time since 1978-79. It was the Sun Devils’ lowest point total against a nonconference foe since scoring 43 against Iowa in 2003. Former Boston College starter Rakim Sanders scored a game-high 21 for the Stags. In addition to Thursday’s losses to the Ivy and MAAC, the Pac-12 has been taken down by the Big Sky, Big West and Sun Belt, among other conferences. In fact, the Pac-12 is just 24-14 against D-I schools in non-power conferences. Compare that to the Big East (57-6), Big Ten (44-2) and Big 12 (27-2).

Grooms is best man against Washington State
Not much is expected out of Oklahoma, which finished 14-16 last season and lost its top scorer in Cade Davis. But the Sooners improved to 3-0 with a 74-59 win over Washington State. It was the first-ever meeting between these schools. Sam Grooms, one of the nation’s top junior college transfers, handed out 10 assists compared to just one turnover. He’s just the second Sooner in the past seven seasons with a game of 10 or more assists and fewer than two turnovers. Tommy Mason-Griffin did it in 2009. This is when it got ugly for Oklahoma last season. After a 3-0 start, the Sooners dropped five straight games, including a loss to Chaminade.

Florida State’s defense feasts on UMass
Things had been looking good for Massachusetts, following a 4-0 start that included a drubbing of in-state rival Boston College. Then came Florida State's defense and a 73-53 loss. UMass was held to 27.9 percent shooting from the field and went 2-for-23 from 3-point range. It was their worst performance from beyond the arc since missing all 12 threes against Richmond in 2006. The starting lineup combined for a 24.3 field goal percentage, and Chaz Williams was the only Minuteman to register an assist. Florida State is holding opponents to a 32.1 field goal percentage, sixth lowest in the nation.

Clanton does it all for UCF
The line of the day belonged to UCF's Keith Clanton. In a 74-63 win over Charleston, he feasted for 28 points and 14 rebounds on 70.6 percent from the field. Clanton is averaging 24.0 points per game and 14.5 rebounds per game over the past two games. There have been 19 games of 20 or more points and 14 or more rebounds this season, but Clanton is the only player to have done it twice.

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