BANG FOR THEIR BUCKS
The week started with a bang as teams from the ASN family of schools won games on the road against big budget opponents:
- Northeastern ($2.7M) 81, Michigan State ($10.7M) 73
- Gardner-Webb ($1.2M) 70, Nebraska ($6.5M) 62
SMU drilled Stanford and was up 30 in the first half. This is a team that starts five guys in the 6-6 to 6-8 range. Tim Jankovich’s Mustangs are hard to guard. The next night Semi Ojeleye went for 28 points as the Mustangs beat Albany as SMU ran their record to 10-3 with back to back home wins on consecutive nights before their Christmas break.
UNC Asheville nearly knocked off Ohio State in Columbus but came up short. Mark my words and keep your eye on Macio Teague for the Bulldogs. Teague was the best player on the court with 23 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists in their 79-77 loss.
THREE 3-LOSS TEAMS TO WATCH
• Dayton gutted out a home win over Vanderbilt and then beat VMI to run their non-conference record to 9-3. Archie Miller has needed duct tape and bailing wire to keep this team on a winning path. It doesn’t hurt to have multi-talented Charles Cooke in your lineup. If Josh Cunningham can return 100% this team could make a deep tournament run.
• Louisiana is 10-3 after beating Pepperdine to close out their non-conference slate. Bryce Washington went for a 19 points and 10 rebounds and Jay Wright scored 18 points in a 90-64 win.
• UT Arlington also continues to win. The Mavs are 10-3 headed in to Sun Belt action. Kevin Hervey had another double-double (14 points, 13 rebounds) as he appears to be inching closer to 100% after a knee injury suffered last season.
• The Sun Belt will be more like the Fun Belt this season with Louisiana, Arkansas State, Little Rock and UT Arlington all posting impressive non-conference records. I like UT Arlington in a wild league race.
• St. Bonaventure's Jaylen Adams is building a strong Player of the Year resume in the Atlantic 10. Adams went on the offensive in a 92-83 win against Army last week with 31 points and 10 assists. The next game his backcourt mate, Matt Mobley, went for 33 points in a 106-101 loss to Canisius. The Bonnies have backcourt firepower.
• Marquise Moore celebrated his 22nd birthday in style as George Mason kept on rolling. Moore went for 20 points and 17 rebounds along with 3 assists and four blocked shots in Mason’s ninth consecutive win, 75-59 against Prairie View.