BEYOND THE ARC | Small-budget schools flexing their muscles
Ohio State is better than last season. Why? Jae’Sean Tate is a bulldog. In fact, he has a French Bulldog named Chubbs. Chubbs can sit and shake. Jae’Sean doesn’t sit much for Thad Matta but he does shake and bake around the basket. Tate is undersized but his strength and stubbornness serve him well. JaQuan Lyle showed signs of developing into a leader. Trevor Thompson continues to show a higher ceiling and once Keita Bates-Diop gets healthy the Buckeyes will be an intriguing team.
Valparaiso’s win against BYU in Las Vegas went virtually unnoticed by the national media but not by me. (Batman) Alec Peters had 26 points and 12 rebounds and (Robin) Shane Hammink dropped 23 points on the Cougars in the 92-89 win. Valpo has a budget of $2.5 million and BYU spends $6.5 million on their program. Valpo also beat Alabama who spends $7.1 million annually on men’s basketball. That is a nice couple of wins for the Crusaders who, Do More With Less!
After Fort Wayne beat Indiana the big budget cool-aid drinking national media line was how poorly the Hoosiers played. Do these experts (P5 apologists) ever consider that maybe, just maybe Fort Wayne’s hustle, execution and talent made Indiana play poorly? Drives me NUTS!
Keon Johnson of Winthrop is 5-7 tall. Winthrop upset Illinois 84-80 in overtime last Monday night and Johnson torched the Illini with 38 points. Johnson is one of the most exciting talents in the country. He was cramping up late in the game but refused to quit. I’m a fan!
Melo Trimble averaged 24.5PPG at The Barclays Center Classic this past weekend. He has developed in to a true go-to guy and leader for the Terrapins. His full name is ROEMELO after the Wesley Snipes character, Roemelo Skuggs in the movie, "Spring Hill."
South Carolina torched the Syracuse zone with a convincing win Saturday playing in front of what was basically a home crowd for the Orange at The Barclays Center. PJ Dozier and Sindarious Thornwell were terrific as they fileted that zone. Kentucky dominates the headlines in the SEC but the new headline is that Frank Martin’s Gamecocks are legit!
Above: Melo Trimble led Maryland over Kansas State in Saturday's Barclays Center Classic championship.