BEYOND THE ARC | MTSU quietly making some noise

Six observations from the college basketball weekend:

Temple has one of the best freshmen in the nation in Quinton Rose. He’s a double-figure scorer who along with freshman point guard Alani Moore II has made Temple a legit championship threat in the American. The Owls were picked sixth in the preseason poll.

Middle Tennessee State has quietly built an 8-1 record after winning at Ole Miss, 77-62, last week. On Wednesday, Vanderbilt comes to Murfreesboro! Jacorey Williams, Giddy Potts and Reggie Upshaw give coach Kermit Davis three of the most dangerous weapons in Do More With Less leagues!

Tubby Smith and Memphis rely on Dedric Lawson as a dependable double-double guy. His brother KJ ain’t bad either. Combined, the Lawson brothers bring more than 36 points per game, 20 rebounds per game and 7 assists per game.

UAB has already played a tough schedule with losses against Saint Mary’s, Kansas and a win over George Washington. Next up: at Auburn, at SFA, at Memphis and at Texas! All this without star point guard Nick Norton who is out for the season with a knee injury. Once upon a time, I believed C-USA could be a potential two-bid league. If that is going to happen, the Blazers need to win these games and MTSU needs to beat Vandy and basically only have one or two losses the rest of the way.

Brown's Steven Spieth is having one of the most productive seasons in the country. While he is hardly a low-profile guy as the brother of 2015 U.S. Open and Masters champion Jordan Spieth, he flies way below the radar with other national college basketball types. NO MORE! He ranks No. 3 in Ivy League scoring with 18.9 ppg, No. 4 with 6.9 rpg, No. 3 with 56.3% on field goals, No. 2 with 4.9 apg, No. 3 with 88.1% on free throws, No. 2 with 1.8 steels, No.4 with 4.4 defensive rpg and No. 1 with 36.9 minutes per game. Those are Player of the Year numbers!

When Duquesne goes small and fast they hit their collective stride. Emile Blackman is the catalyst and Mike Lewis II a fearless freshman. The sixth best conference in the country (A10) is dangerous versus big budget opponents on every single night. The A10 has now won seven games versus P5/BE opponents.

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