Iowa State, top-10 staff?
It’d look a bit off at first look, however the Cyclones are enjoying in addition to anybody in males’s school basketball exterior the highest three or 4 groups within the nation — they usually’re shortly constructing the kind of résumé to again that up.
Everyone knows about Hilton Magic and Iowa State’s potential on its residence courtroom. The Cyclones personal wins over Houston and Kansas in Ames this season, after Saturday’s 79-75 victory over the Jayhawks. However additionally they beat TCU by one on the Horned Frogs’ flooring earlier this month. They now have three Quadrant 1 wins, and 6 general in opposition to Quadrants 1 and a pair of. And within the three weeks since their loss at Oklahoma within the Massive 12 opener, they’re fourth within the nation in adjusted effectivity margin at BartTorvik.com.
Their metrics are additionally deserving of top-10 buzz. Iowa State is as much as No. 10 within the NET, No. 12 at KenPom, No. 7 at BPI and No. 14 in ESPN’s energy of report.
And the way about this nugget? Iowa State’s win over Kansas was its eighth AP top-10 win up to now two years; in accordance with ESPN Stats & Info, that is probably the most of any staff within the nation throughout that span.
May all of it come crashing down with street video games at Baylor, Texas, Cincinnati and Houston within the subsequent three weeks? Certain, however Iowa State has significantly exceeded expectations up to now, and its top-10 spot on this week’s Energy Rankings is indicative of the Cyclones’ efficiency.
On to this week’s awards and rankings …
Meechie Johnson Jr.’s brand 3 caps South Carolina’s upset of No. 6 Kentucky
Meechie Johnson Jr. splashes a 3 from close to the brand to seal the upset win for South Carolina.
Lamont Paris may be the favourite for Coach of the 12 months nationally. He is taken a South Carolina staff picked 14th within the SEC preseason ballot to the brink of the highest 25 after this week’s two wins improved the Gamecocks to 17-3 general and 5-2 in league play. The stunner was the staff’s 79-62 blowout win over Kentucky, which was ranked within the high 5 getting into the week and appeared each bit like a real Closing 4 contender. However South Carolina ended the primary half on a 17-4 run after which rolled within the second half. Ta’Lon Cooper led the way in which with 20 factors. The Gamecocks adopted that up with a 72-64 win over Missouri, sealing the sport late with free throws. B.J. Mack paced the staff with 21 factors.
Keep in mind, this can be a staff that went 11-21 final season (4-14 within the SEC) after which misplaced freshman star G.G. Jackson to the NBA. Paris has labored wonders this marketing campaign and has South Carolina in place to make the NCAA match for the primary time since 2017.
It has been an extended three seasons for Oregon State, however the Beavers simply had their finest week of that interval, beating Arizona and Arizona State — and it was Pope who led the way in which for Wayne Tinkle. The sophomore guard went for 31 factors and 5 assists in opposition to Arizona, together with the game-winning 3-pointer on the buzzer. He wasn’t fairly as prolific in opposition to ASU, however nonetheless had an environment friendly 19 factors and 6 dimes.
JORDAN POPE AT THE BUZZER!
Oregon State takes down No. 9 Arizona in thrilling trend!pic.twitter.com/CgrXQsVji5
— Warmth Test CBB (@HeatCheckCBB) January 26, 2024
Boo Buie, in the meantime, has established himself as probably the greatest big-game gamers within the nation, particularly down the stretch, and he did it once more in opposition to Illinois on Wednesday. Buie completed with 29 factors — eight of which got here in additional time — and 7 assists. He adopted that up with 19 factors, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in a straightforward win over Ohio State on Saturday. The Wildcats are actually 15-5 general and 6-3 in Massive Ten play, and Buie is enjoying like one of many elite guards within the nation.
Richmond upsets No. 16 Dayton and the followers storm the courtroom
Richmond ahead Dji Bailey throws down a late dunk to ice the win over No. 16 Dayton resulting in a courtroom storm.
Dayton entered the weekend with the longest successful streak in males’s school basketball, a possible All-America ahead in DaRon Holmes II and appeared just like the clear favourite within the Atlantic 10. It exited Saturday in second place after struggling its first loss since Nov. 19. In defeating the Flyers, Richmond received its tenth recreation in a row to stay unbeaten within the league. This was a battle between the league’s finest offense and the league’s finest protection. The Spiders held the Flyers to 33.9% taking pictures from the sector and their fewest factors per possession of the marketing campaign. Coach Chris Mooney’s protection additionally restricted Holmes to 9 factors on 2-for-12 taking pictures.
Richmond was picked eleventh within the preseason Atlantic 10 ballot, however the Spiders — behind East Tennessee State switch Jordan King, who’s averaging higher than 19 factors per recreation and had 17 in opposition to Dayton — are atop the league.
Excessive Level Panthers vs. South Carolina Upstate Spartans: Full Highlights
Excessive Level Panthers vs. South Carolina Upstate Spartans: Full Highlights
In a season with a number of first-year head coaches doing outstanding jobs, Huss is close to the highest of the checklist. Excessive Level was picked seventh within the nine-team Massive South preseason ballot after ending beneath .500 in league play in every of the previous 4 seasons. Nonetheless, the Panthers improved to 18-4 on the season after erasing a 17-point second-half deficit on the street at Winthrop on Saturday. They’re 7-0 in convention play and are tied for the nation’s second-longest successful streak (10).
Huss spent the previous six seasons as an assistant coach beneath Greg McDermott at Creighton, so the Panthers’ offensive prowess should not come as a shock. Whereas we’re speaking Excessive Level, it might be negligent to not point out guard Kezza Giffa, who has emerged as probably the greatest mid-major scorers within the nation because the calendar flipped to 2024. He had 37 factors within the win over Winthrop on Saturday and is averaging 29.7 factors in three video games as a starter.
Three groups with questions
Villanova Wildcats: After successful 4 in a row across the flip of the brand new yr, Villanova has now misplaced 5 of its final six video games to drop to 11-9 general and 4-5 within the Massive East. Tuesday’s residence recreation in opposition to Marquette has now primarily was a must-win state of affairs for Kyle Neptune’s staff.
Ohio State Buckeyes: The Buckeyes are in disarray. They have been steamrolled this previous week by Nebraska and Northwestern, falling to 3-6 in Massive Ten play, with defeats in 5 of their final six video games. OSU has additionally now misplaced 14 consecutive street video games relationship again to final season.
Utah Utes: The house/street splits for Utah in Pac-12 play are alarming. The Utes are 5-0 at residence however are actually 0-5 on the street after getting drilled by Washington State and Washington by a mixed 47 factors this previous week. They’ve misplaced 5 of their previous eight video games general getting into an important two-game stretch in opposition to Colorado and Arizona.
One space during which the Huskies hadn’t been fairly as dominant this season as a yr in the past was the defensive finish. However once they lock in, like they did in opposition to Creighton and Xavier up to now couple of weeks, they will completely suffocate groups with dimension, size and stress. They held the Bluejays to 0.78 factors per possession on Jan. 17, and the Musketeers scored simply seven factors by the primary 14-plus minutes Sunday and completed with simply 56 in a 43-point loss. It was one of the crucial dominant performances of UConn’s total Massive East tenure.
If there was per week to point out the influence of Southern Illinois switch Lance Jones, it was this one. Towards Michigan, Jones made 5 3-pointers and led the staff with 24 factors. Towards Rutgers 5 days later, he actually struggled to shoot the ball, scoring 4 factors on 1-for-10 taking pictures — however nonetheless grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out eight assists and racked up 5 steals. He makes a distinction at each ends of the ground and supplies a dimension the Boilermakers have not had the final couple of seasons.
Elliott Cadeau crosses his defender for slick bucket
Elliott Cadeau works previous his defender and finds a crease inside to bury the UNC bucket.
RJ Davis has clearly established himself as the very best guard within the nation — and his 36 factors in opposition to Wake Forest on Monday affirmed it — however it’s been the latest play of Elliot Cadeau that might take the Tar Heels to a different degree. The five-star freshman is enjoying his finest basketball of the season. He had 14 factors and three assists within the win over the Demon Deacons, then adopted it up with a career-high 16 factors and 6 assists within the win over Florida State. Cadeau sparked the early second-half run that turned the sport round for Carolina.
Dalton Knecht‘s All-America case will get stronger with each recreation, and there is additionally a case to be made that he is a high two or three Picket Award candidate. Sadly for Knecht, Zach Edey exists and goes to be the runaway participant of the yr, however that should not diminish what the Northern Colorado switch has executed. He is averaging 32.0 factors and 5.6 rebounds in his previous 5 video games, taking pictures 47.2% from 3. Knecht had one other 32 in opposition to Vanderbilt on Saturday.
Jamal Shead drains a formidable up-and-under bucket for Houston
Jamal Shead is clean as silk as he knocks down a clean up-and-under bucket for the Cougars.
Houston has shaken off its two-game shedding streak to seize 4 wins in a row, together with a formidable street victory at BYU on Tuesday. Jamal Shead has been one of many premier guards within the nation all season, however he wasn’t at his finest through the losses, totaling eight assists and 6 turnovers and taking pictures 2-for-11 from 3. Shead has bounced again, nonetheless, averaging 18.0 factors, 5.5 assists and simply 1.5 turnovers since. He is additionally taking pictures 43.8% from 3 over the previous 4 video games.
When AJ Storr transferred to Wisconsin from St. John’s final spring, there was some query as as to whether he would be capable of break right into a lineup that returned all 5 starters. Connor Essegian‘s early struggles made it simpler than anticipated, however Storr has been a starter since day one and has supplied a dimension Greg Gard’s offense has lacked for a number of years. He is solely gotten higher because the season has progressed, capped this previous week by 15 factors and 12 boards in opposition to Minnesota after which a 28-point efficiency in opposition to Michigan State.
Tyler Kolek‘s struggles of early January — when he totaled seven factors and shot 2-for-19 in two losses — seem to be a lifetime in the past. Throughout Marquette’s four-game successful streak because the residence loss to Butler, Kolek has totaled 40 assists to only 12 turnovers, whereas averaging 15.5 factors, regardless of Saturday’s four-point effort in opposition to Seton Hall. The emergence of David Joplin has additionally helped overcome the accidents to Chase Ross and Sean Jones. In his final three video games, Joplin is averaging 18.0 factors and taking pictures 12-for-23 from 3-point vary.
No. 6 Kentucky earns gritty street win at Arkansas
The Wildcats depend on protection after opening the night time by lacking 16 of their first 17 photographs, rallying to win 63-57 over the Razorbacks at Bud Walton Area.
Kentucky had its two worst offensive performances since early December this previous week, scoring 62 factors in a 17-point loss at South Carolina after which going for 63 factors in a six-point win over Arkansas. The Gamecocks did job of conserving the Wildcats out of transition, forcing them to make performs within the half courtroom, and Kentucky taking pictures 4-for-13 from 3-point vary could not make up for it. Rob Dillingham‘s absence damage on Saturday in opposition to Arkansas, however the Wildcats had their finest defensive displaying because the season opener, holding the Razorbacks to 0.81 factors per possession.
Whereas Duke is 3-1 in its previous 4 video games, the Blue Devils throughout that stretch haven’t appeared like a staff able to making a deep run in March. They needed to come again to beat Georgia Tech, misplaced at residence to Pitt, appeared underwhelming in opposition to a dreadful Louisville staff after which escaped after a late foul name in opposition to Clemson. Defensively, there have been actual points. They’ve allowed no less than 1.03 factors per possession in every of these video games they usually’re struggling to place stress on the ball. Pitt, Louisville and Clemson mixed for simply 27 turnovers.
Iowa State did not beat Kansas with its protection or its potential to power turnovers. The Cyclones uncharacteristically made 14 3-pointers, together with 9 after halftime. It was probably the most 3s they’ve made since pulling down 16 in a loss at Oklahoma within the 2020-21 season. Even when it does not come within the type of trifectas, coach T.J. Otzelberger is beginning to get constant manufacturing from his backcourt. Curtis Jones is averaging 16.7 factors in his previous three video games, whereas Keshon Gilbert has scored no less than 15 factors in 4 straight after scoring 10 or fewer in six straight.
Caleb Love cashes lengthy 3-pointer
Caleb Love cashes lengthy 3-pointer
The significance of Arizona’s win at Oregon on Saturday cannot be overstated. The Wildcats have been coming off a loss on the buzzer at Oregon State, have been simply 6-5 of their previous 11 video games and would have risked falling out of first place within the Pac-12. However Caleb Love‘s career-high 36 factors carried Arizona to a win. Their defensive performances on the street are nonetheless troubling: they’re eighth in adjusted defensive effectivity in Pac-12 play away from residence, in accordance with BartTorvik.com.
Kansas has now misplaced three of its previous six video games, dropping to 4-3 within the Massive 12 — tied for the Jayhawks’ worst begin in league play beneath Invoice Self. For the primary half of the season, it was simple to level to their lack of a constant fifth possibility once they have been struggling. However the latest downturn in type has occurred as Johnny Furphy was thrust into the beginning lineup and have become a constant perimeter shooter. Kansas’ protection has been inconsistent in league play, and it has additionally fallen sufferer to variance in sure instances, with West Virginia and Iowa State combining to make 26 3-pointers.
Since beginning 0-2 in Massive East play and shedding three of 4 to finish December, CU has received seven of its previous eight, with the lone loss coming at UConn. The Bluejays’ 3-point taking pictures has gotten again on monitor up to now three video games, with them making 12 every within the wins over Seton Hall, Xavier and DePaul. Earlier than these, they have been held to eight or fewer 3s in seven of the earlier 9 video games. Trey Alexander has additionally returned to his early-season type, averaging 24.3 factors in his previous three outings, to go together with 7.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists.
This week was all the time going to be an illuminating one for the Tigers, who had received 11 straight video games however hadn’t actually been examined on the street in opposition to a tournament-caliber staff. They usually responded with two shut losses to Alabama and Mississippi State. It was Auburn’s offense that struggled each occasions. The Tigers shot simply 11-for-49 from 3-point vary and actually struggled to complete on the rim in opposition to Mississippi State, lacking 9 layups.
Terrence Shannon Jr.‘s return from his six-game suspension was anticipated to shake Illinois out of its up-and-down few weeks and get the Combating Illini enjoying the way in which they have been for the primary two months of the season. However Shannon hasn’t been fairly as efficient offensively. He is nonetheless averaging 13.3 factors in his three video games again, however he is actually struggling to shoot the ball, going simply 1-for-14 from 3.
Utah State ends the week atop the Mountain West after occurring the street and beating Boise State in additional time. The Aggies are actually 7-2 in opposition to Quadrants 1 and a pair of; solely six groups have extra wins in opposition to the highest two quadrants than Danny Sprinkle’s staff. They’re working at an extremely excessive fee on the offensive finish, scoring no less than 1.09 factors per possession in each Mountain West recreation up to now, scoring 1.19 factors per possession by seven league video games.
Within the ready room
Texas Tech Red Raiders: Grant McCasland is doing a unbelievable job in 12 months 1 in Lubbock, guiding the Pink Raiders to the highest of the Massive 12 after Saturday’s street win at Oklahoma. They’ve misplaced only one recreation since November — and that was a street tilt at Houston. Chance McMillian, who led the way in which with 27 factors Saturday, has hit double figures in seven of his final 10 video games.
Alabama Crimson Tide: Nate Oats’ staff picked up its greatest win of the season on Wednesday, holding off Auburn down the stretch for a four-point victory. The Tide have now received eight of their previous 9 video games and have a report extra in step with their lofty metrics. They’ve additionally made no less than 10 3s in all eight of these wins, with the lone loss coming once they shot 4-for-21 from 3 in opposition to Tennessee Volunteers.
Baylor Bears: It has been robust loss after robust loss for the Bears over the previous two weeks, with three defeats by a mixed 9 factors in 4 overtimes. The most recent was a triple-overtime loss at residence to TCU, the place the Bears’ downturn in 3-point taking pictures continued with a 5-for-22 displaying. They’re down to only 29.2% in league play regardless of taking pictures it at 41% for the season.