Daily Roundup: Day 13

The season rolled on Sunday with a great day of College Basketball, as the Hall of Fame Classic Championship game left us with a Top-6 matchup, while the Roman Main Event, Charleston Classic, and Myrtle Beach Invitational MTE’s wrapped up. With those events left us with some surprising results. Let’s get into the Daily Roundup breaking down all these games. 

Purdue gets signature win 

Purdue is a team that a lot of people had sung their praises coming into this year, I was one of them, although the question remained whether they could live up to their billing as a true title threat. In two excellent games against North Carolina and Villanova, the Boilermakers answered the bell and won the Hall of Fame Tip-off Classic Championship. Purdue didn’t play their best basketball, they overfed the post and got beat oftentimes defensively but when the game mattered most, the Boilermakers delivered. Zach Edey led the team with 21 points while going 9-12 from the floor, Jaden Ivey had a poor scoring game, but had a key 7 assists and made big-time athletic plays and brought the energy, Caleb Furst continues to get better and better, and Isaiah Thompson continues to look like a good option at the guard spot. This team is deep, talented, and plays well together, they should be the favorites in the Big Ten and have a chance to win it all. 

Villanova’s depth continues to be an issue

Remember what happened in the UCLA game where Villanova only played six players minutes and in overtime lost because the players were gassed. Take out the overtime part of that, and that happened again in this Purdue game. Villanova dominated for most of this game but simply ran out of gas by the end of the game, which allowed Purdue to go on a massive run to take the lead and put the game away. Villanova’s a team that relies on cutting, off-ball movement, and physical defense, and for most of the game, they did that to a tee. That said when the game was on the line, the Wildcats didn’t do any of that and went cold because of it. Villanova has to at least try to play a few more rotation pieces, even if they get beat because of it, that’s a better way to lose than running your stars to the ground all season long, while they can develop those players as well. 

Arizona makes a statement

Coming into this season, not much was known about Arizona as they had a new head coach in Tommy Lloyd and a roster that had plenty of question marks. Facing a talented Michigan team, the Wildcats went out and dominated them for 40 minutes. Christian Koloko had a game-high 22 points and was key in holding Hunter Dickinson to 11 points, while Azuolas Tubelis, Dalen Terry, and Bennedict Mathurin all scored in double figures. Add in excellent point guard play from Kerr Kriisa, who had 7 points, 7 assists, and 0 turnovers. If these types of performances continue, the Wildcats could wind up being the top contender to UCLA in the Pac-12. 

Michigan’s guard play struggles

The Wolverines lost against Seton Hall because they couldn’t hit a three-pointer and the exact same thing happened again today. They went 1-14 from three but what concerns me more with this team is that they seemed scared to shoot. Eli Brooks has been solid, but he can’t be their best player, while Hunter Dickinson struggled to get any sort of easy looks. The big issue is Caleb Houstan has been a walking brick-fest, Devante’ Jones hasn’t lived up to the Mike Smith billing, while Moussa Diabate and Brandon Johns have a long way to go. 

North Carolina defensive struggles continue

The Tar Heels have played 5 games, and they’ve allowed 80 points in 4 of those 5 games, which is less than ideal. This loss to Tennessee shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point, while Tennessee looked completely lost on that end the day before, North Carolina was the perfect get-right game. Sure, the Tar Heels will score the ball, but this game was an example of them having a not-great offensive performance, and it wasn’t really close. I still think North Carolina makes the NCAA Tournament, but struggling like this defensively will cost them games. 

Surprise freshman stands out for Tennessee

The Volunteers took care of North Carolina, winning 89-72 in a game that was never that close. Kennedy Chandler had a bounceback game, scoring 14 points and adding 8 assists, but Zakai Zeigler stole the show. He came off the bench and scored 18 points, and had a change of pace to the game, which was big for the Volunteers. Chandler will be a one-and-done, but Zeigler might be the better player for Tennessee long-term, as he should be a great 3-4 year player for this team. 

St. Bonaventure dominates Marquette to win Charleston Classic

St. Bonaventure-Marquette promised to be a fun and entertaining matchup, but this was not really all that close. The Bonnies usually wait until the second half to perform at a high level, but Marquette almost forced them to do it in the first half. Their full-court press was handled brilliantly and allowed the Bonnies to get out in transition and score with ease. This was a bad matchup for Marquette, as relying on a Bonnies team that doesn’t make mistakes to turn it over, which doesn’t work for the havoc style of defense. Marquette should still be on track to make the NCAA Tournament, but it is time to take St. Bonaventure for real. 

Utah State is the king of the beach

Utah State came from behind and beat Oklahoma 73-70 in a thrilling matchup to win the Myrtle Beach Invitational. Justin Bean had 24 points and 19 rebounds to lead this team statistically, but it was Brock Miller who nailed all the clutch shots to lift the Aggies to a win. After a loss to UC Davis, there were question marks with this team, but they have answered the bell in 5 straight games while winning an early-season tournament. 

Clemson collapses, again

The Tigers once again led by double-digits and once again came away without a victory. Over the last 14 minutes, the Tigers scored 10 points in total, which allowed the Mountaineers to come from behind and win. The Tigers still had a chance down three and then got a technical foul for having six players on the court, which essentially ended the game. These past two games indicate that it might be time for a brand new coach, as Brownell just isn’t working. 

David Roddy has signature performance 

Colorado State beating Creighton by 14 should have surprised no one, but David Roddy had a signature performance, scoring 36 points to help lead the Rams to a win. Roddy having a big game shouldn’t surprise anyone as he’s great, but the Rams look like a legitimate deep run candidate in the process. 

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