College Basketball Saturdays continue to be a letdown but that should only continue for a few more Saturdays. We did get a few more big games than in the past, with the Bahamas Championship providing us with some entertainment, while there were a few more big upsets early in the day. Let’s break down a few of the games that took place.
Maryland’s inconsistency apparent in loss to Louisville
Louisville won the Bahamas Championship 63-55, which is good for them but also a result of mediocre play from Maryland. The Terrapins shot 38% from the floor and went 4-14 from the floor. What may be the most frustrating part of this loss was this team’s inconsistent play. Donta Scott had 14, but star guards Eric Ayala and Fatts Russell combined for 20 points, which is not enough. Qudus Wahab had 7 points, Hakim Hart, who had 24 on Thursday, scored only 2. This team doesn’t run any sort of good offense and doesn’t score to what they should. This Tournament should’ve been a walkthrough for them, but after struggling against Richmond, they fell victim to a loss to a mediocre Louisville team,
St. Bonaventure’s first-half struggles catch up with them
In four of the Bonnies’ five wins, they were trailing by significant margins, so when they fell down to Northern Iowa by double digits, everything seemed normal. That said, going down double digits isn’t a reliable way to go about winning and it showed as they lost to Northern Iowa. In this game, the Bonnies made their runs but unlike all their other opponents, they had answers. They play again on Wednesday, hopefully, this time the Bonnies start out by getting the lead early on.
Rutgers improves offensively but still falls
While Rutgers lost to Umass on a buzzer-beating three from Noah Fernandes, they still showed some improvement. They scored a season-high 83 points and that was without Geo Baker. When Baker returns, I might suggest having Mulchahy run the offense, while Baker and Harper create off the ball, also keeping Jaden Jones in the starting lineup might be a good idea. I don’t think they’ll be able to get back in the bubble conversation, but at least they’re moving in the right direction.
Cincinnati takes buy game loss to Monmouth
Following a good performance in Kansas City at the Hall of Fame Classic, the Bearcats return home went less than swell as they lost to Monmouth. While Monmouth is a good mid-major team that has former high major players like Walker Miller and Shavar Reynolds, they still should have taken care of business. The main culprit of this was the offense, which shot 37% from the floor and they went 4-28 from the perimeter. For Cincinnati, they will hope to have better shooting in their next game to avoid these types of losses.
Santa Clara needs Josip Vrankic back
Santa Clara has lost back-to-back games to Fresno State and UC Irvine, but a common theme applies in that Josip Vrankic wasn’t available for either game. Justice, Williams, and Pipes all scored in double figures but this team isn’t all that deep. If one of their stars can’t go, the team won’t have a ton of success and there’s not much more to it than that.