Does someone want to figure out what is going on in Denton? Tony Benford has now gone a step further than just keeping the ball away from Tony Mitchell. He has now removed him from the starting lineup.
It probably wasn't the best way to tune up for the Sun Belt opener Saturday. Mitchell went 3-for-13 from the floor and while he grabbed nine rebounds and made four blocks, that is not the shooting performance you want from your star. The net result was a 72-59 loss to Texas Arlington.
We have been watching how many shots Mitchell gets on any night, and seeing what it does for North Texas' win total. So far the results have shown that this year, when Mitchell shoots, the Mean Green win. The correlation is up to 0.68 after tonight. It isn't perfect, but part of that is the lack of wins for North Texas overall.
The odd thing is that last season, Mitchell's shots total didn't mean anything in terms of winning. His importance to the team hasn't changed very much, but apparently having the ball in his hands means a lot more.
So starting Mitchell on the bench? That just doesn't make sense.
It was a nice win for Maine tonight against a Northeastern team that has been playing well to begin the season.
While the Black Bears shot well overall -- like an insanely well 59.2 percent from the floor -- a lot of the credit goes to guard Justin Edwards. In 36 minutes, Edwards was 11-for-12 from the floor, and 7-for-10 from the foul line. That was good enough for 30 points.
He even added five rebounds and three steals in the win. We have seen some impressive shooting performances so far this season, but not many where a player scored 30 and misses just one shot in the process.
At the opposite end of the shooting spectrum was DeAndre Kane, who went 5-for-20 from the floor, and 0-for-5 from three, for Marshall. Despite that, the Thundering Herd defeated Morehead State 70-67.
Beyond the shooting of Kane, the game was important in that Sean Woods returned to the sidelines tonight for the Eagles after his one game suspension.
Almost approaching the poor performance of Kane was the shooting of Devon Saddler for Delaware. Ever since the big win over Virginia, the Blue Hens just haven't been the same. Tonight it cost them against Lafayette, a team that hasn't exactly been tearing it up this year.
Saddler went 6-for-19 Wednesday night, and 3-for-10 from 3-point range. That isn't exactly going to get the job done even when Jamelle Hagins pulls in a ridiculous 23 rebounds.
Seven of those came wiping up the mess on the offensive end for Delaware. The Blue Hens shot just 29.6 percent from three and 36.2 percent overall in the loss.
This is just another bad showing for the Colonial Athletic Association, while defector Virginia Commonwealth may be the best 4-3 team in the country right now.
Weber State used a 16-2 run to beat Dayton by one Wednesday, 62-61. Kyle Tresnak led the Wildcats with 16 point and seven rebounds, but the real story is in another column on the box score.
It is hard to reconcile looking at a Weber State basketball game and not seeing a player have more than three assists.
Your presence is missed Damian Lillard.
Here is a number that should make Ivy League fans shake: 27.6. That is the shooting percentage tonight from the starters on Ivy favorite Princeton tonight.
Needless to say, that performance ended in a loss for the Tigers, a 48-42 defeat at the hands of Wagner ... in overtime. Yes, the two teams barely managed to score more than a point per minute.
As you can imagine, the Seahawks weren't exactly dead eye from the floor, other than leading scorer Jonathon Williams, who was 7-for-11 from the floor, and scored 20 points. Wagner is still hurting from missing Latif Rivers, so this is a really tough loss for the Tigers.
Ian Hummer scored just 11 points on 5 of 20 shooting in the loss.
John Templon said that we should read too much into the good/poor performances by the Northeast/Ivy tonight. I agree.
Tonight the Ivy League lost three toss-ups. The NEC won two toss-ups and pulled an upset. It shouldn't dramatically change your opinion.— John Templon (@nybuckets) November 29, 2012
I don't disagree. There has been too much shown in the opposite direction by both leagues to believe that things have turned on a single evening.
But it is an encouraging sign for the Northeast that things are beginning to come together, and it is very worrisome for the Ivy League that no team has enough firepower right now to win against even the low-major leadership.
Houston = headed for the Big East Conference
Prairie View = member of worst conference in Division 1 basketball
Prairie View > Houston ... at least for one night.
Houston lost to the Panthers, 81-80 Wednesday night. That is a tough one to swallow, considering how good that Houston has been this year and how good they have been in the past.
This isn't a johnny-come-lately. This is Houston, one of the few teams that could defeat Memphis come the conference season.
But it wasn't enough to overcome the performance put up by the Prairie View team. Jourdan DeMuynk, who scored a game-high 27 points, isn't expected to share that much of the load. But if he keeps up the performance (10-for-17, 6-for-6 FT, seven boards), he might be forced into action.