What everyone will be talking about over their morning coffee:
Kethan Savage helped power George Washington to yet another win, this time a 70-60 win over Boston University that helps cement the Colonials place in the mid-major world. Savage had 22 points, eight boards and four assists in the win that our Jimmy Kelly did a nice job of recapping.
But here is what stuck out to me about the game in retrospect.
- BU committed 24 fouls, and sent George Washington to the line 31 times. Of those, 27 of the free throws were taken by two players: Savage and Joe McDonald. Meanwhile, the Terriers too just eight free throws of their own and made just five.
- D.J. Irving made five of the 11 Boston University 3-pointers. The triples account for half the makes that the Terriers made from the field. This just seems very dependent on the 3-pointer in order to get any production in this game, and that is a scary thought when you go against such a tougher, more aggressive teams.
- Neither team shot 40 percent from the floor, which is either great defense or poor shooting. I am going to go with a combination of both in this game.
Side of bacon:
We have placed a lot of love on Harvard this season, and then there has been this Princeton team on the side that has really exceeded in its early season success. The Tigers are three points away, against Butler, from an undefeated season and maybe receiving some love on a wider scale.
The Tigers have wins against Louisiana-Lafayette, and Rice, and George Mason, and Bucknell; maybe that isn't anything eye-popping, but it is taking out at least two teams in that list that are expected to be pretty good this season.
And now add Rutgers to that list, a team that isn't looking to be very good this season. But it is another win, and keeps Princeton on track for the next few games, ones that look a little more difficult to continue the streak.
Do we think that Priceton can take out Penn State, a surprising Pacific team (more Tigers!), Portland and Kent State? That would be quite a run if they did go 4-0, and they would enter conference season neck-in-neck with Harvard.
I can't wait to see T.J. Bray (23 points, 8 assists) face down against the Harvard guards and see if his scoring ability (currently over 70 percent in effective shooting percentage, and an ORat of 143.7) can hold up to the very skilled backcourt for the Crimson.
I think they may have earned a place in my Mid-Major Madness Power 15.
- Marshall Bjorklund really stepped up last season was missing from the North Dakota State lineup due to injury. He has continued that effort this year, and was a key factor in the Bison's 73-69 win over Notre Dame. The Irish didn't have much inside to contend with Bjorklund who finished with 26 points, five rebounds and four assists in the win. He was paced by Lawrence Alexander who finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds, while Taylor Braun had the deciding free throws to put the game away, part of his 3 points. The Bison certainly have their share of nice wins this year, but also a few head-scratching losses. It could be that they just don't have the production that they need off the bench to win. But they certainly have a trio of strong players who will help lead them in the Summit this year.
- Arizona took down New Mexico State with a 74-48 win. The most entertaining part of this blowout was seeing the size discrepancy between the big men in the post, put best by The Sporting News' Michael DeCourcy:
Bhullar makes Tarczewski look like a little kid. Goodness.— Michael DeCourcy (@tsnmike) December 12, 2013
Kaleb Tarczewski is 7-0, 235. Very little kid like.
- Bowling Green got past the North Dakota no-names with a 79-69 win thanks to Richaun Holmes, who had quite a big night. The junior had 21 points, 14 boards and seven blocks in the win. Just the seven blocks along might have gotten him a mention any night of the year. Doing the rest along with it is even more impressive. The Falcons opened a 13-point lead in this one and never let North Dakota within five the rest of the way.