Get that morning coffee ready and let's catch up on all the news from yesterday in mid-major basketball.
- Mid-Major fans got a big boost with the announcement that the First Four (now with its own branding and not usurping the first round) will remain in Dayton through at least 2018. There had been talk of moving the site out of Dayton, who has been nothing but a gracious host over the years, and is a place where the community really supports the games. Good on the NCAA for realizing it is the best place to have the start of its premier event.
- Wofford announced that they will move to a brand new facility in 2017, named the Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium. It will feature a 3,400-seat wraparound basketball arena. The new place will lose a little of the bandbox feel the the Benjamin O. Johnson Arena currently does with its two sides of bleachers and intimidating stone walls at both ends. But overall this is a nice step up for a program that has been on the rise recently.
- The Wooden Watch List was released Monday, featuring 50 players and quite a share of mids in the midst. Ron Baker (Wichita State), Treveon Graham (VCU), Tyler Haws (BYU), R.J. Hunter (Georgia State), Kevin Pangos (Gonzaga), Wesley Saunders (Harvard), Keifer Sykes (Green Bay) and Fred Van Vleet (Wichita State) all made the list. At least a few of those should be able to hang on until the the Final 15 is announced later this season.
- Quite the night for the Big South, especially with a Winthrop win over Clemson. The Big South is normally down at the bottom of the RPI, but a few more nights like this early in the season, and we might be seeing the league get better than a 16 seed come March.
- Georgia State had a hard time with Iowa State once the Cyclones figured out how to shoot on the perimeter again. Fred Hoiberg's team is deadly from beyond the arc, and when the Panthers were able to contain that barrage, they hung close. But the difference in these two images (screen caps of ESPN's GameCast) tell the tale of the what occurred in Ames on Monday night:
- Bad night for the CAA, although none of the losers were expected to truly contend for the league crown. Delaware and Charleston were victims of the Big South's hot night. An injury-depleted Drexel squad lost to a short-handed St. Joe's despite Damion Lee scoring 23. And maybe the most talented team in the league, Hofstra, didn't look like much against North Carolina State. For a league that should be at the top of the pecking order among mid-majors, this night was a big blow.
- Despite a loss, Texas Southern played well against Indiana in Mike Davis' return to Bloomington. The Tigers are going to have to get better at shooting free throws (something that Davis' team was not very good at last season), and perhaps add better shot selection. But this is a dangerous team that no one will know because they could be winless before conference season begins.
- Karrington Ward won the night with a massive dunk against Oakland:
- Gonzaga and St. Mary's won after we all went to bed. Thankfully Will Maupin is a big night owl.
What was your takeaway from the night? Let us know