* During last night’s 80-77 loss to Oregon, every possession that Kansas State swung the ball around the perimeter and took a shot without getting Michael Beasley a touch was a reason for Ernie Kent to celebrate. Beasley finished with 24 points and 12 points on 10-17 shots, far too few for a player of his caliber on a team whose strength without him rivals that of a house of cards.
Ultimately, Beasley had a chance to tie the game at the end of OT on a 24-foot three from the top of the key. But K-State should have never needed a desperation heave; actually, they should have never allowed the game to get to the extra period. Fran Fraschilla nearly lost his mind on the broadcast, telestrating the Wildcats guards’ inability to gain proper position for a post-entry pass to Beasley. And it’s not that hard. They refused to send the ball to the wing, where a bounce pass to the post would have been quite easy.
After the game, Martin was asked about his team’s young mistakes. “There’s a reason why IBM doesn’t go out and hire 18-year old high school graduates,” he told reporters. “They hire college graduates. There is a certain path that an athlete has to walk on.” I’m not really sure what path he’s alluding to here. One path might be not shooting 27 three’s with one of the nation’s best post players on the block.
* Honestly, is O.J. Mayo the best freshman at USC? He rattled off 11-straight points for the Trojans in the second half last night. But Davon Jefferson has been consistently more efficient; he posted 23 points (7-12 FG) and 9 boards in USC’s 66-55 win over Oklahoma. However, the most impressive performance last night came from OU’s Austin Johnson, who scored 13 points in 32 minutes with strep throat. “A really, really gutsy performance by him,” said Coach Jeff Capel. “He was throwing up and tried to gut through it yesterday. He did a great job for us out here tonight.”
*Gonzaga rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat St. Joe’s in overtime, 70-65, despite 24 points from Pat Calathes.
*Vandy needed two OT’s to squeeze past South Alabama, 91-88. At this time last year, the Commodores were 1-3 going into a game against Georgia Tech. “Last year around this time we were struggling,” said Shan Foster. “We started off 1-3, and at time that last year that was a big game we won. That game gave us a great amount of confidence that we could be a great team.” Foster netted 26 points on 6-11 shooting from deep, including the go-ahead bucket in the second OT.