Tuesday Thoughts

By Josh Herwitt - January 15, 2008

Here are some quick thoughts from around the nation on this Tuesday evening in the middle of the conference season:

After missing Saturday's game against Georgetown, longtime UConn coach Jim Calhoun was absent from practice Monday due to flu-like symptoms, but it's still unknown if the 65-year-old will be feeling well enough to take the court Thursday when the Huskies host Providence.

With Monday night's loss to Pittsburgh, No. 5 Georgetown is showing that it's clearly not the Final Four team that some expected it to be back in October and November. The Hoyas, in fact, aren't nearly the same they were a year ago with Seattle Supersonic Jeff Green. That's because John Thompson III doesn't have a go-to guy like Green that can take over a game and make big shots at critical junctures. As good as DaJuan Summers is as only a sophomore, he still has some maturing to do before he can become the next leader for Thompson's program. The forward from Baltimore, who averages 11 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, really struggled against the Panthers, going 0-for-7 from the floor and finishing with 0 points, four rebounds and five assists before fouling out in 24 minutes.

I apologize in advance to all the Sooner fans out there, but what's going on in Norman? I've got a chance this year to see Jeff Capel's team play three games in person and watched Monday night's disaster at No. 3 Kansas. Sure, Bill Self's team is deep and as talented as ever -- and that's why they're still undefeated -- but no "NCAA Tournament-bound" team should be getting blown out by 30 in a conference game. And now, freshman forward Blake Griffin, who leads Oklahoma in scoring and rebounding at 15.4 points and 9.1 rebounds, could miss up to four weeks after spraining a ligament in his left knee against the Jayhawks last night. Griffin's sprained MCL, however, will not need surgery, according head coach Jeff Capel, and that could mean good things in the end for the Sooners, who play host to Texas Tech on Saturday.

Ir's hard to imagine that Patrick Beverly actually led Arkansas in rebounding against Alabama Sunday, but he did. The 6-foot-1 guard, however, dislocated his jaw in the overtime win over the Crimson Tide before sitting out nearly 10 minutes in the second half. Despite the fact that it's been tough for Beverly to eat, the 2006-07 SEC Freshman of the Year should play in the Razorbacks' SEC matchup with South Carolina Wednesday night.

Oh, those Miami Hurricanes. Yes, those same Hurricanes who started the season at 12-0 looked like a different team Tuesday night in a 76-66 loss at Boston College. Or maybe it's the Eagles, who earned their 13th consecutive over the 'Canes. Either way, Tyrelle Blair dominated the paint against Frank Haith's team, swatting away five shots to go along with 11 points and 12 rebounds, and Rakim Sanders dropped in 20 as BC scored 14 of the game's first 16 points. Miami, the ACC's three-point percentage leader on the other hand, managed to make just eight of 26 threes and made only one of its first 15 shots to start the game. But for as bad the No. 21-ranked Hurricanes played, you have to give credit to Jack McClinton, who didn't sugarcoat the loss but instead pointed to the team's lack of intensity. "We came out with a nonchalant attitude and didn't execute as well as we should have," the junior guard said. "That attitude put us in a hole. It's on us. There's really nothing the coaches can do. We have to prepare for the challenge." With Saturday's game at struggling N.C. State, who suffered its own loss Tuesday night to No. 24 Clemson, McClinton and his teammates must make sure to put the fire out now before it starts to spread any further.

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 11:10 PM on January 15, 2008

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