Thursday’s Den: Doing some thinking out loud……..

— ESPN used to have this great thing, a college basketball marathon that went 24-28 hours straight, something like that, a terrific way to start the season. 

Remember playing video poker in Las Vegas at 3am while watching a game from Hawai’i; it was a little mind-numbing, but in a fun way. The 6-8am games from the east coast were bizarre.

These days, ESPN only cares about the NBA, which is too bad. College basketball needs a way to launch its season the right way.

Bellarmine 67, Louisville 66
Bellarmine is also in Louisville; Knights are in their 3rd year in D-I. They won a national title at the D-II level. They scored 1.08 points/possession in this game, very good.

Bellarmine led by 14 in first half, by 11 at the half; they only turned ball over 11 times.

This is an upset, but not a huge upset; Louisville was favored by 7.5 points.

— Hell of a week so far for the Atlantic Sun Conference:
Bellarmine 67, Louisville 66
Florida Gulf Coast 74, USC 61
Stetson 83, Florida State 74

Davidson 102, Wright State 97, 2OT
Wright State led 48-27 with 2:50 left in first half.
Wright State led 63-47 with 12:56 left in the game.
Davidson was 22-36 on foul line, Wright State 11-15.

South Dakota State 68, Boise State 66
Jackrabbits lost in OT at Akron Monday, get solid road win here.

Providence 66, Rider 65 (Tuesday)
Rider led this game 32-17 with 5:51 left in first half.
Broncs shot 34.1% inside arc, made 9-14 outside arc.
Friars were 26-43 on foul line, Rider 8-10, in a one-point game.

Georgetown 99, Coppin State 89 OT
Hoyas lost their last 21 games LY; they escape here with a narrow win.
Coppin State hit a late 3-pointer to force overtime.

  There are reports that “……..Gonzaga has been exploring its conference options” as in switching from the WCC to the Big X, a much bigger league. 

This would be a terrible mistake.

Right now, the Gonzaga program is a big fish in a very small pond; they dominate the WCC, they get lot of national attention in March, and they get lot of high profile recruits because they win so much. If they go to the Big X, they’re a smaller fish in a deeper pond; mediocrity will set in, and they’ll be flying from Spokane to Lubbock, Morgantown or Kansas to get their butts kicked.

Gonzaga today is where UNLV was in the late 80’s, and that is a very good place to be. UNLV was in a cruddy league, the Big West. Cal-Santa Barbara, New Mexico State gave them enough competition to get their games on ESPN at midnight, but those UNLV teams were built to win in March, and they won a lot.

Gonzaga’s administration needs to be happy pummeling the WCC; they’ve been a 1-seed in four of last five NCAA tournaments. That should be good enough.

— Brooklyn Nets named interim coach Jacque Vaughn their new head coach, replacing the fired Steve Nash. It was a rumored that the Nets were going to hire former Celtics coach Ime Udoka, but that didn’t happen.

Orlando 94, Dallas 87— Magic held Luka Doncic to 24 points on 9-29 shooting, first time in 10 games this season he scored less than 30 points.

Wilt Chamberlain holds all-time record, scoring 30+ points in his first 23 games of the 1962-63 season.

Warriors 116, Kings 113— Golden State snapped its 5-game losing skid Monday night, with Steph Curry scoring 47 points in an impressive display— he shot 17-24 from floor, 7-12 on the arc. Kings led this game by nine points after the third quarter.

30 or so years ago, when we first started going out on Sundays to watch NFL games on a satellite dish, I remember saying one day that the whole thing was worth it, just to watch Barry Sanders run with the football every week— he was that good.

Thats how I feel about Steph Curry; it is freakin’ awesome to watch him pass/shoot and make his teammates better. He and Klay Thompson have made shooting cool to a whole generation of young ballplayers. He really has elevated the game.

— So far this NFL season, under is 79-55-2, as lot of offenses seem stuck in the mud.

— Matthew Stafford is in concussion protocol, Kyler Murray tweaked his hamstring last week, making this week’s Cardinal-Ram game a mystery between two struggling teams.

— 1B Anthony Rizzo apparently has turned down his $16M option for next season, making him a free agent. Rizzo hit 32 homers, knocked in 75 runs, but hit .224— he is 33 years old.

— Atlanta Braves traded P Jake Odorizzi to Texas for lefty P Kolby Allard, who the Braves took in the first round of the 2015 draft. Odorizzi has a $6.5M deal for next year, with a $3.25M buyout.

— California voted against legalizing sports betting this week; the election wasn’t close, which I’m assuming is good news for Las Vegas casinos.

— Coastal Carolina QB Grayson McCall is out 3-6 weeks; he’s thrown 21 TD’s with only one INT this season for the 8-1 Chanticleers.

— Surprising stat; Tulane Green Wave is 13-2 ATS in their last 15 games as a home favorite. 

— Indianapolis Colts now have a head coach (Jeff Saturday) who has never coached in college or the NFL. He played a long time in the NFL, was a high school coach for three years, but Sunday is going to be very different for him.

Not only that, but 30-year old Parks Frazier, the assistant quarterbacks coach, is going to call plays this week. Colts don’t have any coaches who have ever called plays in an NFL game. Frazier played quarterback at Murray State. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.