Tyler’s College Bball Thoughts: Which under-appreciated U.S. state had a nice week in College Basketball?

Team and Player of the Week: The Great State of New Mexico has its day

My grandma and grandpa have taught history at the University of New Mexico for over 80 years combined. Not surprisingly, I love history with a passion, and I will probably end up majoring in history. It’s in my blood. This allegiance to New Mexico has also given me great interest in Lobo basketball every single year, and the Lobos have been introducing themselves to the world over the past few weeks.

The UNM basketball team has won their last seven games, including back-to-back drubbings of San Diego State and UNLV (Two teams that are very good, despite their recent struggles on the road), the two leaders of the conference. Well, I should say former leaders, because New Mexico now sits at the top of the standings with a two game cushion. UNM has some of the most passionate fans in the country, and for those of you that did not know New Mexico was even a state (Seriously, you would be surprised how many people there are that could be flabbergasted by this fact. America, No. 1!), let me introduce you to one of my players of the weekend from this surging squad.

Drew Gordon is an easy  choice for player of the weekend because of this run UNM has embarked upon. Not to mention the fact that he dropped a 27 point, 2o rebound performance against UNLV . That is pretty good I guess, especially considering that the Rebels are Number 26 in the country in rebounding and a respectable number 47 in Adjusted Defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com. The Lobos are not just a one man show though. They returned everybody from last year except for Point Guard Dairese Gary, and with Hugh Greenwood growing into his role as the new Point Guard, the offense is clicking to go along with one of the best defenses in the country. My grandparents, myself and the rest of the country will be watching Gordon and the Lobos with great interest.

Why Does UConn suck (Pardon my French, but it is a serious question)?

Jeremy Lamb is my second player of the weekend because of his 32 point explosion yesterday to save the Huskies from another crushing blow to their already suspect resume. Sure, the Huskies have the toughest schedule in the country (Seriously, they are Number one in SOS), but the Big East is down this year and they have more raw talent than anybody in the league aside from Syracuse.

But if it were not for Lamb’s 32 point showing, UConn would have been stuck at 16-11 and would have won just two of their past 10 games. Yikes. Instead, they are 17-10 and have won three of their past 10 games (Hooray!). Much like a different team of Huskies in the Northwest, UConn has shown an ability to play close with good teams (Syracuse and Marquette were tested by UConn over the past week), but a lack of Basketball IQ and an ability to run an efficient offense (165th in the nation in scoring, 146th in the nation in assists) have made for a thoroughly disappointing season by a talented group of players. I have not even mentioned the fact that Jim Calhoun served a suspension earlier in the season and is now absent because of medical reasons, which is certainly a contributing factor for this disappointment, but all of this shows the extreme importance of Lamb’s performance yesterday.

Players that just missed the cut this weekend, but were still incredible: Joe Ragland (Wichita State), Isaiah Canaan (Murray State. If you have not seen Canaan play, you are missing out), Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom (Marquette), Jack Cooley (Notre Dame. This is more because he has been incredible during Big East play, not just the fact that he posted an 18-13 on 8-11 shooting), Trey Burke (Michigan. I love watching this guy play), and Kyle Kuric (Louisville). Tyler’s thoughts bid adieu for now. See you next week!

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    • matthew bradley
    • February 25th, 2012

    Tyler, i know you are just as much a buff fan as I. Could you talk about more of their chances in the NCAA tournament. And why they are doing so well in pac-12 basketball? And what will happen to them after what happened to them playing stanford and getting crushed? Why would that ruin their chances for the pac-12 tournament? Many questions…Many questions.

    • matthew bradley
    • February 23rd, 2012

    hope you guys like my comment. i should write a blog. 😀

    • Anonymous
    • February 21st, 2012

    Hey Tyler, my name is Matt Gray. I am a student at Linfield College as well and have just been blown away by your raw talent to write. Your extreme knowledge of college hoops is arousing(seriously). I would love for you to write about University of Arizona’s men’s basketball program. I have some interesting thoughts on what you would think. Also, a quick rather bold question for you; who would you rather have back for another year, if you had to choose just one… Tony Wroten or Terrence Ross(Another blog about this question also would be nice)?

    • Matt, thank you for reading my blog. Because I will be writing about college basketball (with an emphasis on UW because of my fan perspective), I am sure that I will be discussing Arizona as I write more and more. Sean Miller is one of the best coaches in the country, and the recruiting haul for Arizona next year is absolutely unfair (3 of the top 10 in the nation!), so they will be here at some point.

      As for Ross and Wroten, I do not know if I can decide. Personally, I have never liked Wroten because of his terrible decision-making and his awful jump-shot, and Ross plays much more sound defense as well. I would take Ross. But, they should both stay. After all, money from the NBA isn’t everything, right?…

        • Anonymous
        • February 22nd, 2012

        Tyler, I can not wait to see what you have in store for the readers of your blog. I also can’t wait for next season’ recruiting class of Arizona, they have had the number 1 recruiting class for many weeks and in my opinion should finish the season with that same title. I get a little aroused reading your posts’ they are so well written. Have you had any experience? I look forward to every new blog, Keep it up!

        I would have to agree with you as far as the whole Ross and Wroten dilemma that I proposed to you. Ross is clearly the more exceptional player, do you think that if Wroten stays another year that he will mature to be more of a player like Ross? Does he have the potential to be even better than Ross? If he stayed another year or two could you put his name up there with the likes of Isaiah Thomas and Brandon Roy?

      • It will be hard for anyone to be anointed to Brandon Roy/Detlef Schrempf status. Isaiah leaving meant his sacrifice of becoming a Husky legend. I neither commend him or judge him for this, because he is doing very well in the NBA. As far as Terrence and Tony, both have the potential and the talent to become Husky legends. It is hard to pass up money, but their talent is not going to disappear if they stay for another year or two, and another year would be beneficial for both of them. Of course, my opinion does not matter at all. Whatever decision they will make should be in their own best interest.

        • matthew bradley!
        • February 23rd, 2012

        you know tyler as i am your youngest brother, that i love the huskies. I like your blog by the way. Well, do you think romar will really keep recruiting terence rosses? Or Some more tony wrotens. I mean, well, i hate wroten for he has an iq of like 65 at max or so? Wroten has great potential, but if only he could play as gaddy or ross and take control(dont even ask me about his free throw shooting :P). And about the mariners. Will they start like they did last year or like they did a year before. They have to start recruiting more dustin ackleys. good hitters that will last(Ichiro has had his time). If they even play ichi, put him at dh. Anybody in the field besides him. I wish we had some east coast type sports teams. Washingtons sports are iffy. the sounders are good, mariners ugh,seahawks so-so,NCAAF huskies, well good in bowls but regular season mediocore. The storm, who watches womens basketball? HUH HUH???? The sonics!!!!! I love that they might be coming back. I mean with durant and westbrook leading the team, geez, great team. Well ponder over these quistions and for you linfield peoples, i am tylers littleist brother. I am turning into a sports geek like him. some times my friends rag on me. Well hope you love linfield and the people and proffesers etc. :)))))!!!!!

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