The plan was to get some Friday/Saturday hoops in and do the writing on Sunday, so we could break things down. The problem with Sunday games (for this site, to be clear) is that there is not much time to digest these games and figure out what they mean. It can be easy right after a good — or boring — ones to declare some things filled with some recency bias.
So expect the power rankings tomorrow some time.
Right now, we can discuss the weekend’s games.
UTEP vs UTSA 1-1
UTSA 86 – UTEP 79
UTSA 51- UTEP 69
These two teams split over the two home-and-home games. UTSA won through thee strength of their shooting (10/23 from three) and lost because of the same (2/17 in the second game). Jhivvan Jackson put up only 7-points in the second game in El Paso, after scoring 32 in the San Antonio. We have complained about the Roadrunners’ over-reliance on heavy isolation from their twin scoring talents. While basketball requires good play from your scoring talents, for sure, a good offensive system takes away some of the burden for creating for themselves and others.
UTEP did not play particularly well but they will be happy with the stopping the slide and getting a home win. Here we harp on the lack of defense on UTSA’s side but here is an example of it:
Keaton Wallace jumps the passing lane unnecessarily, putting Jackson in a tough spot. He helps, but is a little wild on the shot contest. It is a foul.
Tech vs Southern Miss 2-0
Tech 76 – USM 63
Tech 65 USM 62
Home-and-home series saw Tech dominate on the road, and hold off a spunky Eagles squad at home. Tech dominated the first game and had four players with at least ten and Kabob Ledoux coming in with 9-points on Thursday.
In both games, the game was close and then Tech pulled away. That kind of thing can be interpreted however you choose. To this writer it was inevitable. Tech has offensive droughts — something we have mentioned here before — and instead of USM leading or taking advantage, they simply were just nearby. Once Tech got a handle of things they pulled away relatively easily.
There were a couple of things I liked:
Lofton getting position, scoring with his left hand.
The Tyler Stevenson sequence. Both can be found in this video.
I highlighted some confusion in the sequence video above. USM has many moments where they cannot execute because of confusion, mistakes, mistakes because of confusion, or some combination of that. Again, there is a lot to like from this team but they are not ready to compete just yet.
Charlotte vs FIU 2-0
CLT 63 FIU 55 OT
CLT 68 FIU 65
I’ll summarize both games for you: FIU had a chance to win late, before Charlotte out-executed and won. The first in overtime, and the second late in the game.
Also, Jahmir Young is baller:
Middle vs UAB 0-1 (So far, come back later after they play today)
Middle 59 UAB 70
We wrote about this recently, as we noted UAB just turned on the jets to pull away. Middle is not expected to challenge much in this game but, hey, they did it last game.
North Texas vs Rice 1-0
Javion Hamlet looked like the CUSA POY version, as he put up 30 points and looked real good and aggressive. Rice is a tough matchup but has to figure out some thing still. Check out this at MGN for more.