Who’s hungry for college basketball?
Here’s today’s installment of “The Breakfast Buffet”, a daily column that can be found here every single morning getting you caught up to date on everything that’s happened from the day/night before and everything that’s going to happen in the next 24 hours.
Things To Sample
Drew Timme against Oscar Tshiebwe
Two of the leading candidates for National Player of the Year will do battle in a head-to-head matchup that feels reminiscent of a showdown between NBA centers in the mid 1990s. The 6-10 Timme — who has quietly had one of the more decorated careers that we’ve seen a college player have in a long time — enters tonight’s matchup against Kentucky averaging 20.7 points and eight rebounds for Gonzaga. Tshiebwe — the reigning AP National Player of the Year — is averaging 14 points and 12.5 rebounds, but has only played in two games as he was recovering from preseason knee surgery. Spokane Arena should be on fire for this matchup between two of the sport’s best programs.
Another big doubleheader in Las Vegas
A really good team is going to leave Sin City today with an 0-2 record in this weekend’s Continental Tire Main Event as Baylor and UCLA square off in the tournament’s consolation game. The championship tilt between Illinois and Virginia should feature a fascinating matchup between a team with tons of returning personnel (Virginia) and a team with a slew of brand new components (Illinois). The Illini though, managed to erase a 15-point second-half deficit on Friday en route to a dramatic early season win over the Bruins. It will be interesting to see how the Cavaliers and Tony Bennett — a defensive minded head coach — devise a plan to slow down Illinois’ Terrence Shannon Jr. after he exploded for 29 points and 10 rebounds in Friday’s win over UCLA.
Houston hits the road against Oregon
The Cougars have eviscerated their first four opponents by an average of 36.5 points, but they’ll play in a different weight class tonight against Oregon (2-1) in Eugene. The Ducks are projected to be one of the best teams in the Pac-12 despite last week’s disappointing home loss to UC Irvine. For Oregon to earn a signature win, it will have to contain Houston (4-0) on the glass and also do a much better job shooting the basketball. Through three games, the Ducks are shooting just 30.1 percent from three-point range; veteran point guard Will Richardson has only made 4-of-17 attempts from long distance during that span. Houston has out rebounded its first four opponents by 38.
On The Side
- UCLA’s three freshmen — Adem Bona, Amari Bailey, and Dylan Andrews — combined for just six points and eight rebounds in Friday night’s loss against Illinois. The Bruins need major mileage out of this troika — starting with today’s game against Baylor in Las Vegas — if they’re going to be among the best teams in the sport.
- Back-to-back double-digit losses against Northwestern and Loyola Marymount have put Georgetown (2-2) at an early crossroads entering today’s game against La Salle in Jamaica (Noon ET, CBS Sports Network). The Hoyas had to show tangible progress this season under Patrick Ewing. So far, none has been displayed.
- The two biggest “Jekyll & Hyde” teams that I’ve seen so far this season? Colorado (3-2) and Temple (2-2). Both could make the NCAA Tournament and win a game. Both could also finish only a few games over .500.
- Oregon’s N’Faly Dante (hip) was expected to practice on Saturday and “should be okay” for today’s game against Houston in Eugene, a source told College Hoops Today. The 6-11 big man is averaging 14.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks. The Cougars were ranked FOURTH in last week’s ROTHSTEIN 45.
- Arkansas freshman Nick Smith (knee) is still being listed as “day-to-day” entering this week’s Maui Invitational, a school spokesman told College Hoops Today on Saturday. The five-star prospect has yet to play this season. The Razorbacks open the event with Louisville on Monday.
- Maryland/Miami (Mohegan Sun)
- Illinois/Virginia (Continental Tire Main Event)
- Baylor/UCLA (Continental Tire Main Event)
- Kentucky at Gonzaga
- Houston at Oregon
- The Breakfast Buffet: Zach Edey vs. Duke’s big men, UConn/Iowa State, Saint Louis travels to Auburn
- The Breakfast Buffet: T.J. Otzelberger, Jeremy Roach, UConn looks the part
- The Breakfast Buffet: Duke and UNC step up a weight class in PK85, Kansas/Tennessee, Villanova
- The Breakfast Buffet: UConn/Oregon, Oumar Ballo, Brandon Miller
- The Breakfast Buffet: Bill Self returns, Arkansas, Courtney Ramey