Haas and Mathias Fuel Boilermakers to Win over Terps

Haas and Mathias Fuel Boilermakers to Win over Terps

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College Park, MD – Seniors Isaac Haas and Dakota Mathias combined for 41 points, as Pudue (7-2, 1-0) opened up Big Ten play with an impressive win at Maryland (6-3, 0-1), 80-75. Mathias (6’4 200 Senior Shooting Guard) shined in the first half scoring 18 of his 20 points, while shooting a perfect seven for seven from the field, including four three-pointers. In the second half the giant Isaac Haas (7’2 290 Senior Center) took over. Haas had several key baskets in the paint and was just too much for Maryland to overcome late. Maryland did have a shot to tie with 14 second left, but Jared Nickens’ shot was just short to tie the game at 78.

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P.J. Thompson (5’10 185 Senior Point Guard) then closed the game with two free throws. Amazingly Purdue received zero points from its bench in the game. With that said their senior laden lineup was more than enough.

 

Purdue proved to be the more experienced and better overall team tonight. Every time Maryland cut the lead Purdue would answer back with a run. That is a sign of composure and veteran leadership. Mathias showed his overall skills tonight. In the first half he showed his ability to score from deep. In the second half he was not a factor in scoring the ball, but he made sure to set his teammates up since Maryland was all over him. Mathias would use pump fakes to get defenders closing out on him to fly by and then he would penetrate and kick out to open shooters. He also showed his ability to defend. He was matched up on Kevin Huerter a lot and really limited his attempts and looks at the basket.

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Although Huerter had a solid night Mathias was right there on him. Mathias finished with 20 points, four three-pointers, five rebounds and nine assists. The other large factor was Isaac Haas. When Haas received the ball in the post it was game over. His massive size and strength allowed him to get great position all night. He has a very dependable right hand hook and has surprisingly soft touch for a man his size. At one point Haas even made a turn around fade away jumper from about twelve feet. Haas is so large that it is tough for him to stay out of foul trouble at times. He managed to do so tonight only having two fouls and registering four blocked shots. Haas finished with 21 points, on 10 of 13 shooting, with five rebounds and four blocks.

 

The other starters for Purdue that contributed were NBA prospects Carsen Edwards (6’1 200 Sophomore Point Guard) and Vince Edwards (6’8 225 Senior Small Forward). Carsen is Purdue’s lightning rod on offense. He can get hot and fill it up in a hurry. He has a smooth jumper and a very quick release that allows him to get his shot off over bigger defenders. Carsen finished with 18 points and six rebounds. Vince is a solid overall player. He plays with a high basketball IQ on both ends of the floor. He can drive the lane or even step out and make an open three. On defense he has the versatility to guard players in the back court or the front court. Vince finished with ten points, eleven rebounds and four assists.

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The other lone starter P.J. Thompson had eleven points and four rebounds.

 

For Maryland Anthony Cowan (6’0 170 Sophomore Point Guard) and Kevin Huerter (6’7 190 Sophomore Shooting Guard) did all they could to keep Maryland within striking distance. Cowan has continued to do his part to lead the young Terps from the point guard position. Cowan hit several big three’s including a four point play late in the game to draw closer, eventually letting Maryland have a shot to tie late. Cowan had 20 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and zero turnovers. Huerter impacted the game on both ends. He plays tough defense and has become more aggressive on the offensive end recently. Huerter is starting to develop into a leader for the young Terps and it shows with his confidence recently. He finished with 19 points, five rebounds and two assists.

 

Two players that really struggled in the game were NBA prospect Justin Jackson (6’7 225 Sophomore Forward) and Darryl Morsell (6’4 205 Freshman Shooting Guard). Jackson has struggled with his three-point shot all season. He seems to be pressing. He is either too passive or he forces the issue. With the passers he has on his team he will continue to get open looks and should eventually break out of his slump. While Jackson is struggling on offense he still makes an impact on defense as well as rebounding. He finished with five points, on 1 of 8 shooting, eight rebounds and four assists. Morsell had his worst shooting night of his young career. Purdue coach Matt Painter said in the post game press conference they were ok with slacking off some on the perimeter on Morsell to help in other places. This worked out just fine as he shot 3 of 16 on the night and 0 of 4 from three. Morsell had plenty of open looks, but also forced the issue in the lane quite often. These decisions led to blocks or ill-advised shots to end possessions. Morsell finished with nine points and three rebounds.

 

Highly touted big man Bruno Fernando had twelve points and seven rebounds. He struggled defending big man Isaac Haas at times, giving him too deep of position.

 

Next in Line

For Pudue – Home vs Northwestern Sunday

For Maryland – At Illinois Sunday

Cowan Leads His Terps Past Butler

Cowan Leads His Terps Past Butler

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College Park, MD – Anthony Cowan made sure everyone realizes this is now his team with Melo Trimble gone. Cowan led the Terps (3-0) to a 79-65 win over a scrappy Butler (2-1) team. This game was part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, which is a series of games between the Big Ten and Big East teams.

 

Cowan (6’0 170) a super quick sophomore point guard, has some pretty big shoes to fill with Melo Trimble moving on to the pro’s. So far Cowan is delivering in impressive fashion averaging 18 points, eight rebounds and three assists. He has an ability to get into the paint and draw contact at a high rate. Cowan was 12-15 from the free throw line on the night. When he wasn’t setting the offense or setting up his teammates he was chasing down loose ball rebounds or flying through the air to coral misses off the rim. Cowan impacted the game on three levels, offense, defense and rebounding. These are all quantifiable qualities a team leader can exemplify. His final stat line was 25 points, ten rebounds, five assists, two steals and only one turnover.

The two other players that provided Maryland with a spark were its two coveted freshman, Darryl Morsell (6’4 205) and Bruno Fernando (6’10 245).

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Fernando is a ball of energy. Whether its diving on the floor for a lose ball, or challenging shots at the rim, he is someone his teammates feed off of for sure. Fernando has the physique of a pro already. He has great length and is built like a much more physically mature player, despite being just 19 years old. Fernando finished with eight points, four rebounds and one block in 20 minutes. Morsell impacted the game on defense more than any other player on the court. For much of the night when he was on the floor, he was matched up against NBA prospect and senior Kelan Martin (6’7 220). Morsell is a very physical player. He does not back down from anyone and plays with an edge that has been lacking for Maryland teams under coach Mark Turgeon. Morsell pressured the preseason all Big East player, on and off ball. At one point he pick pocketed the normally sure handed senior and took it the other way for a big two handed slam. On offense Morsell showed toughness as well. He is a very physical driver in the lane and also has the ability to hit the mid range jumper. Morsell had 13 points, two assists, two blocks and one big steal on the night.

 

For Butler the game did not quite go as planned. They struggled to take advantage of Maryland’s 20 turnovers. Butler seemed out of sync at times on offense and lost focus on defense several times. Although prized senior forward Martin struggled, there were a couple of bright spots for Butler. Kamar Baldwin (6’1 170), a sophomore point guard, was a nuisance on defense and took what the Terps gave him on offense. Baldwin is a tough guard one vs. one on the perimeter. He uses his quick first step and solid body control to penetrate to create scoring opportunities for his teammates and himself. Kamar only ended up going 6-21 from the field, but he showed promise for what he can bring to the table for the rest of the year for Butler. Kamar had 15 points, four rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block. The leading scorer for the Bulldogs was sophomore, shooting guard Sean McDermott (6’6 190). McDermott is a three-point specialist and has the length to get his shot off with hands in his face. McDermott has a smooth stroke and seems to find open spaces on the floor with regularity. He finished with 17 points, three rebounds and three three-pointers. Kelan Martin had twelve points and six rebounds in the contest.

 

There were many NBA scouts in attendance for this game. Most were probably interested in watching Justin Jackson (6’7 225) and fellow sophomore Kevin Huerter (6’7 190) for Maryland. Jackson struggled on offense, finishing with just four points. However, he did have eleven rebounds and played solid defense. Huerter struggled as well scoring just nine points and turning the ball over five times. Although it was not his best offensive game he still found a way to make an impact with five assists, seven rebounds and played solid defense.

 

Next up for Butler is Furman on Saturday

 

Next up for Maryland is Bucknell on Saturday

 

 

Under The Radar At The 2017 PIT

These are some of the players that opened some eyes of scouts at the 65th annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.

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Zach LeDay 6’7 235 Virginia Tech – Leday is an undersized power forward. He makes up for that with a solid frame and good length. His range doesn’t extend past 17-18 feet. He will need to develop his mid range to be more successful at the next level. He is relentless at attacking the paint through straight line drives and will challenge shot blockers. LeDay makes up for his lack of size with his high motor on both ends of the floor.

 

Tim Kempton 6’10 250 Lehigh – The two-time Patriot League player of the year showed flashes of why he was so successful at Lehigh. Kempton is a very physical player. He can post players up or even be effective in the mid range. He is still extending his range, but has the potential to eventually be a decent three-point option if left open. Kempton has a pro body and can dish out the physicality necessary to play the center position as a pro. He should get some looks for the NBA summer league, if not he will be a solid pro overseas.

 

Emmanuel Omogbo 6’8 210 Colorado State – Omogbo is a high level athlete. Very explosive leaper and has a relentless motor. He finishes breakaways with dunks and never shy’s away from potential shot blockers. Emmanuel is not the most polished player on offense. His jumper is a work in progress. His scoring comes off hustle plays or “garbage” baskets. On defense he is a work-horse. He plays solid on and off ball and has the potential to be a lockdown perimeter defender.

 

Sebastian Saiz 6’8 245 Ole Miss – Saiz is a extremely long 7’5.5 wingspan. He is an average athlete that lacks explosiveness, but makes it up with his relentless effort. Saiz has a decent mid range game extending to 17 feet, he is still working on his three-point range. He still has room to improve his post game, he needs to make more decisive quick moves and work on finishing with both hands. On defense, Saiz affects a lot shots in the paint, but may struggle with foul trouble due to being over zealous to block shots.

 

T.J. Williams 6’3 205 Northeastern – Williams has a pro ready body. He is a physical point guard and a solid athlete. He is not overly explosive or quick but understands how to use angles and exploit mismatches on the perimeter. He will need to improve as a three-point shooter however as he was just 33% this year. Williams has a solid feel in the pick and roll and has the ability to get all the way to the rim or dish it to open teammates. He is a steady point guard that also has the ability to score.

 

Jeremy Senglin 6’1 188 Weber State – Strong build, but lacks height to play at high level. He is an average athlete, but he finds ways to be effective as a scorer. He is a solid three-point shooter especially in the catch and shoot. Senglin made 11 of 23 three-pointers in the three games. His ball handling needs to tighten up, as well as his playmaking ability to get others involved. He is more of a combo guard. Senglin is a solid on ball defender. Very physical, but his lack of height and overall athleticism limits him to guarding just the point guard slot.

 

Matt Jones 6’5 200 Duke – Jones had a solid tournament on both ends of the floor. He displayed an ability to hit the three, as well as play solid on and off ball defense. Jones has potential to be a solid 3&D type player. He looks like a safe bet to play overseas and carve out a solid career. His limited playmaking ability and isolation capabilities would make it extremely hard for him to advance to the NBA level.

 

Erik McCree 6’8 226 Louisiana Tech – McCree is a flat out scorer. He needs to extend his range and work on his three-point jumper. Anywhere from 18 feet and in McCree has a consistent stroke. He is most effective when driving to the basket. As a solid athlete and a having a strong frame, McCree has the ability to finish in the lane or draw contact to get to the line. He will have to put more work in on defense to prove he is more than a one-dimensional player.

 

Walton Jr. And Michigan Start Cinderella Run Early

Walton Jr. And Michigan Start Cinderella Run Early

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The Michigan Wolverines defeat the Wisconsin Badgers by a final score of 71-56. Derrick Walton Jr. and Michigan completed an unlikely run to a Big Ten title in the nations capital. The Michigan Wolverine’s overcame an unfortunate plane accident during takeoff on Wednesday and seized the opportunity that lay ahead in running the table at the Big Ten tournament. This Wolverine squad is clicking on all cylinders and poses as a real threat to make a run in the NCAA tournament. Walton was named Big Ten tournament MVP and has been the catalyst for Michigan’s late season surge. The Wisconsin Badgers were playing well coming into the title game, but they really struggled from the floor only shooting 39% on the day.

 

Derrick Walton Jr. has shown a capability to lead his team to a level that many didn’t think was possible just a couple of weeks ago. Walton, a stat sheet stuffer as a point guard, finished with 22 points, six rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Walton is an elite level penetrator and when he may struggle with his shot at times he seems to always create other opportunities for his teammates. Walton will be the most important player for the Big Ten champs heading into next weeks NCAA tournament.

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Also leading the charge for Michigan was fellow senior guard Zak Irvin. Irvin tallied 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists. The lengthy guard has been shooting at a high level recently and is extremely effective from the mid range or when driving the lane. Irvin will be a huge part of Michigan’s offense and defense if they plan on continuing their magical run late into March. The other bright spot for the Wolverines was junior power forward D.J. Wilson. Wilson played a solid tournament and was an anchor in the post. The solidly built forward (6’10 240) is a physical player with an ability to stretch the floor as well. He provided a toughness that was definitely needed against a scrappy Wisconsin squad. Wilson finished with 17 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block.

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Wisconsin struggled to get any offense going during the contest. They had 15 turnovers and only shot 39% on the day. They had zero points from their bench. Wisconsin is normally a team that spreads the ball around and gets contributions from everyone to some extent. That was not the case Sunday. Wisconsin was completely out of rhythm and ran into a buzz-saw in Michigan. Nigel Hayes had 14 points, eleven rebounds and two blocks. Ethan Happ had 14 points, eleven rebounds and three assists. Senior point guard Bronson Koenig scored 15 points.

 

The all tournament team was as follows

 

Ethan Happ

Nigel Hayes

Bronson Koenig

Zak Irvin

Derrick Walton Jr. – Most Outstanding Player

NCAA Tournament Schedule

 

Michigan will be a 7 seed in the Mid West Bracket and face 10 seed Oklahoma State Friday at 12:15 p.m.

Wisconsin will be an 8 seed in the East bracket and face 9 seed Virginia Tech Thursday at 9:40 p.m.

Gritconsin

Wisconsin – The Definition Of Grit

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Wisconsin had its way with Northwestern in the Big Ten semifinal matchup today. The Badgers cruised to a 76 to 48 beat down. Northwestern struggled from the opening tip and never got any resemblance of offense going during the contest. Wisconsin out rebounded them 36-27, and shot 47% compared to the 35% of the Wildcats.

 

Leading the way for Wisconsin were its two post players Ethan Happ and Nigel Hayes. Ethan Happ continues to be super-efficient and productive. He is always in the right spot at the right time. Happ has elite footwork in the post and is much stronger than he appears. He continually is around the ball and comes up with 50/50 balls at a rate that I have never seen. Happ had 16 points on 4 of 6 shooting, while also hitting 8 of 11 at the foul line where he normally struggles. He chipped in eight rebounds and kept countless possessions alive with his hustle. Happ may not look like the most intimidating or impressive specimen but he is a natural basketball player. His smarts and court awareness are already at a high level. Senior forward Nigel Hayes had one of his most effective games of the season. He ended up with 18 points, ten rebounds and two assists. Hayes was working the mid-post game to perfection. Northwestern had no answer for him. He is an extremely physical player and if he can be consistent with his outside shot he has a good chance to succeed in the NBA. Hayes provides versatility with his size (6’8 240) that is a match-up nightmare at the collegiate level. He is stronger than some centers and also has the ability to put the ball on the floor and create for himself or kick out to open teammates. While senior point guard Bronson Koenig struggled on the night the rest of the Badgers squad stepped up. Zak Showalter chipped in ten points and Vitto Brown tallied eight points and eight rebounds.

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If Wisconsin can handle business tomorrow against a hot Michigan team it could be in line for a four or five seed in the NCAA tournament. Wisconsin’s tough and gritty style of play is a tough matchup for any team, but a team that might stand a chance is a team with an up tempo style of play like Michigan. Tomorrow should be a solid game to decide who will win the 2017 Big Ten Tournament.

 

Walton Jr. Leads Michigan To Big Ten Title Game

Walton Jr. Leads Michigan To Big Ten Title Game

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Derrick Walton Jr. won the battle of the point guards against Nate Mason. Walton led Michigan with 29 points as the Wolverines defeated the Golden Gophers 84-77. Mason chipped in 23 points in the loss.

 

Michigan will continue its surprising run tomorrow against the winner of Wisconsin and Northwestern. Michigan got off to a huge start in the first half, but Minnesota eventually tied it 55 all midway in the second. That is when Derrick Walton Jr. took over. Walton used his elite quickness and burst to get into the lane and finish at will. He also made several pull up clutch three’s. This was all Michigan needed to pull away late in the game. Walton showed why he is considered one of the best point guards in the Big Ten. He set up his teammates on several occasions. He also has the ability to elevate and chip in on the glass with the big boys. Walton finished with 29 points, nine assists, five rebounds and two steals. Walton will be a huge factor if Michigan looks to make a run next week in the NCAA tournament.

 

Mo Wagner also provided stability in the post as well as on the perimeter. The 6’11 sophomore power forward made six of seven shots, including two from three. Wagner had 17 points and four rebounds, all of this in just 18 minutes of action due to foul trouble. The other factor for the Wolverines was 6’6 senior shooting guard Zak Irvin. Irvin is at his best when attacking the lane hard, using his athleticism and length to his advantage. He has an ability to hit the three but has been inconsistent this season. Irvin finished with 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.

 

Michigan is a very dangerous team on offense. The question for them going into the tournament will be can they stop the other team from scoring. Today they did a decent job until the game opened up at the end and Mason got several free lay ups. They will be in line for an eight or a nine seed depending upon how they do in the title game. That will provide them with yet another tough matchup in the first round, and especially if they advance from there. But hey, at least they will avoid Dayton this time….

 

Northwestern And Wisconsin Meet In Big Ten Semi’s

Wisconsin And Northwestern Set To Meet In Big Ten Semi’s

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Wisconsin handled business against Indiana finishing them off in the second half 70-60. Northwestern defeated Maryland, in basically a home game for the Terps, 72-64. Both squads are playing well at the moment and it should provide quite a semifinal matchup on Saturday.

 

Wisconsin was clicking on all cylinders against Indiana. Five players scored over ten points and they were led by senior point guard Bronson Koenig, who scored 16. Koenig has a knack for hitting big timely shots. He has done it throughout his career and did it on several occasions late in the game. Koenig’s physicality on both sides of the ball provides a matchup problem for smaller and less physical guards. He has a solid shooting stroke when in rhythm and it showed going 4 of 7 from three. Koenig finished with 16 points, five assists and three steals. The other factor for Wisconsin was their rock on the inside. Sophomore power forward Ethan Happ was extremely efficient on the night only missing two shots on nine attempts. Happ is a tough presence in the post and uses his elite footwork to score making up for his lack of athleticism. He also has a nose for the ball on the glass, keeping possessions alive even when being outmanned. Happ finished with 14 points and twelve rebounds.

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Northwestern had a trio of contributors that Maryland could not slow down. Scottie Lindsey, a junior shooting guard, hit several tough shots in the lane and while under duress on the perimeter. Lindsey is a physical player that can finish with either hand around the rim. He finished with 17 points. Vic Law is also starting to turn the heads of NBA scouts. His skill set is versatile and he has the potential to be a very effective defender as well. Law, who is a senior, should receive interest in attending the Portsmouth Invitational after the season. Law finished with 17 points, five rebounds and two steals. The most important player for Northwestern is junior point guard Bryant McIntosh. McIntosh is having a solid tournament. He penetrates at will and has ability to mind open players for easy baskets. He is also finishing many tough floaters in the lane as well, which is immensely important for guards at the next level. McIntosh finished with 16 points, six rebounds and two steals.

 

The matchup between these teams tomorrow should provide a thriller. The difference may be the post advantage Wisconsin has with Happ and Nigel Hayes. Northwestern does not have much to offer to stop that, but they have been underestimated all season. McIntosh will have to play very well, but he has his work cut out for him with Bronson Koenig.

 

Prediction: Northwestern 73 Wisconsin 70