Not a lot of activity on the e-mail front this week, so you’re stuck with a list of miscellaneous thoughts today.
– Luke Harangody’s line last night: 18 minutes, 10 points, 12 boards, and 4 assists. I know it was only against Army, but Harangody does this every game. EVERY GAME, people! This is exactly what the stats are for. Harangody’s game is ugly, you can’t pronounce his name, and in watching him you may be more likely to laugh than gasp, but all he does is produce. It’s a shame he’ll have to play behind Rob Kurz for his first two seasons. Through 11 games, Harangody hasn’t played more than 20 minutes and averages 11.9 ppg and 5.6 rpg. All of his per-minute stats, except for blocks, are better than the guy in front of him, who has fine rate stats himself. And yes, Harangody is now officially the third member of the all-kenpom team.
– Grant Wahl’s piece on innovative coaches was nice, but last night I finally got to see the future of under-talented low-major college basketball and it’s Joe O’Briens rotating zone defense, which could really use a marketable name. With it, and some pack-linish man-to-man, Idaho State coaxed a Warren Carter-less Illinois into attempting 34 (!) of their 53 field goal attempts from beyond the arc. This was a big reason the Bad News Bengals could hang with Illinois for most of the game.
– Another contender for all-kenpom is VMI’s 6-5 junior Reggie Williams. Of the 12 rate stats I track, he ranks in the top 500 in 10 of them, currently only missing on blocks and playing time. And the PT is in reach, meaning he could simultaneously hold red numbers in 11 categories. I realize the quality of competition is not especially high (or even medium), but it’s not often you see a guy that can literally do everything at the collegiate level.
– Finally, the big game this weekend is Florida/Ohio State, and it looks like Al Horford will be a scratch for Florida. Regardless, a win in Gainesville will boost the Buckeyes’ status as favorites for the title. It was required writing of columnists all across the land to do a “why Florida won’t repeat” column before the season. (My favorite reason: they now have a target on their back. As if starting 17-0 last season didn’t do that.) The thing is, you could easily write a “why (blank) won’t win the title” column for every team, and maybe it’s time to write that column about Ohio State. I don’t think there’s anything special about repeating – it’s just very difficult to win the title independent of what happened the previous season. Only one team can do it! And it’s not that I think OSU won’t win it all, but at this point in the season, I’ll always take the field against one team.
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas, everybody.