Jack Scheuer’s Off The Boards – February 5, 2014 Edition

Off The Boards

By Jack Scheuer

February 5, 2014 Edition

You can’t get much better big time hoops than last Saturday’s game between Syracuse and Duke.  A terrific display of college basketball with several very talented players showing why they were so highly recruited.  Syracuse came out on top, helped a little by several non-calls that seemed rather obvious, and despite some questionable strategy by Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim. Up by three with 4.7 seconds left, the Orange elected not to foul  even though they had several opportunities before Duke’s Rasheed Sulaimon hit a game-tying trey at the buzzer.  In the overtime, a similar situation developed only this time with 12 seconds remaining, and for some reason that’s when Syracuse decided to foul.  Duke eventually got another shot, this time down only by two, but couldn’t take advantage. So, a big win for the country’s number one team, but not without some head-scratching.
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Those under-manned Temple Owls have another tough challenge tomorrow night when they visit greatly improved SMU in Dallas. It’s another impressive coaching job by Larry Brown, and you have to give the man credit.  As restless as he is he always gets programs on the right track.  The Mustangs have gotten a big lift from Villanova transfer Markus Kennedy who is scoring at 12.1 per game and grabbing a team-leading 7.6 rebounds.  Mr. Brown’s team , which visits Temple  on Feb.16, is outrebounding its opponents by a 38-30 average.
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Trivia Time: What player holds the Division One record for career assists? Answer at the end of the column.
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You have to feel bad for Sixers coach Brett Brown who has to face the media after another loss and explain what went wrong in the game.  I’m guessing that the first year coach, who has made a good impression despite his tough assignment, would just like to say, “Look, we’re a bad basketball team.  We’re very young, and the few veterans we have are sick of getting beat up every night and their frustration is showing.”
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This and That: St. Joe’s problems at the foul line are becoming a serious concern.  The Hawks are shooting free throws at a 62.8 clip, last in the A10, and that’s with Langston Galloway at 87%…. Providence  leads the country in foul shooting with a 78.4 mark…. Two tough games tonight when St. Joe’s hosts St. Louis, and LaSalle visits UMass…. Villanova keeps rolling along. That nine-man rotation is really impressive….Amazing how these guys always pop up somewhere: Chane Behanan, the talented Louisville big man who violated team policies on several occasions and was dismissed, has landed at Colorado State.  The coach there is Larry Eustachy, who himself got into a little trouble while at Iowa State…Officials have a tough job, and it’s easy to criticize them.  If I was a coach I wouldn’t mind having either Brian Kersey, Ed Corbett or Pat Driscoll  doing my games.
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Answer to Trivia Time: Duke’s Bobby Hurley handed out 1.076 assists.

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