Off The Boards by Jack Scheuer – December 6, 2917 Edition

Off The Boards

By Jack Scheuer

December 6, 2017 Edition

I know we’re college oriented here, but when the best player in the world is having what might be his best season ever, it’s time to acknowledge him. LeBron James, who will be 33 later this month, is putting up great numbers as the streaking Cleveland Cavaliers continue on their merry way. James is averaging 28 points per game, makes 58% of his shots, is second in the league in assists, has 13 double- doubles, 2 triple- doubles and plays excellent defense. Even more impressive, he is tied with Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo for the league lead in minutes played at 37 per game. Not bad for a guy who is in his 15th season in the NBA.

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Villanova might not have the best starting 5 in college basketball, but it very likely has the best starting 6. Just ask Gonzaga. The way Mikal Bridges is playing Nova might have two All-America candidates. The streaking Wildcats next two games are against La Salle then at Temple next Wednesday.

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The Big 5 is in well represented in converting free throws so far this year. Going into tonight’s game with Wisconsin, Temple’s Shizz Alston has made 46 in a row dating back to last season (18 for 18 this year). The Owls all-time record  is 49 straight, set by Lynn Greer in 2001. Meanwhile, nationally, La Salle is among the leaders by making 81% of it’s freebies, led by B.J. Johnson who has hit on 47 of 55 from the line. Oregon, at 81% , is tops in Division One.

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Trivia Time : Who is the last Temple player to have three straight 30-point games? Answer at the end of the column.

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Former Saint Joe’s star DeAndre’ Bembry, who missed the first part of the NBA season with a wrist injury, is putting up some nice numbers with Atlanta. He’s also made league history by being the first player ever to wear uniform number 95.

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This and That: Former Indiana coach Tom Crean does a nice job as TV analyst for ESPN. I’m guessing he walks up-and-down outside the studio before going on …. Not sure sure how Oklahoma City will do with Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony sharing the ball. Good luck to Paul George….Davidson’s 6-8 Peyton Aldridge looks like a future pro. Plays hard and can make 3’s….Drexel looks like it has a player in Missouri transfer Tramaine Isabell who is averaging 22 points per game and is second on the team in rebounds….Former NBA-er Avery Johnson is in his 3rd year coaching at Alabama, which hasn’t won an NCAA Tournament game since 2006…..  Look for Penn sharp-shooter Caleb Wood to get more playing time. He’s effective from the 3-point line…..Finally, a scary thought: Joel Embiid is only 20 years old.

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Answer to Trivia Time: In January, 2007, Dionte Christmas went for 31 (Rhode Island), 34 (at Penn), and 30 (at Duquesne).

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