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Friday, December 21, 2012

Recap from Last Night and Tonight's Games to Watch 12/21/12

Last night was a disappointing night for 57 NBA scouts who flocked to Denton, Texas to see CJ McCollom and Tony Mitchell to battle. McCollom did not play as he is recovering from a mild ankle injury and Tony Mitchell didn't start for "disciplinary reasons". There is no better way to piss off scouts than to be forced to start the game on the bench for doing something stupid. Especially a game as big as this. Mitchell scored 22 points and grabbed boards but this season has done anything but solidify himself as a lottery pick. He looks like a potential draft day free faller.

Arkansas found them in a tight game against Robert Morris, which they pulled out 79-74. BJ Young was able to score off the bounce when the Razorbacks needed him. Young also turned it over multiple times on lazy passes inside and showed little urgency in getting back on defense to make up for his mistakes. His shot continues to struggles as well, especially at the line where his slingshot form isn't doing him any favors. For a guy who plans to make a living as a slasher, a sub 70% FT shooting is a problem. Below are highlights:

I also went back and looked at the Cincinnati-Xavier game. Semaj Christon is a definite first round talent and has lots of room to grow. Right now he relies on his explosive, long strides off the dribble to get into the lane and score. He has a nice floater game and is able to rise above the defense and get it off. He has elite physical attributes for a point guard and does a nice job staying under control in the lane. His decision making and point guard skills need work, but show potential. Christon definitely needs to work on his shot - both off the dribble and spotting up. Its the main thing holding him back from being dominant in college.

The star of the night was Mason Plumlee, who was the only Duke player who didn't appear tired on the second night of a back to back. He had 21 points and 15 rebounds - the majority of which came in the first half when the game still in question.

Game of the Night: BYU at Baylor 9pm ESPN2

Coming off the the news that Jabari Parker will not be spending his next year in Provo, the BYU basketball team must move on to face Baylor. Depending on what Baylor team they get, they could potentially get the win. Tyler Haws has been one of the biggest pleasant surprises in the nation and it will be interesting to see how he fares against Baylor's athletic perimeter. Senior Brandon Davies is having a great year himself and has the task of playing well against Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin. Meanwhile Isaiah Austin has only made 1 free throw in his last 5 games, but is coming off two straight 10+ rebound games. Austin has to consistently show he will play tough inside this year, even with his strength limitations, if he wants to be projected as anything more than a stretch big man.

Other games to keep an eye on:

Florida Atlantic at Indiana 7pm ESPN2 - Victor Oladipo is clearly their best upperclassmen prospect on the team, but who is second? Cases can be made for Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford, and Will Sheehey. Watford would have been the easy answer just a year ago, but his efficiency has FG% has fallen for the third straight year. He hasn't gotten much better over his time in Bloomington and looks like a skinny PF. He got bullied inside against Butler. My pick of the three? Will Sheehey.

Bowling Green at South Florida 7pm - Anthony Collins is the name to watch here. The sophomore point guard looked great two weeks ago against Marcus Smart, but has only played one time since so Im eager to check him out again. He's a true point guard who can be a pest defensively. Is he just off to a hot start or is he legit? Big East play will certainly answer that question.

Longwood at Virginia Commonwealth 7:30pm - VCU is always exciting to watch and while they don't have any surefire NBA prospects, Treveon Graham has made great strides in his sophomore year. He is a power wing who can drive to the basket and hit the outside shot. He has gone from a reserve to top scorer on a team that likely is top 25 in the country. It feels weird question a VCU player's defense, but the biggest concern with him may be whether he can defend wings in the NBA. He's a combo forward at this point. Also keep an eye on Michael Kessens, the leading freshman rebounder in the nation at 10.3 boards per contest.

USC Upstate at Tennessee State 8pm - This Tennessee State team continues to play awful basketball, getting demolished by Middle Tennessee State last game. Covington's lack of perimeter skills have been exposed playing next to incapable guards. Maybe a game against USC Upstate is competition they can actually hang with.

Northern Arizona at Colorado 8:30pm - After getting major praise from media pundits before the Kansas game, Spencer Dinwiddie now has scored 5 points and tallied 2 assists in his last 2 games. Hes shooting 1-8 from the floor and has 7 turnovers. He suffered an injury in the game against Kansas (but came back) and it could have affected him against Fresno, but its an ugly line either way. Andre Roberson still is by far the best prospect on this team and has started to play better as of late. He has hit 4 of his last 5 threes and has grabbed at least 11 boards in each of his last 6 games.

Buffalo vs Washington State 10:30pm - Always need to have a late game and this one pits two very different power forwards against each other. Watch the matchup between Brock Motum and Javon McCrea inside. Motum has 5 straight games where he's scored at least 23 points. He's not as pure of a shooter as other stretch forwards like Eric Murphy, but has more variety in his scoring arsenal.

Also I'll try to get highlight videos from Alex Len's and Jarnell Stokes' games tonight.

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