Carolina’s Ego Bruised, Berry’s Ankle Sprained
It was a tough week all around if you’re a Tar Heel fan. Even Roy Williams criticized the fanbase after a humbling loss on the road at No. 9 Indiana.
— Funhouse (@RNs_Funhouse) December 1, 2016
The Heels never led in a 76-67 loss to the Hoosiers (7-1) that wasn’t nearly as competitive as the final score indicates. UNC (7-1) appeared rattled from the tip, but that’s to be expected in the first true road game of the season against a talented opponent. Of more concern is the health of point guard Joel Berry who sprained his left ankle in a 95-50 cakewalk against Radford Sunday. It’s unclear if Berry (14.8 PPG, 4.7 APG) will be available for Wednesday’s game at home against 5-2 Davidson.
West Virginia’s Press Upends Wahoos
You might have missed this result during the flurry of college football conference championship games Saturday. No. 15 West Virginia was able to use Bob Huggins’ trademark full-court press to fluster No. 14 Virginia into an uncharacteristic 14 turnovers, a season-high. The Mountaineers (6-1) had an incredibly even performance with just eight turnovers against the pack line defense coupled with balanced scoring led by Jevon Carter’s 11 points. Eight players scored at least six points for WVU and the Mountaineers scored 11 of the game’s final 14.
Notre Dame is the Last of the Unbeatens
— Notre Dame MBB (@NDmbb) December 5, 2016
Don’t look now but at 8-0, the Fighting Irish are now the lone undefeated team in the ACC, but they haven’t exactly done it against top flight competition. Close wins against Colorado and Northwestern are the most impressive so far, but the successful start has been enough to vault the Irish into the top 25 this week at No. 23. Bonzie Colson has been dominant to this point averaging 17.1 points and 10.8 rebounds per game while earning that ACC Player of the Week nod. V.J. Beachem is right there with him at 17.1 point per game and it will be interesting to see how the team fares against what comes next.
Things will ramp up quickly with a trip to the Never Forget Tribute Classic where the Irish take on new No. 1 Villanova. No. 18 Purdue looms in the near future as well, so we’ll learn a lot about Mike Brey’s club in short order.
Pittsburgh Suffers Setback Against Duquesne
The Panthers have had some nice wins so far with a victory over Marquette and on the road against Maryland, but a loss in the City Game definitely hurts. Duquesne (4-5) overcame a 10-point first half lead by the Panthers and avoided a collapse down the stretch as their lead disappeared, something that’s plagued the Dukes this season. It marks the first win over Pittsburgh (6-2) in 15 years and may prove to be a shot in the arm for what was a scuffling Duquesne team.
Pitt was without start point/forward Jamel Artis who was suspended for, “failing to live up to the standards of a University of Pittsburgh basketball player.” For now, chock this one up to growing pains under a new coach instilling his way.