College Basketball Insider

Night Court: DK is aging at UMass while off to a 2-0 start thanks to two buzzer-beaters

All-American candidate Isaiah Canaan outscored Auburn by himself in the first half of Murray State's easy win. (US Presswire)

Here's everything you need to know from Thursday's college basketball games ...

Game of the night: "I'm gonna turn 80 before I turn 40," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said during an ESPN interview following his team's 77-75 win over Providence in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tipoff, which means he sounded very much like a man who is 2-0 this season thanks to buzzer-beaters. The first was a 3-pointer from Sampson Carter that gave UMass a 67-64 win over Harvard. The second was a tip-in in the final second from Terrell Vinson that gave UMass its win over the Friars.

That's a good win: First-year Illinois State coach Dan Muller -- a former Vanderbilt assistant who was a candidate for the Mississippi State job last March -- moved his career record to 2-0 with a surprising 86-84 overtime win in Philadelphia over a Drexel team that received votes in the preseason AP poll. The Redbirds were led by Jackie Carmichael. He's one of the best bigs you've probably never seen play. He got 21 points thanks to a 9-of-11 effort from the free throw line.

But that's a bad loss: There's nothing wrong with losing to Murray State, I guess. But how could an SEC team fall behind the Racers by 36 before losing by 20? That's what Auburn did in its opening game of the Charleston Classic. The final score was 79-59. Was Gene Chizik coaching the Tigers or something? (Also: Special shoutout to Isaiah Canaan. The CBSSports.com First Team All-American had 20 points in the first half and finished with 26.)

Players with impact

  • Baylor's Pierre Jackson is having a tremendous start to his senior year. The point guard finished with 31 points and seven assists in the 16th-ranked Bears' 84-74 win over Boston College. He's now averaging 23.3 points and 8.7 assists per game.
  • Jud Dillard is the other really good player (besides Canaan) in the OVC. He took 22 shots, made 13 and finished with 34 points and 12 rebounds in Tennessee Tech's 71-69 win over Coastal Carolina. The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds last year. He's averaging 29.5 points and 10.5 rebounds this season.
  • Some folks questioned us -- and by us, I mean my colleague Jeff Goodman and I -- for having such a high opinion of Ben McLemore in the preseason, but what about now? The freshman guard got 25 points and eight rebounds in No. 7 Kansas' 69-55 win over Chattanooga, and it was a necessary performance considering the Jayhawks trailed by eight at halftime.

Numbers to figure:

  • 9 -- That's the number of shots North Carolina State's Lorenzo Brown missed in the sixth-ranked Wolfpack's 72-55 win over Penn State. He made just one. That means Brown shot 10 percent against PSU. That's not good.
  • 18 -- That's the number of rebounds sophomore Chane Behanan grabbed in No. 2 Louisville's 80-54 over Samford. The effort represented a new career high. Behanan's previous career high was 13 against Lamar last November.
  • 63 -- That's the number of points UCLA -- UCLA!?! -- scored in the first half of its 100-70 win over James Madison. Sources told CBSSports.com the 13th-ranked Bruins could've gotten 70 in the opening 20 minutes if Shabazz Muhammad would've been allowed to play.

Notebook:

  • Indiana senior Jordan Hulls, who has averaged double-figures in all three of his college seasons, scored his 1,000th career point in the top-ranked Hoosiers' 99-45 win over Sam Houston State.
  • Minnesota senior Trevor Mbakwe, a preseason All-American candidate, came off the bench for the third straight game and played fewer than 15 minutes for the third straight game in the Gophers' 72-43 win over Tennessee State.
  • The NCAA cleared Rice transfer Arsalan Kazemi to play immediately at Oregon. Don't be surprised if the Ducks are in the NCAA tournament come March.
  • Arizona, ranked 12th, smashed UTEP 72-51 at the McKale Center. One of my favorite songwriters, Adam Duritz, was in attendance. That's cool. (We shared peanuts once.)
 
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