Senior Writer

Monday Look Back: Blowouts, mismatches mark first weekend


Did you see that big upset this weekend?

Of course you didn't.

Because it didn't happen.

Kentucky freshman Terrence Jones had quite the debut Friday with 25 points and 12 rebounds. (US Presswire)  
Kentucky freshman Terrence Jones had quite the debut Friday with 25 points and 12 rebounds. (US Presswire)  
Every ranked team (except Missouri) played either Friday, Saturday or Sunday, and they all won. So now the schools ranked in the Top 25 (and one) have a combined record of 32-0 because almost all of them spent the first week of the season ducking quality opponents in a way only Floyd Mayweather could truly appreciate.

(Make the fight with Manny now, Floyd!)

Anyway, it was lame.

But that's no reason to skip a Monday Look Back.

Best game of the weekend: There were some close games, sure, but describing any of them with the word "best" seems like a stretch. Again, the schools ranked in the preseason Top 25 (and one) are now a combined 32-0, and none of them have wins against a fellow ranked school. That's more boring than a Sunday night without Kenny Powers. So it'll be next Monday before I start throwing words like "best" around.

Worst game of the weekend: Duke beat Princeton by 37, Michigan State beat Eastern Michigan by 30, Pittsburgh beat North Florida by 46, Kansas beat Longwood by 38, Purdue beat Howard by 36, Washington beat McNeese State by 54, and blah, blah, blah. In other words, take your pick. There were plenty of lopsided games. Hell, pick two if you want. Who would notice?

Win to brag about: Georgetown, unlike most other national powers, challenged itself in its opener, and the Hoyas passed the test (but just barely). They overcame an eight-point second-half deficit and beat Old Dominion 62-59 on Friday night to snap the Monarchs' 23-game home winning streak. Credit Chris Wright, Jason Clark and Austin Freeman as the reasons. The trio of guards combined for 54 of Georgetown's 62 points.

Loss to hide from: Conference USA hasn't been a relevant league since Rick Pitino and Bob Huggins coached in it. Still, conference officials are always hopeful this year will be the year for a breakthrough, which is why UTEP's 66-61 home loss to Pacific was disappointing Friday, because it suggested this year might not be the year at all.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Terrence Jones isn't going to make Kentucky fans forget about the loss of Enes Kanter, but he's trying. The 6-foot-9 freshman got 25 points and 12 rebounds in Friday's 88-65 win over East Tennessee State, and now you know why John Calipari kept recruiting him even after he publicly committed to Washington.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Scott Machado was the leading scorer for an Iona team that finished 21-10 last season, but now he's the third-leading scorer -- and a guard averaging 5.7 turnovers per game -- for an Iona team that's off to an 0-3 start. The worst part? The latest setback was Sunday's 74-72 loss at the buzzer to Bryant, a school that finished 1-29 last season. Yikes.

Why I'm smarter than you think: I omitted Kansas State's Curtis Kelly from my All-Big 12 first and second teams this preseason even though the league's coaches voted him to their first team, which led to several angry e-mails from KSU fans. But none of them wanted to revisit the topic this weekend after Frank Martin held Kelly out of Friday's 75-61 victory over James Madison, then delivered the following quote to reporters: "[Kelly] just has to figure out if he wants to be a good teammate and be here. When he does that for a consistent period of time, then I will consider putting him out there again."

Why I'm dumber than I think: I ranked Florida State's Chris Singleton as the nation's 13th-best wing this preseason. It was reasonable, I guess, but still wrong, and I was reminded of it Sunday when the 6-foot-9 junior got 22 points, 11 rebounds, 10 steals and four blocks in the Seminoles' 97-73 win over UNC-Greensboro.

Three things you should know before you go

1. Baylor coach Scott Drew announced before Friday's 87-52 win over Grambling State that All-American candidate LaceDarius Dunn will miss the first three regular-season games as punishment for an offseason domestic case. After that, Dunn will be allowed to rejoin the team for the Nov. 22 tilt against Lipscomb.

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2. Class of 2011 standout LaQuinton Ross must've been impressed with Ohio State's 102-61 win over North Carolina A&T on Friday because he signed a national letter of intent with the Buckeyes less than 48 hours after the game went final. Ross, a consensus top 65 recruit from Mississippi, had been committed to OSU since August, but was reportedly wavering last week. He's no longer wavering.

3. Has a McDonald's All-American ever been dismissed from a team before playing a game despite having no legal or academic issues? If so, I can't think of one, which means Jelan Kendrick probably became the first this weekend. Memphis coach Josh Pastner dismissed the 6-7 wing Saturday after it became clear Kendrick -- who spent part of the preseason suspended because of a verbal threat made against a teammate -- wasn't capable of operating within the program's guidelines. Meantime, other Division I coaches are already lining up to try to lure Kendrick to their school in the latest example that there's no such thing as too crazy when you're tall and blessed with a gift to get to the rim.

On tap: Durand Scott and Miami visit Memphis on Monday. Ohio State and Florida play at the O'Connell Center on Tuesday. Utah State gets Jimmer Fredette and BYU at the Marriott Center on Wednesday. Illinois and Texas battle in New York on Thursday.

Final thought: Miami and Memphis will start a game late Monday that ends early Tuesday because that's what you do when ESPN offers a slot after Monday Night Football. The contest will tip around 12:05 a.m. ET and end around 2:15 a.m. Interviews won't be completed until a while after that, meaning players aren't likely to leave downtown Memphis until well beyond 3 a.m.

Truth be told, I've been in downtown Memphis way later than that.

So I'm cool with it.

But this is the type of thing that should eliminate university presidents from ever being allowed to stress the word "student" in the term student-athlete, because if academics genuinely mattered at the high-major level, a television network wouldn't be able (or even allowed) to lure schools into playing a November game at such odd hours. There are bozos who still claim a football playoff is bad because it might cause student-athletes to miss class, and yet Miami and Memphis are about to play a largely irrelevant nonleague basketball game that'll keep even the student-athletes from the home team out past 3 a.m. on a school night.

Again, it doesn't bother me personally.

I would probably be up anyway.

But the hypocrisy is offensive.

Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for and frequent contributor to the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts the highest-rated sports talk radio show -- The Gary Parrish Show -- in the history of Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two children and a dog.

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