Posted on: February 24, 2011 11:21 am

This one could really hurt, Hoyas

Hoya fans don't want to see Chris Wright sitting next to JT3

Posted by Eric Angevine

If it were anyone other than Chris Wright, an injury to the non-shooting hand might be something to adjust to. But Wright's game -- while it includes a fair amount of scoring -- is not valued by mere points produced.

This season, Wright has been on the floor as much as his fellow senior Austin Freeman. Freeman scores over 24 percent of the team's points, with Wright coming in second with 18 percent of the Hoya's scoring output in his column. Wright gets to the line more than any other Hoya as well, and nobody even comes close to his contributions as a distributor and decision-maker.

That's the statistical impact, but there's so much more under the surface. Consider the backcourt chemistry that Georgetown has had to draw on this season. Two powerful, adept guards, each weighing over 200 lbs, allowed JT3 to play a power game at every position on the floor – pretty valuable in the Big East.

The distribution is the part that seems most difficult to replace right now. A pure scorer can play with a cast on his hand (witness Arizona’s Derrick Williams) but a point guard who can only use one hand is a problem.

This is not to say that losing Chris Wright cost Georgetown the Cincinnati game, because the Hoyas were in trouble before their senior guard was injured with 15 minutes left in the second half. However, Wright had two assists before his injury ended his night, and that still stood as 25 percent of the team total of eight by the end of the evening. And whether Wright is expected to be the team’s leading scorer or not, he had been shouldering more of that load over the past three games, leading the Hoyas with 20 points vs. Marquette, 19 in a loss at UConn, and a season-high 26 at South Florida on Saturday.

There’s no good time for an injury like this one, but stopping a player cold in the middle of a streak of great play is extremely disheartening. JT3 can show us where his coaching acumen stands if he gets through the final two games of the season without this team falling apart. Fortunately, he has time on his side. The Hoyas host Syracuse on Saturday, then have a full week off before an afternoon rematch with the Bearcats. If Wright can recover quickly, this is still a top-25 team. If not, the Hoyas could drop several pegs in the postseason seeding.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 12, 2011 8:06 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2011 8:17 pm

Seminoles star Singleton to have foot surgery

Chris Singleton in happier times

Posted by Eric Angevine

Florida State won a game, but still suffered a loss the team can't afford.

In a 63-56 win over Virginia, star forward Chris Singleton (above) broke his right foot when he came down on another player's foot. He'll have surgery as soon as possible, in hopes that his recovery will be complete in time for him to return to the court by the end of the season.

FoxSports.com's Jeff Goodman points out that the remaining schedule for FSU could help that process along:

Florida State has a week off before traveling to ACC cellar dweller Wake Forest, then they finish with games at Maryland, ay home against Miami and North Carolina and road game to end the regular season at N.C. State. The only team in the top half of the league is North Carolina.

Senior guard Derwin Kitchen is the second leading scorer for the Seminoles, averaging just over ten points per game in 30 minutes of play. In the game against Virginia, he scored only 3 points, playing largely without Singleton, who was injured after ten minutes of the first half had elapsed. 6-foot-5 junior guard Deividas Dulkys played 32 minutes off the bench and scored 9 points with 7 rebounds.

FSU has established itself as the third-best team in the ACC behind Duke and North Carolina, and should be in the NCAA tournament barring a complete collapse to finish the season. The defensively superior squad will struggle to score without Singleton in the lineup, however, and could be in serious jeopardy of a lower seed and an early exit from the Big Dance if Singleton is done for the season.
Posted on: January 16, 2011 9:34 am

Kris Joseph out vs. Pitt

Posted by Eric Angevine

A quick note, garnered from the excellent work of our hoops colleague Seth Davis:

Just spoke w/ Jim Boeheim. Kris Joseph definitely will NOT play vs Pitt on Mon night bc of concussion but should be OK for Villanova on Sat.


Advantage, Pitt? It will be interesting to see which way Jim Boeheim goes with the starting lineup. Will it be a three-guard look, with freshman Dion Waiters getting the start, or will we see a favorite emerge from the triumvirate of C.J. Fair, Baye Moussa Keita and James Southerland? How this team deals with injury will tell us a lot about what they can do in March.
Posted on: January 13, 2011 4:17 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2011 5:25 pm

Jeremy Hazell is one tough SOB

Posted by Eric Angevine

We all know that guy who hangs out in college way too long , getting his second degree or filing for twelve minor concentrations like an academic version of Brooks from The Shawshank Redemption . Once you get inside that warm cocoon of institutional calm, you just don't want to leave.

Seton Hall guard Jeremy Hazell was starting to seem like that guy. Already 25 years old, Hazell seemed prepared to come back again next season after a series of personal setbacks assailed him. It was bad enough when he injured his left wrist in November, but while he was coming back from that injury, he was shot in the right armpit while on Christmas break in his hometown of Harlem, NY. Nobody would have blamed him if he chose to take a redshirt and come back to help Seton Hall win games next season.

But he didn't. Hazell visited the doctor on Monday - that much we knew right away. But he and coach Kevin Willard would only say that he was cleared to play, not whether he planned to actually do so. We started to suspect something was up when he joined the team on a road trip to Chicago, but still thought that the prospect of joining this season's tough sledding might not appeal to the senior.

If you're like me, your estimation of Hazell shot way, way up yesterday afternoon when you heard that he would, indeed, play at DePaul. It climbed a couple more notches when the news came down that he not only played, but scored 23 points after coming off the bench in the fourth minute of the first half.

Just to recap, Hazell came back from his wrist injury in the absolute minimum time his doctor would allow. He was also shot -- SHOT -- by a gunman just eighteen days ago, and he came back playing out-of-his-mind, not tentative or ginger on the ol' wings at all. As the Associated Press reported, "Hazell, a first-team preseason All-Big East selection, had an alley-oop dunk to make it 77-60 with 2:17 left. He scored 15 points in the second half. Hazell said he never doubted that he would return to the court even after being shot."

I think I'd be a DNP - quivering pile of goo for the rest of the season if I had been shot by a robber, but it wasn't nothin' but a thang to Hazell. That's pretty tough, both mentally and physically.

It also shows loyalty to his teammates, who will have absolutely no excuses for slacking off in practice any more this season. Turf toe? Man up. Broken ribs? Get in the gym, jackwagon. Hazell here was SHOT a couple of weeks ago, and do you hear him whining? No, you don't.

All kidding aside, this is huge for the Pirates. Hazell's presence on the court should inspire his teammates to, in essence, 'win one for the Gipper'. He's got Willis Reed cred now. Seton Hall is now a respectable enough 2-3 in the Big East, just behind West Virginia and UConn, which are both 2-2. Even Hazell probably can't help them win at Pitt on Saturday, but next week's home games against slumping Georgetown and rebuilding Rutgers are winnable.

When you know your team has the toughest player on the floor, anything starts to seem possible.

Posted on: January 7, 2011 6:26 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2011 6:36 pm

NMSU will miss redshirt McKines

Posted by Eric Angevine

Wendell McKinesThat Wendell McKines was considering playing at all this season is a testament to how much he loves basketball, and how much it kills him to miss games when his teammates need him.

McKines, a 6-foot-6 senior forward for New Mexico State, is one of those do-it-all types. He has been an important scorer and rebounder for the Aggies, and became a reliable distributor last season as well. This season, he hoped to lead his team to a WAC championship before the league begins to break apart in chunks and migrate to other western conferences.

The nightly double-double threat will be denied that chance due to a broken foot suffered in the offseason that has kept him out of the lineup all semester. The team announced this week that McKines would shut it down this season, take a redshirt, and come back in 2011-12. His head coach says that stepping back from leading the team on the floor won't come naturally to his star player.

"He has a great personality," NMSU's Marvin Menzies told me in a phone interview today. "He likes being on stage and he loves performing."

McKines does have a flair for theater, and he's not shy. "I have a standout personality," he told the Las Cruces Sun. "But a degree is something that can never be taken away from me. Getting my education was one of the standout parts for me redshirting."

That's a great reason to come back and do things right. So is a good, old-fashioned dose of rivalry.

"I owe myself, my family and the city of Las Cruces to play a full year," he said in the same interview. "UTEP and UNM, they have to see me. They haven't seen me since '08."

In the meantime, the relentlessly upbeat McKines will focus on improving his handle and outside shot, Menzies said. He's also been the equivalent of an additional assistant coach, helping this year's freshmen adjust to life in DI.

"He's been where a lot of them have been," Menzies said. "He understands. He knows the frustation you have when you come from being 'the man' at the high school level. Making the adjustment to being part of a team is not always easy for kids. He shares his experience, which is comforting to them because they see his talent and know they'd like to get there some day."

Menzies doesn't see coaching in McKines' future just yet, though. He says the 22-year-old with the winning smile dreams of owning a business someday. With his outsized personality, the California native seems like a natural for the entertainment industry. Before then, however, both McKines and his coach hope there will be plenty more basketball. The player plans to work on improving his game and come back stronger next season.

The Aggies have some intriguing young talent coming into the program. Canadian Christian Kabongo -- whose younger brother Myck is a Texas Longhorn commit -- is already the third leading scorer for the Aggies in his freshman year. Speedy Remi Barry, a French-born partial qualifier who was courted by St. John's and several Pac-10 teams before the NCAA ruled against him, should be available next season as well. If junior power forward Troy Gillenwater opts to stay put rather than pursue NBA dreams, the team gets even tougher.

Losing Wendell McKines this year will be tough for New Mexico State. Perhaps his top-notch attitude will rub off on some of his teammates this season and make the whole experience worthwhile.

Photo: AP
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com