June 30, 2012

DG 126

Here now is dread gallery #126, a look at the last month of the regular season in College Basketball.

We'll start in the SEC.

1. LSU freshman F Johnny O'Bryant III needs just one hand to pull down this rebound next to fellow freshman Anthony Hickey on Feb. 8 at Nashville. O'Bryant had 6 rebounds, 4 points, and 2 blocked shots in the 76-61 loss to Vanderbilt.

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2. Thanks to a strategically-placed elbow by Arkansas G Rashad Madden, Johnny O'Bryant almost drops his shorts while taking a shot on Feb. 4 at Baton Rouge. JOB III had both the bad (2-11 FG, 6 turnovers) and the good (11 rebounds) as LSU won 71-65 to end a 3-game losing streak.  

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 3. Freshman G Levi Randolph of Alabama makes it difficult for Johnny O'Bryant to get this rebound during 2nd half on Feb. 11 at Baton Rouge.

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4. Johnny O'Bryant misses the dunk, but lucky for him, the ball comes down through the hoop to give LSU a 33-27 lead over Alabama in 2nd half. JOB III had a strong game with 17 points, 9 rebounds, and a season high 3 assists.

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5. Levi Randolph looks to pass out of a double team by Anthony Hickey and F Eddie Ludwig during 2nd half. Randolph finished the afternoon with 4 points and 5 rebounds. Hickey had 4 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Just like in football, LSU and Alabama split their two meetings in basketball, with the Tigers winning this one 67-58.

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 6. Levi Randolph takes down one of his season high 9 rebounds next to Florida G Bradley Beal on Feb. 14 at Tuscaloosa.

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 7. 6-foot-5 Levi Randolph rejects 6-9 F Cody Larson at the rim (and doesn't get called for a foul) with 4:00 to play in 1st half. Randolph had 2 blocked shots in the game (half of his total for the season) along with 3 points in the 61-52 loss to the Gators.

8. G Jalen Steele of Mississippi State watches Levi Randolph put up a shot on Feb. 25. Levi had his best game of the season with a season high 18 points (6-9 FG), 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals as the Crimson Tide won a big one at home over the Bulldogs 67-50 to improve to 19-9.

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 9. This looks like a blocked shot by Akron junior F Quincy Diggs on Feb. 15. But according to the official stats sheet, Miami (Ohio) F Julian Mavunga was credited with a steal at the 13:20 mark of 1st half, so I suppose this is a shot of Diggs trying to prevent Mavunga from getting the steal. Diggs had 6 points and 6 rebounds in Akron's 74-59 home victory.  

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 10. Sophomore G Jordair Jett of St.Louis drives against St. Bonaventure G Eric Mosley on Feb. 1 at St.Louis. Jett had a strong game with 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists in 25 minutes as the Billikens began a 6-game winning streak by crushing the Bonnies 86-62.  

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 11. Notre Dame G Eric Atkins goes to the basket against junior F Jae Crowder late in 2nd half on Feb. 4. Atkins missed the layup but it didn't matter because the Irish already led by 17 and were well on their way to victory. Crowder had one of his worst games of the season with 4 points and 6 rebounds in a 76-59 defeat that ended Marquette's 7-game winning streak.

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 12. Doing what he does best, Jae Crowder steals the ball from Rutgers G Jerome Seagars midway through 1st half on Feb. 22 at Milwaukee. Crowder had 4 steals in the game, along with 4 assists, 7 rebounds, and 27 points (on 11 for 14 shooting from the field) in an 82-65 home win. Jae finished the season ranked #10 in the nation in steals, averaging 2.5 per game.  

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13. Chalk up another steal for Jae Crowder as he rips the ball away from F Deniz Kilici of West Virginia during 2nd half on Feb. 24. Crowder had a huge game with 26 points, 2 steals, and 2 blocked shots as Marquette came back from a 37-22 deficit in 2nd half to get a 61-60 road win over WVU.

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 14. Jae Crowder looks to go to the basket against F Otto Porter on Mar. 3. As was mentioned in my 2011-12 season report back in March, Crowder put on quite a show on senior day with 26 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, and 5 steals in an 83-69 victory over Georgetown as Marquette improved to 25-6, finishing in 2nd place in the Big East at 14-4.  

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15. Wichita State junior F Carl Hall puts up a shot (and misses) over C Myles Walker during 1st half on Feb. 4. Hall finished with 13 points in 15 minutes as WSU improved to 20-4, defeating Indiana State 71-66. The Shockers went on to go 8-0 in February to capture the Missouri Valley championship by 2 games over Creighton.

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16. After having his dreads reduced for far too long (nearly 4 weeks), Bryant Allen got them back to the way they should be toward the end of February. Here the Illinois State sophomore G puts up a token hand while defending a jumper by Bradley G Dyricus Simms-Edwards on Feb. 25 at Peoria. Allen had 9 points in 29 minutes as ISU edged their long-time hated rival 54-53.

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17. Boise State senior G Tre Nichols gets kicked in the arm by G Chase Tapley as he throws a pass on Feb. 29 at Boise. After scoring a season high 17 against San Diego State four weeks earlier, Nichols had just 5 points on senior night in a 66-53 loss to the Aztecs. Tre did not play in the Broncos' final two games of the season (I guess he was injured) and finished his senior year averaging 4.8 points (up from 4.0 last year) (on 33.1% FG shooting) and 1.1 assists in 13 minutes per game. Boise State finished at 13-17.

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18. Masked man Dwight Smith of Colorado State tries to put up a shot against F Mike Fitzgerald during a 67-49 home win over Air Force on Feb. 4. Dwight scored 8 points in the game, his most during the 6 games he was forced to wear the mask after breaking his nose during a game on Jan. 7.

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 19. Junior F Dijon Farr drives against C Josh Owens of Stanford during 2nd half at Salt Lake City on Feb. 25. Farr had 12 points and 6 rebounds in a 58-57 victory that ended Utah's 8-game losing streak.

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 20. After having his dreads reduced for 6 straight games to end January (Arizona went 3-3, including 2 home losses), senior F Jesse Perry kept them in their full-blown glory for the rest of the season, starting with the Feb. 2 game at California. Here Perry is fouled by G Jorge Gutierrez while trying to shoot midway through 1st half. Jesse missed both free throws, keeping the score at 22-9; but the Wildcats went on a 36-12 run the rest of the half to take the lead and held on to win 78-74.

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21. Utah C Jason Washburn takes down a rebound against freshman F Angelo Chol after Chol missed a shot during 2nd half on Feb. 11. Chol finished the game scoreless but had 2 blocked shots in 9 minutes.

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 22. Jesse Perry's dreads get full extension as goes up for a layup against Dijon Farr. Perry finished with 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists; while Farr had 8 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 turnovers. After coming out flat and finding themselves trailing by 12 as late as the 15:56 mark of the 2nd half, Arizona woke up, caught up, and then finished the game on a 12-0 run to win it 70-61.

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23. Washington State G Mike Ladd is called for a blocking foul as Jesse Perry tries to drive past him midway through 2nd half of a close game on Feb. Feb. 16. Perry scored 14 points as Arizona won 76-72.

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24. With 1st place in the Pac 12 on the line, Jesse Perry battles for the opening tip against Washington G Terrence Ross on Feb. 18 at Seattle.

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25. Jesse Perry's dreads go up, and so does the ball, as he battles for possession of it against F Austin Seferian-Jenkins during 2nd half. Perry finished the afternoon with 13 points and 5 rebounds.

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26. Freshman G Tony Wroten finishes a length-of-the floor dribble drive with a spectacular slam dunk in the face of Angelo Chol to give Washington an 8-point lead with 8:57 to go. Sorry Angelo, but I have to include the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHAMSwONO2E ..... The Huskies went on to win 79-70 to end the Wildcats' 5-game winning streak.

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27. Arizona State C Jordan Bachynski gets one of his 6 blocked shots, rejecting Jesse Perry and causing his dreads to go every which way on Mar. 4 at Tempe. Three of the 6 blocks came on attempts by Perry, who otherwise had a decent game with 15 points and 11 rebounds. But the Wildcats lost to ASU 79-70 and entered the Pac 12 tournament on the bubble at 21-10.

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 28. Freshman G Terran Petteway of Texas Tech shoots a layup past G Julien Lewis of Texas on Feb. 25. Petteway played a season high 43 minutes, finishing with 6 points and 10 rebounds, but Tech lost a tough one at home 71-67 in OT to drop to 1-15 in the Big 12.

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 29. Senior F Anthony Jones throws down a highlight reel dunk on 7-0 C Marek Soucek for his only FG of the game, giving Baylor a 50-41 lead over Oklahoma State with 8:18 remaining on Feb. 4. Jones finished with 7 points as Baylor held on for the road win 64-60 to improve to 21-2 .....

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 30. ..... But the shoe was on the other foot one week later as Anthony Jones gets posterized by Missouri C Steve Moore with 12:41 to go in 2nd half. The slam put Missouri up by 6 and sparked a 14-1 run that knocked Baylor out. Despite 7 points and 5 rebounds by Jones, the Bears lost their 2nd in a row 72-57.

31. Anthony Jones gets the dunk past F Jordan Tolbert during 2nd half of his final home game in a Baylor uniform on Feb. 27. Anthony got the starting nod on senior night and finished with 13 points (his most since Nov. 22) as Baylor routed Texas Tech 77-48.

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 32. Not to be confused with Wright State freshman Tavares Sledge, here's Iowa State freshman Tavon Sledge, a 5-9 G, celebrating along with F Royce White and fans after a big 80-72 home win over Baylor on Mar. 3. After finishing with season totals of 8 points, 3 assists, and 4 turnovers in 18 minutes, Tavon not surprisingly has decided to transfer. Look for him in an Iona uniform beginning in November 2013.

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 33. 6-6 F Diamon Alexander stands alongside his parents and teammate Casey Cantey before playing his final home game in an Alabama A&M uniform on Mar. 3. Alexander went scoreless with 2 rebounds and 1 blocked shot in 6 minutes in a 75-72 loss in overtime to Grambling. Diamon, a JC transfer, didn't make much of an impact in his two seasons in the SWAC. This season he averaged 1.9 points (21.3 FG%) and 1.1 rebounds in 9 minutes per game.

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 34. On senior night at Furman, F Brandon Sebirumbi is accompanied by his parents as he is honored before playing his last home game.

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35. Brandon Sebirumbi lets his dreads fly in the middle of the pre-game huddle before taking on UT-Chattanooga on senior night on Feb. 23.

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36. Brandon Sebirumbi draws contact from F Jared Bryant as he takes a shot during 1st half.

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37. Brandon Sebirumbi celebrates with fellow dreadhead Bobby Austin after a play. Austin, a senior G who has missed two whole seasons due to injury (so he'll likely be granted a 6th year of eligibility next season), finished with 2 points, 2 assists, 2 blocked shots, and 4 rebounds. Sebirumbi went out in style with 14 points and a career high 19 rebounds in 24 action-packed minutes as Furman defeated UTC 65-55 to even their record at 14-14.

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38. A loose ball rolls away from FGCU junior G Sherwood Brown, thanks to the illegal tactics by Stetson G Joel Naburgs during 1st half on Feb. 17. After scoring in double figures for 8 games in a row, Brown was held to only 7 points and fouled out in 21 minutes in the 86-80 home loss.

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39. It's a Jon Nwannunu sighting - a rarity late in the season. Nwannunu, 6-8 junior F for UNC-Asheville, defends against F Tolga Cerrah on Feb. 11. He had 5 points and 5 rebounds in the 88-62 home win over Radford that improved UNCA to 14-1 in the Big South. Jon played regularly in November but only sparingly after that. Seeded #16 for the NCAA Tournament, UNCA gave top-seeded Syracuse a run for their money before falling 72-65 and ending the season at 24-10.

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40. Coppin State F Antonio Williams wins the battle for the loose ball but pays for it as Morgan State junior F DeWayne Jackson lands on him during 1st half on Feb. 22 at Baltimore. Jackson scored 7 points as Morgan State avenged a home loss to Coppin earlier in the month with a 91-80 road victory. Jackson would go on to score in single digits in the final 5 games of the season, lowering his average to 12.1 (down from 14.5 last year). He shot 41.2% from the field and averaged 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 steals. After going 27-10 and 17-14 in his first two years, DeWayne endured his first losing season as Morgan finished a very disappointing 9-20.

It can be quite a struggle finding photos of players in the smaller schools and conferences; but thanks to the excellent work by the William & Mary website, there certainly is no shortage of photos of Marcus Thornton.

41. 6-4 freshman G Marcus Thornton takes a jumper against VCU on Feb. 1. He likely made it, as he hit 10 of 12 shots from the field for the night, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range.

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 42. Marcus Thornton dunks to cut VCU's lead to 77-70 with 2:29 to play. But W&M would get no closer, and despite Thornton's season high 28 points, the Tribe fell to 4-20 with the 87-78 home loss to VCU.  

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 43. Marcus Thornton snatches one of his season high 6 rebounds on Feb. 8 against ODU. But he scored only 8 points (2-11 FG) in W&M's 70-51 home defeat.

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44. Marcus Thornton drives to the basket against Northeastern on Feb. 11. Marcus scored 14 as W&M ended a 9-game losing streak with a 79-54 blowout victory.

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45. The CAA's only two players with dreads get together on Feb. 4 as Marcus Thornton shoots over UNC-Wilmington junior F Keith Rendleman. After hitting 10 of 12 shots in his previous game, Thornton shot 2-10 at UNCW and finished with 8 points. Rendleman had 12 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists as the Seahawks defeated William & Mary 81-68 to end their 4-game losing streak.

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46. Keith Rendleman puts in a two-hand slam to tie UNCW's home game against VCU at 4-4 with 13:37 to go in 1st half. Rendleman scored a February high 24 points and added 10 rebounds, and 3 steals, but UNCW lost 63-59, part of a 1-7 February for the Seahawks.

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47. Alabama State senior G Ivory White is called for a foul (I think) as he tries to block a shot by Southern U F Quinton Doggett on Feb. 20 at Montgomery. White had 5 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists in one of his last games with dreads. By the time he got to senior night a couple of weeks later, the dreads were gone. For the season Ivory started all 31 games for ASU, averaging 9.7 points (40.6 FG%), 6.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 32 minutes per game.

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48. Junior G Anthony Price, Alabama State's other player with dreads, tries not to turn the ball over as G Thomas Marshall defends during Southern's 55-53 win. ASU Coach Jackson tried to keep Price, a JC transfer, on the bench as much as possible this season; but due to heavy attrition he had no choice but to put Anthony on the court toward the end of the season. For the season Price totalled 9 assists and 17 turnovers (not exactly the numbers you want from your point guard), 9 rebounds, 10 steals and 21 points in 14 games. I like those sick dreads, but the only way we'll see them on the court more often next year is if he can figure out how to take better care of the ball.

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 49. Rod Hall gets the steal from and is fouled by North Carolina G Patrick Crouch (who?) during garbage time of Clemson's annual road loss to the Tar Heels. This year's final was 74-52 as Clemson dropped to a mind-boggling (and unbelievable) 0-56 all time at Chapel Hill.

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 50. Freshman G Rod Hall takes a jump shot against Georgia Tech during 2nd half on Feb. 21 at Atlanta. I did not see it, but apparently Rod became a turnover machine for a while there, picking up 3 of them in a span of just 42 seconds in 2nd half. He also finished with 3 points and 3 rebounds as Clemson won easily 56-37 to improve to 14-13.

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 51. Rod Hall looks to shoot as Virginia G Sammy Zeglinski reaches from behind to try to knock the ball away on Feb. 14.

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 52. As Rod Hall lifts off to the basket late in 2nd half, G Malcolm Brogdon tries to knock him off course with a gentle shove .....

 53. ..... to no avail! Hall will not be denied and finishes the drive with a rare (for him) slam dunk to put Clemson up by 10 with 1:01 to go. Rod sparked the team late with 6 points and 3 steals - all in the final 3:47 - in a 60-48 victory over Virginia.

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54. Senior F Dominique Morrison of ORU tries to defend a shot by South Dakota State F Jordan Dykstra on Feb. 2. State jumped out to a 15-2 lead and led wire-to-wire. Morrison was held to 12 points in the 75-60 road loss that end ORU's 13-game winning streak.

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 55. Dominique Morrison goes to the basket between F John Peckinpaugh (#11) and G Antwaun Boyd during Summit League action on Feb. 15 at Ft. Wayne, IN. Morrison hit just 4 of 13 shots in the game, but ORU got the road win over IPFW 75-71.

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 56. No doubt Dominique Morrison is introduced as one of the best players ever at Oral Roberts U as he takes the floor with mom and dad to be honored before playing Akron on senior day on Feb. 23.

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57. Dominique Morrison dribbles past Quincy Diggs on Feb. 23 at Tulsa. Diggs finished the afternoon with 2 steals, 3 assists, 4 rebounds, and 5 points. Morrison had an OK day (nothing special) on senior day with 16 points and 12 rebounds as ORU defeated Akron 67-61 to improve to 25-5.

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Let's finish February with some Division 2 dreads.

I wasn't planning to feature anybody in D-2 this season; but I knew I had to do something once Kwame Alexander showed up on Sportscenter one night.

 58. Alexander, 6-7 junior F for Cal State-San Bernardino, goes for the ball along with teammate D.J. Shumpert and and David Wear of UCLA during UCLA's 80-72 win in an exhibition game on Nov. 6. Of course, CSUSB fans probably wouldn't recognize Alexander in this shot (even with the sick dreads) ......

59 ..... but they most definitely would in this one, as he throws one down in 2nd half against UCLA. Big time slams are Alexander's specialty, and a couple he had in February made him famous (well, at least as famous as someone can be playing in Division 2). The first one, on Feb. 4, prompted this article in the Riverside Press Enterprise: http://www.pe.com/sports/sports-columns/gregg-patton-headlines/20120210-patton-csusbs-alexander-makes-backboards-quake.ece?ssimg=467098#ssStory464686

Here's a look at it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmR6VAOh9lI

BTW, that's senior F Tre Brewer on the assist. An impressive feat by Alexander indeed, but the following weekend he topped even that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qxJ8F2zWmY

That's the one that made it onto Sportcenter's nightly top 10 highlights; and as you can see, it was so spectacular that it has been viewed on YouTube more than a half million times!

Near the end of the first video the announcer mentions that pro basketball could be in Alexander's future. I hope he'll be right about that. But before that, Kwame still has one more year to go at CSUSB. As a junior he was 1st team all-conference, averaging 10.6 PPG and 7.9 RPG for a team that finished with a disappointing 14-12 record. Hopefully at this time next year we'll be hearing his named called in the NBA draft. But even if we aren't, it still seems likely that he'll be entertaining basketball fans with his exciting style somewhere in the years ahead.  

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