Off The Boards
By Jack Scheuer January 6, 2012 Edition
Philadelphia has long been known for producing excellent guard play and we’re seeing that more than ever this season. If you picked the all Big 5 first and second teams right now you might come up with ten guards. Maalik Wayns, Zack Rosen, Ramone Moore, the two Galloways -Langston and Ramon, Carl Jones, Tyler Bernardini, Juan Fernandez, Tyreek Duren and Khalif Wyatt would all get votes, plus Drexel’s Frantz Massenat is also a talent. Maybe no Guy Rodgers or Jameer Nelson in that mix, but that’s lot of quality guards from one city.
Speaking of good backcourt men, Pitt’s tailspin can be traced to the injury to Tray Woodall. The 5-11 junior is an excellent point guard, and his injury meant Ashton Gibbs, normally the shooting guard, had to handle the ball. The net result resulted in Panther’s longest losing streak under Coach Jamie Dixon now standing at four games, including several defeats at home, something almost unheard of.
Kentucky led the nation in blocked shots last year (239) and with Anthony Davis leading the way, should repeat this season. The 6-10 Davis is the best freshman I’ve seen, and will battle C.J. Aiken for the blocked shots title. Aiken will also be in the running for the Big 5′s Most Improved award.
Trivia Time: Who is the last Division One player to lead the country in points and rebounds? Answer at the end of the column.
This and That: One of the main reasons for Virginia’s resurgence has been the play of Sammy Zeglinski. The Penn Charter product is having a fine season. The Cavaliers have a big game at Duke on January 21… David Stockton, son of Hall of Famer John, is getting playing time at Gonzaga….Marshall Plumlee, kid brother of Mason and Miles, will be a Duke redshirt this year….Most underrated player in the Big 5 could very well be Temple’s Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson….The Owls have an interesting game with Maryland at 11 A.M. on January 21. The Terps feature Terrell Stoglin, one the the top scorers in the country….Miami’s Malcolm Grant, the Villanova transfer, has hit a three-pointer in 34 straight games….LaSalle’s big improvement is the result of one word: Defense….I’ll slip in a quick football note: Does anyone feel sorry for the Ryan brothers? Didn’t think so.
Answer to Trivia Time: Kurt Thomas of TCU accomplished the feat in 1995.