- ECU dropped their fourth straight, all conference games, losing to undefeated SMU 79-55. The Pirates were within 8 at the half, but could only muster 23 points after the break in front of a great crowd at Minges. The Mustangs are one of the best stories in all of college sports this season, fighting through the adversity of well-deserved NCAA sanctions after cheating their asses off. Okay maybe that’s not such a great story.
- Duke’s depth issues finally caught up with them in the form of foul trouble as the Blue Devils dropped a close one in Greenville against Clemson. Duke was up 8 with 10:30 to play when Marshall Plumlee joined Brandon Ingram with four fouls, but without enough bodies to play man-to-man defense or, more importantly, attack the basket without fear of offensive fouls, the Tigers surged ahead and never gave up the lead down the stretch. “What do you want us to do,” Coach K rhetorically asked after the game referring to Amile Jefferson’s injury and the apparently strict Nike budget cuts that must keep Sean Obi and Antonio Vrankovic from being issued uniforms.
- NC State’s comeback against Florida State fell short, losing their fourth straight ACC game to start the conference season. The Wolfpack trailed most of the game, but had yet another nice comeback at the end of the game to make things interesting. By “interesting”, I mean it’s interesting to imagine how excruciating it must be to be an NC State fan right now. They play at North Carolina on Saturday, so avoid Twitter accordingly.
- Continuing the trend, Wake Forest also lost last night on the road in Blacksburg. Senior guard Codi Miller-McIntyre had a chance to tie the game after being fouled while attempting a three-pointer with 1 second left. Of course, missing the first one took the drama out of the final two. Virginia Tech and Clemson are a combined 7-2 in the ACC, while Syracuse and Virginia are a combined 3-6. Perfectly normal.
- And if that wasn’t enough of NC catching a fat L on the basketball court last night, the Hornets lost t … wait, what???? The Hornets snapped a 7 game losing streak beating Atlanta behind Cody Zeller’s double-double. According to Hornets beat writer Rick Bonnell, MJ met with the team before the game, presumably to threaten fines for each “Crying Jordan” meme posted at the expense of the Hornets.
- The Hurricanes head out to play the Blues tonight, marking the first time in the two days that a pro franchise traveled TO St. Louis. Oh, by the way, the Canes are just two points out of a Wild Card spot (but giving away a couple of games-in-hand to Boston and Tampa). Carolina hasn’t lost yet during the 2nd half of the season, and if that trend continues, I like our chances.
- The deadline for college players to declare for the NBA draft has moved from April to May, after the NBA combine. This allows players to go work out for NBA teams, get feedback, and then base their early entry decision on actual feedback from NBA franchises. The move also allows ESPN to shift their coverage of Ben Simmons’ decision to a softer part of the annual sports calendar.
- The dead period for college football recruiting ends today as coaching staffs across the country head out to build for the future, but more importantly, to work to keep their 2016 class intact before next month’s signing day. Our recruiting analysts confirm that your team’s commits are all “high character guys” who “understand the meaning of commitment”, and also “would be totally fine if a better player decommitted from somewhere else and got the scholarship that was promised to them.”
SC8 at 8: Thursday, January 14th 2016
Ben Swain January 14, 2016