NC College Basketball Review: Week 4

Week 4: NC College Basketball

Image result for bj tyson isaac fleming

Week 4 of the NC College Basketball season has come and gone. Last week’s action started with the always-entertaining Big Ten/ACC Challenge and all the North Carolina teams emerged with a victory. As for the smaller schools, some played overtime thrillers and others played each other. Without a doubt, it made for an interesting week in the power rankings.

Appalachian State (5-5)

Appalachian dominated USF 84-61 early in the week. The Mountaineer tandem of Ronshad Shabazz (21 points) and Justin Forrest (19) led the way. Simply better ball movement by ASU led to the win in this one. South Florida only had 7 assists as a team.

In a surprise upset, the Mountaineers fell to Western Carolina in Cullowhee 72-71. Shabazz (16 points) and Forrest (18 points) played well again, but their effort was not enough to come away with a win. The game was lost at the free throw line, App State shot 5-12 from the charity stripe while Western Carolina went 12-15.

Campbell (4-5)

Campbell started out the week with a nice win on the road over Stetson 85-78. Shane Whitfield and Marcus Burk led the way with 20 points each. While star guard Chris Clemmons has been struggling, the emergence of Burk and Whitfield as being viable scoring options still make the Camels a threat in conference play this season.

Later in the week, the Camels came up a little short on the road against in-state opponent ECU 69-66. Marcus Burk was the only one to show up in this one. Burk scored 21 points and added 7 rebounds. Although they only shot 54% from the line, ECU won the game from the free throw line, taking 31 attempts compared to Campbell’s 10.

Davidson (4-3)

The Wildcats started the week with a tough loss to #13 North Carolina. Bob McKillop’s team played strong with the Heels but eventually dropped the contest 85-75. Going into the game, the key for Davidson was to make three-pointers and a lot of them. By the end of the game, the Wildcats mad 14 trey-balls. pretty good from a distance, However, there was a stretch in the second half around the 12-minute mark where Davidson went cold from the floor. The funk prompted an 11-1 Carolina run that ended any hopes Davidson had for an upset. The trio of Peyton Aldridge (22 points and 7 rebounds), Jon Axel Gudmundsson (19 points, 6 assists), and Kellan Grady (18 points) earned a ton of early-season respect in the loss. 

Later in the week, Davidson made quick work of the VMI Keydets 74-51. The tandem of Jon Axel Gudmundsson (22 points, 7 rebounds) and Peyton Aldridge, who stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists, was too much to handle for VMI. The game was dominated at the line by the Wildcats who took 21 attempts to VMI’s 8.

#1 Duke (11-0)

This week, the Blue Devils showed they can flip a switch and dominate anyone at any given time. In a tight contest at Assembly Hall during the Big Ten/ACC challenge, the Blue Devils were seemingly tied with Indiana the whole game. That was until about 6 minutes left, then Duke pulled off a 17-4 run to seal the win on the road. The bench did nothing to contribute to the victory. To pick up the slack, the frontcourt duo of Bagley and Carter Jr. went for 41 points and 22 rebounds. Grayson Allen and Trevon Duval chipped in with 21 and 15, respectively.

In their second game of the week. the Blue Devils made easy work of South Dakota. At halftime, Coach K’s squad led 56-30 to pace the way to a 96-80 win. There was production from almost everyone. Star freshman Marvin Bagley had 19 points and 12 rebounds to go with Grayson Allen’s 25.

Duke blew out St Francis 124-67 in their final game of the week. The size of the Blue Devils was clearly the difference in this one. The bigs of Bagley, Carter Jr, and Boldin all had at least 15 points and 9 rebounds apiece. In total, the team outrebounded St Francis 61 to 25 in the game. The Devils also showed the ability to hit some threes, going 15-26 from beyond the arc shooting at a 57% clip.

East Carolina (5-4)

Last Wednesday, ECU head coach of seven years, Jeff Lebo, resigned after a poor 2-4 start to begin the season. Michael Perry assumed the role as interim head coach.

On Thursday, the Pirates hosted UNCW and stunned the Seahawks 93-88 in overtime. B.J. Tyson stuffed the stat sheet all evening. Tyson scored 30 points to go with six boards and two dimes. Isaac Flemming added 21 points of his own and Shawn Williams added a big presence off the bench with 15 points.

In their second game of the week, East Carolina hosted Delaware State. Despite begin down at halftime, the Pirates defeated the Hornets 63-57. Surprisingly, ECU was able to overcome a quiet night from B.J. Tyson. Fortunately for the Pirates, Issac Fleming and Kentrell Barkley both came to play. The two junior guards scored 17 points each and Barkley added 14 rebounds. 

To complete the trifecta in Coach Perry’s first week, the Pirates defeated Campbell 69-66. The trio of Fleming (19 points), Tyson (16 points, 7 rebounds), and Barkley (14 points, 7 rebounds) led the way for the Pirates. 

It looks like the Pirates may have just needed to get a change in coaching to right the ship. Sinc the resignation of Coach Lebo, the Pirates are 3-0. Coach Perry looks to be relying heavily on his three-headed horse of Tyson, Fleming, and Barkley. With a nice break till their next game look for ECU to try to build on this week’s success.

Elon (6-3)

It took overtime, but Elon sent South Florida home with a loss 79-78 in their first game of the week. Dmitri Thompson had his best game of the season. The senior dropped 23 points including the go-ahead basket in the win. Considering the fact star guard Dainan Swoope (7 turnovers) struggled in the contest, this was a quality win for the Phoenix. 

Matt Matheny’s club must have a thing for pulling out overtime wins. This time it took two overtime sessions but the Phoenix were able to claim another victory in a 71-65 thriller against Saint Peters. Tyler Seibring (23 points, 7 rebounds), Brian Dawkins (21 points, 8 rebounds), and Dainan Swoope (17 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) led the way for the Phoenix. Dmitri Thompson added 10 rebounds in the victory.

High Point (3-5)

High Point throttled (why are you even playing) Johnson & Wales 90-54. Andre Fox led the way with 14 points.

When they actually played a Division 1 team, the Panthers got rolled by the College of Charleston 70-58. Outside of Fox’s 24, High Point didn’t have another player in double figures. Charleston dominated the game at the free throw line, drawing 25 attempts to High Points 9.

Gardner Webb (3-6)

In their only game of the week, the Bulldogs defeated South Carolina Upstate easily 87-66. Liam O’Reilly (19 points) and DJ Laster (18 points) led the way in scoring. Patrick Zeck had a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds in the win. As Gardner-Webb tries to get back on track they face two tough games in the upcoming week at Auburn and at Maryland.

NC A&T (5-3)

After a hot start, the A&T looked like the team from season’s past against Central Connecticut. The Aggies dropped the contest 72-59 thanks, in part, to a 3 for 22 effort from the three-point line. Furthermore, the Aggies totaled a mere six assists as effective ball movement was at a minimum. Femi Olujobi, the nation’s leading scorer, finished with a pedestrian 14 points. Japhet Kadji had his best game to date with 15 points and 9 rebounds.

Later in the week, A&T dropped another game they should have won. This time, the fell to Presbyterian 70-73 on Davon Bell’s three-pointer with one second remaining in the game. The Aggies played catch-up throughout most the game after letting Presbyterian take a 32-22 lead into halftime. Femi Olujobi scored 17 points and snatched 10 boards. 

After a few tough road losses this week, it’s time to see if the Aggies are for real or if they just a had a few good games early on.

UNC Asheville (5-4)

Behind Amhad Thomas (24 points, 11 rebounds) and Macio Teague (22 points) the Bulldogs took down SC Upstate 82-70 at home. Teague also filled his stat sheet with four rebounds, four assists, and two steals. The Bulldogs shot 56.5% from three-point land and outrebounded the Spartans 36-32.

Later the week, Asheville got blasted by Clemson 83-52 in Littlejohn Coliseum. It was an offensive struggle all around, Asheville’s highest scorer (Thomas) only totaled 10 points. He also grabbed 11 rebounds in the loss. 

Asheville’s final game of the week was another disappointment. This time, the Bulldogs fell to Furman 83-72. Kevin Vannatta scored 18 points followed by Teague (14 points) and Alec Wnuk (12 points, 8 rebounds). 

North Carolina Central (4-6)

In their only real game of the week, NC Central played Southeast Missouri. Though they beat them a week earlier, Central was unable to beat the Redhawks a second time, dropping the contest 86-77. Reginald Gardner Jr. had a nice game with 26 points. Pablo Rivas added 19 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. 

#11 North Carolina (8-1)

Roy Williams’ squad bounced back in a big way against Michigan. The Heels simply dominated the game throughout, pulling off a comfortable win 86-71. After being shut down by Michigan State, Luke Maye responded with 27 points against the Wolverines. Joel Berry led the Tar Heel attack with 17 points and 5 assists. Outside of Moritz Wagner, the Tar Heel defense shut the Wolverines down.

Next up, Carolina took on in-state foe Davidson. Though Aldridge and the Wildcats dealt their best blow, UNC won the game 85-75. The tandem of Berry (27 points) and Maye (24 points, 17 rebounds) was enough to carry the team to a win. Carolina dominated the glass all night, outrebounding the Wildcats 54-23.

In the Heels final game of the week, Tulane was no match. Carolina won 97-73. Luke Maye led the way with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Dominating the glass and getting to the free throw line has been the recipe for the Heels.

UNC Charlotte (3-5)

UNCC couldn’t overcome a first-half deficit against James Madison and ultimately lost to the Dukes 87-82. Hudson Price had another nice game netting 24 points and 8 rebounds. Jon Davis added 16 points and 10 assists of his own. However, a 24-8 to start the game was too much for Charlotte to battle back from. 

Later in the week, the 49ers had no answer for Wake Forst. The Deacons cruised to an 80-57 victory. It was an all-around poor performance from the Niners. Their leading scorer, Jon Davis finished with 14 points but had 8 turnovers as well.

UNC Greensboro (5-3)

Wes Miller’s Spartans lost their first game of the week on a buzzer beater against Presbyterian 74-72. James Dickey had a standout game with 18 points and 13 rebounds in the loss.

Later in the week, Greensboro responded with a gritty road victory against Liberty 76-75 in overtime. Francis Alonso carried the Spartans with 36 points. Road wins have been a rarity for UNCG this season, so it was nice to see the Spartans finally pull off a win away from home.

NC State (7-2)

To start Jimmy V Week, the Pack pulled off a back-and-forth affair against Penn State. Though NC State essentially played a seven-man rotation, it was the bench who propelled the Pack to victory in this one. Omer Yurtseven scored 19 points to go with 11 rebounds while Sam Hunt added 14 points of his own.

Against South Carolina State, the Pack jogged to a 103-71 win. Torin Dorn impressed with 16 points and 10 rebounds. On a serious note, SC State’s Tyvoris Solomon, who collapsed in the first half of the game, had been reported as conscious and aware. Please send prayers to that young man as he recovers from a scary incident.

UNC Wilmington (2-4)

In the Seahawks only game of the week, UNCW lost on the road 93-88 to ECU in overtime. Though four Hawks were in double-figures, including Devontae Cacok’s 35, it wasn’t enough to outduel the Pirates. While Cacok shot 16 for 19 from the floor, the rest of the team shot 19 for 56 (33.9%). The Seahawks have a nice break in between games. Let’s see if Coach McGrath can work some out of the Seahawks woes to get them back on track.

Wake Forest (5-4)

An easy win against Richmond, 82-53, showed the signs the Deacons were starting to put things together. Wake featured a balanced attack with three players (Byrant Crawford, Doral Moore, and Keyshawn Woods) scoring at least 15 points. However, the key to the game was defense. Wake held the Spiders to a measly 35% shooting from the floor and only took 7 free throw shots all evening.

Danny Manning’s team continued their winning ways against Charlotte 80-57. The win extends the Deacons’ win streak to four games. Bryant Crawford had a nice game, tallying 17 points in limited minutes. Off the bench, Keyshawn Woods added 15 of his own. On defense, the Wake Forest defense held the 49ers to a lowly 32% shooting. It appears defense will the mantra for Wake this season if they plan to make a splash in the ACC.

Western Carolina (3-6)

To begin the week, WCU lost a hard-fought battle to College of Charleston 60-69. In the loss, Mike Amius had his best game of the season with 22 points and 7 rebounds. Deriece Parks added 18 points and 8 rebounds of his own. Had the Catamounts been more efficient from three-point land, the game would have been more interesting; however, WCU made only 5 threes on 24 attempts.

Later in the week, to much surprise, Western pulled off a big win against in-state rival Appalachian State. Deriece Parks scored a career-high 20 points while Mike Amius poured in 19 of his own to lead the way offensively. Matt Halvorsen was a solid contributor as well, scoring 14 points including all eight attempts from the free throw line.

Power Rankings

Week 3 Power Rankings
  Team Record This Week’s Schedule +/-
1 Duke 11-0 12/9 Boston College


2 UNC 8-1 12/6 Western Carolina


3 NC State 7-2 12/9 UMKC


4 Davidson 4-3


5 Wake Forest 5-4 12/8 Army


6 Greensboro 5-3 12/7 Elon


7 Elon 6-3 12/7 UNCG


8 Asheville 5-4 12/10 Milligan


9 A&T 5-3 12/9 Georgetown


10 ECU  5-4


11 Wilmington  2-4 12/10 LSU


12 App State  5-5 12/9 Akron


13 Campbell 4-5


14 Charlotte 3-5 12/10 Chattanooga


15 Central 4-6 12/9 George Mason

12/11 Grand Canyon

16 High Point 3-5 12/10 Toccoa


17 Gardner Webb 3-6 12/6 Auburn

12/9 Maryland

18 Western 3-6 12/6 UNC

12/8 Southern Wesleyan


NC College Basketball Review: Week 3

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