By Cory Mccartney
February 04, 2008
Keon Lawrence
Tough Love Pays Off For Mizzou
Mike Anderson dug into the Dr. Perry Cox motivational bag of tricks, dishing out some tough love to show that Missouri isn't heading back down the road that got Quinn Snyder canned -- and it's actually working. Anderson backed up his no-tolerance policy by suspending five players in the wake of an altercation that left guard Stefhon Hannah with a broken jaw and basically sacrificed Wednesday's game to Nebraska. With three of those players still out Saturday, the Tigers knocked off a Kansas State team that was fresh off a win over previously unbeaten Kansas 77-75. "Sometimes adversity can in some kind of a way have a positive effect on a team," Anderson said after the win. Give Anderson credit, he gave the Tigers a wake-up call and he's showing that he's determined to change the culture at Missouri after the scandal-ridden end to Snyder's tenure.
Something's Bruin Out West
Memphis is still unbeaten, while Kansas is back on track after a hiccup. There's little doubt why these two teams have split all the first-place votes in the last two Associated Press Top 25 polls. But there's another team that is making its case as the nation's best: UCLA. Take a look at the progression of freshman Kevin Love (six double-doubles in his last eight games), the punch of Darren Collison and Josh Shipp (18.3 and 14.8 ppg, respectively, in their last five games) and the Bruins are hitting their groove. Need more proof? Look at what UCLA did against the Arizona teams last week, whipping the Sun Devils by 33 and the Wildcats 82-60. These Bruins are looking deadly.
Price Is Right For UConn
A week ago, the Fast Break downplayed short-handed UConn's win at Indiana. But it's looking more and more like Jim Calhoun's Huskies are becoming a real threat in the muddled Big East race. On Saturday UConn won its fifth straight by beating No. 18 Pitt. The Panthers are the third ranked team the Huskies have defeated during their streak (along with No. 7 Indiana and No. 13 Marquette). Without second-leading scorer Jerome Dyson -- who has missed the last three games and is suspended indefinitely for reportedly failing a second drug test -- UConn has been led by the maturing A.J. Price, who has averaged a team-high 18.3 points in Dyson's absence.
Memphis Tigers
Credit the nation's last remaining unbeaten for simply gutting out a win. After winning by an average of 25.7 points, the Tigers had to overcome a season-low 36.4-percent shooting performance in beating UTEP 70-64 Saturday to improve to 21-0.
Washington State Cougars
The Cougars followed their first home loss of the season by ... losing another game in Pullman. Washington State fell to Cal 69-64 last Thursday and on Saturday Stanford handed Wazzu a 67-65 overtime loss as Robin Lopez hit the decisive layup with 12 seconds remaining. Wazzu has dropped four of its last seven.
Purdue Boilermakers
The Boilermakers continued their second-half hot streak, beating Illinois 83-75 for their seventh straight win. It was an impressive outing for E'Twaun Moore, who scored 20 of his career-high 24 points in the last 11:23, helping Purdue fight off a threat from the charging Illini.
Florida Gators
Maybe Billy Donovan was right not to let the baby Gators get too overconfident after last weekend's 22-point blowout of Vanderbilt. The win propelled Florida into the Top 25 for the second time this season, but Saturday's trip to Arkansas likely ended that stay as the Razorbacks cruised 80-61.
Marquette Golden Eagles
At long last, Tom Crean's crew solved its Big East road frustrations. After losing its first three games away from home by 15, 20 and 26 points, Marquette won at Cincinnati 75-60 Saturday behind Ousmane Barro(19 points, 10 boards), Lazar Hayward (19 points) and a switch to a zone defense that let the aggressive Jerel McNeal take center stage.
Michigan State Spartans
Penn State fans rushed the court after the Spartans' best 21-game start in school history came to a shocking end. While Kalin Lucas (18 points off the bench) stepped up for the struggling Drew Neiztel (2-for-10 from the field, six points), Michigan State didn't help matters by allowing the Nittany Lions to shoot 51 free throws.
"It's a matter of us relaxing, figuring out what's going on on the court and exploiting it."
-- Duke guard DeMarcus Nelson on the Blue Devils' recent second-half performances. They have scored at least 50 points after halftime in their last three games, including Saturday's 88-73 win over Miami.
"I told our guys I'm happy that Missouri won. But we don't want to feel too good about those guys since they're probably our most-hated rivals."
--Kansas coach Bill Self, who told his players during halftime of Saturday's 72-59 win over Colorado that Missouri had beaten Kansas State.
"It felt good when it left my hand and I could see it going all the way down."
-- South Carolina forward Dominique Archie, whose three-pointer with 5.9 seconds left gave the Gamecocks an 80-77 victory over No. 24 Ole Miss on Saturday.
Tyler HansbroughF - North Carolina
The Seminoles managed to bottle up Hansbrough, at least for a little while -- but then Psycho T went, well, psycho. Hansbrough was held without a field goal for the first 30 minutes Sunday but finished with 20 points and a career-high 21 rebounds (he had eight points and five boards in overtime) as North Carolina won 84-73.
Brook LopezF - Stanford
Move over, Love, because B. Lo is making his case as the Pac-10's best big man. One game after racking up 31 points and 13 boards vs. Washington, the 7-footer had 18 points, seven rebounds and five blocks in Stanford's OT victory over Wazzu.
Jason ThompsonF - Rider
The only players last season to average 20 points and 10 rebounds? Kevin Durant, Nick Fazekas and Thompson. The senior had 23 points, 21 boards and five assists in an 89-75 win over Siena on Saturday.
The Fast Break stated its case on the subject but Eddie Sutton finally earned his 800th win as San Francisco beat Pepperdine, 85-82. Sutton is the fifth Division I coach to reach the plateau, joining Bob Knight, Dean Smith, Adolph Rupp and Jim Phelan.
Oklahoma State's road woes continued Saturday at Texas Tech. The Cowboys fell 67-60, pushing their losing streak away from home to 18 games. Their last victory on the road came Feb. 4, 2006 at Kansas State.
Texas continued its dominance of Baylor, extending its streak against the Bears to 21 games in an 80-72 win Saturday. Baylor's last win against the Longhorns came during the 1997-98 season.

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