Rick Barnes was so displeased with Texas' lack of defense in its 97-84 loss at Missouri, a defeat in which the Longhorns allowed the Tigers to shoot 70.4 percent in the second half, he said: "We should probably apologize to them. I'm sure they felt like they were at a shootaround this morning taking wide-open shots." Granted, Barnes had reason to be livid: It was his first loss to Mizzou (snapping a nine-game winning streak) and the 'Horns first 0-1 start in Big 12 play under Barnes. The biggest problem with sliding Texas, which has lost three of five after an 11-0 start, is its depth. The Longhorns' reserves, which were outscored 38-10 by Missouri, have been outscored by a combined 77-17 in Texas' defeats.
Gordon Leaves Illini Feeling Jilted -- Again
Thanks to Eric Gordon, there seems to be at least one more bit of bad news for you, Illinois: You're off to your worst Big Ten start since 1998-99. The phenom who renegged on a verbal commitment to the Illini, scored 17 points in his first game against the school he jolted, as Indiana handed Illinois its fifth straight loss. The Illini may not want to admit beating Gordon is a motivation. "In terms of what everybody wants to hear, about we're angry or it's a payback game, it's just a game," Illinois forward Brian Randle said. "It's Indiana versus Illinois." But as long as Gordon a Hoosier, it's hard to believe there won't be ill feelings, especially between coaches Bruce Weber and Kelvin Sampson.
Are You Feeling Ducky?
The consensus is Kevin Love and UCLA established themselves as the class of the Pac-10 with Saturday's win over No. 4 Washington State. While there's no denying the gravity of the Bruins' performance, let's not overlook what's going on in Eugene, Ore. Yes, once-No. 11 Oregon stumbled and lost three of four, but a team that isn't at a loss for talent is hitting its stride, improving to 8-0 at home with Sunday's victory over Stanford. Stepping up the D in outscoring the Cardinal 8-0 over the last two minutes is a positive sign, but we won't know for sure until after an upcoming six-day stretch that includes Wazzu, UCLA and USC.
Ups & Downs
The big man can hit threes? Who knew? Don't expect him to turn into the next Dirk Nowitzki but 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert hit an uncontested three-pointer with four seconds remaining as Georgetown rallied to top UConn 72-69. It was the second trey of the senior's career.
The Commodores' perfect start ended at Rupp Arena as Kentucky handed Vanderbilt its first loss, holding the nation's best three-point shooting team to 9-of-24 from behind the arc, forcing 22 turnovers and winning the rebounding battle 43-25.
San Diego State Aztecs
The Pit is anything but the pits for the Aztecs these days. Steve Fisher's crew rallied from 14 down in the first half to win at New Mexico for the third straight time. San Diego State improved to 12-4, its best start since 1984-85.
The Big 12 opener hasn't been kind to the Buffaloes. Texas A&M dumped Colorado 86-69, marking the Buffs' 11th straight loss in the conference opener. CU has won just once to open league play since the inception of the Big 12.
Consider the Hurricanes' first test a success. They had their struggles to open ACC play against Georgia Tech, with Miami missing its first 13 threes and Jack McClinton going 22 minutes without a basket. But the 'Canes responded, going on a 31-11 run en route to a 78-68 win.
LSU was dressed only nine players, going without two starters due to injuries, as Ole Miss continued the Tigers' road woes on Saturday. LSU fell to 1-8 on the road this season and lost its first two in SEC play for the first time since '01.
They Said It
"It was a statement win for us."
--Marquette coach Tom Crean after the Eagles beat Notre Dame 92-66 Saturday, marking the worst loss for the Irish in the teams' 109-game series and ending their 10-game winning streak.
"I've never heard it that quiet in the second half of a road game."
--Tennessee forward Wayne Chism on the Volunteers' second-half run, in which they outscored South Carolina 23-5 after halftime, increasing their lead to 26 points en route to a 86-50 win.
"We're looking to give a payback to every team that beat us last year. No ifs, ands or buts."
--Cincinnati guard Deonta Vaughn who had 25 points for the Bearcats, which beat then-No. 19 Villanova 69-66 Saturday in the Queen City. 'Nova beat UC by 16 points last season.
Big Men On Campus
Tyrese RiceG - Boston College
The ACC's biggest backcourt scoring threat helped Boston College to new heights as the junior scored 32 points, grabbed six boards and had eight assists in a 112-73 win over Wake Forest. It was the Eagles' first 100-point game in the ACC.
Obi MuoneloG - Oklahoma State
The Cowboys denied Bob Knight his 900th career victory behind Muonelo's hot hand. He nailed four straight three-pointers in a 95-second span as he scored a season-high 21 points in Oklahoma State's 74-55 win over Texas Tech.
Trevor BookerG - Clemson
The Tigers' big body is suddenly a threat from beyond the arc. After not hitting any three-pointers for 49 games, the 6-7, 240-pounder is 4-for-4 in his last two games, including one at the end of regulation as part of a 29-point performance in Clemson's 20T win over Florida State.
Savannah State set an NCAA record for fewest points in a half in the shot-clock era, as it was outscored 48-4 in the second half of last Monday's 85-25 loss to Kansas State.
Not to be outdone by the Tigers, Rick Majerus' Saint Louis squad set a modern-day record for the fewest points in a game as it lost 49-20 to George Washington last Thursday -- though the Billikens did rebound Sunday by taking then-No. 17 Dayton to the brink before losing 68-57 in OT.
Division I hasn't been kind to the New Jersey Institute of Technology, which fell to 0-18 on Saturday. A 64-52 loss to Columbia extended the Highlanders' losing streak to 22 games -- NJIT's last win came on Feb. 19, 2007 against Longwood.
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