By Cory Mccartney
December 17, 2007
Michael Porter; Robert Vaden
Vaden's Lesson In Loyalty
When Mike Davis resigned as Indiana coach, Robert Vaden made his intentions clear: wherever Davis would go, he would follow. So when Davis took over at UAB, Vaden transferred and sat out last season. It was a bold move, leaving a premier program, where he was becoming a star, for one that is barely on national television. That loyalty is paying dividends though for the Blazers as Vaden scored a career-high 33 points, 28 in the second half, in a come-from-behind win over Kentucky Saturday. He is eighth nationally in scoring, averaging 19.7 points per game and is second in three-point shooting (43.9 percent).
These Cards Are Folding
Louisville looks nothing like the preseason No. 6 team that had some calling it the most talented in Rick Pitino's seven seasons with the Cardinals. Starting center David Padgett and forward Juan Palacios are out with knee injuries and forward Derrick Caracter is serving a suspension. As a result, the Cards have lost three of five, including Saturday's defeat to Purdue during which Louisville hit just 7 of 30 treys. Pitino says he isn't concerned about missing out on his 500th win the last two games and who can blame him? He has bigger problems to deal with until his team gets healthy.
Hoyas Off And ... Running?
There's something off in Washington, D.C. Well, that not news -- but it is when it comes to Georgetown forgoing its deliberate Princeton-based offense and suddenly running teams off the court. John Thompson III isn't completely forgoing the Roy Hibbert-dominated half-court scheme that fueled last season's Final Four run but with the likes of DaJuan Summers and freshman guards Austin Freeman and Chris Wright, Thompson is making a concerted effort to push the pace. The change has paid off: the Hoyas won their last two by 22 and 59 with the dual-personality that will make Georgetown even more dangerous come March.
Arizona State Sun Devils
Herb Sendek won a showdown with his former pupil, Sean Miller, as Sendek's Sun Devils beat then-No. 17 Xavier for their first home win over a ranked team since Dec. 20, 1980, and their second straight victory over a Top 25 team. Arizona State has been winning with defense, holding opponents to 55.8 ppg and 37.6 percent shooting from the field.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
The Cowboys' road woes continue, with Pitt handing Oklahoma State its 14th straight loss away from Stillwater. OSU came in having won three straight behind its three-point prowess, hitting 28 treys during the streak but was 6-of-21 from beyond the arc against the Panthers.
Sam Houston State
Which school ranks second behind Texas in wins among Lone Star state schools in the past decade? That's right, the Bearkats. Sam Houston State beat Texas Southern to remain unbeaten (9-0) this late in the season for the first time since 1973 and even earned a vote in last week's AP Poll.
Oregon Ducks
Oregon has thrived beyond the arc this season and it continued Saturday as the Ducks hit 14 three-pointers in Omaha -- and lost to Nebraska. Tajuan Porter, who led a second-half charge, had a chance to win the game but missed a free throw as the game went to overtime, where the Cornhuskers broke it open.
Memphis Tigers
An 11-day layoff and a Middle Tennessee team that opted to slow the game down couldn't cool Memphis. The second-ranked Tigers (8-0) won by 24, matching their best start since 1995-96, and more importantly, shaking off the rust heading into a showdown with Georgetown.
Western Athletic Conference
The WAC has been a two-bid league every year but one since 1983 but that long-standing run could be in trouble. There are only three teams with winning records in the conference (Boise State, Fresno State and Utah State) and the WAC current has an RPI of 24 after ranking no lower than 13 since 1993-94.
"We tried to hang with them, but our strength is inside and their strength is all the way around."
--Ohio guard Bubba Walther after third-ranked Kansas hammered the Bobcats 88-57.
"I don't like pulling against coach Knight. You've got to understand, I'm somebody who from third grade on went to his basketball camp."
--New Mexico coach Steve Alford, whose Lobos gave their first-year coach an 80-63 win over Texas Tech and Alford's former Indiana coach, Bob Knight. It was Alford's second win in five tries vs. Knight.
"It's hard when you've got to rebound."
--Marquette guard Wesley Matthews on the Golden Eagles' lineup in Saturday's win over Sacramento State. At one point before the end of the first half, Marquette had five guards on the floor.
Demetric BennettG - South Alabama
After two close encounters with Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, the Jaguars broke through for a win over a power conference team behind Bennett. The senior scored 25 of his career-high 39 points in the second half and hit two free throws with nine seconds left in a win over Mississippi State.
Eric GordonG - Indiana
A layoff from injury did little to slow the freshman phenom. Gordon, who hadn't played since a hard fall on Dec. 3, topped 20 points for the eighth time this season as he scored 26, hitting his first five three-pointers, as the Hoosiers hammered Western Carolina by 48.
Donte GreeneF - Syracuse
The Orange delivered from long distance this weekend with freshman Donte Greene led the charge. Syracuse hit 15 of 25 treys, including five by Greene, who had 25 points to go along with eight rebounds, four assists, three blocks and three steals in the win over ETSU.
Iowa attempted zero free throws in Saturday's 56-51 loss to Drake. It was the Hawkeyes' first defeat against the Bulldogs in Iowa City since 1967, a span of 20 games.
BYU ran its homecourt winning streak to 37 games with a 86-67 win over Pepperdine. The Cougars haven't lost at the Marriott Center since Nov. 18, 2005 vs. Loyola Marymount, Dave Rose's first game as coach.
Tennessee survived Western Kentucky 88-82 to improve to 1,400-904-2 all-time, giving the Volunteers the fourth-most wins in SEC history behind Kentucky, Arkansas and Alabama.

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