BUCKEYE BOMBS ASTRAY
For all the excitement generated by Greg Oden's debut at Ohio State, it's worth noting that in the first three games Oden played, the Buckeyes made just 35.9% of their three-point attempts, down from 43.4% in the previous seven games. That includes a woeful 6- for 23-outing—only Ivan Harris (right) was on, hitting 3 of 5 from the perimeter—in Saturday's 22-point romp over Cincinnati. The decline reflects the adjustment the team is making while integrating a dominant center into what had previously been an up-tempo attack. The adjustment is less apparent against weak opponents like Valparaiso, Cleveland State and Cincinnati, but for the Buckeyes to beat Florida in Gainesville on Saturday, they'll have to play well as a unit ... and make their threes.
Kansas State freshman Billy Walker made an instant impact in his first college game, going for 15 points in the Wildcats' 82--54 win over Kennesaw State on Sunday. Walker could have an even greater impact on the sport next spring if he tries to enter the NBA draft. Walker was supposed to be a senior at Cincinnati's North College Hill High this year, but the Ohio high school association ruled him ineligible because he had already competed for eight semesters as a high school player. Walker graduated early, enrolled at K-State as a part-time student and became eligible to play last week. Walker turned 19 on Oct. 9, so he meets the NBA's age minimum, but the league considers him part of the high school class of '07, which means he can't enter the draft until '08. Folks in Walker's camp have indicated he might sue the league—which could lead to a broader ruling on the legality of the draft-eligibility rules.
December 25, 2006
1 Alando Tucker (right) is playing like an All-America. Having shaken the foot problems that plagued him in the past, Wisconsin's 6'6" senior forward led the Big Ten in scoring (21.2 points per game) through Sunday and had a season-high 32 points in a 14-point win over previously unbeaten Pittsburgh on Saturday.
2 Arizona needs Kirk Walters to get healthy soon. The 6'10" senior center has had minimal impact since coming back from a six-game absence because of mononucleosis. The Wildcats hope more production from Walters will bolster their interior defense.
3 Louisville's offense is offensive. Given that no coach has better exploited the three-point line over the last two decades than Rick Pitino, it was shocking to see the Cardinals brick 21 of their 24 attempts from behind the arc and score just 49 points during Saturday's loss at home to Kentucky.
ONLY ON SI.COM More on K-State's Bill Walker in Seth Davis's Insider.