Clearly, the attention for Canadian NCAA Basketball fans is centred around the Texas Longhorns and their Canadian freshmen duo of Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson. #25 Texas Longhorns opened up the 2010-11 NCAA basketball season with an impressive victory over Navy Midshipmen 83-52.
Coach Rick Barnes started with Cory Joseph at the point guard position with Tristan Thompson coming off the bench. Both Canadian players made their presence felt early on, as Thompson checked in at the 4th-minute mark and Cory wasted no time in helping his long-time teammate get on the score sheet.
For Thompson that was just the start he needed, he’s strong interior play and his commitment to the weight room showed as he occasionally outmuscled the Navy front line on his way to a respectable NCAA debut as he finished with 12 points, 7 rebounds on 4/9 shooting in just 25 minutes of floor time. 10 of those points came in the first half where the game was relatively competitive.
One area of concern for Thompson was his foul shooting as he went a sour 4/10.
It’s fair to say that Navy’s big men aren’t anywhere near the level of talent that Tristan and the Longhorns will face once the season gets going full throttle, but we look forward to seeing Tristan’s development against the NCAA elites. The Longhorns have games against traditional powerhouses Illinois, North Carolina and Michigan State.
Cory Joseph saw limited action (25 minutes) due to foul trouble but showed his all-around ability crafting up 5 points, (2/7 FG, 0/3 3FG) 4 rebounds, 3 assists. It will be interesting to see how many minutes Coach Barnes will give his young freshmen. It was also evident that he will have to bulk up to better defend the stronger NCAA guards, something that will come as he develops.
Texas has a long tradition of producing great NBA players at both the guard and forward positions. DJ Augustin and Kevin Durant come to mind when thinking of Joseph and Thompson?
Okay, that may be a far fetched comparison at least the Durant point, but Cory Joseph does resemble a bit of DJ Augustin.
Are we on the verge of seeing yet another great Texas tandem?
Go Cat Go! Walter McCarthy’s Evansville Ace’s Kentucky Alma Mater
Before starring in Spike Lee’s ‘He Got Game’ with Denzel Washington and Ray Allen. Before starring in the NBA with the storied Boston Celtics. Before forging a post playing career as an R&B star. Triple-threat, triple-teamed, Robert Horry like with the clutch triple, off the bench, role playing great Walter McCarty won a National Championship with John Calipari’s U.K., University of Kentucky Wildcats, cutting down nets.
Twenty three years later with Coach Cap’s head in his hands in an indelible image, COACH Walter McCarty aced an upset in the NCAA with an epic win for his Evansville boys against his legendary Kentucky Wildcats alma mater.
Once an alumnus, always an alumni.
But last night it was tears of champagne joy he shed as the cats out their cradle cried.
All this madness…and we’re still a long way from March.
But the Evansville Aces keep marching in a purple haze with this ace in the hole.
And it all happened at the legendary Rupp Arena for these two teams first ever match-up.
When Walt continued his Celtics career post-playing days by becoming an assistant coach in Boston, he not only soaked up the experience but he also was such a cult icon in the city he had his very own ‘I Love Waltah’ t-shirts for the fans in the stands (that even this purple and gold Laker fan rocked…we go back some). But last night as he bounded into the locker room his shirt and tie where soaked in bubbly as he bounded around with his team, embraced in jubilant joy and the made dreams of some young men looking to grow in this college game.
And how about this for a coming of age?
Kentucky where looking for the perfect season with their latest NBA prospects this year for a college that sends them all to the big leagues (Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall and of course…our man Walt), but Evansville left their mark and their one on history.
Nobody deserves it more than McCarty and his boys.
And for all the teams to beat. This is Basketball God poetic. Walt Whitman couldn’t have wrote it better for Walt McCarty.
Ending his teams 39 game winning streak just like that, Calipari said of Walt’s men, “Walter and their team deserved to win. If we would have somehow pulled it out, it would have been, kind of wouldn’t even have been fair because they fought us the whole game and they were the tougher team.”
And as McCarty tells is, “this is the top”!
Beating the first seed U.K., we all know whose number one tonight.
For the aces.
Canadian Nate Darling 37-point explosion keeps Delaware unbeaten at 4-0
Canadian sharpshooter Nate Darling (Bedford, NS) wrapped-up an excellent opening NCAA week with a 37-point career-high explosion to help the Delaware Blue Hens win the 2019 Sunshine Slam tournament.
The Blue Hens defeat the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Road Runners 91-79 to remain unbeaten at 4-0 for the first time since 1999-2000.
Darling buried 12-of-19 field goals, including 8-of-10 triples and 5-of-6 free-throws in 40 minutes of action in the non-conference win.
“I got in the zone where the ball was constantly going in, and was just living in the moment. I’ve built confidence in myself and my teammates, and Kevin and Ryan take the pressure off me as well. UTSA started doubling me and Kevin really took over down the stretch, so kudos to him.”
The Bedford, Nova Scotia native connected on 19 first-half points and caught fire in the second-half by scoring the Blue Hens first 18 points of the half — increasing his total to 37 points with 10:28 in remaining in the game.
The 6’5″ red-shirt junior transferred from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) after two seasons and scored 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting, plus 6 rebounds in the Blue Hens win over Oakland Golden Grizzlies. The former Nova Scotia basketball standout was equally impressive with 20 points and 6 rebounds in the win over the Southern Illinois Salukis.
Darling averaged 25.7 points per game, shot 26-of-49 (53%) from the floor and knocked down 17-of-27 (63%) triples on his way to be being named MVP of the tournament. Fellow Canadian guard Kevin Kangu (Burlington, Ont.) was also named to the all-tournament team.
The Blues will look to keep their perfect start alive when they take on the Lafayette Leopards on November 16.
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