Wednesday, November 19, 2014

DePaul Coach Oliver Purnell Press Conference vs. Drake

After DePaul's 80-62 win over Drake, coach Oliver Purnell spoke to the media.


Social Media:

Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.

Five Things To Take Away From DePaul's 80-62 Win Over Drake

Here are five things to take away from DePaul’s 80-62 win over Drake at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill.
1) DePaul Containing Jacob Enevold:
After Billy Garrett Jr.’s three opened the scoring at the 18:43 mark, Drake (0-2) responded with four straight points highlighted by a layup from Drake’s Jacob Enevold as he blew by Tommy Hamilton IV, which prompted coach Oliver Purnell to call timeout with 17:39 in the first half.
Enevold would go on to score two more points from the foul line as he struggled from the field going 1-of-5.
Purnell credited his defense on neutralizing Enevold.
“I thought our defense picked it up especially in the last ten minutes,” Purnell said. “We threw in man-to-man and zone defenses, which slowed Jacob and the team down a bit.”
2) Depaul’s Balanced Scoring:
Five players including four of the five starters from DePaul (2-0) finished in double figures (Billy Garrett Jr. 15, Myke Henry 13, Jamee Crockett 12 and Durrell McDonald 11). Forrest Robinson also scored 11 off the bench.
Garrett Jr. credited the practice sessions after the University of Illinois-Chicago game as the main factor in the team’s scoring balance.
“We focused a lot in practice and it showed for 35 minutes,” Garrett Jr. said. “We did the little things throughout the game and it showed in the result.”
3) Three-Point Shooting:
The Blue Demons were able to move the ball at a free-flowing pace, which translated from long range as it went 9-for-20 (45 percent), while the Bulldogs made 4-of-12 (33.3 percent). Nine of Robinson’s 11 points came off of three-point makes.
4) Drake’s Chris Caird:
In the loss, Caird led all scorers with 19 and was the Bulldogs’ most consistent player on the court.
Caird went 6-of-15 from the field, 3-for-7 from long range and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line.
5) Did Somebody Say McDonald?
Durrell McDonald put together a solid all-around performance for DePaul with ten points and game-highs in rebounds and assists with seven and six, respectively.
McDonald’s highlight of the game came courtesy of an alley-oop pass to Henry in the first half for the dunk to cap a DePaul 10-2 run.
Looking Ahead:
Drake looks for its first win on the season as it travels to Kalamazoo, Mich., to play Western Michigan on Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. at University Arena, while DePaul returns to action on Nov. 26 as it hosts Lehigh.
Social Media:
Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Geno’s Preseason Top Ten- No. 6 Florida Gators

                                Photo Credit: Stacey Revere/ Getty Images North America

No. 6 Florida Gators
2013-14 Record: 36-3 overall (18-0 Southeastern Conference)
Result: Eliminated in the national semifinal of the NCAA Tournament to No. 7-seeded Connecticut 63-53.
Key Games:
Dec. 5 at Kansas
Jan. 3 vs. UConn
Feb. 1 vs. Kentucky
March 7 at Kentucky

Key Losses:
Casey Prather (13.8 PPG and 5.0 RPG), Scottie Wilbekin (13.1 PPG and 3.6 APG) and Patric Young (11.0 PPG and 6.2 RPG).

After going undefeated in SEC play last season, the Florida Gators headed into the NCAA Tournament as one of four number one seeds.
The Gators rolled through the first four rounds until it met its demise against eventual national champion Connecticut in the national semifinal.
Three of the top four scorers from last season’s team graduated (Wilbekin, Prather and Young) and it will be no easy task to replace 37.9 points on offense.
In order for Florida to maintain its place among the college basketball elite, it will rely primarily on junior guard Michael Frazier II as its top returning offensive weapon.
Frazier II scored 12.4 points per game and is the lone returning starter from last season’s squad. Florida coach Billy Donovan expects Frazier to be more of a presence in the rebounding department as he averaged 3.5 a year ago.
“I think this year [Michael] has got to work more off the ball, and when he does have a chance to shoot the ball, he needs to be aggressive,” Donovan said on
Kasey Hill is expected to take the reigns as the starting point guard as he will fill the shoes of Wilbekin.
The sophomore dealt with numerous injuries in the 2013-14 season, but managed to average 3.1 assists. Hill is more of a facilitator as opposed to a shoot-first player and his role might be the deciding factor on how far Florida goes in postseason play.
Reigning SEC Sixth Man Of The Year Dorian Finney-Smith will also see his playing time increase.
Finney-Smith averaged 8.7 points and 6.7 rebounds and scored 14 points or more 10 times last season. The redshirt junior’s length at 6-8 will be counted on to help fill out Florida’s front line.
The potential wildcard for the Gators could be transfer Jon Horford.
The redshirt senior who played at Michigan the last three seasons can stretch the floor and shoot from the perimeter at 6-10 and 245 lbs.
He is also the younger brother of current Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford.
Donovan’s freshman class includes forward Devin Robinson and guard Chris Chiozza.
A five-star prospect according to, Robinson’s length at 6-8 and 178 lbs. should get him some significant playing time this season, but could endure some growing pains making the adjustment from high school to college.
Chiozza’s game is similar to Hill’s as he is a pass-first point guard and is expected to be the back-up going into the season opener against William & Mary on Nov. 14.

Projected Starting Lineup:
G Kasey Hill 6-1 182
G Michael Frazier II 6-4 194
F Devin Robinson 6-8 178
F Dorian Finney-Smith 6-8 218
F Chris Walker 6-10 220

Social Media:
Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Five Things To Take Away From Michigan's 34-10 Win Over Indiana

                                                     Photo Credit: Tony Ding/AP Photo

Behind a breathtaking performance by Drake Johnson, Michigan (3-5, 2-3 Big Ten East) defeated Indiana (3-5, 0-4 Big Ten East) 34-10 on homecoming at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Saturday.
Here are five things to take away from Saturday’s game:
1) U-M’s rush defense:
Despite allowing Indiana’s Tevin Coleman to run for 108 yards on 27 carries, Michigan’s defense showed up when it mattered the most— on third down. Third down stops have been one of its many weaknesses this season and were able to exercise some of those demons against the Hoosiers.
U-M’s defense held Indiana 3-of-13 on third down attempts and it showed in the individual stats.
Zander Diamont gained more yards rushing (60) than he did passing (24), which can be credited to defenders such as Jake Ryan and Joe Bolden with 11 and nine tackles, respectively.
2) Drake Johnson’s breakout performance:
After sitting out last season with a torn ACL, Johnson waited his turn and on a cold and blustery Saturday, the ingredients came together for a masterpiece that even Picasso would be proud of.
After De’Veon Smith came out of the game in third quarter with an apparent ankle injury, Johnson’s number was called and ran with the opportunity.
Johnson finished with 123 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns. Coach Brady Hoke liked what he saw out of the redshirt sophomore.
“I was very happy with [Drake’s] performance,” Hoke said. “We’re really excited with what he did.”
While most players might brag about a great performance, Johnson did a complete 180 and put the team over himself.
“I’m not so much concerned with me having a good game, but more about Michigan winning the game,” Johnson said. “If I had 5,000 rushing yards and we lost the game, then it doesn’t the matter. I would much rather have us win than anything else.”
3) The Emergence Of Amara Darboh:
Another soft spot all season for Michigan has been its inability for someone other than Devin Funchess to step up in the receiving core.
In the ninth game of the season, that question might have been answered in the form of Amara Darboh. Darboh finished with career highs in receptions (nine) and yards (107), along with a touchdown at the 7:18 mark in the second quarter.
4) Devin Gardner:
While not his best performance career-wise, Gardner put together a quality performance as he completed 22-of-29 passes for a season-high 220 yards and threw for two touchdowns and an interception.
Despite Gardner battling numerous leg injuries this season, Hoke likes how he has been able to cut down on making mistakes with the football.
“I think he’s getting better every week from the injury,” Hoke said. “I think [Devin’s] a little more cautious when he has the ball.”
5) The Streak:
With Saturday’s win, Michigan increases its streak against Indiana to 19 and 34 out of the last 35.
The Wolverines’ 19-game winning streak against is currently second in the Big Ten.
Looking Ahead:
On Nov. 8, Michigan travels to play Northwestern for the second straight season in Evanston, Ill., while Indiana hosts Maryland.
Social Media:

Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.

Brady Hoke and Drake Johnson Press Conferences

After Michigan's 34-10 win over Indiana, coach Brady Hoke and redshirt sophomore running back Drake Johnson talked to the media.


Social Media:

Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.

Live Game Thread Recap: Michigan Defeats Indiana 34-10

                                            Photo Credit: Matt Cashore- USA Today Sports

With no further delay, here is the real-time recap of Michigan's 34-10 win over Indiana on homecoming at Michigan Stadium.

Hey gang, this is Eugene Evans again coming to you from Ann Arbor today for Indiana at Michigan.

You can argue that the game is secondary today compared to the off-the-field issues with Michigan.

As most of you know, AD Dave Brandon resigned yesterday and the search is on for a permanent replacement.

For the time being, we will focus on the action on the gridiron today so I hope you guys enjoy today's thread.

Current Weather Conditions at 2:48 pm ET: 39 degrees, mostly cloudy.

Michigan TE Jake Butt has been suspended for one game due to a violation of team rules.

Yay, we will have two windows open in the press box for today's game. The reason is to create a better atmosphere for reporters.

The student section appears to be 75 percent full at kickoff.

Michigan wins the toss and defers to the second half.

Indiana was forced to punt on its opening drive.

Michigan strikes first as Matt Wile makes a 35-yd FG to go up 3-0 with 8:20 left in the opening quarter.

U-M forced fumble as it recovers at the IU 27.

As he was falling to the ground, Gardner Favres the ball to TE Keith Heitzman for a 7-yd TD pass.Ind 0 Mich 10, 5:22 1st.

This is the Devin Gardner that Michigan fans have been craving all season long.

UM is slowly reverting back to the team we have been accustomed of seeing all season.

QB Comparison So Far: Diamont (IND) 2-4 8 yds, Gardner (MICH) 8-10 89 yds and a TD.

Wash, rinse and repeat as IU goes and three and out.

I'm thinking that IU's Tevin Coleman was benched for the first quarter fumble. I would expect him back in the lineup before halftime.

Gardner being Gardner as he forced the ball to Funchess with two defenders draped on him.

Gardner finds Darboh on the slant for a 12-yd TD pass. XP is good as U-M goes up 17-0 on IU with 7:18 left in the first half.

Diamont unable to escape U-M rush defense as Joe Bolden picks up the sack.

Gardner throws his first INT as Chase Dutra returns it to the MICH 12.

IU 25-yd FG attempt goes off the left crossbar as it remains scoreless on the day.

End of the first half: MICH 17, IND 0

Oakes' 38-yd FG is up and good. MICH 17, IND 3 8:31 3rd.

Diamont fumbles as he started to scramble and Ryan Glasgow recovers for UM.

Gardner hands it off to Drake Johnson for an 9-yd TD scamper.

Michigan has needed others to step up all season and today they are getting that with Darboh and Johnson.

Michigan 27, Indiana 10, 3:09 4th. 4-yd TD run by D'Angelo Roberts.

Started from the bottom and now he's here, TD Drake Johnson.

Well that's all from Michigan Stadium as U-M wins in convincing fashion 34-10 over Indiana.

Geno's Preseason Top Ten- No. 7 Kansas Jayhawks

                                                 Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

No. 7 Kansas Jayhawks
2013-14 Record: 25-10 overall (14-4 Big 12 Conference)
Result: Eliminated in the third round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 10-seeded Stanford 60-57.
Key Games:
Nov. 18 vs. Kentucky in Indianapolis, Ind.
Dec. 5 vs. Florida
Dec. 10 at Georgetown
Jan. 7 at Baylor
Jan. 17 at Iowa State
Feb. 14 vs. Baylor
Feb. 28 vs. Texas

Key Losses:
Andrew Wiggins (17.1 PPG and 5.9 RPG) and Joel Embiid (8.1 RPG and 2.6 BPG).

Despite being bounced out of the NCAA Tournament in the first week by Stanford, Kansas has a lot of momentum riding in its favor heading into the upcoming season.
With Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid declaring for early entry into the NBA Draft, the Jayhawks are looking to extend its streak of consecutive regular season conference titles to eleven. In order to see light at the end of the tunnel, coach Bill Self recruited 6-8 center Cliff Alexander.
The freshman’s game is expected to be an inside/outside combination, which could be major problems given that he emphasized the ability to shoot from long range.
“Of course I can shoot the three,” Alexander said on on June 8.
Alexander, who is projected to be a top-5 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft should he come out will be expected to produce immediately as he anchors the frontcourt along with Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden.
Ellis and Selden are the highest returning scorers for Kansas with averages of 13.5 and 9.7 points in the 2013-14 season.
Frank Mason III is expected to play a bigger role in the Jayhawks’ backcourt this season. The sophomore averaged 5.5 points and dished out 2.1 assists in 35 games.
Devonte’ Graham is the other highly touted freshman expected to play huge minutes for Self.
Graham signed a letter of intent on May 2 to play for Kansas after finishing his senior season playing high school basketball at Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C.

Projected Starting Lineup:
G Devonte’ Graham 6-2 175
G Frank Mason III 5-11 185
F Wayne Selden 6-5 230
F Perry Ellis 6-8 225
C Cliff Alexander 6-8 240

Social Media:

Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.