Who’s hungry for college basketball?
Here’s today’s installment of “The Breakfast Buffet”, a daily column that can be found here every single morning getting you caught up to date on everything that’s happened from the day/night before and everything that’s going to happen in the next 24 hours.
Things To Sample
Florida Atlantic had a big weekend
Nine days ago, the Owls lost a buy game at home to Bryant. It may turn out to be an incredible blessing in disguise. Playing without Nick Boyd (10.7 points), Dusty May’s squad ripped through the ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando this weekend like a chainsaw through butter, beating three power conference opponents — Butler, Texas A&M, and Virginia Tech — en route to the tournament title. Florida Atlantic averaged 90.3 points during the event and won Sunday’s game against the Hokies by a whopping 34 points. This team is now 5-1 and will next host undefeated Liberty on Thursday.
Butler could be the sleeper team in the Big East
We won’t know if that statement is 100 percent accurate until the Bulldogs host Texas Tech on Thursday in the Big East-Big 12 Battle, but it feels like things are trending that way. Butler earned a pair of double figure wins in Orlando this past weekend over Penn State and Boise State after playing Florida Atlantic tough on Thanksgiving Day and falling by four. This team’s only losses through seven games are against the Owls and Michigan State, who beat the Bulldogs in East Lansing over a week ago. Thad Matta’s team was a bit of a mystery entering this season because it had so many new pieces, but this rendition of Butler is bigger, stronger, and tougher than the team a year ago that finished 14-18. A troika of transfers — Posh Alexander (St. John’s), Pierre Brooks (Michigan State), and Jahmyl Telfort (Northeastern) — headline a nucleus that will play its next five games at Hinkle Fieldhouse, starting with Thursday’s matchup with the Red Raiders.
Saint Mary’s needs to start stacking good wins
Many people — including myself — expected this to be a banner year in Moraga. It still could be, but the start has been a little rocky. Saint Mary’s enters tonight’s matchup against Utah at 3-3 and in need of quality wins after a pair of losses to San Diego State and Xavier last week in Las Vegas. The Gaels’ non-conference trajectory got off track when it lost a buy game to Weber State on Nov. 12th. After tonight’s game against the Utes, Saint Mary’s still has a neutral site game with Boise State and a road tilt at Colorado State remaining on its non-conference schedule. If the Gaels don’t win some of those games, they’re going to have to do damage against Gonzaga in WCC play if they’re going to earn an at-large berth to the 2024 NCAA Tournament.
On The Side
- Duke will play a true road game this week for the first time this season. The Blue Devils will visit Arkansas on Wednesday in the ACC/SEC Challenge and then open ACC play on Saturday at Georgia Tech. Jon Scheyer’s squad is currently 5-1.
- Ohio State’s top six scorers — Bruce Thornton, Roddy Gayle, Jamison Battle, Zed Key, Dale Bonner, and Scotty Middleton — are all shooting 38.9 percent or better from three-point range.
- UMass transfer RJ Luis could be a game changer for St. John’s. The 6-7 wing missed the first five games of the season due to a hand injury, but had a strong debut on Saturday against Holy Cross, tallying 14 points, four rebounds, and three steals in just 16 minutes. Luis could be the Red Storm’s best long-term prospect.
- Think this is a big week for Colorado State? The Rams — who are fresh off a 21-point win over Creighton — will host Colorado on Wednesday and then will face Washington on Saturday in Las Vegas. A pair of wins could put Niko Medved’s team in the driver’s seat for an at-large berth to the 2024 NCAA Tournament. Both games can be seen on CBS Sports Network.
- Things aren’t going to get any easier for DePaul. The Blue Demons are 1-5 and will next host Iowa State on Friday followed by a road trip to Texas A&M. DePaul will then host Louisville, Northwestern, and Villanova. Yikes!
- Oakland at Xavier
- New Hampshire at UConn
- St. Peter’s at Rutgers
- Northern Illinois at Northwestern
- Utah at Saint Mary’s
- The Breakfast Buffet: Gonzaga has a big week, Kam Jones, Tennessee
- The Breakfast Buffet: Donovan Clingan, RJ Davis and Caleb Love both flourishing, Auburn/Tennessee
- The Breakfast Buffet: Josh Hubbard, Jay Pal, UMass picks football over tradition
- Episode 435 — Purdue’s Matt Painter
- The Breakfast Buffet: Cormac Ryan, TCU, Fred Hoiberg