1. Every team is going to lay an egg or two sometime during the season. Syracuse laid one on Tuesday, but luckily got away with it, beating Marshall 62-56 at home. In Marshall’s two previous games against decent opponents (Cincinnati and Ohio) they’d given up 1.06 points per possession, yet the Orangemen barely scored 0.90. The culprit was 3-11 3pt shooting and only 25.8 OR% for a team that entered the game amongst the top three offensive rebounding teams in the nation. Marshall was unable to complete a comeback due to a 28.8% turnover rate.
2. Apparently Missouri is for real. Their underwhelming offseason hire (Frank Haith) now looks like a genius as the uptempo Mizzou offense is clicking. The lowest they scored this year is 1.18 points per possession in their opening game. The one concern is a shallow rotation, which Tuesday featured only seven players. Marcus Denmon sat out for all of one possession on his way to scoring 28. If they can stay healthy, only Illinois and Old Dominion remain on the out of conference schedule to trip them up. Otherwise they’ll enter conference play undefeated for the first time in recent memory.
3. For the second time in four outings, Marquette escaped with a two point win. Last time it was Norfolk State. This time it was Washington. Jae Crowder his his only three of the night with 6 seconds left in the game to give the Golden Eagles a victory at Madison Square Garden, 79-77 in a 72 possession game. Darius Johnson Odom scored 23, and for Washington Terrence Ross led the way with 19 points and 9 rebounds. It was only the second time in eight games that anyone scored more than a point per possession against Marquette.
4. Virginia’s offense continues to show signs of life. They put away George Mason 68-48 in a 61 possession game. 1.11 points per possession isn’t elite, but it’s solid against a good opponent. That would have been different if the Cavaliers didn’t uncharacteristically struggle from the FT line, making just 9-17. They also turned the ball over on 23% of their possessions. Still, if they continue to shoot the ball well, they’re going to be a tough out. Sammy Zeglinski made 4-6 3s and led all scorers with 18. George Mason didn’t have a single player in double figures. Ryan Pearson entered the game averaging 19.8, and was held to 9 on 4-10 shooting.
5. Monmouth is on the board. Beginning the season with eight straight losses, the Hawks took on future Big East opponent Navy and won 69-67 in a 58 possession game. This gives King Rice his first win as a head coach. He’s only 906 behind coach K.