1. Entering Big East play Moe Harkless’s career high was 19 points. But last night the St Johns freshman dropped 32 on Providence and had his 4th double-double by adding 13 rebounds. Harkless made 12-14 2s, 2-3 3s and 2-3 FTs. St Johns won in a rout 91-67, and the 1.30 points per possession was by far their best output of the season.
2. There are 345 Division I teams in the nation, and Wisconsin remains the only one yet to surrender a point per possession to a single opponent. In their Big Ten opener at Nebraska they allowed 40 points in a 51 possession game (0.78 per trip). The 51 possession game was their slowest of the year, and the slowest since last season’s 36-33 defeat by Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament. On Tuesday the Badgers averaged 1.25 per offensive possession, primarily by hitting 52% of their 3s.
3. Illinois had lost 2 of 3 and struggled in their win against Cornell. They struggled again last night at home to Minnesota, but prevailed in double OT. The Illini led by as many as 13 in the 2nd half before the Gophers rallied. In the end, Meyers Leonard needed two FTs to force the overtime. Leonard finished with a double-double at 20 points and 11 boards. Over the last four games Illinois has scored just 0.92 points per possession.
4. Winthrop went to Georgia with a 4-8 record, but two of those wins came against NAIA teams. The Eagles had a chance, but blew a 5-point lead in the finall 0:22 seconds which allowed Georgia to force overtime. There, the Bulldogs dominated and won 92-86. Winthrop had only scored a point per possession against two Division I teams this season, but last night scored 1.12 per trip, by far their best game of the season.
5. Pitt’s defense, which ranked 25th nationally last season, is now up to 159th after a 72-59 loss at Notre Dame. The Irish scored 1.24 per trip. Pitt’s primary issues are that they haven’t been able to force turnovers, and they haven’t been able to defend 2pt shots. On Tuesday the Irish only turned it over on 8.5% of their possessions, and they converted 58.9% of their 2s.