1. Iona’s Scott Machado got a national televised opportunity yesterday to show that he – and not UNC’s Kendall Marshall – is the best distributing point guard in the country. In 35 minutes of play he completely dismantled the Maryland defense, and dished out 15 assists without ever turning the ball over. His interior passing is something all guards should study. He never zips the ball when it isn’t warranted, but rather is the best player in the country at floating the ball toward a spot where he big men can set their feet and go get it. If the dunk contest were replaced with an alley-oop contest, Machado would be the odds on favorite in Vegas. Through three games he’s averaging 13.7 apg. On the night the Gaels scored 1.22 points per possession, which is the most the Terps have allowed this season.
2. After two lackluster defensive performances in their first three games FSU got focused and decided to set a record. Not only did they hold South Alabama to 0.57 points per possession – which is the best performance by any ACC team this season – but, according to the NCAA Record Book, they established a new record for opponent futility by limiting the Jaguars to 0-24 from beyond the arc (breaking the old record from 1995 when Canisius went 0-22 versus St Bonaventure). But dig a little deeper (thanks to ccnole at Tomahawk Nation) and this boxscore comes to light, so in reality, FSU tied the record, and someone might want to alert the NCAA.
In addition to holding South Alabama to 0-24 from three, the Noles only gave up 36% on 2s and blocked 21% of USA’s shot attempts.
3. Not many viewers took in the William and Mary vs Liberty game yesterday, but those who did got a clinic in how not to finish the game. With 8 seconds left and leading by two, Liberty not only allowed William and Mary senior Quinn McDowell to hit a basket, but also fouled him. McDowell completed the three point play giving the Tribe a 1-point lead. On the other end of the floor William and Mary fouled Liberty with one second left on the clock, but point guard John Caleb Sanders missed both shots. It was William and Mary’s first win on the season (1-5), and this is the 2nd time they’ve faced Liberty.
4. Anyone who doubted Marquette’s offense can be forgiven – in their first three games they didn’t face a defense likely to finish in the top half of Division I. They had scored in the 90s each game (partially due to averaging almost 76 possessions) and were scoring 1.26 points per possession. Yesterday they got Mississippi, which should have a decent defense (Ken Pomeroy currently projects them at 40th). Marquette scored 96 – which is certainly going to catch a lot of people’s attention. To be fair to Mississippi it was an 80 possession game, so the 1.20 allowed per possession was actually below Marquette’s season average. Either way, the Golden Eagles are for real. Marquette shot 59% on 2s, 46% on 3s, and went to the line 43 times.
5. Creighton, who I wrote about last week, had their first of several chances to prove to the country that come March they’ll be deserving of a at-large bid if they don’t happen to win the loaded Missouri Valley tournament. Facing Iowa they scored 1.22 per trip and won handily 82-59. Doug McDermott – coaches son and All-Everything candidate – hit 8-12 2s and 2-3 3s on his way to 25 points. He also grabbed 9 rebounds (4 offensive) and never turned the ball over. Iowa only turned the ball over on 11.9% of their possessions, and still couldn’t score.