Saturday’s Georgetown-St. John’s game tipped off at 11am…and while we know it’s because of television (ESPNU must have its programming!) it doesn’t mean I have to like it.  Saturday morning is a time for making pancakes with dad… watching the Superfriends or shouting at the TV because “Saved By the Bell” was either ridiculously preposterous or preposterously ridiculous.  I mean, how many teams can Slater be the captain of?  The only basketball I want to see at 11am is “Hang Time!”, and I’d prefer the Reggie Theus coached episodes to the slapstick Dick Butkus shows (although the one where he squirts ketchup on Deborah Shelton remains mildly amusing).  Please wait until noon to have any games of consequence–and just like that, Syracuse visits Villanova at 11am in a few weeks.  Thanks.

Georgetown (11-3) despite beginning its game at St. John’s during the brunch hour jumped out to a 33-10 lead…ending it’s offensive offense with a 67-51 victory over St. John’s.  I guess if as Huey Lewis says, you can do half a million things all at a quarter to 3… you can make shots at a quarter past 11.  Not only did the Hoyas shoot effectively (something not happening in league losses to Marquette and Pitt) they outrebounded the Red Storm by 14.  Cleaning the glass has been a recurrent nightmare in the JT3 era…and with a team that is consistently uneven on offense they need to hold their own here.  Can the Hoyas take that performance and apply it to games against cellar dwellers South Florida and Providence (combined 1-6 in the Big East) before taking on the double-whammy of #1 Louisville and 20th ranked Notre Dame?

Alma Mater Update– despite eligibility issues (James Southerland playing the role of Fab Melo this January) the Orange remain a top ten team…as the team moves from the “are they for real?” to “when will the other shoe drop?” stage.  CJ Fair appears to have taken his game to another level during Big East play (30+ minutes over four games and better than 50% shooting in the last two games).  Hopefully Southerland can get his eligibility issues in order– one would hate to see what was looking like a “leap” year end in transcript trouble.  Saturday at Sign of the Whale bring on the 44 wing salute as SU plays #1 Louisville.

Maryland (13-3) experienced a second half scoring drought in a loss to Florida State… and a first half desert against Miami (14 points before intermission).  Not only did they make 32 percent of their shots… they finished 20% from three point range and 44% from the line.  Right now the scoring options are Alex Len in the post and Dez Wells on the wing…moving forward either Nick Faust, Seth Allen (2.3 TO per game) or Pe’Shon Howard (26% shooting) need to become that third option.  And the schedule doesn’t get any easier: NC State, UNC, Duke and Florida State over the next 15 days.

Cruising the Commonwealth– while Virginia Tech (10-6) snapped a four game losing streak by topping Georgia Tech in overtime…and have consecutive home games against Wake Forest and Virginia.  UVa’s (11-5) optimism after beating North Carolina returns to earth after losses to Wake Forest and Clemson where the Cavaliers averaged less than 50 points.  Prepare for an unattractive evening in Blacksburg January 24th.

George Mason (9-7)– this is going to be one of those years…an 82-74 loss at UNC-Wilmington keeps the Patriots in the middle of the CAA pack.  Mason was crushed on the boards 48-25…quite a reversal from their first two league games.  Leading scorer Sherrod Wright’s January includes a 25 point effort in a loss and a 1 point effort in a win.  The Patriots have a key stretch coming up:  their next four opponents are a combined 12-3 in the conference.

George Washington (7-8) drops to 1-1 in the Atlantic Ten after a 71-56 loss to Xavier… getting burned by the Musketeers (57% shooting, 8-10 from 3).  Meanwhile, leading scorer Isaiah Armwood was held to single digit scoring for the third time in five games…and on a team with few reliable options the Colonials’ #1 threat needs to produce.

Maryland Womens’ Window–  consecutive revenge wins improve the Terps to 13-3 and 4-1 in the ACC.  First they overcame an early 8-1 deficit to blast Miami 84-62… avenging a regular season sweep from 2011-2012.  Then they shut down Virginia Tech in a 74-45 game that wasn’t as close as the score indicates… paying back a loss from last winter as well.  ACC Player of the Week Alyssa Thomas missed last year’s loss to the Hokies– not so this January (26 points, 18 rebounds, 6 assists).  The team trails Duke and North Carolina in the conference standings and plays NC State and Georgia Tech (a combined 1-9 in the league) before UNC comes to Comcast January 24th.

American (6-10) tipped off Patriot League play with a 72-63 win over Colgate…a win highlighted by Tony Wroblicki’s 17 points and 13 rebounds (the senior had scored 20 points over his last four games).  Will this be an isolated incident or a trend for the big man?  One thing is certain:  the Eagles face a Lehigh team minus its best player as CJ McCollum is out at least 8 weeks with a foot injury.

Howard  (4-14) takes inefficient offense to a new level… failing to reach 50 in four of five games played since Christmas.  The Bison’s 54-49 loss to Norfolk State saw them shoot 33% from the field… and the scoring woes continue:  344th in points per game… 338th in assists per game… and 317th in shooting percentage.  It should be pointed out Howard is 262nd in rebounding;  obviously they’re putting too much emphasis on the glass.

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