NCAA BK

Weekly Wrap: Arkansas' Clarke shows off stroke

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Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman is a senior college basketball writer for FOXSports.com. Check out his Yardbarker blog. MORE>>
 
   
 
The key to the week: Getting matched up with Alcorn State. First, it was Ohio State's Evan Turner who registered the second triple-double in school history with 14 points, 17 boards and 10 assists against Alcorn.

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And then it was Arkansas sophomore Rotnei Clarke erupting for a school-record 51 points and making 13-of-17 3-pointers over the weekend against the Braves. I'm guessing Albany's Will Harris, who plays Alcorn later this week, has to be salivating right about now. The only thing more entertaining than watching Alcorn's opponents was Mississippi State's Kodi Augustus teeing off on his coach, Rick Stansbury, after the team's loss to Rider. "I'm in for five minutes, and then I'm out," Augustus told The Clarion Ledger after Friday's game. "I mean, I can't even get into a rhythm. ... I'm not that type of player to beg the coach to play me, talk back. I'm not doing it. I didn't do it my first two years, and I don't do it now. He's the coach, but I talked to my dad, he said we got outcoached. I don't know." Wow. STUD OF THE WEEK: Rotnei Clarke — We gave him the nod as the No. 1 shooter in the country a month or so ago, and he lived up to the hype as the sophomore made 13-of-17 shots from beyond the arc to break the SEC mark for trifectas in a game. He also finished with 51 points in the rout. DUD OF THE WEEK: Oregon State losing two of its first three games — one to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and the other to Texas Tech in Lubbock. This isn't exactly the way for Craig Robinson's team to start out the season if they want to be a NCAA tournament team. MID-MAJOR PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Cornell's Ryan Wittman — The son of former NBA player/coach Randy Wittman had 23 points and was 5-for-8 from beyond the arc in the team's win at Alabama. MID-MAJOR TEAM OF THE WEEK: You've got to give it to Tommy Dempsey's Rider club, which knocked off Mississippi State with a 88-74 upset in Starkville. The trio of Ryan Thompson, Mike Ringgold and Novar Gadson combined for 58 of the team's 88 points in the victory. WORST LOSS: This wasn't quite as easy as it looks as there was certainly some competition. Alabama dropped a game to an Ivy League school, but new Crimson Tide coach Anthony Grant didn't inherit a wealth of talent and Cornell is loaded for an Ivy leaguer. Anyway, we're going with Mississippi State, a club many had in their preseason top 25 (not us), who dropped a game at home to Rider. WEEK TO FORGET: This one is a no-brainer. Fordham wasn't supposed to be very good, but Dereck Whittenburg's team shouldn't be losing to America East bottom-feeder Maine and Fairfield within a three-day span. Maine had won just 28 games over the past three seasons. IMPRESSIVE OBSERVATIONS: Two of the nation's top players showed marked improvement in their weaknesses. Wake Forest's Al-Farouq Aminu, who shot 18 percent from long range last season, was 4-for-7 from beyond the arc in his first two games. Fellow sophomore Willie Warren of Oklahoma, who was solely a scorer a year ago, scored 15 points and had 11 assists in the Sooners' season opener. TOP DEBUTS: Xavier Henry wasted no time making an impact at Kansas with 27 points in the rout over Hofstra, and fellow freshman Keith "Tiny" Gallon had 18 points and 15 boards in Oklahoma's easy victory against Mount St. Mary's. Gonzaga's Elias Harris had 18 points and seven rebounds, Kentucky's Eric Bledsoe finished with 24 points, Brandon Paul scored 22 in his first game at Illinois and Michigan State widebody Derrick Nix pulled down 14 boards in 15 minutes. BIG EAST CLOSE CALLS: Seton Hall needed a last-second shot from Eugene Harvey just to get past St. Peter's and Pittsburgh struggled against Wofford for a 63-60 win. SURPRISE OF THE WEEK: Memphis adding yet another potential McDonald's All-American in talented and versatile Georgia guard Jelan Kendrick. Tigers coach Josh Pastner has assembled arguably the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation with a trio of top 25 players: shooting guard Will Barton, point guard Joe Jackson and Kendrick. STILL WAITING: Heralded freshman Renardo Sidney was on the sidelines watching his Mississippi State teammates lose to Rider. The 6-foot-9 ½ Sidney is still waiting word from the NCAA as they continue to investigate amateurism issues. QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "Coach (Pitino) isn't going to let him (Rotnei Clarke) shoot. He'll pick him up as soon as he lands in St. Louis." — Arkansas coach John Pelphrey on Clarke going up against Louisville this week in St. Louis. WALKING WOUNDED: Duke lost freshman Mason Plumlee for about a month due to a broken wrist, and Arizona will be without one of their top freshman, Kevin Parrom, for four weeks with a stress fracture. The Michigan State duo of Raymar Morgan (ankle) and Delvon Roe (concussion) went scoreless in limited minutes against Florida Gulf Coast. NOT FOR KICKS: Central Florida freshman Marcus Jordan, the subject of a recent sneaker war in which the school had its shoe contract severed with adidas after Michael's son opted to wear Nikes on the court, was scoreless in 11 minutes in his college debut.
Tagged: Memphis, Louisville, Arizona, Washington State, Oregon State, Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan State, Denver, Wake Forest, Duke, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi State, Florida, Cornell, Fairfield, Rider, Albany (NY), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Maine, Fordham, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Seton Hall, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Kansas, UCF, Gonzaga

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