Remember the murmurs about Jeff Bzedlik being hired at Wake Forest after he was under scrutiny at Colorado. Well the murmurs got a bit louder last night. The Deacs lost the home opener to Stetson 89-79. Ouch. And to make matters worse the Buffaloes are sort of the hip pick in the Big 12 to surprise this season. Plus with them moving to the Pac-10 you have to wonder if Bzedlik made the right move. Funny how perspective changes in 7 months time.
I think about what you'd expect from the NEC last night. Maybe a little better than it could have been. Dan Hurley won his debut at Wagner as the Seahawks held off Lafayette after having a 14-point halftime lead. Congrats to Coach Hurley and his staff, that is going to make the league a better, but also more difficult, place to play. Meanwhile, LIU blew out Norfolk State at home. No surprise in the win, but when NEC teams win by 23, it has to be considered a good win. St. Francis PA had a chance to steal a road win at Patriot Favorite American, but the Eagles rallied for a go-away win in the second half. Glenn Braica's debut at St. Francis NY was a loss (as expected) at Boston College and Bryant lost by 14 on the road to a good Cleveland State team.
The most impressive win of the evening might have come from Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers dominated a decent St. Joes team and won 98-70 in Philadephia. The Hilltoppers are looking to build on last year's 21-win performance. They could be a real factor in San Juan next weekend when they open with Minnesota in a quality field.
Portland State got a nice win in the closing moments over Pepperdine. There is some video floating around somewhere.
Georgetown was the only team in the Top 25 really challenged. The Hoyas are going to have to find some offense outside of their backcourt. 8 points from folks not named Wright, Clark or Freeman isn't going to cut it. But it was a good road win in a tough environment.
Seton Hall sort of made it a bit uncomfortable on Temple late in Philadelphia. But the Owls won 62-56 for the opening win.
Fan Blog lookalike Larry Eustachy continues to do nice things at Southern Miss. A nice road win at USF to open the season. The guy is a good coach. Let's hope he got off of Tampa with the team.
Another guy who can coach is Tubby Smith. Remember when Wofford nearly bounced Wisconsin from the NCAA tournament last year? Well they played in Minnesota last night and it had a potential for disaster for Tubby and his Gophers. But Minnesota was never really threatened and won 69-55 at home.
Pacific got a nice road win at UTEP turning an 11-point halftime deficit into a 6-point road win. The Tigers may be the top challenge to Utah State in the Big West this season.
Northeastern held on for a two-point over cross-town Boston University of the America East. The AE was 1-3 on opening night. Maine was the only victor from the conference downing Utah Valley 71-66 in overtime.
It must have been an entertaining game in Tulsa where Appalachian State downed Tulsa 89-86. Could be a pretty interesting race in the Southern Conference this year. Although App State is clearly the class of the North Division and got started with a good win.
And for those of you who were worried about Tennessee. Well they answered the bell Friday. An easy win over Chattanooga 82-62. Freshman Tobias Harris with 18 in his debut.