Stock up/Stock down

STOCK UP

Jordan Hulls (Indiana): Hulls shot just 5-of-12 from the floor against Stetson and was quiet for a lot of the game on Sunday. But that doesn’t dismiss what the Bloomington native did against N.C. State, serving as the key cog in Indiana’s road win over the Wolfpack. Hulls dominated in every facet of that game, not only shooting 6-of-9 from the floor and finishing with 20 points, but also playing solid defense — something he’s been criticized for in the past. He’s averaging more than 15 points and four assists per game over the last three contests — that’s the Jordan Hulls Indiana needs going forward.

Sam Maniscalco (Illinois): The transfer from Bradley had flown under the radar a bit to start the season, as guys like D.J. Richardson and Brandon Paul looked poised to be Illinois’ scorers. But after a 24-point coming out party against Maryland in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Maniscalco looks like he might be the key to Illinois’ 8-0 start. Shooting 53 percent from the field, Maniscalco has been Illinois’ best perimeter shooter, and if Illinois is indeed for real, Maniscalco will be a key contributor.

Tu Holloway (Xavier): Holloway didn’t hit a field goal in Xavier’s matchup with Purdue until 33 seconds remained in the first half. But with his team trailing by 19 points in the second half, Holloway went on the war path. With two minutes remaining, Holloway hit three 3-pointers, one with just 40 seconds remaining to roar back and beat the Boilermakers. It’s nothing new for Holloway though who has been the A-10’s best player for a while now. But with this latest performance, he might be in the conversation as one of the best guards in the country.

STOCK DOWN

Derek Elston (Indiana): Elston started out the year in very promising fashion, averaging close to double figures through five games. He was healthy again and very much looked like the seventh starter in Indiana coach Tom Crean’s rotation. But in his last three games, Elston’s stock has definitely cooled down. He’s scored just seven points in those games and played just eight minutes against N.C. State. By no means is Elston a non-factor, but as a power forward in Indiana’s offense, he’s going to have to get better at playing closer to the basket, not just shooting from a step inside the 3-point line.

Brandon Paul (Illinois): As good as Maniscalco has been, stepping into a role as a scorer in Illinois’ offense, Paul has been that bad. Paul was supposed to improve his perimeter shooting as he took on a bigger role, but he’s shooting just 34 percent from the floor this season and 20 percent from long range. Luckily for the Illini, Maniscalco and Richardson have been enough in the backcourt. But Paul’s stock is way down from what it could’ve been at this point in the season.

UCLA (yeah, the entire team): I remember perennially choosing the Bruins to make it to the Final Four. But right now, the team looks like it’s in danger of not making the CBI, let alone the Final Four. Reeves Nelson, UCLA’s supposed best player, is suspended indefinitely again and has become a joke to the school’s storied history. Ben Howland has lost his 2-5 team and might lose something else before too long.

13 comments

  1. Ben Howland hasn’t lost his virginity yet? I can’t imagine how a 2-5 team will help him with the ladies.

  2. Good point about Elston. While I love to see those threes fall as much as the next fan, I’ve always thought there’s not much more useless than a big man playing on the perimeter.

    Western Carolina University, where I am a faculty member (part time), nearly knocked off Purdue last night. It was a rematch of perhaps the closest 16 vs. 1 seed game ever. In that game WCU missed the last shot which would have upset Glenn Robinson and the Boils. They probably won’t schedule them again.

  3. “didn’t sampson have holloway as a verbal or strong lean?”

    Actually signed a LOI- but had a provision that Holloway could walk if Sampson left. He did and he did.

  4. I heard Dan Dakich say last night that Holloway was one of the hardest working kids he had ever seen. He went on to say that players around Holloway have all stepped up their commitment to extra practice hours and a stronger work ethic because of the example he sets. Xavier is one of the fastest up-and-down teams I’ve seen in a long time. Dangerous team come tournament time…That’s where I think Butler benefited the last two years in the NCAA pathway to their Final Fours..I can’t remember them drawing a team that ran like jackrabbits on the floor..

    I used to wonder if the NCAA began to realize the best shot at knocking a Bobby Knight team out in the early rounds was to put the Hoosiers against teams similar to the Xavier team Butler faced last night. I remember teams like Cleveland State giving us nightmares. Did the NCAA despise Knight so much that their experts in the seedings room on Selection Sunday purposefully put teams against the Hoosiers that diminished chances for Knight’s aptitude the game having more an effect(as it would against teams with more of a halfcourt style of play) on the outcome?

    Who did the Washington Huskies lose to last year in the tournament? I seem to recall the Huskies facing a team that ran them off the floor like it was a track meet..And Washington is traditionally very fast and athletic!

  5. I doubt that they concerned themselves with RMK all that much. Also, I imagine the makeup of the selection committee changed from time to time and I don’t think a hatred for Bobby was the litmus test. I don’t think you can blame his early tournament exits on the selection committee.

  6. Bittersweet to hear about the success of former Sampson recruits elsewhere. It’s one thing to lose out on a one year player like Ebanks, but the ones that really sting are the Holloways who become the heart and soul of another program.

  7. There is still no denying that teams with exceptional speed and talented guard play can utilize their faster pace style when they match-up against teams with much more size and generally deeper rosters. A couple guys get hot(much like the Ohio team with the IU tranfer, Bassett, did a couple years ago against Georgetown) and they find ways to stay in the game and pull the upset.

    When you’re a middle seed, it’s those lightening quick guards I always fear..If they get hot early, their ability to create turnovers, initiate the better numbers in the fast break and open court with their speed, can often catch an overall stronger team resting on laurels..Then the crowd gets behind the underdog, the favorite gets more frustrated, and suddenly they’re in a dog fight to save their butt from early and unexpected elimination.

    I’m just having a bit of fun with the conspiracy theory behind the closed doors of selection rooms…When I watched that Xavier team just embarrass the hell out of Butler with their overall speed(albeit, a depleted Butler compared to the last two years), I was reminded of days of similar fits against flashy quick teams we used to draw in many opening rounds of the NCAA tournament. Xavier is probably a much better team than those underdogs that caught some early exit Knight teams looking ahead.

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