Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Western Kentucky Stuns Louisville; Georgetown Pounds Maryland
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Samardo Samuels grabbed the ball and launched a game’s worth of frustration and all of his 260 pounds at the rim. Surely, this would be the moment the Louisville freshman would help the third-ranked Cardinals take control and finally put away Western Kentucky.
Jeremy Evans had other ideas. The Western Kentucky center – all 190 pounds of him – thrust his arm between the ball and the basket and somehow sent Samuels sprawling to the floor.
The rest of the Cardinals soon followed in a stunning 68-54 upset.
“It just gives you a little attitude that ‘Hey, we’re going to get this done,”‘ first-year Western Kentucky coach Ken McDonald said about the big-time block. “That was a huge play.”
There were plenty to go around for the Hilltoppers (3-2), who knocked off a top-three opponent for the first time in more than 40 years. A.J. Slaughter had a career-high 25 points and Steffphon Pettigrew added 17 points and 12 rebounds for Western Kentucky, which pulled away in the second half against the listless Cardinals (2-1).
“You don’t like to learn your lessons from losing, but to be quite honest the way we practiced all week, we did not deserve to win,” coach Rick Pitino said. “You reap what you sow.”
GEORGETOWN HAMMERS MARYLAND
In a battle of local rivals whose campuses are just 12 miles apart, No. 16 Georgetown hammered Maryland, 75-48, in the third-place game of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando. Fla.
Austin Freeman paced the Hoyas with 18 points and 6 rebounds and DaJuan Summers added 14 points.
The Hoyas host Memphis Dec. 13 before opening Big East play at UConn Dec. 29.
“We’re getting better,” Hoyas coach John Thompson III told Andy Katz on ESPN. “We have to get a lot beter before Dec. 29
“Come Dec. 29 everything’s tough because our conference is so terrific that hopefully these experiences will help our young team get better and understand how we have to get better.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.