Monday, January 31, 2011

Battle leading Penn State

While the college basketball spotlight has recently been dominated by Glens Falls' Jimmer Fredette, let's take some time to look at another player from the area lighting it up at the D-1 level.

Through 20 games this season, Penn State's Talor Battle (Bishop Maginn) has scored 20.1 PPG and has led the Nittany Lions (12-8, 5-4) into a three-way tie for fourth place in the Big Ten.

While Battle's season-high tally of 31 points (achieved twice) has not garnered a fraction of the attention devoted to Fredette's scoring exploits, Battle has quietly put together another solid season in his senior year

Led by Battle, Penn State has recorded wins over typical college basketball powers such as Indiana, Illinois, Michigan State and Wisconsin. In Penn State's Jan. 29 win over (current) No. 19 Wisconsin, Battle scored 22 points and collected five rebounds.

Battle appears headed to earning another nod to a Big Ten all-conference team (he was a first-team member in 2009; second team in 2010). In conference play in the rugged Big Ten, Battle is the conference's third-leading scorer (20.1 PPG) and is 14th in assists (3.7).

Penn State has not played in the NCAA Tournament during Battle's tenure, though the team did win the NIT in 2009; in Joe Lunardi's latest "Bracketology" on, Penn State was not projected to make this year's field but is listed as one of the last four teams to miss the cut.

Penn State next plays on Feb. 1 against No. 21 Illinois; the Nittany Lions and Battle will be on ESPN2 on Feb. 17 when they host No. 18 Minnesota.

While at Bishop Maginn, Battle led the school to the Class AA title game during his senior season while he averaged 26.7 PPG, 5.7 APG and 4.3 SPG for the season. Battle and Fredette played together in AAU basketball during their high school years, both members of the Albany City Rocks.

For those looking for more on Battle ...

Here is a recent piece done by Pete Iorizzo of the Albany Times Union about how the combination of Battle and his half-brother, Taran Buie, has not gone as planned.

Also, in case you are suffering from Jimmer-withdrawal, here is an article done by David Jones on about Battle's reaction to Fredette's star turn.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Your Fredette Fix

“The Jimmer” went viral after scoring 43 points to lead No. 9 BYU past No. 4 San Diego State on Wednesday night, 71-58. Fredette did an interview on ESPN’s SportsCenter after his game, saw his name trend on Twitter that night and then had his game (and pro potential) analyzed in countless articles on Thursday.

In advance of BYU’s televised game on Saturday (1/29) (at New Mexico, 4 p.m., VERSUS), here’s a recap of the carnage in the aftermath of Fredette’s big night …

The Numbers

Before going into everyone’s reaction, let’s take a look at what caused such a stir …
  •  Fredette scored 43 points, or 61 percent of his team’s points; the second highest scorer on BYU was Brandon Davies with 14 points.
  • Fredette shot 14-of-24 from the floor, 5-of-8 from deep, and 10-of-11 from the foul line. He was the only BYU player to make a 3-pointer and made more free throws by himself than San Diego State. 
  • In a stretch of time from 9:08 left in the first half to 18:45 left in the second half, Fredette was the only Cougar to score. During the stretch, Fredette scored 17 points and made 7-of-9 shots from the floor (2-of-2 from deep; 1-of-2 from the line). His streak ended when Davies made a two-point basket.
The Tweets

Here’s a sampling of some of the best tweets after Fredette’s performance, with any typos unchanged. Fredette trended on Twitter throughout the night after his breakout performance. The tweets came from a wide spectrum and touched on his performance, his unique name, race and NBA draft stock.

Kyle Buetler (theBeutlerdidit) wrote: Jimmer Fredette probably wouldn't be near as popular if it weren't for the fact his name is fun to say. #Jimmer

Joe Peters (J_Peters12) wrote: Come on SDSU!... Its like you forgot that Jimmer Fredette plays on the other team... #whatsthematterwithyou

Jason Smith (howaboutafresca) wrote: Watching Jimmer Fredette play is like watching Michael J Fox when he plays basketball as a werewolf in Teen Wolf. More tonight on ESPN Radio*

Nick Blake (fictionalninja) wrote: "Jimmer Fredette" is a cool name, but it's no "Fredder Jimmette." #betterlucknexttime

Steve Flynn (steveflynnlfc) wrote: I think Jimmer Fredette just scored on me.

Bobby Roberts (sweetbob) wrote: Jimmer Fredette was scheduled to be a 2nd round pick if he went pro last year. This year...He's a lottery pick, right?

Ian O’Connor (Ian_OConnor) wrote: Just watched Jimmer Fredette put on quite a show. But sorry, I still don't think his game will translate in the NBA.**

 Thomas Walker (TWEsq) wrote: Guess no one bothered to tell Jimmer Fredette that Woody Harrelson is not a good role model. #greatwhitehype

Adrian Wojnarowski (WojYahooNBA) wrote: Texted with a couple NBA execs at BYU tonight. Says one of Jimmer: "Normal questions about size and athleticism, but he's a special scorer." Later, Wojnarowski tweeted: Another NBA exec at BYU tonight: "Easier to teach 'D' than to drop 25 foot bombs in people's faces. Steph (Curry) didn't defend at Davidson either."***

Issac Boutte (thinicesports) wrote: I've seen the second coming of Larry Bird...and his name is Jimmer Fredette

*Jason Smith is the host of a show on ESPN Radio, “AllNight.”
**Ian O’Connor is a columnist for
***Adrian Wojnarowski is an NBA writer for Yahoo! Sports.

The Articles

More than a few articles were written about Fredette in the aftermath of his big night. Here’s a collection of a few of them …

Wojnarowski went over how scouts looked at Fredette after last season, how close the Glens Falls product came to being a New Jersey Net and how he is faring battling the stereotypes that tend to plague American-born, white basketball players.

My Note: For those wondering, Fredette is a virtual first-round lock this season by all accounts, the question is just how high he goes. My bet is somewhere in the 10-24 range; the Utah Jazz own two first-round draft picks this season that both should in that range and it’s tough to imagine them not gobbling up a BYU star. If not them, don’t expect Danny Ainge – the Boston Celtics’ president of operation and BYU alum – to pass on Fredette in the late 20s.

This one will really resonate with readers who A) only vaguely know was Twitter is and B) had no clue what it mean to "trend" on Twitter. Moore compared Fredette to a couple of other prolific college scorers from yesteryear in the form of “Pistol” Pete Maravich and Austin Carr.

If you liked reading the tweets above, this article is for you. Eisenberg goes over the national reaction to Fredette’s performance and how it seems the dead-eye shooter has developed a kind of cult-hero status.

Very similar to the article above, Gregory makes the argument that Fredette’s star-status is a product of the Twitter-age.

ESPN's Andy Katz's take 

The long-time ESPN college basketball writer makes the Player of the Year case for Fredette.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Skidmore players earn conference honors

Skidmore women's basketball players Megan Gaugler and Michela Ottati have each earned Liberty League weekly awards for their efforts during some big conference games for the Thoroughbreds.

Gaugler, an Amsterdam graduate, was named Co-Performer of the Week and Ottati, an Averill Park alum, earned Co-Rookie of the Week as Skidmore went 2-1 on the week. 
Gaugler averaged 15.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in those three games. In an 88-82 overtime victory against William Smith, she scored 27 points and added 10 rebounds, two assists and four blocks. The next day, she hit the winning 3-pointer in a 63-61 win at Hamilton.
Ottati averaged 12.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists on the week while shooting 7-for-13 (.540) from beyond the arc. She had 11 points and five rebounds in each of Skidmore’s wins and recorded 15 points and three assists in a loss to Union.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fredette scores 47

Glens Falls native Jimmer Fredette scored 47 points - the second highest single-game total in Division I this season - to lead No. 11 BYU to a 104-79 victory over rival Utah.

"I just felt good right from the beginning," Fredette told The Associated Press afterward. He's now the nation's leading scorer, averaging 35.9 points per game (he entered Tuesday's contest with an average of 24.9). 

Fredette scored 32 points in the first half for BYU (17-1), capping that with a 40-foot buzzer beater as the teams headed into the intermission. He continued strongly in the second half to finish just two points shy of his career and school-record high of 49, set last season at Arizona. Fredette finished the night 16-for-28 overall, including 6-for-9 from 3-point range and 9-for-9 from the line.

The game earned an already well-decorated player immediate recognition, as he was featured in a phone interview on ESPN shortly after the conclusion of the game.

Skidmore men win, women fall

There were mixed results as the Skidmore men's and women's basketball teams opened their Liberty League schedules tonight at home against Union.

The men's team snapped a two-game losing streak by rolling to a 67-41 victory over the Dutchmen. Skidmore (7-4) led 38-33 with 13 minutes remaining before erupting for a 25-3 run to put the game away. Melvis Langyintuo scored all of his game-high 15 points in the second half as the Thoroughbreds held Union (8-4) to just 16 second-half points.

Earlier in the evening, the women's team lost to Union 84-72. The Dutchwomen (6-3) were led by Lauren Hennessey with 16 points; Marissa Ray (Shenendehowa) chipped in five. Michela Ottati and Jesse Kavana each scored 15 points for Skidmore (4-7). 

Skidmore opens league play tonight

After already facing plenty of ups and downs this season, the Skidmore men’s and women’s basketball teams open Liberty League play tonight when they each host Union. The women’s game tips off at 6 p.m., with the men beginning at 8.
The Skidmore women (4-6), the defending regular-season Liberty League champions, are led by Megan Gaugler (Amsterdam), who averages 10.9 points per game. Union (5-3) is led by Lauren McCormick with 13.9 points per game. Freshman Marissa Ray (Shenendehowa) averages 6.4 points to rank third on the team in scoring.
The Skidmore men (6-4) earned accolades in Sports Illustrated and ESPN for playing a seven-overtime game in November, tied for the longest game in NCAA history. But December brought headlines on a different sort, as two players on the team were accused of having roles in an assault case in downtown Saratoga. The Thoroughbreds have dropped their first two contests of 2011 and will look to get back on track tonight.
Melvis Langyintuo leads four Skidmore players in double figures with an average of 12.9 points per game. Jeff Altimar (12.0), Terron Victoria (11.2), and Gerard O’Shea (10.7) round out the top scorers. Union (8-3) is led by Justin Gallo with 19.0 points per game.
Skidmore is providing live stats for both games.