Any college basketball team struggling with its offense is hereby warned: Stay out of the state of Wisconsin.
A look at the latest NCAA statistics shows that three of the top five teams in scoring defense are from the Dairy State, while those same three are in the top six in field-goal percentage defense.
Wisconsin is second in scoring at 54.2, trailing Princeton by a point, while Wisconsin-Green Bay is tied for third with North Carolina State at 54.3, and Marquette is fifth at 54.5.
Marquette leads the way in field-goal percentage defense at 34.5, with Wisconsin fifth at 36.7 and Wisconsin-Green Bay sixth at 36.9.
The most recent example of how tough it can be to score within those state borders was Wisconsin’s 62-45 victory over No. 20 Illinois on Wednesday night. The Illini went 13 minutes of the second half without a field goal.
One common factor for the two state schools in the trio is Dick Bennett, who is widely regarded as one of the top defensive coaches in the country. He is in his second season at Wisconsin after 10 years at Green Bay.
“They do things that good defensive teams do,” Illinois coach Lon Kruger said after his team managed just 13 points in the second half. “They were sound, they had good awareness and they did an excellent job during that stretch.
There are no official records kept on point differential between teams in the same season but it’s tough to imagine there could be one bigger than UCLA and Stanford this year.
On Jan. 9, Stanford won 109-61, handing the Bruins the worst loss in school history.
On Feb. 8, UCLA prevailed 87-68, a total of 67 points in the two margins of victory.
Anyone planning to attend next weekend’s game when St. Joseph’s visits St. Bonaventure shouldn’t make plans for right after the game.
In three of the last four seasons, the Atlantic 10 rivals have gone double overtime to settle matters.
St. Joseph’s won 82-80 on Jan. 9 on a 3-pointer by Rashid Bey with 1.6 seconds left in the second overtime.
The Hawks also won in double overtime in the opening round of the conference tournament in 1995, and the Bonnies won the first of the 50-minute battles in 1994.
Six of the last 10 meetings between the teams have been decided by five points or less.
Adonal Foyle of Colgate blocked 12 shots against Navy last week to become the NCAA’s career leader in that statistic. The 6-foot-10 junior blocked 462 shots in his first 81 games, a 5.7 average. The former career leader was Alonzo Mourning of Georgetown with 453, a mark which has also been passed by Wake Forest senior Tim Duncan, who has 455.
Blocked shots became an official statistic in the 1985-86 season.
Jay Larranaga of Bowling Green had quite a night last Saturday and his father, Jim, had to be proud pacing the sidelines as coach of the Falcons. The Komives family wasn’t too thrilled, however.
Larranaga had 40 points in Bowling Green’s 103-78 victory over Akron and the senior guard made a school-record nine 3-point field goals in 12 attempts.
The school record for 3-pointers had been seven, set by Shane Komives in 1994.
Larranaga also set an Anderson Arena record with 28 points in the second half, breaking the mark of 26 set by Howard “Butch” Komives - Shane’s father - in 1964.
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