Jeff Eisenberg

  • DeMarcus Cousins was not impressed by Chris Jones' flopping

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 11 hrs ago

    One of Louisville's biggest problems during Saturday afternoon's loss to Kentucky was that its starting point guard turned out to be better at acting than shooting.

    When Kentucky's Dakari Johnson swung his elbows to try to clear space after securing a rebound early in the second half, Jones flailed and fell to the ground as though he had been struck in the face. He continued the charade by getting up wincing and holding his jaw while referees went to the monitor to review the play.

    Of course, replays proved that Jones had delivered an acting job worthy of academy award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, who was in attendance clad in a Louisville hat and shirt and cheering on the Cardinals. Johnson's eblow missed Jones' face by such a wide margin that ESPN analyst Jay Bilas described the point guard's flop as "embarrassing."

    Jones' acting also inspired a series of amused tweets from former Kentucky star and current Sacramento Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins.

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  • Tyler Ulis helps top-ranked Kentucky thwart Louisville's upset bid

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 13 hrs ago

    Top-ranked Kentucky can thank the smallest player on its team for helping it survive its biggest challenge of non-conference play.

    Five-foot-9 freshman Tyler Ulis provided a much-needed offensive spark in a battle between the nation's two best defenses, leading the Wildcats to a 58-50 road victory over previously undefeated fourth-ranked Louisville.

    With starting point guard Andrew Harrison suffering through a nightmarish six-turnover performance against Louisville's relentless ball pressure, Kentucky coach John Calipari turned to Ulis for much of the second half. The Chicago native validated that trust by stabilizing an error-prone offense and delivering a team-high 14 points, all but two of which came in the decisive second half when the Wildcats built a double-digit lead and hung on for a fairly comfortable win.

    Suffering another defeat against Kentucky has to be extremely frustrating for a Louisville team that hoped to avenge its Sweet 16 loss to the Wildcats from last March.

    That performance from Ulis was much-needed during a game in which defense reigned at both ends of the court.

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  • Tactical move by Mike Lonergan fuels George Washington's upset win

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 2 days ago

    The most memorable part of Wednesday night's luau thrown for participants in the Diamond Head Classic was George Washington coach Mike Lonergan donning a coconut bra and grass skirt, jumping on stage and performing a hula dance.

    The way his team performed in Thursday's tournament title game, Lonergan probably had to resist the urge to dance a second straight night. 

    George Washington notched its most impressive win of the season, defeating 11th-ranked Wichita State 60-54 to win an in-season tournament for the first time in a decade. The Shockers have come back to win several games this season, but the Colonials did it at Wichita State's expense Thursday night, finishing the game on a 20-6 surge thanks to a strategic move Lonergan made in the second half. 

    Two steals by Kethan Savage sparked the George Washington comeback. He swiped careless passes by Darius Carter and Tekele Cotton and turned both into transition layups, trimming an eight-point deficit to one and forcing a rare timeout from Gregg Marshall with just over five minutes to play.

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  • Freshman-laden UNLV grows up in time to upset Arizona

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 4 days ago

    A youthful but talented Rebels team replacing all five starters from last season had to jell quickly enough to avoid being buried by a non-league slate featuring a trio of top 15 opponents, three more power-conference foes and several tricky mid-majors.

    Progress had been slower than UNLV would have liked until Tuesday night when the Rebels unleashed by far their best performance of the season on unsuspecting third-ranked Arizona. Sophomore Christian Wood and freshman Rashad Vaughn combined for 45 points to rally host UNLV to a 71-67 victory in a game the Rebels trailed by as many as eight points late in the first half.

    Toppling Arizona improved UNLV to 8-3 so far this season and gave the Rebels the profile-enhancing signature win they had been lacking.

    What powered UNLV in the second half oddly enough was actually abandoning its motion offense and attacking Arizona's vaunted defense with isolation plays designed to take advantage of specific matchups. Wood in particular thrived as a result of that change, scoring 16 of his 24 points in the second half, many by attacking Brandon Ashley off the dribble from the elbow.

  • Stanford topples Texas to secure a badly needed marquee win

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 4 days ago

    DePaul has not beaten a power-conference team that went on to make the NCAA tournament during Oliver Purnell's five-year tenure, so it was tempting to give up on Stanford after its mind-numbing 15-point loss to the Blue Demons over Thanksgiving weekend. 

    In retrospect, perhaps that was a little too hasty. 

    Stanford showed it may yet live up to its preseason billing as an upper-echelon Pac-12 team Tuesday night when it became the first team besides top-ranked Kentucky to defeat Texas this season. Chasson Randle and Anthony Brown scored a combined 47 points to lead the visiting Cardinal to a 74-71 overtime victory over the ninth-ranked Longhorns.   

    Upsetting Texas improves Stanford's record to 7-3 and ensures it won't enter conference play without a marquee win. The Cardinal had been in a funk since the DePaul loss, requiring second-half comebacks to escape at home against LMU and Denver before falling 79-77 at BYU on Friday night.

    Texas has survived without Taylor for nearly the past six weeks, but Tuesday's loss showed why the Longhorns need him to recover from his broken wrist in order to contend in the Big 12 or make a deep NCAA tournament run.

  • Two-time plane crash survivor Austin Hatch scores for Michigan

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 4 days ago

    At a time when his school's football team is home for bowl season and his school's basketball team is suffering through a miserable December, Austin Hatch still gave Michigan fans something to cheer about Monday night.

    The two-time plane crash survivor scored his first point in a regular season game late in the Wolverines' 72-56 victory over Coppin State.

    On Hatch's first possession after checking into the game with 1:22 remaining and Michigan leading by 21, the 6-foot-6 freshman was fouled attempting a top of the key 3-pointer. Hatch missed his first and third free throws but drained the second one, earning him pats on the back and high fives from his teammates and a standing ovation from the Crisler Arena crowd. 

    The free throw was monumental for Hatch and the Wolverines because of what it took for the Indiana native to still be playing basketball these days.

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  • The Dagger's most popular posts of 2014

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 4 days ago

    College basketball produced its usual eclectic mix of stories this year, and the Dagger covered all of them โ€” from the poignant, to the hard-hitting, to the funny, to the bizarre. Here's a look at the 10 most popular stories of the year and a handful that just missed the cut:

    1. Lacey Holsworth, friend of Michigan State's Adreian Payne, has died(April 9)

    The eight-year-old cancer patient's death struck a chord wtih college basketball fans who had followed her battle and her friendship with Payne. The Michigan State forward visited Holsworth regularly in the hospital, brought her to games and even carried her on his shoulders on senior night and when he cut down the nets after the Spartans captured the Big Ten championship.

    2. Northwestern's new jerseys are unlike anything we've ever seen(Jan. 10)

    Other popular posts:

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  • San Diego State's Dwayne Polee collapses on the court

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 5 days ago

    The typically raucous crowd at Viejas Arena went silent midway through the first half Monday night when a San Diego State player collapsed on the court.

    Senior forward Dwayne Polee crumpled to the ground without being touched while chasing the UC Riverside player he was guarding on defense. Polee was conscious the entire 15 minutes that paramedics and medical personnel attended to him and pumped his fist to the crowd while being wheeled off the floor on a gurney to a standing ovation.

    The cause of Polee's collapse is not immediately known. San Diego State coach Steve Fisher told reporters after his team's 62-33 victory that Polee was "alert and responsive" and will undergo a battery of tests at the hospital in hopes of determining what happened.

    "We'll just pray that the tests can determine what the cause of it might be and move forward from there," Fisher said.

    "That made us feel a little bit better," O'Brien said. "But basketball is secondary because of what happened." 

  • Oklahoma unleashes record-setting run at Weber State's expense

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 5 days ago

    Unimpressed by UCLA's nightmarish seven-point first half against Kentucky and Harvard's anemic 1-for-20 first-half shooting against Virginia, Weber State did its best to outdo the Bruins and Crimson during the first half of an 85-51 loss to Oklahoma on Monday night.

    By the time the Wildcats were done, they too had set a record for futility.

    Oklahoma waylaid Weber State with a 39-0 first-half surge, the largest scoring run against a Division I foe in college basketball history. The record previously belonged to Utah State, which reeled off a 37-0 run against Idaho in an 80-42 win in Feb. 2006.

    Atrocious as that stretch was for Weber State, the Wildcats can take solace that others have experienced worse.

    For more Oklahoma news, visit SoonerScoop.com.

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  • Dunk of the year nominee: Soaring slam from LMU's Evan Payne

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 5 days ago

    The surest sign that LMU's Evan Payne delivered one of the best dunks of the season against Wichita State on Monday night was the reaction of the Shockers bench. Injured guard Evan Wessell starts to stand in appreciation of what he just witnessed before seemingly realizing it was a dunk by the other team and sitting back down. Payne's dunk is the most memorable highlight from what so far has been a brilliant sophomore season from the 6-foot-1 LMU guard. He is averaging an efficient 21.7 points per game for an undermanned Lions squad that fell to 3-7 Monday with an 80-53 loss to Wichita State. 

    Previous Dunk of the Year nominees:

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    Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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