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Basketball

RUNNING BLOG: Stanzi on the hoops marathon

3:27 p.m. 

I have a feeling Colorado and Auburn will end up with the best finish of the marathon so far, and there has been some pretty good ones. Auburn was up by as much as 15, but the Buffaloes have stormed back to pull within one. 

My dude TJ Dunans has 10 points, by the way. Josh Scott has also been absolutely dominant for Colorado with 21 points and he hasn’t missed a shot from the field yet. 

This one will be fun. 

2:19 p.m.

Class is over and I’m officially back at my apartment and in my chair. Colorado’s Josh Scott is off to a fast start against Auburn after struggling in the season opener against Iowa State. 

I’m excited to see how these two teams matchup while the Buffaloes try to slow the tempo and the Tigers look to get out and running. I like both of these teams and wouldn’t be a bit surprised if they both were in the NCAA tournament in March.

Fran Fraschilla has also already given a shoutout to Georges Niang when he was saying why this is the year of the senior. 

Rob Gray will be arriving at my humble abode in the next 20 minutes to record another edition of The Seniors! I’ll still have my eye on the game and I’ll check back when we are done recording. 

12:24 p.m.

The marathon is back underway and my location has officially changed. I’m blogging from the Memorial Union while Dayton takes on Alabama in Avery Johnson’s second game as coach of the Crimson Tide. 

I won’t be able to catch much more of this game since I have to go to Spanish class at 12:40. Don’t worry, I’ll be sneaking looks on WatchESPN when I get the chance. 

I’ll be back in full action when Fran "The Franimal" Fraschilla is getting set to call Colorado at Auburn at two. Only an hour and a half until TJ Dunans!!!!

Me encanta el baloncesto. That means I love basketball in Spanish. 

11:05 a.m. 

Foul or defend has officialy come into play with 7.6 seconds left in Rhode Island. The Rams have knocked down five 3-pointers so far so I’m thinking Valpo will foul. 

*Watching final seconds*

WHOA. Valpo didn’t foul and Rhode Island’s best shooter, Four McGlynn, had two open chances as time ran down and couldn’t knock down either one. Also, his name is Four. 

I just found out the next game doesn’t start until noon. I’m salty. I’ll be back. 

10:49 a.m.

This game has been so, so, so ugly. Valpo has 15 turnovers and Rhode Island has made just 13 shots. 

Both teams have been considerably better in the second half, they’re both shooting about 30 percent now, but this game still has been far from exciting. 

The Crusaders have a six point lead with 3:50 left in the game, but I’m not sure Rhode Island can score six points, or get any stops, in four minutes. 

10:27 a.m.

Just looked ahead at the schedule and realized that Auburn plays at 2. That means my favorite player I’ve seen at the JUCO tournament, TJ Dunans, will be playing. 

That man is a legend in Hutch after he dropped 52 for Columbia State in a quarterfinal in 2013. He’s a hooper. I invite you to check out this highlight tape. Two can’t come soon enough. 

10:14 a.m.

Valpo almost made as many shots in the first four minutes of the second half as they did in the whole first half. I wish I was kidding. 

And who was the guy in the Rhode Island student section that brought the Larry Bird head? I imagine this conversation taking place:

Rhode Island Bro 1: "Dude, why did you bring a Larry Bird head? He didn’t even play here and isn’t associated with either school."

Rhode Island Bro 2: "It’s Larry f-ing Bird."

Rhode Island Bro 1: "Fair enough."

9:53 a.m. 

"Rhode Island at their best defensively, Valpo struggled to score." – Tim Welsh

Those were Welsh’s final thoughts before the game headed into halftime. The Rams are winning 20-18. 

I think it is safe to say that both teams have struggled to score, Tim. I thought to myself, the stats from this first half can’t be that bad can they? Well, they can. 

Valpo shot 27 percent from the floor while Rhode Island shot 24 percent. Valpo was 0-7 from 3-point range. Yikes. 

One last thought, Chris Hassel is still on my TV. Does this dude ever sleep?

9:44 a.m.

They just reached the under-four timeout in Rhode Island. Rhode Island is winning 15-14. 

If something doesn’t change, I might be taking another nap. Play faster Rams and Crusaders!!!!

9:27 a.m.

What happened to the hours between three and nine? Well, I wish I could tell you that I watched every single minute of Nevada’s one point win over BYU and East Tennessee State’s dominant win over Green Bay, but that’s not possible.

As Long Beach State was winding down their win over BYU, this writer shut his eyes. When I opened them again, UNI had an 11-point lead over Stephen F. Austin. How could I fall asleep in the midst of the most important day of the year?

I wish I knew. Could’ve had something to do with being a college kid that needs sleep, could’ve had something to do with my torn calf or it could be because normal human beings need to rest their bodies and not watch basketball for 31 hours in a row.

I can’t give you a definitive answer.

No matter, though. I’m back and I’m ready to watch hoops all day long. Bryce Drew and Valparaiso are taking on Rhode Island right now, Alabama and Dayton are up next.

There’s roughly 14 hours of the marathon remaining. I’ll be here for, almost, every minute. 

2:30 a.m. 

 I didn’t even realize this at the time but Long Beach State used a 22-2 run to take control in this game and get up by 12. BYU keeps hanging around though, in typical BYU fashion.

It seems likes Kyle Collinsworth has been playing for the Cougars for like 12 years (or three, but who’s counting?). Long Beach’s offense has been really struggling the last few minutes and these two teams have been just slugging it out.

Collinsworth, who was called “Mr. Triple-Double” by the announcers, just hit a reverse layup to tie the game. This one is getting good.

I’ll be back.

2:13 a.m.

They just pointed out that we are in hour 11 of the marathon. There is still 20 hours left.

My heart is racing.

1:55 a.m.

I’m telling you right now you need to remember the name Nick Faust. The 6-foot-6-inch guard for Long Beach State just unleashed a huge slam early in the second half of this game.

I will be surprised if it isn’t all over Twitter when normal people wake up.

Faust is playing in his second game for The Beach after transferring from Maryland, where he started 66 games in three seasons.

He hasn’t really shown the ability to knock down shots from deep, he’s 1-5 so far, but he’s tough in transition and the dunk speaks for itself. I think you could make the comparison to former Long Beach star, and now with the Memphis Grizzlies, James Ennis.

You’ll hear Faust’s name again this season.

First entry 

There are a few days every year that I really look forward to. Of course there are the standards like Christmas or my birthday, but there is one that sits on top of the list.

Each fall, ESPN brings to us the greatest gift they could give. That’s 31 consecutive hours of college basketball, the college basketball Tip-Off Marathon.

It’s like a dream come true, and it comes every year.

Sure, the crown jewel of the schedule is the Champion’s Classic, where No. 2 Kentucky will play No. 5 Duke and No. 4 Kansas will square off with No. 13 Michigan State at the United Center in Chicago, but the true treasures are the games that take place at obscure times.

I’m writing this at 1:30 a.m. in my living room. My roommate is in the chair next to me and the Long Beach State 49ers have a lead over BYU in the first half. The Nevada Wolfpack and Hawaii Warriors are set to tip off next.

This brings me to the point of this blog. I intend to watch every remaining game, or most of every game, during this marathon. I’m going to put my thoughts, observations and occasionally funny wisecracks here.

Some of the teams playing are familiar, while some are the polar opposite. I missed the first few games while I was at Hilton Coliseum. I got home when Utah was sealing up a win over San Diego State.

Utah looked good in the few minutes I saw them, but the first team on my mind is the Oregon Ducks. The No. 25 Ducks gutted out a 74-67 win against Scott Drew’s Baylor Bears.

I wasn’t sure what Oregon would bring to the table this season after losing do-it-all point guard, and current Indiana Pacer, Joe Young to graduation.  You can consider me impressed by Dana Altman’s squad.

A couple of former JUCO stars in Chris Boucher, 15 points and eight boards, and Elgin Cook, 15 points, jumped off the screen to me. First of all, I watched both players at the NJCAA Division I national tournament, Boucher last season and Cook in 2013.

Boucher may have been the best junior college player in the nation last year, and considered Iowa State before signing with the Ducks, and I don’t think it will be long before this long, explosive wing is a household name. I had forgotten how quick Cook, a former Iowa State signee, was but he was able to get the rim at will.

Don’t think I forgot about the Bears. Scott Drew’s crew played a very gritty game in a tough situation on the road. There was only a little over 7,000 in attendance, but Matthew Knight Arena is a tough venue.

The Bears went blow for blow to the final minute. I think Baylor is going to have a very legit chance to win quite a few games this season.

Chris Hassel is on my TV and its halftime at the Beach. I’ll be back with more soon.

Jared Stansbury

administrator

Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.