January 25, 2022
Daily Briefing — Jan. 25, 2022: Nevada, Air Force make Sickos history
Naz Hillmon has a virtually perfect night
It’s Tuesday, the barest day of the week. Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List, and Yesterday’s Recap! Day 77 of college basketball is here, following perhaps the pinnacle of Sickos Games from Nevada and Air Force. The two combined to stretch the sport to its absolute limit, refusing to participate in offense with a dedication I can only find remarkable. Sometimes the real win is the minutes we played along the way, and good lord did these teams try to lose those too.
Joining Nevada and Air Force in the “scoring is hard” category was Vanderbilt! Because South Carolina is really good.
- Jonquel Jones: Will re-sign with Connecticut on a multi-year deal worth less than the supermax, per Rachel Galligan. As I noted yesterday, the Sun’s cap sheet is tight; this likely allows the team to give Courtney Williams a bit more than her minimum or to make their final roster spot a veteran on the minimum instead of using their first-round pick.
- Riquna Williams: Expected to re-sign with Las Vegas, per Khristina Williams of Girls Talk Sports TV. I noted her reported suitors last week. The off-ball guard brings… exactly what she did last year — spacing and perfectly acceptable defense despite a seemingly-astroturfed movement to call her an All-Defense player. (Seriously, she once held the single-game scoring record and we had people calling her a defense-first player.) This likely leaves the Aces able to fill out their remaining roster spots with either a max contract and a couple draft picks, or a combination of upper-mid-level contracts and draft picks.
(All times in Eastern)
Watch List, Tuesday, Jan. 25
Monday, Jan. 24 recap
#1 South Carolina: 85-30 win over Vanderbilt, holding the Commodores to the fewest points by any team in a Power 5-matchup this season. Won the second and fourth quarters a combined 48-14, despite its starters playing just 25.0% of those minutes. Shot 58.2% from the field and 44.4% from the field while allowing just 20.4% shooting; were a +29 in rebounding margin; committed just five fouls — tied for fourth-fewest in a game this season. Wing Zia Cooke was out with a day-to-day leg injury, per The State’s Augusta Stone — off-ball guard LeLe Grissett started in her place, finishing with a team-high 14 points on 6-for-12 shooting (1-1 3pt.), five offensive rebounds, and two assists against two turnovers; center Aliyah Boston had 11 points on 4-for-10 from the field (0-2 3pt.) and 12 rebounds — subbing in late for a few extra minutes to top off her 12th-straight double-double — plus four assists, four steals, and two blocks; backup center Kamilla Cardoso notched 11 points on 4-for-5 FG and four rebounds against three fouls in 18 minutes.
#7 Michigan: 79-66 win over Purdue. Shot 48.4% from the field; out-rebounded the Boilermakers by 13; assisted on 23 of its 31 buckets; drew 19 fouls. Big Naz Hillmon led with a season-high 32 points on 12-for-14 from the field and 8-for-10 from the line and 12 rebounds for a double-double, plus two assists; wing Leigha Brown had 13 points on 5-for-17 shooting (0-3 3pt.), three offensive rebounds, and six assists against three turnovers; center Emily Kiser notched a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double on 5-for-12 FG with four offensive boards, a career-high seven assists, and three blocks against four turnovers.
Nevada, Air Force: Combined to score 79 points on 31.1% shooting while missing all 16 threes and combining for 38 turnovers. As far as I can tell, this is the first game in the Her Hoop Stats era in which two teams combined to score this little on shooting this poor with fingers this buttery. Between both teams, of all 21 players who saw the court, only one had more assists than turnovers and none who took more than one attempt shot at least 50%.
Northern Colorado: 69-62 loss to Sacramento State. Center Kurstyn Harden had 30 points on 11-for-16 from the field and 8-for-10 from the line with 11 rebounds (five offensive) for a double-double with two blocks — all career-highs except total rebounds.
- Idaho vs. Portland State
- Binghamton vs. UMBC
- Bethune-Cookman vs. Alcorn State