Yesterday was a rare night in which none of the pro teams were in action. The only team in action was No. 4 Villanova, who took care of No. 12 Gonzaga 88-72 at Madison Square Garden.
The Wildcats were propelled from a career night by Mikal Bridges, who scored a career-high 28 points to go with six rebounds and two blocks. Phil Booth tied his career-high of 20 points set in the National Championship game in 2016. Gonzaga was led by Zach Norvell Jr.’s 22 points.
Nova is 9-0 on the season, with seven of those nine wins coming by more than 10 points. They’ve also scored 75 or more points in all but two of them. The Wildcats host La Salle Sunday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center. After that, road games against Temple and Hofstra conclude nonconference play for now. They’ll play UConn in Hartford on January 20.
Is it too early to call them national championship contenders?
Tonight, Temple hosts Wisconsin at the Liacouras Center in their home opener, while Penn makes the short trip to Easton to take on Lafayette.
Heading out west to LA, where the Eagles continue to get ready for Sunday’s game against the Rams. Offensive coordinator Frank Reich tried to explain how the team outgained the Seahawks, but resulted in only 10 points:
“It was difficult. I think we felt like we left some points out there,” Reich, the Eagles’ offensive coordinator, said Tuesday afternoon at the team hotel, as the team began preparing for Sunday’s visit with the Los Angeles Rams at the Coliseum. “I credit them. It was hard to get a little bit of a rhythm going in the first half. We just couldn’t quite produce. We had some plays, but not quite enough to get down into the red zone and get more points.
“I know the second half we got in a little bit of a pass mode and put some yards up there, but it’s really all about — our formula has been play good early on, get a lead, and be able to stay balanced.
“If you’re looking for a positive, when we got in a pass mode, we were able to gain some yards passing and be able to handle that pretty well and have some production there. I think you can build off that in the future, but you’re not happy with the results from the game.”
Meanwhile on the defensive side, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz says the key for this week is to fix the mistakes that helped Seattle beat the Birds’ defense:
“I do like this sort of portion of it: To a man, we all recognize we played a poor game, and I’ll include myself in that, too. And we gave up 24 points. … Please don’t misconstrue that, because we don’t take any pride in that, but it shows you a little bit about where our guys are that that’s considered a bad performance.”
Schwartz was not saying 24 points was OK. He was saying the mistakes were fixable, that Seattle didn’t show the NFL some magic formula for beating the Eagles. But he also emphasized that the mistakes have to be fixed, as the team prepares for this Sunday’s visit with the 9-3 Rams.
“We have to get back to playing our style of football because the Rams can hang 40 and 50 on people,” said Schwartz, who credited the Rams with “the league’s highest-scoring offense” though in fact they are tied with the Eagles, each team having scored 361 points in 12 games. (It’s possible the Rams’ total includes fewer points scored by their defense, but the league ranks them as tied for first.)
One of the things the Eagles didn’t dominate was defending against Seattle’s empty sets.
The Sixers are off until Thursday when they host the Los Angeles Lakers. But Kevin Kinkead takes a look at their losing effort from Monday night against the Phoenix Suns.
Anthony recaps the Flyers’ 5-2 win over Calgary from Monday night.
Relieved after earning a win, the team hopes to make it into a winning streak:
“We have to stay hungry for wins,” Weise said. “…I think when you lose 10 in a row, you kind of get that hunger back — not that we didn’t have it at the beginning of the year, but I think we’ve got that urgency in our game now where we just hate to lose and it really bothers every guy in here.”
The Flyers (9-11-7) will be facing an 11-14-2 Edmonton team that features Brandon Manning’s old pal, Connor McDavid, who leads the Oilers in goals (11), assists (21), and points (32).
In the Flyers’ 2-1 win over Edmonton on Oct. 21, McDavid was held pointless.
“We just need to make sure he doesn’t build much speed, because we know when he’s going with all that speed, he’s kind of dangerous,” said rookie defenseman Robert Hagg, who had five hits in the victory over the Oilers. “You try to stay close to him and shut him down. I think we did a pretty good job at home against him.”
In other sports news, Russia has been banned from the upcoming Winter Olympics by the IOC. Clean athletes from the country can still compete, but they’ll do so under the Olympic flag.
After a 7-5 season as head coach of Oregon, Willie Taggert returns to the state of Florida to coach the Seminoles.
Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier is still in Cincinnati undergoing tests and evaluations on his spine after Monday night’s injury.
Ball State upset No. 9 Notre Dame at the buzzer:
— #MACtion (@MACSports) December 6, 2017
UCLA head coach Steve Alford is surprised LiAngelo Ball left the program after LaVar Ball pulled him.
In the news, a woman had to be rescued after her car plunged into the Schuylkill River.
Disney could own Fox’s studio and television production assets in what could be a major deal.
President Trump is expected to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv today.
Danny Masterson from the Netflix show “The Ranch” has been fired after rape allegations were made against him.
Bitcoin is now worth over $12,000.
Google has pulled YouTube from Amazon’s Fire TV and Echo Show devices.
McDonald’s will roll out a new Dollar Menu, with choices at $1, $2, and $3.