The Morning After Recap: Monday, January 23

... the safe, smart AM read for college basketball fans

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While his track record at Alabama was a often sporadic, first-year North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried is rapidly making a name for himself in the national coach of the year discussion. After his team's narrow victory over Miami on Sunday, Gottfried's program now sits at 15-5, and more importantly, tied for first place in the ACC with a 4-1 mark.

North Carolina State hasn't had to play any of the league's powerhouses to this point, but the Wolfpack only need to face Florida State and Duke once thanks to an extremely beneficial schedule. With the way NC State has been recruiting over the last few years, a 15-5 start to the year is a nice sign of things to come. Prosperous days are clearly on the horizon for this program, but with plenty of basketball left to be played in the always-unpredictable ACC, Gottfried's team is in a great position to shake up the conference race.

The Local Guys

* Things are moving slow for Jim Larranaga in year one at Miami: "Most of our issues are mental." (Sun Sentinel)

* DePaul frosh Jamee Crockett: "We just weren’t playing defense as hard as we could. It’s a team game, and though [Brandon Young] had an off game, that’s no excuse for us to lose." (Chicago Sun-Times)

* Some ugly late-game fouls altered the headlines for Penn State and Indiana (Indy Star)

The Blogosphere

* Another Virginia loss: Poor shooting, poor execution & poor timing (Streaking The Lawn)

* First-year guard Joe Coleman has been a stud lately for Minny (The Daily Gopher)

* Two things: 1.) Wisconsin already has three Big Ten road wins, and 2.) Jordan Taylor is starting to heat up (Bucky's 5th Quarter)

Who Won It Best

Wisconsin - Based on what we've seen over the last few weeks, a road win in the Big Ten should count for double. Even so, that's probably what yesterday's win over Illinois felt like for Bo Ryan's strangely-polarizing program. The Badgers have quietly reeled off four consecutive wins right under our noses, and host Indiana at the Kohl Center on Thursday in a HUUUUUUGE game for both teams.

Who Lost it Worst

Virginia - Nothing to see here - just another normal day in the ACC. A possible darkhorse in the league no less than a week ago, the Cavs fell to 2-2 after losing to rival Virginia Tech on Sunday. In a game where Mike Scott was a non-factor with just 10 points and six rebounds, Virginia bricked 13 of its 14 three-point attempts and had only four assisted baskets. Things don't get much easier for the Cavs - four games vs. Florida State and North Carolina remain on the schedule.

MVP

Brandon Penn-Rider - The senior forward has paid his dues over his career with Rider, developing from a 6.7 mpg freshman to an integral part of the offense in 2011-12. As usual, Penn did most of his damage from behind the arc on Sunday, nailing seven of his 12 attempts from the outside. The 6'8" sharpshooter went 4-for-4 from the line and chipped in six rebounds in a 24-point Broncs win.

By The Numbers

14 -Three-pointers attempted by Canisius' Alshwan Hymes on Sunday. He ended up making two. The junior is shooting 33.6% from downtown and has already taken 146 triples this season.

This Really Happened

Shaq-johnson_medium

From Saturday: Marshall's Shaq Johnson dunks and shuts off the shot clock. This takes talent. (H/T Gilfulmination)

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