Drexel is clearly the third best team in the city. The Dragons, obviously, would not be favored to beat either Villanova or Temple. But either of those teams would have known they were in a game, but we will never know - unless they somehow meet up in the NCAA.
No Murray, no win
It has been clear for a while now that something is not quite right with La Salle sophomore Aaric Murray. Coach John Giannini decided to sit Murray for the game at Gola Arena against Richmond.
"It largely had to do with the George Washington game and it wasn't any one thing," Giannini said. "He also didn't play because I felt it would help us [down the road]."
La Salle had lost at GW in its previous game. Murray let his emotions get to him that night.
"I felt like it would send a message to our young players who are really important to us," Giannini said. "Even more importantly, I've been with Aaric enough and I'm close enough with him that he responds to teaching when he knows something is his fault. I've seen Aaric respond very well in similar situations."
So, Murray won't be out long. And his coach expects him to be much more locked in when he returns.
"When he does come up short in significant ways, he usually bounces back really well," Giannini said. "It happened last season. It happened in the offseason. But he usually responds extremely well."
La Salle was in the game for 30 minutes. And then it was not in the game, losing, 87-68.
Richmond (13-4, 2-0 Atlantic 10) shot 61.3 percent in the second half and was deadly from the arc. Spiders star Kevin Anderson had 27 points while Justin Harper had 25 points and 10 rebounds for Chris Mooney's team.
La Salle (7-9, 0-2) got 15 from freshman Cole Stefan. Senior Ruben Guillandeax is 0-for-13 in two league games.
Losing home games
Saint Joseph's had a chance to get off to a decent league start with two home games. Did not happen. The Hawks lost the opener to Duquesne and then lost to George Washington, 78-71.
GW (9-6, 2-0 A-10) has won seven of eight. The Hawks (5-10, 0-2) got 21 from sophomore Tay Jones. Freshman C.J. Aiken had 15 points and nine blocks. Aiken has an amazing 57 blocks in just 15 games.
Last season, St. Joe's beat La Salle in the final regular-season game. The winner slipped into the A-10 Tournament. The loser missed it. It is very early, but, if you take a peek at the A-10 standings and try to imagine what they may look like in early March, it does not look promising. The fact that these two are both 0-2 after the first week of league play is not comforting. Each has lost to GW, which was picked 10th in the preseason.
ACROSS THE COUNTRY
Tough day for Top 25
What did Georgetown, Michigan State, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Kansas State, Missouri, Texas and Central Florida have in common? They all lost.
Slumping Georgetown lost at home to West Virginia. Michigan State, trying to get to a third consecutive Final Four, lost at Penn State. Kentucky lost at Georgia. Vanderbilt lost at South Carolina. Kansas State, which has long since played its way out of its original Top 10 spot, lost at Oklahoma State. Missouri lost at Colorado. Texas lost to fellow Top-25er UConn. UCF lost its first game of the season, at Houston.
Georgia's win over UK helps Temple. The Bulldogs have not lost since losing to the Owls in Orlando. Their nine-game winning streak is the school's longest since the 1983 Final Four team.
Unbeaten Syracuse led just 20-19 at halftime against Seton Hall. 'Cuse was just 7-for-23, but the Hall was worse, shooting 8-for-35 overall and 0-for-17 from the arc. Syracuse shot much better in the second half, but its 17-for-36 from the free throw line kept the game closer (61-56) than it should have been.
There were several feet of snow in South Bend, yet 8,032 still appeared for the Irish's solid, 76-61 win over St. John's. Mike Brey's team is older and tougher than almost any team in college hoops.
Closing on DN Top 15
Saint Mary's was definitely not a one-season wonder. Last seen around these parts when upsetting Villanova in the 2010 NCAA, the Gaels are 14-2 after blasting Pepperdine, 85-60. They made 15 threes, had 24 assists and just five turnovers. Their only losses are to San Diego State and BYU.
On the rise
Matt Brady's James Madison team is 13-3. The Dukes trailed by 10 in the second half at William & Mary, but came back to win. Should be a player in the very tough and competitive CAA.
Among the best of the West
Going back to last season, Washington has won 11 straight against Pac-10 opponents. The Huskies had 10 blocks and nine steals in a dominating win over Oregon State.
Boston College's Reggie Jackson scored 25 points on just nine shots in the Eagles' 86-75 win over Georgia Tech. He shot 8-for-9 overall, 3-for-3 from the arc and 6-for-6 from the foul line.
And then there were five
The first five teams in the DN Top 15 remain unbeaten. Central Florida went down at Houston, 76-71. Marcus Jordan, Michael's son, had 52 points in his two previous games. He had just 10 points in his team's first loss.
Cincinnati had not exactly played a difficult schedule, but the Bearcats had played well before taking their first loss yesterday, at Villanova, 72-61.
Dick Jerardi's Top 15
1. Duke (15-0): Beat Maryland 71-64 last night.
2. Ohio State (16-0): Beat Minnesota, 67-64, yesterday after leading by 18 points with 8 minutes left. A Minnesota three attempt was blocked at the buzzer.
3. Kansas (15-0): Marcus Morris got 21 points as they won at Michigan, 67-60, in OT.
4. Syracuse (16-0): Neither team could make a shot in the first half at Seton Hall, but the 'Cuse shot 60 percent in the second half and won, 66-61.
5. San Diego State (17-0): Won nicely at Utah, 71-62. Playing itself into a position for a very high NCAA seed.
6. Pittsburgh (15-1): Few teams are playing any better on offense than the Panthers. They shot 60 percent in 89-81 home win over Marquette. Pitt was 10-for-18 from the arc and had just 10 turnovers.
7. Villanova (14-1): Yesterday's 72-61 win over Cincinnati was not a thing of beauty, but any Big East win is a good win.
8. Notre Dame (14-2): Ben Hansbrough had a career-best 26 points in 76-61 win over St. John's. Irish shot 51 percent.
9. Connecticut (12-2): Very nice 82-81 OT win at Texas. Kemba Walker shot just 8-for-27, but had seven OT points, including a crazy three and the game-winning deuce.
10. Texas A & M (14-1): Has won 11 straight after 69-51 win at Oklahoma.
11. Purdue (15-1): Beat Iowa yesterday, 75-52, for 10th consecutive win.
12. Missouri (14-2): Lost 89-76 at improved Colorado. Buffs sophomore star Alec Burks had 36 points and his team committed just 10 turnovers against Mizzou press.
13. Texas (12-3): Loss to Connecticut does not change the fact that the Longhorns are much improved and will be a serious factor in a serious Big 12.
14. BYU (16-1): Jimmer Fredette had 22 points in 76-66 win over Air Force.
15. Washington (12-3): Crushed Oregon State, 103-72. Huskies are 4-0 in Pac-10 for first time since 1984. Losses were to Michigan State, Kentucky and Texas A & M.