PK80 notebook: Grades, takeaways on 16 teams from college basketball’s mega event

November 27, 2017 - Basketballs

PORTLAND, Oregon — Nov college basketball that felt like Mar Madness. The doubt asked many frequently around a Rose Quarter over Thanksgiving Weekend: Can Phil Knight spin 80 any year?

The PK80-Phil Knight Invitational was a extensive event, a outrageous success not merely given of a teams involved, though a location. Having a Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum subsequent to any other authorised for a available and friendly contest atmosphere. It was an NCAA Tournament vibe with a transport contest flavor, given how many games were played in a hostile buildings.

Credit to Michigan State jaunty executive Mark Hollis, who concocted a thought behind in 2011. It took roughly 6 years, though a wait was value it. Now, a obvious: This needs to occur again. But if it does, it won’t be for during slightest 3 years. The subsequent dual seasons already have big-time programs sealed into a Nov tournaments. 

So if there’s to be another PK80-type event, 2020 is a beginning we would see it, and 2021 is some-more realistic. Hollis is a forward-thinking guy, and it would be intolerable if he weren’t during slightest debating how to get something like this finished again. Portland would be great, though it could be even bigger if we got a likes of Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville and other top-20 programs concerned — and played a eventuality in a center of a country.

We’ll see on that.

Power brokers in college basketball will come divided from this weekend with a believe that a PK 80 was an unmitigated success, a splendid light of positivity during a time when a foe needs a lot of it. 

“This is what college basketball needs,” Gonzaga manager Mark Few pronounced on Friday. “This should be capturing a courtesy of a lot of people. This tonight, guys, is because college basketball’s so great.”

The PK80 was some-more than an implausible 16-team event, a initial and usually of a kind. From a basketball standpoint, it gave us a demeanour during 16 teams confronting tough foe and vast opportunities to build their NCAA Tournament résumés. Every organisation had 3 chances to uncover where it’s during right now, and maybe offer harbingers for January, Feb and March. 

Here’s an overview of how any organisation fared and what a formula revealed. 


Grade: B-plus …  The Hogs kick Oklahoma by 9 on Thursday, afterwards killed a suggestion of UConn on Sunday with a 102-67 disemboweling of a Huskies. Sandwiched in? An 87-68 detriment to UNC that was unequivocally closer than that measure indicates. The Razorbacks are 5-1 and could find themselves ranked in a week if they’re means to go on a highway and win during Houston. 

Mike Anderson’s organisation continues to flower with pace, though what creates it a constrained organisation going brazen is how a Hogs are sharpened good from 3 and melancholy with speed. The Razorbacks done 29 of their 64 3-point attempts in Portland. Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon, both 6-foot-3 guards, are a long-range weapons. Quality all-around display by this organisation here. 

BUTLER (2-1) 

Grade: B … Emotionally gratifying finish for a Bulldogs, who took Sunday’s fifth-place diversion in a Motion joint after rallying from a 15-point necessity with reduction than 4 mins remaining to kick their former coach, Ohio State’s Chris Holtmann. Butler won in overtime and maybe altered a march of a season. Kelan Martin and Kamar Baldwin have a chemistry, toughness and aptitude to lift this organisation to a NCAA Tournament. Baldwin’s 3 with 8.8 seconds to go tied a game, afterwards Martin’s layup in a shutting seconds of OT clinched a victory. Symbolic contributions. The span could go down as a MVD (Most Valuable Duo) in a foe this season.

Butler rallied to finish 2-1 after looking muted in a 61-48 detriment to Texas in a quarterfinals on Thursday. The Longhorns’ length and athleticism were simply too much. A 71-69 feat vs. Portland State was another instance of Butler carrying a robe for personification tighten to a horn. Bulldogs are now 5-2. They will not play a highway diversion until Dec. 27, when they open Big East play opposite Georgetown. A shoutout to Butler fans, who trafficked good to this event, even if there was one clown.


Grade: C-minus … The Huskies have a longest moody behind home, done all a worse by a team’s deplorable 102-67 detriment to Arkansas on Sunday. Kevin Ollie’s organisation started good with a 71-63 feat opposite Oregon on Thursday, though a 20-point detriment to Michigan State (with a season-low 57 points) incited a worm in a wrong approach for a Huskies. (Plus, Oregon went 1-2 and scarcely mislaid to DePaul.)

Ollie has got talent, and a organisation is healthy. But they haven’t come together yet. They don’t demeanour like a organisation that’s gentle on a building for a full game. A lot of a offense that was run was simply stymied by Michigan State and Arkansas, dual groups that have coaches who specialize in neutralizing with defense. There’s a lot left to figure out here. 

DePAUL (1-2) 

Grade: C … The approaching outcome for a Blue Demons, who took seventh in a Victory joint with an 82-69 feat opposite Portland on Sunday. You’ll remember it was Georgetown who was ostensible to be in this spot, though a Hoyas corroborated out in September. DePaul came in, and should be commended for stepping adult and similar to play in a domain in that it was overmatched. Beating Oregon would have been a boon, though alas. That said, this organisation is still ninth or 10th in a Big East. Continually wondering when this school, formed in a good basketball city like Chicago, is going to get behind to being in row for a NCAA Tournament. 

DUKE (3-0)

Grade: A-minus … The champs of a Motion bracket, though let’s start with a disastrous first, if that’s OK? Duke got off to delayed starts in all 3 of a games. It trailed during a half to Portland State, afterwards found itself down double digits in a second half to Texas and Florida. The transition invulnerability is still a concern. So is a long-range shooting. 

Yet — yet! — notwithstanding Duke’s apparent flaws, this organisation has not mislaid yet. That’s Mike Krzyzewski coaching. No organisation with this many freshmen, no matter how talented, has any business being 8-0 after a forms of spells a Blue Devils have left through. But when you’ve got a truly singular talent in Marvin Bagley III to span with another one of a best players in college basketball, Grayson Allen, this is what we get. (To be fair, Allen was underwhelming Sunday.) The No. 1 organisation in America until someone can find a approach to have this organisation with fewer points during a finish of 40 minutes.

FLORIDA (2-1) 

Grade: B-plus … Must-see team. The Gators defiantly shot their approach to a 111-105 double-overtime feat opposite Gonzaga in a semifinals of a Motion bracket. Then they led by 17 in a second half vs. Duke before floating it. The Gators are a earnest team, an jaunty bar that has taken to sharpened a low round — and attack during a good clip. But what a blown event vs. Duke. Mike White competence need a few nights, if not weeks, to get over a loss. 

Florida got by Stanford with palliate (108-87), afterwards hold off a Gonzaga organisation that done a vast matter with a play this week. The Gators didn’t infer they had championship eagerness in Portland, though they positively put a lot out on a building that’s going to shock any organisation in a SEC. Despite a implosion vs. Duke, we still consider this is a best organisation in a SEC. The common sharpened ability of White’s organisation is scary. Jalen Hudson could turn a dermatitis actor in a league.


Grade: B-plus … The PK80 was strictly announced a rousing success after what Florida and Gonzaga pulled off low into a Oregon night on Friday. It was an an epic, college basketball’s best diversion of a immature season. Seventeen lead changes and 11 ties. If we’re lucky, we’ll get these teams opposite any other again in March. Even then, it would be radically unfit to tip what went down during a Moda Center. The diversion alone sealed Gonzaga into removing a B-plus, and I’m assigning that class to a Bulldogs for a whole weekend.

Rui Hachimura has a prolonged approach to go defensively, though he’s an opportunistic actor with a round and a unequivocally good athlete. Josh Perkins is a actor I’ve certainly underrated. His restraint is unflinching. Johnathan Williams III has grown into a beast. He put adult a career-high 39 points vs. Florida. Bulldogs are again a best organisation in a WCC. (Did we see that Saint Mary’s forsaken dual true over a weekend?)


Grade: A-minus … Joshua Langford and Cassius Winston done a all-tournament organisation in a Victory bracket. Michigan State got Tom Izzo a initial feat opposite Roy Wiliams given Williams got to UNC. The Spartans were hit-and-miss offensively though unchanging on a other finish of a floor. The resilient was solid. 

And Miles Bridges wasn’t many of a factor. 

That’s a vast takeaway for MSU. Obviously a super sophomore’s going to need to be a top-10 actor in American in sequence for Michigan State to be a No. 1 seed come March, though a offense took an evolutionary step though him this weekend. He wasn’t 100 percent. MSU also kick DePaul and UConn. Average domain of victory: 20 points. Kinks to work out, though definite gains for a Big Ten favorites.


Grade: B … So, Sunday night was historically awful. The Tar Heels unsuccessful to govern on open layups, missed tainted shots, blew blockout assignments. Roy Williams pronounced he was terrible in scheming his team, pronounced he was awful in coaching his team. 

I won’t kill UNC too many on a whole. It predictably wiped out Portland 102-78, afterwards rallied to lift divided from Arkansas on Friday. Given a girl on this team, stumbles were inevitable. The doubt for UNC becomes: Can a vast guys grow adult this deteriorate to a indicate where they can be effective, and reliable, opposite ranked competition? UNC’s spectrum of outcome for a subsequent 3 months is really wide, we think. Could breeze adult anywhere between a No. 2 and No. 7 seed, we think. 


Grade: C … Coach Chris Holtmann told me on Sunday that a 15-point lead his organisation blew with reduction than 4 mins to go was a biggest fall he has been a partial of as a conduct coach. The Buckeyes can’t hoop success, that is a carryover from a prior dual seasons underneath Thad Matta. The backcourt concerns that were a primary smirch streamer into a deteriorate loomed vast in a Butler disturbance (24 turnovers for a team).

Had OSU been means to deflect off BU and win in overtime, it would have been a vast injection of positivity for Holtmann’s team. Instead, OSU comes divided with usually a 79-71 feat opposite Stanford sandwiched between waste to Gonzaga and Butler. The Gonzaga detriment was brutal; a Buckeyes fell 86-59. 


Grade: B … After a good display — in a detriment — opposite Arkansas on Thursday, Oklahoma bounced behind to kick Portland (93-71) afterwards take out Oregon (90-80). Trae Young’s all a rage. He had as good of a contest as anyone, averaging 34.7 points during a PK80, highlighted by a 43 he forsaken on an Oregon organisation unqualified of checking him. The Sooners are primed to make a pull for a NCAA Tournament this deteriorate interjection to a firepower Young brings. And it’s not merely that he can fire it so well; he’s a good distributor and copiousness clever for his size.

The Sooners, by a way, arrange fourth in college basketball this deteriorate in pace. Lon Kruger has a improved organisation than we think. Young’s going to get a lot of a attention, though there are good vets on this roster. A lot of good came from this outing for this squad. 

OREGON (1-2)

Grade: D-plus … Here’s how it all unfolded for a Ducks: 

They mislaid to UConn, that mislaid a other dual games and looked bad in a process.

They kick DePaul, that mislaid dual games. Also, Oregon indispensable overtime to kick DePaul, a organisation doubtful to strech a NIT.

They mislaid to Oklahoma and authorised Trae Young to put adult 43 points. Young averaged 44 points his comparison year of high school. 

Dana Altman’s organisation has a lot to figure out, and soon. 


Grade: C-minus … Terry Porter’s bar has nonetheless to kick a D-I organisation this season. The Pilots fell to UNC, Oklahoma and DePaul by 59 sum points. It’s not a surprise; a team’s 7 many used players this deteriorate are freshmen and sophomores. 

Speaking of Porter, we couldn’t assistance though consternation what it contingency have felt like for him to manager inside Veterans Memorial Coliseum. He played many of his career in that building (which, frankly, should not have been personification horde to NBA games as late as 1995).


Grade: B-plus … First-year manager Barret Peery pulled off one of a best coaching jobs in Portland over a holiday weekend. Not carrying to travel, clearly, was a good bonus. Perhaps it aided PSU in a process. This organisation played with “verve” (Krzyzewski’s word on Thursday). The Vikings led Duke during a half, scarcely kick Butler — afterwards routed Stanford. This is a module that hasn’t done a NCAAs given 2009. Under Peery, a destiny looks bright. 

Look over a 1-2 record. Portland State played well, maybe even above a head, any time out. 

TEXAS (1-2)

Grade: C-plus … The Longhorns came so tighten to winning all 3 games. Texas had no issues with Butler, though afterwards it blew a good event vs. Duke. Dylan Osetkowski has a fun feel for hoops. He was a best actor on a building for a initial 30 mins of UT’s diversion vs. a Blue Devils. Then Duke did this. The Blue Devils are talented, though they kick Texas with 5 freshmen personification a final dual mins and all of overtime. Rough. Fast brazen to Sunday. Shaka Smart’s organisation rallied vs. Gonzaga to force OT — though a loss. 

Here’s some discerning thoughts on UT beginner Mohamed Bamba: He’s so physically gifted, and his length is ridiculous, though he’s still anticipating his way. He hasn’t had a unchanging diversion yet, and he’s still perplexing to infer he has got a 20-footer in his arsenal. In articulate to evaluators here in Portland, there’s also some regard about his miss of physicality. He can play stronger than he’s showing. Texas will need that if it’s going to be a Top 25 organisation this season.


Grade: D-minus …  Just a horrible PK80 for Knight’s dual alma maters. Oregon’s connection for Knight is good famous and mostly discussed, though he attended connoisseur propagandize during Stanford. The Cardinal mislaid 108-87 to Florida (and it felt like a 50-point margin), got kick 79-71 by Ohio State, afterwards was handed eighth place with an 87-78 detriment to Portland State. The Cardinal had 28 turnovers vs. a Vikings.

Jerod Haase’s organisation was approaching to make a burst this season. Instead, this organisation is going backward. It’s 3-5 and has waste to dual teams from a Big Sky (Portland State and Eastern Washington). Reid Travis is not good adequate to lift a organisation around him. The Pac-12 has had a unsatisfactory start to a deteriorate on a whole. Stanford is a print organisation for Nov laments in a league.

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