2011 Old Spice Classic Recap
By Jon Cooper
The sixth Old Spice Classic brought some unique squads to Orlando. The octet put on a remarkable four-day event, featuring unlikely comebacks, exhilarating finishes and breathtaking displays of talent, especially by underclassmen, who are sure to become household names, come March. In the end, Dayton, which was less than 90 seconds from being saddled with a first-round loss, and flew off with the Classic championship, taking out Minnesota in the title game. Here’s a team-by-team look at the 2011 field:
Arizona State was bedeviled by a cold-shooting first half in its 55-44 loss to Fairfield. Junior guard Trent Lockett scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds (both game highs) but the Sun Devils, who never led and trailed 31-19 at the half, shot only 33 percent in the first half, were 0 for 6 from three and committed 14 of its 22 turnovers. ASU shot below 40 percent for the game, hit only 2 of 7 from three in the second half and never got the Stags’ lead below seven. The Sun Devils turned it around in an 84-56 wire-to-wire rout of Wake Forest. Sophomore guard Keala King had a game-high 25 points on 8-for-10 shooting, with eight rebounds, and Lockett added 20 and 10. ASU, which shot 59.3 percent in both halves and hit 7 of 16 three pointers, used a 13-4 run to open an early double-digit lead, and then closed the half on a 19-6 run to lead 41-19 at intermission. The lead never got below 20 in the second half, reaching 33 with 3:17 to play. State limited Wake to 28 percent shooting in the first half and held them to 2-for-15 from three. The Sun Devils dropped a 68-64 heartbreaker to DePaul in its finale. King had 22, Lockett added 19 with 12 rebounds, and sophomore forward Kyle Cain pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds, but ASU committed 19 turnovers. ASU closed a 10-point deficit with 4:07 to go down to two, but never equalized. The Sun Devils had a chance to tie the game with four seconds left, but sophomore center Jordan Bachynski missed a pair of free throws.
Dayton closed on a 9-1 run in the final 81 seconds to pull out an 80-76 victory over Wake Forest, in a game that saw 12 ties. Senior guard Paul Williams led four double-digit scorers with 18 points, 16 in the second half, and junior big man Matt Kavanaugh had 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds for the Flyers, who overcame 18 turnovers. The game was tied at 33 at the half and neither team led by more than four over the final six minutes. Trailing 75-71, Williams hit his fifth three of the game with 1:21 left. Chris Johnson followed with a three, with 36 seconds remaining to give Dayton the lead. They sealed the deal at the foul line. The Flyers advanced to the championship game when they edged Fairfield, 56-49. Josh Parker scored 15 off the bench and junior guard Kevin Dillard added 12 second-half points as Dayton led 27-23 at the half, despite being outshot 52.6 to 27.3 percent. The Flyers never trailed in a tight second half in which they held a 51-49 lead with 3:12 to go. In the championship game, Dayton topped Minnesota, 86-70. Dillard had 19 points, 10 assists, a career-high seven steals and three blocks and Johnson added 18 to lead Dayton’s five double-digit scorers. The Flyers forced 21 turnovers, had a 32-14 edge in points off turnovers, and closed the half on a 25-5 run to take a nine-point lead into the locker room. The lead reached 19 in the second half as Dayton drained 18 of 20 second-half free throw attempts. Dillard was named Tournament MVP, averaging 15.3 points on 51.6 percent shooting (44.4 from three), 91.0 percent from the line, with 5.3 assists and 3.7 steals.
In its first game, DePaul played a strong first half but lost late, falling 86-85, to Minnesota. Sophomore guard Brandon Young had a game-high 23 points, sophomore forward Cleveland Melvin added 20, and senior center Krys Faber had 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds for the Blue Demons, who shot 51.6 percent for the game and were 13-for-13 on free throws. After taking a 43-33 lead into the half, the Blue Demons were outscored 53-42 in the second 20 minutes, when they shot only 1-for-9 from three. They had no answer inside for the Golden Gophers, allowing 23 offensive rebounds and getting outscored by 20 in both points in the paint (60-40) and second-chance points (30-10). The Blue Demons came from behind in their next game, topping Texas Tech, 76-70. Melvin had 25 with seven rebounds, and Young added 24 with five assists. DePaul trailed 37-36 at the half but came back then held off the Red Raiders in a game that had seven ties and 15 lead changes. A late 7-2 run gave them some breathing room down the stretch. In its final game, DePaul led almost wire-to-wire despite shooting only 38.2 percent and beat Arizona State, 68-64. Melvin led the Blue Demons with 18, Young added 13 with six assists and sophomore forward Moses Morgan had 12, hitting a career-high-tying four 3-pointers. The Blue Demons forced 19 turnovers and outscored ASU 24-9 off miscues. Melvin earned a berth on the All-Tournament team, averaging 21.0 points on 46.2 shooting, and a perfect 15-for-15 from the line, with 6.3 rebounds, four blocked shots and three steals.
Fairfield won a defensive struggle in a 55-44 victory over Arizona State. Senior swingman Rakim Sanders scored a game-high 21 points and pulled down seven rebounds for the Stags, who limited Arizona State to 19 first-half points and 39.5 percent shooting for the game. Fairfield led wire-to-wire despite only shooting 33.9 percent for the game and led by as much as 19 in the second half. The Stags forced 22 turnovers and turned them into 25 points. In its next game, Fairfield was doomed by a cold-shooting first half, losing 56-49 to Dayton. Sanders led the way with 17, and senior center Ryan Olander had 11. The Stags held a 10-0 edge in second-chance points and a 16-10 edge in points in the paint for the game, but went 10 minutes without a field goal in the first half, and although they only trailed by four at the half, they never regained the lead. Fairfield cut the deficit to two with 3:12 to play but was outscored 7-0 the rest of the way. Sanders had a game-high 21 points, seven rebounds and six steals in the Stags' finale, but the Stags never led in a 72-66 loss to Indiana State. Fairfield trailed by 12 at the half and by 23 with 8:29 to play. A pair of threes by junior guard Derek Needham sparked a 9-0 run and got Fairfield within five in the final minute but the Stags couldn’t equalize. Sanders averaged 19.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.3 steals to earn All-Tournament Team honors.
Indiana State didn’t shoot well but did enough of the right things in its 60-49 victory over Texas Tech. Sophomore guard Jake Odum had 13 points and four assists, and sophomore forward R.J. Mahurin added 10 off the bench to lead the Sycamores. Despite shooting 35.7 percent, State never trailed, outscoring Tech 25-5 from the line and forcing 18 turnovers, which they converted into 18 points. In its next game, ISU fell to Minnesota, 76-69, in a tale of two halves that had three ties and 13 lead changes. Senior guard Jordan Printy had 14, and Odum added 13 with seven assists. The Sycamores shot 59.3 percent, 61.5 percent from three, to take a 40-33 lead into intermission. But ISU did a 180 in the final 20 minutes, shooting 33 percent, 25.0 from three, and got outscored 43-29. Mahurin, who contributed a career-high 12 off the bench, hit a late three but it wasn’t enough for the Sycamores, who missed a game-tying three seconds earlier. In their finale, the Sycamores led wire-to-wire in beating Fairfield, 72-66. Odum recorded ISU’s first triple-double since Larry Bird’s on Feb. 20, 1979, putting up 10 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. The 12 helpers set an Old Spice Classic single-game record. Senior center Myles Walker and senior guard Dwayne Lathan each had 16 for the Sycamores, who led 38-26 at intermission, forcing 12 turnovers, which led to a 15-5 edge in points off giveaways. ISU’s 11-2 run extended the lead to 28 and they then held off the Stags, who got within three. Odum was named to the All-Tournament team, averaging 12 points, 7.7 assists and 2.3 steals.
Minnesota started slowly but used its size to wear down DePaul in its 86-85 win. Senior forward Trevor Mbakwe came off the bench to supply 16 points and 12 rebounds and junior forward Rodney Williams scored a team-high 18 on 7-for-9 shooting as the Golden Gophers overcame a 12-point first-half deficit. UM shot 55.6 percent in the second half, outscored the Blue Demons 60-40 in the paint and grabbed 23 offensive rebounds, leading to a 30-10 advantage in second-chance points. Guards led the way for Minnesota in its 76-69 victory over Indiana State. Junior Julian Welch scored a game-high 17 off the bench and freshman Andre Hollins added 16 on 4-for-5 shooting from three. The Golden Gophers again rallied in the second half, overcoming a seven-point halftime deficit. Minnesota shot 56 percent (50 percent from three) in the second 20. Sophomore Chip Armelin added 13 and Mbakwe scored seven of his nine points after halftime. The game saw 13 lead changes, five coming in a 91-second span in the final 3:39. Minnesota, which played most of the game without injured center Ralph Sampson III, took the lead for good on an Armelin layup with 2:08 to play that started a decisive 8-0 run. In the championship game, a banged-up Minnesota fell short against Dayton, 86-70. Hollins scored 14 and Welch added 12 for the Gophers, who got only two rebounds in 10 minutes from Sampson. The Gophers played the final 17 minutes without Mbakwe, who left with a right leg injury. Minnesota made only 8 of its 24 field goal attempts without him, and the Flyers pulled away. Mbakwe was named to the All-Tournament Team after scoring 34 points (11.3 ppg) on 68.4 percent shooting while grabbing 5.3 rebounds, handing out five assists and blocking five shots.
Texas Tech overcame an 11-point first-half deficit but couldn’t keep up with Indiana State, falling 60-49. Freshman forward Jordan Tolbert had a game-high 20 points but no other Red Raider scored more than eight. Tech never led in the game and trailed, 32-26, at the half. The Red Raiders had a 24-14 edge in points in the paint but didn’t get closer than five in the second half. Star point guard Ty Nurse, who came in averaging 19.3 ppg, scored one point and had one assist. Nurse bounced back with 19 points and Tolbert added 16 and nine rebounds but Tech dropped a tough 76-70 decision to DePaul. TTU led 37-36 at intermission on the strength of Nurse’s 11 points in a first half that saw five ties and 14 lead changes. But in the second half, Tech shot only 37 percent and, despite battling back from a pair of seven-point deficits, couldn’t regain the lead as they committed a costly turnover with a chance to shoot for the tie with 26 seconds left. In the finale, Tech fell to Wake Forest, 71-60. Sophomore guard Javarez Willis had 15, with five rebounds and five assists, and sophomore forward Jaron Nash added 15 off the bench, grabbed a game-high seven rebounds, blocked two shots and made three steals. Nurse sat the first half and was held scoreless for the game while Tolbert managed only five points. The game saw five ties and five lead changes in the first half but Tech trailed, 34-26, at intermission. In the second half, the Raiders used a 20-7 run to chop a 17-point deficit to four with 6:21 to go but got no closer.
Wake Forest had things going its way for 38:39, but then saw things go awry in a heartbreaking 80-76 loss to Dayton. Sophomore forward Travis McKie had 20 points to lead four double-digit Demon Deacons and junior guard C.J. Harris added 18 for Wake, which led by six with 3:41 to play and by four with 1:33 left. But a pair of Flyer three-pointers sparked a 9-1 run to snatch away the victory. Wake forced 18 turnovers and had a 26-14 edge in points off turnovers in a game that saw 12 ties and 14 lead changes. In the next game, a slow start doomed Wake in its 84-56 loss to Arizona State. The Demon Deacons trailed the entire game, by 19 at the half and by as much as 33. Harris had 17 for Wake, which shot 28 percent in the first half, just over 40 for the game, and made only two of 15 three-point attempts. Defensively, the Demon Deacons couldn’t stop State, which shot 59.3 percent in both halves. Wake took its finale, topping Texas Tech, 70-61. McKie bounced back from a 2-for-10 game against ASU, scoring 20 points, to share game-high-scoring honors with Harris. He also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. After a tight 10 minutes, Wake used an 11-4 run to open up a nine-point lead and used an 11-2 run to open the second half and extend the lead to 17. Tech pulled within four with 6:21 left but McKie scored four straight points as Wake went on an 8-1 run and cruised home.
University of Maryland alum Jon Cooper is an Atlanta-based freelance writer.