Indiana's Cody Zeller dealt with hugs and kisses against Penn State Wednesday night.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Notes Written While Searching For Number One:
*The word around Assembly Hall Wednesday was that the last time Cody Zeller failed to make a field goal in a basketball game he was a freshman at Washington (Ind.) High School.
But there it was during IU's 72-49 win over Penn State: Zeller played 21 minutes, took four shots and for the first time in his 55-game college career, did not make a field goal while scoring two points.
There were many reasons, but I'd start with a look at the picture I placed with this story. IU assistant coach Kenny Johnson shared it on his Twitter account Thursday. Bill O'Brien and Linebacker U. would have been proud of that Penn State defense.
Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said part of his team's game plan was to employ a zone defense and not let Zeller beat them – and his players were serious about the plan.
"I don't think Zeller played a ton of minutes," Chambers said. "Usually he gets in a lot more than he did tonight. I saw him tweak his leg and I asked him if he was OK. He told me that he was.
"But the big thing was that we played zone. Sometimes that means giving up certain things, and they found our weaknesses by making the extra pass. "
Former South Carolina coach Darrin Horn said Indiana's ability to win by 23 while getting only two points from Zeller is worth noting. "There aren't a lot of teams that can overcome something like that and still win big," Horn said. "It shows you how many scorers Indiana has."
*Don't look for Kentucky to have one of its frequent homecourt advantages when the Wildcats head to Mississippi Tuesday. The surging Rebels upgraded to 16-2 and 5-0 in the Southeastern Conference by defeating Tennessee for the second time this season Thursday.
Get this: The game was Ole Miss' third straight sellout – and the UK game is already confirmed as sellout Number Four.
Steve Andress of WDRB and I will be in Oxford for that game, and I'm anxious for a look at Mississippi guard Marshall Henderson, who is averaging nearly 11 three-point field goal attempts per game while leading the SEC in scoring.
*Could John Calipari use another 48.7 points and 16.5 rebounds at Kentucky?
I wouldn't expect Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA), Anthony Bennett (UNLV) and Gary Harris (Michigan State) to combine for those numbers on the same team, but that's what the trio is averaging this season.
Muhammad, Bennett and Harris are the three best prospects that eluded Calipari last season.
*The Villanova students aren't the only ones giddy after the Wildcats upset Louisville Tuesday. Nova coach Jay Wright also cranked up his imagination. He says his team can beat anybody.
Speaking to Angelo Cataldi on WIP radio in Philadelphia, Wright said that he thinks college basketball is really changing as evidenced by the losses so many ranked teams have taken in the last week. Eleven Top 25 teams have stumbled since Sunday.
"It's all about matchups," Wright said. "If you get the right matchups, you can advance and I think we're the same way. If we get it going we can, I mean, we just proved it, LaSalle just proved it (against Butler). We can beat anybody."
Except Providence, Columbia, Alabama, LaSalle …
*Former UCLA star Bill Walton was lighting up Twitter Thursday night with his blizzard of zingers while calling the Bruins' 84-73 upset over Arizona.
There's nobody like Walton in the college basketball analyst slot. He's unafraid to criticize coaches, players, programs, strategy or the concession menu.
He even reached out and took a direct shot at Michigan, which seems poised to move to Number One now that Duke lost at Miami Wednesday.
Walton isn't gaga about Michigan. Not first. Not second. Not third.
"Kansas, Syracuse, Florida are the best teams I've seen of late," Walton said.
What about the Wolverines? They're 18-1.
"Michigan did not look good against Ohio State (in a 56-53 loss on Jan. 13)," Walton said. "And if you're not going to look good against your arch rival, what kind of team do you really have?
*Which school made the best hire in college football for 2013?
Steven Lassan of Athlon Sports believes that Western Kentucky was a slight loser in the change game. He ranks the hire that South Florida made recruiting Willie Taggart from WKU as the best of the 30 hires.
Athlon says Western Kentucky for replacing Taggart with Bobby Petrino.
I've got to throw the flag on that one. Taggart did excellent work at WKU. But Petrino gets my vote. I've watched his teams hang 40, 50 or 60 points on too many defenses.
Athlon ranked Kentucky's hiring of Mark Stoops at Number 14.
Who finished last?
A program on Louisville's 2013 schedule – Florida International, which recycled former San Jose State and Illinois coach Ron Turner.