Roundball Chatter for Dec. 24

• You saw the importance of free throw shooting in Syracuse's loss to Temple last weekend. The Owls won by four points and made 10 more free throws in the upset. Temple was 29-of-36 from the line while the Orange shot 19-of-34. Missing 15 free throws in a close game will kill you. Michael Carter-Williams missed eight of them (seven-of-15).

• How about a salute to Kansas for its win at Ohio State. Ben McLemore has been a dynamic diaper dandy; he scored 22 points in the victory at Columbus.

• Wichita State has been hit with major injury problems. Starting guard Ron Baker will miss approximately six weeks with a stress fracture in his left foot as the third Shocker starter currently sidelined. Senior forward Carl Hall will miss four weeks with a broken right thumb, while sophomore guard Evan Wessel is out with a broken right pinkie. That was not the kind of Christmas cheer coach Gregg Marshall needed.

• Playing the “what if” game: if Louisville had a healthy Gorgui Dieng, the 6-11 shot-blocker, they would be the best team in America! His defense means so much to the Cards!

• Is Anthony Bennett of UNLV currently the best Diaper Dandy? Name one better -- not on potential but actually producing like he has.

• The ACC hoop lovers better keep a keen eye on Miami. Jim Larranaga's squad is legit. They have size plus solid guard play. In Miami's lone loss, a stunner to Florida Gulf Coast, the Hurricanes did not have guard Durand Scott.

• Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone out there.