Yes, the state of Utah has another scoring sensation

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Tonight’s BYU-Weber State game features the nation’s leading scorer, a 6-2 guard who can score from just about anywhere and was lightly recruited out of high school.

And no, he doesn’t play for BYU.

Damian Lillard, a redshirt junior for the Wildcats, leads D-I in scoring at 28.2 points per game, bolstered by his massive week of 36 vs. St. Mary’s and 41 against San Jose State. A foot injury caused him to miss last year’s game against the Cougars when Fredette scored 28 in a BYU win. Fredette, of course, went onto lead the nation in scoring and swept every postseason award. Lillard, meanwhile, spent that team working on his basketball IQ and waiting for a chance to lead Weber State.

Lillard’s team isn’t at the Cougars’ level with Fredette – the Wildcats (5-1) were routed by the Gaels – but he clearly took one page out of Fredette’s playbook. Stay humble, play hard.

“He doesn’t picture himself as a big deal,” Weber State coach Randy Rahe told the AP. “He’s very grounded, very humble. He works harder than any kid I’ve ever been around in 22 years, but he works hard because he’s trying to win, not because he’s trying to put up numbers. It’s all about winning.”

Through six games, Lillard’s putting up absurd stats, no matter if you prefer the traditional ones or tempo-free stats. So. How’s he compare to Jimmer? Really well (though it is just six games).

This StatSheet rundown includes everything, while the graphs below show how close they’ve trended toward each during their careers.

source:

Lillard’s always been good. But this season? He’s just silly. Chalk that up to a little motivation because of his recruiting and his school.

“I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder because I’ve always been overlooked,” Lillard said. “They don’t really recruit in Northern California. Even in my neighborhood, people don’t go to college, graduate from high school. I always wanted to be the one that was different, beat the odds. So the chip’s always been there.

“Now people say, he goes to Weber State or plays in the Big Sky. I feel like I’ve got to prove people wrong all the time.”

You’re on your way, Damian. Just need to do it for another 20 games or so.

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You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

Four conferences sign on to basketball officiating alliance

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Four more Division I conferences will join a men’s basketball officiating alliance formed last year by the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East, the Atlantic 10 and Colonial Athletic Association.

The Big South, the Ivy League, the Northeast and the Patriot League are joining ahead of the 2017-18 season, according to announcements from the leagues Thursday. The alliance launched last summer for conferences to work together on officiating matters and enhance training, development, recruitment, retention and feedback for officials.

John Cahill, the Big East’s supervisor of officials, and Bryan Kersey, the ACC’s coordinator of men’s basketball officiating, will continue to lead the alliance operations.

ACC commissioner John Swofford says the new additions to the alliance “provide an even greater opportunity to build chemistry and quality” across the officiating ranks.

North Carolina to unveil national championship banner in October

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The latest addition to the rafters of the Dean Dome will be unveiled this fall.

North Carolina will raise the banner for its 2017 national championship on Oct. 13, according to a report from Inside Carolina.

The event will coincide with the Tar Heels’ “Late Night With Roy” event that marks the public start to the season for the program and also serves, like many other top programs, as a recruiting tool.

North Carolina won its sixth NCAA national championship in April by defeating Gonzaga, 71-65, in Phoenix to avenge its last-second loss in the title game to Villanova the year prior. It was the Tar Heels’ first championship since 2009.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball highlights

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It was the most anticipated matchup of the summer.

Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball.

People were turned away at the door – and LeBron James reportedly came and went – as the gym reached capacity for SC Supreme’s 104-92 victory over the Big Ballers. That’s Williamson over Ball (LaMelo and LaVar).

The game was mostly spectacle, and you can see it’s top moments right here.

 

VIDEO: Zion Williamson’s coach is holding a sleeping baby

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LaMelo Ball vs. Zion Williamson was insane, but it wasn’t quite crazy enough to wake up the sleeping toddler that Williamson’s coach is holding in his arms:

This is peak AAU basketball.

It will never be more AAU than that.

PHOTOS: Zion Williamson, LaMelo Ball showdown was, of course, insane

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In a showcase game in the adidas Uprising event in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, LaMelo Ball — the youngest member of the Big Baller Brand — faced off with Zion Williamson, who is a force on youtube and a highlight machine.

The crowd was insane for the game:

According to a report from ESPN, there were even concerns about whether or not the game would actually be allowed to be played; the police and fire marshall considered shutting the event down.

Williamson, of course, put on a show in warmups:

At the time of this posting, there were more than 60,000 people watching a livestream of the game on BallIsLife’s facebook page:

(UPDATE: It’s now over 70,000)