Reminder: Weber State’s Damian Lillard is a stud. That is all.

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Damian Lillard’s been smoking defenses all season, yet Weber State’s junior hasn’t captured the national spotlight the way Jimmer Fredette did last season.

Maybe it’s because Lillard, a 6-2 guard, doesn’t stage long-range shooting exhibitions like Fredette did, or maybe it’s because while Weber State (14-3) is the Big Sky’s best team, it isn’t as good as BYU was last season and missed out on a few chances to make that big splash. The Wildcats lost to St. Mary’s, BYU and Cal and Lillard struggled during two of those games.

Regardless, Lillard deserves a little more pub because … well, because. The kid’s killing it.

His 25.1 points per game is tops in D-I, just ahead of Creighton’s Doug McDermott, a guy who’s earned plenty of national accolades. And Lillard doesn’t do it by hoisting shot after shot or being a ball-hog. Yes, he used the lion’s share of possessions in Weber State’s offense and takes 30 percent of its shots, but he could take more. He scores efficiently and in the offensive scheme. (He also leads the team in pretty much everything: scoring, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, etc.)

Take this excerpt from USA Today:

“He’s the classic problem,” said San Jose State coach George Nessman, who watched Lillard score a career-high 41 points against his squad in December. “He can shoot the ball from deep on the perimeter, and he can attack you off the dribble. When you have a player who can do both of those things equally well, it becomes problematic.”

Weber State junior Scott Bamforth says, “He’s not just a scorer. I mean, he leads the nation in scoring, but he’s a player — a basketball player. … He plays both sides of the ball just as hard.”

If that’s not enough, this post from Drew Cannon at Basketball Prospectus should convince you of Lillard’s worth. Those numbers say he’s the nation’s best offensive player by any measure, if not it’s best player.

And, after yet another good night – Lillard scored 18 points, grabbed six rebounds and had six assists in Weber State’s win Thursday over Northern Arizona — it’s probably time we devote more time to including Lillard’s name among the nation’s best players.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC

Labissiere scores 16 as top-ranked Kentucky beats BU 82-62

Eric Johnson, Isaiah Briscoe
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Freshman center Skal Labissiere scored 16 points to lead top-ranked Kentucky past Boston University 82-62 on Tuesday night.

The Wildcats (5-0) used a big second half to overcome Boston U. in their season debut at No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 poll. One day after taking over the top spot, Kentucky struggled to put away the Terriers early but outscored them 42-29 in the second half.

Labissiere finished 7 of 13 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds. Tyler Ulis added 15 points, and Alex Poythress had 14 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for his second straight double-double.

Jamal Murray scored 12 points and Isaiah Briscoe had 11. Kentucky, which spent all of last season ranked No. 1, scored 58 points in the paint and closed with a 22-9 run.

Boston University (2-3) got 15 points from John Papale. Nathan Dieudonne and Kyle Foreman scored 11 apiece.

The Wildcats raced out to a 10-0 lead 3 minutes into the game, but Boston University settled down after making its first basket and kept the score close in the first half by hitting five shots from long range.

The Terriers led 34-33 with 2 minutes remaining in the first half, but the Wildcats scored the last six points of the period to regain the lead.

Labissiere paced the Wildcats with 11 points in the first half, followed by Murray with 10.


Kentucky: The Wildcats improved to 216-28 as the top-ranked team in the country and have won 61 of their last 64 games while holding the top spot. Under coach John Calipari, Kentucky is 63-5 as the top-ranked team in the AP poll.

Boston University: The Terriers fell to 0-5 against Kentucky. … Boston University missed its first four shots and didn’t score its first basket until the 16:55 mark of the first half. … Dieudonne, a graduate of Louisville Trinity, was Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball in 2012.


Kentucky plays Friday against South Florida at the Hoophall Miami Invitational.

Boston University plays Saturday at Binghamton.

Division III William Paterson forfeits game to protest coach’s firing

William Paterson Athletics
William Paterson Athletics
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William Paterson, a Division III basketball program in New Jersey, forfeited a game on Tuesday night to protest the firing of their head coach, Jose Rebimbas.

Rebimbas, a player for the 1990 Seton Hall team that reached the national title game, had been with the program for 20 years, amassing nearly 400 wins, winning six league titles and reaching nine NCAA tournaments. He announced his firing earlier this week on FaceBook, and the players on his team responded by boycotting Tuesday night’s matchup with Ramapo.

Dylan Burns, a William Paterson student that does play-by-play for the school’s athletic teams, tweeted that the basketball players came out of the locker room for layups lines, took off their warmups, threw them in a pile on the court and walked off the floor.

The following screengrabs from instagram videos that have since been removed show the players leaving the floor:

Screengrab via Instagram

And the jerseys piled in the middle of the court:

Screengrab via Instagram

The crowd at the game can be heard cheering when it is announced that the game has been forfeited.

Rebimbas wrote the following on FaceBook over the weekend:

“It is with great sadness and extreme frustration that after today I will not be coaching the basketball team at William Paterson University. WP has been my home and family for more than 20 years and yet the University has taken action to remove me from the service I love. People I have trusted and served with have defied logic and are pursing my termination because of a misunderstanding over a facility rental fee for a camp that I run.”

“These actions come despite the University hearing officer determining that termination was not warranted. The University has unfairly and illegally taken my right to coach and mentor the student-athletes I love. I am prepared to fight the actions of William Paterson University and restore my good name and that of the program.”