Ray McCallum Jr. leads Detroit (and his dad) into NCAAs

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This is what Ray McCallum Jr. envisioned when he committed to Detroit. What son wouldn’t want to lead his dad’s team to the NCAA tournament?

Well, he did just that.

The former McDonald’s All-American was the driving force behind Detroit’s 70-50 win against Valparaiso Tuesday night in the Horizon League tournament final, giving the school its first spot in the Big Dance since 1999.

Watching it all from the sideline was his dad, Ray Sr., taking it all in. Ray Sr. took Ball State to a pair of NCAA berths in the 2000s, but ever since arriving at Detroit in 2008, this was the goal. His son simply gave it a big push.

Ray Jr. scored 21 points, grabbed six rebounds, dished three assists and had four steals and controlled the flow of the game from his point guard position. Detroit (22-13) simply overwhelmed Valpo on its home floor, turning a three-point halftime deficit into a second-half rout. It forced turnovers (19 total) and dunked on Valpo players and looked every bit like a Horizon team capable of winning a game or two in the Big Dance.

Hey, if Butler can do it, why not a father-son combo?

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

AUDIO: Rick Pitino discusses allegations, future at Louisville

Rick Pitino
Associated Press
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Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.

The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.

“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.

“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.

“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”

Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
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Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.