Bo Ryan

Jarrod Uthoff finally shares his side of the story


As bad as Bo Ryan looked when he initially made the decision to restrict Jarrod Uthoff from transferring to 26 schools and as foolish as he looked when he went on ‘Mike and Mike’, his story and his reasoning, while unfair, was at least plausible.

The reason he put all those restrictions on Uthoff was because he wanted the former Wisconsin Badger to speak to him about what happened, about what had changed between the time he had committed to Wisconsin and the moment he finally decided he was leaving. Given that Ryan has since released Uthoff to any school outside of the Big Ten, it plants the seeds of doubt: maybe this really was Ryan’s plan all along?

Well, if you listen to what Uthoff said about it, you may disagree.

“The thing is, if he wanted me to explain that, he could have just called me into his office to explain it to him,” Uthoff told Jesse Temple of FOXSportsWisconsin. “He didn’t have to restrict the schools. If he wanted me to explain why I wanted to go to all the schools that he was going to restrict, all he would have had to do was call me into his office, and I would be more than willing to go into his office.

“He was my coach for a year. I thought we had a pretty good relationship. I would have been more than willing to come into his office and explain why I would want to go to each school. So I’m not really sure about that. If he blocked the schools, then I would have to explain it to the AD and the sports administrator — not him. If he wanted the rationale, he could have just called me into his office.”

There’s more. From FOXSportsWisconsin:

“I had been thinking about it and made a decision when I hadn’t had a chance to see him,” Uthoff said. “I wanted to do this in person.”

When he called Ryan with a decision April 9, he hoped it would speed up the transfer process to look at other schools. The spring signing period for high school seniors began April 11.

“The longer you wait, the less opportunities you have because there’s always people committing and signing,” Uthoff said. “I wanted to make a decision to wherever I transfer by the summer.”

Uthoff, who met with assistant coach Gary Close in the following days, said he thought he would hear from Ryan on Saturday, April 14. But he was surprised to learn that he was granted his transfer release on Thursday, April 12 via email from an athletic department member, without speaking to Ryan. He was further surprised that the email contained a list of 26 schools restricted by Ryan: the entire Big Ten and ACC, plus Iowa State, Marquette and Florida.

Uthoff is scheduled to visit Creighton on Monday.

Would anyone else find it incredibly ironic if, after all of this drama, Uthoff ends up transferring to a school that wasn’t even on his restricted list?

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Brunson scores 18 points, No. 8 Villanova beats Stanford

Jalen Brunson
Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) Villanova struggled to score and rebound on Thursday night.

The Wildcats’ defense was good enough to still get a win.

No. 8 Villanova compensated for offensive and rebounding struggles by forcing 23 turnovers in a 59-45 victory over Stanford in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tipoff.

“We played pretty good defense but couldn’t rebound with them,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “It was one of those nights we couldn’t make shots but hung in there defensively. Their rebounding was almost a difference maker but thank God it wasn’t.”

The Wildcats (5-0) advanced to face Georgia Tech in the championship game Friday.

Villanova won despite shooting 30.6 percent and getting outrebounded by a 55-35 margin against an opponent starting three players 6-foot-8 or taller. The Wildcats started one player taller than 6-6 but compensated for the size differential by holding Stanford to 26 percent from the floor.

“I didn’t think it would be this ugly on the boards but if we could have made a couple of shots it might not have been as ugly,” Wright said. “But I was proud the guys really grinded defensively.”

Freshman Jalen Brunson was one of few Wildcats not to struggle offensively and scored a career-high 18 points. Josh Hart added 10 points but was 4-for-13 shooting and combined with Ryan Arcidiacono to shoot 6 of 24, including 1 of 15 from 3-point range.

“I was doing what I always do,” Brunson said. “I try to play aggressive all the time. I saw they were backing off me a little bit so there is time for me to shoot and time for me to make other plays.”

Leading scorer Marcus Allen had 12 points but was 3 for 12 for Stanford (2-3). Dorian Pickens added 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Stanford lost its third straight by double digits and will face Arkansas in the consolation game. The Cardinal missed their first 15 shots of the game and their first eight attempts of the second half while falling behind by 16.

Stanford was within seven on a basket by Reid Travis with 6:34 remaining, but Villanova scored the next six points and finished the game with a 13-6 run.

“They’re a very good defensive team, they’re active and they made a lot of plays,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. “The thing we did most was we turned the ball over 23 times, so that was disappointing.”


Villanova: Seven of Villanova’s school-record 33 wins came in New York last season. The Wildcats won twice in the Legends Classic at Barclays Center, beat St. John’s and Illinois during the regular season at Madison Square Garden and won three games there for the Big East Tournament championship. … Guards Arcidiacono and Hart combined to miss their first 11 3-point attempts. Arcidiacono came into the game shooting 44 percent from 3-point range while Hart entered at 45 percent. … Darryl Reynolds tied a career high with 19 minutes, getting most of those in the second half after Daniel Ochefu picked up his fourth foul.

Stanford: Thursday was Stanford’s 13th game in New York since 2011-12. Last year, the Cardinal appeared in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, beating UNLV and losing to eventual national champion Duke. … Stanford faced Villanova for the second time. The other meeting was a 96-70 Cardinal loss on Dec. 23, 1970. … Stanford missed 12 layups and tip-ins during the first half. … Allen hit his head on the court trying to deflect the ball on a layup by Hart. Dawkins said Allen was a little dizzy but didn’t think the junior would miss any time.


Villanova: Georgia Tech in the championship game on Friday.

Stanford: Arkansas in the consolation game on Friday.

Justin Robinson, Monmouth knock off No. 17 Notre Dame

King Rice
Associated Press
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Less than two weeks after they opened their season with an upset win at UCLA, Monmouth picked up its first-ever win over a team ranked in the AP Top 25.

Two Justin Robinson free throws with 3.6 seconds remaining proved to be the difference as King Rice’s Hawks upset No. 17 Notre Dame at the Advocare Invitational in Orlando, and the diminutive point guard was a problem for the Fighting Irish all night.

Robinson scored 22 points, with 14 of them coming from the foul line as Notre Dame’s guards struggled to keep the quick guard contained off the dribble. He was one of three Hawks to score in double figures, and their combination of depth and athleticism proved problematic for Mike Brey’s team. All five Notre Dame starters scored in double figures, with Demetrius Jackson’s 20 leading the way, but the lack of depth proved problematic as the game wore on.

Notre Dame didn’t get a single point from its bench, with Matt Farrell and Matt Ryan combining to play 28 minutes. That lack of depth not only cost Notre Dame Thursday night, but it’s something they’ll have to figure out if they’re to be a contender in the ACC. Jackson and Steve Vasturia ran into foul trouble against Monmouth, and the lack of a bench option capable of picking up the slack led to Monmouth building up a ten-point lead in the second half.

Notre Dame tried to account for that by slowing down the tempo, but in doing so they struggled to find quality looks against the Monmouth defense. And given the players at Rice’s disposal, it’s tough to slow the game down against a team that can get after you on both ends of the floor.

Monmouth entered this season with expectations of contending for a MAAC title alongside the likes of perennial favorites Iona and Manhattan, and their start to the season backs up that belief. With two players in Robinson and Deon Jones who have earned all-conference honors during their careers and a host of contributors that includes guards Je’lon Hornbeak and Micah Seaborn, this is a group to keep an eye on as the season wears on.

Because if they can earn a bid, Monmouth’s non-conference schedule will have them prepared for the NCAA tournament.