Xavier freshman point guard Semaj Christon out with an infection

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The last thing that Xavier needed on the day of their season opener against Fairleigh Dickinson was to have someone else ruled out, given the fact that they have just nine scholarship players on the roster.

But that’s exactly what head coach Chris Mack will have to deal with, as freshman point guard Semaj Christon is out for tonight’s game due to an infected cut on his elbow.

The contest between the Knights and Musketeers features two shorthanded teams, as FDU will travel just seven players to Cincinnati. Lonnie Hayes, who was supposed to have a homecoming of sorts since he’s a native of the city, was dismissed from the program and four other FDU players are out for disciplinary reasons.

As for Xavier, their personnel issues have been well-documented. Dez Wells, who is now eligible at Maryland, was expelled from school and Mark Lyons is now running the point at Arizona.

There’s also two freshmen who weren’t cleared by the NCAA (Myles Davis and Jalen Reynolds) and the three-game suspension of Towson transfer Isaiah Philmore over a paperwork issue, meaning that the Musketeers will have just eight scholarship players available tonight.

Guard Brad Redford, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, will likely slide into Christon’s spot in the starting lineup but he’s coming off of a hamstring injury suffered while running a sprint last month.

“You get tired of dealing with the injuries and spending time in the training room. You’d much rather just be on the court with your teammates and not worrying about just getting on the court,” Redford said in an interview with Shannon Russell of the Cincinnati Enquirer last Thursday. “It’s kind of something you deal with. Really you just kind of take it day-to-day, see how it feels.”

While that comment was in regards to Redford’s injury issues, it could also be applied to Xavier’s offseason. Tired of all of the personnel issues, the Musketeers are probably looking forward to just playing basketball.

Photo credit: Xavier University

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej. 

VIDEO: Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball highlights

Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images
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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)

Puerto Rico Tip Off bracket revealed

AP Photo/Sean Rayford
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The bracket of the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip off was revealed Wednesday, setting up a showdown between a 2016 Final Four participant and the 2016 Big 12 tournament champion.

South Carolina and Iowa State headline the event, which will be played Nov. 16-19, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

The Gamecocks are on the top half of the bracket, opening against Illinois State while the Cyclones are on the bottom half, squaring off against Appalachian State.

Boise State vs. UTEP is the other top-half quarterfinal while Tulsa vs. Western Michigan is the other.

The championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, Nov. 19.

VIDEO: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges is dunking again

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Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan: