Laurence Bowers, Kris Davis

Late Night Snacks: What you missed while watching football

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Look, we realize you were watching football all day today. We ain’t even mad. To prove it, we’ll catch you up on everything you missed in the sport where an undefeated season is pretty much a pipe dream.

Games of the Night

1. No. 15 Missouri 83, SIU-Edwardsville 69

We’ve had some very frank and serious discussions about Laurence Bowers’ importance to the Tigers here at CBT, but none of us expected this. Bowers, who missed Mizzou’s last season in the Big 12 after suffering a knee injury, came back in a big way, helping to crush the Edwardsville Cougars with a 20 point, seven board tour de force. UConn transfer Alex Oriakhi hasn’t changed much; he didn’t do much scoring himself, but grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked three shots. Flip Pressey kept everyone involved with nine assists to go with his 19 points. 6’7″ Tigers freshman Negus Webster-Chan had a very efficient debut, hitting 3-5 from behind the arc on his way to 11 points off the bench.

2. Providence 64, NJIT 63

Not a big-picture kind of game, really, except for the injury to Vincent Council. The Friars struggled to score without the senior, who did the splits and hurt his hammy just five minutes into the first half. Notable for the fact that NJIT could have won this game with a two-pointer, but heaved up a three with as many seconds left on the clock.

3. Central Florida 74, South Florida 56

Rather surprising to see a team supposedly gutted by sanctions destroy a big, experienced USF squad that made the NCAA tournament last season.

Ouch, that smarts!

The Rice Owls, who are so smart they have to hang debate championship banners in their fieldhouse, just can’t seem to catch a break in actual basketball games. They lost, badly, to a crosstown NAIA school by the name of St. Thomas, 72-59. The Owls shot a miserable 37 percent from the floor.

Starred 

1. Isaiah Sykes (UCF) – 26 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals vs. South Florida

2. Jack Cooley (Notre Dame) – 19 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 6 blocks vs. Evansville

3. Phil Pressey (Missouri) – 19 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 steal vs. SIU-Edwardsville

Stunk

1. South Florida’s offensive rebounding. A frontcourt that features its fair share of big, beefy dudes sure didn’t expend much effort getting second and third chances at the basket. The Bulls’ leading offensive rebounder was 6’4″ guard Jawanza Poland, with three.

2. Rice guard Tamir Jackson. One assist and five turnovers against an NAIA opponent. Yuck.

3. Carl Baptiste. A guy I called out as a possible impact newcomer in the CAA this year gave the Delaware Blue Hens a measly two points and one rebound in 29 minutes of play against LaSalle. He only attempted three shots on the day, which begs the question of just what the heck he was actually doing that whole time.

Tempo-Free Star of the Weekend

Dee Davis (Xavier) – Davis made the most of the time he was given this week, tallying a sweet +35, derived from the NBA’s efficiency equation: ((Pts + TReb + A + Stl + Blk) – ((FGA – FGM) + (FTA – FTM) + TO)). The sophomore’s 22 points, 15 assists and deadly 72 percent shooting touch helped the Musketeers rout Fairleigh Dickinson 117-75.

Villanova’s Jenkins to return for senior season

Villanova forward Kris Jenkins (2) reacts to play against North Carolina during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 4, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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After briefly taking part in the NBA Draft evaluation process, Villanova forward Kris Jenkins announced Monday night that he’s decided to withdraw and return to school for his senior year. Jenkins, whose three-pointer as time expired gave the Wildcats the win over North Carolina in the national title game, announced the news via Twitter.

2015-16 was a breakout season for Jenkins, who moved into the starting lineup and averaged 13.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. The 6-foot-6 forward shot 45.9 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from beyond the arc, and with starters Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu graduating he’ll have even more opportunities to produce next season.

Jenkins’ decision to return leaves wing Josh Hart as the lone Wildcats going through the early entry process at this time. Hart was a first team All-Big East selection as a junior, and his return would be the final piece to the puzzle for a team that many expect to be a national title contender in 2016-17.

Jenkins and Hart wouldn’t be the only returnees who had a part in the national title run, with guards Jalen Brunson and Phil Booth, wing Mikal Bridges and forward Darryl Reynolds back as well. To that group Villanova adds Fordham transfer Eric Paschall and a recruiting class anchored by Omari Spellman and Dylan Painter with Donte DiVincenzo and Tim Delaney available after being hampered by injuries last season.

Delaney missed all of last year after undergoing surgical procedures on his hips, and DiVincenzo played a total of 74 minutes over the first nine games before having to sit due to a broken foot.

Florida State guard Rathan-Mayes to return for junior season

Florida State guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes (22) drives past Notre Dame guard Rex Pflueger, left, for a score in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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With their top three scorers from last season all deciding to declare for the NBA Draft, Florida State was facing the possibility of having to rebuild their backcourt ahead of the 2016-17 season. However two of those three have decided to return to Tallahassee, with rising junior Xavier Rathan-Mayes announcing on Monday that he will be back in school.

Rathan-Mayes joins rising sophomore Dwayne Bacon in returning to play another season for head coach Leonard Hamilton, with Malik Beasley hiring representation and remaining in the draft.

Rathan-Mayes had more scoring help last season and as a result was able to concentrate more on the distribution aspects of the point guard position, as he averaged 11.8 points and 4.4 assists per contest. With the return of Rathan-Mayes and Bacon, Florida State will have two of its top three scorers from last season back on campus.

The Seminoles did lose some veteran players, most notably guard Devon Bookert and center Boris Bojanovsky, but the returnees and a recruiting class led by McDonald’s All-American forward Jonathan Isaac means that they won’t lack for options next season.

Auburn lands third transfer within the last week

Auburn guard T.J. Dunans (4) and coach Bruce Pearl celebrate a 75-74 win over UAB in an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, at Auburn Arena in Auburn, Ala.  (Julie Bennett/AL.com via AP)
Julie Bennett/AL.com via AP
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After receiving commitments from former Purdue/Houston guard Ronnie Johnson and former Presbyterian forward DeSean Murray, Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl continued to load up on the transfer market Monday. Forward LaRon Smith, who was named MEAC Defensive Player of the Year at Bethune-Cookman last season, announced that he will use his final season of eligibility at the SEC program.

Like Smith, Johnson will also be eligible to compete immediately for the Tigers while Murray will have to sit out next season before having two years of eligibility remaining.

The 6-foot-8 Smith played two seasons at Georgia State before transferring to Bethune-Cookman, where he averaged 7.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per contest in 2015-16. Smith played just over 25 minutes per game for the Wildcats, shooting 58.5 percent from the field.

Smith reached double figures in scoring in four of the Wildcats’ final seven games, including a 20-point, 11-rebound, three-block outing in an overtime win over North Carolina A&T. He joins a front court in need of depth following the departures of the likes of Cinmeon Bowers and Tyler Harris, with Horace Spencer, Trayvon Reed and incoming freshman Anfernee McLemore also competing for minutes in 2016-17.

SMU lands former Arkansas guard Jimmy Whitt

Arkansas guard Jimmy Whitt (24) leaps for a layup past Tennessee guard Shembari Phillips (25) during an NCAA college basketball game in Knoxville, Tenn., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. Arkansas won 75-65. (Adam Lau/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP)
Adam Lau/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP
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With a five-member recruiting class set to arrive on campus this summer, SMU added a talented transfer Monday afternoon. Jimmy Whitt, who played his freshman season at Arkansas, committed to join Larry Brown’s program. Whitt, a 6-foot-4 guard from Columbia, Missouri, will have three seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2016-17 campaign.

As a freshman at Arkansas, Whitt averaged 6.1 points and 1.7 rebounds in just over 17 minutes of action per game. He reached double figures in scoring nine time, with the high being a 15-point outing in a blowout win over Missouri in mid-January. Whitt produced a stretch of four consecutive games in double figures during non-conference play, but he struggled to maintain that consistency against SEC competition.

At SMU he’ll join a perimeter rotation that will lose rising senior Sterling Brown following the 2016-17 season. Among those who will have eligibility remaining when Whitt becomes eligible are Ben Emelogu, Shake Milton, Jarrey Foster and incoming freshmen Tom Wilson and Dashawn McDowell.

 

Boise State assistant named head coach at Northern Colorado

rp_primary_Linder_Jeff_Action_vs_Dayton_031815_2_
Courtesy UNCBears.com
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GREELEY, Colo. (AP) Jeff Linder is the new basketball coach at Northern Colorado. He spent the last six seasons at Boise State, where he was associate head coach for the Broncos since 2013-14.

Linder replaces B.J. Hill, who was fired last month amid an NCAA investigation into allegations of violations in the program.

University President Kay Norton and Athletic Director Darren Dunn announced Linder’s hiring Sunday.

Linder played high school ball in Lafayette, Colorado, and college ball at Mesa State and Western Colorado State. He began his coaching career under Colorado head coach Ricardo Patton.

In a statement, Linder said, “I look forward to returning home to the state of Colorado and continuing to build this program into something everyone can be proud of.”

Hill was 86-98 in six seasons at UNC.