Late-Night Snacks: No BCS chaos over here

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Games of the Day

1. Florida State 73, Saint Joseph’s 66  Carl Jones made his return for the Hawks but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Seminoles from winning the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in Brooklyn. Terrence Shannon went for 15 points and ten rebounds, with 11 of his points coming in the final 13:45, to lead Florida State.

2. Nevada 71, Green Bay 69  – A Deonte Burton three-pointer with 1.3 seconds remaining in overtime pushed the Wolf Pack past Green Bay in Reno. Burton, who now has exactly 1,000 points for his career, led Nevada with 19 points. Alec Brown, whose three gave Green Bay a 69-68 lead with 11 seconds to go, was one of four Phoenix to reach double figures.

3. Pittsburgh 72, Oakland 62 (OT)  – Oakland led by as many as 18 points in regulation but they couldn’t hold off the hard-charging Panthers, who forced overtime and then took over in the extra session. J.J. Moore scored 16 points to lead Pittsburgh, which remained undefeated ahead of its meeting with No. 5 Michigan in the Preseason NIT semis on Wednesday.

Important Outcomes

1. No. 20 Notre Dame 78, BYU 68 – Someone was leaving the Barclays Center with two losses, and the Fighting Irish made sure it wasn’t them. Jack Cooley posted a double-double (19 points, 13 rebounds) and Jerian Grant added 19 and five assists to lead Notre Dame.

2. Washington 84, Seton Hall 73 (OT) – The Huskies nearly blew this one in regulation but key three-pointers in overtime from Scott Suggs (he hit two) and Andrew Andrews provided the boost the Huskies needed. Lorenzo Romar’s squad gets No. 4 Ohio State on Sunday, and that’s an opportunity for a big non-conference win for a team that missed the NCAA tournament due to a meager non-conference resume.

3. No. 25 San Diego State 60, Missouri State 44 – It wasn’t pretty but the Aztecs found a way to leave JQH Arena with a non-conference road victory. Jamaal Franklin tallied 22 points and 13 rebounds as SDSU survived shooting 32.2% from the field and 4-of-18 from three.

Starred

1. G Josh Greene (Cal State Northridge) – Greene was a major factor in the Matadors’ 92-76 win over Tulsa, accounting for 28 points, seven assists and five steals. Northridge is now 5-0 for the first time since the 1981-82 season, when they won their first nine games to start the season.

2. G Sean Armand (Iona) – Iona beat Wake Forest like they stole something in the consolation bracket of the Paradise Jam and the sharpshooting Armand was a big reason why. Armand shot 10-of-14 from the field (7-0f-10 3PT), scoring 28 points to go along with six assists and five rebounds.

3. G D.J. Seeley (Cal State Fullerton) – 32 points (10-of-13 FG), seven assists and seven steals in the Titans’ 112-69 whipping of Southern Utah.

Struggled

1. Wake Forest – Losing a game 94-68 as the Demon Deacons did is bad. But did you know that Wake Forest at one point trailed 41-5?

2. G Sterling Carter and F Clarence Trent (Seattle) – You can’t place all of the blame on these two for the Redhawks’ 83-43 loss at Virginia, but they combined to shoot 4-of-20 from the field and commit ten turnovers.

3. Players other than Daniel Mullings and Tyrone Watson (New Mexico State) – Those two combined to shoot 11-of-27 in the Aggies’ 62-49 loss to Bucknell. The rest of the team: 3-of-21.

Three Facts 

1. SMU wins again – SMU is now 3-0 thanks to a 78-75 win at Texas State. Nick Russell (25 points) and Jalen Jones (24) led the way for Larry Brown’s squad, and this is the first time in 12 years that SMU has started a season 3-0.

2. Eastern Kentucky 3-0 for first time since 2004-05 – The Colonels moved to 3-0 for the first time since the 2004-05 season with a 71-69 win over Towson. Deverin Muff made four free throws in the final 26 seconds to seal the victory.

3. Chris Fouch goes down – The negative that came out of Drexel’s 61-59 win over Penn was the ankle injury suffered by shooting guard Chris Fouch. No word as to how long he’ll be out of the lineup, but the Dragons can’t afford to be without him for too long.

Other Notable Outcomes

1. No. 17 Memphis 65, Samford 54It wasn’t pretty but the Tigers’ work at the foul line down the stretch locked up the win. But while Samford wanted to play at a deliberate pace, Memphis’ next opponent (VCU) will do anything but.

2. Montana 66, Idaho 63 – Montana trailed by as many as 15 in the second half but stormed back with a 24-7 run to take a 59-57 lead with 4:12 remaining.

3. No. 4 Ohio State 69, Rhode Island 58 – Deshaun Thomas led the Buckeyes with 25 points and ten rebounds, and while Dan Hurley’s Rams fell better days lie ahead for Rhody.

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

Report: Texas’ Jones to test NBA possibility

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Both of Texas’ McDonald’s All-Americans from its 2016 class will test the NBA waters.

Andrew Jones will declare for the draft, but will not hire an agent, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.

The 6-foot-4 guard joins Jarrett Allen, the Longhorns’ star center, in utilizing the rule change that became available to players last year in which they can declare, workout for teams, attend the NBA combine and still return to school.

Jones averaged 11.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game as a freshman. He shot 42.5 percent from the field overall and 32.8 percent from 3-point range.

Allen seems the likelier candidate to remain in the draft as a potential lottery pick, but Jones came to Austin with similar one-and-done possibilities given his status as one of the class’ top recruits.

Texas, of course, is hoping both return, not just because they’re both big talents, but because incoming and highly-touted recruit Matt Coleman fills the major hole in last year’s lineup – point guard. If the three of them can share the floor together, Year 3 of the Shaka Smart era will be much more interesting.

Morrow announces transfer from Nebraska

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Nebraska was once again hit with a surprising and damaging transfer.

Ed Morrow, Jr., who led the Huskers in rebounding last year, announced his intention to transfer, the school announced Wednesday.

“I support Ed in his decision to transfer schools and wish him well,” Nebraska coach Tim Miles said in a statement. “We appreciate his hard work over the last two years. Although I am disappointed, we will continue to recruit young men who are committed to our mission of building Nebraska Basketball with a culture of success in all areas…life, school and winning basketball at its highest level.”

The 6-foot-7 sophomore’s departure is a major hit to the Huskers, who are coming off a 12-19 year in which Miles’ job security was called into question. It almost assuredly will be again this year as Nebraska hasn’t been able to build on its 2014 NCAA tournament appearance, instead putting together three-straight losing seasons.

Morrow’s decision is surprising not only given he’d been a productive member of the team – averaging 9.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game – but because he was born in Nebraska before attending high school in Chicago and both his parents were Nebraska student-athletes his father winning a national title on the football team in 1994 and his mother an all-Big Eight performer on the basketball team.

“I want to say thank you to my teammates, coaches, the fans and the University of Nebraska athletics department for giving me the opportunity to play Division I basketball,” Morrow said in a statement. “It is hard to leave home, and Nebraska is my home. I was born and raised here, it is my parents’ alma mater, and I have a lot of friends here. But sometimes you have to venture out to pursue dreams and aspirations in a career. This is a sacrifice I have to make to better myself.”

Morrow’s transfer comes a year after Andrew White surprised Nebraska with his decision to graduate and transfer to Syracuse, which no doubt impacted the Huskers’ poor 2016-17 record.

Miles was on the hot seat at the end of last season and will assuredly begin this season there as well. A roster hit like Morrow won’t do much to help him improve the situation. Nebraska does, however, have three starters returning while Georgetown transfer Isaac Copeland is eligible, as is Miami (Fla.) transfer James Palmer, Jr.

Lonzo Ball says “I’m better than” Markelle Fultz

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Usually, it’s LaVar Ball that makes news for what he says.

His eldest son is now getting in on the business of generating headlines with something other than his play.

The UCLA star, who said he’ll enter the draft after just one season with the Bruins, claimed he’s the better prospect than Washington freshman Markelle Fultz, who many have pegged as the No. 1 pick in June’s draft.

“Markelle’s a great player,” Ball said, according to ESPN, “but I feel I’m better than him,” “I think I can lead a team better than him. Obviously he’s a great scorer — he’s a great player, so I’m not taking that away from him.”

Not exactly inflammatory stuff – like saying you could have beaten Michael Jordan, that you want a $1 billion apparel deal or a number of things his father has said – bu Ball is certainly projecting confidence. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. There’s quite a bit of money – and pride – at stake with the draft, and Ball put up a season worthy of comparison to Fultz, who had great numbers but played for an abysmal Washington team. Ball, on the other had, had strong numbers while leading UCLA to the Sweet 16.

Both are going to go at the top of a draft that’s stocked full of promising point guards. Which player goes before the other remains to be seen, but it’s likely public pronouncements aren’t going to affect the draft order.

 

UMass hires McCall away from Chattanooga

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UMass has found, once more, the man to take over its basketball program.

The Minutemen have reached an agreement with Chattanooga coach Matt McCall, the school announce Wednesday

“The tradition and resources that are in place not only make this one of the best basketball jobs in the Atlantic 10 Conference,” McCall said in a statement released by the school, “but one of the best jobs in the country. We couldn’t be more excited about becoming part of the UMass family and look forward to building upon the rich tradition that has been established here in the past.”

In McCall’s two years at Chattanooga, the Mocs to the NCAA tournament in 2016 and a 19-12 record this year that featured five-straight losses to end the season.

The move will take McCall out of the southeast for the first time in his career as he previously served as at Florida and Florida Atlantic before getting his first head coaching job at Chattanooga.

McCall wasn’t the Minutemen’s first choice to replace Derek Kellogg after three-straight lackluster seasons. Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey had agreed to take the job before a last-minute about-face that saw him return to the Eagles program just before his introductory press conference was scheduled to begin.

“Matt is a rising star in college basketball coaching who has been a key piece of three successful programs in his career,” UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford said in a statement. “He has earned a reputation as a relentless worker, a great teammate and colleague and a confident leader of young men.

“Matt has worked with some of the most respected coaches and administrators in the country, who loudly sing his praises. Coach McCall’s appointment begins an exciting new chapter for our tradition-rich men’s basketball program at UMass.”

Despite being the second choice, McCall’s reputation in the coaching industry makes him a strong hire, having worked under Mike Jarvis and Billy Donovan. He took over at Chattanooga for Will Wade, and brought the Mocs to a 29-6 record and a  12-seed in the NCAA tournament in 2016.

UMass went to just one NCAA tournament under Kellogg (in 2014) during his nine seasons leading the Minutemen.

VIDEO: Frank Martin’s sideline demeanor as a high school coach

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South Carolina coach Frank Martin has the reputation of being rather, shall we say, intense on the sidelines during games.

The coach has a stare that seemingly could bore a hole through his players when they do something that doesn’t reach his level of expectation. Martin’s demeanor, though, didn’t just come into form once he hit the college ranks.

He was plenty intense on high school sidelines as well.

Martin won three titles while at Miami Senior in the mid-1990s, coaching the likes of future pros Steve Blake and Udonis Haslem. Now having reached his first career Final Four, that sideline persona has put him on the precipice of winning yet another championship, this time at the collegiate level.