Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic - Consolation Game

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.

The Champions Classic renewed through 2019

LAWRENCE, KS - FEBRUARY 27: Bill Self head coach of the Kansas Jayhawks claps for his team as they celebrate winning the Big 12 Conference Championship after they defeated Texas Tech Red Raiders 67-58 at Allen Fieldhouse on February 27, 2016 in Lawrence, Kansas. With the win, Kansas clinched its 12th straight conference championship. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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The Champions Classic is back, baby!!!

On Wednesday, the four schools that participate in the event — Kentucky, Duke, Kansas and Michigan State — announced that they have signed deals to extend the life of the doubleheader for another three years.

This is terrific news. The Champions Classic is always the best early-season event of the season, an annual double-header that always ends up putting together two of the best non-conference games in packed NBA arenas. This year, it features Duke, the consensus preseason No. 1 team in the country, squaring off with Kansas, who is a consensus top three team with the No. 1 freshman in the class, Josh Jackson, on their roster, in one game.

The other game? Kentucky, the third consensus top three team nationally, going up against Tom Izzo and Michigan State, who will be, at worst, a top 15 team in the preseason polls.

So yeah, we’re going to get a pair of sensational basketball games in Madison Square Garden on Nov. 15th. MSG also just so happens to be the best arena to watch a great neutral site basketball game.

It’s going to be awesome.

There’s only one possible way to make it better: turn it into a two-day event, with the winners squaring off for the Champions Classic title the following night.

Make it happen.

Anyway, here’s the schedule:

Nov. 14, 2017 (United Center, Chicago)
Kansas vs. Kentucky
Duke vs. Michigan State

Nov. 13, 2018 (Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis)
Michigan State vs. Kansas
Duke vs. Kentucky

Nov. 12, 2019 (Madison Square Garden, New York)
Kansas vs. Duke
Michigan State vs. Kentucky

Hartford makes smart decision to allow ‘Pancake’ Thomas transfer

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Hartford coach John Gallagher, AP Photo
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Another talented graduate transfer has hit the market.

Cleveland ‘Pancake’ Thomas — that’s a helluva name, isn’t it? — has been granted a release by Hartford and will be allowed to transfer to another program for his fifth season.

“Our biggest priority for Cleveland was that he graduate from the University of Hartford with a valuable degree,” Hartford head coach John Gallagher said in a statement released to ESPN after some speculation that Thomas wasn’t going to be given a release. “That happened. Beyond wishing him the very best, we don’t comment on other program’s players. We are very excited about our group and the upcoming season.”

The term “release” is needed here because Thomas, a 6-foot-3 guard who averaged 18.9 points and shot 42.6 percent from three this past season, spent his first two years of eligibility at New Mexico. A graduate transfer exception is granted to any player making their first transfer after receiving an undergraduate degree. But since Pancake had already transferred once, he was only eligible to apply for a graduate transfer waiver, which the school he is leaving must support.

Remember the saga of Todd O’Brien? He tried to leave St. Joseph’s to spend his fifth-year at UAB but made headlines everywhere when Phil Martelli wouldn’t let it happen? That’s because O’Brien had started his career at Bucknell and needed Martelli to support the waiver.

Gallagher could have done the same to Pancake.

He made the right decision not to — Martelli has enough coaching cache to withstand the onslaught on criticism he received, I’m not sure that is true for Gallagher — even if it will result in Thomas playing elsewhere, hence the cold-hearted nature of that statement.

Anyway, Thomas never averaged more than 3.9 points at New Mexico, so while he’s a tantalizing prospect for programs that are dying for perimeter depth and shooting, this isn’t exactly a kid that’s going to launch himself into the NBA Draft’s first round by jumping up to a higher level.

Shawn Forrest named assistant coach for Jankovich at SMU

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 22:  Head coach Larry Brown (L) and associate head coach Tim Jankovich of the Southern Methodist Mustangs look on during the team's game against the Kent State Golden Flashes during the 2015 Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic basketball tournament at the Orleans Arena on December 22, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Southern Methodist won 90-74. The game marks Brown's return from a nine-game suspension.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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DALLAS (AP) Shawn Forrest has been named an assistant basketball coach at SMU, his third school since the end of last season.

Mustangs coach Tim Jankovich announced Forrest’s hiring Tuesday.

Forrest spent the past three seasons as an assistant at Western Kentucky before head coach Ray Harper resigned. Forrest was named a UTSA assistant in May, but two weeks later left for Louisiana Tech before the unexpected opening at SMU.

Jankovich was SMU’s associate head coach before the abrupt resignation last month of Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown. Forrest fills the open assistant spot created on the staff when Jankovich was promoted to head coach.

Before Western Kentucky, Forrest was an assistant coach at Louisiana-Lafayette, North Texas, Arkansas State and Florida A&M.

Jim Boeheim’s Melo comments are evidence of why athletes hate the media

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 21:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the United States poses with Team USA assistant coach Jim Boeheim after defeating Serbia in the Men's Gold medal game on Day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 1 on August 21, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim has a habit of creating headlines that are not all that flattering, to himself or to the people that he’s commenting on, which is why it wasn’t much of a surprise that a quote he gave to Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard has been making the rounds this week.

The quote in question?

“He’s unlikely to win an NBA title,” Boeheim said of his former star and now three-time Olympic champion Carmelo Anthony. “He’s never been on a team that even had a remote chance of winning an NBA title.”

That sounds bad, doesn’t it?

But … I mean, he’s right, isn’t he?

Melo is 32 years old and title-less. He’s been to the conference finals once and gotten out of the first round of the playoffs just twice, and now he’s on the downside of his career. Athletes don’t get better as they exit their early 30s unless they’re taking whatever it was that turned Barry Bonds into a cyborg. Adding the remnants of Derrick Rose and a 31 year old Joakim Noah is helpful, but unless those contracts can teleport the Knicks back to 2011, Rose will be the only person calling this group a Super Team.

So yeah, Boeheim is right. You probably think so, too. Melo is probably never going to win an NBA title unless he finds a way to get to the Cavs.

But here’s the thing: focusing on that one line totally ignores the point that Boeheim was making in the interview. As always, context is critical, and if you read the story that Waters wrote, it’s pretty obvious the message that Boeheim was trying to get across. Melo is not going to leave a legacy in the NBA beyond being a guy that got a lot of buckets. It just didn’t work out for him that way. Ask Karl Malone how that feels.

But by going to Rio for the 2016 Olympics, by becoming the first men’s basketball player to win three Olympic gold medals, Melo did solidify himself a legacy.

He’s the most accomplished and, arguably, the best player that Team USA has ever had. That’s not going to make up for the rings that are missing on his fingers, but it does cement his place in the history of the game.

That was Boeheim’s point, and it was a salient, intelligent point, one that complimented Melo for the success that he had in international play.

But if you scroll through your favorite blogs and see that headline, it looks like he was taking a shot at the player that brought him his only national title.

And given how twisted that quote has gotten, is it any wonder why athletes and coaches hate the media?

UPDATE (1:30 p.m.): Boeheim has weighed in:

Oregon wins their opener on Spanish tour

Oregon forward Elgin Cook, from left, forward Dillon Brooks and guard Tyler Dorsey react after a play against Washington during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinal round of the Pac-12 men's tournament Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Las Vegas. Oregon won 83-77. (AP Photo/John Locher)
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Oregon won the opener of their tour in Spain 109-88 on Tuesday night, as the Ducks knocked off a team of all-stars in Madrid.

Tyler Dorsey had 19 points to lead the Ducks while Kavell Bigby-Williams and Dylan Ennis, who is coming off of a season derailed by foot injuries, both added 16 points. Chris Boucher, who was terrific at the Nike Skills Academy in July, had 12 points.

While Ennis’ health was noteworthy, it is also worth pointing out that Oregon’s star Dillon Brooks did not play on Monday and will not be playing on the trip. I know this because, in every photo posted by the official Oregon team accounts, Brooks is in a chair with a boot on his left foot.

The rising junior, a potential all-american, had surgery on the foot earlier this month.