Chaminade upsets Texas; Barnes’ second loss to Silverswords

4 Comments

On the 30-year anniversary of Chaminade beating then-no. 1 ranked Virginia, the Silverswords get another upset victory in the tournament they host, upsetting Texas 86-73.

Greatest irony of the game: This is Rick Barnes second loss to Chaminade in the Maui Invitational. He was the head coach of the 1991-92 team that lost to the Silverswords in the first round. That Providence team finished 14-17.

In the 28th edition of the tournament, it was their first victory in the tournament since a 68-64 win over Oklahoma in the seventh place game in 2010 and just their fourth win in the first round of the tournament ever. They’re now 7-76 all-time in the tournament with all of their victories coming in either the opening round or seventh place game.

Of the three previous teams that have lost to Chaminade in the first round of the Maui Invitational, only one made the postseason. Villanova made the NIT in 2003-04.

Chaminade lead for a majority of the game, running out the clock in the final seconds and the team stormed the floor as the final seconds ticked off.

DeAndre Haskins had the game of his life for the Silverswords with 32. Javan Felix led Texas with 17.

Well, whoa. That’s about all you can say for Rick Barnes’ team. They got totally outclassed by a Division II squad. There’s no silver-lining for the Longhorns (pun intended). They miss Myck Kabongo dearly, and without him they don’t have a true second option at point guard. But that aside, losing to a Division II program isn’t something any high-major Division I program should do in a game that matters. Period.

The Longhorns shot 19-percent (4-for-21) from three-point range. They were out-rebounded 41-33 and sent Chaminade to the free throw line 39 times (the Silverswords made 34). Texas only hit 17-of-30 (56.7-percent) free throws of their own and committed 18 turnovers. Any one of those things can lead to a loss. All of those things together equal a loss to a Division II team.

Barnes has been able to get by with a lot in recent years in Austin. A few lame-duck recruiting classes in a row, some under-performing teams, etc. But few things are excusable at a school like Texas when they come in the form of a loss to a team in a lower classification of athletics. This is a glaring example of how deficient this Longhorns team has become. They allowed 55 points to Chaminade in the second half. What’s more, they only got the deficit to single digits once in that half. That’s flat out awful.

On the other hand, tons of congratulations go out to Chaminade. This program, year-in-and-year-out, hosts this tournament mainly to serve as a gift-wrapped victory for any team that plays them. A win for them is a special occasion. Not this time. They should truly be proud. Haskins was a former Division I player at Valparaiso and he played like he belonged on Texas’ team tonight. The Silverswords didn’t need a buzzer-beater or a big stop. They ran out the clock on a Division I school. And a big-time one at that. That campus should be rocking hard tonight.

But man, Rick, you’re team wasn’t just exposed in this game, they were made a laughing stock. A team that plays in one of the best basketball conferences in America just got beat by a team that finished 11-14 last season, again, in Division II.

Yes, teams take time to gel. No one expects greatness this early in the season, but Texas got flat out owned by a team they clearly had superior talent over. This is most definitely a cause for concern for the fanbase and the program. No one is going to call for Barnes’ head just yet, but if it does come to that, this would be a starting point to look back at.

There’s no excuse, Longhorns. That was bad. Just bad. Kabongo is a huge part of the team, but if taking one player out of the equation makes them bad enough to lose to a sub-.500 Division II school, then the Longhorns shouldn’t make any plans for a postseason trip in March. Anywhere.

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him at @David_Harten.

Felder no longer part of South Carolina basketball program

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Leave a comment

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina point guard Rakym Felder is no longer part of the Gamecocks basketball team.

Felder, a key freshman reserve for South Carolina’s Final Four team two years ago, was dismissed from the program by coach Frank Martin on Monday.

The 5-foot-10 Felder, from Brooklyn, New York, was suspended last summer after his second arrest in less than a year. Felder was not enrolled last fall. He was allowed to return in the spring semester although he did not play.

Martin said there were guidelines Felder had to follow upon coming back “and unfortunately, he has not met those expectations.”

Martin has not detailed those guidelines for Felder’s return to the court.

Felder had 15 points in South Carolina’s NCAA Tournament win over Duke in 2017

Washington’s Thybulle returning for senior season

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Matisse Thybulle will return to Washington for his senior season after contemplating declaring for the NBA draft following a junior campaign in which he was named the Pac-12 defensive player of the year.

“The NBA is really enticing and it was definitely something that I seriously considered when the season was over,” Thybulle told the Seattle Times. “I talked it over with my family and we came to the conclusion that it would be in my best interest to stay and get my degree (in communications) and grow as a basketball player and take this last year to mature and fine tune everything so I can be fully prepared to take that next step when it’s time.”

The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 11.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game last season. He shot 44.5 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from 3-point range.

“I talked to coach (Mike Hopkins) and he gave me some good advice that was honestly something that helped in the grand scheme of things,” Thybulle said. “He told me that if I do it (enter the draft), then I should be all in because that’s what I’m going to be up against is a whole bunch of guys fighting for their lives. He thought it would be a better idea for me to stay in school until I’m at that point.”

Washington is awaiting the decision of Noah Dickerson, who declared for the draft but has not hired an agent. The 6-foot-8 averaged 15.5 points and 8.4 rebounds last season.

Koby McEwen transferring to Marquette

Photo by David Becker/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Steve Wojciechowski added a significant piece to his 2019-20 team over the weekend.

Koby McEwen announced his intention to transfer to Marquette from Utah State late Sunday evening.

“I would like to thank God, my family, inner circle and all the schools/coaches that recruited me during this process!” McEwen tweeted. “With that being said, I’m proud to announce that I’ll be furthering my college career at Marquette University.”

McEwen picked the Golden Eagles over fellow finalists Creighton and Grand Canyon after he decided to transfer when the Aggies announced South Dakota coach Craig Smith was taking over the program last month. The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 15.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range as a sophomore.

After sitting out the upcoming season, McEwen will have to years of eligibility remaining. Marquette went 21-14 last season, but missed the NCAA tournament for the third time in Wojciechowski’s four years in Milwaukee.

Minnesota adds Vanderbilt transfer Payton Willis

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
Leave a comment

Minnesota has added some depth for the future.

The Golden Gophers received a pledge from Vanderbilt transfer Payton Willis over the weekend, giving him a guard with two seasons of eligibility remaining starting in 2019-20.

Willis will sit out the upcoming season under NCAA transfer rules.

The 6-foot-4 guard played a limited role in two seasons in Nashville, never averaging more than 18. 5 minutes or 5.2 points per game. He scored in double figures in three games as a sophomore.

Willis was a top-150 prospect in the Class of 2016 coming out of Fayetteville, Ark. with offers from the likes of Tulsa, Rice and Dayton. Vandy and Minnesota were his two high-major offers.

After being ranked in the top-15, Minnesota was beset by injury and suspensions last season as they limped to the finish line in a 15-17 season that featured losses in 12 of its last 13 games.

Richard Pitino still has two available scholarships for the 2018-19 campaign.

Report: Quade Green returning to Kentucky

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Leave a comment

John Calipari just landed a critical recruit for 2018-19, and he was already on the roster.

Quade Green, who averaged 25 minutes per game last season, is returning to Kentucky for his sophomore season, his mother told the Lexington Herald-Leader on Monday.

Given that six Wildcat players have entered the draft (Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Hami Diallo are signing with agents), getting the 6-foot point guard back for a second season is a massive deal for Calipari and Co. The Wildcats have always been at their best under Calipari with returning players as the cornerstones of the roster with talented one-and-dones providing the extra boost. Getting one such returner at the point guard position is even more critical.

Green, who came to Kentucky as a five-star recruit last year, averaged 9.3 points and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and a respectable 37.1 percent from 3-point range, an area where Kentucky continually needs help.

With Green back in the fold, Kentucky will now await the decisions of PJ Washington, Wenyen Gabriel and Jarred Vanderbilt, who are all going through the pre-draft process without hiring agents, which will potentially allow them to return to school and bolster a Kentucky roster has the look of a top-five team.