Kevin Hu, Connor Lammert

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.

Point guard Small to transfer from Oregon

SPOKANE, WA - MARCH 18:  Kendall Small #21 of the Oregon Ducks shoots over Derek Mountain #40 of the Holy Cross Crusaders in the second half during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on March 18, 2016 in Spokane, Washington.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Leave a comment

After navigating a lack of depth at the point to win the Pac-12 regular season and tournament titles and earn the program’s first-ever one seed in the NCAA tournament, Oregon will have no such issues in 2016-17. Dylan Ennis, who missed most of last season with a foot injury, is back for another season as is returning starter Casey Benson. Add in freshman Payton Pritchard, whose shooting ability can help a team that struggled from three a season ago, and Dana Altman has multiple players to call upon at that spot.

That left Kendall Small, who played just under eight minutes per game as a freshman, in a spot where it would have been tough to earn more playing time as a sophomore. As a result he’s decided to transfer, with the news first being reported by Scout.com.

In addition to the three guards mentioned above, sophomore Tyler Dorsey also has the ability to make plays with the ball in his hands. Small will have three seasons of eligibility remaining at whichever school he chooses to transfer to, and he’ll have to sit out the 2016-17 season per NCAA transfer rules.

A 6-foot guard from Anaheim, Small’s best outing came in Oregon’s 77-59 win over Savannah State on November 23. In that game Small accounted for nine points, four assists and three rebounds in 23 minutes of action. But he played double-digit minutes in just four games after the Ducks began Pac-12 play in early January, the last of which being Oregon’s win over Holy Cross in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

LIU Brooklyn loses second-leading scorer Hermannsson to pro ranks

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 27: Bryan Sekunda #22 of the Stony Brook Seawolves attempts a pass around Martin Hermannsson #24 of the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds in the first half at Madison Square Garden on November 27, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Alex Goodlett/Getty Images
Leave a comment

After finishing tied for sixth place in the Northeast Conference last season, LIU Brooklyn will look to make the climb up the conference standings under head coach Jack Perri in 2016-17. However that climb got a bit tougher Thursday, as it was announced that guard Martin Hermannsson has decided to forego his final two years of eligibility and turn pro.

Hermannsson, a native of Iceland, has signed with French Pro B division team Etoile de Charleville-Mézières Ardennes.

Hermannsson was one of two first team All-NEC honorees for the Blackbirds last season, with redshirt junior forward Jerome Frink being the other. Hermannsson, a 6-foot-3 guard, finished the season with averages of 16.2 points and 4.7 assists per game, shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 36.0 percent from three. Originally on track to return the highest scoring tandem in the NEC, LIU Brooklyn has to account for the loss of their starting point guard and second-leading scorer without much time to do so before classes begin.

With Hermannsson moving on, the Blackbirds will call upon veterans such as seniors Joel Hernandez and Iverson Fleming to carry the load on the perimeter. LIU Brooklyn will also have to account for the loss of guard Aakim Saintil, who averaged 12.6 points and 4.7 assists in his lone season of eligibility. LIU Brooklyn will add two freshmen to its backcourt in Julian Batts and Ashtyn Bradley, and they’ll have an even greater opportunity to earn minutes than anticipated.

h/t Blackbirds Hoops Journal

University of Louisville president’s resignation accepted

James Ramsey, Getty Images
Getty Images
Leave a comment

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) University of Louisville trustees on Wednesday accepted the resignation of embattled President James Ramsey, whose long tenure was dogged by scandal.

The action at a special meeting of the school’s board signaled the end of an era. Ramsey, a former state budget director, has led the university for 14 years.

After six hours of closed-door deliberations, the board announced late Wednesday that Ramsey will be paid $690,000 and will resign immediately, with an agreement not to sue the school.

Ramsey was credited with raising academic standards and boosting the school from a commuter campus to a distinguished research institution. But he came under increasing fire for embezzlement scandals and a string of other embarrassments, including an FBI investigation of top university officials for alleged misuse of federal money and an NCAA investigation into whether a university employee paid women to strip and have sex with basketball players.

The controversies boiled over in the past two years. The Courier-Journal reported last year that the Board of Trustees challenged Ramsey’s salary of more than $600,000, with millions more in deferred compensation paid by the university foundation.

Then, in October, an escort named Katina Powell released the book “Breaking Cardinal Rules” that alleged a basketball team employee hired her and other dancers to entertain players and recruits at sex parties. The NCAA launched an investigation and Ramsey announced in February that the team would not play in post-season tournaments.

Dozens of professors signed a letter to him complaining about the “drumbeat of crises” and some trustees attempted a no-confidence vote to have him ousted in the spring. Ramsey said at the time that he would not resign.

But Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin dismantled the former Board of Trustees last month. Ramsey wrote the governor a letter offering to tender his resignation to the newly appointed board, launching a bumpy series of meetings that led to his eventual ouster late Wednesday.

The afternoon began with an agreement seemingly far more generous for Ramsey: He would collect his salary for a year as he served as interim president while the school searched for a new leader. Ramsey sat silently at Wednesday’s board meeting, wearing a polo shirt, then left for his office upstairs.

But the board’s closed-door negotiations stretched hours into the night. Chairman Pro Tem Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman left several times to visit Ramsey’s office, where the president was working with various advisers, he said.

The board announced just before 11 p.m. that Ramsey would be out immediately. University Provost Neville Pinto, who is on vacation, will serve as temporary leader until a new president is selected.

“In the end, it was just the decision on both sides, what everyone thought was best,” Bridgeman said of the final resolution. He said it was a sad moment in the university’s history despite the controversies that have colored Ramsey’s tenure. He pointed to the president’s accomplishments, improving graduation rates and the university’s footprint in the city.

“Dr. Ramsey is always going to be a gentleman,” he said about Ramsey’s reaction to the final decision. “He’s always going to talk about what’s best for the university. And that was the discussion. It wasn’t any more than that.”

The board’s actions will have no bearing on Ramsey’s status with the University Foundation, a separate board where Ramsey is paid more than $300,000 in addition to his salary as president. Bridgeman would not speculate on what that board will choose to do about his employment.

The trustees also voted to immediately begin its search for a new president.

The decision ends weeks of unrest and confusion about Ramsey’s status.

Shortly after Bevin dismantled the old board and appointed new members, Ramsey read his letter offering to resign as the board met in a private session at its first meeting earlier this month. Ramsey then left the meeting, walked directly to his office and didn’t return.

His method apparently left trustees confused. Bridgeman told reporters that Ramsey had not offered his resignation. A day later, Bridgeman said Ramsey’s letter had amounted to an offer to step down. Trustees met for a second time last week, reviewing budget and tuition issues but taking no action on Ramsey’s status.

They scheduled a meeting to discuss his resignation for Tuesday morning, abruptly canceled it then rescheduled it for Wednesday afternoon.

Now, even with Ramsey’s immediate departure, the school’s leadership remains uncertain.

Democratic state Attorney General Andy Beshear is challenging Bevin’s authority to disband the school’s former board and appoint a new one, saying the reorganization was illegal.

During a hearing last week, Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd said Bevin’s action replacing UofL’s board was “problematic” because it put the school’s independence in jeopardy. His ruling is pending. If Shepherd rules against Bevin and finds the current board invalid, it’s unclear whether the board’s decisions will stand, including Wednesday’s negotiations over Ramsey’s departure.

Five-star guard Troy Brown Jr. cuts list to eight

Troy brown, Jon Lopez Nike
Jon Lopez, Nike
Leave a comment

Fresh off of a solid performance at the Nike Skills Academy in Los Angeles, Troy Brown Jr. announced on Thursday that he had cut his list to eight schools.

Kansas, Oregon, Arizona, Ohio State, Cal, Georgetown, UNLV and Alabama are the eight schools on the list.

Brown is a top ten prospect in the Class of 2017, according to Rivals, but the general opinion of him as a player has depressed a bit since earlier in his high school career. The Las Vegas native was once considered a top five player in the class, and while he’s still thought of as an impact player, he’s probably closer to being a two or three year college player than a surefire one-and-done player.