Late Night Snacks: D-III guard Jack Taylor steals the show, Indiana wins Legends Classic

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It was a typical Tuesday night in college basketball, then Division III guard Jack Taylor scored 138 points. We’ll touch on that, plus everything else that happened around the college basketball world in tonight’s Late Night Snacks.

Games of the Day

Grinnell College 179, Faith Baptist Bible 104 – By now, everyone knows about Taylor’s 138, but let’s take a look at some other stats. David Larson scored 70 points on 34-of-44 shooting for FBB. Ironically, that will be the single greatest game he will play in his college basketball career and it will be forever overshadowed by Taylor’s performance. FBB turned the ball over 49 times, giving Grinnell a +32 turnover margin. Twenty Grinnell players saw action Tuesday night.

Indiana 82, Georgetown 72 – Georgetown was able to push No. 1 Indiana into overtime, but the Hoosiers showed why they’re the top-ranked team in the country by outscoring the Hoyas by 10 in the extra period. The Barclay Center was rocking, especially considering this was a November non-conference game at a neutral site, which added some extra flavor. Cody Zeller and Jordan Hulls each had 17 points. Markel Starks had another big game for Georgetown with 20 points.

Michigan State 74, Boise State 70 – Keith Appling scored eight points in the final four minutes of the game to help Michigan State survive a scare from the Broncos at home. Boise State got within two in the final minute, but coach Tom Izzo’s team survived. Derrick Marks had 24 for Boise.

Texas A&M 54, Washington State 53 – Elston Turner hit a three-pointer with three seconds remaining to lift the Aggies over Washington State. That big shot was one of just two that he hit all night, finishing 2-of-13 from the field. Dexter Kernich-Drew had 16 points for Washington State.

Important Outcomes

Butler 82, North Carolina 71 – Brad Stevens’ Bulldogs had to fend off the Tar Heels after leading by as many as 27 points in the second half. Arkansas transfer Rotnei Clarke, a hero with his miracle shot that beat Marquette, had 17 points on 5-of-11 shooting against UNC. P.J. Hairston had 15 for North Carolina. Down goes the No. 9 team in the nation.

UCLA 60, Georgia 56 – Ben Howland said it would be “a long plane ride home” if UCLA had lost both of its games in Brooklyn. The Bruins used a big defensive push late to escape with a victory and a split at the Legends Classic.

Starred

Jeff Withey, Kansas – Withey had 25 points, five rebounds, and seven blocks in a win over Saint Louis. He was effective in getting to the line and converting, too, going 11-of-14 from the charity stripe.

Jordan Hulls, Indiana – Hulls was stellar in the Legends Classic, capped off with his 17-point performance in the overtime win over Georgetown Tuesday night. He was 5-of-8 from the field, including 3-of-6 from three-point range.

Otto Porter, Georgetown – Markel Starks had 20 points for the Hoyas, but Porter filled up the stat sheet once again. Porter had 15 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks on the night. His layup with seconds remaining pushed the game into overtime, though Georgetown would ultimately fall to the country’s No. 1 team.

Alex Rosenberg, Columbia – Rosenberg posted 21 points and six rebounds in Columbia’s upset win over Villanova. He converted 11-of-14  free throws in the victory.

Cashmere Wright, Cincinnati – Wright scored 28 points on 8-of-14 shooting and had five steals in the Bearcats’ win over Campbell.

Struggled

Kenny Boynton, Florida – Boynton shot just 1-of-6 from the floor Tuesday night in a win over Savannah State and turned the ball over three times. A strong game from Patric Young helped the Gators to a win, though.

James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina – The UNC sophomore had 10 points and five rebounds, but turned the ball over seven times in the Tar Heels’ loss to Butler.

Three Facts

1. UCLA still has a lot of work to do to shuffle its cards and find the right combination of players in the right situation to be impactful in the Pac-12. Shabazz Muhammad played well with 21 points, but he’s yet to be dominant like we’ve see from him during his high school career.

2. Georgetown is no pushover. The Hoyas were chosen to finish fifth in the Big East this season, but two days in Brooklyn have shown that John Thompson III’s team is legit. Look for them to make their way into the polls this week.

3. Texas needs Myck Kabongo back. But, even then, is this team going to do much in the Big 12, considering how they lost to Chaminade and now to a depleted USC team?

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

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.