James Michael McAdoo

Pregame Shootaround 11.27.12: Getting you ready for Tuesday night’s slate of games

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Each day, CollegeBasketballTalk brings you the “Pregame Shootaround,” which will be posted at 2 p.m. ET and lay out a preview for the slate of games that night. We’ll take a look at some key match-ups and important games, as well as make some predictions and point out what you need to watch for. Take a look below at today’s edition:

Game of the night: No. 14 North Carolina vs. No. 1 Indiana

This will be Indiana’s first big test of the season, after winning two games in Brooklyn and capturing the Legends Classic title. Of course, Georgetown (now ranked) is no slouch, but the Tar Heels offer some very good match-ups for IU. Take a look at “Five Things to Watch For” for the McAdoo-Zeller breakdown. Also keep an eye on Marcus Paige vs. Yogi Ferrell, two young guards matching up against each other. Should be a good one at Assembly Hall.

Who’s Getting Upset?: Texas against Sam Houston State

I’m not saying it’ll happen, but keep a look out for it. Without Myck Kabongo in the lineup as he waits for an eligibility ruling from the NCAA, the Longhorns are vulnerable. They lost to both USC and D-II Chaminade in Maui, then came back with a victory over a rebuilding Mississippi State team. Sam Houston kept it close in their opener against Arkansas, so we’ll see what happens.

Mid-Major matchup of the night: Lehigh vs. Quinnipiac

QU was able to take Connecticut into double overtime a few weeks back, so can they channel that magic and beat Lehigh? C.J. McCollum, as always, is the focal point for Lehigh. He’s averaging 25.7 points per game on the year.
Five Things to Watch For:

1)     James Michael McAdoo vs. Cody Zeller in the post is one of the better one-on-one match-ups we’ve seen so far this year. Preseason All-American vs. forward looking to have a breakout season. Both are expected to be lottery picks in the 2013 NBA draft. Zeller: 15.2 points, 7.7 rebounds. McAdoo: 16.8 points, 8.8 rebounds.

2)     Michigan had a good showing in New York City in the NIT Tip-Off, but they have another test waiting for them with NC State. Couple of good match-ups in this one: Lorenzo Brown vs. Trey Burke, TJ Warren vs. Glenn Robinson III.

3)      Can Minnesota carry its momentum from Atlantis back to the States? Gophers would like to have Andre Hollins back on track. He scored 41 points against Memphis, but then put up just eight on 1-of-8 shooting from the floor against Stanford.

4)     Tulane takes on Loyola New Orleans. In and of itself it’s not a marquee game, but Tulane is headed to the Big East in all sports, as announced today, so expect no shortage of references to that during the broadcast.

5) The backcourt combination of Tray Woodall and James Robinson has been stellar for Pittsburgh. They take on Howard.

The Rest of the Top 25:

No. 18 NC State vs. No. 3 Michigan

Texas Southern vs. No. 19 Colorado

No. 21 Minnesota vs. Florida State

Other notable games:

Pittsburgh vs. Howard

Maryland vs. Northwestern

Iowa vs. Virginia Tech

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

Villanova beats Duke, Kansas, Indiana for Jermaine Samuels

Atlanta, GA - MAY 27: Nike EYBL. Session 4. Jermaine Samuels, Jr. #23 of Expressions Elite dunks. (Photo by Jon Lopez)
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Villanova landed a commitment from top 50 prospect Jermaine Samuels on Saturday.

Samuels is a tough and athletic 6-foot-5 wing that will remind many Wildcat fans of Josh Hart. He’s got the same kind of versatility and nose for the ball that will let him guard perimeter players as well as work in as a small-ball four. Players like this are a specialty of Jay Wright.

Samuels picked up an offer from Duke recently and also had Indiana, Kansas and Georgetown in his top five. Beating out blue-bloods for a prospect like this is quite the statement for Villanova, one that should tell you the reigning national champs are here to stay as a national power.

Syracuse lands critical piece in Andrew White

LINCOLN, NE - FEBRUARY 3: Andrew White #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers shoots the ball over Rasheed Sulaimon #0 of the Maryland Terrapins during their game at Pinnacle Bank Arena on February 3, 2016 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
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Syracuse has found their replacement for Malachi Richardson.

On Sunday, Nebraska transfer Andrew White committed to the Orange, picking Syracuse, in the end, over VCU. White is a graduate transfer who spent last season with Nebraska, where he averaged 16.2 points while shooting 41.2 percent from three. A top 50 prospect out of Virginia back in the Class of 2012, White played a limited role for Kansas his first two seasons in college.

This is a significant pickup for the Orange, one that legitimately puts them into the conversation as a Final Four contender and a threat to finish at or near the top of the ACC. Jim Boeheim has put together a roster full of talented, long and athletic front court players, but after Richardson declared for the NBA Draft as a one-and-done freshman, he was left with just two back court players on his roster.

Earlier this offseason, Cuse landed Colorado State grad transfer John Gillon, a 6-foot-1 combo-guard, to reinforce their back court. The addition of White gives them a lights-out shooter and a big-time scorer on the wing, something that would have been a major void on their roster.

With Paschal Chukwu getting eligible at the center spot and Tyler Lydon likely landing on every breakout player list this preseason, the Orange should be a markedly better team than the one that made their way to the Final Four last season.

Arizona lands first commitment in 2017 class

Alex Barcello (Jon Lopez/Nike)
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Arizona landed their first commitment in the Class of 2017 on Friday night as point guard Alex Barcello pledged to Sean Miller and the Wildcats.

Barcello is a 6-foot-2 point guard from Tempe who plays his high school ball for Corona del Sol. He committed to the Wildcats on an official visit to the Tucson campus.

Barcello is a borderline top 100 prospect who sits at No. 123 in the Rivals top 150. He’s known for his ability to shoot, and he’s more of a combo-guard — i.e. shoot-first — than a point guard at times, but he’s a nice pickup and projects as a solid four-year player for the Wildcats.

Virginia, Indiana, Stanford and Butler were the other four schools on Barcello’s list.

Duke lands first commitment in 2017 class

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Alex O’Connell knew exactly where he wanted to play his college ball, which is why, just two days after picking up an offer from Coach K and the Blue Devils, he became Duke’s first recruit in the Class of 2017.

O’Connell announced the on twitter on Friday afternoon:

O’Connell is a four-star prospect from Georgia that had a terrific summer, going from being a borderline top 75 prospect to a player that caught the interest of Duke, who, along with Kentucky, sit atop the college recruiting hierarchy. He’s an explosively athletic and lanky 6-foot-6 wing with three-point range on his jumper. He needs to add some weight and some strength — he’s listed as a crisp 175 pounds — but he has the tools, and the swagger, to develop into a very effective player in the ACC.

Is he a one-and-done prospect?

Probably not. In fact, since 2010, Duke has landed just two players that were rated lower than O’Connell: Antonio Vrankovic and Jack White. If you know who both of them are, you’re probably either Jon Scheyer or lying.

But what O’Connell is is a kid who put in the work to get better this past year and who has the skill set, the physical tools and work ethic to continue to improve. He may not be on Grayson Allen’s trajectory, but O’Connell has the makings of being an impact player for the Blue Devils for three or four years.

Alex O'Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)
Alex O’Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)

Shaka Smart lands contract extension at Texas

Texas head coach Shaka Smart instructs his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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Shaka Smart has already landed himself a contract extension at Texas.

The school, according to the Austin American-Statesman, has given Shaka a one-year extension — through the 2022-23 season — and bumped his salary up to a cool $3 million, a raise of $100,000 annually.

Smart’s Longhorns went 20-13 last season and lost on a half court buzzer beater from Northern Iowa’s Paul Jespersen. It will be tough for Smart to match the success that he had last season, specifically because he lost senior point guard Isaiah Taylor to the professional ranks.

That said, the former VCU head man has been reeling in quite a bit of talent from the state of Texas — namely, Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen — and is not all that far from turning the Longhorns back into a relevant member of the Big 12 title race.