Late Night Snacks: Another buzzer-beater for South Dakota State?

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Games of the Night

Duke 73, Ohio State 68: The Blue Devils were down by double digits in the first half, but a couple of fast break dunks in the early part of the second half sparked the Blue Devils. Duke eventually won, on the strength of 21 points and 17 boards from current Player of the Year favorite Mason Plumlee, while Rasheen Sulaimon caught fire in the second half, scoring all 17 of his points.

The bad news for Ohio State? This game showcased their lack of scoring balance. That will be trouble come Big Ten play.

South Dakota State 71, North Dakota 70: For the second time this season, the Jackrabbits won a game at the buzzer. And for the second time this season, it was Chad White, and not Nate Wolters, hitting said game-winner:

Oklahoma 63, Oral Roberts 62: Oklahoma was a sleeper pick in the Big 12 heading into the season, and while struggling to hold off a Southland Conference opponent would usually be a bad sign, we’ll make an exception for ORU, who is consistently one of the most dangerous mid-major programs in the country. The Golden Eagles were up 54-44 with nine minutes left, but the Sooners used a 14-2 run to take the lead with two minutes left. Warren Niles, who had 21 points, had a good look at a ten foot pull-up on the baseline for the win, but it bounced off the back of the rim.

Important Outcomes

Miami 67, Michigan State 59: The Hurricanes steam-rolled the Spartans, impressively inserting their names into the conversation in an ACC that’s suddenly wide-open behind Duke. The question to ask is whether this is a sign of things to come for the Canes, or if it will end up being the highlight of their season.

Virginia 60, Wisconsin 54: Tony Bennett took his Cavalier club into the Kohl Center and knocked off Bo Ryan thanks to 22 points, five assists and five boards from Joe Harris. As impressive as this win was for UVA, I think it says more about a Wisconsin team that looks like it is going to struggle this year. They simply don’t have the playmakers offensively.

Here’s a stat for you: this is Wisconsin’s first November home loss since 1997, when they fell against in-state rival Marquette. Bo Ryan was 33-0 previously.

UCLA 82, Cal St-Northridge 56: With all the drama surrounding UCLA over the past couple of seasons, no one would have been surprised to see the Bruins fold. Instead, UCLA came out in a 2-3 zone and stifled Northridge. While the Matadors were 6-1 coming in, this is still a game that the Bruins should have no problem winning, although the same could have been said about Cal Poly. Regardless, a win is a win at this point, and the Bruins did it in convincing fashion. Of note: Larry Drew II now has 57 assists and nine turnovers on the season.

Starred

Derrick Marks, Boise State: The little fella had 35 points on 13-19 shooting to lead the Bronco’s to an 83-70 win over No. 11 Creighton.

Brandon Davies, BYU: Davies had 21 points, 10 boards, six assists, four steals and two blocks in a win over tough-but-shorthanded Montana.

Deonte Burton, Nevada: Burton had 26 points and seven assists for the Wolf Pack, who beat UC Davis. Oh, he also had the game-winner:

Struggled

Houston: The Cougars will be in the Big East next season. They lost to Prairie View A&M tonight.

Delaware players not named Jamelle Hagins: Hagins had 18 points, 23 boards and five blocks, but the Blue Hens still managed to lose to Lafayette. Hagins was 5-7 from the floor, the rest of the team was 16-51. Lafayette was 1-6 coming in. To be fair, Delaware was without Jarvis Threatt, but this was a team picked to finish second in the CAA.

Tony Mitchell, North Texas: The future lottery pick had 12 points on 3-13 shooting coming off the bench as the Mean Green dropped to 3-4 on the season with a loss to UT-Arlington.

Missouri lands No. 1 player in Class of 2017 as Michael Porter Jr. commits

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Missouri and new head coach Cuonzo Martin have landed the No. 1 player in the Class of 2017 a week after he took the job as forward Michael Porter Jr. committed to the Tigers on Friday.

Formerly a Washington commit under now-fired head coach Lorenzo Romar, the 6-foot-9 Porter was released from his Letter of Intent this week and many believed he’d end up back at Missouri.

The Porter family lived in Columbia for many years as two of Michael’s older sisters play for the Missouri women’s team while Michael Porter Sr. was an assistant coach for the women’s team.

When Porter Sr. was hired to Missouri to be an assistant coach on Martin’s staff this week — after losing his assistant coaching job at Washington when Romar was fired — it all but sealed the deal that the Porters would return to Missouri and Michael Jr. would play for the Tigers.

Missouri might not be an NCAA Tournament team next season after struggling to an 8-24 finish and 2-16 record in the SEC. But Porter might be the most productive freshman entering college basketball next season as he has a chance to be dominant in the SEC.

Oklahoma State promotes assistant coach Mike Boynton to head coach

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Oklahoma State has decided to promote assistant coach Mike Boynton to head coach, the school announced on Friday.

Boynton was an assistant with the Cowboys under former head coach Brad Underwood, who left Oklahoma State to take the Illinois job last weekend. Also an assistant coach at Stephen F. Austin, South Carolina, Wofford and Coastal Carolina, Boynton is a native of New York City who played his college ball for the Gamecocks.

The hire of Boynton is surprising since he doesn’t have any head-coaching experience as it follows in the footsteps of Cal promoting assistant coach Wyking Jones earlier in the day. Boynton also notably won the job over broadcaster and former Oklahoma State guard Doug Gottlieb as Gottlieb interviewed for the job but wasn’t selected.

 

Rhode Island junior E.C. Matthews will return to school

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Rhode Island junior guard E.C. Matthews will return to school for his redshirt senior season, the school announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-5 Matthews led the Rams in scoring at 14.9 points per game this past season as he returned from a torn ACL and helped Rhode Island reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999.

Besides for being a talented scorer, Matthews is a good overall playmaker for the Rams as he also put up 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.

With Matthews returning, it gives head coach Dan Hurley a huge weapon for next season as Rhode Island returns everyone besides the senior front court of Hassan Martin and Kuran Iverson.

Cal promotes assistant Wyking Jones to head coach

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Cal will promote interim head coach and former assistant coach Wyking Jones to head coach, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The story was first reported by Jon Rothstein of FanRagSports.com

A native of Inglewood, California, Jones has been an assistant coach for the Golden Bears for the past two seasons as he replaces former head coach Cuonzo Martin, who departed to take the Missouri job. This promotion comes as a bit of a surprise for some since Jones has never been a head coach at the Division I level.

Jones has spent 15 years as an assistant coach at the Division I level at places like Cal, Louisville, New Mexico, Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount — where Jones spent his playing career.

Helping Louisville to the Final Four in 2013, Jones is a respected coach and recruiter who gets a great opportunity for his first head coaching job at the Division I level with Cal.

The Golden Bears made the NCAA tournament last year but finished 21-13 this season as they missed making the field of 68. Sophomore big man Ivan Rabb has already declared for the NBA Draft and it will be interesting to see what kind of roster Jones gets to work with right away.

One of the reasons Jones might have been retained is to help Cal keep its solid five-man recruiting class from bolting. While the Golden Bears don’t have any five-star talents coming in, it is a solid foundation for the program’s future led by a four-star guard in Jemarl Baker.

Florida State freshman forward Jonathan Isaac declares for 2017 NBA Draft

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Florida State freshman forward Jonathan Isaac has declared for the 2017 NBA Draft.

The 6-foot-10 Isaac was a five-star prospect out of high school as he averaged 12.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. One of the most versatile defenders in the country, Isaac could protect the rim (1.5 blocks per game) and also switch out to the perimeter and cover smaller wings as well (1.2 steals per game). Also showing a solid skill level, Isaac shot 50 percent from the field, 34 percent from three-point range and 78 percent from the free-throw line.

That kind of versatility is what Isaac is banking on in the NBA Draft as he’s expected to be a top-15 pick. If Isaac can prove that he’s a reliable perimeter shooter then teams could be intrigued by him as a matchup nightmare in the front court.