Late Night Snacks: Marquette won’t be getting any tonight

Leave a comment

Games of the Night

Western Illinois 73, South Dakota 71: South Dakota was down by 12 at the half and never led during the game, but when Kansas State transfer Juevol Myles — who scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half — hit a three with seven seconds left, it tied the game at 71. But Ceola Clark, who led the Leathernecks with 20 points, answered at the other end with a teardrop in the lane as time expired. This was the first Summit League game for both teams.

Long Beach State 73, Loyola Marymount 70: Mike Caffey scored 15 points to lead four players in double figures as the 49ers used a late, 8-0 run to take a 67-62 lead.

Important Outcomes

No. 7 Florida 82, Marquette 49: Patric Young came off the bench. Kenny Boynton didn’t score until there were 16 minutes left in the game. And yet, the Gators were still able to utterly embarrass the Golden Eagles. This game was played in Gainesville, which definitely played a role in this outcome, but the bottom line is that as good as Florida looked, Marquette looked that bad. They didn’t move the ball offensively, they weren’t able to get penetration from the perimeter, and their big men were utterly overwhelmed by the trio of Young, Erik Muprhy and Will Yeguete.

Also worth noting, talented freshman Michael Frazier scored 17 points and finished by hitting 5-8 from three, which will hopefully get him going this season.

Notre Dame 64, No. 8 Kentucky 50: Kentucky simply wasn’t ready for what they ran into in Purcell Pavilion on Thursday night. The talented youngsters got a crash course on what life is like on the road in college basketball. Notre Dame was more experienced, more disciplined, and, as of right now, just flat out better than the Wildcats. And it showed.

Memphis 93, UT-Martin 65: Five days after being embarrassed in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, three days after the Athletic Director shut down media access to the team and one day after Tarik Black apparently walked out of a “boot camp” practice, Memphis finally played like the team everyone expected them to be coming into the season. Joe Jackson, who was benched out in the Bahamas, finished with 13 points, eight assists and just a single turnover. Shaq Goodwin had 17 points and 12 boards.

Starred

Tyreek Duren and Ramon Galloway, La Salle: Duren and Galloway finished with a combined 37 points on 13-20 shooting as the Explorers picked up a solid win at Rider.

D’Angelo Harrison, St. John’s: The Johnnies beat South Carolina by 24 points in the SEC/Big East Challenge, and Harrison led the way. He had 26 points, and is now averaging 21.9 points.

TJ Price, Western Kentucky: Price scored 30 points in WKU’s 65-54 win over Louisiana-Monroe.

Arsalan Kazemi, Oregon: Kazemi’s addition to the Ducks was thought to be a difference maker, giving Oregon a chance to compete in the Pac-12. He had eight points and seven boards in the win over UNLV and 15 boards in a close loss to Cincinnati. In a win over UT-San Antonio tonight, Kazemi had 20 points on 8-9 shooting, adding six boards, four assists, five steals and three blocks.

Struggled

Marquette: Vander Blue was 8-14 from the floor and scored 20 points. No one else had as many as six points, and the rest of the team finished with 13 field goals and 29 points. Marquette lost 82-49 to No. 7 Florida.

Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin: The two talented freshmen are supposed to be the ones that carry this Kentucky team. Poythress had two points in 23 minutes and Goodwin had two points on 1-7 shooting (but five assists). That won’t cut it.

Seton Hall’s late-game execution: Fuquan Edwin hit a three-pointer with 3:46 left in the game, which gave Seton Hall a 64-63 lead and erased a five point deficit. Seton Hall’s next five possessions? All turnovers. The Pirates finished with 27 in the game. And lost to LSU, 72-67.

Kentucky fans flood Facebook page of official John Higgins’ company with negative reviews

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
5 Comments

Unhappy with how John Higgins performed at his part-time job, Kentucky fans did their best trash him at his full-time gig.

The Facebook page of the referee’s Omaha-based roofing company was flooded by Big Blue Nation with negative comments and reviews after they were displeased with the official’s work in the Wildcats’ Elite Eight loss to North Carolina.

Not only did fans leave obviously fake and vulgar comments on the page, they also deluged it with one-star reviews to drive down its average significantly.

Once again, the Internet is struck by its proportionality problem. What could be considered a silly bit of online pranking by a small minority suddenly turns into an avalanche of nastiness that could do real damage to someone’s life, business and family, given the importance of social media for companies in 2017. It becomes cruel when it reaches a level like this.

When there’s so many general complaints about the state of officiating in college basketball, it’s also not helpful to do something like this to one of the referees generally considered to be one of the country’s best. It’s not exactly a glowing endorsement for prospective future officials to follow the career path if it brings this level of negative attention to you off the court.

Report: North Carolina to miss out on NCAA events through 2022 if HB2 not addressed by Thursday

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
2 Comments

North Carolina is in danger of losing out on hosting NCAA events through 2022 if the state does not make changes to HB2, the controversial so-called “bathroom bill” by Thursday afternoon, according to the leader of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance.

“I have confirmed with a contact very close to the NCAA that its deadline for HB2 is 48 hours from now,” Scott Dupree, the head of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, said, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. “If HB2 has not been resolved by that time, the NCAA will have no choice but to move forward without the North Carolina bids.”

“The NCAA has already delayed the bid review process once and has waited as long as it possibly can, and now it must finalize all championship site selections through spring of 2022.”

The NCAA, as it reminded North Carolina last week, is making its determinations on hosts for events from 2018-2022 this week. There was movement last week at the North Carolina statehouse for a compromise on the bill, but that apparently stalled out, the News & Observer reported, though there remain efforts to make progress on a pact.

Should lawmakers not reach an agreement in time, the state’s flagship basketball programs will be without an NCAA tournament home-court advantage that they have often enjoyed. HB2 just this past year moved the first and second rounds out of the state and to South Carolina, where No. 2 seed Duke lost to the seventh-seeded Gamecocks in their home state.

Clearly, there’s much more to consider here than NCAA tournament implications, but it’s another reminder of the economic impact the bill has made in North Carolina. This week, The Associated Press estimated it will cost the state $3.76 billion over a 12-year period.

Baylor’s Freeman to graduate and transfer

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
Leave a comment

Baylor is losing one of its contributors over the past three seasons.

Al Freeman, a 6-foot-3 guard, will graduate and transfer to another school, the Bears announced Tuesday.

“Al has been a tremendous student-athlete and made great contributions to our program over the last four years, and we’re thrilled that he’s going to complete his degree at Baylor,” Bears coach Scott Drew said in a statement. “He’ll always be part of the Baylor family, and we’ll be rooting for him as he continues his career.”

Freeman, who redshirted his freshman year due to a broken wrist, started 57 games during his career in Waco and averaged 8.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. He was a full-time starter as a sophomore, but made just 22 this past season and saw his minutes slashed.

As a graduate transfer, the Charlotte native will be immediately eligible at his next program for his final collegiate season.

Xavier sophomore Edmond Sumner declares for NBA Draft

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Xavier sophomore Edmond Sumner has declared for the NBA Draft and is expected to sign with an agent.

“First let me start by saying these three years at Xavier have been the best of my life,” Sumner said in a statement. “I have certainly been presented with some ups and downs but they have only served to make me a stronger person. This decision was very hard for me because of the love I have for X. After weighing my options with my family, I have decided to enter the 2017 NBA Draft, fulfilling a lifelong dream. I want to thank Coach Mack and the rest of the staff for believing in me and giving me a chance when no one did! I’ll always be grateful for that. Xavier Nation I will always love you!”

Sumner, a 6-foot-6 point guard with dynamic athleticism and first round potential that averaged 15.0 points, but he is coming off of a torn ACL that he suffered in January. He’s likely to be a second round pick in this year’s NBA Draft.

This is a big loss for the Musketeers, but it’s one that they planned for. After his eruption last season, most expected him to put his name in the draft this season.

Duke freshman Harry Giles III declares for NBA Draft

Chet Strange/Getty Images
1 Comment

Harry Giles III has declared for the NBA Draft after playing just one season at Duke.

“Playing in the NBA has been my goal for as long as I can remember, and I’m so excited to take the next step in that journey,” Giles said. “My time at Duke has been a dream come true. I’ve built so many strong relationships here and I have so many people to thank, from my teammates and coaches to our medical staff and strength coach. I can’t understate how proud I am to be part of the Duke Basketball program forever.”

Giles played in 26 games for the Blue Devils. He started six games and averaged 3.9 points and 3.8 rebounds, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story with Giles. At one point considered to be the best player in the loaded Class of 2016, Giles has dealt with a pair of devastating knee injuries already. He underwent a third surgery right before the start of the season and never seemed like he was fully able to get back to being the player he was when he was in high school.

This is the right decision for Giles to make, as there is still some uncertainty regarding the health of his knees. Were his struggles due to the fact that he was tossed right into the middle of a college basketball season after having sat out for 14 straight months, or was this simply a result of knees that no longer allow him to be the player that he used to be?

He might still end up being a first round pick this year. At the very least, he’s make some guaranteed money if he can get into a camp. Maybe returning to school could have helped vault him into the lottery in 2018, but another year like this year would’ve firebombed his draft stock.

“With his uplifting personality and love for the game, Harry Giles has been a joy to coach,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “He is only beginning to scratch the surface of how good he can be on the basketball court. Harry has an exciting NBA future ahead of him and we are here to fully support him as a member of our brotherhood.”

I know I’m not alone when I say I hope that Giles gets healthy and succeeds in the NBA.