Marquette Golden Eagles v Florida Gators

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

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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.

Arizona lands first commitment in 2017 class

Alex Barcello (Jon Lopez/Nike)
(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)
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.

Arizona and Texas headline Lone Star Shootout

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17:  Head coach Sean Miller of the Arizona Wildcats reacts in the first half against the Wichita State Shockers during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
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Another marquee, early season event is on the books for the college basketball season as four potential tournament teams will be squaring off at the Toyota Center in Houston on Dec. 17th.

The highlight of the double-header, which has been dubbed the Lone Star Shootout, will probably end up being Arizona vs. Texas A&M. The Wildcats are a Pac-12 contender and a borderline top 10 team as we enter the season, and while the Aggies will have work to do replacing the seniors they lost off of last season’s roster, they’re a borderline top 25 team.

The other matchup will feature a pair of former Southwest Conference rivals facing off in Texas and Arkansas. Texas will be talented but young while Arkansas may actually have the best player on the floor in Moses Kingsley. What will make this matchup interesting is that both Mike Anderson and Shaka Smart are known for being coaches that prefer a full court pressing system.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to play in front of our fans at the Toyota Center in Houston,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said in a statement. “It is one of the most important areas in this state as it relates to our recruiting and fan base.

Five-star 2017 guard Lonnie Walker cuts list to five schools

Men's U18 trials head shots and team photo on 6.15.16
Bart Young/USA Basketball
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Five-star shooting guard Lonnie Walker is coming off of a very good summer as he trimmed his list to five schools on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-4 native of Reading, Pennsylvania is still considering Arizona, Kentucky, Miami, Syracuse and Villanova, he announced on Twitter.

Regarded as the No. 26 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, Walker played with Team Final in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer as he averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Walker shot 45 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and 72 percent from the free-throw line.

An efficient scorer who is learning to drive with both hands, Walker is very talented and the type of guard who might also be able to handle a bit as well.