Mikael Hopkins, Kenny Hall

Late Night Snacks: Georgetown and Tennessee offensive struggles

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Big East swept four games on Friday night (Georgetown, Syracuse, DePaul, South Florida) to take a commanding 6-2 lead in the SEC/Big East Challenge. If you’re following conference realignment, it’s more like Big East 4, SEC 2, ACC 2 (Notre Dame and Syracuse).

Games of the Night

Syracuse 91, Arkansas 82 – The Orange were able to take it to the “Fastest 40 Minutes” earning a road win over Arkansas. James Southerland came off the bench and exploded for a school-record nine 3-pointers, en route to a career-high 35 points. The Razorbacks continued to fight, but No. 6 Cuse was too much in a face-paced game.

Georgetown 37, Tennessee 36  – For all the wrong reasons. Markel Sparks hit a jumper with 4:42 left in the game, giving the Hoyas a 37-36 lead. That would be the last time the ball would go through the hoop for either side. After an 18-16 Tennessee lead at halftime, the Vols and Hoyas had an exciting second half, as best as they could.

Important Outcomes

Kansas 84, Oregon State 79 – The Jayhawks, who have won five straight, were able to survive a pair of Beaver rallies, avoiding an upset. Kansas shot 60 percent from the floor and had five players score in double figures.

Drake 76, Nevada 66 – Drake was able to knock off Nevada, after falling to Xavier by four on Sunday. Drake has a chance for its best win of the season, next Wednesday at home against Matt Dellavedova and St. Mary’s

South Florida 64, Georgia 53 – The Bulls are quietly 5-2 following the SEC/Big East Challenge win over the Bulldogs. South Florida has a real test next Wednesday on the road against No. 15 Oklahoma State. Georgia has lost five of its last six games.

Starred

James Southerland, Syracuse – Came off the bench for a career-high 35 points, despite foul trouble that took him off the floor with 15 minutes to go, while he had 28 points.

Travis Releford and Ben McLemore, Kansas – The pair of Kansas guards both had 20 or more points (McLemore: 21 points, Releford: 20 points), helping the Jayhawks avoid an upset from the Beavers.

Cleveland Melvin – Not only did Melvin have a game-high 21 points and added 10 rebounds. The junior forward secured the win on the defensive end. Melvin came away with a steal with 13 seconds left, as the Blue Demons nursed a 78-76 led. Melivn would sink both free throws after being fouled.

Struggled

Georgetown/Tennessee offense – No shocker here. Both teams struggled to put the ball through the net in this defensive battle. Lot of ugly stats that came out of this one, including no player hitting double figures. Tennessee connected on 3-of-11 from the free throw line, while Georgetown was 1-of-7 (14 percent) from deep.

Oklahoma – The Sooners had to give everything they had to sneak out a home win against Northwestern State. Oklahoma won 69-65, but struggled offensively, shooting 39 percent from the field.

Arkansas deep ball – The Razorbacks couldn’t get the ball in the middle of the famous Syracuse 2-3 zone. The results were bad from behind the arc. Arkansas only converted on 5-of-24 3-pointers, while Southerland had nine by himself for the Orange. The senior forward also shot 9-of-13 from deep.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Michigan’s Chatman transferring

Michigan  guard/forward Kameron Chatman (3) passes against Northwestern during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Evanston, Ill. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
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Kameron Chatman is leaving the Michigan program after two seasons, the school announced Tuesday.

The 6-foot-8 forward will transfer following a sophomore season in which his minutes were halved from his freshman campaign.

“I am incredibly grateful for my two years at Michigan,” Chatman said in a statement released by Michigan. “I would like to thank coach (John) Beilein and his entire staff for taking a chance on a small town kid out of Portland. I know my experience has inspired others as I will take all of my lessons learned to continue my pursuit of becoming the best man and player I can.”

Chatman is now the fourth Wolverine to transfer this spring, as Spike Albrecht (Purdue), Aubrey Dawkins (Central Florida) and Ricky Doyle have already departed. The Wolverines, who still have not announced replacements for assistant coaches LaVall Jordan (Milwaukee) and Bacari Alexander (Detroit), have been active in graduate transfer market as they look to rebuild much of their depth on the perimeter.

Chatman, who was a top-50 recruit out of high school, averaged 3.2 points and 2.0 rebounds per game for Michigan. He made 15 starts as a freshman, but only two as a sophomore.

Gilmore leaving VCU

Will Wade (AP Photo)
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Sophomore forward Michael Gilmore is transferring from VCU, the school announced Tuesday.

Gilmore started 18 games and appeared in 55 total for the Rams, but never carved out more than a marginal role, averaging 11.5 minutes per game as a sophomore after 6.3 his freshman season. He averaged 3.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game this past year as he saw his role dwindle down the stretch for the Rams.

His departure will take away some interior depth for VCU, but coach Will Wade will still be returning the bulk of the team that tested eventual Final Four participant Oklahoma in the Round of 32 a month ago.

For Gilmore, he’ll likely have plenty of suitors despite the pedestrian numbers he posted over the last two years as 6-foot-10 forwards who have shown the ability to space the floor don’t hit the transfer market with great regularity.He was a consensus four-star recruit in the Class of 2014.

Orris transferring to South Dakota State

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Northern Illinois point guard Michael Orris will finish his career at South Dakota State as a graduate transfer, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com.

Orris, who began his career at Kansas State before transferring after his freshman season, played 21.7 minutes per game last season for the Huskies, averaging 2.7 points and 3.0 assists.

His addition will bring experience to the Jackrabbits, who will be looking to get back to the NCAA tournament under first year coach T.J. Otzelberger, who took over for Scott Nagy when the longtime South Dakota State coach left for Wright State after taking South Dakota State to three NCAA tournaments in five years. As an Iowa State assistant, Otzelberger recruited another Northern Illinois graduate transfer, Darrell Bowie, to the Cyclones earlier this year.

While the commitment of Orris won’t be a game-changer for the Jackrabbits, he is a former high-major player and evidence that Otzelberger, who spent three years watching Fred Hoiberg turn Iowa State into Transfer U, and South Dakota State will be mining the transfer market as a means to sustain what Nagy built in Brookings.

Cazmon Hayes’ departure leaves Delaware with five scholarship players

Delaware's Cazmon Hayes (22) tries to get a shot past Villanova's Daniel Ochefu (23) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014, in Philadelphia. Villanova won 78-47. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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You might think that new UNLV head coach Marvin Menzies has the toughest rebuilding job of anyone in college basketball this season, and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong.

He took over a program that had all of two players left on scholarship at the time, that was broke, that has so much in-fighting between the athletic director and the board that approved his contract that Menzies was left in limbo waiting to hear if they were actually going to pay him what they said they would pay him.

They eventually did, Menzies eventually got some more players and he’s on his way to trying to make the Runnin’ Rebels relevant again.

That’s a bad spot to be in, but whoever ends up getting the Delaware job — the only job in the country that’s yet to be filled — may in a tougher spot.

Because we’re already into May, and not only are the Blue Hens still without a head coach, they haven’t even hired an AD to hire the head coach yet. That’s a problem because, as of this very moment, Delaware has just five scholarship players left on the roster and no guarantee that the departures are overwith.

Four players have transferred out of the program, including the team’s leading scorer Kory Holden and, as of today, their third-leading scorer Cazmon Hayes. Their leading returning scorer right now is Anthony Mosely, who averaged just 9.7 points last season.

And this is for a team that went 2-16 in a down-CAA and won just seven games all year long.

Whoever eventually ends up with the Delaware job is going to have their work cut out for them.

Gavitt Games schedule released, but not much to get excited about

NCAA Men's Final Four - National Championship - Villanova v North Carolina
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The schedule for the 2016 Gavitt Tipoff  Games were announced on Tuesday afternoon.

The Gavitt Games are an event that we be held annually featuring eight made-for-TV matchup between Big East programs and Big Ten programs. It’s similar to the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, only it takes place during the first week of the regular season.

Last year’s Games were highlighted by a matchup between Maryland and Georgetown, a local rivalry that hadn’t been played in three decades. And while those two programs will face-off once again this season, the level of intrigue in this year’s event is not quite what it was last year.

The marquee matchup will probably be reigning champs Villanova, who should be a top five team in the preseason, playing at Purdue, who should once again be competitive in the Big Ten. And so long as Nigel Hayes returns to Wisconsin, the Badgers trip to Creighton should feature two NCAA tournament teams. There will be some hype given the rivalry between Maryland and Georgetown, but both of those teams are on a downward trend.

And beyond that?

Yuck. Rutgers vs. DePaul and St. John’s vs. Minnesota are … well, let’s just say you won’t be taking time out of your week to tune in.

Here’s the full schedule:

Monday, Nov. 14th:

Villanova at Purdue

Tuesday, Nov. 15th:

Maryland at Georgetown
Wisconsin at Creighton

Wednesday, Nov. 16th:

Northwestern at Butler

Thursday, Nov. 17th:

Seton Hall at Iowa
Providence at Ohio State
Rutgers at DePaul

Friday, Nov. 18th:

St. John’s at Minnesota