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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

CIAA will stay in North Carolina despite state’s LGBT law

Protesters rally against House Bill 2 in Raleigh, N.C.,  Monday, April 25, 2016. While demonstrations circled North Carolina's statehouse on Monday, for and against a Republican-backed law curtailing protections for LGBT people and limiting public bathroom access for transgender people, House Democrats filed a repeal bill that stands little chance of passing. (Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association says it won’t move its headquarters, its basketball tournament or other conference championships from North Carolina, despite the state’s controversial new LGBT law.

The CIAA said in a statement Thursday that it will instead partner with the NCAA to educate its members on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues as it does on other issues, like graduation rates and concussion management.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the CIAA, the oldest African-American sports conference in the U.S., has hosted its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte since 2006 and announced it was moving its headquarters to Charlotte from Virginia in 2015.

The CIAA said Thursday that it will continue to “monitor the issues,” as it has since House Bill 2 passed.

 

VIDEOS: Stephen Curry’s personally invites athletes to his select camp

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, left, holds the championship trophy and Andre Iguodala holds the series MVP trophy as they celebrate winning the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 105-97 to win the best-of-seven game series 4-2. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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As he did last year, the NBA’s MVP is sending out personal invites to Under Armour’s SC30 Select Camp for some of the best high school and college point guards in the country.

It’s a pretty cool thing for the kids. Can you imagine how you would feel as a high school junior getting a personalized invitation to a camp from Stephen Curry himself?

 

VIDEO: John Calipari vows to lose some weight

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John Calipari has a goal this offseason: to lose some weight.

“Mid-50s, I let it go a little bit,” Calipari said as he worked out on an elliptical. “Had a heck of a year. But going forward, gotta get in better shape. Gotta get the body right. Started a week ago. What I will say to you is really simple. I’m not showing you my body for a month.”

The reason why Cal needs to get into shape?

He’s going to have to coach this year, because Tyler Ulis is heading to the NBA.

“I shoulda got some of his salary,” Ulis joked.

Cal won’t have to coach too hard. He’s got one of the best recruiting classes in the country coming into the program, including three top ten players and five of the nation’s top 30 prospects.

Four-star PG Jaylen Fisher de-commits from UNLV

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Coaching changes can wreak havoc on a program’s recruiting class, and that’s been the case for UNLV thanks to the tumultuous nature of their search for a new head coach. Thursday evening one prospect who remained committed to the Mountain West program throughout the process that ultimately led to Marvin Menzies landing the job announced that he’s decided to reopen his recruitment.

Four-star point guard Jaylen Fisher, ranked 55th in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.com, announced via social media that he’s decided to de-commit from UNLV.

“I was very much looking forward to the opportunity to be a Rebel this year,” Fisher wrote. “But there have been a lot of changes with the program since I committed to UNLV; changes that have made me reconsider whether UNLV is still a good fit for me. So with that in mind and after much consideration with my family, I have decided it’s best that I reopen my recruitment.”

Fisher’s decision leaves wing Justin Jackson as the lone member of UNLV’s 2016 class at this point, with Jackson telling Scout.com in early April that he was undecided as to whether or not he’d reopen his recruitment. The school’s search for a coach began in January when they parted ways with Dave Rice, promoting Todd Simon in an interim role.

After deciding not to retain Simon, who’s now the head coach at Southern Utah, UNLV hired former Little Rock head coach Chris Beard…who left for Texas Tech less than two weeks later. UNLV landed Menzies, who they passed over for Beard, and he’s got a lot of work to do to field a roster that will be competitive in the Mountain West next season.

As for Fisher, the Arlington, Tennessee native should be a popular prospect with his decision to reopen things. And with Memphis losing former commit Charlie Moore, the Tigers are in need of help at the point. The question now is whether or not new head coach Tubby Smith will look to reach out to Fisher.

h/t Memphis Commercial-Appeal

NCAA rule change that impacts Memphis coaching staff now official

Memphis forward Dedric Lawson (1) goes up for a shot between Connecticut forward Shonn Miller (32) and guard Daniel Hamilton, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the finals of the American Athletic Conference men's tournament in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, March 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
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One of the more popular topics in college basketball in recent weeks was the status of Memphis assistant coach Keelon Lawson and sons Dedric and K.J. in the aftermath of the school hiring Tubby Smith. Would Smith keep the elder Lawson on staff as an assistant, thus in all likelihood ensuring that Dedric and K.J. would return as well? Would he let go or attempt to reassign Keelon, and as a result risk losing two players from an already limited roster?

Ultimately Smith decided to reassign Keelon to a non-coaching position, making him director of player development. And with the NCAA having a rule that those with a connection to a prospective student-athlete had to serve in a coaching capacity for the player’s first two seasons, the question was whether or not Memphis would need a waiver to pull off the move.

Luckily for Memphis the NCAA was looking into an alteration of the rule, and on Thursday with the NCAA not taking action on Proposal 2015-30 the change became official.

Under the new rule a coach’s two years on staff would begin immediately upon his arrival. In the case of Lawson this is key as he spent a year on former Memphis head coach Josh Pastner’s staff before Dedric and K.J. enrolled. With the two-year requirement ruled to be served under the new proposal, Smith could reassign Keelon Lawson without having to ask the NCAA for a waiver.

The next step as far as Memphis is concerned is Dedric, who ultimately entered his name into the NBA Draft pool (without an agent), withdrawing and returning to school for his sophomore season. As a freshman Dedric was the best freshman in the American Athletic Conference, averaging 15.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game for the Tigers. DraftExpress.com currently ranks him 28th amongst college freshmen, which makes him no sure thing to be drafted should he decide to stay in the draft.

At the very least the next month should result in Dedric receiving constructive feedback from NBA scouts and executives that he can use to improve next season.

K.J. played in just ten games last season due to a lingering Achilles tendon issue, averaging 8.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. The hope is that K.J. will be granted a medical redshirt for last season, thus preserving a year of eligibility.