Late Night Snacks: When the game is tied in the final seconds, do not foul

Leave a comment

Games of the Day

1. Washington 74, Cal State Fullerton 72
The Huskies escaped at home after trailing by as many as 14 points. Washington made five free throws in the final 30 seconds, but here’s the thing: four of those free throws came as a result of Fullerton committing a foul after tying the game. First there was Alex Harris, who in his exuberance over tying the game at 69 fouled Andrew Andrews. And after D.J. Seeley hit a corner three to tie the game at 72, he fouled C.J. Wilcox who made both free throws to provide the final score. Oh what could have been for the Titans, who were coming off of a loss at Eastern Washington on Friday night.

2. Wichita State 72, Air Force 69
Gregg Marshall’s team hung on in Colorado Springs, beating the Falcons by three as a Michael Lyons missed a three-pointer in the final seconds. Carl Hall led the way for the Shockers, who are now 8-0 on the season, with 21 points and ten rebounds while Mike Fitzgerald (18 points) and Taylor Broekhuis (17 points) paced the Falcons.

3. Georgia State 67, Liberty 66
A Rashaad Richardson three-pointer in the final seconds gave the Panthers the win on the road. Manny Atkins and Devonta White led Georgia State with 17 points apiece, and Librty’s Davon Marshall hit six three-pointers and scored 25 points to lead the now 0-8 Flames.

Important Outcomes 

1. Maryland 69, George Mason 62
The Terrapins made things a little more difficult on themselves than necessary but Mark Turgeon’s team held on for the win at the BB&T Classic. Dez Wells put up 25 points and six rebounds, which covered up Maryland’s 19 turnovers and 23-of-39 performance from the foul line. Can this group contend in the ACC? Maybe they can.

2. Wisconsin 81, California 56 
On the heels of their 60-54 loss to Virginia the Badgers needed to bounce back, and it’s safe to say that they did in throttling the Golden Bears. Justin Cobbs was limited to 3-of-10 shooting (11 points) and Ben Brust led four Badgers in double figures with 22 points.

3. Akron 82, Middle Tennessee 77 (OT)
Two quality teams met at the JAR and the Zips came out on top, with point guard Alex Abreu leading five players in double figures with 19 points (in addition to seven assists, four rebounds and four steals). Ray Cintron, who hit three free throws to force overtime, led the Blue Raiders with a game-high 22 points. But Middle Tennessee had just two players in double figures (Marcos Knight scored 21), and the lack of balance hurt them in the end.

Starred

1. F Isaiah Armwood (George Washington)
Armwood led the Colonials to 67-55 win over Manhattan in the first game of the BB&T Classic with 23 points (8-of-12 FG), nine rebounds and six blocked shots.

2. F Carl Hall (Wichita State) 
21 points (9-of-10 FG) and ten rebounds in the Shockers’ 72-69 win at Air Force.

3. F Desmond Simmons (Washington) 
14 points, 18 rebounds (seven offensive) and three steals in the Huskies’ 74-72 win over Cal State Fullerton.

Struggled

1. Florida State guards
Guards Michael Snaer, Montay Brandon, Terry Whisnant II and Ian Miller combined to shoot 5-of-19 from the field in the Seminoles’ 61-56 loss to Mercer, Florida State’s third home loss of the season.

2. G Justin Cobbs (California) 
3-of-10 from the field (11 points) and seven turnovers in Cal’s 81-56 loss to Wisconsin.

3. South Carolina starters
If not for reserves Bruce Ellington and Brenton Williams things could have been even worse for the Gamecocks in their 64-55 loss to rival Clemson. Frank Martin’s starters combined to shoot 5-of-22 from the field and score 14 points.

Three Facts 

1. Washington’s win over Cal State Fullerton is their 924th at Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, the most by a college team in its home arena in the history of the sport.

2. Over the last two seasons Wichita State has been the most successful road team in the country, posting a 21-3 record.

3. Kansas State guard Rodney McGruder snapped out of his two-game shooting slump on Sunday, scoring 22 points (8-of-16 FG) and grabbing seven rebounds in the Wildcats’ 72-53 win over USC Upstate. McGruder has shot 50% or better in three of Kansas State’s seven games.

Other Notable Scores

1. Mercer 61, Florida State 56

2. Saint Louis 62, Valparaiso 49

3. Stanford 71, Denver 58

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Syracuse’s Tyus Battle to test NBA draft waters

Abbie Parr/Getty Images
1 Comment

Syracuse announced on Friday afternoon that sophomore guard Tyus Battle will be declaring for the NBA draft without signing with an agent, giving him until the NCAA’s May 30th deadline to withdraw from contention and return to school.

Battle averaged 19.2 points as a sophomore for the Orange, who made a surprising run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

He is a projected late-first round or early-second round pick given his size, shooting ability and skill with the ball in his hands.

Losing Battle would be a massive blow to a Syracuse team that is already going to be without Matthew Moyer, who transferred out of the program, and Dareus Bazley, who is heading to the G League instead of enrolling in college.

Maryland’s Kevin Huerter declares for NBA draft, won’t hire agent

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
1 Comment

Maryland wing Kevin Huerter announced on Friday afternoon that he will be declaring for the NBA draft without hiring an agent, giving him the option of returning to school by May 30th.

“This will be a great experience for Kevin to get honest feedback from NBA teams and executives,” said head coach Mark Turgeon. “Taking advantage of this opportunity will allow Kevin and his family to make an informed decision about his future.”

Huerter is a 6-foot-7 wing known for his ability to shoot from the perimeter. He averaged 14.8 points and shot 42 percent from three as a sophomore.

He is also the third player from Maryland to declare for the 2018 NBA Draft. Justin Jackson, a borderline first round pick who missed time last season with a shoulder injury, has signed with an agent while Bruno Fernando is testing the waters. Maryland, who has an excellent recruiting class coming in, will be a preseason top 20 team if Huerter and Fernando both return to school.

Huerter is a borderline first round pick.

Michigan’s Charles Matthews to test NBA draft waters

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Michigan guard Charles Matthews announced on Friday that he will be declaring for the NBA draft, but that he does not intend to sign with an agent, meaning he has until May 30th to withdraw from the draft and return to school.

“After careful consideration with my parents and coaching staff, I am excited to announce that I will be declaring for the 2018 NBA Draft without hiring an agent,” said Matthews. “I give thanks to the Lord for this amazing opportunity, as well as the entire University of Michigan for their support. Go Blue!”

Matthews, a redshirt sophomore that averaged 13.0 points and 5.5 boards for the national runners-up, was a four-star prospect coming out of Chicago and spent his freshman season at Kentucky.

Matthews is a likely second round pick with the potential to climb into the first round should he prove to be a more consistent three-point shooter. He shot just 31.8 percent from beyond the arc this past season.

Virginia’s Hunter to return to school for sophomore season

Eric Espada/Getty Images
Leave a comment

De’Andre Hunter announced on Friday afternoon that he will not be entering his name into the NBA draft and will return to Virginia for his redshirt sophomore season, a decision that will have as much of an impact on the 2018-19 college basketball season as any that is made this spring.

Hunter, now a potential top ten pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, was one of the breakout stars of the 2017-18 season. A 6-foot-7 combo-forward with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, Hunter averaged 9.2 points and 3.5 boards while shooting 38.2 percent from three in just under 20 minutes a night for a Virginia team whose pace severely limits the kind of numbers a player like him can put up.

Throw in his ability to defend on the perimeter and in the paint, and Hunter is precisely the kind of player that NBA teams are looking to land as basketball becomes more and more built on positional versatility and the ability to space the floor.

And it’s that versatility that will make Hunter so important for the Cavaliers next season.

Let’s go beyond the simple fact that he is going to be the only guy on the Virginia roster that can create his own shot against length and athleticism and that there is a chance that he could end up being an all-american next season if things play out the right way. What makes Hunter so important to Virginia his that his defensive versatility is what allows Virginia to matchup with teams that want to try and play small-ball against them.

That’s precisely what UMBC did in the first round of the NCAA tournament, a game that Hunter missed with a broken wrist. We all know how that played out, and I’m not even dumb enough to pin all the blame of a 20-point loss to a No. 16 seed on a guy that played less than 20 minutes a night.

Virginia choked once they realized that there was a chance this could happen, but I would argue that a major reason they couldn’t ever truly assert their dominance was because they were unable to matchup with UMBC’s four-guard lineup without Hunter.

With Hunter back, Virginia is the No. 6 team in the NBC Sports Preseason Top 25. If he had declared for the draft and signed with an agent, I’m not sure I would have had the Wahoos in the top 20.

He takes Tony Bennett’s club from simply being good to once against being a contender for the ACC regular season title.

Vanderbilt the sixth Kentucky player declares for the NBA draft

Michael Reaves/Getty Images
1 Comment

Jarred Vanderbilt is now the sixth Kentucky Wildcat to declare for the NBA draft this spring, joining P.J. Washington and Wenyen Gabriel in testing the waters without signing with an agent.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo have all declared for the draft and signed with an agent.

Vanderbilt announced his decision on Friday afternoon.

“This season wasn’t easy for me,” Vanderbilt said. “At the end of the day, my goal has always been to make it to the NBA.”

“I know I have more to my game to show, but now I’ve got to figure out if the time is right for me to do it at the next level or if I would be better to return to school.”

Vanderbilt missed the first 17 games of his freshman season with a left foot injury, a foot that he had injured twice before during his high school career. He then missed all four of Kentucky’s postseason games with a left ankle injury, and there is a chance that he could end up needing surgery to correct this issue this offseason.

All told, the 6-foot-9 Vanderbilt played in 14 games as a freshman, averaging 5.9 points and 7.9 boards in just 17 minutes a night. But issues with his ability to shoot from the perimeter and a lower left leg that has proven to be extremely problematic, there is a good chance that Vanderbilt would go undrafted should he decide to turn pro.