Tim Miles, Trevor Menke

Late Night Snacks: You’re probably asleep right now

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There were a total of 14 games being played on Monday night. Only nine of them featured Division I vs. Division I match-ups. None of them were surprising. If you’re up and reading, check out the nuggets of info below. Because despite the lack of games and excitement, a few players turned in exceptional performances tonight. It’s Late Night Snacks.

Game of the Night

Nebraska 63, USC 51 – It was the lone game between major-conference opponents and a proving game to an extent for the Trojans. They failed on the road. Nebraska moved closer to validating their 6-1 start and got decent games from their guards. The Huskers were 11-for-17 from three-point range, which was truly the difference.

Game of Note

San Diego State 74, Texas Southern 62 – After Texas Southern took Colorado to the brink, it overcame a 32-16 deficit to make the second half competitive. Maybe Mike Davis can make a difference for this team in the SWAC, even though they are ineligible for the postseason. What? You thought this post would be about the Aztecs? They did what they had to, they beat an inferior team.

Starred

Ray Gallegos, Nebraska – Went for 20 points in the victory over USC including 6-of-10 on threes. He averages around 13 per game and was the biggest boost for a Husker team that prepares to take on Creighton this week.

Jordan Reed, Binghamton – Reed went for 26 points and 10 rebounds in the loss to Monmouth, but you can’t overlook a night like that, win or lose. He was 10-for-17 from the field, was 6-for-8 from the free throw line and added four steals.

Adrien Coleman, Bethune-Cookman – In an 86-63 win over Stetson, Coleman was the star, finishing with a game-high 29 points, eight rebounds, five steals and three assists. He was an extremely efficient 13-for-14 from the field.

Struggled

Jio Fontan, USC – The biggest stalwart on the Trojans team finished with just 11 points and three assists in the loss at Nebraska. He’ll need to come around if he wants to get USC back to respectability.

Omar Strong, Texas Southern – This one probably isn’t fair, but there weren’t many interesting games. Strong went for 39 points against Colorado, then followed it up with (only) 15 on 5-of-12 shooting in a loss at San Diego State. Eh, just would’ve been cool to see him go ham again.

Cole Darling, Wright State – He averages 13 per game and finished a 54-41 loss to Bowling Green State with just eight points. Hey, it’s slim pickins’ tonight.

Stuffing the stat sheet

Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse – We talked about him earlier, but MCW went for 11 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds in an 84-48 victory at home over Eastern Michigan. He’s had two near triple-doubles in two games. He’s gettin’ it in. Big time.

Fanbase who can take a breath

Nebraska – They got their first victory of any real note this season with the win over USC. But that breath will be short-lived. No. 16 Creighton comes to town on Saturday. The first true test of their season.

Fanbase who can take a seat

Honestly? No one tonight – Really. I can’t see a program that took a step back. Not enough played and the results weren’t surprising by any means. Some nights, it’s just like this.

Get some sleep, everyone.

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

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.