Jimmy V Classic - Connecticut v North Carolina State

Late Night Snacks: NC State, Georgetown shine in the Jimmy V

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Games of the Night

Arkansas 81, Oklahoma 78: Marshawn Powell finished with 33 points, six boards and five assists, shooting 11-17 from the floor and 4-6 from three, but he wasn’t the hero for the Razorbacks. After back-to-back threes from Steven Pledger game Oklahoma their first lead of the second half, BJ Young answered with his second straight tough, driving layup in the final minute, giving Arkansas the lead for good.

No. 25 NC State 69, UConn 65: Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright got UConn out to a quick start, jumping out to a 20-9 lead. And while the Huskies battled valiantly with the Wolfpack, NC State was simply too big and too athletic in the front court. Richard Howell had 13 points and 10 boards (seven of which were offensive, posting a double-double in the second half) while CJ Leslie added 16 points, 13 boards and four assists. This is going to happen to UConn; this is who they are this year. But the question here: can NC State thrive on the nights it can’t over power teams inside? Lorenzo Brown had 16 points and five assists … and six turnovers.

No. 21 UNLV 68, Portland 60: Playing without Mike Moser, Portland jumped out to an early lead on their home floor, taking a 28-22 lead into the break. But a second half surge from UNLV — capped by back-to-back triples from Justin Hawkins — gave the Rebels a lead they would never relinquish. Anthony Marshall led the way with 16 points, but I’m still not convinced he’s the point guard that can take this team to the promised land.

Important Outcomes

Harvard 79, Boston College 63: Harvard has now beaten Boston College five straight times. I’ll say it again: Harvard has won five straight games over Boston College, with all five taking place at BC. If you throw in last season’s win over Florida State, the Crimson have won six straight against the ACC. That’s stunning, when you think about it. Harvard?!?

Anyway, Siyani Chambers was the star, finishing with 21 points, six assists and just two turnovers. The left-handed freshman is quickly becoming one of my favorite point guards in the country.

Wyoming 81, Illinois State 67: At one point in the fist half, Illinois State hit seven straight three-pointers on seven straight possessions. They were up by 14 at the break, by as much as 18 in the second half and by a score of 58-42 with 13 minutes left in the game. From there, the Redbirds completely collapsed, giving up a 39-9 run to lose by 14 points. All five starters scored in double-figures for the Cowboys, who only got 12 minutes from their bench. Jackie Carmichael had five points and just five field goal attempts.

No. 8 Arizona 63, Southern Miss 55: Nick Johnson had 23 points and Kevin Parrom added 14, including a tie-breaking three that put the Wildcats up 54-51, as Arizona avoided an upset at the hands of Southern Miss. Mark Lyons was 0-7 from the floor, 0-5 from three and finished with just two assists and three turnovers.

Arizona, as a team, finished with 27 turnovers. Seriously. 27. We wrote about this extensively yesterday, but there are major point guard issues with this Wildcat team right now. The good news? They turned the ball over 27 times and still won, but that’s probably because Southern Miss had 22 turnovers of their own.

Starred

Laurence Bowers, Missouri: Missouri’s biggest issue without Michael Dixon is that they lost their best pure scorer, their go-to guy. Phil Pressey can’t fill that role, as evidenced by the ten point halftime deficit the No. 12 Tigers had against Southeast Missouri on Tuesday. Bowers took over in the second half, however, finishing with 26 points in the 81-65 win.

Cody Doolin, San Francisco: Doolin went for 18 points and 14 assists — with just two turnovers — as San Francisco knocked off visiting St. John’s.

Ian Clark, Belmont: The Bruins swept the Battle of the Boulevard this season by a grand total of 63 points. Clark finished with 30 on Tuesday in the 100-66 win over Lipscomb.

Struggled

Texas: The Longhorns are bad. They managed just 41 points in a loss to No. 15 Georgetown. A major reason for that? Beyond the fact that the Hoyas are really good defensively? They don’t have Myck Kabongo (who is dealing with an NCAA investigation) or Jaylen Bond (he’s banged up and played just six minutes this season). Getting them back will help, but Texas needs a lot more than just two players.

D’Angelo Harrison, St. John’s: Harrison, the Johnnie’s leading scorer, had 14 points but shot 5-16 from the floor as they lost to San Francisco by 16 points.

Baylor’s front line: Isaiah Austin, Rico Gathers and Cory Jefferson combined for 26 points on 9-18 shooting, which isn’t bad until you consider the fact that they were playing Northwestern. They also had a combined 12 boards as the much smaller and less athletic Wildcats pounded them on the glass.

The Rest of the Top 25

  • No. 3 Michigan 73, Western Michigan 41
  • No. 5 Louisville 80, Charleston 38
  • No. 13 Illinois 72, Western Carolina 64
  • No. 14 Minnesota 88, South Dakota State 64

Notable Scores

  • Kentucky 88, Samford 56
  • Bucknell 76, Kent State 60
  • Tennessee State 76, Drexel 66

Three Stats

– Nevada lost at Pacific tonight. They are now 1-22 in their last 23 games in Stockton. The Wolf Pack must watch Sons of Anarchy.

– San Francisco picked up their first-ever win over a Big East team by beating St. John’s. They’ve beaten teams that are now in the Big East that weren’t when they played.

– The last time that Texas scored fewer than 41 points in a game? 1987, in a 52-37 loss to TCU.

– The top six teams in the Mountain West — Colorado State, Wyoming, New Mexico, UNLV, San Diego State, Boise State — are now 41-3 on the season.

Illinois PG expected to be ready for practice

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Illinois point guards and injuries have been an unfortunate trend over the past two seasons with Tracy Abrams, who missed the past two seasons with a torn ACL followed by a torn Achilles the next year.

On Sunday, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reported some good news for an incoming Fighting Illini floor general. Te’Jon Lucas, a three-star prospect from the Class of 2016, will be fully cleared for the start of practice, according to Rothstein. In February, Lucas had broke his fibula in his right leg in two places during a game.

Lucas had committed to Illinois the previous September.

Abrams received a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA in June, and he decided to remain in Champaign for his final season. If healthy, he’ll be the starter. Jaylon Tate is also back for another season. But they are both seniors, which makes Sunday’s report important for John Groce’s program. Lucas will be on the floor Day 1 of practice, being molded for the future by two experienced guards.

The 5-foot-11 Lucas is the only true freshman on the roster.

Illinois begins the 2016-17 season on November 11, hosting Southeast Missouri State.

Xavier adds to class with three-star center

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Xavier added a fourth piece to its 2017 recruiting class on Sunday morning.

Kentravious Jones, a 6-foot-11, three-star recruit, committed to the Musketeers. He announced the decision via Twitter.

Chris Mack’s current recruiting class is headlined by four-star swingman Naji Marshall. The incoming quartet also includes guard Elias Harden and forward Jared Ridder. But Jones’ commitment fits an area that needs to be addressed for the Musketeers moving forward. Xavier isn’t particularly deep when it comes to big men. That frontcourt only gets thinner once RaShid Gaston, a graduate transfer from Norfolk State, exhausts his eligibility after this season.

Jones, along with current freshman forward Tyrique Jones, gives Xavier a young foundation for the future. Jones is an old-school, big-bodied center. He’s got a nice back-to-the-basket game, and had his best stretch of the summer during the UAA Finals. In three games with the Atlanta Xpress, he averaged 15.3 points, shot 59 percent from the field, and grabbed nine boards per game.

Conditioning will be the emphasis for him over the course of the next year. However, we have seen Xavier work well with a big, skilled centers in the past (see: Stainbrook, Matt). According to Shannon Russell of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Jones has dropped 30 pounds.

Sunday morning’s news may not even be Xavier’s last score on the recruiting trail. The Musketeers have one scholarship remaining (two, or three if Edmond Sumner and Trevon Bluiett enter the NBA Draft this spring), and are in play for several coveted prospects like point guards Paul Scruggs, Quade Green and Matt Coleman, as well as forward Kris Wilkes.

Minnesota center to miss a month

ST. LOUIS, MO - MARCH 7: Reggie Lynch #22 of the Illinois State Redbirds and Fred VanVleet #23 of the Wichita State Shockers fight for control of a loose ball during the MVC Basketball Tournament Semifinals at the Scottrade Center on March 7, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Minnesota’s projected starting center is sidelined, but is expected to be ready for the season opener.

Reggie Lynch, the Illinois State transfer, had surgery on his left knee, the program announced on Friday night. According to Marcus R. Fuller of the Star-Tribune, the Golden Gophers are anticipating that Lynch is available for the season opener on Nov. 11 against Louisiana-Lafayette.

The 6-foot-10 Lynch has been in the news this offseason prior to his impending debut with Minnesota. In May, he was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault. On August 1, the Hennepin County attorney’s office was announced he would not face charges, citing insufficient evidence.

Lynch spent two seasons at Illinois State, averaging 9.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for the Redbirds as a sophomore. He sat out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer rules. Minnesota is coming off a second-to-last place finish in the Big Ten with an 8-23 (2-16 Big Ten) record.

Women’s hoops coaches boycotting recruiting events

DENVER, CO - MARCH 31:  Head coach Muffet McGraw of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish directs her team during practice prior to the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Final Four at Pepsi Center on March 31, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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For some high-major women’s basketball programs, the final evaluation period of 2016 is being used as a vacation from the recruiting trail.

According to a report from Lindsay Schnell of Sports Illustrated, are not attending events during this weekend’s recruiting period for a host of reasons.

First, many are fed up with the price of tournament packets, booklets of rosters that college coaches receive upon paying their entry fee. Packets are supposed to be chock-full of contact information for the prospects, but sometimes aren’t accurate or up-to-date. (This has become a well-documented issue on the men’s side of college hoops. CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish wrote on it this summer.) Furthermore, there are so many events now that college coaches are often forced to pay obscene amounts of money to watch just one player at a single event, and play recruiting hopscotch around the country, criss-crossing the nation to see so many events and spend thousands of dollars. One Power Five coach said her staff crunched the numbers, and found that in just two years, they’ve spent more than $4,000 more than they did in 2014 on packets alone. Another coach told a story of sending an assistant across the country for one day, to one event, to watch one team. When the assistant arrived, the team had left early for its next event. No refund was available for the college that had paid what turned out to be a useless entry fee. The head coach called it “exasperating.”

Jeff Borzello of ESPN, who spoke to Notre Dame head coach and eventual Hall of Famer Muffet McGraw for his report, estimated that the cost for one of the coaches packets — the ones that include player contact information, rosters, etc. — can cost each school an average of $600 per event.

This era of grassroots basketball has taken off in recent years with Nike, Under Armour and adidas all creating their own sponsored leagues. All three run exceptional events from the staff to the facilities, all the way to the three, free meals a day for coaches. Organizers of these events will argue that there’s a cost to running such high-end events. These packets, some of which are so in-depth they include players’ GPAs, help fund these tournaments (events, paying a staff, etc.).

Coaches, mostly mid to low-major coaches, will argue that these packets aren’t worth the cost, considering that every coach (head and assistant) must purchase them in order to gain entrance. And you will find packets where the information inside is either inaccurate, or missing or both. For elite programs, this isn’t an issue. You show up, you’re seen, you leave, you go to the next event, repeat. For mid to low-major coaches, this really puts a dent in their budget, especially when they have to travel to multiple events (buying packets at each one) because you have to land that “steal,” you have to find that player who is overlooked.

This protest, or boycott (or whatever you want to call it) will hurt those these events are intended to help the most: the players. If coaches continue to avoid these tournaments, that late-bloomer may miss out on a scholarship, or that player with mid-major offers won’t get the chance to play in front of high-major coaches.

According to Schnell, there is a proposal, voted on in April, to eliminate a live recruiting period in April and September. But many coaches in women’s basketball have made it clear this weekend how they feel about the issue.

USC lands commitment from three-star center

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USC added to its 2017 recruiting class with a commitment from a 7-foot big man.

Andy Enfield and the Trojans beat out Florida, Vanderbilt and Tennessee for the services of Calvary Christian Academy (Florida) center Victor Uyaelunmo. He announced his college decision on Friday afternoon.

“It was the best fit for me academically and athletically,” Uyaelunmo said according to David Furones of the Sun Sentinel. “The basketball coaches really wanted me to come, and I thought it was the best place for me.

“They told me how they were going to use me, and they have a couple of guys leaving this year, so I just fit in right.”

Uyaelunmo is regarded as a three-star prospect by Rivals, however, ESPN rates him a four-star recruit. He joins a two-man class which includes four-star forward Jordan Usher.

The departure of Nikola Jovanovic, the Trojans’ leading rebounder during the 2015-16, was a surprising one, and one that left USC with a hole in the middle. While Uyaelunmo still has one more year before arriving on the Los Angeles campus, the Trojans have a promising piece in the paint for the future; a long, athletic big man who has the potential, in time, to become one of the nation’s top shot blockers.

Uyaelunmo played for Nike South Beach in the EYBL this spring and summer. In 12 appearances, he averaged 5.0 points. 5.9 rebounds and 1.0 block in 17.6 minutes per game.