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.

Top 2018 recruit R.J. Barrett names final five schools

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A top player in 2018 is down to five schools.

R.J. Barrett, a 6-foot-6 guard out of Monteverde Academy in Florida, announced Wednesday he’ll consider Arizona, Duke, Michigan, Oregon and Kentucky as his college destination.

Barrett is among those in the mix for the top spot in his class now with Marvin Bagley III reclassifying to 2017 this week and committing to Duke. He starred in Canada’s run to a gold medal at the FIBA U19 World Championships this summer, dropping 38 points on Team USA in a shocking semifinals win for the Canadians, who went on to defeat Italy in the finals. He averaged 21.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.6 rebounds per game during the event.

The schools to make the cut for certainly are of little surprise. They’re among the biggest brands in basketball and have been among the recruiting elites for years.

Barrett was originally part of the 2019 class, but decided to reclassify earlier this summer.”Really, it’s been a thought of mine for the last year,” Barrett wrote for USA TODAY, “but I wanted to wait and see how the season would go and how school would go and when everything went well it became more and more real so I made the decision to go ahead and do it.

“I’m right on track to graduate in 2018 and academically everything is great.”

 

Big Ten reveals conference schedule with early-December games

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We knew it was coming, but seeing it in black-and-white is still plenty jarring.
The Big Ten is going to play conference games in early December.

The league announced its full conference schedule Wednesday, unveiling 14 first-week-of-December games ahead of nearly a month-long hiatus before Big Ten play picks up again in January.

It’s a move that was forced after the Big Ten decided it needed to expand its east coast presence after its expansion to Rutgers and Maryland, and will be playing its conference tournament on the eastern seaboard for the second-consecutive year, this time at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

The problem with MSG is that the Big East hosts its annual conference tournament there, meaning the B1G will have to play its tournament a week early, March 1-4. That means a week less of January, February and March for the conference to play its 18 league games. Thus the early December start. NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster broke down the situation in even more detail – and bite – last spring here.

Every team in the league will play both a home and a road game during that league’s first week, a soft opening if you will. Whether teams like the change or not will likely come down to circumstance  – what players they have injured or suspended, what players their opponents have injured or suspended and any other host of issues, but it’s hard to believe with all things being equal, Big Ten coaches will like this move. They’re playing extremely meaningful league games less than three weeks into the season with other conferences getting nearly 2 months of preparation before facing their toughest slate of games.

The B1G, though, will have more favorable and interesting games – even if they’re programmed against college football championship games (including their own) – that week than any other conference can boast, which likely means some nice TV ratings. Given why this change is being made, that’s probably the priority anyway.

South Carolina adds Maine grad-transfer Myers

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South Carolina is adding some immediate help in its follow-up season to a Final Four run.

Wesley Myers, a graduate transfer from Maine, is joining the Gamecocks’ program, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Rothstein.

The 6-foot-2 guard gives Frank Martin’s team an instant infusion of scoring as they look to replace SEC player of the year Sindarius Thornwell and PJ Dozier. Myers 16.9 points per game last year on 43.7 percent shooting, including a 34.3 percent mark from 3-point range.

He’s the second grad-transfer Martin has picked up this offseason, joining Florida Atlantic’s Frank Booker. The pair should help ease the transition from last year’s success to a much less experienced team that returns just a pair of starters.

Myers, though, doesn’t arrive in Columbia without some notable history.

Last year, after transferring to Maine from Niagara, was suspended after an altercation with a teammate, according to reports. He and teammate Marko Pirovic argued over locker room music, and the alleged ensuing altercation left Pirovic with a broken jaw, according to reports. Three other Maine players were suspended after telling a team athletic trainer that Pirovic had injured himself in a fall in the shower. Pirovic declined to press charges.

Virginia head coach Tony Bennett: ‘We believe in diversity and unity to its fullest extent’

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Virginia’s Tony Bennett finally spoke out on last weekend’s clash between white supremacists protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee and counter-protesters that resulted in the deaths of a 32-year old woman named Heather Heyer and two police officers involved in a helicopter crash:

Bennett does not exactly take a hard-line stance — the message is more about healing within the community and how much he loves his current hometown than it is about condemning what happened — but he does say “we believe in diversity and unity to its fullest extent.”

Kyle Guy, a sophomore on the Virginia roster, had this to say on Sunday:

UNC academic case finally reaches NCAA infractions hearing

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — It has taken more than two years for North Carolina to appear before an NCAA infractions committee panel since initially being charged with five top-level violations amid its long-running academic scandal.

The two-day hearing begins Wednesday in Nashville, Tennessee. The panel will ultimately determine whether the school faces penalties that could include fines, probation or vacated wins and championships, making this a major step toward resolution in an oft-delayed case filled with starts, stops and twice-rewritten charges.

“The hearing stage, no matter what size of a case, it’s a big deal to any university,” said Michael L. Buckner, a Florida-based attorney who has worked on infractions cases. “I’ve been a part of what you’d consider small cases, I’ve been a part of one of the largest cases. And trust me: The client feels the same anxiousness and apprehension no matter what size of a case it is.

“But I can definitely imagine with North Carolina, this is definitely a momentous occasion.”

The charges include lack of institutional control in a case tied to irregular courses in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) department. The case is an offshoot of a 2010 football probe, with the NCAA reopening an investigation in summer 2014, filing charges in May 2015, revising them in April 2016 and then again in December.

The panel, which would typically issue a ruling weeks to months later, is chaired by Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey and includes former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

UNC’s representatives were seen arriving for the closed-door hearing at a Nashville hotel Wednesday morning. The contingent included athletic director Bubba Cunningham, men’s basketball coach Roy Williams, football coach Larry Fedora and women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell. Jan Boxill and Deborah Crowder, two former UNC employees charged individually in the case, were also seen with their attorneys.

None of the coaches are charged with a violation. But football and men’s basketball are referenced in a broad-based improper benefits charge tied to athlete access to the irregular courses, while women’s basketball is tied to a charge focused on a former professor and academic counselor providing improper assistance on assignments.

Fedora wasn’t working at UNC during the time in question.

“There’s nothing that I can add to what happened before I ever got here,” Fedora said last week. “But I’m there for support. I think me being there is important — not only for the NCAA but the university — that it shows compliance is important to me and our program.”

The focus is independent study-style courses misidentified as lecture classes that didn’t meet and required a research paper or two for typically high grades. In a 2014 investigation, former U.S. Justice Department official Keorneth Wainstein estimated more than 3,100 students were affected between 1993 and 2011, with athletes making up roughly half the enrollments.

The NCAA has said UNC used those courses to help keep athletes eligible.

UNC has challenged the NCAA’s jurisdiction, saying its accreditation agency — which sanctioned the school with a year of probation — was the proper authority. In a May filing , the school stated it “fundamentally believes that the matters at issue here were of an academic nature” and don’t involve NCAA bylaws.

The NCAA enforcement staff countered in a July filing: “The issues at the heart of this case are clearly the NCAA’s business.”

UNC has argued non-athletes had access to the courses and athletes didn’t receive special treatment. It has also challenged Wainstein’s estimate of athlete enrollments, saying Wainstein counted athletes who were no longer team members and putting the figure at less than 30 percent.

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