Late Night Snacks: ‘The Day That No Ranked Teams Played’ Edition

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Get ready kids. The top five teams in the nation – Indiana, Duke, Michigan, Syracuse, and Louisville – are all in action on Saturday. There will be 20 of the top 25 in action on Saturday, including a great match up of two unbeaten teams: No. 13 Illinois at No. 10 Gonzaga. Both teams are 9-0.

Game of the Night

Fairleigh Dickinson 82, Lafayette 80: Sidney Sanders, Jr. scored on a last-second tip-in to lift Knights over the Leopards and climbing back to .500 at 4-4. Fairleigh Dickinson also had a 14-point lead in the first half and nine with under four to go. A 12-3 Lafayette run late in the game set up the dramatic finish. Two weeks ago, Fairleigh Dickinson had a game-winning bucket in the last seconds, also featured on Late Night Snacks. Might be a more exciting team than you think.

Marist 62, Manhattan 58: The Red Foxes almost gave this one away. After Jay Bowie’s 3-pointer tied the game up with 1:41 left, Chavaugh Lewis and Isaiah Norton could only make one of two free throws each, leaving the door open for the Jasper. However, Manhattan coughed the ball up with a second remaining. Devin Price was fouled and sunk a pair of free throws.

Important Outcomes

UConn 57, Harvard 49: Shabazz Napier entered the game averaging 18.6 points per game, but didn’t score until 7:41 remaining in the game. Didn’t matter because DeAndre Daniels carried the load with a career-high 23 points. Napier did well in other facets of the game with seven rebounds and nine assists. UConn bounces back from a loss to N.C. State on Tuesday and has three more non-conference games before Big East play starts.

VCU 83, Old Dominion 70: Havoc has won three straight after losing a pair of games in the Bahamas. VCU now has a week off and gets to take on 6-2 Alabama next Saturday, looking for another nice win in out of conference play.

Iowa 80, Iowa State 71: Iowa used an 8-0 run to start the second half to take control against their in-state rival. Aaron White led the way for the Hawkeyes with 18 points and seven rebounds. After getting blown out by Virginia Tech, Iowa, who is undefeated at have one three straight.

Starred

DeAndre Daniels, UConn: Daniels converted on his first five shots, carrying the Huskies’ offense to a 15-2 start. He added some crucial buckets when Harvard made it a one-point game in the second half. More importantly, he did this in a game when Shabazz Napier’s shots were not falling.

South Carolina three ball: The Gamecocks shot an incredible, 10-for-16 (63 percent) from behind the arc, which was eight percent better than South Carolina’s total field goal percentage. Brenton Williams did most of the damage with four 3-pointers on five attempts, while Brian Richardson came off the bench going 4-for-4 from deep. South Carolina won 91-74

Casey Coons, Taylor University: According to Matt Norlander of CBSSports.com, Coons scored the tenth point for the fourth time in his career at Taylor University’s annual “Silent Night” game. Must be a great feeling. Don’t understand? Click this link.

Struggled

Harvard second half shooting: The Crimson dug themselves into a whole early, down 15-2. Once the offense got going, Harvard started finding open shooters. Harvard connected on five 3-pointers to get within three heading into halftime. The Crimson would not hit from deep the rest of the night.

Jacksonville first half defense: The Dolphins gave up 57 first half points to South Carolina, en route to a 91-74 loss. The Gamecocks shot 55 percent from the field for the game. Jacksonville had no answer for the South Carolina perimeter shooting.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Villanova lands four-star 2018 guard

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Villanova added its first recruit in the Class of 2018 on Wednesday night.

Jay Wright and his staff landed a verbal commitment from Paul VI Catholic High School’s Brandon Slater, a four-star guard by Rivals as the No. 42 overall prospect in the rising senior class.

The 6-foot-5 Slater announced his decision via Twitter.

Slater, according to Jeff Borzello of ESPN, picked the Wildcats over Maryland, Miami, South Carolina, and Virginia.

He is currently playing the Nike EYBL with Team Takeover, the same grassroots program that produced current Villanova guard Phil Booth.

Comic-Con forces Providence to play at Alumni Hall for home opener

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Providence will play its first game at Alumni Hall, the on-campus facility, for the first time in 35 years this fall.

The Friars unveiled their 2017-18 non-conference schedule on Thursday afternoon. The team’s home opener will play either Houston Baptist or Belmont in Mullaney Gym inside Alumni Hall.

According to Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal, the reason for that is a schedule conflict at Providence’s home arena, the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, in downtown Providence. A Comic-Con convention is scheduled Nov. 10-12. As McNamara notes, it’s a busy part of the season for The Dunk. The arena also is home to the Providence Bruins, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Boston Bruins, and by mid-November, their season is in full swing.

The Friars haven’t played at Alumni Hall since 1972, the same year the Dunkin’ Donuts Center was opened. In the three decades since Providence last played a regular season game there, the facility has gone under necessary renovations, as you could imagine. Even with added seats, Mullaney Gym can host a maximum of 1,549. That’s a fraction of what The Dunk’s capacity of 12,400.

Providence will return to its downtown home on Nov. 13, hosting Minnesota as part of the Gavitt Games. The Golden Gophers will likely be a top-20 team to open the season. The Friars, who bring back every notable player from last year’s NCAA Tournament team, is a fringe top-25 team.

Jalen Coleman-Lands to transfer out of Illinois

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The already-thin Illinois roster got thinner on Thursday afternoon.

Evan Daniels of Scout.com reported that sophomore guard Jalen Coleman-Lands has requested and received his release from the program. He will have to sit out next season but will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Coleman-Lands was a top-40 recruit in the Class of 2015, according to Rivals. He becomes the second player from that recruiting class this month to exit the school. Reserve guard D.J. Williams elected to transfer on May 8. With Jeremiah Tilmon and Javon Pickett, two incoming recruits, both previously reopened their recruitments following John Groce’s firing.

Even with the addition of Wright State graduate transfer Mark Alstork, who officially joined the Fighting Illini on Wednesday, Illinois is left with only nine scholarship players as of right now.

Coleman-Lands’ production dipped from his freshman campaign, ending the 2016-17 season averaging 8.0 points and 2.3 rebounds per game, shooting 38 percent from three.

One destination that will likely be rumored will be nearby DePaul. Coleman-Lands played for new DePaul assistant coach Shane Heirman at prep school powerhouse La Lumiere School. Heriman quickly tapped into that prep pipeline, helping secure a commitment from La Lumiere from five-star 2019 point guard Tyger Campbell earlier this month.

Coleman-Lands had taken official visits to Notre Dame and UNLV before committing to the Illini in September 2014.

North Carolina releases response to latest NCAA Notice of Allegations

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North Carolina is still trying to convince the NCAA that their investigation into the paper classes given by the university’s African-American Studies Department is not, in fact, an NCAA matter.

On Thursday afternoon, the University released their response to the NCAA’s third iteration of the Notice of Allegations, and the core argument in that response is that the school’s “inadequate academic oversight” does not fall under the jurisdiction of the NCAA’s bylaws. In other words, North Carolina is arguing that a rogue professor creating fake classes is not an NCAA issue. It’s a school issue.

What’s more, North Carolina is also arguing that athletes taking these classes should not be classified as an extra benefit because they were available to the entire student body.

“No special arrangements were made for student-athletes in violation of NCAA extra-benefit legislation,” the response reads. “Student-athletes were not treated differently than other students who took the Courses.”

“The public narrative for the last six years, popularized by media accounts, is that Department of Athletics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill took advantage of ‘fake classes’ in the Department of African and African-American Studies to keep student-athletes eligible. That narrative is wrong and contradicted by the facts in the record.”

The NCAA’s allegations center around the idea that UNC’s athletes, most notably members of the football and men’s and women’s basketball teams, were guided to the fake classes within that department in order to keep their GPAs high enough to remain eligible. The classes in question had a disproportionate percentage of athletes.

A hearing in front of the Committee on Infractions is expected to take place at some point this summer.

No indictment for escort, staffer in Louisville sex scandal

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A grand jury declined to indict an escort and former Louisville men’s basketball staffer in a sex scandal that engulfed the program.

The Jefferson County grand jury decided Thursday there wasn’t enough evidence for charges of prostitution and unlawful transactions with a minor against Katina Powell and Andre McGee.

Powell wrote in a book published in 2015 that McGee hired her to provide dancers to perform sex acts for Cardinal recruits and players from 2010-2014.

The announcement by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office comes as the school awaits discipline in early June by the NCAA after an investigation.

Louisville has imposed its own penalties, including a postseason ban in 2015-16 and reductions in scholarships and recruiting visits by coaches.