Late Night Snacks: Pyrrhic victory for UNLV as Mike Moser goes down

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Games of the Day

1. No. 21 UNLV 76, California 75
A Quintrell Thomas put back with 1.2 seconds remaining gave UNLV the win in Berkeley, but it came at a cost as junior forward Mike Moser went down with a dislocated right elbow. How long the All-America candidate is out remains to be seen, but this is a major blow for Dave Rice’s team.

The good news for UNLV: Anthony Bennett was a grown man inside (25 points, 14 rebounds) and Bryce Dejean-Jones snapped out of his shooting slump with 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Allen Crabbe led Cal with 18 points, but the Golden Bears’ 15-of-28 night from the foul line cost them a victory that would have looked nice on their resume.

2. Lafayette 72, Sacred Heart 70
Bryce Scott’s three-pointer with three seconds remaining was the difference as the Leopards beat Sacred Heart in Easton. Lafayette survived 25 second half points from the prolific Shane Gibson, who was held scoreless in the first half. Sacred Heart came back from an 18-2 deficit to begin the game, but they fell short in the end after being seconds away from picking up a much-needed road victory.

3. FIU 82, Stetson 79
Malik Smith went off down the stretch for the Panthers, scoring eight of his 29 points in the final 37 seconds to lead FIU to victory. Four other FIU players finished in double figures, and Chris Perez led five Stetson starters in double figures with 22 points.

Important Outcomes

1. Florida State 91, Maine 59
This one’s important for two reasons. One, Florida State avoided losing to a team they should beat at home without the services of forward Terrance Shannon (back spasms). Two, the Seminoles turned the ball over just seven times. That’s the lowest number of turnovers in a game during Leonard Hamilton’s tenure in Tallahassee.

2. No. 16 Creighton 77, Akron 61 
Doug McDermott had it rolling in Omaha, shooting 10-of-15 from the field and scoring a game-high 30 points. Gregory Echenique defended Zeke Marshall while also tallying ten points and seven rebounds, and Grant Gibbs put together another solid floor game with eight assists, seven points and six rebounds with no turnovers. Creighton shot 48.4% from the field and 45.5% from three on the day.

3. Washington State 59, Fresno State 50
The Cougars’ win over Fresno State means that the Pac-12 avoided an 0-3 weekend against the Mountain West (UNLV beat Cal, and Nevada beat Washington on Saturday). Brock Motum led the way with 23 points and eight rebounds and Mike Ladd added 19 and six, and Fresno State did themselves no favors by shooting 2-of-20 from three.

Starred

1. F Doug McDermott (Creighton) 
30 points (10-of-15 FG, 6-of-8 3PT) and six rebounds in the Bluejays’ 77-61 win over Akron.

2. F Anthony Bennett (UNLV)
25 points and 13 rebounds in the Rebels’ 76-75 win at California.

3. G Yolonzo Moore II (Hartford) 
27 points (6-of-9 FG, 13-of-14 FT), eight rebounds and three steals in the Hawks’ 69-59 win over Fairleigh Dickinson. Moore played all 40 minutes.

Struggled

1. Rider 
This is the season for giving but the Broncs were far too charitable in their 65-52 loss to Rider, turning the ball over an astonishing 31 times. The Stags weren’t much better with the basketball, as they finished with 22 turnovers.

2. American inside the arc 
The Eagles struggled mightily inside of the three point line, shooting 9-of-33 (27.3%) in their 54-42 home loss to Columbia.

3. Siena players not named O.D. Anosike or Rakeem Brookins
In the Saints’ 75-55 loss to Manhattan those two combined to shoot 14-of-28 from the field. The other Saints who saw action: 4-of-23.

Three Facts 

1. Over his last four games Creighton’s Doug McDermott has made 17 of 23 shots from beyond the arc.

2. Canisius sits atop the MAAC standings after their 94-82 win at Marist. Canisius, now 6-1 on the season, won five games (one in MAAC play) all of last season.

3. In their 84-50 win over Milwaukee on Sunday afternoon, DePaul extended its streak of games with a made three-pointer to 588.

Other Notable Scores

1. Canisius 94, Marist 82

2. Xavier 62, Kent State 55

3. North Dakota State 72, North Dakota 52

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

Mykhailiuk returning to Kansas for senior season

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Kansas’ attempt for a 14th consecutive Big 12 title, and run for Bill Self’s second national title, got a shot in the arm Wednesday.

Svi Mykhailiuk announced that he will return to Lawrence for his final season of eligibility. “Senior year going to be fun,” he wrote on his Instagram page.

Senior year gonna be fun😈👌🏼🤘🏼 #KUCMB

A post shared by Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (@sviat_10) on

The Jayhawks were already going to be loaded this season with Devonte Graham, a potential All-American, returning for his senior season and Udoka Azubuike healthy after missing last year due to injury along with Malik Newman becoming eligible after a transfer from Mississippi State and recruits Billy Preston and Marcus Garrett bolstering the ranks. The return of Mykhailiuk, though, only solidifies Kansas’ place not only atop the Big 12, but in the country.

Mykhailiuk, a 6-foot-8 forward, had something of a breakthrough season as a junior, posting career highs nearly across the board, including shooting 39.8 percent on nearly five 3-point shot attempts per game. With his size and shooting ability, Mykhailiuk was sure to garner professional interest, even though it would have been more likely than not he would been drafted in the second round of next month’s draft.

Mykhailiuk’s situation is certainly a unique one for college basketball as the Ukraine native enrolled at Kansas in 2014 just after his 17th birthday. He won’t turn 20 until next month, making him the same age as many sophomores and more likely to be viewed by NBA teams in the future as having upside, rather than a typical 22- or 23-year-old senior who scouts look at as having come close to reaching their ceiling.

Mykhailiuk wasn’t going to be the linchpin of Kansas’ success next season, but his decision to return shouldn’t be underestimated. His size, experience, skill and versatility provide the Jayhawks with a real weapon that will help alleviate pressure and expectations from other players up and down the roster. He’s very much a difference-maker for a team that will be contending for a spot in the Final Four.

Swanigan to stay in draft

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Caleb Swanigan is leaving Purdue and staying in the NBA draft.

The Boilermaker big man held as much sway on the college basketball landscape with his decision as nearly any player who declared for the draft without an agent. After a season in which he became a double-double machine and averaged 18.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, Swanigan would have been one of – if not the – favorites for National Player of the Year while also making Purdue right at the top of the Big Ten with Michigan State.

Instead, he’ll end his collegiate career after a pair of seasons and one Sweet 16 appearance in West Lafayette. As a professional prospect, Swanigan is an interesting case. He was as productive of player as college basketball has seen in recent years as a sophomore, putting up 20-20 games with ridiculous consistency. He’s got some range, but limited quickness and athleticism. The question will be how his game – and frame – will translate into the new NBA that prioritizes versatility, shooting and athleticism. Right now, not many have him pegged as a sure-fire first-round pick.

The loss for Purdue is hard to overstate given just how good “Biggie” was. There’s just no replacing that type of production in the lineup. Still, Matt Painter and the Boilermakers still have an intriguing group, with Isaac Haas and Vince Edwards both electing to return to school after dipping their toes in the NBA waters. There’s some other intriguing young pieces there that will keep Purdue interesting in the Big Ten race.

Florida State picks up late commit from McDonald’s All-American

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The losses sustained by Florida State have been numerous and significant. Three players declared early for the NBA Draft. Another two contributors were lost to graduation. All in all, the Seminoles haven’t had the greatest of springs.

Wednesday, though, they got some good news.

McDonald’s All-American wing M.J. Walker committed Leonard Hamilton’s program to give Florida State a late, and important, addition to its 2017 recruiting class, beating the likes of Ohio State, Georgia Tech and UCLA.

Walker, a 6-foot-5 guard, gives the Seminoles yet another five-star prospect after landing Dwayne Bacon and Jonathan Isaac in the last two recruiting classes. Walker will help Hamilton and Co. reboot after both Bacon and Isaac, along with Xavier Rathan-Mayes, all left school to pursue professional careers after the Seminoles’ 26-9 season that saw them advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Walker becomes the sixth member of Hamilton’s 2017 recruiting class that was previously headlined by four-star 7-footer Ikechukwu Obiagu. That group will be tasked to retool a team losing not only major NBA-level talent, but also major production. The Seminoles won’t return a single player who averaged double-digit points per-game last year and just one who played at least 20 minutes per night.

Michigan returns Mo Wagner, loses D.J. Wilson

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The best-case scenario did not take place for Michigan this week.

The Wolverines waited for four weeks to hear back from their pair of mobile big men, and the news on Mo Wagner was positive. The 6-foot-10 junior from Germany announced on Wednesday that he will return to school after testing the NBA Draft waters.

The news was not as fortunate with D.J. Wilson, who announced less than ten hours before the deadline that he will be signing with an agent and turning pro. Wilson is projected as a late first round or early second round pick.

Without Wilson in the fold, Michigan lacks some front court depth, which will probably be enough to keep them out of the preseason top 25.

Gonzaga to return Johnathan Williams III

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Losing Nigel Williams-Goss and Zach Collins to the professional ranks probably torpedoed Gonzaga’s chance of making another run to the NCAA tournament national title game, but after Johnathan Williams III announced on Wednesday that he will be returning to school and withdrawing from the NBA Draft, Gonzaga does appear to be a favorite to win the WCC title again.

Williams is now Gonzaga’s leading returning scorer and rebounder, anchoring a front court that also loses Przemek Karnowski to graduation. He was expected to go undrafted.

With Williams back in the fold, the Zags should be right there with Saint Mary’s in the race for the WCC title. Josh Perkins, Silas Melson and Killian Tillie all return as well.

ESPN was the first to report the news.