Ryan Evans, Keifer Sykes

Late Night Snacks: Wisconsin, Colorado pick up wins

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Game of the Night

Wisconsin 65, UW-Green Bay 54: The Phoenix looked pretty good for the first 15 minutes, controlling the Badgers defensively and getting some easy buckets in transition. But in about 10 minutes of game time that spanned both halves, Wisconsin used a 31-8 surge to take a 45-29 lead and never looked back. The most important performance — other than Jared Berggren once again shutting down a touted frontline, helping to hold Brendan Cougill and Alec Brown to 6-22 shooting — was Ryan Evans. He finished with 13 points, seven boards, three assists and two blocks, looking like a much more aggressive player than he was the last couple of games, but more importantly Evans was 3-6 from the charity stripe. That’s notable because, well, he was shooting 31.8% from the line on the season and had hit just one of his last 12 attempts.

Important Outcomes

Colorado 50, Fresno State 43: Is it time to question whether or not Colorado is actually a good basketball team? We all fell in love with them after they went to the Charleston Classic and beat Dayton, Baylor and Murray State, but what have they done in their last five games that says they’re more than just another middle of the pack Pac-12 team? Get taken to two overtimes by Texas Southern? Lose to Wyoming? Lose by 36 to Kansas? Struggle to beat Fresno State? Beating up on Colorado State was impressive, but nearly blowing a 25 point lead wasn’t.

The Buffaloes get Northern Arizona and Hartford before kicking off conference play with a trip to Arizona. They have some issues that are going to need to be worked out before then.


Jerelle Benimon, Towson: Temple beat the Tigers to move to 7-1 on the season, but Benimon was the best player on the floor, something that’s happened quite often this season, as he went for 30 points and 18 boards. Over his last three games, Benimon is averaging 23.3 points and 14.7 boards.

Keith Clanton, UCF: How about this line: 30 points, 13 boards, four assists, 14-15 FGs. Solid night. Too bad it came against Bethune-Cookman.


Campbell: The Camels lost to Rio Grande, which is an NAIA Division II team. Rio Grande should sound familiar to you, however. Bevo Francis went there. Do you know who that is?

Jahii Carson, Arizona State: Carson was 5-16 from the floor and committed six turnovers as the Sun Devils lost 78-61 to DePaul. At home. Yuck.

The Rest of the Top 25

– No. 7 Ohio State 85, Savannah State 45

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.

LSU looking into starting lineup options

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - MARCH 7:  Head Coach Johnny Jones of the LSU Tigers watches his team play during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena on March 7, 2015 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Tigers defeated the Razorbacks 81-78.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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LSU football and Leonard Fournette are off to a strong start this fall, but the beginning of October also means that college hoops is right around the corner. If you’re a Tigers basketball fan, you also have plenty to be excited about on the hardwood this season with the arrival of a loaded freshman class headlined by forward Ben Simmons.

While the versatile Simmons has solidified a spot in the starting lineup for next season, it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Johnny Jones uses the rest of his talented freshmen. In a story from Sheldon Mickles of the New Orleans Advocate, he looks into some potential LSU starting lineups.

Freshman guard Antonio Blakeney, a McDonald’s All-American with Simmons, is also expected to start, but does another talented freshman guard, Brandon Sampson get a shot to start? And what of Arizona transfer Craig Victor when he’s eligible to play in December?

Mickles believes the early favorite for starting lineup is guards Tim Quarterman, Keith Hornsby, Blakeney, Simmons and center Darcy Malone. When Victor returns, Mickles said Victor could push Simmons into the “center” position, which would be a matchup nightmare on the opposition because Simmons would be very tough for many college centers to defend.

Sampson also gets a mention from Mickles of having the potential to start down the line. Overall, a good problem to have for Jones and he’ll have to experiment to see which lineups are giving him the most. Having a productive starting five is nice, but I’m sure Jones would love to find the five players he wants to close with.