Game of the Night
Tennessee 69, No. 23 Wichita State 60: This was a long way from what you might refer to as a “pretty” game, but it certainly was a statement win for the Vols. With Jeronne Maymon still injured and Jarnell Stokes incapable of staying on the floor due to foul trouble, Tennessee still managed to find a way to beat a very good Wichita State team. Trae Golden had 25 points and five assists while Jordan McRae added 17 points of his own, but it was UT’s defense that won this game. Carl Hall had 21 points and nine boards on 9-10 shooting. The rest of the Shocker roster? They have 39 points on 26.7% shooting (12-45).
Belmont 64, Middle Tennessee State 49: The Bruins got 32 points, 10 boards and nine assists from their back court duo of Kerron Johnson and Ian Clark, as they turned a 24-22 deficit late in the first half into a 40-27 lead just a couple of minutes into the second half. you can go ahead and slide this win into the ‘quality victory’ category for Belmont, even if it won’t necessarily look that way come Selection Sunday. MTSU is a talented veteran team that was coming off of a win over Ole Miss.
Scott Suggs, Washington: Suggs had 24 points and five boards as Washington won the city showdown against Seattle, 87-74. More impressive? He did it while dealing with leg cramps throughout much of the game.
Charleston: They lost to Anderson. By 16. That’s not a person; it’s a Division II team. I think we could also put Baylor down as a team that struggled, because the Cougars beat the Bears in Waco.
The Rest of the Top 25
– No. 20 UNLV 91, La Verne 44
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.
The Big South is moving its 2016 men’s basketball tournament out of Coastal Carolina and a new site will be figured out by November. According to a release from the conference the Big South is using a league bylaw that stipulates that members leaving with less than two years of notice are not eligible to host championships. Coastal Carolina announced this summer that it would be leaving for the Sun Belt as of July 2016, so the Big South wants to find a new location that benefits teams staying in the league.
The Big South men’s and women’s conference tournaments are now also going to be split into two unique events, with the men’s championships being held Thursday-Sunday, March 3-6. The women’s event comes the next week from March 10-13. Bids for both events will come into the league and a new location will be selected in the next few months.
It will be interesting to see if the site of the conference tournament is moved to a campus site or placed at a neutral venue. That type of thing could alter how the NCAA tournament autobid gets played out. With Coastal Carolina coming off of back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, this obviously changes their approach to the postseason now that they have to leave their city.
Virginia Tech is trying to decide what to do with injury sophomore guard Ahmed Hill, who had surgery this summer to deal with a tear in his patella tendon in his left knee.
The 6-foot-5 Hill has still not been released to work out with the team, but he is about a week to 10 days ahead of schedule in his rehab. But the injury is still nagging enough that Hill might not be healthy enough to really contritbute this season. Head coach Buzz Williams is deciding soon whether he wants to redshirt Hill or not.
Hill started a team-high 30 games for the Hokies last season, averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
“I don’t have a decision on (Hill),” Williams said to reporters on Monday. “I will make the final decision. I’ll let (him) and his mom be a part of it, but I want to make a decision using the wisdom of doing this for a long period of time. If you let a kid make the decision, they always want to play.
“Right now, I don’t feel comfortable that I would want to play him. It’s just too early to be able to have much more of an answer than that.”
It’s still a rebuilding year for Virginia Tech, but they do get Maryland transfer Seth Allen, who is a talented guard who can score. The Hokies were hoping to have Hill and Allen as complimentary perimeter scorers, but now the plans might have to be altered. Williams went on to say that he would like to make a decision on Hill’s status by Halloween.