Late Night Snacks: Introing a Marshall Henderson shot-tracker

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Games of the Day

UTEP 91, Oregon 84 3OT: Triple OT is always exciting, right? Sadly, there were no buzzer-beaters at the end of any of the four periods. The biggest shot of the game came from Konner Tucker, who hit a three to put UTEP up five in the final minute of the third OT. This is a huge loss for Oregon, who entered the game 9-1 on the season. The Ducks had their eyes sets on a potential at-large bid this season, but this loss won’t help that cause. And hey, Tim Floyd, for all that’s wrong with him, will always be a good ball coach.

Illinois State 74, Dayton 73: Illinois State picked up a huge road win on Wednesday night, hanging on to beat a good Dayton team. But the Redbirds caught a couple of breaks. For starters, Dayton’s star point guard Kevin Dillard left the game with 4:29 remaining due to back spasms. Dillard had helped to erase ISU’s double-digit first half lead. Up three with 40 seconds left, the Redbirds ran a dreadful out of bounds play that led directly to a Dayton layup. On the ensuing possession, ISU’s Johnny Hill missed a front end, giving Dayton a chance to win. The Flyers missed a three and then missed a decent look at the buzzer off of the offensive rebound.

Important Outcomes

Wisconsin-Green Bay 49, Marquette 47: Marquette needs Todd Mayo back. They simply don’t have enough scoring pop on their perimeter without him. How bad are things in Milwaukee right now? Green Bay had lost seven of their last eight coming in, and they beat the Golden Eagles despite playing with their second leading scorer and rebounder Brennan Cougill.

Canisius 72, Temple 62: This is a bad loss for Temple, especially considering they played at home, but it’s not a crushing blow. Canisius is actually pretty good this season. They hung with Syracuse for 25 minutes on Saturday, and they have a pretty good guard in former Rhody Ram Billy Baron.

No. 11 Cincinnati 60, Xavier 45: More than anything, it was good to see this rivalry get played without a hitch in an environment that had the potential to be combustible. We wrote more here.

Texas 85, No. 23 North Carolina 67: This is a nice win for Texas, but it came with an asterisk as they lost Myck Kabongo for the season. But this loss is troubling for UNC. We wrote more here.

Starred

Jesse Morgan, UMass: Morgan popped off for 35 points on 7-10 shooting from three in the Minutemen’s win over Ohio.

Jackie Carmichael, Illinois State: Carmichael, who is shooting up draft boards, had 25 points and 12 boards in a win over Dayton.

Kendall Williams, New Mexico: Williams was terrific, finishing with 24 points as New Mexico beat in-state rivals New Mexico State for the second time in five days.

Anthony Bennett, UNLV: Bennett had 20 points, 12 boards and three blocks as the Rebels knocked off a good Northern Iowa team. Bennett is a freak, and he’s the reason Mike Moser may be out of a job.

Struggled

Clemson: The Tigers were 17-53 from the floor, 4-21 from three and committed 18 turnovers in route to a 23 point loss to Coastal Carolina. It’s the second straight year the Chanticleers have beaten the Tigers.

Kenny Boynton, Florida: Was last year’s non-conference play a fluke for Boynton? He shot 46.7% from three in those 15 games. The rest of his career he’s a 31.9% three-point shooter. A 1-7 performance from three — where all he took where three-pointers — dropped his percentage to 28.6% this season. He’s 3-27 over the last four games. Yuck. At least Florida blew out SE Louisiana.

Marshall Plumlee, Duke: After making his long-awaited Duke debut, Plumlee last all of two minutes before spraining his foot.

The Rest of the Top 25

– No. 5 Louisville 79, FIU 55
– No. 6 Indiana 93, Mount St. Mary’s 54
– No. 14 Gonzaga 74, Campbell 52
– No. 17 Creighton 71, Tulsa 54
– No. 22 Notre Dame 85, Kennesaw State 57
– No. 24 Oklahoma State 69, UT-Arlington 44

Other Notable Scores

– Pitt 71, Delaware State 43
– Charlotte 68, Radford 52
– Belmont 76, South Dakota 49
– Alabama 66, Texas Tech 62
– Murray State 61, Arkansas 54
– Colorado State 78, UC-Bakersfield
– West Virgnia 76, Oakland 71
– St. Mary’s 74, Pacific 46

Marshall Henderson Shot-Tracker: (For those that are wondering, the reason we are tracking Marshall Henderson’s shots is that he’s the most prolific three-point shooter in america. Not by percentage standards; he’s averaging double-figures in long range bombs attempted per game. #ShootMoreMarshall)

Henderson finished with 18 points in a 73-70 win over Loyola Marymount, but he had a relatively quiet night by his standards. Henderson was 4-9 from beyond the arc and 5-13 from the floor overall, meaning that he’s now averaging 11.3 threes attempted per game. On the season Henderson has now taken 102 threes — while hitting 35.3% of them — and just 23 shots from inside the arc. #ShootMoreMarshall

Wichita State getting more national respect with non-conference scheduling

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Wichita State is starting to gain more national respect with regards to its non-conference schedule.

Since moving to the American Athletic Conference this spring, the Shockers have not only gained the benefit of being in a multi-bid league every year, but they’re also getting better teams to play them outside of conference play.

According to a report from Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle, the Shockers now have non-conference games scheduled with Baylor, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State this season. With Wichita State also playing in the Maui Invitational, it gives the Shockers plenty of opportunities to schedule quality opponents and improve its NCAA tournament seeding. And that’s before Wichita State starts conference play.

Although Wichita State was getting invited regularly to prestigious non-conference tournaments such as Maui or the Battle 4 Atlantis, they were having a tough time getting certain schools to book home-and-home series. The Baylor series signifies a small, but significant, change to how Wichita State might be able to do things now.

USC forward Bennie Boatwright returning for junior year

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USC has a chance to be really good next season as forward Bennie Boatwright announced that he’s returning for his junior season.

The 6-foot-10 forward put up 15.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game while shooting 36 percent from three-point range as his return means that the Trojans should be a major contender in the Pac-12 next season. Elijah Stewart also announced this week that he is returning as USC could start Jordan McLaughlin, De’Anthony Melton, Stewart, Boatwright and Chimezie Metu next season.

With Duke transfer Derryck Thornton Jr. also becoming eligible and McDonald’s All-American guard Charles O’Bannon Jr. entering the program, the Trojans are a potential top-10 team.

Following decommitment, four-star recruit makes eye-opening remarks about Ohio State

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Ohio State lost a four-star recruit on Wednesday when in-state Class of 2018 wing Darius Bazley opted to open up his recruitment.

As a rising senior who is just finishing his junior season of high school, Bazley’s decommitment isn’t going to immediately hurt the Buckeyes next season. But the 6-foot-7 wing’s comments about why he opted to open up his recruitment are pretty jarring.

In a story with Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch, Bazley opened up about why he decommitted from Ohio State. Bazley’s eye-opening remarks include how the Buckeyes might not get him ideal NBA exposure and how Ohio State might miss the NCAA tournament in his freshman year.

“I was excited when I first got the offer,” Bazley said to Jardy. “Ohio State is still a great place. It’s nothing against the school or anything, but my one ultimate goal is to get to the NBA and I just didn’t feel as confident as I did when I first committed that Ohio State was one of those schools that could get me there. At the end of the day I’ve got to perform no matter where I go, but I think there’s other schools out there that could put me on a bigger stage and in a better position to show those NBA scouts when I get to college what I can do.”

Bazley also didn’t appear to be pleased at the recruiting class coming into Ohio State for the Class of 2017, which is the class that is coming in this season. Remember, Bazley is a Class of 2018 recruit who still has to finish his senior season.

“Ohio State, they didn’t make the NCAA Tournament this year,” Bazley said to Jardy. “They didn’t even make the NIT, which is unfortunate, but I looked into the recruits they have coming into next year, they didn’t look too good for the future. So I felt like when my class came in, yeah, we would’ve been OK, but good enough to make the tournament? I don’t know. I just felt as if I was to de-commit, actually take my time, figure everything out it would just be a lot better.”

Ohio State was once one of the major destinations for one-and-done players a decade ago so these remarks are very surprising. D’Angelo Russell was a top-five pick in the NBA Draft only two years ago, and while the Buckeyes might not be as successful in recent years as they once were, they still get plenty of national exposure with regards to producing NBA talent.

The NCAA tournament comments might carry some more weight though. The Buckeyes have missed the NCAA tournament in two consecutive seasons and things are also looking difficult for them to reach the Big Dance for next season. If Bazley wants to play in the NCAA tournament, then I could understand him wanting to open things up and explore more options.

Still, you don’t often see a player make comments like this about a school after decommitting–especially a program with as much national exposure as Ohio State. Bazley is likely going to face some heat for his remarks, but if those are his true feelings about a future life decision, then he should explore what else is out there.

Nevada gets transfer commitment from Omaha forward Tre’Shawn Thurman

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Nevada continues to build its roster through transfers as the Wolf Pack added Omaha forward Tre’Shawn Thurman on Thursday.

The 6-foot-7 Thurman will have to sit out one season before playing his senior season but he is coming off of a very good campaign for the Mavericks. The versatile forward put up 13.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game while shooting 49 percent from the field.

One of the Summit League’s better players the last two seasons, Thurman should be a solid rotation forward for Nevada as he has a chance to be a breakout player with one more year of development. If Thurman can improve his 25 percent three-point shooting then he could be a major factor for Nevada.

D-League salaries, two-way contracts increase NBA Draft early entries

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Yesterday, I wrote a piece about how it’s dumb to criticize players for entering the NBA Draft without costing themselves their collegiate eligibility when the NCAA’s new NBA Draft rules are specifically designed for said players to be able to do that.

In that column, I mentioned that D-League salaries are on the rise and that the NBA’s new CBA instituted something called “two-way contracts,” and I wanted a chance to elaborate and clarify a couple of the points that I made.

Let’s start with the “two-way contracts,” which NBA teams each get two of. They are essentially a retainer that those teams can place on younger players they want to be the 16th and 17th men on their roster, holding their rights as they bounce between the D-League — where they will likely spend the majority of the year — and the NBA. The catch is that those players have to have less than three years service as a professional, and the point of it is to provide a financial incentive for younger players with the potential to reach the NBA to remain stateside while allowing those NBA teams to develop them.

That financial incentive is fairly large, as well: Two-way players will make $75,000 guaranteed and will be able to make up to $275,000, depending on the amount of time they spend with the NBA team.

That means there are an extra 60 jobs this season that can end up paying players with less than three years of professional basketball experience upwards of a quarter-of-a-million dollars.

That’s not a bad starting salary.

The other point that I wanted to address is the rising D-League salaries which, technically, will not be rising. There are still going to be Tier A and Tier B players, who make $26,000 and $20,000 respectively. But the NBA has something called affiliate players, which each of the now-25 NBA teams with a D-League affiliate can pay up to $50,000 for training camp. NBA teams are allowed a maximum of four affiliate players, who will still make their $26,000 salary from their D-League team.

In other words, that’s 100 more jobs available in the United States where a professional basketball player can make $76,000, and that’s before you consider that the five NBA teams that do not yet have a D-League affiliate will still have to play players to get them into training camp.

That $76,000 is not a life-changing amount of money. Neither is the $275,000 that a two-way contract can pay. But it’s a pretty damn good paycheck to make for an entry-level job into the industry that you always dreamed of being in.

Athletes have an unbelievably small window where they can capitalize monetarily on their gifts.

If a 21-year old sophomore decides that he wants to continue to develop his game and chase his NBA dream by making $76,000 as a D-League player, is that really all that crazy?

After all, 135 of the 450 players, or 30 percent of the roster spots, on NBA’s opening night were taken by guys that had spent time in the D-League.

There’s more than one way to make a dream come true.