Trent Lockett, Otto Porter

Late Afternoon Snacks: Marquette nips Hoyas; Lehigh meets VCU

Leave a comment

Game of the Day

Marquette 49, No. 15 Georgetown 48: It was a grind, as a Georgetown game so often can be, but Marquette got two crucial late free throws out of big man Davante Gardner (12 points, 7 rebounds) on their way to a slo-mo upset of G’Town in Milwaukee. Vander Blue also scored 12, and Trent Lockett had a 9 point, 10 rebound game to help secure the win. It was a big win for a team that fell out of the national eye after a loss at unranked Green Bay on December 19th. Markel Starks led the Hoyas with 18 points and seven assists. Better yet, everybody shot at the right basket throughout the game.

Meaningful Results

No. 11 Illinois 74, No. 8 Ohio State 55: The Illini opened Big Ten play on a low note, dropping a 68-61 decision to the completely unheralded Boilermakers of Purdue. As bounce-back efforts go, this was a good one. Brandon Paul scored 19 and Nnanna Egwu had a 16 point, 8 rebound day to pace Illinois, and impenetrable team defense held the Buckeyes to 33% shooting mark from the floor. DeShaun Thomas managed 24 points on 9-21 shooting, but his frontcourt mates Sam Thompson and Amir Williams combined to hit just 1 of 8.

No. 1 Duke 80, Wake Forest 62: Poor Travis McKie had a great game for Wake Forest (22 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals and a block), but he faced a team of killers today. Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly each had 22 points, Mason Plumlee and Rasheed Sulaimon also scored in double figures, and Quinn Cook facilitated the rout with 14 assists.

No. 25 Kansas State 73, No. 22 Oklahoma State 67: The two biggest contenders to end Kansas’ streak of Big 12 titles met in an early test match, and MACGRUDER! put the Wildcats on his back. 28 points later, his team had a big early home win in the Octagon of Doom. Marcus Smart and Markel Brown combined for 44 points for the visitors, but LeBryan Nash was held largely in check, notching just six points.

Rutgers 67, No. 24 Pitt 64: Whoever’s driving the Pitt bandwagon might not even need a Class C driver’s license. As soon as a few of us were ready to climb aboard, the Panthers fell to 0-2 in the Big East. Scarlet Knight sophomore Eli Carter had his 12th-straight game in double figures, dropping 23 on the visitors.

Games of the Night

Lehigh at VCU, 6:00 PM, NBC Sports

Murray State at Southeast Missouri State, 6:00 PM, ESPNu

No. 10 Gonzaga at Santa Clara, 8:00 PM ET, ROOT

Report: Four-star center reclassifying to 2015; down to three

Leave a comment

An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.

The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.

But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.

VIDEO: Utah Valley’s Mark Pope dances, lip syncs with daughters

Leave a comment

New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.

The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.