Memphis Tennessee

Late Night Snacks: Memphis Tigers win rivalry game for the last time

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Games of the Day

Memphis 85, Tennessee 80: Even if this game were a blowout it would still probably be the game of the day because as many of you know by now this could be the last time these two in-state rivals play their annual game in a while. The contract is up at the end of the year, but both ADs are discussing extending it. Either way, Memphis, lead by Joe Jackson used a strong offensive first half to jump out to a double-digit lead. Tennessee, led by Jordan McRae, chipped away at the lead, but the deficit was too much.

Important Outcomes

Memphis earns non-conference win: Sticking in the state of Tennessee, Memphis enters Conference-USA play with a much-needed quality out of conference win. The Tigers looked awful in November, losing back-to-back games against VCU and Minnesota as part of the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas and later lost to Louisville. The play of Jackson should give Josh Pastner and Memphis some optimism heading forward.

Rhode Island beats in-state opponent: Last week, the last-game 3-pointer from Tucker Halpern lifted Brown over Providence. Dan Hurley and his Rams avoided surrendering the tiny state of Rhode Island to the Bears with 59-47 win. Halpern was held to four points, while Xavier Munford had a game-high 18 for URI.

Valparaiso gets first conference win: Valpo started off conference play with a loss to Loyola (Ill.). The Crusaders bounced back with a 24-point win over Cleveland State. Valparaiso needed the win if they want to stick around with Detroit this season. Valparaiso visits Detriot Jan. 17.

Starred

Joe Jackson, Memphis: When he plays well, so do the Tigers. He ended the night with 20 points, seven assists, and four rebounds and got his teammates open looks by hitting the gaps and getting into the lane. Memphis won 85-80 over Tennessee.

Jordan McRae, Tennessee: In an offensive that struggled, McRae almost tripled his scoring average (10.3) with a game-high 26 points in a loss to Memphis.

O.D. Anosike, Siena: The Saints may be 2-12, but Anosike continued to make double-doubles part of his daily routine. Eleven of 14 games, the 6-foot-8 forward has recorded double figures in both points and rebounds. In a 66-62 loss to Iona, the senior forward ended with 19 points and 15 boards. He is averaging 13 and 12 on the season.

Struggled

Grambling State: No luck again Friday night, as the Tigers dropped the 11th straight game to open the season. The 69-56 loss to Alabama State (4-11) puts Grambling State at 0-2 to start SWAC play.

St. Peter’s execution: The Peacocks cut the deficit to 55-53 against Manhattan with two minutes to go. And that ended up the final score. Yvon Raymond missed a pair of free throws with a minute to go. Desi Washington had one shot blocked and missed a 3-pointer at the end of the game.

Marshall Henderson Shot-Tracker: A relatively quiet night for Mr. Henderson. The 3-point gunner only took eight shots from behind the arc, which is the second-lowest total he has had this season (six against San Francisco and Hawaii).

Henderson connected on a trio of them, ending with a game-high 21 points for Ole Miss in a 95-68 win over Fordham #ShootMoreMarshall

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Florida State continues recruiting momentum with 2017 commitment

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Florida State has been active on the recruiting trail recently and the Seminoles continued that momentum on Wednesday with a commitment from in-state wing Wyatt Wilkes.

The 6-foot-7 Wilkes is considered a three-star prospect and ranked No. 113 in the Rivals 150 in the Class of 2017 as he gives Florida State its fourth commitment in the class.

A versatile and skilled forward who can knock down shots, Wilkes joins a Florida State Class of 2017 that includes wing Anthony Polite — who committed on Tuesday — forward Raiquan Gray and guard Bryan Trimble.

The last two recruiting classes, Florida State has done a nice job of focusing on its targets and landing them early. It’s hard to say if finishing the Class of 2016 early helped the Seminoles complete this group in a similar timely fashion, but it’s worth monitoring for the next class as well to see if this becomes some sort of trend.

Oregon lands Georgetown transfer Paul White

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 19: Paul White #13 of the Georgetown Hoyas fights for position with Drew Brandon #22 of the Eastern Washington Eagles in the second half during the second round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Moda Center on March 19, 2015 in Portland, Oregon.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Oregon pulled in a former highly-touted recruit via transfer on Wednesday as Paul White committed to the Ducks.

Spending his first two seasons at Georgetown, White battled injury problems as he only registered 67 total minutes last season during his sophomore year. As a freshman, the 6-foot-8 native of Chicago averaged 5.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.

A skilled wing forward who can handle the ball a bit, White is a good passer from the elbows and also isn’t afraid to help a bit on the glass. Offensively, White will have to figure out his calling as a scorer, but he’s versatile enough of an offensive players to get others involved while he’s on the floor.

Formerly the No. 50 overall recruit in the Class of 2014, White will have to sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules.

Oregon has had a lot of success with transfers under head coach Dana Altman, but it will be interesting to see how White looks when he’s able to play. With basically two full seasons off between competitive games, we’ll have to see how White looks, or if he’s added to his game, when he’s able to take the floor in 2017-18.

VIDEO: Dennis Smith Jr. dunks on N.C. State students

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Last week, it was North Carolina freshman Seventh Woods dunking on a crowd of his classmates late at night.

This week, it’s Dennis Smith Jr., the uber-athletic redshirt freshman for N.C. State.

Rutgers’ twitter ‘gaffe’ is a pretty standard recruiting technique

Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell  congratulates guard Roland Nyama (24) after a play during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Vanderbilt on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
AP Photo/Mark Humphrey
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Rutgers has been the butt of quite a few jokes on social media the last 24 hours, as the school’s official men’s basketball twitter account posted the following picture late on Tuesday night:

That’s an image of six UConn grads and two Pitt grads with the title “$1.1 billion earned”, which, on the surface, doesn’t really make any sense, right? Those eight guys — names like Shabazz Napier and Ray Allen and Steven Adams and Rip Hamilton — have no connection to the Scarlet Knights beyond the occasional beating back when they were still in college.

It’s the Rutgers coaching staff that has a connection to them.

New head coach Steve Pikiell, who was hired from Stony Brook less than six months ago, used to be on the UConn staff. Karl Hobbs, who was an assistant at UConn for both Jim Calhoun and Kevin Ollie, joined Pikiell. Another assistant coach, Brandin Knight, a former star player at Pitt, was on Jamie Dixon’s staff with the Panthers last season.

None of those guys have coached a single Rutgers player yet.

And they won’t for another month, when practice finally starts.

So what do they have to pitch to recruits? How can they market the Rutgers program? How do they make it appealing to the loads of talent playing basketball in New Jersey high schools? By selling kids on what these coaches were able to accomplish with the players they actually have worked with, the stars from their former schools. If you don’t think that is what Rutgers’ new staff — or any new staff, for that matter — is using as a recruiting pitch then you don’t know a damn thing about recruiting.

Or Rutgers.

The program has no basketball history worth mentioning. None. But neither did SMU when Larry Brown took over, and he turned the Mustangs into a program perennially in or around the top 25 that literally beat out Kentucky for a recruit (Emmanuel Mudiay).

Do you think that Brown was selling players on SMU’s past or his past? Did he say “Come hoop at a football school in a football state” or did he brag about coaching Allen Iverson and the rings he won with Kansas in 1988 and Detroit in 2004?

The bottom line is this: The tweet missed its mark, highlighting player earnings over professional success, and the responses to it have been pretty hilarious.

But I also find it funny that people are up in arms about Rutgers promoting the players their brand new coaching staff has worked with, because if you don’t think that Jim Fox uses Steph Curry to recruit to Appalachian State or Rick Barnes references Kevin Durant in his pitches to Tennessee targets, I have a bridge in Brooklyn you can buy.

VIDEO: Western Michigan walk-on gets scholarship atop Eiffel Tower

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Yesterday, we brought you a video of South Dakota’s Logan Power, a walk-on heading into his third season in the program, receiving his scholarship while on the team’s trip to Spain.

Today, we have video of Western Michigan walk-on Ryan Wade getting a scholarship … at the top of the Eiffel Tower?

In a really cool moment, Steve Hawkins, WMU’s head coach, asks two players to try and read a piece of paper in French. He then has Wade read the translation of what the players were saying and … well … just watch:

What a cool moment.

If only there was a camera on the French people watching the crazy Americans sing and jump around a thousand feet in the air …