Late Night Snacks: No. 6 Kansas hangs on and Colorado fails to bounce back

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Games of the Day

1. No. 6 Kansas 69, Temple 62
The Owls turned the ball over just three times at Allen Fieldhouse but that wasn’t enough to take down the Jayhawks. The reason why: they shot 30.7% from the field, with Kansas big man Jeff Withey serving as a major deterrent in the paint. Khalif Wyatt led all scorers with 26 points while Kevin Young led three Jayhawks in double figures with 16 (and grabbed ten rebounds).

2. Wichita State 69, Bradley 63
Cleanthony Early scored 24 points and grabbed four rebounds to lead the Shockers to the win in Peoria. Dyricus Simms-Edwards and Walt Lemon Jr. scored 15 points apiece to lead the Braves but that wasn’t enough in a matchup of teams that entered Sunday 2-0 in Missouri Valley play. Now 14-1 on the season (3-0 MVC), Wichita State has done a lot more than simply tread water while dealing with their injury issues.

3. Tulsa 48, SMU 47
The only reason why this game is here is because a Pat Swilling Jr. three-pointer with 3.8 seconds remaining determined the outcome. Offensively the matchup of teacher (Larry Brown) and student (Danny Manning) was ugly, with the two teams combining to shoot 8-of-41 from deep. But the Mustangs didn’t find Swilling Jr. in the first half when they played zone (five three-pointers)  and they allowed him to shake free on a baseline out of bounds play for the game-winner. Swilling Jr. led all scorers with 18 points and Jalen Jones paced the Mustangs with 15.

Important Outcomes 

1. Arizona State 65, Colorado 56 
The question regarding Colorado was how they would bounce back from Thursday’s defeat at No. 3 Arizona and they looked good in the beginning as they jumped out to a 13-2 lead. But Herb Sendek’s Sun Devils refused to wild, methodically fighting their way back into the game and ultimately beating the Buffaloes to move to 2-0 in Pac-12 play. Jahii Carson made just one field goal on the night but his teammates picked up the slack, with Carrick Felix scoring a game-high 20 points and Jordan Bachynski tallying 16 points, seven rebounds and nine blocked shots. Now 0-2 in league play, Colorado faces a very important weekend at home with the LA schools (USC and UCLA) visiting Boulder.

2. Virginia 61, North Carolina 52
Well, Reggie Bullock returned for North Carolina and looked good as he scored 22 points. But the other Tar Heels didn’t fare so well, shooting a combined 12-of-42 from the field in the loss in Charlottesville. Joe Harris was the lone Cavalier in double figures with 19 points but the biggest news for UVA (besides the win of course) was the return of point guard Jontel Evans. Evans, who missed the last four games due to the re-aggravation of an injury to his right foot, played 21 minutes off the bench and finished with eight points and six assists.

3. Oregon 79, Oregon State 66
Freshman Damyean Dotson scored 15 of his career-high 21 points in the first half and senior guard Johnathan Loyd gave Oregon a boost off the bench in the second half to push the Ducks past their in-state rival in Corvallis. Ahmad Starks led Oregon State with 21 points but it wasn’t enough to keep up with Dana Altman’s group in the second half, as Oregon scored 51 points in the final 20 minutes.

Starred

1. G Kenny Boynton (Florida) 
Entering Sunday’s game the senior guard shot 7-of-39 from beyond the arc in Florida’s last six games. Against Yale Boynton got out of his slump in a big way, shooting 8-of-10 from deep and scoring a game-high 28 points.

2. G Trey Burke (Michigan) 
It’s time for Burke to get more National Player of the Year pub. The sophomore finished with 19 points (7-of-10 FG), 12 assists and just one turnover in No. 2 Michigan’s 95-67 win over Iowa.

3. C Jordan Bachynski (Arizona State) 
Jeff Withey wasn’t the only 7-footer to tally nine blocks on Sunday, as Bachynski did so while also accounting for 16 points and seven rebounds in Arizona State’s 65-56 win over Colorado. Bachynski has been one of the most improved players in the country for the 13-2 Sun Devils.

Struggled

1. Tulsa and SMU from beyond the arc
Obviously there are marksmanship issues when a game finishes 48-47. But the two teams combined to shoot 8-of-41 from three, with the Golden Hurricane accounting for all eight makes (SMU was 0-of-13). At least SMU shot 17-of-20 from the foul line.

2. G Michael Carter-Williams (Syracuse) 
Carter-Williams did not have one of his best days at the office in Syracuse’s 55-44 win over South Florida, shooting 1-of-13 from the field. Good news for the Orange is that Brandon Triche scored 20 and James Southerland added 17, and to his credit Carter-Williams tallied nine rebounds, five assists and four steals.

3. Grambling State
The Tigers dropped to 0-12 on the season with an 82-43 home loss to Southern. And with Mississippi Valley State picking up its first win of the season (79-68 over Alabama A&M) the Tigers are one of two teams still searching for their first victory. The other is Maryland-Eastern Shore.

Three Facts 

1. While Austin Hollins’ marksmanship from deep (hitting five straight three-pointers in the second half) stole the show in No. 9 Minnesota’s win over Northwestern there was also a milestone. Rodney Williams became the 38th player in school history to score 1,000 points, finishing the game with nine points (1,005 for his career).

2. Siena’s 11-game losing streak is the program’s longest since losing 15 in a row to end the 1995-96 season. Rider, in beating Siena 72-53, swept the season series for the first time (the Broncs joined the MAAC in 1997).

3. With their 95-67 win over Iowa, No. 2 Michigan moved to 15-0 on the season. That’s their best start since the 1985-86 team won its first 16 games on its way to a 28-5 record and a Big Ten regular season title.

Top 25 Scores

No. 2 Michigan 95, Iowa 67
No. 6 Kansas 69, Temple 62
No. 7 Syracuse 55, South Florida 44
No. 9 Minnesota 69, Northwestern 51
No. 13 Florida 79, Yale 58

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Diallo withdrawing from draft, returning to Kentucky

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It took plenty of time for the news to make its way public, but it was a wait that proved welcome for Kentucky fans.

Wildcat freshman Hamidou Diallo will withdraw his name from the NBA Draft and return to Kentucky, the school announced

Diallo’s situation was one of the more interesting in college basketball as he became an incredibly intriguing pro prospect despite being on a college roster and never playing a minute.

The five-star recruit enrolled at Kentucky in January after attending a semester of prep school with the plan to redshirt the season and then play for the Wildcats in 2017-18. There were rumblings and rumors about Diallo potentially playing for John Calipari’s group last year, but ultimately they stuck to the plan to keep him on the bench and preserve his eligibility. Throughout it all, there was always the specter that Diallo could just decide to go the professional route anyway.

That possibility moved fully into the forefront earlier this month when Diallo showed off a 44.5-inch vertical leap at the NBA Draft combine in Chicago. The 6-foot-5 guard also recorded a wingspan that nearly measured 7-feet. With those types of physical traits, he makes for an awfully interesting professional prospect, regardless of refinement or experience.

Given Diallo’s lack of high-level experience, though, there was no guarantee he’d be a first-round selection as teams would be wary of drafting solely on potential, rather than the mostly they typically do.

“I hope to play in the NBA one day — just not this season,” Diallo said in a statement. “Based on the information I received by testing the waters, I believe it’s in my best interests to return to school. Although I was a part of the team last season and trained with my teammates, I never fulfilled another one of my dreams, which was to play for a major college program and win a national title.

“I am excited about returning to Kentucky for the 2017-18 season. I can’t wait to play in a Kentucky jersey for the first time.”

Going back to Lexington to play college basketball gives Diallo a chance to showcase his skills against competition the NBA will be able to evaluate him against. It also makes Kentucky – surprise, surprise – extremely formidable this season as they, once again, restock the roster with potential lottery- and first-round picks. With Diallo officially in the fold, Kentucky is a no-doubt top-five team that will be among the favorites to cut down the nets in April 2018.

“I’m really proud of Hami,” Calipari said in a statement. “He took in all the information, asked a lot of questions, including questions to the NBA teams. I love the fact that he wants to put himself in a better position and help lead this new team to a championship.
“I can’t wait to get him on the court and have all of you fans see what I know.  He’s a special player and a special person.”

LaVar Ball selling “Stay In Yo Lane” shirts

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Create controversy. Profit from controversy.

It’s not an especially new or original strategy, but it’s one that LaVar Ball continues to try to exploit.

The infamous basketball dad is at it again, looking to capitalize on the uproar/kerfuffle/news cycle/debate/ickiness he created when he belittled FS1’s Kristine Leahy, telling her to “stay in your lane” on multiple occasions when claiming the Big Baller Brand didn’t need to market to women.

Well, they are now, with a nod to Ball’s proclamation, selling “STAY IN YO LANE” tees, for both men and women.

Marketing misogyny. Isn’t that nice.

It’s clear that LaVar Ball isn’t going to shy away from the public spotlight anytime soon, especially with eldest son Lonzo looking destined for the Lakers and middle son LiAngelo set to join UCLA, and he’s going to do his best to use that light to push the BBB franchise that scared away the world’s biggest apparel companies.

This plan has no mystery, subtlety or taste. Which might as well be the Big Baller Brand slogan.

Mykhailiuk returning to Kansas for senior season

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Kansas’ attempt for a 14th consecutive Big 12 title, and run for Bill Self’s second national title, got a shot in the arm Wednesday.

Svi Mykhailiuk announced that he will return to Lawrence for his final season of eligibility. “Senior year going to be fun,” he wrote on his Instagram page.

Senior year gonna be fun😈👌🏼🤘🏼 #KUCMB

A post shared by Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (@sviat_10) on

The Jayhawks were already going to be loaded this season with Devonte Graham, a potential All-American, returning for his senior season and Udoka Azubuike healthy after missing last year due to injury along with Malik Newman becoming eligible after a transfer from Mississippi State and recruits Billy Preston and Marcus Garrett bolstering the ranks. The return of Mykhailiuk, though, only solidifies Kansas’ place not only atop the Big 12, but in the country.

Mykhailiuk, a 6-foot-8 forward, had something of a breakthrough season as a junior, posting career highs nearly across the board, including shooting 39.8 percent on nearly five 3-point shot attempts per game. With his size and shooting ability, Mykhailiuk was sure to garner professional interest, even though it would have been more likely than not he would been drafted in the second round of next month’s draft.

Mykhailiuk’s situation is certainly a unique one for college basketball as the Ukraine native enrolled at Kansas in 2014 just after his 17th birthday. He won’t turn 20 until next month, making him the same age as many sophomores and more likely to be viewed by NBA teams in the future as having upside, rather than a typical 22- or 23-year-old senior who scouts look at as having come close to reaching their ceiling.

Mykhailiuk wasn’t going to be the linchpin of Kansas’ success next season, but his decision to return shouldn’t be underestimated. His size, experience, skill and versatility provide the Jayhawks with a real weapon that will help alleviate pressure and expectations from other players up and down the roster. He’s very much a difference-maker for a team that will be contending for a spot in the Final Four.

Caleb Swanigan to stay in NBA draft

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Caleb Swanigan is leaving Purdue and staying in the NBA draft.

The Boilermaker big man held as much sway on the college basketball landscape with his decision as nearly any player who declared for the draft without an agent. After a season in which he became a double-double machine and averaged 18.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, Swanigan would have been one of – if not the – favorites for National Player of the Year while also making Purdue right at the top of the Big Ten with Michigan State.

Instead, he’ll end his collegiate career after a pair of seasons and one Sweet 16 appearance in West Lafayette. As a professional prospect, Swanigan is an interesting case. He was as productive of player as college basketball has seen in recent years as a sophomore, putting up 20-20 games with ridiculous consistency. He’s got some range, but limited quickness and athleticism. The question will be how his game – and frame – will translate into the new NBA that prioritizes versatility, shooting and athleticism. Right now, not many have him pegged as a sure-fire first-round pick.

The loss for Purdue is hard to overstate given just how good “Biggie” was. There’s just no replacing that type of production in the lineup. Still, Matt Painter and the Boilermakers still have an intriguing group, with Isaac Haas and Vince Edwards both electing to return to school after dipping their toes in the NBA waters. There’s some other intriguing young pieces there that will keep Purdue interesting in the Big Ten race.

Florida State picks up late commit from McDonald’s All-American

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The losses sustained by Florida State have been numerous and significant. Three players declared early for the NBA Draft. Another two contributors were lost to graduation. All in all, the Seminoles haven’t had the greatest of springs.

Wednesday, though, they got some good news.

McDonald’s All-American wing M.J. Walker committed Leonard Hamilton’s program to give Florida State a late, and important, addition to its 2017 recruiting class, beating the likes of Ohio State, Georgia Tech and UCLA.

Walker, a 6-foot-5 guard, gives the Seminoles yet another five-star prospect after landing Dwayne Bacon and Jonathan Isaac in the last two recruiting classes. Walker will help Hamilton and Co. reboot after both Bacon and Isaac, along with Xavier Rathan-Mayes, all left school to pursue professional careers after the Seminoles’ 26-9 season that saw them advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Walker becomes the sixth member of Hamilton’s 2017 recruiting class that was previously headlined by four-star 7-footer Ikechukwu Obiagu. That group will be tasked to retool a team losing not only major NBA-level talent, but also major production. The Seminoles won’t return a single player who averaged double-digit points per-game last year and just one who played at least 20 minutes per night.