In the only match-up between Top 25 teams on the night, the no.17 Fighting Irish got the good vibes started for their football counterparts in Miami with a 66-60 victory over the no.21 Bearcats.
Notre Dame took the lead at the 2:50 mark of the first half and never gave it up.
Cincinnati got within a single score multiple times in the second half, getting it to 49-49 with 9:53 left, but a 10-0 run keyed by an Eric Atkins jumper made it all Notre Dame.
Up 64-60, Pat Connaughton’s free throws with 12 seconds left sealed it.
Jerian Grant’s 19 points led all scorers for Notre Dame and Sean Kilpatrick led the Bearcats with 15, the only Cincinnati player in double-figures.
Both teams shot relatively well, but if there’s one glaring deficiency, it was the Bearcats 45.5-percent from the free throw line. They were 5-for-11, lost by six.
Notre Dame has won 12 in a row and after getting to no. 8 in the nation, Cincinnati has lost three of it’s last four.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the Bearcats can bounce back. Normally, I’d be wondering IF they’ll bounce back, bt when the one win sandwiched between three losses is a road win at Pittsburgh when they’re ranked, it’s clear the team is still a contender. Plus, a six-point loss to a great Notre Dame team is far for bad.
David Harten is a sportswriter and college basketball blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.
One of the top points guards in the Class of 2017 has trimmed his list of potential collegiate destinations to six.
Trae Young, a consensus top-25 recruit, listed Texas Tech, Kansas, Oklahoma, Washington, Oklahoma State and Kentucky as the schools he is considering as he readies to begin his senior year of high school.
The list of the 6-foot-2 point guard is largely provincial as it includes Oklahoma, whose campus is just minutes away from Young’s Norman North High School, and fellow in-state school Oklahoma. Another pair of Big 12 schools make the list in powerhouse Kansas and the Red Raiders, whose first-year coach, Chris Beard, has spent the bulk of his career working in Texas. Texas Tech is also Young’s father’s alma mater. Washington has been on a role sending its players to the pros and recently received the commitment of top-five 2017 recruit Michael Porter, Jr.
Kentucky, of course, needs no explanation as to its attractiveness to high-level players.
Clemson will get a four-star recruit on campus a year earlier than it expected, though his on-court debut for the Tigers will remain on schedule.
A.J. Oliver, a guard from South Carolina, will enroll early at Clemson and redshirt this upcoming season, he announced via social media Wednesday.
“I woke up this morning and realized that the greatest opportunity for me is to enroll early into Clemson,” he wrote on Twitter. “I will redshirt a year & start my college career early.”
Oliver, whose mother is the head women’s basketball coach at Clemson, was a consensus top-100 player in the class of 2017 who committed to the Tigers last December. Texas Tech and the College of Charleston were involved before his commitment.
A three-star shooting guard, Scott Spencer of Virginia, was previously the only member coach Brad Brownell’s 2016 class. While Oliver’s decision to redshirt will keep him off the court for the 2016-17 season, he’ll have spent a full season in the Tiger program before making his debut in 2017
The cupboard isn’t bare in 2017 for the Tigers due to Oliver’s reclassification because Clemson received a commitment from power forward Malik Williams, a consensus top-150 player, earlier Wednesday.
Kentucky used Calipari-Chaney fight in media training
Kentucky held some media training sessions yesterday, and one of the topics that head coach John Calipari used to make a point was … his blow-up with John Chaney. The moment was captured on SnapChat by a trio of Kentucky newcomers.
You remember that incident. Chaney, then the head coach at Temple, and Cal, who was coaching Atlantic 10 rival UMass at the time, nearly came to blows over the way that Cal handled officials during the game. Before the video below picks up, the two shared this exchange:
“Could I say this to you, please?” Chaney said, before the video above picks up. “You’ve got a good ball club. But what you did with the officials out there is wrong, and I don’t want to be a party to that. You understand?”
Cal responded: “You weren’t out there, Coach. You don’t have any idea.”
Chaney fired back: “You got a game given to you by officials right here with G.W. on three bad calls, O.K.? Then you send your kids out there pushing and shoving. You had the best officiating you could ever get here. And for you to ride them, I don’t want to be a party to that.”