The Morning Mix

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Marshall Henderson. Get familiar with that name because you will be seeing it a lot in the coming months. Well, if you’re a daily reader to the site, then you’ve already seen it a lot, because College Basketball Talk has been driving the Marshall Henderson bandwagon all season long.

Now, lets hit the links.

Tuesday’s Top Games:
7:00 p.m. – Richmond @ No. 13 Butler
7:00 p.m. – No. 14 North Carolina State @ Maryland
7:00 p.m. – No. 18 Michigan State @ Penn State
7:00 p.m. – Pittsburgh @ Villanova
7:00 p.m. – Dayton @ La Salle
8:00 p.m. – Xavier @ St. Bonaventure’s
8:00 p.m. – Illinois State @ Wichita State
8:00 p.m. – Georgia @ No. 17 Missouri
9:00 p.m. – No. 18 New Mexico @ Boise State
9:00 p.m. – Seton Hall @ No. 25 Marquette
9:00 p.m. – No. 16 Kansas State @ TCU
9:00 p.m. – Air Force @ Colorado State
9:00 p.m. – West Virginia @ Iowa State
10:00 p.m. – UNLV at No. 15 San Diego State
10:00 p.m. – Wyoming @ Fresno State
11:00 p.m. – Saint Mary’s @ BYU
11:30 p.m. – Colorado @ Washington
 
 
Read of the Day:
A great story about how an increase in the number of court cases the NCAA deals with could impact their image. It’s wordy, but worth your read. (Associated Press)

Read of the Day:
Andy Glockner’s “Bubble Watch” is the only “Bubble Watch” you need to read. Read it. (Sports Illustrated)
 
 
Top Stories:
Marshall Henderson hits 35-footer to force OT in Ole Miss’ comeback win over Vandy: The Rebels avoided an ugly loss to Vanderbilt thanks to a 35-foot buzzer-beater from sharpshooter Marshall Henderson which sent the game in to overtime. Ole Miss gained momentum in the extra frame and never looked back.

Wisconsin knocks off No. 2 Indiana, so why did we question Bo Ryan? For the 11th consecutive time, Wisconsin has beaten Indiana, with Tuesday’s win coming as the unranked Badgers went into Assembly Hall and knocked off No. 2 Indiana, 64-59. All of a sudden, in the loaded Big Ten, the Badgers are sitting alone atop the league standings at 4-0.

Kyle Wiltjer helps Kentucky outlast Tennessee to get bounce-back win: The Wildcats avoided back-to-back home losses by gutting out a tough victory over Tennessee thanks in large part to the play of sophomore Kyle Wiltjer.

St. John’s beat No. 20 Notre Dame while Jack Cooley watches? The Irish lost their second straight game to an unranked opponent on Tuesday night, and they did so with their best player watching a good portion of it from the bench. But why?

Coach K bashes realignment again, calls it an ‘assault on tradition’: Coach K has been an outspoken critic of realignment, and on his Sirius XM radio show this week he specifically criticized realignment for breaking the bonds of geographical rivalries and eliminating one of the unique competitive advantages of the sport.

If Duke loses on the road, you can bet fans are storming the court: An analysis by the Wall Street Journal found that Duke has lost 31 true road games over the past 10 seasons. Of those 31 losses, 25 times the fans of the opposing team stormed the court in celebration (80.6 percent of the time), most recently Saturday against NC State.

Report: Luke Martinez kicked an unconscious man in the head: Luke Martinez, the Wyoming forward that was suspended for his involvement in a bar fight that resulted in a broken hand, was arraigned on Tuesday.He was charged with aggravated assault and battery, and the details of the brawl were also made public. The details are pretty ugly.
 
 
Hoops Housekeeping
– Bill Self has been selected as a member of this newest class of inductees for the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. (KUSports.com)

– Cal head coach Mike Montgomery expects guard Brandon Smith to return to the lineup this weekend after being sidelined for fives games due to a concussion. (Bear Talk)

– Kansas guard Ben McLemore has a sore ankle but isn’t expected to miss any games after injuring it in the closing minutes of the Jayhawks’s win over Baylor on Monday (KUsports.com)

– UMass junior guard Jesse Morgan will miss the rest of the season due to an ACL injury he suffered during the Minutemen’s 70-62 loss at Saint Louis on Monday. (ESPN Boston)

– Alabama’s Trevor Releford may miss the Crimson tide’s game tonight at Mississippi State because of an ankle injury. (The Sporting News)
 
 
Observations & Insight:
– Ole Miss and Vanderbilt put on arguably the best ending to regulation that we’ve seen all year. (USA Today)

– This isn’t necessarily surprising, but seeing it in writing is always kinda interesting: Division I schools spend more on athletics than education. (USA Today)

– We really shouldn’t be too surprised that Wisconsin beat Indiana last night. This is kinda their thing. They get down early in the season, people forget about them, and BOOM, they rally off a couple of top-25 wins in a row and make the tournament. That’s Bo Ryan for ya. (ESPN)

– Doug Gottlieb provides five reasons why Wisconsin still has Indiana’s number (CBS Sports)

– Ryan Evans is in one heckuva shooting slump. Those of you who watched the Wisconsin/Indiana game last night saw it first-hand. Ken Pomeroy provides the gory statistics. (KenPom Blog)

– Illinois State is 0-5 in the Missouri Valley Conference. Nobody saw this coming. Not us and not them. They are hoping they can fix it. (Omaha World-Herald)

– San Diego State has never really had a true rival on the hardwood. But their recent series with UNLV could change that. So could conference realignment. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

– Doug McDermott scored 21 of his 31 points in the second half as the Creighton Bluejays extended their winning streak to 11 games with a 79-68 win over Northern Iowa (Fox Sports)

– Butler will have to re-tool some of its offense to make up for the absence of Rotnei Clarke for the next two games. (Indianapolis Star)

– Is there such a thing as “an encouraging loss”? If there is, James Madison had one last night against George Mason (JMU Sports Blog)

– As expected, Texas A&M’s Elston Turner was named as the Oscar Robertson Player of the Week. That’s what happens when you score 41 points at Rupp Arena. (USBWA)

– Here’s some interesting discussion on whether or not Oklahoma State sophomore Le’Bryan Nash is a “spectacular athlete”. (Pistols Firing)
 
 
Picture of the Night:
We have to commend this Tennessee student, who somehow got himself a ticket to Rupp Arena and a spot in the Kentucky student section. This kid has some serious brass. (H/T @Vols_Photos)


 
 
Video of the Night:
Marshall Henderson drills a 30-footer to force overtime against Vanderbilt.

Henderson wasn’t the only one jacked up about the Rebels’ huge road win. (The Mock Session)

source:
 
 
Dunk: of the Day:
Victor Oladipo is usually the one doing the posterizing. But this time around, it was Wisconsin’s Jared Berggren posterizing Oladipo.


 
 
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Bluiett back to Xavier for senior season

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Xavier lost one significant piece to the professional ranks this spring, but will return another.

Trevon Bluiett, the team’s leading scorer last year, announced via social media that he will be back to play his senior season with the Musketeers.

Chris Mack will return the bulk of a roster that struggled February only to make a run to the Elite Eight, but getting Bluiett for a final season makes the Musketeers especially dangerous. The 6-foot-6 Bluiett scored a team-high 18.5 points per game last year while also putting up 5.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per night. He shot 37.1 percent from 3-point range, the second-best mark on the team. His return, even with point guard Edmond Sumner going pro amid his ACL tear recovery, makes Xavier one of the top teams in the Big East heading into the 2017-18 season.

Bluiett himself is enough to keep Xavier relevant in the league, but when he’s coupled with the likes of returners JP Macura, Sean O’Mara and Quentin Goodwin, plus a recruiting class featuring two four-star prospects, it’s not difficult to see a path for Mack’s group to a place where they can compete with the likes of Villanova and Seton Hall atop the league.

Welsh and Holiday returning to UCLA

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UCLA sustained some major, though expected, attrition from its roster this spring. On Tuesday, the Bruins announced a pair of significant contributors that will be back.

Thomas Welsh and Aaron Holiday will both return next season to the UCLA program, according to the school.

Welsh, a 7-foot center, averaged 10.8 points and 8.7 rebounds as a senior last year for the Bruins. He shot 58.5 percent from the floor and blocked 1.2 shots per game, and decided to declare for the NBA Draft without an agent before ultimately deciding to return to Westwood.

“Thomas has worked hard all spring,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said in a statement. “We supported him testing the NBA waters and are excited to have him returning for his senior year. He simply continues to develop each and every season.

“Thomas will be one of the top centers in college basketball next year and, undoubtedly, has a great chance to be a first-round pick in next season’s draft.”

The 6-foot-1 Holiday averaged 12.3 points and 4.4 assists last season while sharing a backcourt with Lonzo Ball, whose departure, along with those of TJ Leaf, Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton will leave UCLA with a very different look next season. The positive results, however, may not fluctuate too significantly with Welsh and Holiday coming back to play alongside two five-star recruits, Kris Wilkes and Jaylen Hands, as well as Lonzo’s younger brother LiAngelo.

West Virginia’s Macon forgoing final year

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West Virginia’s attempt to dethrone Kansas atop the Big 12 took a bit of a hit Tuesday.

Elijah Macon, a 6-foot-9 forward, announced his decision to forego a fifth year in Morgantown in order to pursue a professional career.

“First things first I would like to say thank you Bob Huggins and Erik Martin for believing in a young 15-year-old boy growing up from the Southside of Columbus, OH losing my mother and still having you guys push me to be the man I have become,” Macon said according to the school. “I can do nothing but thank you for all you and Mountaineer Nation (have) done for me. Unfortunately, I will not be returning for my senior season at WVU and instead sign with a(n) agent and play professional basketball. Thank you guys for all the love and support!”

Macon wasn’t a major contributor for the Mountaineers last season, averaging 6.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 16 minutes per game, but he was an experienced and tough player who was well-versed in Huggins’ style and demands. Given the pace that the newly-fashioned Press Virginia plays at, depth is also paramount for them as a program.

Macon’s departure, though, may have been expected or at least partly anticipated by West Virginia. The Mountaineers signed five players in its most recent recruiting class, putting them one over their allotment of 13, so something had to give. West VIrginia will stay have interior depth, anchored by junior Esa Ahmad, so the loss of Macon is one they likely can weather, even if it may take some time to acclimate the newcomers.

“Elijah is in the process of completing classes during this summer school period that ends June 2 and will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in August,” Huggins said in a statement released by the school. “I respect his decision to become a professional basketball player and to go make money to support his family. He had a great four years with us, and we wish him nothing but the best.”

Key returning to Alabama for sophomore season

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Alabama’s top scorer is returning to school.

Braxton Key has withdrawn his name from the NBA draft and will be back with the Tide for his sophomore season, the school announced Tuesday.

“I spoke to coach Avery (Johnson) just over a week ago and informed him of my decision to withdraw my name from the NBA Draft and return to the University of Alabama for my sophomore season,” Key said in a statement. “I made that official when I sent my paperwork to the NBA league office Monday morning. I want to express my appreciation to my teammates, Coach Johnson and the entire coaching staff for giving me their full support while I went through this process.

“I am excited for the future of the Alabama basketball program and looking forward to getting to work as we prepare for next season. Roll Tide and Buckle Up!”

The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 12 points and 5.7 rebounds per game while shooting 43.3 percent from the field as a freshman. He gives Alabama four returning starts to pair with one of the country’s highest-regarded recruiting classes, headlined by five-star guard Collin Sexton. The Tide will also have an eligible Daniel Giddens, who previously transferred in from Ohio State.

Key didn’t seem likely to stay in the NBA draft, especially after he wasn’t invited to the combine, but his ultimate decision is a huge one for Avery Johnson as he looks to break through in his third season in Tuscaloosa with his first NCAA tournament appearance. 

Report: Justin Jackson to return to Maryland

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Maryland forward Justin Jackson is expected to return to school for his sophomore season, according to a report from FanRag Sports.

Jackson is an intriguing talent, a 6-foot-7 combo-forward with a 7-foot-3 wingspan that shoots 44 percent from three. But he’s also still developing his offensive game and consistency on the defensive end of the floor, which is why he was projected as a second round pick in this year’s draft.

With Jackson back in the fold, Maryland is a borderline top 25 team. They lost Melo Trimble to the professional ranks, but that’s something that Mark Turgeon has prepared for. With a sophomore class that also includes highly-regarded point guard Anthony Cowan and sharp-shooter Kevin Huerter, the Terps have a promising season ahead of them.