Late Night Snacks: ‘Havoc’ wears down Hawks and a stunning rally in Detroit

Leave a comment

Games of the Night 

1. No. 22 VCU 92, Saint Joseph’s 86 (OT)

Up four with 13 seconds remaining the Hawks were called for a travelling violation when two players simultaneously held the ball following a defensive rebound. That mistake would be the opening that VCU needed to complete its comeback, sending the game into overtime on a Darius Theus layup and then outlasting a Saint Joseph’s team that doesn’t have much depth with Halil Kanacevic away from the program due to a death in the family.

2. Valparaiso 89, Detroit 88 

In a matchup of the defending Horizon League regular season (Valparaiso) and tournament (Detroit) champions the Titans looked to be in good shape for much of the night at Calihan Hall. Detroit led 50-32 at the half and 88-77 with just over three minutes remaining…and did not score another point. Two Ryan Broekhoff free throws with 17 seconds remaining proved to be the difference, and Kevin Van Wijk led the Crusaders with 31 points. Nick Minnerath led Detroit with 36 points, and given how wild this one was the rematch at Valparaiso on February 23 should not lack for entertainment.

Also of note: Chattanooga trailed Appalachian 60-42 with 8:48 remaining but outscored the Mountaineers 33-15 to send the game into overtime. The Mocs won 91-88 with Z. Mason (23 points, 11 rebounds) leading the way and Dontay Hampton scoring 22 points off the bench.

Important Outcomes

1. No. 5 Michigan 83, No. 9 Minnesota 75

Once again the Golden Gophers shot themselves in the foot with turnovers, digging themselves a hole too deep to crawl out of. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 21 points to lead the Wolverines and Austin Hollins scored 21 to pace Minnesota. Minnesota turned the ball over 15 times, which the Wolverines converted into 24 points.

2. No. 10 Florida 68, Texas A&M 47

On Saturday Elston Turner lit up Kentucky to the tune of 40 points. Tonight the Aggie had no such luck as Florida limited him to four points. Mike Rosario scored 19 points and Patric Young added 18 points and seven rebounds for the Gators, who moved to 3-0 in SEC play with the win. As a team Texas A&M shot 34% from the field, and when Turner struggles offensively the entire team will follow suit; he’s that important to Billy Kennedy’s team.

3. Northwestern 68, No. 23 Illinois 54

Illinois’ struggles from beyond the arc continued as they shot 3-of-21 from deep in a disappointing home loss to Northwestern. Reggie Hearn led four Wildcats in double figures with 20 points, and Illinois also helped out the Wildcats by turning the ball over 18 times. Brandon Paul scored 21 points to lead all scorers.

Starred

1. F/C Damen Bell-Holter (Oral Roberts) 

27 points (8-of-9 FG, 11-of-12 FT) and 13 rebounds in the Golden Eagles’ 64-52 win at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

2. F Nick Minnerath (Detroit) and G Kevin Van Wijk (Valparaiso) 

In Valparaiso’s 89-88 win over Detroit these two players stood out. Minnerath finished with 36 points (12-of-17 FG), four rebounds and three steals, and Van Wijk led the Crusaders with 31 points (13-of-15 FG) and five rebounds.

3. G Darius Theus (VCU) 

22 points, ten assists, four steals and three rebounds in the Rams’ 92-86 overtime win over Saint Joseph’s.

Struggled

1. Illinois 

The Fighting Illini shot 3-of-21 from three in their loss to Northwestern, and over the last three games they’re 8-of-59 from deep.

2. G Anthony Stitt (Charleston) 

Stitt had a night to forget for the Cougars, who fell 51-47 at Georgia Southern, shooting 0-of-13 from the field and finishing with two points, two assists and three turnovers.

3. G Elston Turner (Texas A&M) 

One game after shooting 14-of-19 from the field at Rupp Arena, Turner didn’t experience that level of success against No. 10 Florida. Turner finished the game with four points on 1-of-10 shooting.

Three Facts

1. South Dakota State guard Nate Wolters surpassed the 2,000-point mark in the Jackrabbits’ 59-53 win at Western Illinois, handing the Leathernecks their first Summit League loss in the process. Wolters finished the game with 22 points, six assists and five rebounds, and the program’s all-time leading scorer has a career total of 2,010 points.

2. Canisius head coach Jim Baron picked up the 400th win of his coaching career as the Golden Griffins beat Manhattan 64-60 in Buffalo. The Griffs trailed by ten at the half but thanks to Isaac Sosa, who scored a season-high 25 points, they were able to rally for the win.

3. One year after winning just two games the Bryant Bulldogs sit alone in first place in the NEC with a 5-0 record. 12-4 overall, the Bulldogs beat Mount St. Mary’s 79-78 in overtime on a Shane McLaughlin layup with just over six seconds remaining in overtime. Alex Francis led the way offensively with 25 points.

Top 25 Scores 

No. 3 Duke 73, Georgia Tech 57

No. 5 Michigan 83, No. 9 Minnesota 75

No. 10 Florida 68, Texas A&M 47

No. 21 Oregon 76, USC 74

No. 22 VCU 92, Saint Joseph’s 86 (OT)

Northwestern 68, No. 23 Illinois 54

No. 24 UCLA 74, Oregon State 64

Video Bonus

Check out this halftime buzzer-beater from Idaho State’s Chris Hansen in the Bengals’ 60-59 win over Sacramento State (fast forward to the 0:29 mark).

And here’s Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski jumping into the arms of Mason Plumlee after a second half dunk from his senior big man.

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

LaVar Ball having ‘zero’ interaction with UCLA team bodes well for next season

Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images
1 Comment

With the NBA Draft looming in less than a month, the biggest talking point has been just how much of an impact LaVar Ball is going to have on his son, Lonzo’s, NBA career.

It’s a question worth asking given the, ahem, outspoken nature of the eldest Ball.

But in the collegiate ranks, that’s a question that’s been asked about UCLA regarding next season. While Lonzo and LaMelo, who is finishing up his sophomore season in high school, are the stars that get the majority of the attention, there is another Ball brother that will be enrolling at UCLA next season: LiAngelo.

LaVar has already said that he expect Gelo to be a one-and-done player, which may not jibe with how good Gelo actually is. He’s not Lonzo and he’s not LaMelo. He’s not a dynamic athlete or a lead guard. He’s a 6-foot-5, 200 pound shooter with limitless range but limited upside. There’s a reason Rivals ranks him as a three-star prospect.

What’s going to happen when UCLA, a top 15 team in the NBC Sports Preseason Top 25, doesn’t give Gelo Lonzo-esque minutes or shots next season? How will LaVar handle it if his second son is coming off the bench for the Bruins?

Steve Alford doesn’t seem concerned about it, telling a reporter from the LA Times that LaVar was “never at practice, never called me” and was around the team “zero.”

“I think all parents probably should know that moving on to the collegiate level anyway,” Alford said. “It’s not high school, it’s not AAU. Your son’s on scholarship; your son’s at UCLA getting an incredible opportunity academically and athletically.

“Playing time, shots, that kind of stuff — we don’t entertain some of those phone calls anyway. I never had any issues at all with LaVar.”

It will be interesting to see if that continues next season.

The Bruins have a chance to be pretty good. Maybe not quite as good as last season, maybe not a Pac-12 title favorite or even the best team in LA — USC is loaded — but I wouldn’t be shocked to see them end up as a top four seed in the NCAA tournament with Aaron Holiday and Thomas Welsh returning and Jaylen Hands headlining the recruiting class.

Will LaVar be able to handle UCLA’s success if it comes at the expense of his son’s?

NCAA: Former USF assistant provided extra benefits, lied to NCAA investigators

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
1 Comment

The NCAA has alleged that former South Florida assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided roughly $500 in impermissible benefits and initially lied to NCAA investigators about it, according to the Tampa Bay Times, who obtained the NCAA’s summary disposition report.

Oliver Antigua is the younger brother of Orlando Antigua, who was the head coach at USF until he was fired in January. Now an assistant on Brad Underwood’s staff at Oklahoma State, Orlando was not alleged to have committed an NCAA violation in the report.

Oliver is alleged to have provided the extra benefits to two student-athletes while they were being tutored by the sister-in-law of Gerald Gillion, a special assistant to Orlando who resigned last fall, four months after Oliver did. USF has already self-imposed a $5,000 and reduced their scholarships from 13 to 12, according to the report.

“The University of South Florida and the NCAA continue to work together to resolve the inquiry into violations of NCAA bylaws and university standards by a USF intercollegiate athletic program,” according to a statement released by the school. “USF anticipates having a final resolution with the NCAA sometime this fall. Until the process concludes and the matter is fully resolved, USF cannot provide further comment.”

Villanova lands four-star 2018 guard

Leave a comment

Villanova added its first recruit in the Class of 2018 on Wednesday night.

Jay Wright and his staff landed a verbal commitment from Paul VI Catholic High School’s Brandon Slater, a four-star guard by Rivals as the No. 42 overall prospect in the rising senior class.

The 6-foot-5 Slater announced his decision via Twitter.

Slater, according to Jeff Borzello of ESPN, picked the Wildcats over Maryland, Miami, South Carolina, and Virginia.

He is currently playing the Nike EYBL with Team Takeover, the same grassroots program that produced current Villanova guard Phil Booth.

Comic-Con forces Providence to play at Alumni Hall for home opener

1 Comment

Providence will play its first game at Alumni Hall, the on-campus facility, for the first time in 35 years this fall.

The Friars unveiled their 2017-18 non-conference schedule on Thursday afternoon. The team’s home opener will play either Houston Baptist or Belmont in Mullaney Gym inside Alumni Hall.

According to Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal, the reason for that is a schedule conflict at Providence’s home arena, the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, in downtown Providence. A Comic-Con convention is scheduled Nov. 10-12. As McNamara notes, it’s a busy part of the season for The Dunk. The arena also is home to the Providence Bruins, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Boston Bruins, and by mid-November, their season is in full swing.

The Friars haven’t played at Alumni Hall since 1972, the same year the Dunkin’ Donuts Center was opened. In the three decades since Providence last played a regular season game there, the facility has gone under necessary renovations, as you could imagine. Even with added seats, Mullaney Gym can host a maximum of 1,549. That’s a fraction of what The Dunk’s capacity of 12,400.

Providence will return to its downtown home on Nov. 13, hosting Minnesota as part of the Gavitt Games. The Golden Gophers will likely be a top-20 team to open the season. The Friars, who bring back every notable player from last year’s NCAA Tournament team, is a fringe top-25 team.

Jalen Coleman-Lands to transfer out of Illinois

Leave a comment

The already-thin Illinois roster got thinner on Thursday afternoon.

Evan Daniels of Scout.com reported that sophomore guard Jalen Coleman-Lands has requested and received his release from the program. He will have to sit out next season but will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Coleman-Lands was a top-40 recruit in the Class of 2015, according to Rivals. He becomes the second player from that recruiting class this month to exit the school. Reserve guard D.J. Williams elected to transfer on May 8. With Jeremiah Tilmon and Javon Pickett, two incoming recruits, both previously reopened their recruitments following John Groce’s firing.

Even with the addition of Wright State graduate transfer Mark Alstork, who officially joined the Fighting Illini on Wednesday, Illinois is left with only nine scholarship players as of right now.

Coleman-Lands’ production dipped from his freshman campaign, ending the 2016-17 season averaging 8.0 points and 2.3 rebounds per game, shooting 38 percent from three.

One destination that will likely be rumored will be nearby DePaul. Coleman-Lands played for new DePaul assistant coach Shane Heirman at prep school powerhouse La Lumiere School. Heriman quickly tapped into that prep pipeline, helping secure a commitment from La Lumiere from five-star 2019 point guard Tyger Campbell earlier this month.

Coleman-Lands had taken official visits to Notre Dame and UNLV before committing to the Illini in September 2014.