Saint Josephs VCU Basketball

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

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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.

DePaul adds 2018 commit

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Wisconsin guard John Diener has committed to DePaul, his grassroots program announced Wednesday night.

The 6-foot-4 Class of 2018 guard ends his recruitment rather early with offers also from instate schools Green Bay and Milwaukee. He’s known as a shooter and becomes the first commit for Dave Leitao in the 2018 class.

Diener, who plays with the Wisconsin Playground Warriors in the spring and summer, commits to the Blue Demons with them coming off a disappointing campaign, Leitao’s first in Chicago. DePaul went 9-22 overall and 3-15 in the Big East, finishing only ahead of St. John’s.

DePaul has been recruiting the Midwest hard with incoming 2016 recruits from La Lumiere School in Indiana, Sagninow, Mich. and locally in Chicago.

Four-star guard Fisher commits to TCU

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Jamie Dixon’s presence is already being felt in the Big 12 and on the recruiting trail.

TCU received its first commitment of the Dixon era when four-star 2016 point guard Jaylen Fisher announced his decision to join the Horned Frogs on Wednesday.

“Due to how comfortable my family and I are with the coaching staff,” Fisher posted from his Twitter account, “and the emphasis the university has put on making basketball a priority, I’m committing to be a student-athlete at TCU.”

Getting a consensus top-75 prospect, who was once committed to UNLV, is a heck of a coup for being just a couple months on the job. It instantly shows the Frogs are going to be a player for some of the country’s top players, which is a necessity if you have designs on making a move up the ladder of arguably the country’s best league in the Big 12.

Maybe the most gratifying thing for TCU, though, is the reason Fisher publicly stated for making his decision, the school’s “making basketball a priority.” The hoops program has suffered immensely in the Big 12 (while the football program has flourished), winning a total of eight games in their four seasons (including a winless 2014), but the school sank $72 million into renovating its arena, made an aggressive move in firing Trent Johnson and then went out and got its dream candidate, Dixon, an alum. Fisher’s commitment is the first time those moves have shown that commitment to basketball paying off.

 

Report: Izundu’s San Diego State transfer ban rescinded

Ernie Kent
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Washington State transfer Valentine Izundu will be visiting San Diego State after all.

Coach Ernie Kent has rescinded his restriction on the 6-foot-10 graduate transfer from visiting the Aztecs, according to a report from the Spokesman-Review, citing an anonymous source. Izundu will also be reportedly visiting Fresno State and UNLV.

Izundu had previously been barred from considering the Aztecs by Kent because of suspcisions of tampering. Izundu vigorously denied that was the case as at the center of the dispute was a trip he made to San Diego for spring break. He publicly said he did not have any contact with the SDSU coaching staff , though he attended an Aztecs NIT game.

Kent, though, appears to have relented, as many coaches who have similarly faces public pressure in such situations before him have. In this era where so much attention is being paid to player rights and welfare, there only seems to be growing public sentiment against programs restricting transfers beyond the absolute bare minimum is rarely going to go over well. It may make things more difficult for coaches and programs, but it’s the deck is largely already stacked in their favor in most every other instance.

Ex-Michigan State player Keith Appling faces weapons charges

Keith Appling
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DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) Authorities say former Michigan State basketball player Keith Appling faces charges including carrying a concealed weapon after he was found in possession of guns and marijuana in suburban Detroit.

The Wayne County prosecutor’s office says 24-year-old Appling was arrested outside a Dearborn club on Sunday night. Club security called police after seeing a man pull a gun from the trunk of a car.

Prosecutors say Appling was in the driver’s seat of the car when police arrived. Officers found a handgun under the driver’s seat, a loaded weapon in the trunk and a small amount of suspected marijuana.

Weapons and marijuana possession charges were announced Wednesday.

The court says he doesn’t have a lawyer on record.

Appling played for the Spartans from 2010-2014 and plays for the NBA’s development league.

UNLV transfer to finish career at Michigan State

UNLV forward Ben Carter, right, celebrates after his team defeated Oregon in an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, in Las Vegas. UNLV won 80-69. (AP Photo/John Locher)
(AP Photo/John Locher)
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Former UNLV center Ben Carter announced on Wednesday that he will be transferring to Michigan State to finish his collegiate career.

Carter, who began his career at Oregon, averaged 8.6 points and 6.0 boards in his one season with UNLV before tearing his ACL in late January. He spent two seasons with the Ducks before transferring to Vegas, which is why he’s eligible immediately for the Spartans.

And that’s the biggest reason that Tom Izzo and company targeted him.

The Spartans lost Deyonta Davis to the NBA Draft after one season, a fact that became an inevitability midway through the year but one that the Spartans didn’t necessarily plan for heading into last season. Carter isn’t going to be an instant impact kind of player, particularly not when he’s coming off of an ACL injury, but he is a big body and a veteran presence on a front line that wasn’t going have much of either.