While you were asleep records fell in Honolulu as UC Davis beat Hawaii 93-82

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Saturday more than lived up to the hype for college basketball, as the day featured a number of close finishes and a buzzer-beater at Hinkle Fieldhouse that left many searching for the proper words to describe what they witnessed.

But whether you continued to discuss No. 13 Butler’s dramatic win over No. 8 Gonzaga or simply went to bed, there’s a strong possibility that you missed one of the best shooting performances (by both a team and an individual) of the season.

In UC Davis’ 93-82 win at Hawaii the Aggies got off to a hot start, hitting 14-of-21 from beyond the arc in the first half to open up a 54-37 lead at the break. Jim Les’ team found a number of open looks against the Warrior defense and they were sure to take advantage, with Corey Hawkins accounting for seven of the 14 three-pointers.

“Once we found our rhythm early in the first half, it was tough for Hawai’i to break that” Les said following the win. “I thought [point guard] Paolo [Mancasola] really bothered Hawaii when they were on defense and made things really difficult for their big men.”

In the end UC Davis would fall well short of the NCAA record for three-pointers made in a game but their 16-of-26 night from distance is nothing to scoff at. The 16 three-pointers tied a school record, and even though Troy’s record of 28 made three pointers (in a 1994 game against George Mason) remains the Trojans needed 74 attempts to establish that mark.

But back to Hawkins, who set a school record by scoring 40 points in the victory. Hawkins, who shot 8-of-9 from three, finished 10-of-14 from the field (12-of-12 FT) and grabbed 12 rebounds as well. Long-distance marksmanship apparently runs in the family for Hawkins, whose father is none other than Bradley all-time leading scorer Hersey Hawkins (who was a teammate of Les’ in college).

“That is as good as it gets; he has been spending time in the gym before practice, after practice and before games constantly working on his jumper,” Les said of Hawkins.
“How often do you see someone score 40 points off 14 shots? He was unbelievably efficient tonight. We want the ball in his hands, especially late in the game; there is nothing more discouraging to an opposing team that is trying to catch up than someone who makes his free throws.”

Hawkins became the third player on the UC Davis roster to make eight three-pointers in a game during their college career, as Ryan Sypkens did so in a one-point loss at Nevada in November and Tyler Les (the head coach’s son) hit eight in a game at San Jose State last season.

Not to be forgotten on this record-setting night was the play of Mancasola, whose 11 assists made him the first Aggie to tally ten or more assists in a game since Mark Payne did so in 2009, and forward J.T. Adenrale (19 points, nine rebounds).

Photo credit: UC Davis Athletics

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

Chimezie Metu cleared to play by USC

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USC has cleared junior forward Chimezie Metu as he’ll be allowed to play on Saturday against Utah, the school announced.

The 6-foot-11 Metu is the leading scorer and rebounder for the Trojans this season as he was one of the players named in the Friday reports that linked him to NBA agent Andy Miller and Christian Dawkins.

The Trojans are the latest school to allow their player to play after the reports as they follow schools like Duke and Kentucky, as they also did the same with allowing Wendell Carter Jr. and Kevin Knox Jr. to play.

It’s also noted in the release that USC is reviewing Bennie Boatwright’s eligibility as well even though he’s out for the season with a knee injury.

On Friday, Yahoo Sports reported a wide-scale payment operation from Miller and Dawkins in order to recruit players for Miller’s agency. The records allege that Bennie Boatwright Sr. received about $2,000. The records also allege that Metu or his advisor, Johnnie Parker, also got $2,000.

Although the allegations look serious, Dawkins has also proven to be untrustworthy in many instances and it’s hard to tell what might be real and what might be a cover for another expense. It’s hard to prove a lot of these things presented in a business expenses spreadsheet. USC is backing Metu by saying he never received anything that would harm his eligibility as they try to make a final push at Arizona before the postseason.

Bubble Banter: There will be some NCAA tournament bids determined today

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As we will do every day throughout the rest of the season, here is a look at how college basketball’s bubble teams fared on Saturday.

It’s worth reminding you here that the way winning are labeled have changed this season. Instead of looking at all top 50 wins equally, the selection committee will be using criteria that breaks wins down into four quadrants, using the RPI:

  • Quadrant 1: Home vs. 1-30, Neutral vs. 1-50, Road vs. 1-75
  • Quadrant 2: Home vs. 31-75, Neutral vs. 51-100, Road vs. 76-135
  • Quadrant 3: Home vs. 76-160, Neutral vs. 101-200, Road vs. 136-240
  • Quadrant 4: Home vs. 161 plus, Neutral vs. 201 plus, Road vs. 240 plus

The latest NBC Sports Bracketology can be found here.

YET TO PLAY

MARQUETTE
PROVIDENCE
SETON HALL
BAYLOR
TCU
LOUISVILLE
VIRGINIA TECH
SMU
MIAMI
LSU
TEXAS
USC
UTAH
MISSISSIPPI STATE
TEXAS A&M
WASHINGTON
ALABAMA
KANSAS STATE
OKLAHOMA
MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE
ST. BONAVENTURE
FLORIDA

Marvin Bagley III returning to Duke lineup against Syracuse after knee injury

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Duke star freshman Marvin Bagley III will be available for the Blue Devils on Saturday when they play Syracuse in an ACC home game.

Bagley missed the past four games due to a knee strain that he suffered in the Feb. 8 game against North Carolina. During Bagley’s absence, the Blue Devils went 4-0 as their defense looked very good and senior Grayson Allen became an aggressive scorer.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of changes Duke makes with Bagley’s return. Watching Bagley’s health and seeing how many minutes he plays will be another subplot to watch against the Orange.

Kentucky responds to recent reports from FBI investigation

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Kentucky has officially responded to recent reports that some of its players, notably freshman Kevin Knox, could be involved in the fallout from NBA agent Andy Miller and Christian Dawkins’ FBI investigation.

Knox is one of the players mentioned in a Yahoo Sports report on Friday that included documents for how Miller and Dawkins recruited players to the agency. In the report that Dawkins sent to Miller, it is noted that Knox or a family member of Knox allegedly had a meal with Dawkins.

Kevin Knox Sr. said he didn’t know Miller or Dawkins in a report on Friday. Kentucky also seems to be backing Knox entering Saturday’s SEC clash with Missouri. The Wildcats haven’t found anything wrong while reviewing the matter internally as it looks like Knox will play.

Kentucky seems to be following Duke’s path with Wendell Carter Jr.

Both are still allowed to play, despite being listed in the report, because there are a lot of factors still at play here. It should be noted that the evidence against all of these players in the Dawkins case looks bad.  It’s also hard to prove whether an actual encounter occurred. Dawkins doesn’t have the greatest history of being honest as CBT’s Rob Dauster noted.

Dawkins could have been misleading about some of these encounters with his boss to make himself look good. It’s also difficult to tell who truly paid for the meal, as it is conceivable that some of these players or their families paid for themselves.

Regardless of the nuances of this case, Knox looks like he will continue to play for a recently resurgent Kentucky team that has won two straight games. It’ll be interesting to see if this case hovers over Knox and Kentucky or if they can continue to power through and play well.

Memphis guard Jeremiah Martin out for the season with broken left foot

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The University of Memphis announced on Friday that junior point guard Jeremiah Martin will miss the rest of the season with a broken left foot.

The leading scorer in the AAC this season, the 6-foot-3 Martin injured his foot in the first half of the Tigers’ win over Houston on Thursday night. Martin did not return to the game as he left the arena in a protective boot. Martin is expected to have surgery to repair the foot on Tuesday as he’s expected to miss four-to-six weeks with the injury.

While the Tigers will be significantly worse without its best offensive player, Memphis did come back to beat the Cougars without Martin on Thursday night, as they’ll still be a tough out in the American. Martin was putting up 18.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game as he was in the midst of a breakout junior campaign.

If Martin returns to school for his senior season, he’ll be under heavy consideration as one of the top 100 players in college basketball next season.