VCU Richmond Basketball

Thrilling Richmond comebacks hands No. 19 VCU first Atlantic 10 loss

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No. 19 VCU had this game won.

After struggling to gain control against a fired up and feisty Richmond team for the first 35 minutes of the game, the Rams had all but sealed up a win over their intra-city rival. There were 43 seconds left, and a tip-in from Juvonte Reddic had capped a 9-0 run over a five-minute stretch that game VCU a 63-56 lead.

But after a bucket from Richmond’s Cedrick Lindsay, Treveon Graham stepped to the line and made just 1-2. Troy Daniels fouled Kendall Anthony, who finished with 26 points, while he was shooting a three on the ensuing possession, and Anthony hit all three free throws. All of a sudden that lead was down to just three points. After Daniels went 1-2 from the line, Anthony drilled a three that cut VCU’s led to 67-66.

Daniels finally knocked down both free throws, but instead of fouling up three, Shaka Smart allowed Richmond to play out the possession. Darien Brothers drilled a three with 1.5 seconds left, and this game was headed to overtime tied at 69.

And VCU never had a chance in OT.

Richmond jumped out on a 10-3 run and eventually ended up winning 86-74, improving to 3-2 in the Atlantic 10. The Spiders are now just one game out of first place in the conference, as VCU was the third undefeated team in the league to lose in the last 24 hours. Charlotte knocked off Xavier last night only minutes after La Salle shocked No. 9 Butler.

If I’m VCU, I’m not too overly concerned about this performance. This was a rivalry game. In rivalry games, records don’t matter. Ability doesn’t matter. Home court does, and this was in Richmond’s gym.

Maybe that’s why the Rams only forced 11 turnovers in 45 minutes of hoops. And maybe that’s why they only shot 3-17 from beyond the arc while allowing Richmond to go 12-27 from deep. What I’m sure of, however, is that VCU’s inability to force Richmond into turnovers and that discrepancy from the three-point line are the two reasons that the Rams are heading home with a loss.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Iowa State lands three-star SG Jakolby Long

Steve Prohm
Associated Press
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Iowa State received its fourth verbal commitment in the Class of 2016 Friday morning, as 6-foot-4 shooting guard Jakolby Long made his pledge to Steve Prohm’s program. A native of Mustang, Oklahoma, Long attends Mustang HS and played for the Athletes First grassroots program this summer.

In Nike EYBL play for Athletes First, Long averaged 16.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.

According to Cyclone Fanatic, Long was also considering Georgia, Texas and Utah before deciding that he’ll play his college basketball at Iowa State.¬†Long will join junior Matt Thomas, sophomore Hallice Cooke and transfer Nick Babb in the competition for minutes off the ball when he arrives on campus next year. According to Travis Hines of the Ames Tribune, Long could be a in a position where he sees solid playing time immediately.

Long joins junior college products Donovan Jackson and Emmanuel Malou, and 2016 forward Solomon Young in Iowa State’s 2016 class to date. And the Cyclones, who won’t use all 13 scholarships this season, still have room for a couple more additions for next season.

Iowa State has four seniors (Naz Long, Abdel Nader, Georges Niang and Jameel McKay), and junior point guard Monte’ Morris is considered by some to be a candidate to enter the 2016 NBA Draft.

UofL foundation hires firm to review escort allegations

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An independent Louisville affiliate has hired a law firm to review an escort’s allegations that former men’s basketball staffer Andre McGee hired dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

The University of Louisville Foundation announced the hiring Thursday of the Stites & Harbison law firm. The foundation does fundraising for the university.

Louisville President James Ramsey also said Thursday he “fully” supports athletic director Tom Jurich “as we work to identify the facts in this situation.” Ramsey reiterated the school has hired former NCAA enforcement official Chuck Smrt to lead the athletic department’s investigation.

Men’s basketball spokesman Kenny Klein had no comment on a CBS Sports report that former Cardinals recruit JaQuan Lyle, now an Ohio State freshman, confirmed the “gist of allegations” detailed in Katina Powell’s book during a meeting Tuesday with the NCAA.

Lyle originally signed with Louisville before de-committing and eventually landing with the Buckeyes. OSU spokesman Dan Wallenberg confirmed the NCAA meeting via email on Wednesday but said there were no issues with Ohio State. He did not mention Louisville.

Powell’s book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen” was released online last weekend by a publishing affiliate of the Indianapolis Business Journal. A hardcover version of the 104-page book is scheduled for release on Monday.

The book states that McGee hired Powell and other dancers, including three of her daughters, for 22 shows allegedly performed from 2010 to 2014 at the players’ Billy Minardi Hall dormitory.

McGee left Louisville in 2014 for Missouri-Kansas City, which placed him on paid leave Friday. A message left Thursday with his Louisville attorney, Scott C. Cox, was not immediately returned. A spokeswoman for IBJ’s publishing arm could not be reached either.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino has said McGee denied Powell’s allegations. In a radio interview Tuesday he denied knowledge of what took place and said last week that others he talked to didn’t know about the activities described in the book.

“I’m going through 15 people who worked here, and not one person even had a premonition of something wrong,” Pitino said Friday. “Not one person living in the dorm had even the slightest premonition. It just doesn’t make sense to me.”

The Hall of Fame coach wasn’t mentioned in Ramsey’s statement in which the chancellor praised Jurich’s athletic program as “exemplary” at the school.

“It is important that the university – all of us – stay focused on our day-to-day work of providing our outstanding students with a world-class education,” Ramsey said. “The investigation of the allegations may take time and we must, as one university, continue doing the work we do to move our university and our community forward.”