Tyreek Duren, Rob Brandenderg

Late Night Snacks: La Salle rolls up the A-10 welcome mat

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Game of the Night

La Salle 69, No. 19 VCU 61: Want to make someone feel unwelcome in the A-10? Let them play La Salle. The Explorers knocked off No. 9 Butler in Philly a few days ago, and then traveled to Richmond and laid the hurt on No. 19 VCU as well. John Giannini played a four-guard lineup to counter the Rams, and got a game-high 31 from Ramon Galloway to reinforce La Salle’s growing tournament resume. Juvonte Reddic and Treveon Graham each had a double-double, but it wasn’t enough to keep VCU from falling victim to the A-10’s old school reps.

Meaningful Results

No. 23 Ole Miss 63, Auburn 61: So what, you’re saying. A ranked team beat an unranked team. If you’ve been watching any hoops at all this past week or two, you know just how hard that is. Ole Miss is a relative newcomer to the polls as well, so earning a road win in a tight game is good stuff. The Rebel Black Bears got their usual good night out of Marshall Henderson, who had 15, and guards Jarvis Summers and Ladarius White combined for 31 to keep Ole Miss unbeaten in SEC play.

San Diego State 55, N0. 15 New Mexico 34: And the Mountain West rolls on. What else can you say? The league is like a microcosm of DI as a whole, where no ranking is safe, and parity reigns supreme. The Aztecs got a great night from J.J. O’Brien, who posted 12 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks in the nominal upset.

No. 18 N.C State 91, North Carolina 83: The Wolfpack used a balanced scoring attack to prove that the balance of power has, indeed shifted in the Triangle.

No. 16 Oregon 81, Washington 76: This was a game of who could mess up least, apparently. The Ducks stayed unbeaten in Pac-12 play, but they didn’t do it in a pretty way. The two teams combined to throw away 44 turnovers.


Oakland Grizzlies head coach Greg Kampe:

Christian Standhardinger, Hawaii: The Nebraska transfer had 31 points, 16 rebounds, 1 steal and 2 blocked shots in a 78-73 Hawaii win at UCSB.


Several teams and individuals struggled tonight, but can we really put them in the same boat with Northern Illinois? The team that scored all of four first-half points in a 42-25 loss to Eastern Michigan? I think not.

And then we found out that it was even worse than we had originally thought. NIU broke their own record, in fact.

Brutal, indeed.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

As good as they’ve been, No. 3 Michigan State has yet to play their best

Bryn Forbes, Ryan Fazekas
Associated Press
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Sunday night’s Wooden Legacy title game matchup between No. 3 Michigan State and Providence was billed as a matchup of the nation’s two best players, and rightfully so. Michigan State senior Denzel Valentine (17 points, six rebounds, five assists), who already has two triple-doubles to his credit this season, and Providence redshirt junior Kris Dunn (21 points, five rebounds, seven assists) have more than lived up to the preseason expectations and more of the same was expected in Anaheim.

And while both had their moments, it was Michigan State’s supporting cast that made the difference in their 77-64 victory. The scary thing for future opponents on Michigan State’s schedule is that Tom Izzo’s team is nowhere near being a finished product.

With Valentine dealing with first-half foul trouble Bryn Forbes stepped up, scoring 13 of his 18 points to help the Spartans take a two-point lead into the half. As for the 11-0 run that Michigan State produced to take control of the game late, a host of players stepped forward in regards to scoring, rebounding and defending.

Freshmen Deyonta Davis and Matt McQuaid combined to score nine points over the final 5:32, with transfer guard Eron Harris adding six of his 12 points during that stretch. The Spartans outscored the Friars, who aren’t as deep, 22-7 during that stretch to close out the game, hunting for quality shots and hitting the offensive glass while making things difficult for Providence on the other end of the floor.

The end result was a final margin that does not indicate just how close the game was. While Providence seemed to run out of steam Michigan State received contributions from multiple players, which is undoubtedly a good sign for this group moving forward.

The Spartans will return the currently injured Gavin Schilling later this season, giving them another big man alongside Davis, Matt Costello and Colby Wollenman. He was a player they missed Sunday night, as he can defend opposing big men both in the post and on the perimeter. His absence was a main reason Michigan State didn’t have an answer for Providence’s Ben Bentil (20 points, seven rebounds) defensively.

The key for this group is going to end up being role definition, which is especially true in the case of Harris. A transfer from West Virginia, Harris came to East Lansing with the reputation of being a big time scorer. He’s struggled through the first two weeks of the season, but he got on a roll on Sunday night, finishing with 12 points, three boards and three assists. He showed he’s capable of doing a variety of things on the perimeter, and fitting into a “Swiss army knife” kind of role would make Michigan State that much more dangerous.

There’s no denying that Michigan State has been one of the nation’s best teams thus far.

But there’s also no denying that the Spartans have yet to hit their ceiling, which is definitely a positive moving forward.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady returns home with team

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.
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Wichita State forward Anton Grady was released from a hospital in Orlando on Sunday afternoon in time to return home with his Shocker teammates.

Grady suffered a spinal corn concussion on Friday when he collided head-first with an Alabama defender, snapping his head sharply to the side. He lay on the court motionless for 10 minutes after the injury and was taken off the floor on a stretcher.

[RELATED: Can WSU still make tourney?]

“I want to send out a big thank you to Shocker Nation and all of my friends and family for of the love and encouragement that I have received the past few days,” Grady said in a statement on Sunday morning. “I’ve been reading your tweets and posts and appreciate every last one of them. I have a lot of work to do to get back on the court, but with the help of such a great support system, I’m ready for the challenge.”

By Friday night, Grady had feeling in all of his extremities, but he has a long road of rehab ahead of him.