Ray McCallum,Ray McCallum Jr.

Late Night Snacks: Ivy League, Horizon take center stage

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Game of the Day

Harvard 67, Yale 64

The Crimson held a double-digit lead going into the second half. The Bulldogs were able to climb back into the game and with under 30 seconds made it a one-possession game. The first half deficit was too much for Yale, as Harvard connected on the final four free throws to secure the win. The win keeps Harvard perfect in conference play, just a half game above Princeton, who also won on Friday.

Also of note: Siena 66, Manhattan 63.

Important Outcomes

Princeton 76, Cornell 59

The Tigers rolled past Cornell on Friday night, which was important for Princeton. They keep a four-game winning streak alive and remain one of 2-0 in conference — making Princeton and Harvard the only undefeated teams in the Ivy League. It was a must-win for the Tigers, who have a tough next week. On Friday, Princeton plays a good Brown team, followed by Yale the next day.

Detroit 88, Youngstown State 77

Four starters for Detroit finished with double figures, led by Ray McCallum’s 23 points. Like Princeton, the win for Detroit keeps the Titans in the hunt for the top spot in their conference. Detroit sits half a game out of first, behind Valparaiso. Detroit has three upcoming games against teams with a combined 8-18 record in the Horizon League. After that Detroit gets another shot at Valpo.

Valparaiso 71, Milwaukee 40

The Crusaders could have lost sole possession of first place in the Horizon League, but held the Panthers to a dismal 27 percent shooting from the field, en route to a blowout win. Valparaiso has won six of seven. Three of the next four won’t be easy — against Illinois-Chicago, on the road at Wright State and back home against Detroit. The Crusaders have beaten all three of those team, but by a combined 12 points.

Also of note: Mercer 66, Kennesaw State 42

Starred

Ray McCallum, Detroit

The Horizon League’s leading scorer eclipsed the 20-point mark for the 13th time this season, scoring a 23 points with six assists, three rebounds and five steals. He was great from the field connecting on 9-of-15 and 3-of-4 from behind the arc.

Wesley Saunders, Harvard

Saunders had 15 points, 11 rebounds for his first double-double in a Harvard uniform. He added four rebounds to go along with the double-double, logging 39 minutes in a win over Harvard.

Maurice Barrow, Fairfield

Barrow had a career-high 25 points to go along with 10 rebounds, as Fairfield won its third straight in a 10-point win over Rider.

Also of note: Iam Hummer, Princeton: 22 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists; Denton Koon, Princeton: 22 points, 3 steals; Damian Eargle, Youngstown State: 13 points, 12 rebounds, 7 blocks

Struggled

O.D. Anosike, Siena

Thirteen times this season Anosike has finished with a double-double. He was limited to only five points and six rebounds. Although he did battle foul trouble — two in the first half and picking up a third two minutes into the second half — Manhattan did not let the 6-foot-8 senior dominate down low.

Columbia shooting

Columbia outrebounded Penn by 10, including a 12-1 advantage on the offensive glass, however poor shooting cost the Lions. Over the game Columbia shot 34 percent and only 18 from three. Columbia couldn’t stop Miles Cartwright, who scored several key baskets late to give the Quakers the win.

Kennesaw State

The Owls shot 28 percent for the game and had 10 more turnovers than assists. Kennesaw State has now dropped 19 of the last 20 games, including seven straight. The Owls sit at the bottom of the Atlantic Sun standings with a 1-9 record.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Indiana lands four-star Class of 2017 wing Justin Smith

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Indiana landed an athletic wing commitment on Monday night as four-star small forward Justin Smith pledged to the Hoosiers on Twitter.

The 6-foot-6 Smith is a native of Lincolnshire, Illinois and comes from Stevenson High School as he’s regarded as the No. 105 overall prospect in the Rivals national Class of 2017 rankings.

A high-flying wing who is great in the open floor, Smith should fit the Hoosiers’ uptempo system perfectly and if he’s able to get a more consistent perimeter jumper then he has a chance to be a really nice piece for Indiana.

Smith joins three-star guard Al Durham in Indiana’s recruiting Class of 2017.

Michigan State addingTom Izzo Hall of History wing in remodeled Breslin Center

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 22:  Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans reacts against the Virginia Cavaliers during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 22, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
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Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has already been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this fall and the longtime Spartans head coach is receiving another unique honor in the remodeled Breslin Center.

The school announced over the weekend that the Tom Izzo Hall of History will be added to the Breslin Center renovations as the building is supposed to be completed by the fall of 2017.

“The Tom Izzo Hall of History will become a great gathering place on our campus where together we can celebrate the excellence of Spartan Basketball and MSU Athletics,” athletic director Mark Hollis said in a release. “When this facility project is complete it will be the finest college basketball facility in the country, so it’s only fitting that Tom’s name will be a permanent part of it.”

Overall, this is a nice addition to the Breslin Center, especially since Izzo and Michigan State basketball will forever be associated with one another. It should be cool for fans to go through it and re-live great moments in Michigan State history and the wing is another nice recruiting tool that can help point out all of Izzo’s biggest accomplishments.

 

Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament moving to Orlando amid Zika concerns

Lon Kruger
(AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
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Amid concerns over the Zika virus, the annual Puerto Rico Tip-Off announced a change in venue on Monday. Rather than staying on the island, the tournament will move to Orlando and all games will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney.

The dates and teams will remain the same for the event as it will be played Thursday, Nov. 17, Friday, Nov. 18 and Sunday, Nov. 20. The field for the event includes Arizona State, Clemson, Davidson, Missouri, Northern Iowa, Oklahoma, Tulane and Xavier.

“We enjoy the beauty and accommodations that are afforded in Puerto Rico and wanted to make every effort in playing the event in San Juan, but the concern for student-athlete and spectator welfare became the primary driver in the decision,” Pete Derzis, senior vice president of ESPN Events said in the official release.  “We intend to return to Puerto Rico in the future.”

Puerto Rico is currently under a Level 2 alert for Zika according to the CDC. Since there have been cases of Zika on the island with native mosquitoes, it’s probably a smart move to eliminate all concerns over the virus if they can easily move the tournament elsewhere. It probably isn’t ideal for fans who purchased travel packages to Puerto Rico to watch the event, but it’s a small price to pay for the safety of everyone involved.

The Puerto Rico Tourism Company is also upset with the decision as Executive Director Ingrid Rivera Rocafort released a statement on Monday night.

“We are disappointed about this decision that we believe has been based on fear not the facts about Puerto Rico,” the statement read.

“There is no public health reason to cancel the Puerto Rico Tip Off or any sporting event in Puerto Rico. There is no doubt that our strong fan base and local spectators would have turned out to support their teams. Less than one percent of Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million population has contracted Zika, a far cry from projections. The hype and misinformation is fostering irrational decisions.”

PHOTO: Purdue unveils statue of John Wooden outside Mackey Arena

John Wooden (Purdue Athletics)
Purdue Athletics
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John Wooden will forever be associated with the UCLA program for what he did while coaching there.

10 national titles in 12 years, including seven in a row. Not bad, right?

What some people may forget is that before he got into coaching, Wooden was one of the best basketball players in the world. He played his collegiate ball at Purdue, where he was a three-time all-american and the 1932 National Player of the Year.

To honor Wooden’s legacy as one of the greatest Boilermakers ever, Purdue built a statue of Wooden and unveiled it in front of Mackey Arena this weekend:

“Not many people think of Johnny Wooden as a Boilermaker, but when I got here in 1957, some of the old-timers still remembered him as a player,” Jim Hicks, the alumnus that donated the statue, said. “I’m so delighted that people will see this statue and read his Pyramid of Success because I think the pyramid was his most important contribution.”

One of the neat touches of the statue: Wooden’s Pyramid of Success is right there for all to see.

North Carolina lands third commitment in 2017 class

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 23: Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks on during the third round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament against the Iowa State Cyclones at the AT&T Center on March 23, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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North Carolina picked up their third commitment in the Class of 2017 on Monday in big man Brandon Huffman.

A four-star prospect who will play his final season of high school ball at Word of God Academy in North Carolina, Huffman’s strength at this point in his development is as a defensive presence around the basket. He stands 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-5 wingspan and should be able to help replace Kennedy Meeks, who graduates this spring.

Huffman’s development on the offensive end of the floor isn’t quite there yet. A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Huffman is still learning how to be more influential on that end.

Huffman joins Jalek Felton and Andrew Platek in UNC’s 2017 class.