Chase Tapley

Late Night Snacks: Chase Tapley caps night with last-second shot to beat Boise State (VIDEO)

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Tapley beats Boise

Game of the Day: Wisconsin 74, Iowa 70 (2OT)

Four Badgers scored in double figures, as Iowa dropped another close game to a quality Big Ten opponent. Wisconsin trailed by three, 58-55, with 0:21 to go, but a clutch three-pointer from Traevon Jackson tied the game and sent it into overtime. In the first extra period, the teams scored just one field goal between them, but Jackson came through again with two free throws to tie the game at 62 and force a second overtime.

That’s when the offenses finally opened up.

Important Outcomes 

1. TCU 62, No. 5 Kansas 55

TCU, a winless 0-8 team in Big 12 play, somehow almost inexplicably took it to the nation’s No. 5 team. But how? The Jayhawks shot an awful 29.5 percent from the floor and had just 13 points at halftime. Kansas’ need for a point guard was prominently on display, as Naadir Tharpe and Elijah Johnson shot a combined 5-of-27 from the floor. If there were ever a more appropriate time for a team’s fanbase to storm the floor, it was Wednesday night at TCU.

2. No. 7 Arizona 73, Stanford 66 

Solomon Hill and Mark Lyons were the keys to an Arizona victory, combining for close to 66 percent of the Wildcats’ offensive output Wednesday night. Without the senior leadership of those two, we would likely be talking about a streaking Stanford team with an impressive road upset. But it was not to be.

3. No. 12 Michigan State 61, N0. 18 Minnesota 50

Without much production from its interior presences until the final minutes, guards Gary Harris and Keith Appling needed to carry Michigan State. Appling injured his shoulder late, but he returned to the bench. With an already thin backcourt, Izzo and the Spartans will hope that Appling does not miss any time.

Starred

1. Mark Lyons, Arizona (25 points, 6 assists)

With Aaron Bright putting up big numbers for Stanford Wednesday night, Arizona needed a counter. Alongside Solomon Hill, who also had a big night, Lyons produced when the Wildcats needed it. He was key to a second-half run that gave Arizona its first lead of the night and he helped to seal the deal in the end.

2. Jared Berggren (16 points, 14 rebounds, 5 blocks)

Wisconsin needed everything it got from Berggren to fend off a pesky Iowa team in double overtime. His eight offensive rebounds helped the Badgers to get second-chance points. Bo Ryan’s team is now 7-3 in a tough Big Ten.

3. Shayne Whittington, Western Michigan (21 points, 13 rebounds) 

As always, it’s important to recognize a big game from a mid-major player. Wednesday night, it was Whittington, whose double-double helped Western Michigan to a win over Kent State.

Also of Note: Devon Moore, James Madison (17 points, 12 assists, 2 TOs) | Dwight Powell, Stanford (24 points, 10 rebounds)

Struggled 

1. Kansas (30% FG, 14% 3pt FG, 29 PF, Loss to TCU team that was previously 0-8 in Big 12 play)

It was a combination of problems that led to Kansas’s loss to TCU, but poor offensive flow was one of the worst. The Jayhawks started 1-of-17 from the floor and never found their groove.

2. Roy Devyn Marble, Iowa (2 points, 1-of-10 FG)

The junior averages over 13 points per game, but was only able to muster two in the Hawkeyes double-overtime loss to Wisconsin. His team did not shoot well either, going just 25-of-74 from the floor. 

3. Doug McDermott, Creighton (8 points, 3-of-10 FG)

McDermott was contained for the most part Wednesday night, leading to an Indiana State blowout victory. The National Player of the Year candidate is the engine of the Creighton offense and without him producing, it was a bad night for the Bluejays.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Villanova beats Duke, Kansas, Indiana for Jermaine Samuels

Atlanta, GA - MAY 27: Nike EYBL. Session 4. Jermaine Samuels, Jr. #23 of Expressions Elite dunks. (Photo by Jon Lopez)
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Villanova landed a commitment from top 50 prospect Jermaine Samuels on Saturday.

Samuels is a tough and athletic 6-foot-5 wing that will remind many Wildcat fans of Josh Hart. He’s got the same kind of versatility and nose for the ball that will let him guard perimeter players as well as work in as a small-ball four. Players like this are a specialty of Jay Wright.

Samuels picked up an offer from Duke recently and also had Indiana, Kansas and Georgetown in his top five. Beating out blue-bloods for a prospect like this is quite the statement for Villanova, one that should tell you the reigning national champs are here to stay as a national power.

Syracuse lands critical piece in Andrew White

LINCOLN, NE - FEBRUARY 3: Andrew White #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers shoots the ball over Rasheed Sulaimon #0 of the Maryland Terrapins during their game at Pinnacle Bank Arena on February 3, 2016 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
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Syracuse has found their replacement for Malachi Richardson.

On Sunday, Nebraska transfer Andrew White committed to the Orange, picking Syracuse, in the end, over VCU. White is a graduate transfer who spent last season with Nebraska, where he averaged 16.2 points while shooting 41.2 percent from three. A top 50 prospect out of Virginia back in the Class of 2012, White played a limited role for Kansas his first two seasons in college.

This is a significant pickup for the Orange, one that legitimately puts them into the conversation as a Final Four contender and a threat to finish at or near the top of the ACC. Jim Boeheim has put together a roster full of talented, long and athletic front court players, but after Richardson declared for the NBA Draft as a one-and-done freshman, he was left with just two back court players on his roster.

Earlier this offseason, Cuse landed Colorado State grad transfer John Gillon, a 6-foot-1 combo-guard, to reinforce their back court. The addition of White gives them a lights-out shooter and a big-time scorer on the wing, something that would have been a major void on their roster.

With Paschal Chukwu getting eligible at the center spot and Tyler Lydon likely landing on every breakout player list this preseason, the Orange should be a markedly better team than the one that made their way to the Final Four last season.

Arizona lands first commitment in 2017 class

Alex Barcello (Jon Lopez/Nike)
(Jon Lopez/Nike)
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Arizona landed their first commitment in the Class of 2017 on Friday night as point guard Alex Barcello pledged to Sean Miller and the Wildcats.

Barcello is a 6-foot-2 point guard from Tempe who plays his high school ball for Corona del Sol. He committed to the Wildcats on an official visit to the Tucson campus.

Barcello is a borderline top 100 prospect who sits at No. 123 in the Rivals top 150. He’s known for his ability to shoot, and he’s more of a combo-guard — i.e. shoot-first — than a point guard at times, but he’s a nice pickup and projects as a solid four-year player for the Wildcats.

Virginia, Indiana, Stanford and Butler were the other four schools on Barcello’s list.

Duke lands first commitment in 2017 class

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Alex O’Connell knew exactly where he wanted to play his college ball, which is why, just two days after picking up an offer from Coach K and the Blue Devils, he became Duke’s first recruit in the Class of 2017.

O’Connell announced the on twitter on Friday afternoon:

O’Connell is a four-star prospect from Georgia that had a terrific summer, going from being a borderline top 75 prospect to a player that caught the interest of Duke, who, along with Kentucky, sit atop the college recruiting hierarchy. He’s an explosively athletic and lanky 6-foot-6 wing with three-point range on his jumper. He needs to add some weight and some strength — he’s listed as a crisp 175 pounds — but he has the tools, and the swagger, to develop into a very effective player in the ACC.

Is he a one-and-done prospect?

Probably not. In fact, since 2010, Duke has landed just two players that were rated lower than O’Connell: Antonio Vrankovic and Jack White. If you know who both of them are, you’re probably either Jon Scheyer or lying.

But what O’Connell is is a kid who put in the work to get better this past year and who has the skill set, the physical tools and work ethic to continue to improve. He may not be on Grayson Allen’s trajectory, but O’Connell has the makings of being an impact player for the Blue Devils for three or four years.

Alex O'Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)
Alex O’Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)

Shaka Smart lands contract extension at Texas

Texas head coach Shaka Smart instructs his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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Shaka Smart has already landed himself a contract extension at Texas.

The school, according to the Austin American-Statesman, has given Shaka a one-year extension — through the 2022-23 season — and bumped his salary up to a cool $3 million, a raise of $100,000 annually.

Smart’s Longhorns went 20-13 last season and lost on a half court buzzer beater from Northern Iowa’s Paul Jespersen. It will be tough for Smart to match the success that he had last season, specifically because he lost senior point guard Isaiah Taylor to the professional ranks.

That said, the former VCU head man has been reeling in quite a bit of talent from the state of Texas — namely, Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen — and is not all that far from turning the Longhorns back into a relevant member of the Big 12 title race.