Jamee Crockett, Vander Blue

Vander Blue’s scoring will dictate Marquette’s finish

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There’s no real question that Vander Blue is the primary scorer for Marquette. His 15 points per game justify that.

Monday night at Georgetown, Blue scored seven on 3-of-9 shooting in a 63-55 loss to the Hoyas, his worst scoring output in Big East Conference play and lowest overall since a six-point in a 49-47 loss to Green Bay on Dec. 19. It was also the last time Blue finished in single-digits scoring.

That right there will tell you how valuable Blue is to this team, offensively.

Blue has done his thing in the big games this season, win or lose. Against Florida, he dropped 20 in a loss. At Pittsburgh, he scored 22 and had 19 in a loss to Cincinnati. Don’t forget 21 in a close loss to Butler. Just because, he dropped 30 in a win over South Florida.

Monday night was a prime example that Blue has to be on his game if Marquette hopes to make a run in the Big East tournament and get a decent seed in the NCAAs, Blue has to be the guy who played well, even in a loss, against the Gators (he was 8-of-14 from the field and 2-of-5 from three) and play less like he did against the Hoyas (3-of-9, 0-of-4).

Fortunately, the home stretch for Marquette favors them. Road games at Seton Hall, Villanova, Rutgers and St. John’s — all winnable — flank home games against Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Notre Dame, all of which could or should be ranked when they go down. Blue will need his big-game talent for all of them.

He didn’t get off to a great start with seven at no. 15 Georgetown.

There are other scoring options. Devante Gardner’s 12 points are a nice compliment. Jamil Wilson scored 13 in the loss on Monday and averages 8.2 per for the season.

But the team runs through Blue on offense. It has to if the Golden Eagles want anything to do with the late postseason in the middle of March.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten.

VIDEO: North Carolina ball boy makes three straight halfcourt shots

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During North Carolina’s blowout win over N.C. State on Jan. 8, the Tar Heels weren’t the only ones in the building who were feeling it.

As it turns out, North Carolina ball boy Asher Lucas was the hottest shooter of anyone in the building that night.

During halftime of that Jan. 8 game, Lucas nailed three consecutive halfcourt shots, as his father, Adam Lucas, a North Carolina columnist, released the video this week to YouTube. The video quickly went viral as Asher’s unreal streak of shots was all over TV and the Internet.

The Tar Heels have been struggling to find consistent perimeter shooting for the last few seasons, so maybe they need to start scouting Asher for a future roster spot.

 

VIDEO: Milwaukee wins on Brock Stull buzzer-beater

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Milwaukee Athletics
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Milwaukee picked up a Horizon League win on Friday night as guard Brock Stull knocked in a buzzer-beater to topple Cleveland State.

Stull only had four points on the night as he played 30 minutes and finished with five assists and six rebounds.

Oregon’s Dillon Brooks is ‘in a walking boot’, status still unclear

EUGENE, OR - DECEMBER 11: Dillon Brooks #24 of the Oregon Ducks shoots the ball over Ar'Mond Davis #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half of the game at Matthew Knight Arena on December 11, 2016 in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
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Oregon released a statement on Friday afternoon that said star forward Dillon Brooks had seen doctors and was in a walking boot, but gave no further update on his condition.

Brooks suffered what the program termed a “lower leg injury” on Thursday night against Cal. The injury was to his left leg – on replay, it looked like he rolled his ankle – which is concerning because his left foot is the foot that he injured over the summer, which caused him to miss the first three games of the season.

“He’ll be evaluated in the next couple of days and see where he’s at,” head coach Dana Altman said after Thursday’s game.

Allonzo Trier cleared to play vs. UCLA

Arizona head coach Sean Miller talks with guard Allonzo Trier (11) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Northwestern State in Tucson, Ariz., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. (Mamta Popat/Arizona Daily Star via AP)  ALL LOCAL TELEVISION OUT; PAC-12 OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT; GREEN VALLEY NEWS OUT
Mamta Popat/Arizona Daily Star
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Allonzo Trier’s most recent drug test came back negative, meaning that the leading returning scorer for the Wildcats will be eligible to play on Saturday when Arizona plays a visit to UCLA.

Trier had been suspended for the first 19 games of the season following a positive test for a performance-enhancing drug. He appealed to the NCAA and actually won, claiming that he unknowingly ingested the substance after someone he trusted gave him a product to help him recover from a car accident during the offseason.

The NCAA’s stipulation, however, was that he could not play until the PED had cleared his system.

Trier averaged 14.8 points last season for Arizona. He’ll join a back court that already includes Kadeem Allen, Rawle Alkins and Kobi Simmons, as well as Kadeem Allen and Parker Jackson-Cartwright. Along with Lauri Markkanen, who has the look of a lottery pick, Trier was expected to be Arizona’s best player this season. While he has not been allowed to play this year, Trier has been practicing and traveling with the team. It may take him a while to work his way back into game shape and into the flow of the team, but it won’t be because he’s rusty.

The Wildcats are currently 17-2 on the year and 6-0 in the Pac-12. They play No. 3 UCLA in Pauley Pavilion on Saturday. The Bruins are a game out of first place in the conference standings.

Myles Davis leaves Xavier program

Myles Davis
AP Photo/John Minchillo
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Myles Davis announced in a post on twitter on Friday evening that he will be leaving the Xavier basketball team.

“I would like to thank everyone and Xavier for allowing me to get my degree but my family and I have decided that it is time for me to move on from Xavier and start a new chapter in my life,” Davis wrote in the statement. “Wish my teammates the best of luck the rest of the season.”

Davis averaged 10.8 points and 4.1 assists while shooting 38.1 percent from three as a junior in 2015-16, and his skill set would have filled a void that the Musketeers are currently missing on their roster.

But he was suspended for the first 15 games of the regular season following a pair of incidents involving an ex-girlfriend over the summer, and since being reinstated to the team just three games ago, Davis has averaged 11 minutes, scored just two points and shot 0-for-8 from the field and 0-for-6 from three.