Ben McLemore, Martavious Irving

Late Night Snacks: Kansas rolls, Hoyas take hold in the Big East

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A decent slate of games was highlighted by two Top 25 battles in both the Big East and Big 12. The SWAC and MEAC were in full effect and Quinnipiac/Central Connecticut State and Bryant/Sacred Heart were postponed after the winter storm that hit the northeast over the weekend. As far as news, we got word that team trainers better watch out for right foot, fifth metatarsal injuries. It’s Late Night Snacks.

Game of the night

No. 14 Kansas 83, No. 10 Kansas State 62 – This one had all the makings for a great game. Intrastate rivalry. A pair of Top 15 teams. A crazy atmosphere. Instead, Kansas snapped their three-game losing streak in a big way, taking control of the game midway through the first half and cruising. Ben McLemore gave himself a heck of a birthday present for no. 20.

Games of note

No. 15 Georgetown 63, No. 18 Marquette 55 – Otto Porter continues to do everything the pundits expected him to do this season. The sophomore dropped in 21 points and pulled down seven rebounds in a game that the Hoyas took control of midway through the second half.

Oklahoma 75, TCU 48 – In the “Hey, We Just Beat Kansas, Too!” Classic, Oklahoma showed their victory over the Jayhawks may have been a bit more legitimate. Romero Osby has 11 points and seven rebound and Amath M’Baye had 12 points in the win.

Norfolk State 85, Maryland-Eastern Shore 63 – On a night when much of the attention was given to the Big East and Big 12, the Spartans are showing their not just a one-year wonder in the MEAC. Coach Anthony Evans deserves respect with NSU going 11-0 in the MEAC and 16-10 overall. They’ll battle North Carolina Central (10-0) for the conference title, but the two teams don’t play. Weird.

Starred

Ben McLemore, Kansas – Not sure anyone had a better birthday than the Kansas redshirt freshman. He got Kansas State for 30 points on 9-for-13 shooting, 6-for-10 from three.

Otto Porter, Georgetown – It’s just another night at the office for Porter, who punished Marquette for 21 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Adrien Coleman, Bethune-Cookman – MEAC love tonight for a pair of 30-point performances. Coleman had his way in a loss to N.C. Central with 31 points, 10 rebounds and four assists on 13-for-17 shooting overall.

Jeremy Ingram, Maryland-Eastern Shore – The second MEAC monster tonight also came with a big game in a loss. Ingram had 32 points and five rebounds, shooting 6-for-12 from the field and 17-for-20 from the free throw line in loss. The best player on a bad, bad, one-win Hawks team.

Struggled

Rodney McGruder, Kansas State – Ignore the stat sheet. McGruder had 20, but 12 of that was in garbage time. The 6-4 senior had eight points on 3-of-11 shooting at 12-minute mark  with the Wildcats down 63-45.

Vander Blue, Marquette – We touched on this earlier, but Blue needs good offensive nights for the Golden Eagles to win big games. Monday night wasn’t one of those nights. He finished with seven points on 3-of-9 shooting in the loss to Georgetown.

Stuffing the stat sheet

Jeff Withey, Kansas – He’s a frequent visitor to this part of LNS, and tonight he earned it. The fifth-year senior complimented McLemore’s big night with 17 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in the win at home over K-State. The nation’s best shot blocker is back at it.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten.

Kawhi Leonard to be inducted into SDSU Hall of Fame

Kawhi Leonard (Getty Images)
Kawhi Leonard (Getty Images)
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Kawhi Leonard is, and probably always will be, the greatest player to ever come through the San Diego State ranks.

And this week, the Aztecs announced that they will be honoring the all-NBA wing due to his accomplishments in Viejas Arena: Leonard will be enshrined in the SDSU Hall of Fame this October.

Leonard is a terrific story, one that most people probably already know. A former Mr. Basketball in California, Leonard was somewhat under-recruited, winding up at SDSU where he proceeded to post monster numbers for an Aztec team that climbed into the top five in the country his sophomore season. He went pro after just two years with the program, getting picked 15th by the Spurs due to concerns about his ability to adjust to the perimeter full-time.

And we all know how that worked out.

VIDEO: South Dakota walk-on Logan Power get surprised with a scholarship

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Logan Power, a 6-foot-4 redshirt sophomore from Nebraska, landed a scholarship at the end of South Dakota’s trip to Spain.

You can see the video of it above. Power played in 14 games last season, averaging 2.5 points as he played a real role for the Coyotes down the stretch of the season.

Sometimes moments like this can feel like artificial, like a production designed to boost a coach’s Q rating as much as it is to award the player that scholarship. This doesn’t feel like that at all, as head coach Craig Smith barely can even offer a speech about the player as he fights to hold back tears.

It’s a touching moment.

Well done, USD.

Why did Trevon Duval list Seton Hall, St. John’s and not Duke, Kentucky?

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Trevon Duval is the reason that mixtapes were created.

A top five player and the top point guard in the Class of 2017, Duval is 6-foot-3 and super-athletic, boasting the kind of handle that would make Uncle Drew blush. It’s not possible to do any kind of scouting off of a mixtape; judging what a player can and can’t do based off of a highlight package doesn’t happen.

But given what Duval is capable of doing, it makes him the perfect player to have game film cut and edited so that his highlights fit seamlessly within the beat of an instrumental.

That’s why this mixtape is so good.

But unlike a lot of mixtape phenoms, Duval’s game goes beyond the tricks that look good in slow motion.

His ranking isn’t a fluke. He’s far and away the best point guard in 2017, but you wouldn’t know that based on his offer list.

On Monday, “trimmed” his list to ten schools: He’s not following a typical path for the top point guard in the class. Much has been written in the last six months about how Duke and Kentucky, the two preeminent programs on the recruiting trail, have been targeting second tier point guards in the Class of 2017, the likes of Trae Young and Quade Green and Tremont Waters.

Young and Green and Waters are all terrific players, top 30 recruits with a shot at becoming McDonalds All-Americans, but Duval is in a tier all by himself. He’s the only surefire one-and-done point guard in the class.

And he listed Seton Hall and St. John’s in his final ten.

He didn’t list Duke and Kentucky.

What do Seton Hall, St. John’s and Trevon Duval all have in common?

Under Armour.

Duval plays for We-R-1 on the travel circuit, a program that is sponsored by UA. He played his junior season at API, a high school program in Texas that was sponsored by Under Armour. Emmanuel Mudiay and Terrence Ferguson, the last two elite prospects to forego college to head directly to the professional ranks overseas, both came from API and reportedly signed sponsorship deals with UA. If UA has a reputation at the grassroots level, it’s that they’re as loyal as any of the three major shoe companies. They do everything they can to keep it all in the family.

The best example of this?

Diamond Stone, a product of the Under Armour Association circuit and Wisconsin native that bucked in-state powers Wisconsin and Marquette to play for Maryland, the program that is to UA and Oregon is to Nike.

It doesn’t always work that way — see: Josh Jackson — and of the final 10 schools on Duval’s list, only four are programs sponsored by Under Armour.

But it’s not an accident that Seton Hall and St. John’s made the cut, and it’s not a coincidence that UCLA — who just this summer signed a massive sponsorship deal with the apparel company — is now considered to be the favorite to land Duval.

The idea that shoe companies control where elite prospects go to school is a bit overblown in this day and age. If it wasn’t, Kansas, an adidas school, wouldn’t have landed Andrew Wiggins or Josh Jackson, two of the last four No. 1 players in the country, neither of whom played with an adidas sponsored team before college.

But it does happen.

And when it does, it’s not all that hard to identify.

Trevon Duval (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)
Trevon Duval (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

Report: CBE Hall of Fame Classic headliners set

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The headliners for the 2017 CBE Hall of Fame Classic have been set.

UCLA, Baylor, Wisconsin and Creighton will highlight the bill for the annual event in Kansas City, according to a report from CBS Sports.

The CBE Hall of Fame Classic historically has included on-campus games and a flagship four-team championship round at the Sprint Center. This year’s headliners include Kansas, Georgia, George Washington and UAB.

Certainly securing four high-majors is a significant get for the event, which will also likely coincide with the induction of the 2017 class of the Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. The 2016 class is highlighted by Mark Aguirre, Doug Collins, Dominique Wilson, Jamal Wilkes and Mike Montgomery.

Coach Cal softball game raises $300K for La. flood relief

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John Calipari is known for his ability to amass talent. Over the weekend, that quality helped raise $300,000 for Louisiana flood relief.

The Coach Cal Celebrity Softball Classic brought Kentucky stars like Keith Bogans, Andrew Harrison and Karl-Anthony Towns and the likes of former UK quarterback Tim Couch and NFL Hall of Famer Chris Carter to Lexington to help aid Louisiana in conjunction with the Red Cross after the area suffered major flooding earlier this month.

“I didn’t want to really do a softball game,” Calipari said according to his website, “but then we decided to do it and then Louisiana happens and now you have a cause. … It’s kind of neat. You have a cause, you have a why.”

Towns’ team was the 18-12 victor over Team Calipari on the day.

“This is amazing,” Towns said on CoachCal.com. “This is something that we get a chance to rarely do. We get to help the community out but at the same time have fun. There’s nothing better than doing something that we would do for free but for charity. This is something we’re going to have a lot of fun doing today.”

The softball game was played the same weekend as the John Calipari Basketball Fantasy Experience which generated $1 million that will be shared with 14 charities.