Alex Len, Mason Plumlee, Quinn Cook

Late Night Snacks: Duke loses; Kansas dances; Oregon lucks out

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Game of the Night

Maryland 83, No. 2 Duke 81: This win meant so much to Mark Turgeon, it apparently got a little dusty up in the postgame press conference. It meant so much to Maryland fans, they attempted to destroy their own campus.

Joking aside, this was a big win for the Terps. Potentially season-saving. Alex Len outplayed Mason Plumlee, and Maryland as a team somehow survived a vintage Seth Curry shooting night. With Virginia failing to seize the day in a loss at UNC today, there’s still room for a hungry team to move up in the ACC.

Meaningful Results

No. 14 Kansas 73, Texas 47: We all remember Kansas’ three-game losing streak. Well, it’s definitively over, with the Jayhawks swamping K-State and Texas at home, and seeming a bit more relaxed. Relaxed enough to put out absolutely bat-poo insane gifs of themselves in bizarre outfits dancing in the locker room.

source:

That… that has to be some kind of NCAA violation. Right?

No. 23 Oregon 79, Washington State 77 (OT): The Cougars had this thing tied up. E.J. Singler was bringing the ball up the floor in the extra period, ready to try for a game-winner with 3.8 seconds to go. Then, in the fog of battle that strikes so many college-age players, WSU’s Dexter Kernich-Drew – a sophomore from Australia – fouled him intentionally. Singler sank the free throws, and Oregon avoided a possible resume-killing loss in Pullman. That wasn’t the only wacky moment from the game. Oregon center Tony Woods got tossed in the first half for elbowing Brock Motum in the head. At this point, everyone involved is probably just glad this game is in the history books.

N0. 10 Kansas State 81, Baylor 61: The Wildcats looked sharp in this easy win over a team once considered to be a serious Big 12 contender. Bruce Weber has some dangerous parts at his disposal, and when Angel Rodriguez is on, as he was tonight, the Wildcat machine is sharp and on-target. It may be time for K-State to seize their first-ever Big 12 title.

No. 24 Colorado State 89, Air Force 86: Huge game for Air Force cadet Michael Lyons. He scored 45, but the Rams stayed in the hunt for the MWC title, overcoming Lyons’ incredible individual effort with all five starters in double figures.

N0. 19 New Mexico 60, Boise State 50: The Lobos stayed one step ahead of the Rams, surviving a feisty group of Broncs to win again in the Pit, and stay a half-game ahead of CSU.

Starred

Michael Lyons, Air Force: Can’t argue with 45 points, though the paucity of the rest of his stat line (two rebounds, no assists, two turnovers) probably isn’t ideal.

Royce Woolridge, Washington State: His team lost, but Woolridge had a career night, scoring 36 points to go with five assists and three steals. The talented sophomore will give Ken Bone something to build on as he attempts to get the Cougars back into the top echelon of the Pac-12.

The Memphis Tigers: Josh Pastner’s squad is back in the national spotlight, sporting an 11-0 record in C-USA after downing Marshall in Huntington. Adonis Thomas was big in this one, with 23 points and 10 boards.

Struggled

Eli Carter, Rutgers:

The Scarlet Knights are 4-9 in league play, and nobody likes to see an athlete get hurt. Very unfortunate news.

Maryland: Yeah, they won, but 26 turnovers? Ouch. That will get you an L more often than it will a W.

The Longhorns: Texas had some bad numbers against Kansas: 21.8 percent from the floor, 9.5 percent from deep, and 65.6 percent from the line. They must have used some kind of quantum math to somehow turn that into 47 points.

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

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.