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.

Villanova’s Jenkins to return for senior season

Villanova forward Kris Jenkins (2) reacts to play against North Carolina during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 4, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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After briefly taking part in the NBA Draft evaluation process, Villanova forward Kris Jenkins announced Monday night that he’s decided to withdraw and return to school for his senior year. Jenkins, whose three-pointer as time expired gave the Wildcats the win over North Carolina in the national title game, announced the news via Twitter.

2015-16 was a breakout season for Jenkins, who moved into the starting lineup and averaged 13.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. The 6-foot-6 forward shot 45.9 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from beyond the arc, and with starters Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu graduating he’ll have even more opportunities to produce next season.

Jenkins’ decision to return leaves wing Josh Hart as the lone Wildcats going through the early entry process at this time. Hart was a first team All-Big East selection as a junior, and his return would be the final piece to the puzzle for a team that many expect to be a national title contender in 2016-17.

Jenkins and Hart wouldn’t be the only returnees who had a part in the national title run, with guards Jalen Brunson and Phil Booth, wing Mikal Bridges and forward Darryl Reynolds back as well. To that group Villanova adds Fordham transfer Eric Paschall and a recruiting class anchored by Omari Spellman and Dylan Painter with Donte DiVincenzo and Tim Delaney available after being hampered by injuries last season.

Delaney missed all of last year after undergoing surgical procedures on his hips, and DiVincenzo played a total of 74 minutes over the first nine games before having to sit due to a broken foot.

Florida State guard Rathan-Mayes to return for junior season

Florida State guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes (22) drives past Notre Dame guard Rex Pflueger, left, for a score in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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With their top three scorers from last season all deciding to declare for the NBA Draft, Florida State was facing the possibility of having to rebuild their backcourt ahead of the 2016-17 season. However two of those three have decided to return to Tallahassee, with rising junior Xavier Rathan-Mayes announcing on Monday that he will be back in school.

Rathan-Mayes joins rising sophomore Dwayne Bacon in returning to play another season for head coach Leonard Hamilton, with Malik Beasley hiring representation and remaining in the draft.

Rathan-Mayes had more scoring help last season and as a result was able to concentrate more on the distribution aspects of the point guard position, as he averaged 11.8 points and 4.4 assists per contest. With the return of Rathan-Mayes and Bacon, Florida State will have two of its top three scorers from last season back on campus.

The Seminoles did lose some veteran players, most notably guard Devon Bookert and center Boris Bojanovsky, but the returnees and a recruiting class led by McDonald’s All-American forward Jonathan Isaac means that they won’t lack for options next season.

Auburn lands third transfer within the last week

Auburn guard T.J. Dunans (4) and coach Bruce Pearl celebrate a 75-74 win over UAB in an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, at Auburn Arena in Auburn, Ala.  (Julie Bennett/AL.com via AP)
Julie Bennett/AL.com via AP
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After receiving commitments from former Purdue/Houston guard Ronnie Johnson and former Presbyterian forward DeSean Murray, Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl continued to load up on the transfer market Monday. Forward LaRon Smith, who was named MEAC Defensive Player of the Year at Bethune-Cookman last season, announced that he will use his final season of eligibility at the SEC program.

Like Smith, Johnson will also be eligible to compete immediately for the Tigers while Murray will have to sit out next season before having two years of eligibility remaining.

The 6-foot-8 Smith played two seasons at Georgia State before transferring to Bethune-Cookman, where he averaged 7.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per contest in 2015-16. Smith played just over 25 minutes per game for the Wildcats, shooting 58.5 percent from the field.

Smith reached double figures in scoring in four of the Wildcats’ final seven games, including a 20-point, 11-rebound, three-block outing in an overtime win over North Carolina A&T. He joins a front court in need of depth following the departures of the likes of Cinmeon Bowers and Tyler Harris, with Horace Spencer, Trayvon Reed and incoming freshman Anfernee McLemore also competing for minutes in 2016-17.

SMU lands former Arkansas guard Jimmy Whitt

Arkansas guard Jimmy Whitt (24) leaps for a layup past Tennessee guard Shembari Phillips (25) during an NCAA college basketball game in Knoxville, Tenn., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. Arkansas won 75-65. (Adam Lau/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP)
Adam Lau/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP
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With a five-member recruiting class set to arrive on campus this summer, SMU added a talented transfer Monday afternoon. Jimmy Whitt, who played his freshman season at Arkansas, committed to join Larry Brown’s program. Whitt, a 6-foot-4 guard from Columbia, Missouri, will have three seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2016-17 campaign.

As a freshman at Arkansas, Whitt averaged 6.1 points and 1.7 rebounds in just over 17 minutes of action per game. He reached double figures in scoring nine time, with the high being a 15-point outing in a blowout win over Missouri in mid-January. Whitt produced a stretch of four consecutive games in double figures during non-conference play, but he struggled to maintain that consistency against SEC competition.

At SMU he’ll join a perimeter rotation that will lose rising senior Sterling Brown following the 2016-17 season. Among those who will have eligibility remaining when Whitt becomes eligible are Ben Emelogu, Shake Milton, Jarrey Foster and incoming freshmen Tom Wilson and Dashawn McDowell.

 

Boise State assistant named head coach at Northern Colorado

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Courtesy UNCBears.com
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GREELEY, Colo. (AP) Jeff Linder is the new basketball coach at Northern Colorado. He spent the last six seasons at Boise State, where he was associate head coach for the Broncos since 2013-14.

Linder replaces B.J. Hill, who was fired last month amid an NCAA investigation into allegations of violations in the program.

University President Kay Norton and Athletic Director Darren Dunn announced Linder’s hiring Sunday.

Linder played high school ball in Lafayette, Colorado, and college ball at Mesa State and Western Colorado State. He began his coaching career under Colorado head coach Ricardo Patton.

In a statement, Linder said, “I look forward to returning home to the state of Colorado and continuing to build this program into something everyone can be proud of.”

Hill was 86-98 in six seasons at UNC.