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The Morning Mix

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The theme of the weekend was “Overtime”. Ten of the 160 games this weekend went into overtime. Tennessee and Texas A&M went to quadruple overtime. Alabama and LSU went to triple overtime. Milwaukee and IUPUI went into double overtime. Seven other games featured an extra session. In all, we got 80 minutes of free basketball this weekend.

Let’s hit the links.

Monday’s Top games:
7:00 p.m. – No. 8 Syracuse @ No. 17 Marquette
7:00 p.m. – Texas Tech @ No. 13 Kansas State
9:00 p.m. – Villanova @ Seton Hall
9:00 p.m. – No. 9 Kansas @ Iowa State
 
 
Top Stories:
Georgetown exacts their Big East revenge by exposing Syracuse: John Thompson III used the 2-3 zone against Syracuse to perfection on Saturday and Otto Porter did the rest, as the Hoyas ended their rivals’ 28-game home win streak.

Kendall Williams’ 46 points lead New Mexico to huge win at Colorado State: Williams’ put on one of the best individual performances of the season against a ranked Colorado State team. Oh yeah, he was 10-13 from beyond the arc.

Will Miami’s loss to Wake Forest be a wake-up call or a sign of trouble?We all knew this was coming. The ‘Canes looked vulnerable in their three previous games, and they spotted the Demon Deacons 19 points early on, a deficit Miami was unable to close.

Stony Brook clinches third America East title in last four years: Steve Pikiell is one of the most underrated coaches in the country. He took over a Stony Brook program that was an utter mess in 2005. He turned them around quickly and has led them to three America East championships in the past four seasons.

Aaron Craft’s offensive explosion keys Ohio State win over MSU: Aaron Craft makes his living as one of the top defenders in the country. But on Sunday it was his offense that fueled the Buckeyes marquee victory over Michigan State.

Oregon State freshman gets technical for dunking pregame, Beavers lose by 1 to Cal: The headline says it all.

In you had forgotten, Trey Burke is still in the Player of the Year race: Victor Oladipo and Otto Porter have stolen the Player of the Year spotlight as of late, but we shouldn’t forget about what Trey Burke is accomplishing.

Small ball gets North Carolina their third-straight win: Roy Williams changed things up last week, deciding to go with a four-guard lineup that better fit his team, and so far it seems to be working.

 
 
Hoops Housekeeping:
– Seton Hall recruit Aquille Carr is keeping his options open and may spurn college in favor of playing overseas. (New York Post)

– Montana’s postseason hopes took a big hit this weekend when Will Cherry re-broke his foot. The Grizzlies are already without Mathias Ward, their leading scorer. (Big Sky Bball)
 
 
Observations & Insight:
– The New York Times rips Duke and “Krzyzewskiville”, citing that the university is for education, not sleeping in tents. This is ripe. (New York Times)

– Nebraska head coach Tim Miles did not a make single substitution in the second half against Iowa on Saturday. It worked. The Huskers won 64-60 after trailing by as many as 19 points. He didn’t like the look of his eight-man rotation, so he shortened it up to just five. (Lincoln Journal Star)

– The City-6, also known the Big-5 plus Drexel, has three teams trying to get off the bubble and in to the big dance as the season comes to an end. (Penn Live)

– The Georgetown-Syracuse rivalry has had a lot of mediocre players. Wait, what? (Deadspin)

– Ryan Fagan takes a look at the teams on the bubble that improved their odds this weekend and those who did not. (Sporting News)

– Some NIT-ology for you because we can never have enough NIT-ology. (Big Apple Buckets)
 
 
Odds & Ends
– The ESPN Game Day bus is the ultimate road trip vehicle. But did you know that it’s unnocupied during the week? (USA Today)

– Mike Bruesewitz got a new haircut, and it’s awesome. (The Dagger)

– Right after Kansas lost to TCU, I tackled the “Top 10 upsets” of the season. CHD does a good job rehashing the bizarre 18-point home loss Villanova suffered to Columbia, and fills you in on two that just nearly missed my list. (College Hoops Digest)
 
 
Dunk of the Day:
There is no player in the country better at in-bounds ally-oops than Sam Thompson.


 
 
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Minnesota center to miss a month

ST. LOUIS, MO - MARCH 7: Reggie Lynch #22 of the Illinois State Redbirds and Fred VanVleet #23 of the Wichita State Shockers fight for control of a loose ball during the MVC Basketball Tournament Semifinals at the Scottrade Center on March 7, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Minnesota’s projected starting center is sidelined, but is expected to be ready for the season opener.

Reggie Lynch, the Illinois State transfer, had surgery on his left knee, the program announced on Friday night. According to Marcus R. Fuller of the Star-Tribune, the Golden Gophers are anticipating that Lynch is available for the season opener on Nov. 11 against Louisiana-Lafayette.

The 6-foot-10 Lynch has been in the news this offseason prior to his impending debut with Minnesota. In May, he was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault. On August 1, the Hennepin County attorney’s office was announced he would not face charges, citing insufficient evidence.

Lynch spent two seasons at Illinois State, averaging 9.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for the Redbirds as a sophomore. He sat out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer rules. Minnesota is coming off a second-to-last place finish in the Big Ten with an 8-23 (2-16 Big Ten) record.

Women’s hoops coaches boycotting recruiting events

DENVER, CO - MARCH 31:  Head coach Muffet McGraw of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish directs her team during practice prior to the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Final Four at Pepsi Center on March 31, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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For some high-major women’s basketball programs, the final evaluation period of 2016 is being used as a vacation from the recruiting trail.

According to a report from Lindsay Schnell of Sports Illustrated, are not attending events during this weekend’s recruiting period for a host of reasons.

First, many are fed up with the price of tournament packets, booklets of rosters that college coaches receive upon paying their entry fee. Packets are supposed to be chock-full of contact information for the prospects, but sometimes aren’t accurate or up-to-date. (This has become a well-documented issue on the men’s side of college hoops. CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish wrote on it this summer.) Furthermore, there are so many events now that college coaches are often forced to pay obscene amounts of money to watch just one player at a single event, and play recruiting hopscotch around the country, criss-crossing the nation to see so many events and spend thousands of dollars. One Power Five coach said her staff crunched the numbers, and found that in just two years, they’ve spent more than $4,000 more than they did in 2014 on packets alone. Another coach told a story of sending an assistant across the country for one day, to one event, to watch one team. When the assistant arrived, the team had left early for its next event. No refund was available for the college that had paid what turned out to be a useless entry fee. The head coach called it “exasperating.”

Jeff Borzello of ESPN, who spoke to Notre Dame head coach and eventual Hall of Famer Muffet McGraw for his report, estimated that the cost for one of the coaches packets — the ones that include player contact information, rosters, etc. — can cost each school an average of $600 per event.

This era of grassroots basketball has taken off in recent years with Nike, Under Armour and adidas all creating their own sponsored leagues. All three run exceptional events from the staff to the facilities, all the way to the three, free meals a day for coaches. Organizers of these events will argue that there’s a cost to running such high-end events. These packets, some of which are so in-depth they include players’ GPAs, help fund these tournaments (events, paying a staff, etc.).

Coaches, mostly mid to low-major coaches, will argue that these packets aren’t worth the cost, considering that every coach (head and assistant) must purchase them in order to gain entrance. And you will find packets where the information inside is either inaccurate, or missing or both. For elite programs, this isn’t an issue. You show up, you’re seen, you leave, you go to the next event, repeat. For mid to low-major coaches, this really puts a dent in their budget, especially when they have to travel to multiple events (buying packets at each one) because you have to land that “steal,” you have to find that player who is overlooked.

This protest, or boycott (or whatever you want to call it) will hurt those these events are intended to help the most: the players. If coaches continue to avoid these tournaments, that late-bloomer may miss out on a scholarship, or that player with mid-major offers won’t get the chance to play in front of high-major coaches.

According to Schnell, there is a proposal, voted on in April, to eliminate a live recruiting period in April and September. But many coaches in women’s basketball have made it clear this weekend how they feel about the issue.

USC lands commitment from three-star center

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USC added to its 2017 recruiting class with a commitment from a 7-foot big man.

Andy Enfield and the Trojans beat out Florida, Vanderbilt and Tennessee for the services of Calvary Christian Academy (Florida) center Victor Uyaelunmo. He announced his college decision on Friday afternoon.

“It was the best fit for me academically and athletically,” Uyaelunmo said according to David Furones of the Sun Sentinel. “The basketball coaches really wanted me to come, and I thought it was the best place for me.

“They told me how they were going to use me, and they have a couple of guys leaving this year, so I just fit in right.”

Uyaelunmo is regarded as a three-star prospect by Rivals, however, ESPN rates him a four-star recruit. He joins a two-man class which includes four-star forward Jordan Usher.

The departure of Nikola Jovanovic, the Trojans’ leading rebounder during the 2015-16, was a surprising one, and one that left USC with a hole in the middle. While Uyaelunmo still has one more year before arriving on the Los Angeles campus, the Trojans have a promising piece in the paint for the future; a long, athletic big man who has the potential, in time, to become one of the nation’s top shot blockers.

Uyaelunmo played for Nike South Beach in the EYBL this spring and summer. In 12 appearances, he averaged 5.0 points. 5.9 rebounds and 1.0 block in 17.6 minutes per game.

VIDEO: Rupp Arena’s new video board arrives

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Rupp Arena is getting a makeover. Take a peak as the new video board arrives and is put together:

Five-star freshman ruled ineligible to play for Villanova this season

Jay Wright
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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Omari Spellman will not be eligible to play for Villanova this season, the school announced on Friday morning.

“We are extremely disappointed for Omari,” stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright. “While we don’t agree with the NCAA’s decision, we are members of the association and respect it. We understand why the NCAA felt it had to rule this way.”

“We will make a positive out of this for Omari. He will concentrate on his academics and individual development this season. In the long run Omari will be a better student and player for this experience.”

Spellman is a top 20 recruit that played for St. Thomas More this past season. At 6-foot-9, 260 pounds, Spellman was going to be counted on to play a major role in replacing Daniel Ochefu, the 6-foot-11 center that graduated this past spring. Without Spellman, Villanova will have to rely on inconsistent senior Darryl Reynolds to man their front line.

It is worth noting, however, that Reynolds did average 9.0 points and 10.6 boards in three games Ochefu missed last year. That was the first time in his career that he was given consistent minutes.

Spellman will be allowed to continue to practice with Villanova as he takes an academic redshirt.