Harvard-Princeton

Late Night Snacks: Princeton battles Harvard for Ivy League crown

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Game of the Day

Princeton 58, Harvard 53

The Tigers needed to beat the Crimson at home Friday or NCAA tournament hopes would be all but gone. Princeton shrugged off a 15-2 run with under three minutes to go from Harvard. With 1:06 to go Ian Hummer hit two free throws, putting Princeton up 54-53. Princeton missed the front-end of a one-and-one but hustle plays kept the ball in the Tigers’ hand. Princeton is only half a game behind Harvard in Ivy League standings, avenging an earlier loss to the Crimson.

Important Outcomes

Princeton 58, Harvard 53

Princeton has kept alive the hopes of an Ivy League play-in game with the win over Harvard. The Tigers trail half a game in the conference standings. If Princeton had lost, Harvard would only have to win two of its final three games. A play-in game happened two years ago.

Iona 90, Loyola (MD) 86

Iona dropped a double overtime game against Manhattan last Friday, starting a three-game losing streak. The Gaels got back on track and stayed in the MAAC standings mix with a win over Loyal (MD), who held sole possession of second place entering the game. Lamont Jones had 22 of his 35 in the second half for Iona. The MAAC has five teams with 10 wins.

Mahattan 34, Fairfield 31

It’s hard to win a game only scoring 34 points, but somehow the Jaspers did. Manhattan and Fairfield combined for the second-lowest point total since 3-point was added in 1986. Fairfield shot 26 percent, while Mahattan shot 25 from the floor. Shane Richards has 11 points for the Jaspers, the only player to score in double figures.

Starred

Lamont Jones, Iona

Jones scored 22 of his game-high 35 points in the second half, snapping a three-game losing streak and keeping Iona in the crammed MAAC standings. The Gaels had lost six of their last seven and topped Loyola (MD) who was in second place entering the game. Jones was 7-for-7 from the field in the second half.

Ian Hummer, Princeton

Hummer scored 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Harvard had 24 rebounds as a team. Hummer shot 8-of-14 from the field and doubled Harvard’s production on the offensive glass with four rebounds.

Adam Kemp, Marist

Kemp had 24 points 14 rebounds and five blocks in a two-point win over Siena. What’s more impressive is he did this against a frontline that includes O.D. Anosike. Kemp played above the rims, dunking on seven of his 10 field goals.

Struggled

Harvard 3-point shooting

The Crimson were 0-of-8 from behind the arc. The Crimson were dominated on the glass, but were unable to connect on an area where they shine. Harvard’s loss makes the Ivy League a battle that will go down to the final day.

Fairfield and Manhattan

The Stags and Jaspers hit an almost all-time low, with the second-lowest combined score since the 3-point line has been in use. Only one player in double figures and neither team shot better than 26 percent. Fairfield and Manhattan joins Tennessee-Georgetown in the 30-30 club this season.

East Tennessee State defense

The Bucs allowed USC Upstate Spartans to shoot 49 percent from the field, including 46 from behind the arc (13-for-28) opposed to their 35 percent and 22 percent from deep. East Tennessee State allowed four of USC Upstate’s five starters to score in double figures.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

UNLV’s Menzies fills out staff with 3 hires

New UNLV men's basketball coach Marvin Menzies smiles during a news conference after the UNLV board of regents  approved his contract, Friday, April 22, 2016  in Las Vegas. The boards voted 12-1 on Friday to approve a five-year, $3.75 million deal for Menzies.  (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP) LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
(L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
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LAS VEGAS (AP) New UNLV men’s basketball coach Marvin Menzies has filled out his staff with three assistant coaches.

The school announced on Thursday the hiring of Andre LaFleur, Rob Jeter and Eric Brown.

Jeter was the head coach at Milwaukee for 11 seasons, winning 20 or more games five times. His record of 185-170 leaves him one short of the school record for most victories.

La Fleur spent the past five seasons as associate head coach at Providence under Ed Cooley after 10 years working for Jim Calhoun at Connecticut.

Brown has been an assistant coach at Long Beach State the last nine years.

Four-star 2017 shooting guard commits to Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams celebrates a play in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Virginia, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016, in Blacksburg, Va. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP) LOCAL STATIONS OUT; LOCAL INTERNET OUT; LOCAL PRINT OUT (SALEM TIMES REGISTER; FINCASTLE HERALD; CHRISTIANSBURG NEWS MESSENGER; RADFORD NEWS JOURNAL; ROANOKE STAR SENTINEL; MANDATORY CREDIT
Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP
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Recruiting, and on-court results, have picked up at Virginia Tech since Buzz Williams took over as head coach. In his second year at the helm the Hokies won ten conference games, and in reaching the Postseason NIT made their first postseason appearance since 2011.

Thursday night Virginia Tech landed its first verbal commitment in the Class of 2017, as four-star shooting guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker made his pledge.

The 6-foot-5 Alexander-Walker, who’s ranked 91st in his class by Rivals.com, also took official visits to Maryland and USC before making his pledge to the ACC program. Alexander-Walker attends Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but as a native of Canada plays his grassroots basketball for the Canada Elite program on the Under Armour Association circuit.

Good with either hand, Alexander-Walker can play either on or off the basketball. And that versatility should serve him well in a system that places a high value on “switch-ables,” or players who can fill multiple roles.

The Canada connection paid off for Virginia Tech in the recruitment of Alexander-Walker, with assistant coach Jamie McNeilly being a native of the country himself and having a connection to the Walker family. The Hokies will lose two perimeter players at the end of the 2016-17 season in Devin Wilson and Seth Allen, which will give Alexander-Walker the opportunity to earn minutes as a freshman.

Oakland lands former Oklahoma State guard Clark

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AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File
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When point guard Stevie Clark began his career at Oklahoma State in 2013, the Top 100 prospect was expected by many to be an impact player for the Cowboys. Things didn’t go as planned however, as off-court issues ultimately led to Clark’s dismissal from the program before his sophomore season. Add in a lawsuit filed by Clark in which he alleged that he was forced by the school to take psychotropic drugs, and it’s safe to say that his time in Stillwater was anything but smooth.

Clark ultimately landed at Arkansas Baptist College, and on Thursday it was reported by the Detroit Free Press that he’s committed to Oakland University to play for head coach Greg Kampe. Clark joins a program with an immediate need at the point, with All-American Kahlil Felder having entered the NBA Draft and hired an agent as well.

The obvious question regarding Clark is whether or not he’s managed to take care of business off the court, and in an interview with Mark Snyder of the Free Press the Oklahoma native made note of the benefits of getting away from home for college.

Playing in Rochester, far from his home, will serve him well, he said.

“Anywhere away from home is the best thing,” Clark said. “It’s just hard balancing everything being close to home.”

Clark will be one of the options Kampe has to choose from at the point, with incoming freshmen Brailen Neely and Billy Thomas also among the new arrivals, and sophomore Jaevin Cumberland looking to earn more playing time than the 5.6 minutes per contest he averaged as a freshman.

Creighton point guard Watson Jr. to return for senior season

Creighton's Maurice Watson Jr. (10) reacts after scoring during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Xavier in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. Creighton won 70-56. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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Creighton’s chances of moving up the Big East standings and returning to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2014 improved a great deal Thursday, as starting point guard Maurice Watson Jr. announced that he will be returning for his senior season. Watson, who began his college career at Boston University, entered his name into the NBA Draft pool without hiring an agent but decided that another year in Omaha would be best for him.

Watson was one of the most impactful transfers in the country last season, as his play at the point was a major factor in the Bluejays winning 20 games and going 9-9 in conference play after being picked to finish eighth in the Big East preseason poll. Watson averaged 14.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game last season, earning second team All-Big East honors.

With Watson’s return the Bluejays will welcome back three of their top four scorers from last season, with center Geoffrey Groselle being the lone departure. Head coach Greg McDermott adds a talented shooting guard in Marcus Foster, who sat out last season after transferring in from Kansas State. With Watson and Foster working together, Creighton will have a formidable perimeter tandem leading the way in 2016-17 with the likes of forward Cole Huff and guard Isaiah Zierden also being key contributors.

In addition to what Watson can provide in games he’ll also serve as a good mentor for Kaleb Joseph, who will have to sit out next season after transferring in from Syracuse. Joseph, who will have two seasons of eligibility remaining, fell out of the rotation as a sophomore so the year in residency should benefit him as he works towards grabbing the reins in 2017-18.

h/t ESPN.com

UConn, four-star 2017 big man Brown part ways

Brown, Zach
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Back in mid-January UConn made waves on the recruiting trail by securing a verbal commitment from 7-foot-1 center Zach Brown, a player seen by many as one of the top prospects in the Class of 2017. That partnership came to an end Thursday, as the two parties decided to part ways. News of the mutual decision was first reported by Scout.com.

The Miami native is currently ranked 28th in the Class of 2017 by Rivals.com, and Thursday’s news opens up a spot in the front court that UConn head coach Kevin Ollie and his staff will now have to fill. Amida Brimah, who’s currently going through the NBA pre-Draft process, will be a senior next season should he return to Storrs as will Kentan Facey.

Among the interior options who will have eligibility remaining beyond next season for the Huskies are sophomore Steven Enoch and incoming freshmen Mamadou Diarra and Juwan Durham.

UConn was in the running for 2016 power forward Taurean Thompson, but multiple outlets have the Brewster Academy product considering Michigan State (which added UNLV grad transfer Ben Carter Wednesday), Seton Hall and Syracuse at this point in his recruitment.