John Beilein

Late Night Snacks: No. 4 Michigan rebounds, Virginia falls at Boston College

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Game of the Day: No. 4 Michigan 58, No. 4 Michigan State 57 

Trey Burke added another performance to his national (and Big Ten) Player of the Year resume on Sunday afternoon, accounting for 21 points, eight assists and five steals in Michigan’s win over their in-state rival. Up ten with 4:36 remaining (52-42) Michigan very nearly handed over a game they looked to be in control of, but two steals by Burke in the final 22 seconds (and a breakaway dunk following the first) proved to be the difference.

The Wolverines won despite failing to make a single three-pointer and being out-rebounded by the Spartans 44-29. But Michigan State turned the ball over 18 times, which allowed Michigan to make up the possessions they essentially lost on the defensive glass. Adreian Payne scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the way for Michigan State.

Important Outcomes

1. Boston College 53, Virginia 52

Virginia has a collection of quality wins that few bubble teams can match. But they also have seven losses against sub-100 (RPI) teams, with the seventh coming in Chestnut Hill on Sunday. Joe Rahon hit a three-pointer and was fouled with 8.2 seconds remaining, and that proved to be the difference for a Boston College team that has taken both Duke and Miami to the wire at home. With games against Florida State and Maryland next week the Cavaliers have more work to do if they’re to return to the NCAA tournament.

2. Purdue 69, No. 17 Wisconsin 56 

With losses by Michigan State and Wisconsin, Indiana can clinch the outright Big Ten title on Tuesday night against Ohio State. As for the Badgers, they had a tough afternoon at home against a Purdue team that arrived in Madison having lost six of eight. D.J. Byrd hit six three-pointers and scored 22 points to lead the way for the Boilermakers, and the second-half contribution of Sandi Marcius should not be overlooked either. Wisconsin, a team that scores 34.2% of its points from beyond the arc, shot just 6-of-28 from three.

3.  No. 23 Pittsburgh 73, Villanova 64 (OT) 

Six days after having a win at Seton Hall slip away the Wildcats lost in overtime at Pittsburgh. James Robinson’s three-pointer in the final minute tied the score at 57, and the Panthers outscored Villanova 16-7 in the extra session. The loss makes Villanova’s regular season finale against No. 7 Georgetown on Wednesday even more important, and Jay Wright’s team has work to do at the Big East tournament as well. That was likely the case regardless of Sunday’s result, but a win certainly would have looked good on Villanova’s resume.

Starred 

1. G Trey Burke (Michigan) 

21 points, eight assists and five steals in the Wolverines’ 58-57 win over No. 9 Michigan State. Two of Burke’s steals came in the final 22 seconds of the game.

2. G Reggie Bullock (North Carolina) 

20 points, ten rebounds and five assists in the Tar Heels’ 79-58 win over Florida State.

3. F Erik Etherly (Loyola (MD))

30 points (11-of-18 FG), four rebounds and two steals in the Greyhounds’ 63-61 win over Manhattan.

Struggled

1. G Michael Snaer (Florida State) 

Given the youth of Florida State’s backcourt there’s a lot on Snaer’s shoulders offensively. He shot 5-of-18 from the field and turned the ball over five times in the Seminoles’ 79-58 loss at North Carolina.

2. G Derek Needham (Fairfield) 

Needham shot 1-of-9 from the field, scoring six points and committing four turnovers in the Stags’ 73-60 loss at Marist.

3. G Darrun Hilliard (Villanova) 

Hilliard shot 1-of-8 from the field, finishing with six points in the Wildcats’ 73-64 overtime loss at No. 23 Pittsburgh.

Three Facts

1. While Stony Brook had already claimed the top seed in next weekend’s America East tournament (.pdf file) some seeds were still to be determined. Hartford’s 61-58 win at Vermont combined with Albany’s 75-70 loss to Stony Brook pushed the Hawks into the 3-seed and dropped the Great Danes to the four.

2. There were also seeds to be determined in the MAAC, with multiple scenarios possible depending on the outcomes of the three games played. Loyola wrapped up the 3-seed with a 63-61 win over Manhattan and Iona grabbed the four with an 80-61 win over Marist. Manhattan didn’t get the win but they do avoid playing in the first round as a result of Fairfield’s 73-60 loss at Marist.

3. Richard Howell scored 18 points and T.J. Warren added 14 to help lead N.C. State past Georgia Tech, 70-57. With their win and Virginia’s loss the Wolfpack are now tied for fourth in the ACC, with the top four teams getting a bye in the first round of the ACC tournament.

Top 25 Scores 

No. 4 Michigan 58, No. 9 Michigan State 57
Purdue 69, No. 17 Wisconsin 56
No. 23 Pittsburgh 73, Villanova 64 (OT)

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Arizona lands first commitment in 2017 class

Alex Barcello (Jon Lopez/Nike)
(Jon Lopez/Nike)
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Arizona landed their first commitment in the Class of 2017 on Friday night as point guard Alex Barcello pledged to Sean Miller and the Wildcats.

Barcello is a 6-foot-2 point guard from Tempe who plays his high school ball for Corona del Sol. He committed to the Wildcats on an official visit to the Tucson campus.

Barcello is a borderline top 100 prospect who sits at No. 123 in the Rivals top 150. He’s known for his ability to shoot, and he’s more of a combo-guard — i.e. shoot-first — than a point guard at times, but he’s a nice pickup and projects as a solid four-year player for the Wildcats.

Virginia, Indiana, Stanford and Butler were the other four schools on Barcello’s list.

Duke lands first commitment in 2017 class

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Alex O’Connell knew exactly where he wanted to play his college ball, which is why, just two days after picking up an offer from Coach K and the Blue Devils, he became Duke’s first recruit in the Class of 2017.

O’Connell announced the on twitter on Friday afternoon:

O’Connell is a four-star prospect from Georgia that had a terrific summer, going from being a borderline top 75 prospect to a player that caught the interest of Duke, who, along with Kentucky, sit atop the college recruiting hierarchy. He’s an explosively athletic and lanky 6-foot-6 wing with three-point range on his jumper. He needs to add some weight and some strength — he’s listed as a crisp 175 pounds — but he has the tools, and the swagger, to develop into a very effective player in the ACC.

Is he a one-and-done prospect?

Probably not. In fact, since 2010, Duke has landed just two players that were rated lower than O’Connell: Antonio Vrankovic and Jack White. If you know who both of them are, you’re probably either Jon Scheyer or lying.

But what O’Connell is is a kid who put in the work to get better this past year and who has the skill set, the physical tools and work ethic to continue to improve. He may not be on Grayson Allen’s trajectory, but O’Connell has the makings of being an impact player for the Blue Devils for three or four years.

Alex O'Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)
Alex O’Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)

Shaka Smart lands contract extension at Texas

Texas head coach Shaka Smart instructs his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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Shaka Smart has already landed himself a contract extension at Texas.

The school, according to the Austin American-Statesman, has given Shaka a one-year extension — through the 2022-23 season — and bumped his salary up to a cool $3 million, a raise of $100,000 annually.

Smart’s Longhorns went 20-13 last season and lost on a half court buzzer beater from Northern Iowa’s Paul Jespersen. It will be tough for Smart to match the success that he had last season, specifically because he lost senior point guard Isaiah Taylor to the professional ranks.

That said, the former VCU head man has been reeling in quite a bit of talent from the state of Texas — namely, Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen — and is not all that far from turning the Longhorns back into a relevant member of the Big 12 title race.

Arizona and Texas headline Lone Star Shootout

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17:  Head coach Sean Miller of the Arizona Wildcats reacts in the first half against the Wichita State Shockers during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
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Another marquee, early season event is on the books for the college basketball season as four potential tournament teams will be squaring off at the Toyota Center in Houston on Dec. 17th.

The highlight of the double-header, which has been dubbed the Lone Star Shootout, will probably end up being Arizona vs. Texas A&M. The Wildcats are a Pac-12 contender and a borderline top 10 team as we enter the season, and while the Aggies will have work to do replacing the seniors they lost off of last season’s roster, they’re a borderline top 25 team.

The other matchup will feature a pair of former Southwest Conference rivals facing off in Texas and Arkansas. Texas will be talented but young while Arkansas may actually have the best player on the floor in Moses Kingsley. What will make this matchup interesting is that both Mike Anderson and Shaka Smart are known for being coaches that prefer a full court pressing system.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to play in front of our fans at the Toyota Center in Houston,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said in a statement. “It is one of the most important areas in this state as it relates to our recruiting and fan base.

Five-star 2017 guard Lonnie Walker cuts list to five schools

Men's U18 trials head shots and team photo on 6.15.16
Bart Young/USA Basketball
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Five-star shooting guard Lonnie Walker is coming off of a very good summer as he trimmed his list to five schools on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-4 native of Reading, Pennsylvania is still considering Arizona, Kentucky, Miami, Syracuse and Villanova, he announced on Twitter.

Regarded as the No. 26 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, Walker played with Team Final in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer as he averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Walker shot 45 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and 72 percent from the free-throw line.

An efficient scorer who is learning to drive with both hands, Walker is very talented and the type of guard who might also be able to handle a bit as well.