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.

DePaul adds 2018 commit

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Wisconsin guard John Diener has committed to DePaul, his grassroots program announced Wednesday night.

The 6-foot-4 Class of 2018 guard ends his recruitment rather early with offers also from instate schools Green Bay and Milwaukee. He’s known as a shooter and becomes the first commit for Dave Leitao in the 2018 class.

Diener, who plays with the Wisconsin Playground Warriors in the spring and summer, commits to the Blue Demons with them coming off a disappointing campaign, Leitao’s first in Chicago. DePaul went 9-22 overall and 3-15 in the Big East, finishing only ahead of St. John’s.

DePaul has been recruiting the Midwest hard with incoming 2016 recruits from La Lumiere School in Indiana, Sagninow, Mich. and locally in Chicago.

Four-star guard Fisher commits to TCU

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Jamie Dixon’s presence is already being felt in the Big 12 and on the recruiting trail.

TCU received its first commitment of the Dixon era when four-star 2016 point guard Jaylen Fisher announced his decision to join the Horned Frogs on Wednesday.

“Due to how comfortable my family and I are with the coaching staff,” Fisher posted from his Twitter account, “and the emphasis the university has put on making basketball a priority, I’m committing to be a student-athlete at TCU.”

Getting a consensus top-75 prospect, who was once committed to UNLV, is a heck of a coup for being just a couple months on the job. It instantly shows the Frogs are going to be a player for some of the country’s top players, which is a necessity if you have designs on making a move up the ladder of arguably the country’s best league in the Big 12.

Maybe the most gratifying thing for TCU, though, is the reason Fisher publicly stated for making his decision, the school’s “making basketball a priority.” The hoops program has suffered immensely in the Big 12 (while the football program has flourished), winning a total of eight games in their four seasons (including a winless 2014), but the school sank $72 million into renovating its arena, made an aggressive move in firing Trent Johnson and then went out and got its dream candidate, Dixon, an alum. Fisher’s commitment is the first time those moves have shown that commitment to basketball paying off.

 

Report: Izundu’s San Diego State transfer ban rescinded

Ernie Kent
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Washington State transfer Valentine Izundu will be visiting San Diego State after all.

Coach Ernie Kent has rescinded his restriction on the 6-foot-10 graduate transfer from visiting the Aztecs, according to a report from the Spokesman-Review, citing an anonymous source. Izundu will also be reportedly visiting Fresno State and UNLV.

Izundu had previously been barred from considering the Aztecs by Kent because of suspcisions of tampering. Izundu vigorously denied that was the case as at the center of the dispute was a trip he made to San Diego for spring break. He publicly said he did not have any contact with the SDSU coaching staff , though he attended an Aztecs NIT game.

Kent, though, appears to have relented, as many coaches who have similarly faces public pressure in such situations before him have. In this era where so much attention is being paid to player rights and welfare, there only seems to be growing public sentiment against programs restricting transfers beyond the absolute bare minimum is rarely going to go over well. It may make things more difficult for coaches and programs, but it’s the deck is largely already stacked in their favor in most every other instance.

Ex-Michigan State player Keith Appling faces weapons charges

Keith Appling
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DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) Authorities say former Michigan State basketball player Keith Appling faces charges including carrying a concealed weapon after he was found in possession of guns and marijuana in suburban Detroit.

The Wayne County prosecutor’s office says 24-year-old Appling was arrested outside a Dearborn club on Sunday night. Club security called police after seeing a man pull a gun from the trunk of a car.

Prosecutors say Appling was in the driver’s seat of the car when police arrived. Officers found a handgun under the driver’s seat, a loaded weapon in the trunk and a small amount of suspected marijuana.

Weapons and marijuana possession charges were announced Wednesday.

The court says he doesn’t have a lawyer on record.

Appling played for the Spartans from 2010-2014 and plays for the NBA’s development league.

UNLV transfer to finish career at Michigan State

UNLV forward Ben Carter, right, celebrates after his team defeated Oregon in an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, in Las Vegas. UNLV won 80-69. (AP Photo/John Locher)
(AP Photo/John Locher)
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Former UNLV center Ben Carter announced on Wednesday that he will be transferring to Michigan State to finish his collegiate career.

Carter, who began his career at Oregon, averaged 8.6 points and 6.0 boards in his one season with UNLV before tearing his ACL in late January. He spent two seasons with the Ducks before transferring to Vegas, which is why he’s eligible immediately for the Spartans.

And that’s the biggest reason that Tom Izzo and company targeted him.

The Spartans lost Deyonta Davis to the NBA Draft after one season, a fact that became an inevitability midway through the year but one that the Spartans didn’t necessarily plan for heading into last season. Carter isn’t going to be an instant impact kind of player, particularly not when he’s coming off of an ACL injury, but he is a big body and a veteran presence on a front line that wasn’t going have much of either.