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Late Night Snacks: La Salle, James Madison advance to Round of 64 Wednesday

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Game of the Day: La Salle 80, Boise State 71

On the 150th anniversary of its founding, La Salle got an NCAA tournament victory of a quality Boise State team to advance to the Round of 64. Tyrone Garland and Ramon Galloway are proving to be a dynamic scoring combo in the backcourt, with 22 points and 21 points respectively on Wednesday night. La Salle now moves on to play Kansas State, a team that they match up well against. The Explorers’ four-guard set can run with the Wildcats, especially considering the ability of both Garland and Galloway to create for themselves and teammates off the dribble.

Important Outcomes

1. James Madison 68, LIU Brooklyn 55

The key for James Madison Wednesday was to control the pace. They hit shots and didn’t turn the ball over, which kept LIU Brooklyn from getting out on the run in transition where they are used to flourishing. A.J. Davis’ hot shooting in the first half helped to extend the lead and Rayshawn Goins cleaned up on the glass in the second half to secure the win. JMU moves on to play Indiana.

2. Stony Brook 71, Massachusetts 58 (NIT) 

Stony Brook missed out on the NCAA tournament when it lost in the America East tournament and did not have the resume to score an at-large bid. That’s a shame, because the Seawolves are a quality basketball team and they showed it Wednesday against UMass. Anthony Jackson, Dave Coley, and Jameel Warney combined to score 56 of Stony Brook’s 71 total points.

3. Baylor 112, Long Beach State 66 (NIT)

Baylor exploded offensively on Wednesday. Seven players scored in double figures for the Bears in the huge win and they advance to play Arizona State, who also won tonight. That sets the stage for a high-level point guard matchup: Baylor’s Pierre Jackson vs. Arizona State’s Jahii Carson.

Starred

1. Tyrone Garland, La Salle (22 points, 9-of-11 FG, 3 assists)

Garland was one half of the impressive backcourt with Ramon Galloway Wednesday in La Salle’s win over Boise State. He’ll need to bring the same kind of intensity in the Round of 64 against Kansas State.

2. A.J. Davis, James Madison (20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists)

Davis’ ability to stretch the LIU defense and hit his shots in the first half allowed James Madison to survive a push from the Blackbirds at the end of the half. JMU pulled away in the second and it advances.

3. Anthony Drmic, Boise State (28 points, 4 rebounds)

Drmic did all he could for the Broncos on Wednesday night, but La Salle had too many different scoring options on the offensive end. Leon Rice’s team has a good number of its key pieces returning next season, though, so Boise won’t be fading next year.

Struggled

1. Jordan McRae, Tennessee (7 points, 3-of-14 FG)

Tennessee’s season comes to an end Wednesday with a loss in the NIT to Mercer. McRae, who was the main reason Tennessee was able to go on such a tear down the stretch to finish the regular season, went cold tonight.

2. Tyreek Duren, La Salle (4 points, 1-of-6 FG)

Duren normally averages more than 15 points per game for the Explorers, but couldn’t find his stroke from the field Wednesday. Fortunately for him, La Salle was able to find other sources of scoring and beat Boise State to advance. To his credit, he took on a facilitator’s role and added five assists.

3. Mike Caffey, Long Beach State (4 points, 1-of-8 FG)

Long Beach State lost by 46 to Baylor Wednesday night and giving up 112 points in the process. Caffey was among those who struggled, going just 1-of-8 from the floor in the NIT loss.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

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.