Illinois v Miami

How will Reggie Johnson’s injury affect Miami?

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The biggest news coming out of the East Regional has less to do with the players that will be taking the court on Thursday night and more to do with the guy that didn’t make the trip to Washington DC.

Reggie Johnson, Miami’s starting center  and a constant double-double threat, injured his knee in Miami’s win over Illinois on Sunday night. He’s out for this weekend, and may miss the rest of the tournament.

Johnson hasn’t played well since returning from a broken thumb in January. In the last eight games, he’s averaging 1.9 points and 5.5 boards while shooting 20% from the floor. That’s not good, but it doesn’t change the fact that Johnson is a big body and a veteran front court presence. Is this the kind of injury that could influence the outcome of the No. 2 Hurricane’s Sweet 16 game with No. 3 Marquette?

“Our gameplan isn’t going to change,” Miami’s new featured center Julian Gamble said. “A lot of guys have to step up. … Me specifically, just staying out of foul trouble is important and to be relentless on the boards and try to be more aggressive and hold the interior down like Reggie did, that’s going to be important for me. To be able to help my guards in, setting screens and doing anything they need me to do.”

The interesting part here is that Johnson’s thumb injury has become a blessing in disguise. Miami has played without Johnson in the lineup. They’ve won games without Johnson in the lineup. At this point, they should be comfortable without him on the floor simply because they’ve been through it before.

And, frankly, it’s not like Gamble is a bad basketball player. He’s really developed this season, and at times has been more effective that Johnson. He’s not as good on the glass as Johnson is — “Reggie Johnson is our best rebounder at both ends of the court,” head coach Jim Larranaga said — but he can hold his own. More than anything, the biggest loss will simply be depth. Instead of having two big bodies to throw out there, Larranaga is only going to have one. It may also limit lineup versatility, as he won’t be able to play as big.

“Just one less wide body,” Marquette head coach Buzz Williams said. “I don’t think — maybe it will — I don’t think that it will necessarily change how they play.”

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

South Carolina freshman Felder arrested, jailed for assault

South Carolina head coach Frank Martin gestures from the bench during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Vanderbilt Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Columbia, S.C.  (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
AP Photo/Sean Rayford
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) South Carolina freshman guard Rakym Felder was arrested Sunday and charged with several counts, including assault, resisting arrest and public disorderly conduct.

Felder, a 6-foot-1 shooting guard from New York, is being held at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County, according to the facility’s website.

A team spokeswoman said coach Frank Martin was aware of Felder’s arrest and was gathering more information. Per South Carolina athletic department policy, Felder is suspended indefinitely.

Felder was charged by the Columbia police with simple assault and battery, resisting arrest, public disorderly conduct, failure to stop on police command, a pedestrian on a controlled access highway and use of another’s or altered license or identification card.

#CBTtop100: Counting down the Top 100 Players in college basketball

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We’ll be counting down the top 100 players in college basketball all week long. Be sure to check back here throughout the week as the countdown continues over @CBTonNBC.

Jalen Coleman-Lands cleared to practice

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 10: Jarrod Uthoff #20 of the Iowa Hawkeyes defends against Jalen Coleman-Lands #5 of the Illinois Fighting Illini in the second round of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 10, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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When Illinois takes on Southeast Missouri State in the opener of the 2016-17 season, the Fighting Illini should have it’s starting backcourt out on the floor.

According to Jon Rothstein, Jalen Coleman-Lands has been cleared for all basketball activities. The sophomore two-guard has been recovering from a broken bone in his right hand.

The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.

Coleman-Lands will team up with Tracy Abrams, a point guard who was granted a sixth year of eligibility after missing the past two seasons due to injuries.

This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.

The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.

NBC Sports projected Illinois to finish eighth in the Big Ten this season.

Curtis Jones jumps over Tom Crean

Tom Crean
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Indiana held its annual Hoosier Hysteria on Saturday night.

One of the highlights from the team’s dunk contest was when freshman guard Curtis Jones jumped over Indiana head coach Tom Crean.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a newcomer us his coach as a dunk contest prop. Last week, Rawle Alkins cleared Arizona head coach Sean Miller en route to a reverse jam.

Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.

WATCH: Edmond Sumner take off from the foul line

CINCINNATI, OH - FEBRUARY 03:  Edmond Sumner #4 of the Xavier Musketeers dunks the ball during the game against the St. John's Red Storm at Cintas Center on February 3, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Edmond Sumner is a big reason why Xavier is likely going to be a preseason top-10 team.

On Saturday night, during Musketeer Madness, Sumner won the team’s dunk contest when he took off from the foul line.

Sumner defeated freshmen Tyrique Jones and Quentin Goodin. J.P. Macura, the reigning Big East Sixth Man of the Year, took home the honors last year.

The 6-foot-6 redshirt sophomore is coming off a debut season in which he averaged 11.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.