Oregon v Saint Louis

Saint Louis removes head coach Jim Crews’ interim tag

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The wait is finally over at Saint Louis.

The school has officially removed the interim tag of Jim Crews, making him the head coach after Crews led the Billikens to a 28-7 record (13-3 Atlantic 10) and the Atlantic 10 regular season and tournament titles.

Crews was named interim head coach when poor health forced the late Rick Majerus to step down, and all Crews did was lead a veteran-laden team to one of the best seasons in the history of the program.

Saint Louis fell to Oregon in the NCAA tournament round of 32, but while the end of the season was a disappointment for SLU the loss doesn’t negate what Crews and the team accomplished.

But the time in which it took SLU to come to a decision regarding Crews’ status raised eyebrows within the city, and the school was criticized for seemingly dragging its feet on the matter.

Moving quickly would have allowed Crews and his coaching staff greater momentum as it tried to compensate for lost time recruiting. As is, an announcement today falls within a week of next Wednesday’s national signing day.

SLU has instead taken more than twice as long to extend Crews than UCLA needed to offer its post to three outsiders. (Coincidentally, three coaches whom Crews’ team beat in six of six games.)

Saint Louis loses three key contributors from this season’s team in guard Kwamain Mitchell and forwards Cody Ellis and Cory Remekun.

And with four more players being seniors next season, the work Crews and his staff does on the recruiting trail (especially the 2014 class) will be very important when it comes to the long-term prospects for the program.

Currently SLU has two commitment in the 2013 class, 6-5 small forward Mike Crawford (Tipton, Ind.) and 6-8 power forward Reggie Agbeko (Buffalo, N.Y.).

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

VIDEO: Monmouth hits a game-winner, Bench Mob member tries to disrobe

King Rice
AP
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.

The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:

No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.

UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.

All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.

The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.