Donte' Grantham, Nequan Carrington

Donte Grantham headlines the uncommitted 2013 players at Pitt Hoop Group Jam Fest

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PITTSBURGH — Donte Grantham’s senior year has gone about as well as any high school kid could ask.

Playing for his hometown high school in Martinsburg, WV, Grantham not only was named the state’s Player of the Year, but he won a state title as well. The only thing left is to figure out whether or not he will play for his state university next season.

“I’m not sure right now,” Grantham said at the Pitt Hoop Group Jam Fest. “I’m going to take the live period to make my decision.”

Grantham, a versatile, 6-foot-8 forward with three point range, is currently weighing a number of offers, including West Virginia. Head coach Bob Huggins was in Pittsburgh on Saturday watching his state’s most coveted recruit play very well for the DC Assault. Marshall, Cincinnati, Clemson, Wake Forest, Maryland, Xavier, Villanova and Georgetown are also on the chase for Grantham, who is one of the best recruits left in the class.

Only Grantham isn’t sure whether he’s going to head to college this fall, or instead enroll in prep school for a year.

“Honestly, I don’t know,” Grantham said. “Me and my mom still need to talk about it. If I stay in 2014, it will be better for me. I can get stronger and smarter as a player.”

But if he goes to college this fall, there will likely be playing time for him available immediately. West Virginia is coming off of a year where they finished with a losing record, and earlier this month the Mountaineers had three players announce that they would be transferring out of the program.

“I think every kid grows up wanting to play for their state school,” Grantham said earlier this month. West Virginia fans are hoping that will be enough to earn a commitment sooner rather than later.

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Grantham wasn’t the only member of the Class of 2013 looking to earn a scholarship offer at the Pitt Hoop Group Jam Fest this weekend:

– Mike Tucker, an athletic, 6-foot-6 forward from Covington, GA, played well for the Atlanta Xpress this weekend. He decommitted from Bradley last week after his father had a heart attack, saying he wanted to go to school closer to home. Tennessee has shown some interest since he reopened his recruitment, but Tucker said that Georgia is his dream school.

– Galvin Robinson, a Memphis native and Mitchell HS (TN) product, had an up and down weekend, but he played excellent in Team Thad’s win over DC Assault’s Farrington team. The bouncy, 6-foot-6 Robinson finished with 19 points and a number of rebounders, blocking three shots at the rim while also showing off three-point range. Georgia State and Texas State are the only Division I schools currently showing interest.

– Isaac Fleming is a tough, left-handed point guard Virginia that played well this weekend for Team Loaded. He currently holds offers from St. Francis (PA) and Radford, but the Class of 2013 product is attracting some interest from bigger programs, saying that Xavier, Cincinnati and DePaul have seen him workout.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

No. 5 Xavier stumbles at Creighton, lose 70-54

Creighton's Cole Huff (13) and Toby Hegner, left, guard Xavier's Jalen Reynolds (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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Mo Watson went for a career-high 32 points, seven boards and five assists as Creighton jumped out to an early 21-4 lead and never looked back, beating No. 5 Xavier, 70-54, in Omaha on Tuesday night.

 

It was a massive win for the Bluejays, who still have an outside shot at earning an at-large bid this season. (We wrote all about that here.)

As well as Creighton played, the bigger story here may actually be Xavier, who lost for just the third time this season; they had been the only top ten team with just two losses to their name.

The issue for the Musketeers tonight was two-fold, but they both are a symptom of what could be an issue down the road for this team: Xavier doesn’t really have a true point guard.

They certainly didn’t have anyone to stop Watson. By the second half, they had essentially asked Reynolds, who was playing the middle of their 1-3-1 zone to matchup with Watson. It was weird but was actually somewhat effective.

The Musketeers also started out ice cold from the floor, missing 11 of their first 13 shots, and those misses led to leak outs from Bluejays, who got layups and open threes in transition to build that 17 point lead. Once Xavier got behind, it turned into scramble mode for Xavier. They forced shots early in the clock and didn’t start pounding the ball into the paint until it was too late. What they needed was someone to be able to settle things, to ensure that offensive would get initiated and sets would get executed when they were able to get the lead down to single digits.

That 1-for-19 shooting performance from beyond the arc certainly didn’t help matters, and neither did the fact that they got just nine field goals all game from players not named James Farr or Jalen Reynolds. The most frustrating part for head coach Chris Mack? They had good shots. It wasn’t like Creighton took away everything that Xavier wanted to do.

The kids just had one of those nights where nothing went down.

Those happen.

And when you combine them with a total inability to contain the opposing team’s point guard, what you get is a 16 point loss on the road against a team that was desperate to get a good win.

Gill’s 16, ‘D’ lead No. 7 Virginia past Virginia Tech, 67-49

Lehigh Virginia Basketball
AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) Anthony Gill scored 16 points and No. 7 Virginia turned the tables on state rival Virginia Tech with a 67-49 victory Tuesday night, the Cavaliers’ seventh straight.

Isaiah Wilkins added a career-best 14 points and Malcolm Brogdon had 12 for the Cavaliers (20-4, 9-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). Virginia avenged a 70-68 loss to the Hokies in Blacksburg on Jan. 4 in what rates as their worst performance of the season, and extended their winning streak at John Paul Jones Arena to 17 games.

Freshman Justin Robinson scored 16 points and classmate Chris Clarke had 11 in his first action for the Hokies (13-12, 5-7) since breaking his right foot in late December. Virginia Tech’s top two scorers, Zach LeDay (16.0 ppg) and Seth Allen (14.5), were limited to seven and six points, respectively, in part because of foul trouble.

Virginia coach Tony Bennett said his team wasn’t ready to play when it lost to the Hokies earlier, but they have been surging of late and were focused from the outset. They were credited with assists and 14 of their first 15 baskets and forced 10 turnovers in the first half; they forced just eight in the last meeting of the teams.

For most of the game, the Hokies had more turnovers than field goals.

The Cavaliers led 32-20 at halftime and extended their advantage to 47-29 on a three-point play by Mike Tobey with 12:11 remaining. It capped an 11-4 run for Virginia, during which LeDay was whistled for his fourth foul. On Virginia’s next trip down court, it got the ball to Gill inside and LeDay basically backed off and let him score, quickly earning a spot on the bench.

The Cavaliers’ lead never dipped into single digits again.

The Hokies had just eight turnovers and outscored Virginia 26-6 off turnovers in their first meeting. This time, Virginia Tech had 10 turnovers by halftime and the Cavaliers had already turned them into 15 points. Virginia Tech finished with 16 field goals and 15 turnovers.

Already leading 9-6, Virginia got scoring from eight players in a 23-8 run that spanned about 8 1/2 minutes.

Gill started it with a dunk, Brogdon hit a 3-pointer, London Perrantes had a four-point play and Wilkins finished it with two free throws, giving the Cavaliers a 32-14 lead with 2:06 left in the half. They didn’t score again, and the Hokies closed within 32-20 by halftime.

TIP-INS

Virginia Tech: The Hokies shot 57.1 percent (15 of 26) from the field in the second half of their 70-68 victory against Virginia on Jan. 4. … Virginia Tech’s starting five totaled four points in the first half.

Virginia: The Cavaliers have held four consecutive opponents to 50 points or fewer.

UP NEXT

Virginia Tech plays at No. 12 Miami next Wednesday.

Virginia plays at Duke on Saturday.

Follow Hank on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/hankkurzjr

The AP’s college basketball page: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org