Scott Phillips/NBC Sports

Syracuse commit McCullough stands out in Nike EYBL

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FRISCO, Tx. — With the overall abundance of talent in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League — commonly known as the EYBL — it might be easy to overlook even the most talented players in the country. Since Syracuse commit Chris McCullough is currently the highest rated 2014 prospect with a verbal commitment, it’s easy for some to forget about the 6-10 forward from the Bronx.

But there’s a reason McCullough is regarded as the nation’s No. 9 prospect in the 2014 class: He’s very versatile with a ton of upside. There just aren’t many things Chris McCullough can’t do on a basketball court.

Playing with Team Scan, McCullough has helped the group to a 7-3 start and has played with many of his teammates for quite some time.

“It’s cool to play with this team,” McCullough told NBC Sports. “Everybody has known each other since sixth grade so we’re all used to playing with each other and hanging around each other.”

That kind of cohesiveness has helped Team Scan in the loaded EYBL. Team Scan picked up a huge 68-50 victory over Expressions Elite on Friday night — the first loss of the EYBL for Expressions.

“There’s a lot of good teams out here and a lot of highly ranked teams and players so we just try to come out and win,” said McCullough, who finished with 10 points in a balanced scoring effort for Team Scan.

McCullough has a lot of things he does well, including passing, ball handling, and rebounding, but he’s also focused on staying in the discussion among the class of 2014’s elite players.

“My goal is to remain a top-5 player and to just get better overall,” McCullough said. “I’m just trying to work on my overall game and trying to improve everything.”

That kind of commitment to remaining among the best in the class must be music to the ears of the Syracuse coaching staff, who keeps in touch with Chris on a regular basis.

“(The Syracuse coaching staff) tells me to keep playing and keep getting better and do what I do,” McCullough said. “Coach Boeheim just tells me to keep getting better and to play my game.”

Before the third session of the EYBL began on Friday, McCullough averaged 11.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game for Team Scan through nine EYBL games.

Scott also writes for NY2LA Sports and can be followed on Twitter @sphillipshoops

No. 24 Cincinnati beats George Washington 61-56

Troy Caupain
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NEW YORK (AP) Troy Caupain scored 16 points, including the go-ahead three-point play with 1:38 to play, and No. 24 Cincinnati beat George Washington 61-56 on Saturday in the championship game of the Barclays Center Classic.

The fact the game came down to a three-point play was ironic as both teams took 22 3-point attempts and there were times it seemed a 3-point shooting broke out.

Caupain’s traditional three-point play gave the Bearcats (7-0) a 55-54 lead. After a missed 3 by the Colonials (6-1) Octavius Ellis, who chosen the tournament MVP, scored on a tip-in. Patricio Garino scored on a drive for George Washington with 29 seconds left.

The Colonials let the Bearcats pass the ball around and they finally fouled when Ellis touched the ball with 14 seconds to play. Ellis, a 56 percent free throw shooter, clinched his MVP award by making both for a 59-56 lead. Two free throws by Caupain with 6.1 seconds left capped the scoring.

Farad Cobb and Kevin Johnson both had 11 points for the Bearcats while Ellis had nine points and seven rebounds.

Garino had 15 points for George Washington, Tyler Cavanaugh had 13 and Joe McDonald 11.

The Colonials finished 11 of 22 from 3-point range, not bad for a team that came in shooting 27.9 percent (29 of 104) from there. The 50 percent doesn’t look so good when you consider the Colonials made five of their first six 3-point attempts and were 8 of 11 from beyond the arc in the first half. They went 16:42 between 2-point field goals but led 30-27 at halftime.

The Bearcats were 7 of 22 from 3-point range but their advantage came at the free throw line where they were 10 of 12 compared to George Washington’s 3 of 4.


George Washington: The Colonials beat Tennessee in the opening round and they were 3 of 15 on 3s. … George Washington was off to its best start since it was8-0 in 2005-06. … The Colonials finished 10 for 34 from 2-point range.

Cincinnati: The win gives the Bearcats a 13-1 all-time record against George Washington and this was their sixth straight. The last win came on Jan. 31, 1976. … Cincinnati is 7-0 for the fourth time in the last six seasons. … The Bearcats are 51-8 in and have won 24 of 25 in November under coach Mick Cronin. They have won 49 straight games when scoring over 60 points. The 60th point against the Colonials came with 6.1 seconds to play.


George Washington hosts Seton Hall on Wednesday.

Cincinnati hosts Butler on Wednesday.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady improving after being hospitalized

James Woodard, Anton Grady, Ron Baker
AP Photo
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Wichita State senior forward Anton Grady received some positive news on Saturday as a neurosurgeon reviewed MRI results, which are negative for spinal cord trauma.

According to a release from Wichita State, doctors believed Grady suffered a spinal cord concussion during a collision on Friday after he was taken off the floor in a stretcher and taken to a hospital in an ambulance. CT and MRI scans on Friday both turned up negative, but the news of Saturday’s results are an even more encouraging sign for Grady.

The injury for Grady occurred during a Friday loss to Alabama during the AdvoCare Invitational as the senior’s condition has improved since the collision. Grady will receive physical therapy over the next few days and doctors will check his progress before he is released from the hospital.

Grady has been alert and responsive to questions and had feeling in his extremities on Friday, but the use of his arms and legs was limited. By Saturday morning, Grady had improved the use of his extremities.

The 6-foot-8 Grady has averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds per game this season in his first season with the Shockers. The Cleveland State transfer is shooting 39 percent from the field.