(UPDATE: Vinales has since backed off his commitment.)
In two seasons at Central Connecticut State, Kyle Vinales proved to be one of the better scoring guards at the mid-major level. Vinales averaged 19.8 points per contest during his time in New Britain (21.8 ppg last season), but something was missing: postseason success.
The Blue Devils failed to reach the semifinals of the NEC tournament in either of Vinales’ two seasons, and that lack of success ultimately led to his decision to transfer.
Via Twitter Vinales announced his decision to transfer to Toledo. The move is somewhat surprising given Vinales’ stated desire to reach postseason play, as the Rockets haven’t gone to the NCAA tournament since 1980.
Toledo won 15 games last season, a campaign that included a postseason ban due to APR issues. But with leading scorers Rian Pearson (17.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg) and Julius Brown (13.1, 6.0 apg) returning and Loyola (MD) transfer Justin Drummond eligible after sitting out last season, the Rockets could be poised to make a jump in the MAC pecking order.
Vinales won’t fit into that equation on the court as he’ll be required to sit out the 2013-14 season per NCAA transfer rules. But he can help them in practice, and once eligible (2014-15) Vinales will join Brown and Drummond as Toledo’s biggest factors.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Tonight’s bubble action. This post will be updated as the games are completed.
Cincinnati at UCF, 7:00 p.m.
Pitt at No. 12 Miami, 7:00 p.m.
No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
Ole Miss at Florida, 9:00 p.m.
Georgia at No. 22 Kentucky, 9:00 p.m.
Arkansas at Mississippi State, 9:00 p.m.
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.
The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.
We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
- Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
- Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
- Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
- Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
- No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
- No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.