Luke Hancock’s father passes away

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Sad news out of Virginia this evening, as Luke Hancock’s father has passed away at the age of 70.

Hancock’s father, Bill, had been sick for some time and the relationship between the two was well-documented in stories during the Final Four. Luke, a 6-6 fifth year senior-to-be, was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four in helping Louisville to their first national championship since 1986.

“We caught him in Dallas and he went on to Colorado as we had talked about and as his father wanted him to do,” she said to The Associated Press, calling her son’s opportunity to compete for a spot on the national team a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

After a slow start to the season, the Roanoke, Va. native came on for coach Rick Pitino’s team late, scoring in double-figures in six of the Cardinals’ final eight regular season and conference tournament games. He then went for 10 points in Louisville’s Elite Eight win over Duke, and combined for 42 points (20 against Wichita State, 22 against Michigan) in the Final Four.

It was originally unclear what Bill Hancock suffered from (the family wanted to keep that private, understandably) but reports are saying he succumbed to cancer.

There wasn’t much doubt about the dedication he had to his son, as evident by the fact that, despite being gravely ill, he made it with the family to Atlanta for the Final Four.

Hancock is expected to be one of the leaders for the Cardinals in 2013-14 after averaging 8.1 points and 2.6 rebounds while shooting 39.9 percent from three-point range. He flew out Monday to participate in tryouts for Team USA in the World University Games, beginning in Russia on July 7.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

Puerto Rico Tip Off bracket revealed

AP Photo/Sean Rayford
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The bracket of the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip off was revealed Wednesday, setting up a showdown between a 2016 Final Four participant and the 2016 Big 12 tournament champion.

South Carolina and Iowa State headline the event, which will be played Nov. 16-19, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

The Gamecocks are on the top half of the bracket, opening against Illinois State while the Cyclones are on the bottom half, squaring off against Appalachian State.

Boise State vs. UTEP is the other top-half quarterfinal while Tulsa vs. Western Michigan is the other.

The championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, Nov. 19.

VIDEO: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges is dunking again

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Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan:

VIDEO: Kentucky’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge

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A day after Grayson Allen threw an alley-oop to Trevon Duval for Duke’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge, Kentucky’s team of freshmen decided to do one of their own:

https://twitter.com/i/web/status/889947577734574085

That would be, in order, Johnny David, Jarrod Vanderbilt, Nick Richards, PJ Washington and Kevin Knox abusing some poor sap’s rim somewhere in Lexington.

But was that better than John Calipari’s attempt?

VIDEOS: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges puts on another show at local summer Pro-Am

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Watching Michigan State’s Miles Bridges throw down high-level dunks in local summer pro-ams has been a good way to pass the time the last few weeks.

The 6-foot-7 Bridges has been annihilating rims all summer as he had more ridiculous dunks on Tuesday night. Playing with former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine and some of his current Spartans teammates, Bridges had more crowd-pleasing plays to add to his summer reel.

Lansing State Journal reporter James Edwards III has been on the scene for Bridges’ games all summer as he has more dunks from the future lottery pick.

Minnesota keeps in-state three-star 2018 guard Gabe Kalscheur at home

Jon Lopez/Nike
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Minnesota is keeping a big-time shooter at home as Class of 2018 shooting guard Gabe Kalscheur pledged to the Golden Gophers on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-4 Kalscheur is the third in-state prospect to pledge to head coach Richard Pitino in the Class of 2018 as he joins three-star forward Jarvis Thomas and four-star big man Daniel Oturu. The three-star Kalscheur gives Minnesota a valuable floor spacer and a winner as he’s a three-time state champion at DeLaSalle. All three of these commitments also played together with Howard Pulley in the Nike EYBL.

During this spring and summer in the Nike EYBL, Kalscheur averaged 14.9 points and shot 39 percent from three-point range as he made 61 treys in 21 games.

Pitino has certainly done a nice job of keeping local players home as he’s hoping that trend continues with upcoming in-state five-star prospects like 2018 point guard Tre Jones and 2019 forward Matthew Hurt. The Golden Gophers will have to win national recruiting battles to keep those guys home, but they’ve done a nice job of getting the other guys that they need to keep home.