Richmond Athletics

Richmond redshirt freshman center Luke Piotrowski decides to transfer

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After redshirting in 2011-12, Richmond center Luke Piotrowski hoped that there would be more opportunities to earn playing time in 2012-13. Unfortunately for Piotrowski that wasn’t the case, as he played in just six games for the Spiders, posting averages of 0.3 points and 1.1 rebounds per game (3.6 minutes/game).

On Wednesday it was reported by Josh Verlin of City of Basketball Love that Piotrowski has decided to transfer, with his desire for more playing time being the primary factor.

Piotrowski played a total of 15 minutes in the Spiders’ first two games of the season, blowout victories over Liberty and UNCW. But after those contests the Atlantic Christian (N.J.) High product played a total of ten minutes for the remainder of the season.

“I’m going to miss Richmond a lot, I really did love it there, I had a great relationship with Coach Mooney and the rest of the staff and I really am grateful for everything they’ve done for me for the past two years,” he told CoBL by phone.

“I think it just kind of got to a point where I said to myself, ‘I want to be the best player that I can be and I need to go to a place that allows me to be.’ I met with coach [Chris] Mooney and we kind of decided that transferring might be the best option.”

The Spiders welcome back four interior players who saw double-digit minutes in 2012-13, with Derrick Williams (11.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg) being the lone senior. Joining him on the floor will be a trio of sophomores: Alonzo Nelson-Ododa (3.9, 4.0, 1.8 bpg), Deion Taylor (3.6, 1.8) and Terry Allen (4.4, 3.4).

And waiting in the wings is T.J. Cline, who averaged 7.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game as a freshman at Niagara last season before deciding to transfer in the aftermath of Joe Mihalich leaving to take the Hofstra job.

Cline, who will have to sit out this season per NCAA transfer rules, was named to the MAAC All-Rookie Team. With those options at Mooney’s disposal, playing time was going to be tough to come by for Piotrowski.

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: Syracuse wins, Miami loses, Valentine is nation’s best?

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(This will be updated throughout the day.)

GAME OF THE DAY: Syracuse 74, No. 25 Texas A&M 67

The Orange got 20 points from Michael Gbinije and 15 points and five assists from Trevor Cooney as they won the Battle 4 Atlantis title on Friday afternoon. We wrote on this game earlier. Are the Orange for real this year?


Denzel Valentine, Michigan State: 32 points, nine boards, six assists

No. 3 Michigan State beat Boise State 77-67 in the semifinals of the Wooden Legacy out in California, but the result of that game is less important than the result of Valentine’s night. A night after notching his second triple-double of the season, Valentine took over another way on Friday, hitting five straight threes in the span of about five minutes to put the Spartans up double-figures in a game they were struggling to take control of.

In three games against high-major competition, Valentine is now averaging 30.0 points, 10.7 boards and 9.3 assists. He has been, unequivocally, the best player in college basketball this season.

No. 10 Gonzaga 73, No. 17 UConn 70: Eric McClellan and Kyle Dranginis made some big plays down the stretch as the Bulldogs held on to win a game they led by as much as 21 in the second half. Kyle Wiltjer scored a team-best 17 points for Gonzaga, which finished third at the Battle 4 Atlantis. Rob Dauster wrote more about the Bulldogs and their second-half performance here.

Alabama 64, No. 20 Wichita State 60: Not only did the Shockers drop their second straight at the AdvoCare Invitational, but they also saw Anton Grady leave the game on a stretcher after being involved in a scary second-half collision. He was awake and alert shortly after leaving the court. While the Shockers’ losses to USC and Alabama don’t help them from an NCAA tournament standpoint, the bigger issue is the team’s health.


Quincy Ford, Northeastern: Not only did he score 24 points in the upset win over No. 15 Miami, but he hit the game-winning jumper, too. Video here.


Wichita State’s bigs: Five of them (Anton Grady, Zach Brown, Rashard Kelly, Bush Wakumota, Eric Hamilton) finished a combined 3-for-21 from the floor with 14 points and 14 fouls. Wakumota shot one of the worst threes you’ll ever see with Wichita State down 62-60 with 10 seconds left.

Grady suffered a scary neck injury late in the game, but early reports sound positive.


  • Jamal Murray went for 21 points and three assists without a turnover at No. 1 Kentucky rolled over South Florida. The big question: How bad is Tyler Ulis’ elbow injury?
  • Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart both had 13 points as No. 8 Villanova knocked off Georgia Tech to win the Preseason NIT, 69-52.
  • No. 23 Xavier raced out of the gates against USC and led by as much as 32, going on to win 87-77 in Orlando. Trevon Bluiett led four Musketeers in double figures with 16 points and James Farr added 12 to go along with nine rebounds off the bench.


  • Stanford finished third at the Preseason NIT with a 69-66 win over Arkansas, closing the game on a stunning 21-1 run. Rosco Allen scored eight of his career-high 25 points during that run, and Marcus Allen’s goal-tended layup with 2.6 seconds remaining gave the Cardinal the lead for good.

Good luck Goodluck: UNLV’s Okonoboh to transfer

Goodluck Okonoboh
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
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UNLV sophomore Goodluck Okonoboh is transferring out of the program, a source told

The 6-foot-10 center was the No. 31 recruit in the Class of 2014, but he never was able to find a place in the UNLV rotation. He averaged 2.9 blocks as a freshman, but is a career 34 percent free throw shooter that never proved he could be more than just an athlete.

With Ben Carter getting eligible and UNLV landing Stephen Zimmerman this season, Okonoboh’s minutes dried up. He played just 19 minutes total against UCLA and Indiana.