Bahamas trip a sign of things to come for Maryland’s Jake Layman?

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One of the debates that comes with college basketball teams hitting the road during the summer for some sightseeing and competition against unfamiliar opponents is just how much we should take out of the performances.

If a team performs poorly, as Michigan did before the 2010-11 season, the jokes and prognostications forecasting regular season failure come at a rapid rate. That group of Wolverines, who went 1-3 in Europe with its lone victory coming in the finale, ended up taking Duke to the wire in the second round of the 2011 NCAA tournament.

Or a team can perform incredibly well against dubious competition, returning to the States to much fanfare only to struggle during the regular season. So in the aftermath of Maryland’s 3-0 trip to the Bahamas, it’s important to take note of both the positives and negatives of the voyage without overreacting.

Jake Layman capped the trip with 25 points in the Terrapins’ 88-77 victory over the Grand Bahamas All-Stars on Friday, the second time in three games that the sophomore reached the 25-point mark. Layman shot 5-for-8 from beyond the arc on Friday, and this stat is the one many Maryland fans will focus on based upon the team’s struggles from deep in 2012-13.

Maryland shot 33.9% from beyond the arc last season, a number that ranked ninth in the ACC (Maryland shot 31.7% in conference games) and played nearly as big a role as their instability at the point did in landing the Terrapins in the Postseason NIT.

Just as there remains the question of who will run the show for Mark Turgeon’s team (Seth Allen and Roddy Peters will likely handle the chores), there’s also the question of who the perimeter shooters will be. If Maryland can find some answers here, they’ll be able to reap the rewards in other areas according to Daniel Martin of CSN Washington.

Three-point shooting was a major area of concern for Maryland last season, having shot just 33.9 percent from behind the arc. If Layman is able to fill the role of go-to three-point shooter from the stretch forward position, it would open up driving lanes for guards Dez Wells and Seth Allen, as well as interior opportunities for Shaquille Cleare and Charles Mitchell.

With Alex Len off to the NBA the Terps have some adjustments to make as they prepare for their final season in the ACC, and having extra practices and games will help in that regard with Layman’s performance one of the positives to take from the Bahamas.

But it’s important to keep in mind that this was just one step in the process of returning to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2010.

Four conferences sign on to basketball officiating alliance

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Four more Division I conferences will join a men’s basketball officiating alliance formed last year by the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East, the Atlantic 10 and Colonial Athletic Association.

The Big South, the Ivy League, the Northeast and the Patriot League are joining ahead of the 2017-18 season, according to announcements from the leagues Thursday. The alliance launched last summer for conferences to work together on officiating matters and enhance training, development, recruitment, retention and feedback for officials.

John Cahill, the Big East’s supervisor of officials, and Bryan Kersey, the ACC’s coordinator of men’s basketball officiating, will continue to lead the alliance operations.

ACC commissioner John Swofford says the new additions to the alliance “provide an even greater opportunity to build chemistry and quality” across the officiating ranks.

North Carolina to unveil national championship banner in October

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The latest addition to the rafters of the Dean Dome will be unveiled this fall.

North Carolina will raise the banner for its 2017 national championship on Oct. 13, according to a report from Inside Carolina.

The event will coincide with the Tar Heels’ “Late Night With Roy” event that marks the public start to the season for the program and also serves, like many other top programs, as a recruiting tool.

North Carolina won its sixth NCAA national championship in April by defeating Gonzaga, 71-65, in Phoenix to avenge its last-second loss in the title game to Villanova the year prior. It was the Tar Heels’ first championship since 2009.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball highlights

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It was the most anticipated matchup of the summer.

Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball.

People were turned away at the door – and LeBron James reportedly came and went – as the gym reached capacity for SC Supreme’s 104-92 victory over the Big Ballers. That’s Williamson over Ball (LaMelo and LaVar).

The game was mostly spectacle, and you can see it’s top moments right here.

 

VIDEO: Zion Williamson’s coach is holding a sleeping baby

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LaMelo Ball vs. Zion Williamson was insane, but it wasn’t quite crazy enough to wake up the sleeping toddler that Williamson’s coach is holding in his arms:

This is peak AAU basketball.

It will never be more AAU than that.

PHOTOS: Zion Williamson, LaMelo Ball showdown was, of course, insane

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In a showcase game in the adidas Uprising event in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, LaMelo Ball — the youngest member of the Big Baller Brand — faced off with Zion Williamson, who is a force on youtube and a highlight machine.

The crowd was insane for the game:

According to a report from ESPN, there were even concerns about whether or not the game would actually be allowed to be played; the police and fire marshall considered shutting the event down.

Williamson, of course, put on a show in warmups:

At the time of this posting, there were more than 60,000 people watching a livestream of the game on BallIsLife’s facebook page:

(UPDATE: It’s now over 70,000)