Clemson Athletics

Hip surgery to sideline Clemson freshman Patrick Rooks for entire season

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During Clemson’s summer trip to Italy freshman guard Patrick Rooks shot the ball well, knocking down 44.4% of his shots from beyond the arc and averaging 7.0 points per game despite not scoring in the Tigers’ first exhibition. How big his role would have been this season is up for debate, given the fact that while young the Tigers do have options on the perimeter.

Unfortunately for both Rooks and Clemson he won’t have the opportunity to earn playing time this season, as a hip injury suffered during the preseason requires surgery that is expected to sideline him for the entire 2013-14 campaign. The news was announced by the Clemson athletic department.

“This is an unfortunate situation for Patrick,” Brownell said in the release. “He is a three-point specialist who shot the ball very well in Italy. Fortunately for us, we do have great depth in the backcourt. It’s a unique injury, something I haven’t seen in 20 years of coaching.

“I know our doctors and athletic trainer will do everything in their power to get him healthy. We look forward to having Patrick ready to go next season.”

The 6-foot-2 Rooks’ ability as a perimeter shooter could have proven valuable to Clemson, especially when considering how much the Tigers struggled offensively last season. Clemson finished the season 11th in the ACC in both field goal (42.4%) and three-point percentage (31.7%), tenth in offensive efficiency (98.9) and last in the ACC in scoring offense (61.5 ppg).

With forwards Devin Booker and Milton Jennings out of eligibility the Tigers have to replace two of their top three leading scorers, with junior wing K.J. McDaniels (10.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg) being their leading returnee. Also back for Clemson are junior guards Rod Hall (5.7 ppg, 3.5 apg) and Damarcus Harrison (5.2 ppg), who had originally planned to take his LDS mission after playing in 2012-13 before postponing that indefinitely, and sophomore guard Jordan Roper (7.9 ppg).

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: Denzel Valentine, the nation’s best player?

Denzel Valentine
AP Photo/Alex Gallardo
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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.
  • Taurean Waller-Prince had 25 points to lead Baylor to a win over Arkansas State.

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.