Kelly Kline/Under Armour

2014 center Chinanu Onuaku verbally commits to attend Louisville

Leave a comment

Another of the nation’s top interior prospects in the 2014 class is off the board, as 6-foot-10 center Chinanu Onuaku verbally committed to attend [school] during a press conference held at Riverdale Baptist High School in Upper Marlboro, Md. Onuaku, the younger brother of former Syracuse center Arinze Onuaku, chose Louisville over Georgetown and Miami.

Onuaku averaged 8.2 points and more than ten rebounds per game as a junior last season, and his recruitment gained steam during the spring/summer due to his play with the D.C. Assault grassroots program. Louisville was the first of the three finalists to host Onuaku on an official visit, with the center taking that trip in late-August.

Riverdale Baptist head coach Lou Wilson stated earlier this week in the Washington Post that he believed Louisville was the favorite to land Onuaku, citing the factors such as academics and the program’s run of success under Rick Pitino.

Wilson reiterated his prior belief that Louisville stands as the front-runner among Onuaku’s choices, citing the school’s strong academics, prestigious coach in Rick Pitino and the Cardinals’ recent success as 2013 national champions.

“From our conversations, it seems he feels like he’ll have an opportunity to play at Louisville, get a good education and be on a winning team,” Wilson said. “He seemed to enjoy being around the coaches and players down there for his visit.”

Onuaku joins forwards Shaqquan Aaron and Jaylen Johnson in Louisville’s 2014 class, and with if players such as Chane Behanan and Montrezl Harrell are as successful as many believe they’re capable of being this season Onuaku would be another valuably front court option for coach Pitino to have at his disposal. Louisville also has centers Akoy Agau and Mangok Mathiang on their current roster, and they’re one of the two finalists (rival Kentucky being the other) for the services of 2014 power forward/center Trey Lyles.

Here are a few clips of Onuaku in action at this summer’s NBPA Top 100 camp in Charlottesville, Va.

No. 10 West Virginia routs TCU 73-42

West Virginia forward Nathan Adrian (11) and guard Tarik Phillip (12) trap TCU guard Malique Trent (3) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb, 13, 2016, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Raymond Thompson)
(AP Photo/Raymond Thompson)
Leave a comment

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) Jonathan Holton returned from a suspension and after leading No. 10 West Virginia to an easy victory he seemed to understand why he was away from the team for four games.

“It’s always going to be tough love and Coach (Bob) Huggins always pushes everyone on the team to be better. He’s really the heart of the team and he’s going to make sure we give our best and our all,” the senior forward said.

Holton led four West Virginia players in double figures on Saturday as the Mountaineers assured themselves of at least a tie for first place in the Big 12 with a 73-42 rout of TCU.

The winner of Saturday’s Oklahoma-Kansas game will be tied for first with West Virginia.

Holton, who served the time off for an unspecified violation of team rules, had 14 points and seven rebounds for the Mountaineers (20-5, 9-3), while Esa Ahmad had a career-high 14 points and five rebounds, and Devin Williams, had his Big 12-leading 11th double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. He became West Virginia’s 50th 1,000-point scorer.

Jaysean Paige had 10 points for West Virginia.

Chauncey Collins of TCU (11-14, 2-10) scored 20 points against West Virginia for the second time this season.

West Virginia is 8-0 all-time against TCU with all the games being played in the Big 12.

The Mountaineers went 2-2 without Holton. Not only did he give them a scoring and rebounding weapon, he also led a defense that forced 26 turnovers. West Virginia turned those into 26 points.

Holton entered the game with 16:29 remaining in the first half. He hit a 3-pointer and then took a perfect pass for a layup and a 22-10 lead.

“As seniors and as friends we just try to give him advice and look forward for him (Holton) coming back and get ready to keep going up,” Paige said.

“That’s what we expected from him, so it wasn’t nothing out of the extraordinary. He played a solid game and let it come to him. He played well.”

His slam dunk later made it 33-15.

The 31-point margin was West Virginia’s highest in Big 12 play this season.

TIP-INS:

TCU: The Horned Frogs snapped a seven-game losing streak in the conference on Monday when they beat Oklahoma State 63-56. … The Frogs trailed 25-16 at the half. The 16 points were a halftime low.

WEST VIRGIONIA: The win was the 785th for Huggins in 34 years. He is one victory behind Lefty Driesell for ninth place on the all-time list.

UP NEXT:

TCU hosts Kansas State on Tuesday.

West Virginia is at No. 24 Texas on Tuesday. The Longhorns beat the Mountaineers 56-49 earlier this season.

SATURDAY’S SNACKS: Kansas, Kentucky make statements; Texas A&M, Wichita State both fall

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) shoots between Oklahoma guard Dinjiyl Walker (2) and Jamuni McNeace, right, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Leave a comment

GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 6 Kansas 76, No. 3 Oklahoma 72

The Jayhawks have the inside track on the Big 12 regular season title after a season sweep of Oklahoma. Devonte Graham was the hero in this one for Kansas as he went for 27 points and played tough defense. CBT’s Rob Dauster has more on this.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 22 Kentucky 89, South Carolina 62: Despite John Calipari getting ejected 2:26 into the game, Kentucky continued its recent stretch of SEC blowouts with another impressive road win. CBT’s Rob Dauster has more on this one and examines if the Wildcats are ready for a Final Four run.

LSU 76, No. 15 Texas A&M 71: Staying atop the SEC with Kentucky was LSU who earned an important home win after falling to South Carolina earlier this week. The struggle continued for Texas A&M as they’ve now dropped five straight SEC games. I have more on why Texas A&M is struggling and how LSU had a balanced outing today.

Michigan 61, No. 18 Purdue 56: Michigan needed a few more wins over top-flight teams to feel comfortable about their postseason fate, so this was a big win for them. More importantly, Caris LeVert returned to the lineup and played some minutes off the bench. CBT’s Rob Dauster has more on the Wolverines here.

Northern Iowa 53, No. 25 Wichita State 50: This loss was killer for Wichita State as it snapped a nation-leading 43-game home win streak while hurting the Shockers’ at-large chances. And, suddenly, Northern Iowa is really dangerous and playing good ball. See what this one means for the Missouri Valley Conference leading up to Arch Madness.

BUBBLE BANTER: What do Saturday’s results mean for Selection Sunday?

STARRED

Keon Johnson, Winthrop: One of the country’s underrated mid-major scorers, the 5-foot-7 Johnson scored 32 points and beat Radford at the buzzer with a cold-blooded jumper.

Cat Barber, N.C. State: The junior guard was cooking in an ACC win over Wake Forest as he went for 38 points, five rebounds and three assists for the Wolfpack. Barber was 10-for-20 from the floor and 17-for-20 from the free-throw line in the win.

Erik McCree, Louisiana Tech: The Bulldogs picked up an important win over UAB in Conference USA as McCree had 33 points, six rebounds and three assists. The junior forward was 11-for-20 from the field and 9-for-10 from the free-throw line.

STRUGGLED

Wichita State’s offense: In the loss to Northern Iowa, the Shockers shot just 30 percent from the field and 22 percent from 3-point range. Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker combined to shoot 8-for-31 from the floor and 4-for-16 from 3-point range.

OTHER TOP 25 RESULTS

  • Behind a balanced effort, No. 5 Xavier came away with a 74-57 win over Butler for a Big East road win.
  • No. 10 West Virginia forced 26 turnovers and rolled to an easy 73-42 home win over TCU in the Big 12. Jonathan Holton returned from suspension and contributed 14 points in the win.
  • One of the teams that desperately needed a win on Saturday was No. 20 Providence, as they outlasted Georgetown, 75-72. The Friars built a 20-point halftime lead and almost lost. Kris Dunn (20 points) and Ben Bentil (16 points) had help from Rodney Bullock (23 points, 10 rebounds) so that’s a positive sign.

OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS

  • Clemson topped Georgia Tech in the ACC as Jaron Blossomgame had 17 points and seven rebounds.
  • Playing without Josh Scott, Colorado escaped with a home win over Washington in the Pac-12 as Wesley Gordon had 17 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks.
  • Ole Miss was a winner in the SEC over Arkansas as Stefan Moody went 4-for-17 from the floor but still finished with 17 points and seven assists.
  • Oklahoma State outlasted Kansas State in overtime in the Big 12 as Leyton Hammonds had 13 points.
  • Tulane snapped a 12-game home losing streak in the American with an overtime win over Memphis. Shaq Goodwin also picked up one of the dumbest technical fouls of the season trying to pull a Vince Carter on a breakaway.
  • Belmont, one of the leaders of the Ohio Valley Conference, blew a 14-point halftime lead in a loss to Morehead State. Brent Arrington scored 24 points for the Eagles as Belmont’s Craig Bradshaw (28 points) missed a look at the buzzer for the win.