Brandon Miller

Second half dominance highlights Brandon Miller’s first regular season win at Butler

Leave a comment

New Butler head coach Brandon Miller got his first taste of regular season play as a head coach on Saturday evening, and the game against Lamar at Hinkle Fieldhouse didn’t get off to the start that he had hoped for. The Bulldogs had some issues defensively, which allowed the Cardinals to hang around and essentially go toe to toe with Butler for the first 12 minutes of the game.

Butler got things going in a big way however, as a 9-2 run to close the half served as the catalyst the Bulldogs needed. Butler dominated the second half, shooting 58.3% from the field while limiting Lamar to 37.5% shooting on their way to the 89-58 win. Overall Butler shot 50.6%, with Khyle Marshall accounting for 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead the way.

Marshall was one of four Bulldogs to score in double figures, with Butler making up for an off night from deep (4-for-17 3PT) by finding quality looks inside of the arc (64.2% 2PT). Butler also enjoyed a good night on the glass, as they managed to rebound 37.8% of their missed shots, and the Bulldogs finished the game with just five turnovers.

With Rotnei Clarke having graduated and Roosevelt Jones out for the year (wrist injury), the job ahead of Miller is a tough one with the Bulldogs also making the move from the Atlantic 10 to the Big East. But while Butler soared to its greatest heights on the hardwood under Brad Stevens, it should be noted that the program enjoyed success even before Stevens took over as head coach.

The road ahead of Miller won’t be an easy one to navigate, but if Butler can build on its second half performance they may prove to be better than many expected them to be during the preseason.

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley
Leave a comment

No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”:

Wayne Selden stars as Kansas wins the title in Maui

Wayne Selden Jr., Jeff Roberson
Leave a comment

The last time we wrote about Wayne Selden in this space, it was my colleague Scott Phillips who questioned, after a poor performance in the Champions Classic, whether or not Selden is capable of bring a primary scorer for a team with NCAA title aspirations.

At the time, it wasn’t an unfair question to ask.

Selden is a former top 15 recruit. He is a guy who was expected to go one-and-done that played poorly in the first big game of his third year on campus. But after three days it Maui, it appears that the old Wayne Selden is gone.

[MORE: Kansas got Cheick Diallo news today]

He capped an MVP performance in the Maui Invitational with 25 points and seven boards on 8-for-11 shooting as the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks knocked off No. 19 Vanderbilt, 70-63, in the title game. Selden was terrific for the entire weekend, averaging 21.5 points in the two games against Division I competition and shooting 12-for-17 from beyond the arc in the three game tournament.

It was the best that we’ve seen Selden play during his Jayhawk career, and it came in a game the Jayhawks desperately needed it. Vanderbilt is a damn good team. They’re ranked 19th, which may actually be too low, and they seem to clearly be the biggest challenger to Kentucky in the SEC. They jumped out to a double-digit lead on Kansas in the first half as the Jayhawks seemed to be sleep-walking early in the game.

Enter Selden. He drilled three threes in the first half and scored 13 of the 26 Jayhawk points to keep them close. In other words, he played like a star on a night Kansas desperately needed someone to step up and play like a star. Remember: this is a dude that had enough talent and potential in high school to be considered a McDonald’s All-American and a potential lottery pick. The ability is there:

(That move is filthy.)

The question has always been whether or not he is capable of putting it all together, of being the guy that can be relied upon to make the big play in the big moment, to carry a team with title aspirations.

And to be fair, the jury is still out in that regard. Are we just going to ignore those four free throws he clanged down the stretch?

But seeing Selden have this kind of performance in a game like this against a team that is this good is unquestionably a positive for Kansas moving forward.