Smart-Kaminsky

Late Night Snacks: Marcus Smart and Frank Kaminsky have career nights

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GAME OF THE DAY: Arizona State, led by its start point guard, Jahii Carson overcame a four-point halftime deficit to pick up an 86-80 road win against UNLV. Carson dropped a career-high 40, while the Rebels had all five starters score in double figures. This was a fun game to watch, mainly because of Carson, but also because it was a close one throughout. In the loss Roscoe Smith scored 18 points and grabbed 21 rebounds.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES:

No. 7 Oklahoma State 101, No. 11 Memphis 80: Let’s start with Oklahoma State. Marcus Smart reaffirmed his among the top college basketball players in the nation, but had an awesome supporting cast on Tuesday night.

No. 6 Duke 83, East Carolina 74: Not the Duke-Carolina game were are used to, but ECU kept it close, cutting it to 64-63 with under seven minutes to play. Duke got a scare, but behind 51 combined points from Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker, the Blue Devils advance to the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden.

Butler 85, Vanderbilt 77 OT: The Bulldogs picked up a win over an SEC program on Tuesday night, surviving Vanderbilt in overtime. Eric McClellan (29 points) had a chance to win it in regulation, but a travel turned the ball over for the Commodores with second remaining. Khyle Marshall  (26 points) and Kellen Dunham (16 points) led the way for Butler.

STARRED:

Marcus Smart: Smart dominated the Memphis Tigers, leading the way for Oklahoma State’s 101-80 beatdown of the No. 11 team in the nation. Smart, a 29 percent shooter from three last season, connected on 5-of-10 from deep, 11-of-20 from the field, for a career-high 39 points.

Frank Kaminsky: On any other night Kaminsky would have this night to himself. But the junior forward scored a Wisconsin record 43 points of 16-of-18 (6-for-6, 3-point) shooting in the Badgers’ 103-85 win over North Dakota. It was the first time since 1995 that Wisconsin hit 100.

Jahii Carson: Carson also went for a career-high on Tuesday night, with 40 points on the road against the UNLV Rebels. The Sun Devils trailed by four at half, to score 52 second half points. Despite going for 40, Carson still dished out seven dimes.

STRUGGLED:

Memphis and its back court: Some argued the Tigers had the nation’s best back court with the foursome of Michael Dixon, Joe Jackson, Geron Johnson and Chris Crawford. They combined for 8-of-34 shooting, 21 points and 10 turnovers. Damien Wilson led all Memphis guards with eight points in 20 minutes.

Ryan Harrow: Bad night for Harrow to have an off night. The transfer point guard played 32 minutes, ending with four points off 2-of-11 shooting in a loss to Alabama. Georgia State will not be going to Madison Square Garden.

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights shot 39 percent (27 percent from three) and coughed the ball up 14 times. The result? A 70-59 loss to Drexel. The Dragons will to go MSG for the NIT semifinals. “We were out-coached and we were outplayed.” That’s all Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan said after the game to reporters, according to Brendan Prunty of the Star-Ledger.

NOTABLES:

  • Rodney Hood played all 40 minutes and went for 30, but did East Carolina show some flaws for the Blue Devils?
  • Staying with the Blue Devils, potential Duke-Arizona matchup at MSG is one step closer
  • Julius Randle goes for another double-double, while James Young erupts for 26
  • St. John’s erase a narrow first half deficit to defeat Bucknell 67-63
  • The mid-major game of the day didn’t disappoint as Canisius topped Elon 86-85
  • Montrezl Harrell went for 20 and nine off 9-of-12 shooting in Louisville’s win over Hartford
  • Nick Johnson stuffed the stats with 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in Arizona’s win over Rhode Island
  • Joel Embiid had his best game with Kansas so far, in front of his father from Cameroon, with 16 points and 13 boards
  • Drexel downed Rutgers. Dragons going to NYC for preseason NIT
  • Virginia Cavaliers winners of three straight since losing to VCU during the Tip-Off Marathon
  • Penn State knocked off La Salle, 79-72, behind a balanced scoring attack that saw all five starters score at least 13 points.

Four-star 2018 guard Coby White commits to North Carolina

North Carolina coach Roy Williams, center, reacts with his team behind him after a play during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament against Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Washington. North Carolina won 88-71. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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With guards Jalek Felton and Andrew Platek having committed in their 2017 recruiting class, North Carolina received a commitment from one of the better guards in the Class of 2018 Thursday night. Four-star guard Coby White, who’s ranked 61st in his class by Rivals.com, made his pledge to Roy Williams’ program. News of White’s commitment was first reported by Scout.com.

The 6-foot-4 White is a native of Wilson, North Carolina, where he attends Greenfield HS, and he played his grassroots basketball for the CP3 16U basketball program this summer. His commitment to UNC comes just a couple days after the ACC school offered him a scholarship.

White took an unofficial visit to UNC in June, and his play in July ultimately led to the program making the aforementioned scholarship offer. By the time White enrolls in Chapel Hill, current veterans such as Joel Berry II and Nate Britt will be out of eligibility. Among the perimeter would could potentially be on campus in 2018 are freshmen Seventh Woods and Brandon Robinson, and sophomore Kenny Williams.

White is the second commit in the 2018 class for the Tar Heels, with 6-foot-7 guard Rechon Black being the first.

Point guard Small to transfer from Oregon

SPOKANE, WA - MARCH 18:  Kendall Small #21 of the Oregon Ducks shoots over Derek Mountain #40 of the Holy Cross Crusaders in the second half during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on March 18, 2016 in Spokane, Washington.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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After navigating a lack of depth at the point to win the Pac-12 regular season and tournament titles and earn the program’s first-ever one seed in the NCAA tournament, Oregon will have no such issues in 2016-17. Dylan Ennis, who missed most of last season with a foot injury, is back for another season as is returning starter Casey Benson. Add in freshman Payton Pritchard, whose shooting ability can help a team that struggled from three a season ago, and Dana Altman has multiple players to call upon at that spot.

That left Kendall Small, who played just under eight minutes per game as a freshman, in a spot where it would have been tough to earn more playing time as a sophomore. As a result he’s decided to transfer, with the news first being reported by Scout.com.

In addition to the three guards mentioned above, sophomore Tyler Dorsey also has the ability to make plays with the ball in his hands. Small will have three seasons of eligibility remaining at whichever school he chooses to transfer to, and he’ll have to sit out the 2016-17 season per NCAA transfer rules.

A 6-foot guard from Anaheim, Small’s best outing came in Oregon’s 77-59 win over Savannah State on November 23. In that game Small accounted for nine points, four assists and three rebounds in 23 minutes of action. But he played double-digit minutes in just four games after the Ducks began Pac-12 play in early January, the last of which being Oregon’s win over Holy Cross in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

LIU Brooklyn loses second-leading scorer Hermannsson to pro ranks

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 27: Bryan Sekunda #22 of the Stony Brook Seawolves attempts a pass around Martin Hermannsson #24 of the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds in the first half at Madison Square Garden on November 27, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
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After finishing tied for sixth place in the Northeast Conference last season, LIU Brooklyn will look to make the climb up the conference standings under head coach Jack Perri in 2016-17. However that climb got a bit tougher Thursday, as it was announced that guard Martin Hermannsson has decided to forego his final two years of eligibility and turn pro.

Hermannsson, a native of Iceland, has signed with French Pro B division team Etoile de Charleville-Mézières Ardennes.

Hermannsson was one of two first team All-NEC honorees for the Blackbirds last season, with redshirt junior forward Jerome Frink being the other. Hermannsson, a 6-foot-3 guard, finished the season with averages of 16.2 points and 4.7 assists per game, shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 36.0 percent from three. Originally on track to return the highest scoring tandem in the NEC, LIU Brooklyn has to account for the loss of their starting point guard and second-leading scorer without much time to do so before classes begin.

With Hermannsson moving on, the Blackbirds will call upon veterans such as seniors Joel Hernandez and Iverson Fleming to carry the load on the perimeter. LIU Brooklyn will also have to account for the loss of guard Aakim Saintil, who averaged 12.6 points and 4.7 assists in his lone season of eligibility. LIU Brooklyn will add two freshmen to its backcourt in Julian Batts and Ashtyn Bradley, and they’ll have an even greater opportunity to earn minutes than anticipated.

h/t Blackbirds Hoops Journal

University of Louisville president’s resignation accepted

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) University of Louisville trustees on Wednesday accepted the resignation of embattled President James Ramsey, whose long tenure was dogged by scandal.

The action at a special meeting of the school’s board signaled the end of an era. Ramsey, a former state budget director, has led the university for 14 years.

After six hours of closed-door deliberations, the board announced late Wednesday that Ramsey will be paid $690,000 and will resign immediately, with an agreement not to sue the school.

Ramsey was credited with raising academic standards and boosting the school from a commuter campus to a distinguished research institution. But he came under increasing fire for embezzlement scandals and a string of other embarrassments, including an FBI investigation of top university officials for alleged misuse of federal money and an NCAA investigation into whether a university employee paid women to strip and have sex with basketball players.

The controversies boiled over in the past two years. The Courier-Journal reported last year that the Board of Trustees challenged Ramsey’s salary of more than $600,000, with millions more in deferred compensation paid by the university foundation.

Then, in October, an escort named Katina Powell released the book “Breaking Cardinal Rules” that alleged a basketball team employee hired her and other dancers to entertain players and recruits at sex parties. The NCAA launched an investigation and Ramsey announced in February that the team would not play in post-season tournaments.

Dozens of professors signed a letter to him complaining about the “drumbeat of crises” and some trustees attempted a no-confidence vote to have him ousted in the spring. Ramsey said at the time that he would not resign.

But Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin dismantled the former Board of Trustees last month. Ramsey wrote the governor a letter offering to tender his resignation to the newly appointed board, launching a bumpy series of meetings that led to his eventual ouster late Wednesday.

The afternoon began with an agreement seemingly far more generous for Ramsey: He would collect his salary for a year as he served as interim president while the school searched for a new leader. Ramsey sat silently at Wednesday’s board meeting, wearing a polo shirt, then left for his office upstairs.

But the board’s closed-door negotiations stretched hours into the night. Chairman Pro Tem Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman left several times to visit Ramsey’s office, where the president was working with various advisers, he said.

The board announced just before 11 p.m. that Ramsey would be out immediately. University Provost Neville Pinto, who is on vacation, will serve as temporary leader until a new president is selected.

“In the end, it was just the decision on both sides, what everyone thought was best,” Bridgeman said of the final resolution. He said it was a sad moment in the university’s history despite the controversies that have colored Ramsey’s tenure. He pointed to the president’s accomplishments, improving graduation rates and the university’s footprint in the city.

“Dr. Ramsey is always going to be a gentleman,” he said about Ramsey’s reaction to the final decision. “He’s always going to talk about what’s best for the university. And that was the discussion. It wasn’t any more than that.”

The board’s actions will have no bearing on Ramsey’s status with the University Foundation, a separate board where Ramsey is paid more than $300,000 in addition to his salary as president. Bridgeman would not speculate on what that board will choose to do about his employment.

The trustees also voted to immediately begin its search for a new president.

The decision ends weeks of unrest and confusion about Ramsey’s status.

Shortly after Bevin dismantled the old board and appointed new members, Ramsey read his letter offering to resign as the board met in a private session at its first meeting earlier this month. Ramsey then left the meeting, walked directly to his office and didn’t return.

His method apparently left trustees confused. Bridgeman told reporters that Ramsey had not offered his resignation. A day later, Bridgeman said Ramsey’s letter had amounted to an offer to step down. Trustees met for a second time last week, reviewing budget and tuition issues but taking no action on Ramsey’s status.

They scheduled a meeting to discuss his resignation for Tuesday morning, abruptly canceled it then rescheduled it for Wednesday afternoon.

Now, even with Ramsey’s immediate departure, the school’s leadership remains uncertain.

Democratic state Attorney General Andy Beshear is challenging Bevin’s authority to disband the school’s former board and appoint a new one, saying the reorganization was illegal.

During a hearing last week, Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd said Bevin’s action replacing UofL’s board was “problematic” because it put the school’s independence in jeopardy. His ruling is pending. If Shepherd rules against Bevin and finds the current board invalid, it’s unclear whether the board’s decisions will stand, including Wednesday’s negotiations over Ramsey’s departure.