Sometimes you just have to give credit where credit’s due.
Charlotte was an afterthought in Conference USA heading into the season, but that certainly changed this week as the 49ers knocked off Kansas and Northeastern to set up Sunday’s showdown with No. 14 Michigan in the final of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
And in a game that drew plenty of attention stateside due to New England’s inability to avoid fumbling, the 49ers knocked off the Wolverines, 63-61, when Terrence Williams laid in his own miss with 0.4 seconds left.
Michigan struggled in this event. Frankly, they’ve struggled all season long, and there is a reason for that. Trey Burke is gone, replaced by freshman Derrick Walton and sophomore Spike Albrecht. Mitch McGary is still working his way back into shape. Glenn Robinson III is still learning how to be more than an athlete that can shoot. Zak Irvin isn’t ready to be more than a role player. Put it all together, and you get a team that has to ride the coattails of Nik Stauskas, who looks like he could be headed to an All-American season.
Tonight was the perfect example. Nik Stauskas had 20 points on 6-for-13 shooting (he was 6-for-11 from the floor before rolling his ankle with four minutes left). The Non-Stauskas Wolverines were 13-for-48 from the floor and scored 41 points.
Charlotte, on the other hand, came out prepared. Alan Major’s team isn’t flashy, but they defend, they play hard, they’re tough and they had a game plan that was executed and effective. It didn’t hurt that Glenn Robinson III didn’t return after a hard fall in the first half, one that reportedly injured his back, but all the 49ers can do is beat the team that takes the court against them.
For the third time in four days in San Juan, they did.
Nahziah Carter is an unsigned 6-foot-6 wing in the Class of 2017.
He’s also Jay-Z’s nephew, and he just so happened to posterize Marvin Bagley III — the clearcut No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2018 — while Hova was in the stands watching him.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.
Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.
The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.
As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.
Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.
SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.
The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.
Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.
South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.
The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.
Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.
A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.
Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.
Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.
Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.
The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.
Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.