Late Night Snacks: Thanksgiving leftovers are the best

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GAME OF THE DAY: George Washington 71, Miami (FL) 63 OT

George Washington blew a lead in the second half, but Joe McDonald’s driving layup tied the game and forced overtime. McDonald hit a big three and had a nice assist to Isaiah Armwood for a dunk in overtime to spark a 10-0 run that put the game away. The Colonials, who got 16 points from Nemanja Mikic, moved to 5-0 on the season and look like another team that could make some noise in the Atlantic 10 this season.

They’ll get a good test in No. 25 Marquette on Friday, but keep in mind: GW is doing all of this without Patricio Garino, who is out with a finger injury.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) Roy Devyn Marble scored 30 points and sparked Iowa’s comeback from 13 points down in the second half as the Hawkeyes knocked off Xavier 77-74 in overtime in a game that proved the old theory: not every close game is a great game. Iowa needed this win, as they had put up some impressive wins over teams that, frankly, aren’t good.

2) The focus of Thursday at the Battle 4 Atlantis is the bad blood between Andy Enfield and Tim Floyd, but what gets lost in that madness is that UTEP actually put together an impressive win over a good Tennessee team. Four players scored in double figures and the Miners used a slew of junk defenses to stifle the Vols.

3) Andre Stringer went for 18 points and six assists and LSU’s trio of big guys combined for 40 points and 21 boards in an 82-65 win over St. Joe’s.

STARRED

1) Butler beat Washington State 76-69 thanks to Kellen Dunham and Khyle Marshall. Those two combined for 62 points, shooting 21-34 from the floor. Dunham hit six threes. Rotnei who?

2) Jamil Wilson had 24 points, nine boards and four assists for No. 25 Marquette, but the most notable performance for the Golden Eagles was JaJuan Johnson’s 18 points off the bench. Marquette needs his perimeter scoring pop.

3) Devin Brooks popped off for 23 points off the bench for No. 20 Creighton against Arizona State.

STRUGGLED

1) The refs were as bad as they’ve been all season in No. 5 Oklahoma State’s win over Purdue. Watch the videos here. I agree with the need for the new rules, but this is just absurd.

2) Siyani Chambers’ slow start to the season continued on Thursday night, as he went 2-for-9 from the floor with five turnovers. Harvard got the win against Denver, though.

3) Nevada didn’t play the best defense of their season, giving up 105 points to No. 22 UCLA, who shot over 60% from the floor.

Grand Canyon lands Oregon graduate transfer guard Casey Benson

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Grand Canyon landed an important piece for its NCAA tournament push on Saturday night as Oregon graduate transfer guard Casey Benson pledged to the Antelopes.

The 6-foot-3 Benson will be eligible right away as spent the past three seasons with the Ducks as a key reserve guard, helping Oregon to multiple deep NCAA tournament runs. Benson picked Grand Canyon over Wisconsin for his final season of college basketball as Benson’s brother, T.J., is an assistant coach with the Antelopes.

Benson shot 40 percent from three-point range last season while also being a steady ball handler over the course of his career at Oregon as he has only 81 career turnovers in over 2,600 career minutes with the Ducks. While Benson wasn’t asked to score a lot for a loaded Oregon team that featured multiple bucket-getters, he could be asked to do more at Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon is eligible for the NCAA tournament for the first time next season as the addition of Benson gives them an experienced guard who should be more of a factor in the WAC. The Antelopes are coming off of a 22-9 season in which they finished 11-3 in conference play.

With great facilities and a quickly-growing fan base, head coach Dan Majerle has the potential makings of a perennial mid-major conference contender if he continues to recruit well to Grand Canyon.

Colorado adds commitment from Class of 2017 point guard McKinley Wright

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Colorado landed one of the best available point guards for next season on Friday as Class of 2017 floor general McKinley Wright committed during an official visit.

A former Dayton commit who opted out of his recruitment after former head coach Archie Miller took the Indiana job, Wright was one of the best available point guards left as he played last weekend on the adidas Gauntlet in front of college coaches with D1 Minnesota.

The 6-foot-0 Wright gives the Buffaloes another ball handler and distributor as he was Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball during this past season. As a senior, Wright averaged 22.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game.

It’s always hard to say if spring recruits who elevate a level in recruiting after decommitting are making the correct decision, but Wright looked the part of a high-major lead guard last weekend, and Colorado wasn’t the only high-major program that was pushing hard to add Wright at this late stage.

Oral Roberts to hire Baylor assistant coach Paul Mills

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Oral Roberts has found its new head coach as they will hire Baylor assistant coach Paul Mills, as first reported by NBCSports.com’s Rob Dauster.

Mills had been on staff with the Bears since 2003 as he’s been a big factor in why head coach Scott Drew has been able to turn around that program. A graduate of Texas A&M, Mills has been a full-time assistant at Baylor since the 2009 season.

“I am honored to accept this role of representing this historic institution, its students and its mission,” Mills said in a release. “Making this commitment today is a highlight of my career and I look forward with excitement to the basketball season directly ahead. Go Golden Eagles.”

Mills will replace former head coach Scott Sutton, who was relieved of his duties this offseason after 18 years at the helm.

 

Iowa commit Connor McCaffery to redshirt in basketball to pursue baseball

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Iowa commit Connor McCaffery is in a unique spot when he starts his freshman year in Iowa City next year.

Not only is the 6-foot-4 guard the son of basketball head coach Fran McCaffery, while being a four-star national basketball prospect, but Connor also has a bright future in baseball.

There was a lot of speculation as to what Connor might do for his future in athletics and he gave more clarification on what he might be looking to do on Friday.

McCaffery has decided to redshirt in basketball next season to focus on the beginnings of his baseball career at Iowa. A walk-on for both sports, the move enables Connor McCaffery to potentially play three years of basketball with his younger brother, Patrick, who is also a heralded basketball recruit for Iowa. This move also gives Connor the best chance to pursue both sports while he’ll also help out a young Iowa basketball team with its tough scholarship scenario.

Butler, Chris Holtmann agree to a contract extension

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Butler has agreed to a contract extension with head coach Chris Holtmann, the school announced on Friday, that will keep him under contract through 2025.

“Butler truly is a special place, and my family and I are thankful to be part of a great academic institution and an athletics department that is a source of pride for those who embrace Butler and The Butler Way,” said Holtmann. “Our student-athletes, our staff, and so many throughout our campus are remarkable at what they do, and I’m excited to continue to work alongside them.”

Holtmann was named Big East Coach of the Year after leading the Bulldogs to a 25-9 record and a spot in the Sweet 16. In three years with the program, Holtmann has a record of 70-31.

“Chris is a tremendous ambassador for Butler and the Butler Way, and his leadership has resulted in success both on and off the court for the talented young men in our program,” said Butler Vice President/Director of Athletics Barry Collier. “This commitment – both by our university and by Chris – allows the momentum within our program to continue.”

Holtmann was in the mix for a couple of jobs this spring, including N.C. State and Missouri.