Late Night Snacks: Rhode Island rivalry and VCU’s overtime

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Providence 50, Rhode Island 49

I bet you didn’t realize the Ocean State had a hoops rivalry like this, did you? The Rams and the Friars did battle on Thursday night in a game that turned into a dogfight pretty quickly. How emotional was it? At one point, Ed Cooley and Danny Hurley both drew technical fouls as they had to be separated at mid-court during an argument.

Bryce Cotton led the way for Providence with 15 points, but URI was able to erase an early nine-point lead and, eventually, tie the game on an E.C. Matthews runner with 53 seconds left. Kadeem Batts was fouled at the other end and hit 1-of-2 from the foul line, and Matthews missed a 17-foot fadeaway at the buzzer.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES:

1) No. 24 San Diego State was 97-0 under Steve Fisher in games they led with five minutes left, but San Diego nearly ended that streak. The Aztecs had a 57-47 lead in the final minutes, but Johnny Dee brought the Toreros back. Fisher decided to foul up three in the final seconds two times, and it almost backfired. With 3.2 seconds left, SDSU turned the ball over on a jump-ball. USD got a great look at a three to win it, but it bounced harmlessly off the rim.

2) VCU hung on to beat Eastern Kentucky in overtime, 71-68. I went a little more in-depth on VCU’s struggles here.

3) Vanderbilt blew a 13-point second half lead, but they managed to hold on as Marshall nearly came all the way back in Nashville. Damion Jones had 15 points off the bench for the ‘Dores, who held high-scoring Elijah Pittman to just 17 points. Kareem Canty led the way for Marshall with 18. The bad news? Josh Henderson has reportedly torn his ACL and MCL.

4) Seton Hall beat LIU 92-81, but it came at a price: Fuquan Edwin went down with an injury to his right ankle.

STARRED

1) With Edwin out, Brian Oliver had himself a day, finishing with 26 points to lead the way for the Pirates.

2) Anthony Myles went for 28 points on 7-for-10 shooting as Rider beat Monmouth.

3) Georgetown’s back court of D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Markel Starks combined for 35 points and nine assists, hitting 5-for-11 from three, in a blow out win over High Point.

STRUGGLED

1) Marshall Henderson was 4-for-18 and 2-for-13 from three in a 61-58 loss at Kansas State. He airballed a step-back, 28-footer with a couple of seconds left on the clock that could have given Ole Miss the lead.

2) West Virginia entered the night as the No. 4 three-point shooting team in the country at 46.5%. They finished the night 4-for-19 from deep in an 80-71 loss to Missouri.

Memphis lands commitment from 2018 center Connor Vanover

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Memphis picked up its first commitment in the Class of 2018 on Wednesday night as unique center prospect Connor Vanover announced his decision on Twitter.

At 7-foot-2, Vanover brings elite size to the interior for the Tigers and he’s also skilled enough that he was a 43 percent three-point shooter during his stint playing with Pro Skills in the Nike EYBL this spring. Although Vanover needs to add strength and athleticism to adapt to the college level, he simply has size that you can’t teach. Pair that size with an intriguing perimeter jumper and it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Tubby Smith is able to develop Vanover the next few years.

A three-star prospect according to Rivals, Vanover averaged 9.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game during the spring. Originally from Arkansas, Vanover is spending his senior season of high school ball at prep school powerhouse Findlay Prep.

Bill Self unsure of how long he will continue to coach

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Kansas head coach Bill Self is one of the most decorated college basketball coaches of all time.

Recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this month, Self has won a record 13 consecutive Big 12 regular-season championships while also claiming a national title for the Jayhawks during his storied career.

But while most legendary coaches in contemporary college basketball have stayed around to coach well into their late 60s or early 70s, the 54-year-old Self doesn’t necessarily see his career playing out that way.

Speaking with ESPN.com reporter Myron Medcalf on Wednesday, Self acknowledged that he’s thinking about potentially retiring once his next contract ends after the 2021-22 season. With five more years left on his current deal, that would mean that Self would be retiring before he would even turn 60.

“I’ve said all along that if I could go to my late 50s, that’d be good for me,” Self said to Medcalf. “Now that I’m getting close to my late 50s, I’m like, ‘Well…’ but my contract runs until I’m 59, so I’ve got five more years left. I definitely want to do that. Then whatever happens after that I’d be happy with whatever. But I don’t want to [coach too late].”

While Hall of Fame coaches like Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (72 years old), Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (70 years old) and North Carolina’s Roy Williams (67 years old) are showing no signs of slowing down, Self acknowledged to Medcalf that coach, and specifically recruiting, has started to take its toll on him.

“With recruiting the way that it is, it just wears you down,” Self said to Medcalf.

With Kansas pursuing so many potential one-and-done prospects over the past few seasons, it means that Self usually has to recruit sizable recruiting classes

Self is certainly entitled to do what he wants with his career and his life but it would be a shame to see one of the game’s greats hang it up at that point in his career. Potentially retiring at that age means that Self won’t chase 1,000 wins or any additional longevity records

Ohio State lands second pledge in two days with 2018 guard Duane Washington

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Ohio State stayed hot on the recruiting trail on Wednesday as the Buckeyes landed a commitment from Class of 2018 guard Duane Washington.

The 6-foot-3 Washington is the second commitment for Ohio State and new head coach Chris Holtmann in the last two days after four-star forward Jaedon LeDee pledged to the Buckeyes on Tuesday.

One of the better shooters in the Class of 2018, Washington averaged 14.9 points per game on tremendous shooting splits (48% FG, 87% FT, 45% 3PT) playing with The Family in the Nike EYBL this spring. A Michigan native who now resides in California, Washington gives Ohio State a much-needed guard commitment in the Class of 2018.

With the Buckeyes needing to fill a lot of scholarships due to roster turnover, Washington is a solid start to their perimeter class. While Washington isn’t likely to play point guard, he can play multiple perimeter spots and should be a solid addition to the Buckeye rotation.

Syracuse walk-on accused of sexual assault

Syracuse Post-Standard
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Dominick Parker, an 18-year old freshman who was added to the Syracuse roster as a walk-on just 12 days ago, was arrested last Friday and charged with sexual abuse in the first degree, reports Syracuse.com.

Parker is accused of having sexual contact with an 18-year old female student while she was incapable of giving consent. His name and picture have been removed from the Syracuse athletics website.

“Sexual and relationship violence is not tolerated at Syracuse University,” the school said in a statement. “We are now doing all that we can to support and provide assistance to those affected by the alleged incident. As this is an ongoing investigation, Syracuse University will not be providing further comment.”

Wichita State to sell beer at Koch Arena

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As if it wasn’t already hard enough to win games at Koch Arena.

Starting this season, Wichita State fans will be able to buy beer during games at their home arena, a fact that should ensure that the raucous home environs that have made the Shockers so difficult to beat in Wichita remains the same.

That’s not a bad thing to add to a home court advantage while making the move into a new conference, the American, for the 2017-18 season.

Once a rarity, beer at college sporting events in aΒ growing trend. Minnesota, Florida and Texas, among a number of others have added alcohol sales in recent years. Given the money that would seem likely to be generated, it’s a trend that will probably become even more pervasive in college athletics.

Let’s just make sure that everyone partakes in moderation.