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Late Night Snacks: No. 13 Oregon survives first road test

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 13 Oregon 115, Ole Miss 105 (OT) 

Prior to Sunday the 13th-ranked Ducks hadn’t played a game away from Eugene since beating Georgetown in South Korea in their season opener, so their trip to Oxford represented a significant test. And after a Jarvis Summers three-pointer with eight tenths of a second remaining in regulation sent the game to overtime, Dana Altman’s squad did enough to leave the “Tad Pad” with the win. The Ducks took advantage of match-ups, with Johnathan Loyd (25 points, 15 assists) and Mike Moser (24 points, ten rebounds) being two of the beneficiaries. Marshall Henderson led Ole Miss with a career-high 39 points, shooting 10-for-23 from beyond the arc.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES: 

1) No. 24 San Diego State 70, Washington 63

After struggling offensively in the first half San Diego State was much better in the second, shooting 60% from the field and assisting on ten of their 15 made field goals. Xavier Thames (19 points) and Winston Shepard III (17) led the way for SDSU, while C.J. Wilcox paced the Huskies with 17 points.

2) George Washington 77, Maryland 75

The Colonials nearly blew a 14-point lead in the game’s final seven minutes but Indiana transfer Mo Creek came to the rescue, knocking down a stepback jumper to give GW the win. Creek scored 25 points, and the victory is the latest sign that the match of player and program has been a very good one.

3) Creighton 82, Nebraska 67

This one got out of hand quickly, as the Bluejays scored 22 of the first 25 points on their way to the victory. Doug McDermott scored 33 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the way for Creighton, which also received a solid performance from senior forward Ethan Wragge. Shavon Shields scored 22 points and Terran Petteway (who was ejected from the game along with Creighton’s Grant Gibbs with 1:14 remaining) added 21 for the Huskers.

STARRED: 

1) Johnathan Loyd (Oregon): 25 points and 15 assists in Oregon’s 115-105 overtime win at Ole Miss.

2) Doug McDermott (Creighton): 33 points (12-for-23 FG) and eight rebounds in the Bluejays’ 82-67 win over Nebraska.

3) Juvonte Reddic (VCU): 24 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in the Rams’ 69-48 win over Old Dominion.

STRUGGLED:

1) George Mason starters: Shot 4-for-25 in an 81-66 loss to Oklahoma, with Vaughn Gray responsible for three of the made field goals (on 11 attempts).

2) Boston College: The Eagles shot 9-for-35 from beyond the arc in their 78-62 loss at USC. And Olivier Hanlan attempted just five shots, with the result dropping BC to 3-6 with their ACC opener against Maryland next on the schedule.

3) Saint Peter’s: After limiting Niagara to just 15 points in the first half the Peacocks fell 61-56, and their 21 turnovers had a lot to do with the outcome.

NOTABLES:

  • Oklahoma’s Cameron Clark is one of the nation’s most improved players. In the Sooners’ 81-66 win over George Mason he tallied 22 points and ten rebounds, his eight double-figure scoring effort in nine games. He had six such games all of last season.
  • Illinois returned to Atlanta just days after they blew a large lead at Georgia Tech, but met much less resistance in their 81-62 win over Auburn. Illinois shot 12-for-23 from deep and led 41-17 at the half.
  • Juwan Howard Jr. scored 17 points and Evan Bruinsma added 15 as Detroit beat Rhode Island 70-68, dropping the Rams to 0-4 in true road games.
  • Mike Thorne Jr. scored 28 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked two shots in Charlotte’s 77-59 win at Appalachian State.
  • Sean Armand accounted for 28 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals in Iona’s 83-72 win at Fairfield, moving the defending MAAC tournament champs to 2-0 in league play.
  • Jarell Eddie scored 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds as Virginia Tech beat Miami 61-60 in overtime. Garrius Adams led three Hurricanes in double figures with 14 points in the ACC opener for both teams.
  • Seton Hall held on to beat in-state rival Rutgers, 77-71, and the tandem of guard Sterling Gibbs and center Eugene Teague was a big reason why. Gibbs scored 27 points and four assists, with Teague adding 16 points, 16 rebounds, five steals and four assists.

TOP 25 SCORES

  • No. 13 Oregon 115, Ole Miss 105 (OT)
  • No. 24 San Diego State 70, Washington 63

Villanova beats Duke, Kansas, Indiana for Jermaine Samuels

Atlanta, GA - MAY 27: Nike EYBL. Session 4. Jermaine Samuels, Jr. #23 of Expressions Elite dunks. (Photo by Jon Lopez)
Jon Lopez/Nike
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Villanova landed a commitment from top 50 prospect Jermaine Samuels on Saturday.

Samuels is a tough and athletic 6-foot-5 wing that will remind many Wildcat fans of Josh Hart. He’s got the same kind of versatility and nose for the ball that will let him guard perimeter players as well as work in as a small-ball four. Players like this are a specialty of Jay Wright.

Samuels picked up an offer from Duke recently and also had Indiana, Kansas and Georgetown in his top five. Beating out blue-bloods for a prospect like this is quite the statement for Villanova, one that should tell you the reigning national champs are here to stay as a national power.

Syracuse lands critical piece in Andrew White

LINCOLN, NE - FEBRUARY 3: Andrew White #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers shoots the ball over Rasheed Sulaimon #0 of the Maryland Terrapins during their game at Pinnacle Bank Arena on February 3, 2016 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
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Syracuse has found their replacement for Malachi Richardson.

On Sunday, Nebraska transfer Andrew White committed to the Orange, picking Syracuse, in the end, over VCU. White is a graduate transfer who spent last season with Nebraska, where he averaged 16.2 points while shooting 41.2 percent from three. A top 50 prospect out of Virginia back in the Class of 2012, White played a limited role for Kansas his first two seasons in college.

This is a significant pickup for the Orange, one that legitimately puts them into the conversation as a Final Four contender and a threat to finish at or near the top of the ACC. Jim Boeheim has put together a roster full of talented, long and athletic front court players, but after Richardson declared for the NBA Draft as a one-and-done freshman, he was left with just two back court players on his roster.

Earlier this offseason, Cuse landed Colorado State grad transfer John Gillon, a 6-foot-1 combo-guard, to reinforce their back court. The addition of White gives them a lights-out shooter and a big-time scorer on the wing, something that would have been a major void on their roster.

With Paschal Chukwu getting eligible at the center spot and Tyler Lydon likely landing on every breakout player list this preseason, the Orange should be a markedly better team than the one that made their way to the Final Four last season.

Arizona lands first commitment in 2017 class

Alex Barcello (Jon Lopez/Nike)
(Jon Lopez/Nike)
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Arizona landed their first commitment in the Class of 2017 on Friday night as point guard Alex Barcello pledged to Sean Miller and the Wildcats.

Barcello is a 6-foot-2 point guard from Tempe who plays his high school ball for Corona del Sol. He committed to the Wildcats on an official visit to the Tucson campus.

Barcello is a borderline top 100 prospect who sits at No. 123 in the Rivals top 150. He’s known for his ability to shoot, and he’s more of a combo-guard — i.e. shoot-first — than a point guard at times, but he’s a nice pickup and projects as a solid four-year player for the Wildcats.

Virginia, Indiana, Stanford and Butler were the other four schools on Barcello’s list.

Duke lands first commitment in 2017 class

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Alex O’Connell knew exactly where he wanted to play his college ball, which is why, just two days after picking up an offer from Coach K and the Blue Devils, he became Duke’s first recruit in the Class of 2017.

O’Connell announced the on twitter on Friday afternoon:

O’Connell is a four-star prospect from Georgia that had a terrific summer, going from being a borderline top 75 prospect to a player that caught the interest of Duke, who, along with Kentucky, sit atop the college recruiting hierarchy. He’s an explosively athletic and lanky 6-foot-6 wing with three-point range on his jumper. He needs to add some weight and some strength — he’s listed as a crisp 175 pounds — but he has the tools, and the swagger, to develop into a very effective player in the ACC.

Is he a one-and-done prospect?

Probably not. In fact, since 2010, Duke has landed just two players that were rated lower than O’Connell: Antonio Vrankovic and Jack White. If you know who both of them are, you’re probably either Jon Scheyer or lying.

But what O’Connell is is a kid who put in the work to get better this past year and who has the skill set, the physical tools and work ethic to continue to improve. He may not be on Grayson Allen’s trajectory, but O’Connell has the makings of being an impact player for the Blue Devils for three or four years.

Alex O'Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)
Alex O’Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)

Shaka Smart lands contract extension at Texas

Texas head coach Shaka Smart instructs his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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Shaka Smart has already landed himself a contract extension at Texas.

The school, according to the Austin American-Statesman, has given Shaka a one-year extension — through the 2022-23 season — and bumped his salary up to a cool $3 million, a raise of $100,000 annually.

Smart’s Longhorns went 20-13 last season and lost on a half court buzzer beater from Northern Iowa’s Paul Jespersen. It will be tough for Smart to match the success that he had last season, specifically because he lost senior point guard Isaiah Taylor to the professional ranks.

That said, the former VCU head man has been reeling in quite a bit of talent from the state of Texas — namely, Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen — and is not all that far from turning the Longhorns back into a relevant member of the Big 12 title race.