Late Night Snacks: Kentucky, Florida get back in the win column

Leave a comment

GAME OF THE DAY: No. 19 Florida 67, No. 13 Kansas 61

Florida played the first month with many players sidelined for various reason. Chris Walker, the Gators hope, will be another piece they get back soon. On Tuesday night, Scottie Wilbekin and Kasey Hill returned from injuries to team up in the back court. The length of the front court caused problems for the Kansas offense. The 1-3-1 defense sparked a 21-0 run in the first half. Wilbekin ended with 18 points, six assists and four steals. Andrew Wiggins also finished with his first collegiate double-double.

Don’t worry Kansas fans. Rob Dauster says so: Read here

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 11 Kentucky 70, Boise State 55: The Wildcats bounced-back from Friday night’s loss to Baylor. The young UK team held the nation’s top offense to 55 points. James Young with a game-high 21 points, Julius Randle with another double-double and Willie Cauley-Stein with nine blocks and blonde hair.

No. 20 Gonzaga 80, West Virginia 76: The Zags trailed for much of the ball game, but three consecutive 3-pointers from Kevin Pangos capped an 18-2 run late in the second half.

STARRED

Andrew WigginsKansas: The freshman went for 26 points (20 in the second half) and 11 rebounds, both career highs, in the Jayhawks loss. It was his first double-double and his threes down the stretch gave KU a shot after a horrid first half.

Jerrell Benimon, Towson: A triple-double for Benimon. It was against Central Pennsylvania College. But still 17 points, 18 and 10 assists is a tough feat to accomplish.

Z. Mason, Chattanooga: Went for 41 points and 12 rebounds against Hiwassee College, a liberal arts school of less than 400 students. He also goes by just Z, that should also be noted.

STRUGGLED

Kansas offense: Jayhawks committed 24 turnovers, 16 to help dig a 15-point hole in the first half. The turnovers went along with an eight-minute stretch without a basket.

Jon Severe, Fordham: The heralded freshman is in a major slump. Continued with 2-of-9 for seven points in a 77-73 win over Colgate.

Travis Bader, Oakland: Mid-major standout finished 2-of-11 from the field for 11 points in an 81-54 loss to Indiana. He was 0-for-10 from three, which breaks his 62 game streak of connecting on at least one 3-pointer.

NOTABLES

    • First off, Seton Hall guard Tom Maayan played his last game. He’s going back to Israel to fulfill his military service. Best of luck. Stay safe.
    • Illinois moves to 9-1 in a 72-65 win over Dartmouth. Rayvonte Rice led five members of the Illini in double figures with 13 points.
    • Semaj Christon had 19 points, but Xavier had to rally in the second half to defeat Evansville 63-60.
    • Austin Hollins’ 20-point, 14-rebound performance leads the Golden Gophers in Minnesota’s 75-59 win over South Dakota State.
    • After losing to Fairliegh Dickinson on Dec. 1, Seton Hall has knocked off fellow New Jersey programs Rutgers and on Tuesday night N.J.I.T. in a 71-55 win.
    • Evan Gordon was 10-of-12 and scored 26 points off the bench for Indiana in the Hoosiers’ win over Oakland.
    • Central Connecticut State defeats Hartford 73-59 in a Constitution State clash. Kyle Vinales and Faronte Drakeford both with 14 for the Blue Devils.
    • Eastern Michigan tops Green Bay 67-58. Green Bay had topped Virginia three days before.
    • Jordan Loveridge with 27 points in Utah’s 74-66 win over Idaho State. Utes are 8-1.
    • And finally, Nevada’s Deonte Burton dunked on the entire state of California, but the Wolf Pack lost to Cal 92-84:

Colorado adds commitment from Class of 2017 point guard McKinley Wright

Leave a comment

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

Baylor Athletics
Leave a comment

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

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

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

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.

Report: Nike, Adidas and Under Armour all pass on sponsoring Lonzo Ball

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
20 Comments

Lonzo Ball will enter his rookie season in the NBA without a sponsorship deal from Nike, Adidas or Under Armour, only his family’s Big Baller Brand apparel.

That, according to a report from ESPN, is due to his father LaVar’s insistence that Lonzo not sign with one of the three major apparel companies unless they opted to sign a licensing deal for Big Baller Brand merchandise instead of outfitting Lonzo with their own gear.

“We’ve said from the beginning, we aren’t looking for an endorsement deal,” LaVar told ESPN. “We’re looking for co-branding, a true partner. But they’re not ready for that because they’re not used to that model. But hey, the taxi industry wasn’t ready for Uber, either.”

LaVar had been representing his son in the negotiations, and is now expected to reach out to other shoe brands, including Chinese apparel companies like Li-Nang.

Big Baller Brand is a startup apparel company launched by LaVar Ball. They sell t-shirts, sweatshirts and hats, with most of their products costing at least $50.

Lonzo declared for the NBA Draft after an all-american season that saw him and the UCLA Bruins flame out of the NCAA tournament in the Sweet 16. UCLA lost to Kentucky in that game, and Lonzo had a quiet night while his point guard counterpart, De’Aaron Fox, went off for 39 points.

Lonzo is a likely top three pick in the NBA Draft and, potentially, could still end up going No. 1. He has two younger brothers as well. LiAngelo will be a freshman with the Bruins next season while LaMelo just finished his sophomore season in high school. Both will attend UCLA.