Late Night Snacks: Florida beats Memphis inside Madison Square Garden

Leave a comment

GAME OF THE DAY: No. 16 Florida 77, No. 15 Memphis 75

The Gators looked like they would cruise in the final minutes of second half, but the Tigers charged back. Joe Jackson had a chance to tie, but could not convert Florida, finally healthy and still getting players back, are showing how impressive it can be. In back-to-back games the Gators have defeated Kansas and Memphis.

OTHER GAME OF THE DAY: South Florida 68, Florida Gulf Coast 66, 2 OT

It took two overtimes, and almost a third but South Florida escaped with a win over its in-state foe. Chase Fieler caught a full-court inbound pass from Jamail Jones, and scored what would of been a tying bucket. However, he caught the ball with 0.3 seconds remaining, too much time to catch and shoot.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

Cincinnati 44, Pittsburgh 43:  Titus Rubles put in the game-winning bucket with four seconds remaining. Pitt was 10-0, and after a weak non-conference schedule, the Panthers lost their first game.

No. 11 Wichita State 72, Alabama 67: The Shockers went into to Tuscaloosa and took the marquee win the Crimson Tide were looking for. Wichita State improves to 11-0 for the first time in school history.

New Mexico State 67, New Mexico 61: Big win for the Aggies, on the road against its arch-rival. The Lobos have lost two straight.

No 13 Oregon 91, UC-Irvine 63: Blowout win for the Ducks, but it was the first time they had sophomores Dominic Artis and Ben Carter, who each served a nine-game suspension, in the lineup. Artis ended with five points, eight rebounds and three assists while Carter ended with four points, four rebounds and three assists.

STARRED

Cleanthony Early, Wichita State: The senior forward scored 26 points and shot 11-of-11 from the free throw line in a win.

Cameron Clark, Oklahoma: Clark went for 31 points and six boards in the Sooners’ 91-89 win over UT-Arlington. He sunk two free throws with 9.7 seconds left for the win.

Shawn Long, Louisiana-Layfayette: Long scored 30 points off a perfect 12-for-12 shooting from the field in a lopsided 103-69 win over Centenary. Long added seven rebounds and had two blocks. He could of had 34 points, but missed four free throws.

STRUGGLED

Pittsburgh: Panthers lost their first game of the season and shot 34 percent (15 percent from three) from the field. Pitt made 19 free throws (missed 10), and only connected on 11 field goals.

Charlotte: The 49ers gave up 106 points (to their 62) committed 19 turnovers and shot 35 percent in a blowout loss to Florida State. Charlotte won last month’s Puerto Rico Tip-Off, the same event Florida State was in.

New Mexico’s first half: The Lobo’s shot 27 percent, which dug them into a 13-point hole heading into halftime. New Mexico’s late-game comeback came up short against rival New Mexico State.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 5 Michigan State 78, North Florida 48
  • No. 6 Louisville 90, Missouri State 60
  • No. 7 Oklahoma State 75, Delaware State 43

NOTABLES

  • Manhattan 86, South Carolina 68
  • Georgetown 85, Elon 76
  • Providence 76, Yale 74
  • VCU 72, Wofford 57
  • Toledo 78, Arkansas State 65
  • Creighton 88, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 51
  • Marquette 91, Ball State 53
  • Denver 90, Belmont 62

Washington’s Thybulle returning for senior season

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Matisse Thybulle will return to Washington for his senior season after contemplating declaring for the NBA draft following a junior campaign in which he was named the Pac-12 defensive player of the year.

“The NBA is really enticing and it was definitely something that I seriously considered when the season was over,” Thybulle told the Seattle Times. “I talked it over with my family and we came to the conclusion that it would be in my best interest to stay and get my degree (in communications) and grow as a basketball player and take this last year to mature and fine tune everything so I can be fully prepared to take that next step when it’s time.”

The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 11.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game last season. He shot 44.5 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from 3-point range.

“I talked to coach (Mike Hopkins) and he gave me some good advice that was honestly something that helped in the grand scheme of things,” Thybulle said. “He told me that if I do it (enter the draft), then I should be all in because that’s what I’m going to be up against is a whole bunch of guys fighting for their lives. He thought it would be a better idea for me to stay in school until I’m at that point.”

Washington is awaiting the decision of Noah Dickerson, who declared for the draft but has not hired an agent. The 6-foot-8 averaged 15.5 points and 8.4 rebounds last season.

Koby McEwen transferring to Marquette

Photo by David Becker/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Steve Wojciechowski added a significant piece to his 2019-20 team over the weekend.

Koby McEwen announced his intention to transfer to Marquette from Utah State late Sunday evening.

“I would like to thank God, my family, inner circle and all the schools/coaches that recruited me during this process!” McEwen tweeted. “With that being said, I’m proud to announce that I’ll be furthering my college career at Marquette University.”

McEwen picked the Golden Eagles over fellow finalists Creighton and Grand Canyon after he decided to transfer when the Aggies announced South Dakota coach Craig Smith was taking over the program last month. The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 15.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range as a sophomore.

After sitting out the upcoming season, McEwen will have to years of eligibility remaining. Marquette went 21-14 last season, but missed the NCAA tournament for the third time in Wojciechowski’s four years in Milwaukee.

Minnesota adds Vanderbilt transfer Payton Willis

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
Leave a comment

Minnesota has added some depth for the future.

The Golden Gophers received a pledge from Vanderbilt transfer Payton Willis over the weekend, giving him a guard with two seasons of eligibility remaining starting in 2019-20.

Willis will sit out the upcoming season under NCAA transfer rules.

The 6-foot-4 guard played a limited role in two seasons in Nashville, never averaging more than 18. 5 minutes or 5.2 points per game. He scored in double figures in three games as a sophomore.

Willis was a top-150 prospect in the Class of 2016 coming out of Fayetteville, Ark. with offers from the likes of Tulsa, Rice and Dayton. Vandy and Minnesota were his two high-major offers.

After being ranked in the top-15, Minnesota was beset by injury and suspensions last season as they limped to the finish line in a 15-17 season that featured losses in 12 of its last 13 games.

Richard Pitino still has two available scholarships for the 2018-19 campaign.

Report: Quade Green returning to Kentucky

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Leave a comment

John Calipari just landed a critical recruit for 2018-19, and he was already on the roster.

Quade Green, who averaged 25 minutes per game last season, is returning to Kentucky for his sophomore season, his mother told the Lexington Herald-Leader on Monday.

Given that six Wildcat players have entered the draft (Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Hami Diallo are signing with agents), getting the 6-foot point guard back for a second season is a massive deal for Calipari and Co. The Wildcats have always been at their best under Calipari with returning players as the cornerstones of the roster with talented one-and-dones providing the extra boost. Getting one such returner at the point guard position is even more critical.

Green, who came to Kentucky as a five-star recruit last year, averaged 9.3 points and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and a respectable 37.1 percent from 3-point range, an area where Kentucky continually needs help.

With Green back in the fold, Kentucky will now await the decisions of PJ Washington, Wenyen Gabriel and Jarred Vanderbilt, who are all going through the pre-draft process without hiring agents, which will potentially allow them to return to school and bolster a Kentucky roster has the look of a top-five team.

CBT Podcast: NBA Draft Early Entry Deadline: Winners, losers and who has the most on the line?

Eric Espada/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The NBA Draft Early Entry Deadline came and went on Sunday night, meaning there are now roughly 60 college players that have signed with an agent and another 100 or so that have declared for the draft while retaining their college eligibility. Who were the winners? Who were the losers? Who has the most on the line? Sam Vecenie of the Game Theory podcast joined Rob Dauster to talk through all of it. The rundown:

OPEN: What do NBA teams value in players these days?

10:00: Villanova has more on the line during this testing the water process than anyone

19:00: Just how important was De’Andre Hunter’s decision to return to Virginia

25:25: Gonzaga getting Rui and Killian Tillie back makes them a title favorite

32:10: Nevada has a top ten season on the line with the Martin twins and Jordan Caroline

36:15: #RANTALERT – The decision to turn pro is so much more complicated than “is he a first round pick”

48:30: Rapid fire: Maryland, Kansas, Syracuse, Nebraska, Purdue and Michigan. What do they have on the line?