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Late Night Snacks: Pe’Shon Howard breaks hearts in Dayton

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GAME OF THE DAY: USC 79, Dayton 76

A Pe’Shon Howard off-balance three-pointer as time expired gave the Trojans the win at UD Arena, moving Andy Enfield’s team to 8-4 on the season. Byron Wesley accounted for 26 points and ten rebounds for USC, with Jordan Sibert leading the way for Dayton with 21 points.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES:

1) South Carolina 78, Saint Mary’s 71: This is a big result for Frank Martin as his young team looks to mesh with the start of SEC play approaching. Tyrone Johnson led the way for the Gamecocks with 16 points on the night, while Brad Waldow scored 20 to lead Saint Mary’s. Also of note: this was the first loss of the season for the Gaels.

2) Creighton 68, California 64: The Bluejays got off to a slow start against Cal, but their defensive work stood out with Cal losing Jabari Bird late in the first half with an ankle injury. Doug McDermott finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead the way for Creihgton.

3) Purdue 73, West Virginia: Matt Painter’s young Boilermakers picked up a needed win in Morgantown, with Terone Johnson accounting for 20 points and six rebounds. Freshman forward Devin Willliams scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a losing effort for West Virginia.

STARRED:

1) R.J. Hunter (Georgia State) : 41 points (14-for-21 FG), three rebounds and three blocks in the Panthers’ 99-68 win over UTSA.

2) Larry Nance Jr. (Wyoming): 29 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in Wyoming’s 72-59 win over Northern Colorado.

3) R.J. Price (Radford): 30 points (6-for-9 3PT), six assists, four rebounds and three steals in the Highlanders’ 94-78 win over Sacred Heart.

STRUGGLED: 

1) Brown shot just 31.7% in their 58-52 loss at Northwestern, essentially leaving a win on the table in Evanston.

2) Tyrone Garland (La Salle): Shot 1-for-7 from the field in a 71-58 loss at Miami.

3) Cornell shot 6-for-31 from three in their 76-54 loss at Stony Brook, dropping to 0-11 on the season.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25: 

  • No. 10 UConn 82, Washington 70
  • No. 11 Wichita State 77, North Carolina Central 66
  • No. 12 Baylor 81, Southern 56
  • No. 17 Iowa State 79, George Mason 67
  • No. 25 Iowa 86, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 61

NOTABLES: 

  • Maurice Ndour accounted for 19 points and seven rebounds, and Nick Kellogg hit a three with 7.8 seconds remaining to give Ohio a 70-69 overtime win at Richmond.
  • Myles Mack’s three-pointer with 3.5 seconds remaining gave Rutgers the 75-72 win over Army. Kyle Wilson scored 29 points to lead the Black Knights.
  • John Johnson scored 20 points off the bench in Penn State’s 92-82 win over Mount St. Mary’s. SMU transfer Jordan Dickerson played eight minutes in his Penn State debut.
  • KT Harrell scored 29 points to help lead Auburn to a 77-67 win over Boston College.
  • Langston Hall’s three-pointer with two seconds remaining was the difference in Mercer’s 79-76 win at Ole Miss.
  • Demetrius Treadwell tallied 24 points and ten rebounds in Akron’s 83-71 win over Oregon State. President Barack Obama and his family were in attendance.
  • Fred Thomas led five Mississippi State players in double figures with 14 points as the Bulldogs beat USF 71-66.
  • Anthony Drmic scored 21 points on the night, and his three-pointer with less than a minute to go proved to be the difference in Boise State’s 62-61 win over Hawaii.

Four-star PG Jaylen Fisher de-commits from UNLV

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Coaching changes can wreak havoc on a program’s recruiting class, and that’s been the case for UNLV thanks to the tumultuous nature of their search for a new head coach. Thursday evening one prospect who remained committed to the Mountain West program throughout the process that ultimately led to Marvin Menzies landing the job announced that he’s decided to reopen his recruitment.

Four-star point guard Jaylen Fisher, ranked 55th in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.com, announced via social media that he’s decided to de-commit from UNLV.

“I was very much looking forward to the opportunity to be a Rebel this year,” Fisher wrote. “But there have been a lot of changes with the program since I committed to UNLV; changes that have made me reconsider whether UNLV is still a good fit for me. So with that in mind and after much consideration with my family, I have decided it’s best that I reopen my recruitment.”

Fisher’s decision leaves wing Justin Jackson as the lone member of UNLV’s 2016 class at this point, with Jackson telling Scout.com in early April that he was undecided as to whether or not he’d reopen his recruitment. The school’s search for a coach began in January when they parted ways with Dave Rice, promoting Todd Simon in an interim role.

After deciding not to retain Simon, who’s now the head coach at Southern Utah, UNLV hired former Little Rock head coach Chris Beard…who left for Texas Tech less than two weeks later. UNLV landed Menzies, who they passed over for Beard, and he’s got a lot of work to do to field a roster that will be competitive in the Mountain West next season.

As for Fisher, the Arlington, Tennessee native should be a popular prospect with his decision to reopen things. And with Memphis losing former commit Charlie Moore, the Tigers are in need of help at the point. The question now is whether or not new head coach Tubby Smith will look to reach out to Fisher.

h/t Memphis Commercial-Appeal

NCAA rule change that impacts Memphis coaching staff now official

Memphis forward Dedric Lawson (1) goes up for a shot between Connecticut forward Shonn Miller (32) and guard Daniel Hamilton, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the finals of the American Athletic Conference men's tournament in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, March 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
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One of the more popular topics in college basketball in recent weeks was the status of Memphis assistant coach Keelon Lawson and sons Dedric and K.J. in the aftermath of the school hiring Tubby Smith. Would Smith keep the elder Lawson on staff as an assistant, thus in all likelihood ensuring that Dedric and K.J. would return as well? Would he let go or attempt to reassign Keelon, and as a result risk losing two players from an already limited roster?

Ultimately Smith decided to reassign Keelon to a non-coaching position, making him director of player development. And with the NCAA having a rule that those with a connection to a prospective student-athlete had to serve in a coaching capacity for the player’s first two seasons, the question was whether or not Memphis would need a waiver to pull off the move.

Luckily for Memphis the NCAA was looking into an alteration of the rule, and on Thursday with the NCAA not taking action on Proposal 2015-30 the change became official.

Under the new rule a coach’s two years on staff would begin immediately upon his arrival. In the case of Lawson this is key as he spent a year on former Memphis head coach Josh Pastner’s staff before Dedric and K.J. enrolled. With the two-year requirement ruled to be served under the new proposal, Smith could reassign Keelon Lawson without having to ask the NCAA for a waiver.

The next step as far as Memphis is concerned is Dedric, who ultimately entered his name into the NBA Draft pool (without an agent), withdrawing and returning to school for his sophomore season. As a freshman Dedric was the best freshman in the American Athletic Conference, averaging 15.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game for the Tigers. DraftExpress.com currently ranks him 28th amongst college freshmen, which makes him no sure thing to be drafted should he decide to stay in the draft.

At the very least the next month should result in Dedric receiving constructive feedback from NBA scouts and executives that he can use to improve next season.

K.J. played in just ten games last season due to a lingering Achilles tendon issue, averaging 8.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. The hope is that K.J. will be granted a medical redshirt for last season, thus preserving a year of eligibility.

Chattanooga men’s hoop coach McCall gets 2-year extension

Chattanooga head coach Matt McCall directs his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa State, Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) Chattanooga men’s basketball coach Matt McCall has received a two-year contract extension after leading the Mocs to an NCAA Tournament appearance in his debut season.

The school announced the extension Thursday. McCall’s contract now runs through the 2021-22 season.

Chattanooga went 29-6 last season to set a school record for victories. The Mocs captured their first Southern Conference regular-season title since 1994 and also won the league’s postseason tournament to earn their first NCAA bid since 2009.

Indiana beat Chattanooga 99-74 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Athletic director David Blackburn said in a statement, “We had great confidence in who we hired a year ago, and that never wavered. This is in recognition of him and his staff’s great work in equipping our student-athletes for success.”

Jim Valvano’s title-winning N.C. State team to finally get White House visit

FILE - In this April 5, 1983, file photo, North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano embraces sophomore forward Lorenzo Charles moments after Charles had dunked a shot to give North Carolina State the win over Houston in the national championship game at the Final Four of the NCAA college basketball tournament in Albuquerque, N.M. (AP Photo/Leonard Ignelzi, File)
(AP Photo/Leonard Ignelzi, File)
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The N.C. State men’s basketball team never got invited to the White House after they won the 1983 National Title.

It wasn’t a tradition in those days. They spoke with President Ronald Reagan, but they did so from the confines of a television studio in Raleigh. It’s commonplace now to see title winners from all sports making their way to the Oval Office to shake hands with our nation’s leader, but back then, the funding and invitation weren’t always available.

And that never say right with the guys on that team. Since Lorenzo Charles, whose memorable dunk was the title-winning bucket, passed away in 2011, that team has had a reunion every spring, and the topic of going to the White House to celebrate the win always came up. That inspired Thurl Bailey, who was the No. 7 pick of the 1983 NBA Draft, and his friend, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, to write letters to President Obama requesting that the ’83 iteration of the Wolfpack get their White House visit.

“As definitive as a National Championship sounds, as an athlete there always seems to be unfinished business,” Bailey told N.C. State’s website. “You’re always looking for the next challenge, the next opportunity. This was it for me.  If I could get this done, it would be yet another story for me and the other members of that team to be able to pass along to our kids, grandkids and generations after that.”

Bailey’s efforts proved successful.

On Thursday, N.C. State announced that President Obama had not only received the letters, but he has issued a May 9th invitation for that 1983 team to visit him in Washington, D.C., meaning that Bailey, Dereck Whittenburg and the rest of that 1983 title-winning team will finally get to meet the Commander-in-Chief.

“The joy and the euphoria of winning a national title against all odds, as well as the pain and devastation of losing members of that family, are important parts of who I am,” Bailey said. “Contacting President Obama was one piece of our incredible journey that had eluded us for far too long.”

Los Angeles to host new college basketball doubleheader

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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LOS ANGELES (AP) A new men’s basketball doubleheader will be played in Los Angeles featuring Arizona, BYU, Gonzaga and Southern California.

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Wednesday announced the one-day event, to be played at Staples Center on Dec. 3.

The Wildcats will play the Zags and the Cougars will face the Trojans.

Tickets will go on sale May 4. Game times and television broadcast information will be announced later.