Fred Hoiberg

Late Night Snacks: Diamond Head Classic championship is set

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GAME OF THE DAY: Santa Clara 66, South Florida 65

The Broncos came back from a nine-point deficit with five minutes remaining to knock off South Florida in the Las Vegas Classic. Freshman guard Jared Brownridge came up big for Santa Clara, knocking in the game-winning two free throws with 10 seconds left and also knocking in a go-ahead three-pointer with 53 seconds left on his way to 10 points — all in the second half.

South Florida dropped its second game in a row — by a combined total of six points — as Anthony Collins missed his second consecutive game with a left knee injury. Victor Rudd played and scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Bulls but was slowed by a dislocated finger and shot poorly, going 6-for-17 from the field.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) No. 14 Iowa State 83, Akron 60

In the semifinals of the Diamond Head Classic, the No. 14 Cyclones had a big second-half effort to reach 10-0 on the season, matching the best start in school history. Akron stayed with Iowa State in the first half before the Cyclones had a big offensive outburst in the second half, going for 46 points on 55 percent shooting as sophomore Georges Niang scored 15 of his game-high 22 points. The Cyclones now advance to the finals to face Boise State.

2) Oregon State 58, George Mason 54

Despite missing starting center Angus Brandt, who injured his leg in Oregon State’s loss to Akron on Sunday, the Beavers rallied to beat George Mason in the final minutes in the consolation round of the Diamond Head Classic. Beating George Mason isn’t entirely impressive for a Pac-12 team, but it was a solid bounce-back effort for Oregon State after a loss the day before and the Beavers showed resiliency in the second half by rallying from a deficit and holding a tight lead in the final two minutes. Roberto Nelson scored eight of his 17 points in the final minute as the senior knocked in a big shot clock-beating jumper with 41 seconds remaining before going a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the last 30 seconds of the game.

3) UNLV 82, Mississippi State 66

The Runnin’ Rebels struggled to a sluggish 3-4 start out of the gate, but Dave Rice’s bunch has rebounded nicely for five straight wins after the win over Mississippi State at the Las Vegas Classic on Monday night. UNLV jumped out to a 42-24 halftime lead and never looked back against the Bulldogs. Roscoe Smith’s double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds led a balanced Rebels effort that saw 10 different players score and eight different players contribute an assist.

STARRED

1) Radford’s Javonte Green had 25 points and found teammate Kyle Noreen for the game-winning three-pointer with 17 seconds remaining as the Highlanders beat Florida Gulf Coast 64-63.

2) Cincinnati had three players finish with double-doubles during its 102-62 win over Chicago State as Jermaine Sanders (14 points, 13 rebounds), Justin Jackson (19 points and 13 rebounds) and Sean Kilpatrick (21 points, 10 rebounds) all contributed in the Bearcats’ win.

3) Boise State’s Anthony Drmic went for 30 points in the Broncos’ 80-54 win over South Carolina in the semifinals of the Diamond Head Classic. Boise State advances to face No. 14 Iowa State in the championship game.

STRUGGLED

1) Loyola (IL) lost to Fordham 83-69 despite holding a nine-point halftime lead. The Ramblers have now lost after holding halftime leads of nine, 12, 14 and 15 this season while also losing two more games in overtime.

2) South Carolina State had a hard time knocking down shots as the Bulldogs shot 32 percent from the field and 18 percent from the three-point line as South Carolina State fell to Jacksonville 61-47.

3) IUPUI held a 13-point second-half lead over Southeast Missouri State before blowing the lead and falling in overtime 83-79. The Jaguars also held a six-point lead with two minutes left in regulation, but failed to score to put the game into overtime.

TOP 25 SCORES

  • No. 1 Arizona 77, Northern Arizona 44

Point guard Small to transfer from Oregon

SPOKANE, WA - MARCH 18:  Kendall Small #21 of the Oregon Ducks shoots over Derek Mountain #40 of the Holy Cross Crusaders in the second half during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on March 18, 2016 in Spokane, Washington.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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After navigating a lack of depth at the point to win the Pac-12 regular season and tournament titles and earn the program’s first-ever one seed in the NCAA tournament, Oregon will have no such issues in 2016-17. Dylan Ennis, who missed most of last season with a foot injury, is back for another season as is returning starter Casey Benson. Add in freshman Payton Pritchard, whose shooting ability can help a team that struggled from three a season ago, and Dana Altman has multiple players to call upon at that spot.

That left Kendall Small, who played just under eight minutes per game as a freshman, in a spot where it would have been tough to earn more playing time as a sophomore. As a result he’s decided to transfer, with the news first being reported by Scout.com.

In addition to the three guards mentioned above, sophomore Tyler Dorsey also has the ability to make plays with the ball in his hands. Small will have three seasons of eligibility remaining at whichever school he chooses to transfer to, and he’ll have to sit out the 2016-17 season per NCAA transfer rules.

A 6-foot guard from Anaheim, Small’s best outing came in Oregon’s 77-59 win over Savannah State on November 23. In that game Small accounted for nine points, four assists and three rebounds in 23 minutes of action. But he played double-digit minutes in just four games after the Ducks began Pac-12 play in early January, the last of which being Oregon’s win over Holy Cross in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

LIU Brooklyn loses second-leading scorer Hermannsson to pro ranks

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 27: Bryan Sekunda #22 of the Stony Brook Seawolves attempts a pass around Martin Hermannsson #24 of the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds in the first half at Madison Square Garden on November 27, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
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After finishing tied for sixth place in the Northeast Conference last season, LIU Brooklyn will look to make the climb up the conference standings under head coach Jack Perri in 2016-17. However that climb got a bit tougher Thursday, as it was announced that guard Martin Hermannsson has decided to forego his final two years of eligibility and turn pro.

Hermannsson, a native of Iceland, has signed with French Pro B division team Etoile de Charleville-Mézières Ardennes.

Hermannsson was one of two first team All-NEC honorees for the Blackbirds last season, with redshirt junior forward Jerome Frink being the other. Hermannsson, a 6-foot-3 guard, finished the season with averages of 16.2 points and 4.7 assists per game, shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 36.0 percent from three. Originally on track to return the highest scoring tandem in the NEC, LIU Brooklyn has to account for the loss of their starting point guard and second-leading scorer without much time to do so before classes begin.

With Hermannsson moving on, the Blackbirds will call upon veterans such as seniors Joel Hernandez and Iverson Fleming to carry the load on the perimeter. LIU Brooklyn will also have to account for the loss of guard Aakim Saintil, who averaged 12.6 points and 4.7 assists in his lone season of eligibility. LIU Brooklyn will add two freshmen to its backcourt in Julian Batts and Ashtyn Bradley, and they’ll have an even greater opportunity to earn minutes than anticipated.

h/t Blackbirds Hoops Journal

University of Louisville president’s resignation accepted

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) University of Louisville trustees on Wednesday accepted the resignation of embattled President James Ramsey, whose long tenure was dogged by scandal.

The action at a special meeting of the school’s board signaled the end of an era. Ramsey, a former state budget director, has led the university for 14 years.

After six hours of closed-door deliberations, the board announced late Wednesday that Ramsey will be paid $690,000 and will resign immediately, with an agreement not to sue the school.

Ramsey was credited with raising academic standards and boosting the school from a commuter campus to a distinguished research institution. But he came under increasing fire for embezzlement scandals and a string of other embarrassments, including an FBI investigation of top university officials for alleged misuse of federal money and an NCAA investigation into whether a university employee paid women to strip and have sex with basketball players.

The controversies boiled over in the past two years. The Courier-Journal reported last year that the Board of Trustees challenged Ramsey’s salary of more than $600,000, with millions more in deferred compensation paid by the university foundation.

Then, in October, an escort named Katina Powell released the book “Breaking Cardinal Rules” that alleged a basketball team employee hired her and other dancers to entertain players and recruits at sex parties. The NCAA launched an investigation and Ramsey announced in February that the team would not play in post-season tournaments.

Dozens of professors signed a letter to him complaining about the “drumbeat of crises” and some trustees attempted a no-confidence vote to have him ousted in the spring. Ramsey said at the time that he would not resign.

But Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin dismantled the former Board of Trustees last month. Ramsey wrote the governor a letter offering to tender his resignation to the newly appointed board, launching a bumpy series of meetings that led to his eventual ouster late Wednesday.

The afternoon began with an agreement seemingly far more generous for Ramsey: He would collect his salary for a year as he served as interim president while the school searched for a new leader. Ramsey sat silently at Wednesday’s board meeting, wearing a polo shirt, then left for his office upstairs.

But the board’s closed-door negotiations stretched hours into the night. Chairman Pro Tem Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman left several times to visit Ramsey’s office, where the president was working with various advisers, he said.

The board announced just before 11 p.m. that Ramsey would be out immediately. University Provost Neville Pinto, who is on vacation, will serve as temporary leader until a new president is selected.

“In the end, it was just the decision on both sides, what everyone thought was best,” Bridgeman said of the final resolution. He said it was a sad moment in the university’s history despite the controversies that have colored Ramsey’s tenure. He pointed to the president’s accomplishments, improving graduation rates and the university’s footprint in the city.

“Dr. Ramsey is always going to be a gentleman,” he said about Ramsey’s reaction to the final decision. “He’s always going to talk about what’s best for the university. And that was the discussion. It wasn’t any more than that.”

The board’s actions will have no bearing on Ramsey’s status with the University Foundation, a separate board where Ramsey is paid more than $300,000 in addition to his salary as president. Bridgeman would not speculate on what that board will choose to do about his employment.

The trustees also voted to immediately begin its search for a new president.

The decision ends weeks of unrest and confusion about Ramsey’s status.

Shortly after Bevin dismantled the old board and appointed new members, Ramsey read his letter offering to resign as the board met in a private session at its first meeting earlier this month. Ramsey then left the meeting, walked directly to his office and didn’t return.

His method apparently left trustees confused. Bridgeman told reporters that Ramsey had not offered his resignation. A day later, Bridgeman said Ramsey’s letter had amounted to an offer to step down. Trustees met for a second time last week, reviewing budget and tuition issues but taking no action on Ramsey’s status.

They scheduled a meeting to discuss his resignation for Tuesday morning, abruptly canceled it then rescheduled it for Wednesday afternoon.

Now, even with Ramsey’s immediate departure, the school’s leadership remains uncertain.

Democratic state Attorney General Andy Beshear is challenging Bevin’s authority to disband the school’s former board and appoint a new one, saying the reorganization was illegal.

During a hearing last week, Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd said Bevin’s action replacing UofL’s board was “problematic” because it put the school’s independence in jeopardy. His ruling is pending. If Shepherd rules against Bevin and finds the current board invalid, it’s unclear whether the board’s decisions will stand, including Wednesday’s negotiations over Ramsey’s departure.

Five-star guard Troy Brown Jr. cuts list to eight

Troy brown, Jon Lopez Nike
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Fresh off of a solid performance at the Nike Skills Academy in Los Angeles, Troy Brown Jr. announced on Thursday that he had cut his list to eight schools.

Kansas, Oregon, Arizona, Ohio State, Cal, Georgetown, UNLV and Alabama are the eight schools on the list.

Brown is a top ten prospect in the Class of 2017, according to Rivals, but the general opinion of him as a player has depressed a bit since earlier in his high school career. The Las Vegas native was once considered a top five player in the class, and while he’s still thought of as an impact player, he’s probably closer to being a two or three year college player than a surefire one-and-done player.