Ron Baker

Sunday’s Pregame Shootaround: Wichita State, Oregon look to stay undefeated

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GAME OF THE DAY: Davidson vs. No. 10 Wichita State, 3 p.m.

The Shockers are off to their best start in school history. They look to continue to raise the bar as they welcome the Davidson Wildcats to Charles Koch Arena. Davidson will be playing its fifth ranked opponent this season, taking North Carolina to overtime last Saturday before the Tar Heels ran away in the extra five minutes. Davidson forward De’Mon Brooks missed six games before returning against North Carolina. He had another full week to prepare for this afternoon’s tilt with Wichita State. The Shockers look to avoid the upset, and head into Missouri Valley Conference play undefeated.

WHO’S GETTING UPSET? Canisius vs. Notre Dame, 5 p.m. (ESPN3)

So far this season, Notre Dame has let Indiana State and North Dakota State leave South Bend with wins. On Sunday, the Fighting Irish welcome MAAC contender Canisius. This will be the first game Notre Dame plays without Jerian Grant, who leads the team in points and assists.

MID-MAJOR GAME OF THE DAY: Southeast Missouri State vs. Missouri State, 3:05 p.m.

A battle between Ohio Valley Conference and Missouri Valley Conference programs. Southeast Missouri State (8-3) travels across the state to Springfield to play a 9-2 Missouri State team. Jarekious Bradley leads Southeast Missouri State with 20.1 points per game, while Tyler Stone is averaging nearly a double-double this season. Missouri State will look to slow down the game on offense.


1) Wichita State isn’t the only team looking to remain unbeaten. Oregon is looking to improve to 12-0, hosting 3-8 Morgan State at 3 p.m. in Eugene.

2) Florida has won three games since Shabazz Napier ran out of Gampel Pavilion with a UConn win. The Gators have had a week to improve on its team chemistry, dealing with multiple injuries over the first few months of the season. Florida is yet to be a full strength as freshman forward Chris Walker will not play against Savannah State on Sunday, pushing back his collegiate debut.

3) There are several other quality mid-major games on tap for Sunday such as:

  • Georgia State vs. East Carolina, 1 p.m.
  • Buffalo vs. Drexel, 2 p.m.
  • Eastern Kentucky vs. IPFW, 2 p.m.
  • Denver vs. UTEP, 9 p.m.

4) Georgia Tech is 8-4 on the season and on Sunday the Yellow Jackets end their non-conference schedule. They’ll look to bounce-back from a double-digit loss to Vanderbilt, but will have to do so against Charlotte (8-3). The last time the 49ers played an ACC opponent, they got blown out by 42.

5) Dougie McBuckets and Creighton end non-conference play on Sunday against Chicago State. The Bluejays kick off its first Big East season on New Year’s Eve against Marquette.


  • Texas Southern vs. TCU, 2 p.m.
  • Murray State vs. Dayton, 2 p.m.
  • West Virginia vs. William & Mary, 3 p.m.
  • Bowling Green vs. Wright State, 3 p.m.
  • Boston University vs. St. Joseph’s, 4 p.m.
  • Howard vs. USC, 5 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
  • Tulsa vs. Maryland, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
  • Cal Poly vs. Stanford, 7 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
  • Hartford vs. Washington, 9 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
  • Quinnipiac vs. Oregon State, 11 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)

Louisville backcourt struggles in first scrimmage

Quentin Snider, Jerian Grant
Associated Press
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While a few teams did manage to hold special events for the official start of practice this weekend, most simply went about their business with drills and conditioning. One team that was the exception to all of this was Louisville, which held the first of its two intersquad scrimmages on Saturday. The Cardinals had a head start of sorts on the season, as they played six exhibition games in Puerto Rico this summer.

One hope heading into Saturday’s scrimmage was that guards Trey Lewis and Quentin Snider would have better chemistry than they did in Puerto Rico. But according to Jeff Greer of the Louisville Courier-Journal, that remains a work in progress for the Cleveland State transfer (Lewis) and rising sophomore (Snider).

They struggled in Puerto Rico, and they struggled again in Saturday’s Red-White scrimmage, the first public intrasquad practice since August. They played one half of the game together, paired with the presumed starting lineup with Mangok Mathiang out with an eye injury, a group that also included Damion Lee, Jaylen Johnson and Chinanu Onuaku.

That team lost the first half by 13 points to a younger group of Louisville players, and Lewis and Snider combined for eight points on 3-of-12 shooting, five turnovers, five steals, four assists and three rebounds.

“I thought (Snider) and (Lewis) did not play well together,” U of L coach Rick Pitino said. “They’ve got to get used to that. Neither guy made other guys better. That’s what they need to learn to do.”

As Greer also noted in his story the Cardinals have in recent years employed backcourt tandems in which both guards are capable of making plays for themselves and others. On the 2013 national champion team Peyton Siva and Russ Smith led the way, with Smith being joined by Terry Rozier or Chris Jones the following season and Rozier/Jones being the grouping last season before the latter was dismissed from the team.

Once Jones was dismissed Snider saw more time on the court, and his development was one of the keys for a Louisville team that fell one win short of the Final Four. Louisville needs him to take another step forward heading into the 2015-16 season, because even with Lewis’ experience at the Division I level Snider has more experience playing in Pitino’s system.

But while Saturday’s scrimmage didn’t go as well as anyone involved hoped, there’s still plenty of time for Louisville to work out the kinks before they open the season November 13 against Samford.

Knee injury sidelines Memphis assistant

Toronto Raptors vs Charlotte Hornets
Associated Press
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With practices beginning this weekend, not only are players looking to avoid the injury bug but their coaches are as well. And in the case of Memphis, the Tigers won’t have one of their assistants on the court for a little while due to a knee injury.

Assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who returned to Josh Pastner’s staff this summer after a two-year stint at Arizona, suffered the injury during a recent workout according to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. And Stoudamire will require surgery, which will put him on the shelf for a little bit.

“He was working out himself and I think he thought he was in his rookie year,” Pastner said. “We think he’s got a torn meniscus, which will require surgery and put him out for a couple of days.”

Stoudamire isn’t the only assistant coach working through pain either. Syracuse’s Mike Hopkins, who is also Jim Boeheim’s heir apparent as head coach, suffered a neck injury body surfing during a family vacation last month. Hopkins spent some time in a neck brace while putting players through workouts as a result of the injury.

As for the Tigers, they’ll have a mixture of experience on the perimeter and youth in the front court as they look to get back to the NCAA tournament after missing out last season. Among the newcomers are talented forwards Dedric and K.J. Lawson, with experienced guards such as Kedren Johnson, Trahson Burrell and Ricky Tarrant (grad transfer from Alabama) expected to be key contributors on the perimeter.