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)

Jalen Coleman-Lands cleared to practice

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 10: Jarrod Uthoff #20 of the Iowa Hawkeyes defends against Jalen Coleman-Lands #5 of the Illinois Fighting Illini in the second round of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 10, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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When Illinois takes on Southeast Missouri State in the opener of the 2016-17 season, the Fighting Illini should have it’s starting backcourt out on the floor.

According to Jon Rothstein, Jalen Coleman-Lands has been cleared for all basketball activities. The sophomore two-guard has been recovering from a broken bone in his right hand.

The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.

Coleman-Lands will team up with Tracy Abrams, a point guard who was granted a sixth year of eligibility after missing the past two seasons due to injuries.

This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.

The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.

NBC Sports projected Illinois to finish eighth in the Big Ten this season.

Curtis Jones jumps over Tom Crean

Tom Crean
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Indiana held its annual Hoosier Hysteria on Saturday night.

One of the highlights from the team’s dunk contest was when freshman guard Curtis Jones jumped over Indiana head coach Tom Crean.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a newcomer us his coach as a dunk contest prop. Last week, Rawle Alkins cleared Arizona head coach Sean Miller en route to a reverse jam.

Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.

WATCH: Edmond Sumner take off from the foul line

CINCINNATI, OH - FEBRUARY 03:  Edmond Sumner #4 of the Xavier Musketeers dunks the ball during the game against the St. John's Red Storm at Cintas Center on February 3, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Edmond Sumner is a big reason why Xavier is likely going to be a preseason top-10 team.

On Saturday night, during Musketeer Madness, Sumner won the team’s dunk contest when he took off from the foul line.

Sumner defeated freshmen Tyrique Jones and Quentin Goodin. J.P. Macura, the reigning Big East Sixth Man of the Year, took home the honors last year.

The 6-foot-6 redshirt sophomore is coming off a debut season in which he averaged 11.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

WATCH: Duke goes crazy for Chase Jeter’s bottle flip

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17:  Chase Jeter #2 of the Duke Blue Devils looks on in the second half against the North Carolina-Wilmington Seahawks during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The bottle flip has become an international sensation in recent months.

It’s as simple as it sounds: flipping a water bottle in the air, attempting to have it land upright.

Duke sophomore forward Chase Jeter, in front of 9,300-plus fans, successfully pulled off the bottle flip on Saturday night at Duke’s Craziness.

Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.

Auburn to honor Charles Barkley with a statue

HOUSTON, TEXAS - APRIL 04:  Former NBA player and commentator Charles Barkley looks on prior to the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four National Championship game between the Villanova Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels at NRG Stadium on April 4, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.

The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.

“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”

Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.

His number 34 is retired at Auburn.