Who is Champion Baptist College and why are D-I programs scheduling them?

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Southern University set a new NCAA record for largest lead before an opponent scores at the start of the game on Monday night as the Jaguars jumped out to a 44-0 lead on Champion Baptist College on their way to a 116-12 win.

The previous record against a non-Division I opponent was set by Seton Hall against Kean College on November 29, 1998. The Pirates jumped out to a 34-0 lead against Kean, but on Monday, Southern shattered that record by 10 points, even though they’re a lowly 4-9 with one win against a Division I opponent.

Which begs the question: Why is a Southern team coming off of a NCAA Tournament bid scheduling a late December game against a team that can’t even score against them?

Why waste everyone’s time by playing this game in the first place?

It’s not as if Southern is even as bad as their record would indicate. The Jaguars have respectable losses by single digits at Marquette (seven points), at Middle Tennessee (three points) and against Tulane (three points) and they’ve also taken Summit League contender Denver to overtime and lost to national title contender Florida by 14.

So, again, why is Southern scheduling Champion Baptist College?

How does playing a team that’s lost by an average of 59 points in its three losses against Division I teams — that are a combined 5-20 against Division I opponents — going to make Southern a better basketball team?

How is it beneficial — or even fun? — when three of your players each outscore an entire team?

Champion Baptist College — located in Hot Springs, Arkansas — is an unaccredited four-year Christian vocational college associated with Gospel Light Baptist Church. The Tigers are an independent member of the Association of Christian College Athletics.

Champion Baptist College doesn’t have a Wikipedia page and the school’s website was down when I tried to access it tonight for information on this article because it probably crashed due to the curiosity associated with this joke of a basketball game. The Champion Baptist College basketball team doesn’t have a player over 6-foot-4.

So why is Southern University — or any other Division I program — playing a team like this?

I know it’s easy to point and laugh at Champion Baptist College for losing by 104 points to 4-9 Southern, but the Jaguars and head coach Roman Banks are the ones that should feel ashamed. A game this lopsided isn’t in the spirit of competition and a game like this isn’t making anyone a better basketball player.

In fact, it’s a giant waste of time.

Southern University may have entered the NCAA record books on Monday night, but they did it in a disgraceful way against an opponent it shouldn’t have been playing in the first place.

Missouri lands No. 1 player in Class of 2017 as Michael Porter Jr. commits

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Missouri and new head coach Cuonzo Martin have landed the No. 1 player in the Class of 2017 a week after he took the job as forward Michael Porter Jr. committed to the Tigers on Friday.

Formerly a Washington commit under now-fired head coach Lorenzo Romar, the 6-foot-9 Porter was released from his Letter of Intent this week and many believed he’d end up back at Missouri.

The Porter family lived in Columbia for many years as two of Michael’s older sisters play for the Missouri women’s team while Michael Porter Sr. was an assistant coach for the women’s team.

When Porter Sr. was hired to Missouri to be an assistant coach on Martin’s staff this week — after losing his assistant coaching job at Washington when Romar was fired — it all but sealed the deal that the Porters would return to Missouri and Michael Jr. would play for the Tigers.

Missouri might not be an NCAA Tournament team next season after struggling to an 8-24 finish and 2-16 record in the SEC. But Porter might be the most productive freshman entering college basketball next season as he has a chance to be dominant in the SEC.

Oklahoma State promotes assistant coach Mike Boynton to head coach

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Oklahoma State has decided to promote assistant coach Mike Boynton to head coach, the school announced on Friday.

Boynton was an assistant with the Cowboys under former head coach Brad Underwood, who left Oklahoma State to take the Illinois job last weekend. Also an assistant coach at Stephen F. Austin, South Carolina, Wofford and Coastal Carolina, Boynton is a native of New York City who played his college ball for the Gamecocks.

The hire of Boynton is surprising since he doesn’t have any head-coaching experience as it follows in the footsteps of Cal promoting assistant coach Wyking Jones earlier in the day. Boynton also notably won the job over broadcaster and former Oklahoma State guard Doug Gottlieb as Gottlieb interviewed for the job but wasn’t selected.

 

Rhode Island junior E.C. Matthews will return to school

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Rhode Island junior guard E.C. Matthews will return to school for his redshirt senior season, the school announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-5 Matthews led the Rams in scoring at 14.9 points per game this past season as he returned from a torn ACL and helped Rhode Island reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999.

Besides for being a talented scorer, Matthews is a good overall playmaker for the Rams as he also put up 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.

With Matthews returning, it gives head coach Dan Hurley a huge weapon for next season as Rhode Island returns everyone besides the senior front court of Hassan Martin and Kuran Iverson.

Cal promotes assistant Wyking Jones to head coach

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Cal will promote interim head coach and former assistant coach Wyking Jones to head coach, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The story was first reported by Jon Rothstein of FanRagSports.com

A native of Inglewood, California, Jones has been an assistant coach for the Golden Bears for the past two seasons as he replaces former head coach Cuonzo Martin, who departed to take the Missouri job. This promotion comes as a bit of a surprise for some since Jones has never been a head coach at the Division I level.

Jones has spent 15 years as an assistant coach at the Division I level at places like Cal, Louisville, New Mexico, Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount — where Jones spent his playing career.

Helping Louisville to the Final Four in 2013, Jones is a respected coach and recruiter who gets a great opportunity for his first head coaching job at the Division I level with Cal.

The Golden Bears made the NCAA tournament last year but finished 21-13 this season as they missed making the field of 68. Sophomore big man Ivan Rabb has already declared for the NBA Draft and it will be interesting to see what kind of roster Jones gets to work with right away.

One of the reasons Jones might have been retained is to help Cal keep its solid five-man recruiting class from bolting. While the Golden Bears don’t have any five-star talents coming in, it is a solid foundation for the program’s future led by a four-star guard in Jemarl Baker.

Florida State freshman forward Jonathan Isaac declares for 2017 NBA Draft

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Florida State freshman forward Jonathan Isaac has declared for the 2017 NBA Draft.

The 6-foot-10 Isaac was a five-star prospect out of high school as he averaged 12.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. One of the most versatile defenders in the country, Isaac could protect the rim (1.5 blocks per game) and also switch out to the perimeter and cover smaller wings as well (1.2 steals per game). Also showing a solid skill level, Isaac shot 50 percent from the field, 34 percent from three-point range and 78 percent from the free-throw line.

That kind of versatility is what Isaac is banking on in the NBA Draft as he’s expected to be a top-15 pick. If Isaac can prove that he’s a reliable perimeter shooter then teams could be intrigued by him as a matchup nightmare in the front court.