Andrew Wiggins

Late Night Snacks: Kansas takes down unbeaten Toledo

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 16 Kansas 93, Toledo 83

The Jayhawks continued their difficult non-conference schedule by hosting unbeaten Toledo on Monday night and Kansas prevailed with a 93-83 victory in Lawrence. Naadir Tharpe continued his improved play of-late with 20 points and eight assists to lead the way for No. 16 Kansas as they outlasted a solid offensive effort from Toledo. Although Toledo hasn’t faced anyone the caliber of Kansas this season, they showed that they can hang with anyone in the country offensively, and they’ll be a tough team to beat in the MAC.

CBT’s Rob Dauster has more on this one and how if affects both Kansas and Toledo going forward.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) No. 6 Oklahoma State 92, Robert Morris 66

The Cowboys picked up a home win over Robert Morris, but the news here is Oklahoma State losing center Michael Cobbins to an apparent Achilles’ tendon injury. Cobbins’ status going forward seems uncertain and we should know more in the coming days, but it would be a major loss for the Cowboys.

2) Louisiana Tech 102, Oklahoma 98, overtime

Busy night of hoops in the Sooner State, huh? Preseason mid-major darling Louisiana Tech withstood a ridiculous three-pointer from Cameron Clark at the end of regulation to send the game to overtime, as the Bulldogs held on for the four-point win over Oklahoma. This gives Louisiana Tech a nice win going into Conference USA play after the Bulldogs fell to St. Mary’s and Oklahoma State earlier in the year.

3) St. Louis 57, Vanderbilt 49

Is America sleeping on the Billikens? St. Louis has won six straight — with their only losses on the year to unbeatens: Wisconsin and Wichita State — and their defense is one of the best in the country as the Billikens completely shut down Vanderbilt’s offense in their own gym. St. Louis held the Commodores to 33 percent shooting and 17 percent shooting from the three-point line in the win and they’ll head into the Atlantic 10 with a ton of momentum.

STARRED

1) Tennessee had a great night from its supporting cast as the Volunteers rolled past Virginia 87-52. Jordan McRae (21 points) and Jarnell Stokes (20 points) led the charge as usual for Tennessee, but it was the offensive play of Josh Richardson (20 points, 8-for-9 shooting) and Antonio Barton (14 points, 5-for-6 shooting) that took Tennessee to a new level.

2) T.J. Warren led North Carolina State with 24 points and nine rebounds as the Wolfpack escaped with a 68-64 win over UNC-Greensboro on the road. Warren knocked in 1-of-2 free throws to give North Carolina State a three-point lead with 23.4 seconds remaining before the Wolfpack got a stop to seal the game.

3) Despite missing starters Gary Bell Jr. and Sam Dower Jr., No. 24 Gonzaga cruised past San Francisco 69-41 behind a balanced scoring effort as Drew Barnham knocked in five three-pointers and finished with a team-high 15 points.

STRUGGLED

1) Southern 116, Champion Baptist College 12. Nuff said.

2) BYU fell behind 40-28 at halftime and never recovered as the Cougars fell on the road to Pepperdine 80-74 in a WCC contest. The difference in this one: three-point shooting. BYU was 1-for-11 from beyond the arc while Pepperdine was 13-for-24. BYU has now dropped four straight games.

3) VMI trailed by a point at halftime against Clemson before being blown out of the water in the second half of an 80-50 road loss. VMI averages 89 points a game, but was held to a season-low of 50 points, including only 18 in the second half.

OTHER TOP 25 SCORES

  • No. 9 Baylor 81, Oral Roberts 55

Kentucky-Kansas headlines the 2017 SEC/Big 12 Challenge

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The Big 12 and the SEC announced the matchups for the 2017 SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Tuesday, and the highlight is, of course, Kansas and Kentucky.

The two schools, who played an instant classic in Phog Allen Fieldhouse last season, will square off in Lexington this season. If that wasn’t enough, Kentucky and Kansas are currently sitting second and third, respectively, in the NBCSports.com Preseason Top 25.

So that should be fun.

The game will be played on January 28th along with the rest of the matchups in the series. Those matchups are:

Texas at Georgia
Texas A&M at West Virginia
Florida at Oklahoma
Baylor at Ole Miss
Iowa State at Vanderbilt
Kansas State at Tennessee
Arkansas at Oklahoma State
Auburn at TCU
LSU at Texas Tech

To be frank, the rest of that schedule is not all that enticing. West Virginia should be a top 25 team, and they host a Texas A&M team that is talented but young. Florida and Georgia are arguably the two best non-Kentucky teams in the league, but they face off with a rebuilding Oklahoma and a young Texas squad, neither of whom are guaranteed to make the tournament.

The problem here?

Both the SEC and the Big 12 are likely going to be down this season, which puts a damper on just how excited we can get about this challenge.

Purdue forward to return to school, withdraw from NBA Draft

Purdue center A.J. Hammons (20) celebrates with forward Vince Edwards (12) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Michigan State in West Lafayette, Ind., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. Purdue defeated Michigan State 82-81 in overtime. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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Purdue announced on Tuesday that forward Vince Edwards will be returning to school for his junior season.

Edwards declared for the NBA Draft without signing with an agent and went through the process to gauge his value at the next level.

“After getting the NBA experience and going through the evaluation process, I have talked with my family and Coach Painter and decided it is best for me to return for my junior year,” Edwards said in a statement. “Although the NBA is still a dream for me one day, I am coming back to Purdue to make next year a special one. Thank you to all the organizations who gave me the chance to not only showcase my talents, but also the chance to know me as a young man and not just an athlete.”

Edwards averaged 11.3 points and 5.4 boards last season.

Purdue now has to wait to hear from Caleb Swanigan, a rising sophomore that was a top 20 recruit in the Class of 2015. The deadline to withdraw from the draft is Wednesday.

Five-star 2017 forward Porter Jr. releases top five schools

Father Tolton Catholic's Michael Porter, Jr. (1) celebrates after sinking a basket and drawing a foul during the first half of the Missouri Class 3 boys high school championship basketball game against the Barstow Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
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As one of the top players in the Class of 2017, 6-foot-8 small forward Michael Porter Jr. has been on the receiving end of attention from many high-major programs. Monday night Porter, a native of Columbia, Missouri who’s ranked second in the class by Rivals.com, revealed his top five schools at this point in time.

The five schools that made the cut (in alphabetical order): Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Virginia and Washington.

"Top 5 Top 5 Top 5" 🙏🏽 #Blessed

A photo posted by Michael Porter Jr. (@m1chael_porter) on

Of the five schools on Porter’s list Missouri and Washington may be the most interesting given the family connections. Not only is Missouri the hometown school, but Porter’s older sisters Bri and Cierra are members of the women’s basketball team.

And one of the assistants on that coaching staff was Porter’s father, who earlier this spring joined Lorenzo Romar’s staff at Washington. The elder Porter isn’t the only Washington connection either, with Michael’s younger brother Jontay being a commit in the Class of 2018.

Texas A&M lands Spanish forward Eric Vila

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With the loss of all-conference forward Jalen Jones, Texas A&M was in a position where they could afford to add another front court body alongside the likes of Tyler Davis and Tonny Trocha-Morelos. Thursday afternoon head coach Billy Kennedy and his staff managed to do just that, as 6-foot-9 forward Eric Martinez Vila made his pledge to the SEC program.

News of Vila’s commitment was first reported by TexAgs.com, and the FC Barcelona Lassa (that’s the club’s basketball program) product took visits to Texas A&M, Missouri and Wake Forest earlier this spring. Vila’s viewed as more of a combo forward, with the ability to step away from the basket and hit perimeter shots, giving the Aggies some added versatility in the front court.

Vila has plenty of experience playing for both FC Barcelona’s B team (however he did appear with the A-team during the 2014-15 season), and he represented Spain in the 2014 FIBA U16 EuroBasket and 2015 FIBA U18 EuroBasket events. Vila is the fifth member of Texas A&M’s 2016 class, joining guards J.J. Caldwell and J.C. Hampton, wing DeShawn Corprew and forward Robert Williams.

Nevada forward Cameron Oliver to return for sophomore season

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 11: Angelo Chol #3 of the San Diego State Aztecs drives to the hoop against Cameron Oliver #0 of the Nevada Wolf Pack during a semifinal game of the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center on March 11, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
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With the deadline for early entrants to withdraw from the NBA Draft set for Wednesday, some college basketball teams will receive important news as it pertains to the 2016-17 campaign. One of those teams was Nevada, which surprised many last season by winning 24 games in Eric Musselman’s first season at the helm. And with one of the key contributors from that team deciding to withdraw from the NBA Draft, the Wolf Pack will be well positioned to be even better in 2016-17.

Forward Cameron Oliver, who was one of the Mountain West’s best freshmen this past season, will return to Reno for his sophomore season with Musselman making the news official Monday afternoon.

The 6-foot-8 Oliver averaged 13.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game for Nevada, shooting 50.8 percent from the field in his debut season. Oliver was named third team All-Mountain West while also earning conference All-Defensive team honors.

Oliver and wing D.J. Fenner (13.7 ppg) are the team’s top two returning scorers, with guard Marqueze Coleman (15.1 ppg) out of eligibility, and they’ll lead the way for a team that can contend in the Mountain West next season.

In addition to Oliver and Fenner, Nevada adds two talented transfers in Leland King and Marcus Marshall, with the latter averaging 19.5 points per game at Missouri State in 2014-15.