It’s show-and-tell time for the Utes (Salt Lake Tribune)
Utah’s off to an 11-1 start, but with a schedule that is ranked as one of the worst in college basketball the jury’s still out in the eyes of some. With that being the case, Thursday’s Pac-12 opener against No. 10 Oregon represents a big opportunity for Larry Krystkowiak’s team.
College Basketball Caucus: Bold Predictions for 2014 (USA Today)
With the calendar flipping over to 2014, a group of college basketball writers compiled their bold predictions for the new year. The boldest predictions involve SMU and Wichita State.
Big East Conference debut shows there’s nothing worth changing (Sports Illustrated)
New Year’s Eve represented an important day for the new Big East, with all ten teams in action to kick off conference play. And under the leadership of commissioner Val Ackerman, the hope is that the conference gets back to the “basketball-first” roots that led to Dave Gavitt founding the original league in 1979.
New Year’s resolutions for Dan Hurley and URI basketball (Go Local Prov)
Prior to the start of the season one team some folks were high on in the Atlantic 10 was Rhode Island, with head coach Dan Hurley bringing in some talented recruits to go along with some solid returnees in his second year at the helm. But if anything, non-conference play served as a reminder that the rebuilding job will take some time.
Shaquielle McKissic overcomes troubled path on way to Arizona State (Seattle Times)
Arizona State senior forward Shaquielle McKissic only has one season of eligibility in Tempe, and after a slow start he’s been more productive of late for the Sun Devils. And McKissic’s path to the school wasn’t an easy one either, with behavioral issues and two years away from basketball nearly ending his career.
Southern Conference basketball sliding downward (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
If one were to put together a list of conferences that have been hit hard by realignment, there’s no doubt that the Southern Conference would be on there. College of Charleston’s already gone, and a few other programs (including Davidson) will leave at the end of the current academic year. So where does that leave the schools who will stick around? Not in a good place, according to this story.
Slumping UConn looking for answers (Hartford Courant)
In one of the later games on New Year’s Eve, No. 17 UConn put forth a disappointing performance in a 75-71 loss at Houston. The Huskies fought back after trailing by as many as 21 points, but the way in which they played to wind up in that hole is concerning. UConn’s now looking for answers ahead of their game at SMU on Saturday.
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.
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.
Florida freshman forward Dontay Bassett is out for the season with a stress fracture, according to a release from the school.
Bassett will require surgery in his right foot and his projected recovery time will be four-to-six months. The injury will force Bassett to redshirt the 2016-17 season.
A three-star recruit coming out of Oldsmar Christian in Florida, the 6-foot-9 forward wasn’t expected to be a big contributor during his first year with the Gators, but his loss does hurt some of the team’s frontcourt depth. With John Egbunu, Devin Robinson, Justin Leon and Kevarrius Hayes all returning, the Gators should have plenty of players to use in the frontcourt this season without Bassett.
Once Bassett is healthy and able to play next season he showed good athleticism and an ability to hit the glass hard while he was in high school. Bassett should be able to join Florida’s rotation as an energy defender and rebounder right away.
Iowa State has its point guard of the future as four-star Class of 2017 prospect Lindell Wigginton pledged to the Cyclones on Friday.
The 6-foot-1 Wigginton is regarded as the No. 40 overall prospect on Rivals.com as the Canadian has spent the last few seasons at powerhouse Oak Hill Academy. With an ability to play both guard spots and defend a few spots, Wigginton is a valuable addition to head coach Steve Prohm’s ballclub as Wigginton could help replace Monte Morris after he exhausts his eligibility.
Wigginton is going to need to improve his consistency on his perimeter jumper, but he’s a good pull-up scorer who can make plays for himself or others off the bounce. Iowa State’s Class of 2017 recruiting haul now includes Wigginton, four-star wing Terrence Lewis and three-star guard Darius McNeill.
This commitment is huge for Prohm as Wigginton is the most highly-regarded recruit that he has landed with the Cyclones. With Prohm’s point guard history with guys like Isaiah Canaan at Murray State and Monte Morris now with Iowa State, Prohm did a nice job of finding his next young guard to mold for the future.
Davidson senior guard Jack Gibbs is one of the most under-the-radar players in college basketball as he will be among the nation’s leading offensive threats this season if he’s healthy.
But health is going to be a question for the 6-foot-1 guard as Gibbs is dealing with a shoulder injury that will sideline him for 2-to-3 weeks, according to head coach Bob McKillop. McKillop told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that tests came back negative for Gibbs and he’s expected to be back for the Wildcats’ season-opener. The injury for Gibbs occurred during Thursday’s Davidson practice.
As a junior, Gibbs averaged 23.5 points, 4.9 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game as he became one of the nation’s premier offensive players. Gibbs is going to be a huge key for Davidson this season as he needs to be healthy in order for the Wildcats to make it back to the NCAA tournament.