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Late Night Snacks: No. 10 Oregon survives in Salt Lake City

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Game of the Night: No. 10 Oregon 70, Utah 68 (OT) 

Damyean Dotson’s steal and dunk with sixth tenths of a second was the difference as Oregon remained undefeated in the Pac-12 opener for both. But even in defeat Utah showed more signs of progress, with Larry Krystkowiak’s team giving the Ducks all they wanted and then some. Next up for Oregon is a game at No. 20 Colorado on Sunday, and Utah will host Oregon State on Saturday.

Important Outcomes

1) Michigan 63, Minnesota 60

A Michigan squad without Mitch McGary represented an opportunity for Minnesota, but thanks to Nik Stauskas the Golden Gophers were unable to take advantage. Stauskas led the Wolverines with 12 points, seven assists and two steals, and Michigan won despite losing Glenn Robinson III to injury early in the second half.

2) No. 24 Gonzaga 73, Saint Mary’s 51

One of the better rivalries around was played on Thursday night but it wasn’t all that close as the Bulldogs controlled play against the Gaels in Spokane. Of note for Gonzaga was the performance of Louisville transfer Angel Nunez, who accounted for 13 points and seven rebounds. That could be a key development moving forward for the Zags, who are without Gary Bell Jr. and have a center in Sam Dower who isn’t playing at full strength.

3) Washington 76, Arizona State 65

To be fair this game wasn’t as close as the margin would indicate, with Lorenzo Romar’s Huskies taking control of the game in the latter stages of the first half and leading by as much as 21. C.J. Wilcox scored 17 points, but the biggest surprise was the fact that Washington scored 42 of its 76 points in the paint.

Starred 

1) Brendan Lane (Pepperdine)

The UCLA transfer racked up 26 points (10-for-15 FG) and 17 rebounds in Pepperdine’s 70-61 win at Santa Clara. Marty Wilson’s Waves are 3-0 in WCC play.

2) Glenn Cosey (Eastern Kentucky)

Cosey caught fire from deep in the Colonels’ 100-81 win at Eastern Illinois, hitting ten of 12 from distance and scoring 34 points to go along with six assists.

3) Akeem Richmond (East Carolina)

Cosey wasn’t the only player to make ten three-pointers, with Richmond doing so on 17 attempts in the Pirates’ 79-71 win at Campbell. Richmond scored 37 points and grabbed five rebounds. (Note: UC Davis’ Ryan Sypkens hit ten in a win over Simpson University)

Struggled

1) Washington State

The Cougars scored just seven points in the first half of their 60-25 loss at No. 1 Arizona. The Wildcats are a good defensive team, but even with two starters (DaVonte Lacy and Dexter Kernich-Drew) out there’s no way the Cougars should shoot 9-for-45 from the field.

2) Northwestern

The Wildcats shot 6-for-23 and scored 14 points in the first half of their 76-49 loss to No. 4 Wisconsin.

3) Saint Mary’s

The Gaels shot 31.9% from the field and 1-for-12 from beyond the arc in their 73-51 loss at No. 24 Gonzaga.

Notables

  • Tyrone Wallace scored 20 points and Justin Cobbs added 18 and some big plays late as California won 69-62 at Stanford.
  • Aaseem Dixon scored 23 points to lead Northern Arizona to a 73-65 win at Montana, ending the Grizzlies’ 31-game win streak in Big Sky home games.
  • It was a bit of a struggle but Colorado beat Oregon State, 64-58, with Josh Scott accounting for 13 points, ten rebounds and three blocked shots.
  • Cole Dickerson scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds as San Francisco moved to 2-1 in the WCC with a 75-61 win over Loyola Marymount.
  • Sam Houston State beat Northwestern State 107-104 in double overtime, with Jabari Peters scoring nine of his 21 points in the second extra session.
  • Cleanthony Early led three players in double figures with 23 points as No. 8 Wichita State moved to 14-0 with an 82-67 win at Southern Illinois.
  • Bryon Allen scored 24 points and Patrick Holloway added 18 off the bench in George Mason’s 80-77 win over Penn.
  • Tim Kempton scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Lehigh’s 88-81 double overtime win at Colgate.
  • George Beamon tallied 28 points and ten rebounds in Manhattan’s 74-62 win at Saint Peter’s, the Jaspers’ ninth win away from home this season.

Arizona’s Talbott Denny injures knee, out for season

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Arizona senior forward Talbott Denny will miss the season after tearing the ACL and medial meniscus in his left knee.

The school said Wednesday that the 6-foot-5 graduate transfer from Lipscomb will have surgery.

Denny, from Tucson’s Salpointe Catholic High School, missed all of last season at Lipscomb because of a shoulder injury.

Roy Williams: ‘There’s no question’ more ACC games equal no Kentucky in non-conference

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 23: Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks on during the third round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament against the Iowa State Cyclones at the AT&T Center on March 23, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Back in June, when the ACC officially announced that they would be expanding the league schedule to 20 games in 2019, I tried to warn you that it was going to put a dent into the non-conference schedule and the amount of quality, on-campus games that we’ll get prior to January.

Roy Williams essentially confirmed this as fact this week.

The North Carolina head coach hopped on a podcast with ESPN and more or less said that the bigger league schedule is going to lead to an end of some of UNC’s marquee home-and-home series.

“My feeling right now, and it could change by ’19, heck I could be fired by ’19, but my feeling right now is to play our conference schedule, play one exempt event where you have really good teams, and other than that play home games to help out your revenue and help out your budget,” Williams said. “We have the ACC/Big Ten and that’s not going to go away. So it’s 21 games already scheduled.”

When asked specifically if this would put an end to UNC’s series with Kentucky, Williams said, “Oh yeah, there’s no question. Why would I need to do that?”

There’s two reasons this makes sense. On the one hand, North Carolina needs to fill their home arena a certain number of times to help with the bottom line of the athletic department. They make enough off of ticket sales, merchandise sales, parking fees and food and beverage that they can afford to pay out more than $50,000 to bring a smaller opponent into their arena. More than that, playing a series of weaklings early in the year allows players to gain confidence, it allows Williams to figure out what his rotation will be and who can handle playing at this level, and it gives newcomers a chance to assimilate into his team against players that just aren’t that good.

And when a larger ACC schedule severely limits the number of non-conference games that UNC will be able to play, what’s going to get cut are the contracts that require the Tar Heels to play on the road when they don’t have to.

So buh-bye, Kentucky, it is.

John Calipari helping to raise money for Louisiana flood victims

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It’s easy to be critical of John Calipari.

You don’t have to be a Louisville fan to know all the jokes by now. He cheated at UMass. He cheated at Memphis. He’s had two Final Fours vacated. Teflon John. Yada yada yada.

I get it. Negativity comes with success, particularly for someone who is as brash about his success as Coach Cal is.

But even Cal’s harshest critics cannot begrudge the work he does — can get his players to do — for charity and how well he can harness the power of Big Blue Nation to make a tangible difference. Remember the ‘Hoops for Haiti’ telethon that raised more than $1 million to help earthquake victims back in 2010? Or the hundreds of thousands of dollars he raised for Hurricane Sandy relief? Or when his fantasy camps generated more than $1 million in charitable donations?

And should I mention the amount of times that stories of Kentucky players befriending sick kids or visiting children’s hospitals?

The cynic in me could say that all of this is for branding, helping ensure his players are image-conscious and aware of the sponsorship opportunities that come with being a likable, relatable and humble athlete. There’s probably some truth to that.

But do you think the kids that get visits from their Big Blue heroes care? Do you think it matters to the charities that get seven-figure checks to help with disaster relief?

I say all that to say this: During a press conference on Thursday morning, Cal had this to say, via SEC Country:

Calipari said former UK star Anthony Davis (currently of the New Orleans Pelicans) told Calipari, “Coach, you gotta do something” for Baton Rouge flood victims. Davis is out of the country but will try to get back for Sunday’s softball game to help. His 2012 title teammates, Terrence Jones and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, were not previously on the celeb list for Sunday but will be there.

Calipari has decided to donate all proceeds from Sunday’s alumni/celebrity softball game will go to the Baton Rouge flood-relief fund, through Red Cross. “So what I’m asking you to do is buy these tickets.” They’re $5 apiece. The previously raised funds will still go to the other designated charities, like each year.

For those so inclined, you can donate to the flooding fund by texting “GIVE” to 859-955-8173.

Vermont women cancels game in North Carolina over HB2

DURHAM, NC - MAY 10:  A unisex sign and the "We Are Not This" slogan are outside a bathroom at Bull McCabes Irish Pub on May 10, 2016 in Durham, North Carolina.  Debate over transgender bathroom access spreads nationwide as the U.S. Department of Justice countersues North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory from enforcing the provisions of House Bill 2 that dictate what bathrooms transgender individuals can use.  (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
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The University of Vermont is the latest in a ever-growing line of organizations canceling events in North Carolina due to the controversial HB2 law.

The Catamounts will not be traveling to play the Tar Heels on Dec. 28th as previously scheduled.

“We strive very hard to create an inclusive climate for our students and staff in which they all can feel safe, respected, and valued,” the school wrote in a statement. “It would be hard to fulfill these obligations while competing in a state with this law, which is contrary to our values as an athletic department and university.”

“This decision was made in consultation with our coaches, the women’s basketball team, and key university officials. We fully understand and sympathize with the impact that this decision may have on the North Carolina women’s basketball schedule. However, we believe this decision is consistent with our values and the conversations with our coaches and student team members. These were the most important considerations.”

Known as the “bathroom bill”, HB2 is the law that requires transgender people to use the public restroom of the sex that they were born not the sex they identify with.

Earlier this year, Albany was forced to cancel a trip to Duke due to legislation in New York regarding visits to North Carolina. The NBA has taken the 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte, and the NCAA is heavily considering pulling NCAA tournament games from the state.

Interestingly, ACC commissioner John Swofford was very non-committal on the subject when asked yesterday.

Derek Willis won’t be suspended for offseason citiation

Kentucky's Derek Willis (35) hits an uncontested three point shot during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Tennessee Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won 80-70. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
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John Calipari gave a press conference on Thursday morning and, for the first time since his arrest in June, the Kentucky head coach spoke about Derek Willis.

Willis, if you’ve forgotten, was found passed out in the street outside the open driver’s side door of his car at 4:30 a.m. You can see video of the arrest here. Willis is very lucky he wasn’t killed, and that he didn’t kill anyone else trying to drive in that condition.

Cal said that Willis will not be suspended for any games, but “Derek knows he’s under a different eye now than he was.” He did not elaborate on what kind of punishment Willis will receive beyond that, saying that “I don’t throw people under the bus.”

To be honest, I’m a little surprised that Willis won’t be forced to miss any games, but if we’re being frank, sitting out an exhibition and Kentucky’s opener sounds much more appealing than the kind of, ahem, ‘conditioning drills’ that Willis has likely spent the summer doing.