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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.

Villanova’s Jenkins to return for senior season

Villanova forward Kris Jenkins (2) reacts to play against North Carolina during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 4, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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After briefly taking part in the NBA Draft evaluation process, Villanova forward Kris Jenkins announced Monday night that he’s decided to withdraw and return to school for his senior year. Jenkins, whose three-pointer as time expired gave the Wildcats the win over North Carolina in the national title game, announced the news via Twitter.

2015-16 was a breakout season for Jenkins, who moved into the starting lineup and averaged 13.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. The 6-foot-6 forward shot 45.9 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from beyond the arc, and with starters Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu graduating he’ll have even more opportunities to produce next season.

Jenkins’ decision to return leaves wing Josh Hart as the lone Wildcats going through the early entry process at this time. Hart was a first team All-Big East selection as a junior, and his return would be the final piece to the puzzle for a team that many expect to be a national title contender in 2016-17.

Jenkins and Hart wouldn’t be the only returnees who had a part in the national title run, with guards Jalen Brunson and Phil Booth, wing Mikal Bridges and forward Darryl Reynolds back as well. To that group Villanova adds Fordham transfer Eric Paschall and a recruiting class anchored by Omari Spellman and Dylan Painter with Donte DiVincenzo and Tim Delaney available after being hampered by injuries last season.

Delaney missed all of last year after undergoing surgical procedures on his hips, and DiVincenzo played a total of 74 minutes over the first nine games before having to sit due to a broken foot.

Florida State guard Rathan-Mayes to return for junior season

Florida State guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes (22) drives past Notre Dame guard Rex Pflueger, left, for a score in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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With their top three scorers from last season all deciding to declare for the NBA Draft, Florida State was facing the possibility of having to rebuild their backcourt ahead of the 2016-17 season. However two of those three have decided to return to Tallahassee, with rising junior Xavier Rathan-Mayes announcing on Monday that he will be back in school.

Rathan-Mayes joins rising sophomore Dwayne Bacon in returning to play another season for head coach Leonard Hamilton, with Malik Beasley hiring representation and remaining in the draft.

Rathan-Mayes had more scoring help last season and as a result was able to concentrate more on the distribution aspects of the point guard position, as he averaged 11.8 points and 4.4 assists per contest. With the return of Rathan-Mayes and Bacon, Florida State will have two of its top three scorers from last season back on campus.

The Seminoles did lose some veteran players, most notably guard Devon Bookert and center Boris Bojanovsky, but the returnees and a recruiting class led by McDonald’s All-American forward Jonathan Isaac means that they won’t lack for options next season.

Auburn lands third transfer within the last week

Auburn guard T.J. Dunans (4) and coach Bruce Pearl celebrate a 75-74 win over UAB in an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, at Auburn Arena in Auburn, Ala.  (Julie Bennett/AL.com via AP)
Julie Bennett/AL.com via AP
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After receiving commitments from former Purdue/Houston guard Ronnie Johnson and former Presbyterian forward DeSean Murray, Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl continued to load up on the transfer market Monday. Forward LaRon Smith, who was named MEAC Defensive Player of the Year at Bethune-Cookman last season, announced that he will use his final season of eligibility at the SEC program.

Like Smith, Johnson will also be eligible to compete immediately for the Tigers while Murray will have to sit out next season before having two years of eligibility remaining.

The 6-foot-8 Smith played two seasons at Georgia State before transferring to Bethune-Cookman, where he averaged 7.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per contest in 2015-16. Smith played just over 25 minutes per game for the Wildcats, shooting 58.5 percent from the field.

Smith reached double figures in scoring in four of the Wildcats’ final seven games, including a 20-point, 11-rebound, three-block outing in an overtime win over North Carolina A&T. He joins a front court in need of depth following the departures of the likes of Cinmeon Bowers and Tyler Harris, with Horace Spencer, Trayvon Reed and incoming freshman Anfernee McLemore also competing for minutes in 2016-17.

SMU lands former Arkansas guard Jimmy Whitt

Arkansas guard Jimmy Whitt (24) leaps for a layup past Tennessee guard Shembari Phillips (25) during an NCAA college basketball game in Knoxville, Tenn., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. Arkansas won 75-65. (Adam Lau/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP)
Adam Lau/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP
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With a five-member recruiting class set to arrive on campus this summer, SMU added a talented transfer Monday afternoon. Jimmy Whitt, who played his freshman season at Arkansas, committed to join Larry Brown’s program. Whitt, a 6-foot-4 guard from Columbia, Missouri, will have three seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2016-17 campaign.

As a freshman at Arkansas, Whitt averaged 6.1 points and 1.7 rebounds in just over 17 minutes of action per game. He reached double figures in scoring nine time, with the high being a 15-point outing in a blowout win over Missouri in mid-January. Whitt produced a stretch of four consecutive games in double figures during non-conference play, but he struggled to maintain that consistency against SEC competition.

At SMU he’ll join a perimeter rotation that will lose rising senior Sterling Brown following the 2016-17 season. Among those who will have eligibility remaining when Whitt becomes eligible are Ben Emelogu, Shake Milton, Jarrey Foster and incoming freshmen Tom Wilson and Dashawn McDowell.

 

Boise State assistant named head coach at Northern Colorado

rp_primary_Linder_Jeff_Action_vs_Dayton_031815_2_
Courtesy UNCBears.com
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GREELEY, Colo. (AP) Jeff Linder is the new basketball coach at Northern Colorado. He spent the last six seasons at Boise State, where he was associate head coach for the Broncos since 2013-14.

Linder replaces B.J. Hill, who was fired last month amid an NCAA investigation into allegations of violations in the program.

University President Kay Norton and Athletic Director Darren Dunn announced Linder’s hiring Sunday.

Linder played high school ball in Lafayette, Colorado, and college ball at Mesa State and Western Colorado State. He began his coaching career under Colorado head coach Ricardo Patton.

In a statement, Linder said, “I look forward to returning home to the state of Colorado and continuing to build this program into something everyone can be proud of.”

Hill was 86-98 in six seasons at UNC.