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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 lands first commitment in 2017 class

Alex Barcello (Jon Lopez/Nike)
(Jon Lopez/Nike)
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Arizona landed their first commitment in the Class of 2017 on Friday night as point guard Alex Barcello pledged to Sean Miller and the Wildcats.

Barcello is a 6-foot-2 point guard from Tempe who plays his high school ball for Corona del Sol. He committed to the Wildcats on an official visit to the Tucson campus.

Barcello is a borderline top 100 prospect who sits at No. 123 in the Rivals top 150. He’s known for his ability to shoot, and he’s more of a combo-guard — i.e. shoot-first — than a point guard at times, but he’s a nice pickup and projects as a solid four-year player for the Wildcats.

Virginia, Indiana, Stanford and Butler were the other four schools on Barcello’s list.

Duke lands first commitment in 2017 class

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Alex O’Connell knew exactly where he wanted to play his college ball, which is why, just two days after picking up an offer from Coach K and the Blue Devils, he became Duke’s first recruit in the Class of 2017.

O’Connell announced the on twitter on Friday afternoon:

O’Connell is a four-star prospect from Georgia that had a terrific summer, going from being a borderline top 75 prospect to a player that caught the interest of Duke, who, along with Kentucky, sit atop the college recruiting hierarchy. He’s an explosively athletic and lanky 6-foot-6 wing with three-point range on his jumper. He needs to add some weight and some strength — he’s listed as a crisp 175 pounds — but he has the tools, and the swagger, to develop into a very effective player in the ACC.

Is he a one-and-done prospect?

Probably not. In fact, since 2010, Duke has landed just two players that were rated lower than O’Connell: Antonio Vrankovic and Jack White. If you know who both of them are, you’re probably either Jon Scheyer or lying.

But what O’Connell is is a kid who put in the work to get better this past year and who has the skill set, the physical tools and work ethic to continue to improve. He may not be on Grayson Allen’s trajectory, but O’Connell has the makings of being an impact player for the Blue Devils for three or four years.

Alex O'Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)
Alex O’Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)

Shaka Smart lands contract extension at Texas

Texas head coach Shaka Smart instructs his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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Shaka Smart has already landed himself a contract extension at Texas.

The school, according to the Austin American-Statesman, has given Shaka a one-year extension — through the 2022-23 season — and bumped his salary up to a cool $3 million, a raise of $100,000 annually.

Smart’s Longhorns went 20-13 last season and lost on a half court buzzer beater from Northern Iowa’s Paul Jespersen. It will be tough for Smart to match the success that he had last season, specifically because he lost senior point guard Isaiah Taylor to the professional ranks.

That said, the former VCU head man has been reeling in quite a bit of talent from the state of Texas — namely, Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen — and is not all that far from turning the Longhorns back into a relevant member of the Big 12 title race.

Arizona and Texas headline Lone Star Shootout

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17:  Head coach Sean Miller of the Arizona Wildcats reacts in the first half against the Wichita State Shockers during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
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Another marquee, early season event is on the books for the college basketball season as four potential tournament teams will be squaring off at the Toyota Center in Houston on Dec. 17th.

The highlight of the double-header, which has been dubbed the Lone Star Shootout, will probably end up being Arizona vs. Texas A&M. The Wildcats are a Pac-12 contender and a borderline top 10 team as we enter the season, and while the Aggies will have work to do replacing the seniors they lost off of last season’s roster, they’re a borderline top 25 team.

The other matchup will feature a pair of former Southwest Conference rivals facing off in Texas and Arkansas. Texas will be talented but young while Arkansas may actually have the best player on the floor in Moses Kingsley. What will make this matchup interesting is that both Mike Anderson and Shaka Smart are known for being coaches that prefer a full court pressing system.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to play in front of our fans at the Toyota Center in Houston,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said in a statement. “It is one of the most important areas in this state as it relates to our recruiting and fan base.

Five-star 2017 guard Lonnie Walker cuts list to five schools

Men's U18 trials head shots and team photo on 6.15.16
Bart Young/USA Basketball
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Five-star shooting guard Lonnie Walker is coming off of a very good summer as he trimmed his list to five schools on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-4 native of Reading, Pennsylvania is still considering Arizona, Kentucky, Miami, Syracuse and Villanova, he announced on Twitter.

Regarded as the No. 26 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, Walker played with Team Final in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer as he averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Walker shot 45 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and 72 percent from the free-throw line.

An efficient scorer who is learning to drive with both hands, Walker is very talented and the type of guard who might also be able to handle a bit as well.