Late Night Snacks: No. 10 Oregon, No. 16 Kansas fall

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 21 San Diego State 61, No. 16 Kansas 57

No. 16 San Diego State picked up a major win for the program, and they ended Kansas’ 68-game non-conference home win streak in the process. The Aztecs’ length proved to be a major issue for Kansas inside, and senior guard Xavier Thames hit two free throws with 5.7 remaining to seal the outcome. As for the Jayhawks their guard play left much to be desired, and with that being the case should Bill Self be concerned?

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) No. 20 Colorado 100, No. 10 Oregon 91

While Oregon may have the deepest backcourt in the country, the Colorado tandem of Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie combining to score 50 points and dish out 11 assists. Add in a double-double from Josh Scott (15 points, 12 rebounds) and 15 points from Xavier Johnson, and the end result was a second Pac-12 win of the season for the Buffaloes. As for the Ducks, while the exceeded their scoring average in defeat their performance on the defensive end left much to be desired.

2) No. 4 Wisconsin 75, No. 22 Iowa 71

With Iowa clinging to a 41-39 lead head coach Fran McCaffery picked up two technical fouls and was ejected from the game. Did that cost the Hawkeyes a win in Madison? That can certainly be debated, but what shouldn’t be debated is the fact that the Badgers were able to make some key plays late to remain undefeated. Now 15-0, Bo Ryan’s team is off to the best start in school history.

3) Wake Forest 73, No. 19 North Carolina 67

The roller coaster ride continued for North Carolina as they fell in Winston-Salem to a program in need of a big win. Travis McKie scored 16 points to lead the Demon Deacons but their best work was done defensively, as they limited the Tar Heels to 39% shooting and Marcus Paige to eight points. At this point we know who North Carolina is: a team that can not only beat just about any team in the country but lose to a lot of teams they should beat as well.

STARRED

1) Kyle Anderson (UCLA)

Anderson racked up 23 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in UCLA’s 107-73 whipping of city rival USC.

2) Sidney Sanders Jr. (Fairleigh Dickinson) 

Sanders accounted for 31 points, seven assists and four rebounds in the Knights’ 86-67 win over Hofstra.

3) Brandon Venturini (Navy)

Venturini shot 8-for-9 from beyond the arc and scored 28 points in Navy’s 79-71 win over Lafayette.

STRUGGLED

1) USC

It didn’t come as a surprise that Andy Enfield’s team lacked the horses to score with UCLA. But allowing the Bruins to shoot 57.7% from the field? That’s really bad. Final score: UCLA 107, USC 73.

2) Providence

A short-handed Providence squad also struggled defensively, as No. 11 Villanova shot 59.6% from the field and 14-for-26 from three in their 91-61 win over the Friars.

3) Missouri State

The Bears shot 4-for-20 from three in their 89-57 loss at Loyola (IL). Interestingly enough, Paul Lusk’s team shot 50% inside of the arc.

NOTABLES

  • Fred Van Vleet scored a career-high 22 points as No. 8 Wichita State beat Northern Iowa 67-53, moving to 15-0 on the season.
  • Nik Stauskas scored 18 points to lead Michigan to a 74-51 win over Northwestern, and Michigan’s now 2-0 in Big Ten play.
  • D.J. Irving hit two free throws with two seconds remaining to give Boston University a 67-66 win at Lehigh in an important early-season Patriot League battle. Mackey McKnight scored 23 to lead the way for Lehigh.
  • UMass-Lowell killed two birds with one stone Sunday, beating UMBC 59-54 for its first win as a Division I member. The win is also their first America East victory, with Akeem Williams scoring 18 points to lead the way.
  • Austin (18 points) and Andre Hollins (17) combined to score 35 points and Minnesota held off Purdue, 82-79, giving Richard Pitino his first Big Ten victory.
  • Cameron Payne scored 27 points and Jarvis Williams added 20 points and 15 rebounds to lead Murray State to a 91-77 win over UT-Martin.
  • After an off night in a loss to Washington, Jermaine Marshall rebounded to score 26 points to lead Arizona State to a 66-47 win over Washington State.

Grand Canyon lands Oregon graduate transfer guard Casey Benson

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Grand Canyon landed an important piece for its NCAA tournament push on Saturday night as Oregon graduate transfer guard Casey Benson pledged to the Antelopes.

The 6-foot-3 Benson will be eligible right away as spent the past three seasons with the Ducks as a key reserve guard, helping Oregon to multiple deep NCAA tournament runs. Benson picked Grand Canyon over Wisconsin for his final season of college basketball as Benson’s brother, T.J., is an assistant coach with the Antelopes.

Benson shot 40 percent from three-point range last season while also being a steady ball handler over the course of his career at Oregon as he has only 81 career turnovers in over 2,600 career minutes with the Ducks. While Benson wasn’t asked to score a lot for a loaded Oregon team that featured multiple bucket-getters, he could be asked to do more at Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon is eligible for the NCAA tournament for the first time next season as the addition of Benson gives them an experienced guard who should be more of a factor in the WAC. The Antelopes are coming off of a 22-9 season in which they finished 11-3 in conference play.

With great facilities and a quickly-growing fan base, head coach Dan Majerle has the potential makings of a perennial mid-major conference contender if he continues to recruit well to Grand Canyon.

Colorado adds commitment from Class of 2017 point guard McKinley Wright

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Colorado landed one of the best available point guards for next season on Friday as Class of 2017 floor general McKinley Wright committed during an official visit.

A former Dayton commit who opted out of his recruitment after former head coach Archie Miller took the Indiana job, Wright was one of the best available point guards left as he played last weekend on the adidas Gauntlet in front of college coaches with D1 Minnesota.

The 6-foot-0 Wright gives the Buffaloes another ball handler and distributor as he was Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball during this past season. As a senior, Wright averaged 22.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game.

It’s always hard to say if spring recruits who elevate a level in recruiting after decommitting are making the correct decision, but Wright looked the part of a high-major lead guard last weekend, and Colorado wasn’t the only high-major program that was pushing hard to add Wright at this late stage.

Oral Roberts to hire Baylor assistant coach Paul Mills

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Oral Roberts has found its new head coach as they will hire Baylor assistant coach Paul Mills, as first reported by NBCSports.com’s Rob Dauster.

Mills had been on staff with the Bears since 2003 as he’s been a big factor in why head coach Scott Drew has been able to turn around that program. A graduate of Texas A&M, Mills has been a full-time assistant at Baylor since the 2009 season.

“I am honored to accept this role of representing this historic institution, its students and its mission,” Mills said in a release. “Making this commitment today is a highlight of my career and I look forward with excitement to the basketball season directly ahead. Go Golden Eagles.”

Mills will replace former head coach Scott Sutton, who was relieved of his duties this offseason after 18 years at the helm.

 

Iowa commit Connor McCaffery to redshirt in basketball to pursue baseball

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Iowa commit Connor McCaffery is in a unique spot when he starts his freshman year in Iowa City next year.

Not only is the 6-foot-4 guard the son of basketball head coach Fran McCaffery, while being a four-star national basketball prospect, but Connor also has a bright future in baseball.

There was a lot of speculation as to what Connor might do for his future in athletics and he gave more clarification on what he might be looking to do on Friday.

McCaffery has decided to redshirt in basketball next season to focus on the beginnings of his baseball career at Iowa. A walk-on for both sports, the move enables Connor McCaffery to potentially play three years of basketball with his younger brother, Patrick, who is also a heralded basketball recruit for Iowa. This move also gives Connor the best chance to pursue both sports while he’ll also help out a young Iowa basketball team with its tough scholarship scenario.

Butler, Chris Holtmann agree to a contract extension

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Butler has agreed to a contract extension with head coach Chris Holtmann, the school announced on Friday, that will keep him under contract through 2025.

“Butler truly is a special place, and my family and I are thankful to be part of a great academic institution and an athletics department that is a source of pride for those who embrace Butler and The Butler Way,” said Holtmann. “Our student-athletes, our staff, and so many throughout our campus are remarkable at what they do, and I’m excited to continue to work alongside them.”

Holtmann was named Big East Coach of the Year after leading the Bulldogs to a 25-9 record and a spot in the Sweet 16. In three years with the program, Holtmann has a record of 70-31.

“Chris is a tremendous ambassador for Butler and the Butler Way, and his leadership has resulted in success both on and off the court for the talented young men in our program,” said Butler Vice President/Director of Athletics Barry Collier. “This commitment – both by our university and by Chris – allows the momentum within our program to continue.”

Holtmann was in the mix for a couple of jobs this spring, including N.C. State and Missouri.