Bob Huggins

Late Night Snacks: West Virginia outlasts Texas Tech in OT during slow night of hoops

1 Comment

GAME OF THE DAY: West Virginia 89. Texas Tech 86, OT

While the rest of the nation was busy watching the thrilling National Championship game between Florida State and Auburn on the gridiron, the Mountaineers came up with a road overtime win in Big 12 play against Texas Tech.

West Virginia trailed by three with 15 seconds left in regulation before Terry Henderson knocked home the game-tying three-pointer to send the game to overtime.

The Mountaineers relied on guards Juwan Staten and Eron Harris to make crucial plays down the stretch in overtime in a wacky game that featured multiple official replays and some costly turnovers by both teams in the final minute of overtime. Staten paced West Virginia with 25 points in 44 minutes of play.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) Pitt 79, Maryland 59

Pitt didn’t play a particularly strong non-conference schedule, but they have back-to-back, double-digit wins to open play in the ACC and their balanced team effort continues to carry them in each game.

You can read more on the Maryland win and my take on Pitt and their rock-solid identity here.

2) Quinnipiac 86, Iona 74

The Bobcats jumped out to a 22-point halftime lead thanks to a 49-point first-half outburst. Quinnipiac never looked back as they improved to 3-1 in the MAAC with their win over Iona (6-7, 3-1), who was previously unbeaten in conference play.

3) Northern Kentucky 70, North Florida 64

The Norse moved to 3-1 in Atlantic Sun play despite their two leading scorers — guards Jordan Jackson and Tyler White — combining to shoot 8-for-26 from the field. North Florida entered the contest 3-0 in the Atlantic Sun, but only shot 37 percent from the field in the loss.

STARRED

1) A week after destroying Champion Baptist College, Southern earned a legitimate road win over SWAC conference foe Texas Southern despite 24 points and eight rebounds from center Aaric Murray. Calvin Godfrey paced Southern with 27 points and 10 rebounds in the 79-71 win.

2) Playing with a cut above his left eye that was glued shut and covered with a band-aid, Jackson State guard Julysses Nobles (All-Name Team alert) knocked in a buzzer-beating three-pointer to give Jackson State the 70-68 SWAC win over Alabama State. Nobles, who injured the eye in Saturday’s loss to Alabama A&M and left the game to get stitches, finished with 20 points during Monday night’s win.

3) Jacksonville earned its first road win of the season with an 88-85 Atlantic Sun win over Lipscomb. Jarvis Haywood paced the Dolphins with 23 points in the win, which moves Jacksonville to 2-2 in the Atlantic Sun.

STRUGGLED

1) The Citadel held an eight-point halftime lead but allowed 48 second-half points in a Southern Conference loss to Chattanooga. Behind a 30-point, 14-rebound effort from forward Z. Mason, Chattanooga moved to 2-0 in the Southern.

2) Maryland’s two leading scorers, Dez Wells and Jake Layman, were held to only a combined total of eight points in 57 minutes of play in the Terrapins’ 79-59 loss at Pittsburgh.

3) Canisius struggled to 38 percent shooting and couldn’t find consistent scoring behind Billy Baron (27 points) in a 65-62 loss to Marist in the MAAC. Marist has won five straight games since starting the season 0-9.

Villanova beats Duke, Kansas, Indiana for Jermaine Samuels

Atlanta, GA - MAY 27: Nike EYBL. Session 4. Jermaine Samuels, Jr. #23 of Expressions Elite dunks. (Photo by Jon Lopez)
Jon Lopez/Nike
Leave a comment

Villanova landed a commitment from top 50 prospect Jermaine Samuels on Saturday.

Samuels is a tough and athletic 6-foot-5 wing that will remind many Wildcat fans of Josh Hart. He’s got the same kind of versatility and nose for the ball that will let him guard perimeter players as well as work in as a small-ball four. Players like this are a specialty of Jay Wright.

Samuels picked up an offer from Duke recently and also had Indiana, Kansas and Georgetown in his top five. Beating out blue-bloods for a prospect like this is quite the statement for Villanova, one that should tell you the reigning national champs are here to stay as a national power.

Syracuse lands critical piece in Andrew White

LINCOLN, NE - FEBRUARY 3: Andrew White #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers shoots the ball over Rasheed Sulaimon #0 of the Maryland Terrapins during their game at Pinnacle Bank Arena on February 3, 2016 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images
3 Comments

Syracuse has found their replacement for Malachi Richardson.

On Sunday, Nebraska transfer Andrew White committed to the Orange, picking Syracuse, in the end, over VCU. White is a graduate transfer who spent last season with Nebraska, where he averaged 16.2 points while shooting 41.2 percent from three. A top 50 prospect out of Virginia back in the Class of 2012, White played a limited role for Kansas his first two seasons in college.

This is a significant pickup for the Orange, one that legitimately puts them into the conversation as a Final Four contender and a threat to finish at or near the top of the ACC. Jim Boeheim has put together a roster full of talented, long and athletic front court players, but after Richardson declared for the NBA Draft as a one-and-done freshman, he was left with just two back court players on his roster.

Earlier this offseason, Cuse landed Colorado State grad transfer John Gillon, a 6-foot-1 combo-guard, to reinforce their back court. The addition of White gives them a lights-out shooter and a big-time scorer on the wing, something that would have been a major void on their roster.

With Paschal Chukwu getting eligible at the center spot and Tyler Lydon likely landing on every breakout player list this preseason, the Orange should be a markedly better team than the one that made their way to the Final Four last season.

Arizona lands first commitment in 2017 class

Alex Barcello (Jon Lopez/Nike)
(Jon Lopez/Nike)
Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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
Leave a comment

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.