Late Night Snacks: Georgia knocks off No. 21 Missouri

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Georgia 70, No. 21 Missouri 64 

This was an emotional one for the Bulldogs, as the father of head coach Mark Fox passed away on Friday. Charles Mann scored 18 points and Nemanja Djurisic added 16 off the bench for Georgia, which ended the Tigers’ 26-game home win streak. Jabari Brown paced Missouri with 19 points but Jordan Clarkson struggled, shooting 4-for-14 from the field, and he’s the one guy Missouri can’t afford to have struggle.


1) No. 4 Wisconsin 95, No. 23 Illinois 70

After getting off to a very slow start in their win over Iowa on Sunday night Wisconsin had no such issues against the Fighting Illini, scoring 50 points in the first half to essentially end the game by halftime. Ben Brust led five Badgers in double figures with 18 points, and defensively Wisconsin made life difficult for Rayvonte Rice. Rice scored 19 points but he did so on 21 shot attempts, making seven.

2) No. 18 Kansas 90, Oklahoma 83

Wayne Selden scored 15 of his team-high 24 points in the first half and Perry Ellis accounted for 22 points and 11 rebounds as the Jayhawks rebounded from their loss to No. 13 San Diego State. Cameron Clark led the Sooners with 32 points, but their 6-for-19 night from beyond the arc proved to be one of the deciding factors in the outcome.

3) No. 13 San Diego State 69, Boise State 66

Steve Fisher’s team was in control for much of the night in San Diego, but the Aztecs’ inability to close things out resulted in the Broncos having a chance to take the lead in the game’s final seconds. But a Derrick Marks jumper missed the mark, and two Xavier Thames free throws provided the final margin. Thames and Winston Shepard III scored 16 points apiece to lead SDSU, with Marks scoring 24 points to lead all scorers.


1) Desmar Jackson (Southern Illinois) 

Jackson accounted for 31 points, six assists, four rebounds and four steals in the Salukis’ 71-67 win at Loyola (IL).

2) Deonte Burton (Nevada) 

Burton scored 29 points on 12-for-20 shooting, grabbed five rebounds and dished out three assists in Nevada’s 74-71 win at UNLV.

3) James Young (Kentucky) 

Young tallied 26 points, ten rebounds and a career-high five assists in No. 14 Kentucky’s 85-63 win over Mississippi State.


1) Georgetown

The Hoyas shot 39.6% from the field in their 70-52 loss at Providence, and players other than D’Vauntes Smith-Rivers and Mikael Hopkins combined to shoot 7-for-27.

2) Wake Forest 

Just three days removed from their win over North Carolina the Demon Deacons struggled on the road, shooting 35.4% from the field in a 74-51 loss at Virginia.

3) Illinois State

The Redbirds shot 32.7% from the field and 7-for-26 from beyond the arc in their 66-47 loss at No. 6 Wichita State.


  • Illinois State certainly struggled offensively, and for that No. 6 Wichita State deserves credit. Also of note are the ten assists and no turnovers tallied by guard Fred VanVleet, who has now gone four games without committing a turnover.
  • Marcus Smart shot 16-for-20 from the foul line, accounting for 24 points, 11 rebounds, six steals and five assists in No. 11 Oklahoma State’s 87-74 win over Texas.
  • A Maxie Esho steal and dunk with 1:01 remaining gave No. 19 UMass a lead it would not relinquish in its 66-62 win over Saint Joseph’s. Chaz Williams tallied 22 points and four assists, and the Minutemen closed the game on an 18-5 run.
  • Cameron Bairstow led four players in double figures with 15 points as New Mexico won at Wyoming, 72-69 in overtime.
  • North Carolina dropped to 0-2 in ACC play with a 63-57 loss to Miami in Chapel Hill. Next up for the Tar Heels: a trip to No. 2 Syracuse this weekend.
  • A Dre Mathieu basket with 1:43 remaining gave Minnesota a lead it would not relinquish, ultimately winning 68-65 at Penn State.
  • Shabazz Napier scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half to lead UConn to a 61-56 win over Harvard, with the Crimson missing out on a valuable resume-building opportunity.
  • No. 14 Kentucky got off to a slow start against Mississippi State in its SEC opener but the Wildcats were much better in the second half, rolling to the 85-63 win in Lexington.


Skal Labissiere has not been cleared by the NCAA

Kelly Kline/Under Armour
Kelly Kline/Under Armor
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While the timeline surrounding Cheick Diallo’s eligibility has made headlines for months now, another elite recruit at a blue blood program is still awaiting word on whether or not he will be allowed to play college basketball this season.

Kentucky center Skal Labissiere, the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2015 and a potential No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, has not yet been cleared to play this season. His guard, Gerald Hamilton, confirmed as much to ESPN earlier today.

“Not yet,” Hamilton said. “We’re just trying to get everything squared away. They are asking a few questions.

“They haven’t cleared him, but we’re sticking with our faith. There’s no real concern about anything from the Kentucky compliance people.”

Labissiere has more red flags than you can count, almost all of them pertaining to Hamilton. It was the worst kept secret in high school basketball that Hamilton more or less had Labissiere for sale. It’s why he played three different AAU programs and two different high schools in four years. Hamilton runs a non-profit called Reach Your Dream and, after a transfer rendered him ineligible for his senior high school season, Labissiere played for a team called ‘Reach Your Dream Prep’, which Hamilton founded simply to ensure Labissiere had a place to play.

Here’s how summarized things back in November:

Multiple coaches who have recruited Labissiere told Hamilton either directly indicated or strongly suggested pursuing Labissiere would mostly be a waste of time if they couldn’t offer assistance in helping fund his foundation. One coach from a prominent staff said: “We couldn’t even get in the door.” Another added: “We recognized what it was about early on and decided not to get involved.”

In other words, no one is surprised that the NCAA is looking into Labissiere’s situation, and it’s not hard to look at Kentucky bringing in Isaac Humphries and Tai Wynyard as a sign that they’re not completely certain that Labissiere will make it through this. The surprise is in how quiet that investigation has been over the course of the last few months.

The shame in all of this is that Labissiere is a sweet kid with an incredible back-story. He survived the devastating earthquake in Haiti despite having a house collapse on him. If he can get through this investigation, he’ll easily be one of the biggest and most likeable stars in the sport this season.

Xavier commit to enroll early, redshirt

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Xavier landed a commitment on Wednesday from four-star big man Eddie Ekiyor, a source confirmed to

Ekiyor, who picked the Musketeers over Miami and Florida, is a borderline top 100 recruit. He’s an athletic, 6-foot-8 post that shouldn’t have an issue adjusting to the pace and physicality of the game, although he needs to continue to develop offensively to be more than a catch-and-dunk big man down the road.

In other words, on paper, Ekiyor isn’t much different from the majority of high major big men. But what’s different about this situation is that Ekiyor will be enrolling at Xavier for the start of the spring semester, technically making him a member of the Class of 2015. Xavier won’t be rushing him through the process — he’ll redshirt the second half of the 2015-16 season — but getting him on campus early will allow him an extra six months of learning the Xavier system, developing in collegiate practices and working out with the Xavier strength coaches.

That should help him limit the adjustment phase as he transitions from high school. That’s important for the Musketeers, because there’s a chance that they could lose their starting front line — James Farr (graduation) and Jalen Reynolds (early entry) — after this season.