joel embiid

Late Night Snacks: Kansas knocks off Iowa State for key Big 12 road win

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 23 Duke 69, Virginia 65

This one got a lot closer than Duke would have liked. The Blue Devils led for the entire game until Malcolm Brogdon’s free throw with 37 seconds left gave Virginia its first lead of the game at 65-64. From there, Duke scored five consecutive points to close out the game, including an offensive rebound that led to Rasheed Sulaimon’s go-ahead three-pointer. Sulaimon’s resurgence was the overall story in this one though, as the sophomore continues to shake off his early-season slump as he scored 21 points in 24 minutes for a Duke team that regularly made lineup changes and even started freshman guard Matt Jones.

Jabari Parker continued to struggle, only scoring eight points on 3-for-11 shooting, but the Blue Devils earned a much-needed ACC win at home.

You can also read more on this one with Rob Dauster’s take on Duke and my take on Virginia.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) No. 15 Kansas 77, No. 8 Iowa State 70

The Jayhawks have played the toughest schedule in the country and you can tell by the way this young Kansas team was prepared for the Hilton Coliseum and No. 8 Iowa State. Andrew Wiggins (17 points, 19 rebounds) and Joel Embiid (16 points, nine rebounds, five blocks) both had great games, but it was the play of junior point guard Naadir Tharpe that but Kansas over the edge.

Rob and I also alternated angles for this game with Rob looking into Iowa State while I go into more detail about Kansas during its big win.

2) No. 2 Syracuse 69, Boston College 59

For awhile, the Golden Eagles had the unbeaten No. 2 Orange on the ropes in the second half before Syracuse stepped on the gas and got by to earn the ACC road win. Although Trevor Cooney has struggled with his perimeter shooting during ACC play, he stepped up with an 8-for-13 effort from the field, while shooting a respectable 2-for-5 from the three-point line, to lead the Orange with 21 points. Jerami Grant also continued his sound play off the bench as the sophomore forward went for 16 points and eight rebounds in 37 minutes of play, even though he didn’t start the game.

CBT’s own Terrence Payne was in attendance at this one and has more on the Orange’s win.

3) Texas 80, West Virginia 69

The only other power conference matchup of the night belonged to the Longhorns as Texas owned the glass with a 49-30 advantage in the easy road win in Morgantown. Texas held West Virginia to 37 percent shooting as Javan Felix had 19 points and Cameron Ridley registered a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds. After dropping its first two Big 12 games, Texas has rallied to 2-2 in the leagues and is now 13-4 overall.

STARRED

1) One of the nation’s premier scorers, Loyola (Md.) senior Dylon Cormier, went for 25 points and 11 rebounds as the Greyhounds raced to a 77-63 Patriot League win over Lafayette.

2) Kendrick Perry scored Youngstown State’s final 12 points to finish the game with 31 overall in leading the Penguins to a 67-66 home win over Horizon League opponent Cleveland State.

3) Alabama State’s Jamel Waters went the full 40 minutes, scoring 27 points and adding seven assists and four steals in leading the Hornets to a 77-64 home win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in a SWAC victory. The game was tied at 58 in the second half before Alabama State went on a 19-6 run to close the game.

STRUGGLED

1) Southern Utah finished with only 36 points, as they allowed Big Sky conference opponent Northern Arizona to score 35 in each half on its way to a 70-36 loss at home. Northern Arizona started the game on a 12-0 run as Southern Utah only mustered 11 first-half points.

2) Delaware State faltered down the stretch during a home loss to Norfolk State as the Spartans escaped with a 58-56 road win. Delaware State had a chance to snap Norfolk State’s 23-game regular season conference winning streak — the longest such streak in the nation — before letting the game slip away in the second half after the game was tied 46-all.

3) Tennessee State allowed Tennessee-Martin to shoot 60 percent from the field and allowed 25 assists on 39 field goals as the Skyhawks pulled off the 100-88 Ohio Valley Conference win. Tennessee State started the game down 16-1 and are now 2-17 on the season after an 18-15 finish last season that included an appearance in the CIT

Florida State continues recruiting momentum with 2017 commitment

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Florida State has been active on the recruiting trail recently and the Seminoles continued that momentum on Wednesday with a commitment from in-state wing Wyatt Wilkes.

The 6-foot-7 Wilkes is considered a three-star prospect and ranked No. 113 in the Rivals 150 in the Class of 2017 as he gives Florida State its fourth commitment in the class.

A versatile and skilled forward who can knock down shots, Wilkes joins a Florida State Class of 2017 that includes wing Anthony Polite — who committed on Tuesday — forward Raiquan Gray and guard Bryan Trimble.

The last two recruiting classes, Florida State has done a nice job of focusing on its targets and landing them early. It’s hard to say if finishing the Class of 2016 early helped the Seminoles complete this group in a similar timely fashion, but it’s worth monitoring for the next class as well to see if this becomes some sort of trend.

Oregon lands Georgetown transfer Paul White

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 19: Paul White #13 of the Georgetown Hoyas fights for position with Drew Brandon #22 of the Eastern Washington Eagles in the second half during the second round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Moda Center on March 19, 2015 in Portland, Oregon.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Oregon pulled in a former highly-touted recruit via transfer on Wednesday as Paul White committed to the Ducks.

Spending his first two seasons at Georgetown, White battled injury problems as he only registered 67 total minutes last season during his sophomore year. As a freshman, the 6-foot-8 native of Chicago averaged 5.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.

A skilled wing forward who can handle the ball a bit, White is a good passer from the elbows and also isn’t afraid to help a bit on the glass. Offensively, White will have to figure out his calling as a scorer, but he’s versatile enough of an offensive players to get others involved while he’s on the floor.

Formerly the No. 50 overall recruit in the Class of 2014, White will have to sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules.

Oregon has had a lot of success with transfers under head coach Dana Altman, but it will be interesting to see how White looks when he’s able to play. With basically two full seasons off between competitive games, we’ll have to see how White looks, or if he’s added to his game, when he’s able to take the floor in 2017-18.

VIDEO: Dennis Smith Jr. dunks on N.C. State students

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Last week, it was North Carolina freshman Seventh Woods dunking on a crowd of his classmates late at night.

This week, it’s Dennis Smith Jr., the uber-athletic redshirt freshman for N.C. State.

Rutgers’ twitter ‘gaffe’ is a pretty standard recruiting technique

Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell  congratulates guard Roland Nyama (24) after a play during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Vanderbilt on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
AP Photo/Mark Humphrey
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Rutgers has been the butt of quite a few jokes on social media the last 24 hours, as the school’s official men’s basketball twitter account posted the following picture late on Tuesday night:

That’s an image of six UConn grads and two Pitt grads with the title “$1.1 billion earned”, which, on the surface, doesn’t really make any sense, right? Those eight guys — names like Shabazz Napier and Ray Allen and Steven Adams and Rip Hamilton — have no connection to the Scarlet Knights beyond the occasional beating back when they were still in college.

It’s the Rutgers coaching staff that has a connection to them.

New head coach Steve Pikiell, who was hired from Stony Brook less than six months ago, used to be on the UConn staff. Karl Hobbs, who was an assistant at UConn for both Jim Calhoun and Kevin Ollie, joined Pikiell. Another assistant coach, Brandin Knight, a former star player at Pitt, was on Jamie Dixon’s staff with the Panthers last season.

None of those guys have coached a single Rutgers player yet.

And they won’t for another month, when practice finally starts.

So what do they have to pitch to recruits? How can they market the Rutgers program? How do they make it appealing to the loads of talent playing basketball in New Jersey high schools? By selling kids on what these coaches were able to accomplish with the players they actually have worked with, the stars from their former schools. If you don’t think that is what Rutgers’ new staff — or any new staff, for that matter — is using as a recruiting pitch then you don’t know a damn thing about recruiting.

Or Rutgers.

The program has no basketball history worth mentioning. None. But neither did SMU when Larry Brown took over, and he turned the Mustangs into a program perennially in or around the top 25 that literally beat out Kentucky for a recruit (Emmanuel Mudiay).

Do you think that Brown was selling players on SMU’s past or his past? Did he say “Come hoop at a football school in a football state” or did he brag about coaching Allen Iverson and the rings he won with Kansas in 1988 and Detroit in 2004?

The bottom line is this: The tweet missed its mark, highlighting player earnings over professional success, and the responses to it have been pretty hilarious.

But I also find it funny that people are up in arms about Rutgers promoting the players their brand new coaching staff has worked with, because if you don’t think that Jim Fox uses Steph Curry to recruit to Appalachian State or Rick Barnes references Kevin Durant in his pitches to Tennessee targets, I have a bridge in Brooklyn you can buy.

VIDEO: Western Michigan walk-on gets scholarship atop Eiffel Tower

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Yesterday, we brought you a video of South Dakota’s Logan Power, a walk-on heading into his third season in the program, receiving his scholarship while on the team’s trip to Spain.

Today, we have video of Western Michigan walk-on Ryan Wade getting a scholarship … at the top of the Eiffel Tower?

In a really cool moment, Steve Hawkins, WMU’s head coach, asks two players to try and read a piece of paper in French. He then has Wade read the translation of what the players were saying and … well … just watch:

What a cool moment.

If only there was a camera on the French people watching the crazy Americans sing and jump around a thousand feet in the air …