No. 18 Louisville notches their biggest win of the season at UConn

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The story after No. 18 Louisville’s 76-64 win over UConn on Saturday night was that Kevin Ollie was ejected in impressive fashion.

He went out in a blaze of glory, sprinting down the sideline, getting rung up by official Mike Stuart twice and slowly stalking and staring the refs down as he was escorted off the floor by assistant Kevin Freeman and a police officer.

If you’re going to get tossed from a game, it might as well me in memorable fashion.

And while the topic of discussion afterwards centered on Ollie’s Jim Calhoun-esque tantrum, the importance of this game stretched far beyond a simple ejection.

Louisville finally has a quality win.

Entering Saturday, the most impressive thing that the Cardinals had done this season was beat SMU. Or Houston. Or win at Rutgers. Or Central Florida. Or … you get my point, right? Rick Pitino’s club, for all of its ‘reigning national champs’ glory, had lost the three biggest games they had played this season. One of those losses, to Memphis, came at the Yum! Center.

I’m not saying winning at UConn is an elite win, either. The Huskies are going to be up and down all season long. That’s the nature of the beast when you rely on Deandre Daniels and Ryan Boatright as secondary scorers. When those two are playing well and Shabazz Napier doesn’t have to do everything himself, UConn can beat anyone.

On Saturday, Louisville shut those two down. Daniels finished 1-for-9 from the floor. Boatright was 4-for-14. It wasn’t pretty, but it was at least partially caused by Louisville.

Here’s the most important thing to remember from this win: the Cardinals did this on their own. They went into UConn’s raucous arena — Gampel Pavilion, which is in Storrs and much tougher for opponents that the XL Center — and beat the Huskies. They were spurred on by a poor moment of officiating, but even if the stripes call a foul on Wayne Blackshear and Kevin Ollie doesn’t get tossed, UConn still probably doesn’t win that game.

The difference was already nine points by then. The Cardinals had made their run.

They had done what they needed to do to get themselves their best win of the season.

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.

 

N.C. State lands second transfer of day with Utah’s Devon Daniels

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A big recruiting day for N.C. State continued on Saturday afternoon as Utah transfer and guard Devon Daniels pledged to the Wolfpack.

Earlier in the day, N.C. State and new head coach Kevin Keatts landed another quality transfer in UNC Wilmington guard C.J. Bryce.

The 6-foot-5 Daniels just finished his freshman season with the Utes in which he put up 9.9 points 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Just like Bryce, Daniels will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer regulations before he has three more seasons of eligibility.

N.C. State now has two potential starters on the perimeter for the 2018-19 season with the addition of Bryce and Daniels as it will be interesting to see what kind of talent the Wolfpack can get around them.