Illinois’ John Groce expresses regret over outburst Saturday vs. Michigan State

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After starting Big Ten play with wins over Indiana and Penn State, Illinois has hit a rough patch in the form of a four-game losing streak. The most recent of those defeats came on Saturday night, with the Fighting Illini dropping a 78-62 decision to No. 3 Michigan State in Champaign.

On what was a frustrating night head coach John Groce allowed his emotions to get the best of him, earning a technical foul for his efforts. On Wednesday Groce expressed regret about his outburst, which included Groce throwing his jacket in anger and ultimately being hit with a technical foul.

“For me, my entire life — passion, energy, emotion is a positive thing,” Groce said according to the Associated Press. “The difference between emotion and emotional is two letters. … I broke that line of emotion and, the two-letter difference, emotional.”

Groce also noted that he he didn’t provide his players with the best example of how to handle tough moments on the floor. The outburst didn’t cost his team the game, but Groce was right to note that his behavior wasn’t the best way to handle things regardless of his issues with the officiating. And the “do as I say, not as I do” approach isn’t a good one to use when teaching any pupil, be it a small child or a college athlete.

Next up for Illinois is a game against No. 17 Ohio State Thursday night in Columbus, with both teams in need of a win to turn things around. The Buckeyes have lost four straight as well, and like the Fighting Illini offensive struggles have played a role in the lack of success.

Illinois has shot no better than 38.5% (against Purdue) in any of its last four games while Ohio State’s best offensive performance came in their home loss to Iowa, as the Buckeyes managed to shoot 44.6% from the field. Ohio State, who doesn’t have the marquee scorer that last season’s group possessed (Deshaun Thomas), has also allowed each of its last four opponents to shoot 45.6% or better from the field with both Minnesota and Nebraska shooting at least 50%.

While the matchup represents opportunity for both teams it will also be a challenge, especially for an Illinois program that has lost its last four games in Columbus (last win: 2009).

VIDEO: Zion Williamson throws down a vicious putback

(YouTube)
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Zion Williamson made another highlight-reel play on Saturday outside of Atlanta as he threw down a vicious putback dunk at the Best of the South.

The five-star prospect has returned from a minor knee injury this spring to look like his old self in July as he’s entertained packed gyms of fans and college coaches the last two weeks.

The Class of 2018 star is currently regarded as the No. 3 overall prospect in the latest Rivals.com national rankings.

(h/t: Courtside Films)

Five-star 2018 point guard Darius Garland cuts list to six schools

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Five-star Class of 2018 point guard Darius Garland revealed the final six schools that he’s considering on Friday.

The N0. 12 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to Rivals, the 6-foot-0 Garland is one of the top floor generals in the nation as he is still considering Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and Vanderbilt.

A native of Nashville, Garland is a potentially elite perimeter threat at the college level as he’s one of the more deadly three-point marksmen in the nation.

Garland spent this spring and summer playing with Bradley Beal Elite in the Nike EYBL as he averaged 16.8 points and 4.8 assists per game in the league this spring.

VIDEO: Kentucky’s John Calipari participates in the #DriveByDunkChallenge

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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The #DriveByDunkChallenge is sweeping the nation on social media this summer.

Rules to participate are pretty simple:

  1. Drive around in your vehicle.
  2. Find a basketball hoop (or a basketball ring if you’re Ted Cruz) on a random driveway.
  3. Run out of your car and dunk on that random hoop while a friend films.
  4. Run back to your car and drive away.

Let Anthony Davis show you how it works:

Pretty simple, right?

The #DriveByDunkChallenge isn’t raising money or awareness for ALS like the #IceBucketChallenge did three years ago, but it’s something harmless and fun to do to pass the time during the dog days of summer.

Sensing an opportunity to join an Internet craze, while also following in the footsteps of his former player Kentucky star, Wildcats head coach John Calipari got involved with his own dunk late Friday night.

And his video is much funnier than I thought it would be.

While most #DriveByDunkChallenge videos are done by healthy and spry teenagers who are cruising neighborhoods during the day, Calipari, and his hip replacement, got in on the fun with a late-night dunk.

I love that Calipari ditched the ball behind his back while running back to the car after the dunk.

Most people who participate in the challenge usually have their own ball and keep it with them through completion. But Calipari either picked up a random ball in the driveway or just he lost the handle with his own ball and had a turnover.

The next time Calipari goes hard on one of his point guards for losing control and playing too fast, remember this moment.

Creighton’s Khyri Thomas posterizes defender

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Creighton rising junior wing Khyri Thomas, like several of his teammates, are taking part in the Omaha Summer League this offseason.

On Thursday night, the 6-foot-3, 205-lb. Thomas eviscerated a defender with a one-handed posterization.

Thomas is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign for the Bluejays. He started all 35 games, averaging 12.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Aside from the increase in offensive production, Thomas served as one of the top defenders in the Big East. He shared the Big East Defensive Player of the Year Award with Villanova’s Josh Hart and Mikal Bridges.

Zion Williamson throws down 360 windmill dunk

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Zion Williamson added another jaw-dropping dunk in the layup lines on the first night of the second live evaluation period.

Williamson and his SC Supreme team took on Each 1 Teach 1 at the Hoopseen Best of the South at the LakePoint Sporting Community in greater Atlanta.

The 6-foot-7 power forward threw down a 360 windmill dunk during his pregame routines.

Each 1 Teach 1 would pick up a 70-67 victory over SC Supreme. Williamson would end with a monster stat line of 37 points and seven rebounds.