Late Night Snacks: No. 21 Michigan wins ninth straight

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 21 Michigan 80, No. 3 Michigan State 75

Michigan won its ninth straight game on Saturday night, using an 8-0 run to take control late in regulation. Nik Stauskas and Derrick Walton Jr. scored 19 points apiece for the Wolverines, who are now the Big Ten’s lone undefeated team. Gary Harris scored 27 to lead the way for Michigan State, but not having forwards Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne proved costly for the Spartans.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) No. 4 Villanova 94, Marquette 85 (OT)

The Wildcats could have gone in the tank following a poor charge call on Tony Chennault at the end of regulation but they didn’t, ending Marquette’s 20-game conference home win streak in the process. Ryan Arcidiacono put together one of his best games as a distributor, finishing with 20 points, 11 assists and no turnovers.

2) No. 7 San Diego State 74, Utah State 69 (OT) 

Xavier Thames scored a career-high 31 points to lead the Aztecs to a tough win in Logan. Spencer Butterfield’s three-pointer with 2.5 seconds remaining in regulation sent the game to overtime but it was all Thames in the extra session, as he scored ten of San Diego State’s 17 points.

3) Texas 74, No. 24 Baylor 60

Isaiah Taylor scored 27 points to lead the Longhorns to their fifth consecutive win while dropping the reeling Bears to 1-5 in Big 12 play. Rick Barnes has a better mix of players this season, and it’s paid off in a big way for the man who began this season on just about every “hot seat” list.

STARRED

1) Aaric Murray (Texas Southern)

26 points and 19 rebounds in the Tigers’ 94-56 win over Mississippi Valley State.

2) J.J. Mann (Belmont) 

34 points, eight rebounds and three assists in the Bruins’ 84-81 win over Eastern Kentucky.

3) Tristan Carey (Longwood) 

Carey scored 37 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the Lancers’ 88-85 win at Charleston Southern.  

STRUGGLED

1) Jordan McRae (Tennessee) 

Shot 1-for-15 from the field in the Volunteers’ 67-41 loss at No. 6 Florida.

2) Colorado 

The Buffaloes shot 9-for-24 from the foul line in their 72-51 loss at Arizona State.

3) J.J. Avila (Colorado State)

Avila shot 1-for-12 from the field, scoring eight points and grabbing 12 rebounds in a 68-66 loss to New Mexico.

NOTABLES

  • No. 2 Syracuse and No. 5 Wichita State both picked up road wins to remain undefeated, with the Orange beating Miami 64-52 and the Shockers outclassing Drake 78-61.
  • No. 18 Duke shot just 30.5% from the field, but they forced 17 turnovers in their 78-56 win over Florida State. The win is Mike Krzyzewski’s 900th at Duke.
  • No. 16 Iowa State ended its three-game losing streak with an 81-75 win over No. 22 Kansas State. Melvin Ejim led the way with 20 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.
  • Devin Thomas scored 21 points on 10-for-11 shooting as Wake Forest remained undefeated at home with a 65-58 win over Notre Dame.
  • No. 6 Florida whipped Tennessee 67-41, limiting the Volunteers to 26.8% shooting from the field and 1-for-19 from three.
  • Larry Nance Jr.’s jump hook in the final seconds of overtime gave Wyoming a 64-62 win over Nevada. Nance finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds and three assists, thoroughly outplaying Nevada’s A.J. West.
  • On a night that featured the retirement of Eddie House’s jersey, Arizona State beat Colorado with Jahii Carson’s 18 points, six rebounds and four assists leading the way. Colorado shot 9-for-24 from the foul line.
  • Doug McDermott scored just 14 points but it was balance that led Creighton to the 76-63 win over Georgetown. Five players scored in double figures, with Will Artino (14 points) and Devin Brooks (11) combining to score 25 off the bench.
  • Kevin Pangos scored 24 points and Sam Dower added 18 in Gonzaga’s 84-69 win over BYU.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

Reports: Duke’s Frank Jackson to declare for draft

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Frank Jackson will declare for the draft but will not be signing with an agent, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Previous reports had indicated that Jackson “planned” to return to school, and that still may end up proving true. But the combination of Trevon Duval potentially enrolling at Duke combined with the fact that there is zero downside to going through the draft process, it makes sense for Jackson to declare.

Jackson averaged 10.9 points and shot 39.5 percent from three. He’s projected as a mid-first round pick in 2018 by Draft Express, but at 6-foot-3, he’s too small to play the two in the NBA and has yet to prove he can be a point guard.

Jackson is the fourth Duke player to declare, following Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles III and Luke Kennard. All three signed with an agent. Grayson Allen and Marques Bolden are both returning to school.

VIDEO: Top 2018 recruits Zion Williamson and Romeo Langford go head-to-head at adidas

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This weekend is the first live evaluation period of the spring recruiting calendar as college coaches from all over the country are scouting (and babysitting) the top recruits in the Class of 2018 and 2019.

Friday night the adidas Gauntlet in Dallas opened with a marquee matchup of two star players as five-star forward Zion Williamson and five-star guard Romeo Langford went head-to-head in what should be one of the best games of the spring.

Most scouting services have Williamson and Langford as the No. 2 and No. 3 overall prospects in the Class of 2018 as the duo didn’t disappoint in front of the huge crowd in Fort Worth.

Williamson helped his team to a win with 26 points and seven rebounds while Langford had 28 points, four rebounds and four assists. You’ll be hearing plenty about both of these guys over the next few months as both are still wide open in the recruting process.

(H/t: Ball is Life)

Report: Coppin State hires Juan Dixon as new head coach

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Coppin State has hired former Maryland star guard Juan Dixon to be its next head coach, according to a report from Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun.

The 38-year-old Dixon is best known for leading Maryland to the 2002 national championship as he was the Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four that year. Now Dixon will have a chance to lead a Division I program for the first time.

Dixon spent seven years in the NBA and also played professionally in Europe before joining the Maryland coaching staff in 2013 as a special assistant to head coach Mark Turgeon. Not retained by Maryland after the 2015-16 season, Dixon took the head coaching job for the women’s team at the University of the District of Columbia last season as the Division II program finished only  3-25.

Coppin State finished last season with an 8-24 record after losing its first 12 games of the season. While Dixon will generate some positive local buzz given his background, he’s going to have an uphill battle trying to rebuild that program.

Nebraska scores important Class of 2017 commitment from four-star guard Thomas Allen

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Nebraska landed an important commitment from the Class of 2017 on Friday as four-star guard Thomas Allen is heading to Lincoln next season.

The 6-foot-1 guard is considered the No. 99 overall prospect by Rivals in the national Class of 2017 rankings as Allen was previously committed to N.C. State before head coach Mark Gottfried was fired.

A scorer with a good amount of skill, Allen has a chance to come in and make an immediate impact at Nebraska as he can play a bit on or off the ball. Allen should help offset the loss of senior Tai Webster in the Husker backcourt.

Allen joins wing Nana Akenten in Nebraska’s Class of 2017 recruiting efforts.

North Carolina lands four-star Class of 2017 big man Garrison Brooks

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North Carolina pulled in a late Class of 2017 commitment to begin the weekend as the Tar Heels secured a pledge from four-star Class of 2017 big man Garrison Brooks.

The 6-foot-9, 225-pound Brooks was previously committed to Mississippi State, but he was granted his release this spring to explore other opportunities.

The Tar Heels pounced as they’re getting a low-post threat who could develop into a potential double-double threat. A solid rebounder who isn’t afraid to play with physicality, Brooks has a chance to earn some immediate rotation minutes with seniors like Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks exhausting their eligibility.

Brooks is regarded as the No. 120 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, according to Rivals, as he is a four-star prospect. The native of Auburn, Alabama joins a North Carolina recruiting class that includes point guard Jalek Felton, shooting guard Andrew Platek and big men Brandon Huffman and Sterling Manley.