Prairie View v UCLA

Late Night Snacks: Arizona survives, UCLA wins, Petteway goes crazy


GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 1 Arizona 65, Utah 56

The Wildcats put together one of the worst games that we’ll see them play this season and they still managed to pull away from Utah down the stretch, winning comfortably. A better-than-you-think Utah team jumped out to a 12-2 lead and never went away, taking a 49-47 lead at one point in the second half, but Nick Johnson sparked a 14-2 run that served as a finishing kick.

Johnson led the way with 22 points proving, once again, that he is as under-appreciated as anyone in the country. Aaron Gordon was 3-for-13 from the floor and 4-for-10 from the line, but still mustered up a double-double.


1) UCLA 65, Cal 56: Oregon lost five games in a row. Colorado lost Spencer Dinwiddie. Cal lost to USC. That means that it’s now the Bruins’ turn to make a run at being the second-best team in the Pac-12, and they started things off by beating those Cal Bears in Pauley Pavilion on Sunday night. David Wear led five scorers in double-figures with 18 points and Kyle Anderson added 17 points, 12 boards and five assists.

2) Oregon 71, Washington State 44: The Ducks snapped a five-game losing streak to win their second game in the Pac-12 thanks to 20 points off the bench from Jason Calliste. Oregon gets UCLA in Eugene next week.

3) North Carolina 80, Clemson 61: The Tar Heels righted the ship, at least for the moment, as they ran Clemson out of the gym. The Tigers are still 0-forever against North Carolina in Chapel Hill. James Michael McAdoo led the way with 22 points.


1) Tarran Petteway, Nebraska: Petteway went for 35 points as the Huskers knocked off Minnesota.

2) Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati: Kilpatrick scored 29 points and hit the game-winning free throws as No. 15 Cincinnati avoided an upset at Temple.

3) Billy Baron, Canisius: Baron popped off for 38 points in a win over Marist.


1) Tracy Abrams and Joseph Bertrand, Illinois: The two combined to shoot 2-for-15 from the floor as the Illinois lost their sixth straight game to Indiana, 56-46. To make matters worse, Abrams left with back spasms.

2) Marcus Georges-Hunt, Georgia Tech: The second-leading scorer for the Yellow Jackets was 3-for-14 from the floor in an overtime loss to N.C. State.

3) Jon Severe, Fordham: Fordham’s leading scorer was 2-for-14 from the floor and finished with just seven points as the Rams were run off the floor at No. 13 UMass.

Michigan State playing zone? It’s possible

Tom Izzo
Associated Press
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Throughout Tom Izzo’s tenure at Michigan State the team’s half-court man-to-man defense has been a staple, and the Spartans have generally proven difficult to have a high rate of offensive success against. The reliance on that defense is why Izzo’s conversations earlier this summer about using some token full-court pressure due to the shortening of the shot clock caught some people off-guard.

According to the Detroit Free Press there’s another wrinkle the Spartans may use, and it’s likely that this wrinkle will show up more often than the full-court press. During Friday’s opening practice the Spartans worked on a 2-3 zone, and Izzo wants his assistants to make sure the team works on the defense consistently throughout the season.

That’s also why zone in general isn’t going to get heavy play at MSU, but having it as a tool could be beneficial — especially in games with touch fouls on the perimeter called in droves.

“I told (my assistant coaches): ‘You hold me accountable to working on it every day some’ … I have a tendency to drift off on that, and I don’t want to drift off on it,” Izzo said of the 2-3 zone. “But we will be, rest assured, a 90-some percent man-to-man team still and hopefully take some of those principles to zone.”

As noted in the story one of the risks in using pressure is allowing quality shots, which is why it’s unlikely that Michigan State will go to it. But even with Izzo vowing that his team will work on the zone, that doesn’t mean they’ll be playing it as often as Syracuse does.

Man-to-man has been Michigan State’s staple and it will continue to be. But it doesn’t hurt to look for other ways to keep opponents from getting the looks they want, especially if teams have five fewer seconds to find those shots.

Virginia used 3-on-3 to adjust to new shot clock

Malcolm Brogdon
Associated Press
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When the college basketball rules committee made the decision to trim the shot clock down to 30 second from 35, one reason for the switch was the desire to improve offensive production. With offensive numbers at their lowest point in years, proponents of the move see the shot clock change as a necessary move if scoring is to improve.

Whether or not that winds up being the case will be seen throughout the upcoming season, but teams are still having to make adjustments during the preseason.

Virginia, which has played at a snail’s pace (and with great success, mind you) in recent years, made some adjustments to their summer work in anticipation of playing with a 30-second shot clock. One adjustment was more games of 3-on-3 with a 15-second shot clock, which forced all involved to be more decisive in their offensive decision-making.

While the pack-line defense will always be a staple of Tony Bennett’s teams, the feeling in Charlottesville is that they’ve got the offensive firepower needed to both play faster and be more efficient offensively than they were in 2014-15 (29th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency per Ken Pomeroy). One of the players who will lead the way is senior guard Malcolm Brogdon, who led the team in scoring and was a first team All-ACC selection, and he discussed the team’s outlook with Mike Barber of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

And even though Anderson’s highlight-reel shot blocking was the thing that frequently fueled fast-breaks for U.Va. last season, Brogdon and [Anthony] Gill said they expect this year’s team to actually push the tempo even more.

“I think we’re going to be a team that gets out and runs more,” Brogdon said. “I think we’ll have three guards on the floor, most of the time, will be able to handle the ball as a point guard and get out in transition. I think we’ll play a lot faster.”

Brogdon and Gill are two of the team’s three returning starters with point guard London Perrantes being the other, and the Cavaliers also return most of their reserves from last year’s rotation. That experience will help them on both ends of the floor as they prepare for a run at a third straight ACC regular season title. And in theory it also allows them to extend themselves a bit more offensively than they did a season ago.