Late Night Snacks: No. 1 Arizona, No. 2 Syracuse remain unbeaten

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Arizona State 89, California 78 (OT)

The Sun Devils held a 16-point lead early in the second half, only to watch the Golden Bears storm back and take a three-point lead with 26 seconds remaining. Enter Jermaine Marshall, who hit a three-pointer to tie the game and send it into overtime. From there it was all Arizona State, with Marshall (22 points) and Jahii Carson (29 points, seven assists) leading the way offensively. As a result of the win Arizona State’s now tied with Cal for third place in the Pac-12, and the Golden Bears have now lost three straight with No. 1 Arizona visiting on Saturday.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) Northwestern 65, No. 14 Wisconsin 56

Wisconsin fell for two important reasons: they couldn’t hit a shot (26.3% FG), and they couldn’t slow down Northwestern in the second half either. Drew Crawford scored 30 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the way for the Wildcats, who scored 34 points over the game’s final 11:48.

2) Penn State 71, No. 24 Ohio State 70 (OT) 

A D.J. Newbill jumper in the final seconds of overtime gave the Nittany Lions the win in Columbus, with the Buckeyes suffering their fifth loss over the last six games. Newbill finished with 25 points and eight rebounds and Brandon Taylor added 19 for Penn State, which won despite receiving just eight points from Tim Frazier. Ohio State once again had issues offensively, and they need to get those concerns addressed quickly.

3) No. 6 Kansas 92, No. 16 Iowa State 81

One game after scoring 27 at TCU, Andrew Wiggins established a new career-high with 29 points in the Jayhawks’ win over Iowa State in Lawrence. Wiggins also grabbed seven rebounds on a night that saw all five Kansas starters score in double figures, with Perry Ellis adding 20 points and six rebounds. Iowa State’s now lost four of their last five, and you have to wonder if it’s time to get concerned about the Cyclones despite their talent.

STARRED

1) Frantz Massenat (Drexel) 

Scored 32 points and dished out nine assists (no turnovers) in the Dragons’ 77-74 win over Hofstra.

2) Drew Crawford (Northwestern)

Scored 30 points on 10-for-15 shooting from the field and grabbed eight rebounds in the Wildcats’ 65-56 win at No. 14 Wisconsin.

3) D.J. Balentine (Evansville) 

Scored 43 points (10-for-19 FG, 19-for-21 FT) in the Purple Aces’ 95-81 loss at Northern Iowa.

STRUGGLED

1) Wisconsin

The Badgers shot 26.3% from the field, with non-Ben Brust starters shooting 7-for-35, in their 65-56 home loss to Wisconsin.

2) Tyrone Garland (La Salle)

Garland shot 1-for-14 from the field in the Explorers’ 69-47 loss at George Washington.

3) Texas A&M

The Aggies shot 35.6% from the field and finished with more turnovers (18) than made field goals (16) in their 80-52 loss to a South Carolina team that entered the game winless in SEC play.

NOTABLES

  • No. 1 Arizona had its hands full with Stanford but remained undefeated, beating the Cardinal 60-57 in Palo Alto. Defense was the difference, as Arizona limited Stanford to just nine points over the final 12:34.
  • No. 2 Syracuse was also on the road, and Tyler Ennis’ 18 points led the Orange to a 67-57 win at Wake Forest. C.J. Fair added 16 and eight rebounds and Jerami Grant ten and 12 rebounds for Syracuse, which hosts No. 17 Duke on Saturday.
  • Wisconsin and Ohio State weren’t the only ranked teams to fall, with No. 21 UMass falling 78-65 at St. Bonaventure. Charlon Kloof led five Bonnies in double figures with 14 points.
  • A Sam Dower three-pointer with 1.9 seconds remaining gave Gonzaga a 54-52 win at Santa Clara.
  • Marcus Paige scored 19 points and James Michael McAdoo added 17 as North Carolina won 78-65 at Georgia Tech.
  • Albany handed Stony Brook its first loss in America East play, beating the Seawolves 77-67 with Gary Johnson scoring 19 points and Sam Rowley adding 17 and 11 to lead the way.
  • Boston University blew a 22-point lead in their game against Army but rebounded to win 86-81 in overtime, keeping the Terriers a game behind American in the Patriot League standings.
  • Jordan McRae and Tennessee rebounded from disappointing performances on Saturday, with McRae scoring 26 points to lead the Volunteers to an 86-70 win over Ole Miss.
  • With Green Bay’s Alec Brown out with an injured shoulder Valparaiso took advantage, beating the Phoenix 75-60 with head coach Bryce Drew’s number being retired as well.

 

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 19 Saint Louis 77, Richmond 57
  • No. 22 Memphis 69, UCF 59

Memphis lands commitment from 2018 center Connor Vanover

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Memphis picked up its first commitment in the Class of 2018 on Wednesday night as unique center prospect Connor Vanover announced his decision on Twitter.

At 7-foot-2, Vanover brings elite size to the interior for the Tigers and he’s also skilled enough that he was a 43 percent three-point shooter during his stint playing with Pro Skills in the Nike EYBL this spring. Although Vanover needs to add strength and athleticism to adapt to the college level, he simply has size that you can’t teach. Pair that size with an intriguing perimeter jumper and it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Tubby Smith is able to develop Vanover the next few years.

A three-star prospect according to Rivals, Vanover averaged 9.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game during the spring. Originally from Arkansas, Vanover is spending his senior season of high school ball at prep school powerhouse Findlay Prep.

Bill Self unsure of how long he will continue to coach

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Kansas head coach Bill Self is one of the most decorated college basketball coaches of all time.

Recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this month, Self has won a record 13 consecutive Big 12 regular-season championships while also claiming a national title for the Jayhawks during his storied career.

But while most legendary coaches in contemporary college basketball have stayed around to coach well into their late 60s or early 70s, the 54-year-old Self doesn’t necessarily see his career playing out that way.

Speaking with ESPN.com reporter Myron Medcalf on Wednesday, Self acknowledged that he’s thinking about potentially retiring once his next contract ends after the 2021-22 season. With five more years left on his current deal, that would mean that Self would be retiring before he would even turn 60.

“I’ve said all along that if I could go to my late 50s, that’d be good for me,” Self said to Medcalf. “Now that I’m getting close to my late 50s, I’m like, ‘Well…’ but my contract runs until I’m 59, so I’ve got five more years left. I definitely want to do that. Then whatever happens after that I’d be happy with whatever. But I don’t want to [coach too late].”

While Hall of Fame coaches like Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (72 years old), Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (70 years old) and North Carolina’s Roy Williams (67 years old) are showing no signs of slowing down, Self acknowledged to Medcalf that coach, and specifically recruiting, has started to take its toll on him.

“With recruiting the way that it is, it just wears you down,” Self said to Medcalf.

With Kansas pursuing so many potential one-and-done prospects over the past few seasons, it means that Self usually has to recruit sizable recruiting classes

Self is certainly entitled to do what he wants with his career and his life but it would be a shame to see one of the game’s greats hang it up at that point in his career. Potentially retiring at that age means that Self won’t chase 1,000 wins or any additional longevity records

Ohio State lands second pledge in two days with 2018 guard Duane Washington

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Ohio State stayed hot on the recruiting trail on Wednesday as the Buckeyes landed a commitment from Class of 2018 guard Duane Washington.

The 6-foot-3 Washington is the second commitment for Ohio State and new head coach Chris Holtmann in the last two days after four-star forward Jaedon LeDee pledged to the Buckeyes on Tuesday.

One of the better shooters in the Class of 2018, Washington averaged 14.9 points per game on tremendous shooting splits (48% FG, 87% FT, 45% 3PT) playing with The Family in the Nike EYBL this spring. A Michigan native who now resides in California, Washington gives Ohio State a much-needed guard commitment in the Class of 2018.

With the Buckeyes needing to fill a lot of scholarships due to roster turnover, Washington is a solid start to their perimeter class. While Washington isn’t likely to play point guard, he can play multiple perimeter spots and should be a solid addition to the Buckeye rotation.

Syracuse walk-on accused of sexual assault

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Dominick Parker, an 18-year old freshman who was added to the Syracuse roster as a walk-on just 12 days ago, was arrested last Friday and charged with sexual abuse in the first degree, reports Syracuse.com.

Parker is accused of having sexual contact with an 18-year old female student while she was incapable of giving consent. His name and picture have been removed from the Syracuse athletics website.

“Sexual and relationship violence is not tolerated at Syracuse University,” the school said in a statement. “We are now doing all that we can to support and provide assistance to those affected by the alleged incident. As this is an ongoing investigation, Syracuse University will not be providing further comment.”

Wichita State to sell beer at Koch Arena

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As if it wasn’t already hard enough to win games at Koch Arena.

Starting this season, Wichita State fans will be able to buy beer during games at their home arena, a fact that should ensure that the raucous home environs that have made the Shockers so difficult to beat in Wichita remains the same.

That’s not a bad thing to add to a home court advantage while making the move into a new conference, the American, for the 2017-18 season.

Once a rarity, beer at college sporting events in a growing trend. Minnesota, Florida and Texas, among a number of others have added alcohol sales in recent years. Given the money that would seem likely to be generated, it’s a trend that will probably become even more pervasive in college athletics.

Let’s just make sure that everyone partakes in moderation.