Doug McDermott relishes “incredible moment” from St. John’s win (Omaha World-Herald)
After struggling offensively in Creighton’s win over Georgetown, Doug McDermott found his groove on Tuesday night against St. John’s. McDermott scored 39 points, capping the game with a three-pointer with 2.5 seconds remaining to give the Bluejays the three-point win.
Sooners doing something no other team in college basketball is doing (The Oklahoman)
Oklahoma has worked its way into the national rankings due to the improved play of starters such as Cameron Clark and Buddy Hield, and the addition of Gonzaga transfer Ryan Spangler. Lon Kruger’s team has also been fortunate in the health department, as they’re the lone Big 12 team to use the same starting lineup for every game this season.
Buffaloes try to reinvent themselves without Spencer Dinwiddie (USA Today)
When point guard Spencer Dinwiddie went down with a torn ACL, Colorado’s chances of contending for a Pac-12 title took a serious hit. But the team hasn’t looked to adjust its goals, instead working to reinvent itself using the remaining pieces with the hope of getting things together for the stretch run.
Seton Hall points fingers after loss to Butler (New York Post)
Seton Hall’s game against Butler on Wednesday represented an opportunity for the Pirates, with a win against a team that has struggled in conference play possibly getting them back on track. Instead Seton Hall lost, and after the game there were accusations of selfish play with time running out for this current group.
Ten most riveting college basketball games of the modern era (GeorgeRaveling.com)
Longtime college basketball writer Dick “Hoops” Weiss has seen a lot of basketball throughout his career, and with this being the case he put together his list of the ten most compelling games of the modern era of college basketball.
St. Anthony’s Hurley, still without a gym, slams the NBA (MSG Varsity)
The job that Bob Hurley Sr. has done at St. Anthony HS in Jersey City, N.J. has been nothing short of remarkable, with the program winning state and national titles without the help of sparkling facilities or a windfall of donations. The current team is without a gym to practice in much less use for home games, and the fact that they aren’t allowed to use the Nets practice facility when the team isn’t there has the coach upset.
Duke stars Hood, Parker, get boost from Dawkins, defense (Durham Herald-Sun)
While Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker have led the way for No. 17 Duke, the fact of the matter is that they need help if the Blue Devils are to make a run at winning the ACC. And on Monday night they received that help from Andre Dawkins, who hit six three-pointers in Duke’s 80-65 win at No. 18 Pittsburgh. The key for Dawkins now is to be a factor consistently.
Arizona landed their first commitment in the Class of 2017 on Friday night as point guard Alex Barcello pledged to Sean Miller and the Wildcats.
Barcello is a 6-foot-2 point guard from Tempe who plays his high school ball for Corona del Sol. He committed to the Wildcats on an official visit to the Tucson campus.
Barcello is a borderline top 100 prospect who sits at No. 123 in the Rivals top 150. He’s known for his ability to shoot, and he’s more of a combo-guard — i.e. shoot-first — than a point guard at times, but he’s a nice pickup and projects as a solid four-year player for the Wildcats.
Virginia, Indiana, Stanford and Butler were the other four schools on Barcello’s list.
Alex O’Connell knew exactly where he wanted to play his college ball, which is why, just two days after picking up an offer from Coach K and the Blue Devils, he became Duke’s first recruit in the Class of 2017.
O’Connell announced the on twitter on Friday afternoon:
O’Connell is a four-star prospect from Georgia that had a terrific summer, going from being a borderline top 75 prospect to a player that caught the interest of Duke, who, along with Kentucky, sit atop the college recruiting hierarchy. He’s an explosively athletic and lanky 6-foot-6 wing with three-point range on his jumper. He needs to add some weight and some strength — he’s listed as a crisp 175 pounds — but he has the tools, and the swagger, to develop into a very effective player in the ACC.
Is he a one-and-done prospect?
Probably not. In fact, since 2010, Duke has landed just two players that were rated lower than O’Connell: Antonio Vrankovic and Jack White. If you know who both of them are, you’re probably either Jon Scheyer or lying.
But what O’Connell is is a kid who put in the work to get better this past year and who has the skill set, the physical tools and work ethic to continue to improve. He may not be on Grayson Allen’s trajectory, but O’Connell has the makings of being an impact player for the Blue Devils for three or four years.
Shaka Smart has already landed himself a contract extension at Texas.
The school, according to the Austin American-Statesman, has given Shaka a one-year extension — through the 2022-23 season — and bumped his salary up to a cool $3 million, a raise of $100,000 annually.
Smart’s Longhorns went 20-13 last season and lost on a half court buzzer beater from Northern Iowa’s Paul Jespersen. It will be tough for Smart to match the success that he had last season, specifically because he lost senior point guard Isaiah Taylor to the professional ranks.
That said, the former VCU head man has been reeling in quite a bit of talent from the state of Texas — namely, Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen — and is not all that far from turning the Longhorns back into a relevant member of the Big 12 title race.
Another marquee, early season event is on the books for the college basketball season as four potential tournament teams will be squaring off at the Toyota Center in Houston on Dec. 17th.
The highlight of the double-header, which has been dubbed the Lone Star Shootout, will probably end up being Arizona vs. Texas A&M. The Wildcats are a Pac-12 contender and a borderline top 10 team as we enter the season, and while the Aggies will have work to do replacing the seniors they lost off of last season’s roster, they’re a borderline top 25 team.
The other matchup will feature a pair of former Southwest Conference rivals facing off in Texas and Arkansas. Texas will be talented but young while Arkansas may actually have the best player on the floor in Moses Kingsley. What will make this matchup interesting is that both Mike Anderson and Shaka Smart are known for being coaches that prefer a full court pressing system.
“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to play in front of our fans at the Toyota Center in Houston,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said in a statement. “It is one of the most important areas in this state as it relates to our recruiting and fan base.
Five-star 2017 guard Lonnie Walker cuts list to five schools
Regarded as the No. 26 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, Walker played with Team Final in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer as he averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Walker shot 45 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and 72 percent from the free-throw line.
An efficient scorer who is learning to drive with both hands, Walker is very talented and the type of guard who might also be able to handle a bit as well.