Doug McDermott

The Secondary Break: Thursday’s Links

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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.

Nigel Hayes’ comment on basketball brands hits on greater point

Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes (10) drives on Ohio State's Jae'Sean Tate (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, in Madison, Wis. Hayes had a team-high 21 points in Wisconsin's 79-68 win. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
AP Photo/Andy Manis
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Much is made about the ball when it comes to how the sport of basketball is played and rightfully so, as the ball is the most important piece of equipment. Different brands have different characteristics, and with college basketball programs being able to pick the ball they use for home games there are adjustments to be made during the season.

Wisconsin will play at No. 2 Maryland Saturday, meaning that in the days leading up to the game the Badgers needed to get used to the Under Armour basketball. The brand became a conversation point in the aftermath of Maryland’s win over No. 4 Iowa last month, with the Hawkeyes (while not blaming the ball for their loss) made note of the differences between the Under Armour ball and the Nike ball they use for their home games.

Thursday Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes offered up his observations on the basketball while also pointing out (albeit sarcastically) the goal of intercollegiate athletics.

“It’s definitely different,” Hayes said. “Personally, we don’t like it too much. I don’t like the Under Armour ball whatsoever. But that’s the way this amateur sports league is set up. We’re supposed to be having fun, but all the money is in these basketballs that colleges play with. But it’s an amateur sport, we’re just here for fun. It’s not really that serious. So I guess any ball should be OK.

“Maybe we should have a universal ball like the NBA. You don’t go to the Clippers’ stadium and play with a Nike and then go to Golden State and play with a Rawlings. But in this amateur sport of college, where money isn’t the goal — it’s the student education and experience that you get — we play with a million different basketballs.”

Hayes makes a good point here, and in regards to the NBA all hell would break loose under similar circumstances (remember the leather vs. microfiber composite controversy in 2006?). If these games are solely about fun and the college experience, wouldn’t having one ball used by all schools better fit that mission? This isn’t the biggest of deals when it comes to “amateur” athletics, as different basketball brands have been used for years.

But Hayes was able to take this situation and work it into the discussion of the goals of intercollegiate athletics. Is it about the experience? Or does the ability to profit, be it through a minor move such as using a particular ball or the more impactful step of moving from one conference to another, take precedence? Given the shifts that have occurred in college sports in recent years, it’s quite apparent that the search for additional revenue streams has won out.

Hayes did note that neither he nor his teammates would make excuses, saying that the team would simple “have to get used to” the unfamiliar basketball according to the Wisconsin State Journal. In the end, this was a good use of sarcasm by Hayes to make a greater point about the collegiate athletics machine he and his teammates are but minor parts of.

Marquette fan sends Providence money for missed free throw

Providence's Kris Dunn reacts to his shot during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against Villanova, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
AP Photo/Chris Szagola
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It goes without saying that sports can inspire some interesting promises, from players and coaches guaranteeing victory to fans making statements that hinge on the outcome of a particular game or play (see: tattoos celebrating a team’s triumphs before they’ve even won the game in question). For one Marquette fan, the need for Providence’s Kris Dunn to miss a free throw during Wednesday night’s game (which Marquette won in overtime) inspired him to make a promise that he intended to keep.

Jamey Schilling took the approach of yelling that he’d pay Dunn $10 if he missed the free throw. Sure enough Dunn missed the shot, and Schilling made good on his promise. But with players themselves unable to receive such funds due to NCAA rules, Schilling sent the check to the Providence athletic department.

Schilling’s gesture did not go unnoticed by Marquette either, as the school sent him a gift card to use in the Marquette Spirit Shop.

H/T For The Win