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Super Bowl Snacks: No. 10 Michigan, No. 18 Pittsburgh fall on Super Sunday

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GAME OF THE DAY: Virginia 48, No. 18 Pittsburgh 45

It wasn’t pretty, and the game lacked the offensive fireworks seen last night at the Carrier Dome, but the Cavaliers and Panthers staged a tough battle in Pittsburgh. The difference was a Malcolm Brogdon three-pointer with less than a second remaining, moving Virginia to 8-1 in ACC play. Brogdon’s been a key figure for Virginia during conference play, as he’s reached double figures in all nine games after going scoreless in that blowout loss at Tennessee. As for Pitt, they need to get Lamar Patterson back on track. In losses to Duke and Virginia this week he shot a combined 7-for-28 from the field, a far cry from the 50% clip he’s been shooting on the season.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) Indiana 63, No. 10 Michigan 52

Yogi Ferrell scored 27 points, shooting 8-for-10 from the field, to lead the way offensively for the Hoosiers. However the story for Indiana was their defending of Nik Stauskas, limiting him to six shot attempts (one make) and six points in the loss. Michigan, which is now tied for first in the Big Ten with Michigan State, will be fine. But for Indiana, this was a result they really needed after losing at Nebraska a couple days ago.

2) Oregon State 71, UCLA 67

UCLA entered this game with an opportunity to grab sole possession of second place in the Pac-12, and with Arizona’s Brandon Ashley injuring his foot who knows what could have been possible. But Jordan Adams missed all nine of his shot attempts and Oregon State’s Hallice Cooke led five Beavers in double figures with 20 points, resulting in defeat for the visiting Bruins. Now UCLA’s tied for second with Cal, with five teams (including Oregon State) a game behind in fourth.

3) No. 13 Cincinnati 50, USF 45 

The Bearcats struggled offensively against the Bulls, shooting just 33.3% from the field and 4-for-17 from beyond the arc. But that didn’t matter as Mick Cronin’s team once again made the plays they needed to make in crunch time, moving to 10-0 in American play (21-2 overall) as a result. Sean Kilpatrick scored 18 points and Justin Jackson added 15, six rebounds and three blocks to lead the way for the Bearcats.

STARRED

1) Yogi Ferrell (Indiana) 

Ferrell scored 27 points, hitting seven of his eight shots from beyond the arc, to lead the Hoosiers to a 63-52 win over Michigan. He was also the primary defender assigned the task of slowing down Nik Stauskas.

2) Jordan Aaron (Milwaukee)

Aaron scored 23 points to lead five Panthers, who beat Oakland 86-64, in double figures. Teammate Matt Tiby scored ten points and grabbed 17 rebounds.

3) Hallice Cooke (Oregon State) 

Cooke scored 14 of his career-high 20 points in the second half of Oregon State’s 71-67 win over UCLA.

STRUGGLED

1) Lamar Patterson (Pittsburgh)

Patterson scored ten points but he did so on 3-for-14 shooting in the Panthers’ 48-45 loss to Virginia. Over his last two games Patterson’s shot 7-for-28 from the field.

2) Nik Stauskas (Michigan) 

Michigan’s leading scorer attempted just six shots on Sunday, making one and scoring six points in a 63-52 loss at Indiana.

3) Langston Hall (Mercer) 

Hall shot 1-for-7 from the field, accounting for four points in the Bears’ 80-61 loss at USC Upstate.

NOTABLES

  • Oakland’s Travis Bader hit six three-pointers, passing J.J. Redick on the NCAA list for made three-pointers in a career. Unfortunately for the Golden Grizzlies, they lost 86-64 at Milwaukee.
  • Torrey Craig scored 25 points and grabbed five rebounds in USC Upstate’s 80-61 win over Mercer. The result means that Mercer and FGCU are tied in the loss column for first place in the Atlantic Sun.
  • D.J. Newbill scored 19 points and Tim Frazier 18 to lead Penn State to a 79-68 win over Purdue, their third consecutive Big Ten win.
  • Marcus Thornton scored 26 points to lead the way for William & Mary, which survived a wild final sequence to win 81-79 at James Madison.
  • Dyami Starks (22 points) Alex Francis and Corey Maynard (20 apiece) scored 62 of Bryant’s 76 points in the Bulldogs’ 76-67 win at Sacred Heart.
  • Spencer Parker and Richaun Holmes combined for 39 points and 17 rebounds to lead Bowling Green to a 74-68 win over Buffalo.

DePaul adds 2018 commit

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Wisconsin guard John Diener has committed to DePaul, his grassroots program announced Wednesday night.

The 6-foot-4 Class of 2018 guard ends his recruitment rather early with offers also from instate schools Green Bay and Milwaukee. He’s known as a shooter and becomes the first commit for Dave Leitao in the 2018 class.

Diener, who plays with the Wisconsin Playground Warriors in the spring and summer, commits to the Blue Demons with them coming off a disappointing campaign, Leitao’s first in Chicago. DePaul went 9-22 overall and 3-15 in the Big East, finishing only ahead of St. John’s.

DePaul has been recruiting the Midwest hard with incoming 2016 recruits from La Lumiere School in Indiana, Sagninow, Mich. and locally in Chicago.

Four-star guard Fisher commits to TCU

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Jamie Dixon’s presence is already being felt in the Big 12 and on the recruiting trail.

TCU received its first commitment of the Dixon era when four-star 2016 point guard Jaylen Fisher announced his decision to join the Horned Frogs on Wednesday.

“Due to how comfortable my family and I are with the coaching staff,” Fisher posted from his Twitter account, “and the emphasis the university has put on making basketball a priority, I’m committing to be a student-athlete at TCU.”

Getting a consensus top-75 prospect, who was once committed to UNLV, is a heck of a coup for being just a couple months on the job. It instantly shows the Frogs are going to be a player for some of the country’s top players, which is a necessity if you have designs on making a move up the ladder of arguably the country’s best league in the Big 12.

Maybe the most gratifying thing for TCU, though, is the reason Fisher publicly stated for making his decision, the school’s “making basketball a priority.” The hoops program has suffered immensely in the Big 12 (while the football program has flourished), winning a total of eight games in their four seasons (including a winless 2014), but the school sank $72 million into renovating its arena, made an aggressive move in firing Trent Johnson and then went out and got its dream candidate, Dixon, an alum. Fisher’s commitment is the first time those moves have shown that commitment to basketball paying off.

 

Report: Izundu’s San Diego State transfer ban rescinded

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Washington State transfer Valentine Izundu will be visiting San Diego State after all.

Coach Ernie Kent has rescinded his restriction on the 6-foot-10 graduate transfer from visiting the Aztecs, according to a report from the Spokesman-Review, citing an anonymous source. Izundu will also be reportedly visiting Fresno State and UNLV.

Izundu had previously been barred from considering the Aztecs by Kent because of suspcisions of tampering. Izundu vigorously denied that was the case as at the center of the dispute was a trip he made to San Diego for spring break. He publicly said he did not have any contact with the SDSU coaching staff , though he attended an Aztecs NIT game.

Kent, though, appears to have relented, as many coaches who have similarly faces public pressure in such situations before him have. In this era where so much attention is being paid to player rights and welfare, there only seems to be growing public sentiment against programs restricting transfers beyond the absolute bare minimum is rarely going to go over well. It may make things more difficult for coaches and programs, but it’s the deck is largely already stacked in their favor in most every other instance.

Ex-Michigan State player Keith Appling faces weapons charges

Keith Appling
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DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) Authorities say former Michigan State basketball player Keith Appling faces charges including carrying a concealed weapon after he was found in possession of guns and marijuana in suburban Detroit.

The Wayne County prosecutor’s office says 24-year-old Appling was arrested outside a Dearborn club on Sunday night. Club security called police after seeing a man pull a gun from the trunk of a car.

Prosecutors say Appling was in the driver’s seat of the car when police arrived. Officers found a handgun under the driver’s seat, a loaded weapon in the trunk and a small amount of suspected marijuana.

Weapons and marijuana possession charges were announced Wednesday.

The court says he doesn’t have a lawyer on record.

Appling played for the Spartans from 2010-2014 and plays for the NBA’s development league.

UNLV transfer to finish career at Michigan State

UNLV forward Ben Carter, right, celebrates after his team defeated Oregon in an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, in Las Vegas. UNLV won 80-69. (AP Photo/John Locher)
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Former UNLV center Ben Carter announced on Wednesday that he will be transferring to Michigan State to finish his collegiate career.

Carter, who began his career at Oregon, averaged 8.6 points and 6.0 boards in his one season with UNLV before tearing his ACL in late January. He spent two seasons with the Ducks before transferring to Vegas, which is why he’s eligible immediately for the Spartans.

And that’s the biggest reason that Tom Izzo and company targeted him.

The Spartans lost Deyonta Davis to the NBA Draft after one season, a fact that became an inevitability midway through the year but one that the Spartans didn’t necessarily plan for heading into last season. Carter isn’t going to be an instant impact kind of player, particularly not when he’s coming off of an ACL injury, but he is a big body and a veteran presence on a front line that wasn’t going have much of either.