DeAndre Kane

Late Night Snacks: Iowa State outlasts Oklahoma State in 3OT; Cooney shines for Cuse

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 16 Iowa State 98, No. 19 Oklahoma State 97, 3 OT

Like there was any doubt? The Big 12 continues to produce some of the best games of the season and this triple-overtime thriller in Stillwater on Monday night was no different.

In the end, No. 16 Iowa State outlasted No. 19 Oklahoma State as Naz Long buried a critical game-tying three-pointer in the second overtime and the Cyclones got two stops on the final Oklahoma State possession to preserve the one-point win.

Rob Dauster has more on what this win means for Iowa State going forward while I look into Oklahoma State and its stagnant offense.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) No. 1 Syracuse 61, Notre Dame 55

C.J. Fair had his worst game of the season — only scoring six points — but sophomore guard Trevor Cooney erupted for 33 points and tied a Syracuse record with nine three-pointers to help the Orange remain unbeaten on the year at 22-0. Syracuse’s offense was sluggish at times, but their defense remained as good as it has all season as the Orange held Notre Dame to 18 first-half points and held off a late push from the Irish.

I wrote more on Syracuse’s win here.

2) No. 6 Villanova 81, Xavier 58

The Wildcats led wire-to-wire in this one as James Bell had a solid outing with 27 points and eight rebounds to pace Big East leader Villanova. Jay Wright’s ballclub shot 49 percent from the field for the game and had a very impressive 25 assists on 32 field goals. Villanova had eight players with two or more assists in the win.

Rob Dauster has more on Villanova’s win.

3) Georgetown 71, DePaul 59

After Georgetown’s huge win at Madison Square Garden over Michigan State on Saturday, the Hoyas couldn’t afford a let down on the road against DePaul. Georgetown actually trailed at the half in this one before their guard-play took over in the second half. Markel Starks finished with 26 points while D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (17 points) and Jabril Trawick (15 points) both regularly found the scoring column as well.

Are the Hoyas building momentum for a Big East run?

STARRED

1) Trevor Cooney’s nine made three-pointers tied a Syracuse record set by Gerry McNamara, Andy Rautins and James Southerland. After so-so shooting earlier in the ACC season, is Cooney out of his slump?

2) Devon Saddler broke Delaware’s school record for points at 2,031 — surpassing Mike Pegues — with 21 points in the Blue Hens’ win over Northeastern. Delaware is 9-0 in the CAA and the Blue Hens have won 11 straight games.

3) Georgia State won its 13th consecutive game on Monday as R.J. Hunter had 24 points to lead the Panthers to an 85-65 Sun Belt win over South Alabama. Manny Atkins and Ryan Harrow also added 20 points each for Georgia State.

STRUGGLED

1) Oklahoma State couldn’t find its perimeter touch on Monday as they Cowboys went 4-for-15 from three-point range in its three-overtime loss to Iowa State.

2) Eric Atkins and Pat Connaughton both had a tough time making shots for Notre Dame against Syracuse’s zone as both played 40 minutes each while finishing with identical 3-for-10 marks from the field and 2-for-7 from three-point range.

3) Texas Southern blew a 12-point halftime lead to Alabama State, as the Hornets came back for a 79-72 overtime win on Monday to remain in sole possession of second place in the SWAC standings at 7-2. The Hornets sit one game behind SWAC leader Southern (8-1) while Texas Southern missed a golden opportunity to make a move in the SWAC standings.

Kentucky-Kansas headlines the 2017 SEC/Big 12 Challenge

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The Big 12 and the SEC announced the matchups for the 2017 SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Tuesday, and the highlight is, of course, Kansas and Kentucky.

The two schools, who played an instant classic in Phog Allen Fieldhouse last season, will square off in Lexington this season. If that wasn’t enough, Kentucky and Kansas are currently sitting second and third, respectively, in the NBCSports.com Preseason Top 25.

So that should be fun.

The game will be played on January 28th along with the rest of the matchups in the series. Those matchups are:

Texas at Georgia
Texas A&M at West Virginia
Florida at Oklahoma
Baylor at Ole Miss
Iowa State at Vanderbilt
Kansas State at Tennessee
Arkansas at Oklahoma State
Auburn at TCU
LSU at Texas Tech

To be frank, the rest of that schedule is not all that enticing. West Virginia should be a top 25 team, and they host a Texas A&M team that is talented but young. Florida and Georgia are arguably the two best non-Kentucky teams in the league, but they face off with a rebuilding Oklahoma and a young Texas squad, neither of whom are guaranteed to make the tournament.

The problem here?

Both the SEC and the Big 12 are likely going to be down this season, which puts a damper on just how excited we can get about this challenge.

Purdue forward to return to school, withdraw from NBA Draft

Purdue center A.J. Hammons (20) celebrates with forward Vince Edwards (12) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Michigan State in West Lafayette, Ind., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. Purdue defeated Michigan State 82-81 in overtime. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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Purdue announced on Tuesday that forward Vince Edwards will be returning to school for his junior season.

Edwards declared for the NBA Draft without signing with an agent and went through the process to gauge his value at the next level.

“After getting the NBA experience and going through the evaluation process, I have talked with my family and Coach Painter and decided it is best for me to return for my junior year,” Edwards said in a statement. “Although the NBA is still a dream for me one day, I am coming back to Purdue to make next year a special one. Thank you to all the organizations who gave me the chance to not only showcase my talents, but also the chance to know me as a young man and not just an athlete.”

Edwards averaged 11.3 points and 5.4 boards last season.

Purdue now has to wait to hear from Caleb Swanigan, a rising sophomore that was a top 20 recruit in the Class of 2015. The deadline to withdraw from the draft is Wednesday.

Five-star 2017 forward Porter Jr. releases top five schools

Father Tolton Catholic's Michael Porter, Jr. (1) celebrates after sinking a basket and drawing a foul during the first half of the Missouri Class 3 boys high school championship basketball game against the Barstow Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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As one of the top players in the Class of 2017, 6-foot-8 small forward Michael Porter Jr. has been on the receiving end of attention from many high-major programs. Monday night Porter, a native of Columbia, Missouri who’s ranked second in the class by Rivals.com, revealed his top five schools at this point in time.

The five schools that made the cut (in alphabetical order): Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Virginia and Washington.

"Top 5 Top 5 Top 5" 🙏🏽 #Blessed

A photo posted by Michael Porter Jr. (@m1chael_porter) on

Of the five schools on Porter’s list Missouri and Washington may be the most interesting given the family connections. Not only is Missouri the hometown school, but Porter’s older sisters Bri and Cierra are members of the women’s basketball team.

And one of the assistants on that coaching staff was Porter’s father, who earlier this spring joined Lorenzo Romar’s staff at Washington. The elder Porter isn’t the only Washington connection either, with Michael’s younger brother Jontay being a commit in the Class of 2018.

Texas A&M lands Spanish forward Eric Vila

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With the loss of all-conference forward Jalen Jones, Texas A&M was in a position where they could afford to add another front court body alongside the likes of Tyler Davis and Tonny Trocha-Morelos. Thursday afternoon head coach Billy Kennedy and his staff managed to do just that, as 6-foot-9 forward Eric Martinez Vila made his pledge to the SEC program.

News of Vila’s commitment was first reported by TexAgs.com, and the FC Barcelona Lassa (that’s the club’s basketball program) product took visits to Texas A&M, Missouri and Wake Forest earlier this spring. Vila’s viewed as more of a combo forward, with the ability to step away from the basket and hit perimeter shots, giving the Aggies some added versatility in the front court.

Vila has plenty of experience playing for both FC Barcelona’s B team (however he did appear with the A-team during the 2014-15 season), and he represented Spain in the 2014 FIBA U16 EuroBasket and 2015 FIBA U18 EuroBasket events. Vila is the fifth member of Texas A&M’s 2016 class, joining guards J.J. Caldwell and J.C. Hampton, wing DeShawn Corprew and forward Robert Williams.

Nevada forward Cameron Oliver to return for sophomore season

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 11: Angelo Chol #3 of the San Diego State Aztecs drives to the hoop against Cameron Oliver #0 of the Nevada Wolf Pack during a semifinal game of the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center on March 11, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
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With the deadline for early entrants to withdraw from the NBA Draft set for Wednesday, some college basketball teams will receive important news as it pertains to the 2016-17 campaign. One of those teams was Nevada, which surprised many last season by winning 24 games in Eric Musselman’s first season at the helm. And with one of the key contributors from that team deciding to withdraw from the NBA Draft, the Wolf Pack will be well positioned to be even better in 2016-17.

Forward Cameron Oliver, who was one of the Mountain West’s best freshmen this past season, will return to Reno for his sophomore season with Musselman making the news official Monday afternoon.

The 6-foot-8 Oliver averaged 13.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game for Nevada, shooting 50.8 percent from the field in his debut season. Oliver was named third team All-Mountain West while also earning conference All-Defensive team honors.

Oliver and wing D.J. Fenner (13.7 ppg) are the team’s top two returning scorers, with guard Marqueze Coleman (15.1 ppg) out of eligibility, and they’ll lead the way for a team that can contend in the Mountain West next season.

In addition to Oliver and Fenner, Nevada adds two talented transfers in Leland King and Marcus Marshall, with the latter averaging 19.5 points per game at Missouri State in 2014-15.