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.

Villanova beats Duke, Kansas, Indiana for Jermaine Samuels

Atlanta, GA - MAY 27: Nike EYBL. Session 4. Jermaine Samuels, Jr. #23 of Expressions Elite dunks. (Photo by Jon Lopez)
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Villanova landed a commitment from top 50 prospect Jermaine Samuels on Saturday.

Samuels is a tough and athletic 6-foot-5 wing that will remind many Wildcat fans of Josh Hart. He’s got the same kind of versatility and nose for the ball that will let him guard perimeter players as well as work in as a small-ball four. Players like this are a specialty of Jay Wright.

Samuels picked up an offer from Duke recently and also had Indiana, Kansas and Georgetown in his top five. Beating out blue-bloods for a prospect like this is quite the statement for Villanova, one that should tell you the reigning national champs are here to stay as a national power.

Syracuse lands critical piece in Andrew White

LINCOLN, NE - FEBRUARY 3: Andrew White #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers shoots the ball over Rasheed Sulaimon #0 of the Maryland Terrapins during their game at Pinnacle Bank Arena on February 3, 2016 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
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Syracuse has found their replacement for Malachi Richardson.

On Sunday, Nebraska transfer Andrew White committed to the Orange, picking Syracuse, in the end, over VCU. White is a graduate transfer who spent last season with Nebraska, where he averaged 16.2 points while shooting 41.2 percent from three. A top 50 prospect out of Virginia back in the Class of 2012, White played a limited role for Kansas his first two seasons in college.

This is a significant pickup for the Orange, one that legitimately puts them into the conversation as a Final Four contender and a threat to finish at or near the top of the ACC. Jim Boeheim has put together a roster full of talented, long and athletic front court players, but after Richardson declared for the NBA Draft as a one-and-done freshman, he was left with just two back court players on his roster.

Earlier this offseason, Cuse landed Colorado State grad transfer John Gillon, a 6-foot-1 combo-guard, to reinforce their back court. The addition of White gives them a lights-out shooter and a big-time scorer on the wing, something that would have been a major void on their roster.

With Paschal Chukwu getting eligible at the center spot and Tyler Lydon likely landing on every breakout player list this preseason, the Orange should be a markedly better team than the one that made their way to the Final Four last season.

Arizona lands first commitment in 2017 class

Alex Barcello (Jon Lopez/Nike)
(Jon Lopez/Nike)
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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.

Duke lands first commitment in 2017 class

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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.

Alex O'Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)
Alex O’Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)

Shaka Smart lands contract extension at Texas

Texas head coach Shaka Smart instructs his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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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.