Jabari Parker

Late Night Snacks: Ohio State upsets Iowa; Duke, Kansas earn bounce-back wins

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 3 Florida 68, Missouri 58

 

The Gators won their 14th straight game with Chris Walker playing the first game of his collegiate career. Walker, the 6-foot-10 freshman, scored four points and recorded two rebounds in seven minutes.

The Tigers shot 8-of-21 from behind the arc to keep them in the game with Jabari Brown beating the buzzer in the first half with a 3-pointer to put Mizzou up 28-25 entering the break. With eight minutes left in regulation, tied 45-45, Florida went on a 12-3 run to pull away.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 8 Kansas 69, Baylor 52After suffering a loss to Texas on Saturday, Kansas delivered Baylor a home loss. Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid struggled, but Naadir Tharpe is continuing to show growth in his third year in Lawrence.

Ohio State 76, No. 17 Iowa 69The Buckeyes lost at home to the Hawkeyes three weeks ago. The Ohio State defense forced Iowa into a bad shooting night from deep. Iowa had it close with four minutes to play, but Sam Thompson freed Amir Williams up for a dunk. Thompson later drilled a 3-pointer to put Ohio State up nine.

No. 15 Texas 59, TCU 54: The Longhorns have been on of the surprising teams this season with Rick Barnes going from the hot seat to a coach of the year candidate. Texas jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but trailed by two at halftime. Jonathan Holmes broked a 52-52 tie with under three minutes to play, giving the Longhorns the lead for good.

STARRED

1) Naadir Tharpe, Kansas: The junior point guard ended with 22 points, five rebounds and four assists. His performance was made more impressive by Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid score a combined three points in the first half, coming off Wiggins’ half-court buzzer-beater.

2) Jonathan Holmes, Texas: Went for 20 points and 16 boards helping  Texas avoid an upset loss to TCU on the road. Holmes broke a 52-52 tie with a 3-pointer with less than three minutes to play. TCU would not tie the game the rest of the game.

3) Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky: After struggling over the course of several weeks, Cauley-Stein recorded 18 points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots. In his six previous games, he scored 14 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and blocked nine shots all together.

STRUGGLED

1) Rutgers: Box Score vs. Memphis

2) Roy Devyn Marble and Aaron White: The two leading scorers for the high-powered Iowa offense were held to 18 combined points off 7-of-20 shooting. The Hawkeyes missed 17-of-20 3-point attempts as a team.

3) Marcus Georges-Hunt, Georgia Tech: The sophomore forward shot 1-of-13 from the field for nine points in a loss to Clemson.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 11 Duke 83, Wake Forest 63
  • No. 18 Kentucky 80, Ole Miss 64
  • No. 24 Memphis 101, Rutgers 69

NOTABLES

  • St. John’s 86, Providence 76
  • Stony Brook 58, Binghamton 53
  • Vermont 93, Maine 65
  • Manhattan 64, St. Peter’s 49
  • Iona 89, Monmouth 71
  • Butler 69, Marquette 62
  • North Carolina 75, Maryland 63
  • Clemson 45, Georgia Tech 41
  • Towson 80, James Madison 71
  • Eastern Kentucky 74, Chattanooga 63
  • Wisconsin 75, Illinois 63

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.

Arizona and Texas headline Lone Star Shootout

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17:  Head coach Sean Miller of the Arizona Wildcats reacts in the first half against the Wichita State Shockers during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
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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

Men's U18 trials head shots and team photo on 6.15.16
Bart Young/USA Basketball
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Five-star shooting guard Lonnie Walker is coming off of a very good summer as he trimmed his list to five schools on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-4 native of Reading, Pennsylvania is still considering Arizona, Kentucky, Miami, Syracuse and Villanova, he announced on Twitter.

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.