Late Night Snacks: Jay Wright wins 400th, Doug McDermott passes J.J. Redick on all-time scoring list

Leave a comment

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Columbia 53, Princeton 52

Columbia accomplished something tonight that they haven’t done since 1993: beat Princeton at Jadwin Gymnasium. For some of the players on Columbia, they weren’t even born the last time this occurred. As another point of reference, Pete Carril was coaching Princeton the last time Columbia won at Jadwin. More than just breaking this curse, the Lions remain alive in the chase for an Ivy League championship. With Harvard sitting at 5-0, it’s beginning to look like three losses will all but eliminate a team from winning the Ancient Eight. Meiko Lyles hit a three-pointer with 28 seconds remaining to propel Columbia to the one point victory.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES 

1) Villanova 70, Seton Hall 53

Jay Wright won the 400th game of his coaching career as Villanova routed Seton Hall to move to 21-2 on the season, and 9-2 in the Big East. Four of Villanova’s starters scored in double-figures and did so in an extremely efficient fashion. JayVaughn Pinkston, Daniel Ochefu, James Bell, and Darrun Hilliard II combined to shoot 24-34 FG for 59 points. Seton Hall hung around for much of the first half, but a Pinkson layup early in the second half extended the Wildcats’ lead to 38-28, and the Pirates never got within single-digits the rest of the way.

2) Creighton 78, DePaul 66

Creighton wasn’t at their best tonight, but Doug McDermott was his usual good self. The Bluejays led DePaul for the entire game, but the Blue Demons made a run in the second half to get within a point with less than eight minutes remaining. McDermott then took over the game, scoring 11 of Creighton’s next 14 points to ensure the victory. Creighton is now 10-1 in the Big East.

3) Manhattan 84, Canisius 73

Losers of three of their last five games, Manhattan was beginning to fall out of contention for the MAAC regular season title. Tonight in Buffalo against Canisius, however, George Beamon out-dueled Billy Baron as the Jaspers picked up a much needed win.

STARRED

1) Tony Hicks (Pennsylvania) — The sophomore guard dropped in 27 points and dished out seven assists as the Quakers got back to .500 in the Ivy League.

2) A.J. English (Iona) — David Laury was actually the big story for Iona as he came off the bench to score 28 points, but it was English’s game-winning three-point bucket in the final seconds that propelled the Gaels to a win at Niagara. Iona sits alone atop the MAAC with an 11-2 conference record.

3) George Beamon (Manhattan) — Hindered by an injury to his shoulder that sidelined him for a few games, Beamon has struggled in his return from a scoring perspective. Tonight against Canisius, Beamon was in top-form as he scored 27 points, along with four rebounds and four assists.

STRUGGLED

1) Cornell — Big Red isn’t winless, but they are against Division 1 competition. In their loss to Pennsylvania, Cornell is now 1-18 overall and 0-5 in the Ivy League. Their lone win on the season has come against Oberlin.

2) Sean McGonagill — Brown was looking to move to 4-1 in the Ivy League, but their star guard struggled from the field, shooting just 2-11 for eight points. The Bears scored just 45 points in the loss (52-45).

3)  Fuquan Edwin — Seton Hall hung around with Villanova for a half, but Edwin shot just 3-10 from the floor and scored eight points as the Pirates were unable to keep pace.

NOTABLES

  • Yale went on the road and beat Dartmouth, 67-54. The Bulldogs are now 4-1 in the Ivy League, and will travel to Cambridge tomorrow evening for the “game of the year” in the Ancient Eight to date as Harvard and Yale currently sit at 1-2 in the league.
  • Mercer escaped Kennesaw State, winning 75-68. A loss here would have been the Bears’ second consecutive loss, and a real disastrous one as the Owls entered the game with a 4-20 record.
  • Jay Hook hit a free throw with a second remaining as Tulane defeated Charlotte, 64-63.
  • Southern Mississippi overcame an 11 point halftime deficient, and eked past Marshall at home, maintaining their position atop Conference USA.
  • Juwan Howard Jr. hit a three-pointer in the final seconds to propel Detroit to a road victory against Valparaiso, 59-57.

N.C. State adds grad transfer Sam Hunt

Leave a comment

N.C. State added its fourth transfer this offseason. Like ex-Baylor guard Al Freeman, the latest one is eligible to play next season.

Sam Hunt, a double-digit scorer the past two seasons at North Carolina A&T, officially enrolled at North Carolina State on Monday morning.

“Sam is a great young man and will bring much needed depth to our backcourt,” N.C. State head coach Kevin Keatts said in a statement. “I want guys who are excited about being a part of our program and Sam really wants to be here.

“Sam is a combo guard that can space the floor with his ability to shoot the basketball. He is a good fit for the system and will bring a wealth of experience to our roster.”

Hunt, the 6-foot-2 guard, averaged 12.7 points per game last season, a dip from the 15.4 points per game he posted for the Aggies as a redshirt sophomore.

Hunt joins a roster that lost its three leading scorers from a season ago, one that ended 15-17 (4-14 ACC). Dennis Smith Jr. is a member of the Dallas Mavericks. Maverick Rowan also pursued a professional career and Terry Henderson was denied an additional year from the NCAA.

The Wolf Pack bring back forwards Abdul-Malik Abu and Omer Yurtseven as well as Torin Dorn.

Keatts, who took over the program after leading UNC Wilmington to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments, has already built for the future. UNC Wilmington transfer C.J. Bryce, 17.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game for the Seahawks, has followed him to Raleigh. Utah transfer Devon Daniels committed to the Wolf Pack the same day as Bryce. Both will have to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules. Bryce will have two years of eligibility while Daniels will have three.

LaVar Ball stars in an uncomfortably entertaining segment on WWE’s Raw

1 Comment

LaVar Ball’s statements and antics over this past year always seemed better suited a professional wrestling ring.

It was only natural that the patriarch of the Ball family — and the head of the Big Baller Brand — made an appearance on WWE’s Monday Night Raw at the Staples Center for an awkwardly entertaining segment with WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz.

With sons, Lonzo — in his first appearance in the Staples Center as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers — and LaMelo looking on, LaVar was the center of attention. When The Miz mentioned something about a partnership between the two, the scripted interview went south. It resulted in LaVar saying nonsensical things like, “There’s only two dudes better than me, and I’m both of ’em!” before later taking off his shirt. When Dean Ambrose, a WWE superstar feuding with The Miz came out on to the ramp, LaVar didn’t quite grasp the concept that that was his cue to stop talking.

This segment was somehow entertaining and cringeworthy at the same time.

Now that Lonzo is beginning his NBA career, maybe it’s time LaVar try something different. A manager in the WWE may just be his true calling. He’s certainly had plenty of practice.

Maryland lands commitment from five-star 2018 forward

Leave a comment

Maryland added to its 2018 recruiting class with its second commit, the newest addition being a five-star in-state product.

Jalen Smith, a 6-foot-9 forward from Baltimore powerhouse Mount St. Joseph, committed to the Terrapins, making the announcement on Twitter.

“I believe that I can academically and athletically achieve my goals at home through my commitment to the University of Maryland … Go Terps,” he tweeted as part of a long passage.

Smith is listed as the No. 13 overall recruit in the Class of 2013 by Rivals. He joins four-star swingman Aaron Wiggins in Mark Turgeon’s current recruiting class.

Playing for Team Takeover on the Nike EYBL circuit, Smith is averaging 10.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks per game.

Recent grad’s joyride reportedly did $100,000 of damages to Mizzou Arena

Leave a comment

A recent graduate and temporary employee of the University of Missouri took an early morning joy ride that reportedly could rack up around $100,000 to Mizzou Arena.

According to Dave Mater of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Nathaniel J. Contant, 23, who graduated from the school in December 2016, drove his Volkswagen Passat through a gate and eventually on to the floor of the 15,000-seat on-campus arena.

At 7:15 a.m. Sunday, MU police were dispatched to Mizzou Arena for a report of property damage. Officers determined that around 4 a.m., the suspect drove his vehicle through a closed gate on the south side of the arena. He ran through a garage door and drove into a dock area where he damaged several golf carts that were stored in the area. He also drove his car onto the basketball court. The man couldn’t leave through the area he used to enter the building, so he drove through the arena’s press gate.

Contant, unsurprisingly, is no longer an employee of the university. He’s being charged with second-degree burglary and first-degree property damage, both of which are felonies. He was released on a $4,500 bond.

The motive for this early-morning joyride remains unclear.

Despite the hype surrounding the upcoming Mizzou season — one that includes the debut of new head coach Cuonzo Martin and the projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft Michael Porter, Jr. — Twitter users couldn’t help but poke fun at the dismal recent history the Tigers have had.

(h/t Kansas City Star)

Vance Jackson transfers to New Mexico

Leave a comment

With more than a handful of departures this offseason, New Mexico is set to have a new-look roster for the 2017-18 season. On Monday, Paul Weir, now at the helm of the program, landed a player who should make an impact in the three remaining seasons of eligibility he has left.

Vance Jackson, who spent this past season at UConn, decided to make the move from Storrs to Albuquerque, picking the Lobos over Rutgers, San Diego State, TCU, and Washington.

The 6-foot-8 rising sophomore will have to sit out next year due to NCAA transfer rules before resuming his collegiate career in the fall of 2018.

“The coaches — they trust in me,” Jackson told Geoff Grammer of the Albuquerque Journal last month during his official campus visit. “We’re on the same page. They see a vision.”

Weir, who led New Mexico State this past season to a NCAA Tournament appearance in his one and only season as head coach, succeeded Craig Neal in April.

This offseason has been headlined by transfers, though, those mostly were about players leaving the program. Jackson is the second transfer to land at UNM with Akron’s Antino Jackson electing to use his final season of eligibility with the Lobos. Antino Jackson is a graduate transfer, allowing him to play immediately next season.

Vance Jackson, who was rated as the No. 80 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals, averaged 8.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game while shooting just under 40 percent from three for the Huskies as a freshman.