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

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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.

NCAA pushes up college hoops start date as Champions Classic will open the season

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The NCAA is pushing up the start of the college basketball regular season to begin on the Tuesday before the second Friday in November.

That means the Champions Classic will open the college basketball season in 2018-19 as announced in an official release on Wednesday. So now, we get Duke vs. Kentucky and Michigan State vs. Kansas in Indianapolis at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to open the college basketball regular season?

Yes, please.

This is a very smart move for the NCAA as men’s and women’s basketball can now open the regular season a bit earlier. The made-for-TV, neutral-court spectacle of the Champions Classic is also the perfect programming to get casual sports fans to tune in for the opening night of college basketball.

There will also be a new level of intrigue for the Champions Classic with all four superpowers making their season debuts in the event next season. Instead of getting a regular-season tune-up to begin to campaign, all of these teams will get thrown straight into the fire.

Hopefully, the sport can continue to make moves like this to generate casual interest and develop more intriguing non-conference possibilities. College basketball’s regular season has suffered from too many lulls in the past. At least now the regular season will start with a bang.

Arizona State benefits from unusual timing in landing forward Taeshon Cherry

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Arizona State has been one of the biggest surprises in college basketball this season as they’re off to a 14-3 start.

The Sun Devils are also rolling on the recruiting trail as they might have landed their signature recruit on Tuesday night. With high-end, four-star forward Taeshon Cherry pledging to the Sun Devils, it gives them a top-20 class and three different four-star caliber prospects coming in next season.

Bobby Hurley has something going here.

In Cherry, Arizona State gets a 6-foot-9 forward who was previously committed to USC but decommitted in late December. Reportedly “Player-8” in the FBI’s case of college basketball bribery, according to Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times, Cherry’s relative allegedly met Christian Dawkins and financial advisor Munish Sood at a restaurant in Los Angeles on Aug. 8. The group was joined by an undercover FBI agent posing as a financial advisor as the gathering was recorded.

Dawkins and Sood were attempting to get Player-8’s relative to use their financial services for when the player eventually went pro. The FBI’s complaint also said Dawkins was given an envelope of $4,000 to give to the relative from the undercover agent.

But with Cherry not being present for the meeting, and no firsthand account of the relative actually receiving the money, it’s uncertain how the NCAA might respond to this.

So Arizona State jumped right in the mix for Cherry and started recruiting him once he decommitted from USC. The Sun Devils brought Cherry in for an official visit to campus on Jan. 11 — only weeks after Cherry’s decommitment — and were able to secure the commitment days later as he canceled a trip to Texas A&M.

This commitment is no doubt a product of unusual timing and circumstances.

When Cherry pledged to USC right after the July live evaluation period, Trojans assistant coach Tony Bland hadn’t been involved in the FBI scandal and the Trojans had a top-25 team returning this season. Arizona State was only 30-35 in Hurley’s first two seasons and they hadn’t secured the two four-star commitments they would later get in October.

Now, the Sun Devils are a darkhorse Final Four team after its surprising start this season and they were able to land a highly-touted recruit merely weeks after he left a conference rival. Things have changed quickly in the Pac-12 recruiting race in the past few weeks. And Arizona State also benefited from the unusual circumstances surrounding Cherry and his recruitment.

With commitments in each of the next three classes as well — yes, Arizona State even has a commitment from a high school freshman in the Class of 2021 — the Sun Devils are starting to sustain a presence at every level of college basketball. Arizona State will have to replace some talented seniors when Tra Holder and Shannon Evans depart after this season. The program also seems like its heading in the right direction with all of the talent that is flocking to Tempe.

Four-star recruit Joey Hauser enrolls early at Marquette

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Marquette’s top recruit in the Class of 2018 is enrolling early. According to a release from the school, four-star forward Joey Hauser has enrolled at the school and will join the basketball program.

The younger brother of sophomore forward Sam Hauser, the younger Hauser will redshirt this season and have four years of eligibility remaining.

Suffering a few injuries the past few years, Hauser had surgery on his ankle in early December as he’ll get a chance to rehab on campus while also acclimating to the team and school.

“We are really excited to have Joey join us for the second semester,” Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski said in a release. “It’s a unique opportunity for him to recover from his recent surgery while also becoming acclimated to our basketball program and university.

“He is without question one of the top players in the class of 2018 and for him to be able to get a head start on his career is a tremendous positive.”

Hauser is regarded as the No. 52 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to Rivals, as he helped Stevens Point win three consecutive WIAA Division 1 state titles during his first three seasons.

While Hauser won’t be able to play and help Marquette this season, the Golden Eagles only have one senior on the roster in Andrew Rowsey. That means the entire roster gets a head start on being together for next season as Hauser should be a contributor by then.

Notre Dame freshman D.J. Harvey out four weeks with knee injury

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Notre Dame freshman D.J. Harvey will miss the next four weeks with a bone bruise in his left knee.

Harvey, a 6-foot-6 wing, played only seven minutes in Notre Dame’s loss to Louisville on Tuesday night as he’s played 18.2 minutes per contest. With senior All-American candidate Bonzie Colson going down to injury, Harvey had been playing increased minutes for the Fighting Irish, including 37 minutes in Notre Dame’s loss to North Carolina.

Harvey averaged 5.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game before the injury. The Fighting Irish are fighting the injury bug right now with Colson and Harvey out as their rotation gets even thinner. Notre Dame has dropped three consecutive games as they are 13-6 on the season and 3-3 in the ACC. Another tough game looms for the Fighting Irish as they face Clemson on Saturday.

Texas fans helped raise over $100,000 for Andrew Jones and Family Support Fund

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Texas fans have helped raise over six figures in support of the Andrew Jones and Family Support Fund after the sophomore guard was diagnosed with leukemia last week.

The University of Texas helped launch the fund, with all donations heading towards the medical and necessary family-related expenses for Jones that are allowed within NCAA rules.

Although Jones’ diagnosis was tough for many around college basketball, the fund has helped raise over $104,000 in just over five days.  Over 1,300 people have donated towards the fund, which is the only family-approved way to help Jones and his family with medical costs.

The website for the Andrew Jones and Family Support Fund can be found right here.

A former McDonald’s All-American, Jones was in the midst of a solid sophomore season with the Longhorns before the public announcement last week. Jones averaged 13.5 points and 2.0 assists per game in 10 games this season.

Without Jones in the lineup, Texas won an emotional double-overtime thriller over TCU at home. After the win, Texas coaches and players honored Jones with signs of support. The Longhorns lost their lost Big 12 game by a point on the road at Oklahoma State as the Cowboys honored Jones before the game with special shooting shirts in his honor.