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Late Night Snacks: No. 7 Cincinnati, No. 10 Michigan fall on the road

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GAME OF THE DAY: Ole Miss 91, Missouri 88 

This was one of the more important games of the day when looking ahead to Selection Sunday, with the SEC needing teams other than Florida and Kentucky to step up. Marshall Henderson hit eight three-pointers and scored 29 points to lead the Rebels offensively, with Jarvis Summers making some key plays late to preserve the victory.

The trio of Earnest Ross (24 points), Jordan Clarkson (23) and Jabari Brown (20) led the way for Missouri, but we’re still left with the question of who the third-best team in the SEC is. Ole Miss? Tennessee, which beat Ole Miss? Someone else? Regardless of the answer, the league needs these teams to step forward and take care of business.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) Texas Tech 65, No. 19 Oklahoma State 61 

This one could turn out to be even more important for the Cowboys, who have now lost four straight games, based upon what happens with Marcus Smart. Smart was assessed a technical foul for shoving a fan in the final seconds of the loss, and for a team that has already lost Michael Cobbins (injury) and Stevie Clark (dismissal) losing Smart to a suspension would be a major hit for the Cowboys to take. Lost in the shuffle is how important of a win this is for Tubby Smith’s program, with Jaye Crockett scoring 21 points and grabbing 12 rebounds to lead the way for the Red Raiders.

2) No. 17 Iowa 85, No. 10 Michigan 67

Roy Devyn Marble had it rolling for the Hawkeyes, scoring 26 points to lead Iowa to a win they needed to get. Defensively Iowa did a good job of harassing Nik Stauskas, who scored ten points, attempted just six shots and committed four turnovers. As a result of this outcome Michigan State takes over sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.

3) SMU 76, No. 7 Cincinnati 55

Larry Brown’s Mustangs added a quality win to its resume, handing the Bearcats their first conference loss in impressive fashion. Nick Russell and Ben Moore scored 15 points apiece to lead four players in double figures, and defensively they limited Sean Kilpatrick (22 points) to 5-for-18 shooting from the field. SMU may very well end up earning its first NCAA tournament berth since 1993.

STARRED

1) Melvin Ejim (Iowa State)

Ejim scored 48 points (20-for-24 FG) and grabbed 18 rebounds in Iowa State’s 84-69 win over TCU.

2) Javon McCrea (Buffalo)

Scored 25 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in the Bulls’ 79-70 win at Central Michigan.

3) Jabari Parker (Duke) 

Parker scored a career-high 29 points (12-for-17 FG) and grabbed 16 rebounds in the Blue Devils’ 89-68 win at Boston College.

STRUGGLED

1) Glenn Robinson III (Michigan) 

Robinson shot 1-for-7 from the field, scoring two points and committing four turnovers in Michigan’s 85-67 loss at Iowa.

2) Devin Wilson (Virginia Tech) and Lamar Patterson (Pittsburgh) 

Both players shot 1-for-9 from the field, with the Panthers winning 62-57 in double overtime. Wilson finished with ten points and Patterson just five, and the two teams combined to shoot 1-for-19 in the two overtime sessions.

3) Jamal Jones (Texas A&M)

Jones shot 5-for-21 from the field (1-for-10 3PT) in the Aggies’ 62-50 loss at Georgia.

NOTABLES

  • No. 3 Florida earned its 15th consecutive win, beating Alabama 78-69 in Gainesville. Scottie Wilbekin led five Gator starters in double figures with 16 points.
  • No. 13 Saint Louis moved its win streak to 16 in a row, with Jordair Jett’s layup with four seconds remaining giving the Billikens the 65-63 win over La Salle.
  • No. 4 Wichita State improved to 25-0 on the season with an 82-73 win at Northern Iowa. Tekele Cotton led five Shockers in double figures with 18 points.
  • Marcus Foster scored 34 points to lead Kansas State to a 74-57 pasting of No. 15 Texas.
  • Jordan Bronner scored 16 points and Chris Pelcher 15 as New Hampshire upset Stony Brook, dropping the Seawolves out of first place in America East.
  • Andrew Wiggins scored 19 points as No. 8 Kansas beat West Virginia 83-69, with Joel Embiid adding 11 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
  • Jordan Bachynski blocked a Joseph Young layup attempt as time expired to seal Arizona State’s 74-72 win over Oregon. Bachynski finished with 26 points, nine rebounds and nine blocks.
  • Justin Sears scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in Yale’s 74-67 win at Harvard, moving the Bulldogs into a tie for first place in the Ivy League.
  • Saint Joseph’s turned the ball over 12 times against VCU, and that was one of the reasons why the Hawks were able to pick up the 69-62 victory. Langston Galloway scored 24 points to lead the way.
  • Semaj Christon made two key defensive plays in the final minute as Xavier picked up a valuable 59-53 win over Providence to move into third place in the Big East.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

Minnesota center to miss a month

ST. LOUIS, MO - MARCH 7: Reggie Lynch #22 of the Illinois State Redbirds and Fred VanVleet #23 of the Wichita State Shockers fight for control of a loose ball during the MVC Basketball Tournament Semifinals at the Scottrade Center on March 7, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Minnesota’s projected starting center is sidelined, but is expected to be ready for the season opener.

Reggie Lynch, the Illinois State transfer, had surgery on his left knee, the program announced on Friday night. According to Marcus R. Fuller of the Star-Tribune, the Golden Gophers are anticipating that Lynch is available for the season opener on Nov. 11 against Louisiana-Lafayette.

The 6-foot-10 Lynch has been in the news this offseason prior to his impending debut with Minnesota. In May, he was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault. On August 1, the Hennepin County attorney’s office was announced he would not face charges, citing insufficient evidence.

Lynch spent two seasons at Illinois State, averaging 9.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for the Redbirds as a sophomore. He sat out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer rules. Minnesota is coming off a second-to-last place finish in the Big Ten with an 8-23 (2-16 Big Ten) record.

Women’s hoops coaches boycotting recruiting events

DENVER, CO - MARCH 31:  Head coach Muffet McGraw of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish directs her team during practice prior to the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Final Four at Pepsi Center on March 31, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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For some high-major women’s basketball programs, the final evaluation period of 2016 is being used as a vacation from the recruiting trail.

According to a report from Lindsay Schnell of Sports Illustrated, are not attending events during this weekend’s recruiting period for a host of reasons.

First, many are fed up with the price of tournament packets, booklets of rosters that college coaches receive upon paying their entry fee. Packets are supposed to be chock-full of contact information for the prospects, but sometimes aren’t accurate or up-to-date. (This has become a well-documented issue on the men’s side of college hoops. CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish wrote on it this summer.) Furthermore, there are so many events now that college coaches are often forced to pay obscene amounts of money to watch just one player at a single event, and play recruiting hopscotch around the country, criss-crossing the nation to see so many events and spend thousands of dollars. One Power Five coach said her staff crunched the numbers, and found that in just two years, they’ve spent more than $4,000 more than they did in 2014 on packets alone. Another coach told a story of sending an assistant across the country for one day, to one event, to watch one team. When the assistant arrived, the team had left early for its next event. No refund was available for the college that had paid what turned out to be a useless entry fee. The head coach called it “exasperating.”

Jeff Borzello of ESPN, who spoke to Notre Dame head coach and eventual Hall of Famer Muffet McGraw for his report, estimated that the cost for one of the coaches packets — the ones that include player contact information, rosters, etc. — can cost each school an average of $600 per event.

This era of grassroots basketball has taken off in recent years with Nike, Under Armour and adidas all creating their own sponsored leagues. All three run exceptional events from the staff to the facilities, all the way to the three, free meals a day for coaches. Organizers of these events will argue that there’s a cost to running such high-end events. These packets, some of which are so in-depth they include players’ GPAs, help fund these tournaments (events, paying a staff, etc.).

Coaches, mostly mid to low-major coaches, will argue that these packets aren’t worth the cost, considering that every coach (head and assistant) must purchase them in order to gain entrance. And you will find packets where the information inside is either inaccurate, or missing or both. For elite programs, this isn’t an issue. You show up, you’re seen, you leave, you go to the next event, repeat. For mid to low-major coaches, this really puts a dent in their budget, especially when they have to travel to multiple events (buying packets at each one) because you have to land that “steal,” you have to find that player who is overlooked.

This protest, or boycott (or whatever you want to call it) will hurt those these events are intended to help the most: the players. If coaches continue to avoid these tournaments, that late-bloomer may miss out on a scholarship, or that player with mid-major offers won’t get the chance to play in front of high-major coaches.

According to Schnell, there is a proposal, voted on in April, to eliminate a live recruiting period in April and September. But many coaches in women’s basketball have made it clear this weekend how they feel about the issue.

USC lands commitment from three-star center

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USC added to its 2017 recruiting class with a commitment from a 7-foot big man.

Andy Enfield and the Trojans beat out Florida, Vanderbilt and Tennessee for the services of Calvary Christian Academy (Florida) center Victor Uyaelunmo. He announced his college decision on Friday afternoon.

“It was the best fit for me academically and athletically,” Uyaelunmo said according to David Furones of the Sun Sentinel. “The basketball coaches really wanted me to come, and I thought it was the best place for me.

“They told me how they were going to use me, and they have a couple of guys leaving this year, so I just fit in right.”

Uyaelunmo is regarded as a three-star prospect by Rivals, however, ESPN rates him a four-star recruit. He joins a two-man class which includes four-star forward Jordan Usher.

The departure of Nikola Jovanovic, the Trojans’ leading rebounder during the 2015-16, was a surprising one, and one that left USC with a hole in the middle. While Uyaelunmo still has one more year before arriving on the Los Angeles campus, the Trojans have a promising piece in the paint for the future; a long, athletic big man who has the potential, in time, to become one of the nation’s top shot blockers.

Uyaelunmo played for Nike South Beach in the EYBL this spring and summer. In 12 appearances, he averaged 5.0 points. 5.9 rebounds and 1.0 block in 17.6 minutes per game.

VIDEO: Rupp Arena’s new video board arrives

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Rupp Arena is getting a makeover. Take a peak as the new video board arrives and is put together:

Five-star freshman ruled ineligible to play for Villanova this season

Jay Wright
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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Omari Spellman will not be eligible to play for Villanova this season, the school announced on Friday morning.

“We are extremely disappointed for Omari,” stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright. “While we don’t agree with the NCAA’s decision, we are members of the association and respect it. We understand why the NCAA felt it had to rule this way.”

“We will make a positive out of this for Omari. He will concentrate on his academics and individual development this season. In the long run Omari will be a better student and player for this experience.”

Spellman is a top 20 recruit that played for St. Thomas More this past season. At 6-foot-9, 260 pounds, Spellman was going to be counted on to play a major role in replacing Daniel Ochefu, the 6-foot-11 center that graduated this past spring. Without Spellman, Villanova will have to rely on inconsistent senior Darryl Reynolds to man their front line.

It is worth noting, however, that Reynolds did average 9.0 points and 10.6 boards in three games Ochefu missed last year. That was the first time in his career that he was given consistent minutes.

Spellman will be allowed to continue to practice with Villanova as he takes an academic redshirt.