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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

Coach Cal softball game raises $300K for La. flood relief

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John Calipari is known for his ability to amass talent. Over the weekend, that quality helped raise $300,000 for Louisiana flood relief.

The Coach Cal Celebrity Softball Classic brought Kentucky stars like Keith Bogans, Andrew Harrison and Karl-Anthony Towns and the likes of former UK quarterback Tim Couch and NFL Hall of Famer Chris Carter to Lexington to help aid Louisiana in conjunction with the Red Cross after the area suffered major flooding earlier this month.

“I didn’t want to really do a softball game,” Calipari said according to his website, “but then we decided to do it and then Louisiana happens and now you have a cause. … It’s kind of neat. You have a cause, you have a why.”

Towns’ team was the 18-12 victor over Team Calipari on the day.

“This is amazing,” Towns said on CoachCal.com. “This is something that we get a chance to rarely do. We get to help the community out but at the same time have fun. There’s nothing better than doing something that we would do for free but for charity. This is something we’re going to have a lot of fun doing today.”

The softball game was played the same weekend as the John Calipari Basketball Fantasy Experience which generated $1 million that will be shared with 14 charities.

‘Noles add legacy guard to 2017 class

ACC Basketball Tournament: Florida State v North Carolina
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Florida State has added another solid member to its 2017 recruiting class.

Anthony Polite, a 6-foot-6 guard from Florida, pledged to the Seminoles on Tuesday morning.

“Officially committed to Florida State University #Nole Nation,” Polite wrote on Twitter.

Polite chose Leonard Hamilton’s program out of a final top-five that also included Pitt, Memphis, Texas Tech and Miami. He also sported offers from TCU, Boston College, Kansas State and Utah, among others.

“It was a really tough decision,” Polite said according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “Miami had a great coaching staff. I just thought FSU would be the best fit for me and I had more of an opportunity to talk to the players at Florida State.”

Polite, whose father played for the Seminoles during his college career, averaged 21.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists last year as a junior playing for St. Andrew’s in Boca Raton, Fla.

“Anthony Polite is a skilled wing who can handle the ball and distribute a bit,” NBCSports.com recruiting analyst Scott Phillips said. “Florida State still needs to help Polite improve his perimeter jumper, but his commitment gives them another talented playmaker from the wing who can handle and attack the rim.”

Regarded as a three-star prospect, Polite join power forward RaiQuan Gray and fellow guard Bryan Trimble in the Seminoles’ 2017 class. It doesn’t have the star power of Hamilton’s group last year, which included five-star Jonathan Isaac and four-star Trent Forrest, but they can be important pieces for a Florida State team that has just one senior on the 2016-17 roster.

Kansas players make weight room gains – and losses – this summer

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - JUNE 18: Udoka Azubuike #105 in red runs back for defense the NBPA Top 100 Camp on June 18, 2015 at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Kelly Kline/Getty Images)
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Summer is the time to refine not only players’ skill sets, but also their bodies. Kansas’ highly-touted freshman duo of Josh Jackson and Udoka Azubuike have fulfilled the latter thanks to the Jayhawks’ strength and conditioning program.

Azubuike has dropped 27 pounds from his 7-foot frame while the wiry Jackson has added 17 pounds, according to the Kansas City Star.

“These guys have goals,” Adrea Hurdy, Kansas’ long-time assistant director for sports information, told The Star. “They come here in part because we have the resources to help them attain their goals.

“They want the challenge and want to become better people, better basketball players and better athletes.”

Only 16 years old, Azubuike arrived in Lawrence having been consistently listed as weighing around 270 pounds throughout his prep career. Getting leaner while still maintaining – and increasing – strength is a significant development for such a young player, who was a consensus top-50 player in the 2016 class.

Jackson, the country’s top rated incoming freshman, now weighs in at slightly over 200 pounds at 6-foot-8. Six-foot-10 forward Carlton Bragg,a sophomore, also got in on the body-changing as he’s put on 26 pounds to head into the fall at 247 pounds.

Kansas is a likely top-five preseason team with returners like Frank Mason III, Devonte Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk, and having newcomers like Jackson and Azubuike along with sparsely-used but talented returnees like Bragg making gains in the weight room will only make them more formidable as they look to capture an astounding 13th-straight Big 12 title.

 

Texas bolsters 2017 frontcourt

Texas head coach Shaka Smart calls a play during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan., Monday, Feb. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
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Shaka Smart has added another four-star forward to his 2017 recruiting class.

Texas picked up a commitment Tuesday from 6-foot-8 Jericho Sims of Minnesota, according to multiple reports.

Sims, who visited Texas this past weekend, is ranked in the top-50 by Scout and in the top-75 by ESPN and 247Sports. He joins Royce Hamm, a top-100 forward from Houston, as members Smart’s second recruiting class at Texas.

“Jericho Sims is a late-blooming big man who has a lot of room to grow in terms of upside,” NBCSports.com recruiting analyst Scott Phillips said. “A good athlete with a good frame to work with, Sims should help immediately on the glass and defensively but his offense will be a work in progress.

“Texas has a large recruiting class and targeted Sims later than many, so this is a nice commitment for the Longhorns.”

The commitment represents a significant get for the Longhorns, who beat out the likes of Kansas, Iowa State, Ohio State, Connecticut and Sims’ hometown Gophers, whom his father played basketball for in the 1970s and his brother football more recently.

Sims and Hamm both are players that could help Smart and his staff transition more back to the Havoc style of play Smart employed at VCU as both have the length, speed and athleticism to help the Longhorns dial up the pressure and push tempo.

Five-star 2017 point guard Trevon Duval down to 10 schools

CHARLOTTE, NC - JULY 9: Trevon Duval during the 2015  Under Armour All-America Basketball Camp on July 9, 2015 at Queens College in Charlotte, NC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Under Armour)
(Photo by Ned Dishman/Under Armour)
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Five-star point guard Trevon Duval is the most electrifying lead guard in the Class of 2017. The native of Delaware dominated the Under Armour circuit this spring and is currently regarded by many as a top-five player in the class by most recruiting services.

Now he’s down to 10 schools as his recruiting is starting to become more of a focus. The 6-foot-2 Duval is down to Arizona, Cal, Kansas, Maryland, Oregon, St. John’s, Seton Hall, UCLA, USC and Villanova.

Things are still early in the process for Duval and it will be interesting to see if he schedules any official visits soon.