Twenty years later, memories of Calipari-Chaney feud live on (Massachusetts Daily Collegian)
Thursday marked the 20-year anniversary of the unforgettable verbal altercation between then-Temple head coach John Chaney and then-UMass head coach John Calipari following a one-point UMass victory. And the heat of that moment revealed how fierce the rivalry between the two schools was at the time, with Temple being the kings of the Atlantic 10 and UMass looking to take over.
Ex-Rider coach Tommy Dempsey still feels connection to old team (The Times of Trenton)
Current Binghamton head coach Tommy Dempsey spent seven seasons as the head coach at Rider, and other than the freshmen on the Broncs roster he recruited nearly every player who remains. With that being the case, there’s still a connection between the coach and his old school while he looks to rebuild a Binghamton program that won just two games in the season prior to Dempsey’s arrival.
Gary Harris back on road to shot recovery, but still pressing under pressure (MLive.com)
N0. 9 Michigan State got back on the right track Thursday night with an 85-70 home win over Northwestern, but even with this being the case sophomore guard Gary Harris continues to work to get his shot going. Harris shot just 3-for-20 in the Spartans’ loss at Wisconsin, and he followed that up with a 6-for-13 night against Northwestern.
Mackenzie, Kim make perfect team (ESPN)
The player/coach relationship can be a difficult one at times, especially when the two involved are also father and son or mother and daughter. That’s the case for Baylor’s Kim Mulkey and senior guard/forward Mackenzie Robertson, with the latter turning into a key player for the Bears in her senior season.
Billy Baron hopes to end up-and-down journey on a high note (CBS Sports)
Canisius senior guard Billy Baron has been one of the nation’s best guards this season, as he ranks among the top five scorers in the country for a team in the thick of the MAAC title race. And he hopes to end his college career, one that includes stops at Virginia and Rhode Island, with a trip to the NCAA tournament.
Analyzing Syracuse’s game-winning play, appreciating Wilbekin and more (Sports Illustrated)
In the latest version of Luke Winn’s power rankings, he takes a look at the final play that culminated in Tyler Ennis’ shot from 35 feet out to give No. 1 Syracuse a 58-56 win at Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. There are also looks at Scottie Wilbekin’s free throw rate and the impact of Jordair Jett at Saint Louis.
How Melvin Ejim’s 48-point game stacks up (Des Moines Register)
It’s been six days since Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim went off for 48 points in the Cyclones’ win over TCU, and there’s still buzz over the performance. So how does Ejim’s performance measure up against some of the best single-game outings in the history of college basketball in the state of Iowa? Pretty well.
Purdue will once again be rolling out a formidable frontcourt in the 2016-17 season.
Boilermaker big man Caleb Swanigan is withdrawing from the NBA Draft to return to West Lafayette for his sophomore season, the school announced Wednesday.
“The NBA is right there and always will be,” Swanigan said in the school’s press release, “but you always have to have patience and do what’s best for you.”
Purdue is losing 7-foot senior A.J. Hammons, but will be once again teaming Swanigan with Isaac Haas (7-2) and Vince Edwards (6-8) that will allow them to roll out a supersized lineup that is sure to be a difficult one to face off against.
The 6-foot-9, 250-pound Swanigan, who likely would have landed as a second-round pick, averaged 10.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists and was a finalist for the Wayman Tisdale Award for the country’s top freshman.
“We are excited that (Swanigan) has withdrawn from the NBA Draft and will return to Purdue,” head coach said Matt Painter in a statement released by the school. “He has the potential to make a huge jump from his freshman season and will be a big part of what we do next year. He received great experience going through this process and will use the feedback he received to make him a more diverse player.”
Purdue is probably a rung down from Michigan State and Wisconsin at the top of the league, but the return of Swanigan pulls them closer to competing at the top of the league next season.
Nikola Jovanovic’s college career has come to a close.
The USC center will not withdraw his name from NBA Draft consideration by Wednesday’s 11:59 p.m., a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Jovanovic, a 6-foot-11 Serbian, averaged 12.3 points and 7.0 boards as a junior with the Trojans.
Jovanovic is not expected to be drafted, which means that Andy Enfield’s club will be losing two players to the professional ranks with eligibility to spare that likely won’t end up on an NBA roster next season. Julian Jacobs, who averaged 11.6 points, 5.5 assists and 4.9 boards, signed with an agent back in April.
The Trojans were a top 25 team last season despite many considering them to still be “a year away”. But with two starters departing, the Trojans will be a borderline preseason top 25 team as opposed to a top 15 team.
For the second time this season and just the sixth time in John Calipari’s tenure at Kentucky, the Wildcats are losing a player to transfer.
Marcus Lee announced on Wednesday that he will be withdrawing from the NBA Draft, but the 6-foot-9 forward will not be returning to Kentucky. He will be transferring out of the program to a new school.
“I want to thank the University of Kentucky, the basketball staff and the Big Blue Nation for supporting me over the years,” Lee said. “I’m sorry it took me so long to come to this decision, but I’m trying to do what’s right for me and my family. I’ll always think fondly of my time at Kentucky.”
Lee averaged 6.4 points and 6.0 boards this season, seeing his first major minutes as a member of the Wildcats. But he seemed destined for a bench role if he had opted to return to Kentucky this season as John Calipari has landed a recruiting class that includes five-star freshmen Bam Adebayo, Wenyen Gabriel and Sacha Killeya-Jones.
The tough part?
It does not appear that Lee will be able to finish his degree and be eligible to play immediately next season. He’ll have to sit a year at whatever school he opts to transfer to.
“Marcus Lee informed us today that he is pulling his name out of the draft but has decided he is going to transfer to a school out west to be closer to his family,” head coach John Calipari said. “We talked it through together and discussed the team next season, which he said had no bearing on his decision. I also told him he was a semester away from graduating. With that said, he was still adamant that, after the combine experience, a year off and regrouping would be the best thing. As always I support my players and their decisions.”
Lee joins Charles Matthews as members of last year’s Wildcats that are transferring out of the program. Darnell Dodson (Southern Miss), Stacey Poole (Georgia Tech) , Ryan Harrow (Georgia State) and Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga) are the other four players that have transferred.
Isaiah Briscoe announced on Wednesday that he will be returning to Kentucky for his sophomore season.
The 6-foot-3 guard had one of the more difficult decisions to make for players in this year’s draft class. On the one hand, there was a very real chance that he would go through this draft without getting picked. He was a role-playing guard on last year’s team that isn’t a point guard, isn’t big enough to be a two-guard and was a total liability shooting the ball.
But he’s returning to a team that is as loaded as the group that won their first 38 games two years ago, particularly in the back court. He’ll be playing behind De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk who both play essentially the same role that Briscoe does: playmaking guards that thrive with the ball in their hands. And since Briscoe can’t shoot, he may not be the best option at the three, where Derek Willis will likely see minutes.
In other words, Briscoe returning to school is essentially a two-year decision.
Kentucky now awaits an announcement from Marcus Lee on whether or not he will be returning to school.
James Blackmon Jr. will be returning to Indiana for his junior season, the school announced on Wednesday morning.
Blackmon missed the final 22 games of his sophomore season following surgery on his knee in December. As a freshman, Blackmon averaged 15.8 points and shot 46 percent from beyond the arc.
Indiana now awaits word on the decision that will be made by Troy Williams. A junior swingman, Williams has a shot to be an early second round pick if he opts to stay in the draft. There is a report from the Indy Star that he will keep his name in the draft, but the program has yet to confirm that news.
Losing Williams would hurt, but it’s a loss that Indiana can overcome. The emergence of O.G. Anunoby as a versatile defender means that the Hoosiers have a guy that can be a defensive stopper and can allow them to play small and fast. Anunoby also has not proven to be prone to bouts of poor decision-making, which arguably may make him a better fit.