POSTERIZED: UCLA’s Norman Powell seals win over Utah (VIDEO)

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After winning at USC on Thursday night, Utah entered Saturday’s game at UCLA with some confidence and they played that way in the first half. Despite Jordan Loveridge and Delon Wright combining to score just four points the Utes trailed by just two points at the half, 33-31. With that being the case, Larry Krystkowiak’s team had to be optimistic about their chances of leaving Pauley Pavilion with a win that would look good on their resume.

Unfortunately for Utah they failed to take care of the basketball to start the second half, resulting in a 14-0 UCLA run that gave the Bruins complete control of the game. UCLA would go on to win 80-66, with Jordan Adams scoring 24 points on 10-for-14 shooting from the field. He wasn’t the only standout on this afternoon, as Kyle Anderson added 16 points, ten rebounds and five assists, and Norman Powell accounted for 13 points.

Powell’s progression this season may be overlooked by some, but he has been one of the Pac-12’s most improved players. After averaging just 6.1 points per game as a sophomore Powell’s up to 11.3 ppg this season, shooting nearly 56% from the field. And against Utah, two of his points came on the one-handed dunk over Dallin Bachynski that can be viewed at the top of this post.

Players such as Adams and Anderson will lead the way as UCLA looks to chase down No. 2 Arizona, which currently holds a one-game lead over the Bruins in the Pac-12 standings. But the play of supplementary pieces such as Powell will be important as well.

Big South moving 2016 conference tournament

Cliff Ellis
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The Big South is moving its 2016 men’s basketball tournament out of Coastal Carolina and a new site will be figured out by November. According to a release from the conference the Big South is using a league bylaw that stipulates that members leaving with less than two years of notice are not eligible to host championships. Coastal Carolina announced this summer that it would be leaving for the Sun Belt as of July 2016, so the Big South wants to find a new location that benefits teams staying in the league.

The Big South men’s and women’s conference tournaments are now also going to be split into two unique events, with the men’s championships being held Thursday-Sunday, March 3-6. The women’s event comes the next week from March 10-13. Bids for both events will come into the league and a new location will be selected in the next few months.

It will be interesting to see if the site of the conference tournament is moved to a campus site or placed at a neutral venue. That type of thing could alter how the NCAA tournament autobid gets played out. With Coastal Carolina coming off of back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, this obviously changes their approach to the postseason now that they have to leave their city.

Virginia Tech could redshirt sophomore guard

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Virginia Tech is trying to decide what to do with injury sophomore guard Ahmed Hill, who had surgery this summer to deal with a tear in his patella tendon in his left knee.

The 6-foot-5 Hill has still not been released to work out with the team, but he is about a week to 10 days ahead of schedule in his rehab. But the injury is still nagging enough that Hill might not be healthy enough to really contritbute this season. Head coach Buzz Williams is deciding soon whether he wants to redshirt Hill or not.

Hill started a team-high 30 games for the Hokies last season, averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

“I don’t have a decision on (Hill),” Williams said to reporters on Monday. “I will make the final decision. I’ll let (him) and his mom be a part of it, but I want to make a decision using the wisdom of doing this for a long period of time. If you let a kid make the decision, they always want to play.

“Right now, I don’t feel comfortable that I would want to play him. It’s just too early to be able to have much more of an answer than that.”

It’s still a rebuilding year for Virginia Tech, but they do get Maryland transfer Seth Allen, who is a talented guard who can score. The Hokies were hoping to have Hill and Allen as complimentary perimeter scorers, but now the plans might have to be altered. Williams went on to say that he would like to make a decision on Hill’s status by Halloween.