Getty Images

Bubble Banter: Oklahoma State headed to an interesting Selection Sunday

Leave a comment

There are 26 days left until Selection Sunday. Every morning from now until the bracket comes out, we’ll help you get caught up on the happenings with impact on the bubble from the night before. 

You can see NBCSports.com’s latest bracket here.

After last night’s overtime loss at Baylor, Oklahoma State (RPI: 46, KenPom: 41) has now lost seven straight games to fall to 4-9 in the Big 12. They are in ninth place in the ten team league and, after being ranked as high as No. 6 this season, the Cowboys are currently sitting on the wrong side of the bubble.

And that means that, come Selection Sunday, Travis Ford’s club will likely end up being the weirdest, most intriguing bubble team in the country.

The rest of Oklahoma State’s schedule looks like this: Texas Tech, at TCU, Kansas, Kansas State, at Iowa State. The way I see it, the Pokes need to go 4-1 during that stretch to make the tournament. Barring a run through the Big 12 Tournament, I just think they need to beat either Kansas at home or Iowa State on the road without costing themselves an ugly loss.

For most teams that are at the bottom of their conference standings, this would be an impossibility.

But Oklahoma State has plenty of talent on their roster. They absolutely have the pieces to put together a charge down the stretch, and I think they’ll do it. What we’ve seen out of Oklahoma State the last two games is a team that’s going to go down swinging. They fought hard in losses to Oklahoma and Baylor, and as long as this three-game suspension for Marcus Smart was enough of a wake-up call to get him playing like the Marcus Smart that everyone loved last season, they’ll have a chance.

Let’s assume, however, they lost to both Iowa State and Kansas but win the other three games. Then let’s assume they beat TCU in the first round of the Big 12 tournament, following that up with a win over Texas and a loss to Iowa State. That will put the Pokes at 21-13 overall with five top 50 wins — Memphis, Colorado, Kansas State and Texas twice.

With just a single one of those 13 losses coming to a team outside the top 50 and three of them coming without Smart, will that be enough to get a bid?

THE REST OF MONDAY’S BUBBLE ACTION:

  • Baylor (RPI: 45, KenPom: 47) picked up their third-straight win on Monday, the last two of which came in a combined three overtimes. The Bears had lost seven out of eight games at one point, but they now have five top 50 wins while seven of their nine losses have come to teams ranked in the top 27. Baylor has work left to do, but they’re in a much better spot than they were 10 days ago.
  • Florida State (RPI: 65, KenPom: 39) entered Monday night on the wrong side of the bubble, and it certainly didn’t help the Seminoles that they blew a 15-point first half lead in a loss to North Carolina.

Seton Hall’s Derrick Gordon won’t pursue pro basketball to become a firefighter

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12:  Derrick Gordon #32 of the Seton Hall Pirates celebrates after hitting a basket against the Villanova Wildcats during the Big East Basketball Tournament Championship at Madison Square Garden on March 12, 2016 in New York City. Seton Hall Pirates defeated Villanova Wildcats 69-67.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

After a successful career that included stops at Western Kentucky, UMass and Seton Hall, Derrick Gordon, Division I college basketball’s first openly gay player, will not pursue professional opportunities and will instead become a firefighter.

The 6-foot-3 Gordon averaged 8.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game as a senior for the Pirates, helping the team reach the NCAA tournament during his graduate transfer year. By making the NCAA tournament with Seton Hall this past season, Gordon became the first college basketball player to reach the event with three different teams.

A tenacious perimeter defender who could have earned a pro contract if he stuck with basketball, Gordon will instead pursue a career as a firefighter in San Francisco.

“I’ve had an amazing basketball career and want to thank everybody who has always been there supporting me every step on the way,” Gordon said via his Instagram. “But I’m making a change in my career…I will now be working towards becoming a San Francisco Firefighter!! I’m excited about this and looking forward to having a long career!!”

While Gordon likely would have never made the NBA on talent alone, his defensive prowess would have likely given him a shot overseas or in the D League. It’s hard to say why Gordon is making this decision, but given what we saw with all of the attention surrounding Michael Sam when he tried to play in the NFL, Gordon was probably going to face a lot of scrutiny wherever he decided to play.

Hopefully Gordon finds his calling as a firefighter and brings the same energy and leadership that he brought on the floor to helping other people outside of basketball.

Washington guard Markelle Fultz pulls off sick spin and dunk at FIBA U18 Americas

Kelly Kline/Under Armour
Kelly Kline/Under Armour
Leave a comment

Washington incoming freshman guard Markelle Fultz is going to be one of the premier players in the country next season as his unique game is going to be fascinating to watch.

The 6-foot-5 Fultz is currently playing with the USA U18 team in Chile for the FIBA U18 Americas as he’s second on the team in scoring and first in assists as the Americans play Canada for the title on Saturday.

Against the host country, Fultz had an electric spin move in the paint and finished with an easy dunk. If you’re not willing to stay up late to watch this dude play this year, then set your DVRs, because Fultz is going to have some fun moments during the season.

(H/t: Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report)

POSTERIZED: Class of 2016 forward Chris Seeley has a massive dunk on defender

seeley
Leave a comment

The Las Vegas AAU events are all going on this week and it’s the final event for rising seniors.

At the Las Vegas Fab 48, forward Chris Seeley of the Splash City 17U team put down one of the best poster dunks of the summer as he skied over a defender for an emphatic finish.

The Class of 2016 forward attends Central High School in Fresno, California as he’s receiving plenty of buzz for his recent play.

 

 

 

Five-star forward Jarred Vanderbilt cuts list to nine

Adidas Nations Houston
1 Comment

LAS VEGAS, NV — Five-star Class of 2017 forward Jarred Vanderbilt has been one of the most sought-after recruits in the country since he was a freshman in high school.

The 6-foot-8 native of Houston is beginning to wind things down in the recruiting process as he cut his list to nine schools on Friday. Vanderbilt’s list includes some of the most storied programs in college basketball and plenty of schools from his home state of Texas.

“I just followed my heart. Went with the schools I liked the most and who I have the best relationships with. Thear were the schools I could see myself playing for,” Vanderbilt told NBCSports.com.

Regarded as the No. 13 overall prospect in the Rivals.com national rankings, Vanderbilt is currently recovering from a broken fifth metatarsal in his left foot.

Vanderbilt will see a doctor in three-to-four weeks as he’s currently in a boot to help his foot heal.

Report: Michigan State and Penn State will play at the Palestra

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 10: Head coach Patrick Chambers of the Penn State Nittany Lions looks on against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second round of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 10, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has previously expressed a desire to coach a game at the legendary Palestra in Philadelphia and it appears he’ll get his chance in a Big Ten game this season.

According to a report from Brendan F. Quinn of MLive, Penn State will use the Palestra as its home gym for the Jan. 7, 2017 Big Ten game against Michigan State. It is the only time the two teams are scheduled to play during Big Ten season and Penn’s home gym will offer a unique setting for the game.

Since the capacity of the Palestra is 8,722, it should make for a fun atmosphere for both programs since this will be a game both fan bases will likely want to attend.

With Nittany Lions head coach Pat Chambers making Philadelphia a major recruiting priority for his program, a game like this in Philadelphia makes sense while Michigan State has always been open to playing games in unique settings such as aircraft carriers.

The Palestra has been a college basketball mainstay since it was built in 1927 as it hosts all Penn home games and, in the past, hosted a lot of Big 5 Philadelphia college games between La Salle, Penn, Saint Joseph’s, Temple and Villanova.

Overall, a fun idea that should make for an interesting experience for both programs. It’s not often that a team will change its home venue for a conference game, but it could be the start of something we see other schools look to do.