Late Night Snacks: No. 19 North Carolina, No. 16 Michigan win OT thrillers

Leave a comment

GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 19 North Carolina 85, N.C. State 84 (OT)

The individual duel between North Carolina’s Marcus Paige and N.C. State’s T.J. Warren was a sight to behold in Raleigh, with both surpassing the 30-point mark. But after a Warren free throw with 7.7 remaining in overtime gave the Wolfpack an 84-83 lead it was Paige who landed the final blow, scoring on a layup with nine tenths of a second remaining. Paige finished the game with 35 points and Warren 36, with N.C. State missing out on what would have been a much-needed quality win for its resume.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES:

1) No. 15 Iowa State 83, West Virginia 66

The Cyclones were able to pay back the Mountaineers for an embarrassing loss in Morgantown earlier this season, with Georges Niang going for 24 points and seven rebounds and DeAndre Kane adding 17 and 11 rebounds. WVU shot 35.8% from the field in the loss, and the result may mean the end of their slim hopes of earning an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

2) No. 24 Texas 74, Baylor 69

The Longhorns led by as many as 18 points in the first half before holding on down the stretch, snapping the visiting Bears’ four-game win streak. Cameron Ridley accounted for 20 points and ten rebounds and Javan Felix scored 21 points to lead the way for Texas. One problem for Baylor: Isaiah Austin shooting 1-for-10 from the field.

3) No. 16 Michigan 77, Purdue 76

A Glenn Robinson III basket as time expired proved to be the difference as the Wolverines maintained their lead atop the Big Ten. Robinson, playing against the school his father led to the Elite Eight in 1994, finished the 17 points to pace four Michigan players in double figures. Terone Johnson scored 22 points and younger brother Ronnie added 21 for Purdue, which saw all five scorers finish in double figures.  

STARRED

1) Marcus Paige (North Carolina) and T.J. Warren (N.C. State)

Paige scored 35 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists in the Tar Heels’ 85-84 overtime win at N.C. State. As for Warren, he scored 36 points to lead the Wolfpack.

2) Jordan McRae (Tennessee) 

In a game the Volunteers couldn’t afford to lose, McRae posted 29 points, ten rebounds and four assists in Tennessee’ 75-68 win at Mississippi State.

3) Andrew Rowsey (UNC Asheville)

Rowsey was excellent albeit in a losing effort, scoring 37 points (12-for-20 FG) and grabbing six rebounds in the Bulldogs’ 107-100 overtime loss at Winthrop.

STRUGGLED

1) Isaiah Austin (Baylor) 

Shot 1-for-10 from the field in the Bears’ 74-69 loss at No. 24 Texas.

2) Miami 

The Hurricanes shot 26.1% from the field and 0-for-12 from beyond the arc in their 65-40 loss at No. 12 Virginia. Prior to Wednesday, Virginia hadn’t held an opponent without a made three-pointer since 1999.

3) Terran Petteway (Nebraska)

Petteway scored 13 points but did not shoot well in doing so, making just five of his 18 attempts in the Cornhuskers’ 60-49 loss at Illinois.

NOTABLES

  • Pittsburgh ended its three-game losing streak with a 66-59 win at Boston College. Talib Zanna paced the Panthers with 21 points and six rebounds, scoring 11 points in the game’s final nine and a half minutes.
  • UNLV grabbed sole possession of third place in the Mountain West with a 78-70 win over Colorado State. The starting backcourt of Bryce Dejean-Jones, Kevin Olekaibe and Deville Smith combined to score 48 points.
  • Jahii Carson scored 24 points as Arizona State rebounded from a disappointing effort at Utah by beating Stanford, 76-64.
  • One bubble team that didn’t take care of business: Richmond. The Spiders trailed by as much as 23 early in the second half before falling 69-60 at George Mason.
  • John Brown scored 27 points and grabbed ten rebounds to lead High Point to a 70-67 win over VMI, moving the Panthers into sole possession of first place in North Division of the Big South.
  • Jarvis Threatt made his return to the starting lineup and performed well, tallying 24 points, six assists and four steals in Delaware’s 70-57 win over UNCW.
  • Javon McCrea scored 15 points to lead Buffalo to a 69-64 win at Ohio, increasing the Bulls’ lead in the MAC East two two games.
  • Nick Johnson led five players in double figures with 22 points as No. 3 Arizona avenged its loss at Cal earlier this season, beating the Golden Bears 87-59.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

Illinois lands important commitment from four-star Class of 2017 guard Mark Smith

2 Comments

Illinois landed a very important Class of 2017 commitment on Wednesday as guard Mark Smith pledged to the Illini.

The 6-foot-4 Smith was previously a Missouri commit for baseball, but some issues with his arm caused him to look back into basketball last summer. A native of Edwardsville, in the St. Louis metro area, Smith came out of nowhere to win the Illinois Mr. Basketball award as a senior this season as he averaged 21.9 points, 8.4 assists and 8.2 rebounds while becoming a consensus national top-100 prospect.

Rivals rates Smith as the No. 52 overall prospect in the Class of 2017 as he could come in and earn immediate minutes at Illinois next season at either guard spot.

This is a very important commitment for head coach Brad Underwood and the Illini as the new head coach was able to hold off some elite programs like Kentucky and Michigan State for Smith’s services.

Northwestern gets commitment from Boston College transfer A.J. Turner

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Northwestern landed a transfer on Wednesday as former Boston College wing A.J. Turner pledged to the Wildcats, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com.

The 6-foot-7 Turner just finished his sophomore season with the Golden Eagles as he averaged 8.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. A well-rounded wing who also shot 37 percent from three-point range, Turner will have to sit out one season due to NCAA transfer regulations before getting two more years of eligibility.

With Scottie Lindsay and Vic Law only having limited time left in Evanston, Turner provides a bit of insurance on the wing for the Wildcats for the future as he’s a proven rotation player coming from the ACC.

Oakland’s Greg Kampe hosting charity golf event with big-name coaches

(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Oakland head coach Greg Kampe hosted a successful charity event for cancer research two years ago by allowing people to bid online to play a round of golf with some of college basketball’s best coaches.

Kampe is back again this year as he’s hoping to eventually raise $1 million for the American Cancer Society.

According to a report from Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press, Kampe has 11 high-profile names that fans can play with this year.

  • Tom Izzo, Michigan State
  • Frank Martin, South Carolina
  • Rick Barnes, Tennessee
  • Mick Cronin, Cincinnati
  • Chris Holtmann, Butler
  • Kevin Willard, Seton Hall
  • Greg Kampe, Oakland
  • Stan Van Gundy, Detroit Pistons
  • Steve Lavin
  • Fran Fraschilla
  • Bill Raftery

Fans can find more details about the auctions and all of the details here.

The minimum bid is $15,000 per coach. A “buy now” bid of $24,000 is also available.

Each round includes the following, according to the event’s website:

Up for auction will be 11 spectacular packages, featuring a private dinner with elite basketball coaches and VIPs, a one night stay at MotorCity Casino Hotel on Sunday, June 4, and an afternoon of golf on Monday, June 5 at Oakland Hills Country Club on the South Course. The winning bidders and their two guests will round out the foursomes with their selected VIP: Rick Barnes, Mick Cronin, Fran Fraschilla, Chris Holtmann, Tom Izzo, Greg Kampe, Steve Lavin, Frank Martin, Bill Raftery, Stan Van Gundy, or Kevin Willard.

There are a lot of great selections to choose from for this sort of thing, but I can’t imagine a better afternoon than playing golf with Bill Raftery and a few friends. There are some other tempting choices on this list, but that’s the one I would have to jump at.

If you think 137 players declaring for the draft is stupid, you’re probably stupid

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
4 Comments

The NBA Draft’s full early entry list came out on Tuesday afternoon, and there were 137 underclassmen listed on it.

137.

For 60 spots in the NBA Draft, only 30 of which guarantee you a contract in the NBA.

And that’s before you factor in the 45 international players that also declared for the NBA Draft, as well as the crop of seniors — Josh Hart, Monte’ Morris, Jaron Blossomgame, Alec Peters — that are going to end up hearing their names called. All told, there are going to be roughly 200 players competing to be one of the 60 people that end up getting drafted on June 22nd, and you don’t have to be any good at math to realize that 200 is a much, much bigger number than 60.

This unleashed a torrent of bad takes on the decision of these players.

And bad may not be doing those takes justice.

Because the bottom-line is this: You cannot paint the decision on whether or not to go pro with a broad brush.

For some players, making money of any kind is something they need to do to support their family, whether it’s what they’ll get with a first round guarantee, the $75-100,000 they’ll get for making a training camp roster to subsidize their time in the D-League while teams develop them or the money they can make in the D-League or overseas. You don’t know what their financial situation is. Maximizing their ability to capitalize on every available dollar they can make off of their athletic gifts may be more important than working towards a degree.

And it’s worth noting here that a guaranteed contract isn’t the only way to make a living in professional basketball. To say nothing of the money that can be made overseas or the number of second round picks and undrafted players that make guaranteed money — which is more than you probably realize — it needs to be noted that D-League salaries are getting a bump this year with the new CBA.

The NBA has also instituted something new called a “two-way contract”. Without getting into the legalese, it’s essentially a retainer worth well into the six figures that they will be able to give to two players that will allow them to retain that player under contract while sending them between the D-League and the NBA roster. In a sense, it creates an extra 60 NBA roster spots for players that have 0-3 years worth of professional basketball on their résumé.

Some players are simply declaring without signing with an agent because they want to get feedback directly from NBA personnel on what their professional prospects. Some will hear that they need to return to school to work on their body, or work on their jumper, or mature as a person to be able to handle everything that comes with being a professional. Others will be told they’re going to make a lot of money by staying in the draft, or that they need to go back to school because, frankly, they are not professional basketball players. Not getting invited to the NBA combine is a pretty good indication of where you stand in the eyes of NBA teams.

Still other players are putting their name into the draft to leave their options open should they be recruited over by the program they are a part of. Take Frank Jackson, for example. If he can return to school and thrive as Duke’s point guard, maybe he turns into a top 20 pick. But what happens if Trevon Duval, the best point guard in the Class of 2017 and a top five pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, picks Duke? Would it be in Jackson’s best interest to come back to Duke when he won’t be playing the position that he needs to learn to play to turn himself into a lasting NBA player?

Jackson, like the roughly 100 underclassmen that have declared without an agent, has until May 24th to make his decision on whether or not he will keep his name in the draft. Until then, he can return to school without damaging his eligibility.

The entire reason that the NCAA changed their rules to allow players to test the waters is so that they can make the most important decision of their lives with as much information as humanly possible. This thing exists for the sole purpose of allowing the kids to have as much knowledge about their options as possible.

And that is exactly what these kids are doing.

So the idea that this rule, or players taking advantage of that rule, however high that number may be, is a bad thing is stupid.