Thursday’s Pregame Shootaround: Arkansas, Oregon with big bubble chances

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Oregon at UCLA, 11:00 p.m.

Prior to these last two games from Arizona, the two most entertaining teams in the Pac-12 have been Oregon and UCLA. The Bruins are loaded with talent, run up and down the floor and are finally starting to win games because they are playing defense. Oregon? You can pretty much say the same thing about them, other than the fact that they don’t play much defense at all. So expect a lot of points in this one. It’s also a key bubble game for the Ducks, who are in the tournament as of now but no where near as comfortable as they would like to be.

THE OTHER GAME OF THE NIGHT: Arkansas at No. 17 Kentucky, 7:00 p.m.

The Razorbacks are in an interesting position right now. They’ve won two of their last three road games and five of their last six games overall. They beat Kentucky at home earlier this season. They have found themselves popping up in a couple of brackets recently. This loss won’t hurt their resume, per se, but missing out on a chance to notch a win over one of the two elite teams in the SEC certainly won’t help matters.

WHO’S GETTING UPSET?: No. 20 Iowa at Indiana, 9:00 p.m.

I just don’t know what to make of Iowa at this point. They have the talent, the depth, the computer profile. On paper, they look like a top ten team. On the court, they can’t close out big wins and have struggled to consistently get stops of late. The good news? Indiana stinks this year.


1) Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 10 St. Louis tonight, a game that will tip at 8:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.

2) No. 22 Ohio State pays a visit to Penn State. The Nittany Lions knocked off the Buckeyes in Columbus earlier this season.

3) There are about five Big East teams currently sitting on or around the bubble and two of them — Georgetown and Marquette — square off tonight. Josh Smith is ineligible to play, however, which means that we won’t get a chance to see him go up against Davante Gardner.

4) Gonzaga (at Pacific), Davidson (vs. UNC-Greensboro), Stephen F. Austin (at New Orleans), North Dakota State (vs. South Dakota), and Georgia State (at UT-Arlington) can all clinch at least a share of a league title tonight.

5) Temple at No. 7 Louisville and No. 21 Memphis at Houston highlights the AAC slate tonight.

Watch Lists for Cousy, West, Erving and Malone Awards

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The Naismith Hall of Fame today released the watch lists for their awards for the best point guard, shooting guard, small forward and power forward. Centers will be released on Friday.

Here they are:

Bob Cousy Award Watch List:

  • Kyle Collinsworth, Brigham Young University
  • Tyrone Wallace, California
  • Maodo Lo, Columbia
  • Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Florida State
  • D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown
  • Juan’ya Green, Hofstra
  • Yogi Ferrell, Indiana
  • Monte Morris, Iowa State
  • Frank Mason, Kansas
  • Tyler Ulis, Kentucky
  • Melo Trimble, Maryland
  • Marcus Paige, North Carolina
  • Demetrius Jackson, Notre Dame
  • Gary Payton, Jr., Oregon State
  • Kris Dunn, Providence
  • Carson Puriefoy, Stony Brook
  • Jalen Brunson, Villanova
  • Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova
  • Fred VanVleet, Wichita State
  • Bronson Koenig, Wisconsin

Jerry West Award Watch List:

  • Allonzo Trier, Arizona
  • Anthony Drmic, Boise State
  • Kellen Dunham, Butler
  • Jordan Matthews, California
  • Grayson Allen, Duke
  • Dwayne Bacon, Florida State
  • Marvell Harris, Fresno State
  • James Blackmon, Indiana
  • AJ English, Iona
  • Antonio Blakeney, Louisiana State
  • Rasheed Sulaimon, Maryland
  • Sheldon McClellan, Miami
  • Caris Levert, Michigan
  • Malik Newman, Mississippi State
  • Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
  • E.C. Matthews, Rhode Island
  • Danuel House, Texas A&M
  • Melvin Johnson, Virginia Commonwealth
  • Malcom Brogdon, Virginia
  • Ron Baker, Wichita State

Julius Erving Award Watch List:

  • Jaylen Brown, California
  • Daniel Hamilton, Connecticut
  • Rodney Purvis, Connecticut
  • Brandon Ingram, Duke
  • John Brown, High Point
  • Troy Williams, Indiana
  • Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Kansas
  • Wayne Selden, Jr., Kansas
  • Alex Poythress, Kentucky
  • Damion Lee, Louisville
  • Ben Simmons, Louisiana State
  • Jake Layman, Maryland
  • Denzel Valentine, Michigan State
  • Justin Jackson, North Carolina
  • DeAndre Bembry, Saint Joseph’s
  • Malik Pope, San Diego State
  • Michael Gbinije, Syracuse
  • D.J. Hogg, Texas A&M
  • Brandon Taylor, Utah
  • Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin

Karl Malone Award Watch List:

  • Rico Gathers, Baylor
  • Taurean Prince, Baylor
  • Ivan Rabb, California
  • Tony Parker, UCLA
  • Dorian Finney-Smith, Florida
  • Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga
  • Georges Niang, Iowa State
  • Perry Ellis, Kansas
  • Shawn Long, Louisiana-Lafayette
  • Henry Ellenson, Marquette
  • Shaq Goodwin, Memphis
  • Brice Johnson, North Carolina
  • Beejay Anya, North Carolina State
  • Ryan Spangler, Oklahoma
  • Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
  • Markus Kennedy, SMU
  • Jameel Warney, Stony Brook
  • Jordan Loveridge, Utah
  • Alec Peters, Valporasio
  • Anton Grady, Wichita State

UNLV to host NBA scouting combine

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UNLV is the latest to join in the trend of hosting their own NBA scouting combine, following in the footsteps of Kentucky and LSU.

The Runnin’ Rebels will hold their event on October 23rd and 24th at the Mendenhall Center, UNLV’s practice facility, sources told The expectation is that all 30 NBA teams will be in attendance.

The Runnin’ Rebels once again have a stockpile of pro talent on their roster. Stephen Zimmermann is projected as a lottery pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, while the likes of Goodluck Okonoboh, Patrick McCaw, Dwayne Morgan Jr. and Derrick Jones are talented enough that they will get plenty of attention from NBA scouts during the upcoming season.

Kentucky hosted their scouting combine over the weekend, with as many as 70 NBA scouts reportedly in attendance. LSU is holding their combine this week. was the first to report the news.