vanvleet

The Secondary Break: Wednesday’s Links

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How Fred VanVleet’s stepdad made him the perfect point guard for Wichita State (Bleacher Report)
Sophomore point guard Fred VanVleet has been a key figure this season for No. 2 Wichita State, making the move into the starting lineup without a hitch. One reason why the talented guard was ready to assume the responsibility that comes with the position is his stepfather, who kept on VanVleet as a youngster in Rockford, Ill.

Is Stephen F. Austin this season’s FGCU? (USA Today)
Last season FGCU both shocked and captivated the basketball world with its run to the Sweet 16, using an attractive style of basketball to beat both Georgetown and San Diego State before falling to Florida. One team some feel is capable of duplicating that run is Stephen F. Austin, a team that is 27-2 and hasn’t lost since November 23.

Before acting, KU senior Wesley left mark as key big (Lawrence Journal-World)
One front court player who hasn’t seen much playing time this season at Kansas is senior Justin Wesley, a walk-on who also played Wilt Chamberlain in the movie “Jayhawkers.” But this doesn’t mean the Lamar transfer didn’t have an impact on the program, as he was the first front court player off the bench for the 2011-12 team that won the Big 12 title.

Hood, Polson lived their dreams at Kentucky (WDRB Louisville)
No. 24 Kentucky picked up a much-needed win, outlasting Alabama on Senior Night. The two players honored prior to the gem were Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson, two in-state players living out the dreams of many by suiting up for the Wildcats.

SLU hopes to send off seniors with title-clinching win (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Saint Louis has dropped its last two games, but the Billikens remain in sole possession of first place in the Atlantic 10 entering Wednesday’s game against Dayton. And the team’s five seniors are looking forward to the opportunity to finish their home career with a win that would clinch at least a share of a second consecutive Atlantic 10 regular season crown.

Special night at Gampel for Napier, Giffey, Olander, Kromah (Hartford Courant)
UConn will honor its senior class on Wednesday night when the Huskies host Rutgers, and three of the players to be honored have a particularly special bond. At a time when players were transferring, the NCAA was about to hit the program with a postseason ban and the Big East would undergo its metamorphosis, Niels Giffey, Shabazz Napier and Tyler Olander all remained in Storrs. Loyal to the program, and loyal to each other, they’ve helped (to varying degrees) get UConn back on track.

Tony Bennett, Joe Harris reap rewards of their faith in each other (Sports Illustrated)
On Saturday afternoon Virginia guaranteed that it would finish atop the ACC standings for the first time since 1981, beating Syracuse 75-56. It was also Senior Day in Charlottesville, and one of the players honored was guard Joe Harris. Harris, a native of Washington, made the move across the country to play for Tony Bennett and the move has paid off for Virginia basketball.

VIDEO: Monmouth hits a game-winner, Bench Mob member tries to disrobe

King Rice
AP
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.

The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:

No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.

UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.

All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.

The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.