tj warren

The Secondary Break: Monday’s Links

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T.J. Warren should be rewarded with ACC Player of the Year award (Fayetteville Observer)
One day after Duke’s Jabari Parker racked up 30 points and nine rebounds in a win over North Carolina, N.C. State sophomore T.J. Warren scored 42 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a win over Boston College. So who should win ACC Player of the Year? Parker? Warren? Someone else? One writer believes that Warren should be the winner, considering his stats and what the Wolfpack would be without him.

Hoops have tied Utah star Jordan Loveridge and his father together (Deseret News)
Utah sophomore forward Jordan Loveridge has been an important player on a team that has taken steps in the right direction in 2013-14, and it’s a group that should be even better next year. And he’s had help in the process of improving as a basketball player, with his father doing what he can to help Jordan reach his goals.

Michigan coach John Beilein shows uncommon fire for his uncommon team (Detroit Free Press)
In one of the more surprising happenings of the weekend Michigan head coach John Beilein was assessed a technical foul in the first half of the Wolverines’ 84-80 win over Indiana. How uncommon was the technical foul? It was only the fourth of Beilein’s coaching career.

McDermott quiets doubters, earns first team All-Big East honors (Omaha World-Herald)
If there were any questions regarding the skill level of Creighton senior forward Doug McDermott before the start of the season, they centered around the fact that the Bluejays were moving from the Missouri Valley to the Big East. How would McDermott and his teammates adjust? Well, Creighton finished second in the conference and McDermott was a unanimous first team All-Big East selection.

Rutgers falls to Cincinnati, but head coach Eddie Jordan says program is on the right track (NorthJersey.com)
Rutgers played its final regular season game as a member of the American Athletic Conference, losing a 70-66 decision to nationally ranked Cincinnati. On their way to the Big Ten this summer, head coach Eddie Jordan feels that the program is headed in the right direction.

Road to the Final Four: Louisville is that city’s pro team (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
With the Final Four headed to Arlington, Texas next month, the Star-Telegram is taking a look at some of the programs that could wind up playing in the event. One such program is Louisville, a highly popular basketball team in a state that loves its basketball. And according to the author, the relationship between the program and the city is like that of a professional sports franchise.

Napier, Boatright did not share well at Louisville (Connecticut Post)
While Russ Smith was outstanding in Louisville’s 81-48 win over UConn on Saturday, dishing out 13 assists, the same couldn’t be said for UConn guards Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright. The talented tandem shot a combined 4-for-24 from the field, while dishing out just four assists and turning the ball over nine times. The hope in Storrs is that the beating will serve as a teaching point ahead of postseason play.

Cats land 7-foot recruit from Serbia (Arizona Daily-Star)
Arizona added a big man to its 2014 recruiting class on Saturday, with 7-footer Dusan Ristic verbally committing to attend the Pac-12 school. This is an important commitment for the Wildcats, with it still being unknown which front court players could possibly move on to the professional ranks at the end of the season.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Some conference matchups play out before football

Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, left, reacts after scoring a basket against Utah during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Oregon defeated Utah 77-59. (AP Photo/George Frey)
(AP Photo/George Frey)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Utah at No. 16 Oregon, 4:00 p.m.

From Rob Dauster’s Weekend Preview:

Utah suffered one of the worst losses I’ve seen in a while on Thursday night, when Brandon Taylor, for some unknown reason, decided to foul an Oregon State player firing up a half court prayer at the buzzer. The Utes, who are arguably the second-best team in the Pac-12, will look to bounce-back on Sunday against the best team in the Pac-12, No. 16 Oregon at 4:00 p.m.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:

1. No. 12 SMU will attempt to stay atop the American standings as they travel to South Florida. While the Mustangs won the first matchup between these two teams at home by 14, they’ve dropped their last two games on the road.

2. A few more American contests are going down as East Carolina travels to UConn and Houston heads to Tulsa. The game between the Cougars and Golden Hurricane is especially interesting because both teams are sitting two games back of SMU and trying to make a move on the postseason.

3. No. 5 Iowa continues the soft part of the schedule as they face Illinois on the road. The Hawkeyes posted recent easy victories over Northwestern and Penn State and will be heavily favored again on Sunday.

4. Could be an intriguing game as No. 17 Miami travels to Georgia Tech. Although the Yellow Jackets aren’t a major contender in the ACC, they’ve been tough this season, especially at home. The Hurricanes fell victim to Georgia Tech last season while they were ranked by Marcus Georges-Hunt has to get back on track after a recent slump for that to happen.

5. There is an Atlantic 10 game that will be featured on NBCSN on Sunday: Saint Louis at St. Bonaventure (2:00 p.m.).

CLICK HERE to watch these games on NBC Sports Live Extra Sunday afternoon.

Illinois State ends No. 21 Wichita State’s 12-game win streak

Fred VanVleet
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
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Having won 12 straight games, No. 21 Wichita State entered the weekend one of the hottest teams in the country. And with a four-game lead atop the Missouri Valley standings, clinching the regular season title was more a matter of “when” as opposed to “if.” But none of that mattered Saturday night at Illinois State, as the Redbirds managed to hand the Shockers their first conference loss by the final score of 58-53.

In addition to the 12-game win streak, which was second to Stony Brook (15 straight wins), Wichita State also saw its 19-game win streak in Valley regular season games come to an end. Illinois State was the last Valley team to beat Wichita State, eliminating the Shockers in the Arch Madness semifinals last March, and they played with the confidence of a team that believed it could win.

And after a rough first half the Redbirds found a way to come back, erasing a 16-point second half deficit in the process.

Wichita State’s issue in the second half was the fact that they couldn’t make shots. The Shockers shot just 26.7 percent from the field and 1-for-14 from three in the second half, with Fred VanVleet going scoreless and Shaq Morris scoring just one point. And just two players, Ron Baker and Conner Frankamp, managed to make multiple field goals in the game’s final 20 minutes. Illinois State certainly deserves credit for that, as they took away the quality looks Wichita State was able to find in building its lead.

And on the other end of the floor Paris Lee took control of the game during Illinois State’s comeback, scoring 13 of his 19 points in the second half with Deontae Hawkins adding 11 second-half points. Illinois State was even worse from the field, finishing the game shooting just over 27 percent from the field. But they were able to attack the Wichita State defense and get to the foul line, outscoring the Shockers 22-9 from the charity stripe. And in a game in which neither team could get much going offensively, the ability to get points from the line proved to be the difference.

This defeat doesn’t help Wichita State, but did anything really change? Maybe the margin for error when it comes to an at-large bid gets a little smaller with the loss in the eyes of some. But when considering injuries to the likes of VanVleet and Anton Grady in non-conference play, those early season losses are understandable. Saturday was a rough night for Wichita State, but given the maturity and talent on at Gregg Marshall’s disposal the Shockers will be fine moving forward.