mcdermotts

The Secondary Break: Wednesday’s Links

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Doug McDermott’s value to Creighton goes way beyond court (USA Today)
Saturday night Creighton senior forward Doug McDermott surpassed the 3,000-point mark in his storied career. And there are still things to be accomplished for McDermott and his teammates, who will play in their first Big East tournament on Thursday. And McDermott’s been a huge figure for Creighton, which has benefitted in many ways during his four seasons in Omaha.

Baylor men rely on swingman O’Neale for whatever is needed (Waco Tribune)
At the end of the 2012-13 season Royce O’Neale made news as he decided to transfer from Denver to Baylor in order to be closer to a sick relative. Those who had seen O’Neale play knew that the Bears were gaining a player who could help them in a variety of ways, and in his first season in Waco the swingman has done just that.

Hens looking for wins out of NCAA trip (Wilmington News Journal)
For teams out of one-bid conferences, the moments after earning a trip to the NCAA tournament are filled with joy. But after that euphoria subsides there’s a realization that there’s still more work to be done, with an eye towards not just competing but ultimately winning. That’s the spot Delaware finds itself in, and Monte Ross’ team aims to make some noise in the NCAA tournament.

KU’s Andrew Wiggins gets a final few games to burnish his reputation (Kansas City Star)
For some of the nation’s top freshmen, these final weeks of the season also mark the end of a career as some are projected to be lottery picks. With this being the case the NBA becomes a tough opportunity to pass up, and as a result the way in which these phenoms finish their college career becomes even more important from a legacy standpoint. One such player is Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins.

TV timeouts are ruining college basketball (Awful Announcing)
By this point in the season those who had little idea as to why college games feature eight media timeouts have learned that they’re a necessary evil. But that doesn’t mean viewers have to like the fact that there are so many stoppages in games, and in the linked article there’s an argument that media timeouts are ruining college basketball.

American Athletic Conference tournament tickets may be the best value in college basketball (Forbes)
With the larger conferences beginning their tournaments on Wednesday, ticket prices will rise exponentially at some venues. But in the case of the American’s conference tournament, there a feeling that those who descend upon Memphis will receive great value for their monetary investment.

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.

VIDEO: New Mexico loses game on blown call by officials

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Nothing like a nice, controversial finish to get the blood flowing.

New Mexico was on the receiving end of a rule misinterpretation on Saturday afternoon, and that interpretation likely cost the Lobos a win over San Diego State and, arguably, a shot at the MWC regular season title.

Here’s the situation: New Mexico is up by three with 12 seconds left and the ball under their own basket. Their allowed to run the baseline, so Craig Neal calls a play where the inbounder throws the ball to a player running out of bounds.

Totally league as long as the player establishes out of bounds before touching the ball. The referee rules that he doesn’t.

Here’s the video:

The problem?

According to the rules, Xavier Adams — the player receiving the pass from Cullen Neal — only needed one foot on the floor out of bounds in order to establish himself as an inbounder that was able to catch that ball. He got one foot down (see the picture above), but the referees appeared to rule that he needed to have both feet down.

That was incorrect, according to the Mountain West office.

“While this was a very close judgment call made at full speed, it has been determined after careful review of slow-motion video replays the call was in fact incorrect,” the league said in a release. “The New Mexico player did get one foot down (two feet are not required) out-of-bounds before receiving the ball, thus establishing his location in accordance NCAA Basketball Playing Rules 4.23.1.a and 7.1.1.  By rule, the officials were not permitted to go to the monitor during the game to review this play.”

And here’s the kicker: When SDSU got the ball back, they hit a three to send the game into overtime, where the Aztecs won. But if New Mexico had won this game, they’d be sitting at 8-2 in MWC play, one game behind SDSU in the loss column with a return game against them in The Pit.

Instead, they’re now three games back with seven to play, meaning that the race is effectively over.

It’s tough to blame the referees here — it was a bang-bang call that is only clear in slow-motion replay — but man, that’s a big call to miss.