The Secondary Break: Thursday’s Links

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The McBucket List and his path to 3,000 points (Sports Illustrated)
Creighton senior forward Doug McDermott will play his first Big East Tournament game on Thursday night as the Bluejays face DePaul. Thus begins the quest to accomplish another goal, which is to win the event. But prior to that, here’s a look at some of the points McDermott scored on his way past the 3,000-point mark.

30 for 30 Shorts: “Untucked” (Grantland)
The 1977 Marquette basketball team had some incredibly unique uniforms, as they were designed to not be tucked in. The look was controversial, but Al McGuire’s team rose above that to ultimately win the program’s first (and to this point, only) national title.

Season complete, time for Hokies’ new AD to decide James Johnson’s fate (Hampton Roads Daily Press)
Virginia Tech’s tough season, one in which they were overmatched on most nights in the depth and talent categories, came to an end Wednesday afternoon as they fell to Miami in the first round of the ACC tournament. With that comes the time for new athletic director Whit Babcock to take a look at James Johnson’s program, and he’ll need to decide whether or not Johnson is the right man for the job.

College basketball’s conference tournaments? Here’s why I hate them (The Sporting News)
Conference tournaments are a hot-button topic of sorts for some, with upset losses suffered by favorites in smaller leagues triggering the argument that these games are more risk than reward. Another argument that gets made is the fact that three (or more) days are lent more credence than a solid two months in conference play.

Kansas basketball coaching tree flourishing (Lawrence Journal-World)
Bill Self’s Kansas Jayhawks have once again put together a very good season, winning a tenth consecutive Big 12 title. But the good times have also been experienced by members of the Kansas coaching tree, with Danny Manning (Tulsa), Barry Hinson (Southern Illinois), Larry Brown (SMU) and Jerod Haase (UAB) all putting together solid campaigns.

Villanova benefitting from Arcidiacono’s evolution (CSN Philly)
As a freshman Villanova point guard Ryan Arcidiacono was sked to be the leading offensive option for the Wildcats, which led to more shot attempts and points for the New Jersey native. But as the team has grown stronger Arcidiacono’s game as evolved, becoming a better distributor and a more efficient scorer as well.

Ted Bancroft walking off after walking on at Providence College (South Coast Today)
Providence senior guard Ted Bancroft may not receive the playing time or accolades that have been given to classmates Kadeem Batts and Bryce Cotton, but the senior’s proven to be more valuable than many expected the walk-on to be when he arrived. Bancroft has played in 27 games this season, and when the Friars have lacked depth he’s answered the call.

SLU’s freshmen learning all they can from seniors (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Jim Crews’ Atlantic 10 champion Saint Louis Billikens are a senior-led squad, with guard Jordair Jett and forward Dwayne Evans II being two of the headliners. And with that class out of eligibility at the end of this season, the Billikens’ young players have looked to absorb as much as they can from the savvy veterans.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Kris Dunn vs. Denzel Valentine; Two 6-0 teams from Ohio battle in Orlando

Kris Dunn
AP Photo
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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 3 Michigan State vs. Providence, 9:00 p.m. (ESPN2)

Two Player of the Year candidates lock horns on Sunday night as Michigan State senior Denzel Valentine battles Providence’s Kris Dunn. Both players are strong threats to record a triple-double each time they take the floor and both are key reasons why their teams are 6-0. The Friars could probably use this game a bit more than Michigan State since they enter this game unranked and could use another confidence-boosting win for a team filled with newer players. As for the Spartans, winning the Wooden Legacy would mean another great accomplishment before December even started for a team that has national title aspirations.

THIS ONE’S GOOD TOO: No. 23 Xavier vs. Dayton, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

These two 6-0 teams from Ohio will meet in Orlando in the championship game of the AdvoCare Invitational. The Musketeers have six different players averaging at least 9.7 points per game this season as they’ve received great balance on the offensive end. As for Dayton, Charles Cooke as emerged as a go-to player early this season while guard Scoochie Smith has also been outstanding. This will be the first time these two schools have played since Feb. 16, 2013.


  • One of the fun teams to watch this week has been Monmouth and their amusing end-of-bench antics. On the floor, the Hawks knocked off Notre Dame and gave Dayton a scare and they’ll face USC for the second time this season to close out the AdvoCare Invitational. The Trojans won the first one 101-90, but this is a 12:30 p.m. EST tip, so that could benefit Monmouth the second time around.
  • Wisconsin visiting No. 7 Oklahoma is an intriguing Sunday matchup. The Badgers could certainly use a true road win here as they’re off to a 4-2 start. The Sooners get more of a real test after only playing Memphis as a notable opponent their first three games.
  • Also going on in the AdvoCare Invitational is No. 20 Wichita State facing Iowa and No. 17 Notre Dame battling Alabama. The Shockers are going without senior starters Fred Van Vleet and Anton Grady as they try to escape Orlando with a win. Notre Dame is hoping to close out the event strong after its surprising upset to Monmouth.
  • Action also continues in Anaheim at the Wooden Legacy as No. 11 Arizona will take on Boise State, while Boston College plays Santa Clara and UC Irvine faces Evansville. Arizona will look to get back on the right track after the close loss to Providence in the semifinals.
  • No. 6 Duke gets an afternoon tilt with Utah State at home before they face Indiana during the week. It’ll be interesting to see if Blue Devil freshman wing Brandon Ingram keeps his strong play going from earlier in the week.
  • UCLA returns home and could badly use a win against Cal State Northridge. The Bruins went a disappointing 1-2 in the Maui Invitational and need to get back on the right track before the face No. 1 Kentucky next week.


  • Brown vs. No. 25 SMU, 2:00 p.m. (ESPN3)


  • Jackson State at Marquette, 12:30 p.m.
  • Rider at Rhode Island, 1:00 p.m.
  • Savannah State at South Florida, 1:00 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • South Carolina State at Kansas State, 2:00 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Northern Colorado at Colorado, 2:00 p.m. (PAC12)
  • UC Santa Barbara at Arizona State, 4:00 p.m. (PAC12)

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics