St. Joseph’s: The Hawks picked up a win over St. Bonaventure, avoiding another bad loss on their resume and advancing them to the Atlantic 10 tournament title game against the winner of VCU and George Washington. Regardless of what happens on Sunday, the Hawks are probably safe at this point. They are now 9-8 against the top 100 with a RPI in the high-30s and just one sub-100 loss.
Providence: The Friars played their way off the bubble … by winning the Big East tournament.
Tennessee: The Vols had a chance to lock up a bid to the NCAA tournament with a win over Florida, but the Gators erased a 35-25 halftime deficit and pulled away late, knocking off Tennessee 56-49 in the SEC semifinals. Cuonzo Martin’s club will now be forced to play the waiting game, and I think that they’ve done enough that they will hear their name called on Selection Sunday. Their RPI is in the low-40s, they have three top 50 wins (including the 35-point win over Virginia in December) and a 7-9 record against the top 100 with four of those losses coming to top four teams. The three sub-100 losses are ugly, but remember: two of them came as a result of last-second three pointers from Antwan Space of Texas A&M, who hit 11 threes all season long.
This doesn’t factor into the conversation officially, but Tennessee is playing as well as anyone in the country of late and they are one of just seven teams to be ranked in the top 30 in adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack were barely in the bubble conversation until they beat Syracuse on Friday afternoon. After that win, the conversation was “beat Duke, and they’ll have a shot”. Well, N.C. State lost to Duke, which means that T.J. Warren will be lighting up scoreboards in the NIT.
One of the top points guards in the Class of 2017 has trimmed his list of potential collegiate destinations to six.
Trae Young, a consensus top-25 recruit, listed Texas Tech, Kansas, Oklahoma, Washington, Oklahoma State and Kentucky as the schools he is considering as he readies to begin his senior year of high school.
The list of the 6-foot-2 point guard is largely provincial as it includes Oklahoma, whose campus is just minutes away from Young’s Norman North High School, and fellow in-state school Oklahoma. Another pair of Big 12 schools make the list in powerhouse Kansas and the Red Raiders, whose first-year coach, Chris Beard, has spent the bulk of his career working in Texas. Texas Tech is also Young’s father’s alma mater. Washington has been on a role sending its players to the pros and recently received the commitment of top-five 2017 recruit Michael Porter, Jr.
Kentucky, of course, needs no explanation as to its attractiveness to high-level players.
Clemson will get a four-star recruit on campus a year earlier than it expected, though his on-court debut for the Tigers will remain on schedule.
A.J. Oliver, a guard from South Carolina, will enroll early at Clemson and redshirt this upcoming season, he announced via social media Wednesday.
“I woke up this morning and realized that the greatest opportunity for me is to enroll early into Clemson,” he wrote on Twitter. “I will redshirt a year & start my college career early.”
Oliver, whose mother is the head women’s basketball coach at Clemson, was a consensus top-100 player in the class of 2017 who committed to the Tigers last December. Texas Tech and the College of Charleston were involved before his commitment.
A three-star shooting guard, Scott Spencer of Virginia, was previously the only member coach Brad Brownell’s 2016 class. While Oliver’s decision to redshirt will keep him off the court for the 2016-17 season, he’ll have spent a full season in the Tiger program before making his debut in 2017
The cupboard isn’t bare in 2017 for the Tigers due to Oliver’s reclassification because Clemson received a commitment from power forward Malik Williams, a consensus top-150 player, earlier Wednesday.
Kentucky used Calipari-Chaney fight in media training
Kentucky held some media training sessions yesterday, and one of the topics that head coach John Calipari used to make a point was … his blow-up with John Chaney. The moment was captured on SnapChat by a trio of Kentucky newcomers.
You remember that incident. Chaney, then the head coach at Temple, and Cal, who was coaching Atlantic 10 rival UMass at the time, nearly came to blows over the way that Cal handled officials during the game. Before the video below picks up, the two shared this exchange:
“Could I say this to you, please?” Chaney said, before the video above picks up. “You’ve got a good ball club. But what you did with the officials out there is wrong, and I don’t want to be a party to that. You understand?”
Cal responded: “You weren’t out there, Coach. You don’t have any idea.”
Chaney fired back: “You got a game given to you by officials right here with G.W. on three bad calls, O.K.? Then you send your kids out there pushing and shoving. You had the best officiating you could ever get here. And for you to ride them, I don’t want to be a party to that.”