Shabazz Napier (AP Photo)

Our look back at 2014 NCAA tournament


source: AP

The 2014 NCAA tournament is over, but before we officially move on to the 2014-2015 season, here is a quick look back at what was an outstanding three-week event:

FINAL FOUR: All Final Four coverage All-Tournament Team:

  • Shabazz Napier, UConn
  • Scottie Wilbekin, Florida
  • DeAndre Daniels, UConn
  • Julius Randle, Kentucky
  • Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin

Best Individual Performance:

1. Xavier Thames, San Diego State vs. North Dakota State: Thames had 30 points and eight assists and, at one point, was responsible for 46 of the Aztecs’ first 55 points.

2. Adreian Payne, Michigan State vs. Delaware: Payne had 41 points on 10-for-15 shooting as the Spartans beat Delaware in the opening round.

3. Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin vs. Arizona: The 28 points and 11 boards that Kaminsky put on Arizona is the sole reason the Badgers are in the Final Four.

4. Cleanthony Early, Wichita State vs. Kentucky: Early had 31 points, hitting big shot after big shot, but it wasn’t enough to get the Shockers past the Wildcats.

5. DeAndre Daniels, UConn vs. Iowa State: Daniels scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while helping to force Melvin Ejim to miss ten of his first 11 shots as the Huskies advanced.

6. Bryce Cotton, Providence vs. North Carolina: Cotton had 36 points and eight assists, but the Friars got bounced in the opening round.

7. Shabazz Napier, UConn vs. Villanova: Shabazz finished with 25 points on 9-for-13 shooting, playing through a bad ankle and a bruised shin.

Memorable Moments:

Best Games:

1. Kentucky 75, Michigan 72

2. Wisconsin 64, Arizona 63 OT

3. Kentucky 74, Wisconsin 73

4. Kentucky 78, Wichita State 76

5. Iowa State 85, North Carolina 83

6. Kentucky 74, Louisville 69

7. Michigan State 56, Virginia 51

8. Arizona 70, San Diego State 64

9. North Dakota State 80, Oklahoma 75 OT

10. Stephen F. Austin 77, VCU 75 OT

11. Texas 87, Arizona State 85

12. North Carolina 79, Providence 77

13. Dayton 60, Ohio State 59

Biggest Shots:

1a. Aaron Harrison vs. Michigan:

1b. Aaron Harrison vs. Wisconsin

2. Desmond Hayman vs. VCU:

3. Lawrence Alexander vs. Oklahoma:

4. DeAndre Kane vs. North Carolina:

5. Amida Brimah vs. St. Joseph’s:

6. Cameron Ridley vs. Arizona State:

7. Vee Sanford vs. Dayton:

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.

Knee injury sidelines Illinois forward Leron Black

Josh Hart, Leron Black
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Illinois will be shorthanded in its front court for the time being, as during the team’s media day Thursday head coach John Groce announced that sophomore forward Leron Black is out due to injury.

Black will undergo surgery Friday to repair a meniscus tear in his knee, and he’s expected to miss anywhere from four to six weeks. A return after four weeks would have Black back on the court just before the Fighting Illini open their season November 13 against North Florida. Any longer and the Memphis native would wind up missing some game action.

Black averaged 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in just under 15 minutes of action per game as a freshman. He’s one of the players expected to contribute in the front court for the Fighting Illini, who lost their best interior defender and second-leading rebounder in Nnanna Egwu at the end of last season (guard Rayvonte Rice, who led the team in rebounding, is also gone).

In addition to Black and junior Maverick Morgan, Illinois adds redshirt freshman Michael Finke and grad student Mike Thorne Jr. (via Charlotte) to their front court rotation.