It looks as if guard A.J. Lapray won’t be the only Oregon Duck moving on to another program this offseason.
Late Thursday night it was reported by Matt Youmans of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that sophomore power forward Ben Carter has been released from his scholarship and is expected to transfer. And according to the story Carter, who played his high school basketball at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, is likely to wind up at UNLV.
After missing the first nine games of the season due to an NCAA suspension regarding the sale of team-issued sneakers (fellow sophomore Dominic Artis was also suspended) Carter averaged 12.7 minutes per contest, contributing 2.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-8 forward reached double figures just once last season, scoring 11 points in a loss at Oregon State in mid-January.
Oregon has already lost Mike Moser, Richard Amardi and Waverly Austin from its front court rotation, and Carter’s anticipated departure means more opportunities for incoming recruits Michael Chandler (junior college), Jordan Bell and Ray Kasongo. Elgin Cook, who proved to be a key contributor as the season progressed, will return next season.
Carter’s move drops Oregon to one scholarship below the limit (13), meaning that head coach Dana Altman has room to add another player to the program. As for UNLV, if Carter were to transfer there all 13 available scholarships would be filled with the forward having to sit out next season per NCAA transfer rules.
A scholarship opened up when Roscoe Smith announced his decision to turn pro, and the program is still awaiting a decision from Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year Khem Birch.
GAME OF THE NIGHT: Syracuse vs. No. 18 UConn, 3:30 p.m.
For the first time since the Orange departed the Big East, the two former rivals will square off. Today’s battle will take place at the Battle 4 Atlantis, as the Orange knocked off Charlotte yesterday and the Huskies dispatched Michigan. To get ready for this battle, I’d suggest ready through the conversation @NoEscalators had with himself last night.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 25 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Gonzaga, 1:00 p.m.
The other semifinal in the Battle 4 Atlantis could end up being just as good, as the Aggies — who might be the second best team in the SEC — square off with a Gonzaga team that has one of the best front lines in the country. This will be a good test to figure out just how good both of these teams are.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
1. No. 20 Wichita State vs. USC, 2:00 p.m.: The Shockers will be without Fred VanVleet for this event. It will also be a chance for us to gauge just how good this 4-0 USC team is.
2. No. 23 Xavier vs. Alabama, 12:00 p.m: The Musketeers should have no problems dispatching Alabama.
3. No. 8 Villanova vs. Stanford, 4:30 p.m.: The Wildcats are, once again, as good as any team in the country. Josh Hart might be the nation’s most underrated star.
4. No. 14 Cal vs. San Diego State, 12:00 a.m.: Tyrone Wallace and company have been awesome this season. They get their first real test of the season tonight.
5. Providence vs. Evansville, 7:00 p.m.: Evansville is one of the nation’s best mid-majors, good enough to give the likes of Wichita State and Northern Iowa a fight in the Missouri Valley. And Providence? They got a kid named Kris Dunn. Heard of him?
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 3 Michigan State vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m.
- No. 11 Arizona vs. Santa Clara, 11:30 p.m.
- No. 17 Notre Dame vs. Monmouth, 6:30 p.m.
No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.
Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.
But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.
It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:
After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”: