Ryan Boatright

UConn guard Ryan Boatright still undecided on 2014 NBA Draft

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One of the keys for UConn in its run to the national title was junior guard Ryan Boatright’s play on both ends of the floor. Always a high-energy offensive weapon for the Huskies, it was Boatright’s defensive play that helped key some big wins for the Huskies as they won the program’s fourth national title.

This weekend the guard was back in his native Aurora, Ill., where he was honored by the city for his accomplishments to date. But the trip home also afforded Boatright the opportunity to attend to a major piece of business: sitting down with his family and discussing whether to enter the 2014 NBA Draft or return to Storrs for his senior season and attempt to win another national title.

In a story written by Rick Armstrong of the Aurora Beacon-News, it’s clear that Boatright is undecided in regards to what he’ll do.

“I really don’t know yet,” Boatright said Saturday at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Aurora where Mayor Tom Weisner presented him a key to the city and hundreds of fans cheered him at a rousing homecoming celebration.

“I’ve gotta talk to my mother and my family tomorrow. It’s a big decision. I just want to make the right one. I’ve got ‘til the 27th (of April to declare for the NBA draft). That’s the last day. That’s another reason I came home, to talk to my family about it.”

What Boatright and junior forward DeAndre Daniels decide to do will have a significant impact on the Huskies’ chances of winning a second consecutive national title. Head coach Kevin Ollie will have to account for the loss of two key seniors in Shabazz Napier and Niels Giffey (UConn also loses Lasan Kromah and Tyler Olander), and the addition of N.C. State transfer Rodney Purvis and highly-regarded wing Daniel Hamilton will certainly help matters on the perimeter.

But the most logical options with regards to who the leadership “torch” gets passed to are Boatright and Daniels. They have until the 27th to enter their names into the NBA Draft pool, and it would be wise to leave no stone unturned as they work through the process.

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley
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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”:

Wayne Selden stars as Kansas wins the title in Maui

Wayne Selden Jr., Jeff Roberson
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The last time we wrote about Wayne Selden in this space, it was my colleague Scott Phillips who questioned, after a poor performance in the Champions Classic, whether or not Selden is capable of bring a primary scorer for a team with NCAA title aspirations.

At the time, it wasn’t an unfair question to ask.

Selden is a former top 15 recruit. He is a guy who was expected to go one-and-done that played poorly in the first big game of his third year on campus. But after three days it Maui, it appears that the old Wayne Selden is gone.

[MORE: Kansas got Cheick Diallo news today]

He capped an MVP performance in the Maui Invitational with 25 points and seven boards on 8-for-11 shooting as the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks knocked off No. 19 Vanderbilt, 70-63, in the title game. Selden was terrific for the entire weekend, averaging 21.5 points in the two games against Division I competition and shooting 12-for-17 from beyond the arc in the three game tournament.

It was the best that we’ve seen Selden play during his Jayhawk career, and it came in a game the Jayhawks desperately needed it. Vanderbilt is a damn good team. They’re ranked 19th, which may actually be too low, and they seem to clearly be the biggest challenger to Kentucky in the SEC. They jumped out to a double-digit lead on Kansas in the first half as the Jayhawks seemed to be sleep-walking early in the game.

Enter Selden. He drilled three threes in the first half and scored 13 of the 26 Jayhawk points to keep them close. In other words, he played like a star on a night Kansas desperately needed someone to step up and play like a star. Remember: this is a dude that had enough talent and potential in high school to be considered a McDonald’s All-American and a potential lottery pick. The ability is there:

(That move is filthy.)

The question has always been whether or not he is capable of putting it all together, of being the guy that can be relied upon to make the big play in the big moment, to carry a team with title aspirations.

And to be fair, the jury is still out in that regard. Are we just going to ignore those four free throws he clanged down the stretch?

But seeing Selden have this kind of performance in a game like this against a team that is this good is unquestionably a positive for Kansas moving forward.