WCC Basketball Tournament - Semifinals - San Francisco v Brigham Young

San Francisco sophomore guard Avry Holmes to transfer

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When starting point guard Cody Doolin left the San Francisco program after playing in just four games, there were questions as to what the Dons would do to account for his departure. One played who stepped up was sophomore Avry Holmes, who averaged 12.5 points and 3.1 assists per game and helped San Francisco win 21 games and finish tied for second place in the West Coast Conference.

With that season under his belt it was natural to wonder what Holmes would be able to do as a junior for Rex Walters, but according to Steve Kroner of the San Francisco Chronicle we won’t be finding out.

Holmes has decided to transfer, and Walters had an interesting comment in Kroner’s story on the matter.

Walters said Holmes, a Salem, Ore., native who just finished his sophomore season, “wants to try to go to a so-called high-major conference. … I don’t begrudge for it. Obviously, we’d love to have him.”

Holmes’ decision to leave the program means that the Dons will have to account for the loss of their top two scorers from last season, with graduating forward Cole Dickerson being the team’s leading scorer and rebounder. But that doesn’t mean San Francisco will have a bare cupboard, either.

Forwards Kruize Pinkins (12.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and Mark Tollefson (10.5, 3.9) will be back, as will guards Tim Derksen and Matt Glover. And while Holmes’ play was a key factor for San Francisco in the aftermath of Doolin’s departure, it should be noted that it was Glover who led the team in assists per game (3.3).

San Francisco also adds a four-member recruiting class, and SMU transfer forward Uche Ofoegbu will be eligible after having to sit out the 2013-14 season per NCAA transfer rules.

Tom Izzo’s point is valid, but he’s wrong about the new fouling rules

Eron Harris, Tom Izzo
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
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On Sunday night, after No. 3 Michigan State knocked off No. 23 Providence in the final of the Wooden Legacy, Spartans head coach Tom Izzo made sure to make his feelings known about the new college basketball officiating mandates.

He doesn’t like them.

At all.

“I just think we’re taking the flow of the game away,” Izzo said. “Maybe it’ll change. We’ll play by the same rules everybody else does. But I think I can voice my opinion to say that I don’t agree with it.”

Part of what frustrated Izzo was that, in a matchup between the two best players in college basketball, both Denzel Valentine and Kris Dunn were sent to the bench with foul trouble.

“I didn’t like it either way,” Izzo said. “I didn’t like having Denzel on the bench, and I didn’t even like watching Dunn on the bench.”

“Don’t tweet this now and leave out the officials,” he added, according to CBSSports.com. “It’s not their fault. Because that’s the way they’re mandated to call them. So I am really either blaming the rules committee, which ends up on the coaches somewhat. So I’m looking in the mirror and blaming myself because I should have argued it more maybe. I just don’t think it’s fun to have these guys sitting.”

This is nothing new for Izzo. This was calculated. He basically said the same thing after Michigan State, then No. 1 in the country, beat Oklahoma in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic two seasons ago, when the rules committee tried to implement these same rules. It was his pushback that started the campaign to get rid of the freedom of movement rules.

But here’s the thing: we all knew this was going to happen. We knew there was going to be an adjustment period, for coaches and players and referees alike. In the long run, freedom of movement is good for basketball. It’s part of the reason the NBA is so much fun to watch these days, as their emphasis on the freedom of movement got us out of the days where the Detroit Pistons were winning titles without scoring 80 points.

Physicality is ingrained in college basketball. Coaches teach defense a certain way. Players play defense a certain way. The guys in the NBA are stronger, but the style of play is much more physical in the college game than the pro game. That doesn’t change overnight.

It changes when those rules are enforced and those fouls are called, and, as a result, the players and coaches learn to adjust to them.

Kennesaw State blows eight-point lead in 16 seconds, loses to Elon

Elon Athletics
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Kennesaw State entered Monday night at 1-6 on the season, but with 19 seconds left, it looked like the Owls have their second of the season locked up. Kendrick Ray made a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left to put KSU up 89-81, and all they had to do was avoid a complete meltdown to get out with a win.

They couldn’t.

A Luke Eddy layup with 16 seconds left cut the lead to six, and after KSU’s Nigel Pruitt missed two free throws, Dainan Swoope his a three with seven seconds left to make the score 89-86.

On the ensuing inbounds, Kennesaw State threw the ball away … and then proceeded to foul Eddy when he was shooting a three. This is what that disaster looked like:

Eddy would hit all three threes before, shockingly, KSU turned the ball over again. Elon could not capitalize this time, sending the game to overtime, where the Phoenix outscored the Owls 14-4.

Elon won 104-94.

Here’s what the comeback looked like on the play-by-play:

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