Princeton Onwas

Utah announces departure of junior wing Princeton Onwas

Leave a comment

After averaging 4.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in his first season as a member of the Utah basketball program, guard/forward Princeton Onwas will not be a member of Larry Krystkowiak’s team in 2014-15 according to Dirk Facer of the Deseret News. Onwas, who played at Navarro JC in Texas before joining the Utah program, started 11 of the 31 games in which he played last season.

Onwas, a very athletic 6-foot-5 wing, made his biggest impact on the Utah rotation during the final six weeks of the season. And after scoring 12 points in a home win over Arizona State on February 23, Onwas played at least 21 minutes in each of Utah’s final six games. During non-conference play Onwas reached double digits in three consecutive games, including a 14-point outing in a win over Savannah State.

From a scholarship standpoint Onwas’ departure puts Utah right at the 13-scholarship limit, with this move coming a couple days after 7-footer Jakob Poeltl signed a National Letter of Intent to join the program.

Outside of Onwas the Utes return every member of the rotation that won 21 games and reached the Postseason NIT in 2013-14. With guard Delon Wright and forward Jordan Loveridge leading the way for a group that will be joined by a talented recruiting class, 2014-15 is seen as the season in which Utah can reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009.

VIDEO: Duke’s Grayson Allen beats No. 7 Virginia at the buzzer

Duke's Grayson Allen (3) and Marshall Plumlee (40) react during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville in Durham, N.C., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. Duke won 72-65. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Leave a comment

Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia sparks come-from-behind win over No. 13 Louisville

Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot over Boston College’s Idy Diallo (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
(AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
Leave a comment

Demetrius Jackson scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half and Steve Vasturia scored 15 of his 20 points in the final 20 minutes as Notre Dame landed a 71-66 win over No. 13 Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

The Fighting Irish trailed by as many as 11 points early in the second half, but Vasturia’s hot shooting combined with Notre Dame holding Louisville to just 15 points in the final 15 minutes made all the difference.

The Fighting Irish are not as good as they were last season, but they are built in a similar mold. Jackson, as we expected, as become one of the nation’s most dynamic point guards, impossible to slow-down in isolation and ball-screen actions. Steve Vasturia emerging as a legitimate secondary option offensively and Zach Auguste is one of the nation’s most underrated big men and one of the most dangerous as the roll-man in ball-screens.

Combine all of that with a handful of shooters creating space and Bonzie Colson’s emergence as a force on the offensive glass, and Mike Brey once again has one of the nation’s most lethal offensive attacks.

Where they struggle is on the defensive end of the floor, which is what makes the end of Saturday’s win so meaningful. The Irish entered the day ranked 232nd in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric, which more or less means they’re as good as a bad mid-major program at keeping their opponents from scoring.

But they don’t have to be great to be able to win games.

They have to be good enough and they have to get important stops.

That’s precisely what happened on Saturday.

Whether or not that actually becomes a trend for this group will be something to monitor — it happened for Duke during last year’s NCAA tournament — but the bottom-line is this: Notre Dame does something better than just about anyone else in college basketball, and that’s score the ball.

On the nights they are able to gets some stops, they are going to be able to win some games. In the last eight days, they’ve proven that, beating North Carolina, Clemson on the road and Louisville.

And that makes them dangerous in March.