With C.J. Fair graduating and Jerami Grant declaring early for the NBA Draft, the Syracuse frontline could use a boost from its five-star incoming freshman, Chris McCullough.
McCullough is considered a top 20 recruit in the Class of 2014. Signed to Syracuse, he would like to be on campus taking summer courses and working out with his future teammates. However, the 6-foot-9 recruit is still at his home in the Bronx, needing to receive the results for several standardized tests, according to Donna Ditota of the Post-Standard.
Within the last month, McCullough took both the ACT and SAT. The feeling from McCullough and his high school coach is that the future Syracuse forward will get the necessary score which will allow him to play this upcoming season. McCullough believes the results can come in this week.
“I know I did pretty good,” McCullough told Ditota. “I studied hard and had a tutor to help me.”
“I’m just waiting for my score to get back,” he added. “As soon as I do, I’ll be in Syracuse.”
McCullough committed to the Orange back in Nov. 2012. He and point guard Kaleb Joseph form a talented duo joining the program this season. While McCullough awaits his scores, bigger questions surround Joseph. The 6-foot-2, four-star floor general wasn’t recruited to be the starting point guard his first year on campus. But Tyler Ennis outplayed expectations, and into the the first round, leaving that void for Joseph to fill. According to a recent profile of Joseph, he’s doing everything he can to prepare himself for the ACC.
Syracuse is currently projected as the fifth best team in the ACC, according to College Basketball Talk‘s Way-Too-Early Power Rankings.
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”: