Quinton Chievous

Hampton hoping transfer Quinton Chievous can have immediate impact

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The 2013-14 season in the MEAC was dominated by North Carolina Central, as Levelle Moton’s team went 16-1 in conference play and earned its first NCAA tournament berth as a Division I member. The question for the other teams in the MEAC heading into the offseason was a simple one: how do they close the gap between themselves and the defending champion Eagles?

One team asking that question is Hampton, which finished second in the MEAC standings with a 13-4 record. But the goal for teams in small conferences is to win their league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, and for the second consecutive season Edward Joyner Jr.’s team lost its MEAC tournament opener.

The good news for Hampton is that while leading scorer and rebounder Du’Vaughn Maxwell (14.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg) is out of eligibility, they return the other four of their top five scorers led by point guard Deron Powers (11.8 ppg, 4.0 apg). The Pirates also add four newcomers with the most recent being former Tennessee guard Quinton Chievous.

Chievous played in just nine games last season for the Volunteers, but that hasn’t kept his new head coach from thinking positively about the impact the transfer could potentially have. Joyner discussed the possibilities in a story written by David Teel of the Hampton Roads Daily Press:

“We have some good young kids coming back,” Joyner said. “We thought we were going to be good anyway. So anybody we brought in, we felt like had to have an impact right now. Or, somebody worth investing the future in. Anything in between really didn’t make sense. We felt like he would come in and make an immediate impact.”

“We think with the addition of Quinton, you can never promise a championship, but we feel like we’re right up there,” Joyner said. “We know we’re ready to compete for it, and hopefully he can help take us over the top.”

Chievous will have two seasons of eligibility remaining, and the fact that he’ll be graduating from Tennessee in three years makes him eligible to play immediately. And while he played in just 22 games in two seasons (according to the story, Chievous felt he was being used out of position and should have spent more time on the wing), a fresh start could be just what the doctor ordered for Chievous.

The last program to repeat as MEAC tournament champions was Morgan State, with the Bears winning the crown in 2009 and 2010. With Chievous joining a solid combination of returnees and newcomers, Hampton will look to make sure that remains the case.

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.