UCLA v St. John's

Cal-State Northridge loses possible impact transfer to pro baseball

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When he made the decision to play basketball at St. John’s in 2011, 6-foot-8 wing Amir Garrett was also on the receiving end of attention from professional baseball scouts. As a left-handed pitcher, Garrett was picked up by the Cincinnati Reds in the 22nd round of the 2011 MLB Draft and given a $1 million signing bonus by the organization. While playing basketball during the school year, Garrett honed his craft on the diamond during the summer and he’s developed into one of the top pitching prospects in the Reds organization.

Following the 2012-13 basketball season Garrett decided to leave St. John’s, landing at Cal-State Northridge where he was expected to be an impact addition for Reggie Theus this season. But things have changed for Garrett, as he announced via his Twitter account Thursday that he’s decided to give up basketball in order to concentrate on baseball.

Pitching for Class A Dayton this season, Garrett’s put together a record of six wins and six losses with an ERA of 3.41. Now that he’s decided to focus entirely on baseball, it will be interesting to see what Garrett is able to do with his pitching career. The athleticism is definitely there, but splitting time between the two sports likely limited Garrett’s ability to refine his tools from a pitching standpoint.

This is a tough personnel loss for the Matadors, but they do return leading scorers Stephan Hicks (17.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and Stephen Maxwell (17.5, 8.8) from last year’s team. CSUN also adds an eight-member freshman class to the fold, including an All-CIF selection in Ajon Efferson who averaged nearly 28 points per game as a senior at Pasadena (California) HS.

h/t Rumble in the Garden, Yahoo Sports

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.