The Gavitt Tipoff Games became official in the spring when the Big Ten and the Big East announced that they would be holding this annual eight-game series between the two conferences.
The way it works is simple: during the first full week of college basketball’s regular season, there will be two games a night for four nights — Tuesday through Friday — that pit a Big East program against a Big Ten team. It will be done to honor Dave Gavitt, one of the driving forces behind the formation of the Big East back in the late 1970s. Gavitt passed away in 2011.
It’s a really good idea for an event if for no reason other than the fact that we always need more quality early season matchups. But the kicker here is that some of the potential matchups that we are looking at simply ooze intrigue, none more than the chance to get Georgetown and Maryland onto the same court at the same time. According to Andy Katz of ESPN.com, there is, as he terms is, “a chance” that those two will meet during the event, which is a big deal.
Let me explain: the Hoyas and the Terps have played just once since 1994, when they locked horns in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando in 2008. The cause for that dispute stems back to the aftermath of the last game these two teams played in the DMV. John Feinstein explains:
The teams did meet at what was then USAir Arena in November 1993 and Maryland, back on the rise under [former Coach Gary Williams], won a wonderful game in overtime. There was supposed to be a return game but [former Georgetown Coach John Thompson Jr.] refused to schedule it, claiming Maryland wouldn’t give his school enough tickets and he had voluntarily given up control of the tickets to the ’93 game to promoter Russ Potts.
The feud runs deeper than that, however. Back in 2012, Maryland AD Kevin Anderson said that the Terps and the Hoyas would not play in any sport until the basketball rivalry gets renewed. For what it’s worth, borth schools have top ten soccer programs and will play September 30th.
Cody Riley has cut his list to five schools, according to Scout.com.
A four-star four man, Riley is now considering just UConn, Kansas, Oklahoma, UCLA and USC.
Ranked the No. 29 player in the Class of 2017 by Rivals, Riley is an undersized-but-powerful forward. His bread and butter is on the block, where his strength and low center of gravity make him a nightmare to deal with, but he’s also skilled enough to do damage as a face-up four.
Riley is from California and will be playing his senior season alongside Marvin Bagley III, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2018, at Sierra Canyon.
Auburn’s hire of Bruce Pearl was almost universally lauded as the first step towards the return of relevance for the Tiger basketball program.
And while the results have yet to shine through on the floor, Pearl is unequivocally stockpiling the kind of talent that will allow him to push for trips to the NCAA tournament and maybe one day contend for a league crown with Kentucky.
The latest step came on Sunday, when Pearl landed a commitment from Chuma Okeke, a top 50 wing prospect out of Georgia.
“He is a versatile wing who can handle and score,” said NBCSports.com recruiting analyst Scott Phillips. “Coming off of a big July, Okeke could move up the national rankings and Auburn pounced on him right away.”
Okeke joins big man Austin Wiley, a top ten player in the class, and Davion Mitchell, who is likely one of the five best point guards in the country, in what is currently the nation’s best recruiting class in 2017. That’s before you consider that Pearl already has Mustapha Heron, a top 25 prospect, joining the mix this season.
“This group has the makings of a monster recruiting class for Auburn,” Phillips said.
Okeke picked the Tigers over Florida State, Georgia and a number of other programs across the southeast.
Jay Huff is a member of Tony Bennett’s best recruiting class to date, a 6-foot-11 top 50 recruit from North Carolina.
He also happens to be pretty athletic.
Don’t believe me?
Check out this video that McDonald’s All-American Kyle Guy tweeted out on Sunday night:
Yup, that’s Huff taking off from the foul line to dunk.
Not bad, young fella.
After a successful career that included stops at Western Kentucky, UMass and Seton Hall, Derrick Gordon, Division I college basketball’s first openly gay player, will not pursue professional opportunities and will instead become a firefighter.
The 6-foot-3 Gordon averaged 8.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game as a senior for the Pirates, helping the team reach the NCAA tournament during his graduate transfer year. By making the NCAA tournament with Seton Hall this past season, Gordon became the first college basketball player to reach the event with three different teams.
A tenacious perimeter defender who could have earned a pro contract if he stuck with basketball, Gordon will instead pursue a career as a firefighter in San Francisco.
“I’ve had an amazing basketball career and want to thank everybody who has always been there supporting me every step on the way,” Gordon said via his Instagram. “But I’m making a change in my career…I will now be working towards becoming a San Francisco Firefighter!! I’m excited about this and looking forward to having a long career!!”
While Gordon likely would have never made the NBA on talent alone, his defensive prowess would have likely given him a shot overseas or in the D League. It’s hard to say why Gordon is making this decision, but given what we saw with all of the attention surrounding Michael Sam when he tried to play in the NFL, Gordon was probably going to face a lot of scrutiny wherever he decided to play.
Hopefully Gordon finds his calling as a firefighter and brings the same energy and leadership that he brought on the floor to helping other people outside of basketball.
Washington incoming freshman guard Markelle Fultz is going to be one of the premier players in the country next season as his unique game is going to be fascinating to watch.
The 6-foot-5 Fultz is currently playing with the USA U18 team in Chile for the FIBA U18 Americas as he’s second on the team in scoring and first in assists as the Americans play Canada for the title on Saturday.
Against the host country, Fultz had an electric spin move in the paint and finished with an easy dunk. If you’re not willing to stay up late to watch this dude play this year, then set your DVRs, because Fultz is going to have some fun moments during the season.
(H/t: Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report)