Trevon Blueitt scored 17 of his 23 points in the first half as Myles Davis added 11 points, 12 boards and 12 assists — his first career triple-double — as No. 8 Xavier knocked off No. 23 Providence, 85-74, in a game that was never really in doubt.
This was the kind of performance we’ve come to expect out of Xavier. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: This is one of the deepest, most complete and most balanced teams in college basketball. They’re every bit the part of a Final Four contender.
No, the story of this game was Providence.
Specifically, the effort the Friars gave on the defensive end of the floor.
To date, that’s where this team has excelled. We know all about their limitations offensively at this point. They’re a two-man team. It’s Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil … and everyone else. When ‘everyone else’ shows up to play — when Rodney Bullock is a double-double threat that is hitting jumpers, when Kyron Cartwright and Junior Lomomba are creating off the bounce, when the supporting cast is hitting their threes — the Friars can legitimately beat anyone in the country.
They beat Arizona in a game played in southern California. They beat Villanova at Villanova. Those are really, really good wins.
But that hasn’t been the case of late. By the time Providence next takes the court, it will have been a month since the Friars beat someone not named Georgetown. They’ve lost five of their last seven games and suddenly find themselves inching their way closer and closer to the bubble.
And the concern on Wednesday is that they got worked over this badly on a night where they hit 12 threes. That’s what happens when you give up 52 first half points and allow a team to hit seven threes in twenty minutes. That’s what happens when a defense that ranked among the top 25 in the country decides not to show up until after the intermission.
I still think that Providence is a dangerous team as long as they have Dunn and Bentil, but the best way to describe what this team is at the moment is “unraveling”.
Florida freshman will miss the season with stress fracture
Bassett will require surgery in his right foot and his projected recovery time will be four-to-six months. The injury will force Bassett to redshirt the 2016-17 season.
A three-star recruit coming out of Oldsmar Christian in Florida, the 6-foot-9 forward wasn’t expected to be a big contributor during his first year with the Gators, but his loss does hurt some of the team’s frontcourt depth. With John Egbunu, Devin Robinson, Justin Leon and Kevarrius Hayes all returning, the Gators should have plenty of players to use in the frontcourt this season without Bassett.
Once Bassett is healthy and able to play next season he showed good athleticism and an ability to hit the glass hard while he was in high school. Bassett should be able to join Florida’s rotation as an energy defender and rebounder right away.
Iowa State lands four-star Class of 2017 guard Lindell Wigginton
Iowa State has its point guard of the future as four-star Class of 2017 prospect Lindell Wigginton pledged to the Cyclones on Friday.
The 6-foot-1 Wigginton is regarded as the No. 40 overall prospect on Rivals.com as the Canadian has spent the last few seasons at powerhouse Oak Hill Academy. With an ability to play both guard spots and defend a few spots, Wigginton is a valuable addition to head coach Steve Prohm’s ballclub as Wigginton could help replace Monte Morris after he exhausts his eligibility.
Wigginton is going to need to improve his consistency on his perimeter jumper, but he’s a good pull-up scorer who can make plays for himself or others off the bounce. Iowa State’s Class of 2017 recruiting haul now includes Wigginton, four-star wing Terrence Lewis and three-star guard Darius McNeill.
This commitment is huge for Prohm as Wigginton is the most highly-regarded recruit that he has landed with the Cyclones. With Prohm’s point guard history with guys like Isaiah Canaan at Murray State and Monte Morris now with Iowa State, Prohm did a nice job of finding his next young guard to mold for the future.
Davidson star Jack Gibbs to miss a few weeks with shoulder injury
Davidson senior guard Jack Gibbs is one of the most under-the-radar players in college basketball as he will be among the nation’s leading offensive threats this season if he’s healthy.
But health is going to be a question for the 6-foot-1 guard as Gibbs is dealing with a shoulder injury that will sideline him for 2-to-3 weeks, according to head coach Bob McKillop. McKillop told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that tests came back negative for Gibbs and he’s expected to be back for the Wildcats’ season-opener. The injury for Gibbs occurred during Thursday’s Davidson practice.
As a junior, Gibbs averaged 23.5 points, 4.9 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game as he became one of the nation’s premier offensive players. Gibbs is going to be a huge key for Davidson this season as he needs to be healthy in order for the Wildcats to make it back to the NCAA tournament.
VIDEO: Dennis Smith Jr. electrifies N.C. State fans at team’s scrimmage
N.C. State freshman point guard Dennis Smith Jr. excited fans with some absurd plays at the team’s Primetime with the Pack event last night.
The highly-touted, five-star prospect is the most electric prospect to come to the Wolfpack in years and Smith had the crowd buzzing with some highlight-reel dunks during the team’s 20-minute scrimmage.
Smith made one teammate look silly by putting it between his legs and throwing down a vicious dunk during one play while he also threw an alley-oop to himself to finish another break.
Kentucky freshman guard Malik Monk is going to be one of the newcomers to keep an eye on this season as the 6-foot-3 Arkansas native is an explosive scorer who packs vicious athleticism.
Monk showed Big Blue Nation some of what they can expect to see during Friday night’s Blue/White Scrimmage as he unleashed a ferocious dunk in some traffic and also had another good dunk in transition. While Monk has great lift off the floor, he also isn’t afraid to cock the ball back and put some authority on his dunks. He’s going to be a ton of fun to watch this season.