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No. 16 Badgers pummel Georgetown on the glass for Maui win

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Wisconsin bullied its way to another win in Hawaii.

The 16th-ranked Badgers pulled down 20 offensive rebounds, got 20 points from Bronson Koenig and 19 from Ethan Happ as they defeated Georgetown, 73-57, in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational on Tuesday evening.

Wisconsin held just a three-point advantage at halftime, but continued to pull away from the Hoyas slowly but surely throughout the second half.

The Hoyas looked to be in position to claim a second-straight win over a ranked opponent after they bested Oregon on Monday, but surrendering 19 second-chance points to the Badgers was their undoing.

While Wisconsin finished the day with a comfortable win, there are a few interesting things to explore with coach Greg Gard’s team.

The Badgers’ uncharacteristic issues with turnovers continued yet again against the Hoyas. They finished with 13 giveaways, which rated a 19.7 turnover percentage. In the first half, when the Badgers allowed Georgetown to stay close, they were at an unsightly 24.2 percent.

For seven-straight years, they ranked in the top-five nationally in turnover percentage (including No. 1 twice) until they free-fell out of the top-100 last year amid the Bo Ryan-Gard transition with a rate of 17.1 percent. This year, it’s fallen to 22.5 percent, which ranked 289th on Tuesday night.

That’s an issue for Wisconsin given every one of their possession takes on added importance compared to other programs given their snail’s pace. Their offense runs on precision and not only are turnovers a wasted possession, they’re an indicator of sloppy play, something they’ll struggle to survive.

The other component is that when the Badgers shoot, something good typically happens. Not only is their effective field goal percentage 54.5, they are an elite offensive rebounding team, grabbing 44 percent of their misses, which ranks eighth nationally.

That’s how the Badgers were able to wear down Georgetown throughout night as they absolutely dominated the glass and erased their turnover issue and so-so shooting.

Essentially, Wisconsin doesn’t necessarily have to make shots to be good offensively, they just need to take shots.

Wisconsin’s issues obviously are offset by what the Badgers do well, and they’ll be fine with guys like Koenig, Nigel Hayes and Happ, plus their supporting cast, on the roster whether or not the turnover numbers come down or remain static.

But it’ll be interesting to see as the Badgers’ season unfolds which stats are here to stay and which will move closer to norms. If Wisconsin can clean up its turnover problems while maintaining its high-level offensive rebounding, its offense is going to be a problem for the rest of the Big Ten – and perhaps much of the country.

VIDEO: Top 2018 recruits Zion Williamson and Romeo Langford go head-to-head at adidas

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This weekend is the first live evaluation period of the spring recruiting calendar as college coaches from all over the country are scouting (and babysitting) the top recruits in the Class of 2018 and 2019.

Friday night the adidas Gauntlet in Dallas opened with a marquee matchup of two star players as five-star forward Zion Williamson and five-star guard Romeo Langford went head-to-head in what should be one of the best games of the spring.

Most scouting services have Williamson and Langford as the No. 2 and No. 3 overall prospects in the Class of 2018 as the duo didn’t disappoint in front of the huge crowd in Fort Worth.

Williamson helped his team to a win with 26 points and seven rebounds while Langford had 28 points, four rebounds and four assists. You’ll be hearing plenty about both of these guys over the next few months as both are still wide open in the recruting process.

(H/t: Ball is Life)

Report: Coppin State hires Juan Dixon as new head coach

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Coppin State has hired former Maryland star guard Juan Dixon to be its next head coach, according to a report from Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun.

The 38-year-old Dixon is best known for leading Maryland to the 2002 national championship as he was the Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four that year. Now Dixon will have a chance to lead a Division I program for the first time.

Dixon spent seven years in the NBA and also played professionally in Europe before joining the Maryland coaching staff in 2013 as a special assistant to head coach Mark Turgeon. Not retained by Maryland after the 2015-16 season, Dixon took the head coaching job for the women’s team at the University of the District of Columbia last season as the Division II program finished only  3-25.

Coppin State finished last season with an 8-24 record after losing its first 12 games of the season. While Dixon will generate some positive local buzz given his background, he’s going to have an uphill battle trying to rebuild that program.

Nebraska scores important Class of 2017 commitment from four-star guard Thomas Allen

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Nebraska landed an important commitment from the Class of 2017 on Friday as four-star guard Thomas Allen is heading to Lincoln next season.

The 6-foot-1 guard is considered the No. 99 overall prospect by Rivals in the national Class of 2017 rankings as Allen was previously committed to N.C. State before head coach Mark Gottfried was fired.

A scorer with a good amount of skill, Allen has a chance to come in and make an immediate impact at Nebraska as he can play a bit on or off the ball. Allen should help offset the loss of senior Tai Webster in the Husker backcourt.

Allen joins wing Nana Akenten in Nebraska’s Class of 2017 recruiting efforts.

North Carolina lands four-star Class of 2017 big man Garrison Brooks

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North Carolina pulled in a late Class of 2017 commitment to begin the weekend as the Tar Heels secured a pledge from four-star Class of 2017 big man Garrison Brooks.

The 6-foot-9, 225-pound Brooks was previously committed to Mississippi State, but he was granted his release this spring to explore other opportunities.

The Tar Heels pounced as they’re getting a low-post threat who could develop into a potential double-double threat. A solid rebounder who isn’t afraid to play with physicality, Brooks has a chance to earn some immediate rotation minutes with seniors like Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks exhausting their eligibility.

Brooks is regarded as the No. 120 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, according to Rivals, as he is a four-star prospect. The native of Auburn, Alabama joins a North Carolina recruiting class that includes point guard Jalek Felton, shooting guard Andrew Platek and big men Brandon Huffman and Sterling Manley.

Report: NCAA ‘anticipates’ hearing UNC case in mid-August

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Today, the AP churned out a story on Greg Sankey’s involvement with the NCAA’s investigation into the academic scandal at North Carolina, and buried within that story is this little nugget:

UNC must respond to the latest charges by May 16. The NCAA enforcement staff then has until July 17 for its own response. Sankey wrote that his panel will hear the case in August with “anticipated” dates of Aug. 16 and 17.

Rulings typically come weeks to months later.

We’ve been down this road before, as the current iteration of the Notice of Allegations is the third that the NCAA has provided the university. The first was given out back in May of 2015 for an investigation that began back in 2010.