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No. 3 Indiana is upset by Fort Wayne in overtime

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Bryson Scott had 18 points, 12 boards, three assists and three steals to lead Fort Wayne to a 71-68 overtime win over No. 3 Indiana in Fort Wayne on Tuesday night.

John Konchar added 15 points, 11 boards and four assists, hitting a free throw with less than a minute left in the game that gave the Mastadons a 69-68 lead. The win was made all the more impressive by the fact that Mo Evans, Fort Wayne’s best player who was averaging 23 points entering the night, was just 4-for-15 from the floor as he battled foul trouble all night.

Indiana was without O.G. Anunoby for much of the night. He was scoreless and sat out for most of the second half and overtime.

Before I get into my full thoughts on this game, a couple of things to note:

1. We need to credit Indiana for actually scheduling this game. It wasn’t a true road environment – the game wasn’t played at Fort Wayne’s on-campus facility and there were more Indiana fans in the building than Fort Wayne fans – but it was a road game. Tom Crean didn’t have to play this game and he usually doesn’t play games like this, but they make college basketball so much better when they are played in November. So a tip of the cap to you, Tom. I hope this doesn’t change your mind on games like this.

“I want to say here, I appreciate Coach Crean for coming. What he did today was unbelievable,” Fort Wayne head coach Jon Coffman said in the postgame interview while holding his son in his arms in a see of Mastadon fans that stormed the court. “It doesn’t happen in college basketball. Taking the challenge, for him to bring his team to Fort Wayne and help our city, not about our win, but they’ll be talking about Indiana coming to Fort Wayne for the next 50 years. He was the reason they did it. No one else in the country will do that.”

“Right now, he’s thinking this was a bad decision. They’ll have growth from this. I really appreciate him just coming. Win or loss, we won the game before it started.”

2. Fort Wayne is good. They are the favorite to win the Summit League, which is always one of the better mid-major leagues in the country. They’re tough defensively, they’re well-coached and they went into this game expecting to win. So we’ll give them a tip of the cap as well.

As far as the Hoosiers are concerned, this game really shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise to Indiana fans if they were paying attention.

Indiana is a team that relies heavily on the three-ball. That’s more or less been the case for every relevant team that Tom Crean has had with the exception of the team that featured Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo. When those threes are going down, when this team gets hot, the Hoosiers can do what we saw them do on the season’s opening night. They can beat a team like Kansas, who just about everyone has had pegged as a top three team since Kris Jenkins buried a buzzer-beating three to end the 2015-16 season.

When those threes are going down the way that they went down against Kansas – on Tuesday, Indiana shot 7-for-24 from three – it can mask the warts on a team.

And this Indiana team has warts.

Well, it’s more of a wart, singular: The don’t have a second option offensively when teams can run them off the three-point line. They don’t have a go-to guy. Look at their roster. Who on that team can create their own shot?Who can create an open look for someone else on the floor? Who on that team can Crean give the rock to and say, ‘clear out, he’s got this’? Who is their Yogi Ferrell?

Against Kansas and during the first two weeks of the season, it looked like it would be James Blackmon Jr., but he played terribly against Fort Wayne. There were stretches where it didn’t look like he was able to put the ball on the floor without dribbling off of his feet. He finished with 13 points on 6-for-14 shooting while going 1-for-5 from three and committing three of Indiana’s 14 turnovers.

Robert Johnson couldn’t be that guy on Tuesday. Neither could Josh Newkirk or Juwan Morgan. When Thomas Bryant actually did get the ball in the most he wasn’t able to score either.

It’s a huge problem for the Hoosiers, one that isn’t going to go away anytime soon.

Indiana is going to get their fair share of wins this season simply because they have enough dangerous shooters and they are a capable-at-worst defensive team, particularly when Anunoby is healthy.

But without a go-to guy, there aren’t going to be answers when a team is able to bog their offense down.

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.