Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Allen scores 21, No. 6 Duke routs App State 93-58

Leave a comment

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Grayson Allen showed what he’s capable of when healthy – and then went down with the latest in a run of injuries for No. 6 Duke.

Allen scored all 21 of his points in the first half, then injured a toe late in Duke’s 93-58 rout of Appalachian State on Saturday.

Allen, who has been playing through a right foot injury suffered in last week’s loss to No. 5 Kansas, appeared to tweak that foot or ankle when he went down while going for a rebound with about 12 minutes to play and Duke leading by 35. He stayed on the bench for the rest of the game.

Allen was not available for comment after the game because he was receiving treatment, team spokesman Cory Walton said.

“He just landed funny, and when that happens, it hurts,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “It really hurts. He looked fresher in that first half than he has the entire season, and hopefully we’ll get there by Tuesday night” when No. 24 Michigan State visits.

Luke Kennard added 18 points and Amile Jefferson and Frank Jackson each finished with 15 for the Blue Devils (6-1), who have won four straight but once again must deal with an injury to a key player. Duke also has been without three injured freshman big men due to injuries and Krzyzewski says those three won’t play against Michigan State either.

“That’s frustrating, but you do what you need to do and we don’t ask anybody to feel sorry for us, and nobody will,” Krzyzewski said. “It’s just a fact of life. I don’t want, `Poor me.’ I’m not `Poor me.’ I’ve got good guys. … Totally the opposite (team) of what we thought we would have.”

Kelvin Robinson scored 12 points for the Mountaineers (2-3), who average 89 points but for the first time were held to fewer than 70.

Allen started shooting the ball better in his last game, hitting three 3s in a rout of William & Mary on Wednesday night, and he picked up right where he left off.

He led the way during an opening half in which Duke scored a season-best 55 points and used a 24-12 burst to push the lead into the 20s. Allen keyed the run with two of his four 3s, and Jackson capped it with a layup that made it 53-31.

Matt Jones added 10 points for Duke.

BIG PICTURE

Appalachian State: The Mountaineers could pull a few positives from their first visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium since 1987. They found ways to score on Duke, hitting nine 3s and scoring 34 first-half points – both the most allowed by Duke this season. That could give them a dose of confidence before their next visit to an ACC arena – they are at North Carolina State on Dec. 15.

“We knew that they were going to bring pressure offensively, their defense against our offense, and we played way too fast,” coach Jim Fox said. “And when we started missing some shots, we kind of got stagnant. … They got going, they made some shots. I’ve been here before and that’s happened, and it goes quick.”

Duke: For the second straight game, injured freshman forwards Harry Giles and Marques Bolden warmed up but didn’t play. In their continued absence, Chase Jeter was once again the first post player off the bench, but freshman Javin DeLaurier was impressive and sophomore Antonio Vrankovic scored eight points in 19 minutes. Both could make a push for Jeter’s minutes going forward.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Duke showed no evidence that it deserves to be ranked lower than No. 6, though the game against the Spartans should provide a more accurate benchmark.

HIGHLIGHT REEL

The play of the day came with about 7 minutes left in the first half when Jefferson pinned Emarius Logan’s layup attempt against the glass. Kennard grabbed the rebound to start the break the other way and lofted a perfect alley-oop pass to Jackson, who finished off the dunk to make it 37-21.

UP NEXT

Appalachian State: The Mountaineers remain in the state and will visit Charlotte on Monday night.

Duke: The Blue Devils play their marquee home nonconference game Tuesday night with a visit from No. 24 Michigan State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Follow Joedy McCreary at http://twitter.com/joedyap.

More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25.

Three LSU players accused of shooting paintballs at pedestrian

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Three LSU basketball players were issued a summons earlier this month for allegedly shooting paintballs at a pedestrian, according to a report from the Daily Reveille.

The incident involving the three players, Galen Alexander, Wayde Sims and Mayan Kiir, occurred on June 16.

“I’m aware of the situation and we are dealing with the matter internally,” first-year Tigers coach Will Wade said in a statement, according to The Advocate. “I’m extremely disappointed in these players and the poor judgement they used. This is no way to represent LSU or our basketball program. They have a clear understanding of what our expectations are as a program both on and off the court.”

Alexander and Kiir are both freshmen while Sims is a sophomore who averaged 6.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 19 minutes per game last season.

Grayson Allen is…funny?

Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images
1 Comment

The last year led to a lot of people having opinions on Grayson Allen. The Duke star invited most of them thanks to his tripping and his outbursts, as well as the simple fact he plays for the Blue Devils, who always seem to attract plenty of hate from the masses.

While Allen is one of college basketball’s best players, he’s also one of its most ridiculed. More people than not probably have a poor opinion about the guy due to his bizarre tripping habit and the bench meltdown from last season. He’s an easy target that brought a lot of criticism on himself with his actions.

This summer, though, Allen has started to show another side to his personality through social media. It turns out he might actually be funny.

The world is full of surprises.

Here’s an example from today, with Allen not only some comedy chops, but some self-deprecation and self-awareness – two important traits for someone who might need some reputation rehab – as he pokes fun of the Internet’s suggestion that he’s a dead ringer for Texas senator Ted Cruz, as well as Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, apparently.

That was just the most recent example, though. Earlier this month, he ribbed maybe the Internet’s only more favorite villain, LaVar Ball.

And before that, he had some fun with the fact that he’ll almost assuredly be tabbed to our Perry Ellis All-Stars team for his final collegiate season this fall.

So, yeah, Grayson Allen’s rep took a bunch of hits last year for some bad behavior. Maybe there’s more there, though.

IUPUI to become Horizon League’s 10th member

Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Horizon League officially announced this week that IUPUI will be replacing Valparaiso as the league’s 10th member. Valpo left to replace Wichita State in the Missouri Valley.

“We are excited to welcome IUPUI to the Horizon League family,” Horizon League commissioner Jon LeCrone said. “The Jaguars bring us tremendous competitive potential, particularly in men’s basketball, along with an engaged and energized city. Their addition solidifies our broad community partnerships in Indianapolis and is the right school at the right time.”

IUPUI — which stands for Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis — has been a member of the Summit League, which will be left with eight teams now that the Jaguars have departed. They’ve made it to one NCAA tournament, back in 2003, and have been a full-fledged member of Division I for 19 years. That was the year before NBA point guard George Hill enrolled. Current head coach Jason Gardner has been there for three years but has yet to record a winning season; IUPUI has not been over .500 since 2011, when Ron Hunter was still the head coach.

“We are excited about engaging with the other Horizon League member institutions to enhance the overall competitiveness of the league,” said IUPUI Director of Athletics Dr. Roderick Perry. “As an institution and athletics department, our mission, vision, and core values align closely with the Horizon League. This is an important step forward in the life of our athletics department.”

Former Louisville standout Chris Jones shot in Memphis

AP Photo/Kathy Willens
Leave a comment

Former Louisville point guard Chris Jones was shot while playing basketball in his native Memphis on Tuesday night.

According to a report from FOX 13 in Memphis, shortly after 11 p.m. shots rang out on in Halle Park after an altercation on the court. Two people were taken to the hospital, one with a head injury stemming from a fight. The other was Jones, who was shot in the leg twice, according to the Courier-Journal. His injuries are not life-threatening and he has already been released from the hospital, according to Steve Forbes, his former Junior College coach.

Jones played at Melrose High in Memphis before spending two years at Northwest Florida Junior College and two more seasons at Louisville.

This past year, he spent time playing professionally in Greece and in France, although he played just a grand total of three games in the two leagues.

Perhaps the craziest part about this story is that Jones was shot on a court that is next to a police station. This is a screengrab from FOX 13’s live shot from the basketball courts, and you can see the police cars in the station’s parking lot in the back ground:

Preaching patience, new Pitt AD says hoops program “a complete rebuild”

AP Photo/Athens Banner-Herald, AJ Reynolds
2 Comments

Things did not go particularly well for Kevin Stallings in his first year at Pitt. The program, which essentially pushed Jamie Dixon out the door for being consistently good but not often enough great, struggled, going 16-17 overall and 4-14 in the ACC, just two games out of the cellar.

On top of that, six players prematurely left the program this spring.

Not great, especially when you’ve got a new boss that didn’t hire you, as is the case for Stallings with new Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke, who came aboard in March. In her first meeting with Stallings, Lyke asked a rather blunt question.

“Do you want to be here?” according to the Beaver County Times.

Stallings answered that he did, and his new athletic director would appear to be willing to give her predecessor’s hire time to reclaim and rebuild the program.

“It’s a steep climb, if you will,” Lyke said. “It’s not something that’s going to come easy and it takes an incredible amount of work.”

Stallings’ personal reputation took a significant amount of damage this spring when he attempted to block Cameron Johnson from an intra-ACC transfer to North Carolina. NBC Sports’ Scott Phillips called him a “town-deaf clown” in his attempt to keep Johnson from being a Tar Heel, a position he later relinquished, allowing Johnson to head to Chapel Hill.

Losing Johnson certainly won’t help Stallings and the Panthers recover from the difficult first season. Pitt didn’t hit any grand-slams in recruiting but is adding four-star guard Marcus Carr in its 2017 class.

The immediate outlook doesn’t look particularly bright, but Pitt appears to be positioning itself to exhibit some patience.

“If you look at the team, it is a complete rebuild,” Lyke said. “So I do think that (Stallings) is going to need a little time to develop it.

“But, we’ve got to be headed in the right direction. There’s some things that have got to get better and noticeable improvements. I’ve already seen those things start to happen.”