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Hayes has 17, No. 16 Wisconsin rolls over Prairie View A&M

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) Nigel Hayes was 5 of 5 from the field on Sunday. Notably, none of those shots came from outside.

Hayes, who has struggled with his 3-point shot this season, was dominant inside as he scored a season-high 17 points to lead No. 16 Wisconsin to a 95-50 win over Prairie View A&M.

Asked about his concentration on working inside, Hayes insisted he just wanted to work on layups.

“A lot of criticism comes from people who don’t know basketball well,” he said when asked about his shot selection this season. “If you look at my shots, they’re very good shots.”

Hayes has hit just 29 percent of his 3-point attempts this season, and the Badgers (5-2) haven’t been much better, knocking down 31 percent of their shots from behind the arc coming into Sunday.

But with Prairie View A&M (2-5) starting only one player listed as taller than 6-foot-4, the Badgers didn’t need much of an outside game.

They outscored the Panthers 42-18 in the paint and outrebounded them 44-26.

While Wisconsin couldn’t find its shooting touch from outside, it more than made up for that with an efficient offensive performance elsewhere. The Badgers hit 24 of their 32 two-point attempts and were 20 of 27 from the free-throw line.

Hayes, who was 7 of 8 from the free-throw line, was one of six Wisconsin players to score in double figures. Ethan Happ had 12 points and 13 rebounds, Bronson Koenig and Zak Showalter each scored 11 points, and D’Mitrik Trice and Khalil Iverson had 10 apiece.

“This is an example of how efficient he can be and how efficient we can be when we don’t settle for jump shots at times, don’t settle for early threes and really attack the paint,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said of Hayes.

Prairie View A&M coach Byron Smith said the Panthers were hampered without starters Shay’rone Jett, who he said has an academic issue, and Admassu Williams, who has a knee injury. Both are listed at 6-8 and would have given the Panthers more of an inside presence.

Zachary Hamilton led Prairie View A&M with 15 points.

“They were just too good,” Smith said of Wisconsin’s ability to neutralize the Panther’s 2-3 zone. “You just try to mix it up to do some different things and show them down a little bit.”

BIG PICTURE

Prairie View A&M: The Panthers lost their previous three games against the Badgers by an average of 33 points. Trailing 19-16 after the first 7 minutes, 30 seconds constitutes progress.

Wisconsin: No offense, Panthers, but this was just a tuneup for Wisconsin in between the Maui Invitational and No. 18 Syracuse.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

This isn’t the kind of win that impresses voters. Wisconsin is still looking for a signature win, but the season is young.

1,000-POINT CLUB

Hayes and Koenig, both seniors, were honored before the game for scoring more than 1,000 points in their careers. Koenig crossed that mark with 21 points against Tennessee on Monday. Hayes, who has now scored 1,418 points in his Wisconsin career, is one of only four Badgers to score more than 1,000 points, grab more than 500 rebounds and dish out more than 200 assists. He has 595 rebounds and 237 assists for his career. Wisconsin didn’t hand out balls to commemorate scoring accomplishments under former coach Bo Ryan.

UP NEXT

Prairie View A&M: Sunday’s game was the first of seven for the Panthers on the road. That swing continues Saturday at Houston.

Wisconsin: The Badgers host No. 18 Syracuse on Tuesday, their third game of the season against a ranked opponent.

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

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.