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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

Report: North Carolina won’t attend White House

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After capturing a national championship earlier this year, the North Carolina men’s basketball team will not be visiting the White House, a North Carolina spokesman said to Andrew Carter of the The Charlotte Observer.

Although the Tar Heels were invited to go to the White House from the staff of President Donald Trump, the team couldn’t figure out a date that worked.

“We couldn’t find a date that worked for both parties,” North Carolina team spokesman Steve Kirschner said to Carter. “We tried about eight or nine dates and between they couldn’t work out that date, we couldn’t work out that date, so – we would have liked to have gone, but not going.”

According to Carter’s report, Kirschner also said that North Carolina players, “were fine with going.”

With Trump’s recent comments towards NFL players and the national anthem and his Saturday morning tweet at Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the President with regards to athletes over the past 24 hours.

Although the timing of this may seem like North Carolina is making some sort of political statement, the school is downplaying any sort of politics by focusing on the bad timing.

Xavier freshman forward Jared Ridder will transfer

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Xavier freshman forward Jared Ridder will transfer from the program to move closer to home, according to a release from the school.

The 6-foot-7 Ridder hails from Springfield, Missouri as he was regarded as a top-150 prospect by Rivals in the Class of 2017.

“After much consideration and talking with my family, I have decided that it is in my best interest to move home,” Ridder said in the release.

“Jared has indicated to the coaching staff that he has a desire to be closer to home,” Xavier head coach Chris Mack said. “While we are disappointed, we all want Jared to be happy moving forward. We wish him nothing but the best.”

A potent scorer and noted perimeter shooter at the high school level, Ridder helped MoKan win the Nike Peach Jam during the summer of 2016 playing alongside talented players like Missouri’s Michael and Jontay Porter and Oklahoma’s Trae Young. With a desire to move closer to home, could Ridder potentially land at a spot where one of his talented former teammates is playing?

Ridder averaged 24.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists during his senior season of high school ball at Kickapoo as he was a first-team, All-State selection in Missouri.

Four-star 2018 forward Ian Steere decommits from Creighton

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Creighton took a big hit to its recruiting efforts late this week as Class of 2018 forward Ian Steere is decommitting from the Bluejays, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Steere’s decommitment was first reported by Julius Kim of Elevate Hoops.

The 6-foot-8 Steere is considered a four-star prospect by Rivals as he is coming off of a very solid spring and summer playing with Team Charlotte in the Under Armour Association. A plus athlete who isn’t afraid to bang on the interior, Steere showing an improving skill level throughout the spring and summer as he could see his recruiting soar after opening things up.

According to a report from Jon Nyatawa of the World-Herald, one of the reasons that Steere is opening up his recruitment is his desire to be closer to his native North Carolina. With so many top programs looking for quality help on the interior, it’ll be interesting to see which programs jump in and try to recruit Steere the second time around.

John Wall emotional in Kentucky Hall of Fame induction speech

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John Wall was inducted into the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday night as he delivered an emotional speech while talking to his mother.

The first inductee into the Hall of Fame to play for current Wildcat head coach John Calipari, Wall only spent the 2009-10 season in Lexington but he became the first national player of the year to play at Kentucky before becoming the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Thanking his mother, Calipari, his family, friends and Big Blue Nation, the Washington Wizards guard gave a very moving speech, including an emotional part directed to his mother at around 4:35.

Ohio State snags third 2018 commitment in a week with four-star guard Luther Muhammad

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Ohio State continued a strong week on the recruiting trail on Friday night by landing a commitment from Class of 2018 guard Luther Muhammad.

Regarded as a four-star prospect, the 6-foot-4 Muhammad is a tough and rugged perimeter defender who can attack the basket. Also showing some ability to play on the ball as a secondary handler, Muhammad is a very solid addition to Ohio State’s recruiting class since they need to overhaul their roster under new head coach Chris Holtmann.

Muhammad is the third player to commit to the Buckeyes in the Class of 2018 this week as he joins four-star forward Jaedon LeDee and three-star guard Duane Washington in the current Ohio State recruiting class. Since Washington is a three-point threat and Muhammad is more of an off-the-bounce specialist, the two guards are a good start for Ohio State in this class as they will likely try to find a true floor leader to play with them on the perimeter.