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De’Aaron Fox’s triple-double leads No. 1 Kentucky to another blowout win

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Malik Monk and Isaiah Briscoe combined for 43 points, 11 assists and seven boards while De’Aaron Fox posted Kentucky’s first triple-double since Chris Mills in 1988 as the No. 1 Wildcats rampaged all over Arizona State in the Bahamas, 115-69.

It was a total and complete mismatch, one that I’m sure Bobby Hurley regretted scheduling five minutes into the first half. (At least he got to spend some time in the Bahamas, right?)

Anyway, it’s hard to take all that much out of this performance – it wasn’t a fair fight, more on that in a second – but there were a couple of promising signs. For starters, the Wildcats hit 11 threes as a team on a night where Malik Monk was just 3-for-10 from beyond the arc. Isaiah Briscoe hit both the threes he attempted. De’Aaron Fox hit the only three he attempted. That duo was a combined 2-for-21 from beyond the arc on the season heading into Monday night.

And, frankly, it was good to see Isaiah Briscoe out on the floor. He had missed some two games as he worked through a back injury he suffered against Duquesne.

But beyond that, this was just another is a series of pummelings that the Wildcats have handed out this season. They haven’t won a game by less than 21 points this season, and that came against Michigan State in the Champions Classic. They’ve broken 100 points in each of their last three games. The Michigan State win was the only time they failed to score at least 87 points.

This team is a machine.

And that has Cal somewhat concerned.

“We need close games to see — alright, who and how do we finish a game?” Calipari told fans before the game. “Who do we finish with and how do we finish? Who can make the play? Who cannot — absolutely not — be in the game? But, until you’re in a close game you don’t know. Believe me, I don’t want these kind of scores. At times, I’d like us to shoot 32 percent and win. Like, just god awful, can’t make a shot and still win the game.”

He’s got a point.

Kentucky’s non-conference schedule is somewhat back-loaded. They play No. 11 UCLA on Saturday. They get UNC in Vegas on Dec. 17th and Louisville in the Yum! Center on the 21st before kicking off SEC play at the end of the month. The thinking is that the Wildcats will get their early tests out of the way and Cal will have a feel for what players will be in what roles by the time the tough games come around.

Well, that hasn’t exactly worked.

The Wildcats will be tested on Saturday when UCLA, led by Lonzo Ball and a high-octane offense, comes to town.

For now, Kentucky fans should just enjoy the highlights:

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.