(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: Valparaiso’s huge win; Wisconsin rolls by Syracuse

Leave a comment

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Valparaiso 65, No. 21 Rhode Island 62

The Crusaders had a rare opportunity to host a top-25 team from the Horizon League and took advantage with a huge win. All-American candidate Alec Peters might have put together a signature performance with 27 points and nine rebounds. NBC’s Rob Dauster has more on why this is Valpo’s most important win of the season.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 5 Duke 78, Michigan State 69: Grayson Allen got going again as the Blue Devils were able to win at home. Allen finished with 24 points.

No. 17 Wisconsin 77, No. 22 Syracuse 60 — Nigel Hayes, Bronson Koenig and Ethan Happ powered the Badgers to a home win over the Orange. All three had monster games but Hayes had the most important one of all. Find out why with my take on this game here.

Pitt 73, Maryland 59 — The Panthers jumped out to a big, early lead on the Terps on the road and never looked back. Kevin Stallings’ bunch was up 21 by halftime. Huge outings from Michael Young (25 points, nine rebounds) and Jamel Artis (22 points, six rebounds) as they’re going to be tough to handle in ACC play. Maryland struggled to 10-for-26 shooting from three as Melo Trimble was limited to 13 points on 4-for-13 shooting.

UT-Arlington 72, Texas 61 — The Longhorns have dropped three straight games as the Mavericks win by double-digits on the road. Kevin Hervey had 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead UT-Arlington. The Texas guards struggled to play consistently as a unit in this one.

Illinois 88, N.C. State 74: Illinois desperately need a win after dropping three straight and this one was important for the Illini. Malcolm Hill finished with 22 points, nine rebounds and four assists as Illinois had 56 points in the second half.

STARRED

Jack Gibbs, Davidson: The Wildcats picked up an easy win over Mercer as Gibbs poured in 33 points, including 8-for-14 three-point shooting. Also adding four assists, three rebounds and no turnovers, Gibbs had a good overall game besides getting hot from the perimeter.

Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame: The junior forward went for 24 points and 17 rebounds as the Fighting Irish rolled past Iowa at home. Colson was only 6-for-14 from the floor but he was 12-for-12 from the free-throw line as he helped Notre Dame go 30-for-33 from the line.

TOP 25

  • Six players finished in double-figures as No. 2 Villanova rolled past Penn. Kris Jenkins led the way with 22 points. The Wildcats were 12-for-26 from three-point range.
  • LeGerald Vick went 9-for-9 and finished with 23 points as No. 4 Kansas ran past Long Beach State.
  • No. 7 Xavier cruised to a home win over North Dakota State as junior Trevon Bluiett had an outstanding game. Scoring a team-high 23 points, Bluiett also added seven assists and five rebounds.
  • It looked like a tight game at halftime but No. 10 Creighton had a big second half to run past Buffalo for a home win. Marcus Foster led the way with 22 points while Justin Patton had 21 points and 10 rebounds. Unsung sophomore guard Kyhri Thomas finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

NOTABLE

  • Other winners in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge included Notre Dame rolling past Iowa and Penn State over Georgia Tech.
  • The rebuild is going to take some time for St. John’s as they dropped one to Delaware State. Guard Devin Morgan poured in 26 points to lead the Hornets.

Report: North Carolina won’t attend White House

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
2 Comments

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

Jon Lopez/Nike
1 Comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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.