AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez

Reed leads Miami past reeling Pittsburgh in Larrañaga’s 600th win

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PITTSBURGH (AP) Davon Reed didn’t think to look up even as the minutes passed and Pittsburgh struggled to find any sort of open look against Reed and the rest of his Miami teammates.

“We weren’t even playing the score,” Reed said. “We were just playing defense and the score just reflected it.”

And then some.

Reed finished with 18 points, Bruce Brown added 17 and the Hurricanes held the Panthers without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes in a 72-46 blowout victory on Saturday. Miami (12-4, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) snapped a two-game losing streak by outrebounding Pitt 37-23 and holding the Panthers (12-6, 1-4) to just 34 percent shooting (18 of 53).

Less than 48 hours removed from a difficult loss at home to Notre Dame, the Hurricanes responded emphatically. Troubled early by undermanned Pitt’s zone defense, Miami found a rhythm late in the first half.

The Hurricanes scored 14 straight during a run that spanned the end of the first half and the beginning of the second to get all the breathing room they would need then kept pouring it on to hand the Panthers their worst loss in the 15-year history of the Petersen Events Center.

“(Our guys) had a chip on their shoulder and it really helped,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said after picking up his 600th career victory. “It was just a great physical effort as well as a great focus and mental preparation.”

Jamel Artis led Pitt with 15 points a game after going for a career-high 43 in a loss to Louisville on Wednesday. Chris Jones scored 10 points for the Panthers but Pitt struggled with reserve forward Ryan Luther out with a sprained foot and senior forward Michael Young wearing a mask to protect a fractured bone near his right eye.

Young missed all 10 of his shots and finished with just two points on a pair of second-half free throws, 20 below his season average.

“We didn’t have really any margin for anything to go wrong in the game and plenty went wrong,” first-year Pitt coach Kevin Stallings said.

Stallings ceded things early. Young and Artis – one of the highest-scoring duos in the country – spent the last eight minutes on the bench as things got out of hand.

OUCH

Young injured the eye after getting hit in the second half of a loss at Louisville on Wednesday. He told Stallings he would give it a shot if doctors cleared him. It came at a high price.

The primitive mask Young donned limited his field of vision, an issue at both ends of the floor. Still, he tried to make a go of it even after it became readily apparent he was nowhere close to 100 percent. The team hopes to have a better-fitting mask in time for Tuesday’s visit to N.C. State.

“He looked like he’d been in the ring with (Mike) Tyson,” Stallings said. “I didn’t even know if he could see out of it to be honest.”

While Young will attempt to play on Luther is likely out at least two weeks to let his foot heal. Luther is Pitt’s first player off the bench, averaging 6.6 points in 20 minutes for a team with serious depth concerns.

SEE BALL, GET BALL

The Hurricanes can clean the glass with just about anybody. They’re averaging nearly seven boards a game more than their opponent and turned eight offensive rebounds against the Panthers into 12 second-chance points while on their way to outscoring the Panthers in the paint 34-20.

“We’re a good defensive rebounding team,” Larranaga said. “We had 29 defensive rebounds to their 15. Our strength is in clearing the defensive backboards. We had good balance in our rebounding and when you rebound, you can run.”

BIG PICTURE

Miami: The Hurricanes still need to learn to take care of the ball. They threw it away 18 times against the Panthers, many of the miscues coming on careless passes, offensive fouls or traveling violations rather than any sort of defensive pressure.

Pitt: There could be some serious issues for the Panthers going forward with Young limited and Luther out. The Panthers have trailed by at least 20 points in each of their last three games and the next three weeks include a visit from Louisville and a trip to North Carolina to face the Tar Heels and Duke.

UP NEXT

Miami: travel to Wake Forest on Wednesday. Hurricanes are 3-2 against the Demon Deacons under Larranaga.

Pitt: heads to N.C. State. The Panthers are 1-4 against the Wolfpack since joining the ACC in 2013.

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

VIDEO: Zion Williamson throws down a vicious putback

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Zion Williamson made another highlight-reel play on Saturday outside of Atlanta as he threw down a vicious putback dunk at the Best of the South.

The five-star prospect has returned from a minor knee injury this spring to look like his old self in July as he’s entertained packed gyms of fans and college coaches the last two weeks.

The Class of 2018 star is currently regarded as the No. 3 overall prospect in the latest Rivals.com national rankings.

(h/t: Courtside Films)

Five-star 2018 point guard Darius Garland cuts list to six schools

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Five-star Class of 2018 point guard Darius Garland revealed the final six schools that he’s considering on Friday.

The N0. 12 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to Rivals, the 6-foot-0 Garland is one of the top floor generals in the nation as he is still considering Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and Vanderbilt.

A native of Nashville, Garland is a potentially elite perimeter threat at the college level as he’s one of the more deadly three-point marksmen in the nation.

Garland spent this spring and summer playing with Bradley Beal Elite in the Nike EYBL as he averaged 16.8 points and 4.8 assists per game in the league this spring.

VIDEO: Kentucky’s John Calipari participates in the #DriveByDunkChallenge

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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The #DriveByDunkChallenge is sweeping the nation on social media this summer.

Rules to participate are pretty simple:

  1. Drive around in your vehicle.
  2. Find a basketball hoop (or a basketball ring if you’re Ted Cruz) on a random driveway.
  3. Run out of your car and dunk on that random hoop while a friend films.
  4. Run back to your car and drive away.

Let Anthony Davis show you how it works:

Pretty simple, right?

The #DriveByDunkChallenge isn’t raising money or awareness for ALS like the #IceBucketChallenge did three years ago, but it’s something harmless and fun to do to pass the time during the dog days of summer.

Sensing an opportunity to join an Internet craze, while also following in the footsteps of his former player Kentucky star, Wildcats head coach John Calipari got involved with his own dunk late Friday night.

And his video is much funnier than I thought it would be.

While most #DriveByDunkChallenge videos are done by healthy and spry teenagers who are cruising neighborhoods during the day, Calipari, and his hip replacement, got in on the fun with a late-night dunk.

I love that Calipari ditched the ball behind his back while running back to the car after the dunk.

Most people who participate in the challenge usually have their own ball and keep it with them through completion. But Calipari either picked up a random ball in the driveway or just he lost the handle with his own ball and had a turnover.

The next time Calipari goes hard on one of his point guards for losing control and playing too fast, remember this moment.

Creighton’s Khyri Thomas posterizes defender

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Creighton rising junior wing Khyri Thomas, like several of his teammates, are taking part in the Omaha Summer League this offseason.

On Thursday night, the 6-foot-3, 205-lb. Thomas eviscerated a defender with a one-handed posterization.

Thomas is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign for the Bluejays. He started all 35 games, averaging 12.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Aside from the increase in offensive production, Thomas served as one of the top defenders in the Big East. He shared the Big East Defensive Player of the Year Award with Villanova’s Josh Hart and Mikal Bridges.

Zion Williamson throws down 360 windmill dunk

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Zion Williamson added another jaw-dropping dunk in the layup lines on the first night of the second live evaluation period.

Williamson and his SC Supreme team took on Each 1 Teach 1 at the Hoopseen Best of the South at the LakePoint Sporting Community in greater Atlanta.

The 6-foot-7 power forward threw down a 360 windmill dunk during his pregame routines.

Each 1 Teach 1 would pick up a 70-67 victory over SC Supreme. Williamson would end with a monster stat line of 37 points and seven rebounds.