Chris Chiozza gets triple-double, No. 24 Florida thumps Missouri

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Late in the second half, backup Florida guard Chris Chiozza whispered to coach Mike White that he needed to get him back in the game.

His reasoning? Chiozza said he was going to get a triple-double.

“I said, `No, you’re not. Come on,”‘ White said.

Chiozza convinced White he was close enough to make it happen, so the coach let him play the rest of the way. And the junior ended up with the first triple-double of his career – finishing with 12 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists – as No. 24 Florida dominated woeful Missouri 93-54 on Thursday night.

Chiozza joined the exclusive club when he dished to Devin Robinson for a 3-pointer with 31 seconds remaining. Equally impressive: The Gators (17-5, 7-2 Southeastern Conference) tied a school record by winning their third consecutive game by at least 30 points.

Coming off lopsided victories at LSU and at Oklahoma, Florida wasted no time putting Mizzou in a huge hole. The Gators led 12-2, 18-3, 30-6 and 48-18 in the first half while building a 31-13 rebounding advantage. White’s team did little wrong for the third straight outing and looked more than ready for No. 8 Kentucky on Saturday night.

The only suspense was whether Chiozza would join Nick Calathes and Corey Brewer in Florida’s recent triple-double club. Calathes and Brewer are the only Florida players to accomplish the feat since 1997.

“It means a lot,” Chiozza said. “I’m glad that I achieved that, but I’m happier that we got the W. That’s the most important thing.”

Canyon Barry led Florida with 17 points. KeVaughn Allen added 15, and Kasey Hill chipped in 11.

Terrence Phillips had 14 points for Missouri (5-16, 0-9), which reached the halfway point to SEC futility.

Mizzou lost its 13th in a row – tying the longest streak in program history – and its 14th straight in league play. The Tigers also lost their 31st consecutive road game.

“They came out and completely outmatched us,” Missouri coach Kim Anderson said. “They got every rebound, made every shot. It was kind of like getting hit by a train.”

BIG PICTURE

Missouri: The Tigers have a young team that includes six sophomores and four freshmen – and remain on NCAA probation – but what they did at Florida has to be concerning for Anderson and his future. They were overmatched from the start and showed little, if any, fight after digging a huge hole.

“We didn’t even jump on the (opening) tip,” Anderson said. “I should have known then.”

Florida: The Gators are winless in three games against ranked teams (Gonzaga, Duke and South Carolina), so Saturday’s game against the Wildcats is an important one for a team looking to build its NCAA Tournament resume and potentially earn a top-four seed and open the bracket in nearby Orlando.

0-18 AHEAD?

Missouri has lost five of its last six by double digits, a potential sign that Anderson’s miserable season could be on the verge of unraveling. Could the Tigers go 0-18 in league play? The last team to do so was Georgia Tech in 1953-54, so it would be rare. But given the way the Tigers played Thursday, it certainly seems like a possibility.

GOOD COMPANY

White will get a better feel for his team against Kentucky. The Gators had a lengthy team meeting after losing to Vanderbilt in Gainesville on Jan. 21 and have been on a tear since.

The last time they won three in a row by 30 points was in 2006, but those came against Western Kentucky, Prairie View and Chattanooga – and with help from three future NBA lottery picks who won back-to-back national championships. Al Horford, Brewer and Joakim Noah also helped Florida accomplish the feat in 2004 against Sam Houston State, Eastern Kentucky and Georgia Southern.

UP NEXT

Missouri hosts Arkansas on Saturday. The Tigers’ conference losing streak started against the Razorbacks nearly a year ago.

Florida hosts Kentucky on Saturday, a game that will be featured on ESPN’s College GameDay.

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

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.

 

N.C. State lands second transfer of day with Utah’s Devon Daniels

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A big recruiting day for N.C. State continued on Saturday afternoon as Utah transfer and guard Devon Daniels pledged to the Wolfpack.

Earlier in the day, N.C. State and new head coach Kevin Keatts landed another quality transfer in UNC Wilmington guard C.J. Bryce.

The 6-foot-5 Daniels just finished his freshman season with the Utes in which he put up 9.9 points 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Just like Bryce, Daniels will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer regulations before he has three more seasons of eligibility.

N.C. State now has two potential starters on the perimeter for the 2018-19 season with the addition of Bryce and Daniels as it will be interesting to see what kind of talent the Wolfpack can get around them.

 

UNC Wilmington transfer C.J. Bryce follows Kevin Keatts to N.C. State

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N.C. State landed an impact transfer on Saturday as UNC Wilmington guard C.J. Bryce will be following former head coach Kevin Keatts to the Wolfpack, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com

The 6-foot-5 Bryce averaged 17.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game last season as he helped the Seahawks to an NCAA tournament appearance. Bryce will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer regulations, but he’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out one season.

With N.C. State getting center Omer Yurtseven back for next season, and with the addition of Bryce, it means that Keatts has retained, or added, some talented players for the next few seasons. The Wolfpack still have to fill a lot of roster spots from last season’s team, but Keatts seems to be having a really good week.