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Bubble Banter: Indiana seems more like than not to miss the NCAA tournament

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LOSERS

Indiana (RPI: 76, KenPom: 41, No. 10 seed): I’ll lock in my prediction now: Indiana is going to miss the NCAA tournament.

As of today, we have them as a No. 10 seed in our bracket, but losing at home to No. 16 Purdue on Thursday night was a killer. The Hoosiers are now 15-10 on the season and just 5-7 in the Big Ten, but the more important record is this: They are now 2-4 since O.G. Anunoby went down with a season-ending knee injury last month. So the team that beat Kansas on a neutral and roughed up North Carolina in Assembly Hall? That team isn’t the team that is currently taking the floor for Indiana.

Here’s the bigger issue for the Hoosiers: Four of their last six games are on the road, including trips to Minnesota and Purdue. On the one hand, that does mean there are opportunities out there for the Hoosiers to add to their profile, but keep in mind that they’re 0-3 in road games since Anunoby’s injury.

Are they actually good enough to get those wins?

If you think they are, you probably think they’ll end up in the NCAA tournament.

WINNERS

UNC Wilmington (RPI: 42, KenPom: 55, No. 12 seed): The Seahawks kept themselves in the mix for an at-large bid by beating James Madison at home. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: I don’t think that UNCW is going to be able to get into the tournament with an at-large bid on Selection Sunday, so I would strongly recommend winning the automatic bid in the CAA.

Valparaiso (RPI: 69, KenPom: 94, No. 12 seed): Valpo picked up a home win over a mediocre at best Cleveland State team. This is one of the issues with being the Crusaders at this point. They didn’t win the games they needed to win in non-conference play to get them on the right side of the bubble, and every bad team they play in the Horizon hurts those RPI numbers.

Middle Tennessee (RPI: 44, KenPom: 51, No. 11 seed): Despite a 20-4 record, I just really cannot see a team with three sub-100 losses – including one to a team that ranks 298th in the RPI – will have a chance to get an at-large bid, but beating Old Dominion tonight at least keeps them in the conversation.

Wichita State (RPI: 66, KenPom: 17, play-in game): The Shockers don’t have a single bad loss to their name. They also only have one top 100 win and don’t play another top 100 team unless they get Illinois State in the MVC tournament.

 

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

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.