(Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)

Iowa State secures important Big 12 home win over No. 9 Baylor

Leave a comment

Iowa State continued its recent strong stretch of play as they held on to knock off No. 9 Baylor 72-69 for a Big 12 home win on Saturday afternoon.

The win gives the Cyclones (19-9, 11-5) seven consecutive wins while they also snapped a five-game losing streak against Baylor that included two straight home losses. Baylor had one last shot to tie on a full-court pass with 1.4 seconds left but King McClure’s three-pointer was off at the buzzer.

Senior Deonte Burton banked home a key late three-pointer and made an important late steal as he led Iowa State with 22 points while senior point guard Monte Morris added 17 points and seven assists for the Cyclones.

Since inserting freshman big man Solomon Young (11 points) into the starting lineup, the Cyclones have looked like a new team as Young’s added toughness has given Iowa State a major boost on the interior. With Iowa State’s front court struggles improving gradually over time — they still have issues on the defensive glass like they did against Baylor — the team’s perimeter has continued to hum along since the Cyclones have so many veterans on the perimeter.

And when Burton is on like he was on Saturday, Iowa State is tough to beat. Guys like Matt Thomas and Naz Mitrou-Long can have off-nights if Burton is rolling because he’s the type of player who can go for 30 if he gets hot. When Burton is producing on the offensive end it also boosts his energy on the defensive end as he is typically a player who needs to be motivated a bit to give it his all on that end of the floor.

Being his senior year, hopefully Burton continues to stay motivated and play at a high level during the home stretch. He’s certainly had some great outings this season.

Morris is still one of the nation’s best point guards, Thomas and Mitrou-Long are solid senior shooters and Young is a decent piece who is serviceable inside. But this Iowa State will go as far as Burton is playing well. The Cyclones can hang with anyone when Burton is playing at his best but they can look completely average if he has an off-night.

With Iowa State continuing to pile up wins, they could see their NCAA tournament seeding start to get interesting, especially since they have remaining games against tournament-bound, top-50 RPI teams like Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

Sweeping Oklahoma State would be solid for Iowa State while the road game at West Virginia is a game that could decide second place in the Big 12 before the conference tournament.

Baylor (23-6, 10-6) has now lost three of its last four games as their offense has struggled over the last few outings. Junior forward Johnathan Motley continues to be a force on offense as he finished with a team-high 27 points and added 11 rebounds. But Motley still isn’t getting enough help.

Al Freeman (14 points) and Ish Wainwright (14 points) were more assertive on the offensive end on Saturday and this team’s offense should also look a lot better when Manu Lecomte’s ankle heals a bit more.

There are some concerns about Baylor’s ability to take good shots in the half court, but Lecomte not being at full speed was also a huge part of that on Saturday. Baylor better fix things quickly with its offense because they get a game at home against West Virginia on Monday and the Bears are really sliding.

A team that was once in the conversation for a No. 1 seed is now falling very quickly and might finish fourth in the Big 12 after such a strong start.

Buffalo sophomore arrested, charged with strangulation, witness intimidation

City of Tonawanda Police
1 Comment

Buffalo sophomore Quate McKinzie is facing a litany of charges stemming from an incident in which he allegedly attempted to strangle a female acquaintance.

McKinzie, who is 20 years old, was later handed more charges after he made threatening phone calls to his accuser from jail.
From the Buffalo News:

The original charges placed against the UB sophomore were second-degree strangulation, a D-felony; misdemeanor counts of criminal obstruction of breathing, assault, menacing, harassment; and stealing the victim’s vehicle.

The latest charges are third-degree witness intimidation and first-degree criminal contempt, both E-felonies; and two misdemeanors, aggravated harassment and disobeying a court mandate, according to Tonawanda Police Patrol Capt. Fredric Foels.

“University Athletics is aware of the alleged incident and is in communication with university and local authorities,” Buffalo released in a statement. “Quate McKinzie is currently enrolled at the University at Buffalo and is suspended indefinitely from the university’s basketball team. Due to the ongoing investigation and federal protections on student information, we will have no further comment on the matter at this time.”

McKinzie is a 6-foot-8, 195 pound forward that played in 17 games last season. He averaged 3.9 points and 4.3 boards.

Auburn’s Austin Wiley suffers stress fracture

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Auburn center Austin Wiley has a stress fracture in his left leg and will be out 4-6 weeks, the school announced Monday.

No surgery is required, but Wiley, who played with Team USA’s U19 team in Egypt earlier this month, will miss Auburn’s trip to Italy.

“You know how tough and committed a young man is when he plays through the pain of a stress fracture,” said Pearl. “He was receiving treatment while in Egypt, but had no way of knowing the extent of his injury. Doctors say it is in a good spot for healing, and he will be fine.”

Wiley averaged 8.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 18.1 minutes this past season. He started 21 of the Tigers’ 22 games after he enrolled in school midseason.

Virginia Tech loses key shooter to torn ACL

Rob Carr/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Virginia Tech suffered a brutal blow earlier this month when Ty Outlaw went down with a torn ACL in his right knee.

Outlaw is one of the best shooters on Virginia Tech’s roster, banging home 48 percent of his three-balls last season, and he was expected to be a major part of the rotation following a season where he scored in double-figures in six of the last eight games, including four games of better than 16 points in that stretch.

This is a blow to Virginia Tech’s depth, but it is also a tough break for Outlaw, who transferred to Virginia Tech from a Junior College and had to sit out the 2015-16 season due to a heart issue. The redshirt senior will likely be eligible to receive a medical redshirt should he decide to apply for one.

Report: Miller brothers schedule Indiana-Arizona series

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Miller family does not appear to be worried about sibling rivalry.

According to a report from FanRag Sports, Archie, the head coach at Indiana, and Sean, the head coach at Arizona, have agreed to a three-year deal to have the two programs face-off against each other. They’ll start in 2019-20, playing in Arizona, then face-off in Bloomington the following season before finally heading up to Madison Square Garden in 2021-22.

If you can get past the fact that we are now scheduling games for 2022 (!!!), this is actually going to be a pretty neat and unique thing. How often do two brothers end up coaching at the Division I level? The Drew brothers — Bryce at Vanderbilt and Scott at Baylor — are one pair, but they cancelled a series that would have seen the two programs square off last season. James and Joe Jones at Yale and Boston University are another pair. They were league rivals for eight yeas when Joe was the head coach at Columbia. When Sean Sutton was the head coach at Oklahoma State, his brother, Scott, beat them was the head coach at Oral Roberts.

So it’s not typical for this to happen, mainly because it’s not easy to compete at something so important against someone you care about so much.

Think about it.

Imagine working in a profession where your success comes at the expense of your brother? It’s one of the major reasons — beyond the obvious — that no one believed Sean Miller would actually consider taking the Ohio State job when it opened. Facing off against your brother in a non-conference game you choose to play is one thing. Competing for league titles against him for the foreseeable future is something totally different.

Which is a long way of saying that this should be an enticing matchup, however it plays out.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson throws down a vicious putback

(YouTube)
Leave a comment

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)