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Trae Young goes for 43 as Oklahoma beats No. 16 TCU in overtime

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Trae Young tied a career-high with 43 points, grabbed a career-high 11 boards and added seven assists as No. 9 Oklahoma survived No. 16 TCU in overtime, 102-97.

The Horned Frogs opened up an 80-74 lead with just under six minutes remaining, but Oklahoma made their run. Down by one with six seconds left on the clock, Young drove and found Christian James in the corner for a three that would give the Sooners an 89-87 lead.

TCU’s Jaylen Fisher responded with a bucket after going coast-to-coast – virtually the same shot that he missed in a double-overtime loss at Texas – to force overtime:

Oklahoma would pull away in overtime, meaning that for the fourth time in five games, the Horned Frogs suffered a heart-breaking, close loss in a game they very well could (or should) have won.

And to me, that’s the story of this game.

Not Young’s triple-double – he also added 10 three pointers.

TCU has become the first casualty of the insanity of playing a Big 12 schedule.

In their league-opener, TCU lost at home to Oklahoma and Young when Young went for 39 points and 14 assists, leading the Sooners back from down 11 points in the final 10 minutes. (Jamie Dixon is going to have nightmares of Trae Young pick-and-rolls.)

They won their next game, beating Baylor at home in overtime, before falling by four points at home against Kansas. Their next game was a double-overtime loss at Texas, the first game the Longhorns played after Andrew Jones was diagnosed with leukemia and a game they would have won if Fisher hadn’t missed a game-winning layup. Then there was Saturday’s five-point loss to the Sooners.

All told, No. 16 TCU, who was ranked No. 10 at one point, has lost four games in the Big 12 by a total of 11 points. Two of those losses were by a single point. Two of them came in overtime. One was in double-overtime. Even their win over Baylor came in overtime in a game where Baylor blew a lead down the stretch.

What does this all mean?

Well, we’ve been telling you for more than a month that the Big 12 is a bear of a conference, and TCU is the perfect of this fact. If a couple balls bounce their way, they can very easily be 3-2 in the Big 12. They’ve played well enough to be 5-0 in the conference, and if Baylor had played a little better in overtime, TCU would be sitting at 0-5.

What makes this scary for TCU is that they still haven’t played No. 2 West Virginia this year. Or No. 8 Texas Tech. They still have to play at No. 12 Kansas. If they go 1-4 in those games, suddenly that’s eight losses for TCU.

And this isn’t a bad TCU team. I’m not sure they’re the 16th-best team in the country, but I do think they are one of the 25-30 best teams, good enough to win a game in the NCAA tournament, to get to the second weekend if the draw is right.

That team is 1-4 in the Big 12 with five games left against top 12 teams.

The Big 12 is no joke.

Washington’s Thybulle returning for senior season

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Matisse Thybulle will return to Washington for his senior season after contemplating declaring for the NBA draft following a junior campaign in which he was named the Pac-12 defensive player of the year.

“The NBA is really enticing and it was definitely something that I seriously considered when the season was over,” Thybulle told the Seattle Times. “I talked it over with my family and we came to the conclusion that it would be in my best interest to stay and get my degree (in communications) and grow as a basketball player and take this last year to mature and fine tune everything so I can be fully prepared to take that next step when it’s time.”

The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 11.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game last season. He shot 44.5 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from 3-point range.

“I talked to coach (Mike Hopkins) and he gave me some good advice that was honestly something that helped in the grand scheme of things,” Thybulle said. “He told me that if I do it (enter the draft), then I should be all in because that’s what I’m going to be up against is a whole bunch of guys fighting for their lives. He thought it would be a better idea for me to stay in school until I’m at that point.”

Washington is awaiting the decision of Noah Dickerson, who declared for the draft but has not hired an agent. The 6-foot-8 averaged 15.5 points and 8.4 rebounds last season.

Koby McEwen transferring to Marquette

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Steve Wojciechowski added a significant piece to his 2019-20 team over the weekend.

Koby McEwen announced his intention to transfer to Marquette from Utah State late Sunday evening.

“I would like to thank God, my family, inner circle and all the schools/coaches that recruited me during this process!” McEwen tweeted. “With that being said, I’m proud to announce that I’ll be furthering my college career at Marquette University.”

McEwen picked the Golden Eagles over fellow finalists Creighton and Grand Canyon after he decided to transfer when the Aggies announced South Dakota coach Craig Smith was taking over the program last month. The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 15.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range as a sophomore.

After sitting out the upcoming season, McEwen will have to years of eligibility remaining. Marquette went 21-14 last season, but missed the NCAA tournament for the third time in Wojciechowski’s four years in Milwaukee.

Minnesota adds Vanderbilt transfer Payton Willis

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Minnesota has added some depth for the future.

The Golden Gophers received a pledge from Vanderbilt transfer Payton Willis over the weekend, giving him a guard with two seasons of eligibility remaining starting in 2019-20.

Willis will sit out the upcoming season under NCAA transfer rules.

The 6-foot-4 guard played a limited role in two seasons in Nashville, never averaging more than 18. 5 minutes or 5.2 points per game. He scored in double figures in three games as a sophomore.

Willis was a top-150 prospect in the Class of 2016 coming out of Fayetteville, Ark. with offers from the likes of Tulsa, Rice and Dayton. Vandy and Minnesota were his two high-major offers.

After being ranked in the top-15, Minnesota was beset by injury and suspensions last season as they limped to the finish line in a 15-17 season that featured losses in 12 of its last 13 games.

Richard Pitino still has two available scholarships for the 2018-19 campaign.

Report: Quade Green returning to Kentucky

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John Calipari just landed a critical recruit for 2018-19, and he was already on the roster.

Quade Green, who averaged 25 minutes per game last season, is returning to Kentucky for his sophomore season, his mother told the Lexington Herald-Leader on Monday.

Given that six Wildcat players have entered the draft (Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Hami Diallo are signing with agents), getting the 6-foot point guard back for a second season is a massive deal for Calipari and Co. The Wildcats have always been at their best under Calipari with returning players as the cornerstones of the roster with talented one-and-dones providing the extra boost. Getting one such returner at the point guard position is even more critical.

Green, who came to Kentucky as a five-star recruit last year, averaged 9.3 points and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and a respectable 37.1 percent from 3-point range, an area where Kentucky continually needs help.

With Green back in the fold, Kentucky will now await the decisions of PJ Washington, Wenyen Gabriel and Jarred Vanderbilt, who are all going through the pre-draft process without hiring agents, which will potentially allow them to return to school and bolster a Kentucky roster has the look of a top-five team.

CBT Podcast: NBA Draft Early Entry Deadline: Winners, losers and who has the most on the line?

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The NBA Draft Early Entry Deadline came and went on Sunday night, meaning there are now roughly 60 college players that have signed with an agent and another 100 or so that have declared for the draft while retaining their college eligibility. Who were the winners? Who were the losers? Who has the most on the line? Sam Vecenie of the Game Theory podcast joined Rob Dauster to talk through all of it. The rundown:

OPEN: What do NBA teams value in players these days?

10:00: Villanova has more on the line during this testing the water process than anyone

19:00: Just how important was De’Andre Hunter’s decision to return to Virginia

25:25: Gonzaga getting Rui and Killian Tillie back makes them a title favorite

32:10: Nevada has a top ten season on the line with the Martin twins and Jordan Caroline

36:15: #RANTALERT – The decision to turn pro is so much more complicated than “is he a first round pick”

48:30: Rapid fire: Maryland, Kansas, Syracuse, Nebraska, Purdue and Michigan. What do they have on the line?