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Tuesday’s Three Things to Know: Texas Tech beats Oklahoma, UVA and Michigan State win and E.C. Matthews suffers injury

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1. TEXAS TECH REMAINS ALONE ATOP THE BIG 12 In the lone matchup between ranked teams on Tuesday’s schedule, No. 7 Texas Tech took care of No. 23 Oklahoma in Lubbock, winning by an 88-78 final score. Keenan Evans led the way for the Red Raiders, who are now 10-3 in Big 12 play and remain a game ahead of No. 13 Kansas atop the standings, with 26 points but he had plenty of help offensively. Defensively Texas Tech limited Oklahoma to 7-for-22 shooting from three, with freshman Trae Young going 0-for-9.

Young finished the night with 19 points, seven assists and six turnovers, and Christian James led the Sooners with 23 points, but the freshman’s shooting slump continues on for another game. During Oklahoma’s four-game losing streak Young has shot 7-for-41 from three, something the Sooners cannot afford to have continue.

BUBBLE BANTER: Butler suffers a bad home loss to Georgetown

2. NO. 1 VIRGINIA AND NO. 2 MICHIGAN STATE PICK UP ROAD WINS The top two teams in the Associated Press Top 25 were both on the road Tuesday night, with Virginia visiting Miami and Michigan State taking on a depleted Minnesota squad. Both managed to pick up road wins, with Virginia’s 59-50 victory over the Hurricanes being the more competitive of the two games. De’Andre Hunter, who’s developed into a dependable option for Virginia, led the way with 22 points and Kyle Guy added 13 for the top-ranked Cavaliers.

As for Michigan State, the Spartans pulled away from the Golden Gophers during the first half and went on to win by an 87-57 final score. Minnesota didn’t have an answer for Jaren Jackson Jr., who made ten of his 14 shots from the field and finished with a career-high 27 points to go along with six rebounds, three assists and three blocks. Nick Ward added 13 points and nine boards and Cassius Winston 12 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Spartans who are now 13-2 in Big Ten play.

3. RHODE ISLAND ROLLS, BUT THE WIN COULD BE A COSTLY ONE Taking on a Richmond team that’s been much-improved in Atlantic 10 play after struggling mightily during the non-conference portion of its schedule, Dan Hurley’s 16th-ranked Rams moved to 21-3 overall and 13-0 in conference with an 85-67 win in Kingston. But the news wasn’t all good for the Rams, who have now won 16 straight, as senior guard E.C. Matthews left the game late in the first half after suffering a left knee injury.

Following the game Hurley said that while the prognosis was “good,” a timetable was not known with more to be learned regarding Matthews’ status moving forward on Wednesday. Next up for Rhode Island may be their toughest conference game of the season, as they visit a hot St. Bonaventure team Friday night. The Rams are certainly rolling as well, but the injury suffered by Matthews is a big deal for this talented group.

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?