VIDEOS: Will Wade vs. Bob Marlin made LSU, Louisiana-Lafayette NIT game must-see TV

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The best thing that happened on Wednesday in the college basketball world had nothing to do with Syracuse, or Arizona State, or Texas Southern.

It was LSU vs. Louisiana.

Or, more specifically, Will Wade vs. Bob Marlin.

It started with something that Marlin, the head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette, said prior to the game. He believed that his team deserved a home game instead of being the No. 6 seed that had to play on the road in the NIT opener.

There’s a lot to digest here:

“Our RPI is much better, our record is much better, we feel like our gym’s better, there are a lot of things that say we should be a higher seed than we were. We’ve got the second-best record in the entire tournament out of 32 teams, but it is what it is.”

“We haven’t gotten an answer yet. There’s a lot of the old-school guys on that committee that just think LSU’s better than we are. They haven’t seen our facilities or looked at the finer print about our team.”

“But we’re excited to play a short trip, and I think LSU will be excited to play. Sometimes, a team that tied for ninth in their league isn’t interested in playing. But they haven’t been very good for a couple of years, so the NIT is a big step for them.”

If you don’t think LSU noticed, you’re wrong. They quite literally had the press conference where Marlin made those comments playing on a loop in their basketball facility with the sound on. The handshake the two hand before the game was cold, and that was just the start of it.

After an intense game, Wade called a timeout up 84-75 with just 12.4 seconds left and … well, you can see how he reacted. In the video above. Here’s another angle of the dust-up, where Marlin had to be held back from charging at Wade:

That led to Marlin blowing off Wade in the handshake line, which did not go over well and resulted in the two teams having their own dust-up that didn’t actually make the TV broadcast:

And that’s when it got really good.

I mean really good.

Because Wade went scorched earth in the press conference after the game. You can see the videos below, but I’m going to pull out a couple of the best quotes:

“By the way, we play in an arena. Not a gym.”

“Well, since they don’t get to play us very often, I thought they should sit there and enjoy the opportunity to play us.”

“I was a little disappointed and thought it would be a two-seven type matchup instead of a three-six-type matchup.”

In the words of the VCU War Song

“Don’t start no stuff, won’t be no stuff.”

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?

North Carolina’s Luke Maye declaring for NBA draft without hiring agent

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina junior Luke Maye has declared for the NBA draft but isn’t hiring an agent.

The 6-foot-8 forward was a third-team Associated Press All-American after averaging 16.9 points and 10.1 rebounds. He was named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s most improved player after increasing his scoring average by 11.4 points from his sophomore to junior seasons.

Coach Roy Williams says in a statement that it’s ”a great opportunity” for Maye to work out for NBA teams and get feedback on what to improve in his game.

The deadline for college players to declare early for the draft was Sunday night. Players who don’t hire an agent can maintain their college eligibility as long as they withdraw by May 30, which is 10 days after the NBA draft combine.

Gonzaga star undergoes surgery on his shoulder

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The most important players for Gonzaga heading into the 2018-19 season will have an offseason dedicated to rehabilitation.

Josh Perkins, Gonzaga’s starting point guard, underwent surgery on Friday to repair a shoulder that he injured back in December. According to the Spokesman-Review, Perkins expects to be healthy and ready to play by the start of next season.

Perkins averaged 12.3 points and 5.3 assists during the 2017-18 season despite playing through those shoulder issues. After December’s win over Washington, a game in which Perkins left wincing in pain and clutching his shoulders, Perkins said “Just popped out a little bit. It’s not very strong right now, but everything is good.”

For my money, Perkins is the player that is going to be the x-factor for the Zags next season. They have a terrific front court with Rui Hachimura and Killian Tillie returning, and with the likes of Zach Norvell and Corey Kispert back, there is plenty of talent on the wings. Perkins, the senior point guard, is the blue that is going to be needed to hold it all together.

Gonzaga is a top five team heading into next year. They have national title aspirations. Perkins might end up being the guy that determines whether they live up to those goals or get knocked out of the field in the Sweet 16.