Rob Dauster

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Weekend Preview: LA’s Hall Of Fame Classic, a Kansas bounceback and some rivalry action

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THE WEEKEND SHOWDOWNS

*(NOTE: Lines are not posted for Saturday or Sunday games as of publication. Spreads referenced are via Kenpom.com)

No. 16 ARIZONA STATE at No. 2 KANSAS (-13), Sun. 2:00 p.m.

After a disastrous performance against Washington in Kansas City, the Jayhawks will look to get back on track against an Arizona State team that will be coming off of a Friday night game against St. John’s. What’s intriguing about this matchup is the number of talented guards that are going to be on the floor at the same time. Both the Sun Devils and the Jayhawks play small. Both of them spread the floor. Both shoot plenty of threes, run the floor and look to create mismatches. If you like uptempo basketball with shooters galore, guards allowed to show off their full arsenal and teams that don’t mind jacking up threes, this is a game for you.

  • PREDICTION: 13 points is a lot of points. I do think the Jayhawks win this game, but I’m not sure they get to 13. Arizona State (+13)

No. 5 FLORIDA vs. No. 17 CINCINNATI (-3), Sat. 6:00 p.m.

This matchup was a whole lot more exciting before Florida lost three straight games and Cincinnati got smacked around by Xavier in the Crosstown Shootout. The Bearcats are going to have a decided advantage in the paint, and I do think that their front court pieces – Gary Clark, Jacob Evans – are athletic enough that they should be fine chasing the likes of Egor Koulechov and Jalen Hudson off the three-point line. And if we learned anything this week, it’s that Florida is not a good basketball team when they don’t shoot the ball well.

That said, they can also beat anyone if they have one of those 17-for-35 nights from three.

  • PREDICTION: Like I said, I think Cincinnati’s bigs will be able to run around the perimeter with Florida’s wings. I don’t think Florida’s wings will have a shot against Clark and Evans on the other end of the floor. PICK: Cincinnati (-3)

ST. JOHN’S (-1) at No. 16 ARIZONA STATE, Fri. 8:00 p.m.
OKLAHOMA vs. No. 25 USC (-2), Fri. 10:30 p.m.
No. 22 NEVADA vs. No. 20 TCU (-2), Fri. 1:00 a.m.

In what feels like the 27th Hall Of Fame Classic that has been held in the first month of the season, there will be a triple-header on Friday night featuring six teams that all have a shot at getting to the NCAA tournament.

And believe it or not, the best game of the night might end up being the nightcap with Nevada taking on TCU. The Wolf Pack could really use a non-conference win like this, particularly after they blew a game at Texas Tech during the week, but despite how good the Martin twins (I’m not going to pretend to know the difference) and Jordan Caroline have been, TCU is a disciplined, well-coached and good team that will not beat themselves.

Oklahoma and USC will be a terrific gauge game for the Sooners, who have looked pretty good through the early part of the season but have been totally reliant on the insane play of Trae Young. USC has top ten talent but happens to be coming off of a pair of double-digit losses to Texas A&M and SMU, respectively.

St. John’s taking on Arizona State will be another matchup of terrific back courts. Keep an eye on the status of Marcus Lovett. If he’s out, that changes things.

  • PREDICTION: If Lovett does not play, Arizona State (+1) is a lock. I think I like USC (-2), but I love the over in that game. And in the nightcap, I’ll be on TCU (-2), as Jamie Dixon gets the job done against Eric Musselman.

WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO WATCH?

  • ALABAMA at ARIZONA (-7), Sat. 10:00 p.m.: Arizona gets a shot at beating their third-straight potential NCAA tournament team at home against Alabama and Collin Sexton. I think Alabama spreads Arizona out, and if we’ve learned anything about Arizona, it’s that they struggle vs. small-ball. PICK: Arizona (-7)
  • No. 12 GONZAGA (-10) at WASHINGTON, Sun. 8:00 p.m.: Washington’s win at Syracuse felt fluky and Gonzaga got embarrassed by Villanova flying to the other side of the country. This feels like a game where things return to the norm. PICK: Gonzaga (-10)
  • No. 14 Minnesota at Arkansas (-2), Sat. 6:45 p.m.: The Razorbacks are favored in this one, but Minnesota should have an advantage in the paint and are coming off of a loss on Wednesday at Nebraska. We’ll see if Minnesota can shake off this slow start.

THE REST OF THE WEEKEND’S ACTION

UCLA at Michigan, Sat. 12:00 p.m.
Marquette at Wisconsin, Sat. 12:00 p.m.
Indiana at Louisville, Sat. 2:00 p.m.
Nebraska at Creighton, Sat. 2:30 p.m.
VCU at No. 19 Seton Hall, Sat. 3:00 p.m.
No. 6 Wichita State at Oklahoma State, Sat. 4:00 p.m.
Colorado at No. 13 Xavier, Sat. 5:00 p.m.
Ole Miss at Middle Tennessee State, Sat. 6:00 p.m.
No. 18 West Virginia at Pitt, Sat. 8:00 p.m.
Illinois at UNLV, Sat. 12:00 a.m.

Report: Oregon coach Dana Altman may have known more about rape case than he disclosed

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Oregon head coach Dana Altman was far more involved in the investigation into a forcible rape accusation against one of his players last season than he or the school admitted previously.

Kavell Bigby-Williams, a JuCo transfer that played for the Ducks during their run to last year’s Final Four, was under investigation for forcible rape stemming from an alleged assault that occurred during a visit back to his Wyoming Junior College in September of 2016.

An investigative report by Sports illustrated in October revealed that the school violated legal obligations after learning that Bibgy-Williams was being investigated by police in Wyoming, and on Thursday evening, SI published a report stating that Altman was far more involved in the information gathering than he was willing to admit previously.

RELATED: Dana Altman should have been fired in 2014

Oregon had denied that Altman knew because they did not want him “tainting” the investigation, but that does not appear to be the truth. From the report:

In the first 48 hours after school officials learned of the police investigation into Bigby-Williams, Altman had five phone calls with Lisa Peterson, the school’s deputy Title IX coordinator, and another four phone calls with Bigby-Williams’s former coach at Gillette College, Shawn Neary. Both Peterson and Neary had direct knowledge of the criminal investigation into Bigby-Williams, and UO failed to disclose these contacts both to SI and in its letter to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, who demanded more information about UO’s handling of the case in response to SI’s reporting.

The flurry of phone calls, which lasted a total of 41 minutes, began on Sept. 28, 2016, the same day UOPD first contacted Bigby-Williams, a police report shows. The nine calls were also irregular; no other contacts with Peterson and Neary appear in the records except those. The records cover Altman’s personal cell phone activity between Sept. 19, the day the allegation was first reported to Gillette College police, and Oct. 7, nine days after UOPD first learned of the allegation.

This was not the first time that Altman played dumb while his players played through an investigation into sexual assault.

Back in 2014, three members of his team – Brandon Austin, Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson – allegedly committed a sexual assault on a female Oregon student in March. Artis and Dotson continued to play throughout the postseason despite the girl filing a police report. Austin did not play. He was sitting out after transferring from Providence, where he was suspended for allegedly committing another sexual assault.

Altman told reporters did not know of any of this.

I didn’t believe him then. I still don’t believe him now.

No. 21 Purdue dominates Valparaiso 80-50

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Vincent Edwards scored 15 points, Carson Edwards finished with 10 points, and No. 21 Purdue dominated Valparaiso 80-50 on Thursday night.

With 8 minutes remaining in the first half, the Boilermakers held a 15-12 lead when Carsen Edwards’ fastbreak layup ignited a 21-4 run over the rest of the half.

Purdue (9-2) used aggressive defense and fast-paced offense, to force 11 turnovers in the first half that resulted in 11 points for the Boilermakers. Isaac Haas finished with 10 points for Purdue.

Joe Burton led the Crusaders (8-1) with 19 points.

The Boilermakers opened the second half with an 8-2 run and led by as many as 32 points during the final 20 minutes.

Purdue shot 45 percent (28 of 62) with 16 of its 28 field goals coming by way of an assist.

Valparaiso shot 33 percent (20 of 60). The Crusaders remain winless at Purdue and hold a 2-15 record all-time against the Boilermakers.

ONE MORE WIN

Purdue coach Matt Painter is one win from notching the 300th of his career. The Purdue alum will have an opportunity this weekend to get the milestone win at home inside Mackey Arena, where the Boilermakers have won 13 straight games.

BIG PICTURE

The Boilermakers took care of each of their early Big Ten Conference opponents last week. Purdue has four more non-conference opponents before continuing Big Ten play, including a matchup with Butler in the annual Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Dec. 16.

UP NEXT

Purdue hosts IUPUI on Sunday.

Valparaiso visits Ball State on Saturday.

LaMelo, LiAngelo Ball sign with Lonzo’s agent

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LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball have signed with Lonzo’s agent and have thus forfeited their high school and collegiate eligibility, the father of the three, LaVar Ball, told ESPN on Thursday.

That puts an official end to the possibility of LaMelo playing college ball, something that seemed unlikely after LaMelo was pulled out of Chino Hill HS earlier this year.

“I want them to go somewhere where they will play them together on the court at the same time,” LaVar told ESPN. “The priority is for the boys to play on the same team.”

It’s unclear where the pair will end up, but it will be interesting to see what level of basketball they end up playing at. LiAngelo would likely have been somewhere at the end of UCLA’s rotation had he played this season – he’s a stocky, 6-foot-5 shooter whose best position may be as a stretch four – while LaMelo is a young 16-year old that is still growing into his body.

Put another way, the best clubs in Europe – Real Madrid, Fenerbache, Olympiacos, CSKA Moscow, etc. – are not going to be clamoring to sign the duo.

VIDEO: Washington celebrates win over No. 2 Kansas by dousing Mike Hopkins

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Washington pulled off an improbable upset of No. 2 Kansas on Wednesday night.

We told you all about how it happened.

Now take a look at the reaction the team had when head coach Mike Hopkins made it back into the locker room after his postgame press responsibilities:

Hope he has a good dry cleaning service.

Wednesday Recap: The night college basketball went insane

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College basketball absolutely went off the rails on Wednesday night and reminded us precisely why we love this sport so dang much.

It started relatively innocently, as Wofford found a way to pick off Georgia Tech at home, 63-60, thanks to this 25-foot three from Fletcher Magee with 1.9 seconds left in the game:

Pretty typical finish.

Not unlike the finish in Detroit, where Toledo’s length-of-the-court pass to Tre’Shaun Fletcher resulted in this buzzer-beating three-ball:

This, however, wasn’t typical: Marist held a two-point lead on Colgate with the ball and just 0.6 seconds left. With no timeouts left and no one to throw the ball to, Marist heaved a pass to the other end of the court. It was picked off by Colgate’s Jack Ferguson, who proceeded to bury a game-winning, buzzer-beating half-court bomb!:

Only … upon further review, he didn’t get the shot off until after the horn had sounded.

Womp womp.

But that was nothing compared to the finish between Hofstra and Monmouth. The Hawks were up 84-79 with 16 seconds left. Hofstra scored, and after a Monmouth player missed the front end of a one-and-one, Justin Wright-Foreman was fouled on what looked to be a half court shot with eight seconds left. The officials opted to only give him two free throws. He hit the first. Then this happened:

Should I mention that North Texas got a buzzer-beating three from A.J. Lawson to force overtime and I can’t find video for it?

Or that all of this happened on a night where No. 5 Florida lost at home to Loyola-Chicago? And No. 2 Kansas got smoked in Kansas City by a Washington team that lost Markelle Fultz from a roster that won nine games a year ago? And Cal got blown out by Central Arkansas, Washington State got blown out by Idaho, Vanderbilt lost at home to Middle Tennessee State and Wisconsin fell to 4-6 on the season with a loss to Temple?

Go home, college hoops.

You’re drunk.