Former Maryland star Jordan Williams was arrested last week after a juvenile in Williams’ native Connecticut was kidnapped, robbed and assaulted on Thanksgiving.
Williams and three other people have been charged with third-degree assault, breach of peace, third-degree strangulation and risk of injury to a minor. He’s being held on $300,000 bail, the Register Citizen in Torrington reported.
According to a press release sent out by the Torrington Police Department, the “juvenile victim was kidnapped at knifepoint, had clothes and items removed from him and was forced to a residence in Torrington where the juvenile was then assaulted before being able to flee from the house and find help. The incident was allegedly over a bad drug deal and revenge for the loss.”
Williams averaging 16.9 points and 11.8 boards as a sophomore for Maryland in 2010-11 before declaring for the NBA Draft. He was picked 36th in the 2011 Draft and played in 43 games, averaging 4.3 points in 2011-12 before getting traded to, and cut by, Atlanta.
Prior to enrolling at Maryland, Williams and four other people were arrested after a fight in Torrington.
Landale scores 24 to help No. 19 Saint Mary’s hold off BYU
MORAGA, Calif. (AP) Jock Landale had a pretty good time spending his night going against BYU’s 6-foot-10-inch sophomore Eric Mika in a battle of two of the West Coast Conference’s top big men.
The 6-11 center from Saint Mary’s enjoyed passing for six assists that led to 15 points for the Gaels even more.
Landale had 24 points and eight rebounds to help offset another big game from Mika and the 19th-ranked Gaels pulled away in the second half to beat the Cougars 81-68 on Thursday night.
Saint Mary’s top scorer coming into the game, Landale was the focal point of the Gaels’ offense while also trying to defend Mika, the second-leading scorer in the WCC. Mika finished with 28 points – one shy of his career-high set earlier this season – and 10 rebounds.
“It’s so much fun going against someone who’s that good,” Landale said. “He’s a great guy as well so there was a little banter back and forth. It is a lot of fun going against someone who’s hard to guard and knowing you’re hard to guard as well.”
Landale had more fun, and was equally effective, when he passed out to the perimeter whenever BYU tried collapsing in the paint with a double-team. His six assists doubled Landale’s previous career-high and were critical in getting the Gaels’ outside shooting going.
Calvin Hermanson scored 15 points, Emmett Naar added 15 on three 3-pointers and Joe Rahon had 10 points, eight assists and five rebounds for Saint Mary’s.
“Having people like that out on the 3-point line where we don’t always have to go to me, we can go to other people, it makes us so much harder to guard,” Landale said. “It’s great having a supporting cast like that.”
Naar said Landale’s passing helped open up the offense.
“It adds a lot more to our game going inside, then out,” Naar said. “It makes it easier for me, Joe and Cal as shooters because he can score, defenses have to focus in on him.”
The Gaels (13-1, 3-0) have won seven straight since suffering their lone loss of the season at home against UT Arlington on Dec. 8.
Landale got the better of Mika late, scoring twice on putbacks to go with a basket in the paint over the final 6 minutes before checking out of the game to a rousing ovation with 1:15 remaining.
It’s only Saint Mary’s third win in the past seven games against BYU.
“Landale, any time we helped, he found the open guy,” Cougars coach Dave Rose said. “He just played great as far as his decision-making. He really makes that team difficult to guard.”
The Cougars (11-5, 2-1) suffered their first loss in conference and their first defeat since Dec. 17 despite Mika’s big game. The sophomore shot 12 of 17 in 27 minutes.
Much of the first half centered around a battle between the big men. The duo spent most of the first half banging into one another in the paint while shouldering the scoring load for their respective teams early.
The difference was Saint Mary’s shooting from the perimeter. The Gaels went 6 of 13 from beyond the arc and shot 64.3 percent overall to take a 44-36 halftime lead.
BYU: Mika has scored 20 or more points in eight games this season. … The Cougars got off to another slow start and the 36 points were their third-fewest in a first half this season. BYU also had just two offensive rebounds before the break.
Saint Mary’s: The Gaels remain on course for a showdown with undefeated No. 5 Gonzaga on Jan. 14 in Spokane but coach Randy Bennett’s squad continues to do a good job focusing on the task at hand. Landale didn’t have the numbers that Mika did but proved he is one of the WCC’s elite centers. He also had plenty of scoring support, one of the staples of Bennett’s offense.
The Gaels aren’t likely to make much movement based off this one game and it won’t matter at all if they can’t hold serve on the road in San Francisco over the weekend.
BITS AND PIECES
Rose was pleased with his team’s effort but noted that the Cougars’ lack of consistency was a pivotal factor in their four-game losing streak coming to an end. Mika, for instance, was held scoreless for the final 11 minutes while BYU managed only four baskets over the last 7. “There are pieces of this game that were good for us,” Rose said. “It just wasn’t for 40 minutes.”
BYU: Hosts Pacific on Saturday.
Saint Mary’s: Takes a short ride across the Bay Bridge to play at San Francisco on Saturday night.
LOS ANGELES (AP) Winning a physically tough, ragged game was another step forward for No. 25 Southern California.
With Jordan McLaughlin scoring 15 points and Chimezie Metu adding 14, the Trojans grinded out a hard-fought 72-56 victory over short-handed Stanford 72-56 on Thursday night.
“Oregon got physical and we didn’t play well,” Metu said. “But our young guys are starting to catch on how to play in the Pac-12. We knew they were going to come out physical tonight and we responded.”
Southern California (15-1, 2-1) rebounded from its first loss of the season at Oregon on Saturday by holding the Cardinal to 36 percent shooting and 21 turnovers.
“We’re leading the Pac-12 in steals per game,” Southern California coach Andy Enfield said. “That pressure helps us a lot because we have to play a lot of lineups. With a key player out for a long time (Bennie Boatwright) we have to play zone, play pressure defense, which helps us use all our lineups.”
McLaughlin’s scoring is something Enfield wants to see from his point guard, who added six assists.
“We want him taking 6 to 9 shots a game,” Enfield said. “We need him to shoot the basketball, and be confident shooting it.”
De’Anthony Melton added 12 points for Southern California, which won despite shooting 42 percent, and committing 18 turnovers. The Trojans had 10 steals, 5 blocks, and scored 27 points off Stanford turnovers.
“Being 15-1 is great,” Metu said. “But we still have a long season ahead of us, and we have to take each of these games one at a time.”
Marcus Allen and Dorian Pickens scored 13 points each to lead Stanford (8-7, 0-3), which lost its third straight.
“Both teams played great defense,” said Allen, who posted a season-high point total. “We just had too many turnovers. I thought our halfcourt defense was good. We struggled in transition, and gave them too many breakouts.”
The Cardinal played without Reid Travis, the 6-foot-8 junior who leads the Cardinal in scoring (17.5).
Travis injured his right shoulder in practice earlier this week and has been ruled out indefinitely, according to Stanford spokesman Doug Drabik.
Leading 27-26 late in the first half, the Trojans ran off an 18-6 run, taking a 45-32 lead on a fast-break dunk by Elijah Stewart off a nice feed from McLaughlin. Stanford could get no closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Southern California’s biggest lead was 68-48.
The Trojans led 36-28 at halftime thanks to McLaughlin’s end-to-end driving layup at the buzzer. McLaughlin went 5 for 5 from the field in the first half, while the rest of the Trojans made just 6 of 19.
Stanford: The Cardinal, who were coming off a 91-52 loss to No. 18 Arizona – the fifth-most lopsided loss in school history – fell to 0-4 against ranked opponents this season. The Cardinal have also lost to No. 12 St. Mary’s (66-51) and No. 4 Kansas (89-74). … The Cardinal have lost six of their last eight games after opening the season 6-1.
Southern California: The Trojans snapped a five-game losing streak against Stanford, and moved within two victories of .500 (123-125) all-time, with one USC victory vacated due to NCAA penalties. The Trojans won their Pac-12 home opener for the third straight year. … Enfield recorded his 100th victory at USC.
Stanford: is at UCLA on Sunday.
Southern California: Hosts California on Sunday night.
N.C. State at No. 14 North Carolina, Sat. 8:00 p.m. (ESPN): The best game of the weekend takes place in Chapel Hill as Dennis Smith Jr. will make his one and only trip to the Dean Dome. The Wolfpack are coming off what is, by far, their best performance of the season, a 104-78 mollywhopping of No. 21 Virginia Tech behind 27 points, 11 boards, 11 assists and five steals from Smith.
N.C. State is finally reaching full strength. Omer Yurtseven, a potential first round pick this season, missed the first nine games due to some amateurism issues while Maverick Rowan sat out much of the first month of the season with a concussion. With Smith playing the way he’s playing and the likes of Terry Henderson, Torin Dorn and Abdul-Malik Abu on the floor as well, Mark Gottfried’s got himself a squad that looks like it can make a run this year.
But just how much of a run?
As good as N.C. State looked on Wednesday night, they lost by 18 points in their ACC opener to a Miami team that looks to be headed for the bubble. Playing at UNC will be a nice test for them, and for the Tar Heels as well. UNC lost their ACC opener at Georgia Tech. They barely survived a trip to Clemson. Is the road in the ACC just that difficult, or are there real reasons to be worried about Roy Willaims’ club?
No. 13 Wisconsin at No. 20 Purdue, Sat. 4:30 p.m. (CBS): This is a fascinating matchup of what appears to be the two best teams in the Big Ten this season. Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan has been absolutely fantastic through the first two months of the season, turning into a double-double machine. But Wisconsin has a pretty good good front court of their own, with Ethan Happ and Nigel Hayes. This game has serious Big Ten title implications, which I’ll get into later.
No. 21 Virginia Tech at No. 12 Florida State, Sat. 2:00 p.m. (ACCN): First place in the ACC is on the line as the Seminoles, who are one of just two teams sitting at 2-0 in the league, host the Hokies. The last time we saw FSU take the floor was at Virginia, where Dwayne Bacon was scoring 26 second half points to lead them to a win in Charlottesville. The last time we saw Virginia Tech, they were getting beaten down by N.C. State on the road. FSU has the talent to push for a top four finish in the league, but if they are going to do so, they have to win games like this.
FIVE MORE GAMES TO WATCH
Clemson at No. 23 Notre Dame, Sat. 3:00 p.m. (ESPNU): The Tigers missed out on a massive opportunity to land a win over North Carolina on Wednesday. Can they get that back against one of the ACC’s two undefeated teams?
Tennessee at No. 24 Florida, Sat. 5:15 p.m. (ESPN2): Tennessee has been better than they’ve gotten credit for this season, while Florida may be the second-best team in the SEC.
Oklahoma State at No. 2 Baylor, Sat. 7:00 p.m. (ESPNNews): The way that Oklahoma State plays – a pressuring, half-court man-to-man – should give the Bears some trouble, as should their talented back court of Phil Forte and Jawun Evans.
Texas Tech at No. 3 Kansas, Sat. 7:15 p.m. (ESPN2): Kansas struggled to hold off Kansas State at home and couldn’t put away TCU on the road. Now they get the Red Raiders, who are coming off of a win over West Virginia.
Rhode Island at Dayton, Fri. 7:00 p.m. (ESPN2): A battle of the two-best teams in the Atlantic 10 this season.
FIVE STORY LINES TO FOLLOW
1. Jeff Capel’s first game: On Wednesday night, for the first time all season long, we saw the Duke team that we expected to see this season. Grayson Allen was running the point, Harry Giles III was starting at center and Coach K was on the sidelines. That will be the last time that we see that team for quite some time, as Krzyzewski will undergo surgery on Friday to repair an issue with a herniated disc in his back, meaning that associate head coach Jeff Capel will spend the next four weeks working as the interim coach.
Capel has some experience – he coached Blake Griffin at Oklahoma and he coached at VCU – but this next month could very well end up being his audition to eventually be Coach K’s replacement. He’ll get an easy opener, with Boston College coming to Cameron Indoor Stadium, but the road gets tougher after that, with visits to Florida State and Louisville on deck.
2. Can the Badgers take control of the Big Ten?: No. 13 Wisconsin will have a chance to put themselves in the driver’s seat for the Big Ten title race on Sunday afternoon. If the Badgers go into Mackey Arena and beat No. 20 Purdue, Wisconsin will hold a two-game lead over both the Boilermakers and No. 25 Indiana, owning wins on both team’s home floor.
Since Nigel Hayes embraced the roll of playing point forward on Wisconsin’s return from the Maui Invitational, the Badgers have looked like the best team in the conference, with Indiana and Purdue right behind them. The other team to keep an eye on: Michigan State, who plays against Penn State on Saturday and who is also undefeated in the conference.
3. No. 25 Indiana has a get-right game: The Hoosiers have reached a crossroads this season. Having lost their last three games and the last four games they’ve played against teams not named Delaware State or Austin Peay, Indiana is currently sitting at 10-5 overall and 0-2 in the Big Ten. A loss at home to Illinois on Saturday would drop them to 0-3 in the league with all three of those losses coming in Assembly Hall. If that happens, it will be fair to question if the Hoosiers, who have already beaten Kansas and North Carolina this season, might play their way back onto the bubble.
4. ACC teams looking to bounce-back: No. 9 Louisville, who has beaten Indiana, Purdue and Kentucky this season, is the only team in the ACC without a win yet this season. They’ll spend their Saturday at Georgia Tech, playing in the same building that North Carolina took a loss in last weekend. Meanwhile, No. 11 Virginia, who has lost two straight after winning at Louisville, will look to bounce back as they host Wake Forest.
5. Will the Big 12 have the nation’s No. 1 team?: For all the talk about how the Big 12 was going to be down this season, it looks like, on Monday morning, we’re going to have two teams from the conference sitting at No. 1 and No. 2 in the national polls. Baylor, who is currently No. 2, hosts Oklahoma State while Texas Tech pays a visit to No. 3 Kansas. With No. 1 Villanova losing to Butler on Wednesday, there will be room for the two teams to move up, which begs the question: Do we all really think that Baylor is better than Kansas this year?