Rob Dauster

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-10-11-12-am

VIDEO: Lamar’s Colton Weisbrod proposes to girlfriend after win

Leave a comment

Colton Weisbrod is a 6-foot-5 forward from Texas that is averaging 14.3 points and 9.3 boards for Lamar this season.

He had 13 points in a win over Arlington Baptist last night. After the game, he landed an even bigger prize:

Duke’s Grayson Allen suspended indefinitely

14 Comments

Duke announced on Thursday morning that Grayson Allen has been “suspended from competition for an indefinite amount of time”.

“We have had the opportunity to thoroughly review the incident involving Grayson Allen from last night’s game against Elon,” head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. “As I stated last night, the incident was unacceptable and inexcusable. He took an important step last night by apologizing in person to Steven Santa Ana and Coach Matt Matheny. As a program, we needed to take further steps regarding his actions that do not meet the standards of Duke Basketball. To that end, we have determined that Grayson will be suspended from competition for an indefinite amount of time.”

Allen received a technical foul on Wednesday night for tripping Santa Ana during Duke’s win over Elon. This was his third tripping incident of 2016. He tearfully apologized last night, but as our Travis Hines wrote, he may not be the only thing wrong with Duke right now.

And while Allen deserves every bit of the scorn that he is going to get for this incident, it’s OK to have pity. And it’s OK to be empathetic, too.

Grayson Allen deserves the scorn, but also the pity, empathy

15 Comments

Before I say anything else, let me just state the obvious: Grayson Allen needs to be suspended.

After he intentionally tripped Elon’s Steven Santa Ana on Wednesday night, the third time in the 2016 calendar year that Allen has intentionally tripped an opponent, there is no option here.

He needs to be suspended. He needs to miss basketball games. He was let off with a reprimand and warning after the second incident last season, when he stuck his right leg out to trip Florida State’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes just 17 days after he used that same heel to send Louisville’s Ray Spalding sprawling, and unless the ACC follows up a reprimand with a REPRIMAND WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS TO SHOW THEY MEAN BUSINESS, the league has only one choice.

Even if head coach Mike Krzyzewski is against it.

Which he is, of course.

(UPDATE, 9:00 a.m.: Duke has announced that Grayson Allen is suspended indefinitely from competition.)

“I handle things the way I handle them, and I think I’ve handled this correctly, and moving forward I will continue to handle it correctly,” Krzyzewski told reporters after the game. “I don’t need to satisfy what other people think that I should do.”

“I’m a teacher and a coach, and I’m responsible for that kid. I know him better than anybody. So to think that it’s the last thing said about this to him is wrong. Obviously we will do more. Doesn’t mean you have to see it, or anybody else has to see it, but what he did tonight was right. That’s what people do. They say they’re sorry. They accept responsibility.”

If K is “a teacher and a coach,” and he’s “responsible for that kid,” then he would not be accepting the responsibility that comes with that job if he were to pass the onus for the suspension onto the ACC.

“Grayson apologized, and he should,” Krzyzewski said. After the game, Santa Ana and Allen met, with Allen apologizing and the two reportedly shaking hands and ending things amicably. Allen was also in tears as he apologized to the media congregated at Greensboro Coliseum. “It’s not something you should do, and he got punished.”

Did he?

That’s where this thing has nuance.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: Grayson Allen #3 of the Duke Blue Devils looks on against the Florida Gators in the second half during the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden on December 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Grayson Allen (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Because Allen didn’t really get punished. He was pulled from the game late in the first half for the trip, and he was benched for the start of the second half. But he got back into the game. He played quite a few second half minutes, which may have been due to the fact that Duke actually found themselves in a fight against an inferior opponent for the second time in three days. So is it really a punishment if you need to use the guy to help secure a win?

Put another way, pulling someone from the starting lineup is a perfectly valid punishment for a player that is five minutes late to a film session or a kid that skips a history class, not a player that intentionally tripped an opponent for the third time.

There needs to be a suspension. If a traffic cop catches you speeding after he lets you off with a warning, you’re getting a ticket. Allen needs to sit for at least Duke’s ACC opener against Virginia Tech, and if Coach K won’t be the one to do it, the ACC and commissioner John Swofford have to be.

Having said that, there is no punishment that Duke or Coach K or the ACC could hand down that would make Allen feel worse about what happened than he already does. Did you see his reaction on the bench? Did you see him crying in front of the cameras in the locker room? He knows what he did was wrong, he knows what will be waiting for him online and on TV tomorrow, and he knows that he brought all of this on himself.

Again.

Allen grew up a Duke basketball fan in an area of Florida that is full-blooded SEC football. He committed to Duke as soon as he got an offer from the Blue Devils. He went to Duke because it was his dream school and he returned to Duke as a junior because he wanted to have a legacy; as a Duke graduate, as a two-time national champion, as a National Player of the Year.

And he will leave Duke with a legacy: a tripper, a dirty player, a cheap-shot artist. That’s what he is now going to be remembered for. Christian Laetter, J.J. Redick, Grayson Allen. There’s no way around it, but the difference is that Allen isn’t wired like those two. He’s not a guy that relishes being Public Enemy No. 1. He doesn’t want to be the villain. He wants to be liked. He’d be happier hooping anonymously. This might be too much to come back from.

But that fantasy is out the window.

Allen will have earned every bit of scorn, derision and contempt he gets over the coming days and weeks. He may even deserve it; knowing what he went through last year, I cannot imagine how or why he let this happened again, and there’s nothing to say to defend it.

But just because Allen was in the wrong doesn’t mean I have to enjoy watching him go through what he’s been through and what he’s about to go through.

And that doesn’t mean I can’t have empathy for a person that is coming to grips with the reality that he just set his dreams on fire.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: Grayson Allen #3 of the Duke Blue Devils looks on against the Florida Gators in the second half during the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden on December 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Grayson Allen (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Blossomgame’s 15 helps Clemson to 62-60 win over S. Carolina

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 09: Jaron Blossomgame #5 of the Clemson Tigers celebrates a basket against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the first half in the second round of the 2016 ACC Basketball Tournament at Verizon Center on March 9, 2016 in Washington, DC.(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Leave a comment

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) A victory outside the ACC that will catch the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee’s attention is rare for Clemson. To get it over the Tigers’ bitter in-state rival is even better.

Jaron Blossomgame had 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead Clemson to a 62-60 victory over No. 22 South Carolina in a game Wednesday night where neither team led by more than four points.

The Tigers (9-2) jumped around and pointed after the final buzzer of their seventh straight win. One of them shouted “This is our city!” as Clemson beat a ranked non-conference team on the road for the first time in the program’s history.

And for a Clemson team that has missed the NCAA Tournament for five of coach Brad Brownell’s six seasons – often because of a poor resume outside of Atlantic Coast Conference play – it’s a win that could mean a lot in March.

“That doesn’t build anything but toughness. Mental toughness. For us to come in fight the refs, fight the crowd – our backs against the wall and get the win is just amazing,” said Marcquise Reed who scored 14 points and hit two free throws with 52.5 seconds left that put Clemson ahead for good, 59-58.

PJ Dozier had a career-high 26 points for the Gamecocks (9-2), but missed a possible game-winning 3-point attempt just before the buzzer. The sophomore has scored 20 points or more in his past five games and set a career best for the second straight time.

But South Carolina didn’t get him involved at critical times. Down 59-58 in the final minute, the Gamecocks missed two 3-point attempts on one possession and Dozier never touched the ball.

“He’s trying to win the game,” South Carolina coach Frank Martin said. “He did everything he could to help us tonight.”

Clemson shot 41.2 percent (21 of 51) against a South Carolina defense that came in ranked third in the country allowing teams to make just 34.6 percent of their shots.

BIG PICTURE

Clemson: Clemson is 3-0 against Southeastern Conference teams after beating Georgia and Alabama. … Elijah Thomas had 12 points and seven rebounds in his second game with Clemson. His contribution was critical as starting center Sidy Djitte had no points and three rebounds, fouling out in 14 minutes.

South Carolina: Chris Silva added 14 points. … Silva and Dozier shot a combined 52 percent (14 of 27). The rest of the Gamecocks shot a combined 23 percent (8 of 35). … All- SEC preseason first-teamer Sindarius Thornwell was suspended for a fourth straight game. … The Gamecocks forced 15 turnovers against a Clemson team that averaged 10.2 turnovers a game.

HOW BIG A WIN?

Reed said Clemson’s win is the kind of victory that builds confidence down the line and can pay dividends for years.

“We wanted to own this state. We beat Georgia, and now we beat them,” Reed said.

Brownell tempered his enthusiasm some, saying it is way too early to make postseason predictions.

“They are going to have a great year. They are going to win a bunch of games. To win a game like this on the road is extremely difficult,” Brownell said.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

A second loss in three games could drop South Carolina out of the AP Top 25 after four weeks in the rankings. Expect Clemson to get more than the one vote in the poll it received this week after this win.

UP NEXT

Clemson wraps up its non-conference schedule at home against UNC-Wilmington on Dec. 28.

South Carolina hosts Division II Lander on Tuesday.

More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org

No. 12 Virginia uses big second half, holds off Cal 56-52

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - NOVEMBER 22: Kyle Guy #5 of the Virginia Cavaliers celebrates with his teammates in the second half during a game against the Grambling State Tigers at John Paul Jones Arena on November 22, 2016 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Cavaliers defeated the Tigers 90-34. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
1 Comment

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) Tony Bennett wanted to see his Virginia team come through in a close game when not everything went right. Across the country right before Christmas and the start of conference play, California provided the perfect test while trying to protect a school-record home winning streak.

Isaiah Wilkins scored a tiebreaking three-point play with 1:02 remaining, Mamadi Diakite added a key basket in the final minute, and the 12th-ranked Cavaliers held off Cal 56-52 on Wednesday night to snap the Golden Bears’ school-record 27-game home winning streak.

“That’s what we’ve been looking for,” Bennett said. “Both of these teams have lost some key firepower guys, so we’re still kind of forging our identities. In games like this, plays have to be made, big shots have to be made, big defensive plays, just key plays. You can only find that out by being in these spots.”

Kyle Guy scored 17 points, including seven straight during a big second-half run and two free throws with 15.9 seconds to play, and London Perrantes added 14 points.

The Cavaliers (10-1) won their third straight since their lone loss to West Virginia on Dec. 3 that snapped Virginia’s 24-game winning streak at John Paul Jones Arena.

“We talk about fighting every single day,” said Perrantes, who had close to 30 family and friends in the stands. “We just gutted that win out.”

Jabari Bird scored 15 points and Ivan Rabb had 12 rebounds and nine points in a matchup of two top defenses. The Golden Bears (9-3) had the fourth-longest home unbeaten run in the nation and were handed their first defeat at Haas Pavilion since Feb. 25, 2015, against Oregon.

While just the second meeting between the schools, both have been tight, defensive games. The fifth-ranked Cavaliers held off Cal 63-62 in overtime last season in Charlottesville.

“It was just one of those games where hopefully it revealed some good things we can build on,” Bennett said.

Virginia answered Cal’s early spurt out of halftime with a 17-2 run when the Cavaliers briefly went to a four-guard lineup.

But the Bears stayed in it until the waning moments.

Perrantes hit a 15-footer with 1:50 to go before Sam Singer’s three-point play moments later tied it at 49.

“We definitely felt we could have beat them, it doesn’t really matter about the ranking,” Rabb said. “We had a lot of positives but down the stretch we made a lot of silly mistakes … stuff we did on our own to give the game away.”

With the Cavaliers’ large contingent of fans in Berkeley, they held Cal to 35.3 percent shooting and 5 for 23 on 3-point attempts. Virginia entered the game with the nation’s top scoring defense, allowing a school-record low 46.7 points per game. The Cavaliers have held nine of their first 11 opponents to 52 or fewer points.

BIG PICTURE

Virginia: C Jack Salt had his family at the game from New Zealand. … Cal was one of 13 games for the Cavaliers against teams in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

California: The Bears haven’t beaten a Top 25 opponent since Feb. 11, against No. 11 Oregon. … Cal was trying for the best non-conference finish since the Bears went 11-2 under coach Mike Montgomery in 2008. … Third-year coach Cuonzo Martin is 24-3 in non-conference play.

CHEERING SECTION

Boosting Perrantes’ already large cheering section were players from his high school, Crespi Carmelite from Southern California. They took up much of Section 7 in one upper corner of the arena as the program scheduled a game Thursday afternoon against Bishop O’Dowd around the chance to be in the Bay Area to see the school’s former star play. Members of the varsity, JV and freshman teams were in attendance.

Bennett drew up a play for him out of the gates.

And Perrantes gets to root on all the kids Thursday, staying in town until after the games. He also greeted everybody on the court afterward Wednesday.

Coach Russell White brought 45 kids and seven coaches, a 5 1/2-hour bus trip in the works for two years.

“It just seemed right,” he said. “London changed our program. This is an opportunity to show our former players we still support them and it’s an opportunity to show our current players what’s out there for them if they work for it.”

UP NEXT

Virginia: Opens the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule next Wednesday at No. 10 Louisville.

California: Hosts No. 18 Arizona on Dec. 30 to open Pac-12 play.

More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25.

No. 2 UCLA completes perfect preseason

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 17:  Lonzo Ball #2 of the UCLA Bruins brings the ball up the court against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the CBS Sports Classic at T-Mobile Arena on December 17, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. UCLA won 86-73.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
2 Comments

LOS ANGELES (AP) Bryce Alford scored 22 points, Aaron Holiday had 16 and TJ Leaf added 14, as No. 2 UCLA held off Western Michigan 82-68 on Wednesday night to complete a perfect preseason.

The last time the Bruins (13-0) went undefeated in the preseason was also the last time they won the NCAA title (1994-95).

Western Michigan (3-8) was led by guard Thomas Wilder’s 22 points, with forward Tucker Haymond adding 16 points and Reggie Jones 12.

The Broncos hung tough with UCLA for much of the game, but the Bruins’ balanced attack finally wore down Western Michigan.

Leaf and Isaac Hamilton led UCLA with eight rebounds each, with Hamilton adding 11 points. Holiday had a game-high seven assists off the bench.

After being down by 12 at halftime, the Broncos scored the first eight points of the second half to pull within 45-41. The Bruins, however, answered with a 16-4 run to seal the win.

The Bruins started the game slowly, with turnovers and missed shots making them look a lot like a team that wasn’t taking the Broncos seriously. Western Michigan, showing no fear, jumped out to a 7-1 lead and was still ahead 21-17 midway into the first half.

UCLA regained its focus, and with Alford hitting three 3-pointers, took a 45-33 halftime lead despite 10 turnovers.

BIG PICTURE

Western Michigan: The Broncos are still searching for their first win on the road, having started 0-4 away from home. They are 3-4 at Western Michigan.

UCLA: The Bruins entered the game ranked first in field goal percentage (55.4) and assists per game (23.8), and second in points per game (96.9), 3-point percentage (43.9) and assists-to-turnover rate (1.95).

UP NEXT

Western Michigan is off for a week before returning home to host winless Alabama A&M on Dec. 29.

UCLA opens its Pac-12 Conference schedule next Wednesday at No. 20 Oregon.

More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org