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Delaware signs head coach Monté Ross to an extension

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Monté Ross has reached an agreement on a multi-year contract extension with Delaware, sources told NBCSports.com.

An official announcement is expected to be released this afternoon.

Ross, who has been at Delaware for nine years, was in the final year of his contract this year despite coming off a CAA regular season title and an NCAA tournament trip in 2014 that capped the best seasons in program history, a three-year stretch where the Blue Hens were 39-13.

In 2014-2015, Delaware went just 10-20, but Ross had a team with just one junior and one senior on the roster. Once senior guard Kyle Anderson returned from injury, the Blue Hens finished 9-9 in league play and beat some of the top teams in the conference. With freshmen Kory Holden and Chivarsky Corbett and sophomore Cazmon Hayes both returning, the future is bright in Newark.

The extension was first reported by DelawareOnline.com.

Delaware continues recent dominance of William & Mary (VIDEO)

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After losing many of the key contributors from last season’s CAA tournament champion team, the 2014-15 season hasn’t gone too well for Monte Ross’ Delaware Blue Hens. Saturday afternoon Delaware moved to 6-8 in CAA play with a 73-70 win over William & Mary, which entered the game in sole possession of first place. The win is Delaware’s ninth straight in the series, and they also snapped the Tribe’s 14-game home win streak.

Two Marvin King-Davis free throws with 15 seconds remaining sealed the win for Delaware, with Kyle Anderson, Kory Holden and Cazmon Hayes scoring 15 points apiece to lead the way offensively. Marcus Thornton, one the best all-around guards in the country, led William & Mary with 27 points and Omar Prewitt added 25.

William & Mary, now 10-4 in CAA play, is tied with Northeastern and UNCW in the loss column. The Seahawks are also 10-4, and Northeastern is 9-4.

Delaware lands three-star guard over the likes of Memphis, Oklahoma

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Monte Ross is coming off his best season at the helm of the Delaware basketball program. The Fighting Blue Hens won 25 games, winning the Colonial Athletic Conference and reaching the NCAA tournament.

Delaware enters the 2013-2014 season without Devon Saddler, Davon Usher and Jarvis Threatt. That trio made for a high-scoring perimeter attack with each of them averaging 18.0 points per game or better. Last weekend offered Ross and his staff the opportunity to reload for the future with several recruits on campus for an official visit. The Delaware football home opener against Delaware State was postponed due to weather, but the rain couldn’t put a damper on the experience for three-star guard Eli Cain, who committed to Delaware on Friday night.

He announced the commitment through his personal Twitter account. “For my college career I will be attending the University of Delaware,” he tweeted.

The Blue Hens were able to beat out two high-major programs, Memphis and Oklahoma, for Cain’s services. Boston University was the other finalist.

The 6-foot-6 Cain attends St. Benedict’s Prep (New Jersey) and ran with the Playaz Basketball Club this summer on the Nike EYBL circuit. He averaged 5.4 points and 3.0 rebounds in 16.7 minutes per game for the Peach Jam champion Playaz.

The commitment is important for Ross, as next season he will have to account for the loss of Kyle Anderson, senior guard who averaged 11.0 points per game last year. Cain is the first commitment in Delaware’s Class of 2015.

Delaware dismisses junior guard Jarvis Threatt

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Delaware will have to move on next season without potential CAA Player of the Year Jarvis Threatt, as the junior guard was dismissed from the Blue Hens in a release from the school on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-2 Threatt appeared in 25 games for the Blue Hens last season and averaged 18 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.5 steals per game. The speedy guard also shot 41 percent from the field and 21 percent from the three-point line on the season.

Threatt missed nine games during the 2013-14 season due to multiple suspensions but returned in time for the CAA Conference Tournament, where he won Tournament MVP honors in helping Delaware make the 2014 NCAA Tournament with a win over William & Mary.

An ironman when he was with the team, Threatt averaged 37.1 minutes per game as a junior and scored 14 points on 2-for-9 shooting in a Round of 64 loss to Michigan State.

The dismissal from the program for Threatt on Tuesday comes “due to violations of team rules.” Schools officials have no further comment on the matter, according to the release.

Adreian Payne’s 41 points lead No. 4 Michigan State past Delaware

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A few days removed from winning the Big Ten tournament title, the question for East Region No. 4 seed Michigan State was whether or not they’d be able to build on the momentum that has led to many picking them to reach the Final Four. Thanks in large part to Adreian Payne, Tom Izzo’s team advanced to the round of 32 with a 93-78 win over Delaware in Spokane.

Payne scored a career-high 41 points, with 23 of those coming in the first half as Michigan State took control of the game against the CAA champions. The senior forward was nearly unstoppable, making ten of his 15 shot attempts from the field and all 17 of his free throws while also grabbing eight rebounds.

As a team Michigan State shot 53.6% from the field and 10-for-18 from beyond the arc, finding the looks they desired for much of the afternoon. While there were a couple lulls, allowing the Blue Hens to remain within striking distance, it didn’t seem as if the Spartans were truly threatened against a team they matched up well with.

However Payne wasn’t the only standout for Michigan State, as guard Travis Trice contributed 19 points and three rebounds off the bench. With Keith Appling and Denzel Valentine combining to score just seven points against Delaware, Trice’s scoring output gave Michigan State a welcome boost. In total four Spartans scored in double figures, and Appling tallied seven assists with just two turnovers.

Next up for Michigan State is No. 12 Harvard, which beat No. 5 Cincinnati 61-57 in the first game of the day in Spokane.

Late Night Snacks: Manhattan, Delaware, and Wofford garner bids

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Game of the night: Delaware 75, William & Mary 74

The Blue Hens were the top seed in the CAA tournament, and despite a furious scoring explosion from William & Mary, replete with a flurry of makes from Marcus Thornton and Omar Prewitt (aka, the Tribe’s offensive core next season), UDee is dancing for the first time in fifteen years. W&M had a chance to earn their inaugural NCAA tournament bid in program history, but a double cut and made two by UD big Carl Baptiste in the final minute provided Monté Ross’ squad with the win.

Important outcomes

1) Manhattan 71, Iona 68

The Jaspers ended Iona’s hegemony on the MAAC, showcasing a stout man defense that chased the Gaels’ shooters from the three-point line and prevented open looks for AJ English, Sean Armand, and Isaiah Williams. An interesting aspect of title game, though, is whether Tim Cluess’ squad will earn an at-large bid; the team’s best win at the moment is a non-conference victory over Wofford.

2) Wofford 56, Western Carolina 53

For the third time in five seasons, Mike Young and his staff are piloting Wofford to the NCAA tournament. Other than the Terriers’ stout defense (more on that later in Late Night Snacks), the title game’s highlight was the play of Karl Cochran. The junior is one of the Southern Conference’s best perimeter shooters, but he somehow found himself open consistently against the Catamounts, making five of his ten three-point attempts.

3) BYU 79, San Francisco 77 (OT)

The Dons were the hottest team in the WCC entering the game, and despite a double-double from senior forward Cole Dickerson, the Cougars were able to outlast San Francisco.

Starred
1) Taylor Braun (North Dakota State)

Recently named Summit League player of the year, Braun manhandled Denver’s defense in a game that was lopsided soon after the opening tip. The senior wing scored 28 points through a combination of efficient shooting (two of four from within the arc, four of five from three) and aggressiveness: his twelve free throw attempts led both teams.

2) Carl Baptiste (Delaware)

Easily the CAA’s most improved player, Baptiste was a defensive mismatch for W&M. There wasn’t a member of the Tribe who could handle Baptiste’s heft, and the forward scored 24 points, including the game-winning shot, and grabbed eight rebounds.

3) David Stockton (Gonzaga)

The senior guard posted his most complete game this season, scoring 21 points, hauling in six rebounds, dishing out four assists, and somehow not recording a turnover in a 70-54 WCC semifinal win over Saint Mary’s.

Struggled

1) Denver’s defense

North Dakota State’s final margin of victory was nearly forty points, and the Bison posted a whopping offensive efficiency rating of 1.55 points per possession. Not only did NDSU make more than 60 percent of their twos, they also converted over 60 percent of their threes.

2) Trey Sumler (Western Carolina)

The senior is one of DI’s all-time feel good stories: a former walk-on who transforms into an all-first team candidate. Wofford was able to silence the prolific scorer, hamstringing Sumler to just nine points — he didn’t make his first field goal until eleven minutes or so remained in the second half.

3) Saint Mary’s offense

Gonzaga’s defense is stout this season, but their stinginess doesn’t entirely explain how Saint Mary’s was able to score just .81 PPP. Other than Brad Waldow, no other Gael made more than three field goals.

Conference tournaments

CAA: Another Phil Martelli assistant is dancing

Ross was a part of the 2003-04 St. Joe’s coaching staff, and like Matt Brady a year ago, his team earned the CAA’s auto bid following a 75-74 win over William & Mary. UDee has the pieces to spring an opening round upset — while their defense can be shaky, their guards are among the most complete and offensively proficient in DI.

MAC: Status quo continues

All the top seeds advanced, a group that includes Ohio (vs. Ball State, 76-64), Miami of Ohio (vs. Kent State, 71-64), Eastern Michigan (vs. Central Michigan, 72-60), and Northern Illinois (vs. Bowling Green, 54-51).

MAAC: After a ten year hiatus, the Jaspers return to the NCAAs

When Manhattan last cracked the tourney field, Bobby Gonzalez was still a head coach, and Luis Flores was spearheading an upset of Florida. This year’s squad is a bit different: a number of players form a cohesive offensive unit that prides itself on defensively manipulating opponents, as evidenced by Manhattan’s 71-68 victory against bitter rival Iona.

MEAC: Can North Carolina Central make the Dance?

LeVelle Moton’s squad doesn’t play until Wednesday, but the opening rounds of the MEAC began Monday night: Norfolk State beat UMES, 78-74, and Savannah State did what they do best — defensively frustrate opponents (vs. South Carolina State, 61-47). Should North Carolina A&T defeat Howard, there will be a rematch of the 2013 MEAC tournament, one in which the Aggies defeated the Eagles.

Southern: Wofford continues to dominate the Southern conference tournament

Despite a wild finish and plenty of missed free throws, Wofford was able to secure a coveted bid, defeating Western Carolina 56-53.

Summit: Path cleared for Taylor Braun and rest of NDSU

North Dakota State seems destined to secure the Summit’s NCAA bid. The team posted what is likely their most efficient offensive rating in a thumping of Denver, and Braun’s personal offensive rating was completely ridiculous: 203. It is unclear how IPFW, which defeated South Dakota State on Monday night (64-60), will be able to defend what appears to be a scoring juggernaut.

WCC: Does BYU need to beat Gonzaga to make the NCAAs?
For the first time since joining the WCC in 2011-12, BYU has made the tournament final, and will be matched up against Gonzaga. The Cougars have a stronger non-conference resume than the Zags, including wins Texas and Stanford, and Dave Rose’s squad has split the two meetings with Gonzaga this year. At the moment, it would seem BYU will crack the field of 68 even if they lose to the Bulldogs, so it will be interesting to see which BYU team emerges on Tuesday: the one that allowed San Francisco to take the lead at half? Or the BYU team that stymied the Dons late in the second half and overtime?