Gary Payton II

D'Angelo Russell (AP Photo)

Weekly Awards: D’Angelo Russell’s ascension, Kansas takes the next step

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D’Angelo Russell (AP Photo)

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State

It took a while for Russell to find his rhythm against high-major competition, but the talented freshman is rolling these days. This week, he went for 33 points, seven boards, six assists and no turnovers in a win at Northwestern, following that up with 22 points, 10 assists and six boards as the Buckeyes got revenge on No. 23 Indiana at home. He shot 21-for-32 (65.6 percent) from the floor and 8-for-18 (44.4 percent) from three in the two wins. If you do that math, Russell missed just one shot from inside the arc in those two games.

Russell has shot his way up NBA Draft Boards of late, turning himself from a potential first round pick down the road into a guy that not only appears to be a lock to be a lottery pick, but could climb his way into the top five. The 6-foot-4 lefty is a big-time scorer that has made Sportscenter for his ability to throw mind-bending passes, and while he lacks that next-level explosiveness of a point guard like John Wall or Russell Westbrook, he’s crafty around the rim. And, more importantly for our purposes, he’s making sure that Ohio State remains relevant in the Big Ten.


  • Hassan Martin, Rhode Island: Rhode Island moved to 5-2 in the Atlantic 10 with wins over La Salle and St. Bonaventure this week, and Martin was the biggest reason why, averaging 12.0 points, 10.0 boards and 8.0 blocks.
  • Maurice Ndour, Ohio: After scoring 17 points in a win at Ball State, Ndour followed it up with 31 points, six boards, three blocks and this game-winning dunk against Buffalo.
  • Saah Nimley, Charleston Southern: In wins over UNC-Asheville and Gardner-Webb, Nimley averaged 34.0 points and 3.5 assists. In his last four games, he’s averaging 32.0 points and shooting 25-for-57 (!!!) from three.
  • Gary Payton II, Oregon State: The Beavers are a surprising 5-2 in the Pac-12 after sweeping the LA schools. Payton had 39 points, 17 boards, eight assists and seven steals in the two wins.
  • Stanley Johnson, Arizona: Johnson led the Wildcats to wins at Stanford and Cal this weekend, playing his best basketball while leading a second half charge in the win over the Cardinal. In his last four games, Johnson is averaging 20.0 points and 8.3 boards.
  • Notables: Cam Payne (Murray State), Tyler Harvey (Eastern Washington), Nic Moore (SMU)
source: Getty Images
Getty Images

TEAM OF THE WEEK: Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas made a statement on Saturday, going into Austin and smacking around No. 17 Texas, 75-62. That came after the Jayhawks built a 19-point lead on No. 19 Oklahoma, blew that lead in 10 minutes of game time and managed to come-from-behind to win anyway.

Yeah, I don’t get it either.

I don’t think anyone does.

But the bottom-line is that the Jayhawks, with all the inconsistencies and question marks that they’ve had this season, are sitting all alone in first place in the toughest conference in college basketball. And, finally, Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre seem to be hitting their stride. This team has always had the potential to be among the nation’s elite, and they got a step closer this week.


  • Georgetown: After blowing out Villanova in Washington, D.C., the Hoyas went up to Milwaukee and survived a scrappy Marquette team in overtime. Their freshmen have been terrific of late, with Isaac Copeland, who averaged 17.0 points in the two wins, leading the way.
  • Duke: The Blue Devils have officially bounced back from their two losses. This week, they beat Pitt and won at St. John’s — Coach K’s 1,000th win — due in large part to the play of Tyus Jones. He averaged 22.0 points and 5.0 assists.
  • Davidson: Despite playing without Jack Gibbs, who has a knee injury, the Wildcats blew out Dayton at home and won at George Mason in overtime.
  • Murray State: The Racers have now won 15 straight after winning at SIU-Edwardsville and Eastern Illinois this week. Cameron Payne may be the best player you’ve never seen play.
  • Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane moved to 7-0 in the American with a blowout win over Memphis at home and a victory in a trip to East Carolina, which turned into a bittersweet homecoming for head coach Frank Haith.
  • Notables: Butler, Miami, Texas A&M


  • No. 17 Texas at No. 9 Iowa State, Mon. 9:00 p.m.
  • No. 5 Duke at No. 8 Notre Dame, Tue. 7:30 p.m.
  • No. 14 Wichita State at No. 20 Northern Iowa, Sat. 4:00 p.m.
  • No. 15 North Carolina at No. 10 Louisville, Sat. 4:00 p.m.
  • No. 5 Duke at No. 2 Virginia, Sat. 7:00 p.m.


POSTERIZED: Oregon State’s Gary Payton II goes baseline for the one-handed finish (VIDEO)

Gary Payton II, Andrew Andrews
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After shooting 51 percent in their 58-56 win over then-No. 7 Arizona on Sunday, Oregon State found it more difficult to get things going offensively in their 56-43 loss at Washington Thursday night. Wayne Tinkle’s Beavers, who were playing without suspended reserve Victor Robbins, shot just 31.9% from the field and finished with as many turnovers as made field goals (15).

Oregon State shot 11-for-31 from inside of the arc, with one of those made field goals being a Gary Payton II dunk late in the second half. Payton II, who leads the team in both scoring and rebounding, drove baseline past Nigel Williams-Goss and finished over another Washington defender (Andrew Andrews) who had second thoughts about attempting to draw a charge after rotating over as a help defender.

Thursday’s game also served as a reunion of sorts, with Shawn Kemp Jr. being a starting forward for the Huskies. And with their respective sons on the same court, Seattle Supersonics legends Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp took in the action courtside.

AP Photo

Video credit: Pac-12 Networks

Gary Payton II joins his dad as only Oregon State players with triple-doubles

AP Photo

Entering Monday night, only one Oregon State basketball player had ever notched a triple-double.

It was Gary Payton, the program’s most famous, who had 20 points, 14 boards and 11 assists in a win over Portland in November of 1988.

26 years later, Payton’s son — Gary Payton II, a junior college transfer on the Beavers — became the second player in program history to do it, as he finished with 10 points, 12 boards and 10 assists, not to mention six steals, in a 71-43 win over Grambling State.

“It means a lot to me,” Payton II said. “I had a hint in the second half that I was close and I want to thank Coach Tinkle and my teammates for achieving such a special honor.”

“We can laugh about it.”

Here’s the most interesting part: Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle knew all about Payton II’s stat line and what it would mean for him to get the triple-double. With around five minutes left, Tinkle put Payton II back in the game to try and get him two more assists.

“I never want to embarrass an opponent, but this was such a special moment for GP,” Tinkle said. “I would have pulled him out of the game if it wasn’t for his father. This is something a father and son can share. The fact that it was a team statistic (assist) that he needed at the end, I was okay with it. I hope Coach (Shawn) Walker understands the moment.”

2014-2015 Preview: Impact JuCo transfers

Kadeem Allen (
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Kadeem Allen (

Beginning on October 3rd and running up until November 14th, the first day of the season, College Basketball Talk will be unveiling the 2014-2015 college hoops preview package.

MORE: 2014-2015 Season Preview Coverage | Conference Previews | Preview Schedule

1. Kadeem Allen, Arizona: The NJCAA National Player of the Year tallied 1,425 career points in his two first-team All-American seasons at Hutchinson Community College (Kansas). While the 6-foot-3 power guard likely won’t be in the starting five, he will a key scoring option coming off the bench. This past season with the Blue Dragons, he averaged 25.9 points per game.

2. Cinmeon Bowers, Auburn: An NCAA show-cause penalty didn’t stop Bruce Pearl from landing one of the top JuCo recruits in the country this past spring. The former Florida State signee averaged 12.4 points and 8.9 rebounds last season at Chipola Junior College (Florida) The Tigers lose their top scorer and their top rebounder from last season’s 14-16 team. Bowers can help in those departments, especially on the glass, where Auburn had one of the worst rebounding teams in the SEC.

3. Josh Gray, LSU: No Andre Stringer and no Anthony Hickey this season for an LSU program looking to return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009. At Odessa College last season, Gray averaged 33.8 points and 5.9 assists per game. The former Texas Tech floor general, who averaged 9.3 points a night in 2012-2013, is joined by UNC Asheville transfer Keith Hornsby. The brand-new back court should compliment the frontline of sophomores Jordan Mickey and Jarell Martin.

4. Jordan Goodman, New MexicoAfter three commitments and a stint in Harcum College (Pennsylvania), the 6-foot-9 Goodman is set to begin his first season with the reigning Mountain West tournament champion. Goodman, a first-team All-American, has yet to be cleared for full-contact drills after having knee surgery this summer, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

5. Stephen Hurt, Kansas State: The former Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year used a year at Northwest Florida State to catapult himself into a highly-sought after forward. After committing to K-State, he’ll join a team looking to push back up the Big 12 Conference standings. The 6-foot-11 center averaged 8.2 points and 4.8 rebounds in his lone season in the JuCo ranks after transferring from Lipscomb.

6. Trahson Burrell & Chris Hawkins, Memphis: Josh Pastner brought in several JuCo recruits who could be contributors this season. The 6-foot-7 Burrell was cleared last month after posting 25.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game at Lee College (Texas). Hawkins, a JuCo forward, averaged 12.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game for the Tigers in their four games in Canada this summer.

7. Ivan Cruz Uceda, Miami: At 6-foot-10 Uceda gives the ‘Canes an inside presence. The ex-Harcum forward made an immediate impact on the glass in Miami’s trip to Spain, pulling down 11.0 boards per game. Uceda’s debut with Miami will be delayed until the second semester due to an NCAA rule.

8. Octavius Ellis, Cincinnati: Mick Cronin needs to replace the production left behind by Justin Jackson on the Cincy frontline. The 6-foot-10 forward Ellis, back in Bearcat uniform, averaged 14.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.2 blocks as a first-team All-American at Trinity Valley Community College (Texas). He arrives in Cincinnati with another JuCo big, Coreontae DeBerry.

9. Dwayne Benjamin & Michael Chandler, Oregon: Three players dismissed and two more failing to enroll leaves plenty of opportunities for newcomers to make an impact on this Oregon team. The 6-foot-10 Chandler, a former four-star recruit, is the projected starting center while Benjamin can help out on the wing along with freshman Dillon Brooks.

10. Jeff Newberry, Oklahoma State: Phil Forte is back, but Marcus Smart and Markel Brown leave big holes to fill. Insert JuCo guard Jeff Newberry and LSU transfer Anthony Hickey. The 6-foot-2 Newberry could end up playing either guard position this season for Travis Ford’s new-look perimeter.


  • Sam Cassell Jr., UConn: Son of the longtime NBA point guard adds depth to the UConn back court. Cassell was a first-team All-American in his only season at Chipola.
  • Gary Payton II, Oregon State: The son of the Hall of Famer enrolls as his father’s alma mater, where after a coaching change he will be looked upon to contribute right away.
  • Kevin Punter, Tennessee: The State Fair Community College product committed to Tennessee and new head coach Donnie Tyndall. Punter averaged 20.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.4 steals per game.
  • Torian Graham and Devonta Pollard, Houston: The two-time N.C. State commit is joining Kelvin Sampson at Houston. Graham was once ranked No. 67 overall by Rivals. Former McDonald’s All-American and Alabama forward Devonta Pollard is also an addition for the Cougars this season.
  • Carlos Morris, Minnesota: The 6-foot-5 combo guard averaged 14.7 points 5.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game for Chipola. The former Rivals 150 guard can crack the Golden Gophers’ starting five.
  • Tom “Bush” Wamukota, Wichita State: The Shockers have a pair of All-American-caliber guards, but the 6-foot-11 Wamukota could be a lift on the frontline alongside Darius Carter.
  • Keith Thomas, St. John’s: The nation’s leading rebounder this past season at Westchester Community College (New York) hauled in 15.7 boards per game in addition to his 15.3 points a contest.
  • Willie Atwood, Arizona State: A season after returning to the NCAA tournament, the Sun Devils will bring in seven newcomers, four of whom are from the JuCo ranks. The 6-foot-8 Atwood was a All-American honorable mention selection, averaging 20.8 points per game for Connors State College (Oklahoma).

Name aside, Gary Payton II will be an important player for Oregon State
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After finishing last season with a 16-16 record, Oregon State lost a lot of production with shooting guard Roberto Nelson leading the way. Nelson scored 20.7 points per game last season, so his contributions would have been tough enough for new head coach Wayne Tinkle to account for. But add in the loss of forwards Angus Brandt, Devon Collier and Eric Moreland, and promising guard Hallice Cooke’s decision to transfer, and the Beavers lost their top five scorers from the 2013-14 campaign.

Those departures mean that the four players joining the program won’t lack for opportunities to earn minutes next season, and one of those newcomers is a player who’s surely familiar with the history of Oregon State basketball.

Gary Payton II arrives in Corvallis after spending two seasons at Salt Lake CC in Utah, where he averaged 14.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game last season according to Jesse Sowa of the Corvallis Gazette-Times. And while the shared name will result in some Oregon State fans thinking back to the days when his father was running the point, both father and son are hoping that fans will resist the temptation to compare the two according to Sowa.

“He’s a great defender and he needs his own identity,” the elder Payton said while meeting with the media before attending a Beavers home game in January. “When he comes here, I don’t want people to compare him to me. Please don’t. He’s not going to be Gary Payton Sr.”

However, the elder Gary added, his son earned his scholarship on his athletic talent and not his name.

“They’re going to pop up. I’ll address them when they come, but I know it’s going to come,” the younger Payton said of the comparisons in a Thursday interview at Gill Coliseum. “The mitten, it kind of doesn’t fit.”

With the personnel losses mentioned above and Challe Barton deciding to try his hand at professional basketball overseas, Payton II is essentially Oregon State’s lone point guard on the projected roster for next season. Malcolm Duvivier and Langston Morris-Walker were both members of the rotation last season but neither would be considered a point guard and the same goes for incoming freshman Chai Baker.

The lack of depth at the point guard position makes Payton a very important figure for the Beavers as they begin a new era, with Wayne Tinkle looking to build Oregon State into a program capable of reaching the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1990.