2/7 – College Hoops Week in Review: UNC’s back, baby!


Game of the Week: Arizona 107, Cal 105 3OT

Arizona was in control for much of the early portion of Saturday’s Pac-10 tilt with the Golden Bears. They took a six point lead into halftime and pushed it to nine midway through the second half. But Cal wasn’t going anywhere, as they used an 11-0 run to turn a 59-51 deficit into a 62-59 lead. The Bears eventually would take a 75-70 lead with less than a minute left. That is when the Momo Jones show starter.

Jones found Kevin Parrom for a three with 33 seconds left that cut Cal’s lead to two, and after a Brandon Smith free throw, Jones scored an and-one with 16 seconds remaining that forced overtime. At the end of the first overtime, Allen Crabbe scored four straight points that tied the game at 87 and forced a second extra frame. In the second overtime, Jones was once again the hero, hitting a three with six seconds left that tied the game at 98 and forced a third extra frame.

Then, in the third overtime, Jones scored on a layup with 1:06 left that put Arizona up for good 104-103. Kevin Parrom, who had a career-high 25 points to support the career-high 27 that Jones had, hit three free throws down the stretch to seal it. Cal had a chance to tie the game, but Arizona fouled them with two seconds left up three points.


It must be noted: Harvard 83, Penn 82

In one of the best games in recent Ivy League history, Penn came back from 18 points down in the second half to force two overtimes against league heavyweight Harvard. In the second OT, Harvard was down by three points with 90 ticks left on the clock, but they got three consecutive stops and a bucket from Oliver McNally that eventually won the game.


I would go more in depth, but John Ezekowitz did me one better with a terrific write-up for College Hoops Journal.

Player of the Week: Jordan Taylor and Jon Leuer, Wisconsin

The Badgers strung together two really nice wins this week, knocking off Purdue at home to pull into a tie in second place in the Big Ten standings before blowing out Michigan State at home by 26 points. And while I wish I could pick one of these two to name the player of the week, they were both that impressive.

Taylor was better against Michigan State, lighting up Kalin Lucas to the tune of 30 points on 9-13 shooting while also handing out six assists and turning the ball over just once. Jon Leuer had a respectable 20 points and six boards in the blowout of the Spartans, but he was better against Purdue, finishing with 24 points and 13 boards while outplaying Purdue star JaJuan Johnson. Taylor had 15 points, seven boards, and five assists against Purdue.

Leuer and Taylor have both been terrific all season long. They will need to be on Saturday, as Ohio State visits Madison.

The all-they-were-good-too team:

  • G: Andrew Goudelock, Charleston: Goudelock averaged 27.0 ppg as the Cougars blew out both Wofford and Furman, taking over sole possession of first place in the SoCon.
  • G: Kendall Marshall, UNC: The performance of note was Marshall going for nine points and 16 assists (a UNC record for ACC play) with just three turnovers in 36 minutes against Florida State. Larry who? Harrison Barnes also deserves a mention, as he averaged 21.5 ppg and 8.0 rpg for the week.
  • F: Chandler Parsons, Florida: Parsons has been a different player since conference play began, and this week he played two of his best games of the season. In wins over Vanderbilt and Kentucky, Parsons averaged 17.5 ppg, 11.5 rpg, and 3.5 apg.
  • F: Ryan Pearson, George Mason: Pearson was one of the biggest reasons that the Patriots swept Hofstra and Old Dominion and have moved into a tie in first place in the CAA. He averaged 18.5 ppg and 11.5 rpg.
  • C: Mason Plumlee, Duke: Plumlee had his two best games of the season since Kyrie Irving was injured, finishing with 12 points and 11 boards in 36 minutes against Jordan Williams of Maryland and then going for 16 points and 12 boards against NC State. Plumlee had four steals and three blocks for the week while shooting 13-15 from the floor.
  • Bench: Ben Hanbrough, Notre Dame (24.5 ppg, 4.0 apg in a 2-0 week); Marshon Brooks, Providence (43 points, 10 boards in loss to Georgetown); Anthony Hill, Milwaukee (29 points, 15 boards vs. Green Bay); Scootie Randall (20.5 ppg in a 2-0 week, including 27 points, seven boards vs. Rhode Island); Alex Young, IUPUI (27.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg in 2-0 week including 31 points, nine boards in a win over Oakland); Anthony Nelson, Niagara (10 points, 10 boards, 14 assists vs. Marist); Kyle O’Quinn, Norfolk State (37 points, 19 boards, six blocks vs. Coppin State)

Team of the Week: North Carolina Tar Heels

UNC had an eventful week. It started off with a road trip Boston College in a snow storm that resulted in the Heels beating the Eagles 106-74. Harrison Barnes was on fire for the second straight game, scoring 26 points on 9-15 shooting, Reggie Bullock hit four threes in the span of three minutes, and, most importantly, the Heels got their best game out of their point guard rotation, as Larry Drew and Kendall Marshall combined for seven points and 15 assists while turning the ball over just three times.

Then on Friday, Drew quit. He up and left the team without warning, putting the Heels in what appeared to be a tough spot. Marshall was forced to play a career-high 36 minutes, and made quite a few folks down in Chapel Hill forget about Drew. He had 16 assists (a record for UNC players in ACC play) and just three turnovers while helping UNC score 89 points against the nation’s second best defensive team.

North Carolina blew out their third straight opponent and, at least for now, appears to have become Duke’s only legitimate contender for the ACC regular season title. We will know by Wednesday, when UNC will play their first game against the Dukies.

Who else had a good week:

  • Florida: After beating both Vanderbilt and Kentucky this week, the Gators have moved a game ahead of Tennessee in the SEC East and two games ahead of the rest of the division. For a team whose biggest question mark is the decision making of their back court players, the Gators have proven to be a very good team in the clutch, winning a lot of close games against good teams. They’ve won 10 of 12 since their loss to Jacksonville, including a four point win at Xavier, a six point OT win at Tennessee, a five point win at Auburn, a double overtime win at Georgia, and this week’s four point win against Vanderbilt and two point win at Florida.
  • Wisconsin: The Badgers may not be able to win away from the Kohl Center (honestly, who can this season), but they certainly are proving their dominance at home. After beating Purdue on Tuesday night, the Badgers pounded Michigan State on Sunday. With Jordan Taylor playing like an all-american and Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil proving to be the matchup nightmare we all knew they would be, the Badgers look like a team you don’t want to play in March.
  • Villanova: The Wildcats bounced back from losing three of four to sweep Marquette and West Virginia this week. Those wins became all the more important when Pitt’s Ashton Gibbs sprained his mcl, which will force him out of the lineup for the next two weeks. Villanova is one of three teams sitting two games back of the Panthers in the Big East standings, and the Wildcats get Pitt on Saturday.
  • Oregon: The Ducks, who have the talent of a team that would struggle in the WAC, are currently sitting at 5-6 in the Pac-10 after sweep the Washington schools at home this week. Joevan Catron has developed into one of the best post players in the conference, and Dana Altman has to be in the conversation when you talk about the best coaching jobs this season.
  • Alabama: Believe it or not, the Crimson Tide sit all alone atop the SEC standings at the midway point of conference play. They are 7-1 after winning at Tennessee in overtime on Saturday and beating Mississippi State at home on Wednesday. As we wrote on Saturday, the most interesting part about Alabama’s start to the season is that they are far from a lock to earn an at-large bid, and could very well be kept home from the tournament should they win the SEC regular season title.
  • Syracuse: The Orange bounced back from a four game losing streak — and managed to play off the rumor and innuendo surrounding their program — by going into Hartford and knocking off UConn. The Orange followed that up with a win over South Florida in Florida.
  • Charleston: The Cougars took control off the SoCon’s southern division by routing both of the other contenders. Charleston beat Wofford by 28 points — outscoring them 45-15 in the second half — before knocking off Furman by 19. The Cougars also took sole possession of first place in the SoCon thanks to a loss by northern division leader Chattanooga.
  • George Mason: The Patriots knocked off both Hofstra and Old Dominion this week, and in convincing fashion. They beat the Pride by 19 points and took out the Monarchs at home by 17. Mason has now won nine straight games to move into a first place tie with VCU, who lost at Northeastern on Wednesday.
  • UCLA: The Bruins knocked off both St. John’s and USC this week, meaning that they have now won seven of their last eight games and moved all alone into second place in the Pac-10 thanks to Washington’s tough week.
  • Coastal Carolina: The Chanticleers took a full two game lead in the Big South thanks to a win over Liberty. CCU has now swept the Flames, and have won 20 straight games since losing to Georgetown in the Charleston Classic.
  • Princeton: The Tigers jumped into first place in the Ivy League this week after sweeping Harvard and Dartmouth. Princeton sits a game in front of both the Crimson and Penn in the Ivy League standings. The last two games of the Tiger’s season? At Harvard and at Penn.

Matchups of the Week:

  • 2/7- 7:00 pm: Pitt @ West Virginia
  • 2/7 – 9:00 pm: Missouri @ Kansas
  • 2/8 – 7:00 pm: Xavier @ Georgia
  • 2/8 – 7:00 pm: Penn @ Princeton
  • 2/8 – 9:00 pm: Tennessee @ Kentucky
  • 2/9 – 7:00 pm: Louisville @ Notre Dame
  • 2/9 – 7:00 pm: Georgetown @ Syracuse
  • 2/9 – 9:00 pm: UNC @ Duke
  • 2/10 – 7:00 pm: UConn @ St. John’s
  • 2/10 – 9:00 pm: Illinois @ Minnesota
  • 2/10 – 9:00 pm: Alabama @ Vanderbilt
  • 2/12 – 12:00 pm: Syracuse @ Louisville
  • 2/12 – 1:00 pm: Kentucky @ Vanderbilt
  • 2/12 – 2:00 pm: Ohio State @ Wisconsin
  • 2/12 – 6:00 pm: Tennessee @ Florida
  • 2/12 – 9:00 pm: SDSU @ UNLV
  • 2/12 – 9:00 pm: Pitt @ Villanova
  • 2/13 – 1:00 pm: Marquette @ Georgetown
  • 2/13 – 1:00 pm: Minnesota @ Illinois

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.

Marquette extends Shaka Smart’s contract through 2029-30 season

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MILWAUKEE — Marquette coach Shaka Smart has received a contract extension after leading the Golden Eagles to their first outright regular-season championship and tournament title in the Big East.

Smart’s contract now runs through the 2029-30 season. This is the first extension Smart has received since signing a six-year deal when he took over as Marquette’s coach in 2021.

Marquette didn’t release financial terms of Smart’s deal.

“In a very short period of time, Shaka and his staff have done a tremendous job of establishing a winning culture, both on and off the court,” athletic director Bill Scholl said in a statement. “Shaka’s vision for the program is focused on extended, sustainable success. The individuals who interact with the team on a daily basis are able to observe frequent examples of growth and the excitement around the program is contagious.”

Marquette has gone 48-20 in Smart’s two seasons and reached the NCAA Tournament each of those years.

The Golden Eagles went 29-7 and won the Big East’s regular-season and tournament championships last season after the league’s coaches had picked them to finish ninth out of 11 teams. Marquette’s season ended with a 69-60 loss to Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32.

Purdue’s Edey returning to school at NBA draft deadline; Kentucky’s Tshiebwe stays in

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Purdue’s Zach Edey decided it was the right call to go back to school instead of staying in the NBA draft. His predecessor as national player of the year, Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe, is sticking with his pro pursuit.

And Connecticut’s reign as NCAA champion will begin with multiple starters having left for the NBA draft and one returning after flirting with doing the same.

The 7-foot-4 Edey and UConn guard Tristen Newton were among the notable names to announce that they were withdrawing from the draft, the NCAA’s deadline for players who declared as early entrants to pull out and retain their college eligibility.

Edey’s decision came in social media posts from both the center and the Boilermakers program that earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament behind Edey, The Associated Press men’s national player of the year.

But Tshiebwe announced late in the afternoon that he would remain in the draft after a college career that included being named the AP national player of the year in 2022.

For the current champions, Newton (10.1 points, 4.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds) is returning after being one of four Huskies to declare for the draft after a run to UConn’s fifth national championship in early April. He scored a game-high 19 points to go with 10 rebounds in the victory over San Diego State in the title game.

The others were Final Four Most Outstanding Player Adama Sanogo, wing Jordan Hawkins and versatile guard Andre Jackson Jr. Sanogo (17.8 points) and Hawkins (16.3) have made it clear they have closed the door on their college careers, while team spokesman Phil Chardis said that Jackson (6.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists) would remain in the draft.

The Huskies have 247sports’ No. 3-ranked recruiting class for next year to restock the roster, led by McDonald’s All-American point guard Stephon Castle.

The NBA’s withdrawal deadline is June 12, but is moot when it comes to college players returning to school due to the NCAA’s earlier timeline to retain playing eligibility.


TREY ALEXANDER: Creighton gets back a 6-4 guard who averaged 13.6 points and shot 41% from 3-point range in his first full season as a starter.

ADEM BONA: The 6-foot-10 forward and Pac-12 freshman of the year is returning to UCLA after starting 32 games as a rookie and averaging 7.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks – with coach Mick Cronin praising his toughness for “competing through multiple injuries for as long as he could” in a statement Wednesday.

EDEY: He averaged 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 assists while shooting 60.7% from the field. His presence alone helps Purdue be a factor in the Big Ten race.

JOSIAH-JORDAN JAMES: The 6-6 guard went through the NBA G League Combine and had workouts with multiple teams before opting to return to Tennessee for a fifth season alongside teammate Santiago Vescovi.

JUDAH MINTZ: The 6-3 freshman averaged 16.3 points and 4.6 assists for Syracuse, ranking third among Division I freshmen in scoring behind only Alabama’s Brandon Miller and Lamar’s Nate Calmese.

OWLS’ RETURNEES: Florida Atlantic got good news after its surprise Final Four run with the return leading scorers Johnell Davis (13.8) and Alijah Martin (13.4). ESPN first reported their decisions, while Martin later posted a social media statement.

TERRENCE SHANNON JR.: Illinois got a big boost with Shannon announcing his night in a social media post. The 6-6 guard is returning for a fifth college season after averaging 17.2 points.

SPARTANS’ RETURNEES: Michigan State announced that guards Jaden Akins and A.J. Hoggard have withdrawn from the NBA draft. Standout guard Tyson Walker had previously withdrawn in April, setting up Tom Izzo to have five of his top scorers back.


KOBE BROWN: Missouri’s 6-8 swingman opted against returning for a fifth college season after being an AP first-team all-Southeastern Conference pick averaging 15.8 points last season.

JAYLEN CLARK: The third-year UCLA guard averaged 13.0 points and 6.0 rebounds while leading the Pac-12 with 2.6 steals en route to being named Naismith national defensive player of the year. Cronin called him a winner with strong intangibles who made UCLA “a better program because he chose to be a Bruin.”

BRICE SENSABAUGH: The Ohio State freshman averaged 16.3 points and 5.4 rebounds in 31 games before missing his final two in the Big Ten Tournament due to a knee injury. He’s a potential first-round prospect.

TSHIEBWE: The 6-9, 260-pound forward is a tough interior presence who led the country in rebounds for two straight seasons (15.1 in 2022, 13.7 in 2023) while racking up 48 double-doubles. But he faces an uncertain next stop and is projected at best as a second-round prospect.

North Carolina transfer Caleb Love commits to Arizona

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Caleb Love is now headed to Arizona.

The North Carolina transfer tweeted, less than a month after decommitting from Michigan, that he will play next season with the Wildcats.

“Caleb is a tremendously talented guard who has significant experience playing college basketball at a high level,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said in a statement. “We look forward to helping Caleb grow his game at Arizona. And as we near the completion of the roster for the upcoming season, we feel great about how everything has come together. Now it’s time for the real work to start.”

A 6-foot-4 guard, Love averaged 14.6 points and 3.3 assists in three seasons at North Carolina. He averaged 17.6 points in seven NCAA Tournament games, helping lead the Tar Heels to the 2022 national championship game.

Love entered the transfer portal after leading North Carolina with 73 3-pointers as a junior and initially committed to Michigan. He decommitted from the Wolverines earlier this month, reportedly due to an admissions issue involving academic credits.

Love narrowed his transfer targets to three schools before choosing to play at Arizona over Gonzaga and Texas.

Love will likely start on a team that will have dynamic perimeter players, including Pelle Larsson, Kylan Boswell and Alabama transfer Jaden Bradley.

Biden celebrates LSU women’s and UConn men’s basketball teams at separate White House events


WASHINGTON – All of the past drama and sore feelings associated with Louisiana State’s invitation to the White House were seemingly forgotten or set aside Friday as President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcomed the championship women’s basketball team to the mansion with smiles, hugs and lavish praise all around.

The visit had once appeared in jeopardy after Jill Biden suggested that the losing Iowa team be invited, too. But none of that was mentioned as both Bidens heralded the players for their performance and the way they have helped advance women’s sports.

“Folks, we witnessed history,” the president said. “In this team, we saw hope, we saw pride and we saw purpose. It matters.”

The ceremony was halted for about 10 minutes after forward Sa’Myah Smith appeared to collapse as she and her teammates stood behind Biden. A wheelchair was brought in and coach Kim Mulkey assured the audience that Smith was fine.

LSU said in a statement that Smith felt overheated, nauseous and thought she might faint. She was evaluated by LSU and White House medical staff and was later able to rejoin the team. “She is feeling well, in good spirits, and will undergo further evaluation once back in Baton Rouge,” the LSU statement said.

Since the passage of Title IX in 1972, Biden said, more than half of all college students are women, and there are now 10 times more female athletes in college and high school. He said most sports stories are still about men, and that that needs to change.

Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex in federally funded education programs and activities.

“Folks, we need to support women sports, not just during the championship run but during the entire year,” President Biden said.

After the Tigers beat Iowa for the NCAA title in April in a game the first lady attended, she caused an uproar by suggesting that the Hawkeyes also come to the White House.

LSU star Angel Reese called the idea “A JOKE” and said she would prefer to visit with former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, instead. The LSU team largely is Black, while Iowa’s top player, Caitlin Clark, is white, as are most of her teammates.

Nothing came of Jill Biden’s idea and the White House only invited the Tigers. Reese ultimately said she would not skip the White House visit. She and co-captain Emily Ward presented team jerseys bearing the number “46” to Biden and the first lady. Hugs were exchanged.

Jill Biden also lavished praise on the team, saying the players showed “what it means to be a champion.”

“In this room, I see the absolute best of the best,” she said, adding that watching them play was “pure magic.”

“Every basket was pure joy and I kept thinking about how far women’s sports have come,” the first lady added, noting that she grew up before Title IX was passed. “We’ve made so much progress and we still have so much more work to do.”

The president added that “the way in which women’s sports has come along is just incredible. It’s really neat to see, since I’ve got four granddaughters.”

After Smith was helped to a wheelchair, Mulkey told the audience the player was OK.

“As you can see, we leave our mark where we go,” Mulkey joked. “Sa’Myah is fine. She’s kind of, right now, embarrassed.”

A few members of Congress and Biden aides past and present with Louisiana roots dropped what they were doing to attend the East Room event, including White House budget director Shalanda Young. Young is in the thick of negotiations with House Republicans to reach a deal by the middle of next week to stave off what would be a globally calamitous U.S. financial default if the U.S. can no longer borrow the money it needs to pay its bills.

The president, who wore a necktie in the shade of LSU’s purple, said Young, who grew up in Baton Rouge, told him, “I’m leaving the talks to be here.” Rep. Garret Graves, one of the House GOP negotiators, also attended.

Biden closed sports Friday by changing to a blue tie and welcoming the UConn’s men’s championship team for its own celebration. The Huskies won their fifth national title by defeating San Diego State, 76-59, in April.

“Congratulations to the whole UConn nation,” he said.

Marquette’s Prosper says he will stay in draft rather than returning to school

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MILWAUKEE — Olivier-Maxence Prosper announced he is keeping his name under NBA draft consideration rather than returning to Marquette.

The 6-foot-8 forward announced his decision.

“Thank you Marquette nation, my coaches, my teammates and support staff for embracing me from day one,” Prosper said in an Instagram post. “My time at Marquette has been incredible. With that being said, I will remain in the 2023 NBA Draft. I’m excited for what comes next. On to the next chapter…”

Prosper had announced last month he was entering the draft. He still could have returned to school and maintained his college eligibility by withdrawing from the draft by May 31. Prosper’s announcement indicates he instead is going ahead with his plans to turn pro.

Prosper averaged 12.5 points and 4.7 rebounds last season while helping Marquette go 29-7 and win the Big East’s regular-season and tournament titles. Marquette’s season ended with a 69-60 loss to Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32.

He played two seasons at Marquette after transferring from Clemson, where he spent one season.