Wednesday’s Morning Shootaround: What a crazy night


No. 5 Duke 79, No. 21 UNC 73: We got three posts on the Duke-UNC game from last night for you — here, here, and here.

No. 11 Georgetown 64, NO. 13 Syracuse 56: See here.

One last note on this game — Georgetown is slowly but surely reconvincing me that they are an elite basketball team this season. Its tough to give my full trust to a team that has betrayed that trust so many time the past two seasons, but with each impressive road win, I’m closer to becoming a believer. Again.

As for Syracuse? Well, this team appears to be flawed. They are not the same team on the defensive end of the floor that they were last year. The Hoyas may have only scored 64 points last night, but they were impressively effective against the Orange zone. They shot 45.3% from the floor and 9-21 from three. They grabbed 10 offensive rebounds. Most impressive? They had 20 assists on 24 field goals. The Hoyas did all of that with Austin Freeman, Chris Wright, and Jason Clark combining to go 12-34 from the field.

Does that sound like great defense to you?

Rutgers 77, No. 10 Villanova 76: Possibly the best finish you will see all season long. As far as Villanova goes, this loss drops them a game behind Notre Dame for second place in the Big East standings.

Idaho 64, No. 17 Utah State 56: See here.

Notre Dame 89, Louisville 79 OT: Don’t let the final fool you, this was a terrific, exciting, high-scoring basketball game. In the first half, it was the Kyle Kuric show, as he scored 18 of his 28 points, two of which came on this vicious throw down over Scott Martin to end the half. Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis combined to score 48 points, but Louisville was still the team with the chance at the end of regulation to win it. They missed twice, and it cost them. In overtime, Carleton Scott, who had been struggling, scored nine of his 16 points and Notre Dame opened with a 14-0 run to put the game away.

Tough loss for the Cards, but road losses in conference to top ten teams are no where near as disastrous as they are disappointing. The Irish, however, are putting together an impressive resume. They are now in sole possession of second place in the Big East standings, two games behind Pitt, who they own the tiebreaker with. They play for of their last six on the road, including trips to West Virginia and UConn, so we shall see where they end up, but right now this team has a legitimate argument for a spot on the No. 1 seed line.

No. 14 Wisconsin 62, Iowa 59 OT: The Badgers, like so many teams this season, are not the same on the road as they are at home. Maybe Saturday’s date with Ohio State was on their mind, but the Badgers struggled in the first half (6-33 shooting!) and needed all of Jon Leuer’s 19 points and 15 boards and Jordan Taylor’s 16 points and eight assists to pull this out.

No. 22 Texas A&M 73, Colorado 70 OT: The Aggies needed a 25 footer from BJ Holmes with 1.9 seconds left just to get this thing to overtime, but once they were in the extra frame, the Aggies scored the first six points to grab control. This was an enormous bounce back win for A&M, and the loss may have cost Colorado any chance at the NCAA Tournament.

No. 19 Florida 79, South Carolina 60: Chandler Parsons scored 14 points and added 12 boards and eight assists while Erving Walker went for 25 as the Gators shot 55% from the floor and cruised to a win on the road. Florida is now a full two games in front of the rest of the SEC East pack.

No. 3 Texas 68, Oklahoma 52: Just another 20 points and nine boards for Jordan Hamilton as the Longhorns cruised to their first 9-0 start in conference play since 1978.

No. 8 BYU 90, Air Force 52: Air Force got physical with Fredette, even banged up his knee a bit, but he still had 25 points while Brandon Davies finished with 13 points, eight boards, and six assists.

VCU 84, Delaware 74 2OT: The Rams got 32 points and 11 boards from Jamie Skeen as they were able to hang on in double overtime to knock off the Blue Hens. With the win, VCU moves into first place in the CAA standings.

Marquette 59, South Florida 58: This was a hideous game. USF blew a 40-24 second half lead, but couldn’t capitalize on seven straight missed free throws by Marquette to finish the game.

Baylor 74, Nebraska 70: The Bears look they are starting to find a rhythm. Lace Dunn had 24 points to lead the way tonight, but the Bears need to notch another big win or two if they want to end up dancing.

Richmond 69, GW 65: Justin Harper scored 20 points, including the go ahead bucket with 43.5 seconds left, as the Spiders remained a game behind Xavier and Duquesne in the loss column.

Memphis 63, UCF 62: The Tigers avoid a disastrous loss at UCF thanks to this three from Antonio Barton:


The Golden Knights have now lost eight straight games after winning their first 14 of the season.

UNLV 94, TCU 79: Yup, that gym was packed. Good thing TCU is joining the Big East next season!

Rhode Island 67, Dayton 53: At one point, Dayton was up 27-17 late in the first half.

Michigan 75, Northwestern 66: Can Michigan be a spoiler late in the Big Ten race? They’ve own four out of five, tonight thanks to 27 points from Jordan Morgan.

Bucknell 66, American 60: Mike Muscala scored 21 points and grabbed 10 boards as the Bison built a two game cushion in the Patriot League standings.

Indiana State 56, Illinois State 46: With 9:36 left in the game, Illinois State was up 45-37. They scored one point the rest of the way.

Other Notable Games:

  • Maryland 106, Longwood 52
  • New Mexico 68, Wyoming 57
  • Temple 77, Fordham 66
  • Miami 74, Wake Forest 73
  • UAB 74, Marshall 48
  • James Madison 68, Drexel 54
  • Hofstra 79, Georgia State 68
  • Old Dominion 69, William & Mary 53
  • Long Island 87, St. Francis 76
  • Vermont 80, UMBC 67
  • Charleston 85, Elon 67
  • Davidson 67, Wofford 58
  • Missouri State 77, Bradley 69

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

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.

Kansas’ Kevin McCullar Jr. returning for last season of eligibility

kansas mccullar
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Kevin McCullar Jr. said that he will return to Kansas for his final year of eligibility, likely rounding out a roster that could make the Jayhawks the preseason No. 1 next season.

McCullar transferred from Texas Tech to Kansas for last season, when he started 33 of 34 games and averaged 10.7 points and 7.0 rebounds. He was also among the nation’s leaders in steals, and along with being selected to the Big 12’s all-defensive team, the 6-foot-6 forward was a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award.

“To be able to play in front of the best fans in the country; to play for the best coach in the nation, I truly believe we have the pieces to hang another banner in the Phog,” McCullar said in announcing his return.

Along with McCullar, the Jayhawks return starters Dajuan Harris Jr. and K.J. Adams from a team that went 28–8, won the Big 12 regular-season title and was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where it lost to Arkansas in the second round.

Perhaps more importantly, the Jayhawks landed Michigan transfer Hunter Dickinson, widely considered the best player in the portal, to anchor a lineup that was missing a true big man. They also grabbed former five-star prospect Arterio Morris, who left Texas, and Towson’s Nick Timberlake, who emerged last season as one of the best 3-point shooters in the country.

The Jayhawks also have an elite recruiting class arriving that is headlined by five-star recruit Elmarko Jackson.

McCullar declared for the draft but, after getting feedback from scouts, decided to return. He was a redshirt senior last season, but he has another year of eligibility because part of his career was played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a big day for Kansas basketball,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. “Kevin is not only a terrific player but a terrific teammate. He fit in so well in year one and we’re excited about what he’ll do with our program from a leadership standpoint.”