Friday’s Shootaround

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Coaches vs. Cancer Classic:

No. 16 Arizona 81, St. John’s 72: See here.

Mississippi State 69, No. 18 Texas A&M: See here.

Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament

Purdue 91, Iona 90: In one of the most entertaining games I’ve watched in a long time, Purdue got 24 points and nine boards out of Robbie Hummel, which included a three-pointer from the top of the key with 20 seconds left to give the Boilermakers the lead. Purdue had gotten behind by two when Momo Jones hit a pull-up jumper in transition. Lewis Jackson, Ryne Smith and Kelsey Barlow combined for 46 points. Jones had 17 points, five boards and five assists while Scott Machado added 14 points and 11 assists. Mike Glover and Taaj Ridley combined for 29 points and 24 boards.

There are two ways to look at this final score — Purdue is not that good and Iona is much better than we thought. Frankly, I think both are true. The Gaels have a lot of talent on their roster. They have two dynamic guards, a couple of big men that can compete with high-major competition and a sharp-shooter in Jermel Jenkins. Purdue showed themselves to have some competent scorers as well, but what neither team showed a glimmer of yesterday was defense. Neither program will go far this season unless they can start getting some stops.

No. 15 Alabama 62, Maryland 42: Alabama looked terrific against Maryland, as the Terps had no chance against the Crimson Tide’s talented front line and couldn’t find any rhythm offensively. Tony Mitchell played like a superstar. We know about his athleticism and his ability to get on the glass, but Mitchell’s jumper looks much improved. He finished with 17 points and 11 boards, confidently knocking down three three-pointers.

Temple 69, Western Michigan 55: The Owls jumped out to a 69-55 lead over Western Michigan and threw it into cruise control. Ramone Moore led the way with 15 points, five boards and four assists, but it was the 12 points, 15 boards and three blocks that Michael Eric provided that was the most important. Can Eric consistently provide that kind of interior presence? If he can, the Owls are going to be a dangerous team this season.

Wichita State 67, Colorado 58: The Shockers got 17 points from both Toure’ Murry and Ben Smith and 14 points and 11 boards from Garrett Stutz as they took the lead with eight minutes left in the half and never gave it back up. Colorado was never closer than four points during the second half.

Charleston Classic:

Northwestern 88, LSU 82: Down by as many as 15 points in the first half, Northwestern put on an offensive display in the second half, scoring 56 points and turning a 41-32 deficit at the break into a 76-67 lead. LSU got the lead back down to one at 83-82, but David Sobolewski drilled a three with about 30 seconds left to clinch the win. John Shurna led the way for the Wildcats, scoring 21 of his 37 points in the second half.

Tulsa 65, Western Kentucky 49: Tulsa used a 23-5 run late in the first half to gain control of the game, and pushed their lead as big as 23 points in the second half. Kodi Maduka looked like a potential star for Doug Wojcik’s team, going for 16 points, seven boards and seven blocks.

St. Joseph’s 66, Georgia Tech 53: St. Joe’s was supposed to be improved this season, but they are still a team that looks to be destined for the bottom half of the A-10. And the Hawks smacked around Georgia Tech on Thursday afternoon, using a 23-9 midway through the second half to take control. Carl Jones had 21 points and Langston Galloway added 15 points.

Seton Hall 69, VCU 54: Herb Pope had 20 points and 13 boards while Jordan Theodore added 20 as well as the Pirates held VCU to 19% shooting and just six field goals in the first half. VCU got 11 points from Brad Burgess, but its become clear that this team has a long way to go if they hope to duplicate even the regular season success they had last season.

Minnesota 67, Fairfield 57: Fairfield forced Minnesota into 23 turnovers and kept the Gophers in check offensively for much of the game, but the Stags simply had no answer for Trevor Mbakwe inside. The big man finished with 20 points and 10 boards, going 16-18 from the foul line, as the Gophers have now knocked off a couple of talent low-major programs. Derek Needham had just seven points on 2-9 shooting and six turnovers.

San Diego State 56, USC 54: Wild finish this one. Maurice Jones banked in a game-tying three for USC with six seconds left on the clock, but Xavier Thames answered with a bucket with 1.8 seconds left to give the Aztecs the win.

The rest of the top 25:

No. 4 UConn 80, Maine 60: It took a while for UConn to take up, as the Huskies led by just five at the break, but they did eventually, putting a devastating run on the Black Bears to open the second half. Alex Oriakhi, Andre Drummond and Tyler Olander combined to go for 38 points and 32 rebounds.

No. 8 Florida 91, North Florida 55: Kenny Boynton had 20 points and Erving Walker added 17 points and five assists as the Gators rolled.

No. 17 Michigan 59, Western Illinois 55: Tim Hardaway had 16 points and Trey Burke added 14, but the Wolverines were never able to pull away from WIU.

No. 25 Missouri 83, Niagara 52: Marcus Denmon led five players in double figures with 22 points, while Kim English chipped in with 14 points and seven boards, as the Tigers hit 12 three pointers to roll to the win.

Other notable scores:

– West Virginia 97, Alcorn State 62
– Penn 78, Rider 72 OT
– Rutgers 91, Sacred Heart 75
– Iowa 88, Northern Illinois 55
– Illinois 79, Lipscomb 64
– UNLV 95, Canisius 70
– Oregon 73, Eastern Washington 65
– Nevada 78, Pacific 54
– Washington State 79, Sacramento State 68

Top Performers:

John Shurna, Northwestern: Shurna had 37 points and seven boards as the Wildcats earned a come from behind win over LSU in the Charleston Classic.

Kevin Jones, West Virginia: Jones finished with 29 points and 13 boards, 10 of which came on the offensive end of the floor.

Shamir Davis, Northwestern State: Davis scored 27 points to lead Northwestern State to a seven point win over Alabama State.

Tamir Jackson, Rice: Jackson went for 29 points and four assists as the Owls knocked off Southern.

Will Cherry, Montana: Cherry finished with 24 points, 11 boards and four assists as the Grizzlies knocked off Idaho 57-52.

Brock Motum, Washington State: Has there been a more surprising player this season than Brock Motum? He finished with 23 points and eight boards in a comeback win over Sacramento State. He is averaging 20.0 ppg and 8.0 rpg.

Michael Cartwright, Penn: Cartwright had 27 points as the Quakers outgunned Rider, winning 78-72 in overtime.

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

Bubbles brewing with season on horizon

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

INDIANAPOLIS — With the coronavirus pandemic already forcing changes for college basketball, a bubble may be brewing in Indianapolis.

Indiana Sports Corp. released a 16-page proposal Friday that calls for turning the city convention center’s exhibition halls and meeting rooms into basketball courts and locker rooms. There would be expansive safety measures and daily COVID-19 testing.

The all-inclusive price starts at $90,000 per team and would cover 20 hotel rooms per traveling party, testing, daily food vouchers ranging from $30-$50 and the cost of game officials. Sports Corp. President Ryan Vaughn said the price depends on what offerings teams or leagues choose.

“The interest has been high,” Vaughn said. “I think as conferences figure out what conference and non-conference schedules are going to look like, we’re we’re a very good option for folks. I would tell you we’ve had conversations with the power six conferences, mid-majors, it’s really kind of all over the Division I spectrum.”

Small wonder: The NCAA this week announced teams could start ramping up workouts Monday, with preseason practices set to begin Oct. 14. Season openers, however, were pushed back to Nov. 25 amid wide-ranging uncertainty about campus safety and team travel in the pandemic.

There is already scrambling going on and some of the marquee early-season tournaments have already been impacted.

The Maui Invitational will be moved from Hawaii to Asheville, North Carolina, with dates still to be determined and organizers clear that everyone involved “will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.” The Batttle 4 Atlantis has been canceled. The Cancun Challenge will be held in Melbourne, Florida, not Mexico.

More changes almost certainly will be coming, including what to do with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

“I think we’re past the guesswork on whether we play 20 conference games or more than that,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said Friday. “We’re trying to get everybody set like in terms of MTEs (multi-team events), figuring out when to play the ACC-Big Ten challenge.”

Painter, who was part of the NCAA committee that recommended how to start the season, noted part of the uncertainty stems from differing protocols imposed by campus, city and state officials.

In Indianapolis, Vaughn believes the convention center, nearby hotels, restaurants and downtown businesses, many within walking distance of the venue, could safely accommodate up to 24 teams. The 745,000-square foot facility would feature six basketball courts and two competition courts.

Anyone entering the convention center would undergo saliva-based rapid response testing, which would be sent to a third-party lab for results. Others venues could be added, too, potentially with more fans, if the case numbers decline.

If there is a taker, the event also could serve as a dry run for the 2021 Final Four, also slated for Indy.

“It’s not going to hurt,” Vaughn said. “I can tell you all the planning we’re doing right now is the same for a Final Four that’s been scheduled here for any other year. But it would be nice to have this experience under our belt to see if it can be done.”

Maui Invitational moving to North Carolina during pandemic

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
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ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Maui Invitational is moving to the mainland during the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the premier preseason tournaments on the college basketball schedule, the Maui Invitational will be played at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

Dates for the tournament announced Friday have yet to be finalized. The NCAA announced Wednesday that the college basketball season will begin Nov. 25.

This year’s Maui Invitational field includes Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV.

All teams, staff, officials, and personnel will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.

Burton eligible at Texas Tech after 2 seasons at Wichita State

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

LUBBOCK, Texas — Junior guard Jamarius Burton has been granted a waiver from the NCAA that makes him eligible to play this season for Texas Tech after starting 52 games the past two seasons for Wichita State.

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard announced the waiver Thursday, which came five months after Burton signed with the Big 12 team.

Burton has two seasons of eligibility remaining, as well as a redshirt season he could utilize. He averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 assists per game as a sophomore at Wichita State, where he played 67 games overall.

Burton is from Charlotte. He helped lead Independence High School to a 31-1 record and the North Carolina Class 4A state championship as a senior there.

NCAA season set to open day before Thanksgiving

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The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball season will begin on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving.

The Division I Council voted Wednesday to push the start date back from the originally scheduled Nov. 10 as one of several precautions against the spread of coronavirus.

The later start date coincides with the decision most schools made to send students home from Thanksgiving until January out of concern about a potential late-fall and early-winter flareup of COVID-19. Closed campuses could serve as a quasi bubble for players and provide a window for non-conference games.

The maximum number of regular-season games has been reduced from 31 to 27. The minimum number of games for consideration for the NCAA Tournament was cut from 25 to 13.

Teams can start preseason practices Oct. 14 but will be allowed to work out 12 hours per week beginning Monday.

No scrimmages against other teams or exhibitions are allowed.

In other action, the council voted to extend the recruiting dead period for all sports through Dec. 31. In-person recruiting is not allowed during a dead period, though phone calls and other correspondence are allowed.

The men’s and women’s basketball oversight committees had jointly recommended a start date of Nov. 21, which would have allowed for games to be played on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The council opted not to do that to avoid a conflict with regular-season football games.

The council is scheduled to meet again Oct. 13-14 and could delay the start date and change other pieces of the basketball framework if circumstances surrounding the virus warrant.

UConn’s Tyrese Martin granted waiver to play this season

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

STORRS, Conn. — UConn swingman Tyrese Martin, who transferred from Rhode Island in April, has been granted a waiver that will allow him to play for the Huskies this season.

The 6-foot-6 junior averaged 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds and started every game last season for URI, where he was recruited by current UConn coach Dan Hurley.

NCAA rules require undergraduate transfers to sit out a season, but the organization has been more lenient in granting waivers during the pandemic.

Martin, 21, is expected to compete for playing time at UConn on the wing as both a guard and small forward.