Wednesday’s Shootaround: Buzzer-beater, double OT in Maui, Missouri impresses

Leave a comment

Coastal Carolina 60, Clemson 59: The Tigers suffered their second bad loss of the season, losing to the Chanticleers when Chris Gradnigo tipped in his own miss at the buzzer:


Maui Invitational

No. 8 Memphis 99, Tennessee 97 2OT: See here.

No. 6 Duke 82, No. 15 Michigan 75: Duke is a much more disciplined team on both ends of the floor than Memphis, and as such they had a much easier time dealing with the unique schemes that come with playing a John Beilein team. Austin Rivers led four scorers in double figures with 20 points and the Blue Devils knocked down 11-21 from beyond the arc as they cruised to a win that probably wasn’t as close as the final score indicates. Tim Hardaway Jr. led the way for Duke with 19 points.

As of right now, Duke looks to be by far the best team in Maui, but that doesn’t mean that this team is ready for a trip to the Final Four. There are still plenty of issues to address. For starters, their front court is and forever will be a question mark when the Plumlees are around. Duke was outrebounded by a smaller Michigan team, gave up 11 offensive rebounds and didn’t put a single player into the scorebook with more than five boards. But more importantly, this group is going to run into trouble when Austin Rivers is struggling simply because there is no one else on the roster that is able to create their own shot. Rivers has 38 points in the two games in Maui, but he’s needed 29 shots to get there. He’s still dealing with freshmen decision making issues and is no where near where he needs to be in terms of shot selection.

For Michigan, this game only further proved that Trey Burke is ready to handle the point guard duties for the Wolverines. He had 17 points and nine assists. He’s poised for a freshman and makes veteran decisions with the ball. More importantly, he seems to have a pretty good grasp of what Beilein is asking him to do.

No. 14 Kansas 72, UCLA 56: Kansas got a big game from Elijah Johnson, who scored 23 points, while Thomas Robinson added 15 points and 10 boards. Johnson’s performance is important because he and Tyshawn Taylor are going to be vital to this team’s success. If they aren’t scoring on the perimeter, than defenses are going to be able to sag down on Robinson. The question mark with Johnson has been his perimeter shooting and his ability to lead. He looked very good in both areas on Tuesday night.

For UCLA, this win is a mixed bag. On the one hand, they were able to fight back from a 20 point second half deficit to make this thing interesting down the stretch. This team showed some intensity and desire, and that is always a good thing. On the other hand, the Bruins made their come back by hitting five straight threes. That’s not going to happen to often for this team. Fool’s gold, if you will. How far has this Bruin program fallen that a 16 point loss to a rebuilding Kansas team is being considered a moral victory?

Georgetown 88, Chaminade 61: A career-high 28 points from Jason Clark spurred the Hoyas on to the win.

CBE Classic

No. 21 Missouri 92, No. 18 Cal 53: Heading into Thanksgiving, there may not be a more impressive team in the country than Missouri. The Tigers not only routed Notre Dame last night, they followed that up by obliterating the Pac-12 favorite and the No. 18 team in the country by 39. Kim English led six players in double figures with 19 points. I’m going to go back and watch the tape to see exactly what happened, but I think its safe to say that this group likes playing under Frank Haith.

Georgia 61, Notre Dame 57: The Irish clearly have plenty that they are going to need to work on after a disastrous couple of days in Kansas City. Tim Abromaitis struggled with the defensive attention he received during the game, scoring just six points on 1-12 shooting as the Bulldogs pulled away late. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope finished with just 16 points.

Illinois 70, Richmond 61: Richmond is in a bit of a rebuilding mode right now, but the Illini still put quite a hurting on the Spiders in their first game at the Cancun Challenge. Meyers Leonard continued his solid start to the season by posting 22 points, 12 boards and five blocks — he now has 18 blocks in four games. The Illini built a lead that grew to as big as 18 at the half.

Cleveland State 57, Kent State 53: The Vikings got 13 points out of Jeremy Montgomery and 11 points from D’Aundray Brown as they won the battle of the most impressive mid-major program early in the season. CSU was up double figures early and never allowed the Golden Flashes to get within a single possession.

East Tennessee State 70, Charlotte 69: With 8.6 seconds left in the game, DeMario Mayfield went to the line for Charlotte up by two. He missed them both and Jarvis Jones hit a game-winning three at the buzzer, his first bucket of the game. If anyone finds video of it, let me know. (

UT-Arlington 97, North Texas 64: If it wasn’t for a 32-0 run that UTA put on North Texas in the first half, the Mean Green would have been right in this game. Yes, 32-0.

The rest of the top 25

No. 1 North Carolina 102, Tennessee State 69: Tennessee State kept it close for a while, trailing only 55-45 at the half, but the Tar Heels were simply too much. Reggie Bullock had a career-high 23 points, Kendall Marshall handed out 15 assists and John Henson went for 16 points, 10 boards, six assists and four blocks.

No. 7 Louisville 54, Arkansas State 27: This was ugly. While it is a bit concerning that Louisville only managed 54 points against a Sun Belt team that turned the ball over 21 times, they held an opponent to 27 points. That’s insane.

No. 10 Baylor 70, South Carolina State 50: Anthony Jones hit back-to-back threes to open the second half as Baylor went on a 14-0 run to grab control of what was a five point game at the half. Jones finished with 21 points.

No. 11 Wisconsin 71, UMKC 33: While the game wasn’t close, the good news for the Badgers is that Jared Berggren found his rhythm. The big man finished with 21 points and went 4-4 from beyond the arc. Wisconsin is now outscoring their opponents 299-136 through four games.

No. 16 Pitt 73, La Salle 69: The Panther’s are looking further and further from a Big East contender. After struggling against Rider at home and losing to Long Beach State at home, Pitt nearly dropped another one to La Salle. The Explorers never let Pitt pull away, forcing 21 turnovers — a number of which came as they pressed the Panthers late in the game.

Other notable scores:

– George Washington 54, Austin Peay 52
– Illinois State 76, Rutgers 70
– West Virginia 83, Morehead State 48
– Marshall 69, UNC-Wilmington 64
– Florida Atlantic 62, Hofstra 60
– Miami 60, Florida Gulf Coast 50
– Providence 59, Southern 53
– South Carolina 61, Mississippi Valley State 57
– Seton Hall 73, Yale 62
– George Mason 66, Albany 46
– Arkansas 67, Utah Valley 59
– Iowa State 90, Northern Colorado 82
– Tulsa 57, Jackson State 51
– Kansas State 92, UMES 50
– Northern Iowa 59, Western Carolina 39
– Oakland 76, Houston 74
– Texas A&M-CC 58, Utah State 55 OT
– St. John’s 63, St. Francis 48
– Long Beach State 72, Boise State 62
– Nevada 80, Longwood 78
– UNLV 75, Cal Poly 52

Top Performers

Jeronne Maymon, Tennessee: The kid is going to get plenty of attention today, but he finished the game with 32 points and 20 boards.

Jim Mower, Lafayette: Mower scored 37 points in a win over Fairleigh Dickinson. He was 12-16 from the floor and 10-13 from beyond the arc.

Velton Jones, Robert Morris: Jones scored 38 points and added four boards as RMU knocked off JMu.

Cameron Moore, UAB: Moore had 22 points, 17 boards and four blocks to lead the Blazers to a 12 point win over Troy.

Kyle Vinales, CCSU: Vinales continued his hot start, going for 29 points in a win over UMBC. Vinales last three games: 39 points, three points, 29 points.

Orlando Johnson, UCSB: Johnson had 26 points and 12 boards in a win over Portland.

Meyers Leonard, Illinois: Leonard had by far the best game of his young career, torching Richmond for 22 points, 12 boards and five blocks in the win.

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

Louisville challenges NCAA over recruiting allegations

Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports
Leave a comment

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville has refuted NCAA allegations against its men’s basketball program in the wake of a federal corruption scandal, requesting that the highest-level violation be reclassified.

The university also is challenging that former coach Rick Pitino failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance in his program.

Louisville filed a 104-page response last week to the Notice Of Allegations sent to the school in May. The document stated that college sports’ governing body seeks to ignore wire fraud convictions against several people involved in the scheme – including a former Adidas executive – by suggesting they were representing its athletic interests. Louisville’s contract with the apparel maker was a standard sponsorship agreement rather than a promotional deal, the response added.

“This argument is as novel as it is wrong,” the school wrote in its response. “Even if an institution has some responsibility for the conduct of its suppliers, that responsibility plainly does not extend to acts of fraud perpetrated against the institution itself.”

Louisville also seeks to have several second-tier violations reclassified even lower. The NCAA has until Nov. 15 to respond with the school responding 15 days after before a decision is made whether the case will proceed through the traditional Committee on Infractions or Independent Accountability Review Process (IARP).

The NCAA’s Notice of Allegations states that Louisville committed a Level I violation, considered the most severe, with an improper recruiting offer and extra benefits along with several lesser violations. Those lesser violations also include Pitino failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance.

The NCAA notice completed a two-year investigation following a federal corruption probe of college basketball announced in September 2017. Louisville acknowledged its involvement in the federal investigation related to the recruitment of former player Brian Bowen II. Pitino, who’s now coaching Iona, was not named in the federal complaint and has consistently denied authorizing or having knowledge of a payment to a recruit’s family.

Louisville has previously indicated it would accept responsibility for violations it committed but would contest allegations it believed were not supported by facts. The school also noted corrective measures taken in the scandal’s immediate aftermath, such as suspending and then firing Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich.

Louisville also dismissed the NCAA’s contention that former Adidas executive James Gatto and amateur league director Merl Code represented the school while funneling illegal payments to recruits at several schools.

“The enforcement staff’s remaining allegations lack factual support and overread the relevant Bylaws,” the response stated, “and rest on the erroneous contention that the conspirators were representatives of the University’s athletics interests.

“For these reasons and others set forth, the panel should reject the enforcement staff’s dramatically overbroad theory, and classify this case as involving a Level II-Mitigated violation.”

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
1 Comment

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

Getty Images

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.