Wednesday’s Shootaround: The Jimmy V

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Jimmy V Classic

No. 10 Missouri 81, Villanova 71: See here

No. 13 Marquette 79, Washington 77: See here.

Kansas 88, Long Beach State 80: Riding an impressive performance from their front court — Thomas Robinson had 26 points and 11 boards while Jeff Withey finished with 13 points, 13 boards and nine blocks — Kansas built a first half lead that ballooned to as much as 19 points. But the front court wasn’t what Bill Self was concerned with after the game. His offense was, as his Jayhawk team, which has struggled with turnovers all season long, committed 22 on the night. They were at their worst down the stretch. TyShawn Taylor, who didn’t start the game because of a knee injury he suffered in practice, and Elijah Johnson combined for zero assists and six turnovers in the second half as LBSU scored 21 of their final 24 points off of turnovers, whittling the Jayhawk lead to as little as four late in the second half.

“That was about as miserable of a performance in the last 10 minutes of a game as I’ve ever seen,” Self said. “You can look up and down the lineup and there is just nobody that values the ball at all. That was a game we had won several times, but our inability to think, pass, catch or execute at all in late-game situations was the reason the game was close late.”

No. 20 Memphis 71, Miami FL 54: The Tigers overcame a poor shooting night and an early, 7-0 deficit to knock off a feisty Miami team on the road. Will Barton finished with career-highs of 27 points and 14 boards as Memphis pulled away in the second half. The biggest issue for the Tigers right now seems to be getting consistency out of their sophomore point guard Joe Jackson. And while its true that he only shot 1-7 from the floor and handed out just three assists, the most important stat may be that he didn’t turn the ball over. There are going to be times when Memphis needs a big game out of Jackson, but with the amount of talent on the Memphis roster, there will be nights where defense and facilitating the Tiger offense is Jackson’s main priority. In addition to the turnover-free game, Jackson helped hold Durand Scott and Malcom Grant to just 15 points on 6-21 shooting.

No. 3 Syracuse 62, Marshall 56: The Orange used a 22-6 run in the first half to open up a big lead on Marshall and hung on late as a flurry of buckets late made this game more interesting that it was throughout. Syracuse forced a number of turnovers and took advantage in transition in the first half. If there was a red flag here for Syracuse, it was on the glass. The Orange are one of the biggest teams in the country, and Marshall got 20 offensive rebounds on the game.

Virginia 68, George Mason 48: The Cavs opened up a 33-22 lead at the break and pushed that advantage to 45-26 in the opening minutes of the second half. Sammy Zeglinski led the ‘Hoos with 18 points. Mason simply didn’t have an answer for Virginia’s tough defense. The Cavs have now held nine straight opponents under 58 points.

Northern Iowa 80, Iowa 60: What makes this final score all the more impressive is that UNI was down 10-0 early in the first half.

The rest of the top 25

No. 6 North Carolina 97, Evansville 48: The Tar Heels bounced back from three straight sub-par performances by running all over a solid Evansville team. The Purple Aces never had a chance, as they found themselves down 52-22 at the half.

No. 14 Pitt 97, VMI 70: The Panthers won their sixth straight game since losing to LBSU as they rode 19 points, 14 boards and five assists from Nasir Robinson.

Other notable scores

– Kent State 71, James Madison 51
– Bucknell 77, Binghamton 63
– Texas State 81, Houston 78
– Wofford 61, Tulane 50
– Iowa State 84, Prairie View A&M 59
– Belmont 75, Tennessee State 62

Top performers

Shelden McLellan, Texas: McClennan had a team-high 23 points as the Longhorns knocked off Texas-Arlington.

Herb Pope, Seton Hall: Pope had of 25 points, six boards, four assists and two steals as the Pirates knocked off NJIT.

Anthony Raffa, Coastal Carolina: The Chanticleer big man finished with 28 points, six boards, four assists and five steals in a win over the Citadel.

Keith Rendlemen, UNC-Wilmington: Rendlemen was a monster on Tuesday night, finishing with 29 points, 11 boards, three steals and two blocks as the Seahawks beat Liberty.

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

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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.