Wednesday’s slate and what to watch


There are only a couple of Wednesdays left before college basketball has to share the hoops spotlight with the NBA. Lucky for the college hoops, these nights are stacked with good games in nearly every conference.

(All times ET; TV info courtesy of

Iona at Denver, 9 p.m. (Root Sports)
Game of the night? There’s a good chance. Denver (6-1) is using Joe Scott’s Princeton-esque offense to great success thus far and gets the home court for the Gaels. That’s an essential benefit to facing a team that likes to run and has two elite players in forward Michael Glover (a Big East player who found his niche at Iona) and point guard Scott Machado, who may be the game’s best pure point guard. Don’t overlook it.

Xavier at Butler, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
At 6-0 with wins against Vandy and Purdue, the Musketeers are No. 8 in the rankings and appear headed for another big season. Yet the offense has yet to click, while the defense is performing as expected. Butler (4-4) is struggling, but one never writes off the Bulldogs at home. It just isn’t done.

Vanderbilt at Davidson, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
The Commodores (5-3) may have senior center Festus Ezeli back tonight, which would be a welcome addition to a team that’s been underwhelming thus far. Especially when it’s for a road game at Davidson (6-1), which features four guys who can score when needed. Vandy will have its hands full here.

Arizona at Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
More Wildcats’ personnel woes: Freshman guard Josiah Turner won’t play tonight because of a suspension. Coming on the heels of freshman forward Sidiki Johnson leaving the program, that’s half of Arizona’s ballyhooed class unavailable. It’s good news for the Gators, who will certainly come out gunning.

Wichita State at Tulsa, 8 p.m. (COX-Kansas)
If – IF – you can find this game, do it. The Golden Hurricanes are just 4-5, but all five losses have been by five points or less. Plus, they get to play host to the Shockers, who are coming off a huge win against UNLV. WSU should win this one, but it’ll be close.

Central Connecticut State at Michigan State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
The only reason to watch this game – it’ll probably be a rout – is to catch Ken Horton in action. The Spartans’ defense is killing it this season, but they’ll be pressed to slow down the 6-6 wing who can do it all. Guy’s a stud.

Colgate at Albany (NY), 7 p.m.
Loyola (Md.) at George Washington, 7 p.m.
Fordham at Manhattan, 7 p.m.
Army at Marist, 7 p.m.
Buffalo at Niagara, 7 p.m.
Delaware at Penn, 7 p.m.
Lafayette at Penn St., 7 p.m.
Virginia Tech at Rhode Island, 7 p.m.
Boston U. at Saint Joseph’s, 7 p.m.
Fairleigh Dickinson at Stony Brook, 7 p.m.
La Salle at Towson, 7 p.m.
Hampton at American U., 7:30 p.m.
New Hampshire at Brown, 7:30 p.m.
St. Francis (Pa.) at Lehigh, 7:30 p.m.
Princeton at Rutgers, 7:30 p.m.
Bryant at Yale, 7:30 p.m.

Vanderbilt at Davidson, 7 p.m.
Colorado St. at Duke, 7 p.m.
Arizona at Florida, 7 p.m.
Georgia Tech at Georgia, 7 p.m.
Wake Forest at High Point, 7 p.m.
IUPUI at Louisville, 7 p.m.
Illinois St. at Morehead St., 7 p.m.
Mount St. Mary’s at Maryland, 8 p.m.
Mercer at Samford, 8 p.m.
Middle Tennessee at UAB, 8 p.m.
Southern Miss. at South Alabama, 8:05 p.m.
ETSU at Tennessee Tech, 8:30 p.m.

Malone at Bowling Green, 7 p.m.
Alabama at Dayton, 7 p.m.
Valparaiso at IPFW, 7 p.m.
CCSU at Michigan St., 7 p.m.
Ohio at Oakland, 7 p.m.
Temple at Toledo, 7 p.m.
W. Carolina at Purdue, 7:30 p.m.
Oakland City at E. Illinois, 8 p.m.
DePaul at Loyola of Chicago, 8 p.m.
Florida Gulf Coast at Nebraska, 8 p.m.
Vermont at Saint Louis, 8 p.m.
Green Bay at Wisconsin, 8 p.m.
W. Kentucky at S. Illinois, 8:05 p.m.
North Dakota at UMKC, 8:05 p.m.
Xavier at Butler, 9 p.m.
St. Bonaventure at Illinois, 9 p.m.
Oklahoma St. at Missouri St., 9 p.m.

Henderson St. at Cent. Arkansas, 8 p.m.
Sam Houston St. at Texas A&M, 8 p.m.
Wichita St. at Tulsa, 8 p.m.

Nevada at Arizona St., 8:30 p.m.
Pepperdine at N. Arizona, 8:35 p.m.
Wright St. at Air Force, 9 p.m.
Weber St. at BYU, 9 p.m.
Portland at Boise St., 9 p.m.
Fresno St. at Colorado, 9 p.m.
Iona at Denver, 9 p.m.
Montana Tech at Montana, 9 p.m.
Willamette at Montana St., 9 p.m.
Cal St.-Fullerton at Utah, 9 p.m.
Sacramento St. at CS Bakersfield, 10 p.m.
San Diego St. at San Diego, 10 p.m.
CS San Marcos at UNLV, 10 p.m.
Washington St. at Idaho, 10:05 p.m.
San Jose St. at California, 10:30 p.m.

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Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times/USA TODAY NETWORK

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky coach Kyra Elzy says freshman Tionna Herron is recovering from open-heart surgery to correct a structural abnormality.

The 6-foot-4 post player learned of her condition after arriving at school in June and received other opinions before surgery was recommended. Senior trainer Courtney Jones said in a release that Herron underwent surgery Aug. 24 at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and is recovering at home in DeSoto, Texas.

Elzy said Herron “is the definition of a warrior” and all are grateful to be on the other side of the player’s surgery. Herron is expected back on campus early next month and will continue rehabilitation until she’s cleared to return to normal activity.

“Her will and determination to eventually return to the court is inspiring, and it’s that `game-on’ attitude that is what makes her such a perfect fit in our program,” Elzy said in a release. “We are so thrilled for Tionna’s return to our locker room; it’s not the same without our full team together.”

Herron committed to Kentucky during last fall’s early signing period, rated as a four-star prospect and a top-70 player in last year’s class. Kentucky won last year’s Southeastern Conference Tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament’s first round.

Emoni Bates charged with 2 felonies

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SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, Mich — Emoni Bates, a former basketball prodigy who transferred to Eastern Michigan from Memphis, was charged with two felonies after police found a gun in a car during a traffic stop.

The 18-year-old Bates failed to stop at an intersection Sunday night and a search turned up the weapon, said Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the Washtenaw County sheriff’s office.

Defense attorney Steve Haney told The Associated Press that the vehicle and the gun didn’t belong to Bates.

“I hope people can reserve judgment and understand there’s a presumption of innocence,” Haney said. “This was not his vehicle. This was not his gun. … We’re still gathering facts, too.”

Bates was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and altering identification marks on a firearm. He was released after his lawyer entered a not guilty plea. Bates’ next court hearing is Oct. 6.

“This is his first brush with the law,” Haney said in court. “He poses no threat or risk to society.”

Less than a month ago, the 6-foot-9 Bates transferred to Eastern Michigan to play for his hometown Eagles. Bates averaged nearly 10 points a game last season as a freshman at Memphis, where he enrolled after reclassifying to skip a year of high school and join the class of 2021.

“We are aware of a situation involving one of our student athletes,” EMU spokesman Greg Steiner said. “We are working to gather more details and will have further comment when more information is available.”

Bates was the first sophomore to win the Gatorade national player of the year award in high school basketball in 2020, beating out Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley. Detroit drafted Cunningham No. 1 overall last year, two spots before Cleveland took Mobley in the 2021 NBA draft.

Bates committed to playing for Tom Izzo at Michigan State two years ago, later de-committed and signed with Memphis. Bates played in 18 games for the Tigers, who finished 22-11 under Penny Hardaway. Bates missed much of the season with a back injury before appearing in Memphis’ two NCAA Tournament games.

In 2019, as a high school freshman, the slender and skilled guard led Ypsilanti Lincoln to a state title and was named Michigan’s Division 1 Player of the Year by The Associated Press. His sophomore season was cut short by the pandemic and he attended Ypsi Prep Academy as a junior, his final year of high school.

UConn to pay Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million over firing

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn announced Thursday it has agreed to pay former men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million to settle discrimination claims surrounding his 2018 firing.

The money is in addition to the more than $11.1 million in back salary Ollie has already been paid after an arbitrator ruled in January that he was improperly fired under the school’s agreement with its professor’s union.

“I am grateful that we were able to reach agreement,” Ollie said in a statement Thursday. “My time at UConn as a student-athlete and coach is something I will always cherish. I am pleased that this matter is now fully and finally resolved.”

Ollie, a former UConn point guard who guided the Huskies to a 127-79 record and the 2014 national championship in six seasons as head coach, was let go after two losing seasons. UConn also stopped paying him under his contract, citing numerous NCAA violations in terminating the deal.

In 2019, the NCAA placed UConn on probation for two years and Ollie was sanctioned individually for violations, which the NCAA found occurred between 2013 and 2018. Ollie’s attorneys, Jacques Parenteau and William Madsen, accused UConn of making false claims to the NCAA for the purpose of firing Ollie “with cause.”

The school had argued that Ollie’s transgressions were serious and that his individual contract superseded those union protections.

Ollie’s lawyers had argued that white coaches, including Hall-of-Famers Jim Calhoun and women’s coach Geno Auriemma, had also committed NCAA violations, without being fired, and indicated they were planning to file a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The school and Ollie said in a joint statement Thursday they were settling “to avoid further costly and protracted litigation.”

Both sides declined to comment further.

Ollie, who faced three years of restrictions from the NCAA on becoming a college basketball coach again, is currently coaching for Overtime Elite, a league that prepares top prospects who are not attending college for the pros.

Dream’s McDonald returning to Arizona to coach under Barnes

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TUCSON, Ariz. — Atlanta Dream guard Aari McDonald is returning to Arizona to work under coach Adia Barnes.

The school announced that McDonald will serve as director of recruiting operations while continuing to fulfill her WNBA commitments. She will oversee all recruiting logistics, assist with on-campus visits, manage recruit information and social media content at Arizona.

McDonald was one of the best players in Arizona history after transferring from Washington as a sophomore. She was an All-American and the Pac-12 player of the year in 2020-21, leading the Wildcats to the national championship game, which they lost to Stanford.

McDonald broke Barnes’ single-season scoring record and had the highest career scoring average in school history before being selected by the Dream with the third overall pick of the 2021 WNBA draft.

South Carolina, Staley cancel BYU games over racial incident

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina and women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley have canceled a home-and-home series with BYU over a recent racial incident where a Cougars fan yelled slurs at a Duke volleyball player.

The Gamecocks were scheduled to start the season at home against BYU on Nov. 7, then play at the Utah campus during the 2023-24 season.

But Staley cited BYU’s home volleyball match last month as reason for calling off the series.

“As a head coach, my job is to do what’s best for my players and staff,” Staley said in a statement released by South Carolina on Friday. “The incident at BYU has led me to reevaluate our home-and-home, and I don’t feel that this is the right time for us to engage in this series.”

Duke sophomore Rachel Richardson, a Black member of the school’s volleyball team, said she heard racial slurs from the stands during the match.

BYU apologized for the incident and Richardson said the school’s volleyball players reached out to her in support.

South Carolina said it was searching for another home opponent to start the season.

Gamecocks athletic director Ray Tanner spoke with Staley about the series and supported the decision to call off the games.