Wednesday’s Shootaround: Two buzzer-beaters, Louisville and Ohio win


No. 4 Louisville 69, College of Charleston 62: I can say this pretty confidently — Louisville is not the fourth best team in the country. Don’t get me wrong, I like the Cardinals and I think that they have a shot to win the Big East if things break their way, but I think that Louisville is much closer to being the 10th or 12th best team in the country than the 4th.

That said, regardless of where Louisville is ranked, the fact that the College of Charleston went into the Yum! Center and very nearly knocked off the Cardinals is an impressive feat. The Cougars are legit this season. Antwaine Wiggins, a lanky, 6’7″ small forward that can score from anywhere on the floor, is good enough to start at two-thirds of the high-major programs across the country. Trent Wiedemann and Adjehi Baru give CofC plenty of size. Andrew Lawrence isn’t Andrew Goudelock, but he is a playmaking point guard that has made some big shots this season. The Cougars would usually be a favorite to make the NCAA Tournament, but they play in the SoCon’s South Division.

The same division as Davidson. That will be fun.

Anyway, back to Louisville, they were frustrated throughout the first 30-or-so minutes by a 2-3 zone that the Cougars were playing. As good as Chane Behanan and Gorgui Dieng have been this season, neither of them have the kind of skills that would allow them to thrive at the high-post against a zone. Rakeem Buckles and Jared Swopshire weren’t effective in that role, either. In fact, Louisville didn’t make their run until Kyle Kuric was put at the four spot. That won’t fly against a team like Syracuse. The Orange are just too big to use four guards against.

NC State 67, St. Bonaventure 65: Did the Bonnies get robbed?

It looks like they may have. The Wolfpack and the Bonnies went back and forth for 40 minutes, but it took two Eric Mosley free throws with 3.1 seconds left on the clock to tie the game at 65 and, seemingly, send the game into an extra frame. CJ Leslie had a different idea, however. CJ Williams, who was a quarterback in high school, threw the ball the length of the floor to Leslie, who caught it, pivoted, and scored on a short jumper with 0.6 seconds left.


Sure looks like Leslie’s right foot is out of bounds, right? The video is grainy and choppy but …

That’s pretty clear, ain’t it?

Regardless, Scott Wood had 20 points to lead the Wolfpack while Leslie added 12 points and seven boards. Andrew Nicholson had just 16 points and six boards.

Wright State 80, Idaho 78 OT: Double buzzer-beater?

Don’t mind if I do. Idaho’s Landon Tatum hit a half-court heave at the end of regulation to force overtime. After Dazmyne Sykes his a layup to put the Vandals up 78-77 with just four seconds left in the extra frame, Julius Mays (who finished with 28 points) hit a running three-pointer as the horn went off to win the game:


Ohio 76, Northern Iowa 59: It may be time for us to start taking Ohio a little bit more seriously. The Bobcats improved to 10-1 on the season (the “1” being a five-point loss to Louisville on the road) with a 17 point beat down of UNI in Cedar Rapids. And this game was a beat down is every sense of the word. Ohio was up 17-8 in the first five minutes. They were up 39-21 before the break. They didn’t lead by less than 11 for the final 30 minutes of the game. That will happen when you hit 11-21 from beyond the arc. And, again, this was at Northern Iowa. Impressive.

Arizona 85, Oakland 73: Oakland fought hard to stay with the Wildcats, getting 31 points and six assists out of star guard Reggie Hamilton, but Arizona’s best offensive performance of the season was too much. Solomon Hill went for 23 points and 11 boards while Kyle Fogg added 17 as Arizona opened up a 13 points lead in the first half before taking complete control of the game midway through the second half. The Wildcats were up by as much as 19 points.

Richmond 90, Old Dominion 82 OT: Darien Brothers scored 12 of his 38 points in overtime as the Spiders bounced back from a home-loss to Iona by knocking off a rebuilding Old Dominion team. The Monarchs got 21 points from Chris Cooper and 20 points and eight boards out of Kent Bazemore, who hit a 30 foot three with two seconds left in regulation to force overtime. Richmond was up by as much as 15 in the first half.

Gonzaga 71, Butler 55: Kevin Pangos and Elias Harris both had 19 points as the Zags gave the Bulldogs a pretty thorough beating. We all know that Butler is not the same team that it has been the past couple of seasons, but Gonzaga isn’t either. Among the issues the Zags have is that they need to have David Stockton running the point and Pangos playing off the ball, but when that it is the case, the Zags cannot guard anyone.

UCLA 89, UC Irvine 60: Freshman Norman Powell had a career-high 19 points to lead five scorers in double figures for the Bruins. UCLA has looked much better in the past couple of weeks. Granted, their last two games have been against UC Irvine and UC Davis, but we’re talking about a team that didn’t win a Division I game until November 28th. An effective offense against a team like UCI is a start.

The rest of the top 25:

No. 1 Syracuse 80, Bucknell 61: Kris Joseph had 17 points and Scoop Jardine added 14 as the Orange rolled over Bucknell at home. Rakeem Christmas had 10 points, including seven in the first three minutes of the game.

No. 2 Ohio State 70, Lamar 50: The Buckeyes got 18 points and 11 boards in 30 minutes from Jared Sullinger, who had been beat up all year long.

No. 3 Kentucky 82, Samford 50: Doron Lamb had 26 points and the Wildcats rolled despite playing without Terrence Jones, who is battling through a dislocated pinky.

No. 13 Pitt 71, St. Francis (PA) 47: JJ Moore had 15 points and Dante Taylor scored 14 points and added eight boards in the Panther’s first game since Khem Birch left the program. Pitt was up 27-4 with 7:26 left in the first half. That’s about all you need to know.

Other notable scores:

– Purdue 81, IPFW 56
– Georgia 72, Mercer 58
– Tennessee 72, UNC-Asheville 68
– VCU 68, UAB 49
– BYU 93, Buffalo 78
– Oregon 58, NCCU 45
– St. Mary’s 77, Eastern Washington 61

Top performers:

Julian Boyd, Long Island: Boyd has 22 points and 12 boards in a 100-84 win over Texas State.

Darien Brothers, Richmond: Brothers had 12 of his 38 points in overtime as the Spiders knocked off Old Dominion.

Al’Lonzo Coleman, Presbyterian: The Blue Hose big man had 24 points and 11 boards in a 75-71 win.

Vincent Council, Providence: Council had 17 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds as the Friars knocked off New Hampshire.

Matthew Dellavedova, St. Mary’s: Dellavedova celebrated getting snubbed by the Cousy Award list by scoring 25 points and six assists against Eastern Washington.

Reggie Hamilton, Oakland: The Grizzly star had 31 points and six assists in a losing effort against Arizona.

Preston Medlin, Utah State: Medlin had 27 points, eight assists and four boards as the Aggies knocked off UT-Arlington.

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

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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.”