Friday’s Shootaround: A busy night for college hoops

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No. 15 Georgetown 70, Memphis 59: See here.

No. 8 Missouri 78, No. 24 Illinois 74: Missouri blew a 13 point lead with just 13 minutes left in the game, allowing the Illini to come all the way back and take the lead, but the Tigers had just enough left in the tank to pull out the victory late. Illinois led 70-68 after DJ Richardson hit two free throws at the two minute mark, but the Tigers responded with seven straight points to take control of the game.

Phil Pressey, who wasn’t named a Cousy Award finalist, had 18 points and five assists for Mizzou. Joseph Bertrand came off the bench to score 19 points for the Illini — on 9-9 shooting no less — and Meyers Leonard added 14 points, 13 boards and five assists. Illinois deserves a ton of credit for the comeback that they made on the road, and while the loss will no doubt sting, they have no reason to hang their head after this one.

Long Beach State 68, No. 15 Xavier 58: Xavier had Tu Holloway back in the lineup, but the Musketeers still lost their second straight game following the Crosstown Punchout. Holloway had 17 points and four assists, but without Mark Lyons and Dez Wells in the lineup, a balanced LBSU attack was simply too much. Mike Caffey led five players in double figures with 14 points as the 49ers advanced to the semifinals of the Diamondhead Classic.

This is a good win for LBSU even without Xavier at full-strength, but for this tournament to be considered a success, the 49ers need to, at the very least, make the finals. Losing to Auburn will make much more noise than beating them tomorrow night, and with a potential date with Kansas State in the final, LBSU has a chance to notch two more wins over power conference opponents.

No. 12 Florida 82, Florida State 64: The Gators got 21 points out of Bradley Beal and 15 points out of Patric Young — whose most impressive play was a highlight reel block — as they put together their most dominating offensive performance of the season. All five starters reached double figures, the Gators hit 10 threes and shot 48.3% from the field against a very good defensive team in the Seminoles.

No. 9 UConn 79, Fairfield 71: UConn got up 20 at the break, and then they got lazy. Fairfield was able to claw their way all the way back to within three points before the Huskies finally sealed the game on a Ryan Boatright three-pointer in the final minutes. Shabazz Napier finished with 24 points, six boards and five assists. UConn will be playing their next three games without Jim Calhoun, who will be serving the suspension for his program’s recruitment of Nate Miles.

No. 21 Creighton 87, Northwestern 79: The Bluejays overcame an early lead from Northwestern — and first half foul trouble for Doug McDermott — as they knocked off the Wildcats in an entertaining game in Omaha. McDermott scored 18 of his 27 points in the second half while Grant Gibbs added 12 assists and eight boards. Drew Crawford had 34 points to lead the way for Northwestern, who missed out on a big-time opportunity to notch a quality non-conference win.

No. 7 Baylor 72, St. Mary’s 59: After a horrific start to their non-conference schedule, Baylor has notched their second straight quality win after knocking off St. Mary’s. Quincy Miller led four Bears in double figures with 15 points while Perry Jones added 14 points, nine boards and four blocks. Baylor looks better and better and the season progresses. Things to worry about: Baylor had seven assists on 26 field goals and turned the ball over 15 times. At least they rebounded better in this one.

College of Charleston 77, Coastal Carolina 70: Charleston opened up a 16 points lead early in the second half, and while the Chanticleers had a run in them — they cut the lead to 61-58 — a late 10-0 spurt by the Cougars put the finishing touches on this one. Andrew Lawrence led the way for CofC with 18 points.

Rice 65, Texas A&M 58: Rice got 13 points from Tamir Jackson and used a late first half run to take a lead they didn’t relinquish in the second half. In fact, the Aggies never even challenged in the final 20 minutes. It was Rice’s first Division I win since 11/30. Making matters worse is that A&M lost Kourtney Roberson for 4-6 weeks with a fractured ankle.

Butler 71, Stanford 66: If Stanford was really a contender for the Pac-12 title, they would win games at home against a rebuilding Butler team that can’t score.

The rest of the top 25:

No. 1 Syracuse80, Tulane 61: The Orange used a big first-half run that was keyed by five consecutive three-pointers to open up a commanding lead on Tulane. The Green Wave would never recover.

No. 2 Ohio State 69, Miami OH 40: The final score really isn’t all that impressive, but the Redhawks were never in this. OSU scored the first 11 points of the game and never looked back. Sullinger had 11.

No. 3 Kentucky 87, Loyola MD 63: Kyle Wiltjer, starting in the place of Terrence Jones, had 24 points and helped key a 17-2 second half run that broke open a game that was closer than just about anyone expected.

No. 10 Marquette 64, Milwaukee 50: Junior Cadougan was the offensive catalyst for the Golden Eagles, scoring 15 points and grabbing seven boards as Marquette knocked off their crosstown rivals.

No. 11 Kansas 63, USC 47: The Jayhawks got 14 points from Elijah Johnson and 13 points from Connor Teahan as they slowed their game down to matchup with the more deliberate Trojans. Kansas only gave up 13 first half points.

No. 18 Mississippi State 82, Northwestern State 67/: Not surprisingly, Arnett Moultrie was simply too much inside. He finished with 24 points, 14 boards (11 offensive) and four assists.

No. 18 Indiana 89, UMBC 47: The Hoosiers were banged up, but they still managed to hang 89 points on UMBC. Matt Roth came off the bench to score 14 points while Christian Watford went for 22 points and 10 boards.

No. 19 Michigan 77, Bradley 66: Evan Smotrycz had 20 points and 10 boards as the Wolverines overcame a slow start to knock off Bradley, who count John Beilein’s son as a member of their staff.

No. 20 Michigan State 90, Lehigh 81: Michigan State overcame a slow start — caused, in part, by Draymond Green getting benched to start the game after showing up seven minutes late for a team meeting — to knock off a gritty Lehigh team.

No. 25 Harvard 63, Florida Atlantic 51: Keith Wright had 12 points and 11 boards as the Crimson knocked off a talented FAU team.

Other notable scores:

– Kansas State 83, SIU 58
– Mercer 65, Georgia Tech 59
– UMass 73, Davidson 65
– Miami FL 76, Charlotte 61
– LSU 67, North Texas 58
– West Virginia 70, Missouri State 68 OT
– Southern Miss 53, South Florida 51
– Iowa 81, Boise State 72
– BYU 89, UC-Santa Barbara 75
– Utah State 81, Kent State 62

Kentucky moves scrimmage to Eastern Kentucky for flood relief

Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK
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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky will play its annual Blue-White men’s basketball scrimmage in Eastern Kentucky to benefit victims of the devastating summer floods.

The school announced that the Oct. 22 event at Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville will feature a pregame Fan Fest. Ticket proceeds will go through Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief.

Wildcat players will also participate in a community service activity with local organizations in the relief effort.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said the team was excited to play for Eastern Kentucky fans and added, “We hope we can provide a temporary escape with basketball and community engagement.”

The scrimmage traditionally is held at Rupp Arena. It will occur eight days after its Big Blue Madness public workout at Rupp.

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times/USA TODAY NETWORK
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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

Joe Rondone/USA TODAY NETWORK
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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.