Thursday’s Shootaround: SDSU survives, Southern Miss takes control of CUSA


No. 14 Georgetown 58, UConn 44: See here.

No. 12 San Diego State 58, Boise State 56: On Saturday afternoon, San Diego State was drilled by Colorado State, losing by 17 in a game that was never much in doubt after the first 10 minutes. On Wednesday, the Aztecs did everything they could to try and earn their second straight upset loss. They shot just 31.3% from the floor. They went just 3-19 from three. They got behind by as much as 12 points in the second half. And after using a 22-3 run to take a seven point lead with six minutes left, the Aztecs nearly blew it. On the game’s final possession, Boise State, who was only down two after Chase Tapley missed a free throw, somehow managed to find a wide-open Thomas Bropleh, but his three was off the mark.

That’s called escaping.

There are a couple of things to take out of this game. For starters, this is the second time that Boise has given a league favorite a run for their money; they took UNLV to overtime earlier this season. And while their record in league play may not be all that pretty (0-6 rarely is), this is a young group that is still learning to play at the collegiate level. I’d put money on the Broncos pulling off a couple of upsets before the season is over and really making a name for themselves next year.

The mark of a good team is that they are able to win games when they don’t play their best basketball, and if this game showed us anything, its that SDSU is apparently a good team. They do, however, need to get this slump figured out. Steve Fisher’s team is guard-oriented this season, which means that there are going to be some games where the Aztecs cannot buy a jumpshot. They cannot, however, allow one bad game to beget another.

No. 13 UNLV 82, Colorado State 63: Perhaps the only people rooting for Bropleh’s game-winner to drop more than Boise State fans were UNLV fans. Had the Broncos knocked off the Aztecs, than UNLV’s 19 point win over Colorado State would have moved the Rebels into first place in the MWC. Anthony Marshall and Oscar Bellfield combined to go for 29 points, 13 assists and just four turnovers as UNLV shot 50% from the floor and hit nine threes in a game that was never really in doubt.

This loss adds more credence to the notion that UNLV is the best team in the conference, not SDSU. The Aztecs lost to Colorado State by 17. UNLV beat them by 19. That’s a big difference, although neither team was as impressive as New Mexico in their 33 point win over the Rams. Maybe Colorado State is simply team schizophrenia.

No. 6 Baylor 63, Texas A&M 60: Pierre Jackson is a bit of a polarizing figure in college basketball circles. Some love him as a player, others simply love his athletic ability and some believe he is going to eventually be the downfall of Baylor’s team this season. All are fair perspectives. Jackson is a ridiculous athlete with the ability to do some incredible things on a basketball court, but there are times where he buys into his own hype too much. When he plays as Pierre Jackson, he’s great. When he tries to be Steve Francis, he struggles. Its that simple.

But the one thing that no one can disagree with is his ability in the clutch. He’s proven time and time again that he’s a player that can be trusted with the ball in his hands at the end of a game. On Wednesday, he hit a three with 17 seconds left to put Baylor up 61-60 and followed that up with two free throws after Elston Turner missed a tough fadeaway jumper. (Jump to the 2:45 mark):


Its the fourth time this season that Jackson has made a play in the final minute that has won a game or forced overtime. Against BYU, his block of a Brandon Davies’ three saved the game. Against West Virginia, he forced OT with a three. And in a win over Mississippi State, he scored the game-winning bucket on a driving layup in the final minute.

No. 22 Michigan 68, No. 20 Indiana 56: Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Indiana lost on the road to a quality opponent. This game was eerily similar to the loss the Hoosiers had at Michigan State earlier in the season. The Wolverines jumped out to a 13-0 lead and led by as much as 20 in the first half, but the Hoosiers came storming back. They got within two points late in the second half, but Stu Douglass and Tim Hardaway, Jr., hit back-to-back threes to push the lead back up to eight points. The win moved Michigan into a tie with Wisconsin for second place in the league, one game behind Ohio State in the loss column and one game ahead of Michigan State in the win column. Trey Burke led the way with 18 points, four boards and four assists.

Southern Miss 75, Memphis 72: In one of the best games of the night — a game that didn’t actually get on the air until midway through the first half thanks to a high school football all-star game — Southern Miss won their 16th game in the last 17 outings, taking over sole possession of first place in the Conference USA standings. Darnell Dodson had 23 points and Neil Watson added 17 as USM did everything they could down the stretch to give the game back to Memphis. Chris Crawford missed a decent look at a three as time expired, however, the first time Southern Miss has beaten the Tigers in 18 tries. Its worth noting that, when USM lost to Memphis, it was because the Golden Eagles missed a three at the buzzer to win it. Can we get a grudge match?

Texas-Arlington 67, Texas-San Antonio 66: LaMarcus Reed scored 24 points as UTA christened their new arena with a win that moved them into sole possession of first place in the Southland.

The Atlantic 10: The conference just gets weirder and weirder. So here’s what happened last night: Xavier won a tight game against George Washington; UMass lost in overtime to Rhode Island; St. Joe’s beat Richmond on the road; Temple and La Salle beat Fordham and Charlotte, respectively, at home; Dayton lost their third game in a row to Duquesne at home; and St. Bonaventure blew out St. Louis.


What’s that mean?

La Salle (?!) is currently sitting all alone in first place in the league at 6-2. Temple, at 5-2, and Xavier, at 6-3, are both a half game back. St. Louis, UMass and St. Bonaventure are all 5-3 while Dayton, Duquesne and St. Joe’s are all 4-4. Got it? Good. There will be a quiz on Friday.

The CAA: Quite obviously, the big news in the Colonial is that George Mason, who had been holding on to first place in the conference, lost at Delaware on Wednesday night. With Drexel and VCU both winning, it now means there is a three-way tie for first place in the league, with Old Dominion sitting just a game back in the win column.

The rest of the top 25:

No. 8 Kansas 84, Oklahoma 62: Thomas Robinson has 20 points, 17 boards, four assists, two blocks and two steals while Tyshawn Taylor added 21 points and six assists in a Jayhawk win.

No. 12 Creighton 102, Illinois State 74: The Bluejays got 25 points from Doug McDermott as they stayed a game in front of Wichita State in the MVC standings. The Shockers beat Missouri State 74-67 on the road.

No. 24 Florida State 68, Georgia Tech 54: Michael Snaer scored 21 points and the Seminoles bounced back from a halftime deficit to knock off the Yellow Jackets.

Other notable scores:

– Davidson 71, Furman 53
– Akron 86, Toledo 72
– Marshall 63, Tulane 44
– Stony Brook 82, Binghamton 48
– NC State 56, Boston College 51
– Miami 90, Maryland 86 2OT
– Ohio 67, Northern Illinois 58

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.”