Late Night Snacks: When the game is tied in the final seconds, do not foul

Leave a comment

Games of the Day

1. Washington 74, Cal State Fullerton 72
The Huskies escaped at home after trailing by as many as 14 points. Washington made five free throws in the final 30 seconds, but here’s the thing: four of those free throws came as a result of Fullerton committing a foul after tying the game. First there was Alex Harris, who in his exuberance over tying the game at 69 fouled Andrew Andrews. And after D.J. Seeley hit a corner three to tie the game at 72, he fouled C.J. Wilcox who made both free throws to provide the final score. Oh what could have been for the Titans, who were coming off of a loss at Eastern Washington on Friday night.

2. Wichita State 72, Air Force 69
Gregg Marshall’s team hung on in Colorado Springs, beating the Falcons by three as a Michael Lyons missed a three-pointer in the final seconds. Carl Hall led the way for the Shockers, who are now 8-0 on the season, with 21 points and ten rebounds while Mike Fitzgerald (18 points) and Taylor Broekhuis (17 points) paced the Falcons.

3. Georgia State 67, Liberty 66
A Rashaad Richardson three-pointer in the final seconds gave the Panthers the win on the road. Manny Atkins and Devonta White led Georgia State with 17 points apiece, and Librty’s Davon Marshall hit six three-pointers and scored 25 points to lead the now 0-8 Flames.

Important Outcomes 

1. Maryland 69, George Mason 62
The Terrapins made things a little more difficult on themselves than necessary but Mark Turgeon’s team held on for the win at the BB&T Classic. Dez Wells put up 25 points and six rebounds, which covered up Maryland’s 19 turnovers and 23-of-39 performance from the foul line. Can this group contend in the ACC? Maybe they can.

2. Wisconsin 81, California 56 
On the heels of their 60-54 loss to Virginia the Badgers needed to bounce back, and it’s safe to say that they did in throttling the Golden Bears. Justin Cobbs was limited to 3-of-10 shooting (11 points) and Ben Brust led four Badgers in double figures with 22 points.

3. Akron 82, Middle Tennessee 77 (OT)
Two quality teams met at the JAR and the Zips came out on top, with point guard Alex Abreu leading five players in double figures with 19 points (in addition to seven assists, four rebounds and four steals). Ray Cintron, who hit three free throws to force overtime, led the Blue Raiders with a game-high 22 points. But Middle Tennessee had just two players in double figures (Marcos Knight scored 21), and the lack of balance hurt them in the end.

Starred

1. F Isaiah Armwood (George Washington)
Armwood led the Colonials to 67-55 win over Manhattan in the first game of the BB&T Classic with 23 points (8-of-12 FG), nine rebounds and six blocked shots.

2. F Carl Hall (Wichita State) 
21 points (9-of-10 FG) and ten rebounds in the Shockers’ 72-69 win at Air Force.

3. F Desmond Simmons (Washington) 
14 points, 18 rebounds (seven offensive) and three steals in the Huskies’ 74-72 win over Cal State Fullerton.

Struggled

1. Florida State guards
Guards Michael Snaer, Montay Brandon, Terry Whisnant II and Ian Miller combined to shoot 5-of-19 from the field in the Seminoles’ 61-56 loss to Mercer, Florida State’s third home loss of the season.

2. G Justin Cobbs (California) 
3-of-10 from the field (11 points) and seven turnovers in Cal’s 81-56 loss to Wisconsin.

3. South Carolina starters
If not for reserves Bruce Ellington and Brenton Williams things could have been even worse for the Gamecocks in their 64-55 loss to rival Clemson. Frank Martin’s starters combined to shoot 5-of-22 from the field and score 14 points.

Three Facts 

1. Washington’s win over Cal State Fullerton is their 924th at Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, the most by a college team in its home arena in the history of the sport.

2. Over the last two seasons Wichita State has been the most successful road team in the country, posting a 21-3 record.

3. Kansas State guard Rodney McGruder snapped out of his two-game shooting slump on Sunday, scoring 22 points (8-of-16 FG) and grabbing seven rebounds in the Wildcats’ 72-53 win over USC Upstate. McGruder has shot 50% or better in three of Kansas State’s seven games.

Other Notable Scores

1. Mercer 61, Florida State 56

2. Saint Louis 62, Valparaiso 49

3. Stanford 71, Denver 58

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

VIDEO: Mixtape for North Carolina-bound Nassir Little

1 Comment

Nassir Little is one of the most improved players in the high school basketball ranks, going from being a guy that was a borderline five-star prospect to being a potential No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

At 6-foot-7 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan and athleticism to burn, he has all the makings of being one of the switchable wing defenders that are en vogue in the modern era of the NBA.

Former UNC star Phil Ford has surgery for prostate cancer

Allen Dean Steele /Allsport
1 Comment

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina says former point guard Phil Ford has had surgery for prostate cancer.

Team spokesman Steve Kirschner said Wednesday that Ford underwent the procedure Tuesday after he was diagnosed during his annual physical. Dr. Eric Wallen, the UNC physician who is treating Ford, says the cancer was caught early because Ford “has been proactive regarding his health.”

Ford played for Dean Smith in the 1970s and scored 2,290 points, a mark that stood as the school record until Tyler Hansbrough broke it in 2008. Ford also spent 12 seasons as an assistant to Smith after a seven-year NBA career in which he was the rookie of the year in 1979.

Bruce Pearl: ‘Good chance’ Auburn returns four players testing the waters

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Bruce Pearl told reporters on Monday that there is a “good chance” that his Auburn program will return all four of the players that are currently testing the waters of the NBA draft.

“I think there’s a good chance they’re all going to consider coming back,” Pearl said. “There’s a chance they’re all going to come back, but that’s been the case since the beginning.”

“I just feel as we get closer to the deadline and they gather more and more information, I think that chance improves. It would not surprise me, still, to see a couple of them stay in.”

Those four players are Mustapha Heron, Austin Wiley, Bryce Brown and Jared Harper. Brown was the leading scorer for the Tigers last season, while Heron was arguably their best player and Harper a steady floor general that is the piece that holds everything together. Wiley did not play after he was ruled ineligible as a result of the FBI’s investigation into college basketball. If he returns he will be eligible to play the 2018-19 season.

Heron will be the most interesting decision of the four. A former McDonald’s All-American, when he declared for the draft last month, he announced that he intended to sign with an agent. But he has told reporters in the last week that he never actually signed and is still “50-50” on whether or not he will return. He was not invited to the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago last week. Wiley was, but he did not make enough of an impression to earn himself a first round guarantee. Brown and Harper are very unlikely to be drafted, but both juniors will get feedback from NBA teams on what they might need to do to play their way into the league.

Auburn is coming off of a year where they shared the SEC regular season title with Tennessee, but they struggled down the stretch of the season after Anfernee McLemore suffered a gruesome ankle injury. As it stands, under the assumption that Heron and Wiley are gone, we currently have the Tigers ranked as a top 15 team in the country in the NBC Sports Preseason Top 25.

With Heron and Wiley back, however, Auburn will have the pieces to make a case as one of college basketball’s five best teams next season.

Forward Lance Thomas transferring from Louisville

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Leave a comment

With Anas Mahmoud out of eligibility and Ray Spalding having made the decision to enter the 2018 NBA Draft, new Louisville head coach Chris Mack had some holes to fill in the front court ahead of his first season at the helm. There’s now another departure to account for, as it was announced Tuesday afternoon that 6-foot-8 forward Lance Thomas has decided to transfer.

Thomas, who will have three seasons of eligibility remaining at his next school, appeared in 12 games for the Cardinals last season and averaged 2.2 points and 1.3 rebounds in 4.2 minutes per game.

Losing Thomas may not appear to be a big deal based upon his production as a freshman. But, given the combination of player departures and misses on the recruiting trail this spring it can also be argued that Louisville is not in a position where it can afford any more personnel losses.

Louisville is now down to four scholarship players in the front court, wings V.J. King and Jordan Nwora and forwards Malik Williams and Steven Enoch, with Enoch eligible after sitting out last season after transferring in from UConn.

Williams made 12 starts as a freshman, averaging 3.8 points and 2.4 rebounds in 10.6 minutes per game, with King averaging 8.6 points per game and Nwora 5.7 points per game. Enoch played in 29 games at UConn during the 2016-17 season, averaging 3.4 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per appearance.

Four-star wing Romeo Weems commits to DePaul

Getty Images
Leave a comment

DePaul landed its first verbal commitment in the Class of 2019 Tuesday afternoon, as four-star small forward Romeo Weems announced that he will be a Blue Demon. Weems, who attends New Haven HS in New Haven, Michigan, picked DePaul over Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Oregon and is considered by most major scouting services to be a Top 50 prospect in the 2019 graduating class.

The 6-foot-6 Weems plays his grassroots basketball for The Family on the Nike EYBL circuit, averaging 15.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game this spring. Weems also has experience playing for USA Basketball, as he was part of the Under-16 team that won the FIBA Americas U16 title last year. Weems will also be part of the training camp from which the Under-17 team will be selected next month in preparation for this summer’s FIBA Under-17 World Championships.

DePaul managing to land a commitment from a prospect of Weems’ caliber, a versatile wing who can defend multiple positions while also being productive offensively, could be the shot in the arm that Dave Leitao’s program so desperately needs if they’re to improve their standing within the Big East.

Since making the move from Conference USA in 2005, DePaul has finished above .500 in a season just once (20-14 in 2006-07) with that also being the only time in which the Blue Demons finished above .500 in Big East play (9-7). Since Leitao, who led DePaul to its most recent NCAA tournament in 2005, returned for his second stint at the school the Blue Demons have gone 29-65.

Getting out of Allstate Arena and moving to the new Wintrust Arena ahead of last season was an important move for the DePaul program, but it’s been clear that the rebuild won’t be a “quick fix.” Bringing in a talent of Weems’ caliber should help DePaul moving forward, with the key now being to recruit well enough to ensure that the talented wing has ample help when he arrives on campus next year.

Among the players currently on the roster who will have eligibility remaining in 2019 are guards Devin Gage and Justin Roberts and wing Darious Hall, who will sit out the 2018-19 season after transferring to DePaul from Arkansas. Hall appeared in 35 games for the Razorbacks this past season, averaging 5.1 points and 3.1 rebounds in just under 15 minutes per game.