Late Night Snacks: Louisville snaps the losing streak, Grambling stays winless

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A decent slate of games on Monday night. Three Top 25 teams, a full slate of SWAC and MEAC games and the premiere teams in the Big 12 and Big East pull out wins. Enjoy to briefing, it’s Late Night Snacks.

Game of the night

No. 13 Louisville 64, Pittsburgh 61 – The Cardinals hadn’t won since being ranked no. 1. Pittsburgh has been surprisingly good over the past few weeks. It was an ugly game, but the Panthers going 3-for-12 from the free throw line and Louisville hitting 13-of-17 from the same place turned out to be the difference.

Games of note

No. 2 Kansas 61, West Virginia 56 – In the first-ever meeting between the two schools, the Jayhawks got out to an early lead thanks to offensive struggles by the Mountaineers, which earned Aaric Murray an early benching from coach Bob Huggins. WVU mounted a late charge, but it wasn’t enough.

No. 25 Marquette 63, South Florida 50 – Well, this time, no one had to deal with any bats, so things were comfortable. Vander Blue had a huge night (see below) and Marquette cruised late to keep itself ranked for another day.

Mississippi Valley State 65, Grambling State 50 – This might be the Tigers best chance at a win all season, playing a two-win Delta Devils team. It just wasn’t to be. Grambling shot 42.9-percent, but turned the ball over 20 times.

Starred

Vander Blue, Marquette – It was one of those nights that Blue couldn’t miss. Blue was 13-for-20 from the field for 30 points in the Golden Eagles win. Let’s just say it…. YOU’RE MY BOY, BLUE!

Gorgui Dieng, Louisville – Finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds as the Cardinals got back into the win column. He also hit two free throws with less than a minute left to help seal the win at home.

Jeff Withey, Kansas – He had another solid night and has proven to be the most consistent player for the Jayhawks. The fifth-year senior finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and four blocks, including one that preserved a five-point lead late in the game.

Damien Lee, Drexel – There was no Franz Massanet magic on Monday night, with the Dragons falling to Delawar 66-64, but Lee poured in almost half their points with 30 in the loss.

Kevin Mays, Maryland-Eastern Shore – The Hawks lost at Bethune-Cookman 58-57, but Mays provided the silver lining for the one-win UMES with 20 points, 11 rebounds and four assists.

Struggled

Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, South Florida – He averages 10.3 points per game, he scored three in the loss at Marquette. Got to do more than that to get a win in Milwaukee.

Stuffing the stat sheet

Devon Saddler, Kyle Anderson and Jarvis Threatt, Delaware – The trio did their part to wear out the stat guy in a close win, 66-64 over Drexel. They combined for 37 points, 19 rebounds and 16 assists for the Blue Hens.

One night of good basketball will give way to a better one tomorrow night. Have a good night, folks.

David Harten is the founder of The Backboard Chronicles. Follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

Trae Jefferson to transfer out of Texas Southern

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Texas Southern guard and NCAA tournament darling Trae Jefferson announced on Saturday that he’s leaving the school.

The 5-foot-7 Jefferson was sensational at times during his sophomore season with the Tigers as he put up 23.1 points, 4.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game, helping lead Texas Southern to a victory in the 2018 NCAA Tournament’s First Four in Dayton over North Carolina Central. One of the most entertaining talents in college basketball, Jefferson is leaving Texas Southern in-part because former head coach Mike Davis took the job at Detroit this offseason.

While Detroit is going to be the favorite to land Jefferson, because of his connection to Davis, it’ll be interesting to see what his transfer market looks like. Jefferson also made it clear on his Twitter page that he would like to be closer to his hometown of Milwaukee so that he can be closer to his ailing grandfather.

Given NCAA transfer rules, Jefferson would likely have to sit out next season before getting two more years of eligibility. But he could be applying for a waiver if he’s trying to be closer to home to deal with his family situation.

Nevada’s Josh Hall transfers to Missouri State

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Nevada lost a talented player from last season’s team as rising junior Josh Hall opted to transfer to Missouri State on Friday night.

The 6-foot-7 Hall is a former top-150 recruit who played a key part in the Wolf Pack’s postseason run as he elevated his play to average 13 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Hall also made the game-winning bucket to lift Nevada past No. 2 seed Cincinnati in the second round.

Although Hall picked up his play late in the year, he was coming off the bench most of his sophomore campaign as he averaged 6.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game last season.

Since Nevada took in some talented transfers, while players like Jordan Caroline and the Martin twins opted not to turn pro, it left head coach Eric Musselman with too many scholarship players for the 2018-19 season. It looks like some of those issues are now going away as Hall is leaving for Missouri State and graduate transfer guard Ehab Amin opted to decommit from the school.

Nevada is expected to be a preseason top-10 team next season with all of the talent they have returning to the roster, along with the addition of some new pieces like McDonald’s All-American big man Jordan Brown.

Hall will likely have to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules as he still has two years of eligibility remaining.

Chris Webber accepts Jim Harbaugh’s invitation to be honorary Michigan football captain

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The frosty relationship between Chris Webber and the University of Michigan could be thawing — thanks to an invitation from football head coach Jim Harbaugh.

On Friday, Harbaugh called in to WTKA’s “The M Zone” as show host Jamie Morris had Webber on the show. Harbaugh offered Webber the opportunity to be an honorary captain for the Michigan football team next season, to which Webber replied that he would love the opportunity.

Webber, a former member of the “Fab Five” who helped the Wolverines to two consecutive NCAA tournament title-game appearances in 1992 and 1993, has not associated directly with the school, or with other members of the Fab Five, for many years.

The NCAA mandated that Webber and Michigan not associate with one another for 10 years after the Ed Martin booster scandal. Webber has always been reluctant to participate in anything Michigan or Fab Five related. When the famous Fab Five documentary was made a few years ago, Webber was the only member of the quintet not to participate in the making of the film. Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson all have a solid relationship with the University of Michigan at this point.

Webber later criticized the film during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, as King and Rose fired back with responses to reignite the feud. In the past, Rose has also been vocal in his belief that Webber should apologize for what happened at Michigan, as the group is hoping to move forward.

Although Webber still isn’t mending fences with the other Fab Five members, or the basketball program, returning to Michigan in some kind of official capacity is a big deal considering his past with the school.

Harbaugh and Webber haven’t decided on a game for next season yet as that will be something to watch for over the next several months.

Akoy Agau returning to Louisville as graduate transfer

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Louisville received a boost to its frontcourt rotation on Friday as former big man Akoy Agau will return to the Cardinals as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau originally committed and enrolled at Louisville for a season and a half to begin his college hoops career before transferring to Georgetown. After leaving the Hoyas to play at SMU last season, Agau received a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA after battling injury for much of his career.

Agau gives Louisville an experienced forward who should earn some solid minutes next season. With the Mustangs during the 2017-18 season, Agau averaged 5.0 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in 16.1 minutes per contest.

While this isn’t the biggest splash for the Cardinals, they have plenty of scholarships to use for next season as new head coach Chris Mack tries to find a stable rotation. Getting a graduate transfer like Agau, who should be familiar with the school and the conference at the very least, is a nice step for a one-year placeholder.

NCAA President Mark Emmert got a $500,000 raise in 2016

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NCAA president Mark Emmert, the man in charge of a non-profit association that doesn’t have enough money to pay its laborers, received a $500,000 raise for the 2016 calendar year, bringing his total income to more than $2.4 million, according to an NCAA tax return that was obtained by USA Today.

That number actually pales in comparison to the salaries that are received by the commissioners of the Power 5 conferences.

But there’s not enough money to pay the players.

Nope.

Everyone is broke.

Carry on with your day, and pray for the well-being of NCAA administrators like Mark Emmert, whose salary is in no way whatsoever inflated by amateurism, which allows the schools and the NCAA to bank all of the advertising revenue that college basketball and football brings in and bars the players themselves from accessing that money.