Anthony Marshall leads UNLV to a win over impressive Boise State

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Yesterday, we took a look at Boise State, a team that has dealt with as many injuries and suspension as any team in the country.

When the Broncos have their entire roster available, they are, quite clearly, a dangerous team. A win at Creighton and wins over UNLV and Colorado State at home should tell you as much.

On Tuesday night, however, a full roster wasn’t enough, as the Broncos couldn’t stop Anthony Marshall down the stretch. Marshall sparked an 18-5 run after Boise State took a 56-50 lead with 4:42 left on the clock, leading the Rebels to a 68-64 win in the Thomas & Mack Center in yet another thrilling Mountain West finish.

(Before I go any further, a quick tangent: I questioned Anthony Marshall as much as anyone heading into the season. I didn’t think he was enough of a true point guard to lead this UNLV team that desperately needed a true point guard. He had 16 points, seven assists, no turnovers, shot 5-6 from the floor and 6-7 from the line last night while taking over down the stretch. On the season, he’s averaging 10.9 points. 5.9 assists, and 2.6 turnovers with shooting splits of 47.3/37.0/69/3. I’ll take my crow with salt and a little bit of sriracha, please.)

But when you look a little deeper, Boise’s performance should be as promising as the loss was disappointing.

Derrick Marks is Boise State’s leading scorer and the most dangerous player on a team that also includes Jeff Elorriaga, who hit three straight threes in the span of about a minute on Tuesday night to give Boise State that 56-50 lead. Marks averages 16.0 points and 3.9 assists, which is impressive, but not quite as impressive as the 35 points he scored in the win at Creighton or the 38 points he put on Colorado State on Saturday. Marks also had 30 in a win over Fresno State, 27 in an overtime loss at New Mexico and 24 in a four point loss at Michigan State.

Last night?

Marks was a complete non-factor.

He scored just four points in 18 minutes, finishing with more turnovers (seven) and fouls (five, although at most three of them were deserved) than points (four).

And the Broncos still managed to find themselves up six on UNLV in an arena where New Mexico, Colorado State, and San Diego State all lost in an 11 day stretch in February.

Boise State isn’t a lock for the NCAA tournament yet, but they host San Diego State on Saturday and will likely get another shot at the Aztecs in the first round of the MWC tournament. Win one of those games, and BSU can probably lace up their dancing shoes.

Don’t be surprised if they pull off an upset or two when they get there.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Memphis, Penny land commitment from second five-star prospect, Precious Achiuwa

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The transformation is complete.

On Friday afternoon, Precious Achiuwa, a top 15 prospect in the Class of 2019, announced that he has committed to play his college basketball at Memphis, joining one of the best recruiting classes in the country and affirming that Penny Hardaway will enter the 2019-20 season with a preseason top 10 team.

Achiuwa, one of the top combo-forwards in the class and the kind of athlete that will make him an attractive player to NBA GMs, joins No. 1 player James Wiseman and fellow four-star prospects D.J. Jeffries, Lester Quinones, Boogie Ellis, Damion Baugh and Malcolm Dandridge in Penny’s first real recruiting class as Memphis head coach.

The Tigers also add Rayjon Tucker, arguably the nation’s top grad transfer and a potential NBA player in his own right.

As we wrote earlier this week, Penny is building an absolute monster in Memphis.

Grant Williams will remain in 2019 NBA Draft

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Grant Williams announced on Friday morning that he will be staying in the NBA draft after an All-American junior season with Tennessee.

Williams averaged 18.8 points, 7.5 boards, 3.2 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals this past season, helping lead Tennessee to a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament and on a run to the Sweet 16, where they lost in overtime to Purdue.

This is probably the right decision for him to make. While he is somewhat undersized and limited athletically, Williams is such a smart and savvy players. He really understands how to pass, he can defend multiple positions and, most importantly, he has a skill-set that should allow him to be able to contribute as a role player at the next level, particularly if his three-point stroke is as good as it has looked in postseason workouts.

Williams is slotted in at No. 19 to San Antonio in the most recent NBC Sports mock draft.

Tennessee will now have to play the waiting game with Jordan Bone, who is still undecided on his status. The Vols currently sit 22nd in the NBC Sports preseason top 25.

Clemson lands Texas Tech transfer Khavon Moore

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Clemson is adding a former top-50 recruit to its roster.

Texas Tech transfer Khavon Moore has pledged to coach Brad Brownell and the Tigers, he announced Thursday.

The 6-foot-7 Moore, a former four-star recruit, played just 2 minutes last season for the Red Raiders and saw his season shutdown amid medical concerns due to lingering issues from a broken leg he suffered in high school. The plan was for him to seek a medical hardship redshirt for last season, which could allow him to still have four years of eligibility remaining at Clemson after sitting out the upcoming season as a transfer.

The Tigers went 20-14 last season and missed the NCAA tournament for the seventh time in nine seasons under Brownell.

Texas Tech, meanwhile, continues to build a monster even with departures like former high-profile recruit.

 

 

Four-star forward Jalen Wilson asks out of Michigan letter of intent

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John Beilein isn’t the only loss Michigan sustained this week.

Jalen Wilson, a top-50 guard in 2019, has requested out of his National Letter of Intent with the Wolverines, he announced Thursday.

“Due to the sudden head coaching change, I have requested my release from The University of Michigan, and will re-open my recruitment,” he wrote on social media.

Beilein’s decision to leave Michigan for the NBA and the Cleveland Cavaliers shocked the college basketball world earlier this week, and there’s little surprise to see it shake the Wolverines’ recruiting class as the head coaching position remains vacant and Michigan conducting a search of its next coach.

Wilson, a 6-foot-8 forward, is now considering Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma State and Florida along with the Wolverines, according to 247Sports. The Texas native suddenly becomes one of the most desirable players left available ahead of the upcoming season.

Cole Bajema, a top-150 wing from Washington, is the lone remaining signee in Michigan’s 2019 class.

Nebraska adds former Tennessee forward Walker

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LINCOLN, Neb. — Former Tennessee forward Derrick Walker is transferring to Nebraska.

Nebraska announced Wednesday it has added Walker to its roster. Nebraska officials said Walker will sit out the 2019-20 season before playing for the Cornhuskers. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Walker entered the NCAA transfer portal after averaging 0.8 points, 1.1 rebounds and 5.3 minutes for Tennessee this past season. The 6-foot-8 Walker averaged 1.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 8.8 minutes as a freshman in the 2017-18 season.

Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg said in a statement, “Derrick is a physical player who gives us skill and versatility in the post.”