Late Night Snacks: No. 10 Oregon, No. 16 Kansas fall

Leave a comment

GAME OF THE DAY: No. 21 San Diego State 61, No. 16 Kansas 57

No. 16 San Diego State picked up a major win for the program, and they ended Kansas’ 68-game non-conference home win streak in the process. The Aztecs’ length proved to be a major issue for Kansas inside, and senior guard Xavier Thames hit two free throws with 5.7 remaining to seal the outcome. As for the Jayhawks their guard play left much to be desired, and with that being the case should Bill Self be concerned?

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) No. 20 Colorado 100, No. 10 Oregon 91

While Oregon may have the deepest backcourt in the country, the Colorado tandem of Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie combining to score 50 points and dish out 11 assists. Add in a double-double from Josh Scott (15 points, 12 rebounds) and 15 points from Xavier Johnson, and the end result was a second Pac-12 win of the season for the Buffaloes. As for the Ducks, while the exceeded their scoring average in defeat their performance on the defensive end left much to be desired.

2) No. 4 Wisconsin 75, No. 22 Iowa 71

With Iowa clinging to a 41-39 lead head coach Fran McCaffery picked up two technical fouls and was ejected from the game. Did that cost the Hawkeyes a win in Madison? That can certainly be debated, but what shouldn’t be debated is the fact that the Badgers were able to make some key plays late to remain undefeated. Now 15-0, Bo Ryan’s team is off to the best start in school history.

3) Wake Forest 73, No. 19 North Carolina 67

The roller coaster ride continued for North Carolina as they fell in Winston-Salem to a program in need of a big win. Travis McKie scored 16 points to lead the Demon Deacons but their best work was done defensively, as they limited the Tar Heels to 39% shooting and Marcus Paige to eight points. At this point we know who North Carolina is: a team that can not only beat just about any team in the country but lose to a lot of teams they should beat as well.

STARRED

1) Kyle Anderson (UCLA)

Anderson racked up 23 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in UCLA’s 107-73 whipping of city rival USC.

2) Sidney Sanders Jr. (Fairleigh Dickinson) 

Sanders accounted for 31 points, seven assists and four rebounds in the Knights’ 86-67 win over Hofstra.

3) Brandon Venturini (Navy)

Venturini shot 8-for-9 from beyond the arc and scored 28 points in Navy’s 79-71 win over Lafayette.

STRUGGLED

1) USC

It didn’t come as a surprise that Andy Enfield’s team lacked the horses to score with UCLA. But allowing the Bruins to shoot 57.7% from the field? That’s really bad. Final score: UCLA 107, USC 73.

2) Providence

A short-handed Providence squad also struggled defensively, as No. 11 Villanova shot 59.6% from the field and 14-for-26 from three in their 91-61 win over the Friars.

3) Missouri State

The Bears shot 4-for-20 from three in their 89-57 loss at Loyola (IL). Interestingly enough, Paul Lusk’s team shot 50% inside of the arc.

NOTABLES

  • Fred Van Vleet scored a career-high 22 points as No. 8 Wichita State beat Northern Iowa 67-53, moving to 15-0 on the season.
  • Nik Stauskas scored 18 points to lead Michigan to a 74-51 win over Northwestern, and Michigan’s now 2-0 in Big Ten play.
  • D.J. Irving hit two free throws with two seconds remaining to give Boston University a 67-66 win at Lehigh in an important early-season Patriot League battle. Mackey McKnight scored 23 to lead the way for Lehigh.
  • UMass-Lowell killed two birds with one stone Sunday, beating UMBC 59-54 for its first win as a Division I member. The win is also their first America East victory, with Akeem Williams scoring 18 points to lead the way.
  • Austin (18 points) and Andre Hollins (17) combined to score 35 points and Minnesota held off Purdue, 82-79, giving Richard Pitino his first Big Ten victory.
  • Cameron Payne scored 27 points and Jarvis Williams added 20 points and 15 rebounds to lead Murray State to a 91-77 win over UT-Martin.
  • After an off night in a loss to Washington, Jermaine Marshall rebounded to score 26 points to lead Arizona State to a 66-47 win over Washington State.

Old Dominion lands former four-star center

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Elbert Robinson came out of high school in 2014 as a borderline top-50 recruit with offers from the likes of Florida, Kansas and Louisville before he ultimately chose to attend LSU.

The 7-foot-1 center, though, never even averaged 10 minutes a game in Baton Rouge and now will be finishing his career as a graduate transfer at Old Dominion, according to multiple reports.

“Old Dominion was perfect for him,” Lawrence Johns, Robinson’s grassroots coach, told the Virginian-Pilot. “I know for a fact that nobody in (Conference USA) is over 7 feet.

“I told him to go there and show people why he was the No. 1 center the year he came out.”

Robinson, who sat out last year for medical reasons, could step right into a major role with the Monarchs, who lost their starting frontcourt this offseason. He averaged 2.1 points and 1.4 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game last year for the Tigers.

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.