Late Night Snacks: Kansas knocks off Iowa State for key Big 12 road win

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 23 Duke 69, Virginia 65

This one got a lot closer than Duke would have liked. The Blue Devils led for the entire game until Malcolm Brogdon’s free throw with 37 seconds left gave Virginia its first lead of the game at 65-64. From there, Duke scored five consecutive points to close out the game, including an offensive rebound that led to Rasheed Sulaimon’s go-ahead three-pointer. Sulaimon’s resurgence was the overall story in this one though, as the sophomore continues to shake off his early-season slump as he scored 21 points in 24 minutes for a Duke team that regularly made lineup changes and even started freshman guard Matt Jones.

Jabari Parker continued to struggle, only scoring eight points on 3-for-11 shooting, but the Blue Devils earned a much-needed ACC win at home.

You can also read more on this one with Rob Dauster’s take on Duke and my take on Virginia.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) No. 15 Kansas 77, No. 8 Iowa State 70

The Jayhawks have played the toughest schedule in the country and you can tell by the way this young Kansas team was prepared for the Hilton Coliseum and No. 8 Iowa State. Andrew Wiggins (17 points, 19 rebounds) and Joel Embiid (16 points, nine rebounds, five blocks) both had great games, but it was the play of junior point guard Naadir Tharpe that but Kansas over the edge.

Rob and I also alternated angles for this game with Rob looking into Iowa State while I go into more detail about Kansas during its big win.

2) No. 2 Syracuse 69, Boston College 59

For awhile, the Golden Eagles had the unbeaten No. 2 Orange on the ropes in the second half before Syracuse stepped on the gas and got by to earn the ACC road win. Although Trevor Cooney has struggled with his perimeter shooting during ACC play, he stepped up with an 8-for-13 effort from the field, while shooting a respectable 2-for-5 from the three-point line, to lead the Orange with 21 points. Jerami Grant also continued his sound play off the bench as the sophomore forward went for 16 points and eight rebounds in 37 minutes of play, even though he didn’t start the game.

CBT’s own Terrence Payne was in attendance at this one and has more on the Orange’s win.

3) Texas 80, West Virginia 69

The only other power conference matchup of the night belonged to the Longhorns as Texas owned the glass with a 49-30 advantage in the easy road win in Morgantown. Texas held West Virginia to 37 percent shooting as Javan Felix had 19 points and Cameron Ridley registered a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds. After dropping its first two Big 12 games, Texas has rallied to 2-2 in the leagues and is now 13-4 overall.

STARRED

1) One of the nation’s premier scorers, Loyola (Md.) senior Dylon Cormier, went for 25 points and 11 rebounds as the Greyhounds raced to a 77-63 Patriot League win over Lafayette.

2) Kendrick Perry scored Youngstown State’s final 12 points to finish the game with 31 overall in leading the Penguins to a 67-66 home win over Horizon League opponent Cleveland State.

3) Alabama State’s Jamel Waters went the full 40 minutes, scoring 27 points and adding seven assists and four steals in leading the Hornets to a 77-64 home win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in a SWAC victory. The game was tied at 58 in the second half before Alabama State went on a 19-6 run to close the game.

STRUGGLED

1) Southern Utah finished with only 36 points, as they allowed Big Sky conference opponent Northern Arizona to score 35 in each half on its way to a 70-36 loss at home. Northern Arizona started the game on a 12-0 run as Southern Utah only mustered 11 first-half points.

2) Delaware State faltered down the stretch during a home loss to Norfolk State as the Spartans escaped with a 58-56 road win. Delaware State had a chance to snap Norfolk State’s 23-game regular season conference winning streak — the longest such streak in the nation — before letting the game slip away in the second half after the game was tied 46-all.

3) Tennessee State allowed Tennessee-Martin to shoot 60 percent from the field and allowed 25 assists on 39 field goals as the Skyhawks pulled off the 100-88 Ohio Valley Conference win. Tennessee State started the game down 16-1 and are now 2-17 on the season after an 18-15 finish last season that included an appearance in the CIT

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky coach Kyra Elzy says freshman Tionna Herron is recovering from open-heart surgery to correct a structural abnormality.

The 6-foot-4 post player learned of her condition after arriving at school in June and received other opinions before surgery was recommended. Senior trainer Courtney Jones said in a release that Herron underwent surgery Aug. 24 at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and is recovering at home in DeSoto, Texas.

Elzy said Herron “is the definition of a warrior” and all are grateful to be on the other side of the player’s surgery. Herron is expected back on campus early next month and will continue rehabilitation until she’s cleared to return to normal activity.

“Her will and determination to eventually return to the court is inspiring, and it’s that `game-on’ attitude that is what makes her such a perfect fit in our program,” Elzy said in a release. “We are so thrilled for Tionna’s return to our locker room; it’s not the same without our full team together.”

Herron committed to Kentucky during last fall’s early signing period, rated as a four-star prospect and a top-70 player in last year’s class. Kentucky won last year’s Southeastern Conference Tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament’s first round.

Emoni Bates charged with 2 felonies

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SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, Mich — Emoni Bates, a former basketball prodigy who transferred to Eastern Michigan from Memphis, was charged with two felonies after police found a gun in a car during a traffic stop.

The 18-year-old Bates failed to stop at an intersection Sunday night and a search turned up the weapon, said Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the Washtenaw County sheriff’s office.

Defense attorney Steve Haney told The Associated Press that the vehicle and the gun didn’t belong to Bates.

“I hope people can reserve judgment and understand there’s a presumption of innocence,” Haney said. “This was not his vehicle. This was not his gun. … We’re still gathering facts, too.”

Bates was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and altering identification marks on a firearm. He was released after his lawyer entered a not guilty plea. Bates’ next court hearing is Oct. 6.

“This is his first brush with the law,” Haney said in court. “He poses no threat or risk to society.”

Less than a month ago, the 6-foot-9 Bates transferred to Eastern Michigan to play for his hometown Eagles. Bates averaged nearly 10 points a game last season as a freshman at Memphis, where he enrolled after reclassifying to skip a year of high school and join the class of 2021.

“We are aware of a situation involving one of our student athletes,” EMU spokesman Greg Steiner said. “We are working to gather more details and will have further comment when more information is available.”

Bates was the first sophomore to win the Gatorade national player of the year award in high school basketball in 2020, beating out Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley. Detroit drafted Cunningham No. 1 overall last year, two spots before Cleveland took Mobley in the 2021 NBA draft.

Bates committed to playing for Tom Izzo at Michigan State two years ago, later de-committed and signed with Memphis. Bates played in 18 games for the Tigers, who finished 22-11 under Penny Hardaway. Bates missed much of the season with a back injury before appearing in Memphis’ two NCAA Tournament games.

In 2019, as a high school freshman, the slender and skilled guard led Ypsilanti Lincoln to a state title and was named Michigan’s Division 1 Player of the Year by The Associated Press. His sophomore season was cut short by the pandemic and he attended Ypsi Prep Academy as a junior, his final year of high school.

UConn to pay Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million over firing

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn announced Thursday it has agreed to pay former men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million to settle discrimination claims surrounding his 2018 firing.

The money is in addition to the more than $11.1 million in back salary Ollie has already been paid after an arbitrator ruled in January that he was improperly fired under the school’s agreement with its professor’s union.

“I am grateful that we were able to reach agreement,” Ollie said in a statement Thursday. “My time at UConn as a student-athlete and coach is something I will always cherish. I am pleased that this matter is now fully and finally resolved.”

Ollie, a former UConn point guard who guided the Huskies to a 127-79 record and the 2014 national championship in six seasons as head coach, was let go after two losing seasons. UConn also stopped paying him under his contract, citing numerous NCAA violations in terminating the deal.

In 2019, the NCAA placed UConn on probation for two years and Ollie was sanctioned individually for violations, which the NCAA found occurred between 2013 and 2018. Ollie’s attorneys, Jacques Parenteau and William Madsen, accused UConn of making false claims to the NCAA for the purpose of firing Ollie “with cause.”

The school had argued that Ollie’s transgressions were serious and that his individual contract superseded those union protections.

Ollie’s lawyers had argued that white coaches, including Hall-of-Famers Jim Calhoun and women’s coach Geno Auriemma, had also committed NCAA violations, without being fired, and indicated they were planning to file a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The school and Ollie said in a joint statement Thursday they were settling “to avoid further costly and protracted litigation.”

Both sides declined to comment further.

Ollie, who faced three years of restrictions from the NCAA on becoming a college basketball coach again, is currently coaching for Overtime Elite, a league that prepares top prospects who are not attending college for the pros.

Dream’s McDonald returning to Arizona to coach under Barnes

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TUCSON, Ariz. — Atlanta Dream guard Aari McDonald is returning to Arizona to work under coach Adia Barnes.

The school announced that McDonald will serve as director of recruiting operations while continuing to fulfill her WNBA commitments. She will oversee all recruiting logistics, assist with on-campus visits, manage recruit information and social media content at Arizona.

McDonald was one of the best players in Arizona history after transferring from Washington as a sophomore. She was an All-American and the Pac-12 player of the year in 2020-21, leading the Wildcats to the national championship game, which they lost to Stanford.

McDonald broke Barnes’ single-season scoring record and had the highest career scoring average in school history before being selected by the Dream with the third overall pick of the 2021 WNBA draft.

South Carolina, Staley cancel BYU games over racial incident

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina and women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley have canceled a home-and-home series with BYU over a recent racial incident where a Cougars fan yelled slurs at a Duke volleyball player.

The Gamecocks were scheduled to start the season at home against BYU on Nov. 7, then play at the Utah campus during the 2023-24 season.

But Staley cited BYU’s home volleyball match last month as reason for calling off the series.

“As a head coach, my job is to do what’s best for my players and staff,” Staley said in a statement released by South Carolina on Friday. “The incident at BYU has led me to reevaluate our home-and-home, and I don’t feel that this is the right time for us to engage in this series.”

Duke sophomore Rachel Richardson, a Black member of the school’s volleyball team, said she heard racial slurs from the stands during the match.

BYU apologized for the incident and Richardson said the school’s volleyball players reached out to her in support.

South Carolina said it was searching for another home opponent to start the season.

Gamecocks athletic director Ray Tanner spoke with Staley about the series and supported the decision to call off the games.