Late Night Snacks: No. 14 Iowa beats Minnesota

Leave a comment

GAME OF THE DAY: Monmouth 83, Canisius 82

With Manhattan losing at Fairfield on Saturday the Golden Griffins could have grabbed sole possession of first place in the MAAC with a win at Monmouth. But two three-pointers in the final 14 seconds from Monmouth’s Andrew Nicholas gave the Hawks the upset victory. Nicholas scored a game-high 28 points to lead the way for Monmouth, with Canisius’ Billy Baron scoring 21 points to lead five Golden Griffins in double figures. But Canisius turned the ball over 24 times, leaving the door open for a Monmouth rally.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) No. 14 Iowa 94, Minnesota 73

Fran McCaffery’s team didn’t play its best in the first half but reserve Josh Oglesby picked up the slack, scoring 14 of his 17 points in the game’s first 20 minutes. And in the second half Roy Devyn Marble and Aaron White got going, resulting in a comfortable home win for the Hawkeyes. Michigan and Michigan State are both undefeated in Big Ten play, but the Hawkeyes will also be heard from in the title race.

2) Oregon State 80, Oregon 72

Roberto Nelson scored 22 points to lead four Oregon State players in double figures as the Beavers beat a reeling Oregon squad in Corvallis. Oregon’s starters shot 7-for-35 from the field and as a team the Ducks assisted on just six of their 25 made field goals. It was a game both teams needed to get, and due to their hot start and willingness to share the basketball (19 of their 23 baskets were assisted) Oregon State was able to get the job done. As for Oregon, they’re a team in search of answers but seemingly unsure of where to look for the solutions.

3) Southern Miss 80, Louisiana Tech 71

The Golden Eagles won a key Conference USA matchup in Hattiesburg and rebounding was a big reason why. Donnie Tyndall’s team rebounded nearly 48% of its misses, scoring 22 second-chance points as a result. Daveon Boardingham (20 points) and Michael Craig (17 points) led the way offensively for Southern Miss, which shot 2-for-15 from beyond the arc.

STARRED

1) Andrew Nicholas (Monmouth) 

28 points (10-for-16 FG), two rebounds and two steals in the Hawks’ 83-82 win over Canisius.

2) Anthony Henderson (Bowling Green) 

Shot 7-for-10 from three and scored 27 points to go along with four steals in the Falcons’ 69-64 win at Western Michigan.

3) Christian Standhardinger (Hawai’i) 

Late Saturday night Standhardinger tallied 27 points (11-for-11 FT), 11 rebounds and three steals in the Warriors’ 100-69 win over UC Riverside.

STRUGGLED

1) Rutgers

The Scarlet Knights shot 31.2% from the field in their 77-55 loss at Houston, assisting on just five of their 24 made baskets.

2) Cleveland State

Shot 32.7% from the field and 5-for-21 from three in their 49-46 loss to Wright State. The Raiders weren’t much better, shooting 33.3% overall and 5-for-18 from three.

3) Oregon’s starters

Oregon’s starting five combined to shoot 7-for-35 in their 80-72 loss at Oregon State.

NOTABLES

  • Jerrelle Benimon scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, with Mike Burwell adding 18 points, to lead Towson to a 72-57 win at The College of Charleston.
  • Alec Brown scored 23 points and Keifer Sykes added 21 (19 in the second half) to lead Green Bay to a 69-64 win at UIC, moving to 5-0 in Horizon League play.
  • Iona bounced back from its loss to Canisius, beating Siena 88-74 behind 25 points from Tre Bowman and 20 from Isaiah Williams.
  • Pat Connaughton scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Notre Dame to a 70-63 win over Virginia Tech, ending their three-game losing streak.
  • Kyle Wilson scored 28 points and Josh Herbeck added 18 in Army’s 74-67 win over Bucknell.
  • Two Mitch Bruneel (20 points) free throws with a couple seconds remaining proved to be the difference in Utah Valley’s 52-51 win at Seattle. Dick Hunsaker’s Wolverines currently lead the WAC with a 4-0 record.

Louisville challenges NCAA over recruiting allegations

Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports
Leave a comment

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville has refuted NCAA allegations against its men’s basketball program in the wake of a federal corruption scandal, requesting that the highest-level violation be reclassified.

The university also is challenging that former coach Rick Pitino failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance in his program.

Louisville filed a 104-page response last week to the Notice Of Allegations sent to the school in May. The document stated that college sports’ governing body seeks to ignore wire fraud convictions against several people involved in the scheme – including a former Adidas executive – by suggesting they were representing its athletic interests. Louisville’s contract with the apparel maker was a standard sponsorship agreement rather than a promotional deal, the response added.

“This argument is as novel as it is wrong,” the school wrote in its response. “Even if an institution has some responsibility for the conduct of its suppliers, that responsibility plainly does not extend to acts of fraud perpetrated against the institution itself.”

Louisville also seeks to have several second-tier violations reclassified even lower. The NCAA has until Nov. 15 to respond with the school responding 15 days after before a decision is made whether the case will proceed through the traditional Committee on Infractions or Independent Accountability Review Process (IARP).

The NCAA’s Notice of Allegations states that Louisville committed a Level I violation, considered the most severe, with an improper recruiting offer and extra benefits along with several lesser violations. Those lesser violations also include Pitino failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance.

The NCAA notice completed a two-year investigation following a federal corruption probe of college basketball announced in September 2017. Louisville acknowledged its involvement in the federal investigation related to the recruitment of former player Brian Bowen II. Pitino, who’s now coaching Iona, was not named in the federal complaint and has consistently denied authorizing or having knowledge of a payment to a recruit’s family.

Louisville has previously indicated it would accept responsibility for violations it committed but would contest allegations it believed were not supported by facts. The school also noted corrective measures taken in the scandal’s immediate aftermath, such as suspending and then firing Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich.

Louisville also dismissed the NCAA’s contention that former Adidas executive James Gatto and amateur league director Merl Code represented the school while funneling illegal payments to recruits at several schools.

“The enforcement staff’s remaining allegations lack factual support and overread the relevant Bylaws,” the response stated, “and rest on the erroneous contention that the conspirators were representatives of the University’s athletics interests.

“For these reasons and others set forth, the panel should reject the enforcement staff’s dramatically overbroad theory, and classify this case as involving a Level II-Mitigated violation.”

Bubbles brewing with season on horizon

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
4 Comments

INDIANAPOLIS — With the coronavirus pandemic already forcing changes for college basketball, a bubble may be brewing in Indianapolis.

Indiana Sports Corp. released a 16-page proposal Friday that calls for turning the city convention center’s exhibition halls and meeting rooms into basketball courts and locker rooms. There would be expansive safety measures and daily COVID-19 testing.

The all-inclusive price starts at $90,000 per team and would cover 20 hotel rooms per traveling party, testing, daily food vouchers ranging from $30-$50 and the cost of game officials. Sports Corp. President Ryan Vaughn said the price depends on what offerings teams or leagues choose.

“The interest has been high,” Vaughn said. “I think as conferences figure out what conference and non-conference schedules are going to look like, we’re we’re a very good option for folks. I would tell you we’ve had conversations with the power six conferences, mid-majors, it’s really kind of all over the Division I spectrum.”

Small wonder: The NCAA this week announced teams could start ramping up workouts Monday, with preseason practices set to begin Oct. 14. Season openers, however, were pushed back to Nov. 25 amid wide-ranging uncertainty about campus safety and team travel in the pandemic.

There is already scrambling going on and some of the marquee early-season tournaments have already been impacted.

The Maui Invitational will be moved from Hawaii to Asheville, North Carolina, with dates still to be determined and organizers clear that everyone involved “will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.” The Batttle 4 Atlantis has been canceled. The Cancun Challenge will be held in Melbourne, Florida, not Mexico.

More changes almost certainly will be coming, including what to do with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

“I think we’re past the guesswork on whether we play 20 conference games or more than that,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said Friday. “We’re trying to get everybody set like in terms of MTEs (multi-team events), figuring out when to play the ACC-Big Ten challenge.”

Painter, who was part of the NCAA committee that recommended how to start the season, noted part of the uncertainty stems from differing protocols imposed by campus, city and state officials.

In Indianapolis, Vaughn believes the convention center, nearby hotels, restaurants and downtown businesses, many within walking distance of the venue, could safely accommodate up to 24 teams. The 745,000-square foot facility would feature six basketball courts and two competition courts.

Anyone entering the convention center would undergo saliva-based rapid response testing, which would be sent to a third-party lab for results. Others venues could be added, too, potentially with more fans, if the case numbers decline.

If there is a taker, the event also could serve as a dry run for the 2021 Final Four, also slated for Indy.

“It’s not going to hurt,” Vaughn said. “I can tell you all the planning we’re doing right now is the same for a Final Four that’s been scheduled here for any other year. But it would be nice to have this experience under our belt to see if it can be done.”

Maui Invitational moving to North Carolina during pandemic

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Maui Invitational is moving to the mainland during the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the premier preseason tournaments on the college basketball schedule, the Maui Invitational will be played at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

Dates for the tournament announced Friday have yet to be finalized. The NCAA announced Wednesday that the college basketball season will begin Nov. 25.

This year’s Maui Invitational field includes Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV.

All teams, staff, officials, and personnel will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.

Burton eligible at Texas Tech after 2 seasons at Wichita State

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
7 Comments

LUBBOCK, Texas — Junior guard Jamarius Burton has been granted a waiver from the NCAA that makes him eligible to play this season for Texas Tech after starting 52 games the past two seasons for Wichita State.

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard announced the waiver Thursday, which came five months after Burton signed with the Big 12 team.

Burton has two seasons of eligibility remaining, as well as a redshirt season he could utilize. He averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 assists per game as a sophomore at Wichita State, where he played 67 games overall.

Burton is from Charlotte. He helped lead Independence High School to a 31-1 record and the North Carolina Class 4A state championship as a senior there.

NCAA season set to open day before Thanksgiving

Getty Images
4 Comments

The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball season will begin on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving.

The Division I Council voted Wednesday to push the start date back from the originally scheduled Nov. 10 as one of several precautions against the spread of coronavirus.

The later start date coincides with the decision most schools made to send students home from Thanksgiving until January out of concern about a potential late-fall and early-winter flareup of COVID-19. Closed campuses could serve as a quasi bubble for players and provide a window for non-conference games.

The maximum number of regular-season games has been reduced from 31 to 27. The minimum number of games for consideration for the NCAA Tournament was cut from 25 to 13.

Teams can start preseason practices Oct. 14 but will be allowed to work out 12 hours per week beginning Monday.

No scrimmages against other teams or exhibitions are allowed.

In other action, the council voted to extend the recruiting dead period for all sports through Dec. 31. In-person recruiting is not allowed during a dead period, though phone calls and other correspondence are allowed.

The men’s and women’s basketball oversight committees had jointly recommended a start date of Nov. 21, which would have allowed for games to be played on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The council opted not to do that to avoid a conflict with regular-season football games.

The council is scheduled to meet again Oct. 13-14 and could delay the start date and change other pieces of the basketball framework if circumstances surrounding the virus warrant.