Oklahoma State’s Travis Ford explains how he reacted to Marcus Smart shoving incident

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Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford spoke at Sunday evening’s press conference regarding Marcus Smart’s suspension following a shoving incident involving Texas Tech “superfan” Jeff Orr.

On Tuesday morning Ford appeared on ESPNU’s Katz’s Korner with host Andy Katz to discuss more specifically the situation which unfolded on Saturday evening with six second remaining in the Cowboys’ third consecutive loss.

Kelly Hines, of the Tulsa World, transcribed the interview on Tuesday afternoon.

Ford declined to comment on the specifics of what was said to Smart, citing that he was not there to hear it firsthand. He was also unaware that Smart was in an altercation with a fan. The Oklahoma State bench was at the far end of the court during that incident, and Ford was under the impression, even after discussing it with an official, that Smart had shoved an opposing player on the floor.

“But I know a lot of people are saying I should have done this or should have done that, but I had six seconds left,” Ford told Katz. “I had to get the guys (together) who were actually out there. I took Marcus out, got our security guy with him and I had to regroup our guys who were actually in the game, trying to figure out how to end the game and give ourselves an opportunity to win it. There were still six seconds left, so there was still time for us to make a shot if they missed free throws. … But once I saw it – because I did not see it until even after my press conference – I saw what had happened. … Once I saw the tape, he was very, very calm as he fouled the guy and fell into kind of the cameraman and into the fans a little bit. He was still very calm because there were a couple of fans who actually helped him up and he was very calm, and then all of a sudden you could see something was said and he just turned around in a split second and made a major, major mistake.”

Many questioned as to why Smart wasn’t ejected from the game, though Big 12 officials do not have the authority to do so. That’s why Smart remained on the floor. As Ford said, there was still time for an unlikely comeback especially after Jaye Crockett made it a two-possession game with a pair of free throws. Fans stormed the floor immediately as the buzzer sounded while Smart was still on the floor, upset over the events that occurred moments earlier.

Three days later, Ford admits he should have sent Smart to the locker room in hindsight.

“Yes, we could have taken him straight to the locker room and probably should have at that point,” Ford told ESPNU. “He was not thrown out of the game. … I took him out of the game at that particular time. Now should we have taken him on to the locker room, right now looking at it, yes.”

Oklahoma State begins its first of three games without Smart on Tuesday night against No. 15 Texas.

Arizona PF Ira Lee cited for DUI

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Tuesday afternoon it was announced that Arizona sophomore power forward Ira Lee was been cited for driving under the influence on Saturday.

Lee was ultimately released, and according to the Arizona Daily Star he faces misdemeanor charges for failing to yield at an intersection, driving under the influence as a minor (Lee is 20 years old) and extreme DUI involving a blood-alcohol content above .20. Lee is set to be arraigned on September 10.

In a release the Arizona basketball program announced that the incident has been referred to the Dean of Students for review and “the Athletics Department is reviewing the incident for team consequences.”

As a freshman Lee served as a reserve behind starters Deandre Ayton and Dusan Ristic in the Arizona front court, averaging 2.4 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.2 minutes per game. With Ayton and Ristic both off to the professional ranks, Lee is expected to be a key contributor in an Arizona front court that includes transfers Chase Jeter (Duke; sat out last season) and Ryan Luther (Pittsburgh), sophomore Emmanuel Akot and freshman Omar Thielemans.

Loyola celebrity nun Sister Jean celebrating 99th birthday

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CHICAGO (AP) — Sister Jean is celebrating her 99th birthday months after gaining national attention as chaplain of the Loyola-Chicago basketball team that reached the NCAA Final Four.

The university held a campus party with students and school staffers Tuesday for Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt. The Catholic nun became a celebrity last March for her fandom and for praying before each game for her Ramblers — and for their opponents.

Schmidt says her health is better some days than others as she’s been recovering since last year from a broken hip. She received a number 99 basketball jersey and a birthday cake frosted in the team’s maroon and gold colors.

Players say they’re still inspired by her example.

Ramblers guard Marques Townes describes her simply as “Genuine, sincere, passionate, loving, caring, sweetheart.”

NC State PG Blake Harris granted immediate eligibility

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When former Missouri point guard Blake Harris transferred to NC State in January, the expectation was that he would not be eligible to compete until the end of the fall semester. However that will not be the case, as Tuesday afternoon NC State announced that Harris has been granted immediate eligibility.

Harris started nine of the 14 games in which he played at Missouri, averaging 3.8 points and 3.1 assists in just under 14 minutes per game. The addition of the former 4-star prospect gives NC State head coach Kevin Keatts additional depth and talent at the point, which is key given the up-tempo, pressure style the Wolfpack generally play.

In addition to Harris, NC State will also be able to call upon sophomore Braxton Beverly and junior Markel Johnson, with those two being part of a team that won 21 games and reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015 last season.

In total NC State will have three transfers from Division I schools eligible to compete in 2018-19, with guards Devon Daniels (Utah) and C.J. Bryce (UNCW) ready to go after sitting out last season.

One player who will not be available for the Wolfpack this season is forward Manny Bates, with it being announced that he will redshirt after undergoing surgery on his left shoulder. Bates, a 6-foot-11 forward from Fayetteville, North Carolina, dislocated the shoulder in early August.

The NC State front court will be led by newcomers, with grad transfer Wyatt Walker (Samford) and junior college transfer Derek Funderburk among the options.

Xavier lands commitment from four-star big man

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Xavier picked up their third commitment in the Class of 2019, adding an under-the-radar prospect in Zach Freemantle, a 6-foot-9 forward out of New Jersey.

Freemantle currently ranks 129th in 247 Sports composite ranking, but will likely move up after a strong July landed him a handful of high-major offers.

He’ll join Elias King and Daniel Ramsey, two more four-star prospects, in Travis Steele’s first real recruiting class for the Musketeers.

VIDEO: You need to see this Zion Williamson mixtape

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Zion Williamson made waves across the internet over the weekend as we got our first chance to get a glimpse of college basketball’s resident Viral King in Duke’s exhibition trip up to Canada.

So with that in mind, let’s go back and look at Williamson’s mixtape from his senior season of high school. I’ve never seen someone make in-game windmills and between-the-legs dunks look so commonplace.