No. 11 Dayton’s program in a good spot heading into next season

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The run came to an end on Saturday night, as No. 11 Dayton ran into top-seeded Florida, who knocked off the Flyers 62-52 while advancing to their first Final Four since 2007.

Dayton never really threatened the Gators, but they kept the score close enough that gamblers had their evening made — or ruined — by a meaningless jumper from Dyshawn Pierre with 19 seconds left. Given how well Florida is playing these days, there are worse things that can be said about the Flyers, especially when you consider the fact that this loss took place in the Elite 8.

That’s not the way that the Flyers wanted to bow out of this tournament. Even Cinderella has their sights set on the Final four when they’re only a game away, which should tell you about how successful this tournament run was for Dayton.

The question now becomes the future of this program, and while they’ll lose Devin Oliver, Vee Sanford and Matt Kavanaugh, the good news is that, for now, Dayton will return the most important part of their program: Archie Miller.

The younger brother of Arizona head coach Sean Miller, the son of a well-known high school coach in Pennsylvania, a product of N.C. State and a former Thad Matta staffer, Archie has the pedigree of a coach destined to be a star. It was only a matter of time until he was going to have his name pop up in every coaching search in the country. A run to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament simply sped up that process, but Dayton put a stop to that movement with a vengeance, locking Miller into a contract extension last Monday.

Along with Miller, the Flyers will return Pierre, their leading scorer, and Sibert, who may actually be their most talented offensive weapon. Throw in sophomore Scoochie Smith and incoming freshmen Darrell Davis and Steve McElvene, and Dayton will have a nice blend of quality experience and talented youngsters. In other words, the direction that this program is heading is a positive one.

Will they be able to replicate the success they had this season anytime soon?

Who knows.

They can probably earn a bid to the tournament next season, but that’s no guarantee that wins over programs like Ohio State, Syracuse and Stanford will happen again.

The bottom line is this: the Flyers will have talent and be well-coached for at least one more year, and as we learned this season, that’s enough to put together a run to the Elite 8.

Bruce Weber receives contract extension at Kansas State

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Kansas State and head coach Bruce Weber have agreed to a two-year contract extension, according to a release from the school.

After leading the Wildcats to a surprising Elite Eight appearance in March, Weber will be the head coach at Kansas State through the 2022-23 season, which gives him another five seasons to work with. Weber will be paid $2.5 million in 2018-19 and he’ll receive a $100,000 increase to his salary in each remaining contract year.

Weber had already signed a two-year extension in August 2017, but this move gives the veteran head coach more job security (and positive recruiting perception) for the next few seasons.

“We are very fortunate to have not only such an outstanding basketball coach but also a man in Coach Weber who conducts his program with integrity and class and is widely respected across the nation,” Kansas State Director of Athletics Gene Taylor said. “Certainly last season was one of the most memorable postseason runs in our program’s history, and we are excited for next season and the years ahead under Coach Weber’s leadership.”

With Kansas State returning most of its roster from last season, including the return of guard Barry Brown from the 2018 NBA Draft process, expectations are sky-high for Weber and the Wildcats this season. Currently ranked as the No. 8 team in the NBCSports.com Preseason Top 25, Kansas State’s veteran club could give Kansas a serious run for a Big 12 regular season title this season.

Northwestern loses incoming freshman point guard

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Northwestern and incoming freshman point guard Jordan Lathon are parting ways. The 6-foot-4 Lathon was viewed as a potential candidate to replace Bryant McIntosh at lead guard for the Wildcats this season, but Northwestern has reportedly revoked his offer of admission and basketball scholarship.

It is unclear why Lathon was unable to be admitted into Northwestern, but the school’s VP for University Relations, Alan Cubbage, gave a statement to Inside NU’s Davis Rich and Caleb Friedman.

“Northwestern University has revoked its offers of admission and an athletic scholarship for Jordan Lathon, a recruit for the Northwestern men’s basketball team,” the statement said. “Out of respect for the privacy of the student, the University will have no further public comment.”

Lathon later acknowledged the situation in a tweet explaining to fans that he will no longer be attending Northwestern.

While it is unclear why Lathon and Northwestern are parting ways, other high-major programs are already very interested in bringing in Lathon for next season. Oklahoma State immediately jumped in with a scholarship offer. There is also speculation that Lathon, a native of Grandview, Missouri, could also hear from the in-state Tigers as well.

It’ll be interesting to see where Lathon lands, and how this also affects Northwestern’s point guard situation. The loss of a four-year starter like McIntosh will be tough to fill, especially since Lathon was committed to Northwestern since last June. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Wildcats and head coach Chris Collins seek out a veteran point guard graduate transfer to try and get some immediate help.

Nebraska’s James Palmer Jr. returning to school

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Nebraska received some important news on Friday night as senior guard James Palmer Jr. will be back for next season.

The 6-foot-6 Palmer had tested the NBA draft waters, but he decided to return to the Cornhuskers. After putting up 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game last season, Palmer is expected to be an All-Big Ten candidate once again this season. Palmer shot 44 percent from the floor and 30 percent from three-point range last season.

After transferring in from Miami, Palmer became the Huskers’ go-to scorer last season in helping Nebraska to a 22-win season and NIT appearance.

With Palmer back, Nebraska will have some legitimate expectations for the upcoming season, especially if the team’s second-leading scorer, Isaac Copeland Jr., also returns from the NBA draft process.

Kansas State’s Barry Brown withdraws from NBA Draft

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Kansas State, a preseason top ten team, announced on Friday afternoon that Barry Brown will be returning to school for his senior season.

“Although the process was more than enjoyable, I have decided to withdraw my name from the 2018 NBA Draft,” Brown said in a statement. “Thank you to everyone who supported me, and I am looking forward to finishing my senior season as a Wildcat!”

Brown declared for the draft nearly two months ago. According to Kansas.com, Brown was invited to two workouts with NBA teams but did not get an invite to the NBA Draft Combine last weekend in Chicago. There was not a great chance that he would be drafted had he kept his name in the mix.

A second-team all-Big 12 selection a season ago, Brown averaged 15.9 points, 3.2 boards and 3.1 assists for a team that won 25 games and advanced to the Elite Eight as a No. 9 seed.

Kansas State is currently No. 8 in the NBC Sports preseason top 25.

VIDEO: Deandre Ayton NBA Draft Prospect Profile

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Over the course of the next month, I will be putting together NBA Draft Prospect Profiles for our sister site, Pro Basketball Talk, of the most talented and promising prospects from the college ranks.

Today, the first example of those profiles went live. It’s of Deandre Ayton and you can read all of the 1,500 words here. We take a good long look at why he’s the best prospect in the draft and the reasons why he may never actually reach his immense ceiling.

If you’re not into reading, here is a four-minute video breakdown of his strengths, his weaknesses and how he can turn the latter into the former.