Late Night Snacks: Champions Classic caps 2014 Tip-Off Marathon


GAME OF THE DAY: UMass 77, Manhatta 68 (OT)

Overtime was forced by this play. The Minutemen were set to close out a victory in regulation until a miscue on the in-bound pass gave Manhattan the ball under the hood. Steve Masiello, who had drawn up had baseline out-of-bounds that baffled the UMass defense, caught a break when the officials had to check the monitor for the correct time, giving him time to draw up a play that left Rich Williams streaking down the middle for a two-handed alley-oop. Although, UMass’ inside presence was too much, as Cady Lalanne finished with his third double-double: 23 points and 16 rebounds.

OTHER GAME OF THE DAY: Northern Iowa 79, Stephen F. Austin (OT)

Another early morning game had a fantastic finish with 11 ties and 23 lead changes, with five of those coming in the final four minutes of overtime. Demetrius Floyd had is layup attempt roll off the rim, which would have forced a second overtime. Not only does Northern Iowa score a quality non-conference road victory, the Panthers snap Stephen F. Austin’s 34 home game-winning streak.

OTHER OTHER GAME OF THE DAY: Boise State 72, Montana 67 (2OT)

Derrick Marks missed a potential game-winning shot at the end of regulation. Anthony Drmic played hero in the first overtime with a 3-pointer for Boise State to tie the score at 59 with under 30 seconds. Marks and Drmic accounted for nine of the Broncos’ 13 second overtime points to pull out the win.


No. 1 Kentucky 72, No. 5 Kansas 40

A statement win for the top-ranked team, two days after struggling to put away Buffalo. The Kentucky frontline was too much for the Kansas big men, as the Wildcats collected 11 blocks as a team. To put that in perspective, the Jayhawks had 11 field goals on the night. The Kentucky defense held the Kansas starting five to 8-of-36 and the entire team to under 20 percent shooting. Kentucky’s depth was on display, which was a scary glimpse of what could be a season-long trend.

No. 4 Duke 81, No. 19 Michigan State 71

The Duke freshmen showed up in their first real test as the Blue Devils never trailed in a win over No. 19 Michigan State. Jahlil Okafor, picked as the preseason player of the year, proved to be a load down while Coach K got contributions from Justise Winslow, Tyus Jones and Quinn Cook. Michigan State struggled with Navy on Friday night, and clearly cut the lead down enough to make a real threat at Duke on Tuesday. The good news: outside of Notre Dame, Tom Izzo will have some time to get his team ready for Big Ten play.

No. 11 Wichita State 71, Memphis 56: Gregg Marshall lost the scoring prowess of Cleanthony Early but Fred VanVleet, Ron Baker and Tekele Cotton led the charge, proving to be one of the best perimeter attacks in the country. Wichita State hasn’t lost a regular season game in 33 tries. Memphis, on the other hand, has a lot of work to do. The guards were shaky and the frontline, which needs to steady the ship, still has its questions to solve.

No. 16 San Diego State 63, No. 25 Utah 59: The Aztecs offense was great. But it’s defense was, holding Utah’s star wing, Delon Wright, to only five points (all of which came with 40 seconds left) and forced 18 turnovers. Defense will carry San Diego State as it figures out how to get more pop offensively.

No. 15 VCU 87, Toledo 78

Briante Weber had a dazzling season debut with 18 points, eight boards, seven assists to no turnovers and nine, yes, nine steals. He was the spark plug for the Rams to pull away. He was the definition of Havoc, single-handedly ending multiple fastbreak opportunities for Toledo and he set up teammates for good looks while hitting 3-of-4 threes. If he can play like this, Shaka Smart has a dangerous team in front of him.


1) Duke freshmen: Jahlil Okafor made his presence felt early. Justise Winslow ended up doing this. And Tyus Jones scored all of his points after halftime. In all, the three freshmen starters combined for 49 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.

2) Briante Weber, VCU: The senior guard made his season debut with 18 points, eight rebounds, seven assists (no turnovers) and nine steals. He was the game-changer in VCU’s 87-78 win over MAC favorite Toledo.

3) Ron Baker, Wichita State: Didn’t score his first four points until the final minute of the first half, but it got the ball rolling as he scored 19 of game-high 21 points. He also stuffed the stat sheet with six assists, five rebounds, two steals and a block.


1) Memphis guards: We knew the new-look Memphis perimeter would take its lumps, but in a neutral site contest against one of the premier back courts in the country, the Tigers looked far from a tournament team. Kedren Johnson, Markel Crawford and Pookie Powell combined for 1-for-9 shooting, three points, only one assists to 10 turnovers.

2) Delon Wright, Utah: The talented wing didn’t score until 40 seconds remaining, ended with five points off 2-of-13 shooting in Utah’s loss to San Diego State. He wasn’t the only one to have struggle scoring in this rock fight.

3) Kansas frontline: The length of both Kentucky platoons forced the Kansas big men into a dismal night. Perry Ellis, Cliff Alexander and Jamari Traylor accounted for 14 points (4-of-19 shooting), 17 rebounds. They also accounted for several Kentucky blocks.

TOP 25

  • No. 4 Duke 81, No. 19 Michigan State 71
  • No. 9 Virginia 75, South Carolina State 55
  • No. 11 Wichita State 71, Memphis 56
  • No. 15 VCU 87, Toledo 78
  • No. 16 San Diego State 63, No. 25 Utah 59
  • No. 20 Ohio State 74, Marquette 63
  • No. 21 Nebraska 82, Central Arkansas 56


  • Northeastern, the favorite in the CAA, upset Florida State, 76-73. After dropping 23 in a win over Boston University on Sunday, David Walker went for 22 points against the Seminoles. Aaron Thomas led all scorers with 24.
  • Four Buckeyes scored in double figures — Kam Williams (15), Amir Williams (12), Sam Thompson and Marc Loving (10) — in Ohio State’s 74-63 win over Marquette.
  • Texas Tech missed its final seven shots of regulation, made an errant pass to Tim Quarterman, who tied the score, Robert Turner had 13 second and settled for a step-back three despite missing all five shots in the second half. LSU prevailed, 69-64, in overtime.
  • Cady Lalanne now has three double-doubles in three games for UMass; went for 23 points and 16 boards against Manhattan.
  • Dennis Mavin’s layup with five seconds left pushed FIU past Stetson, 53-52.
  • Wofford, the Southern Conference favorite beat MAAC favorite Iona in the 7 a.m. game.
  • Xavier defeated Long Beach State, 97-74. The 49ers have the most difficult non-conference schedule.
  • Kenny Chery had 20 in Baylor’s 69-65 win over South Carolina.
  • Craig Ponder led all scorers with 26 as UNC Wilmington topped in-state foe UNC Greensboro.
  • While you were sleeping:

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times/USA TODAY NETWORK

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

1 Comment

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

Michael Hickey/Getty Images

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

Getty Images

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

Getty Images
1 Comment

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.