Late Night Snacks: Tip-Off Marathon begins with a top-ten team losing

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GAME OF THE DAY: Miami 69, No. 8 Florida 67

Not many people counted on Miami to deliver the night’s biggest victory, but thanks to an unbelievable second-half performance from point guard Angel Rodriguez, the Hurricanes charged back and earned a road win over a top-10 team.  Rodriguez’s absurdly tough game-winning three-pointer with 16 seconds left was as tough as they come and he finished with 24 points. The junior scored 22 of those 24 points in the last nine minutes of the game and essentially carried Miami to victory.

Rob Dauster has more on this game here.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. No. 14 Iowa State 81, Georgia State 58

This was a six-point game at halftime that quickly got out-of-hand in the second frame as the Cyclones finally got out in transition and started knocking down perimeter shots. The Iowa State defense also did a nice job of containing the Panthers’ perimeter firepower and overall this was a nice early-season win for Fred Hoiberg’s team.

I have more on this game here.

2. Winthrop 77, Clemson 74

The Tigers dropped an early home game despite holding Winthrop to 38 percent shooting and outrebounding them 46-29. So how did Clemson blow this one? Sixteen turnovers will certainly help with that and it didn’t help that Brad Brownell’s team also shot 23 percent (3-for-13) from three-point range. Wintrhop, meanwhile only turned the ball over six times and used a team-high 19 points off the bench from guard Keon Johnson. This is a pretty bad loss for Clemson, especially since many considered Winthrop to be a middle-of-the-pack team in the Big South this season.

3. Temple 82, Louisiana Tech 75

Playing a very tough Conference USA favorite at home is no easy contest and Temple picked up a solid win on Monday by holding off Louisiana Tech. Despite a game-high 26 points from Raheem Appleby, Temple moved to 2-0 on the season thanks in-part from its ability to get to the free-throw line. The Owls went to the charity stripe 49 times on Monday and converted 34 of those and it aided a Temple offense that struggled from three-point range. Will Cummings and Quenton DeCosey each finished with 20 points to pace the Owls.

STARRED

1. Monte Morris, Iowa State

One of the most efficient players in the country, the sophomore point guard had 17 points, nine assists, five rebounds and zero turnovers for the Cyclones in the win over Georgia State. Morris also shot an efficient 7-for-9 from the field and always seemed to make the correct decision with the ball in his hands.

2. D’Angelo Harrison, St. John’s

With St. John’s trailing 50-43 at the half to Division II Franklin Pierce, the guard put the team on his back, scoring 31 points and grabbing 17 rebounds in a 91-83 win.

3. Angel Rodriguez, Miami

Besides the game-winning three-pointer, the junior guard and Kansas State transfer had 22 of his 24 points in the last night minutes in a road win over No. 8 Florida.

STRUGGLED

1. Ryan Harrow, Georgia State

The senior point guard had a night to forget as he went 6-for-22 from the field and struggled against Iowa State’s defense. Some players have bad shooting nights because they miss makeable looks, but Harrow was forcing way too many contested shots on Monday.

2. Kasey Hill, Florida

The sophomore point guard finished with only two points on 1-for-9 shooting and was thoroughly outplayed by his counterpart, Angel Rodriguez. Hill badly needs to improve his perimeter jumper to keep defenders honest.

3. The Washington State Cougars

In a 27-point loss on the road at TCU, Ernie Kent’s ballclub only shot 35 percent from the field and was soundly outplayed for the entire game. Even worse, the Cougars were 39 percent from the free-throw line as they went 11-for-28 on the evening.

NOTABLES

  • A fun mid-major battle went to overtime as Florida Gulf Coast outlasted UC Santa Barbara 81-75. Mid-major stars Brett Comer (FGCU) and Alan Williams (UCSB) both put on a show as Comer had 28 points and 11 assists while Williams had 29 points and 16 rebounds.
  • Western Carolina guard James Sinclair finished with 31 points in a loss to Alabama. The 6-foot-3 Sinclair also had 20 points in a loss to Mississippi State earlier this season.
  • Junior forward Jake Wiegand led UIC with 28 points and 11 rebounds in a close home win over Western Illinois.
  • Dez Wells went for 27 points in Maryland’s win over Central Connecticut State.
  • Texas Pan American sophomore big man Janari Joessar had 17 points, 18 rebounds and six blocks in a win over UT San Antonio.
  • Eastern Michigan senior forward Karrington Ward finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds in a win over Oakland. He also nearly ended a life dunking on someone.

Bubbles brewing with season on horizon

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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

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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

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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

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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.

UConn’s Tyrese Martin granted waiver to play this season

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn swingman Tyrese Martin, who transferred from Rhode Island in April, has been granted a waiver that will allow him to play for the Huskies this season.

The 6-foot-6 junior averaged 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds and started every game last season for URI, where he was recruited by current UConn coach Dan Hurley.

NCAA rules require undergraduate transfers to sit out a season, but the organization has been more lenient in granting waivers during the pandemic.

Martin, 21, is expected to compete for playing time at UConn on the wing as both a guard and small forward.