Late Night Snacks: No. 22 SMU, No. 23 Syracuse fall

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GAME OF THE DAY: Charlotte 106, Penn State 97 (2OT)

A John Johnson three-pointer in the final seconds of regulation forced overtime, but the Nittany Lions ultimately dropped this Gildan Charleston Classic quarterfinal. Florida transfer Braxton Ogbueze scored 26 and center Mike Thorne Jr. added 23 and 16 rebounds to lead the way for the 49ers, who are looking to win an in-season tournament for the second consecutive year (they won the Puerto Rico Tipoff last year). Penn State’s D.J. Newbill played all 50 minutes, finishing with 35 points and eight rebounds.


1. Indiana 74, No. 22 SMU 68

The Hoosiers welcomed back the suspended Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson (Emmitt Holt did not get into the game), but the star was freshman guard James Blackmon Jr. Blackmon hit five three-pointers, finishing the game with 26 points to go along with seven rebounds. Williams was Indiana’s most productive reserve, scoring 11 points in 23 minutes of action. SMU shot nearly 57 percent from the field, but they also turned the ball over 19 times and that cost them in the end.

2. California 73, No. 23 Syracuse 59

The Golden Bears executed well against the Syracuse zone, assisting on nearly 77 percent of their made baskets on the night. Jordan Mathews scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half, and a late first half stretch in which the Golden Bears hit four three-pointers turned a close game into a 12-point Cal lead at the half. As for Syracuse, they’ve got a lot to work on offensively, as Trevor Cooney continues to struggle shooting the basketball and Kaleb Joseph has yet to find his bearings as the point guard.

3. No. 10 Texas 71, Iowa 57

Texas struggled in the first half, trailing the Hawkeyes by six at the break. But Rick Barnes’ team turned it on in the second half, outscoring the Hawkeyes by 20 with Jonathan Holmes scoring 17 of his 19 points in the final session. Isaiah Taylor finished with 15 points for Texas, who will play California in the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic Friday night.


1. Mike Thorne Jr. (Charlotte) 

23 points (9-for-15 FG) and 16 rebounds in the 49ers’ 106-97 double overtime win over Penn State.

2. Bryce Alford (UCLA)

28 points (8-for-14 FG), 13 assists and just one turnover in UCLA’s 107-74 win over Nicholls State. And he did this after barely practicing in the days prior due to a strained hip flexor.

3. Chris Hass (Bucknell)

Hass scored 32 points, shooting 9-for-12 from the field, in Bucknell’s 72-65 loss at No. 12 Villanova.


1. Bakersfield

While No. 16 San Diego State wasn’t all that good offensively, they did limit the Roadrunners to a Viejas Arena-record 27 points on 12-for-56 shooting from the field (1-for-20 3PT).

2. USC’s starting guards

Julian Jacobs, Jordan McLaughlin and Katin Reinhardt combined to shoot 5-for-23 in the Trojans’ 66-46 loss to Akron.

3. Galal Cancer and Devin Cherry (Cornell)

Cancer shot 2-for-13 from the field and Cherry committed seven turnovers in the Big Red’s 69-45 loss to South Carolina.


  • Ryan Boatright led three starters in double figures with 19 points as No. 17 UConn held off the College of Charleston, 65-57.
  • New Mexico’s 69-65 loss to Boston College could be more costly than anticipated. Starting point guard Cullen Neal suffered a left ankle injury in the second half, and he’s expected to miss the remainder of the Puerto Rico Tipoff.
  • Three days after winning at Clemson, Winthrop was knocked off by Savannah State 59-58. Terel Hall’s three-point play with a second remaining was the difference.
  • Caris LeVert scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds in No. 24 Michigan’s 71-62 win over Detroit. The Wolverines took control of the game with a 16-1 run late in the second half.
  • Terry Larrier scored 21 points in 20 minutes of action in No. 15 VCU’s 106-66 beating of Maryland-Eastern Shore.
  • No. 16 San Diego State didn’t win pretty, beating Bakersfield 51-27, but there was a potentially important development in the game. Malik Pope made his debut, scoring four points in 14 minutes of action. Pope battled injuries throughout his high school career, but he has the skill needed to potentially help the Aztecs offensively.
  • Beejay Anya racked up seven points, eight rebounds and ten blocks in NC State’s 79-43 win over Jacksonville.
  • There was even a conference game Thursday, with Niagara beating Saint Peter’s 61-59. Rayvon Harris scored 19 to lead the Purple Eagles, who are now 1-0 in MAAC play.
  • Devon Scott’s tip-in with nine tenths of a second remaining gave Dayton a 55-53 win over Texas A&M.

Biden celebrates LSU women’s and UConn men’s basketball teams at separate White House events


WASHINGTON – All of the past drama and sore feelings associated with Louisiana State’s invitation to the White House were seemingly forgotten or set aside Friday as President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcomed the championship women’s basketball team to the mansion with smiles, hugs and lavish praise all around.

The visit had once appeared in jeopardy after Jill Biden suggested that the losing Iowa team be invited, too. But none of that was mentioned as both Bidens heralded the players for their performance and the way they have helped advance women’s sports.

“Folks, we witnessed history,” the president said. “In this team, we saw hope, we saw pride and we saw purpose. It matters.”

The ceremony was halted for about 10 minutes after forward Sa’Myah Smith appeared to collapse as she and her teammates stood behind Biden. A wheelchair was brought in and coach Kim Mulkey assured the audience that Smith was fine.

LSU said in a statement that Smith felt overheated, nauseous and thought she might faint. She was evaluated by LSU and White House medical staff and was later able to rejoin the team. “She is feeling well, in good spirits, and will undergo further evaluation once back in Baton Rouge,” the LSU statement said.

Since the passage of Title IX in 1972, Biden said, more than half of all college students are women, and there are now 10 times more female athletes in college and high school. He said most sports stories are still about men, and that that needs to change.

Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex in federally funded education programs and activities.

“Folks, we need to support women sports, not just during the championship run but during the entire year,” President Biden said.

After the Tigers beat Iowa for the NCAA title in April in a game the first lady attended, she caused an uproar by suggesting that the Hawkeyes also come to the White House.

LSU star Angel Reese called the idea “A JOKE” and said she would prefer to visit with former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, instead. The LSU team largely is Black, while Iowa’s top player, Caitlin Clark, is white, as are most of her teammates.

Nothing came of Jill Biden’s idea and the White House only invited the Tigers. Reese ultimately said she would not skip the White House visit. She and co-captain Emily Ward presented team jerseys bearing the number “46” to Biden and the first lady. Hugs were exchanged.

Jill Biden also lavished praise on the team, saying the players showed “what it means to be a champion.”

“In this room, I see the absolute best of the best,” she said, adding that watching them play was “pure magic.”

“Every basket was pure joy and I kept thinking about how far women’s sports have come,” the first lady added, noting that she grew up before Title IX was passed. “We’ve made so much progress and we still have so much more work to do.”

The president added that “the way in which women’s sports has come along is just incredible. It’s really neat to see, since I’ve got four granddaughters.”

After Smith was helped to a wheelchair, Mulkey told the audience the player was OK.

“As you can see, we leave our mark where we go,” Mulkey joked. “Sa’Myah is fine. She’s kind of, right now, embarrassed.”

A few members of Congress and Biden aides past and present with Louisiana roots dropped what they were doing to attend the East Room event, including White House budget director Shalanda Young. Young is in the thick of negotiations with House Republicans to reach a deal by the middle of next week to stave off what would be a globally calamitous U.S. financial default if the U.S. can no longer borrow the money it needs to pay its bills.

The president, who wore a necktie in the shade of LSU’s purple, said Young, who grew up in Baton Rouge, told him, “I’m leaving the talks to be here.” Rep. Garret Graves, one of the House GOP negotiators, also attended.

Biden closed sports Friday by changing to a blue tie and welcoming the UConn’s men’s championship team for its own celebration. The Huskies won their fifth national title by defeating San Diego State, 76-59, in April.

“Congratulations to the whole UConn nation,” he said.

Marquette’s Prosper says he will stay in draft rather than returning to school

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MILWAUKEE — Olivier-Maxence Prosper announced he is keeping his name under NBA draft consideration rather than returning to Marquette.

The 6-foot-8 forward announced his decision.

“Thank you Marquette nation, my coaches, my teammates and support staff for embracing me from day one,” Prosper said in an Instagram post. “My time at Marquette has been incredible. With that being said, I will remain in the 2023 NBA Draft. I’m excited for what comes next. On to the next chapter…”

Prosper had announced last month he was entering the draft. He still could have returned to school and maintained his college eligibility by withdrawing from the draft by May 31. Prosper’s announcement indicates he instead is going ahead with his plans to turn pro.

Prosper averaged 12.5 points and 4.7 rebounds last season while helping Marquette go 29-7 and win the Big East’s regular-season and tournament titles. Marquette’s season ended with a 69-60 loss to Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32.

He played two seasons at Marquette after transferring from Clemson, where he spent one season.

Kansas’ Kevin McCullar Jr. returning for last season of eligibility

kansas mccullar
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Kevin McCullar Jr. said that he will return to Kansas for his final year of eligibility, likely rounding out a roster that could make the Jayhawks the preseason No. 1 next season.

McCullar transferred from Texas Tech to Kansas for last season, when he started 33 of 34 games and averaged 10.7 points and 7.0 rebounds. He was also among the nation’s leaders in steals, and along with being selected to the Big 12’s all-defensive team, the 6-foot-6 forward was a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award.

“To be able to play in front of the best fans in the country; to play for the best coach in the nation, I truly believe we have the pieces to hang another banner in the Phog,” McCullar said in announcing his return.

Along with McCullar, the Jayhawks return starters Dajuan Harris Jr. and K.J. Adams from a team that went 28–8, won the Big 12 regular-season title and was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where it lost to Arkansas in the second round.

Perhaps more importantly, the Jayhawks landed Michigan transfer Hunter Dickinson, widely considered the best player in the portal, to anchor a lineup that was missing a true big man. They also grabbed former five-star prospect Arterio Morris, who left Texas, and Towson’s Nick Timberlake, who emerged last season as one of the best 3-point shooters in the country.

The Jayhawks also have an elite recruiting class arriving that is headlined by five-star recruit Elmarko Jackson.

McCullar declared for the draft but, after getting feedback from scouts, decided to return. He was a redshirt senior last season, but he has another year of eligibility because part of his career was played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a big day for Kansas basketball,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. “Kevin is not only a terrific player but a terrific teammate. He fit in so well in year one and we’re excited about what he’ll do with our program from a leadership standpoint.”

Clemson leading scorer Hall withdraws from NBA draft, returns to Tigers

clemson pj hall
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson leading scorer PJ Hall is returning to college after withdrawing from the NBA draft on Thursday.

The 6-foot-10 forward took part in the NBA combine and posted his decision to put off the pros on social media.

Hall led the Tigers with 15.3 points per game this past season. He also led the Tigers with 37 blocks, along with 5.7 rebounds. Hall helped Clemson finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference while posting a program-record 14 league wins.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell said Hall gained experience from going through the NBA’s combine that will help the team next season. “I’m counting on him and others to help lead a very talented group,” he said.

Hall was named to the all-ACC third team last season as the Tigers went 23-10.

George Washington adopts new name ‘Revolutionaries’ to replace ‘Colonials’

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WASHINGTON — George Washington University’s sports teams will now be known as the Revolutionaries, the school announced.

Revolutionaries replaces Colonials, which had been GW’s name since 1926. Officials made the decision last year to drop the old name after determining it no longer unified the community.

GW said 8,000 different names were suggested and 47,000 points of feedback made during the 12-month process. Revolutionaries won out over the other final choices of Ambassadors, Blue Fog and Sentinels.

“I am very grateful for the active engagement of our community throughout the development of the new moniker,” president Mark S. Wrighton said. “This process was truly driven by our students, faculty, staff and alumni, and the result is a moniker that broadly reflects our community – and our distinguished and distinguishable GW spirit.”

George the mascot will stay and a new logo developed soon for the Revolutionaries name that takes effect for the 2023-24 school year. The university is part of the Atlantic 10 Conference.