Late Night Snacks: West Virginia, Miami win in-season tournament titles

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GAME OF THE DAY: Providence 75, Notre Dame 74

Providence senior forward LaDontae Henton will be asked to do more now that Bryce Cotton and Kadeem Batts have moved on, and to be frank he’s more can capable of taking on the extra responsibilities. The most recent piece of evidence supporting this was provided Sunday afternoon, as Henton scored 38 points on 14-for-19 shooting to lead the Friars to the one-point victory. Tyler Harris added 17 for Providence and Notre Dame was led by Jerian Grant, who finished with 20 points and six assists. All five Notre Dame starters scored in double figures, but Henton’s offensive masterpiece was too much to overcome.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. West Virginia 78, No. 17 UConn 68

Bob Huggins’ Mountaineers are deeper and tougher, and those attributes were on full display at the Puerto Rico Tipoff. Juwan Staten scored 21 points to lead the way offensively, but the big story was the way in which West Virginia’s defensive pressure unnerved the Huskies. UConn committed 19 turnovers, and that combined with their 3-for-17 shooting from three proved to be the difference. Ryan Boatright scored 17 points and Daniel Hamilton added eight for the Huskies, but how they deal with defensive pressure is something that has to improve.

2. Miami 77, Charlotte 58

These two will meet Tuesday night in Charlotte in an unbracketed game of the Gildan Charleston Classic, but that meeting won’t change the fact that the Hurricanes are headed home with the trophy. Sheldon McClellan led five Miami players in double figures with 19 points, and Miami shot better than 62 percent from inside of the arc in the win. Charlotte committed 19 turnovers, but what’s of greater importance to the 49ers is the status of guard Braxton Ogbueze, who injured his knee in the first half and did not return.

3. UMass 75, Florida State 69

Why’s this result important? Two reasons. One, UMass picked up what could prove to be a quality non-conference win for their resume, with Donte Clark and Jabarie Hinds scoring 15 points apiece off the bench and starter Cady Lalanne adding 14 to lead the way. The second reason, and a more important one for both teams: injuries. Florida State played without Devon Bookert, who will need to have his foot operated on to reset a screw, Aaron Thomas left the game due to dehydration (he’s OK and flew back with the team) and freshman Robbie Berwick took a good shot to his nose in the first half (he returned with a protective mask, which he got rid of in the second half).

As for UMass, Derrick Gordon went down with a foot injury in the second half and did not return. Keep an eye on the status of Bookert and Gordon moving forward, as both are important pieces for their respective teams with Bookert being Florida State’s best perimeter shooting option.

STARRED

1. LaDontae Henton (Providence)

38 points on 14-for-19 shooting from the field and a game-saving block of Pat Connaughton in the Friars’ 75-74 win over Notre Dame.

2. A.J. English (Iona)

37 points (11-for-21 FG), eight rebounds, four assists and three steals in Iona’s 78-58 win at North Texas.

3. D’Angelo Russell and Shannon Scott (Ohio State)

Russell tallied 32 points, nine rebounds and five assists in No. 20 Ohio State’s 106-48 whipping of Sacred Heart, and Scott added 11 points and a school-record 16 assists (a record previously held by Aaron Craft).

STRUGGLED

1. Montana State

Granted, they’re a rebuilding team taking on No. 1 Kentucky. But 28 points on 19.7% shooting from the field? Final score: 86-28.

2. Delaware

In their 70-52 loss at Bakersfield the Blue Hens shot 5-for-23 (21.7%) inside of the arc. By comparison, Delaware made seven of its twenty-two three point attempts (31.8%).

3. Olivier Hanlan (Boston College) 

Hanlan scored ten points in the Eagles’ 65-53 loss to Dayton, shooting 5-for-16 from the field and missing all nine of his three-point attempts.

NOTABLES

  • No. 1 Kentucky got off to a slow start offensively in its 86-28 win over Montana State, but the Wildcats did establish a school record for fewest points allowed in the shot clock era.
  • Seton Hall and Illinois State will meet in the title game of the Paradise Jam, as the Pirates took care of Gardner-Webb (85-67) and the Redbirds limited Old Dominion to 45 points (64-45).
  • Danuel House scored 18 points in his debut to lead Texas A&M past New Mexico in Puerto Rico.
  • Norman Powell led five UCLA starters in double figures with 24 points and Kevon Looney produced another double-double (ten points, 11 rebounds) in UCLA’s 77-63 win over Long Beach State.
  • Scott Eatherton scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Northeastern to a 65-51 win over Manhattan, despite the fact that the Huskies committed 23 turnovers.
  • Brad Waldow finished with 28 points and seven rebounds in Saint Mary’s 72-69 win over UC Irvine.
  • Jarvis Summers scored 22 points in Ole Miss’ 80-74 win over Northern Arizona.
  • Guards Noah Robotham (16 points) and Deji Ibitayo (15) led the way for Akron in their 68-63 win over South Carolina.
  • Juan’ya Green tallied 24 points and 11 assists to lead Hofstra to a 93-71 win over Wagner.
  • Freshman guard Tyler Nelson scored 24 points and forward Mike Kirkland Jr. added 20, eight rebounds and six assists in Fairfield’s 80-72 win over South Dakota.
  • Trevor Lacey led NC State to a 68-65 win over South Florida with 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

TOP 25 SCORES

  • No. 1 Kentucky 86, Montana State 68
  • No. 11 Wichita State 105, Newman 57
  • West Virginia 78, No. 17 UConn 68
  • No. 18 Oklahoma 90, Northwestern St. 68
  • No. 20 Ohio State 106, Sacred Heart 48

Bubbles brewing with season on horizon

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
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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

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
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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.