Late Night Snacks: San Diego State and BYU engage in double OT thriller; Nova, Zona earn big wins; Indiana upset at home

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source: AP
Aqeel Quinn had a career-high 22 points during San Diego State’s double overtime win over BYU. (AP)

 

GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 15 San Diego State 92, BYU 87, 2 OT

There’s just something about the Maui Invitational. Every year, the tournament produces an instant classic and the finale from the first day of action gave us a double-overtime thriller as the Aztecs outlasted a gritty effort from BYU. This was your classic offense (BYU) vs. defense (San Diego State) focus and San Diego State held on and won despite never trailing in regulation and then falling behind in the first overtime. BYU used tremendous performances from guards Tyler Haws (26 points) and a rejuvenated Kyle Collinsworth (21 points, seven rebounds, six assists, three steals), who looked fully healthy for the first time this season after recovering from a torn ACL suffered only eight months ago. But the Aztecs took the best punch the Cougars had to offer in the first overtime and countered with a game-tying three-pointer from Aqeel Quinn (career-high 22 points) to force a second overtime and the clutch shot energized San Diego State in the second overtime. Winston Shepard had a solid 18-point, 8-rebound performance for the Aztecs and his energy on the defensive end also made a major impact. San Diego State moves on to face Pitt in the semifinals at Maui on Tuesday.

THE OTHER GAME OF THE NIGHT: Eastern Washington 88, Indiana 86

The Hoosiers looked to be off to a solid 4-0 start on the season but fell at home to Eastern Washington for a surprising home loss. Indiana allowed 53 second-half points and Eastern Washington shot 51 percent from the field and had three 20-point scorers as Drew Brandon (27 points), Tyler Harvey (25 points) and Venky Jois (20 points, 14 rebounds, five blocks) all had big games. In order to improve in the Big Ten this season, Indiana has to defend better and allowing 53 points in the second half won’t help that cause. Eastern Washington snapped Indiana’s 43-game home non-conference winning streak with the win and overcame a 12-point second half deficit to earn an impressive road win.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. No. 12 Villanova 77, No. 14 VCU 53

I can’t say I expected this kind of outcome from the Legends Classic in Brooklyn, but the Wildcats looked great in an easy win. JayVaughn Pinkston led four Villanova double-figure scorers with 15 points while Darrun Hilliard added 14. The Wildcats also had some key performances from their bench as Kris Jenkins chipped in 13 points and Josh Hart had 10 points.

2. No. 3 Arizona 72, Missouri 53

This wasn’t the stiffest of tests for the No. 3 Wildcats, but it was nice to see them on national television playing a power conference opponent on a neutral floor. Arizona responded well with a big win as its defense rose to the occasion and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson came off the bench to score 15 points and grab six rebounds. It’ll be a fun matchup of Wildcats when Arizona and Kansas State matchup in the second round of the Maui Invitational on Tuesday.

3. No. 13 Iowa State 84, Alabama 74

The Cyclones beat a talented Georgia State team at home last week, but Monday night’s CBE Hall of Fame Classic semifinal win over Alabama on a neutral site is a solid win. Georges Niang went for a game-high 28 points and sophomore sharpshooter Matt Thomas returned from suspension to give Iowa State 13 points. Monte Morris also added 12 assists while never turning the ball over and he remains one of the country’s most efficient point guards.

STARRED

1. Melo Trimble, Maryland

Maryland needed a star performance from its freshman All-American and the 6-foot-3 Trimble delivered with 31 points in a close win over Arizona State. Trimble was also incredibly efficient, as he shot 7-for-11 from the field, 4-for-6 from three-point range and 13-for-14 from the free-throw line. The Terrapins are off to a 4-0 start.

2. Sterling Gibbs, Seton Hall

The junior guard did everything he could to make sure Seton Hall won the Paradise Jam over Illinois State and did so by scoring 40 points in the Pirates’ 84-80 win. Gibbs scored the 40 points on only 14 field goal attempts as he went 10-for-14 from the floor, 7-for-9 from three-point range and 13-for-13 from the free-throw line.

3. Marcus Foster, Kansas State

In a Kansas State win over Purdue at the Maui Invitational, the sophomore guard went for 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting and 5-for-8 shooting from the three-point line as he made tough shots and clutch shots to put the Boilermakers in the loser’s bracket. Foster facing Arizona tomorrow should be a really interesting matchup because the west coast version of the Wildcats are really defending hard at the moment.

STRUGGLED

1. Savannah State’s offense

Playing on the road at No. 6 Louisville, the Tigers fell behind 29-0 and didn’t score for nearly 16 minutes in the first half. Savannah State eventually lost 87-26 to Louisville. Rick Pitino’s quotes after the game are about the only interesting thing about this one.

2. Purdue center A.J. Hammons

I was hoping we had moved past this point, but Purdue junior center A.J. Hammons provided the inconsistent play we saw at times last season by only scoring six points in 10 minutes of a Maui Invitational loss to Kansas State. Hammons also grabbed only two rebounds and watched much of the game from the bench as true freshman center Isaac Haas thoroughly outplayed him. Hammons needs to be better if Purdue has a chance at playing in the postseason this year.

3. Marquette’s offense

After losing at home to Nebraska-Omaha over the weekend, it very nearly got worse for Marquette on Monday night as they trailed N.J.I.T., 30-28 at the half before rallying for a 62-57 win. The Golden Eagles shot just 35 percent from the field and looked out of sync on offense for much of the evening. After dropping two straight before this near-upset, it doesn’t get any easier for Marquette as its next three games are against Georgia Tech, Wisconsin and Arizona State.

NOTABLES

  • Clemson edged LSU, 64-61 in the Paradise Jam as Demarcus Harrison had 16 points.
  • Travis Trice: real game no gimmicks. The senior point guard led No. 20 Michigan State with a game-high 19 points and eight assists in a 79-52 win over Santa Clara.
  • Xavier freshman wing Trevon Bluiett continues a strong start as he finished with 19 points in a win over Mirray State.
  • The nation’s highest-scoring offense this season so far has been Illinois and the Illini put up 89 more points in an 89-58 win over Brown as guard Aaron Cosby had 18 points.
  • No. 11 Kansas cruised past Rider as Brannen Greene and Perry Ellis each tallied 17 points.
  • Iowa held off Pepperdine as Aaron White went for 17 points, nine rebounds and four steals.
  • LeBryan Nash finished with 19 points and six rebounds to lead Oklahoma State past Oregon State in a battle of unbeatens at the MGM Grand Main Event.
  • Ryan Harrow went for 23 points and R.J. Hunter added 13 points as Georgia State rolled over Chicago State.
  • Memphis earned an easy home win over Prairie View A&M as forward Shaq Goodwin had 16 points on six rebounds on a perfect 6-for-6 from the field.
  • TCU moved to 4-0 on the season as they rolled past Mississippi Valley State. Senior guard Kyan Anderson had 19 points in only 12 minutes of action.
  • MAC Player of the Year candidate Julius Brown led Toledo to a 92-65 win over Bucknell as the senior point guard finished with 20 points, seven assists and four rebounds.
  • Royce O’Neal stuffed the stat sheet for 19 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks as he played 38 minutes and shot 7-for-9 from the field in Baylor’s 67-51 win over Stephen F. Austin.
  • Pitt senior big man Derrick Randall outrebounded Chaminade 21-17 by himself in a Maui Invitational first-round win. Randall also added 10 points and Michael Young had 27 points and 15 rebounds as well for Pitt.

Louisville challenges NCAA over recruiting allegations

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville has refuted NCAA allegations against its men’s basketball program in the wake of a federal corruption scandal, requesting that the highest-level violation be reclassified.

The university also is challenging that former coach Rick Pitino failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance in his program.

Louisville filed a 104-page response last week to the Notice Of Allegations sent to the school in May. The document stated that college sports’ governing body seeks to ignore wire fraud convictions against several people involved in the scheme – including a former Adidas executive – by suggesting they were representing its athletic interests. Louisville’s contract with the apparel maker was a standard sponsorship agreement rather than a promotional deal, the response added.

“This argument is as novel as it is wrong,” the school wrote in its response. “Even if an institution has some responsibility for the conduct of its suppliers, that responsibility plainly does not extend to acts of fraud perpetrated against the institution itself.”

Louisville also seeks to have several second-tier violations reclassified even lower. The NCAA has until Nov. 15 to respond with the school responding 15 days after before a decision is made whether the case will proceed through the traditional Committee on Infractions or Independent Accountability Review Process (IARP).

The NCAA’s Notice of Allegations states that Louisville committed a Level I violation, considered the most severe, with an improper recruiting offer and extra benefits along with several lesser violations. Those lesser violations also include Pitino failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance.

The NCAA notice completed a two-year investigation following a federal corruption probe of college basketball announced in September 2017. Louisville acknowledged its involvement in the federal investigation related to the recruitment of former player Brian Bowen II. Pitino, who’s now coaching Iona, was not named in the federal complaint and has consistently denied authorizing or having knowledge of a payment to a recruit’s family.

Louisville has previously indicated it would accept responsibility for violations it committed but would contest allegations it believed were not supported by facts. The school also noted corrective measures taken in the scandal’s immediate aftermath, such as suspending and then firing Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich.

Louisville also dismissed the NCAA’s contention that former Adidas executive James Gatto and amateur league director Merl Code represented the school while funneling illegal payments to recruits at several schools.

“The enforcement staff’s remaining allegations lack factual support and overread the relevant Bylaws,” the response stated, “and rest on the erroneous contention that the conspirators were representatives of the University’s athletics interests.

“For these reasons and others set forth, the panel should reject the enforcement staff’s dramatically overbroad theory, and classify this case as involving a Level II-Mitigated violation.”

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

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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.