Late Night Snacks: Wichita State mounts furious comeback on Alabama, Myles Turner has big night for Texas

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 11 Wichita State 53, Alabama 52

Trailing 51-40 with 5:54 remaining, the No. 11 Shockers mounted a furious comeback and didn’t allow a field goal for the rest of the game. Darius Carter’s dunk off of a Fred VanVleet pass with 12 seconds left gave Wichita State 23 straight home wins as the Shocker press wrecked havoc on Alabama’s offense the last five minutes of the game. Carter paced Wichita State with 16 points.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. Marquette 78, Arizona State 71

It was the debut for Marquette’s new transfer big man, Luke Fischer, and the Wisconsin native made a big impact in his homecoming with 19 points, nine rebounds and five blocks on 9-for-11 shooting from the field. JaJuan Johnson added 22 points and Duane Wilson chipped in 19 as the Golden Eagles looked like a different team with a talented big man in the middle.

2. Northern Arizona 73, St. Mary’s 71

This game ended in wild fashion as the Lumberjacks made two field goals in the last 10 seconds to earn a strong road victory over St. Mary’s. Quinton Upshur scored the game-winning layup with two seconds left after a turnover Aaron Bright. Upshur finished with 26 points in the win. This is a really bad loss for St. Mary’s, especially at home and when Brad Waldow put up 25 points, 15 rebounds and five assists.

3. VCU 78, Belmont 51

Let me make something clear, VCU should win this game against Belmont at home. But topping Belmont by 27 points is an impressive feat, even without Craig Bradshaw on the floor for the Bruins. The Rams forced 17 turnovers and held Belmont to 37 percent shooting as the VCU bench came through in the scoring column. Freshman forward Justin Tillman had 16 points while sophomore guard JeQuan Lewis contributed 13 points to pace the Ram offense.

STARRED

1. Houston’s Jherrod Stiggers

The Cougars had a close game against Houston Baptist but Stiggers put them over the hump with 33 points in the win.

2. Texas’ Myles Turner

Jahlil Okafor had a monster night on Monday and Turner, a fellow McDonald’s All-American, followed suit on Tuesday in a 106-61 win over Lipscomb. The big man finished with 26 points, nine rebounds and six blocks for the Longhorns.

STRUGGLED

1. North Carolina’s Marcus Paige

North Carolina won with ease, 79-56, over UNC Greensboro, but Paige once again had a tough time finding his own offense. The junior went 1-for-8 from the field and finished with five points and two assists on the evening.

2. Wichita State’s Tekele Cotton

The Shockers could have used the senior guard as another perimeter option in a tight win over Alabama, but Cotton went 0-for-6 from the field and finished scoreless.

3. Alabama’s Ricky Tarrant and Rodney Cooper

Alabama’s second- and third-leading scorers combined for only 11 points on 5-for-15 shooting (1-for-8 from three) in a loss at Wichita State. The duo usually combine to average a little over 26 points per game.

NOTABLES

  • Buddy Hield had 16 points in 21 minutes for No. 15 Oklahoma in a win over Oral Roberts as the junior went 6-for-10 from the field and 3-for-5 from three-point range.
  • No. 3 Arizona cruised past Oakland, 101-64, as Stanley Johnson led five Wildcats in double figures with 18.
  • Buffalo forward Justin Moss had 16 points and 10 rebounds in the Bulls’ 80-70 win over Drexel.
  • In a matchup of solid mid-majors, Sam Houston crushed Eastern Washington, 76-52 as guard Jabari Peters finished with 16 points.
  • After losing 116-12 to Southern last season, Champion Baptist College recruited better for the 2014-15 season and only lost 114-50 on Tuesday.
  • Division II King University certainly wasn’t afraid to play Marshall. King actually led briefly in the second half before the Thundering Herd rallied for a 90-76 win.
  • Payton Henson scored 20 points as Tulane got past Savannah State, 75-67.
  • East Tennessee State picked up a solid road win over Eastern Kentucky as senior guard Rashawn Rembert finished with 30 points, including 9-for-17 shooting from beyond the three-point line.

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.