Stony Brook hands No. 13 Washington its first loss of the season

Leave a comment

Through 11 games Lorenzo Romar’s Washington Huskies, picked to finish in the bottom half of the Pac-12 in the preseason poll, was one of college basketball’s biggest surprises as they racked up 11 wins and moved to 13th in the AP poll. With wins over San Diego State and Oklahoma to their credit, Sunday’s matchup with Stony Brook didn’t look to be much of an issue for the Huskies in their final tune-up before the start of Pac-12 play.

However the Seawolves, preseason favorites to win America East, didn’t quit despite trailing by as much as 16 and Steve Pikiell’s team ultimately came back to win 62-57. Jameel Warney, a forward who deserves more national praise than he’s received, banked in a shot with 29.1 seconds remaining to give Stony Brook its first lead of the game. The junior scored 15 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists with fellow forward Rayshaun McGrew adding ten points to go along with a career-high 14 rebounds to lead the way for Stony Brook.

But it was guard Kameron Mitchell, who is averaging just 3.9 points per game on the season, who made some key plays that sparked Stony Brook’s second half rally. Mitchell, who finished the game with 12 points, made three of his four three-pointers during a three-minute stretch in which the Seawolves managed to cut Washington’s lead to 55-52 with just over four minutes left in the game.

And with second-leading scorer Carson Puriefoy struggling from the field, Mitchell’s second-half contributions couldn’t have come at a better time for Stony Brook. Puriefoy, currently averaging 14.6 points per game, shot just 2-for-12 from the field and scored six points Sunday night.

For many teams that kind of performance from a key player would essentially guarantee defeat, but that wasn’t the case for Stony Brook thanks in part to Mitchell’s perimeter shooting.

As for Washington, this wasn’t the best of nights for any of the three players who have been so important for them this season. Guards Andrew Andrews (eight points, seven rebounds and four assists) and Nigel Williams-Goss (ten points, three assists) combined to score 18 points on 8-for-26 shooting, and center Robert Upshaw (ten points, 11 rebounds and four blocks) shot 5-for-13 from the field.

As a team the Huskies shot just 34.3% from the field, marking just the third time this season that they’ve failed to shoot at least 40 percent. While those numbers, and the fact that Stony Brook converted 12 Washington turnovers into 19 points, would make it easy to ask the “what’s wrong with Washington” question the Seawolves deserve the credit for not going away from what they do best despite the 16-point margin.

For programs such as Stony Brook their most important chapter will be written in March, with the goal of an NCAA tournament berth coming down to their ability to win three straight games in the conference tournament. But even with that being the case, their first-ever win over a ranked opponent is one Stony Brook won’t forget anytime soon.

Matt Haarms decides to leave Purdue, enter transfer portal

AP Photo/Michael Conroy
1 Comment

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue center Matt Haarms has entered the transfer portal and intends to play his final college season at another school, coach Matt Painter announced Monday.

The slim, 7-foot-3 Haarms was one of the Big Ten’s top defenders and played a key role during the Boilermakers’ 2019 NCAA Tournament run, when he replaced injured center Isaac Haas in the starting lineup.

But Haarms lost the starting job following a hip injury in December and wound up averaging 8.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2 blocks per game while shooting 52.4% from the field.

He finished fourth on Purdue’s career list for blocks with 210.

Louisville’s Nwora enters NBA draft after All-America season

AP Photo/Richard Shiro
1 Comment

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville forward Jordan Nwora has announced on social media that he will enter the NBA draft.

Nwora was selected to The Associated Press All-America third team as a junior. His decision to turn pro was expected after limited participation in last year’s NBA combine because of a knee injury. He returned to the Cardinals and was named Atlantic Coast Conference preseason player of the year before going on to average 18 points and 7.7 rebounds per game while shooting 44% from the field. The 6-foot-7 Nwora was named to the AP’s All-ACC first team.

The Buffalo, New York, native said on his verified Twitter account that the abrupt end to the season was “heartbreaking and awful” because he believed No. 14 Louisville (24-7) was ready to win the NCAA championship. But he noted that community health and safety should be the priority because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nwora called Cardinal teammates and coaches his family in his post and added, “I will proudly represent Louisville wherever I go.”

Florida guard Scottie Lewis returning for sophomore season

Getty Images
3 Comments

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida guard Scottie Lewis, one of the Southeastern Conference’s top defenders, is returning for his sophomore season.

Lewis made the announcement Monday via social media by saying “we have some unfinished business.”

“My dream of playing in the NBA is still a top priority, but my heart is in Gainesville!” he added. “I am excited for the journey that lies ahead. My story hasn’t even started, and trust me the best is yet to come!”

A McDonald’s All-American in high school, the 6-foot-5 Lewis had been considered a one-and-done prospect when he arrived in Gainesville last summer. But his defensive prowess overshadowed his offensive skills for much of his first collegiate season.

The New Jersey native averaged 8.5 points and 3.6 rebounds to go along with a team-leading 36 blocks. He was second on the team with 36 steals.

He was at his best in SEC play, averaging 9.2 points and shooting 43.6% from 3-point range. He scored a career-high 19 points in the team’s regular-season finale against Kentucky. The postseason was canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Gators (19-12, 11-7 SEC) now await word on a pair of sophomores: point guard Andrew Nembhard and versatile forward Keyontae Johnson.

Nembhard entered the NBA draft last year before withdrawing his name and returning for a second season. Johnson led Florida in scoring this season, averaging 14 points, and was second on the team with 7.1 rebounds. He also led the team with 38 steals.

___

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey declares for the NBA draft

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Kentucky freshman Tyrese Maxey announced on Monday that he will be declaring for the NBA draft and forgoing his final three seasons in college.

Maxey is projected as a lottery pick after averaging 14 points, 4.3 boards and 3.2 assists for the Wildcats this past season. He burst onto the college basketball scene on the first night of the season when he went for 26 points in a win over No. 1 Michigan State during the Champions Classic, and while he was not quite capable of keeping up that pace throughout the season, he did enough to prove himself as a quality pro prospect.

Preseason Top 25 | Coaching Carousel | Early Entry Tracker

Taking a risk on Tyrese Maxey high in the 2020 NBA Draft means betting on the fact that his 29 percent three-point shooting as a freshman had more to do with adjusting to the college level than it does his actual shooting ability. Coming through high school, Maxey had the reputation for being a big-time scorer because of his ability to make deep jumpers off the bounce and because of the way that he can finish around the rim with a variety of floaters and layups.

And while he would show flashes of being the dominant scorer Kentucky needed him to be, the Wildcats late-season surge was a direct result of Immanuel Quickley’s improvement, not Maxey finding consistency. We spent the entire season saying “just wait until Maxey finds his stroke” and he never really did. He needs to be able to make that shot because the rest of his game is somewhat limited. He’s not a natural creator, he’s wired to score more than anything else, and he certainly isn’t an elite athlete by NBA combo-guard standards, although he is a pretty good on-ball defender. He’s also a worker, and by all accounts a great kid and competitor. I think there’s a real chance his ceiling is as a second-unit scorer, but if it all comes together I can see him putting together a career on par with Lou Williams.

Mike Tirico to host NBC Sports’ new daily sports talk show ‘Lunch Talk Live’

NBC Sports
Leave a comment

A new daily sports talk shot called Lunch Talk Live will debut on NBCSN at noon ET on Monday, April 6th.

The show will feature Mike Tirico joined like by special guests every single day, including a lineup of NBC Sports’ on-air personalities, current and former athletes and prominent people in sports media.

The show will focus on how the sports world is navigating the coronavirus pandemic, providing a platform for intelligent discussion on the state of sports and how we, as a society, are adapting to living in this challenging time. the goal is to detail personal stories of how different people from across the sports industry are functioning in the day-to-day.

“In these challenging times, we are all missing sports and the people who make sports memories,” said Tirico. “Hopefully, we can bring a midday connection with some of them to help fill the void.”

“We’re excited to bring viewers fresh programming every day with unique, topical conversations from prominent individuals in all corners of sports,” said Sam Flood, the Executive Producer & President of Production for NBC Sports. “This will be a daily lunch date to share sports and stories we miss during these unique times.”

The show will be an hour long. It will air on weekdays at Noon ET on NBCSN and will be streaming on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Additionally, content will also be provided on the NBC Sports’ YouTube channel as well as other social media platforms.

All episodes of the show will be hosted remotely.

Here is the schedule for the week:

Monday 4/6

12:00p- Justin Leonard // Peter King
12:15p- Cris Collinsworth & Dale Earnhardt Jr
12:30p- Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski
12:40p- Seahawks QB Russell Wilson
12:50p- Jeff Burton & Steve Letarte

Tuesday 4/7

12:15p- Rebecca Lowe & Kathryn Tappen
12:30p- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman
12:40p- NASCAR Driver Denny Hamlin

Wednesday 4/8

12:15p- Al Michaels & Doc Emrick
12:30p- PGA Golfer Justin Thomas
12:50p- Kyle Petty & Dale Jarrett

Thursday 4/9

12:50p- Keith Jones & Eddie Olczyk

Friday 4/10

12:15p- Michele Tafoya & tbd
12:40p- Dan Hicks & Paul Azinger
12:50p- Robbie Mustoe & Robbie Earle