Late Night Snacks: No. 13 Kansas beats UNLV, No. 21 Washington falls at Stanford

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GAME OF THE DAY: Indiana State 79, Evansville 75, OT

Evansville looked like a legitimate threat in the Valley after knocking off Northern Iowa earlier in the week, but they went on the road and dropped a tough one to Indiana State. The Sycamores got a monster outing from senior big man Jake Kitchell, as he went for 21 points and 11 rebounds. Kitchell had only scored in double figures twice before Sunday and only had one game with double-digit rebounds. The Purple Aces struggled to convert from the free-throw line in overtime as and Jaylon Moore missed four free throws with under two minutes left for Evansville. Indiana State winning as an under .500 team proves that winning on the road in the Valley is never easy.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. No. 13 Kansas 76, UNLV 61

The Jayhawks erased a four-point halftime deficit, playing better on both ends of the floor in taking care of a young UNLV team at Allen Fieldhouse. Frank Mason III led five Jayhawks in double figures with 18 points to go along with seven assists (two turnovers) and four rebounds. Kansas shot 60 percent from the field in the second half, scoring nearly 1.4 points per possession, and they also limited UNLV to 34.5% shooting from the field in the game’s final 20 minutes. Cody Doolin and Christian Wood scored 12 apiece to lead the way for the Runnin’ Rebels.

2. No. 8 Arizona 73, Arizona State 49: Sean Miller changed up his starting lineup on Sunday night, moving Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Elliot Pitts into a starting role over Stanley Johnson and Gabe York. The result? A blowout win over the Sun Devils, with Johnson, Hollis-Jefferson and Brandon Ashley leading the way with 13 points apiece.

3. Old Dominion 61, Charlotte 54

The Monarchs moved to 12-1 as they won their Conference USA opener on the road. Despite an off-day from Trey Freeman (5-for-14 shooting, 14 points), Old Dominion had a balanced effort on the offensive end and held the 49ers to 6-for-17 shooting from the 3-point line.

4. Colorado 86, USC 65

Colorado has been a bit of an early-season disappointment but they shot 55 percent from the field to pick up an easy home Pac-12 win over USC. The Buffaloes are now 2-0 in league play and have some momentum going into a huge stretch which features back-to-back-to-back road games at Utah, Arizona and Arizona State. Askia Booker paced Colorado with 18 points while Dustin Thomas and Xavier Johnson each had 17 points.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 4 Wisconsin his 12 threes in a 23-point win at Northwestern.
  • No. 10 Utah rolled to a 71-39 win over UCLA, with their defense limiting the Bruins to 28.8% shooting from the field. One UCLA player who can’t wait to get home: Bryce Alford, who shot 2-for-26 from the field in losses at Colorado and Utah.
  • No. 16 Wichita State put four players in double-figures, led by 15 from Ron Baker, as the Shockers knocked off Illinois State, 70-62.
  • No. 23 Northern Iowa rebounded from its loss at Evansville, beating Loyola (IL) 67-58 in Cedar Falls. Jeremy Morgan led the way for the Panthers with 18 points.
  • Stanford completed a home sweep of the Washington school late Sunday with a 68-60 overtime win over No. 21 Washington. Chasson Randle, whose layup in the final seconds of regulation forced overtime, led all scorers with 24 points and Anthony Brown added 16 for the Cardinal. Washington has now lost three in a row and is off to an 0-2 start to conference play.

STARRED

1. Chris Jones, Louisville: 22 points, 10 assists and three steals in a win at Wake Forest. It mattered so much I wrote about it here.

2. Juwan Howard Jr., Detroit

The senior had 26 points, six assists and five rebounds in a Horizon League win over Milwaukee. The remarkably consistent forward has scored in double figures in 15 of 16 games this season for the Titans.

3. Jaylen Bond and Will Cummings, Temple

In an afternoon in which Quenten DeCosey and Jesse Morgan combined to shoot 6-for-23, Bond and Cummings remained productive and efficient as they each went for 21 points in a win over UCF. Bond also added 14 rebounds in the AAC win and the Owls appear to have many different scoring options that can step up when others are having an off night.

4. Adrian Diaz, Florida International

The Golden Panthers earned a win over Florida Atlantic in their C-USA opener as the senior big man had 27 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.

STRUGGLED

1. Bryce Alford, UCLA

Alford once again struggled from the field in UCLA’s 71-39 loss at Utah, shooting 0-for-10 from the field and going scoreless. Alford, UCLA’s leading scorer, shot 2-for-26 in losses to Colorado and Utah.

2. David Kravish, Cal: After scoring a career-high 21 points against No. 21 Washington, Kravish had six points and was 2-for-9 from the floor in a home loss to Washington State. Cal lost to Bakersfield on Dec. 28th as well, two results that will be much-discussed on Selection Sunday.

NOTABLES

  • After taking a leave of absence in late November, Fordham sophomore Jon Severe returned against VCU and scored nine points off the bench. VCU won the game 75-58, with Treveon Graham and Briante Weber scoring 14 points apiece.
  • Tulsa earned an AAC win over Houston as James Woodard and Shaquille Harrison each scored 18 points.
  • A double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds from forward Shane Richards helped Manhattan top Canisius.
  • David Laury had 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead Iona past Siena.
  • After missing out on a win at Stanford, Washington State managed to split the Bay Area road trip with a 69-66 win at Cal. The Cougars snapped an 18-game conference road losing streak with the win, and sophomore Josh Hawkinson tallied another double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Kentucky moves scrimmage to Eastern Kentucky for flood relief

Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK
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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky will play its annual Blue-White men’s basketball scrimmage in Eastern Kentucky to benefit victims of the devastating summer floods.

The school announced that the Oct. 22 event at Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville will feature a pregame Fan Fest. Ticket proceeds will go through Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief.

Wildcat players will also participate in a community service activity with local organizations in the relief effort.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said the team was excited to play for Eastern Kentucky fans and added, “We hope we can provide a temporary escape with basketball and community engagement.”

The scrimmage traditionally is held at Rupp Arena. It will occur eight days after its Big Blue Madness public workout at Rupp.

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times/USA TODAY NETWORK
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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky coach Kyra Elzy says freshman Tionna Herron is recovering from open-heart surgery to correct a structural abnormality.

The 6-foot-4 post player learned of her condition after arriving at school in June and received other opinions before surgery was recommended. Senior trainer Courtney Jones said in a release that Herron underwent surgery Aug. 24 at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and is recovering at home in DeSoto, Texas.

Elzy said Herron “is the definition of a warrior” and all are grateful to be on the other side of the player’s surgery. Herron is expected back on campus early next month and will continue rehabilitation until she’s cleared to return to normal activity.

“Her will and determination to eventually return to the court is inspiring, and it’s that `game-on’ attitude that is what makes her such a perfect fit in our program,” Elzy said in a release. “We are so thrilled for Tionna’s return to our locker room; it’s not the same without our full team together.”

Herron committed to Kentucky during last fall’s early signing period, rated as a four-star prospect and a top-70 player in last year’s class. Kentucky won last year’s Southeastern Conference Tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament’s first round.

Emoni Bates charged with 2 felonies

Joe Rondone/USA TODAY NETWORK
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SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, Mich — Emoni Bates, a former basketball prodigy who transferred to Eastern Michigan from Memphis, was charged with two felonies after police found a gun in a car during a traffic stop.

The 18-year-old Bates failed to stop at an intersection Sunday night and a search turned up the weapon, said Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the Washtenaw County sheriff’s office.

Defense attorney Steve Haney told The Associated Press that the vehicle and the gun didn’t belong to Bates.

“I hope people can reserve judgment and understand there’s a presumption of innocence,” Haney said. “This was not his vehicle. This was not his gun. … We’re still gathering facts, too.”

Bates was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and altering identification marks on a firearm. He was released after his lawyer entered a not guilty plea. Bates’ next court hearing is Oct. 6.

“This is his first brush with the law,” Haney said in court. “He poses no threat or risk to society.”

Less than a month ago, the 6-foot-9 Bates transferred to Eastern Michigan to play for his hometown Eagles. Bates averaged nearly 10 points a game last season as a freshman at Memphis, where he enrolled after reclassifying to skip a year of high school and join the class of 2021.

“We are aware of a situation involving one of our student athletes,” EMU spokesman Greg Steiner said. “We are working to gather more details and will have further comment when more information is available.”

Bates was the first sophomore to win the Gatorade national player of the year award in high school basketball in 2020, beating out Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley. Detroit drafted Cunningham No. 1 overall last year, two spots before Cleveland took Mobley in the 2021 NBA draft.

Bates committed to playing for Tom Izzo at Michigan State two years ago, later de-committed and signed with Memphis. Bates played in 18 games for the Tigers, who finished 22-11 under Penny Hardaway. Bates missed much of the season with a back injury before appearing in Memphis’ two NCAA Tournament games.

In 2019, as a high school freshman, the slender and skilled guard led Ypsilanti Lincoln to a state title and was named Michigan’s Division 1 Player of the Year by The Associated Press. His sophomore season was cut short by the pandemic and he attended Ypsi Prep Academy as a junior, his final year of high school.

UConn to pay Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million over firing

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn announced Thursday it has agreed to pay former men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million to settle discrimination claims surrounding his 2018 firing.

The money is in addition to the more than $11.1 million in back salary Ollie has already been paid after an arbitrator ruled in January that he was improperly fired under the school’s agreement with its professor’s union.

“I am grateful that we were able to reach agreement,” Ollie said in a statement Thursday. “My time at UConn as a student-athlete and coach is something I will always cherish. I am pleased that this matter is now fully and finally resolved.”

Ollie, a former UConn point guard who guided the Huskies to a 127-79 record and the 2014 national championship in six seasons as head coach, was let go after two losing seasons. UConn also stopped paying him under his contract, citing numerous NCAA violations in terminating the deal.

In 2019, the NCAA placed UConn on probation for two years and Ollie was sanctioned individually for violations, which the NCAA found occurred between 2013 and 2018. Ollie’s attorneys, Jacques Parenteau and William Madsen, accused UConn of making false claims to the NCAA for the purpose of firing Ollie “with cause.”

The school had argued that Ollie’s transgressions were serious and that his individual contract superseded those union protections.

Ollie’s lawyers had argued that white coaches, including Hall-of-Famers Jim Calhoun and women’s coach Geno Auriemma, had also committed NCAA violations, without being fired, and indicated they were planning to file a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The school and Ollie said in a joint statement Thursday they were settling “to avoid further costly and protracted litigation.”

Both sides declined to comment further.

Ollie, who faced three years of restrictions from the NCAA on becoming a college basketball coach again, is currently coaching for Overtime Elite, a league that prepares top prospects who are not attending college for the pros.

Dream’s McDonald returning to Arizona to coach under Barnes

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TUCSON, Ariz. — Atlanta Dream guard Aari McDonald is returning to Arizona to work under coach Adia Barnes.

The school announced that McDonald will serve as director of recruiting operations while continuing to fulfill her WNBA commitments. She will oversee all recruiting logistics, assist with on-campus visits, manage recruit information and social media content at Arizona.

McDonald was one of the best players in Arizona history after transferring from Washington as a sophomore. She was an All-American and the Pac-12 player of the year in 2020-21, leading the Wildcats to the national championship game, which they lost to Stanford.

McDonald broke Barnes’ single-season scoring record and had the highest career scoring average in school history before being selected by the Dream with the third overall pick of the 2021 WNBA draft.