Thursday’s Snacks: Ohio State rolls past No. 16 Maryland

2 Comments

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Colorado 98, USC 94 (3OT)

They need three extra sessions to decide things at the Galen Center, with Colorado’s Askia Booker putting forth the best scoring night of his career in his hometown. Booker scored 43 points on the night, shooting 13-for-23 from the field. No other Buffalo scored more than 12 points. As for USC, Katin Reinhardt scored a career-high 35 and Nikola Jovanovic added 30 and nine rebounds in a losing effort.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. Ohio State 80, No. 16 Maryland 56: In a matchup of two of the nation’s best freshmen D’Angelo Russell got the better of Melo Trimble as the Buckeyes rolled in Columbus. Russell accounted for 18 points, 14 rebounds and six assists to help lead the way for Ohio State, with Marc Loving (19 points) and Jae’Sean Tate (16 points, eight rebounds) also playing well. As for Trimble, he missed all eight of his field goal attempts and finished with three points and one assist. But it was a tough night for all of the Terrapins, as Mark Turgeon’s team shot just 31.1% from the field.

2. UCLA 69, No. 11 Utah 59: The Utes picked up their second conference loss of the season, falling to the Bruins at Pauley Pavilion. Norman Powell scored 23 points and Bryce Alford added 14 and seven assists for UCLA, which was blown out in Salt Lake City earlier this month. Utah was a minus-8 in turnover margin and also shot 7-for-22 from three.

3. Cincinnati 70, UConn 58: With Tulsa currently sitting atop the American Athletic Conference standings with an 8-0 record, Thursday’s meeting between the Bearcats and Huskies (with both having three league losses) was an important one. Larry Davis’ Bearcats picked up the win, with Tory Caupain (before he was ejected) and Gary Clark Jr. leading the way. Caupain scored 20 points and Clark Jr. added 12 and ten rebounds for the Bearcats, who are now in sole possession of third place. Ryan Boatright scored 20 of his 22 in the second half for UConn, but it wasn’t enough as they shot 32.8% from the field.

4. No. 1 Kentucky 69, Missouri 53: Twenty up, twenty down for the top-ranked Wildcats as they took care of the Tigers in Columbia. Andrew Harrison scored 15 and twin brother Aaron added 11 to lead the way offensively for Kentucky, while Missouri’s Wes Clark led all scorers with 19. There wasn’t much flow to this game, thanks in large part to a total of 54 personal fouls and 57 free throw attempts, but Kentucky controlled the action for most of the night.

STARRED

1. Kris Dunn, Providence: Dunn posted the first triple-double for a Providence Friar since 2006 (Geoff McDermott), finishing with 27 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in the Friars’ 83-72 win over DePaul.

2. Askia Booker, Colorado: Booker scored 43 points in the Buffaloes’ 98-94 triple overtime win at USC.

3. Belmont: Rick Byrd’s Bruins shot 17-for-24 from three in their 103-82 win over Jacksonville State. Reserve Nick Smith made five threes, and Evan Bradds (the lone starter who didn’t make a three) went for 19 points and 18 rebounds.

4. Stephen Maxwell, CSUN: Maxwell shot 8-for-13 from the field and 12-for-16 from the foul line in the Matadors’ 84-73 loss to Hawaii, finishing with 28 points and 17 rebounds.

STRUGGLED

1. Melo Trimble, Maryland: Trimble accounted for just three points (0-for-8 FG) and one assist in Maryland’s loss at Ohio State.

2. Justin Burrell, Holy Cross: Averaging 10.4 points per game, Burrell missed all six of his shot attempts and went scoreless in the Crusaders’ 64-54 loss at Loyola (MD).

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 3 Gonzaga took care of business, beating Portland 64-46 in Spokane. Big men Przemek Karnowski and Domantas Sabonis combined for 23 points and 22 rebounds, and the Bulldogs limited Portland to 29.5% shooting from the field.

NOTABLES

  • In a game originally scheduled for Tuesday, Michigan State took care of Rutgers 71-51 with Bryn Forbes’ 18 points leading the way offensively.
  • North Florida remains in sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Sun thanks to their 86-67 win over Kennesaw State.
  • In a matchup of two of the best teams in Conference USA, Louisiana Tech handed Western Kentucky its first conference loss in Ruston, 69-56. Those two teams are now 7-1, with UAB a game behind them at 6-2.
  • High Point has now won eight of its last nine games after taking care of Liberty, 72-53. Devante Wallace scored 19 for the winners, making five of seven from beyond the arc.
  • Wofford moved to 8-1 in SoCon play with their 58-42 win over UNCG. And with Mercer holding off Chattanooga in overtime, the Terriers are alone in first place.
  • UMass held off Dayton, 66-64 in Amherst. With the Flyers losing their second conference game, VCU has a tw0-game lead in the loss column in the Atlantic 10.
  • Rodney Pryor went off for Robert Morris in their 87-65 win over Fairleigh Dickinson, making seven three-pointers and finishing with 28 points and 11 rebounds. RMU is tied for first in the NEC with St. Francis-Brooklyn.
  • Georgia Southern remains in sole possession of first in the Sun Belt thanks to their 84-46 win over Appalachian State. Jelani Hewitt led the way with 17 points.
  • Mike Caffey 25 of his career-high 34 points in the second half and overtime of Long Beach State’s 91-85 overtime win at Cal-State Fullerton, with David Samuels chipping in with 22 points and 13 boards. With the win the 49ers tied atop the Big West standings with UC Davis and preseason favorite UC Irvine.

Bubbles brewing with season on horizon

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
4 Comments

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
1 Comment

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

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
7 Comments

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

Getty Images
4 Comments

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

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
4 Comments

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.