Jones, Allen lead No. 5 Duke past Bryant, 113-75

Associated Press
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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) No. 5 Duke got together for a team meeting to talk about the flaws in its lopsided season-opening victory.

Then the Blue Devils came out for Game 2 and managed an even bigger rout.

Grayson Allen had a career-high 28 points, Matt Jones scored all of his career-best 19 in the first half, and Duke beat Bryant 113-75 on Saturday night in the 2K Classic.

“We still have to learn from winning,” Allen said, “so we don’t have to lose just to learn.”

Freshman Brandon Ingram had 21 points to help the Blue Devils (2-0) earn their second lopsided win in as many nights.

Amile Jefferson had 11 points and 11 rebounds in his second straight double-double, and freshman Luke Kennard added 11 points for the reigning national champions.

They never trailed, shot 53 percent, hit 13 3-pointers, forced 19 turnovers and turned them into 24 points.

Things almost certainly won’t be this easy next time for Duke: the Blue Devils play No. 2 Kentucky on Tuesday night in the Champions Classic in Chicago.

They picked up easy wins against Siena and Bryant on consecutive nights to start the season, trailing for a total of 10 seconds so far. But Duke admitted it wasn’t at its best against the Saints, and coach Mike Krzyzewski said the team “had a tough feedback tape for about an hour” earlier Saturday morning.

“Our freshmen, I thought, played with much better enthusiasm and more decisiveness than they did” against Siena, Krzyzewski said.

He’ll need even more from them next week: After facing Kentucky, Duke will play Virginia Commonwealth and either No. 17 Wisconsin or Georgetown next weekend in Madison Square Garden.

Jones finished 7 of 9 from the field, hit five of Duke’s eight 3-pointers in the first half, had his career high by the break and only played 3 minutes in the second half as a precaution, Krzyzewski said.

Jones dealt with a groin injury in the preseason. His previous high of 17 points was set against Wake Forest last March in the home finale.

A role player on the team that captured the program’s fifth national title last spring, Jones has become a key scoring threat on a new-look Duke team that lost three freshmen to the first round of the NBA draft and needs its perimeter to provide the scoring punch.

This one certainly didn’t require much effort.

Three players – Jones, Allen and Ingram – cracked double figures by halftime. The Blue Devils scored on 14 of 15 possessions midway through the half to push the lead into double figures to stay, then took a 20-point lead on Allen’s free throw with 2:09 left in the half.

Hunter Ware scored a career-high 24 points to lead Bryant (0-1).

“To be able to score 75 points against a team the caliber of Duke is a good sign for us,” coach Tim O’Shea said.

BOUNCING BACK

Ingram, the biggest name in Duke’s freshman class, finished 7 of 11 from the field and hit four 3-pointers. A night earlier, he shot just 5 of 16 and was 1 of 9 from beyond the arc. “I don’t fault him for (Friday) night,” Krzyzewski said. “You’ve got to learn. A shot fake is a good thing.”

STREAKING

The Blue Devils pushed their winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium against nonconference opponents to 118. They have also won 110 in a row at home against unranked non-ACC opponents.

TIP-INS:

Bryant: The Bulldogs are 1-9 against Atlantic Coast Conference schools with their only win coming against Boston College in 2012-13. They did play Pittsburgh tough in a 72-67 loss on Feb. 2.

Duke: Allen reached 20 points for the second straight night. He had 26 against Siena, and his previous best of 27 – set against Wake Forest last year – was his only other 20-point game.

UP NEXT:

Bryant: Hosts Emerson on Wednesday.

Duke: Plays No. 2 Kentucky on Tuesday in Chicago.

Follow Joedy McCreary at http://twitter.com/joedyap. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/joedy-mccreary

AP college basketball site: http://collegebasketball.ap.org

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.

South Carolina, Staley cancel BYU games over racial incident

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina and women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley have canceled a home-and-home series with BYU over a recent racial incident where a Cougars fan yelled slurs at a Duke volleyball player.

The Gamecocks were scheduled to start the season at home against BYU on Nov. 7, then play at the Utah campus during the 2023-24 season.

But Staley cited BYU’s home volleyball match last month as reason for calling off the series.

“As a head coach, my job is to do what’s best for my players and staff,” Staley said in a statement released by South Carolina on Friday. “The incident at BYU has led me to reevaluate our home-and-home, and I don’t feel that this is the right time for us to engage in this series.”

Duke sophomore Rachel Richardson, a Black member of the school’s volleyball team, said she heard racial slurs from the stands during the match.

BYU apologized for the incident and Richardson said the school’s volleyball players reached out to her in support.

South Carolina said it was searching for another home opponent to start the season.

Gamecocks athletic director Ray Tanner spoke with Staley about the series and supported the decision to call off the games.