Late Night Snacks: No. 2 Kentucky, No. 5 Duke win comfortably

Associated Press

GAME OF THE DAY: Radford 82, Georgetown 80 (2OT)

In the regular season opener for both the Hoyas played a sluggish first half of basketball, doing enough to go into the locker room tied at 33 with the visiting Highlanders. Radford played with confidence throughout, with guard Rashun Davis scoring 28 points with the final three coming on a 25-footer with 1.5 seconds remaining in double overtime. While this is a big win for Radford, Georgetown now has to face the possibility of beginning the season 0-2 with a trip to Maryland set for Tuesday night.


No. 2 Kentucky 87, NJIT 57: John Calipari’s Wildcats didn’t get off to the best start against NJIT, with guards Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray struggling to make shots in the first half. One player who had no such issues was freshman Skal Labissiere, who scored 18 points in the first half (7-for-7 FG) and finished the game with 26 points on 10-for-12 shooting from the field.

Fellow front court starters Derek Willis (11 points) and Marcus Lee (ten points, eight rebounds, three blocks) also played well, and Isaiah Briscoe accounted for 11 points and 12 rebounds in his regular season debut. Damon Lynn, who was saddled with foul trouble in the first half, paced NJIT with 19 points.

Next up for the Wildcats is No. 5 Duke at the Champions Classic.

No. 5 Duke 113, Bryant 75: Grayson Allen picked up where he left off Friday night, scoring 28 points and dishing out six assists as the reigning national champions blew out Bryant. Junior Matt Jones added 19 points, shooting 5-for-6 from three, and freshman Brandon Ingram scored 21 points. Duke shot 53.4 percent from the field and 13-for-26 from beyond the arc, and they also forced 19 Bryant turnovers on the night. Hunter Ware scored 24 points to lead the way for Bryant, but with the turnover count being what it was the Bulldogs saw the gap grow as the game went on.

No. 24 Butler 144, The Citadel 71: Butler scored 92 points in the paint in a game that got out of hand quickly. You can read more about this contest here.

Providence 76, Harvard 64: While he didn’t shoot as well from the field as he would have liked, there’s debating the influence Providence point guard Kris Dunn had on the Friars’ 12-point win over the Crimson. Dunn (11-for-26 FG) filled the box score, finishing with 32 points, six rebounds, five assists, eight steals and two turnovers.

But while Dunn’s night was impressive overall, do not overlook the importance of Rodney Bullock’s 20 points. Providence will need other options to step forward to help Dunn, and Bullock is one possibility. The key: consistency, so if Bullock can build on this outing the Friars will be that much better for it.


Rashun Davis, Radford: Davis accounted for 28 points, four rebounds and five assists in the Highlanders’ double overtime win over Georgetown. Radford was picked to finish fourth in the Big South preseason poll, but if Davis and company can duplicate Saturday’s showing that spot may prove to be too low.

Kris Dunn, Providence: Dunn shot just 11-for-26 from the field but that didn’t stop him from making an impact, as he finished with 32 points, six rebounds, five assists and eight steals.

Jordan Price, La Salle: Price was efficient helping to lead the Explorers to a 78-76 win over Towson, scoring 27 points on 7-for-13 shooting from the field while also grabbing six rebounds. Johnnie Schuler’s three free throws in the final 40 seconds proved to be the difference for Dr. John Giannini’s team.

Quinton Chievous, Hampton: The Pirates may have lost 102-95 to Winthrop but Chievous did his best to keep that from happening, accounting for 29 points, 23 rebounds and three assists in the defeat. Jimmy Gavin scored 26 and Xavier Cooks added 22 and nine rebounds to lead the way for Winthrop.


The Citadel: The process of putting in his full-court press will take Duggar Baucom some time. The Bulldogs fell 144-71 at Butler, giving up 92 points in the paint as Butler shot nearly 64 percent from the field.

Kentucky’s Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray: The fact that Ulis and Murray combined to score 13 points on 4-for-21 shooting didn’t matter Saturday night against NJIT. But these games are about getting better in advance of their big games, the first of which set for Tuesday night against No. 5 Duke in Chicago. Those two will need to be better if Kentucky’s to win that showdown.

Harvard’s Tommy McCarthy: With Siyani Chambers out for the year with a torn ACL, McCarthy is an important player for the Crimson. And even though he did dish out seven assists in their loss at Providence he struggled shooting the ball, making just two of his 13 attempts from the field.

Mississippi Valley State’s Isaac Williams and Rashaan Surles: The Delta Devils’ starting backcourt combined to score four points on 1-for-11 shooting in a 97-51 loss at Nebraska.


  • Colorado State picked up a quality road win Saturday afternoon, as they won 84-78 at Northern Iowa. Gian Clavell, Joe De Ciman and John Gillon scored 16 points apiece to lead the way for the Rams, who shot 65.6 percent from two against a team that limited opponents to 44 percent shooting inside of the arc last season.
  • UMass rallied from a 14-points second half deficit to beat Howard 85-79 in Amherst. At one point in the second half Trey Davis scored ten straight points, finishing with 19 points while Jabarie Hinds added 19 points and eight assists. James Daniel led the Bison with a game-high 30 points.
  • Eli Carter scored 23 points to lead Boston College to a comfortable win over St. Francis-Brooklyn. But the most exciting development for BC fans has to be the play of freshman Jerome Robinson, who finished with 19 points and six rebounds. Keep an eye on him as the season wears on.
  • Jaaron Simmons accounted for 20 points and seven assists ad Ohio beat FGCU 85-75, shooting 7-for-8 from the foul line in the game’s final minute to seal the win. Kenny Kaminski added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Bobcats.
  • James Woodard and Shaquille Harrison combined for 45 points and eight steals as Tulsa beat Central Arkansas 98-81. The Golden Hurricane have one of the better perimeter tandems around in these two upperclassmen, and they’re a big reason why this team should contend in the American Athletic Conference.
  • Jamel Waters racked up 21 points, six rebounds and seven assists to lead Alabama State to an 85-82 win over Virginia Tech, thus spoiling a solid debut for USF transfer Zach LeDay. LeDay led the Hokies with 26 points and 15 rebounds.
  • Jack Gibbs scored 35 points while also grabbing five rebounds and dishing out five assists to lead defending Atlantic 10 regular season champion Davidson to a 90-85 win over UCF. Four starters scored in double figures for the Wildcats, and Adonys Henriquez led UCF with 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
  • Another freshman who had a good night was guard Shake Milton, who scored 17 points off the bench in SMU’s comfortable win over Sam Houston State.
  • Creighton’s newcomers made their presences felt in the Bluejays’ 93-70 win over Texas Southern. Freshman Khyri Thomas scored a team-high 18 points, with classmate Martin Krampelj adding 11 and eight rebounds and transfers Mo Watson Jr. (ten points, seven assists) and Cole Huff (12 points, six rebounds) reaching double figures as well. Isaiah Zierden, who’s battled injuries throughout his career, finished the game with 15 points.

NCAA steering farther and farther away from harsh penalties

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The days of postseason bans and crippling scholarship reductions to punish schools for breaking NCAA rules appear to be winding down.

Memphis was placed on three years of probation earlier this week with a public reprimand and fined for NCAA violations related to the recruitment and short college career of James Wiseman, who is about to start his third season with the Golden State Warriors. The NCAA also wrapped up an investigation of Air Force football for breaking the COVID-19 recruiting quiet period.

No postseason bans or scholarship reductions in either case. The Independent Accountability Review Panel, the NCAA’s outside arm of enforcement, said in its decision in the Memphis case that it did not want to punish current athletes.

That sentiment is widespread in college athletics these days, even with millions of dollars suddenly flowing to athletes from various sources for their celebrity endorsements amid concerns over improper inducements. In fact, it is on the way to being codified: Last month, the Division I Board of Directors adopted three proposals to change the infractions process.

The board also committed to “identifying appropriate types of penalties and modifying current penalty ranges, including identifying potential alternative penalties to postseason bans.”

Trying to predict what those alternatives will be is difficult, but if the goal is to avoid harming athletes and others who were not involved in the violations the options are limited.

“I emphatically believe it’s the wrong direction to go,” said Nebraska law professor Jo Potuto, who spent nine years on the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

“If you’re going to deter, the punishment has to fit the offense, right?” Potuto added. “You’re not going to deter serious violations with penalties that are not perceived to be really serious.”

Since January 2020, there have been at least 45 major infractions cases decided by the NCAA. Of those, at least 15 involved Level I allegations, the most serious and those carrying the most severe penalties; six cases resulted in some kind of postseason ban, with four of them self-imposed.

The Memphis case went through the IARP, which was created in response to the FBI’s investigation of college basketball corruption but is now being discontinued. Sunsetting the IARP was among several recommendations put forth by the NCAA’s Division I Transformation Committee earlier this year and recently adopted by the board.

As college sports moves toward less centralized governance by the NCAA and deregulation in general, the hope is to create a more streamlined enforcement process.

If justice is swift, the thinking goes, it is more likely to be applied fairly.

“The reality is the current system is broken,” said Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner Jim Phillips, a member of the transformation committee. “I think everyone in the association, in the enterprise, understands it. When (an investigation) takes the amount of time that it does now and you start to penalize young men and women that were high school, if not middle school-age (when the violation occurred), it’s not an effective process.”

The IARP is still handling cases stemming from the FBI probe involving Louisville, Arizona, Kansas and LSU. Those have been in the NCAA enforcement pipeline for years. A related case against Oklahoma State did not go through IARP and the Cowboys did end up with a postseason ban.

David Ridpath, a professor at Ohio University and former compliance director for several schools, said even though the IARP failed, NCAA enforcement would be best handled by an independent organization.

“No system is perfect, but if you’re going to have an enforcement system at the end of the day you need to provide basic due-process protections and then you have to be able to consistently punish people,” he said.

In the Memphis case, Wiseman received $11,500 from Hardaway in 2017 while Hardaway was coach at a local high school. Hardaway was hired as Memphis’ coach in March 2018, and Wiseman committed to the Tigers in November 2018.

The NCAA accused Memphis of four Level I and two Level II violations, including lack of institutional control, head coach responsibility and failure to monitor. In the past, those types of allegations could strike fear into athletic directors but probation and fines seem much more likely to be the outcome now instead of the sweeping scholarship sanctions, vacated victories and postseason ban that Southern California received in 2010 for the Reggie Bush improper benefits case. Those penalties set USC football back years.

In the end, the IARP essentially reduced the charges against Memphis and cleared Hardaway of wrongdoing.

While the NCAA is losing sway in the wake of last year’s Supreme Court ruling, with more power being shifted to its member conferences, it also remains clear the schools still want the association to handle enforcement.

But what exactly is being enforced?

Athletes can now be paid for endorsement and sponsorship deals and college sports is still waiting on and hoping for help from federal lawmakers to regulate name, image and likeness compensation.

Plus, as revenue skyrockets for schools at the top of major college sports, the NCAA is trending toward fewer restrictions on what financial benefits can be provided to athletes.

“Until we have clarity and certainty on what schools and boosters and athletes can and can’t do, I think many recognize that it’s dangerous to hand down significant punishments when it’s not clear what you can and can’t do,” said Gabe Feldman, director of the sports law program at Tulane. “And I think unless you have clear rules, it’s hard to harsh punishment.”

Still, punishments directed at schools (fines) and coaches (suspensions) could become steeper and longer, Feldman said.

Potuto said with so much money flowing into the top of college athletics, it is doubtful fines could be large enough to be a true deterrent. While she understands the desire to not have current athletes pay for the sins of previous regimes, loosened transfer rules could mitigate the potential harm.

“I will make one prediction: If there is a move to impose penalties much less frequently in five years there is going to be a move to put them back in,” Potuto said.

Kentucky moves scrimmage to Eastern Kentucky for flood relief

Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK

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

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


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.