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.

Purdue’s Edey returning to school at NBA draft deadline; Kentucky’s Tshiebwe stays in

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Purdue’s Zach Edey decided it was the right call to go back to school instead of staying in the NBA draft. His predecessor as national player of the year, Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe, is sticking with his pro pursuit.

And Connecticut’s reign as NCAA champion will begin with multiple starters having left for the NBA draft and one returning after flirting with doing the same.

The 7-foot-4 Edey and UConn guard Tristen Newton were among the notable names to announce that they were withdrawing from the draft, the NCAA’s deadline for players who declared as early entrants to pull out and retain their college eligibility.

Edey’s decision came in social media posts from both the center and the Boilermakers program that earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament behind Edey, The Associated Press men’s national player of the year.

But Tshiebwe announced late in the afternoon that he would remain in the draft after a college career that included being named the AP national player of the year in 2022.

For the current champions, Newton (10.1 points, 4.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds) is returning after being one of four Huskies to declare for the draft after a run to UConn’s fifth national championship in early April. He scored a game-high 19 points to go with 10 rebounds in the victory over San Diego State in the title game.

The others were Final Four Most Outstanding Player Adama Sanogo, wing Jordan Hawkins and versatile guard Andre Jackson Jr. Sanogo (17.8 points) and Hawkins (16.3) have made it clear they have closed the door on their college careers, while team spokesman Phil Chardis said that Jackson (6.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists) would remain in the draft.

The Huskies have 247sports’ No. 3-ranked recruiting class for next year to restock the roster, led by McDonald’s All-American point guard Stephon Castle.

The NBA’s withdrawal deadline is June 12, but is moot when it comes to college players returning to school due to the NCAA’s earlier timeline to retain playing eligibility.


TREY ALEXANDER: Creighton gets back a 6-4 guard who averaged 13.6 points and shot 41% from 3-point range in his first full season as a starter.

ADEM BONA: The 6-foot-10 forward and Pac-12 freshman of the year is returning to UCLA after starting 32 games as a rookie and averaging 7.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks – with coach Mick Cronin praising his toughness for “competing through multiple injuries for as long as he could” in a statement Wednesday.

EDEY: He averaged 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 assists while shooting 60.7% from the field. His presence alone helps Purdue be a factor in the Big Ten race.

JOSIAH-JORDAN JAMES: The 6-6 guard went through the NBA G League Combine and had workouts with multiple teams before opting to return to Tennessee for a fifth season alongside teammate Santiago Vescovi.

JUDAH MINTZ: The 6-3 freshman averaged 16.3 points and 4.6 assists for Syracuse, ranking third among Division I freshmen in scoring behind only Alabama’s Brandon Miller and Lamar’s Nate Calmese.

OWLS’ RETURNEES: Florida Atlantic got good news after its surprise Final Four run with the return leading scorers Johnell Davis (13.8) and Alijah Martin (13.4). ESPN first reported their decisions, while Martin later posted a social media statement.

TERRENCE SHANNON JR.: Illinois got a big boost with Shannon announcing his night in a social media post. The 6-6 guard is returning for a fifth college season after averaging 17.2 points.

SPARTANS’ RETURNEES: Michigan State announced that guards Jaden Akins and A.J. Hoggard have withdrawn from the NBA draft. Standout guard Tyson Walker had previously withdrawn in April, setting up Tom Izzo to have five of his top scorers back.


KOBE BROWN: Missouri’s 6-8 swingman opted against returning for a fifth college season after being an AP first-team all-Southeastern Conference pick averaging 15.8 points last season.

JAYLEN CLARK: The third-year UCLA guard averaged 13.0 points and 6.0 rebounds while leading the Pac-12 with 2.6 steals en route to being named Naismith national defensive player of the year. Cronin called him a winner with strong intangibles who made UCLA “a better program because he chose to be a Bruin.”

BRICE SENSABAUGH: The Ohio State freshman averaged 16.3 points and 5.4 rebounds in 31 games before missing his final two in the Big Ten Tournament due to a knee injury. He’s a potential first-round prospect.

TSHIEBWE: The 6-9, 260-pound forward is a tough interior presence who led the country in rebounds for two straight seasons (15.1 in 2022, 13.7 in 2023) while racking up 48 double-doubles. But he faces an uncertain next stop and is projected at best as a second-round prospect.

North Carolina transfer Caleb Love commits to Arizona

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Caleb Love is now headed to Arizona.

The North Carolina transfer tweeted, less than a month after decommitting from Michigan, that he will play next season with the Wildcats.

“Caleb is a tremendously talented guard who has significant experience playing college basketball at a high level,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said in a statement. “We look forward to helping Caleb grow his game at Arizona. And as we near the completion of the roster for the upcoming season, we feel great about how everything has come together. Now it’s time for the real work to start.”

A 6-foot-4 guard, Love averaged 14.6 points and 3.3 assists in three seasons at North Carolina. He averaged 17.6 points in seven NCAA Tournament games, helping lead the Tar Heels to the 2022 national championship game.

Love entered the transfer portal after leading North Carolina with 73 3-pointers as a junior and initially committed to Michigan. He decommitted from the Wolverines earlier this month, reportedly due to an admissions issue involving academic credits.

Love narrowed his transfer targets to three schools before choosing to play at Arizona over Gonzaga and Texas.

Love will likely start on a team that will have dynamic perimeter players, including Pelle Larsson, Kylan Boswell and Alabama transfer Jaden Bradley.

Biden celebrates LSU women’s and UConn men’s basketball teams at separate White House events


WASHINGTON – All of the past drama and sore feelings associated with Louisiana State’s invitation to the White House were seemingly forgotten or set aside Friday as President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcomed the championship women’s basketball team to the mansion with smiles, hugs and lavish praise all around.

The visit had once appeared in jeopardy after Jill Biden suggested that the losing Iowa team be invited, too. But none of that was mentioned as both Bidens heralded the players for their performance and the way they have helped advance women’s sports.

“Folks, we witnessed history,” the president said. “In this team, we saw hope, we saw pride and we saw purpose. It matters.”

The ceremony was halted for about 10 minutes after forward Sa’Myah Smith appeared to collapse as she and her teammates stood behind Biden. A wheelchair was brought in and coach Kim Mulkey assured the audience that Smith was fine.

LSU said in a statement that Smith felt overheated, nauseous and thought she might faint. She was evaluated by LSU and White House medical staff and was later able to rejoin the team. “She is feeling well, in good spirits, and will undergo further evaluation once back in Baton Rouge,” the LSU statement said.

Since the passage of Title IX in 1972, Biden said, more than half of all college students are women, and there are now 10 times more female athletes in college and high school. He said most sports stories are still about men, and that that needs to change.

Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex in federally funded education programs and activities.

“Folks, we need to support women sports, not just during the championship run but during the entire year,” President Biden said.

After the Tigers beat Iowa for the NCAA title in April in a game the first lady attended, she caused an uproar by suggesting that the Hawkeyes also come to the White House.

LSU star Angel Reese called the idea “A JOKE” and said she would prefer to visit with former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, instead. The LSU team largely is Black, while Iowa’s top player, Caitlin Clark, is white, as are most of her teammates.

Nothing came of Jill Biden’s idea and the White House only invited the Tigers. Reese ultimately said she would not skip the White House visit. She and co-captain Emily Ward presented team jerseys bearing the number “46” to Biden and the first lady. Hugs were exchanged.

Jill Biden also lavished praise on the team, saying the players showed “what it means to be a champion.”

“In this room, I see the absolute best of the best,” she said, adding that watching them play was “pure magic.”

“Every basket was pure joy and I kept thinking about how far women’s sports have come,” the first lady added, noting that she grew up before Title IX was passed. “We’ve made so much progress and we still have so much more work to do.”

The president added that “the way in which women’s sports has come along is just incredible. It’s really neat to see, since I’ve got four granddaughters.”

After Smith was helped to a wheelchair, Mulkey told the audience the player was OK.

“As you can see, we leave our mark where we go,” Mulkey joked. “Sa’Myah is fine. She’s kind of, right now, embarrassed.”

A few members of Congress and Biden aides past and present with Louisiana roots dropped what they were doing to attend the East Room event, including White House budget director Shalanda Young. Young is in the thick of negotiations with House Republicans to reach a deal by the middle of next week to stave off what would be a globally calamitous U.S. financial default if the U.S. can no longer borrow the money it needs to pay its bills.

The president, who wore a necktie in the shade of LSU’s purple, said Young, who grew up in Baton Rouge, told him, “I’m leaving the talks to be here.” Rep. Garret Graves, one of the House GOP negotiators, also attended.

Biden closed sports Friday by changing to a blue tie and welcoming the UConn’s men’s championship team for its own celebration. The Huskies won their fifth national title by defeating San Diego State, 76-59, in April.

“Congratulations to the whole UConn nation,” he said.

Marquette’s Prosper says he will stay in draft rather than returning to school

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MILWAUKEE — Olivier-Maxence Prosper announced he is keeping his name under NBA draft consideration rather than returning to Marquette.

The 6-foot-8 forward announced his decision.

“Thank you Marquette nation, my coaches, my teammates and support staff for embracing me from day one,” Prosper said in an Instagram post. “My time at Marquette has been incredible. With that being said, I will remain in the 2023 NBA Draft. I’m excited for what comes next. On to the next chapter…”

Prosper had announced last month he was entering the draft. He still could have returned to school and maintained his college eligibility by withdrawing from the draft by May 31. Prosper’s announcement indicates he instead is going ahead with his plans to turn pro.

Prosper averaged 12.5 points and 4.7 rebounds last season while helping Marquette go 29-7 and win the Big East’s regular-season and tournament titles. Marquette’s season ended with a 69-60 loss to Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32.

He played two seasons at Marquette after transferring from Clemson, where he spent one season.

Kansas’ Kevin McCullar Jr. returning for last season of eligibility

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Kevin McCullar Jr. said that he will return to Kansas for his final year of eligibility, likely rounding out a roster that could make the Jayhawks the preseason No. 1 next season.

McCullar transferred from Texas Tech to Kansas for last season, when he started 33 of 34 games and averaged 10.7 points and 7.0 rebounds. He was also among the nation’s leaders in steals, and along with being selected to the Big 12’s all-defensive team, the 6-foot-6 forward was a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award.

“To be able to play in front of the best fans in the country; to play for the best coach in the nation, I truly believe we have the pieces to hang another banner in the Phog,” McCullar said in announcing his return.

Along with McCullar, the Jayhawks return starters Dajuan Harris Jr. and K.J. Adams from a team that went 28–8, won the Big 12 regular-season title and was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where it lost to Arkansas in the second round.

Perhaps more importantly, the Jayhawks landed Michigan transfer Hunter Dickinson, widely considered the best player in the portal, to anchor a lineup that was missing a true big man. They also grabbed former five-star prospect Arterio Morris, who left Texas, and Towson’s Nick Timberlake, who emerged last season as one of the best 3-point shooters in the country.

The Jayhawks also have an elite recruiting class arriving that is headlined by five-star recruit Elmarko Jackson.

McCullar declared for the draft but, after getting feedback from scouts, decided to return. He was a redshirt senior last season, but he has another year of eligibility because part of his career was played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a big day for Kansas basketball,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. “Kevin is not only a terrific player but a terrific teammate. He fit in so well in year one and we’re excited about what he’ll do with our program from a leadership standpoint.”