SATURDAY’S SNACKS: No. 2 Kansas, No. 5 Virginia win

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 19 West Virginia 87, Kansas State 83 (2OT)

If this game was any indicator of things to come, the Big 12 regular season is going to be ridiculous once again. The Mountaineers held on for the road win in the Octagon of Doom as Jaysean Paige had 25 points and seven rebounds. More on this one here.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 2 Kansas 102, No. 23 Baylor 74: Two days before their showdown with No. 2 Oklahoma the Jayhawks made a major statement in their Big 12 opener, blowing out Baylor in Lawrence. The favorites to win the Big 12 (again), the Jayhawks showed why they’ll likely be the top team in the national rankings Monday.

No. 3 Oklahoma 87, No. 11 Iowa State 83: The Cyclones led for much of the game but were unable to hang on in Norman. Lon Kruger’s Sooners remain undefeated ahead of their showdown with Kansas Monday night, and they have a senior guard who struggled in their last game in Isaiah Cousins to thank for it.

No. 6 Xavier 88, No. 9 Butler 69: Convincing Big East home win for the Musketeers, who played without talented freshman Edmond Sumner. CBT’s Rob Dauster has more on why this bounce-back win was so important for Xavier.

Texas Tech 82, Texas 74: Everyone keeps asking if Tubby Smith’s Red Raiders are for real and this was one of their better wins of the season. Texas Tech is now 11-1 as Devaugntah Williams had 23 points and was 13-for-13 from the free-throw line.

STARRED

Bucknell’s Chris Hass: Hass was incredible in the Bison’s win at Army-West Point, scoring 40 points. He scored 32 on 11-for-11 shooting from the field in the first half.

Wisconsin’s Zak Showalter: The Badgers defeated Rutgers for a Big Ten home win as the sophomore guard was 8-for-8 from the field for 21 points on the afternoon. Showalter was 4-for-4 from 3-point range.

LSU’s Ben Simmons: Simmons went off in the Tigers’ win at Vanderbilt, scoring 36 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.

STRUGGLED

Texas players not named Isaiah Taylor: The Longhorns lost to Texas Tech as Taylor (35 points, six assists) didn’t get much help from his teammates. The rest of the Texas roster was 14-for-38 (36 percent) from the field and 2-for-8 from the free-throw line.

Syracuse’s Michael Gbinije: Gbinije struggled with the matchup with Miami’s Angel Rodriguez, shooting 3-for-14 from the field (ten points) and committing eight turnovers in the 64-51 loss.

Temple’s perimeter shooting: After performing well offensively in a win at No. 22 Cincinnati earlier in the week, the Owls struggled in a blowout loss to Houston. Temple shot 3-for-23 from beyond the arc on the day.

OTHER TOP 25 RESULTS

  • No. 1 Michigan State rebounded from its loss at Iowa with a 69-61 win at Minnesota. Bryn Forbes scored 20 points to lead the way for the Spartans, who competed with greater intensity than they did Tuesday night.
  • Melo Trimble scored 24 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out eight assists to lead No. 4 Maryland to a 72-59 win at Northwestern.
  • No. 5 Virginia began its quest for another finish atop the ACC regular season standings with a 77-66 win over Notre Dame in Charlottesville. Malcolm Brogdon scored 24 points and Anthony Gill 21 for Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers.
  • It was a tight game for about 35 minutes and then No. 7 North Carolina used some late runs to knock off Georgia Tech. Brice Johnson had 16 points, 11 rebounds and Joel Berry had 19 points and some key late buckets.
  • No. 10 Kentucky rolled past Ole Miss in its SEC opener 83-61. Tyler Ulis scored 20 points and Jamal Murray 18 for the 11-2 Wildcats.
  • Kris Dunn tallied 26 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three steals as No. 12 Providence beat St. John’s 83-65. Ben Bentil added 20 points and nine rebounds.
  • JaQuan Newton hit two key three-pointers in the second half as No. 13 Miami beat Syracuse, 64-51. Sheldon McClellan led the Hurricanes offensively with 22 points on the afternoon.
  • Expect to see Iowa in the polls come Monday. After beating No. 1 Michigan State earlier in the week the Hawkeyes won at No. 14 Purdue, erasing a 17-point halftime deficit to win 70-63.
  • Brandon Ingram compiled 25 points, nine rebounds, three assists and one poster dunk as No. 15 Duke won 81-64 at Boston College. In total four Blue Devils scored in double figures.
  • No. 16 Villanova moved to 2-0 in Big East play with an 85-71 win at Creighton. Josh Hart scored 25 points and Daniel Ochefu added 19 and seven boards for the Wildcats.
  • No. 17 SMU moved to 13-0 with a comfortable home win over USF. The Mustangs did it without guard Keith Frazier, who missed the game for personal reasons.
  • Jalen Jones scored 28 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead No. 20 Texas A&M to a 92-69 win over Arkansas in the SEC opener for both.
  • No. 22 Cincinnati rebounded from its home loss to Temple earlier in the week with a 76-57 win over Tulsa. All ten Bearcats who played in the game scored, with Farad Cobb (21 points) being the lone player in double figures.
  • No. 24 South Carolina moved to 13-0 on the season with a ten-point win over Memphis. Sindarius Thornwell led three in double figures with 18 points.

NOTABLE RESULTS

  • To begin the day, Seton Hall held off DePaul for a home Big East win as Isaiah Whitehead had 18 points, nine assists.
  • Playing without senior guard Caris LeVert, Michigan got hot in the first half and ran past Penn State. Mark Donnal had 16 points and eight rebounds to continue a strong recent stretch of play.
  • Houston moved to 2-0 in the American and 12-2 overall with a blowout road win at Temple. Rob Gray Jr. had 23 points and six assists in the win.
  • Clemson followed up its College Football Playoff win with a home basketball win over Florida State as Jordan Roper had 23 points.
  • Alabama, Clemson’s opponent in the College Football Playoff next week, also found success on the hardwood with an easy win over Norfolk State. Retin Obasohan had 23 points.
  • In the Bruce Pearl Bowl, Auburn outlasted Tennessee as Kareem Canty had 20 points.
  • Georgetown moved to 2-0 in Big East play with an 80-70 win over Marquette that wasn’t as close as the final margin would lead one to believe. Marcus Derrickson led the way with 16 points and six rebounds.
  • DeAndre Bembry hit a big shot in the game’s final minute to give Saint Joseph’s a close win at Richmond in the A-10 opener for two teams hoping to contend for the league title.
  • Also winning their A-10 openers were Dayton and Rhode Island, with the Flyers limiting Duquesne to 33.8 percent shooting and URI blowing out Saint Louis.
  • LSU won its SEC opener at Vanderbilt, beating the Commodores 90-82 in Nashville. Ben Simmons had 36 points and 14 rebounds.
  • In a matchup of the two teams expected to compete for the SWAC crown, Texas Southern blew out Southern 88-66.
  • UT-Arlington moved to 11-2 on the season with a 92-72 win over Georgia Southern. Scott Cross’ team scored 50 points in the second half to pull away at home, and Kevin Hervey finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds.
  • Florida beat Georgia 77-63 in Gaineville, with KeVaughn leading five Gators in double figures with 18 points.
  • St. Bonaventure took care of Davidson, beating the Wildcats 97-85 in Olean. Jaylen Adams led five Bonnies in double figures with 30 points.
  • UConn held off Tulane in New Orleans, beating the Green Wave by a final score of 75-67. Rodney Purvis scored 20 points and Daniel Hamilton added 19 and nine rebounds.
  • Gonzaga came back from 17 down in the second half to win 102-94 at San Francisco. Domas Sabonis went for 35 and 14 rebounds and Kyle Wlitjer added 30 for the Bulldogs.

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

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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

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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

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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.