SATURDAY’S SNACKS: Virginia, Iowa State lose to unranked teams; Melo’s 3 buries Wisconsin

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GAME OF THE DAY: USC 103, No. 7 Arizona 101 (4OT)

The preseason favorites to win the Pac-12 were swept in Los Angeles, with the two losses coming by a total of five points. Saturday night Arizona lost on two Elijah Stewart free throws with 22.3 seconds remaining in the fourth overtime, capping a wild back and forth affair and a huge victory for Andy Enfield’s growing program.

USC’s now 3-1 in the Pac-12 (and should be 4-0), so could “next year” be now for the young Trojans? Arizona dropped to 1-2 in the Pac-12 with the loss.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 3 Maryland 63, Wisconsin 60: Melo Trimble’s magical 3-pointer from deeeeep lifted the Terps past the Badgers for a Big Ten road win. CBT’s Raphielle Johnson recaps why the sensational sophomore is so important to Maryland (and you also need to see the video of Trimble’s ridiculous game-winner).

Georgia Tech 68, No. 4 Virginia 64: Virginia lost to an unranked opponent for the second time this week as a second-half cold spell really hurt them in this one. Raphielle Johnson has more on Virginia’s offensive woes and what their next stretch looks like.

Baylor 94, No. 13 Iowa State 89: This is only Iowa State’s second loss at Hilton Coliseum over its last 32 home games and both came to Baylor in the last two seasons. The Bears made a tremendous second-half adjustment to rally in this one and I have more on that adjustment here.

Florida 68, LSU 62: Just when you believe LSU might be starting to figure things out, they go and suffer a bad road loss at Florida. Tigers freshman forward Ben Simmons put up another gaudy stat line (28 points, 17 rebounds) but had eight turnovers — all in the second half — as he tried to do too much with his teammates doing so little. In a game in which Florida went 3-for-18 from 3-point range and shot 17-for-30 from the free-throw line, this is a game that LSU needed to win. Credit Florida for only turning the ball over six times and having a good gameplan on the rest of LSU’s roster as nobody outside of Simmons did much of anything.

STARRED

Buddy Hield, Oklahoma: A prime candidate for Player of the Year, Hield went for 31 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks in an Oklahoma win over Kansas State. The senior also shot 11-for-14 from the floor and 6-for-8 from 3-point range. If there was a negative, he did have six turnovers, but overall another great game for Hield.

Agunwa Okolie, Harvard: The senior exploded for a season-high 29 points in a win over Dartmouth has the 6-foot-8 Okolie was 9-for-11 from the field and 10-for-10 from the charity stripe. To put Okolie’s outburst into perspective, his previous season high was 16 and during one six-game stretch this season, Okolie played 170 minutes and scored only 28 points over that span.

Jonathan Motley, Baylor: After struggling a bit over his last few games, the sophomore exploded for 27 points on 13-for-15 shooting while also grabbing 13 rebounds. Motley’s play off the bench was a huge reason why Baylor was able to rally in the second half to beat No. 13 Iowa State.

Andrew Andrews, Washington: The senior guard wasn’t going to lose a rivalry game to Washington State as he went for 29 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and two steals in 41 minutes of play in an overtime win.

Andrew White, Nebraska: Sticking with another Andrew, the Nebraska version went for 28 points, nine rebounds and two assists on 11-for-14 shooting from the field in a win over Rutgers.

STRUGGLED

Tim Quarterman and Craig Victor of LSU: These guys just didn’t show up to play in LSU’s road loss to Florida.

Quarterman and Victor in Tuesday night’s LSU win over Kentucky: 36 points, 22 rebounds, eight assists.

Quarterman and Victor in Saturday afternoon’s LSU loss to Florida: nine points, 12 rebounds, three assists.

Auburn’s Kareem Canty: Missouri did a good job defensively on Canty in their 76-61 win, limiting him to nine points on 2-f0r-9 shooting from the field.

Bradley: For the second straight game the Braves produced more turnovers than made field goals. Bradley turned the ball over 18 times in a 65-37 loss at Evansville, shooting 12-for-46 from the field.

OTHER TOP 25 RESULTS

  • No. 1 Kansas visited Texas Tech and found itself in a dogfight for much of the night. But Wayne Selden Jr. hit a key three-pointer as the Jayhawks pulled away for the 69-59 win. Frank Mason III (17 points, ten rebounds) and Perry Ellis (15 and ten) posted double-doubles for the Jayhawks.
  • It was another big outing for senior Player of the Year candidate Buddy Hield, as he went for 31 points as No. 2 Oklahoma beat Kansas State.
  • Jim Boeheim made his return to the sidelines for Syracuse, but the emotional boost wasn’t enough as No. 6 North Carolina won by the final score of 84-73. Isaiah Hicks scored 21 and Brice Johnson racked up eight assists, doing most of his damage in the high post against the Syracuse zone.
  • No. 9 Kentucky rebounded from its loss at LSU with a 77-61 win at Alabama. Alex Poythress scored 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the way, with Jamal Murray adding 21 points.
  • Sheldon McClellan had 21 points and five rebounds as No. 12 Miami won at home over Florida State in the ACC. The Hurricanes overcame an off-day from Angel Rodriguez in the win as their defense held the Seminoles to 35 percent shooting.
  • No. 14 Duke cruised to an easy ACC home win over Virginia Tech as Marshall Plumlee had a career-high 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Freshman Brandon Ingram had 16 points, nine rebounds and six blocks while Grayson Allen also chipped in 16 and had this dunk.
  • Playing their first home game since before Christmas, No. 17 West Virginia rolled over Oklahoma State as Jevon Carter had 16 points and five assists.
  • No. 21 Texas A&M had a furious comeback to beat Tennessee on the road. Trailing nearly the entire game, the Aggies were down 10 with just over four minutes left before an 18-4 run at the end of the game gave them a victory. Jalen Jones had 27 points while Danuel House added 23 points for Texas A&M.
  • Staying unbeaten was No. 22 South Carolina as they won their biggest test of the season with a home win over Vanderbilt. The Gamecocks moved to 15-0 as Sindarius Thornwell had 19 points and eight rebounds.
  • Sterling Gibbs scored 26 points as No. 23 UConn held off Memphis 81-78. Shaq Goodwin led the Tigers with 23 points before fouling out.
  • No. 24 Pitt picked up one of its best wins of the season by beating Notre Dame on the road for an ACC win. Michael Young led the Panthers with 25 points while Jamel Artis had 19 points and Sheldon Jeter had 18 points.
  • Also suffering an upset to an unranked opponent was No. 25 Dayton. The Flyers had a surprising loss to a depleted La Salle team that was only running with six players. Raphielle Johnson has more on this one.

NOTABLE RESULTS

  • Georgetown swept its Big East season series over DePaul with a home win. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and L.J. Peak both scored 17 points in the win for the Hoyas.
  • UCLA picked up a Pac-12 win over Arizona State as Isaac Hamilton had 26 points and Thomas Welsh went for 12 points and 16 rebounds.
  • Creighton earned a solid Big East road win at Seton Hall as Geoffrey Groselle went for 20 points and Mo Watson Jr. had 13 points and 14 assists.
  • Marquette picked up a win over St. John’s as Luke Fischer had 18 points and Henry Ellenson contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds.
  • Northwestern was a winner in the Big Ten on the road at Minnesota as freshman Aaron Falzon had 20 points.
  • Arkansas defeated Mississippi State as Dusty Hannahs went for eight 3-pointers to finish with a game-high 26 points.
  • Wichita State blew out a 14-win Southern Illinois team on the road as Ron Baker had 18 points and Conner Frankamp chipped in 14 points off the bench.
  • St. Bonaventure continued its best start in 16 years with an Atlantic 10 road win at UMass. Sophomore Jaylen Adams continued his tremendous season with 24 points, eight assists and only one turnover.
  • UAB improved to 13-3 overall and 3-0 in Conference USA with a win over UTEP. William Lee had 18 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks in the win for the Blazers.
  • Nevada earned a road win at Air Force as Tyron Criswell led with 19 points and seven rebounds.
  • Indiana State defeated Illinois State in a matchup of strong Missouri Valley teams as Brenton Scott had 25 points.
  • Senior Frank Eaves dropped his third 30-point game of the season with a 30-point game in an Appalachian State win over Texas State.
  • An upset in the WCC as Pepperdine upset St. Mary’s as forward Jett Raines went for 24 points and eight rebounds. As far as I can tell, Drake did not attend, after he was at Pepperdine’s Thursday home win.
  • The 1976 Final Four team was honored prior to Rutgers’ game against Nebraska…which the Scarlet Knights lost 90-56. Tim Miles’ team scored 52 points in the paint in the win.
  • Rivals Washington and Washington State needed an extra five minutes to determine a winner, with the Huskies winning 99-95 in Pullman. Andrew Andrews went for 29 points and ten rebounds for the Huskies, who are now 3-0 in the Pac-12.
  • NJIT played its first conference game as a member of the Atlantic Sun, but the day didn’t end on a good note as Michael Buchanan’s tip-in with four tenths of a second remaining gave USC Upstate an 80-78 victory.
  • Iona remained undefeated in the MAAC with a 90-80 win over Marist. A.J. English finished with 24 points and eight assists and Dayshonee Much added 21 and six rebounds for the Gaels.
  • Princeton beat rival Penn 73-71 in the Ivy League opener for both. Amir Bell led the Tigers with 28 points on 9-for-13 shooting from the field.
  • A Chris Washburn blocked shot in the final seconds preserved a 58-57 win for TCU over Texas. Washburn scored 14 points and Brandon Parrish 15 for the Horned Frogs.
  • Stefan Moody’s layup with five seconds remaining capped a wild sequence for Ole Miss, which beat Georgia 72-71 in Oxford. The Rebels are now 2-0 in their new arena.
  • Montana and Weber State remain undefeated in Big Sky play with comfortable home victories. The Grizzles took care of Sacramento State by 19, while the Wildcats beat Northern Colorado by 17. The top two teams in the conference, they won’t meet until February 27 in Ogden.
  • BYU surpassed the 100-point mark for the first time this season in a 102-92 win over San Francisco. Chase Fischer led three Cougars with 20 points or more with 25.
  • Grand Canyon moved to 15-2 with a 79-75 win over New Mexico State. Dan Majerle’s Antelopes won’t be able to go to the NCAA tournament until 2017 (Division I transition rules), but that doesn’t mean they can’t win the WAC regular season title.
  • Kyle Wiltjer scored 32 points and Domantas Saboins added 28 and 17 boards as Gonzaga beat Portland 85-74.
  • Arizona wasn’t the only Pac-12 team to get swept on the road this week. California went 0-2 in Oregon, as they lost 77-71 at Oregon State. Gary Payton II finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
  • UC Irvine moved to 2-0 in the Big West with an 84-68 win over UC Riverside. Luke Nelson snapped out of his shooting slump with a 29-point night for the Anteaters.

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.