LATE NIGHT SNACKS: No. 16 Iowa rolls, BYU wins at No. 25 Gonzaga

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Rider 102, Marist 100 (3OT)

Rider, pegged by some as a contender in the MAAC before the season began, picked up its first conference win of the season and they needed 15 extra minutes to do so. Teddy Okereafor led the way with 38 points and eight assists, with Zedric Saddler adding 21 points off the bench. Khalid Hart paced Marist with 36 points, and teammates Brian Parker added 28 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists. Hart missed a free throw in the final seconds of the second overtime that would have tied the game at 101, with Okereafor splitting a pair on the other end to provide the final margin.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 16 Iowa 76, No. 4 Michigan State 59: Peter Jok scored 23 points and Jarrod Uthoff added 15 as the Hawkeyes rolled in East Lansing. Fran McCaffery’s team went from up one to leading by 22 at the half, outscoring Michigan State 35-14 over the final 16:07. After beating a Denzel Valentine-less Michigan State in the Big Ten opener for both, Iowa made a definitive statement that they’re a conference title contender.

No. 21 Louisville 59, No. 20 Pittsburgh 41: It wasn’t pretty offensively for either team, but the Cardinals were the better defensive team as they held the Panthers to a season low for points in a game. Pitt shot 28.6 percent from the field and committed 19 turnovers in a game that was a throwback to some old Big East battles. Chinanu Onuaku paced the Cardinals with 18 points, ten rebounds and three blocks.

BYU 69, No. 25 Gonzaga 68: Nate Austin’s block of a Kyle Wiltjer shot with just over a second remaining preserved the comeback victory for BYU, which has now won its last two games at Gonzaga. Wiltjer lead all scorers with 35 to go along with ten rebounds but Domantas Sabonis struggled with foul trouble and scored just five points, and given Gonzaga’s current makeup they can’t afford for the sophomore big man to have an off night. Kyle Collinsworth scored 20 points and Chase Fischer 18 for the Cougars, who are now 4-1 in WCC play.

STARRED

SIU-Edwardsville’s Burak Eslik: If not for Eslik SIUE would have had no shot of taking Morehead State to overtime. Eslik scored 40 points on 12-for-22 shooting from the field (7-for-11 3PT, 9-for-13 FT) and grabbed six rebounds in a 70-67 overtime loss.

Iowa’s Peter Jok: Jok scored 23 points on 8-for-13 shooting from the field in the Hawkeyes’ win at Michigan State.

Rider’s Teddy Okereafor at the foul line: Okerafor scored 38 points and dished out eight assists in a double overtime win over Marist. He shot 25-for-30 from the foul line.

Louisville’s Chinanu Onuaku: 18 points, ten rebounds and three blocks as he outplayed Pittsburgh’s frontline in the 59-41 Louisville victory.

STRUGGLED

UConn’s Daniel Hamilton and Rodney Purvis: As Hamilton goes so go the Huskies, and Thursday night he struggled in a loss at Tulsa. Five points on 2-for-12 shooting from the field (1-for-7 3PT) for the sophomore, with Purvis even worse from the field (1-for-9) in scoring his five points.

Gonzaga’s Domantas Sabonis: Thanks to foul trouble he struggled, scoring five points on 2-for-6 shooting and grabbing six rebounds in a loss to BYU.

Pittsburgh’s James Robinson: The entire team struggled to be fair. But Robinson shot 0-for-6 from the field and committed three turnovers in the Panthers’ loss at Louisville.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 13 Arizona took control of its game against Washington in the second half, outscoring the Huskies by 29 points in what would eventually become a 99-67 victory. Ryan Anderson went for 21 points and nine rebounds and Kaleb Tarczewski added 16 points, 13 boards and one emphatic dunk.

OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS

  • FIU scored 52 first-half points in their 88-74 upset of Louisiana Tech in Miami. FIU shot 56.9 percent from the field, with Donte McGill scoring 29 points to lead the way.
  • LIU-Brooklyn picked up a one-point win at Wagner, beating the Seahawks 71-70. Aakim Saintil scored 27 points for the Blackbirds, who held on after Wagner missed the put-back of a Corey Henson missed free throw in the final seconds.
  • In a showdown of two Conference USA contenders, UAB won 72-71 at Old Dominion in overtime. William Lee scored 28 for the Blazers, who have now won 11 straight and ended ODU’s 32-game home winning streak.
  • Tulsa pulled away down the stretch in their 60-51 win over UConn. James Woodard scored 20 points and Shaquille Harrison 13 for the Golden Hurricane.
  • Winthrop handed High Point its first Big South loss of the season in impressive fashion, winning 86-66 at home. John Brown went for 25 and ten for the Panthers, but Winthrop managed to keep his teammates in check defensively.
  • Chattanooga moved to 15-3 on the season with a home win over Western Carolina. Justin Tuoyo led five Mocs in double figures with 20 points in the 77-58 victory.
  • Radford beat UNC Asheville 91-86 in overtime, with Cameron Jones and Rashun Davis combining to score 31 points for the Highlanders.
  • William & Mary held College of Charleston to 18 first-half points, hanging on to that halftime margin to win 63-61 in Charleston.
  • Valparaiso remained undefeated in Horizon League play with a 68-56 win over Milwaukee. Vashil Fernandez scored 14 points for the Crusaders, who dominated the boards and outscored the Panthers 20-0 in second chance points.
  • Arizona State picked up its first conference win of the season, beating Washington State 84-73. Three Sun Devils scored at least 15 points, with Tra Holder’s 20 leading the way.
  • In a matchup of two of the Summit League’s better teams, South Dakota State beat IPFW 92-76. George Marshall scored 28 for the Jackrabbits, who are now 14-4 on the season.
  • Little Rock (15-1) and UT-Arlington (13-2) both took care of business, as the Trojans blew out Appalachian State at home and UTA won by 27 at Troy.
  • The same can be said of Big Sky heavyweights Montana and Weber State, as both won on the road Thursday night. Montana won by seven at Northern Colorado, while the Wildcats were led to a 15-point win at Portland State by Joel Bolomboy (22 points, 13 rebounds) and Jeremy Senglin (21 points).
  • Oregon went to Salt Lake City and beat Utah 77-59, dropping the Runnin’ Utes to 1-3 in the Pac-12. Dillon Brooks scored 21 points and Casey Benson added 15 for the Ducks, who shot 54.9 percent from the field.
  • Hawai’i moved to 3-0 in Big West play with an 80-71 win at UC Riverside. Quincy Smith scored 17 points and grabbed five rebounds for the Rainbow Warriors.
  • UC Irvine erased an eight-point halftime deficit to win 58-54 at Long Beach State. Jaron Martin scored 11 second-half points to help spark the rally alongside fellow guards Luke Nelson and Alex Young.
  • Rosco Allen tallied 22 points and ten rebounds as Stanford beat California, 77-71. The difference was the foul line, as Cal shot 9-for-17 compared to Stanford’s 30-for-38.
  • With Gonzaga’s loss Saint Mary’s is in sole possession of first in the WCC, as they moved to 6-1 with a 78-62 win over Pacific. Jock Landale led the Gaels with 24 points and five rebounds, with Emmett Naar adding 21, five boards and six assists.

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.