SUNDAY’S SNACKS: No. 6 Villanova, No. 8 Maryland earn road wins

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Boston University 75, Lehigh 73

The matchup between two teams in the middle of the pack in the Patriot League wasn’t decided until time expired, as BU’s John Papale tossed in a shot after nearly turning the ball over. Cheddi Mosely scored 18 points and Eric Fanning 16 for the Terriers, who had five players in double figures. Lehigh’s Tim Kempton led all scorers with 24 points while also grabbing 11 rebounds.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 8 Maryland 66, Ohio State 61: Melo Trimble scored 20 points and Jake Layman added 16 and ten boards as Maryland completed a season sweep of the Buckeyes. The Terrapins managed to gut out the win in Columbus thanks to some timely shots late from Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon, and a defense that limited Ohio State to 35.6 percent shooting from the field. With the win Maryland remains a game behind No. 3 Iowa and No. 19 Indiana in the Big Ten standings.

No. 6 Villanova 68, St. John’s 53: This game was noteworthy because the Wildcats played without starting center Daniel Ochefu, who didn’t make the trip due to a concussion suffered in practice. Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins picked up the slack as both posted double-doubles, with Hart finishing with 16 points and 11 rebounds and Jenkins 14 and ten. The Wildcats struggled offensively, shooting less than 37 percent from the field and committing 20 turnovers, but they were still too much for a St. John’s team that has now lost 12 straight.

Colorado 70, California 62: The Golden Bears have won one game away from Berkeley this season: at Wyoming. That remains the case as they lost to the Buffaloes in Boulder. Colorado rebounded from a slow start, as they made just two of their first 20 shots, to move to 6-3 in Pac-12 play. Josh Scott led three Buffs in double figures with 18 points, while Cal’s Jaylen Brown led all scorers with 21 points.

STARRED

Fred VanVleet, Wichita State: VanVleet scored a career-high 32 points in the Shockers’ win at Evansville. He also limited Jaylon Brown, who scored 18 in the first meeting, to seven points and five turnovers.

Chris Boucher, Oregon: 26 points, ten rebounds and seven blocks in the Ducks’ win at Arizona State.

Dion Wright, St. Bonaventure: 19 points and 14 rebounds in the Bonnies’ 16-point win over Richmond.

STRUGGLED

A.J. Davis, UCF: Davis made just one of his 11 shot attempts, scoring seven points and grabbing seven rebounds in the Knights’ 67-41 loss to UConn.

Leo Vincent, Southern Illinois: Vincent shot 1-for-7 from the field, scoring three points in the Salukis’ 67-58 loss at Northern Iowa.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 3 Iowa rebounded from its first conference loss by beating Northwestern, 89-71. Peter Jok scored 26 points and Jarrod Uthoff, who failed to reach double figures for the first time this season in Thursday’s loss at Maryland, added 23 for the Hawkeyes. Tre Demps led all scorers with 30.
  • No. 12 Michigan State won its third straight game, this time blowing out Rutgers 96-62. Denzel Valentine scored 20 points and Bryn Forbes 18 for the Spartans, who made 17 three-pointers. Four players scored in double figures for the Spartans and two, Matt Costello (14) and Deyonta Davis (11) reached double digits in rebounds.
  • If anyone in the Valley was going to catch No. 22 Wichita State, Evansville needed to beat the Shockers today. They didn’t as Wichita State won 78-65 with Fred VanVleet scoring a career-high 32 points to lead the way. Wichita State’s now 10-0 in league play, three games ahead of the Purple Aces (who they’ve swept the season series from) and Southern Illinois.
  • Chris Boucher produced the best game of his Oregon career in the 23rd-ranked Ducks’ 91-74 win at Arizona State. The 6-foot-10 senior finished with 26 points, ten rebounds and seven blocked shots. With the win Oregon became the second Pac-12 team to get a road sweep this season, joining Utah.
  • Demetrius Jackson returned to the lineup for No. 25 Notre Dame, which took care of Wake Forest 85-62. Jackson finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and six steals, and Zach Auguste scored a team-high 21 points to go along with 12 boards.

OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS

  • After winning ten of 11 games, Wright State has now lost two straight after falling 75-68 at Detroit Sunday afternoon. The Raiders now trail Valparaiso, who they beat January 22, by two games in the Horizon League standings.
  • There’s still a four-way tie atop the Summit League standings, as IUPUI beat North Dakota State 73-72 in Indianapolis. Jordan Pickett scored 20 for the Jaguars, who are 7-2 in league play (as are South Dakota State, Omaha and IPFW).
  • George Washington avoided a bad loss, as they got going offensively in the second half of their 76-70 win at George Mason. Having already lost at Saint Louis, the Colonials could not afford to fall in Fairfax as well.
  • Also 5-3 in Atlantic 10 play is St. Bonaventure, which took care of Richmond 84-68 in Olean Sunday afternoon. Marcus Posley scored 26 points and Dion Wright added 19 and 14 boards for the Bonnies.
  • Amida Brimah made his return from a broken finger in UConn’s 67-41 win over UCF. Brimah scored six points and blocked two shots, and Shonn Miller led the way offensively with 11 points.
  • William & Mary erased a 12-point halftime deficit, beating James Madison 68-62. Prior to the defeat the Dukes were undefeated on the road this season.
  • Wisconsin held off Illinois, 63-55, moving their win streak in the series to nine games. Nigel Hayes scored 17 points but the key for Greg Gard’s team was their defense, as Illinois shot just 36 percent from the field.

Nevada’s Jordan Caroline pulls out of 2018 NBA Draft

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Jordan Caroline has opted to pull his name out of the 2018 NBA Draft as he will return to Nevada for his senior season, he announced on Saturday.

The 6-foot-7 Caroline put together a strong season for the Wolf Pack as he averaged 17.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game as Nevada made the Sweet 16 behind one of the most talented offenses in the country.

Caroline’s return is a huge boost for Nevada as they still await the NBA draft decisions of Caleb and Cody Martin.

Currently ranked No. 17 in the NBCSports.com Preseason Top 25 (without the Martin twins), the Wolf Pack will still have a ton of talent around Caroline next season. Five-star freshman center Jordan Brown recently committed to Nevada. The program also a number of talented transfers entering the mix, including Tre’Shawn Thomas, Nisre Zouzoua and Ehab Amin.

If the Martin twins return to school (and that is a big if) then Nevada could have a potentially elite offense next season. But even if the Martin twins go pro, Nevada should still be the favorite in the Mountain West and a threat to once again make the second weekend of the NCAA tournament.

Dewan Huell returning to Miami for junior season

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Miami received some positive news on Saturday afternoon as the school announced the return of forward Dewan Huell for his junior season.

After testing the NBA draft waters without an agent, the 6-foot-11 Huell will be back for the Hurricanes. Starting all 32 games for the program last season, Huell averaged 11.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting 57 percent from the floor.

“After getting feedback from NBA teams and talking it over with my family and coaches, I would like to announce that I will be returning to Miami for my junior season,” Huell said in the release. “I’m really excited to get back to work with my brothers so we can accomplish more than ever during the 2018-19 season.”

A former McDonald’s All-American coming out of high school, Huell’s return gives the Hurricanes stability in the front court for next season as he’ll play with other returning players like Sam Waardenburg and Ebuka Izundu. With Miami losing both Lonnie Walker and Bruce Brown early to the 2018 NBA Draft, Huell could be expected to provide more offensive production as a junior.

Bruce Weber receives contract extension at Kansas State

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Kansas State and head coach Bruce Weber have agreed to a two-year contract extension, according to a release from the school.

After leading the Wildcats to a surprising Elite Eight appearance in March, Weber will be the head coach at Kansas State through the 2022-23 season, which gives him another five seasons to work with. Weber will be paid $2.5 million in 2018-19 and he’ll receive a $100,000 increase to his salary in each remaining contract year.

Weber had already signed a two-year extension in August 2017, but this move gives the veteran head coach more job security (and positive recruiting perception) for the next few seasons.

“We are very fortunate to have not only such an outstanding basketball coach but also a man in Coach Weber who conducts his program with integrity and class and is widely respected across the nation,” Kansas State Director of Athletics Gene Taylor said. “Certainly last season was one of the most memorable postseason runs in our program’s history, and we are excited for next season and the years ahead under Coach Weber’s leadership.”

With Kansas State returning most of its roster from last season, including the return of guard Barry Brown from the 2018 NBA Draft process, expectations are sky-high for Weber and the Wildcats this season. Currently ranked as the No. 8 team in the NBCSports.com Preseason Top 25, Kansas State’s veteran club could give Kansas a serious run for a Big 12 regular season title this season.

Northwestern loses incoming freshman point guard

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Northwestern and incoming freshman point guard Jordan Lathon are parting ways. The 6-foot-4 Lathon was viewed as a potential candidate to replace Bryant McIntosh at lead guard for the Wildcats this season, but Northwestern has reportedly revoked his offer of admission and basketball scholarship.

It is unclear why Lathon was unable to be admitted into Northwestern, but the school’s VP for University Relations, Alan Cubbage, gave a statement to Inside NU’s Davis Rich and Caleb Friedman.

“Northwestern University has revoked its offers of admission and an athletic scholarship for Jordan Lathon, a recruit for the Northwestern men’s basketball team,” the statement said. “Out of respect for the privacy of the student, the University will have no further public comment.”

Lathon later acknowledged the situation in a tweet explaining to fans that he will no longer be attending Northwestern.

While it is unclear why Lathon and Northwestern are parting ways, other high-major programs are already very interested in bringing in Lathon for next season. Oklahoma State immediately jumped in with a scholarship offer. There is also speculation that Lathon, a native of Grandview, Missouri, could also hear from the in-state Tigers as well.

It’ll be interesting to see where Lathon lands, and how this also affects Northwestern’s point guard situation. The loss of a four-year starter like McIntosh will be tough to fill, especially since Lathon was committed to Northwestern since last June. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Wildcats and head coach Chris Collins seek out a veteran point guard graduate transfer to try and get some immediate help.

Nebraska’s James Palmer Jr. returning to school

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Nebraska received some important news on Friday night as senior guard James Palmer Jr. will be back for next season.

The 6-foot-6 Palmer had tested the NBA draft waters, but he decided to return to the Cornhuskers. After putting up 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game last season, Palmer is expected to be an All-Big Ten candidate once again this season. Palmer shot 44 percent from the floor and 30 percent from three-point range last season.

After transferring in from Miami, Palmer became the Huskers’ go-to scorer last season in helping Nebraska to a 22-win season and NIT appearance.

With Palmer back, Nebraska will have some legitimate expectations for the upcoming season, especially if the team’s second-leading scorer, Isaac Copeland Jr., also returns from the NBA draft process.