2016 July Live Period: 25 names to know this month

(Photo by Jon Lopez)

1. DeAndre Ayton: Everyone should be pretty familiar with Ayton’s name by now, as he’s long been thought to be the best prospect in the class. He’s 7-feet tall with a 7-foot-6 wingspan, the kind of athleticism that Amare Stoudamire dreamed of having and good enough touch to hit threes. The question with Ayton, the prospect, is his his motor and whether he loves to play. The question with Ayton, the one-and-done player, is whether or not he’ll be eligible to play in college.

2. Michael Porter Jr.: An intriguing talent whose recruitment has probably already come to an end. A 6-foot-9 small forward, Porter has the physical tools that should endear him to NBA scouts that love versatile players with perimeter skill sets and the ability to defend multiple positions. His father, a former women’s assistant coach at Missouri, recently left to join Lorenzo Romar’s staff at Washington, where Michael’s brother Jontay is committed.

3. Marvin Bagley III: The Class of 2018 is generally considered to be pretty weak — our own Scott Phillips called it worse than the Class of 2015, which spawned all kinds of “Make American Basketball Great Again” narratives after the NBA Draft — but Bagley is the exception. Not only is he considered far and away the best prospect in the class, there are those that believe he is the best prospect in high school basketball. Period. The 6-foot-10 forward and Arizona native has cut his list to six: Duke, Kentucky, UCLA, Oregon, Arizona and Arizona State.

4. Mohammed Bamba: Bamba, a 6-foot-11 forward that plays his high school ball in Pennsylvania, is probably best known for his wingspan at this point: it’s a ridiculous 7-foot-8. He’ll evoke comparisons to the likes of Kevin Garnett and Anthony Davis given his penchant for playing facing-up and the fact that he weighs all of 215 pounds. Duke and Kentucky are both hot on his trail.

5. Hamidou Diallo: Diallo is widely considered the best off-guard in this class. He’s a typical New York City wing: tough, athletic, aggressive and a joy to watch in transition and in space. He needs to develop his handle and extend the range on his jumper, but that will come with time. His upside is why he’ll be able to pick from any college in the country.

6. Kevin Knox: Knox is being targeted by every program in the country that builds around one-and-done players. A 6-foot-8 small forward, he’s the kind of smooth athlete with a developed offensive game that will have a major impact at whatever program he decides to sign with.

Kevin Knox, Jon Lopez/Nike
Kevin Knox, Jon Lopez/Nike

7. Wendell Carter: Carter, a 6-foot-10, 240 pound power forward that doubles as a top five prospect in the Class of 2017, is one of the most interesting prospects in the class. He skipped an EYBL session during a live period to take part in a class play and values academics enough that the three schools chasing him are Duke, Kentucky and Harvard.

8. Trevon Duval: Duval has slowly climbed his way up the rankings to emerge as the best guard in the Class of 2017 and the best point guard by a good margin. The problem? Duval transferred to API for his junior year, which is the same high school team that Terrance Ferguson played for and the same program that Emmanuel Mudiay was associated with. Duke, Kansas, Arizona, UCLA and Maryland are among the programs pursuing him. But will he be eligible to play for any of them?

9, 10. Quade Green and Trae Young: With Duval’s recruitment expected to be something of a roller coaster, Kentucky and Duke and set their sights on the rest of the point guards in this class. Green, from Philly, and Young, from Oklahoma, are generally considered to be the best of the rest. There’s some added intrigue with Young. A teammate of Michael Porter Jr.’s on the MoKan Elite AAU team, there has been some talk of the two playing together in college.

11-14. Kris Wilkes, Paul Scruggs, Malik Williams and Jaren Jackson
15, 16. Brian Bowen and Jeremiah Tilman: Tom Crean has reached something of a crossroads in his Indiana tenure. He turned a team that looked like it would be a disaster into one of the most popular in Hoosier history, and while he managed to bring back a pair of potential lottery picks in Thomas Bryant and O.G. Anunoby, he lost Yogi Ferrell. It’s not a secret that there is a love-hate — sometimes mostly hate — relationship between the people of Indiana and Crean, and that extends to the coaches and confidantes of some of the best high school players in the state.

There are six players in Indiana in the high school Class of 2017 that are considered elite recruits — Wilkes, Scruggs, Williams and Jackson are all Indiana natives while Bowen and Tilman play for prep powerhouse La Lumiere in Indiana. The question that matters more than anything for the long-term future of Crean’s program is whether or not it is cool for Indiana kids to go to Indiana again. We’ll likely find out with this group.

Indiana guard Yogi Ferrell gets a hug from coach Tom Crean, left, after the team's NCAA college basketball game against Iowa, Tuesday, March 1, 2016, in Iowa City, Iowa. Ferrell scored 20 points as Indiana won 81-78 and clinched the Big Ten title. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell and coach Tom Crean (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

17. M.J. Walker: Walker is a 6-foot-5 off-guard from Georgia that is probably going to star somewhere in the SEC or the ACC in college. He’ll be doing so on the hardwood, which is notable because Walker was an SEC-caliber recruit on the football field as well.

18. Billy Preston: Another API product, Preston is a powerfully built, 6-foot-8 forward with some perimeter skills and even more question marks about whether or not he’ll ever move into a college dorm room.

19. Brandon McCoy: McCoy is a 7-footer whose defense surpasses his offense at this point, but his athleticism makes his a priority target and a potential top 10 prospect in the class. Arizona, UCLA, Oregon, Kansas and Louisville, among many others, all have offered.

20. Gary Trent Jr.: The Shaq of the Mac, Jr., is one of the best scoring guards in the class. His dad was known as a bruiser while Junior is an elite shooter. A product of the same high school that produced Tyus Jones, Trent holds offers from Duke, Kentucky and Kansas.

21. Troy Brown: Brown’s an interesting prospect. He’s a 6-foot-6 small forward, but he’s at his best with the ball in his hands as a passer.

22. Jarred Vanderbilt: Vanderbilt is a versatile, 6-foot-7 player that refers to himself as a point forward. He’s a good passer, a good rebounder and can play — or guard — multiple positions. How dangerous is he as a shooter?

23. P.J. Washington: Washington is an undersized four with the standard game of an undersized four: long arms, soft touch and a developed face-up game.

24. Mitchell Robinson: A 7-footer with the length and athleticism to be an absolute nightmare defensively, Robinson decommitted from Texas A&M after Rick Stansbury left only to commit to Stansbury at Western Kentucky.

25. Collin Sexton: A new-age lead guard, Sexton is a scorer and a slasher that is put in the point guard role because he can handle the ball. He’s a borderline top 25 recruit that could end up being a top 10 prospect by the end of July.

Father Tolton Catholic's Michael Porter, Jr. (1) celebrates after sinking a basket and drawing a foul during the first half of the Missouri Class 3 boys high school championship basketball game against the Barstow Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Michael Porter, Jr. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Tulane secures 101-94 OT win over Cincinnati

Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

NEW ORLEANS – Kevin Cross and Jalen Cook scored 27 points each as Tulane took down Cincinnati 101-94 in overtime on Tuesday night.

Cross added 15 rebounds and six assists for the Green Wave (16-7, 9-3 American Athletic Conference). Cook added 14 assists. Jaylen Forbes scored 24 points and shot 6 for 15 (3 for 6 from 3-point range) and 9 of 9 from the free throw line.

Landers Nolley II finished with 26 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Bearcats (16-9, 7-5). Ody Oguama added 16 points and 13 rebounds for Cincinnati. In addition, David Dejulius finished with 12 points, eight assists and three steals.

Tulane entered halftime down 37-28. Cross paced the team in scoring in the first half with 10 points. Forbes scored 18 second-half points and hit the game-tying 3-pointer with 1:02 remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime.

Tulane scored seven unanswered points to break a tie and lead with 42 seconds left in overtime.

No. 16 Oklahoma women take 1st lead in OT, rally past Baylor

Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman

WACO, Texas – Ana Llanusa and Skylar Vann each scored 20 points and No. 16 Oklahoma took its first lead of the game in overtime before rallying past Baylor 98-92 on Tuesday night.

The Sooners trailed for 39 minutes in regulation and were down 75-63 with 5:19 left in regulation.

Baylor turned it over twice on inbounds plays in the closing seconds of regulation and Taylor Robertson tied at 83-all on a wide-open 3-pointer with 14 seconds left.

Llanusa started overtime with a 3-pointer, and she finished with eight points during the extra session. Baylor never led in overtime, shooting 2 of 6.

Robertson, who tied Danielle Robinson’s program record of 140 starts, finished with 14 points and three 3s for Oklahoma (19-4, 9-3 Big 12), which trails Texas (18-6, 9-2) in the hunt for its first conference title since 2009. Nevaeh Tot added 13 points, Liz Scott added 11 points and eight rebounds and Madi Williams had nine points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

The Sooners, the nation’s No. 3 scoring offense at 86.5 points per game, have scored at least 88 points 14 times this season, seven in conference.

Caitlin Bickle scored a career-high 30 points with four 3s and Sarah Andrews added 20 points for Baylor (16-7, 7-4). Freshman Darianna Littlepage-Buggs had 14 points and 17 rebounds and Ja’Mee Asberry scored 11. Jaden Owens had 14 of Baylor’s 25 assists on 32 field goals.

Bickle was 8 of 11 from the field, including 4 of 7 from distance, and Littlepage-Buggs recorded her sixth double-double in the last seven games.

It was the first time in 20 years the Sooners were ranked in game against an unranked Bears squad. Oklahoma continues its road trip at Kansas State on Sunday. Baylor plays at Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Newton has triple-double, No. 21 UConn tops No. 10 Marquette

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

HARTFORD, Conn. – UConn appears to have its mojo back.

Jordan Hawkins scored 20 points and Tristen Newton recorded his second triple-double of the season as No. 21 Connecticut ran away from No. 10 Marquette 87-72 on Tuesday night.

Newton had 12 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for the Huskies (19-6, 8-6 Big East), who won their third straight game after losing six of eight. They started the season 14-0, rising to No. 2 in the AP Top 25.

“Teams go through tough stretches during the course of the season,” coach Dan Hurley said. “The bottom line is we’re 19-6. You know, we beat some of the best teams in the country.”

Adama Sanogo added 18 points, while Alex Karaban and Nahiem Alleyne each chipped in with 13 for Connecticut, which never trailed.

Tyler Kolek had 17 points to lead Marquette (19-6, 11-3), which had its five-game winning streak snapped. Ben Gold and Stevie Mitchell each scored 12.

The Huskies outrebounded Marquette 48-24 and used 21 offensive boards to help them get 27 second-chance points. The Huskies also had 20 assists on 31 baskets, while holding Marquette to just seven assists.

UConn opened the game on a 22-6 run, highlighted by a fast-break lob from Newton to Andre Jackson for a dunk that brought the crowd to its feet. The Huskies made their first four 3-point shots, three by Hawkins, who had 14 points in the first half.

A hook shot by Sanogo gave UConn its first 20-point lead at 32-12 .

A late first-half run by Marquette cut the margin to 43-29, but Alleyne hit a 3-pointer from almost half court to send UConn into the break with a 17-point cushion.

Another 3-pointer from Alleyne gave the Huskies a 59-38 lead in the second half.

UConn led by 25 before Marquette went on an 8-0 run to pull within 17. But the Golden Eagles never threatened to get back in the game.

“We won two or three games in January,” Hawkins said. “It was definitely a tough stretch, definitely going to shake your confidence. But you just have to stay the course, trust the process and that’s what we did and that’s what we’re going to continue to do during this last stretch.”


Marquette: The Golden Eagles had won nine of 10. They are trying to win a regular-season conference title after being picked ninth in the preseason poll by the league’s coaches.

UConn: Entered 1-5 against the top five teams in the Big East and 1-3 versus ranked opponents. UConn lost 82-76 at Marquette on Jan. 11 after leading by 11 points in the first half.

“The rankings mean nothing,” Marquette coach Shaka Smart said. “It’s amazing the disparity – no disrespect to anyone here – between what the ranking means to media and fans in the middle of a season and what it means to players and coaches. It just doesn’t mean anything.”


Marquette’s Sean Jones, who missed the previous three games with a wrist injury, had 11 points in just over 19 minutes. He came down hard on the wrist in the second half, but appeared to shake it off and continued playing.


Newton’s first triple-double came in November against Buffalo, when he had 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. He joined Shabazz Napier as the only Huskies players to get more than one.

“My amigos right here, they were going crazy hitting shots,” Newton said. “They were boxing out and I was getting the rebound, so I just had the easy job, just get them the ball.”


Marquette: At last-place Georgetown on Saturday.

UConn: Will visit No. 23 Creighton on Saturday.

Jackson-Davis leads No. 18 Indiana past No. 24 Rutgers 66-60

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The milestone moments keep piling up for Trayce Jackson-Davis.

Only one really mattered Tuesday night.

While he scored 20 points to become the sixth player in Hoosiers’ history with 2,000 and the first among that group with 1,000 career rebounds, the most satisfying celebration came after No. 18 Indiana beat No. 24 Rutgers 66-60 – Jackson-Davis’ first win in the series.

“I think that’s the last team in the Big Ten I hadn’t beaten,” Jackson-Davis said after finishing with 18 rebounds and six assists.

From the moment Jackson-Davis announced he would attend Indiana, the expectations were great even as critics contended the results were underwhelming.

Nobody’s complaining now. Jackson-Davis now has 2,004 points, 1,035 rebounds, a school-record 242 blocks and ranks fourth all-time with 44 double-doubles after breaking a tie with Steve Downing.

After helping the Hoosiers snap a five-year NCAA Tournament drought last season and falling out of the rankings after three straight January losses, Jackson-Davis has almost single-handedly led the Hoosiers (17-7, 8-5 Big Ten) into a second-place tie by winning seven of eight.

And his dominance is starting to open things up for his teammate. Or perhaps it’s the other way around.

“I think we’ve gotten a lot better playing around Trayce, giving him space,” Miller Kopp said after scoring 18 points. “It comes down to getting better at what the coaches are asking us to do and we’re all feeling more comfortable with where our looks are coming from.”

It certainly showed against the Scarlet Knights (16-8, 8-5), who had won six straight over Indiana including a 15-point blowout in December.

This time, though, they spent most of the game playing catchup. Clifford Omoruyi had 15 points, Cam Spencer had 14 and nobody else made more than three baskets.

“It’s a one-possession game with three minutes left, but I look at the (free throw) disparity and you can’t defend the foul line,” coach Steve Pikiell said. “Give Indiana credit, they got there. Tracye Jackson-Davis was a problem.”

The Hoosiers started fast and then scored 12 straight points to take a 30-14 lead midway through the first half but even without injured starting forward Mawot Mag, Rutgers charged back. It closed the first half on an 11-2 run, then tied it at 38 when Spencer opened the second half with a 3-pointer.

Kopp broke the tie with his third 3 of the game to start an 11-0 run and Jackson-Davis’ monumental basket, a putback dunk off his own miss, made it 54-44 with 11:13 to go.

The Scarlet Knights could have tied it on Caleb McConnell’s 3 with 3:02 left, but it bounced off the back of the rim and the Hoosiers closed Jackson-Davis’ big win with a 7-2 spurt.

“He’s a man who’s done a lot since he’s been here,” said coach Mike Woodson, who is 57 points ahead of Jackson-Davis on the Hoosiers’ scoring list. “He’s a phenomenal player who does a lot of beautiful things on the court. To get 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds says a lot.”


Rutgers: Mag missed his first game with a torn ACL in his right knee and Rutgers struggled against Indiana’s size and speed. There could be similar challenges over the final eight regular-season games.

Indiana: Woodson’s team is playing, at times, like the conference’s preseason pick to win the league title. When the Hoosiers make perimeter shots and defend well, they’re a difficult matchup for anyone. They just need fewer lulls.


The victory should help solidify Indiana’s top-20 status – at least until it hits the road for their next two games. Losing Mag and Tuesday’s game may make Rutgers’ return to the rankings short-lived regardless of what happens later this week.


Rutgers: Visits Illinois on Saturday

Indiana: Heads to Michigan on Saturday.

Pitt moves into 1st-place ACC tie destroying Louisville

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH – Nike Sibande scored 15 points off the bench, nine Pittsburgh players entered the scoring column and the Panthers demolished Louisville 91-57 on Tuesday night and moved into a first-place tie with Clemson in the ACC.

Entering play Tuesday, the top five teams in the ACC were separated by just a game in the standings. A win by No. 8 Virginia against No. 22 North Carolina State Tuesday would create a three-way tie for first between Clemson, Pitt and the Cavaliers.

Against Louisville, the Panthers (17-7, 10-3) distributed 23 assists on 28-made baskets. Defensively, Pitt held Louisville (3-21, 1-12) to 27.6% (16 for 58) shooting and outrebounded the Cardinals 37-30. Mike James scored 11 points for Louisville.

El Ellis made a pair of foul shots to bring Louisville into a 14-all tie with 13:36 before halftime. Pitt then went on a 16-2 run over nearly the next five minutes. Six-different Panthers scored during the run. Nate Santos’ 3-pointer with 9:38 before the break made it 27-16 and Pitt led by double digits the rest of the way. A 47-27 halftime lead turned into a 58-28 margin just 1:59 into the second half.

With the win, the Panthers reached double digits in conference wins for just the second time in 10 ACC seasons. Pitt went 11-7 in its first year in the ACC following its 12-6 campaign in its final year in the Big East in 2012-13.

Louisville will continue its road trip when it takes on No. 19 Miami on Saturday. Pitt travels to face Florida State on Saturday.