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Miles, Carter lead No. 11 West Virginia over Oklahoma State

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STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) Oklahoma State enjoyed a strong non-conference schedule, using an aggressive defensive style to create turnovers and offensive opportunities. On Friday, the Cowboys got schooled by the template for that style of play.

Daxter Miles Jr. scored 22 points and Jevon Carter had 15 points, six assists and four steals to lead No. 11 West Virginia to a 92-75 victory over Oklahoma State in the Big 12 opener for both teams.

Nathan Adrian added nine points and eight rebounds for West Virginia (12-1, 1-0), which won its eighth straight. Six Mountaineers scored at least nine points.

“I think our pressure, that’s what we do, I think it’s the key to every game,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “We give up some easy baskets because we take chances, if we’re not turning them over and creating easy baskets for ourselves, then it’s going in the wrong direction for us.”

Phil Forte scored 18 points, including four 3-pointers, to lead Oklahoma State, which saw its four-game winning streak snapped. Leyton Hammonds had 17 points and seven rebounds for the Cowboys (10-3, 0-1).

“We lost to a really, really good basketball team today,” said Cowboys coach Brad Underwood, who was unable to secure his 100th career win. “They’re very good, that was on full display. Their press makes the game ugly, it’s never going to be pretty against them. You have to make basketball plays and I didn’t think we guarded very well.”

With a mark of 99-17, Underwood, who served as an assistant under Huggins at Kansas State in 2006-07, would have tied Kentucky legend Adolph Rupp as the third-fastest NCAA coach to reach that milestone.

Oklahoma State scored the game’s first basket and then made just two of its next 11 shots from the field, as West Virginia built up a 19-7 lead in the first 7:35. Oklahoma State managed to pull within 29-23 with 7:16 left in the first half, but for most of the game West Virginia held a double-digit lead.

BIG PICTURE

West Virginia: The Mountaineers’ relentless defensive pressure stifled the potent Oklahoma State offense that entered the game ranking third in the nation at 93.3 points per game, and forced the Cowboys into committing 19 turnovers, their second-most of the season. West Virginia tops the nation, averaging 26.3 turnovers forced coming in, and in steals (13.9), although it only managed eight steals Friday.

Oklahoma State: The Cowboys still have some work to do, as they were never really competitive in this game. Their potent offense had a difficult time with West Virginia’s pressure defense and they struggled to consistently stop the Mountaineers on defense, allowing them to shoot 55 percent (33 of 60) from the field, the Cowboys’ second-worst defensive performance of the season.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

With another impressive performance, West Virginia solidified its place at No. 11, and if No. 1 Villanova defeats No. 10 Creighton on Saturday, it could move into the Top 10 for the first time this season after finishing last season at No. 8.

Oklahoma State, which received votes in last week’s poll, did not take advantage of an opportunity to prove to voters that it belonged in the Top 25.

TURNING POINT

Trailing 41-28 at halftime, Oklahoma State started the second half on a 7-2 run to pull within eight, and maintained that deficit for several minutes, trailing 48-40 after Jawun Evans made two free throws with 15:55 remaining. But West Virginia pulled away after that, reeling off a 13-3 run over the next 4 minutes to re-establish control. The Cowboys did not get closer than 13 points the rest of the way.

HE SAID IT

“They make you see things differently,” Underwood said of West Virginia’s pressuring style. “It’s not about Xs and Os and how pretty your offense looks. It’s about toughness, it’s about getting punched in the jaw, and how do you respond? They speed you up, they create anxiety. How do you handle that? We got a ways to go.”

UP NEXT

West Virginia will face another hot team on the road when they travel to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech on Tuesday.

Oklahoma State goes on the road Wednesday to face Texas.

More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25.

Louisville challenges NCAA over recruiting allegations

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville has refuted NCAA allegations against its men’s basketball program in the wake of a federal corruption scandal, requesting that the highest-level violation be reclassified.

The university also is challenging that former coach Rick Pitino failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance in his program.

Louisville filed a 104-page response last week to the Notice Of Allegations sent to the school in May. The document stated that college sports’ governing body seeks to ignore wire fraud convictions against several people involved in the scheme – including a former Adidas executive – by suggesting they were representing its athletic interests. Louisville’s contract with the apparel maker was a standard sponsorship agreement rather than a promotional deal, the response added.

“This argument is as novel as it is wrong,” the school wrote in its response. “Even if an institution has some responsibility for the conduct of its suppliers, that responsibility plainly does not extend to acts of fraud perpetrated against the institution itself.”

Louisville also seeks to have several second-tier violations reclassified even lower. The NCAA has until Nov. 15 to respond with the school responding 15 days after before a decision is made whether the case will proceed through the traditional Committee on Infractions or Independent Accountability Review Process (IARP).

The NCAA’s Notice of Allegations states that Louisville committed a Level I violation, considered the most severe, with an improper recruiting offer and extra benefits along with several lesser violations. Those lesser violations also include Pitino failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance.

The NCAA notice completed a two-year investigation following a federal corruption probe of college basketball announced in September 2017. Louisville acknowledged its involvement in the federal investigation related to the recruitment of former player Brian Bowen II. Pitino, who’s now coaching Iona, was not named in the federal complaint and has consistently denied authorizing or having knowledge of a payment to a recruit’s family.

Louisville has previously indicated it would accept responsibility for violations it committed but would contest allegations it believed were not supported by facts. The school also noted corrective measures taken in the scandal’s immediate aftermath, such as suspending and then firing Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich.

Louisville also dismissed the NCAA’s contention that former Adidas executive James Gatto and amateur league director Merl Code represented the school while funneling illegal payments to recruits at several schools.

“The enforcement staff’s remaining allegations lack factual support and overread the relevant Bylaws,” the response stated, “and rest on the erroneous contention that the conspirators were representatives of the University’s athletics interests.

“For these reasons and others set forth, the panel should reject the enforcement staff’s dramatically overbroad theory, and classify this case as involving a Level II-Mitigated violation.”

Bubbles brewing with season on horizon

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INDIANAPOLIS — With the coronavirus pandemic already forcing changes for college basketball, a bubble may be brewing in Indianapolis.

Indiana Sports Corp. released a 16-page proposal Friday that calls for turning the city convention center’s exhibition halls and meeting rooms into basketball courts and locker rooms. There would be expansive safety measures and daily COVID-19 testing.

The all-inclusive price starts at $90,000 per team and would cover 20 hotel rooms per traveling party, testing, daily food vouchers ranging from $30-$50 and the cost of game officials. Sports Corp. President Ryan Vaughn said the price depends on what offerings teams or leagues choose.

“The interest has been high,” Vaughn said. “I think as conferences figure out what conference and non-conference schedules are going to look like, we’re we’re a very good option for folks. I would tell you we’ve had conversations with the power six conferences, mid-majors, it’s really kind of all over the Division I spectrum.”

Small wonder: The NCAA this week announced teams could start ramping up workouts Monday, with preseason practices set to begin Oct. 14. Season openers, however, were pushed back to Nov. 25 amid wide-ranging uncertainty about campus safety and team travel in the pandemic.

There is already scrambling going on and some of the marquee early-season tournaments have already been impacted.

The Maui Invitational will be moved from Hawaii to Asheville, North Carolina, with dates still to be determined and organizers clear that everyone involved “will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.” The Batttle 4 Atlantis has been canceled. The Cancun Challenge will be held in Melbourne, Florida, not Mexico.

More changes almost certainly will be coming, including what to do with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

“I think we’re past the guesswork on whether we play 20 conference games or more than that,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said Friday. “We’re trying to get everybody set like in terms of MTEs (multi-team events), figuring out when to play the ACC-Big Ten challenge.”

Painter, who was part of the NCAA committee that recommended how to start the season, noted part of the uncertainty stems from differing protocols imposed by campus, city and state officials.

In Indianapolis, Vaughn believes the convention center, nearby hotels, restaurants and downtown businesses, many within walking distance of the venue, could safely accommodate up to 24 teams. The 745,000-square foot facility would feature six basketball courts and two competition courts.

Anyone entering the convention center would undergo saliva-based rapid response testing, which would be sent to a third-party lab for results. Others venues could be added, too, potentially with more fans, if the case numbers decline.

If there is a taker, the event also could serve as a dry run for the 2021 Final Four, also slated for Indy.

“It’s not going to hurt,” Vaughn said. “I can tell you all the planning we’re doing right now is the same for a Final Four that’s been scheduled here for any other year. But it would be nice to have this experience under our belt to see if it can be done.”

Maui Invitational moving to North Carolina during pandemic

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Maui Invitational is moving to the mainland during the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the premier preseason tournaments on the college basketball schedule, the Maui Invitational will be played at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

Dates for the tournament announced Friday have yet to be finalized. The NCAA announced Wednesday that the college basketball season will begin Nov. 25.

This year’s Maui Invitational field includes Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV.

All teams, staff, officials, and personnel will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.

Burton eligible at Texas Tech after 2 seasons at Wichita State

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LUBBOCK, Texas — Junior guard Jamarius Burton has been granted a waiver from the NCAA that makes him eligible to play this season for Texas Tech after starting 52 games the past two seasons for Wichita State.

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard announced the waiver Thursday, which came five months after Burton signed with the Big 12 team.

Burton has two seasons of eligibility remaining, as well as a redshirt season he could utilize. He averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 assists per game as a sophomore at Wichita State, where he played 67 games overall.

Burton is from Charlotte. He helped lead Independence High School to a 31-1 record and the North Carolina Class 4A state championship as a senior there.

NCAA season set to open day before Thanksgiving

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The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball season will begin on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving.

The Division I Council voted Wednesday to push the start date back from the originally scheduled Nov. 10 as one of several precautions against the spread of coronavirus.

The later start date coincides with the decision most schools made to send students home from Thanksgiving until January out of concern about a potential late-fall and early-winter flareup of COVID-19. Closed campuses could serve as a quasi bubble for players and provide a window for non-conference games.

The maximum number of regular-season games has been reduced from 31 to 27. The minimum number of games for consideration for the NCAA Tournament was cut from 25 to 13.

Teams can start preseason practices Oct. 14 but will be allowed to work out 12 hours per week beginning Monday.

No scrimmages against other teams or exhibitions are allowed.

In other action, the council voted to extend the recruiting dead period for all sports through Dec. 31. In-person recruiting is not allowed during a dead period, though phone calls and other correspondence are allowed.

The men’s and women’s basketball oversight committees had jointly recommended a start date of Nov. 21, which would have allowed for games to be played on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The council opted not to do that to avoid a conflict with regular-season football games.

The council is scheduled to meet again Oct. 13-14 and could delay the start date and change other pieces of the basketball framework if circumstances surrounding the virus warrant.