Ojeleye big 2nd half, No. 19 SMU rallies 80-75 over Tulane

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DALLAS (AP) Semi Ojeleye scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half, including consecutive 3-pointers in the SMU run that finally put the 19th-ranked Mustangs ahead in an 80-75 victory over Tulane on Wednesday night.

With the rally from a 15-point halftime deficit, SMU (23-4, 13-1 American) extended its home winning streak to 20 games in a row, including all 16 this season. The AAC-leading Mustangs have a nine-game winning streak and have won 19 of their last 20 games overall

Jarrey Foster had 19 points, including three consecutive dunks in one stretch for SMU. Ben Moore had 15 points with 13 rebounds, while Shake Milton and Sterling Brown each had 13 points.

Cameron Reynolds had 23 points for Tulane (4-21, 1-12), which has a nine-game losing streak

Ojeleye, the former Duke transfer, missed his first 10 shots before making a 3-pointer less than 2 minutes into the second half. Even though he finished 4-of-17 shooting overall, he scored the first eight points in a 13-0 run that put SMU ahead to stay.

The Mustangs were within 56-55 after Ojeleye’s consecutive 3s, and went ahead for the first time when Brown had a steal and a breakaway layup with 9:43 left.

After Foster later missed a layup on a nifty pass from Ojeleye, Foster made up for that with three consecutive highlight slams in less than a minute.

Reynolds missed a dunk that would have put Tulane back ahead, and Foster followed that with a powerful two-handed dunk. Then came a one-handed slam over a Tulane defender before a putback slam for Foster.

Malik Morgan had 18 points for Tulane, while Ray Ona Embo had 12.

BIG PICTURE

Tulane: This was a chance for a signature win for Tulane in its first season under former NBA coach Mike Dunleavy Sr. The Green Wave led 42-27 at the break, and hadn’t trailed by that point. They had gone ahead with 10 consecutive points in a 3-minute span, which Reynolds started with a tiebreaking 3 and capped with a jumper that made it 25-15.

SMU: The Mustangs again played only their six scholarship players, like they did in a win over then-No. 11 Cincinnati on Sunday to take over the AAC lead and avenge their only loss since November. It was the first time in a 20-game span since November that SMU allowed more than 66 points, but that was after Tulane scored 42 before halftime.

UP NEXT

Tulane: plays its next two games at home, starting Saturday against USF.

SMU: at Houston on Saturday, then a week before playing its final regular-season road game at UConn on Feb. 25.

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

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.

Kansas State’s Barry Brown withdraws from NBA Draft

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Kansas State, a preseason top ten team, announced on Friday afternoon that Barry Brown will be returning to school for his senior season.

“Although the process was more than enjoyable, I have decided to withdraw my name from the 2018 NBA Draft,” Brown said in a statement. “Thank you to everyone who supported me, and I am looking forward to finishing my senior season as a Wildcat!”

Brown declared for the draft nearly two months ago. According to Kansas.com, Brown was invited to two workouts with NBA teams but did not get an invite to the NBA Draft Combine last weekend in Chicago. There was not a great chance that he would be drafted had he kept his name in the mix.

A second-team all-Big 12 selection a season ago, Brown averaged 15.9 points, 3.2 boards and 3.1 assists for a team that won 25 games and advanced to the Elite Eight as a No. 9 seed.

Kansas State is currently No. 8 in the NBC Sports preseason top 25.

VIDEO: Deandre Ayton NBA Draft Prospect Profile

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Over the course of the next month, I will be putting together NBA Draft Prospect Profiles for our sister site, Pro Basketball Talk, of the most talented and promising prospects from the college ranks.

Today, the first example of those profiles went live. It’s of Deandre Ayton and you can read all of the 1,500 words here. We take a good long look at why he’s the best prospect in the draft and the reasons why he may never actually reach his immense ceiling.

If you’re not into reading, here is a four-minute video breakdown of his strengths, his weaknesses and how he can turn the latter into the former.