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Saturday Recap: Xavier wins the shootout, Wichita wins on the road, Devonte’ Graham goes ham

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PLAYER OF THE DAY

Devonte’ Graham and Lagerald Vick combined to put on a clinic on how to beat a 2-3 zone as No. 2 Kansas cruised to a 76-60 win over Syracuse in Miami. Vick went for 20 points, eight boards and seven assists, but it was Graham that was the real star on Saturday. For the second straight game, Graham – who entered the weekend averaged 15.8 points and 8.5 assists for the undefeated Jayhawks – finished with 35 points, adding five dimes and making seven threes, which helped boost his three-point percentage from 36 percent to 41 percent. I think it’s safe to say that Graham’s slow start to the season has come to an end.

The question for Kansas now is whether or not they are ever actually going to get another big man on the roster. It’s not going to hurt them when Clay Young plays 12 minutes at center against Syracuse. It will once they get into the meat-grinder of the Big 12.

THE REST OF SATURDAY’S STARS

  • Trevon Bluiett shook off a two-game slump to pop off for 28 points as No. 21 Xavier put a whupping on No. 11 Cincinnati, 89-76. That was before the postgame fireworks.
  • Jalen Adams had 31 points on 13-for-22 shooting as UConn squeaked out another overtime win against a mid-major, this time picking off Columbia. I’m beginning to think Adams is the only good thing about the current UConn program.
  • Shake Milton had 22 points and nine assists as SMU handed No. 14 USC their second-straight loss, 72-55.
  • Drexel’s Tramaine Isabell had 35 points, 13 boards, three assists and three steals in a come-from-behind win over Rider. I feel like I should mention that he’s 6-foot-1.
  • 5-foot-10 Fatts Russell came off the bench to score 20 points for the second-straight game as Rhode Island picked off in-state rival Providence.

TEAM OF THE DAY

Last Friday, No. 21 Xavier was embarrassed by then-unranked and now-No. 20 Arizona State, giving up 102 points and trailing by as many as 25 in the second half despite leading by 15 just before half time while allowing Tra Holder and Shannon Evans to look like the reincarnation of Stephen Curry and Allen Iverson. It was, as they say, a mollywhopping.

But that seems like so long ago after the week that Xavier has had. After picking off No. 16 Baylor in the Cintas Center of Wednesday, the Musketeers smacked around their archirival, No. 11 Cincinnati, in the Crosstown Shootut, arguably the most intense rivalry in college hoops. They won 89-76, but that number doesn’t quite let you know just how thorough this win was. Xavier was up by ten by the first TV timeout. They were up by 23 points early in the second half. Cincinnati never really threatened them on Saturday.

It was so bad that the loss coupled with the incessant trolling of professional heel J.P. Macura had Mick Cronin looking to fight after the game. A win over your rival as their coach embarrasses himself publicly is a pretty good day.

GAME OF THE DAY

No. 20 Memphis lost to No. 14 UCF in a triple-overtime thriller, 62-55.

It was in football, but I feel like I should mention it here because Memphis is, apparently, now a football school. Tubby Smith’s team sold 4,113 tickets in an 18,000 seat arena to see his Tigers win in double-overtime over Mercer. I’m old enough to remember when they use to sell out the FedEx Forum.

WTF??? OF THE DAY

Big Ten play started this weekend, and if that wasn’t strange enough, this result might be: Ohio State 83, Wisconsin 58.

In the Kohl Center.

For years, the Badgers were just about unbeatable in that building, and not only did the Buckeyes take a 2-by-4 to the back of the Badgers’ proverbial heads, they did so in a year where they were supposed to be rebuilding. Remember, it was just six months ago that Ohio State fired the greatest coach that their program has ever seen. Thad Matta was let go because the program in the eyes of the higher-ups, was too far gone.

And now Ohio State is winning by 25 points at Wisconsin when they have an all-american at center. Good for them.

Keita Bates-Diop led the way with 17 points, 11 boards and five assists if you were wondering.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?

Is Arizona back??? The Wildcats, who went from No. 2 to unranked this week, went into Vegas and left with a 91-88 win in overtime over a good UNLV team. Deandre Ayton had 28 points and 10 boards to lead the Wildcats while Allonzo Trier chipped in with 29 points. Brandon McCoy added 33 points and 10 boards.

No. 8 Wichita State landed their first win over a ranked team in roughly two years as they went into Waco and knocked off No. 16 Baylor, 69-62. The Shockers were led by 17 points from Connor Frankamp.

The AAC badly needed some good non-conference performances, and Wichita State wasn’t the only one to chip-in. Houston beat Arkansas by 26 points.

Virginia Tech landed an 83-80 overtime win at Ole Miss after trailing by 16 points in the second half. The Hokies are now 7-1 on the season after wins over the Rebels and Iowa this week, which is why the loss they took at the hands of Saint Louis – who lost by 30 to Bulter after trailing 42-13 at the half – earlier this year is one of the most perplexing results of the season. The Hokies head to Rupp Arena on Dec. 16th.

Georgia and head coach Mark Fox have quietly put together an excellent start to the season. The Bulldogs are 6-1 after winning at Marquette on Saturday. They also have a win over Saint Mary’s on a neutral. With games left at home against Georgia Tech and Temple and a trip to Kansas State, the Bulldogs have a chance to put together a really solid non-conference slate.

 

Former Mizzou tutor plans to reveal ‘full list’ of participants in academic fraud case

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A former Missouri tutor that admitted in 2016 to providing improper academic benefits to multiple Tiger athletes on Monday said that she has been named in a new Notice of Allegations and intends to expose more people attached to the investigation.

Yolanda Kumar tweeted that she is planning on releasing “the full list of students, classes and coordinators on twitter” at 6:39 p.m. on Wednesday, adding that she was dropped from the original NOA but was added back into the latest version after she refused to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Missouri responded on Monday by acknowledging they had met with the Committee on Infractions and that the result of the investigation will prove that they acted with “integrity.”

“On June 13, 2018, the University appeared before the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions to review its investigative findings, and the Committee has since added a previously unnamed involved party and given notice of the Committee’s allegation to that individual,” a statement Missouri released to ESPN said. “While the University may not disclose the names of any involved student due to FERPA, we remain confident that this review will reveal that the University, as well as its student-athletes and staff, have shown great integrity in responding to the allegations raised. In order to protect the investigation’s integrity and in accordance with NCAA rules relative to ongoing investigations, we are unable to comment further any part of the process until it is completed.”

In 2016, Kumar told the Kansas City Star that she had been asked to offer special assistance to football and men’s basketball players, and confirmed to compliance officials that she had acquiesced, helping a dozen athletes. That led to the NCAA’s investigation, and as a result, a defensive tackle named A.J. Logan was suspended for six games.

Kumar also tweeted in 2017 that she was willing to sell the information she had involving the case for the $3,000 fee she needed to pay Missouri to get her transcripts from the school. On Monday, she tweeted that her debt was cleared by a couple from Kansas City.

All of this allegedly occurred during the tenure of former Missouri head coach Kim Anderson.

Michigan, John Beilien ink five-year extension

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Michigan announced on Wednesday that head coach John Beilein has signed a five-year contract extension with the school that will keep him in Ann Arbor through the 2023 season, at least.

“I am grateful for the opportunity the University of Michigan has given to me over the past 11 years,” said Beilein. “Kathleen and I love Ann Arbor, our University, our fans and the state of Michigan. We will continue to work very hard in the future to have our basketball team reflect the greatness of this University. I thank Mark Schlissel and Warde Manuel for their faith and commitment to our coaching staff and basketball program. The future of men’s basketball is bright and I am excited to be a part of it.”

The deal that Beilein signed is a rollover deal, which means that the contract will renew every year. In other words, as long as Beilein and Michigan want the option picked up each April, he will have a five-year contract with Michigan regardless of how long he coaches at the school.

This is Beilein’s 12th year with the Wolverines. Last season, they won a program-record 33 games and reached the Final Four, losing in the national title game for the second time in six seasons.

He is already Michigan’s all-time leader in wins with 248, and, through 41 seasons as a college coach, has amassed a career record of 799-461. In 11 seasons in Ann Arbor, Michigan has made eight NCAA Tournament appearances with four Sweet 16s and three Elite Eights in addition to the two trips to the Final Four. He was named the he 2013 Big Ten Coach of the Year and has won two Big Ten regular-season titles as well as the last two Big Ten Tournament titles.

There was some speculation earlier this month that Beilein would be leaving Michigan after he had an interview with the Detroit Pistons, but he withdrew from that search after the news became public and it seemed likely that Dwayne Casey would be hired.

Former Michigan athletes Austin Hatch, Abby Cole tie the knot

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The life of former Michigan basketball player Austin Hatch has not been without its challenges, as during his pre-college years he survived two separate plane crashes that took the lives of his parents, a stepmother and two siblings.

Hatch’s scholarship offer to Michigan was honored by head coach John Beilein despite the impact that the crashes had on Hatch physically, and Hatch would go on to earn his degree and land a job at the corporate office for Domino’s. This past spring, Hatch was honored during the team’s Senior Day festivities.

By that point Hatch was already engaged to Abby Cole, who played volleyball at Michigan from 2013 to 2016. And over the weekend, the two tied the knot in what was a highly emotional day for all involved. Below is a video of their wedding day, which was chronicled by Derek Postma.

Congratulations and best wishes to Abby and Austin on their marriage.

Arizona lands Cornell forward Stone Gettings for 2019-20 season

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Arizona landed its first addition for the 2019-20 season on Monday, as an Ivy League power forward revealed his intention to join Sean Miller’s program as a graduate student.

6-foot-9 forward Stone Gettings, who averaged 16.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game at Cornell last season, picked Arizona over Stanford and Vanderbilt according to Evan Daniels of 247Sports.com. A second team All-Ivy selection, Gettings is on course to graduate from Cornell in December. Instead of using his final season of eligibility at Cornell, Gettings will sit out this season before playing at Arizona.

Gettings does have a connection to the Arizona program, as one of his high school teammates was former point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright. The addition of Gettings will give Arizona a front court player who can score around the basket and from the perimeter, as he shot nearly 37 percent from beyond the arc last season.

Gettings isn’t the first Ivy League player to make his decision regarding a new school well in advance of his being able to move as a grad transfer, as former Yale point guard Makai Mason took a similar approach. Mason, who missed the entire 2016-17 season with a torn ACL, announced prior to last season that he be joining the Baylor program as a grad transfer for the 2018-19 campaign.

Not counting Gettings, Arizona has four scholarship front court players on its current roster who will have eligibility remaining in 2019-20, in current junior Chase Jeter, sophomores Emmanuel Akot and Ira Lee and freshman Omar Thielemans.

Bill Self: Silvio De Sousa’s eligibility not in jeopardy ‘at this stage’

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One of the biggest question marks heading into the 2018-19 season for the Kansas Jayhawks is the eligibility status of Silvio De Sousa.

If you’ve forgotten, a player that is believed to be De Sousa was referenced in a second round of indictments handed by the FBI. In those documents, De Sousa’s guardian is alleged to have asked an Adidas rep for at least $20,000 to repay a rival apparel company for a payment that was made to secure De Sousa’s commitment to another school. Prior to a surprise commitment to Kansas, De Sousa was long considered a Maryland lean. His AAU program and high school team were both sponsored by Under Armour, whose flagship program is Maryland.

According to Kansas head coach Bill Self, at this point De Sousa is still eligible.

“Nobody at this stage has given us any information that he could be in jeopardy at this stage,” Self said.

This is not surprising.

The way that I would expect this to play out is similar to the way it played out for players that were referenced in the indictments that came down last fall. Kansas is going to string this thing along until we get to a point in time close to the start of the season, when they will announce that De Sousa is being held out of competition. It is better for Kansas to bite the bullet and play without De Sousa than it would be for them to risk knowingly suiting up a player that can be retroactively ruled ineligible.

That sucks for De Sousa.

The good news for Kansas, however, is that Udoka Azubuike is back, as is Mitch Lightfoot, while both Dedric and K.J. Lawson will be eligible as they add freshman David McCormack. There is more than enough frontcourt depth to withstand the loss of De Sousa.