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Young’s 29 points lead Oklahoma past No. 25 USC 85-83

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LOS ANGELES (AP) The first month of Trae Young’s college basketball career has been one superlative after another.

The freshman guard had 29 points and nine assists to help Oklahoma edge No. 25 Southern California 85-83 on Friday night in the Hall of Fame Basketball Classic tripleheader.

Young, a freshman who leads the nation in scoring, topped 28 points for the sixth straight game. He ended last month averaging 28.8 points, 8.8 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals.

December is getting off to a similar start.

”Trae brings a skill that not a lot of people have,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. ”The players appreciate and recognize that and do a good job of playing off of him. You can run a lot of different things with the ball in Trey’s hands.”

Christian James added 19 points, tying his career-high with five 3-pointers, and Brady Manek had 15 points for the Sooners (7-1), who won their fifth in a row.

”It makes it a lot easier when your teammates are as good as mine,” Young said. ”When they’re able to knock down shots and make plays on their own it makes it a lot easier on me. The last 5 minutes of the game I feel like is on me. We had a pretty big lead that I let the other team get back in the game.”

Elijah Stewart led five players in double figures with 23 points for the Trojans (4-3), who never led in losing their third straight. Chimezie Metu had 13 points and 11 rebounds.

After trailing by 18 early in the second half, the Trojans made things interesting in the final minute when the Sooners faltered at the free throw line.

Oklahoma missed its last four free throw attempts, including two by Young.

”I know that we’re in the Staples Center,” Young said. ”I was trying to knock them down like Kobe does.”

Jordan McLaughlin, who finished with 20 points and nine assists, scored five in a row to get the Trojans to 85-83. But his potential game-winning 3-point attempt from midcourt missed at the buzzer.

”We fight all the way to the end,” Stewart said. ”We had a good look going at the end. Half-court shots are always tough to make. It was right there for us, we just fell short.”

Oklahoma made 15 3-pointers, tying its season high set against Ball State. The Sooners began both halves with a barrage of 3s. Five of their first six baskets to start the second half were from long range and that helped them extend their lead to 65-50.

The Sooners came out firing, hitting three quick 3-pointers to start the game. They kept it up and moved out to a 20-10 lead, making 3-pointers on six of their first seven baskets.

USC closed within two before Oklahoma pushed its lead to 13 points. Young scored seven of the Sooners’ last nine points of the half to send them into the break leading 48-36.

YOUNG’S FUTURE

Young alluded to his future plans when he talked about playing well in two NBA arenas: Staples Center and Moda Center in Portland. ”I feel like that’s a good sign,” he said. ”This is definitely a dream come true, to be at the highest level. Playing at Staples Center is legendary.”

GRIFFIN’S HOUSE

The Sooners were in Staples Center, home to OU alum Blake Griffin of the Clippers. He didn’t attend.

OU VS PAC-12

The Sooners are 4-0 against Pac-12 opponents under Kruger, including 2-0 this season, having beaten Oregon last month. OU improved to 7-5 all-time against the Trojans and 3-3 in games in Los Angeles.

BIG PICTURE

Oklahoma continues rolling behind its prolific offensive output. The Sooners have scored at least 82 points in all seven of their wins and they came in averaging 94.4 points, second-best in the nation. The win should lift them into the Top 25 next week.

After being ranked No. 10 and winning four straight to open the season, USC is on a downward slide. The loss will drop the Trojans out of the Top 25 with just over two weeks left until they begin Pac-12 play. ”We are where we deserve to be right now,” coach Andy Enfield said. ”We have played well at times and been inconsistent at times.”

UP NEXT

Oklahoma: Plays Wichita State on Dec. 16.

USC: Hosts Santa Clara on Thursday, the start of three straight home games before heading to Hawaii for a Christmas tournament.

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

Bubbles brewing with season on horizon

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
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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

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
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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.

UConn’s Tyrese Martin granted waiver to play this season

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn swingman Tyrese Martin, who transferred from Rhode Island in April, has been granted a waiver that will allow him to play for the Huskies this season.

The 6-foot-6 junior averaged 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds and started every game last season for URI, where he was recruited by current UConn coach Dan Hurley.

NCAA rules require undergraduate transfers to sit out a season, but the organization has been more lenient in granting waivers during the pandemic.

Martin, 21, is expected to compete for playing time at UConn on the wing as both a guard and small forward.