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Trent, No. 4 Duke bounce back by routing Irish 88-66

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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — After its lowest-scoring game of the season, No. 4 Duke had no trouble putting up points on Notre Dame.

Gary Trent Jr. scored 22 points and tied a season high with 10 rebounds, and the Blue Devils routed the Fighting Irish 88-66 on Monday night.

Grayson Allen scored 18 points, and Wendell Carter Jr. finished with 17 to help the Blue Devils (19-3, 7-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who shot nearly 55 percent after halftime and finished with 12 3-pointers.

They overcame a rare off night — by his high standards, anyway — from star freshman Marvin Bagley III, and bounced back from a two-point loss to No. 2 Virginia from what coach Mike Krzyzewski called “self-inflicted stuff.” Duke has yet to lose consecutive games this season.

“I’m not saying Virginia wasn’t worthy of winning, but we had a great shot at winning that game,” Krzyzewski said. “And you worry about a hangover where you’re still thinking about that. And that’s what we’ve tried to address for the last couple of days, and I thought our team did that.”

T.J. Gibbs scored 22 points and John Mooney added 14 with a career-high four 3-pointers for the injury-riddled Fighting Irish (13-9, 3-6), who have lost six straight.

Trent hit two of his six 3s and Carter scored eight points during a 28-4 run midway through the second half that broke the game open and put Duke up by 30.

“That offensive run they had in the second half, it kind of broke our back,” Irish coach Mike Brey said.

Bagley, the ACC’s leading scorer at 22 points per game, finished with 12 points on 4-of-14 shooting. It was his lowest-scoring game since No. 5 Michigan State held him to four points in the third game of his career.

BIG PICTURE

Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish are trying to ride out the wave of injuries that has derailed their promising season, with ACC preseason player of the year Bonzie Colson and guards Matt Farrell and D.J. Harvey all sidelined. They were competitive for about 30 minutes before coming away with their longest losing streak since the 2008-09 team dropped seven in a row.

“We’re trying to figure this thing out,” Brey said. “Maybe we’ll have a few bodies back for N.C. State. … We could use a couple more bodies back. Now you’ve got the back nine of the league.”

Duke: The Blue Devils got back to their high-scoring ways two nights after a 65-63 loss to the Cavaliers that set a season low for scoring by 15 points. All five starters reached double figures for a team that slipped to No. 2 nationally with 90.3 points per game, a fraction of a point behind 12th-ranked Oklahoma.

STAR WATCH

Bagley went 21 minutes between field goals. He made his first shot 20 seconds in, but didn’t even attempt one in the final 13 minutes of the first half before throwing down an alley-oop from Duval 90 seconds into the second half.

“I thought he played well,” Krzyzewski said. “He didn’t play great. We’re all accustomed to great.”

BENCH POINTS

Krzyzewski was criticized for his refusal to use his bench in the Virginia loss — the reserves combined to play six minutes in that one, and Duke used no subs in the second half. Little-used Jack White came in midway through the first half Monday and immediately made things happen.

The sophomore from Australia threw down an authoritative putback dunk off Allen’s missed 3-pointer, then grabbed a tough rebound that directly led to one of Trent’s 3s. Later, his tough rebound set up another 3 from Trent — and earned him a midcourt backslap from Coach K — and a 3-pointer of his own put Duke up by 20 for the first time, prompting the Cameron Crazies to chant his name.

STAT LINE

Trent hit six 3s for the fourth time, and all of them have come against ACC opponents.

HE SAID IT

“There’s nothing like it” — White, on hearing the students chant his name.

UP NEXT

Notre Dame: Returns to the North Carolina Triangle on Saturday to face N.C. State.

Duke: Steps out of ACC play to take on St. John’s on Saturday in Madison Square Garden.

Trae Jefferson to transfer out of Texas Southern

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Texas Southern guard and NCAA tournament darling Trae Jefferson announced on Saturday that he’s leaving the school.

The 5-foot-7 Jefferson was sensational at times during his sophomore season with the Tigers as he put up 23.1 points, 4.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game, helping lead Texas Southern to a victory in the 2018 NCAA Tournament’s First Four in Dayton over North Carolina Central. One of the most entertaining talents in college basketball, Jefferson is leaving Texas Southern in-part because former head coach Mike Davis took the job at Detroit this offseason.

While Detroit is going to be the favorite to land Jefferson, because of his connection to Davis, it’ll be interesting to see what his transfer market looks like. Jefferson also made it clear on his Twitter page that he would like to be closer to his hometown of Milwaukee so that he can be closer to his ailing grandfather.

Given NCAA transfer rules, Jefferson would likely have to sit out next season before getting two more years of eligibility. But he could be applying for a waiver if he’s trying to be closer to home to deal with his family situation.

Nevada’s Josh Hall transfers to Missouri State

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Nevada lost a talented player from last season’s team as rising junior Josh Hall opted to transfer to Missouri State on Friday night.

The 6-foot-7 Hall is a former top-150 recruit who played a key part in the Wolf Pack’s postseason run as he elevated his play to average 13 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Hall also made the game-winning bucket to lift Nevada past No. 2 seed Cincinnati in the second round.

Although Hall picked up his play late in the year, he was coming off the bench most of his sophomore campaign as he averaged 6.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game last season.

Since Nevada took in some talented transfers, while players like Jordan Caroline and the Martin twins opted not to turn pro, it left head coach Eric Musselman with too many scholarship players for the 2018-19 season. It looks like some of those issues are now going away as Hall is leaving for Missouri State and graduate transfer guard Ehab Amin opted to decommit from the school.

Nevada is expected to be a preseason top-10 team next season with all of the talent they have returning to the roster, along with the addition of some new pieces like McDonald’s All-American big man Jordan Brown.

Hall will likely have to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules as he still has two years of eligibility remaining.

Chris Webber accepts Jim Harbaugh’s invitation to be honorary Michigan football captain

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The frosty relationship between Chris Webber and the University of Michigan could be thawing — thanks to an invitation from football head coach Jim Harbaugh.

On Friday, Harbaugh called in to WTKA’s “The M Zone” as show host Jamie Morris had Webber on the show. Harbaugh offered Webber the opportunity to be an honorary captain for the Michigan football team next season, to which Webber replied that he would love the opportunity.

Webber, a former member of the “Fab Five” who helped the Wolverines to two consecutive NCAA tournament title-game appearances in 1992 and 1993, has not associated directly with the school, or with other members of the Fab Five, for many years.

The NCAA mandated that Webber and Michigan not associate with one another for 10 years after the Ed Martin booster scandal. Webber has always been reluctant to participate in anything Michigan or Fab Five related. When the famous Fab Five documentary was made a few years ago, Webber was the only member of the quintet not to participate in the making of the film. Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson all have a solid relationship with the University of Michigan at this point.

Webber later criticized the film during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, as King and Rose fired back with responses to reignite the feud. In the past, Rose has also been vocal in his belief that Webber should apologize for what happened at Michigan, as the group is hoping to move forward.

Although Webber still isn’t mending fences with the other Fab Five members, or the basketball program, returning to Michigan in some kind of official capacity is a big deal considering his past with the school.

Harbaugh and Webber haven’t decided on a game for next season yet as that will be something to watch for over the next several months.

Akoy Agau returning to Louisville as graduate transfer

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Louisville received a boost to its frontcourt rotation on Friday as former big man Akoy Agau will return to the Cardinals as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau originally committed and enrolled at Louisville for a season and a half to begin his college hoops career before transferring to Georgetown. After leaving the Hoyas to play at SMU last season, Agau received a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA after battling injury for much of his career.

Agau gives Louisville an experienced forward who should earn some solid minutes next season. With the Mustangs during the 2017-18 season, Agau averaged 5.0 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in 16.1 minutes per contest.

While this isn’t the biggest splash for the Cardinals, they have plenty of scholarships to use for next season as new head coach Chris Mack tries to find a stable rotation. Getting a graduate transfer like Agau, who should be familiar with the school and the conference at the very least, is a nice step for a one-year placeholder.

NCAA President Mark Emmert got a $500,000 raise in 2016

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NCAA president Mark Emmert, the man in charge of a non-profit association that doesn’t have enough money to pay its laborers, received a $500,000 raise for the 2016 calendar year, bringing his total income to more than $2.4 million, according to an NCAA tax return that was obtained by USA Today.

That number actually pales in comparison to the salaries that are received by the commissioners of the Power 5 conferences.

But there’s not enough money to pay the players.

Nope.

Everyone is broke.

Carry on with your day, and pray for the well-being of NCAA administrators like Mark Emmert, whose salary is in no way whatsoever inflated by amateurism, which allows the schools and the NCAA to bank all of the advertising revenue that college basketball and football brings in and bars the players themselves from accessing that money.