Perry Ellis All-Stars: These guys are still in school

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It’s one of the true joys and unique aspects of college basketball. It’s also endlessly frustrating if you’re on the other side.

That guy who has tormented your team for years, that dude that just has destroyed your alma mater and that you’re sure had graduated and moved on, well, he’s still on the team. Still ready to get buckets and ruin your evening.

He’s one of college sports’ great archetypes, and he’s a member of the Perry Ellis All-Stars.

Luke Maye (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

FIRST-TEAM

LUKE MAYE, North Carolina: Back when he committed to the Tar Heels in 2014, Maye wasn’t even sure if he’d be on scholarship. After a star turn in UNC’s national title run in 2017 and an All-American campaign in 2018, the Tar Heels weren’t sure he’d be back for a senior season. The Cornelius, N.C. native did rebuff professional aspirations for a year to return for one final go-round in Chapel Hill as maybe the most high-profile returning player in the entire country.

NICK EMERY, BYU: Because they take two years off to go on a Mormon mission, BYU players are inherently more likely to end up on a list like this. But Emery is a special case. Initially a member of the Class of 2013, Emery — the more talented younger brother of former Cougar Jackson Emery — Nick averaged 16.1 points as a freshman in 2015-16 and 13.1 points as a sophomore, but he withdrew from school just days prior to the start of the 2017-18 season. He’s back this season, having to sit out the first nine games due to NCAA rules. Part of Emery’s decision to withdraw from school last year was due to his relationship with a booster and impermissible benefits he received. He’ll be playing as a junior this season after committing to BYU … in 2011. He turned 24 years old on September 1st.

MIKE DAUM, South Dakota State: There’s a certain sweet spot for “That dude is still in school?” guys that they’re well-known enough to be noticed and remembered, but enough on the periphery that they’re not always top of mind. The high-scoring Jackrabbit inhabits that space perfectly in Brookings, S.D. Daum has put up big numbers in back-to-back seasons for a team that has twice flirted with first-round NCAA upsets. The Jacks have maybe their best team of Daum’s tenure, which undoubtedly leave plenty muttering, ‘He’s still around?’ into March.

AKOY AGAU, Louisville: One of the best parts of putting together lists like this is charting the paths of guys like Agau. Born in the Sudan and raised in Nebraska, Agau signed with Louisville out of high school in 2012 when ‘Gangnam Style’ was hot, Barack Obama was in his first presidential term and Rick Pitino was months away from claiming a national championship. He played a year-and-a-half for the Cardinals before transferring to Georgetown. He sat out a year before playing a half-season for the Hoyas, but once again decided to transfer after John Thompson III was fired and Agau earned his bachelor’s degree, allowing him to grad transfer. SMU was the destination. That only lasted a year too, and it’s now back to where it began with his old program with a new coach, Chris Mack, as Agau is making the rare second graduate transfer for a sixth year

ETHAN HAPP, Wisconsin: The Illinois native followed the Brian Butch path at Wisconsin, redshirting his initial season in Madison before becoming a Badger fixture. He’s started all 105 games of his career, and he’s now is approaching actually being as old as his game looks. He fell below the national radar last year as the Badgers missed the NCAA tournament for the first time since ‘Titanic’ won Best Picture, which makes him an even stronger candidate for this list. Happ led Wisconsin in scoring, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals – the first Big Ten player to do so in 22 years – and will have one more season to torture Big Ten opponents with his below-the-rim offense and high-level defense.

Josh Perkins (William Mancebo/Getty Images)

SECOND TEAM

JOSH PERKINS, Gonzaga: The former top-100 recruit played five games to start the 2014 season before a broken jaw delayed his freshman season a year. Since then, he’s started 108 games, including a national championship contest in 2017. He’ll have a chance to do that very same thing again this year as the Bulldogs open the season as a Final Four favorite.

CLAYTON CUSTER, Loyola (Chicago): The Kansas City-area product may be the poster child for the down-transfer. After starting his career at Iowa State, where he was stuck on the bench behind Monte Morris, Custer made his move to Loyola. He had a productive first season with the Ramblers, but, along with his team, burst onto the scene last year as the Missouri Valley Conference player of the year and helmed Loyola all the way to a shocking Final Four run. The clock hasn’t struck midnight for this Cinderella, though, as Custer, unlike so many mid-major March heroes, still has a final year of eligibility left.

MAKAI MASON, Baylor: Mason has one of the stranger transfer stories. The Yale guard missed the 2016-17 season due to foot surgery. Under Ivy League rules, Mason wouldn’t be able to to extend his career past four years, despite that missing season, so it was known ahead of last year that Mason would be headed to Baylor. Mason also missed most of last year with a stress fracture in his foot. He’ll finally be back on the floor this year in Waco after two years on the sideline that makes the 16 points per game he averaged as a sophomore seem like so very long ago.

REID TRAVIS, Kentucky: An absolute rarity here: A John Calipari player making this list. Travis began his career at Stanford in 2014, redshirted 2015-16 due to a leg injury and earned a Stanford degree (no small feat) this spring before flirting with a pro career and ultimately deciding to finish his career as a part of Big Blue Nation. When the Minneapolis native first stepped on Stanford’s campus, a number of his current teammates were just 14 years old.

JAQUAN LYLE, New Mexico: Let’s chart Lyle’s path to his senior season at New Mexico. Lyle played three years of high school at a high school in his Evansville, Ind. hometown and committed to Louisville the summer before his senior year. He then transferred to the powerhouse Huntington Prep in West Virginia. He then decommitted from the Cardinals and pledged to Oregon, even signing a National Letter of Intent. He then, though, was deemed inelieigble by the NCAA, which led to a post-grad year at IMG Academy in Florida. After that, he went to Ohio State, where he spent two seasons before deciding to transfer after he was charted with three misdemeanors for an incident outside of a bar in his hometown. Follow all that? It’s why Lyle is the lone junior member of the Perry Ellis All-Stars.

HONORABLE MENTION

TACKO FALL, UCF: The Senegal native has been part of the college basketball conversation for years given his enormous size at 7-foot-6. His height, though, obscures the fact that he’s also been a productive player of his three-year career. Fall has converted on more than 70 percent of his attempts through the field and has been among the country’s leaders in shot blocking percentage, topping out at 12.8 percent as a freshman. A shoulder injury cost him the second half of last season. He’s expected to be healthy for his senior season.

ISAAC COPELAND, Nebraska: A top-20 recruit in the Class of 2014, Copeland spent two years at Georgetown before transferring to Lincoln. Back surgery led to a medical redshirt season, and Copeland averaged 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game for the Huskers last season.

DWAYNE MORGAN, Southern Utah: A top-15 recruit in the 2014 class, Morgan had two uneventful seasons (plus one ended by hip and shoulder injuries) at UNLV save for an arrest that stemmed from an argument with a cab driver and culminated with Morgan exiting the taxi and trying to drive a police car home at 6:40 in the morning. That was the end of his Runnin’ Rebel career. The Baltimore native then made a move to Southern Utah as a graduate transfer where he played the second semester and averaged 12.2 points. This is his final season of eligibility.

Tennessee center Tamari Key out for season with blood clots

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee senior center Tamari Key will miss the rest of this season because of blood clots in her lungs, coach Kellie Harper said.

Doctors found the issue during testing. Key is expected to make a full recovery after treatment from University of Tennessee doctors, Harper said, adding that her sole concern is Key getting the medical care she needs to heal and return to full strength.

Key missed the first game of her career in a win Tuesday night over Chattanooga after playing her first 99.

“This is much bigger than basketball. We are so grateful that this medical condition was caught,” Harper said in a statement. “Our entire program will be right beside Tamari during this process and welcomes prayers and positive thoughts from Lady Vol Nation and beyond.”

The Lady Vols opened the season ranked fifth but currently are 5-5.

The 6-foot-6 Key from Cary, North Carolina, currently is Tennessee’s third-leading scorer averaging 8.4 points a game and averaged 4.2 rebounds per game. She started all 34 games as the Lady Vols reached their first Sweet 16 since 2016 last season and set the school record with 119 blocked shots.

Key had 18 blocks this season and 295 for her career, five away from becoming the eighth woman to reach that mark in Southeastern Conference history.

No. 7 Tennessee beats Eastern Kentucky, win streak hits 7

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tyreke Key scored 10 of the first 12 points of the second half and finished with 17, and No. 7 Tennessee overcame a sluggish first half and beat Eastern Kentucky 84-49 on Wednesday night.

“Tyreke is handling the ball now,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. “That’s all new to him. He keeps getting better.”

The Volunteers (8-1) struggled in the first half but still built an 11-point lead over Eastern Kentucky (4-5) on the way to their seventh straight victory.

Key led Tennessee in scoring before leaving with a cramp in his right leg with 6:15 left in the game. Julian Phillips had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Zakai Zeigler and Uros Plavsic added 13 points apiece. Olivier Nkamhoua scored 10.

“I’m still settling in,” said Key, a transfer from Indiana State who didn’t play last year while recovering from an injury. “This is a new role. I’m taking steps every day and keep learning.”

Eastern Kentucky, which came into the game averaging 83.5 points, was held well below that total due to 17% (6 for 35) shooting from long range and 22% (15 for 68) overall. Leland Walker led the Colonels with 13 points.

It was the seventh time this season Tennessee has held its opponent to 50 or fewer points.

“(Tennessee) is the best defensive team in the country,” Eastern Kentucky coach A.W. Hamilton said. “I think they’re the best team in the country.”

At one point in the first half, Tennessee was shooting 20% and still leading by 10 points. The teams combined to shoot 4 of 32 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes. The Vols, who shot 24% (8 of 34), led 32-21 at the break.

“If we can’t make shots, can you find a way to win the game?” Barnes said. “When the shot’s not going in, find a way to play. The first thing we talk about is our defense.”

Tennessee shot 41 free throws. Phillips, a true freshman, was 7 of 10.

“(Phillips) has learned the pace of the game,” Barnes said. “I’m not sure there’s been a more effective freshman in the country (this season).”

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Since its early season slip against Colorado, Tennessee has had a steady ascent in the rankings. The Vols’ next two games – neutral site (Brooklyn) against No, 13 Maryland (Dec. 11) and at No. 10 Arizona (Dec. 17) – will go a long way toward justifying the No. 7 ranking.

BIG PICTURE

Eastern Kentucky: The Colonels’ run-and-gun style of offense had them averaging 83.5 points through their first eight games. They ran into a defensive buzz saw in Tennessee, which was yielding just over 51 points.

Tennessee: Santiago Vescovi sat out his second straight game with a shoulder problem. He is expected to be ready to play Sunday against Maryland. . The Vols have won seven in a row since their loss to Colorado.

UP NEXT

Eastern Kentucky: The Colonels host Boyce College on Saturday.

Tennessee: Take on No. 13 Maryland on Sunday at the Hall of Fame Invitational in New York.

Hoggard scores career-high 23, Michigan State snaps 2-game skid

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A.J. Hoggard scored a career-high 23 points, Joey Hauser had 12 points and 15 rebounds and Michigan State beat Penn State 67-58 on Wednesday night to snap a two-game losing streak.

Michigan State (6-4, 1-1 Big Ten) avoided going .500 or worse after 10 games for the first time in 18 seasons.

Hoggard blocked an open layup with less than a minute to play and Hauser grabbed the rebound before being fouled and making two free throws at the other end for a 66-58 lead.

Hoggard, Hauser and Tyson Walker combined for 31 of Michigan State’s 32 second-half points.

The Michigan State defense allowed only one made field goal in the final five minutes. Penn State was just 1 of 9 from 3-point range in the second half after 7 of 18 before halftime.

Walker scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half for Michigan State. Hoggard, who entered third in the conference in assists at 6.3, had six rebounds, two assists and one key block.

Hoggard gave Michigan State 35-33 lead – its first since 4-2 – after back-to-back three-point plays with 59.3 seconds left in the first half. It was tied at 35-all at the break.

Seth Lundy scored 16 points and Jalen Pickett had 13 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists for Penn State (6-3, 0-1)

Michigan State hosts Brown on Saturday. Penn State, which hadn’t played since a double-overtime loss to Clemson on Nov. 29, plays at No. 17 Illinois on Saturday.

No. 7 Virginia Tech posts 9th straight win, beats Boston College 73-58

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BOSTON — Reigning Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year Elizabeth Kitley had 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Cayla King scored 16 on Wednesday night to lead No. 7 Virginia Tech to a 73-58 victory over Boston College, the Hokies’ ninth straight win.

Taylor Soule, one of two BC transfers on the roster for Virginia Tech (9-0, 1-0 ACC), added nine points and five rebounds. Soule scored more than 1,500 points and grabbed almost 700 rebounds in four seasons at BC, earning All-ACC honors three times.

Andrea Daley scored 15 points and Maria Gakdeng scored 14 for BC (7-4, 0-1). They each grabbed six rebounds.

Virginia Tech scored 17 of the game’s first 21 points and led by as many as 19 in the third quarter before BC cut the deficit to 10 in the fourth. Leading 64-54 with under three minutes left and the shot clock expiring, Kayana Traylor hit a 3-pointer for the Hokies.

Gakdeng missed two free throws for BC, and then Kitley scored from inside to make it a 15-point game.

Clara Ford, who also played four years in Chestnut Hill, pitched in 2 points in 2 minutes against her former team.

BIG PICTURE

At No. 7, the Hokies have the highest ranking in the program’s history. With the victory over BC, a 10th straight win against North Carolina-Asheville on Sunday would leave Virginia Tech in position to move up even higher should a top five team falter.

UP NEXT

Virginia Tech: Hosts North Carolina-Asheville on Sunday.

Boston College: Hosts Albany on Saturday.

Michigan’s Jaelin Llewellyn out for season with knee injury

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan point guard Jaelin Llewellyn is out for the rest of the season with an injured left knee and is expected to have surgery next month.

Wolverines coach Juwan Howard made the announcement three days after Llewellyn was hurt in a loss to Kentucky in London.

Llewellyn transferred to Michigan from Princeton last spring and that seemed to lead to Frankie Collins transferring to Arizona State after a solid freshman season for the Wolverines.

Llewellyn averaged seven points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists in eight games at Michigan. He was an All-Ivy League player last season and averaged nearly 16 points over three seasons at Princeton.