Dickinson impresses as No. 3 Michigan routs No. 9 Iowa 79-57

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Hunter Dickinson showed early on that he could guard Luka Garza without help.

Then, when Dickinson left the game for a bit with three fouls, his teammates took control.

Dickinson gave Garza fits around the basket, and Franz Wagner scored 21 points to lead No. 3 Michigan to a 79-57 victory over No. 9 Iowa on Thursday night. Garza’s three-point play early in the second half put the Hawkeyes up 37-36 – and drew Dickinson’s third foul. Michigan answered that with a 14-2 run that took place mostly while Dickinson was on the bench.

“All hands on deck,” Wolverines coach Juwan Howard said.

Dickinson more than held his own against Garza in a much-anticipated matchup of two standout big men who have known each other for years. The Wolverines (17-1, 12-1) passed yet another test against a highly ranked opponent, and they look increasingly alone atop the Big Ten, where every other team has at least four conference losses.

Garza led the Hawkeyes (17-7, 11-6) with 16 points, but he shot 6 of 19 from the field. The 7-foot-1 Dickinson, who like Garza went to high school in the Washington area, blocked Garza’s first shot attempt of the game. Even when Garza got the ball in good position in the post, he had a hard time scoring consistently.

“I know I’ve got to be better for my team,” Garza said. “For some reason, there was just a lid on the rim for me tonight.”

Michigan became the first team to hold the Hawkeyes under 65 points all season.

The Wolverines led 32-29 at halftime, then went on their run after Dickinson’s third foul. Dickinson returned to cap that run with a layup that made it 50-39.

“Tonight was a battle,” Dickinson said. “I’m still tired after that game.”

Isaiah Livers scored 16 points for the Wolverines. Dickinson added 14 in addition to all his fine defensive work.

“As you see, we didn’t try to double-team,” Livers said. “Game plan was for Hunter to guard him one on one, and for us to stay home to the shooters.”

Michigan was coming off a 92-87 win over No. 4 Ohio State last weekend. This game was more tedious at the start, but the Wolverines never seemed to grow frustrated.

BIG PICTURE

Iowa: There were some positives for the Hawkeyes in the first half. Their defense – thought to be a weakness – kept Michigan mostly under control in the first 20 minutes. Iowa has some health concerns, though. Jack Nunge was injured in the first half and walked off with some assistance. In the second half, Connor McCaffery went down with what appeared to be a left foot injury.

Coach Fran McCaffery said Nunge would have an MRI, and the team hopes Connor MacCaffery can be ready for its next game.

Fran McCaffery said his team needs to do a more consistent job defending.

“I think what we have to do is I think a better job of locking in defensively when we have a few shots roll out on us,” he said.

Michigan: Dickinson, a freshman, acquitted himself well against Garza. The Wolverines turned what looked like a matchup of heavyweights into a rout – and that’s also what they’ve done in the Big Ten standings so far.

TOUGHER NIGHT

Garza scored 44 points in a loss at Michigan last season, but Thursday was a far cry from that performance. Howard said he suspects the Wolverines will see Iowa again, and Garza will make adjustments.

“It’s not easy guarding Garza. He’s a talent. This guy has a chance to be the player of the year this year,” Howard said. “I’m so proud of the effort that our guys gave.”

OFFENSIVE STRUGGLES

Jordan Bohannon entered the game needing only three assists to become Iowa’s career leader. He had zero.

The Hawkeyes as a team had only four, which said a lot about how Michigan defended.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

At this point, Michigan might be able to lose a game without dropping. The No. 4, 5, 6 and 7 teams all have at least five losses. Iowa may drop out of the top 10 – but the Hawkeyes do have another chance this week to earn a marquee win.

UP NEXT

Iowa: The Hawkeyes face another top-five opponent when they play at Ohio State on Sunday.

Michigan: The Wolverines have only one day off before playing at Indiana on Saturday.

Kentucky moves scrimmage to Eastern Kentucky for flood relief

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky will play its annual Blue-White men’s basketball scrimmage in Eastern Kentucky to benefit victims of the devastating summer floods.

The school announced that the Oct. 22 event at Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville will feature a pregame Fan Fest. Ticket proceeds will go through Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief.

Wildcat players will also participate in a community service activity with local organizations in the relief effort.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said the team was excited to play for Eastern Kentucky fans and added, “We hope we can provide a temporary escape with basketball and community engagement.”

The scrimmage traditionally is held at Rupp Arena. It will occur eight days after its Big Blue Madness public workout at Rupp.

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky coach Kyra Elzy says freshman Tionna Herron is recovering from open-heart surgery to correct a structural abnormality.

The 6-foot-4 post player learned of her condition after arriving at school in June and received other opinions before surgery was recommended. Senior trainer Courtney Jones said in a release that Herron underwent surgery Aug. 24 at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and is recovering at home in DeSoto, Texas.

Elzy said Herron “is the definition of a warrior” and all are grateful to be on the other side of the player’s surgery. Herron is expected back on campus early next month and will continue rehabilitation until she’s cleared to return to normal activity.

“Her will and determination to eventually return to the court is inspiring, and it’s that `game-on’ attitude that is what makes her such a perfect fit in our program,” Elzy said in a release. “We are so thrilled for Tionna’s return to our locker room; it’s not the same without our full team together.”

Herron committed to Kentucky during last fall’s early signing period, rated as a four-star prospect and a top-70 player in last year’s class. Kentucky won last year’s Southeastern Conference Tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament’s first round.

Emoni Bates charged with 2 felonies

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SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, Mich — Emoni Bates, a former basketball prodigy who transferred to Eastern Michigan from Memphis, was charged with two felonies after police found a gun in a car during a traffic stop.

The 18-year-old Bates failed to stop at an intersection Sunday night and a search turned up the weapon, said Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the Washtenaw County sheriff’s office.

Defense attorney Steve Haney told The Associated Press that the vehicle and the gun didn’t belong to Bates.

“I hope people can reserve judgment and understand there’s a presumption of innocence,” Haney said. “This was not his vehicle. This was not his gun. … We’re still gathering facts, too.”

Bates was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and altering identification marks on a firearm. He was released after his lawyer entered a not guilty plea. Bates’ next court hearing is Oct. 6.

“This is his first brush with the law,” Haney said in court. “He poses no threat or risk to society.”

Less than a month ago, the 6-foot-9 Bates transferred to Eastern Michigan to play for his hometown Eagles. Bates averaged nearly 10 points a game last season as a freshman at Memphis, where he enrolled after reclassifying to skip a year of high school and join the class of 2021.

“We are aware of a situation involving one of our student athletes,” EMU spokesman Greg Steiner said. “We are working to gather more details and will have further comment when more information is available.”

Bates was the first sophomore to win the Gatorade national player of the year award in high school basketball in 2020, beating out Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley. Detroit drafted Cunningham No. 1 overall last year, two spots before Cleveland took Mobley in the 2021 NBA draft.

Bates committed to playing for Tom Izzo at Michigan State two years ago, later de-committed and signed with Memphis. Bates played in 18 games for the Tigers, who finished 22-11 under Penny Hardaway. Bates missed much of the season with a back injury before appearing in Memphis’ two NCAA Tournament games.

In 2019, as a high school freshman, the slender and skilled guard led Ypsilanti Lincoln to a state title and was named Michigan’s Division 1 Player of the Year by The Associated Press. His sophomore season was cut short by the pandemic and he attended Ypsi Prep Academy as a junior, his final year of high school.

UConn to pay Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million over firing

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn announced Thursday it has agreed to pay former men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million to settle discrimination claims surrounding his 2018 firing.

The money is in addition to the more than $11.1 million in back salary Ollie has already been paid after an arbitrator ruled in January that he was improperly fired under the school’s agreement with its professor’s union.

“I am grateful that we were able to reach agreement,” Ollie said in a statement Thursday. “My time at UConn as a student-athlete and coach is something I will always cherish. I am pleased that this matter is now fully and finally resolved.”

Ollie, a former UConn point guard who guided the Huskies to a 127-79 record and the 2014 national championship in six seasons as head coach, was let go after two losing seasons. UConn also stopped paying him under his contract, citing numerous NCAA violations in terminating the deal.

In 2019, the NCAA placed UConn on probation for two years and Ollie was sanctioned individually for violations, which the NCAA found occurred between 2013 and 2018. Ollie’s attorneys, Jacques Parenteau and William Madsen, accused UConn of making false claims to the NCAA for the purpose of firing Ollie “with cause.”

The school had argued that Ollie’s transgressions were serious and that his individual contract superseded those union protections.

Ollie’s lawyers had argued that white coaches, including Hall-of-Famers Jim Calhoun and women’s coach Geno Auriemma, had also committed NCAA violations, without being fired, and indicated they were planning to file a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The school and Ollie said in a joint statement Thursday they were settling “to avoid further costly and protracted litigation.”

Both sides declined to comment further.

Ollie, who faced three years of restrictions from the NCAA on becoming a college basketball coach again, is currently coaching for Overtime Elite, a league that prepares top prospects who are not attending college for the pros.

Dream’s McDonald returning to Arizona to coach under Barnes

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TUCSON, Ariz. — Atlanta Dream guard Aari McDonald is returning to Arizona to work under coach Adia Barnes.

The school announced that McDonald will serve as director of recruiting operations while continuing to fulfill her WNBA commitments. She will oversee all recruiting logistics, assist with on-campus visits, manage recruit information and social media content at Arizona.

McDonald was one of the best players in Arizona history after transferring from Washington as a sophomore. She was an All-American and the Pac-12 player of the year in 2020-21, leading the Wildcats to the national championship game, which they lost to Stanford.

McDonald broke Barnes’ single-season scoring record and had the highest career scoring average in school history before being selected by the Dream with the third overall pick of the 2021 WNBA draft.