Malcolm Hill

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LATE NIGHT SNACKS: No. 15 Duke, No. 18 Indiana pick up wins

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Charlotte 114, UTSA 108 (2OT)

The 49ers and Roadrunners are playing for seeding in the upcoming Conference USA tournament, and they produced an entertaining contest Thursday night. Six players scored at least 21 points in the game, three for each team, with UTSA’s Ryan Bowie leading all scorers with 23 points. Charlotte received a 21-point, 16-rebound outing from Joseph Uchebo and Curran Scott shot 13-for-15 from the foul line in scoring his 22 points for Mark Price’s team.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 15 Duke 80, Florida State 65: The Blue Devils were balanced offensively, with Grayson Allen leading five double-digit scorers with 18 points. The Seminoles shot 50 percent from the field, but their 15 turnovers were converted into 16 points by the Blue Devils. Of course, Allen was involved in some controversy following the game regarding the possible tripping of Florida State’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes in the second half.

Seton Hall 70, Providence 52: The Pirates and Friars are headed in opposite directions at the point, as Seton Hall won by a comfortable margin in Newark. Isaiah Whitehead played very well at the point, finishing with 25 points, six rebounds, nine assists and four blocked shots as he was far better than Providence’s Kris Dunn who didn’t appear to be at full strength. The Friars pulled to within seven in the second half, but the loss of Ben Bentil (31 points) to a flagrant 2 with just under five mintues remaining essentially ended the game. Seton Hall’s now 7-1 in its last eight games, and Providence is 2-6 during a similar stretch.

No. 18 Indiana 74, Illinois 47: The Hoosiers moved one step closer to a Big Ten title, as they shut down the Fighting Illini in the second half of their 27-point win in Champaign. Yogi Ferrell led the way with 27 points, five rebounds and five assists, and the Hoosiers’ defensive effort was noteworthy as well. Illinois scored just 19 second-half points, and Indiana (mainly OG Anunoby) managed to limit Malcolm Hill to five points on 2-for-7 shooting.

California 75, UCLA 63: The Golden Bears are evidence that the season’s a marathon rather than a sprint. And with their win over the Bruins, Cuonzo Martin’s team is tied with Arizona and Utah for second place in the Pac-12, a game behind Oregon, with three games left to play. Jabari Bird scored 20 points and Jaylen Brown added 16 and ten boards for Cal, which is now 17-0 at home this season. For all the issues Cal had earlier in the season, they’re hitting their stride at just the right time.

STARRED

Isaiah Whitehead, Seton Hall: 25 points, six rebounds, nine assists, four blocks and just two turnovers in the Pirates’ win over Providence.

Quinton Hooker, North Dakota: Hooker scored a career-high 38 points, with the final two coming on free throws that sealed UND’s 80-77 win over Portland State.

Yogi Ferrell, Indiana: 27 points, five rebounds and five assists in the Hoosiers’ blowout win at Illinois.

STRUGGLED

Kris Dunn, Providence: Eight points on 4-for-12 shooting, no assists and three turnovers in an 18-point loss at Seton Hall.

Malcolm Hill, Illinois: Five points on 2-for-7 shooting in Illinois’ 74-47 loss to Indiana.

Jordan McLaughlin, USC: McLaughlin struggled in the Trojans’ loss at Stanford, scoring two points on 1-for-9 shooting from the field.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 22 Utah steamrolled Arizona State, 81-46, in a game they led 33-4 at one point. Jakob Poeltl was limited to just seven points, but the attention he drew from Arizona State factored into his teammates making a school-record 17 three-pointers. Brekott Chapman led four Runnin’ Utes in double figures with 15 points while also grabbing nine rebounds.
  • No. 24 SMU moved into a tie for first in the American with a 69-62 win at Memphis. Sterling Brown scored 14 points and Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy added 12 apiece for the Mustangs, who are looking to win back-to-back regular season conference titles for the first time since they won three straight from 1965-67 (Southwest Conference).

OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS

  • Hofstra moved into a tie for first in the CAA with a 70-69 comeback win at UNCW, which entered the game in sole possession of the top spot. The Pride trailed by as much as 18 Thursday night, avenging a home loss to UNCW February 4 that they led by 22 at one point.
  • ETSU moved to 13-4 in SoCon play with an 80-75 win over Furman. Ge’Lawn Guyn led five Bucs in double figures with 23 points, and ETSU trails first-place Chattanooga (13-3) by a game in the loss column.
  • UConn took care of business on the road, beating USF 81-51 in Tampa. Rodney Purvis led the way for the Huskies with 18 points.
  • North Florida wrapped up the A-Sun regular season title and home court advantage throughout the conference tournament with an 81-80 win at Jacksonville. The Dolphins will be the three-seed, with league newcomer NJIT the two and FGCU the four-seed.
  • Also wrapping up home court advantage throughout its conference tournament was Wagner, which clinched the NEC title with a 69-54 home win over Saint Francis (PA). Behind the Seahawks are four teams (Mount St. Mary’s, St. Francis-Brooklyn, Fairleigh Dickinson and Sacred Heart) with matching 10-7 league records heading into Saturday’s close to the NEC’s regular season schedule.
  • High Point outlasted Winthrop 87-85 to move into a three-way tie for first place in the Big South, but the win may have come at a cost for Scott Cherry’s Panthers. Star forward John Brown left the game with a foot injury and did not return. His status will be a key factor in the upcoming conference tournament.
  • IPFW clinched at least a share of the Summit League regular season crown with an 87-75 win at Western Illinois. Mike Landis scored 24 points for the Mastodons, who received 19 points apiece from Michael Calder and John Konchar.
  • Montana and Weber State both took care of business in their respective games, setting up a showdown with first place in the Big Sky on the line Saturday. The Grizzlies won 90-77 at Idaho State, and Weber State beat Montana State 68-60 without the injured Joel Bolomboy.
  • Joining Charlotte and UTSA in triple digits Thursday was Omaha, which scored 102 points in its four-point win over Oral Roberts. Devin Patterson scored 29 points and Randy Reed 21 for the Mavericks, who shot 56.3 percent from the field.
  • Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga both moved to 14-3 in WCC play, with the Gaels beating Santa Clara 75-50 and Gonzaga winning 82-60 at San Diego. The Gaels hold the head-to-head tiebreaker, so Gonzaga will need some help if they’re to grab the top seed in next weekend’s conference tournament.
  • USC is still searching for its 20th win of the season as they were blown out by Stanford, 84-64. Dorian Pickens led the way for the Cardinal with 25 points, with Rosco Allen adding 17 points.
  • Kyle Collinsworth posted the NCAA record 11th triple-double of his career in BYU’s 99-81 win over Portland. Collinsworth finished with 14 points, ten rebounds and 16 assists.
  • Playing without forward Taylor Johns, UC Riverside handed Hawai’i its second Big West loss of the season, 77-71 in Honolulu. Jaylen Bland scored 20 points and Secean Johnson 19 to go along with ten rebounds to lead the way for Dennis Cutts’ Highlanders, with D.J. Sylvester scoring 18 off the bench.

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: No. 6 Xavier hangs on, No. 17 Miami rebounds

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Illinois 110, Rutgers 101 (3OT)

Somehow a game matching two of the Big Ten’s worst teams produced 211 points and three overtime periods. The Fighting Illini picked up a much-needed win as Malcolm Hill tallied 34 points (7-for-19 FG), 14 rebounds and six assists with Jalen Coleman-Lands adding 26 points and Maverick Morgan 20. Corey Sanders, whose off-balance three forced a second overtime, finished with 39 points (14-for-33 FG), 12 rebounds and eight assists in a losing effort.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 17 Miami 79, Notre Dame 70: Jim Larrañaga’s Hurricanes rebounded from a disappointing effort at NC State Saturday with a win over the Fighting Irish in Coral Gables. Five players scored in double figures for Miami, with Anthony Lawrence (18 points) and Ja’Quan Newton (12) combining to score 30 points off the bench. As a team Miami shot 56.4 percent from the field, which helped make up for the fact that Notre Dame scored 46 points in the paint and rebounded 43.6 percent of its missed shots. Bonzie Colson scored 17 points off the bench to lead Notre Dame offensively.

No. 4 Maryland 70, Nebraska 65: It wasn’t pretty, but Maryland made the plays it needed to make late as they won in Lincoln. Maryland’s size advantage was key, as the Terrapins blocked 13 shots with freshman Diamond Stone responsible for eight of them. Stone, who also had 16 points and ten rebounds, fell two blocks short of his first triple-double, and Melo Trimble scored a team-high 20 points. Just as key for Maryland: Jared Nickens, who has struggled mightily in Big Ten play, scored 11 points and shot 4-for-7 from the field (3-for-6 3PT). He may be a role player, but Nickens’ ability to hit perimeter shots will be important for Maryland given their ability to get points in the paint.

BUBBLE BANTER: What should we make of the Atlantic 10?

STARRED

Malcolm Brodgon, Virginia: In a game in which many of the players struggled offensively, Brogdon scored 27 points (shooting 7-for-10 from the field) in the Cavaliers’ win over Boston College.

Jaylen Adams, St. Bonaventure: Adams got off to a slow start, but once he got rolling Saint Joseph’s had no answer for the sophomore guard. Adams scored 31 points and dished out seven assists in the Bonnies’ 83-73 win in Philadelphia.

Isaiah Whitehead, Seton Hall: 21 points, six rebounds, eight assists, three blocks and two steals in the Pirates’ 79-62 win over Marquette.

STRUGGLED

Eli Carter, Boston College: Virginia devoted much of its attention to the senior guard, resulting in Carter scoring seven points on 2-for-10 shooting.

Justin Edwards, Kansas State: Edwards scored two points in a loss at No. 7 Kansas, shooting 1-for-9 from the field.

Charles Callison and Que Johnson, Washington State: Callison and Johnson combined to shoot 5-for-25 from the field in Washington State’s loss to Arizona.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 3 Villanova retained possession of first place in the Big East, as they beat Creighton 83-58 at The Pavilion. Kris Jenkins scored 22 points and Jalen Brunson 16, as the Wildcats once again played without starting center Daniel Ochefu (concussion).
  • Jarrod Uthoff scored 14 points and Peter Jok and Anthony Clemmons added 12 apiece as No. 5 Iowa took care of Penn State, 73-49. The Hawkeyes are now 9-1 in Big Ten play, tied for first with No. 22 Indiana.
  • No. 6 Xavier had a tougher battle on its hands than many expected, but the Musketeers managed to beat St. John’s 90-83 in Cincinnati. Myles Davis led five Xavier players in double figures with 16 points, and Trevon Bluiett added 15 points along with 13 boards.
  • No. 7 Kansas took care of in-state rival Kansas State, beating the Wildcats 77-59 in Lawrence. Perry Ellis scored 19 points and Devonte’ Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk added ten apiece for the Jayhawks.
  • No. 9 Virginia picked up its fifth straight win, as they beat Boston College 61-47 in Charlottesville. Malcolm Brogdon scored 27 points and grabbed six boards, with 17 of those points coming in the first half.
  • No. 21 Wichita State won its 12th straight game, beating Southern Illinois 76-55. Shaquille Morris scored 13 points and Fred VanVleet finished with 12 points, 11 assists and five steals. Now 11-0 in conference play, the Shockers have a four-game lead with seven games remaining.
  • Ryan Anderson scored a career-high 31 points and grabbed 12 boards to lead No. 23 Arizona to a 79-64 win at Washington State. The Wildcats limited the Cougars to 34.9 percent shooting and scored 17 points off of 17 Washington State turnovers.

OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS

  • As mentioned above, Jaylen Adams produced 31 points and seven assists in St. Bonaventure’s win at Saint Joseph’s. Mark Schmidt’s Bonnies are now 6-3 in Atlantic 10 play, tied with George Washington for fourth place.
  • Florida avoided a major letdown after their win over West Virginia, beating Arkansas 87-83 in Gainesville. Dorian Finney-Smith led five Gators in double figures with 22 points while also grabbing nine rebounds.
  • VCU moved to 9-0 in A-10 play with an 88-70 win over La Salle in Philadelphia. Melvin Johnson, who’s closing in on the school’s career three-pointers mark, put up 30 points in the win.
  • Stony Brook moved to 9-0 in America East play with a 76-51 home win over Binghamton. Lucas Woodhouse scored 14 points and Jameel Warney 13 to go along with a team-high ten rebounds.
  • UNC Asheville remained in sole possession of first in the Big South, as they took care of Charleston Southern 63-55. The Bulldogs are now a game up in the loss column on High Point, Winthrop and Coastal Carolina, with High Point losing at home to Gardner-Webb 79-74.
  • American handed Bucknell its second loss in Patriot League play, beating the Bison 69-55 in the nation’s capital. Bucknell still holds a two-game lead atop the Patriot League at 9-2, with Navy in second at 7-4.
  • Seton Hall took care of business in a game they couldn’t afford to drop, beating Marquette 79-62 in Newark. Kevin Willard’s Pirates shot 50 percent from the field and 20 of their 29 made field goals were assisted.
  • UC Irvine picked up a 78-72 overtime win at Cal Poly to remain atop the Big West standings. Mamadou Ndiaye and Luke Nelson scored 21 points apiece for the Anteaters, who put together an impressive play to force overtime.
  • Dejoute Murray racked up 34 points, 11 rebounds and six assists before fouling out in overtime as Washington beat Arizona State 95-83 in Seattle. Due to foul trouble the Sun Devils finished the game with five available scholarship players.

No. 20 Purdue struggles on both ends in loss at Illinois

Associated Press
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With three talented big men in A.J. Hammons, Isaac Haas and Caleb Swanigan, No. 20 Purdue has one of the nation’s top front court rotations. But if the Boilermakers are to be a factor in the Big Ten and nationally when the NCAA tournament begins, they’d going to need more consistent play from their guards. The perimeter struggled Sunday night in Champaign, and the end result was an 84-70 loss at Illinois.

There’s no denying the fact that the junior tandem of Malcolm Hill and Kendrick Nunn is a talented one, as they entered Sunday’s game combining to average more than 36 points per game. And they were even better against Purdue, combining to shoot 17-for-27 from the field with Hill scoring 30 points and grabbing eight rebounds and Nunn finishing with 22 points and five boards.

They were the catalysts for an Illinois offense that shot 54.2 percent from the field and forced the Boilermakers to go small in an attempt to match up. But the biggest issue for Purdue was their offense rather than their defense, and Illinois had something to do with that.

Illinois used a sagging man-to-man for most of the game, taking away post touches and essentially daring the Purdue guards to become playmakers without the aid of getting the ball in to Hammons, Swanigan and Haas. And outside of P.J. Thompson, who came off the bench to score 12 points and dish out four assists, the Purdue guards were unable to make the Fighting Illini pay.

Purdue shot 7-for-22 from three, with many of those looks not being of the quality they can be when the big men are drawing in extra defenders. Add in 16 turnovers, which Illinois converted into 24 points on the other end, and it was the offense that was Purdue’s biggest problem Sunday night. That put more stress on their ability to get stops, and with Rapheal Davis dealing with foul trouble and Hill and Nunn red hot, the Boilermakers were unable to do so on a consistent basis.

By no means is Purdue out of the Big Ten race, even though they’re now two games out in the loss column, because there’s still plenty of basketball to be played. But if they’re to have a chance at winning the league title, Purdue’s perimeter contributors have to be consistent in their production.

No. 5 Michigan State routs Illinois 79-54 without Valentine

Associated Press
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Bryn Forbes scored 17 points to help No. 5 Michigan State rout Illinois 79-54 on Thursday night.

The Spartans (15-1, 2-1 Big Ten) were without Denzel Valentine for a fourth straight game. Valentine participated in pregame warmups and might play at Penn State on Sunday, nearly three weeks after having surgery on his left knee.

The Illini (8-8, 0-3) didn’t have leading-scorer Kendrick Nunn, who the team said stayed in Illinois for the birth of his child.

Maverick Morgan had 15 points and Malcolm Hill scored 10 for Illinois. The Illini made barely more than one-fourth of their shots in the first half and allowed the Spartans to connect on 61 percent of their shots before halftime.

Eron Harris scored 13 and Matt McQuaid had a career-high 10 points for the Spartans.

TIP-INS

Illinois: The short-handed Illini called timeouts, trying to slow down Michigan State, and one of their banged-up players had a lot to say to his teammates in the huddle during one of the second-half breaks. Tracy Abrams, who is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, shouted at his teammates to keep playing hard even though they trailed by 30 points.

Michigan State: Michigan State coach Tom Izzo has been encouraging McQuaid to be more aggressive offensively. The freshman guard made two 3-pointers and a driving, layup in the first half and scored eight points in seven minutes before halftime. Nine Spartans scored in the first 20 minutes, helping them lead 47-22.

UP NEXT

Illinois hosts No. 20 Purdue on Sunday.

Michigan State plays at Penn State on Sunday.

Ranking the top wings in college basketball

Associated Press
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After ranking the top lead guards and off guards, we move to the wing position.

With more teams moving away from the rigid positions that defined the game of basketball for years, the wing has become a more important role. Nowadays versatility is a trait of many of the nation’s best wings, as they can be used to initiate the offense as either a scorer or distributor.

Without further ado, below are our ranking of the top wings in college basketball. Who’s too high on the last? Who isn’t high enough on the list? Who’d we leave out?

[MORE: Top backcourts | Top frontcourts]

1. Ben Simmons (LSU)

Simmons arrived in Baton Rouge amidst much fanfare and with good reason, as his skill set makes him a player many project to be a high lottery pick in next June’s NBA Draft. The 6-foot-10 Australian will play a “point forward” role for the Tigers, as his ability to initiate offense makes an incredibly difficult matchup for opponents.

2. Denzel Valentine (Michigan State)

Speaking of versatility, Valentine’s a senior who can play any of the three perimeter roles within Tom Izzo’s offense. As a junior Valentine averaged 14.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game, shooting 44.3 percent from the field and 41.6 percent from three. His ability to fill the stat sheet and lead will be key for a Michigan State team looking to earn a second straight Final Four appearance.

3. Jaylen Brown (California)

Brown’s a power wing who rates as one of the top freshmen in the country. At 6-foot-7 he has the size and athleticism needed to fill multiple roles for the Golden Bears, who boast one of the country’s top perimeter rotations. And with those options there will be occasions in which Brown plays as an undersized four in order to force mismatches on the offensive end.

4. Brandon Ingram (Duke)

While Ingram has plenty of skill, he’s a slender 6-foot-9 wing who trends more towards the perimeter than the aforementioned Brown does. Ingram can score at multiple levels, and while he does need to get stronger his offensive skill set will apply pressure to opponents within Duke’s offense.

5. Taurean Waller-Prince (Baylor)

Last season Waller-Prince emerged as one of the nation’s most improved players, averaging 13.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest. He took full advantage of increased minutes a season ago, and with fellow senior Rico Gathers Sr., redshirt sophomore Johnathan Motley and junior college transfer Jo Acuil is part of one of the country’s best front court rotations.

RELATED: Top 100 players | Top leads guards | Top off guards | Top Bigs

Taurean Waller-Prince, Getty Images
Taurean Waller-Prince, Getty Images

6. DeAndre Bembry (Saint Joseph’s)

The Preseason Atlantic 10 Player of the Year deserves more pub, as he shouldered a lot of the offensive load for the Hawks last season. Bembry, after starting all 34 games on an NCAA tournament team as a freshman, accounted for 17.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.9 steals per game in 2014-15. Bembry led the Hawks in all four of those categories last season, and could very well duplicate that feat in 2015-16.

7. Justin Jackson (North Carolina)

Jackson’s in line for a breakout season, and his presence is why there isn’t a great deal of concern when it comes to accounting for the departure of J.P. Tokoto. Jackson started 37 games as a freshman, averaging 10.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game and shooting nearly 48 percent from the field. Also ranking third on the team in assists a season ago, Jackson has the ability to find teammates as well as score.

8. Gary Payton II (Oregon State)

The son of “The Glove,” Payton won Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors in his first season in Corvallis. How big of an impact did he have in Wayne Tinkle’s first season as head coach? Payton led the Beavers in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocks and was second in assists. That kind of versatility isn’t all too common, and with Oregon State’s improved depth he could be even better this year.

9. Troy Williams (Indiana)

Averaging 13.0 points per game as a sophomore, Williams led the Hoosiers in rebounding and steals while shooting 54 percent from the field and 74.2 percent from the foul line. While he isn’t much of a perimeter shooter, Williams can knock down mid-range shots and he finishes above the rim with authority. As a slasher he’s a key player who can open things up for Indiana, which has a host of perimeter shooters to call upon.

10. Kyle Collinsworth (BYU)

Collinsworth is one of the most versatile players in the country, and he’s entrusted with the responsibility of running the show for BYU. Collinsworth is tied for the NCAA record for career triple-doubles (six), all of which came last season, and he averaged 13.8 points, 8.7 and 6.0 assists per game in 2014-15. While the loss of Tyler Haws is important, the return of Collinsworth is one reason why BYU is seen as Gonzaga’s biggest threat in the WCC.

  • 11. Daniel Hamilton (Connecticut): The American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year, Hamilton averaged 10.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. And he’ll have even more chances to initiate things offensively this season.
  • 12. Josh Hart (Villanova): Last season Hart emerged as a valuable option for Villanova, averaging 10.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. His shooting percentages from the field and from three were nothing to scoff at either, as the Big East tournament Most Outstanding Player shot 51 percent from the field and 46 percent from three.
  • 13. Jake Layman (Maryland): Layman’s skill isn’t to be questioned, as the 6-foot-8 senior averaged 12.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 47 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from three. But with Dez Wells gone, can he step forward as an even more assertive force for a team projected as one of the nation’s best?
  • 14. Dillon Brooks (Oregon): For all of the talk about how Wayne Selden Jr. (Kansas) and Jamal Murray (Kentucky) played this summer, Brooks also played well on the international circuit. And after earning Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honors, he could be poised for a breakout sophomore campaign.
  • 15. Michael Gbinije (Syracuse): “Silent G” is likely to fill a variety of roles for Jim Boeheim as he has the skills needed to play anywhere from the point to the wing. Last season Gbinije averaged 12.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.
  • 16. Tim Quarterman (LSU): Quarterman joins teammate Simmons on this list, and he’s looking to build on a solid sophomore season in Baton Rouge. The 6-foot-5 Quarterman accounted for 11.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and a team-high 4.0 assists per game, doing so despite starting just 14 of the 33 games in which he played.
  • 17. Damion Lee (Louisville): The lone grad transfer on our list, Lee averaged 21.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game at Drexel last season. Given Louisville’s personnel losses, Lee’s abilities as a scorer and defender will be of high importance as the Cardinals look to hold their own in the ACC.
  • 18. Malcolm Hill (Illinois): Hill’s a player who emerged as Illinois’ most efficient offensive option last season, averaging 14.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest as a sophomore. He’s an all-conference caliber player, and Hill could very well earn those honors this season.
  • 19. Dwayne Bacon (Florida State): The 6-foot-6 Bacon is the crown jewel of one of the nation’s top recruiting classes, and with his athleticism and scoring ability the Oak Hill Academy product should have an immediate impact in Tallahassee.
  • 20. Roosevelt Jones (Butler): Jones’ (12.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.7 apg) return from a broken wrist that sidelined him for the entire 2013-14 season was a big reason why the Bulldogs not only reached the NCAA tournament but nearly eliminated Notre Dame in the round of 32.

Others Considered: Malik Pope (San Diego State), Trevon Bluiett (Xavier), Isaac Copeland (Georgetown)