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Thursday’s Things To Know: UConn impresses, 3-point record falls and Oregon falters

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We’re closing in on one of the more entertaining stretches of the college basketball season with Thanksgiving tournaments giving us all-day hoops and really interesting non-conference matchups. It’s still early, and the best is yet to come, but Thursday night provided some quality hoops. Oh, and one guy shooting a ton of 3s. Literally more 3s than anyone has ever shot before. Here’s what you need to know:

1. UConn asserts itself against Syracuse.

It’s been a tough few years at UConn. It’s been two really bad years, but it’s mostly been not-great for the Huskies since that 2014 national title. It’s Dan Hurley’s job to change that. His first Big East throwback game certainly looked like it’s one he’ll be up for.

UConn’s quest to change the outlook of its locker room and the culture of its program was evident in the Huskies’ 83-76 win against Syracuse at Madison Square Garden.

Changing the culture has become The Thing New Coaches Simply Have To Talk About, but there’s no doubting it needed to happen in Storrs as a program that’s used to winning national titles began to languish in a league that’s simply second tier. UConn in the AAC is a different challenge for a coach than UConn in the Big East. It’s tougher. Hurley has a long way to go, but getting a team to buy in from the outset is a positive signal.

2. Jordan Lyons goes berserk

On Wednesday night, Josh Williams of Robert Morris tied a 23-year-old NCAA record by making 15 3-pointers. It took about 24 hours for that number to be matched again.

Jordan Lyons matched Williams’ 15 makes from distance, but broke an NCAA record with 34 attempts from 3-point range in the Paladins’ win against a Division II opponent on Thursday.

As teams continue to hoist shots from 3-point range at an ever-increasing rate, these types of nights are going to become more typical, but to see two guys tie a record that’s stood for more than two decades on back-to-back nights? I mean, c’mon, that’s a little crazy.

3. Oregon goes down

Give Iowa credit. The Hawkeyes shot just 35.7 percent from the floor, but got to the line 33 times, making 29 of their attempts (87.9 percent) and grabbed 13 offensive rebounds to keep the offense afloat. It wasn’t pretty, but it was a 77-69 neutral site win against a ranked opponent, which will certainly come in handy for a team looking to get back to the NCAA tournament after a two-year drought.

Also, the Big Ten looks like it might be pretty good. Michigan stomped all over Villanova, Indiana blasted Marquette, Wisconsin handled Xavier and now the Hawkeyes bested Oregon. That’s a pretty good week for a league that has been stuck in something of a malaise the last few seasons.

The overwhelming feeling from watching the nightcap at Madison Square Garden, though, was just how underwhelming Oregon looked. There just wasn’t a lot of there there for the Ducks. That’s problematic for a top-15 team that is the heavy favorite to win the Pac-12 this season. They just lost a game to what many would pick to be a middle-of-the-pac B1G while holding them to under 40 percent shooting while only committing eight turnovers themselves. Getting 25 points from Ehab Amin is nice, but otherwise an all around uninspiring performance from Dana Altman’s group.

VIDEO: Furman’s Jordan Lyons shoots record 34 3-pointers, ties record with 15 makes

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Where were you for the historic Furman-North Greenville game?

Well, the game wasn’t historic so much as the performance of the Paladins’ Jordan Lyons.

The 5-foot-11 junior tied an NCAA record with 15 made 3-pointers and broke the record for 3-point attempts in the game with 34 as he poured in 54 points in Furman’s 107-67 victory Thursday over their Division II opponents.

Lyons’ 15 made 3s matches the number Keith Veney of Marshall made in 1995. That record was unmatched until, surprisingly enough, it was tied the day prior by Robert Morris’  Josh Williams, who was 15 of 25 against Mt. Aloysius, a D3 school.

The 34 attempts is the most-ever, besting the 27 launched by Manhattan’s Bruce Seals in 2000. He made nine of those.

Lyons is a career 32.7 percent 3-point shooter, and the 15 triples he canned Thursday increased his career total by 15 percent. In a single game.

It’ll be interesting to see how long these types of records stand as teams continue to push the envelope on the 3-point line. Team records are surely set to fall pretty consistently in the near future. Maybe guys shooting 20-plus 3s in a game is going to become relatively commonplace?

Either way, save your ticket stubs if you were in Greenville, S.C. tonight.

Buddy Boeheim’s name misspelled on Syracuse jersey

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As the son of the Hall of Fame coach, Buddy Boeheim can count on a lot of things. He’ll get tons of attention. He’ll be talked about time and again on national television. He’ll be under quite a bit of scrutiny. That’s part of the deal when you’re playing for your dad, a legend in Jim Boeheim.

You’d also think the equipment guys would spell your name right.

The Syracuse freshman was missing an “e” on his jersey in the Orange’s loss Thursday to UConn, leaving maybe the most famous last name in Syracuse, N.Y. misspelled as” Boheim.”

 

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Jim has been a part of the Syracuse program since 1962. Maybe it’ll take a second national title to make sure his kid’s name is spelled right on the jersey.

Or maybe Buddy has to earn that “e” on his own?

Memphis’ Karim Sameh Azab dies after leukemia battle

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Memphis junior Karim Sameh Azab has died after a nine-month battle with leukemia, the school announced Thursday.

He was 22 years old.

“The University of Memphis is deeply saddened by the passing of Karim Azab,” Memphis President M. David Rudd said in a statement. “It is never easy when someone so young has their life cut short. Karim showed great courage battling with tremendous fight and determination.

“He was proud of being a Tiger, and Karim will be missed immensely. Our thoughts are with his family, as well as his friends, teammates and fellow UofM students, faculty and staff. The spirit of Karim will never be forgotten at the University of Memphis.”

Azab experienced discomfort in his shoulder last March, and it ultimately led to his diagnosis. He had been undergoing treatment. He was awarded the Coach Dave Loos MVP Award “celebrates those who eude strength, perseverance and determination in the fight against cancer.” It is named for former Memphis player and assistant Dave Loos.

The 6-foot-10 Azab came from Giza, Egypt to attend high school in North Carolina. He also played for the Egyptian National Team in the FIBA Africa U18 team in 2014, winning a gold medal.

He sat out the 2016-17 season at Memphis while awaiting NCAA clearance and appeared in 15 games last season for the Tigers.

“It is with great sadness and personal heartache that we mourn the passing of Karim Azab,’ Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen said in a statement. “Karim was a wonderful young man who was excited to be a part of the University of Memphis and Tiger basketball. My prayers and thoughts go out to Karim’s parents and family.”

Indiana freshman Jerome Hunter undergoes surgery

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Indiana’s injury woes deepened this week.

Jerome Hunter underwent surgery Wednesday at the Cleveland Clinic “to treat a lower body condition that first developed early in the semester,” the school announced Thursday without elaborating on the nature of the situation, citing HIPAA concerns.

It’s unclear when the ailment is for Hunter, whom Indiana initially said had a foot injury before broadening the diagnosis publicly.

It’s sort of a leg injury, but it’s not a typical leg injury that is an injury caused by practicing or something,” Indiana coach Archie Miller said Nov. 9, according to the Indianapolis Star. “It’s more of an underlying effect that’s causing him some pain. When we get all the answers, he’ll be evaluated and decided on. As of right now, though, Jerome will be out for a to-be-determined amount of time.”

The 6-foot-7 Ohio native was a top-75 recruit in the 2018 class, a monster one for Miller and the Hoosiers that featured five-star prospect Romeo Langford and three four-star recruits. Hunter ranked only behind Langford, a top-10 player, in IU’s class.

He has yet to see the floor for the Hoosiers, though, and his future availability remains unclear. Indiana is also without Race Thompson (concussion), Zach McRoberts (back) and Devonte Green (thigh).

“I don’t see them playing here in the near future,” Miller said of that trio, per the Indy Star. “I see maybe the month of November being a very risky month for us just in general, but we have to do our part.

“We just have to be ready and we have to be as smart as we can with the guys that are available. But right now we’re planning on moving through the rest of November, practically, maybe without all four.”

Syracuse transfer Matthew Moyer eligible to play immediately at Vanderbilt

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Things are good right now for Vanderbilt basketball. The Commodores have a couple of five-star recruits on the roster, and they’re 2-0 with a win over USC already on the resume.

It just got even sweeter.

Matthew Moyer, a 6-foot-8 transfer from Syracuse, was granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA and will be able to play as soon as Friday for Vandy, it was announced Thursday.

“The NCAA has a process for reviewing these requests and we are thankful that they have allowed Matt to play immediately,” Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew said in a statement.  “We are also thankful for all of the time spent by our compliance office during this process.”

Moyer played in 37 games last season, in only on the court with the Orange after he redshirted his first year on campus. He averaged 3.1 points and 3.2 rebounds in 15.9 minutes per game before transferring to Vanderbilt this past summer. The school has not announced why Moyer was seeking a waiver to be immediately eligible, though the NCAA has been increasingly granting such requests in recent months.

Moyer is a former top-50 recruit in the 2016 class.

Vandy is back in action Friday against Alcorn State, with Moyer presumably in uniform. The Commodores were already one of the more intriguing teams in an SEC that looks increasingly strong, and adding Moyer makes them even more interesting in s suddenly deep league.