The Dagger

  • Florida State shows glimpses of being an elite team in win over Louisville

    Henry Bushnell at The Dagger 1 hr ago

    The first three minutes were as impressive as three-minute stretches come. They were also outliers.

    Florida State could do no wrong early on in its 73-68 win over No. 12 Louisville. The 10th-ranked Seminoles outshot, outran and overpowered the Cardinals. They harassed and suffocated them anywhere within 35 feet of the basket. They bludgeoned them inside. They hit threes and mid-range jumpers and layups.

    And then they stopped.

    Florida State jumped out to a 14-0 lead; the Tomahawk Chop was rolling around the Tucker Civic Center. Rick Pitino had called a timeout two minutes in, but not much changed, and the Seminoles charged into the under-16 timeout up 16-4.

    Then things did change — or, more specifically, Florida State’s personnel changed, and the early dominance proved to be fleeting. Leonard Hamilton subbed out four of his starters at the under-16, and the fifth 11 seconds later. The second-unit let the Cardinals back into the game, and quelled Florida State’s ascendancy.

  • Clock malfunction helps Texas A&M complete comeback win over Georgia

    Sam Cooper at The Dagger 1 hr ago

    Georgia blew a double-digit second half lead on the road Saturday against Texas A&M, but still had a chance to win in the final seconds.

    After a Robert Williams bucket with 20 seconds to go gave the Aggies a 63-62 lead — their first since the 5:48 mark in the first half — the Bulldogs regained possession. UGA guard J.J. Frazier dribbled some time off the clock and fed the post to big man Yante Maten, who was fouled.

    But there was one problem. There was no time left on the clock when Maten, who had a game-high 19 points, was fouled — and nobody in the arena knew it.

    As Frazier worked to create an open look, the clock mistakenly stopped at 5.6 seconds because of an apparent “belt pack malfunction.” Because of this, the officials consulted the replay monitor and used a stopwatch to determine the amount of time that passed between the clock stopping and the foul on Maten.

    From there, the officials ruled that the foul occurred after the final buzzer would have sounded, so there was no foul and A&M won the game.

    – – – – – – –

    Follow @SamDCooper

  • Arizona can dare to dream big again now that Allonzo Trier is back

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 14 hrs ago

    No longer does Arizona have to temper expectations this college basketball season.

    Now the Wildcats can take aim at capturing the Pac-12 title and even dare to dream of getting coach Sean Miller to his first Final Four.

    Anything is now within reach after Friday night’s news that sophomore guard Allonzo Trier has been reinstated by the NCAA. Trier, the Wildcats’ leading returning scorer, sat out the team’s first 19 games this season while serving a PED-related suspension.

    The NCAA notified Arizona on Friday afternoon that Trier’s most recent drug test was negative, paving the way for his immediate return to the court. Arizona (17-2, 6-0) subsequently released a statement late Friday night announcing that Trier will be available in time for maybe the 14th-ranked Wildcats’ biggest game of the season Saturday at UCLA (19-1).

    Hailed as one of the top prospects in the 2015 class, Trier lived up to his hype as a freshman by averaging 14.8 points and evolving into a solid perimeter defender. The 6-foot-5 Seattle native used his strength and quickness to beat defenders off the dribble, yet kept them from sagging off him too far by hitting 36.4 percent of his attempts from behind the arc.

  • Myles Davis abruptly leaves Xavier 13 days after return from suspension

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 22 hrs ago

    Not even two weeks after expressing excitement about returning from a 15-game suspension, Xavier’s Myles Davis apparently has experienced a change of heart.

    The senior guard announced on Twitter that he’s leaving the Musketeers program even though this season is barely halfway over.

    ✊???? pic.twitter.com/Bk52vjm2kY

    — Myles Davis (@_mdavis15) January 20, 2017

    Davis’ departure is a surprise even though he had not made the immediate impact he expected to in his return from suspension. In Xavier’s back-to-back-to-back losses to Villanova, Butler and Creighton the past two weeks, Davis missed all eight shots he attempted, scored his only two points at the foul line and did not record a single assist.

    Davis’ suspension stemmed from an August incident in which he allegedly smashed his ex-girlfriend’s phone on the sidewalk and struck and dented the door of her car. He originally faced two misdemeanor criminal damaging charges, but he pleaded guilty to one reduced charge of disorderly conduct in November.

    – – – – – – –

  • How Frank Martin and his sideline fury turned South Carolina into a winner

    Henry Bushnell at The Dagger 1 day ago

    Michael Carrera still laughs when he watches the video. Still laughs every time he sees Frank Martin’s impending rage. Still laughs every time he sees Martin’s rigid posture and petrifying stare. Still laughs when he recalls that afternoon more than four years ago, the afternoon of his first college game.

    Carrera says he watches the YouTube clip almost every day. He watches Martin stalk out onto the court, clench his fists, and unleash a string of ferocious words. He watches as Martin composes himself, then springs back into life; as the stone-cold rage becomes unchained; as Martin’s eyebrows angle towards the bridge of his nose, then flatten as his eyes scrunch shut, his mouth flies open, and the screaming resumes.

    With the shot clock turned off and Milwaukee and South Carolina tied at 66 on the opening day of the 2012/13 season, Carrera, a Gamecocks freshman, forgot a play coming out of a late timeout. South Carolina turned the ball over, and Martin fumed.

    “He just went at me like crazy,” Carrera recalls.

    And Martin’s tongue-lashings… well, they were plentiful.

    ***

    ***

  • Ugly brawl ends with fan hitting player in the head with a chair

    Malika Andrews at The Dagger 1 day ago

    A brawl between Division II schools LeMoyne-Owen and Lane College got out of hand during a game last Saturday night. Whereas most fights in basketball end as scuffles, this escalated into a fight where a fan hit a player over the head with a folding chair.

    Lemoyne Vs Lane… Literally ???????????? pic.twitter.com/xSnEtBQKiX

    — Queen Ray (@raycelliott) January 15, 2017

    According to actionnews5.com, the fight broke out in the first quarter. Tensions were high the entire game, but after was a player tripped, other players began swarming the court and throwing punches.

    The game was postponed after the fight and may be made up at a later date. According to a LeMoyne-Owen spokeswoman, the man that threw the chair was not a student. She said that his behavior is “not welcomed on campus.”

    Later, the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic conference announced that they were working with the Memphis Police Department to investigate the situation.

  • Oregon holds its breath after Dillon Brooks suffers another injury

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 1 day ago

    Any joy Oregon might otherwise have gotten from its 86-63 rout of Cal was tempered by a worrisome injury.

    Pac-12 player of the year candidate Dillon Brooks left the game at the end of the first half with what the Ducks are calling a lower left leg injury.

    The injury appears to have happened on an innocuous play with less than a minute left in the first half when Brooks stepped awkwardly trying to avoid a teammate. Brooks walked to the locker room without assistance but did not return to the floor for the second half.

    What’s especially concerning is that it’s Brooks’ left foot that required surgery after he hurt it during the offseason. Oregon coach Dana Altman would not say after the game whether Brooks had reinjured that foot and offered little clarity on his status going forward.

    Altman would not confirm if foot injury for Brooks. Just said wait and see results.

    — Steve Mims (@SteveMims_RG) January 20, 2017

    – – – – – – –

    Follow @JeffEisenberg

     

  • College basketball Power Rankings, Jan. 19: North Carolina into the top 5

    Henry Bushnell at The Dagger 2 days ago

    Heartbreaking is too strong a word. As Creighton coach Greg McDermott said at a Wednesday press conference that was both reflective and upbeat, nobody died. Nobody was diagnosed with a serious illness. It’s just an ACL.

    But nonetheless, something about Maurice Watson’s season-ending injury was heart-twinging. The fact that McDermott had to give that reminder in the first place spoke volumes about the response to the news.

    “Someone in the national media said, ‘Maurice Watson’s injury is bad for Maurice, it’s bad for Creighton, and it’s bad for college basketball,” McDermott said Wednesday. “I think that’s the ultimate compliment. This little guy has had an impact on our game that people really, really appreciate.”

    1. Villanova | 18-1 | KenPom: 2 | Last week: 1

    This GIF appears in this week’s Thursday power rankings. You’ll have to read to see why. pic.twitter.com/fbj9HUCwoy

    2. Kansas | 17-1 | KenPom: 7 | Last week: 2

     

  • Basketball has been Kodi Justice's release during life-long bout with dyslexia

    Malika Andrews at The Dagger 2 days ago

    When Arizona State guard Kodi Justice was a kid, he went into a local store in his hometown of Dobson, Arizona, put his bags up on the counter, and pulled out his wallet. His total appeared on the cash register screen: $12.32.

    Justice gave the cashier $12.23 and couldn’t understand why the man kept saying that he had shorted him nine cents.

    “I kept arguing with him and saying it was enough but then I realized I was wrong because I saw the numbers backwards,” Justice told Yahoo Sports.

    In first grade, Justice was diagnosed with dyslexia, a learning disorder that causes the brain to rearrange letters, numbers and words. To this day, he sees D’s as B’s and mixes up number sequences.

    Despite those challenges, Justice has successfully balanced basketball and academics the past two-plus years at Arizona State and is on pace to graduate in 2018. The 6-foot- 5 junior credits his work ethic for helping him push through his learning disorder despite having to focus twice as hard as others to learn to do things like read street signs and emails, activities that most people take for granted.

    Says Justice, “I think it gave me my work ethic.”

  • Jonathan Isaac's rapid ascent makes Florida State even scarier

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 2 days ago

    In five jaw-dropping minutes Wednesday night, Jonathan Isaac accomplished more than just leading Florida State to an 83-80 victory over Notre Dame.

    The heralded freshman forward also offered a glimpse of what he can become and how an already formidable Seminoles team can get even scarier.

    All the momentum was on Notre Dame’s side with 5:25 to go in the second half and the 15th-ranked Irish having just surged in front. It was then that Isaac turned things around with a shot that gave No. 10 Florida State the lead back for good.

    With Notre Dame in a zone designed to wall off driving lanes and force contested jump shots, Isaac used his 6-foot-10 frame to his advantage. He elevated over 6-foot-1 Matt Farrell with ease and buried a go-ahead 3-pointer from the right wing.

    Isaac’s deep ball sparked an 11-1 Florida State run that put the Seminoles in control of what had been a tightly contested game. The highly touted freshman had nine of Florida State’s points during the spurt including a 3-point play to extend his team’s lead to four and a second shot from behind the arc to push it to eight.

    – – – – – – –

    Follow @JeffEisenberg