- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger36 mins ago
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Bryn Forbes sank jump shots. Deyonta Davis scored efficiently around the rim. Eron Harris made his first meaningful contributions of the season.
On a night when Denzel Valentine finally looked mortal, his supporting cast showed Michigan State doesn't need its national player of the year candidate to be superhuman in order to beat a quality opponent. Forbes, Davis and Harris combined for 42 points, helping the Spartans overcome a late four-point deficit to defeat Providence 77-64 in the championship game of the Wooden Legacy tournament.
"It was great to see them step up on a stage like this in a championship game," Valentine said. "I can't have bad games like this, but it was good to know my teammates can pick up the slack when I struggle. Everything happens for a reason, and I think this will help us."
It's a testament to how good Valentine has been this season that Sunday night's performance was his definition of struggling. The 6-foot-5 senior tallied 16 points, six rebounds and five assists, but early foul trouble threw his rhythm out of whack and led to a disjointed 5-for-14 shooting night.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger5 hrs ago
ANAHEIM, Calif. — When Boise State coach Leon Rice assembled the toughest non-league schedule in program history, he couldn't have predicted how November would unfold.
He never expected the rash of injuries that has prevented his top players from developing into a cohesive unit during practice. Or the 36-12 disparity in free throw attempts that doomed his team to a season-opening loss at Montana. Or the scheduling quirk that led to his team facing 11th-ranked Arizona twice in 10 days with games against third-ranked Michigan State and mid-major power UC Irvine wedged in between.
The result is a 3-4 start for a Boise State team projected by many to win the Mountain West this season. The Broncos looked the part for stretches of their 68-59 loss to Arizona in the third-place game of the Wooden Legacy tournament, but their rally from a 19-point second-half deficit fell a few big plays short.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger12 hrs ago
Any BYU fans disappointed that Kyle Collinsworth fell one rebound shy of a record-setting triple-double on Saturday night awoke to some good news Sunday morning.
Turns out the senior forward actually collected that last rebound after all.
In reviewing the game film of its 95-81 victory over Belmont, BYU uncovered a first-half offensive rebound and shot attempt initially not credited to Collinsworth. The NCAA retroactively approved the scoring change on Sunday morning, giving Collinsworth his first triple-double of the season and a Division I record seven for his career.
The rebound in question occurred with 2:54 left in the first half after Collinsworth missed a shot. According to a BYU release, Collinsworth "made a clear attempt to follow the missed shot with a left-handed tip, which missed and was secured by a Belmont player."
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger14 hrs ago
It's still only November, yet Wichita State is already in big trouble.
The Shockers are running out of opportunities to amass the quality wins they'll need to land an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
Shorthanded as a result of injuries to star point guard Fred VanVleet, key backup Landry Shamet and top big man Anton Grady, Wichita State fell 84-62 to Iowa on Sunday, sealing a last-place finish at the Advocare Invitational in Orlando. The preseason top 10 Shockers are now 2-4 overall after previous losses to Tulsa, USC and Alabama.
Other programs from stronger conferences can overcome a poor start by stacking quality wins during league play, but Wichita State doesn't have that luxury. The Shockers have to get most of their marquee victories in November and December because the Missouri Valley Conference seldom produces more than one or two NCAA tournament-caliber teams.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger1 day ago
FULLERTON, Calif. — In the aftermath of a 69-65 loss to an unranked Providence team whose best player spent half the game on the bench in foul trouble, Arizona coach Sean Miller made a startling yet telling statement.
"I leave this game feeling very, very good about our team’s effort," Miller said.
Comments like that from Miller are his way of tacitly acknowledging that this Arizona team does not have the talent that previous editions have boasted. Those Wildcats coasted on occasion yet still captured back-to-back Pac-12 titles. These Wildcats can dive for every loose ball, scrap for every rebound and still lose to an unheralded opponent.
Their best player is a skilled but undersized power forward unlikely to make the NBA. Their defensive stopper is a junior guard who could scarcely crack the rotation the past two years. One of their point guards is a junior college transfer who's more of a scorer than a distributor and the other is a deft passer but stands just 5-foot-8.
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger2 days ago
A slew of early season upsets has been one of the primary storylines of the first two weeks of the college basketball season and one of the most dramatic yet unfolded Friday afternoon in Coral Gables, Fla., where Northeastern stunned No. 15 Miami.
The teams traded the lead multiple times throughout the second half, including when Sheldon McClellan made a jumper with 18 seconds left to give Miami a one-point advantage. Coming out of a timeout with five seconds showing. Quincy Ford found the ball in his hands on the right side near the 3-point line. He dribbled toward the free throw line but stopped short, elevated and softly dropped the game-winner through the cylinder to stun the previously unbeaten Hurricanes 78-77.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger4 days ago
The Wayne Selden who tantalized Kansas with his assertiveness and efficiency this past summer resurfaced Wednesday night in Maui.
The mercurial 6-foot-5 junior torched Vanderbilt for 25 points on only 11 shots, more than enough to lead the Jayhawks to a 70-63 victory over the Commodores in the Maui Invitational title game.
Selden's performance capped a brilliant three days in Maui in which he showcased a lethal 3-point stroke and the ability to attack the rim. He averaged 19.3 points per game, sank 12 of 17 attempts from behind the arc and got to the foul line 12 times, exactly the sort of numbers Kansas coach Bill Self has been waiting for him to put up with regularity for the past two years.
A former top 20 prospect heralded for his size, athleticism and scoring prowess, Selden played in Andrew Wiggins' shadow as a freshman and failed to produce the breakout sophomore season many projected from him last year. He averaged slightly fewer points than he had as a freshman, shooting a pedestrian 36 percent from behind the arc while consistently struggling to finish in traffic in the paint.
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger4 days ago
Colorado forward Tory Miller crossed a line Wednesday that should never be crossed during competition in any sport. The sophomore forward from Kansas City bit Air Force junior Hayden Graham on the shoulder while they battled for a loose ball on the floor in the second half.
Officials determined after a review that it was a Flagrant 2 foul and ejected Miller, who could face further punishment from his coach, Tad Boyle, and the Pac-12 Conference. Miller made the first start of his career in the game but scored just two points with three rebounds.
“Tory’s an emotional player,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle told the Colorado Springs Gazette after the game. “There was something in the scrum there in the jump-ball situation. They saw something. The Air Force player said something. They felt like they confirmed it and they booted him. We’ll deal with it. But Tory’s a great kid. I mean, I’m not talking about a good kid, Tory’s a great kid."
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger4 days ago
Kansas fans have chanted "Free Diallo" throughout this week's Maui Invitational.
Soon, they will get their wish.
The NCAA concluded a lengthy investigation into Kansas freshman Cheick Diallo's eligibility on Wednesday with the announcement that the McDonald's All-American forward will be eligible to play for the Jayhawks starting against Loyola (Md.) on Dec. 1. Kansas' matchup with Vanderbilt in the Maui Invitational title game on Wednesday night will be the last game Diallo will sit out.
“Our goal is to have eligibility decisions made prior to the start of a student-athlete’s season,” Oliver Luck, NCAA executive vice president of regulatory affairs, said in a statement. “However, this was a complicated case involving international transcripts and a high school that remains under review. Additionally, staff considered a complex set of circumstances regarding amateurism.”
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger4 days ago
When he blindsided the Utah State basketball team earlier this month by quitting two days before its season opener, forward David Collette quickly learned a hard lesson.
College coaches seldom accept rejection gracefully.
Utah State officials informed Collette on Monday that they are denying his request for a release granting him and his family permission to speak with other schools. The restriction makes it difficult for Collette to transfer to another Division I program because coaches cannot communicate with him or his family without violating NCAA rules.
Collette can still enroll at another institution and then initiate contact with the basketball program, but he'd have to pay tuition on his own for the first two semesters. Cobbling together that kind of money would be no easy feat for a college sophomore married to another full-time student.