Saturday News and Notes

Breaking down the latest news around college basketball and the NBA draft

Chuma Okeke went down with what seemed like a serious knee injury in the Auburn win over North Carolina in the sweet sixteen. Up to that point in the game, the sophomore had played well with 20 points and 11 rebounds. If he is indeed out for the remainder of the tournament and well into the next basketball season, it is a shame that a player projected to be borderline first round pick would suffer an injury with so little games left. As for the rest of the game, UNC was dominated 97-80 by a team that plays a similar style as the Tar Heels, preferring to pick up the pace and shoot transition three pointers. As a team North Carolina shot just 25% from behind the arc, which always makes for a tough game when a team relies on their ability to hit those shots as much as they do. Cameron Johnson is a senior so his time in Chapel Hill is over, with both freshman Nassir Little and Coby White expected to enter the draft and stay in.

•Michigan state took care of LSU 80-63 in 17 points from Cassius Winston, and 20 from Aaron Henry. While Winston is not the highest rated draft prospect, he is a great college player and leader that is capable of helping Michigan State pull of the upset when they take on Duke in the elite eight. LSU got 23 points from Tremont Waters, and 10 from Naz Reid to go with 9 rebounds. Waters should definitely be coming back to Baton Rouge next season, but you never know, and it is widely believed that Reid will be declaring for as well as staying in the draft.

• Duke survived another scare as time expired with their opponent, this time Virginia Tech missing a lob pass to an open layup as time expired. Nickeil Alexander-Walker struggled after hitting his head on the floor early in the game, going 3 for 10 and finishing with 9 points. All signs point to the sophomore declaring for the draft and hiring an agent with his stock currently being the lottery/top ten considerations. For Duke, Zion Williamson had a usual big game with 23 points and 11 rebounds, to go with RJ Barrett’s 18 points and 11 assists. Tre Jones was a bit of a surprise going off for 22 points and hitting 5 three pointers, which is a good sign for Duke as they attempt to cut down the nets. Cam Reddish did not play with a knee injury, and is currently questionable for their game against Michigan State on Sunday.

• The last game of the night with Kentucky facing Houston appeared to be a Kentucky victory for most of the game until Houston staged a comeback and took the lead in the last minute of the game. It was short lived with Tyler Herro hitting a huge three pointer that put the Wildcats back up by 2 points, which proved to be the game winning shot. Armani Brooks scored 20 points, and Corey Davis Jr. had 14 on a bad shooting night. For Kentucky, Herro led the way with 19 points, and PJ Washington scored 16 points in a return from injury that is big for Kentucky that he looked good in 26 minutes of action. The Wildcats will face Auburn on Sunday.

Bol Bol hired CAA for his representation as he begins his NBA career. While this is considered him officially forgoing his college eligibility, it has been known since his injury that he would not be returning to Oregon. At 7’2″ with a rare mix of skills, he is viewed as a lottery pick and depending on his rehab progression he could go in the back half of the top five.

Fred Hoiberg is still not officially Nebraska’s coach, but he has apparently finalized a deal making him the Huskers next leader.

Buzz Williams is going to be offered the Texas A&M job, and with his ties to the state of Texas, it is believed he will take the job or at the very least strongly consider it. Taking Virginia Tech to the sweet sixteen and coming within a made layup of beating Duke to advance to the elite eight is no small task, and it appears he is going to be financially rewarded for that success with A&M known for having deep pockets in the SEC.

• California officially hired Mark Fox as their new head coach, with Fox most recently coaching Georgia. Fox went 163-133 in his time as the Bulldogs head coach.

 

 

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