#1 Alabama 52 #3 Ohio State 24
Memphis 101 Cleveland 91… Desmond Bane nine points, four rebounds, two assists
Milwaukee 121 Orlando 90
Washington 128 Phoenix 107
Charlotte 109 New York 88
Atlanta 112 Philadelphia 94.
New Orleans Dallas postponed
Portland 112 Toronto 111
Sacramento 127 Indiana 122
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#25 Connecticut at DePaul postponed
SMU 79 Temple 68
Colorado 65 Utah 58
Loyola Chicago 58 Indiana State 48
Bradley 75 Northern Iowa 73
Prairie View A&M 71 Texas Southern 67
Boise State 83 Wyoming 60
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
North Carolina Central 87 North Carolina Wesleyan 58
Lehigh 89 American 71
Eastern Illinois 77 seven Illinois 65
USC 56 Colorado 52
Binghamton 58 New Hampshire 56
Boise State 68 Wyoming 61
Alabama A&M 57 Arkansas Pine Bluff 47
Seton Hall 79 Butler 64
Murray State 69 Morehead State 62
Texas Southern 79 Prairie View A&M 76
Jackson State 62 Southern 42
BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Boone Grove 66 LaCrosse 41
Cloverdale 83 Brown County 62
Culver 52 Covenant Christian (DeMotte) 42
Frankton 84 Tipton 68
Greencastle 60 Sullivan 50
Indianapolis Herron 102 KIPP Indianapolis Legacy 58
Indianapolis Metro 70 Indiana Math & Science 59
Orleans 63 Crothersville 42
GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Argos 41 Culver 26
Bremen 41 NorthWood 34
Carroll (Flora) 101 Frontier 52
Caston 46 Peru 33
Edgewood 60 Monrovia 37
Evansville Christian 45 Cannelton 31
Gary West 43 Hammond Morton 34
Gibson Southern 53 Princeton 40
Highland 47 Hammond Clark 8
Jasper 58 Evansville Harrison 27
Lake Station 58 N. Newton 39
Logansport 50 Muncie Central 48
Monroe Central 40 Wes-Del 35
Owen Valley 59 Clay City 35
Perry Central 40 W. Washington 38
Pike 59 Jennings County 47
South Bend Adams 69 Jimtown 30
Indianapolis City Tournament
Indianapolis Scecina 48 Indianapolis Attucks 35
Covenant Christian 76 Indianapolis Washington 19
Indianapolis Ritter 74 Indianapolis Tech 24
Indianapolis Tindley 57 Indianapolis Herron 41
INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL POLLS
1. North Central (Indianapolis) (15-2)
2. Bedford North Lawrence (14-1)
3. Crown Point (10-1)
4. Penn (14-2)
5. Fishers (13-2)
6. East Central (12-2)
7. Hamilton Southeastern (9-2)
8. Franklin (14-1)
9. Carroll (Fort Wayne) (13-2)
10. Noblesville (14-3)
1. Silver Creek (14-2)
2. Evansville Memorial (13-1)
3. Salem (14-2)
4. Garrett (14-1)
5. Norwell (13-3)
6. Washington (12-1)
7. Mishawaka Marian (14-2)
8. South Bend Washington (14-4)
9. Fort Wayne Concordia (9-4)
10. Hamilton Heights (12-0)
1. Linton-Stockton (15-1)
2. Andrean (12-0)
3. Frankton (15-2)
3. Northeastern (12-1)
5. Triton Central (13-2)
6. University (8-1)
7. South Putnam (10-1)
8. Clinton Prairie (13-1)
9. Lafayette Central Catholic (8-2)
10. Carroll (Flora) (13-2)
1. Trinity Lutheran (15-3)
2. Lanesville (14-2)
3. Jac-Cen-Del (13-3)
4. Blue River (13-2)
5. Loogootee (9-3)
6. Pioneer (10-3)
6. Tecumseh (6-5)
8. Morgan Twp. (13-3)
9. Greenwood Christian (11-6)
10. Waldron (12-3)
AP MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL POLL
13 West Virginia
15 Texas Tech
20 Virginia Tech
21 Ohio State
24 St. Louis
Others receiving votes: Alabama 173, UCLA 137, Colorado 96, Florida State 74, USC 48, Rutgers 46, Drake 42, Michigan State 34, Oklahoma State 28, Arkansas 24, San Diego State 10, Boise State 8, Florida 7, Xavier 7, LSU 7, Northwestern 6, Tulsa 5, North Carolina State 5, Indiana 2, Winthrop 2, Belmont 1
AP WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL POLL
3 North Carolina State
5 South Carolina
7 Texas A&M
14 Mississippi State
15 Ohio State
16 S. Florida.
25 Washington State
Others receiving votes: Missouri State 61, Georgia 51, South Dakota State 39, West Virginia 15, Michigan State 15, Alabama 14, Arizona State 7, Rice 5, Iowa 5, North Carolina 1, IUPUI 1
ALABAMA ROLLS TO TITLE OVER OHIO STATE
The celebration was at once familiar and unique. The confetti cannons sent a crimson and white shower into the air and Alabama players ran to the sideline to grab their championship hats and T-shirts.
It’s a rite of passage if you have played for the Crimson Tide under coach Nick Saban.
This time, though, the band playing the fight song was a piped -in recording, and when “Sweet Home Alabama” blared, only a few thousand Tide fans were still in the stadium to sing along.
The final game of a college football season in a pandemic, a season that was uncertain to be played in the summer and filled with disruptions in the fall, ended in the most predictable fashion: Alabama as national champion for the sixth time in the last 12 years under Saban.
DeVonta Smith was uncoverable, Najee Harris unstoppable and Mac Jones impeccable as the top-ranked Tide won the College Football Playoff national championship game 52-24 against No. 3 Ohio State on Monday night. They finished the year 13-0 – a full season when many wondered if it would be possible to play any.
“I think we’re the best team to ever play,” Jones said.
For Saban, it was career title No. 7 overall, breaking a tie with Alabama great Paul “Bear” Bryant for the most by a major college coach.
“To me this is the ultimate team,” Saban said. “There is more togetherness on this team than on almost any team we’ve ever had. They’ve had to overcome and to persevere so much through this season, and they have done it magnificently.”
Ohio State (7-1) just couldn’t keep up. Justin Fields, playing what might be his last game before heading to the NFL, passed for 194 yards and a touchdown. Whether Fields was 100% after taking a brutal hit to the side during his brilliant semifinal performance against Clemson was hard to know for sure.
“I was able to be out there,” was all the junior quarterback would say.
On the Buckeyes’ first drive, they lost star running back Trey Sermon to an injury, and in a game they needed to be running at top speed, facing one of great offenses in recent history, they sputtered too much. Ohio State has never allowed more points in a bowl game.
“I think there’s a feeling of, if you don’t score you’re going to get behind and then the pressure mounts,” Buckeyes coach Ryan Day said of facing the Tide’s prolific offense.
INDIANA ADDS OFFENSIVE LINEMAN
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana football program announced on Monday that offensive lineman Zach Carpenter will join the Hoosiers as a transfer from the University of Michigan. The 6-5, 329-pounder played in five of the Wolverines six games in 2020 as a redshirt freshman.
“We are really excited to welcome Zach Carpenter as a part of our family,” Indiana head football coach Tom Allen said. “He’s a young man that we recruited heavily coming out of high school. We know his family well, we know him well, and we are happy for him to be able to join us. He has experience as a starter in the Big Ten and brings us high character, high work ethic and a lot of toughness.”
Carpenter earned starts at center in the last two contests in 2020 against Rutgers and Penn State. He did not see any game action in 2019, when he was named the team’s Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year.
The Cincinnati native was a three-star recruit out of Archbishop Moeller High School and was named the No. 15 offensive guard nationally and the No. 14 player in Ohio by Rivals.
At Moeller, Carpenter blocked as part of an offensive line that amassed more than 2,300 yards of offense his senior year, including more than 120 rushing yards per game. He also helped Moeller go 21-for-27 in the red zone with 14 touchdowns and average nearly 25:00 in time of possession per game.
Carpenter was named Division I OPSWA All-Ohio as a senior and Division I southwest all-district during his junior and senior campaigns after earning honorable mention as a sophomore. He was also a three-time All-GCL South honoree, and he was selected first-team All-Ohio by USA Today and first-team OPSWA DI All-Ohio his junior year.
NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL: Owusu-Koramoah Named Finalist for Lott IMPACT Trophy
(NOTRE DAME RELEASE)
NOTRE DAME, Indiana — University of Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has been named a finalist for the 17th annual Lott IMPACT Trophy, which honors the best defensive player in college football based on character and play. It is the first college football trophy to give equal weight to personal character, as well as athletic performance.
A unanimous All-American and the 2020 Butkus Award winner, Owusu-Koramoah was also named ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He was a finalist for the Bednarik Award and Nagurski Award. The senior earned All-ACC First Team honors from the conference and Associated Press. In addition, Owusu-Koramoah is a finalist for the Bowden Trophy, which honors a player who best represents the student-athlete.
Owusu-Koramoah was Notre Dame’s 35th unanimous All-American in program history, the first since Quenton Nelson in 2017, and the first Irish defense player since Manti Te’o in 2012. Te’o was also Notre Dame’s most recent Butkus Award winner prior to Owusu-Koramoah.
The senior totaled 62 tackles (42 solo), 11.0 TFL, 1.5 sacks, one interception, three PBU, two FR and three FF on the season, leading Notre Dame’s defense to be among the best in the nation in third-down defense, rushing defense and scoring defense. Owusu-Koramoah himself ranks tied for 12th among all FBS players with two fumble recoveries this season. He ranks tied for eighth among all ACC players in forced fumbles (0.25 per game).
The winner of the Lott IMPACT Trophy will be announced February 21. The Lott IMPACT Trophy was named in honor of Ronnie Lott, a two time All-American for USC and College Football Hall of Fame Inductee.
BALL STATE FOOTBALL: COSBY NAMED TO AP ALL-BOWL TEAM
(BALL STATE RELEASE)
MUNCIE, Ind. — Ball State safety Bryce Cosby was named to the Associated Press All-Bowl Team for his performance in the Cardinals’ Arizona Bowl victory over San Jose State.
Cosby had an interception and a team-high nine tackles in the 34-13 win over the 19th-ranked Spartans for the first bowl victory in BSU program history.
A senior from Louisville, Kentucky, Cosby was an All-MAC First Team selection this fall. He is one of 16 Ball State seniors who recently announced they would be returning for another season.
The MAC champion Cardinals finished the 2020 campaign with a record of 7-1, winning each of their final seven games.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AP ALL-BOWL TEAMS
Justin Fields, Ohio State (Sugar): Fields threw a Sugar Bowl-record six touchdown passes and accumulated 385 yards passing. He did all that despite taking a big hit to his side in the first half, causing him to spend time in the medical tent.
Camerun Peoples, Appalachian State (Myrtle Beach): Peoples had 22 carries for a school-record 317 yards – the most by any player in any bowl game in history – as Appalachian State defeated North Texas 56-28. Peoples also ran for five touchdowns to tie the all-time bowl record.
Trey Sermon, Ohio State (Sugar): Sermon rushed for 193 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries against Clemson. He also caught four passes for 61 more yards.
Bijan Robinson, Texas (Alamo): Robinson scored three touchdowns in No. 20 Texas’ 55-23 win over Colorado. He had 10 carries for 183 yards and a touchdown. He also had two TD catches.
Brennan Presley, Oklahoma State (Cheez-It): Presley had six catches for 118 yards and three touchdowns to help Oklahoma State edge No. 18 Miami 37-34.
DeVonta Smith, Alabama (Rose): The Heisman Trophy winner caught seven passes for 130 yards and scored three times as Alabama rolled past Notre Dame.
Isaac Rex, BYU (Boca Raton): Rex had five receptions for 96 yards and two touchdowns as No. 13 BYU defeated UCF 49-23.
Sam Gerak, Northwestern (Outback): Northwestern’s center helped the 15th-ranked Wildcats gain 457 yards in a 35-19 victory over Auburn. Pro Football Focus gave Gerak a grade of 85.1 for his bowl performance.
Royce Newman, Mississippi (Citrus): The Ole Miss right tackle helped the Rebels gain 493 yards against Indiana’s highly regarded defense in the Rebels’ 26-20 upset of the No. 7 Hoosiers.
Dylan Parham, Memphis (Montgomery): Pro Football Focus handed out game ratings for every individual offensive lineman who played in a bowl and gave Parham the second-highest grade (89.8) of all of them. Memphis didn’t allow any sacks in a 25-10 victory over Florida Atlantic.
Erik Swenson, Oklahoma (Cotton): Swenson got the highest Pro Football Focus grade (90.3) of any offensive lineman for his bowl performance. Swenson helped No. 8 Oklahoma gain 684 total yards in a 55-20 blowout of No. 10 Florida.
Landon Young, Kentucky (Gator): Young delivered six knockdown blocks and didn’t allow any pressures or sacks as Kentucky edged No. 24 North Carolina State 23-21. His block cleared the way for a game-clinching 26-yard touchdown run by Chris Rodriguez.
Christian Barmore, Alabama (Rose): Barmore recorded five tackles and a sack against Notre Dame.
Elijah James, Liberty (Cure): James started at defensive tackle, produced a couple of tackles and blocked a 42-yard field-goal attempt in overtime to clinch No. 23 Liberty’s 37-34 triumph over No. 9 Coastal Carolina.
DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M (Orange): Leal had seven tackles and made one of those stops behind the line of scrimmage as No. 5 Texas A&M defeated No. 14 North Carolina 41-27.
Tristan Nichols, Nevada (Famous Idaho Potato): Nichols recorded two of Nevada’s eight sacks as the Wolf Pack beat Tulane 38-27.
Josh Chandler-Semedo, West Virginia (Liberty): Chandler-Semedo picked off a pass, forced a fumble and delivered 13 tackles in West Virginia’s 24-21 victory over Army.
Azeez Ojulari, Georgia (Peach): Ojulari forced two fumbles and collected three sacks as No. 11 Georgia rallied to beat No. 6 Cincinnati 24-21. Ojulari’s third sack produced a safety on the final play of the game.
Jack Sanborn, Wisconsin (Duke’s Mayo): Sanborn recorded 11 tackles – two for loss – and also had one of Wisconsin’s four interceptions in the Badgers’ 42-28 victory over Wake Forest.
O’Rien Vance, Iowa State (Fiesta): Vance recovered two fumbles and made four tackles – one for loss – to help No. 12 Iowa State beat No. 25 Oregon 34-17.
Justin Birdsong, Georgia Southern (New Orleans): Birdsong intercepted two passes as Georgia Southern trounced Louisiana Tech 38-3. Georgia Southern was the only team not to allow a touchdown in its bowl game.
Bryce Cosby, Ball State (Arizona): Cosby had nine tackles and an interception as Ball State beat No. 19 San Jose State 34-13.
Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State (Armed Forces): Forbes delivered his fifth interception of the season and returned it 90-yards for a touchdown to help the Bulldogs beat Tulsa 28-26.
Antavious Lane, Georgia State (Lending Tree): Lane had five tackles and also picked off a pass that led to a touchdown drive for Georgia State in its 39-21 victory over Western Kentucky. It was the first interception Tyrrell Pigrome had thrown all season.
Jack Podlesny, Georgia (Peach): Podlesny’s 53-yard field goal with three seconds left gave Georgia a 22-21 lead in a game the Bulldogs won 24-21 over Cincinnati. Podlesny also made field goals of 37 and 32 yards.
Max Duffy, Kentucky (Gator): Duffy landed three of his five punts inside No. 24 North Carolina State’s 20-yard line. On one of them, Duffy briefly held the ball and made a move around a North Carolina State player to prevent a probable blocked punt.
PETERSON FIRED AS EAGLES COACH
Doug Pederson lost his job less than three years after he led the Philadelphia Eagles to the franchise’s only Super Bowl title.
Pederson was 42-37-1 in five seasons. He guided the Eagles to two division championships and three playoff appearances before going 4-11-1 in 2020.
Owner Jeffrey Lurie made the decision after meeting with Pederson last week and again Monday.
“Very few people probably after success deserve to lose their job,” Lurie said. “This is much more about the evaluation of whether the Eagles moving forward, our best option is to have a new coach and that’s really what it’s about. … He did not deserve to be let go.”
Pederson had two years remaining on his contract. Lurie said he wouldn’t be surprised if another team hired Pederson before the end of the week.
“Although I am disappointed that this chapter of my career has come to an end, I am extremely proud of what we accomplished together,” Pederson said in a statement.
“Through all the ups and downs, one thing remained constant about our team – an unwavering commitment to battle through adversity and to achieve our goals not as individuals, but as a collective unit. There is no better example of that than when we celebrated the first Super Bowl championship in Eagles history together with our city. That is a memory we will all cherish forever.”
Pederson’s loyalty to his coaching staff and frustration with the front office’s interference became a major issue, according to a person familiar with the decision who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the conversations. The person also said Pederson and general manager Howie Roseman weren’t on the same page regarding many personnel moves, including draft picks and use of veteran players.
The team’s draft failures in recent years from taking wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside over DK Metcalf in 2019 to selecting wideout Jalen Reagor one pick before Justin Jefferson in 2020 contributed to the offense’s struggles along with numerous injuries and quarterback Carson Wentz’s poor performance.
Ultimately, Lurie chose Roseman over Pederson.
STFANSKI EXPECTED TO COACH IN PLAYOFF GAME
Nervously sitting in front of a TV while secluded in his basement at home, coach Kevin Stefanski watched his Browns’ shocking playoff win – the team’s first in 26 years – like one of the team’s many long-suffering, faithful fans.
From the sideline to the sofa.
His phone turned off, Stefanski, who was isolated from his team and family after contracting COVID-19 last week, felt helpless, torn as he paced.
“I don’t plan on doing that again,” he said.
Stefanski expects he won’t have to, and Cleveland won’t have to wait another generation between postseason appearances.
The Browns’ strange 2020 season, which outkicked being bizarre a while back and has rolled into a new year, continues They’re one of four teams left in the AFC with a matchup set for Sunday against the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Given little chance without their coach, several key players and unable to practice much last week, the Browns pulled off a stunning, 48-37 wild-card win at Pittsburgh that exorcised years of failure and painful frustration against their rivals. Perhaps it kicked off a new era for a franchise that means more to its city than many in the NFL.
When the Browns arrived back in Cleveland at around 3 a.m. Monday, their plane was welcomed at the airport by barking, chanting fans.
Another drought over.
“We have to keep it going,” said Stefanski, who anticipates returning to the team’s facility on Thursday.
COWBOYS NAME QUINN AS DC
The Dallas Cowboys agreed to terms Monday with former Atlanta coach Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator, turning over a unit that was among the worst in franchise history to someone who built his reputation on defense in Seattle.
Quinn was already on the hot seat with the Falcons before an 0-5 start that included Atlanta becoming the first team in NFL history to lose back-to-back games after leading by at least 15 points in the fourth quarter. One of those losses was to the Cowboys.
The 50-year-old Quinn replaces Mike Nolan, who lasted just one season as the most important hire for first-year coach Mike McCarthy. Dallas allowed a franchise-record 473 points (29.6 per game) and finished 31st in the NFL in run defense while going 6-10. The Cowboys also fired defensive line coach Jim Tomsula.
Dallas tried to implement a new scheme without in-person work during the offseason because of the pandemic, and the defense was plagued by blown assignments along with questions about effort while the team started 3-9. Owner Jerry Jones suggested the Cowboys tried to change too much given the restrictions brought on by COVID-19.
McCarthy never called the Dallas scheme a 3-4, although it was closer to that than the 4-3 approach that figures to return with Quinn. His top priority will be fixing a run defense that almost gave up 300 yards on the ground in a game twice. Dallas allowed a franchise-record 307 yards rushing in a 49-38 loss to Cleveland.
The Cowboys switched to the 4-3 in 2013 when Rod Marinelli joined the staff and eventually became defensive coordinator. Marinelli left along with coach Jason Garrett after the 2019 season, when Dallas fell short of high expectations and missed the playoffs.
BUTLER MEN’S BASKETBALL
SCHEDULE UPDATE: The tip time for Butler’s home game on Saturday against Creighton has been moved to 4 p.m. The game will now air on FS1. The change is due to the NFL Playoff Schedule for the Divisional weekend, which was announced last night. FOX will host an extended pregame show leading into the Packers-Rams game Saturday afternoon.
GAME 10: BUTLER (3-6, 2-4 BIG EAST) AT ST. JOHN’S (6-6, 1-5 BIG EAST)
Tuesday, Jan. 12; 7PM
Carnesecca Arena; Queens, N.Y.
TV: FS1 – Brian Custer & Jim Spanarkel
Radio: 93.1FM – @MarkMinner & Nick Gardner (@n_gardner)
TuneIn Radio App, XM 385, SiriusXM Internet 975
@BUTLERMBB | #BUTLERWAY | BUTLERSPORTS.COM
The Bulldogs return to the road for a Tuesday night tip at St. John’s in Queens, N.Y.
Butler is 3-6 on the young season and 2-4 in conference play. St. John’s is 6-6 and 1-5 (BIG EAST).
• Six different Bulldogs have led the team in scoring over the team’s first nine games.
• Four of Butler’s top eight players in minutes played this season are true freshmen.
• Four different Bulldogs have posted 20-point games for Butler so far this season.
• Bryce Nze scored 18 points Saturday vs. UConn, tying his highest-scoring outing in a Butler uniform (he scored 25 points in a game while at Milwaukee).
• Freshmen have scored 40 percent of Butler’s points so far this season.
• Aaron Thompson tied a season-high with six assists vs. UConn Saturday.
• Butler is 33rd nationally, committing an average of only 11.1 turnovers per game.
• Butler closed Wednesday’s 63-55 win over Georgetown with a 10-0 run.
• Butler tied a season-low by committing only six turnovers against Georgetown.
• Butler limited Georgetown to only 34-percent shooting.
• Chuck Harris has scored in double figures in six of his first nine college games.
• Myles Tate scored a career-high 22 points at Seton Hall Jan. 2.
• Butler shot a season-best 11-of-22 from three-point range at Seton Hall.
• 50 percent of freshman Myles Wilmoth’s rebounds this season have been on the offensive glass.
• JaKobe Coles (meniscus – left knee) is out indefinitely.
• Harris earned BIG EAST Freshman of the Week Dec. 28.
• Jair Bolden’s 2.9 three-pointers per game are third in the BIG EAST.
• Nze ranks 12th in the BIG EAST at 6.7 rebounds per game.
• Bolden has led the Bulldogs in scoring in three of his nine career games in a Butler uniform.
• Butler put five players in double figures in the win over Providence Dec. 23.
• Tate had eight rebounds and seven assists (both career-highs) against Providence Dec. 23.
• Harris posted career-highs of 22 points and six assists vs. Southern Illinois Dec. 21.
THE SERIES: Butler Leads, 9-6
Streak: Butler, W2
At St. John’s: St. John’s Leads, 4-3
LaVall Jordan (at BU) vs. SJU: 4-2
First Meeting: St. John’s, 78-68; 3/13/58 (NIT)
Last Meeting: Butler, 77-55, 3/4/20 (at Hinkle)
Butler holds a 9-6 advantage in the all-time series with St. John’s. Other than a 1958 NIT contest, all of the games have been played since the Bulldogs joined the BIG EAST prior to the 2013-14 season.
Butler won both games between the two teams during the 2019-20 season. In the final hours of 2019 in Queens, Butler committed 24 turnovers as a 23-point second-half lead fully evaporated. Christian David’s three-pointer with 43 seconds to play gave the Bulldogs a 60-58 win.
On March 4, Butler won, 77-55, at Hinkle Fieldhouse on the Bulldogs’ Senior Night. Five Bulldogs reached double figures in the game. It was the Bulldogs who had the big second half in this meeting as Butler out-scored the visitors, 46-23, over the final 20 minutes after St. John’s had a one-point halftime lead.
YOUNG GUNS: The highest-rated recruiting class in Butler history has lived up to the billing so far. Four true freshmen are among the top eight Bulldogs in terms of minutes played through Butler’s first eight games. Chuck Harris, Myles Tate and JaKobe Coles (who is currently sidelined with a meniscus injury) have each scored in double figures in multiple games so far this season and all three have led the team in scoring in a game so far this season. In a six-point game midway through the second half at No. 7 Villanova Dec. 16, coach LaVall Jordan employed a line-up of his four freshmen alongside John-Michael Mulloy, who played a total of 76 minutes as a freshman last season.
Harris was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week by the conference office Dec. 28. Harris is the third Bulldog to earn Freshman of the Week honors since the Bulldogs joined the BIG EAST prior to the 2013-14 season. He joins Kelan Martin (final week of the 2014-15 regular season) and Kamar Baldwin (twice during the 2016-17 season) on that list.
For the season, Harris is third among the Bulldogs with an average of 11.1 points per game. He has scored in double figures in six of his nine collegiate contests. He led Butler with 18 points vs. Georgetown. Among true freshmen in the BIG EAST, only Marquette’s Dawson Garcia (at 13.0 points per game) is averaging more.
Tate recorded a career-high 22 points Jan. 2 at Seton Hall. His output included a career-best five three-pointers. He added five assists. For his efforts, he picked up a spot on the BIG EAST weekly honor roll.
Tate became the fourth different Bulldog (and second true freshman) to register a game of 20 or more points through the team’s first seven games. Last season, only Kamar Baldwin and Sean McDermott scored more than 20 points in a game.
Tate is among three true freshman who led the team in scoring through the first seven games of the season.
This is only the third season since 2008-09 that three true freshmen have started a game for Butler: 2020-21 (Tate, Harris, Coles); 2011-12 (Roosevelt Jones, Kameron Woods, Jackson Aldridge); and 2008-09 (Gordon Hayward, Shelvin Mack, Ron Nored).
TIGHT SQUEEZE: Butler turned the ball over only six times in Wednesday’s win over Georgetown, matching the team’s fewest turnovers in a game so far this season. Butler’s average of only 11.1 turnovers per game is 33rd nationally.
This continues a strong trend from last season. Butler had 14 games last season with 10 or fewer turnovers.
CLOSING TIME: Butler had chipped away at what was once an 11-point Georgetown lead. A Hoya basket with 4:29 remaining gave Georgetown a 55-53 lead. Butler held the Hoyas scoreless the rest of the way in taking a 63-55 win Wednesday night at Hinkle. That closing 10-0 run proved to be the distance. Overall, Butler forced Georgetown misses on 13 of their final 14 attempts from the field.
GETTING DEFENSIVE: Butler limited Georgetown to 34-percent shooting in Wednesday’s win, which included holding the Hoyas to a 7-of-29 performance from the field in the second half (24 percent). Jahvon Blair entered the game as the BIG EAST’s fourth-leading scorer at 19.0 points per game. Butler, keyed by the return of guard Aaron Thompson, held Blair to 11 points on 4-of-16 shooting.
THREE AT A TIME: The Bulldogs shot a sizzling 11-of-22 from three-point range Jan. 2 at Seton Hall. The 11 three-pointers were the most by a Butler team since hitting 12 at Nebraska March 20, 2019 in the NIT.
NOTRE DAME MBB: IRISH PREPARE FOR VIRGINIA WEDNESDAY
(NOTRE DAME RELEASE)
BY THE NUMBERS: IRISH AT CAVALIERS
|.782||Junior forward Nate Laszewski’s NCAA-leading effective field goal percentage in 2020-21. The statistic accounts for the fact that a three-point field goal is more worth more than a two-point field goal – the formula is (FGM + 0.5 * 3PM) / FGA|
|.647||Nate Laszewski’s field goal percentage in 2020-21, which leads the ACC, is third among major conference players and 10th in the NCAA (min 5 FGM/G, 5 GP).|
|.575||Nate Laszewski’s three-point field goal percentage in 2020-21, which leads the ACC, is second among major conference players and fourth in the NCAA (min 1.5 3PM/G, 5 GP).|
|.377||ACC-leading team three-point shooting percentage for the Irish, ahead of NC State (.366) and Virginia Tech (.353). The team number is boosted by juniors Nate Laszewski (12-21, .571) and Dane Goodwin (9-17, .529) in ACC play, who are a combined 21-38 (.552) in Notre Dame’s four league games.|
|2||The Irish are looking to earn the program’s first win at Virginia on Wednesday night and it would be the second time this season Notre Dame has earned the program’s first win on an opponent’s home floor. The 64-63 victory at Kentucky on Dec. 12 was the first for Notre Dame in Rupp Arena/Lexington, Kentucky.|
|5.5||The assist-per-game average for junior Prentiss Hubb in ACC action this year, which puts him in a three-way tied for first place in the league.|
|6||The Irish are up to six games lost this season to COVID-19 safety protocols that affected the opposing team’s ability to play the scheduled game. The program has been able to adapt to the games missed, adding Detroit Mercy (to replace three different scheduled home openers) and Bellarmine (to replace a planned trip to Syracuse) North Carolina (to replace at planned trip to Pittsburgh). The Irish were unable to schedule a replacement last week for the loss of the Georgia Tech (Jan. 6) contest.|
|10||The Irish are 10th in the country and first in the ACC in free throw percentage at .795. Trim that national list to teams that have played at least eight games and Notre Dame is sixth in the country and Colorado is the only major conference team ahead of the Irish (first, .856).|
|12.7||Notre Dame’s NCAA-leading fouls per game number, as the Irish continue their tradition of not fouling the opponent to allow easy points late in a contest. The Irish are ahead of Appalachian State (13.1) and Virginia (13.4) for the national lead.|
|19.3||Nate Laszewski’s ACC-only scoring average this season, which ranks third in the league entering this week’s conference action.|
|23||A recent project by CBSSports.com ranked the ‘Greatest College Basketball Programs Ever’ with Notre Dame placing 23rd on the list and sixth in the ACC. Notre Dame will face eight of the teams ranked above them this year a total of nine times: No. 19 NC State, No. 14 Michigan State (0-1), No. 12 Ohio State (0-1), No. 11 Syracuse, No. 6 Louisville, No. 3 Duke (0-1, twice), No. 2 North Carolina, No. 1 Kentucky (1-0).|
|1907||Total victories in the history of Notre Dame men’s basketball, as the Irish became the eighth program to reach 1,900 victories in 2019-20 (Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Temple, Syracuse and UCLA have all reached that plateau). The Irish were 12th all-time in college basketball victories when Mike Brey took over the program in 2000-01 – they have since passed Oregon State, Pennsylvania, St. John’s and Indiana on the all-time wins list into eighth place.|
CHARTING LASZEWSKI’S HOT SHOOTING START
Junior Nate Laszewski has started out the 2020-21 season as one of the nation’s best shooters.
A look at where Laszewski ranks among the NCAA, major conference and ACC leaders:
|Statistic||Number||National Ranking||Major Conference Ranking||ACC Ranking||Notes|
|FG%||.647||10th||3rd||1st||min 5 FGM per game, 5 GP|
|3FG%||.575||4th||2nd||1st||min 1.5 3FGM per game, 5 GP|
|EFG%||.782||1st||1st||1st||min 5 FGM per game, 5 GP|
IRISH BOAST SOLID RECORD FOR ANNUAL HOME-AND-HOME ACC SERIES
Since joining the ACC for the 2013-14 season, Boston College and Georgia Tech have been designated as the ‘traditional’ yearly rivals for Notre Dame in the league. Each season, the Irish have met the Eagles and Yellow Jackets for home-and-home series. Notre Dame boasts the best record in the league against its designated repeat opponents since 2013-14 (records below are regular-season meetings only, entering 2020-21):
RECORD VS. ACC ANNUAL HOME-AND-HOME OPPONENTS SINCE 2013-14
|NOTRE DAME||Boston College||Georgia Tech||22-6|
|Duke||North Carolina||Wake Forest||20-8|
|North Carolina||Duke||NC State||18-10|
* – Virginia repeated with Maryland in 2013-14
PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT HIGHLIGHTED BY 1,000 POINT SCORERS
Notre Dame has produced 64 1,000 point scorers throughout the history of the program with 23 of those players reaching that statistical milestone during the Mike Brey era (2000-01 – current). Of the 85 players who have suited up for Notre Dame under Mike Brey, 36 of them were recruited by the staff and exhausted their eligibility with the Irish – 20 of those players have scored more than 1,000 points in a career.
Since 2000-01, Notre Dame leads all ACC teams in 1,000 point scorers (23) and is second in the country over that time frame to Villanova.
|School||All-Time 1,000 Point Scorers||1,000 Point Scorers since 2000-01|
A DECADE OF ‘NO FOUL’ CONTINUES
One of the mantras of Notre Dame basketball under Mike Brey has been to keep the amount of opponent foul shots down. Defend without fouling is a way of life for Irish basketball and the statistics bear out that trend.
In the last 11 years, Notre Dame has failed to finish among the top 10 in least amount of personal fouls committed just twice. They have also led the country in least amount of personal fouls three times.
The NCAA has been tracking the least amount of fouls committed in a season since 1993. Notre Dame is the only team since 1993 to lead the country in least amount of fouls more than twice (four times) and could be on pace to make it six times this season.
NOTRE DAME FOULS PER GAME NATIONAL/CONFERENCE FINAL RANKING
|Year||Fouls Per Game||NCAA Raking||Conference Ranking|
FOUR VETERANS NAMED TEAM CAPTAINS FOR 2020-21
Glenn and Stacey Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Brey has announced four student-athletes to serve as team captains for the University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team.
Graduate students Nikola Djogo and Juwan Durham, along with juniors Prentiss Hubb and Cormac Ryan, will make up a four-player group of captains in 2020-21.
All four Irish players will be serving as team captains for the first time in their careers.
IRISH RECEIVE COMMITMENTS FROM TWO AREA PROSPECTS
Rising high school seniors J.R. Konieczny (Ko-nez-nee) and Blake Wesley, both from South Bend, Indiana, have signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball at the University of Notre Dame.
Rated among the top 150 high school players in the 2020-21 class, Konieczy (Kah-nez-nee) is a four-star recruit according to ESPN.com and earned third-team all-state honors as a junior in 2019-20. He averaged over 24 points a game last season, including a 42-point outburst in the 2020 sectional semifinal – a performance that earned him the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Week honors.
A consensus four-star recruit, Wesley is ranked 96th nationally by Rivals and 113th by 247Sports. An honorable mention all-state selection as a junior in 2019-20, Wesley led all local area players with a 26.0 points-per-game average last season.
BALL STATE FACES MAC LEADING BOWLING GREEN TONIGHT
(BALL STATE RELEASE)
Following a trip to Buffalo, the Ball State men’s basketball team stays on the road to take on league unbeaten Bowling Green Tuesday night. The Cardinals have started 2021 with a pair of losses and a home game postponed, but should have some missing players back at BG. Bowling Green is 5-0 in the MAC and is coming off a home-and-home week against Central Michigan where it beat CMU by 21 and 28, respectively.
The Starting 5 – The Top 5 Storylines For This Game
1. CARDS AND FALCONS – THE SERIES
Tuesday night’s game in Ohio will be the 89th meeting between Ball State and Bowling Green, a series that began in 1965. BG has won four straight in the series, including a 77-71 win at Worthen last year, which was Ball State’s only conference loss at home last season. BSU is looking to snap that streak, though recent meetings between the two schools have been very close. The average margin of victory is 5.8 points between BSU and BG over the last seven meetings. Ball State’s best stretch ever against Bowling Green came from 1997-05, when the Cards won 10 of 13 meetings.
2. INSIDE THE NUMBERS: TUESDAY’S MATCHUP
Bowling Green is the MAC’s top scoring team at 83.7 points per game and is near the top in shooting percentage categories. Ball State has been pretty good at defending the ‘3’ which is something BG does well (.372). Both teams are in the bottom half of the league in rebounding. As far as getting good looks goes, BG is last in the conference in blocked shots and Ball State is among the nation’s best teams (58th nationally) in not having its shots blocked. Ball State needs to defend well to slow BG’s attack and hit those open shots Tuesday night.
3. EASTERN BLOC TO START 2021
Tuesday’s game at BG is the third in a row against a MAC East opponent – BSU just played Ohio and Buffalo while the scheduled game against western division foe WMU was postponed. Ball State returns to play against the western half of the league this Saturday when Northern Illinois comes to Worthen at 1 p.m.
4. NEXT MAN UP
Shorthanded in recent weeks – and really the entire season – Ball State had a few bright spots as players stepped up and took on bigger roles. Saturday’s game at Buffalo was the first time since last year’s finale at Northern Illinois that five different BSU players scored 8+ points in the same game. K.J. Walton scored 17 to lead the Cardinals, followed by Luke Bumbalough’s 14 and Brachen Hazen with 11. Zach Gunn and Ben Hendriks each score eight to help provide balance.
5. MARQUEE MATCHUP IN THE BACKCOURT
Ball State-Bowling Green will feature some really solid guard play. Each team has one of the league’s leading scorers and there will be no shortage of playmaking guards on the floor Tuesday night. K.J. Walton (17.7 ppg) and Ishmael El-Amin (14.7 ppg) have been among the MAC’s top duos all season, and Luke Bumbalough (7.4) has strung together several double-digit scoring outings while increasing his assist totals. Bowling Green counters with All-MAC player Justin Turner (20.9 ppg) and two other starting guards who combine for 19.9 points per game.
PURDUE FT. WAYNE MBB: GODFREY NAMED POW
INDIANAPOLIS – Purdue Fort Wayne’s Jarred Godfrey has been named the Nike Horizon League Men’s Basketball Player of the Week, the league announced on Monday (January 11). Additionally, Godfrey was named the Lou Henson National Player of the Week by CollegeInsider.com.
Godfrey helped the Mastodons to a pair of wins over UIC last week. He averaged 28.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Godfrey shot 54.3 percent (19-of-35) from the floor and 60.0 percent (6-of-10) from three.
Friday’s contest saw Godfrey score a career-high 41 points. It stands as the most by a Mastodon in program history at the Gates Sports Center. It was also three points shy of the program record for points in a game. He finished a career-best 11-of-12 from the line. Godfrey was especially effective in overtime, scoring eight points in the extra session.
Godfrey returned on Saturday to score 16 points with four rebounds in the Mastodons’ 33-point victory over the Flames.
Friday’s performance earned a 31.8 game score according to sports-reference.com. After his 31.0 score earlier this season vs. Robert Morris, he is the only player in the nation with two 31.0 or better game scores against Division I opponents this season. Game score is a measure created by John Hollinger to give a rough measure of a player’s productivity for a single game. The scale is similar to that of points scored with 40 being outstanding and 10 being average.
The junior from Atlanta is averaging 18.2 points per game on the season, second best in the Horizon League. His 52.4 percent shooting from the floor is fifth best in the league.
Godfrey’s efficiency from beyond the arc and success getting to the basket is a key reason the ‘Dons rank fourth in the nation in 3-point percentage (42.4) and 11th in field goal percentage (51.0).
The Mastodons are 4-5 (3-5 Horizon) on the season and travel to Milwaukee this weekend.
INDIANA STATE LOSES CONFERENCE GAME TO LOYOLA
(INDIANA STATE RELEASE)
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State and Loyola Chicago locked in a physical battle in the second game of the rescheduled Missouri Valley Conference showdown Monday, Jan. 11, with the Ramblers ultimately topping the Sycamores 58-48 in Hulman Center.
ISU (4-7, 1-5 MVC) matched the Ramblers (78-3, 3-1 MVC) blow for blow in the first half, trailing by just three at the break. Loyola controlled the second period of play, however, shooting 45 percent (10-of-22) from the floor while holding Indiana State to just 33 percent (7-of-21) in the half.
Sophomore Jake LaRavia was the lone Sycamore to reach the double-digit scoring plateau, scoring 11 points while pulling down six rebounds. Fellow sophomore Tre Williams led ISU with seven rebounds and added two blocks. Both Cooper Neese and Randy Miller Jr. contributed eight points.
Loyola was led by Camron Krutwig, who led a balanced scoring attack with 16 points. Nine Ramblers found the scoring column in total, with four others contributing six-or-more points.
After the offensive outburst in the first game of the series, defense was the story of the second. On top of 41 fewer total points being scored in the game, both teams shot worse overall from the floor. After a 44 percent (22-of-50) showing in game one, Indiana State managed just 36 percent (16-of-45) from the floor in game two.
The Sycamores won the rebound battle on the night, 33-32, but the Ramblers held the advantage in assists (11-to-6), turnovers (10-to-12), bench points (16-to-14), and points in the paint (26-to-16).
Indiana State hits the road for a weekend series against Illinois State, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 16-17. Both games are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.
VALPO MBB: CRUSADERS PREPARE FOR ROAD TRIP
Valparaiso (3-7, 0-2 MVC)
at Southern Illinois (7-3, 1-3 MVC)
Game No. 11 – Saturday, Jan. 16 – 3 p.m. CT
Game No. 12 – Sunday, Jan. 17 – 3 p.m. CT
Banterra Center (8,283) – Carbondale, Ill.
Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team will play its first road conference series of the season this weekend, making its way to Carbondale for a back-to-back against Southern Illinois. The games against the Salukis will tip off at 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
Last Time Out: After 20 days without a game and limited practice time, Valpo dropped both games of last weekend’s home series with Missouri State to start Missouri Valley Conference play. The hosts trailed by just four at halftime on Saturday despite the Bears shooting a robust 70.8 percent in the opening half, but the Brown & Gold fell 81-68 despite 21 points apiece by sophomores Ben Krikke and Donovan Clay. Four Valpo players scored in double figures on Sunday led by Eron Gordon and Jacob Ognacevic with 13 each, but Valpo fell by the similar score of 78-68.
Following Valpo Basketball: Video, Saturday – The Valley ESPN3/+ Exclusive – Harry Schroeder (play-by-play) and Kelly Burke (analyst)
Video, Sunday – ESPN3/+ – Connor Onion (play-by-play) and Mike Trude (analyst)
Radio – WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso) – Todd Ickow (play-by-play) and Brandon Vickrey (analyst)
Twitter updates – @ValpoBasketball
Links for video, audio and live stats will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Matt Lottich: Matt Lottich (76-67) is in his eighth season overall at Valpo and fifth as head coach in 2020-21. Just two years removed from finishing in last place and being knocked out in the first round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament as a first-year Valley member, Lottich’s team did more than hold its own in 2019-2020, ascending into a tie for sixth in the league standings before finishing as the conference tournament runner-up. Valpo became the first team in the history of Arch Madness to reach the title game after playing in the opening round. Lottich, hired as the 22nd head coach of the Valpo men’s basketball program in April 2016, graduated from Stanford University in 2004 and New Trier High School (Illinois) in 2000.
- If Ben Krikke reaches doubles figures on Saturday vs. Southern Illinois, it will be his ninth time in double figures in the first 11 games of his sophomore season, matching his total number of double-figure outputs in 33 games as a freshman last season. He has scored in double figures in five straight entering this weekend.
- After going 0-for-7 from 3-point distance over the season’s first four games, Krikke did not attempt a 3 in the next four games before going 2-for-2 on Jan. 9 vs. Missouri State.
- Jacob Ognacevic is an efficient 8-for-12 shooting over his last four games despite two games in that stretch where he totaled just one field-goal attempt (Dec. 19 at Toledo, Jan. 9 vs. Missouri State). He went 4-of-7 for 13 points in just 12 minutes on Jan. 10 vs. Missouri State.
- After making 10 or more turnovers in each of the season’s first seven games, Valpo has committed nine giveaways or fewer in each of its last three contests. This is the first time Valpo has strung together three straight games with fewer than 10 turnovers since a stretch of five such games in February 2017, the program’s final season in the Horizon League and Matt Lottich’s first year as head coach.
- Valpo has won the turnover battle in six of its last seven games.
- Valpo is 0-7 when scoring fewer points at the free-throw line than its opponents, but the team is 3-0 when outscoring opponents at the stripe.
- A win on Saturday would help Valpo avoid its first four-game losing streak since Jan. 23-Feb. 2, 2019. Valpo is also hoping to avoid an 0-3 start to conference play, something it has done just once over the last 20 years.
- One area where the team hopes to show improvement this weekend is on the glass. Valpo has been outrebounded in five straight games, eight out of 10 this season and 15 of the last 19 games dating back to last season.
- Valpo has given up more offensive rebounds than it would like this season, with a league-low defensive rebounding percentage of 70.7. However, Southern Illinois has the lowest offensive rebounding percentage (17.1) and offensive rebounding average (5.2) in the MVC, so something has to give on the glass this weekend.
- Entering this weekend, Donovan Clay has started 41 consecutive games. He made his first start during the third game of his freshman season (2019-20) and has started every game since.
MVC Play Finally Underway
- Valpo played its first MVC games of the season this past weekend, starting conference play at home for the third straight season, this time vs. Missouri State.
- The Jan. 9 start to conference play marked Valpo’s latest since head coach Scott Drew’s team commenced the Mid-Continent Conference slate on Jan. 11, 2003 vs. Western Illinois.
- Saturday at Southern Illinois marks Valpo’s first MVC road game of the season. Valpo will look to prevail in its first conference road game for the third straight season (W 81-79 in OT at Evansville on Jan. 4, 2020; W 82-66 at Missouri State on Jan. 5, 2019). Valpo has won its first league road game in three of Matt Lottich’s first four seasons and four of the last five years overall.
Notes Wrapping Up Jan. 10 vs. Missouri State (Missouri State 78, Valpo 68)
- Valpo hosted home games on back-to-back days for the first time since starting the 2016-17 season with home dates vs. Southern Utah (Nov. 11) and Trinity Christian (Nov. 12), the first two games under Matt Lottich.
- Valpo boasted four players in double figures, led by Jacob Ognacevic and Eron Gordon with 13 points apiece. Gordon paced the team in scoring for the first time in his Valpo career, while Ognacevic did so for the second time during his freshman season.
- Gordon’s scoring output represented a season high, his top performance since Feb. 22 of last season, when he scored 13 vs. Bradley. Gordon was three rebounds away from a double-double as he pulled down seven, one shy of his career high from this year’s season opener at Vanderbilt.
- Ognacevic’s 13 points came on 4-of-7 shooting in just 12 minutes of action.
- Sheldon Edwards reached nine points for the second straight day, this time finishing with 10 points. He has scored in double figures on four occasions this season.
- Ben Krikke scored 12 points to finish in double figures for the eighth time in the season’s first 10 games.
- Daniel Sackey sent out a team-high six assists while also going 5-of-6 at the free-throw line and swiping a pair of steals.
- Missouri State’s Gaige Prim posted a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds to go along with Mosley’s 29-point performance. Mosley’s 26 second-half points marked the most by a Valpo opponent in a single half since Reggie Hamilton of Oakland had 28 in the second half on Dec. 17, 2011.
- Valpo was held to a season-low 35.4 percent shooting, but did haul in 11 offensive rebounds, snapping a streak of three straight games with five or fewer.
- Valpo dropped back-to-back home contests for the first time since December 2018 vs. High Point and Ball State.
Notes Wrapping Up Jan. 9 vs. Missouri State (Missouri State 81, Valpo 68)
- Valpo shot a season-high 40.7 percent from 3-point range (11-of-27). It was the team’s highest 3-point clip since going 11-of-22 on Feb. 25 of last season, also at home against Missouri State. However, Valpo’s overall shooting percentage of 41.1 on Saturday was its lowest in the last seven games to that point.
- Valpo had a season-low seven turnovers. The team had just one game all of last season where it committed seven or fewer turnovers, also vs. Missouri State (7 in MVC semifinal matchup). It was the team’s fifth time under Matt Lottich (fifth season) with seven turnovers or fewer, and three have come vs. Missouri State.
- Donovan Clay enjoyed his fourth career 20-point game and his second this season. The sophomore’s 21 points marked a season high, surpassing his output of 20 from Dec. 12 at Central Michigan.
- Clay finished one-point shy of a career high, which occurred in last season’s home matchup with Missouri State (Feb. 25), when he scored 22 points. Half of Clay’s scoring outputs of 20+ have coming against Missouri State.
- This was the second straight year Clay made four 3s in the MVC opener, as both of his career games with four 3-pointers came to open up MVC play (Dec. 30, 2019 vs. Loyola).
- 9 vs. Missouri State marked Clay’s 25th career double-figure scoring showing and his sixth in the first nine games this season.
- Ben Krikke had shattered his previous season high by halftime on his way to his career-high 21. His previous season watermark was 16 at Toledo (Dec. 19) and his previous career best was 18 vs. Trinity Christian (Nov. 27, 2019).
- Krikke’s 17 points in the first half were the most in a single half by a Valpo player this season, surpassing Jacob Ognacevic’s 16-point second half vs. Judson. Krikke joins Javon Freeman-Liberty (twice), Tevonn Walker (twice) and Alec Peters (twice during his senior season, Lottich’s first season) as the only four players with 17 or more first-half points in a game during the Matt Lottich Era.
- Connor Barrett finished with 11 points for his fourth double-figure scoring output of the season. Before being held to three points on Sunday, Jan. 10 vs. Missouri State, Barrett had scored nine points or more in five of his previous six games.
- Barrett accounted for five of the team’s nine steals, matching his steal total from the season’s first eight games in one game on Saturday, Jan. 9 to double his season total to 10 (now 11). He became the first Valpo player with five steals in a game since Freeman-Liberty on Feb. 15 of last season at Illinois State and the first player not named Javon with a five-steal game since Tevonn Walker on Jan. 13, 2018 at UNI.
- Barrett joined the short list of players with five or more steals in a game during the Matt Lottich Era: Javon Freeman-Liberty (3), Lexus Williams (3) and Tevonn Walker (2).
- Edwards chipped in nine points as freshmen and sophomores (specifically, the quarter of Krikke, Edwards, Clay and Barrett) accounted for 62 of the team’s 68 points (91.1 percent).
- Valpo’s last two games with a pair of 20-point scorers have both come against Missouri State (Donovan Clay & Ryan Fazekas, Feb. 25, 2020; Clay & Krikke, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021).
- Missouri State’s 70.8 percent shooting clip in the first half was the highest by a Valpo opponent in a single half since Dec. 28, 2017 (at Indiana State, 72.2 percent, 2nd half). Missouri State’s performance was the highest shooting percentage in the first half of a game by a Valpo opponent since Jan. 13, 1992 (vs. Western Illinois, 72.3 percent).
- The defeat snapped a six-game home winning streak that dated back to Feb. 5 of last season (L 63-51 vs. UNI). All six wins during that streak came by 12 points or more.
Series Notes: Southern Illinois
- Valpo has won six of the first 10 matchups between these two squads, which hadn’t met since 1980 until Valpo joined the MVC prior to the 2017-18 campaign.
- Valpo has won three of the last four matchups, including a 55-38 win at the ARC on Feb. 12, 2020 in the most recent clash. Valpo set a program record for the fewest points allowed against a Division-I opponent during the shot clock era. Ben Krikke led the way with 15 points and seven rebounds. SIU shot just 23.6 percent, the lowest by an MVC team in conference play since 2007.
- Valpo flipped a 13-point loss in the first meeting into a 17-point victory in the second meeting, the first time it turned a double-figure setback into a double-figure victory in the same season since 2008-2009 (vs. Loyola).
Inside the Salukis
- Lost three straight games (two to undefeated Drake) before having last weekend’s scheduled series at Indiana State postponed.
- Selected fifth in this year’s MVC preseason poll.
- Sophomore Marcus Domask was named to the preseason All-MVC Second Team. He was the Freshman and Newcomer of the Year in the MVC last season while also earning second team all-conference honors.
- Domask leads the team in scoring with 16.3 points per game, while Lance Jones (11.9) and Ben Harvey (11.7) also average in double figures.
- Picked 10th in the MVC but instead finished fifth in Bryan Mullins’ first season in charge of the program in 2019-20.
- Mullins, a Saluki Hall of Famer for his playing career from 2006-2009, previously served as an assistant coach at Loyola.
Krikke’s Big Half
When Ben Krikke scored 17 points in the opening half on Jan. 9 vs. Missouri State, he became just the fourth different Valpo player with 17 or more points before halftime during the Matt Lottich head coaching tenure (fifth season). Below is a list of instances of Valpo players with 17+ points in the first half of a game since Lottich took over in 2016-17.
Player Points Opponent Date
Ben Krikke 17 vs. Missouri State Jan. 9, 2021
Javon Freeman-Liberty 17 at UNI Jan. 15, 2020
Javon Freeman-Liberty 20 at Illinois State Feb. 5, 2019
Tevonn Walker 18 at SIUE Feb. 15, 2018
Tevonn Walker 19 vs. Drake Jan. 10, 2018
Alec Peters 17 vs. Wright State Jan. 27, 2017
Alec Peters 23 vs. Indiana State Dec. 17, 2016
A Look Back at 2019-20: Just two years removed from finishing in last place and being knocked out in the first round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament as a first-year Valley member, head coach Matt Lottich’s team did more than hold its own, ascending into a tie for sixth in the league standings before finishing as the conference tournament runner-up. Valpo became the first team in the history of Arch Madness to reach the title game after playing in the opening round.
- Sophomore Donovan Clay was named to the Preseason MVC Second Team.
- Valpo was picked to finish eighth in the preseason poll based on a survey of the conference’s head coaches, media members and sports information directors.
- Valpo exceeded preseason expectations a year ago after being picked to finish ninth. The Brown & Gold tied for sixth in the regular-season standings and went on to finish as the conference tournament runner-up.
Who’s Back, Who’s New?
- This year’s team features 11 returning letter winners (nine scholarship, two walk-on) to go along with six newcomers (four scholarship, two walk-on).
- Three letter winners departed from last year’s team.
- Valpo returns 59.2 percent of its scoring and 64.3 percent of its rebounding from last season. Both numbers are up from a year ago, when Valpo returned just 40.1 percent of its scoring and 35.7 percent of its rebounding from 2018-19.
- Last season, the entire roster was from either Indiana, Illinois or outside the United States. This year, Valpo has added three additional states to the mix in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Florida.
- Still, six players hail from Illinois and four from Indiana. The six Illinois natives are the most since 2015-16.
- Coincidentally, Valpo’s last player from the state of Florida before Sheldon Edwards shares the same last name. Lakeland native Richie Edwards played for the Brown & Gold during the 2011-2012 campaign.
- Goodnews Kpegeol is the first Valpo player from the state of Minnesota since Cory Johnson’s final season on campus in 2010-2011.
- Jacob Ognacevic is Valpo’s first player from Wisconsin since Andrew Ferry in 2008-2009.
Arrow Pointed Up
- Valpo made its first conference championship appearance since 2015, doing so after being picked to finish ninth in the preseason poll.
- Valpo reached the conference title game as only a third-year Missouri Valley Conference member. When Valpo transitioned from the Mid-Continent Conference to the Horizon League prior to the 2007-2008 season, the program didn’t reach the conference championship game until Year 5 and followed by winning its first Horizon League Tournament title in Year 6.
- The men’s basketball program became the first Valpo team in any sport to reach the Missouri Valley Conference championship game during the department’s young tenure in the prestigious league.
- Valpo accepted a postseason tournament invitation for the first time since joining The Valley, agreeing to a CollegeInsider.com Tournament berth before the event was canceled due to the coronavirus.
- The program had its largest win increase from the previous season (four) since jumping from 18 wins in 2013-14 to 28 in 2014-15.
- Valpo finished with a winning record during the nonconference portion of the season for the 10th straight year. In addition, Valpo continued its history of home dominance and hasn’t finished with a losing mark at the ARC since 1991-92, extending its streak to 28 seasons. Valpo achieved a double-figure home win total for the ninth time in the last 10 years.
2019-20 Team Statistical Feats
- Led the Missouri Valley Conference in assists per game at 15.2, the first time Valpo led a conference in that area since pacing the Horizon League in 2011-2012. The 15.2 assists per game was Valpo’s highest total since 2010-11 (15.8 apg) and the team’s second-highest output over the last 13 seasons. The squad ranked 29th nationally in assists per game and 12th in total assists.
- Averaged 7.7 steals per game to rank second in the MVC and totaled 270 steals, a number that ranked 18th The team had its highest steals average since 2010-11 and the second-highest over the last 16 seasons.
- The team averaged 72.3 points per game, second in the MVC. That was the team’s second-highest scoring average over the last eight seasons. In addition, the team jumped 5.5 points per game from 2018-19 to 2019-20.
- Valpo made 287 3-pointers, the team’s second-most since 2008-09 and the third-most over the last 30 years.
- The team had 922 made field goals, its third most over the last 30 years.
- Valpo committed just 12.7 turnovers per game, the team’s lowest total over the last 30 seasons.
MIAMI WBB: REDHAWKS FACE EAGLES WEDNESDAY
ON TAP: Miami welcomes Eastern Michigan to Millett Hall for a Wednesday evening contest. Opening tip is set for 5:30 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT: Peyton Scott and Kelly McLaughlin combined for 49 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Miami University women’s basketball dropped an 84-77 decision to the Akron Zips.
ABOUT EASTERN MICHIGAN: The Eagles are 5-5 on the year overall and 2-3 in MAC play which includes a 67-62 win on Sunday over Western Michigan. EMU averages 66.0 points per contest and is led by Areanna Combs, who is averaging 20.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
SERIES WITH EASTERN MICHIGAN: Miami is 41-19 all-time versus EMU. The Eagles won 80-53 a year ago in Ypsilanti, with Peyton Scott leading the way for Miami with 14 points and six rebounds.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: While Miami’s 1-8 record is not ideal, when looking at its competition, the record makes a bit more sense. This season Miami’s eight opponents have a combined record of 52-28: Notre Dame (5-5), Valparaiso (5-4), Ohio State (6-0), Central Michigan (7-2), Evansville (4-5), Bowling Green (8-2), Buffalo (7-3), Ohio (5-3) and Akron (5-4).
GREAT SCOTT: Peyton Scott had a banner year for the RedHawks in 2019-20, averaging 12.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, earning All-MAC Freshman honors, but that is nothing compared to what she is doing in 2020-21. The sophomore is averaging 18.2 points and 5.7 rebounds this season. Playing much of this season as the team’s point guard, Scott is also averaging 4.9 assists per game after averaging just 2.2 a year ago. She ranks 10th in the MAC in scoring, 23rd in rebounding, second in assists, 12th in steals (1.7), eighth in free throw percentage (87.9%) and fourth in minutes played (36.1).
FRESHMAN PHENOM: Katie Davidson has made a quick impression on the basketball team. The freshman has scored in double figures in eight of nine games in her career and is averaging 14.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Her scoring average ranks 15th in the MAC and is second-best (12th nationally) in the conference among freshmen, trailing only BGSU’s Lexi Fleming (19.8). She also has a chance to become one of Miami’s best freshman in school history, despite the shortened season. Davidson is currently on pace to score 340 points, which would be the sixth-most points in Miami history for a freshmen, trailing only Lauren Dickerson (520), Courtney Osborn (513), Kim Lancaster (432), Amanda Jackson (391) and Peyton Scott (376).
SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST: Kelly McLaughlin scored 188 points and had 125 rebounds in her first three years with the RedHawks, averaging 4.1 points and 2.7 rebounds. This year, the senior has already scored 118 points and recorded 80 rebounds in nine games for an average of 13.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.
POUND THE BOARDS: Despite its incredibly tough schedule, Miami leads the MAC in rebounding margin at +9.4 per game, but what they are doing on the offensive glass is even better. Miami has at least 10 offensive rebounds in every contest this season and over its last four MAC games Miami has 60 offensive boards. Miami ranks 21st in the country with 15.7 offensive rebounds per game.
DYNAMIC DUO: The backcourt duo of sophomore Peyton Scott and freshman Katie Davidson are averaging a combined 32.9 points, 11.5 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game. The two players combined are averaging 70 minutes per contest as well.
BENCH PRESS: In Miami’s first six contests of the year they managed just 51 total bench points (8.5/game). In its last three games the RedHawks have combined for 43 points (14.3/game) off the bench. Much of that credit goes to Jada Duckett, who has 25 points off the bench in the past three games.
SUPER SENIOR: Senior Kelly McLaughlin is coming of a career-best 27-point effort in the loss at Akron. She missed much of the third quarter with an injury and scored those 27 points in just 28 minutes of action.
GONZAGA REMAINS #1
Gonzaga and Baylor remain atop The Associated Press men’s basketball poll for the seventh consecutive week in the regular season.
The Zags received 63 of 64 first-place votes from a national media panel in the poll released Monday and the Bears had the other one. Villanova, Texas and Iowa rounded out a top 5 that remained the same from last week.
Gonzaga (12-0) had two games last week and turned both into routs, beating BYU 86-69 and Portland 116-88. The Zags have won 16 straight, dating to last season.
Baylor (11-0) beat Oklahoma and TCU last week to hold at No. 2.
No. 25 Connecticut moved into the poll for the first time since reaching No. 18 in 2016-17.
Ohio State returned to the rankings at No. 21, while Rutgers and Florida State tumbled out from Nos. 15 and 25.
BIG 10 MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Co-Player of the Week
Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana
F – So. – 6-9 – Greenwood, Ind. – Center Grove (Ind.) – Major: Sports Marketing
- Posted three double-doubles while averaging 20.0 points, 12.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.0 blocks per game in three contests against Maryland, then-ranked No. 8/No. 10 Wisconsin and Nebraska.
- Scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to open the week in Indiana’s 63-55 win over Maryland. Finished the contest shooting 5-for-5 from the field in the final 10 minutes of the game.
- Led the team in points (23), rebounds (12) and blocked shots (three), while adding four assists, in the Hoosiers’ double-overtime loss to then-ranked No. 8/No. 10 Wisconsin.
- Finished the week with 15 points, 11 rebounds and two assists in an 84-76 road win at Nebraska.
- Currently ranks eighth in the nation in total points (261), ninth in total field goals made (91) and 12th in total rebounds (121)
- Earns the second Player of the Week accolade of his career; was a five-time Freshman of the Week honoree in 2019-20
- Last Indiana Player of the Week: Trayce Jackson-Davis (Dec. 7, 2020)
Co-Player of the Week
Jordan Bohannon, Iowa
G – Sr. – 6-1 – Marion, Iowa – Linn-Mar (Iowa) – Major: Interdepartmental Studies
- Averaged 18.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game in wins over Maryland and then-ranked No. 16/No. 17 Minnesota to help Iowa improve to 11-2 overall on the season and 5-1 in the Big Ten.
- Shot 11-for-18 (.611 pct.) from the field on the week, including 10-for-16(.625 pct.) from three-point range.
- Scored 19 points and registered career highs in rebounds (seven) and assists (14) in Iowa’s 86-71 win over then-ranked No. 16/No. 17 Minnesota. Recorded the seventh double-double of his career to set a new Iowa record for career double-doubles. His 14 assists marked the third-highest single-game total in the NCAA this season.
- According to Iowa, Bohannon became the first Big Ten player with 19-plus points, 14-plus assists and seven-plus rebounds in a game since the 2002-03 season.
- Earns the first Player of the Week accolade of his career; was a two-time Freshman of the Week honoree in 2016-17
- Last Iowa Player of the Week: Luka Garza (Dec. 14, 2020)
Freshman of the Week
Hunter Dickinson, Michigan
C – 7-1 – Alexandria, Va. – DeMatha Catholic (Md.) – Major: Undecided
- Helped Michigan improve to 10-0 on the season by scoring a career-high 28 points in the Wolverines’ 82-57 win over then-ranked No. 16/No. 17 Minnesota, marking his third-straight 20-plus point performance. Has now scored in the double digits in all 10 of Michigan’s games. On the defensive end of the court, held Minnesota’s center to just five points, while grabbing six defensive rebounds.
- Shot 12-for-15 from the field (.800 pct.) and went 4-for-4 from the free throw line (1.000 pct.). Also led the team with eight rebounds.
- According to College Basketball Reference, leads all NCAA freshmen in field goal percentage (.730), is tied for third in points per game (18.0) and ranks sixth in rebounds per game (8.1) (min. of 5 games played). Among all NCAA players, ranks second in the country in field goal percentage (.730), trailing only Asbjorn Midtgaard of Grand Canyon (.731 pct.).
- Earns the fifth Freshman of the Week accolade of his career.
- Last Michigan Freshman of the Week: Hunter Dickinson (Jan. 4, 2021)
THIS WEEK IN MEN’S BIG 10 BASKETBALL
• The Big Ten boasts six teams in the Associated Press Top-25poll and five teams in the USA TODAY coaches poll. Three Big Ten teams appear in the top 10 of both polls: No. 5/No. 8 Iowa, No. 7/No. 5 Michigan and No. 9/No. 9 Wisconsin. In total, the Big Ten boasts four teams in the top 15 of the AP Poll. In addition to the six teams appearing in the polls, four other teams — Indiana, Michigan State, Northwestern and Rutgers — received votes in either one or both polls. Michigan continues its steady rise and holds its highest positions of the season in both polls with the Wolverines jumping from No. 10/No. 9 to No. 7/No. 5.
• The Big Ten has a major presence in the Jan. 11 NCAA NET Rankings with 13 of its 14 teams (.929 pct.) appearing in the top 100. Michigan (No. 4), Iowa (No. 5), Illinois (No. 8), Wisconsin (No. 10) and Ohio State (No. 24) all cracked the NET’s top 25. The Big Ten has four teams in the NET’s top 10 and is one of just two conferences to have multiple teams in the top 10 (Big 12 with two teams).
• According to KenPom’s rankings, which are based on KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin metric, the Big Ten has four Top-10 teams in Iowa (No. 3), Wisconsin (No. 5), Michigan (No. 7) and Illinois (No. 8), while 13 of the conference’s 14 teams appear in the top 60 of the overall rankings.
• Michigan defeated then-ranked No. 16/No. 17 Minnesota 82-57 to improve to 10-0 on the season and 5-0 in the Big Ten. According to @BTNStatsGuys, this is the fifth time in school history that Michigan has started a season 10-0. In two of the previous four occurrences, the Wolverines went to the NCAA Final Four.
• Purdue defeated then-ranked No. 23/- Michigan State 55-54, marking the Boilermakers 21st win over a ranked team since the start of the 2016-17 season. During that span, Purdue has recorded the ninth-most wins against ranked opponents in the NCAA. Boilermakers head coach Matt Painter coached his 524th game at Purdue, moving past Ward “Piggy” Lambert into second place on Purdue’s all-time games coached list at Purdue. Junior forward Trevion Williams scored 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the win over the Spartans. Williams outscored Michigan State 24-23 in the second half and hit the game-winning basket with 4.5 seconds remaining in regulation.
• After being voted last week’s Big Ten Player of the Week, Minnesota junior center Liam Robbins was named last week’s USBWA Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week. Robbins became the second Big Ten player to win the award this season, after Northwestern’s Boo Buie captured the honor on Dec. 22. Last season the Big Ten had three individuals earn the award, while in 2018 and 2017 the conference had two players win it.
• According to College Basketball Reference, Michigan freshman center Hunter Dickinson leads all NCAA freshmen in field goal percentage (.730), is tied for third in points per game (18.0) and ranks sixth in rebounds per game (8.1) (min. of 5 games played). Additionally, Dickinson’s field goal percentage ranks second in the country among all players, trailing only Asbjorn Midtgaard of Grand Canyon (.731 pct.).
• The Big Ten boasts two of the top 10 scorers in the country in Iowa’s Luka Garza (1st, 27.6 ppg) and Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu (9th, 22.4 ppg).
• Illinois sophomore center Kofi Cockburn registered two double-doubles last week and now has nine double-doubles on the season. Cockburn’s nine double-doubles are the most by any player in the country. Luka Garza and this week’s Big Ten Co-Player of the Week Trayce Jackson-Davis are tied for 12th in the NCAA with five double-doubles this year.
• Iowa ranks third in the country in scoring offense (91.9 ppg) and leads the nation in assists per game (21.3) and assist-turnover ratio (2.11). Wisconsin ranks fifth in the country in three-point field goal percentage (.414) and assist-turnover ratio (1.78).
• The Big Ten recorded a 67-14 record (.827 pct.) in Division 1 non-conference play (69-14 overall), marking the second-highest non-conference winning percentage by any conference in the NCAA. The Big Ten’s non-conference winning percentage trails only the Big 12 (55-11, .833 pct.) and leads all other conferences including: SEC (67-23, .744), ACC (61-22, .735), AAC (35-13, .729), Pac-12 (51-19, .729) and Big East (39-15, .722). According to KenPom’s rankings, which are based off of KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin metric, at the time that the Big Ten finished non-conference play, the conference registered an 18-13 (.581 pct.) record against top 100 teams.
WAYNE RADFORD PASSES AWAY
Wayne Radford, a member of the undefeated 1976 National Champion men’s basketball team at Indiana, has passed away. He was 64.
Radford, an Indianapolis native, played for the Hoosiers from 1975-78 and appeared in 109 games and averaged 8.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists. As a senior, he averaged 15.6 points and led the team in field goal percentage hitting 57.9% of his shots. He ranks sixth all-time at IU in field goal percentage making 55.3% of his field goal attempts. He earned Academic All-American and Academic All-Big Ten honors during his career with the Hoosiers. He was named team MVP in 1978.
He graduated from Arlington High School in 1974 and helped his team to the school’s first City Tournament championship in 1971-72 and first sectional and regional in 1973-74. He scored 1,307 career points as a prep and was a 1974 Indiana All-Star.
He was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009 and was a member of the 1999 Silver Anniversary team.
He was the 27th pick of the 1978 NBA Draft and was selected by the Indiana Pacers and played in 52 games as a rookie averaging 3.9 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists.
He was a Varsity Club National Board Member and a member of the IUAA.
Services are pending.
BIG 10 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Iowa and Michigan Earn Big Ten Weekly Women’s Basketball Awards
Hawkeyes’ Clark and Wolverines’ Hillmon selected for this week’s conference honors
Player of the Week
Naz Hillmon, Michigan
Jr. – F – Cleveland, Ohio – Gilmour Academy – Major: Communications
• Averaged 29.5 points and 17.5 rebounds per game with a .600 field-goal percentage in No. 15/14 Michigan’s two Big Ten wins, also helping the Wolverines to its first ever 9-0 start
• Scored 35 points and 22 rebounds in the win against Nebraska on Thursday, recording the nation’s second 30-20 game of the season
• Registered 24 points and 13 rebounds in the win versus Illinois on Sunday helping her earn her the title of ESPN Player of the Week
• Earns her third career Big Ten Player of the Week award and second of the season
• Last Michigan Player of the Week: Leigha Brown (Jan. 4, 2020)
Big Ten Women’s Basketball Weekly Honor Roll
Grace Berger, Jr., G, IND: Averaged 17.7 points, 8.3 assists, 6.0 rebounds, shot .558 from the floor as she completed her second triple-double of the season at Penn State and helped Indiana go 2-1 on the week
Ashley Owusu, So., G, MD: Averaged 19.7 points, 6.7 assists and 6.0 rebounds in the three wins that included two against top-25 opponents (No. 20/18 Indiana and No. 23/24 Michigan State)
Sam Haiby, Jr., G, NEB: Averaged 19 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists as Nebraska picked up a win against No. 23/24 Michigan State and drop a game against No. 15/14 Michigan last week, along with recording her first double-double of her career
Freshman of the Week
Caitlin Clark, Iowa
Fr. – G – West Des Moines, Iowa – Dowling Catholic – Major: Undeclared
• Averaged 22.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game last week as Iowa split the weekend with a win against Minnesota and a lost against No. 22/23 Northwestern
• Registered a career-high 37 points and added 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season on Wednesday in the Hawkeyes’ 92-79 win against Minnesota
• Added eight points and eight assists as Iowa dropped its Sunday competition to the Wildcats
• Collects the sixth Freshman of the Week award of her career
• Last Iowa Freshman of the Week: Caitlin Clark (Jan. 4, 2021)
AAC MEN’S BASKETBALL: American Athletic Conference Announces Weekly Men’s Basketball Awards
IRVING, Texas – The American Athletic Conference has announced the winners of the league’s weekly men’s basketball honors for the seventh week of the 2020-21 season.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Marcus Sasser, So., Guard, Houston
Sasser helped lead the Cougars to a 2-0 week in conference play, averaging 20.0 points, 3.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds. The sophomore guard scored 28 points against Tulane on Saturday (Jan. 9), including eight 3-pointers, a league-high for the season.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Ricky Council IV, Guard, Wichita State
Council averaged 14.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in a 1-1 week for the Shockers. The freshman guard recorded a season-high 23 points with six rebounds in Wichita State’s win over Cincinnati on Sunday (Jan. 10), the most points scored by a Shocker true freshman since 2009.
Zach Harvey, So., Guard, Cincinnati
Harvey averaged 16.0 points and 3.0 rebounds as the Bearcats went 1-1 last week. The sophomore guard had a career-high 19 points, including four 3-pointers at Wichita State on Jan. 10 and shot 64.7 percent from the field for the week.
Tremont Robinson-White, Jr., Guard, East Carolina
Robinson-White recorded a career-high 29 points, including three 3-pointers, on 9-of-14 shooting from the field in a close loss to Tulsa on Saturday (Jan. 9).
Kendric Davis, Jr., Guard, SMU
Davis averaged recorded 14 points and set an American Athletic Conference single-game record with 14 assists in the Mustangs’ loss to Cincinnati on Thursday (Jan. 7).
Brandon Rachal, Sr., Guard, Tulsa
Rachal posted 15 points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists in a road win for the Golden Hurricane at USF on Wednesday (Jan. 6).
Tyson Etienne, So., Guard, Wichita State
Etienne averaged 20.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in a 1-1 week for the Shockers. The sophomore guard had 25 points in a loss at Houston and 16 in a win over Cincinnati.
HCAC BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Athlete of the Week:
Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.) Hanover College | Guard | Senior – Hibbard helped propel the Panthers to a 2-0 overall start. In the season-opener, the senior stole a Franklin inbounds pass with six seconds remaining, taking it the length of the floor for the game winning basket. He posted a game-high 22 points and eight assists in the win. For the week, Hibbard averaged 15 points per game, 4.5 assists per game and 3.5 rebound per game, while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Athlete of the Week:
Zenoviah Walker (Danville, Ky.) Transylvania University | Guard | Senior – Walker led the Pioneers to a 62-41 win at Adrian College on Saturday for the Pioneers’ third straight win against a Division III opponent. Walker scored 12 points and hit 2-of-5 three-pointers and tallied a game-high five assists and career-high six steals, along with three rebounds. Walker’s career-best six steals were part of a team total 20 steals as the Pioneers forced Adrian into 25 turnovers which the Pioneers scored 27 points off of.
- Savannah Courtney (Lawrenceburg, Ky.) Hanover College | Forward | Senior – Courtney helped lead the Blue and Red past Manchester as she tied a game-high 15 points with four rebounds and three assists in the Panthers’ lone game of the week.
HCAC MEN’S BASKETBALL PRE-SEASON POLLS
CARMEL, Ind. – With the 2020-21 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) men’s basketball season set to officially tip-off this weekend, in a vote amongst league coaches, Transylvania University was selected to repeat as league-leaders in the 2021 season.
The Pioneers picked up 80 votes to claim the first place slot. Not far behind, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology was picked to finish second with 71 points with Franklin College (64), Hanover College (62) and Anderson University (54) rounding out the top five respectively.
Listed below is the 2020-21 HCAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll and the 2020-21 HCAC Players to Watch. For more information on HCAC Men’s Basketball, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the HCAC’s home on the Internet at www.heartlandconf.org. Be sure to stay up to date on all of your Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference news by following @HCACDIII on Twitter and by liking the “HCAC DIII” Facebook page.
2020-21 HCAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll
|2.||Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology||71|
|10.||Mount St. Joseph University||21|
2020-21 HCAC Players to Watch:
|Austin Lyons||JR||Lapel, Ind.||Guard|
|Ronny Williams||SR||Anderson, Ind.||Guard|
|Dezman Brown||SR||Elyria, Ohio||Guard|
|Aaron Rich||SR||Greenville, Ohio||Forward|
|Jameel Cosby||JR||Springfield, Ohio||Guard|
|Ronnie James||SR||Cleveland, Ohio||Guard|
|Marell Jordan||JR||Chicago, Ill.||Guard|
|Tyler Andrew||JR||Indianapolis, Ind.||Forward|
|Jack Kolar||SO||Cincinnati, Ohio||Guard|
|Avonte Jones||SO||Columbus, Ohio||Guard|
|Chase Glock||SO||Stryker, Ohio||Forward/Center|
|Jamel Barnes Jr.||SR||Muncie, Ind.||Guard|
|AJ White||SO||Indianapolis, Ind.||Guard|
|Matt Krause||JR||West Lafayette, Ind.||Forward|
|Sam Gutierrez||SR||Tipton, Ind.||Guard|
|Payton Mills||SR||Newburgh, Ind.||Forward|
|Danny Goggans||SR||Indianapolis, Ind.||Forward|
|Ismail Jones||SR||Buckner, Ky.||Guard|
|Mark Albers||SR||Pendleton, Ind.||Guard|
|Connor Washburn||SR||Indianapolis, Ind.||Center|
|Cortiz Buckner||SR||Lafayette, Ind.||Guard|
|CJ Hampton||SR||Hammond, Ind.||Forward|
|Matt Westman||SR||Michigan City, Ind.||Guard|
Mount St. Joseph
|Devin Young||JR||Crestwood, Ky.||Forward|
|Tanner Clos||JR||Alexandria, Ky.||Forward|
|Brady Thomas||JR||Grove City, Ohio||Guard|
|David Luers||JR||Lebanon, Ohio||Guard|
|Craig McGee||SR||Loveland, Ohio||Guard|
|Jacob Back||SR||Harrison, Ohio||Forward|
|Samvit Ram||JR||Buffalo Grove, Ill.||Guard|
|Terry Hicks||SO||Fishers, Ind.||Guard|
|Max Chaplin||SO||Carmel, Ind.||Guard|
|Michael Jefferson||SR||Berea, Ky.||Guard|
|Zach Larimore||JR||La Grange, Ky.||Forward|
|Lucas Gentry||SR||Mt. Vernon, Ky.||Forward|
|Brandon Cromwell||SO||Versailles, Ky.||Guard|
THE PACERS DROP ROAD CONTEST AT SACRAMENTO
Buddy Hield made a big 3-pointer moments after Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis had a basket taken away following a replay review, and the Sacramento Kings beat the Pacers 127-122 on Monday night.
Hield finished with 18 points on six 3s as the Kings won for the second time in seven games. Harrison Barnes had a season-high 30 points and eight rebounds, and De’Aaron Fox added 21 points and nine assists.
“This was probably our best win just because it was consistent throughout,” Sacramento coach Luke Walton said. “It wasn’t a ton of highs or a ton of lows. It was just consistent basketball. Win or lose, this is how we have to play.”
The Kings held a one-point lead when Sabonis went up underneath the basket and was credited with a bucket as Richaun Holmes was called for goaltending with 1:25 remaining. After a lengthy review, the call was overturned.
After Hield’s 3 made it 121-117, Indiana’s Victor Oladipo missed from beyond the arc. Fox then scored on a soaring one-handed dunk.
“As a group we know we didn’t put forth our best effort these last couple of games,” Holmes said. “It’s about staying locked in. This is how we feel we can play every night. This has to be the standard.”
Sabonis had 28 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers. Malcolm Brogdon added 24 points, while Oladipo and Doug McDermott scored 21 apiece.
Indiana forced turnovers on two of the first three possessions of the game, but coach Nate Bjorkgren felt the Pacers’ defense broke down at key times.
“We have to do a better job on the ball, just being more active there, so they can’t have their pinpoint precise passes right into their shooting pocket like a coach would pass it,” Bjorkgren said. “That wasn’t much fun tonight.”
Oladipo scored 14 of 17 points for Indiana during a late stretch in the fourth. He, too, blamed the Pacers’ defense.
ATLANTA GETS 26 FROM YOUNG IN WIN
Trae Young scored 26 points, including the first three baskets of Atlanta’s dominant start to the second half, and the Hawks beat the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers 112-94 on Monday night.
De’Andre Hunter and Brandon Goodwin had 15 points as the Hawks snapped a four-game losing streak. Clint Capela added 12 points and 10 rebounds as six Atlanta players scored in double figures.
Young, who was held to a combined 22 points in his last two games, regained his scoring touch. He opened the second half with a jumper before adding back-to-back layups.
“We were just playing fast, getting back to what we do and the shots were just going in,” Young said. “You could see the confidence with everybody rolling.”
Young’s spurt keyed Atlanta’s 15-2 run to open the half. The Hawks stretched a 65-50 halftime advantage to an 80-52 lead with the run.
“I think the most important part of the game was how we came out after the break, and Trae was a big part of that,” said Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce.
Atlanta led 95-65 late in the third before Young and other starters sat out the final period.
Joel Embiid led Philadelphia with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Isaiah Joe had 18 points.
The Sixers used nine players. That may have seemed like an abundance of depth after Philadelphia was limited to only seven players in Saturday’s 115-103 home loss to Denver. Forward Mike Scott (knee) and Embiid (back tightness) returned to add depth.
Philadelphia is far from full strength. Ben Simmons (sore left knee) was again held out. The depth problems will continue through the week after Seth Curry tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.
GIANNIS HELPS BUCK PULL AWAY FROM MAGIC
Giannis Antetokounmpo returned from a one-game absence because of a minor back injury and scored 22 points as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Orlando Magic 121-99 on Monday night.
Antetokounmpo, the reigning two-time NBA MVP, started slowly and battled through second-half foul trouble before coming alive in the fourth quarter. Milwaukee won a second straight and beat Orlando for a fifth consecutive time in the regular season.
“At the end of the day, I had five fouls, but I was just trying to play the game, go downhill and get my teammates involved,” said Antetokounmpo, who had six rebounds and four assists. “I was just wanting to execute down the stretch.”
Khris Middleton finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucks, while reserve Bobby Portis played well for a second straight game, scoring 20 points.
Nikola Vucevic had 28 points and 13 rebounds to lead the short-handed Magic, who have lost three straight since Markelle Fultz was lost to a season-ending knee injury. Aaron Gordon had 21 points, eight assists and five rebounds and contributed solid defense against Antetokounmpo.
“We felt like we played OK for three quarters and we were right there and then we just made too many mistakes on both ends of the fourth,” Vucevic said. “Milwaukee is a team that’s going to take advantage of it.”
Milwaukee missed 17 of its first 24 3-point shots but drilled six 3s in the fourth quarter. Seconds after Gordon spectacularly dunked over Antetokounmpo to get the Magic within 88-86, Milwaukee’s superstar forward hit a straight-on 3-pointer that quieted the pandemic-restricted crowd of 3,248. He followed that up by finding Portis for another 3 as the Bucks went on a 22-2 run.
BEAL HAS 34 IN WIN
Bradley Beal scored 34 points and the Washington Wizards snapped their three-game losing streak and won at home for the first time this season, beating the Phoenix Suns 128-107 on Monday night.
The Wizards (3-8), who had lost five straight at home, played without guard Russell Westbrook. He will miss at least a week with a left quadriceps injury.
Devin Booker lead Phoenix (7-4) with 33 points. Chris Paul had 14 points and 11 assists. Mikal Bridges also had 14.
“We didn’t play our basketball,” Booker said. “We played the brand of basketball that they play, and it didn’t work out for us.”
Beal, the NBA’s leading scorer, had eight rebounds and nine assists. He missed Saturday’s game with Miami because he was in the NBA’s health and safety protocol.
“I was a little beat up,” Beal said.
In his previous two games, Beal scored 101 points, tying the team record with 60 points on Wednesday at Philadelphia and hitting for 41 at Boston on Saturday.
Washington never trailed and was ahead by 32 with 4:16 to play in the second quarter.
They held the Suns to just 14.8% (4 for 27) from 3-point range.
“I think we did a good job of defending,” Beal said. “Tonight was the first time we guarded the right way.”
The Wizards played their first game without center Thomas Bryant, who suffered a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Bryant injured the knee in the first two minutes of Saturday’s game and is likely to miss the rest of the season.
Robin Lopez started in Bryant’s place and had 11 points and 11 rebounds. He’s having a great time playing with Beal.
“Watching him handle the ball, watching him do his work, it’s something incredible,” Lopez said. “You see something different. You see something special so often.”
HAYWARD HAS 34 IN HORNETS WIN
Gordon Hayward came to Charlotte looking for an expanded role and an opportunity to turn a struggling Hornets franchise into a winner.
The 30-year-old small forward is getting both done while playing some of the best basketball of his career.
Hayward scored 34 points and the Charlotte Hornets beat the New York Knicks 109-88 on Monday night for their fourth straight win. Hayward has been on fire for the Hornets during the team’s winning streak, averaging 29.2 points while shooting 55% from the floor and 92% from the foul line.
“It’s been a lot of fun playing with my new teammates and under this coaching staff,” Hayward said. “I’m having a great time. As long as we keep doing our jobs and playing hard every night I think the wins and losses will take of themselves.”
Hayward scored 28 points in the first half on 8-of-12 shooting from the field and 10-of-10 shooting from the foul line to give the Hornets 57-50 lead at halftime. He finished 11 of 17 from the field as the Hornets came in with an aggressive approach against a Knicks team playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
“This is why we brought Gordon Hayward here,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “He set the tone for us and came out aggressive. He understands the significance of every game.”
Devonte Graham had 19 points and seven assists for Charlotte, and P.J. Washington had 13 points as the Hornets handed the Knicks their third straight defeat.
Kevin Knox had 19 points to lead the Knicks, and Mitchell Robinson had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Hornets scored 24 points off 17 Knicks turnovers. Charlotte committed 10 turnovers while climbing above .500 for the first time this season.
NO WORD WHEN IRVING WILL RETURN
The timing of Kyrie Irving’s return to the Brooklyn Nets remains unknown, with coach Steve Nash saying Monday he had no update on the point guard’s status.
The Nets listed Irving as out for their game Tuesday against Denver, which will be the fourth straight he misses for personal reasons. Nash has said it’s a private matter and has refused to discuss Irving’s absence in detail.
He did say that he believed Irving was tested for the coronavirus on Sunday, though he wasn’t sure about Monday. Whether Irving has continued to be tested during his time away could determine how quickly he would be eligible to play upon his return.
The Nets have lost two of their three games without Irving. Kevin Durant missed two of them because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols for COVID-19 before returning Sunday in a 129-116 loss to Oklahoma City.
WESTBROOK OUT FOR WIZARDS
Washington Wizards point guard Russell Westbrook is expected to sit out a week with an injured left leg, the latest blow to a team that entered Monday with a 2-8 record.
The Wizards announced before Monday night’s game against the Phoenix Suns that Westbrook’s left quadriceps was hurt because of “repeated contact to the area since the beginning of the season.”
The team said the 2016-17 MVP and nine-time All-NBA selection would be re-evaluated at the end of the week. Washington is scheduled to play five games through next Monday.
“He got hit pretty bad in his quad in training camp,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said before Monday’s game with Phoenix. “And the thing about him is, he’s as tough as nails. He as tough a competitor I’ve ever been around as a player and as a coach, and it’s bothered him. He pushed through it with the treatments and the padding, but he’s never made an excuse, not even to me.”
Westbrook, acquired shortly before the preseason in the trade that sent John Wall to the Houston Rockets, is averaging 19.3 points, 11.3 assists and 9.7 rebounds through seven games with the Wizards, including four triple-doubles. He is shooting 37.8% so far.
“He knows he can play better,” Brooks said. “He was starting to get better. Then, he hit it again, set him back a little bit.”
Brooks said Westbrook aggravated the injury on Jan. 6 at Philadelphia, and he’s also been playing with a dislocated finger.
The update on Westbrook came a day after the Wizards said center Thomas Bryant has a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Bryant is likely to miss the rest of the season. He was one of only two players who started each of Washington’s first 10 games.
He was injured in the first quarter of a 128-124 loss to the visiting Miami Heat on Saturday.
TAYLOR NAMED TO COLLEGE HALL OF FAME 2021
NOTRE DAME, Indiana — Aaron Taylor, one of the best offensive linemen in the illustrious success of the Irish in that position, has been named to the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021.
A former team captain, and first-round pick in the 1994 NFL Draft, Taylor will become the 48th Notre Dame player, along with six former coaches, enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame. The Fighting Irish have more College Football Hall of Fame inductees than any other school. The most recent selection was Raghib “Rocket” Ismail in 2019.
Taylor is one of 11 players and two coaches to earn the honor in 2021, selected from a ballot of 78 All-America players and seven coaches.
He was a consensus All-American in 1992 and a unanimous All-American in 1993. Taylor took home the Lombardi Award in 1993 and was named the College Interior Lineman of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus. Taylor served as a team captain for the Irish in 1993, when Notre Dame went 11-1 and won the Cotton Bowl. Over his four-year tenure (1990-93), the Irish went 40-8-1.
Taylor is now a CBS college football analyst. He is the co-founder of the Joe Moore Award, which recognizes the top offensive line in college football each season in honor of former Irish position coach Joe Moore, regarded as one of the best offensive line coaches in college football history, and Taylor’s position coach while at Notre Dame.
The 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class will officially be inducted during the 63rd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 7 alongside the 2020 Hall of Fame Class (the 2020 event was canceled due to COVID-19).
The inductees will also be recognized at their respective collegiate institutions with NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the fall. Their accomplishments will be forever immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, and each inductee will receive a custom ring created by Jostens, the official and exclusive supplier of NFF rings and awards.