NCAA Talk

NCAA: Sobolewski leads Wildcats past Penn State

980267.png

NCAA: Sobolewski leads Wildcats past Penn State

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Dave Sobolewski scored 18 points and Jared Swopshire added 17 as Northwestern handled cold-shooting Penn State with ease in a 70-54 Big Ten Conference victory Thursday night.The Wildcats (10-6, 1-2) used a 25-4 run over an 11-minute span to lead by as many as 17 points, 33-16, in the first half. Penn State didn't score a basket for nearly seven minutes during that span.Northwestern shooters maintained their touch after the break, as the Wildcats made 5 of 10 from 3-point range in the second half. Freshman Kale Abrahamson matched his season-high with three 3s in the game.Penn State (8-7, 0-3) struggled all night to find a rhythm offensively. The Nittany Lions, who were led by 20 points from guard D.J. Newbill, shot just 31.6 percent (18 of 57) from the floor and were just 3 of 15 beyond the arc.Nittany Lions coach Patrick Chambers' frustration was evident as he knelt often at the end of the Penn State bench with his head hung low. The Lions went to a full-court press early in the second half but found little success in slowing down Northwestern.Sobolewski finished a tightly contested layup on a fast break at the 14:07 mark to put Northwestern ahead by 21 points, 45-24. A pair of free throws by Jermaine Marshall cut the Wildcats' lead to 46-33 with 11:39 remaining, but Northwestern countered with a 10-0 run to keep Penn State at bay.Northwestern relied on the long ball throughout the game, and it was a pair of deep 3-pointers that gave head coach Bill Carmody's squad momentum during that run. Redshirt freshman Tre Demps hit a 3 from the corner to start the stretch.The Wildcats had four different players score in double-digits, as Reggie Hearn scored 14 and Abrahamson added 10. The crowd of 6,479 at the Bryce Jordan Center began filing out in the waning minutes.Complete Recap Box ScoreTennessee Tech edges Eastern IllinoisCHARLESTON, Ill. -- Jud Dillard scored 34 points to help Tennessee Tech slip by Eastern Illinois 77-73 Thursday night, snapping a five-game losing streak.Dillard was 12 of 18 from the field and had three 3-pointers, including one with 53 seconds to play. He also had a team-high five rebounds.Dennis Ogbe added 11 points for the Golden Eagles (7-9, 1-3 Ohio Valley). Jeremiah Samarrippas had eight assists.Eastern Illinois led 44-40 at halftime and stayed out front until Dillard hit a 3-pointer, putting Tennessee Tech up by two with 53 seconds remaining. Sherman Blanford made a layup to tie the game at 73, but Dillard scored again and Matt Marseille hit a pair of free throws to seal the win.Morris Woods led Eastern Illinois with 25 points and seven rebounds. Blanford added 18 points for the Panthers (3-14, 0-4).Eastern Illinois has lost 10 consecutive games.Complete Recap Box Score

Say it ain't so: DePaul commit Tyger Campbell reopens recruitment

tygercampbellnodepaul.jpg
AP

Say it ain't so: DePaul commit Tyger Campbell reopens recruitment

It looks like it was too good to be true.

Tyger Campbell shocked the recruiting world when he committed to DePaul on May 8.

Less than four months later, Campbell has reopened his recruitment.

The Rivals.com four-star point guard out of La Lumiere High School in Indiana, who is the No. 66 prospect in the 2018 Class, took to Twitter Friday night to explain his decision.

One of Campbell's original draws to the Blue Demons was DePaul hiring Shane Heirman as an assistant coach. Heirman coached Campbell for two seasons at La Lumiere.

"I like DePaul and honestly my coach (Shane Heirman) just went there and we have a great connection and he's always had my back," Campbell told Scout.com when he committed to the Blue Demons. "I like [DePaul] coach Dave Leitao, too. I like his program and he's an intelligent guy."

Campbell currently has offers from a handful of D1 schools, including Illinois, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Purdue, SMU, Memphis and Tennessee.

Upset alert? Why a confident UIC is challenging juggernaut Kentucky

uic.jpg
USA TODAY

Upset alert? Why a confident UIC is challenging juggernaut Kentucky

On the heels of a 12-win improvement, UIC basketball is riding confidently into the new season. 

And why shouldn't they be? Head coach Steve McClain returns a young, talented nucleus that's expected to challenge for a Horizon League championship and NCAA Tournament berth. 

In fact, the program is in such good shape that they thought: Let's play Kentucky. 

Yup, that's right. The UIC Flames will match up with the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena on Nov. 26, a necessary stage in development, according to McClain. 

“Every year you build your program, there’s steps you have to take," McClain said. "When we got the opportunity to go to Kentucky, I think that’s the next level of exposure for our program.

"When you're chasing trying to be great, you gotta show your kids and show people what greatness looks like. I don't think anyone can argue what Kentucky has done, so I want to put our kids in that environment so they see what it is." 

The contrast between programs is severe. UIC hasn't made an NCAA Tournament since 2004. The Wildcats have made 11 since then. UIC has never advanced out of the first round at the Big Dance. Kentucky has eight National Championships. 

Even this upcoming season, as the Flames boast one of their most skilled teams in school history, none of them were ever touted like Kentucky's freshman class, which ranks No. 2 in the nation per ESPN. 

But the disparities in past successes don't seem to bother UIC. Instead, players, who were likely snubbed by bigger schools in recruitment, are excited about the opportunity to compete on a national stage that the Flames rarely see. 

“First I was like, ‘It’s about time we got someone like (Kentucky) on our schedule,’" said center Tai Odiase, one of the few seniors on the roster. "We’ve been trying to play bigger teams to showcase what we’re made of."

“I don’t see why you go into a place like that without a chip on your shoulder. You don’t go in there just to play basketball, we’re trying to win."

UIC will be heavy, heavy underdogs. There's no way around that. But there are certain spots where they may not be at such a disadvantage. 

On the defensive end, Odiase continued to terrorize guards and big men alike, finishing fifth in the NCAA with 2.9 blocks per game. The dynamic guard duo from "The Six," Godwin Boahen and Marcus Ottey, are quick enough to hang and both took a huge step down the stretch last season. Then there's the return of 2015-2016 Horizon League Newcomer of the Year Dikembe Dixson, who is recovering from a torn ACL.

"The doctors at times thought he was a freak of nature because he was back as quick as he was," McClain said.  

Still, it's a tune-up game for Kentucky, who also scheduled Kansas, UCLA and Louisville on their non-conference slate. But one team's expected walk through is another team's vital experience. 

"Our guys can walk in and see that on a given night, you can compete with anyone," McClain said. 

Given new athletic director Garrett Klassy's comments at his introductory press conference, it doesn't seem as if games like this are a one-hit wonder for UIC. 

“I am an aggressive scheduler," Klassy said. "I helped with the scheduling at George Washington. We’ll play anyone, anytime, anywhere.

"You want to measure yourself against the best. We have a lot of returning starters. It’ll be nice to go on the road, play a tough game and maybe sneak out an upset."