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Thursday’s Morning Shootaround: Fredette responds to Willis while two Smiths stay hot

No. 14 BYU 89, UNLV 77: See here.

One other note on this game: in that post for Beyond the Arc, I talked a bit about Tre’Von Willis and his comments from Monday regarding Fredette. After the game, Fredette was asked about them and said “I did see it. It’s something you take in stride. I definitely saw it and was reminded of it.” When Willis was asked about Fredette staring him down after a couple of big plays, he responded “He was looking at me? For what?”

I said this on twitter last night, but it bears repeating -- Jimmer Fredette has reached unprecedented levels of swaggy for a white kid.

Tennessee 104, Memphis 84: See here.

No. 1 Duke 85, UAB 64: Duke opened the game on an 26-4, threw it into cruise control, and then watched has Nolan Smith further thrust his name into national player of the year discussions. Simply put, the kid is playing out of his mind right now. He had 33 points, seven boards, five assists, and two steals last night. In his last five games -- since he had two points and ten assists in Duke’s non-Kyrie Irving opener -- Smith is averaging 26.2 ppg. In his last three, that number jumps to 29.0 ppg. He’s shooting 61.6% from the field, 63.2% from three, and averaging 5.8 rpg and 5.6 apg over those five games.

Also of note, Kyle Singler reached 2,000 career points last night. Impressive.

No. 6 SDSU 66, TCU 53: As they have all season long, the Aztecs turned a close game into a rout in the second half as Malcolm Thomas and Kawhi Leonard combined for 32 points and 25 boards.

No. 10 Purdue 83, Penn State 68: I see you, Ryne! Purdue’s 6'3" junior shooter Ryne Smith had 20 last night as the Boilermakers moved to 3-0 in the Big Ten. He has been unconscious in Big Ten play, averaging 16.7 ppg and hitting 12-18 from three. The weirdest part? In those three games, he has taken just one shot inside the arc, but is 12-14 from the charity stripe.

No. 18 UCF 65, Marshall 58: The Golden Knights came back against Marshall, the team Donnie Jones left for UCF back in April, and held on down the stretch thanks to 26 points, six boards, and five assists from Marcus Jordan. I’m not convinced that UCF is the best team in Conference USA just yet, but they are certainly making that case extremely difficult to argue against. Check out these two finishes by Jordan:

No. 23 Louisville 73, Seton Hall 54: They may not have Raheem Buckles or Jared Swopshire, but Louisville embarrassed the Pirates last night as Kevin Willard took on his mentor (Rick Pitino) and his father (Ralph Willard). The Cards never looked back after racing out to a 24-2 quicker than a Rick Pi- ... yeah, you’re right, that’s a cheap shot.

Harvard 78, Boston College 69: Ok, so can we all get off the “BC is a top 25 team” train now? The Eagles have lost to two Ivy League teams. At home. He may not be Jeremy Lin (yet), but Laurent Rivard is a name you should learn quickly. The irony in this? Steve Donahue left Cornell for BC after last season. I think Yale and Harvard just wanted some revenge for the past two years.

Wisconsin 66, Michigan 50: The Badgers outscored the Wolverines by 18 in the second half to improve to 2-1 in Big Ten play.

Richmond 71, Charlotte 59: Justin Harper scored 27 points as the Spiders landed a nice bounce back win to open A-10 play.

C-USA kicks off: Randy Culpepper had 29 points as UTEP rolled over Tulsa 69-59, while Gary Flowers went for 27 points and 10 boards in an 85-73 win over Houston.

Hofstra 87, George Mason 74: Charles Jenkins had 32 points and 8 assists as the Pride moved to 3-0 in the Colonial.

VCU 52, Drexel 48: VCU hung on to beat the Dragons late and move to 2-1 in the CAA thanks in part to an epic meltdown by Bruiser Flint, who was tossed and had to be restrained by two assistants.

Wake Forest 79, High Point 63: Was this an upset?

Other Notable Games:

  • No. 3 Kansas 99, UMKC 52
  • No. 8 Missouri 98, North Alabama 58
  • Old Dominion 49, Northeastern 34
  • NC State 87, Elon 72
  • Temple 70, Fordham 51
  • Marquette 73, Rutgers 65
  • Dayton 60, St. Louis 50
  • Ole Miss 75, SMU 57
  • New Mexico 102, CS Bakersfield 62

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.