NCAA Basketball

NCAA to give men's basketball teams scheduling options for 2020-21 season

NCAA to give men's basketball teams scheduling options for 2020-21 season

Teams will have more customization for the upcoming 2020-21 NCAA men's basketball season.

Friday, the NCAA approved a proposal that teams can schedule either 28 or 29 regular-season games depending on the number of pre-conference tournaments they participate in, per the Associated Press.

The proposal states that teams that play 28 regular-season games can participate in one multiple-team event that will play up to three games. Teams that schedule 29 games will be able to participate in multiple-team events that have them play two games.

Non-Division I programs can only participate if they're the hosts. 

How Jalen Green is changing the game forgoing college to join G-League

How Jalen Green is changing the game forgoing college to join G-League

"Why go to college and learn a game that is archaic?" 

That is what Talkin' Blazers co-host Channing Frye said on the latest episode of the podcast, and it makes perfect sense. 

The college game is basketball at its core, but the way the game is played is far different than the NBA. 

Said Frye, "I think college basketball itself is a nice island, but it's not connected to the mainland. You can't play college ball and say, 'Oh, man, this will translate to the NBA.' It just doesn't. The game is faster. The court is wider. Guys are more athletic."

Perhaps that is why Jalen Green, one of the top prospects in the class of 2020, has decided to skip the NCAA experience. Instead, Green is joining the NBA and G League's professional pathway program. 

According to ESPN, the program "will pay elite prospects $500,000-plus and provide a one-year development program outside of the minor league's traditional team structure."

Green will be the first elite prospect to enter the pathway, and it could change college athletics forever. If Green succeeds, then we could see more high school athletes choose this route to the NBA in the future.

Not only does it make financial sense, but it makes sense because the prospects will actually learn the game they want to play professionally. 

If you're a guy like Jalen Green, why would you practice playing ball the wrong way? Go somewhere where you're gonna get looked at by NBA level players, NBA level scouts, on a consistent and daily basis. They're not teaching you college basketball. They're teaching you NBA basketball with other grown men. - Channing Frye

So why go to college and play an archaic version of the game? The more you think about it, the more the new G-League pathway makes sense. 

Green may be the first, but it's very likely he won't be the last. 

Mikayla Pivec honored as Senior CLASS Award First Team All-American

Mikayla Pivec honored as Senior CLASS Award First Team All-American

Mikayla Pivec's devotion to community service has been on display all season long. Now, the Oregon State women's basketball team captain is being honored for her contributions. 

Per a release from Oregon State Tuesday, Pivec was named Senior CLASS Award First Team All-American. 

She was chosen as one of five first-team honorees to receive the prestigious award, which honors student-athletes who make a positive impact as leaders in their community. 

While completing her honors thesis at Oregon State, Pivec focused on finding efficient ways for homeless people to get access to more resources. She was awarded a $5,000 grant for her work, in which she donated $1,000 to local shelters. 

Pivec is also the co-founder of the Beavers CARE, a group that brings Oregon State student-athletes together for service initiatives, such as trips to the Domincan Republic with Beavers without Borders. She has also volunteered with IMPACT for Life, Community Outreach Incorporated, the Corvallis Women's Shelter and DAM Worth It. 

Pivec was also one of six Beavers named to the Pac-12 Winter Academic Honor Roll on Tuesday. 

She joins Taya Corosdale, Aleah Goodman, Patricia Morris, Destiny Slocum and Janessa Thropay as Oregon State women's basketball student-athletes recognized for their work in the classroom. 

Portland Pilots two-headed monster helps lead team to NCAA Tournament for first time since 1997

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@PortlandPilots

Portland Pilots two-headed monster helps lead team to NCAA Tournament for first time since 1997

If you don’t know Haylee Andrews and Alex Fowler by now, it's time to level up. 

The Pilots two-headed monster helped Portland capture a West Coast Conference automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in two decades. 

Coming off a Damian Lillard-esque dagger, which upset the Gonzaga Bulldogs, Andrews pulled off another gutsy performance against the San Diego Toreros. 

With 58.3 seconds left in the game, Andrews came through with the go-ahead floater. San Diego got the ball back with :10 seconds left on the clock, but a late-three from Erica Martinsen was off and Portland edged San Diego 64-63 in an overtime thriller. 

For the second-straight game, Andrews and Fowler combined for 35+ points. Andrews finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, while Fowler recorded a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Both were named to the all-tournament team. Fowler also received tournament MVP honors after averaging 23.3 points during the Pilots three-game stint in Vegas. 

Along with the automatic bid, it’s also Portland’s first league title since 1994. Congrats, Pilots!

NEXT UP: The Pilots are dancing! The team will learn their fate in the NCAA Tournament Selection show next Monday at 4:00 p.m. PT. 

ASU guard Luguentz Dort thinks he would "fit pretty well" with Trail Blazers

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USA Today Images

ASU guard Luguentz Dort thinks he would "fit pretty well" with Trail Blazers

TUALATIN – Friday afternoon the Portland Trail Blazers held their first 2019 pre-draft workout.

Portland holds the No. 25 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft held on June 20. 

Six NBA hopefuls worked out for the Blazers on Friday, including Luguentz Dort (guard, Arizona State), Amir Hinton (guard, Shaw University/Lock Haven University), Jaylen Hoard (forward, Wake Forest), Jeremiah Martin (guard, Memphis), Markis McDuffie (forward, Wichita State) and Shamorie Ponds (guard, St. John’s).

The six players were put through a series of tests in front of Trail Blazers General Manger Neil Olshey, including one-on-one, three-on-three, and spot-up shooting drills.

Of the six participants, Arizona State’s Luguentz Dort is the one player who is projected to go late in the draft and should be available for the Blazers at No. 25.

Friday’s workout with Portland was Dort’s second pre-draft workout after participating in a Phoenix Suns’ workout last week. He says he will have about 10 more before draft night.

The 20 year-old guard is confident he can bring “a lot” to an NBA team.

“Defensively I bring a lot of energy,” Dort said.  “I bring a lot of intensity and on offense I’m gonna knock down the open shot, get to the rim, just play hard, run the floor.”

Dort decided to make the leap to the professional ranks with the help of Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley, after just one season with the Sun Devils.

“[Coach Hurley] was really happy. He was the first one who actually told me to leave. We talked a little bit and since I’ve been doing my pre-drafts we’ve been staying in contact,” Dort said.

As a freshman, Dort averaged 16.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.5 steals in 21.5 minutes of play. He started 33 of 34 games and earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors. 

At 6-4 and 215 pounds, Dort says he takes prides in his defense.

“When I step on the floor I want my man to feel me on defense, so I’m always playing hard and making it tough on them,” Dort said.

At the NBA Combine two weeks ago, Dort interviewed with 12 different teams. Between his first two pre-draft workouts and talking with teams at the Combine, Dort feels he has received a lot of “good feedback.”

“They all told me to keep doing what I’m doing – drive to the basket… play hard on defense.”

Dort is excited about the possibly of the Trail Blazers drafting him.

“I like how fast they play. I like guards they have and I feel like I can fit pretty well,” Dort said.

For the young fella, he says now it’s all about “getting my body ready” for the next level.

BREAKING: Oregon State forward Tres Tinkle to test NBA Draft waters

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NBCS Northwest

BREAKING: Oregon State forward Tres Tinkle to test NBA Draft waters

Oregon State forward Tres Tinkle is declaring for the 2019 NBA Draft, but he’s not on his way out of Corvallis just yet.

Tinkle will place his name in the draft to collect feedback regarding interest, but has not hired an agent at this time, according to Beavers coach Wayne Tinkle. The Oregon State junior is not currently listed in any NBA mock drafts, but could participate in the NBA Draft Combine May 14-19 if he receives an invitation.

The move to the NBA, however, isn’t certain, as Tinkle has until May 29 to withdraw his name and return to Oregon State.

Tinkle could become Oregon State’s all-time leading scorer if he chooses to stay in Corvallis. He trails Gary Payton’s record of 2,172 points and is seventh in career scoring with 1,661 points and ninth in rebounds at OSU with 660 rebounds.

The 6-foot-8 forward was also named to the All-Pac-12 First-Team for the second-straight year after averaging 20.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.7 steals during his redshirt junior season.

Tinkle, who was selected to the Pac-12 all-academic second team in 2017 and 2018 with a 3.25 GPA, officially completed his degree in speech communication last winter, but remains enrolled in classes this spring to remain eligible.

Losing Tinkle would be a huge blow to Oregon State’s basketball program, as Stephen Thompson Jr. played his last game in a Beaver uniform during Oregon State’s loss to Colorado in the Pac-12 Tournament.

What They’re Saying: The Ducks are the team to watch in the NCAA Women's Final Four

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NBCS Northwest

What They’re Saying: The Ducks are the team to watch in the NCAA Women's Final Four

All eyes are on the Oregon women’s basketball team in the NCAA Tournament.

Behind Sabrina Ionescu and a star-studded cast of Ducks including Satou Sabally and Ruthy Hebard, Oregon will make its first Final Four appearance in program history on Friday. The Ducks are the only team to never make it to the round of four before.

Notre Dame, the defending national champs, will be returning to the Final Four again this season, after knocking off UConn in the national semifinals in 2018. UConn is competing in the Final Four for the 12th consecutive season and looking for its 12th national championship. Baylor is returning to the Final Four for the first time since winning a national championship in 2012. 

Ahead of the Ducks meeting with perennial powerhouse Baylor, let’s take a look at What They’re Saying about Oregon's first appearance in the Final Four.

It’s nearly impossible to talk about Oregon without talking about it Sabrina Ionescu, the Ducks star guard and the NCAA triple-double record holder. Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and Warriors champion Stephen Curry both praised Ionescu, who has dominated the pick and roll throughout the tournament thus far.


Baylor coach Kim Mulkey had more to say about the WBCA Player of the Year in Thursday’s press conference:

“What a talent. What a joy to watch. If you’re not having to play against her…The thing that I love more than her talent is I love the way she competes. She’s got that umph in her. She makes everybody around her better.”

An ESPN panel, including LaChina Robinson and Mechelle Voepel, cast their predictions on how the Ducks will fare in the NCAA Tournament. Only one member on the panel, ESPN's Graham Hays picked Oregon to advance to the national championship title game. No panel members chose the Ducks as a national championship winner. 

Michelle Smith of the Pac-12 Conference knows the dangerous Ducks wiil have a daunting task ahead, specifically containing the Bears dominant duo of 6-foot-8 Kalani Brown and 6-4 forward Lauren Cox.

ESPN also noted Oregon's need to stop the Brown-Cox tandem, as Baylor historically relies on its post players to set the tone on offense.

The Oregonian says the Ducks are doing more than dancing in the Final Four--they are putting the Pacific Northwest and West Coast on the map for basketball of any gender.

Tip off for the Final Four game between Oregon and Baylor is set for 4:00 p.m. PT.

Make sure to follow NBCS Northwest for complete coverage of the Final Four from our staff, as well as behind-the-scenes updates from Eddy Ionescu, Sabrina Ionescu's twin brother, on Twitter and Instagram.

Oregon’s sweep more significant than just two wins

Oregon’s sweep more significant than just two wins

The Oregon men’s basketball program recorded its first sweep of a two-game set in Pac-12 conference play last weekend. The pair of home wins over Stanford and California improves the Ducks to a record of 15-9 overall and 6-5 in Pac-12 play, but most importantly it gives UO a chance to earn a top-four seed in the Pac-12 Tournament next month.

The Ducks’ shot to reach the NCAA Tournament likely depends on winning the Pac-12 Tournament, which provides an automatic bid to the big dance. However, CBS’ latest bracket hasn’t killed the idea of an at-large bid. Oregon’s likelihood of success in the conference tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada would improve greatly by securing one of the top four seedings.

The top four seeds automatically advance to the quarterfinal round. The other eight teams play an extra first-round game and must win four games in as many days. Since 2014, the Pac-12 tournament winner has been the one or two seed. The only team to win four games to become champion was Colorado in 2012, as a six seed.

Oregon hasn’t won a stretch of four games since December when Bol Bol was still active, and the Ducks beat the non-conference lineup of Omaha, San Diego, Boise State and Florida A&M.

Fortunately, for Oregon fans, the Pac-12 standings are a cluttered mess and the Ducks are only one game out of second place. After earning the only home sweep of the week, UO moved to a tie for fifth place with UCLA, Arizona and Stanford.

There are four weeks to go in the regular season and five of Oregon’s last seven Pac-12 games will be played on the road. Although the schedule takes a turn for the worst, UO’s roster is the healthiest it has been.

"We're going to find out how together of a team we have," Ducks coach Dana Altman said.

Next up, the Civil War in Corvallis, Ore. vs. Oregon State. The Beavers (15-8, 7-4) won the first meeting 77-72 on Jan. 5 at Matthew Knight Arena.

New NCAA rule helps "elite" prospects, but does it really?

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USA Today

New NCAA rule helps "elite" prospects, but does it really?

It was announced yesterday that moving forward the NCAA will now allow “elite” college prospects to sign with agents and give them the ability to return to college if they are not selected in the NBA Draft. At first glance, the new rules is a victory for student-athletes, but is it really?

As multiple media personalities have pointed out, this moves seems more like a PR stunt than a step in the right direction. The NCAA is all about amateurism, and it wants to protect that at all costs.

Let's outline some of the key points of this new rule:

 

  • This rule does not apply to all college basketball players. It only applies to those deemed “elite.” The job of deciding who is elite and who isn’t falls on the back of USA Basketball. The interesting part here is that it appears that USA Basketball didn’t agree to, nor does it want this responsibility. According to an article by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, “USA Basketball doesn't have the infrastructure or interest in accepting the role of evaluating the nation's top prospects… USA Basketball prefers that the NBA make those decisions”
  • The problem here is that it also appears the neither the NBA or the NBPA has agreed to this new rule. The NCAA more or less went over the heads of the NBA, burdening them and USA Basketball with tasks they had not formally agreed to. While discussions have been had, there was never a general consensus moving forward with regards to a rule change.
  • Of the few this rule will impact, even fewer will actually take advantage of it. Many players who go undrafted will try to land with teams overseas, teams in the G-League, or land a roster spot in the NBA Summer League. Few, if any, will actually return to college. As Wojnarowski pointed out on Twitter, if you are undrafted now odds are you will undrafted a year from now as well. Why prolong becoming a professional? 

In short, the rule seems nice on the outside but in the end it falls short of having any real substance to it. If the outcome with the rule is the same as the outcome without it (go undrafted, play overseas for example) what does the rule really change? Perhaps it changes the public perception of the NCAA. A pat on the back of sorts; a “look what we did for our athletes” moment. Until the NBA/NBPA and USA Basketball are on board, and until you allow this rule to help all athletes, not just the elite ones, you haven’t done anything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday was a rough day for Northwest teams in Pac-12 Basketball

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USA Today

Thursday was a rough day for Northwest teams in Pac-12 Basketball

By Sebastian Pycior

The Washington Huskies season continues its nosedive following last night’s loss against the Utah Utes. In fact, maybe this loss should have been predicted, as the results nearly matched the outcome of the last meeting between the two teams. The Utes beat the Huskies 70 – 58 last night on Montlake.

Noah Dickerson was completely shut down by the Utes’ defense, and the Huskies struggled to find any offense during this game. Besides David Crisp’s 18 points, no other Husky finished with more than 9 points.

Barring a PAC-12 tournament win from the Huskies, it doesn’t look like the Huskies will be attending March Madness this season, most likely finding themselves in the National Invitation Tournament instead. However, this has still been a successful season for this Husky team, especially under the guidance under new coach Mike Hopkins. The Huskies take on Colorado on Saturday evening.

Down in Southern California, the Oregon Ducks tragically fell short of upending the USC Trojans. Tied 70 – 70 in the final seconds, the Ducks trap defense was exposed as USC guard Jordan McLaughlin lobbed the ball to Chimezie Metu, who was waiting in the short corner behind Oregon’s MiKyle McIntosh.

McIntosh came up big for the Ducks, piling up 23 points. Sure the Ducks could’ve played better defense so as to not allow 70 points, but they also were well rounded on the offensive side of the ball. Pritchard contributed 17 points in the effort.

The Ducks have another tough matchup against UCLA this Saturday. If the Ducks can bounce back and regain momentum heading into next week, they have a decent chance at beating both Arizona teams.

As of now, the Ducks might have a better path to March Madness than the Huskies. This team only suffered one bad loss against the Stanford Cardinal a couple of weeks ago, but have largely stayed competitive in most of their games. The Huskies on the other hand, were easily handled by the Ducks, Gonzaga, Virginia Tech, twice to Utah, and to UCLA. For Washington, wins against Kansas and Arizona won’t be enough to overcome a bunch of blowouts.

Moving forward, both coaches need to find a way to motivate their players after tough losses. For the Huskies, they need Matisse Thybulle and Jaylen Nowell to start hitting shots from three point range again. They combined to make just 3 shots from downtown against the Utes, which didn’t help opening up the paint.

The Ducks suffered another loss at the buzzer, so they need to take this game against USC as another learning opportunity on how to finish games. Hindsight is forever 20/20, but coach Dana Altman should have had his team in a man-to-man defense through the end of regulation instead of disguising his trap defense. Altman had the Ducks start the final play in man defense, until McLaughlin broke away. It seemed as Altman knew exactly what the play was going to be, since the Ducks reacted to the breakaway on point. The Ducks sent both guards to chase the ball, while having their other three players sit in a zone defense.

Zone defenses puts too much trust on each player’s peripheral abilities instead of just having each one of your own defenders matchup individually. It’s important to make sure each offensive player gets knocked out of their desired path, and USC’s Metu got to the basket untouched after Oregon’s attempt at trapping McLaughlin.

It was a tough lesson today for Pacific Northwest basketball, and maybe there’s a miracle in the works for both of these teams. Both Hopkins and Altman will need to quickly reset before the weekend in order to keep any hope at March Madness alive.