NCAA

Instant Replay: Princeton 64, Penn 49

Instant Replay: Princeton 64, Penn 49

BOX SCORE

When Penn and Princeton tip off, it’s almost always a close game 40 minutes later. Count Tuesday night as an exception.

Ivy League-leading Princeton blitzed Penn with a bevy of three-point shots and lockdown defense en route to a comfortable win over the Quakers, 64-49, at the Palestra Tuesday night. Princeton senior Spencer Weisz led the way with 22 points on 8 for 14 shooting, while Penn was paced by Darnell Foreman, who pumped in a team-high 11 points.

Sophomore guard Myles Stephens had 16 points on just six shots for Princeton, while junior Amir Bell had eight points and three assists off the bench. Penn's only other double-figure scorers were freshman A.J. Brodeur and junior Sam Jones, who each had 10 points.

With the win, the 13-6 Tigers swept the season series with the Quakers and remain the only team undefeated in the Ancient Eight at 6-0. Penn is mired in last place with its 7-12 record (0-6 Ivy).

Turning point
Like the Atlanta Falcons found out on Sunday, you don't win games just with your offense. Princeton put Penn in a hole with an impressive defensive spurt in the first half, when it held Penn scoreless for over 7½ minutes. Princeton had multiple blocks in the stretch while even forcing a shot-clock violation.

Weisz took advantage on the other end with a couple of threes to move Princeton from down 10-9 to up 22-10.

First half
The matchup between these two teams exactly one month earlier was highlighted by an ugly first half without nearly any assists. While there were 16 combined turnovers in the first half Tuesday, the ball movement on both sides was much crisper.

Princeton took a 39-27 lead at the half through its outside shooting and Penn's lack of makes from deep. The Tigers were 9 for 14 from three in the first half with four makes coming from Weisz, who had a game-high 14 points before the break. The Tigers held the Quakers to just two makes from beyond the arc before the break by effectively navigating screens and playing suffocating man-to-man defense.

Penn's sole advantage came inside, where it led the Tigers, 18-8, on points in the paint before the break. Sophomore Max Rothschild made all three of his baskets before the break, including two before the first media timeout.

Happy birthday, Palestra
The Cathedral of College Basketball officially celebrated its 90th year with the Tigers' trip to the arena. The first event at the Palestra came on Jan. 1, 1927, when Penn took down Yale, 26-15. To celebrate the occasion, student prices were rolled back to 55 cents, the price for students for that Yale game, while other tickets were sold for $19.27 to celebrate the year of the Palestra's opening.

All-time series
This was the 236th meeting between the two programs. Penn leads the all-time series, 124-112. Princeton, however, has now won the last seven and 15 of the last 17 duels.

Implications
The Quakers' loss lessens the chances that they reach the first-ever Ivy League Tournament, held this March at the Palestra. The team would likely need to win out to have a chance at sneaking into the tournament, which includes the top four teams in the conference. Princeton's win means the Tigers are probably going to return to the Palestra for the tournament and increases their chances at the No. 1 seed.

What's next
Both Penn and Princeton host Columbia and Cornell this weekend, resuming Ivy doubleheaders.

NCAA adopts college basketball reforms for NBA draft, agents, more

ap-ncaa-logo-basketball-court.jpg
AP Images

NCAA adopts college basketball reforms for NBA draft, agents, more

INDIANAPOLIS — College basketball players who participate in the NBA combine and go undrafted will be allowed to return to school and play as part of sweeping NCAA reforms in the wake of a corruption scandal.

The NCAA announced Wednesday that its Board of Governors and Division I Board of Directors have adopted numerous proposals, including changes to the enforcement process for rules violations and allowing NCAA-certified agents to work with college basketball players who test the waters in declaring for the NBA draft. 

Agents will have at least a limited place within the NCAA structure when it comes to college basketball.

The NCAA's rule changes include allowing players to work with an agent while declaring for the NBA draft. College players would have to request an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee on their draft prospects. The rules would also allow elite high school players to work with an agent if the NBA removes its one-and-done rule.

The agent would have to be certified by the NCAA no later than August 2020. Until then, agents certified by the NBA players' union would qualify.

Agents would be allowed to cover minimal expenses such as meals and transportation tied to meetings or workouts with pro teams. The agent's work would stop if the player enrolls in or returns to college.

The changes reflect the recommendations made in April by the Rice Commission.

The Rice Commission, led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, was formed in response to an FBI investigation into payments from shoe companies to coaches for steering players to certain schools.

The NCAA is also adopting changes it hopes will improve its enforcement process when handling cases of rules violations.

The policies adopted by the NCAA's Board of Governors and Division I Council include the appointment of independent groups to handle and resolve complex cases. That was one of the recommendations from the Rice Commission appointed in the wake of an FBI investigation into corruption within college basketball.

The changes also allow the NCAA to accept during investigations outside information that has been "established by another administrative body or a commission authorized by a school." The NCAA says that will save time since investigators would no longer have to independently confirm information outlined by other agencies or outside investigations.

In addition, school presidents and athletics staff will be required to commit "contractually" to cooperate fully with investigations.

The process to adopt recommendations for NCAA reforms from the Rice Commission was a swift one by the governing body's standards.

In a teleconference with reporters Wednesday, Georgia Tech president and Board of Governors chairman Bud Peterson said those changes would "normally take us about two years through the governance process."

Knicks will reportedly reach out to Jay Wright about coaching job

usa-jay-wright-smile.jpg
USA Today Images

Knicks will reportedly reach out to Jay Wright about coaching job

Fresh off a second national championship in three years, this was bound to happen. Jay Wright is a hot name. 

And according to the New York Daily News, the Knicks plan on reaching out to Wright about their vacant head coaching job. 

Just don’t expect Wright to be interested. 

The 56-year-old coach has been determined to build Villanova into a powerhouse since he took the head coaching gig way back in 2001 and he’s finally done that. On the surface, maybe some think that would be enough to make him want to take his coaching to the top league in the world. Not so fast. 

In a recent interview with The Athletic, Wright said pretty flatly that he’s staying at Villanova because he loves it there. 

“The NBA does intrigue me,” Wright said. “That challenge is appealing but it’s not worth giving up working with these guys. The whole thing is, to take a new challenge you have to give up what you have. I don’t want to give up what I have. Would I like to coach in the NBA? Yes. But I have to give this up in order to do that, and I don’t see that happening.”

In that interview, Wright talked about his time at Hofstra and quoted Jim Valvano, who once said, ‘Don’t mess with happy.’ That was true at Hofstra until the Villanova job came around, so maybe there’s a chance the Knicks could blow him away. It just doesn’t seem likely. 

The Knicks just fired head coach Jeff Hornacek after a 29-53 record in 2017. The Knicks haven’t had a winning record since 2012-13. 

The New York Daily News cites a source, who said the Knicks believe Wright would be a “perfect candidate for a rebuilding club.” The Knicks might be right, but don’t bet on them getting Wright.