NCAA

Instant Replay: Richmond 70, St. Joe's 66

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Instant Replay: Richmond 70, St. Joe's 66

BOX SCORE

St. Joe's looked to avoid its second-straight loss Saturday afternoon against the University of Richmond, but fell just shy of its third Atlantic 10 win.
 
The Hawks found themselves in a hole early in the second half, but railed from an 18-point deficit to come within one point with a minute-and-a-half remaining. It would not be enough as Richmond would take a 70-66 victory.
 
What it means
The Hawks' loss to Richmond drops them to 8-8 overall and 2-3 in the Atlantic 10. 

Richmond won its fifth straight game moving the Spiders to 11-6 overall and a perfect 5-0 in A-10 play.

First half
The first half was tightly contested through the first 17 minutes, with neither team leading by more than six at any point. With just under three minutes left to play in the first half, a James Demery jumper brought the Hawks with one, but that would be the last basket St. Joe's would get before the halftime buzzer. Richmond mounted a 12-0 run to end the half and opened up a 41-28 lead.
 
Sophomore Lamar Kimble led the way for St. Joe's with 11 points, but no Hawks’ player would record more than one assist in the first half. Richmond, who leads the A-10 in assists per game with 16.8, held a 10-4 advantage in that category at halftime.
 
Turning Point
The Spiders opened the second half running a full-court press against the Hawks. 

St. Joe's, now down 48-35, would capitalize on two Charlie Brown jumpers and a Nick Robinson tip-in to bring their deficit to single digits. Kimble, Brown and Robinson combined to bring the Hawks back to within four points with just under 12 minutes left to play.
 
With just under 10 minutes to play, Richmond’s T.J. Cline would pick up his fourth foul, residing him to the bench and ridding the Spiders of their best playmaker.
 
However, Richmond’s offense would not miss a beat and find success from the guard tandem of ShawnDre’ Jones and De’Monte Buckingham.
 
The Hawks continued to battle and found themselves one point down with a minute remaining. Martelli’s squad could not find a way to match Richmond’s total and the Spiders’ strong free throw shooting would lift them to victory.
 
Big man on campus
T.J. Cline proved be an absolute nightmare matchup for Hawks’ defenders. His ability to score from both the post and behind the arc allowed him to fill the stat sheet, including seven of Richmond’s first 10 points.
 
Throughout the game, he was able to beat St. Joes with his passing when Martelli called for a double team. By the end of the first half, Cline had tallied five assists.
 
His final total would be 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, giving him his second double-double in three games. He finished an assist shy of a triple double.
 
History
Despite Saturday's loss, St. Joe's still holds a 16-9 series advantage over the Spiders.
 
The Hawks won last season’s only matchup between the two conference rivals in Richmond’s Robins Center, 77-73. Two years ago, the Spiders toppled the Hawks, 63-57, in Philadelphia.
 
Up Next
St. Joe's will travel to the University of Massachusetts Wednesday night to face the Minutemen in its sixth conference bout of the season. UMASS holds an 11-6 overall record, but is only 1-3 in the A-10, good enough for 10th in the conference.
 
Richmond will take on Dayton on Thursday in a matchup of A-10 title contenders.

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

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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

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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.