NCAA

Fordham's buzzer beater shocks VCU in OT

Fordham's buzzer beater shocks VCU in OT

BY TYLER BYRUM

What just happened. That is the thought of many VCU fans following the program's 69-67 overtime loss against Fordham.

Hitting the game-winning shot was junior, Antwoine Anderson who scored 15 points in the contest. It was not just the buzzer that shocked the Virginia based Rams team, Fordham (8-11, 2-4 A10) led for the entirety of regulation and trailed for less than three minutes in the extra period. It was Fordham's first win ever over VCU, losing their previous six games since the Havoc joined the conference in 2012. 

Prior to the shot, VCU's Justin Tillman missed the front end of a one-an-one leaving the game tied with 15 seconds to go in the contest. The team's 22 turnovers proved to be too costly even for the team to hold off one of the bottom dwellers of the Atlantic 10.

VCU (14-5, 4-2) has lost their second straight conference game in a row after starting A10 play 4-0. For the VCU Rams, this game will prove to be costly in trying to secure an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament, as Fordham could not even beat the fourth worst team in the national RPI, Central Connecticut State earlier in the season. 

MORE VCU: Rams flatten George Washington

Ranking Mac McClung's transfer options from best to worst

Ranking Mac McClung's transfer options from best to worst

There were several options on the table for Mac McClung when he entered the transfer portal. So many that his first list to narrow down the field of teams he is considering was seven. 

Seven is too many for any fan base to try and get their hopes up on landing the 6-foot-2 combo guard. Likely, as is the trend, he will likely cut that list in half before his commitment announcement. 

But, not each school offer is weighed the same. There are benefits for McClung at one school that the others might not offer. Playing time and his role are surely going to be factors. Considering he just entered the NBA Draft process, he probably wants a program that will get him to that level. 

To try to predict where he would go, let's consider the reasons why the sophomore left Georgetown. He was the guy for the Hoyas - a Big East program with a former NBA player as a coach. This is no mid-major star trying to get more attention. The spotlight was on McClung and the connections he had could continue to build under Patrick Ewing. Getting recognition might not be as strong as you would typically see from other transfers. 

When McClung announced his intent to transfer, his noted concern was wanting to be a part of a family and help the team succeed. In his two years with Georgetown, there was massive turnover among the players. Transfers, top players graduating early, everything. 

Having the team succeed is another aspect. All Georgetown had to show was an NIT appearance during McClung's time on the Hilltop. Likely, the team was going in the opposite direction next season.

Lastly, given his size and abrupt decision to leave the Hoyas, NBA scouts likely will want McClung to develop more as a point guard. He's too small and not consistent enough of a shooter to play as a shooting guard.

This reasoning would provide more explanation into why he wanted to leave the Hoyas, more than just a minor riff with Ewing. With Jahvon Blair, the addition of a grad transfer and a high school recruit coming in, they were set at that spot. Minutes at the point were likely going to be limited for McClung.

Keep in mind as well, McClung will have to sit a year unless he gets a waiver, which is not expected. 

1. Texas Tech

Spotlight: Moderate
Family Environment: Fair
Winning Outlook: Very High
Need a Point Guard: Yes

Texas Tech has emerged as a consistent top 25 threat every season. Before the cancelation of the tournament, they had made the Sweet 16 in back-to-back seasons and were the runner-ups in 2019. Head coach Chris Beard has this program in the right direction and will likely be a contender for years to come.

In Lubbock, McClung will not have to be the best player on the roster. Although, the talent isn't too high where McClung can't emerge as the guy again. The Red Raiders have established themselves as a transfer destination, which does take a hit in the family environment. But it also shows that they would welcome McClung with open arms. 

Beard also has the experience of turning guards into NBA prospects, with Jahmi'us Ramsey and Jarrett Culver.

In two years they will need a PG, whether Ramsey leaves for the draft this season or the next. McClung could find all of his needs at Texas Tech.

2. BYU

Spotlight: Moderate
Family Environment: Good
Winning Outlook: High
Need a Point Guard: Yes

Last season BYU surprised many as a legitimate contender in the national landscape of college basketball. With their new head coach Mark Pope, the veteran team was thought to contend for a run in the NCAA Tournament. 

Many of the faces from that squad have left, though point guard Alex Barcello will still have his senior year. But they are in a position to be just as good next year by adding Purdue transfer Matt Haarms.

Barcello will be gone by the time McClung suits up. And Pope able to keep a big core of players in his first season is a huge nod to him creating a family environment. 

Of course, BYU is not a Power 5 school and will not get the same attention as Georgetown. Nevertheless a good landing spot for McClung to thrive.

3. Memphis

Spotlight: Moderate
Family Environment: Unknown
Winning Outlook: Moderate
Need a Point Guard: Perhaps

Penny Hardaway has only been the coach of the Tigers for only two seasons, so it is hard to gauge some areas that we've associated with McClung. Still, Memphis has instantly attracted stars and is projecting upward for the next few years. 

None of the key figures on the roster have stayed there for two seasons, and the ones that have are underclassmen. The family environment is hard to grade. But, the team does not appear to be fully set at the point guard spot.

Going to the Tigers could be a little bit of a risk without much set in stone, but it still could bode well for McClung. 

4. Arkansas

Spotlight: Moderate
Family Environment: Unknown
Winning Outlook: High
Need a Point Guard: Unlikely

First-year head coach Eric Musselman has yet to firmly establish himself in the SEC. As a new coach, there were a lot of transfers out of the program so another situation where it is hard to determine what the environment is like. 

On the floor, the team showed promise and potential to have a good tenure under Musselman. They likely will have another good season and will trend upward in the foreseeable future. 

In the SEC he'll get attention and could be the best player on the Razorbacks. Where it gets murky though is that they are out of scholarships to offer according to VerbalCommits. Someone will have to be forced out if McClung goes there. 

5. Auburn

Spotlight: Low
Family Environment: Good
Winning Outlook: Moderate
Need a Point Guard: No

There's always an influx of talent coming into Auburn and that is no different over the next couple of seasons. For next season, they have a five-star and a four-star recruit coming in as a point guard which will make that position a full one. McClung might not be getting the reps he would like at the point and would have to battle for a spot. 

There is a good family environment in terms of players that go to Auburn stay under Bruce Pearl. They even are familiar with bringing in transfers, however, they are currently out of scholarships as well according to VC. 

Competition-wise, they will be taking a slight hit, as they are losing their entire starting five this offseason. 

6. USC

Spotlight: Moderate
Family Environment: Low
Winning Outlook: Low
Need a Point Guard: Likely

Going from the spotlight of the Big East to the Pac-12 actually diminishes value slightly, but McClung will likely be the best player for the Trojans once he suits up. 

At USC he will have a greater chance to be competitive in that league and better odds to get to the NCAA Tournament. There are some point guard options currently on the roster and coming in, but none are certainly a lock two seasons from now. 

Most importantly, though, is the family atmosphere. For various reasons, there has been a lot of transfers over the years with several players also turning pro. Much like Georgetown, it could be a revolving door of players coming in and out. 

7. Wake Forest 

Spotlight: Moderate
Family Environment: Unknown
Winning Outlook: Very low
Need a Point Guard: Likely

While several of the teams on McClung's list have relatively new coaches, none are entering their first season like Steve Forbes at Wake Forest. 

He brings a good reputation while at his former school, East Tennessee State, but how that translates remains to be seen. It still is going to be a rebuild for the Demon Deacons. 

Going to Winston-Salem doesn't appear to be much of a better landing spot for McClung than Georgetown did. 

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Athletes send their best wishes to Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing after COVID-19 diagnosis

Athletes send their best wishes to Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing after COVID-19 diagnosis

Georgetown head coach and New York Knicks legend Patrick Ewing shared with the public on Friday evening that he had tested positive for the novel COVID-19 virus.

Ewing has been isolated in a local hospital. No one else in the Georgetown program has tested positive for the virus. The Hall of Famer chose to publicize his diagnosis in order to emphasize the severity of the virus.

Several athletes all across the sports world took to Twitter to send their best wishes to the 57-year-old.

First was Charles Oakley, who spent over a decade as Ewing's teammate with the Knicks.

The Knicks organization sent out a tweet offering their best wishes to their former star.

Next was Dikembe Mutumbo, who became a star at Georgetown three years after Ewing departed for the NBA.

Jessie Govan, who played for Georgetown from 2015-2019 and spent two seasons under Ewing, tweeted his support for his former head coach.

Others such as Swin Cash, Vernon Maxwell and Bill Russell all send their support, too.

Get well soon, Pat.

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