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Published: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 @ 4:26 PM
DAYTON — Dayton Flyers senior Scoochie Smith lands on lists spotlighting the best names in college basketball every season. He’s more than just a great name, however. He’s one of the best point guards in the nation.
Here are five things to know about Smith:
1. He’s UD’s ironman: Smith has played in every game the past four seasons, 137 and counting. He will tie the school record for most games played, set by Chris Johnson from 2008-12, at 7:10 p.m. Friday when No. 7 seed Dayton plays No. 10 seed Wichita State in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. At the same time, Smith will break the school record for consecutive games played.
“ If we do win the conference championship,” said Dayton coach Archie Miller in February before the Flyers clinched their first outright Atlantic 10 championship, “there won’t be a guy around the conference who wouldn’t say, ‘The only reason they did that was because he never missed game. He was there every game.’”
Smith ranks 27th in UD history with 1,264 points.
2. His grandpa gave him his nickname: Smith, whose real name is Dayshon, grew up in Bronx, N.Y., and got to play not far from home in each of his four seasons, going 4-0 in games at Fordham.
Smith’s late grandpa George Blount gave him the nickname when he was a kid, though its origins are murky. He looked up the word online in high school.
“It said to be annoying or dance a lot,” Smith said, “I know I was definitely one of the two and maybe both.”
3. Dayton recruited him hard: Smith started to get more and more playing time toward the end of his freshman season. Dayton made an Elite Eight run in 2014 in part because he was able to provide valuable minutes behind starting point guard Khari Price, who transferred to Southern Mississippi after the season.
Dayton coaches knew Smith was the point guard of the future. They knew that during the recruiting process, which assistant coach Allen Griffin spearheaded.
“Scooch was a smart kid in terms of knowing what he wanted,” Griffin said. “Obviously he had an opportunity to play as a freshman with only one point guard in the program. He saw that. Our relationship and my relationship with people surrounding him gave me trust with Scooch, and I nagged the crap out of him — I’m not going to lie, every day, two or three times a day — to the point where Scoochie said to me, ‘Coach, listen, I like you a lot, but you’re calling me more than my girlfriend.’ I said, ‘Well, get used to it.’”
4. He makes big shots: Smith played a sub-par game at Davidson on Feb. 24 and then scored 11 points in overtime, making three straight 3-pointers. That was just the latest of his many clutch performances. Smith has made 19 of 31 field goals (63.1 percent) in the last two minutes of games.
“He’s fearless when it comes to these big moments,” Miller said.
5. He’s getting overdue recognition: Smith has been of the best point guards in the A-10 the last three seasons, but he didn’t win a postseason award until this season. He was named to the A-10 first team earlier this month.
Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 1:30 AM
The No. 5 Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball team looks to sweep the regular season series from Pitt as they host the Panthers on Saturday, Jan. 20.
Time: 4 p.m. ET
Date: Saturday, Jan. 20
Location: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, N.C.
The Duke-Pitt basketball game will air on the ACC Network.
The Duke-Pitt basketball game will be streaming on WatchESPN.
After an upset loss at N.C. State on January 6, the question was how the Blue Devils would respond.
As it turns out, very well.
Duke has won its last three games against Pitt, Wake Forest and Miami to put itself back over .500 in the ACC. With that three-game winning streak in the rear view mirror, the Blue Devils have returned to the top 5 of the AP Poll after a brief spell just outside of it at No. 7.
Youth has taken a lead role on this Duke team as its dynamic freshman has kept it well within the national championship discussion.
Marvin Bagley III (22.4 points per game) continues to make his case as a potential No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. However, that’s not to diminish the contributions of other players on the roster. Fellow freshmen Wendell Carter Jr. (13.7 ppg), Gary Trent Jr. (12.6 ppg) and Trevon Duval (12 ppg) have made a quick transition to the college game, while Grayson Allen (16.2 ppg) has contributed a needed measure of veteran leadership – finding ways to make the team better even when he isn’t shooting all that well, with the win against Wake Forest coming to mind (12 rebounds, 8 assists despite just 2 points on 0-5 shooting). Along with that, Duke’s defense looks to be finding its form as it has allowed an average of 66 points during its win streak.
Duke was able to pick up a key road win on Monday, dropping No. 25 Miami 83-75 to improve to 4-2 in the ACC. Four Blue Devil players hit double figures, including Trent (30) and Duval (17). Bagley (13 points, 12 rebounds) and Carter (15 points, 14 rebounds) both dropped in double-doubles. Allen suffered another tough stretch from the floor (2-9) but was active defensively as he ended the game with 5 steals.
Pitt has struggled this season as it sits at 5-11 and has yet to win an ACC game in six tries thus far. The Panthers are suffering offensively as they have averaged just 53.6 points a game in ACC play, which benefits the Blue Devils.
In its last game, the Panthers dropped a 59-45 decision at Syracuse on Tuesday. The name of the game in this one, in part, was the Panthers’ inability to value the basketball as they committed 18 turnovers on the evening, which the Orange were able to turn in to 16 points.
The Panthers are still looking to fill the absence of injured forward Ryan Luther, who is out for the remainder of the season with a stress reaction in his right foot. Duke out-rebounded the Panthers by seven in the two teams’ last meeting on January 10 while holding them to just 33.3% shooting, and will be looking to do much the same on Saturday.
Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 1:00 AM
LSU basketball visits the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Gym. See below for information on how you can watch, listen to and stream this game.
The road has felt like home for the Tigers in SEC play as both of their conference wins have come away from the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. For first-year LSU coach Will Wade, the trip to Vanderbilt literally is home. Wade’s parents were Vanderbilt season-ticket holders, making Memorial Gym the first place he attended a college basketball game.
Thus, Wade should be a little more prepared for the quirks of the arena than the average coach making his first trip there. Memorial Gym is known for its elevated court and benches below the baseline rather than along the sidelines.
“We’ve got a job to do,” Wade said of his homecoming. “All the other stuff is just periphery stuff that doesn’t matter.”
Who: LSU (11-6, 2-3 SEC) versus Vanderbilt (6-12, 1-5 SEC)
When: Saturday, Jan. 19, 2018, noon CT
Where: Memorial Gymnasium, Nashville, Tenn.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast on SEC Network-Plus.
Baton Rouge residents can listen to the game on the radio by tuning to 98.1 FM Baton Rouge. Internet users can find a stream of the broadcast at LSUSports.net/live.
Tuesday’s game will be streamed through WatchESPN.com. Mobile users can access the stream through the Watch ESPN App. Both the SEC Network Plus and WatchESPN require cable or satellite passwords to log in.
Point guard: Sophomore Skylar Mays (11.6 ppg, 3.4 apg)
Point guard: Freshman Tremont Waters (16.4 ppg, 6 apg)
Shooting guard: Junior Brandon Sampson (8.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg)
Power forward: Senior Aaron Epps (10.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg)
Power forward: Senior Duop Reath (12.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg)
Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 1:00 AM
The Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State Cowboys are kicking off Bedlam in a big way this Saturday.
Oklahoma comes into the game vying for first place in the Big 12 Conference, and the Cowboys are coming into the match looking to stay alive. The Sooners desperately need a win here after their 20-point loss to Kansas State. Oklahoma State is coming off a disappointing loss to Baylor.
There’s a lot more at stake here than a traditional Bedlam rivalry. Here’s how to watch or listen to all the action from anywhere in the world.
Date: Saturday, January 20th
Time: 1 PM Central Time
Location: Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, Oklahoma
Odds: Line unavailable
Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will appear on ESPN.
You can watch Oklahoma and Oklahoma State online using the WatchESPN app or at WatchESPN.com.
You can catch Oklahoma-Oklahoma State any time, any where using TuneIn.com.
Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 1:00 AM
The No. 15 North Carolina Tar Heels men’s basketball team will put its three-game winning streak on the line when they visit the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday, Jan. 20 in Chapel Hill.
Time: 2 p.m. ET
Date: Saturday, Jan. 20
Location: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
The North Carolina-Georgia Tech basketball game will air on ESPN2.
The North Carolina-Georgia Tech basketball game will be streaming on WatchESPN.
After stumbling through their nonconference slate and coming out the other side with a 7-6 record, many were eager to write Georgia Tech off. However, the Yellow Jackets have powered through their first five games in the ACC with three wins and Saturday’s matchup with the Tar Heels provides another chance to show they’ll be no easy out in league play.
Meanwhile, North Carolina has responded to a loss two weeks ago against Virginia with three straight wins, including victories on the road against Notre Dame and at home against Clemson. However, the Tar Heels have to assert their dominance at home against Georgia Tech and pile up league wins if they’re going to challenge 6-0 Virginia down the stretch.
Joel Berry and Luke Maye have provided a solid inside-outside combo for North Carolina all season and they’ll undoubtedly be a tough assignment for Georgia Tech’s defense. However, the Yellow Jackets have been stingy on that side of the ball, allowing just 58.6 points per game in league play.
Georgia Tech features a guard-heavy lineup with Josh Okogie, Tadric Jackson and freshman point guard Jose Alvarado. Okogie and Jackson both served suspensions earlier in the year for receiving improper benefits but they’re both back now and have been a big reason why the Yellow Jackets have found success.
Ben Lammers provides size and experience in the Georgia Tech frontcourt. The 6-foot-10 senior rarely leaves the floor, averaging 36 minutes per game in the 2017-18 season and averaging 11.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. He’s also one of the best rim protectors in the country (9th) with 3.1 blocks per game.
Lammers and Maye battling on the inside will be one of the more pivotal matchups with both teams lacking a secondary inside threat on both ends.
Ultimately, if Lammers and Maye cancel each other out to a certain extent, the game may come down to whose guards can more effectively crash the boards on both ends. Because it’s strength on strength with North Carolina’s perimeter scoring ability matched up against Georgia Tech’s perimeter defending capabilities.
With the ACC bereft of matchups between Top 25 opponents this weekend, North Carolina and Georgia Tech figures to be one of the more compelling matchups of the weekend within the league. And the winners will stay within immediate striking distance of Virginia (who plays Wake Forest on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET) while the losers will fall to three losses behind the league leaders.