Posts Tagged ‘basketball’

The UT Arlington Mavericks used a wonderful offensive performance to dismantle the BYU Cougars 105-89 in the Marriott Center on Wednesday night. The Mavericks got just about whatever they wanted all night long as the had the Cougars on their heels from the get-go. They moved the ball with precision to expose BYU’s defense deficiencies.

Drew Charles led the way for the Mavericks with a career-best 28 points on 10 for 17 shooting from the floor, including 5 for 12 from beyond the arc. Kevin Hervey also had a big night with 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists while Kaelon Wilson also managed a season-high with 20 points on 8 for 11 shooting from the field.

Eric Mika paced the Cougars with 29 points on 8 for 13 shooting from the floor and 13 for 16 from the foul line. Nick Emery provided an offensive spark as well as he totaled 24 points on 8 for 15 shooting from the floor, including 4 for 9 from beyond the arc.

Why the Cougars lost

The Cougars got embarrassed defensively because of their inability to guard in the pick-and-roll. Sometimes they didn’t hedge well on the picks while at others they rotated back to their own man too early, leaving a man wide open. BYU also struggled mightily with weak side help and it turned into more wide open shots that the Mavericks converted on.

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This year’s NCAA Tournament is loaded with top-shelf NBA talent, players with transcendent skill sets that will make them top picks in the upcoming NBA draft — should they declare. There are gifted scorers, elite shooters and masterful passers. There are also sweet-shooting big men and double-double machines that control the paint and protect the rim.

The first weekend of the Big Dance gives fans the opportunity to see future NBA stars firsthand to see if their games match the hype.

Here is a look at the top prospects playing in the NCAA Tournament.

Note: Projected top 10 picks Markelle Fultz, Dennis Smith and Robert Williams didn’t make the NCAA Tournament.

Lonzo Ball, freshman, guard, UCLA

While his dad gets much of the attention in the family for the things he says, Ball is the real deal. He is an excellent distributor with fantastic court vision who has been the perfect fit for the Bruins’ offense. He is also an efficient scorer who shoots it well from all over the floor, even though his shot is funky looking.

On the season, he led the NCAA with 7.7 assists a night while averaging 14.6 points on 54.4 percent shooting from the floor. He also chipped in with 6.1 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 34.9 minutes.

Jayson Tatum, freshman, forward, Duke

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Former BYU Cougar and current Shanghai Sharks’ guard Jimmer Fredette capped off an amazing week on Tuesday as he was named the CBA’s international regular season MVP.

Fredette received 278 points in the voting to easily beat out Sichuan Blue Whales’ big man Hamed Haddadi who finished second with 113 points. Former two-time MVP Lester Hudson finished in third with 102 points, according to Sina Sports.

Fredette averaged 37.3 points on 48.1 percent shooting from the floor with 7.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.7 steals in 37 games while carrying the Shanghai Sharks to a 30-8 regular-season record (he missed one game with an ankle injury).

Previous winners of the award  – which has been handed out since 2012-13 – are Michael Beasley, Lester Hudson and Stephon Marbury.

The league’s domestic MVP went to Ding Yan Yu Hang who averaged 24.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists for Shandong.

Fredette and the Sharks are back in action on Wednesday for game three of their best-of-5 first round series with the Shenzhen Leopards. The series is tied at one game apiece with the Leopards winning game one in a 40-point blowout as the Sharks were without Fredette who was in Colorado for the birth of his daughter. Fredette returned for game two and turned in a stellar overtime performance as he finished with eight of his game-high 39 points in a 107-99 win to square up the series.