Category Archives: Big Sky

Eleven Under-the-Radar Freshmen That Every Fan Should Know About

Taylor, Terry
The play of freshman Terry Taylor is a big reason for the 5-3 start in conference play for Austin Peay. (Source: Austin Peay Athletics) (Header: HBCU Gameday)

LONDON, Ont. — To say the least, the 2017-18 college basketball season has been an exciting one, and we still have over two months of action left before another dreaded off-season.

Conference play is in full swing for every league across the NCAA, and the contenders are starting to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. There have been several surprise teams, both for the better and for the worse, that have caused some shakeups in leagues that many thought were locks for particular teams this season.

With the excitement comes the plethora of emerging young talents from coast to coast. Freshmen from all across the country have emerged as potential stars with their respective programs, and have taken on starring roles in their first seasons in the NCAA.

For whatever reason, the majority of freshmen outside of the Big Seven conferences (B1G, B12, Pac-12, ACC, SEC, AAC, BEast) don’t get their fair share of attention on a national scale. Most media outlets will only focus on the biggest names and the top programs, all while turning a blind eye to players who are just as deserving. One player, in particular, ranks sixth in the nation in scoring, yet many fans don’t know his name.

That needs to change, and in a hurry.

Here are 11 freshmen that fans from coast to coast need to become familiar with, as they are poised  for big things over their collegiate careers, including one of the nation’s elite scorers who just so happens to play in the nation’s capital.
Continue reading Eleven Under-the-Radar Freshmen That Every Fan Should Know About

Michigan State Pulls Away From Southern Utah, 88-63; Number One Ranking Next?

Nick Ward was one of three Spartans to score 17 points, and Michigan State extended their winning streak to eight games with an 88-63 win over Southern Utah. (Source: Mike Carter – USA Today Sports) (Header: USA Today Sports)

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Ever since their loss at the 2017 Champions Classic to the Duke Blue Devils, the Michigan State Spartans have been on some kind of roll.

Since their loss back on November 14th, the Spartans entered Saturday riding a seven game winning streak. All of their wins have come by double digits, with their closest game coming on December 5th against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

Michigan State beat the Scarlet Knights by 10.

Inside the Breslin Center on Saturday, the Spartans welcomed the Southern Utah Thunderbirds to town, and both teams were looking to continue their winning streaks. Southern Utah came into the day riding a three-game winning streak of their own, and while they were taking on the third-ranked team in the country, they left it all on the court and made things interesting in the second half.

After the Spartans took a 12-point lead at the break, the Thunderbirds managed to get within five points on a pair of occasions before the midway point of the second half. However, the Spartans were too much to handle, and the home side pulled away down the stretch for the 88-63 win over Southern Utah. Continue reading Michigan State Pulls Away From Southern Utah, 88-63; Number One Ranking Next?

Thomas, Warriors hold off North Dakota in Stunning Fashion, 81-78

Mike Thomas scored a career-high 29 points, and Hawai’i held on in the second half for the 81-78 win over North Dakota on Sunday. (Source: KHON2)

HONOLULU — The Hawai’i Warriors staved off North Dakota, as Cortez Seales had a look at the end for the Fighting Hawks with less than a second to force overtime that fell by the wayside.

The Warriors led by as much as twenty-two in the game, and managed to close it with a 81-78 win.  Continue reading Thomas, Warriors hold off North Dakota in Stunning Fashion, 81-78

College Court Report Player of the Week: Geno Crandall, North Dakota Fighting Hawks

Geno Crandall put up a career-high 41 points in North Dakota’s opener on Friday against Troy, with 37 coming in the second half alone. (Source: Kelvin Kuo – USA Today Sports) (Header: Russ Hons – North Dakota Athletics)

CANMORE, Alta. — Last season, the North Dakota Fighting Hawks punched their first-ever ticket to the NCAA Tournament. While they fell to the Arizona Wildcats in the First Round, it was still a successful season for the program.

In the off-season, the Fighting Hawks said goodbye to several contributors from last year’s team.

Forward Drick Bernstine transferred to the Washington State Cougars, while fellow big man Carson Shanks transferred to the Loyola (IL) Ramblers. To top it all off, one of the program’s all-time greats graduated, in two-time College Court Report Player of the Year Quinton Hooker.

Coming into 2017-18, many expected junior guard Geno Crandall to take on a starring role for the Fighting Hawks. Through two games, he has lived up to the preseason billing, and even exceeded some expectations.

Simply put, North Dakota will be just fine with Crandall at the helm.

Through two games at the Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, Crandall has been the go-to guy for North Dakota. He put together one of the more impressive second half performances you will see all season in the team’s opener on Friday.

After leading North Dakota to an even 1-1 record over their first two games in Hawaii, Fighting Hawks’ junior guard Geno Crandall has been named the College Court Report Player of the Week(end) for November 10 – 12, 2017! Continue reading College Court Report Player of the Week: Geno Crandall, North Dakota Fighting Hawks

Three Games that could lead to Upsets on Opening Night

The high-scoring Chris Clemons leads Campbell into an opening-night battle with Penn State.

CANMORE, Alta. — Waking up on Friday morning will be just like Christmas morning for college basketball fanatics everywhere.

The 2017-18 season gets underway at 10:30am ET, as the Eastern Michigan Eagles take on Spring Arbor in the first game of the season. There’s a full slate of games on Friday that is sure to please everyone. The vast majority of programs are in action throughout the day, and there are some must-see games on tap.

Like this guide mentions, mismatches take place each and every day on the hardwood. Many look at the match-ups and pick a winner based on the prestige of the schools alone. That could very well happen again this week, and most times, people would be right.

However, here are three games to keep an eye on during Friday’s action-packed slate, as the result could go in favour of the visitors when all is said and done.
Continue reading Three Games that could lead to Upsets on Opening Night

Former Sacramento State center Eric Stuteville selected first overall in the 2017 NBA G League Draft

As a senior at Sacramento State, big man Eric Stuteville shot a school record 63.2% from the floor. (Source: The State Hornet)

SACRAMENTO, CA. — The 2017 NBA G League Draft is officially underway, and players from across the world have another opportunity to hear their name called and realize their dream of playing professional basketball.

On Friday, the Northern Arizona Suns and Iowa Wolves made a trade that involved the first selection in Saturday’s draft.

The Suns acquired the first overall selection and the returning player rights to Zach Andrews from the Wolves. In exchange, Iowa received the eighth overall selection, the returning player rights to Elijah Millsap and the returning player rights to Michael Bryson.

When the NBA G League draft kicked off, the Suns got their man and bolstered their front court rotation. They selected center Eric Stuteville, who played four seasons with the Sacramento State Hornets in the Big Sky Conference.   Continue reading Former Sacramento State center Eric Stuteville selected first overall in the 2017 NBA G League Draft