Wednesday, July 24, 2024

College Basketball’s Best of the Week: FAU beats buzzer, North Carolina coach Hubert Davis keeps it clean

Everybody’s favorite controversy — the topic of court-storming — mercifully took a backseat this week as college hoops returned to a form of normalcy and no stars were injured or almost injured in incidents in the last week. Praise be. However, the sport in totality once again couldn’t sidestep polarizing problems entirely. 

The flavor of the week in controversy this time around was spying allegations launched by Kansas State after visiting Ames, Iowa, to face Iowa State. As ISU dispatched of the visiting Wildcats, K-State coach Jerome Tang appeared to take issue with a fan positioned with a phone near his team’s huddle, and expressed as much to ISU coach T.J. Otzelberger during the game. 

If you think accusing an opposing team of espionage is controversy in itself, though, then buddy, I’ve got news: that’s just the start.

Iowa State took issue with the premise of the accusation and launched an attack fighting back against the notion. Otzelberger after the game issued a strongly worded statement denying the allegations, and ISU AD Jamie Pollard even weighed in to tip the scales and show how upset they were to be accused.

“It absolutely did not happen,” Pollard told The Messenger. “It’s a ridiculous allegation that is not fair to our coaches, our student managers and our players. I’m extremely disappointed that the Kansas State basketball staff has allowed this to fester, because it’s not right.”

Gotta love it. For whomever is the official tracker of such things, the days since college basketball’s last controversy needs to reset once again. Maybe we’ll make it a full week sometime, but not this week!

Let’s take a spin around the rest of the sport and highlight the best, worst and most controversial things of the week that was in our continuing College Basketball’s Best of the Week series. 

Clutch Shot of the Week: Davis wins it for FAU 

Narrowly edging out Oregon State’s Jordan Pope, whose buzzer-beater lifted OSU past Arizona in Gill Coliseum, is FAU guard Johnell Davis‘ magic in the big moment over the weekend. Davis had a game-high 28 points which included the game-winner to help FAU take down North Texas 66-63 continuing what has been a red-hot few weeks for the senior guard.

Player of the Week: Carter divine for Providence

Given the moment, Providence star Devin Carter wins this week’s Player of the Week running away. Carter had 29 points, four boards, two assists, two blocks and four steals in a win over Georgetown and former coach Ed Cooley in one of the most remarkable individual performances from anyone all season. 

Assist of the Week: Auburn‘s Holloway with no-look pass

Auburn freshman Aden Holloway had the second-most assists in a game this calendar year in a tight road loss to Alabama, finishing with three dimes to just one turnover. But one of those three stood out in particular, where he dove to the basket, appeared to get stuck in the air, then contorted his body to reveal he apparently has an extra set of eyes on the back of his head:

Giggle of the Week: UNC’s Davis is a gas 

In 2024, the fact that North Carolina coach Hubert Davis is not a cusser — especially given his profession — drew some interest this week. 

One reporter asked UNC’s Harrison Ingram how close Davis comes to cussing, just to get an idea of how wholesome Davis really is and whether or not he really does have a clean mouth, and Ingram responded with a hilarious exchange.

“I’ve never heard him come close to cursing personally,” he said. 

“Is there a go-to word that’s almost like a cuss word he uses,” the reporter followed up.

“Fart,” Ingram said. “Fart. It caught me off guard the first time I was here. He’ll be like, ‘What the fart are you doing?'”

Fart, yeah. That’s great. 

Best of the rest

Bronny gets first career technical 

USC stumbled out to a fifth consecutive loss on Saturday and freshman guard Bronny James, like most of his teammates, struggled in the 65-50 defeat to UCLA. James had more technical fouls than made field goals, finishing 0-for-3 from the field with two turnovers, four boards and one block — which came only moments before his one technical.

Bronny, the eldest son of LeBron James, is averaging 5.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game this season for the 8-12 Trojans. 

Horns Down gets rejected at BYU

Ever since Texas coach Rodney Terry threw a tantrum at UCF players for throwing the ‘Horns Down,’ the gesture has been heavily policed, so as to protect the feelings of those who could possibly be offended by such an obscene (lol) gesture.

BYU this weekend is the latest program to go out of its way to not hurt the precious feelings of Texas. BYU coach Mark Pope apologized for fans wearing shirts that together read “Horns Down,” and said that BYU chose to remove the words from the student section because “it’s not us.”

“That’s not how we roll,” said Pope. “That’s not something we’re supporting.”

Soft!

Edey eclipses 2,000 career points

Reigning national player of the year Zach Edey made history this weekend, becoming the sixth player in Big Ten history to reach 2,000 career points and 1,000 rebounds. Edey reached the 2K mark fittingly on a dunk as Purdue took down Rutgers 68-60.

Clemson‘s Girard appears to charge official

Clemson guard Joe Girard had to be restrained Saturday following the team’s controversial last-second loss at Duke after he appeared to charge at an official in an apparent attempt to confront him. Clemson lost 72-71 after an iffy foul call sent Duke to the free-throw line to win it. 

“I think we’ve had some history with that official,” Brownell said of the incident and Girard’s emotions in the moment. “There was a lot of emotion from our bench because we’re a passionate group that fought their tails off and feel like the game was maybe taken from us a little bit. It shouldn’t be decided like that.”

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