College Basketball Nation: Darington Hobson

Fredette likes San Diego State's chances too

July, 21, 2010
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San Diego State returns nearly its entire Mountain West Conference tournament championship team, earning a No. 24 national ranking from Andy Katz and even respect coming from a rival player who Aztec fans love to taunt.

BYU star Jimmer Fredette told the Las Vegas Sun's Ryan Greene that if he couldn't pick his own team to win the MWC, he'd go with San Diego State.

There's certainly reason to be high on the Aztecs. Steve Fisher's team has an emerging star in conference freshman Kawhi Leonard while returning all five starters and eight of its top nine scorers.

San Diego State has won at least 20 games in each of its past five season and might very well be the best bet to return to the NCAA tournament as it plays in what's expected to be a strong conference once again.

Defending regular-season conference champion New Mexico behind the strength of point guard Dairese Gary should get better as the season goes along, having to incorporate transfer Drew Gordon and Emmanuel Negedu while losing player of the year Darington Hobson to the NBA draft.

BYU has conference scoring champ Fredette leading the way, but backcourt sidekick Tyler Haws is off to serve his Mormon mission and once-emerging guard Michael Loyd Jr. is stunningly expected to transfer to a Division II school.

UNLV has a major question mark as well as star guard Tre'Von Willis faces a felony battery charge (one other charge has been dropped).

All that quite possibly leaves San Diego State as the team to beat in the MWC.

Academics cause Washington State transfer

June, 8, 2010
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James Watson had quite a life story to tell during his time at Washington State, and unfortunately for the freshman, his basketball career will now be taking a detour because of academics.

Watson, a 6-foot-7 forward who appeared in 29 of the Cougars' 31 games this season, was declared academically ineligible for the fall semester and will transfer to a junior college rather than sit out during that time.

"We wish James nothing but the best," Wazzu coach Ken Bone said in a statement.

Here's the updated list to all the West Coast transfers from this offseason.

Arizona: D.J. Shumpert

Arizona State: Demetrius Walker, Taylor Rohde, Brandon Thompson, Victor Rudd

Boise State: Tyler Young

BYU: Michael Loyd Jr.

Cal: D.J. Seeley , Omondi Amoke (dismissed)

Cal State Bakersfield: Marcus Hall

Fresno State: Brandon Sperling, Taylor Kelly, Mychal Ladd

Gonzaga: Grant Gibbs, G.J. Vilarino

Hawaii: Jeremy Lay, Aleksandar Milovic

Loyola Marymount: Kevin Young

Montana State: Austin Brown, Colt Idol

Nevada: London Giles

New Mexico: Nate Garth, Will Brown (dismissed)

Oregon: Drew Wiley, Matthew Humphrey, Josh Crittle

Pacific: Royal Edwards, Sterling Carter, Everson Lacerda

Pepperdine: Andy Shannon

San Francisco: Kwame Vaughn , Nikola Stojiljkovic

Santa Clara: Troy Alexander

UC Davis: Julian Welch, Adam Malik

UCLA: J'mison Morgan (dismissed), Mike Moser

UC Riverside: Lateef McMullan, Konner Veteto

USC: Leonard Washington (dismissed), Davis Rozitis

Utah: Carlon Brown, Marshall Henderson, Jordan Cyphers, Matt Read

Utah State: Anthony DiLoreto (dismissed), Modou Niang, Tyrone White, Jaxon Myaer

Washington: Elston Turner, Clarence Trent

Washington State: Xavier Thames, Michael Harthun, Anthony Brown, John Allen, James Watson

Weber State: Franklin Session

New Mexico's Brown wants to stick around

May, 17, 2010
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Power forward Emmanuel Negedu is set to sign with New Mexico, and Lobos sophomore forward Will Brown has sent a letter to the Albuquerque Journal essentially pleading to stay on the team.

The issue of scholarships has come up with New Mexico. Coach Steve Alford added four high school players and three impact transfers to next year's roster, and Brown apparently doesn't want to be the odd man out.

After Darington Hobson stayed in the draft the Lobos continued to recruit Negedu, knowing his commitment would put them over the scholarship limit. Of course, scholarships are in reality one-year agreements and do not have to be renewed.

The 6-foot-8 Brown, who played in all 35 games and averaged 4.2 points and 3.6 rebounds, wrote in a handwritten note that he has "no intentions of leaving" and then apologizes to the coaches and teams for unspecified "actions throughout the season" while asking for forgiveness.

Whether or not that's going to allow him to stick with the defending Mountain West champs remains to be seen. Already, sophomore guard Nate Garth has transferred. The flip side of adding a ton of talent might be leaving others feeling just a bit unwanted.

Pac-10 loses another transfer

May, 13, 2010
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Freshman forward Victor Rudd has received his scholarship release from Arizona State, becoming the fourth player on the team to transfer.

The 6-foot-7 Rudd averaged 6.2 minutes in the 15 games he played. He's the second player in the Sun Devils' recruiting class from only a year ago to depart.

Here are the rest of the players on the West Coast known to be transferring, including a bevy leaving behind the Pac-10:

Arizona: D.J. Shumpert

Arizona State: Demetrius Walker, Taylor Rohde, Brandon Thompson, Victor Rudd

Boise State: Tyler Young

BYU: Michael Loyd Jr.

Cal: D.J. Seeley , Omondi Amoke (dismissed)

Fresno State: Brandon Sperling, Taylor Kelly

Gonzaga: Grant Gibbs, G.J. Vilarino

Hawaii: Jeremy Lay, Aleksandar Milovic

Loyola Marymount: Kevin Young

Montana State: Austin Brown, Colt Idol

Nevada: London Giles

New Mexico: Nate Garth

Oregon: Drew Wiley, Matthew Humphrey

Pacific: Royal Edwards, Sterling Carter, Everson Lacerda

Pepperdine: Andy Shannon

San Francisco: Kwame Vaughn , Nikola Stojiljkovic

Santa Clara: Troy Alexander

UC Davis: Julian Welch, Adam Malik

UCLA: J'mison Morgan (dismissed), Mike Moser

UC Riverside: Lateef McMullan, Konner Veteto

USC: Leonard Washington (reportedly dismissed)

Utah: Carlon Brown, Marshall Henderson, Jordan Cyphers, Matt Read

Utah State: Anthony DiLoreto (dismissed), Modou Niang, Tyrone White, Jaxon Myaer

Washington: Elston Turner, Clarence Trent

Washington State: Xavier Thames, Michael Harthun, Anthony Brown, John Allen

Weber State: Franklin Session
NCAA coaches got what they wanted: a mostly stress-free May and early June.

No one can whine anymore about an early-entrant testing the draft process and holding the program hostage for two months. The NCAA's deadline passed Saturday, and the with the official early-entry list forthcoming from the NBA this week, the uncertainty of rosters -- save a few late recruits -- is no longer an issue for 2010-11.

Some of the programs either hit or salvaged from the decisions had obvious consequences. Earlier in the blog, I discussed the impact on Kentucky and the rising programs at NC State and Richmond. Here are some quick takes on 10 other schools affected in some way by the draft process:

  • Purdue is now a Big Ten co-favorite along with Michigan State and a realistic team to reach the Final Four now that JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore have decided to stay in school and join Robbie Hummel to give the Boilermakers three senior studs.
  • BYU will remain a Mountain West title contender with the return of Jimmer Fredette. New Mexico will have to be in reload mode with the early departure of Darington Hobson and the graduation of Roman Martinez.
  • Butler is still the clear favorite to win the Horizon, but no longer a projected Final Four repeat visitor with Gordon Hayward's decision to stay in the draft.
  • Ole Miss lost Terrico White, a likely first-round pick, but the Rebels still have leading scorer and fellow guard Chris Warren, who didn't flirt with the NBA draft.
  • Mississippi State lost its point guard (Dee Bost), but got back its shooter (Ravern Johnson) and will at the very least be back on the NCAA bubble again.
  • Illinois hopes to get off that bubble and in the NCAA tournament with the return of Mike Davis and Demetri McCamey.
  • Virginia Tech has a chance to be an ACC contender with Malcolm Delaney's sensible decision to return. The Hokies return essentially their entire roster.
  • With Alex Tyus listening to reasoned minds and returning to school (his father and uncle thought he should leave Florida because he wasn't playing the 3 position), the Gators can now claim they have all five starters back for the first time since starting the season as the preseason No. 1 in 2006.
  • Xavier lost its best player in Jordan Crawford and won't be the A-10 preseason favorite that it probably would've been. Meanwhile, Temple remains a contender in that conference with the return of Lavoy Allen.
  • Penn State wasn't going to be an NCAA team either way, but at least it has its marquee player returning in Talor Battle.
There's no question that the NCAA's decision to cut back from two months to 10 days had a positive affect for coaches. Players who normally may have had time to work out and move up on the second- or first-round board didn't have a chance. There were barely any workouts to be had, so the players didn't get a true chance to test the draft process.

For some likely first-round players, it didn't matter as they were leaving anyway with the fear of a lockout and a lower rookie salary scale in 2011 and beyond. For many others, however, the lack of workout opportunities and inability to go to the NBA-sponsored Chicago draft camp probably forced them to return to school.

That's good for the coaches and their nerves, but is it good for the players and the overall process? That's debatable.

What's not is that it's the new reality.
NBA draft boards are safe.

Saturday’s NCAA-imposed deadline to withdraw from the NBA draft (international players still have until June 14) didn’t produce any last-minute decisions that will affect the first round, but that’s not the case for the preseason top 25 in men’s college basketball.

[+] EnlargeJaJuan Johnson
Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesBoth JaJuan Johnson (left) and E'Twaun Moore will be staying in Purdue.
None of the players who were still mulling over decisions would have affected the first round of the NBA draft. On Friday night, the official decisions of Kentucky freshmen Daniel Orton and Eric Bledsoe put two more undecided early-entrants in the first round. But on Saturday, the most anticipated decision came out of West Lafayette, Ind., where JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore told coach Matt Painter they will return for their senior seasons. The Boilermakers, with the return of Robbie Hummel, will have what is likely the most experienced and productive trio returning of any power-six club.

Staying in the Big Ten, Illinois desperately needed Mike Davis and Demetri McCamey to come back to school after a season in which the Illini just missed out on the NCAA tournament. Losing one of their productive forwards and their most experienced guard would have crushed Bruce Weber's team, even though there is an influx of young talent there. Neither Davis nor McCamey were considered first-round draft picks.

With these decisions, the Big Ten likely will receive considerable hype as the nation's best conference for the second preseason in a row. Purdue could be a preseason No. 1, Michigan State will be right on its heels, and Ohio State (with its loaded recruiting class), Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Northwestern (which gets back Kevin Coble from a season-ending foot injury) are all capable of contending and making the NCAA tourney.

In the ACC, Virginia Tech’s Malcolm Delaney decided Friday night to return to school. It was a good move. He wasn't a first-round pick, but he’s certainly one of the top guards in the conference and gives the Hokies, who return nearly their entire team, a chance to be a top-25 team next season.

New Mexico figured it would lose leading scorer Darington Hobson, and it did, meaning the Lobos will have to start the season again having to prove themselves as a Mountain West title contender. Xavier figured it was going to go into next season without Jordan Crawford, and it will, meaning the Musketeers will need to find another headline act. But the Musketeers’ program hardly lacks for talent and it's never wise to overlook this team in the preseason.

Richmond received news that it can still be competitive in the A-10 with conference player of the year Kevin Anderson's return. The Spiders would have had to rebuild had they lost both Anderson and senior David Gonzalvez. Temple would have faced a similar situation had Lavoy Allen not come to his senses and returned to school.

Alex Tyus' father and uncle both told the local press recently that they felt Tyus was a natural small forward, that he was being underutilized at Florida and that he should declare -- even go overseas if he wasn't drafted. He apparently didn't listen. Tyus, who wasn’t a first-round pick and might not have been a second-round pick, will return as a solid role player for a team that will challenge for the SEC East title. Florida may not have cried if Tyus had left, but it would have taken another system player out of the mix. His return allows the Gators to go through the offseason without a distraction, unlike when Marreese Speights left early in 2008 and Nick Calathes bolted for Greece in 2009.

Meanwhile, Kenneth Faried’s decision to stay at Morehead State means one of the better talents in the country will shine more of a spotlight on the Ohio Valley next season. Faried had a shot to alter the draft board in the latter part of the first round, but is just one less name for NBA personnel to sweat over during the next six weeks.

Fredette going down to the wire

May, 7, 2010
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BYU coach Dave Rose told Andy Katz in a text message tonight that he planned to meet with Jimmer Fredette on Saturday before he made a final decision on whether to stay in the draft or return to school.

Fredette worked out for his hometown New York Knicks today and injured a quad muscle, according to WXXA-TV, causing his father to give this quote:
"There's a strong indication he'll return," Mr. Fredette said.

But for a player who appeared all but certain going into the process he was returning to school, this has turned into somewhat of a nail-biter. Reports that his workouts had gone better than expected have been circulating.

Without Fredette, who would enter the season the conference player of the year favorite now that Darington Hobson is staying in the draft, the Cougars are a completely different team.

With him, BYU has visions of bettering their second-round NCAA tournament appearance this past year.

What's it going to be?

New Mexico loses an unsurprising transfer

May, 7, 2010
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New Mexico has announced that Nate Garth will transfer after the sophomore guard asked for and received his scholarship release Thursday.

Attrition was expected since the Lobos, with Arizona State transfer Demetrius Walker set to arrive, had run out of scholarships. If Darington Hobson were to withdraw from the NBA draft, the Mountain West champs could very well see another player leave the program.

Garth, meanwhile, is expected to transfer closer to home in California.

On with another updated West Coast transfers list:

Arizona: D.J. Shumpert

Arizona State: Demetrius Walker, Taylor Rohde, Brandon Thompson

Boise State: Tyler Young

BYU: Michael Loyd Jr.

Cal: D.J. Seeley , Omondi Amoke (dismissed)

Fresno State: Brandon Sperling, Taylor Kelly

Gonzaga: Grant Gibbs

Hawaii: Jeremy Lay, Aleksandar Milovic

Loyola Marymount: Kevin Young

Montana State: Austin Brown, Colt Idol

Nevada: London Giles

New Mexico: Nate Garth

Oregon: Drew Wiley, Matthew Humphrey

Pepperdine: Andy Shannon

San Francisco: Kwame Vaughn , Nikola Stojiljkovic

Santa Clara: Troy Alexander

UC Davis: Julian Welch, Adam Malik

UCLA: J'mison Morgan (dismissed), Mike Moser

UC Riverside: Lateef McMullan, Konner Veteto

USC: Leonard Washington (reportedly dismissed)

Utah: Carlon Brown, Marshall Henderson, Jordan Cyphers, Matt Read

Utah State: Anthony DiLoreto (dismissed)

Washington: Elston Turner, Clarence Trent

Washington State: Xavier Thames, Michael Harthun, Anthony Brown, John Allen

Weber State: Franklin Session
The NBA retired players association reached out to the NCAA to see if there was interest in a combine for early entrants to test the draft process.

According to Charles Smith, the retired players association executive director, there was no interest in having one during the 10 days underclassmen have now been allotted to see where they stand before making a decision on whether to stay in the draft.

It's almost impossible for prospects to get a real read on where they'd go in the draft for a number of reasons: Prospects have only one weekend to work out from April 29 to May 8, teams aren't interested in conducting workouts so early in the draft process when the official list of entrants will be available in another week, and the players are unable to work out for teams until they’ve completed final exams.

Previously, agentless underclassmen had until 10 days prior to the NBA draft to decide. That rule is still intact from the NBA, but international players will be the only group using that withdrawal date this spring.

“They don’t have a chance to be evaluated,’’ Smith said Friday of the NCAA’s new rule. “It’s not fair to the players. We wanted to host a combine, but the NCAA wasn’t for it.’’

But NCAA spokesperson Bob Williams said Friday that the combine wasn’t sponsored by the NBA or a team and that the retired players association was told it could not provide expenses or have organized competition. Williams said the NBA players association could have had drills or even some pickup games, but not kept score or had officials.

[+] EnlargeMalcolm Delaney
Jeff Lack/Icon SMIMalcolm Delaney will be one of the top guards in the ACC next season.
Smith said he will make another attempt in 2011 to do a combine in some form to give players a chance to make a more informed decision.

The overriding reason borderline draft picks have given coaches as to why they left for the NBA early has been the fear of a lockout and a possible lower rookie-salary scale in 2011.

Regardless, a number of fence-sitters are making their coaches sweat down to the last minute. Here is the latest through sources close to the situation:

Mike Davis and Demetri McCamey, Illinois: Coach Bruce Weber was already told Davis will return to school, which boosts the Illini's chances to mount a return trip to the NCAAs. But Weber has to still speak with McCamey, which is quite amazing considering he's unlikely to be drafted if he stays in.

JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore, Purdue: Coach Matt Painter might have to wait until Saturday’s 5 p.m. deadline to see if Johnson and Moore decide to stay in the draft. Johnson would be the more likely candidate since he’s a likely second-round pick. Moore would run the risk of going undrafted.

Ravern Johnson and Dee Bost, Mississippi State: Johnson has let the Mississippi State staff know he will likely return to school, but in a stunning development, Bost actually may look to go overseas instead of return to school. Bost has been told he can make money overseas even if he’s not selected in the draft. The Bulldogs, no stranger to waiting until the final hours of the NBA early-entry deadline, will sweat out Bost’s decision. The backcourt would be much younger without him, but the emergence of Renardo Sidney in the starting lineup after serving his nine-game suspension will help offset any departures, especially of senior Jarvis Varnado.

Alex Tyus, Florida: Tyus isn’t a first-round pick. He easily could go undrafted. But that might not stop the Gators from losing yet another player early to the NBA draft. At least in the cases of Marresse Speights and Nick Calathes the past two seasons, they were first-round talents. But when I spoke to UF coach Billy Donovan late Friday afternoon, he wasn’t sure which way Tyus would go.

Malcolm Delaney, Virginia Tech: Virginia Tech’s chances to get into the 2011 NCAA tournament took a huge step forward with the decision of Malcolm Delaney to return for his senior season. Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg said Friday night that Delaney will withdraw from NBA draft by Saturday’s deadline. Delaney averaged a team-high 20.2 points for the Hokies last season.

Jordan Crawford, Xavier: No word out of the Musketeers on whether Crawford will stay or go, but with Crawford considered one of the top shooting guards it’s unlikely he'll return.

Lavoy Allen, Temple: Nothing official from the Owls regarding Allen's status, but leaving would make little sense since he’s not likely to be picked in this deep draft. The Owls would be an A-10 contender again with Allen around.

Jimmer Fredette, BYU: Coach Dave Rose isn’t sure if Fredette will stay or go. The decision is expected to go down to the final hours Saturday as Fredette figures out if he’s a viable candidate in the first round. Defensive liabilities would say no shot, but it’s hard to project what he will be told in the final hours.

Darington Hobson, New Mexico: Hobson is regarded as a possible late-first round pick and for that reason Lobos coach Steve Alford expects Hobson to keep his name in the draft. He'll also be 23 years old by the time the new season rolls around. There could be a last-minute decision to return, but it doesn’t appear likely.

Hobson takes on high school player in dunk contest

April, 15, 2010
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The day after Darington Hobson declared for the NBA draft, the athletic New Mexico forward was challenged to a dunk contest by St. Pius X High player Kaelan Brennan and was happy to oblige.

Hobson visited the school for a speaking engagement, and KOB-TV has video of the best slams of the dunk session. Brennan proved to be a worthy competitor.

Not every dunk was successful. Three times, Hobson couldn't connect while leaping over another student, grazing his human prop on one occasion.

His words might have meant more.
Darington Hobson talked about a low point in his life, when he was playing for a junior college, not where he wanted to be. "If I didn't believe in myself I wouldn't be here," he said, He just declared for the NBA draft to take place on the upcoming weekend, and was not letting the doubters discourage him. He wakes up each day with the inspiration, "Prove myself."

UNM's dream season comes to an end

March, 20, 2010
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Kyle Terada/US PresswireNew Mexico guard Dairese Gary is one of a handful of players providing a bright future for the Lobos despite their loss Saturday.

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Sitting away from his teammates in the postgame locker room, Darington Hobson cut the tape off his ankles and began flexing his wrist.

With his head bowed, the New Mexico star opened and closed his hand, trying to make a fist, only to watch it quiver.

"It hurt a lot," Hobson said quietly after letting out a long sigh. "No excuses. They beat us. They played the best game of their life tonight."

New Mexico, after winning 30 games and their first NCAA tournament game since 1999, was routed by Washington, 82-64, and largely unrecognizable playing a Pac-10 team that ran away from them, muscled up, and dominated.

Hobson, the Mountain West's Player of the Year, filled up the stat sheet with 11 points and nine rebounds, but also found passing lanes closed and didn't look himself playing with a sore wrist on his shooting hand.

"This morning at breakfast, that thing was swollen," Lobos coach Steve Alford said.

Roman Martinez, New Mexico's lone senior, had to leave the game briefly needing four sutures about his left eye after colliding with his own teammate.

The team's heart and soul was left with blood on his uniform and returned to play his final minutes as a senior wearing a new jersey with a number that wasn't his.

So woozy was Martinez that he headed to the opponent's bench after getting hit, and by the end of the game, he went down his own bench giving long hugs.

"They looked like San Diego State and ran like BYU," Martinez said of the Huskies.

Alford called Washington not only the best team New Mexico faced all season, but also the fastest. The Lobos weren't able to penetrate the UW defense like they had hoped.

"No penetration, no easy shots," Martinez said.

In the end, New Mexico struggled a bit down the stretch. When the Lobos were upset by San Diego State in the semifinals of the MWC tournament, it was their first loss in more than two months. They were slow to close out Montana in the first round and were out-matched against Washington.

But the future is bright. New Mexico is bringing in what Alford has said is his best recruiting class, including transfer Drew Gordon from UCLA to provide another post presence. And The Pit will reopen with $60 million worth of renovations.

The team would be highlighted by guard Dairese Gary, who scored 25 against Washington. And it gets even better if Hobson, an NBA prospect, returns for his senior season as well.

Asked after the game if he was coming back next year, Hobson gave an answer that many Lobos fans will echo when asked how the game today went:

"No comment."

Final: Washington 82, New Mexico 64

March, 20, 2010
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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Washington might have entered the NCAA tournament a No. 11 seed, but the Huskies crushed New Mexico 82-64 to advance to the Sweet 16.

Quincy Pondexter scored 18, and Matthew Bryan-Amaning came up huge down low with 15 points and nine rebounds for the Huskies, now winners of nine in a row.

Bryan-Amaning had numerous monster dunks and finished 7-for-10 from the field, as Washington simply bullied No. 3-seeded New Mexico.

Dairese Gary led all scorers with 25 points, and Darington Hobson had 11 points and nine rebounds, but the Lobos were never really in the game in the second half with the Huskies on fire and committing only five turnovers.

Isaiah Thomas scored 15, and Elston Turner provided a lift off the bench again with 10 points for Washington. Justin Holiday had three blocked shots.

The Huskies, who move on to face the winner of the West-Virginia-Missouri game, played their most complete game of the season.

Halftime: Washington 44, New Mexico 32

March, 20, 2010
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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Quick thoughts from the Pac-10 vs. Mountain West game...

  • Washington is off to a fast start, with Quincy Pondexter scoring 10 points and Isaiah Thomas scoring nine. All of Thomas' points have come on 3-pointers. The Huskies as a team are shooting 51.5 percent from the field.
  • New Mexico is struggling by shooting 38.9 percent from the field, 3-for-12 from beyond the arc and 1-for-6 on free throws.
  • Elston Turner knocked down two more big 3-pointers for Washington. One came while he was fouled, but the free throw missed on what would have been a 4-point play. But that 3 gave the Huskies a 41-27 lead.
  • Dairese Gary has a game-high 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Darington Hobson has three points, five rebounds and two assists playing with a sore wrist.

Previewing Saturday in San Jose

March, 20, 2010
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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Today's second-round action at HP Pavilion features two games that could result in Sweet 16 spots for some surprising teams.

(5) Butler vs. (13) Murray State

Butler coach Brad Stevens said the difficulty that comes with preparing for Murray State certainly isn't the result of unfamiliarity with the Racers. "The irony is they’re better than a lot of teams that are on TV sometimes," Stevens said. "A very very scary team to prepare for." Murray State has five players who average at least 10 points per game and is riding high after Danero Thomas hit a game-winning jumper at the buzzer against Vanderbilt. But while the Racers are looking for their third NCAA tournament win, Butler is searching for it's third Sweet Sixteen in eight years. Shelvin Mack hit seven 3-pointers, scoring 25 points in an 18-point win in the first round against UTEP. The Bulldogs will now be looking to extend the nation's longest winning streak to 22 games. Another streak they've built up? Butler is 3-0 playing as the higher seed in NCAA tournament games.

(3) New Mexico vs. (11) Washington

Darington Hobson underwent an X-ray exam that revealed no breaks in his left wrist and despite appearing gimpy after hitting his tailbone on the fall as well, he's planning on playing against Washington. "It's tournament time," Hobson said. "It's not going to affect me." That's great news for the Lobos, who are trying to advance to their first Sweet 16 since the NCAA tournament went to at least 64 teams. Washington's Quincy Pondexter compared Hobson to Evan Turner, and coach Lorenzo Romar used him in the same sentence as Penny Hardaway. The Huskies hope to make their third Sweet 16 under Romar and count on Pondexter to carry them once again after the senior hit the game-winner against Marquette. Look for New Mexico's Dairese Gary and Washington's Isaiah Thomas to square off, and also watch for the Huskies' Elston Turner, who hit four huge 3-pointers to spark the first-round comeback.

Video: Saturday's San Jose matchups

March, 20, 2010
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Blogger Diamond Leung gives a little insight into Saturday's slate of second-round games in San Jose.

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