March is a good time to make an introduction, and 30 minutes into an improbable USC comeback victory on Wednesday, 75-71 over Providence, the college basketball world met Nick Rakocevic (6'11''-F-97). The best way to watch Rakocevic is to watch his teammates. Halfway through the second half of the NCAA tournament 'First Four,' two of his best teammates, forwards Chimezie Metu (6'11''-F-97) and Bennie Boatwright (6'10''-F-96), were on the bench, watching with visibly surging enthusiasm. Rakocevic, a 6-foot-11 double shot of espresso from Chicago, had been trying to perfect a specific move against the pair countless times in practice. It had never worked in a game. As they looked on against Providence, Rakocevic jabbed, pumped up, scooped under and then shot. 'He finally did it,' a grinning Boatwright said after. Metu jumped up. The whole bench erupted. Boatwright waved a towel, 'like I was the last player on the bench,' he said. In an unlikely win from 17 points down, which avenged USC's crushing loss to Providence in last season's tournament opener and sent the Trojans to Tulsa, Okla., to play Southern Methodist, there were players who scored more points than Rakocevic. There were players - most of them, in fact - who played more minutes. But all anybody wanted to talk about in a relieved USC locker room was Rakocevic, his energy and his 13 minutes of ecstasy that saved USC's season. When he entered, USC was down 12. When he exited, USC was up five. He scored only nine points and had just one rebound but recorded the best plus-minus in the game: plus-10. There was energy, like a puppy after a nap. 'This win's probably his,' guard Elijah Stewart (6'5''-G-95) said. 'Honestly, we should be at the crib right now.' Statistically, Rakocevic has been a rather quiet presence for USC this season. Otherwise, Rakocevic has been anything but. 'A big 12-year-old,' said walk-on Kurt Karis, who played basketball against Rakocevic during a childhood in Illinois. 'He always wants to play around.' 'Fearless, man,' point guard Jordan McLaughlin said. 'He's from Chicago.' Often, USC needs the jolt. USC's other regulars are laid back, mirroring Coach Andy Enfield 's relaxed demeanor off the court. Rakocevic sticks out. 'We're a very chill team,' guard Jonah Mathews (6'3''-G-98) said. 'He's the picker-upper.' USC was too chill early against the Friars, which was nothing new. USC has now come back to win from 10 points down or more 12 times this season. But the margin was alarming. The Friars used a 15-0 run and led at halftime, 44-29. They flummoxed USC with a zone. They found space in USC's on the perimeter, where they made eight of 15 first-half attempts. At the half, the coaching staff performed a familiar ritual: lighting into a team that lacked fire. 'I think it's just - give Coach a heart attack or something,' Rakocevic said. 'I don't really know why we do it.' Enfield asked his players, 'What are you scared of?' Stewart recalled. Then he set a goal: Get to single digits by the 12-minute mark of the second half. The Trojans met that goal with about 12 minutes left on a Boatwright three-pointer. 'We were just getting more and more hope,' Mathews said. A pair of Rakocevic free throws made cut the deficit to three. A steal set up a go-ahead jumper from Metu. When a Metu block lead to another score, Providence called timeout. The game, Metu said, had swung dramatically. 'The other team, they kind of got a little shook,' Metu said. 'And we saw that. Smelled blood in the water. And we just pounced on it.' To emphasize the swing, Metu strolled, unintentionally, he said after, through Providence's huddle. Providence took offense. Metu said he was shoved. Then he flexed and yelled. 'From there, it was game on,' Metu said. 'They're on the East Coast, they think we're just some preppy beach boys because we're in Southern California. We just toughened up.' Metu finished with 15 points. Boatwright led USC with 24, and McLaughlin scored 18 with 10 rebounds. But the king of the evening strolled through the locker room, sheathed in an NCAA-branded towel instead of a robe, cracking jokes and taking grief. Rakocevic had not exhausted his energy. 'And thank God,' Metu said, 'because we really needed that.' Courtesy of: latimes.com
USA Women All-Stars Top Canada In Opening Game of Tour - 2 days ago
Weng'an, China - Brittany Crain scored 16 points to lead the NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars to a 64-53 win over Canada in front of 3,841 fans in Weng'an in the opening game of a nine-game China tour. Alisia Jenkins added 11 points and eight rebounds while point guard Simone DeCoud contributed seven assists and five steals against only one turnover. Kyanna Pingue-Giles led Canada with 19 points and 11 rebounds [read more]
Weng'an, China - Brittany Crain scored 16 points to lead the NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars to a 64-53 win over Canada in front of 3,841 fans in Weng'an in the opening game of a nine-game China tour. Alisia Jenkins added 11 points and eight rebounds while point guard Simone DeCoud contributed seven assists and five steals against only one turnover. Kyanna Pingue-Giles led Canada with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
The USA All-Stars took an early 19-9 lead before the Canadians battled back to take a 26-25 lead just before halftime. Crain then hit a three-pointer to give the Americans a 28-26 lead into halftime. The Americans then outscored Canada 21-12 in the third quarter to help put the game out of reach. The USA extended the lead to 16 midway in the fourth quarter and then coasted to the win.
It was the first game the Americans played together and it showed. The USA All-Stars took 21 more shots than Canada but shot only 26-for-82 (31.7%) from the field. They did make nine three-pointers (9-of-27) with Crain drilling three and Kari Korver and Leslie Lopez-Wood two each. The Canadians had a +8 edge on the boards but that was mainly the result of the USA missing 15 more shots than Canada. The USA came up with 19 steals and forced Canada into 22 turnovers.
Rachel Mitchell was impressive defensively for the USA coming up with four early blocks and Kiara Kudron (7 rebounds) came up big in the second half with some strong rebounding. Crain also grabbed seven boards and was very active in her time on the court.
NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars Head Coach Perry Huang "I thought this was a good effort for the first time we've played together. We didn't hit our shots but I thought we played good defense most of the time in the second half and started to rebound better. We'll look for improvement in tonight's game."
China was impressive in the opener as they destroyed Lithuania 89-46. Six Chinese players scored in double-figures and they out-rebounded Lithuania by 15. China faces Canada in the first game tonight while the USA faces Lithuania in the nightcap.
ORU hires Baylor assistant Paul Mills as the next Golden Eagle basketball coach - 2 days ago
follow us on
Oral Roberts University announced the hiring of Baylor assistant Paul Mills as the next Golden Eagle head basketball coach in a press release Thursday afternoon. After 18 seasons, 328 victories, five Summit League titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances, Scott Sutton was fired by ORU President Billy Wilson on April 10. From a list of about 50 coaches who expressed interest in the position, athletic director Mike Carter is believed to have interviewed five finalists: Mills, current Go... [read more]
Oral Roberts University announced the hiring of Baylor assistant Paul Mills as the next Golden Eagle head basketball coach in a press release Thursday afternoon. After 18 seasons, 328 victories, five Summit League titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances, Scott Sutton was fired by ORU President Billy Wilson on April 10. From a list of about 50 coaches who expressed interest in the position, athletic director Mike Carter is believed to have interviewed five finalists: Mills, current Golden Eagle interim coach Rodney Perry, Iowa State assistant Daniyal Robinson, Baylor assistant Jerome Tang and North Dakota State assistant Kyan Brown. Mills has been a member of Scott Drew's Baylor staff since 2003. Last month, the Drew-coached Baylor program made its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance. A Houston native, Mills played high school basketball at Houston MacArthur and signed to play at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, but his college career was shortened by a back injury sustained during his freshman season. Mills then transferred to Texas A&M, from which he graduated in 1996 with a degree in finance. Before working at Baylor, Mills was a head coach at two Houston-area private high schools: North Belt Christian and Fort Bend Baptist Academy. According to the school's 2014 990 form, Sutton was being paid almost $435,000 per year. ORU is a private school and not obligated to release the details of its employee contracts, but it is believed that the university entered the search process with a preference of not paying a new coach more than $250,000 a year. A source said ORU may not go beyond three years on a contract. The NCAA Division I standard for head-coaching contracts is a five-year deal. Courtesy of: tulsaworld.com
Farokhmanesh headed to Drake as assistant coach - 2 days ago
follow us on
Nebraska basketball staffer Ali Farokhmanesh is headed back to the Missouri Valley Conference. Thursday reports of Nebraska's director of player relations and development heading to Drake became reality Friday, as the Huskers made Farokhmanesh's hiring as an assistant coach official with a news release. Farokhmanesh will be the third assistant on Niko Medved 's new staff at Drake, joining Dave Thorson and JR Blount. It will be the former Northern Iowa star's first on-the-court coaching jo... [read more]
Nebraska basketball staffer Ali Farokhmanesh is headed back to the Missouri Valley Conference. Thursday reports of Nebraska's director of player relations and development heading to Drake became reality Friday, as the Huskers made Farokhmanesh's hiring as an assistant coach official with a news release. Farokhmanesh will be the third assistant on Niko Medved 's new staff at Drake, joining Dave Thorson and JR Blount. It will be the former Northern Iowa star's first on-the-court coaching job. Medved, a former assistant to Tim Miles at Colorado State, was hired by Drake May 26 after a four-year stint at Furman. "It is with mixed emotions that I will be leaving the University of Nebraska to accept an assistant coaching position at Drake University,' Farokhmanesh said in a news release. "I want to thank Coach Miles for the incredible opportunity to be a part of Husker basketball. It has been an honor to work with Shawn Eichorst and Marc Boehm, who have allowed me to be a part of a very special university and athletic department. I will always be grateful for the experience of working with Coach Miles and his staff. Under their leadership and trust, I have grown as a person and as a coach. I have had a remarkable three years at Nebraska with some very special student-athletes, and I will cherish those relationships. This program will go on to do great things." Farokhmanesh recently completed his third season on the Husker staff, first joining the Huskers in 2014 as a graduate manager before being promoted to his latest role prior to the 2016-17 season. According to his bio, Farokhmanesh played a major role in creating and implementing a mentoring program, as well as coordinating community outreach with Nebraska's Life Skills staff. He also assisted with recruiting, including on-campus hosting duties. Farokhmanesh, of course, is a legend in The Valley and the state of Iowa after helping lead Northern Iowa to a 30-5 record and a spot in the Sweet 16 in 2010. His three-pointer against Kansas with 34 seconds to go that sealed the Panthers' 69-67 upset landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated and cemented his place as a March Madness legend. Courtesy of: journalstar.com
Copyright (c) 1998-2017 Eurobasket Inc. Disclaimer
Do not copy, redistribute, publish or otherwise exploit information that you download from the site !
Do not encumber, license, modify, publish, sell, transfer or transmit, or in any way exploit, any of the
content of the site, nor will you attempt to do so.