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Northwestern State guard Jalan West injures knee…again

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It’s a sad day for Northwestern State and die heart college basketball fans, as one of the best scorers in the nation is likely done for the season.

Demons point guard Jalan West suffered a torn ACL and damaged cartilage in the same knee that shut him down for the entire 2015-16 season. West received a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA following the initial knee injury, however, he is all but finished playing college basketball at this point in his career.

And that’s unfortunate because Northwestern State had one of the top 1-2 punches in all of NCAA basketball in West and Zeek Woodley.

When West was healthy, he was one of the top scorers in the nation. He went from averaging 10.2 points per game during his freshman season to averaging 20 points per outing in 2014-15. The Louisiana native averaged 34.5 minutes, 7.7 assists, 4.4 rebounds, shot 46 percent from the field and shot 42 percent from long range.

Even though he plays mid-major basketball, he was virtually impossible to limit when the ball was in his hands.  He did struggle against Texas A&M (eight points on 2-of-8 shooting), Oklahoma (five points on 2-of-13 shooting), and Texas Tech (four points on 2-of-9 shooting) in 2014, but he dropped 25 and seven against Arkansas, 33 against Incarnate Word, and 34 against UT Martin.

On the other hand, Woodley averaged 22.2 points per game the last two seasons, while grabbing 5.0 and 5.2 rebounds per game respectively. He shot a deadly efficient 53 percent from the field in 2015-16 and 41 percent from beyond the arc.

While Woodley was incredible last season, Northwestern State greatly missed his sidekick as they finished 8-20 overall and 5-13 in conference play.

Without West in the fold for the entire 2016-17 season, the Demons will likely be an average squad in the Southland Conference (better than last year). But with both players in the fold, they could have made a run for the conference title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

I am a college basketball fanatic and a current St. John's University student. I also write for Rumble in the Garden and I am the editor of Busting Brackets FanSided.

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NCAA Basketball

Rick Barnes Says He Would Have Left Tennessee if UCLA Paid Buyout

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Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes could have been the next head coach for UCLA, instead of Mick Cronin, if only the Bruins were willing to open up their wallets.

Barnes says that if UCLA would have promised to pay Barnes’ $5 million buyout, he would have left Tennessee to take the job at UCLA.

“I think I would’ve been the coach at UCLA,” Barnes said (h/t ESPN). “I’ve said that to people before. I really felt at that time that’s what would happen.”

Barnes was honest and open with his decision process during the news conference, saying that he struggled with making a final decision due to financial matters.

Barnes has since agreed to a new deal with Tennessee that will pay him $4 million per year before increasing to a $6 million annual sum by the end of the contract and provide more cash for his assistants.

“I’m supposed to be at Tennessee,” Barnes said. “And it’s really above and beyond the basketball program. I’m in love with this community. I’m in love with this state. I just think we got a lot of great things going on in this town.”

“A lot of praying went into it, I can tell you that,” Barnes said. “There was a lot going on. When you get down to a situation like that, it has to make sense from a financial standpoint. Bottom line is we couldn’t work it out with the buyout.”

Barnes also informed UCLA that he would not depart Knoxville without talking to athletic director Phillip Fulmer and others in the community.

I told them point blank, ‘I’m not going to walk out of here and not meet with my team,'” Barnes said. “‘I’m not going to walk out of here and not meet with people here that have been really good to me.’ … I said, ‘You just can’t say send a plane tomorrow and we’re leaving. I’m going to make sure this is done the right way.'”

“There was one time in my mind I truly felt that’s what would happen,” Barnes said about potentially taking the UCLA offer. “It got to that point where I felt like my prayers had been answered.”

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NCAA Basketball

The Madness is Underway

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NCAA

As we inch closer to selection Sunday, many conference tournaments are underway finding teams who will automatically make the NCAA Men’s basketball. Here are the teams that currently in the tournament:

Atlantic Sun: Liberty

Big South: Gardner–Webb

Colonial: Northwestern

Horizon: Northern Kentucky

MAAC: Iona

Missouri Valley: Bradley

MEC: Fairleigh Dickinson

Ohio Valley: Murray State

Patriot: Colgate

Southern: Wofford

Summit League: North Dakota State

Summit League: Saint Marry’s

Out of the 32 conferences with automatic bids in the tournament, 12 of them have been clinched. All the until selection Sunday the remaining 20 conferences will have their tickets punched. Who will that be? Stay tuned!

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Tennessee Basketball Ranked 4th In (Early) Preseason Top 25

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A school built on football lure now has a thriving basketball team to get behind. In a early CBS basketball poll, the Volunteer squad is ranked 4th in the preseason. This should bring relief to a fan base whose struggled with a lackluster football team in recent years.

Under Coach Rick Barnes (SEC Coach of the year 2017)  the Vols went 26-9 last year, won a share of the regular season SEC title and reached the final of the SEC tournament. Tennessee should return most of their pivotal pieces for the 2018-19 season.

Admiral Schofield (2017-2018 ALL SEC second teamer) who tested the NBA waters has returned for his senior year to play along side Grant Williams (SEC player of the year) and Kyle Alexander. If they can stay healthy along with the supporting cast, this team has a legitimate chance to reach the final four.

According to Andy Katz, “Tennessee is the team to beat in the SEC this year,” and did I mention Coach Barnes recruiting is nothing to take lightly. Recently committed 5 star combo guard, Josiah James added his name to the class of 2019 and pushed the Vols recruiting into the top 10 nationally.

Although it’s too early to tell how this season will play out its certain the hype is warranted and reaching heights it hasn’t seen since the Bruce Pearl era.

Could it be!? Tennessee – a basketball school?

Follow the journey when the Volunteers tip off against Louisiana Lafayette on November 9th.

 

 

 

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