Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings Issues Apology for Comment to Wade Baldwin

Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings issued the following apology after an incident with Wade Baldwin following Vandy’s 73-65 win over Tennessee Thursday night.

“After the game, an incident occurred in which I need to apologize for,” Stallings said in a statement. “One of our players acted inappropriately and violated what we believe is good sportsmanship following the game. In my haste to resolve the situation, I made a very inappropriate comment. While obviously it was not meant literally, it was still inappropriate. I apologized to the player immediately following the game.  Displaying good sportsmanship is of the highest priority in our program win or lose. I am very remorseful of my actions tonight.” To read more of this story, click here

Iona’s Isaiah Williams to Return for Manhattan

Isaiah Williams actionIona junior guard Isaiah Williams is expected to return to the court for Friday’s home game against rival Manhattan, and should be a critical piece going forward as the Gaels hope to get back to the NCAA Tournament and cause a stir.

The 6-foot-7 junior from Newark hasn’t played since Jan. 13 because of a broken fifth metatarsal that required a screw be put into his right foot.

“We’re leaning towards playing him,” Iona coach Tim Cluess told SNY.tv by phone Thursday. “We really have to see how he feels tonight and [Friday]. He’s started going a little bit the last two days and we want to see how he’s feeling after being on it today and how he warms up [Friday]. It’s really going to be a game-time decision.” To read more of this story, click here

Oscar Robertson Trophy Finalists Named

OkaforThe U.S. Basketball Writers Association named 15 finalists for the 2015 Oscar Robertson Trophy, to be presented to the association’s national player of the year.

The award will be presented at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

Among the finalists are five seniors, six juniors, one sophomore and two freshmen.

Oscar Robertson Trophy Finalists

Ron Baker, Wichita State

Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia

Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky To read more of this story, click here

Villanova’s Darrun Hilliard The Favorite for Big East Player of the Year

hilliard-1NEW YORK — With only a handful of games left in the regular season, Villanova senior guard Darrun Hilliard appears to be a virtual lock for Big East Player of the Year honors.

In an informal poll of Big East head coaches, more than half told SNY.tv that the 6-foot-6 guard would get their vote. Providence’s Kris Dunn, Providence’s LaDontae Henton and Villanova’s Ryan Arcidiacono each garnered at least one vote. (Villanova coach Jay Wright cannot vote for his own player.)

The Player of the Year traditionally goes to the best player on the best team and Hilliard fits that description perfectly. He’s averaging 14.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists for a Villanova team that is 26-2 overall, 13-2 in the Big East and would be a No. 2 seed if the NCAA Tournament started today, according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi. To read more of this story, click here

Former Louisville Guard Chris Jones Pleads Not Guilty to Rape, Sodomy (UPDATED)

Jones CourtFormer Louisville point guard Chris Jones pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of rape and sodomy of two different women.

Jones, 23, appeared in Jefferson District Court before Judge Sheila Collins. He was released on home incarceration instead of a $25,000 bond.

From the Louisville Courier Journal:

The warrant, signed Wednesday by Jefferson District Judge Katie King, says that one of the women was hospitalized Sunday and able to identify Jones as her assailant. One of the women is 19 and the other 20, according to the warrant.

A second warrant says Jones, along with two other people, forced a woman to have intercourse and oral sex. She also identified Jones as a U of L player, according to the warrant. She was taken to University of Louisville Hospital, where she was treated.

Those defendants have been arrested and are to be arraigned Thursday morning in Jefferson County Jail. Jessie Halladay, a spokeswoman for the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office , identified them as Tyvon Walker and Jalen Tilford. Walker was charged with one count of rape and Tilford with one count of rape and one count of sodomy.

To read more of this story, click here

Okafor Drops 30 in Return as Duke Fends off Virginia Tech

OkaforAfter missing Saturday’s game against Clemson with an ankle injury, Jahlil Okafor didn’t miss a beat in his return.

Despite being a game-time decision, the projected No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft went for 30 points on 13-of-18 shooting, including 4 points in overtime, and added 9 rebounds as No. 4 Duke fended off a pesky Virginia Tech team, 91-86, in Blacksburg, Va.

It was just the sixth 30-point outing ever for a Duke freshman.

“My coaches had told me to let them know if I wanted to play or not,” he said, according to NewsObserver.com. “Once I got in the locker room and say my teammates get ready, there was no way I wasn’t playing today.”

“If he would have said, ‘I don’t think so,’ then we wouldn’t have played him,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “And we would have lost.”

To read more of this story, click here

Tyus Battle Injures Foot, Barely Plays in Front of Mike Brey and John Beilein

BY JEREMY FUCHS

Tyus Battle

GLADSTONE, N.J. – Tyus Battle played only a few minutes for Gill St. Bernard’s in front of coaches John Beilein of Michigan and Mike Brey of Notre Dame after suffering what coach Mergin Sina called a foot injury. The 6-foot-6 Battle only took a few shots and did not score a point.

Battle, who did not start against St. Benedict’s because it was Gill’s Senior Night, played a few minutes before walking off into the locker room, where he spent the remainder of the game and did not speak to media.

“He has a foot issue,” Sina told SNY.tv. “But I haven’t talked to the trainers.”

There was no word yet on the extent of the injury or if any additional time will be missed for the junior guard. He missed the first portion of the season with a stress fracture in his foot before debuting Jan. 31. To read more of this story, click here