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Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Connecticut Holds 20-9 Record Without Calhoun On Bench

Connecticut is 20-9 in games where Jim Calhoun has been unavailable to coach.

Calhoun will be suspended for the Huskies' first three games of Big East play.

Via Hartford Courant

Kidd-Gilchrist Organizing 'Breakfast Club' Workouts At Kentucky

Noticing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist working out before breakfast, Wildcats coach John Calipari recounted how Michael Jordan organized early morning workout sessions with teammates, suggesting Kidd-Gilchrist persuade others to participate.

“I did,” Kidd-Gilchrist said. “It’s at 8:30 in the morning. It’s just lifting and shooting (before breakfast). We just want to get better.”

Gilchrist was soon joined by point guard Marquis Teague, sophomores Terrence Jones and Jarrod Polson, and finally fellow freshman Kyle Wiltjer and Anthony Davis. Taking a page from Jordan, the Wildcats refer to themselves as the “Breakfast Club.”

“I’m going to go tomorrow,” Teague said. “People will come on certain days. If they wake up early enough to go, they go. … Coach Cal just mentioned it. He talked about how Michael Jordan’s team did it. He just said it’s something we should take into consideration, and we just did it.”

By establishing an early morning workout regimen, Kidd-Gilchrist has evolved into one of the team’s best leaders.

“I want to be a leader now, so I just want to step into that role,” he said, noting that Calipari picked him to start it because he noticed “I’m always in the gym. I’m just getting better and better and, as y’all saw in the Indiana game and the UNC game, it’s just showing.”

Via Courier Journal

Rhode Island's Jamal Wilson Enjoying Increased Role In Senior Season

Jamal Wilson is averaging 17.5 points per game this season for Rhode Island, improving from his junior output of 5.1 points over 19.6 minutes last season as a junior.

Wilson's usage has jumped from 18.0% to 26.5%. His True Shooting Percentage has also jumped from 44.8% to 53.0%.

Wilson had 38 points in the first game of the season against George Mason and then 24 points against Texas. 

Rhode Island is just 1-10 on the season, though they have lost to George Mason, Boston U, and Yale by six points or less.

Delroy James and Marquis Jones, Rhode Island's two leading scorers last season, were lost to graduation. Akeem Richmond was also lost, as he transferred to East Carolina.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Sean McGonagill Carrying Bigger Load For Brown As Sophomore

Sophomore Sean McGonagill has either scored or assisted on 46.1% of Brown's field goals this season. Last season, McGonagill led the team in the HOB category with 37.5% of their field goals.

McGonagill was the Ivy League Rookie of the Year last season.

McGonagill is averaging 14.5 points, 5.8 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. While his assist rate and usage rate have increased, his True Shooting Percentage has dropped from 56.0% to 54.3%.

All four of Brown's wins have come when McGonagill has scored 16 or more points.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Replacing Marshon Brooks, 87 Percent Of Providence's Points Come From Four Scorers

Marshon Brooks scored 24.6 points per game last season for Providence, 32% of their total points scored. Brooks was the 25th overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft and is currently playing for the Nets.

This season, Providence has four scorers who have scored 87% of their points (685 of a total of 788).

Junior Vincent Council averages 17.1 points per game, followed by sophomores Bryce Cotton and Gerard Coleman at 16.0 and 15.5 and freshman LaDontae Henton at 13.7.

Those four players are each averaging between 33.7 minutes and 37.5 minutes per game.

Bilalo Dixon is Providence's next leading scorer at just 2.9 points per game.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Zeller Leads Hoosiers In Scoring Despite Low Percentage Of Shots Attempted

Indiana is a perfect 10-0 on the season, but has struggled to enter the ball into the post at times.

Freshman power forward Cody Zeller is taking only 20.6 percent of Indiana’s shots while on the floor, fifth on the team of Hoosiers players using at least 20 percent of possessions.

Despite the lack of touches, Zeller leads the team in points per game (15.6) and ranks first in true shooting percentage (71.3 percent) -- which factors in threes and free throws – among Hoosier players with a usage rate greater than 20 percent.

Via The Mikan Drill

Tar Heels' Henson Working To Extend Shooting Range

Tar Heels forward John Henson is the ACC’s early leader in rebounds (10.6 per game), blocked shots (3.3 per game) and double-doubles (five).

Add an effective mid-range jumper to his repertoire and the elastic 6-foot-11 junior would loom as a supreme weapon on both ends of the court.

“I’m hitting them in practice and just building off of it,” he said.

“I’ve worked on those shots a lot, day after day,” he said. “But hitting them in a game is something that builds more confidence than anything. Just trying to become a complete player. Finally, it’s starting to come around.”

 

Via Times-News

Scouts Question Terrence Jones' Aggressiveness

Kentucky’s Terrence Jones is one of the top-rated forwards projected in the 2012 draft, but has struggled with a tendency to disappear against elite competition.

Will Purdue, a 13-year NBA veteran and current NBA analyst who also trains players for the draft, spoke with several NBA officials about Jones.

“Just so we’re clear, I haven’t had a single scout question me about his ability, about his basketball knowledge,” Purdue said. “I’ve just had scouts say, ‘How many times have you seen him play? And how many times has he had these instances where he’s just kind of disappeared for a while?’ Some of them are just questioning his aggressiveness and his mental toughness.

“The first half of that North Carolina game (this year), he puts it on the floor and dunks over two people. There’s not a lot of big guys in college that have that explosiveness off one dribble or the quickness to get by the initial defender and finish before the help-side defense gets there. Then all the sudden he disappears in the second half and doesn’t score. And now the Indiana game where, everybody has bad games, but what’s he doing on the sideline?

“Perception and reality can be very different, but right now there’s a perception that mentally for him, it’s not all there all the time. The scouts are all so confused.”

Via Louisville Courier Journal

Hoosiers Converting On Catch-And-Shoot Opportunities In Transition

Indiana is 9-0 and off to their best start since the 1989-90 season

The Hoosiers’ field goal percentage from beyond the arc has increased from 35 percent last season (165th in Division I) to 46 percent, which ranks second nationally behind Creighton.

Largely due to its improvement from three-point range, Indiana has been outstanding on catch-and-shoot plays this season. The Hoosiers are shooting 76 percent and averaging 1.26 points per play in their catch-and-shoot offense, both first in the Big Ten.

Freshman Cody Zeller, who leads the team in scoring, rebounding and blocks, has made all nine of his field goals in transition, and he ranks sixth in the nation at 1.91 points per play.

Via ESPN Stats & Information

Barnes Rates As Tar Heels' Worst Individual Defender

Harrison Barnes has the worst stop percentage -- which measures the percentage of opponent individual possessions directly stopped by a player -- of any Tar Heel rotation player at 50.6 percent.

He's allowing opponents to shoot 49.0 percent on three-point attempts, and his defensive rebounding percentage has dropped from 12.6 as a freshman to a non-factor-level 7.4.

Via SI.com

Self Defends Tyshawn Taylor's High Turnover Rate

Tyshawn Taylor hasn't quite been the consistent distributor he was expected to be.

UCLA Switching To Zone In Attempt To Shore Up Interior Defense

Ben Howland concedes a zone defense may lead to open perimeter jumpers.

Hardaway Jr. Adjusting To Being Focal Point Of Opposing Defenses

Tim Hardaway Jr. is working hard to adjust to the new looks he's getting from opposing defenses.

Tar Heels Undefeated When Kendall Marshall Records Nine Or More Assists

Kendall Marshall’s ball distribution has been a strong point for the Tar Heels.

Calipari Sees Jones' Apathetic Performance Against Indiana As Isolated Incident

Sullinger Getting To Free Throw Line On 40 Percent Of Post-Ups

Jared Sullinger is drawing fouls at a high rate, and converting the freebies as a result.

Aaron Craft Disrupting 39 Percent Of Opponent Pick-And-Rolls

Aaron Craft excels at pick-and-roll defense.

Cody Zeller Scoring Mostly On Cuts, Still Learning How To Be Productive On Block

Cody Zeller's scoring efficiency has caught the eye of talent evaluators, but there’s still room for improvement.

Missouri's Marcus Denmon Converting On Catch-And-Shoot Opportunities

Missouri is getting out in transition more often this season, with Marcus Denmon as the main beneficiary.

UNLV Returns To Prominence With Defense, Fast Tempo

UNLV is 8-1 and has a signature 90-80 win over North Carolina.

Rivers Leading Blue Devils In Percentage Of Shots Attempted

Austin Rivers has not been shy about asserting himself on offense this season.

Sullinger Scoring With Greater Efficiency Despite Back Spasms

Jared Sullinger has upped his field goal and free throw percentages despite dealing with back spasms.

Anthony Davis Posting Up On Just 5.7 Percent Of Possessions

The Wildcats are still learning how to utilize Anthony Davis on offense.

Archie Miller Gives Credit To Culture Gregory Created At Dayton

Sean Miller's younger brother Archie Miller has done an excellent job as head coach of Dayton despite being just 33-years-old.

Alabama Relying On Freshmen To Improve Perimeter Offense, Setup Interior

Alabama started the season 7-0, but then lost to Georgetown and Dayton.

Villanova Struggling With Defending Penetration

Villanova's biggest problem this season has been on the defensive end where they cannot stop dribble penetration.

Fredette Played As Damian Lillard On Scout Team During BYU Practice

BYU held Weber State's Damian Lillard, the nation's leading scorer at 28.2 points per game, to a season low 15 points on Wednesday.

Idaho's Djim Bandoumel Responds To Benching

Washington State head coach Don Bone was impressed with the play of Idaho senior forward Djim Bandoumel in their 66-64 win on Wednesday.

Canadian-Born Devoe Joseph Eager To Make Oregon Debut

Devoe Joseph started 25 games over two-plus seasons at Minnesota and was previously the leading scorer on the Canadian national junior team.

Oklahoma Receiving Boost From Transfers Grooms, Osby

Oklahoma returned four starters and have received quality minutes from newcomers Sam Grooms and Romero Osby.
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