Minnesota’s Reggie Lynch Suspended, Barred from Campus

Huge news came out of Minnesota, and bigger news could be on the horizon. Reggie Lynch has been suspended by the University of Minnesota and barred from campus until 2020. This comes after Lynch was found responsible for a sexual assault claim that was placed in April of 2016. An appeal is still an option, but Lynch will not play if he goes that route. It is more likely than not that he has played his last game at Minnesota, possibly ever.

Lynch was averaging 10 points and 8 rebounds for Minnesota this season. He was a significant role piece to a Golden Gopher club looking to return to the NCAA tournament. This suspension is disturbing, especially with all the reports of sexual assault that have surfaced over the past months. More disturbing is that this is the second allegation against Lynch of this nature. He was arrested on a separate occasion with the suspicion of assaulting a different female student. Lynch was suspended then, but eventually cleared of charges by both the County and the University.

What’s even more disturbing is the time the incident took place. This incident took place over a year and a half ago. Lynch never sat out a game despite being the center of an investigation. There is zero excuse for that to happen. Especially when he it’s more than one account. Innocent or guilty, if someone is accused by multiple people of sexual assault, that person should be excused from a program ten times out of ten. Lynch was not.

In a press conference earlier today, Richard Pitino said he and his staff never saw “any red flags,” when Lynch was transferring to Minnesota from Illinois State. While that may be true, when it happens a first time, there’s your red flag. And when it happens, a second time, that flag starts to hit you in the face. But not to Richard Pitino apparently.

Pitino ended a relatively unhelpful news conference by adding “I don’t know..I’m just the basketball coach.” Sound familiar? That’s what his dad said just months ago when he paid a recruit $100,000 to come to Louisville. What we learned then, stands true now: a basketball coach knows everything that is going on inside their program. They’re not a good coach is they don’t. It would have been tough to believe Pitino had no idea before. It’s even tougher now with everything that’s gone on in college basketball and the NCAA scandal.

Put simply, there is no place for this. Not just in sports, but anywhere. It’s sad and sickening that headlines like this have to hang over what has been such a fun college basketball season already. There will be more to come out about this story, but Reggie Lynch’s career at Minnesota appears to be done (rightfully so) and Richard Pitino’s could soon follow. Here’s to hoping the darkness in college basketball changes soon.

Recapping Tuesday Night in College Basketball

Photo via @VisionsByJeff

A lot happened last night for a Tuesday night in December. We had the Jimmy V Classic, which always features great basketball and a greater cause. We had two Top 10 teams fall, and two more teams in the Top 15 suffer losses. Let’s quickly recap what you may have missed last night.

Villanova Pounded Gonzaga

Villanova punished Gonzaga on a night where Jalen Brunson struggled and Donte DiVincenzo was in foul trouble. Granted, Jonathan Williams only played 18 minutes for the Zags, but this game was all Wildcats. Mikael Bridges was sensational, going off for a career high 28 points. Bridges was 5-9 from three point land and came up with big buckets every time Villanova needed one. The win showed both how short Jay Wright’s bench is, but also Nova’s ability to stay in games without a true point guard for stretches.

Tyus Battle Leads Cuse in Rivalry Game

The second game of the Jimmy V Classic featured an old Big East rivalry, as UConn and Syracuse met once again. In front of a terrific MSG crowd, it was the New Jersey product, Tyus Battle, who led ‘Cuse to a win. Battle had 22 and fellow Hoop Group alum Matt Moyer had a career high 18. The unexpected outburst from Moyer was huge, as Frank Howard struggled again for Syracuse. On the other end, the Huskies continue to struggle to pick up a resume building win. Jalen Adams led the way with 22 of his own, but it was not enough.

Arizona Picked up a MUCH Needed Victory

Sean Miller’s seat has been on fire since the Battle 4 Atlantis. Not literally, his job is safe, but Arizona’s struggles have been put under a big microscope this year. The Cats quieted some of that talk last night with a win over #7 Texas A&M. Positively speaking, Arizona had four players score 13 points, and none of them were Allonzo Trier. DeAndre Ayton recorded another double-double, and a bonehead play that almost gave A&M a chance to tie it in the final seconds. With Rawle Alkins cleared for full contact, this could be the win that turns Arizona around.

Notre Dame Upset

In what was by far the upset of the night, the #9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish fell to Ball State in South Bend. Tayler Persons led Ball State with 24 points, none bigger than the 3 he hit with 1.7 seconds remaining. The Cardinals led by as much as 9 in the second half, surrendered that lead, and held on thanks to Persons’s heroics. The Irish will look to rebound this weekend against Delaware before an in-state battle with Indiana.

West Virginia is Streaking

It was defense vs defense as West Virginia picked up a big non-conference win against the #15 ranked Virginia Cavaliers. After giving up 88 points in a blowout loss on the first night of the season, Bob Huggins’s team has held teams to just 63 points per game and 37% shooting. None of these teams have as potent of an offense as Texas A&M , but it’s clear defense is still the key in West Virginia. In addition, Jevon Carter has been extraordinary. Last night was no different, as he recorded 23 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists.

Shaka Smart Returns to VCU Victorious

In what was an emotional game in front of a raucous crowd, Shaka Smart returned to Richmond and was victorious against his former team. The Longhorns look like they have a serious three headed attack with Andrew Jones, Dylan Osetkowski and Mo Bamba. This looked like Bamba’s most complete game, recording a double-double (13 points and 13 rebounds) and tallying 4 blocks. His defense has been a constant all season, averaging over 3 blocks a game, but his offense appears to be coming around now as well. Oh, and then he also did this…

Big Ten Takes Another Hit

The Big Ten’s struggle as a conference has been mentioned on multiple occasions so far. The early take on the conference has been that it has three definite tournament teams in Michigan State, Minnesota and Purdue, and question marks everywhere else. Well one of those teams suffered a bad loss last night, as Minnesota lost on the road to Nebraska. Jordan Murphy was held in check for the Gophers, finishing with 10 points on just 4-12 shooting. Meanwhile, Glynn Watson Jr. went off for the Cornhuskers, recording a game high 29 in the win. The Big Ten looks clearly to be Michigan State, and then everyone else.