by RENALDO DORSETT
The men’s NCAA basketball season tipped off this weekend and several Bahamian players throughout the United States took to the court for their respective division I universities.
Leading the platoon of Bahamian players was Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield who delivered a record setting performance in the no.19 Sooners 78-53 win over Southeast Louisiana Sunday night.
He scored 25 points in 28 minutes of play and added seven rebounds.
Hield set a school record and tied the Big 12 record when he shot 7-7 from beyond the three point arch.
Sooners Head Coach Lon Kruger said it was good to see Hield start the season on an area of improvement he targeted in the offseason.
“It was great to see Buddy get it in rhythm and like he said, the guys do a good job of getting him the ball in rhythm. He got a couple in transition, got a couple off the dribble, he got a couple from Isaiah (Cousins) and Jordan (Woodard) so he got it in a lot of different ways actually. He has been shooting it well all year and has worked so hard on that part of his game throughout the summer and fall. It was great to see in the first game,” he said.
The Sooners will face the Creighton Bluejays Wednesday at 8pm, televised on FOX Sports 1.
Tavario Miller and Dwight Coleby made their season debuts in the Southeastern Conference with contrasting results.
Miller and the Texas A and M Aggies took a decisive 109-68 win over the Northwestern St. Demons Friday night.
In just 18 minutes, Miller, a 6’7″ sophomore forward set a new career-high with 15 points on 6-6 shooting from the field and also added six rebounds.
It was the first time he reached double-figures in his career, surpassing his previous high of nine points against LSU last season.
In his freshman season he averaged 1.8 points and 2.4 rebounds in just under 10 minutes per game.
Next up for the Aggies, they will head to San Juan for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, November 20-23.
The Aggies will face the Dayton Flyers Thursday during the tournament’s opening round.
Coleby opened his sophomore season with the Ole Miss Rebels in thrilling upset loss to the Charleston Southern Buccaneers, 66-65 in overtime.
The Bucs’ Cedrick Bowen’s dunk with 0.1s left put Charleston ahead for good and gave the school only their second win over a power conference team in school history.
Coleby, a 6’9 220-pound forward, finished with two points, one blocked shot and tied for the team lead with seven rebounds.
In his freshman season with the Rebels, Coleby played in 28 games with four starts and averaged 2.4 points and 1.9 rebounds per game in 10.4 minutes. He shot 47 per cent from the floor, and finished fifth on the team with 18 blocked shots, fifth on the team.
Ole Miss looks for their first win of the season tonight when they take on the Troy University Trojans on the road in Troy, Alabama.
In the Big Ten, Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn and the Michigan State Spartans narrowly escaped an upset with a 64-59 win over the Navy Midshipmen in thr Veteran’s Classic.
Nairn finished with four assists and three rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.
It was the third time in four years, the Spartans opened the season in an event connected with the U.S. armed forces.
In 2011, MSU played on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson in front of President Obama. In 2012, the Spartans played in the Armed Forces Classic against UConn on Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
The 5’10” 170-pound point guard saw extended minutes after sophomore guard Alvin Ellis III went down with a sprained ankle in the first half.
The no.18 ranked will face the no.4 ranked Duke Blue Devils tomorrow night in the State Farm Champions Classic.
The early season marquee matchup will be televised live on ESPN at 7pm local time.
In the American Athletic Conference, just one member of the banged up trio for the Houston Cougars to see the floor.
The Cougars opened with a 77-74 win over the Murray St. Racers to open the Kelvin Sampson era at Houston.
Thrust into the starting lineup, redshirt sophomore Danrad Knowles finished with four points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes.
Knowles capped an 8-4 with a layup to tie the game, 46-46 with 17:14 remaining in the game and the Cougars used a late 12-2 run to surge ahead.
Junior guard LJ Rose enters his second season as the Cougars starting point guard on the mend with a broken foot.
Rose will reportedly be out until at least late December and forward Mikhail McLean is also sidelined with a foot injury.
The Cougars will face Morgan St, Sat 22 at Hofheinz Pavilion.
In the Pac 12, Wannah Bail and the UCLA Bruins got off to a quick start with a dominant 113-78 win over the Montana St. Bobcats.
The 6′ 9″ sophomore forward played a career high 17 minutes and tallied four points and five rebounds in the win.
In an injury plagued freshman season, Bail Played in 13 games, averaged 1.6 points and 0.6 rebounds per game.
In the Big South Conference, Tristian Curtis and the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers won 79-36 over Trinity Baptist.
He finished with four points and two rebounds in four minutes.
Bail and Curtis squared off when the Bruins and Chanticleers faced off last night, however results were unavailable to press time.