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R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson make All-America First Team

Canada’s most-hyped recruit makes history.

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R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson make All-America First Team

Canada’s R.J. Barrett has been named a first-team Associated Press All-American, and finished second in AP Player of the Year voting to teammate Zion Williamson.

Barrett and Williamson, who led Duke to the NCAA men’s basketball Elite Eight this season, are only the second set of freshmen teammates to make the AP First Team.

Kentucky’s John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins were the first to manage the feat in 2010.

Barrett (Mississauga, Ont.) was one of Duke’s most effective players, averaging 22.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.

He received two votes for AP Player of the Year, but Williamson — who electrified fans with his other-worldly athleticism — was the runaway winner.

Williamson, the projected No. 1 pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, received 59 of 64 votes for the award.

Murray State’s Ja Morant, Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter and Michigan State’s Cassius Winston were the only others players to receive votes, with one apiece.

Barrett is also a projected NBA lottery pick, and is the most-hyped Canadian recruit since Andrew Wiggins, who went No. 1 overall in 2014.

Wiggins has struggled to live up to the hype that surrounded him in high school, and Barrett has faced similarly colossal expectations.

Barrett entered Duke as the nation’s top recruit after winning a national U.S. high school championship with Florida’s Montverde Academy in 2018.

And there have been gripes about his perceived effectiveness in comparison to the media coverage he has received.

An anonymous survey of 110 U.S. college players by The Athletic this year named Barrett college basketball’s most overrated player.

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But in the same poll Barrett also receive votes for “best player in the game,” and he was routinely praised for his performances Duke.

USA Today also named Barrett its 2019 national college player of the year.

“While Zion Williamson might beat Barrett for the No. 1 pick in June’s NBA draft, Barrett proved to be the more impressive college player,” USA Today wrote.

“The freshman carried the load when Williamson was hurt for six games, spearheading the Blue Devils to three wins in March that helped them become the NCAA tournament’s top overall seed.

“When Duke was at full strength, he gave the team a scorer who wanted the ball at the end of the game.”

Some have speculated Barrett’s ceiling as a pro will be similar to that of mid-level stars like DeMar DeRozan and Jimmy Butler.

He is still projected as a top-three pick in the NBA Draft, scheduled for June 20 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Barrett is the son of Canada Basketball general manager and former Olympian Rowan Barrett, and R.J. has been a fixture in Canada’s national program.

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NCAA

Go Cat Go! Walter McCarthy’s Evansville Ace’s Kentucky Alma Mater

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Go Cat Go! Walter Mccarthy’s Evansville Ace’s Kentucky Alma Mater
Ace High...

1996

Before starring in Spike Lee’s ‘He Got Game’ with Denzel Washington and Ray Allen. Before starring in the NBA with the storied Boston Celtics. Before forging a post playing career as an R&B star. Triple-threat, triple-teamed, Robert Horry like with the clutch triple, off the bench, role playing great Walter McCarty won a National Championship with John Calipari’s U.K., University of Kentucky Wildcats, cutting down nets.

2019

Twenty three years later with Coach Cap’s head in his hands in an indelible image, COACH Walter McCarty aced an upset in the NCAA with an epic win for his Evansville boys against his legendary Kentucky Wildcats alma mater.

Once an alumnus, always an alumni.

But last night it was tears of champagne joy he shed as the cats out their cradle cried.

All this madness…and we’re still a long way from March.

But the Evansville Aces keep marching in a purple haze with this ace in the hole.

And it all happened at the legendary Rupp Arena for these two teams first ever match-up.

When Walt continued his Celtics career post-playing days by becoming an assistant coach in Boston, he not only soaked up the experience but he also was such a cult icon in the city he had his very own ‘I Love Waltah’ t-shirts for the fans in the stands (that even this purple and gold Laker fan rocked…we go back some). But last night as he bounded into the locker room his shirt and tie where soaked in bubbly as he bounded around with his team, embraced in jubilant joy and the made dreams of some young men looking to grow in this college game.

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And how about this for a coming of age?

67-64. David-Goliath.

Kentucky where looking for the perfect season with their latest NBA prospects this year for a college that sends them all to the big leagues (Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall and of course…our man Walt), but Evansville left their mark and their one on history.

Nobody deserves it more than McCarty and his boys.

And for all the teams to beat. This is Basketball God poetic. Walt Whitman couldn’t have wrote it better for Walt McCarty.

Ending his teams 39 game winning streak just like that, Calipari said of Walt’s men, “Walter and their team deserved to win. If we would have somehow pulled it out, it would have been, kind of wouldn’t even have been fair because they fought us the whole game and they were the tougher team.”

And as McCarty tells is, “this is the top”!

Beating the first seed U.K., we all know whose number one tonight.

For the aces.

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NCAA

Canadian Nate Darling 37-point explosion keeps Delaware unbeaten at 4-0

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Canadian Nate Darling 37-point Explosion Keeps Delaware Unbeaten At 4-0

Canadian sharpshooter Nate Darling (Bedford, NS) wrapped-up an excellent opening NCAA week with a 37-point career-high explosion to help the Delaware Blue Hens win the 2019 Sunshine Slam tournament.

The Blue Hens defeat the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Road Runners 91-79 to remain unbeaten at 4-0 for the first time since 1999-2000.

Darling buried 12-of-19 field goals, including 8-of-10 triples and 5-of-6 free-throws in 40 minutes of action in the non-conference win.

“I got in the zone where the ball was constantly going in, and was just living in the moment. I’ve built confidence in myself and my teammates, and Kevin and Ryan take the pressure off me as well. UTSA started doubling me and Kevin really took over down the stretch, so kudos to him.”

The Bedford, Nova Scotia native connected on 19 first-half points and caught fire in the second-half by scoring the Blue Hens first 18 points of the half — increasing his total to 37 points with 10:28 in remaining in the game.

The 6’5″ red-shirt junior transferred from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) after two seasons and scored 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting, plus 6 rebounds in the Blue Hens win over Oakland Golden Grizzlies. The former Nova Scotia basketball standout was equally impressive with 20 points and 6 rebounds in the win over the Southern Illinois Salukis.

Darling averaged 25.7 points per game, shot 26-of-49 (53%) from the floor and knocked down 17-of-27 (63%) triples on his way to be being named MVP of the tournament. Fellow Canadian guard Kevin Kangu (Burlington, Ont.) was also named to the all-tournament team.

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The Blues will look to keep their perfect start alive when they take on the Lafayette Leopards on November 16.

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