College basketball rankings: Duke freshmen look solid in debut, Blue Devils move up in Top 25 And 1

Duke’s incoming recruiting class ranked third nationally, according to 247Sports. So the Blue Devils are loaded again and widely considered to be a threat to win the national title. But, that said, it should be noted that this is the first time since 2012 that Mike Krzyzewski did not enroll a consensus top-10 prospect — although you would not have been able to tell while watching Duke’s season-opener.

Final score: Duke 81, Coppin State 71.

So, yeah, the game was closer than it should’ve been — but don’t blame Jalen Johnson. The 6-foot-9 freshman, who was ranked 13th in the Class of 2020, took eight shots, made all eight of them, and finished with 19 points, 19 rebounds, five assists and four blocks in 35 minutes. His 15 defensive rebounds set a single-game record for Duke freshmen. His 19 points are the most ever for a Duke freshman while shooting 100% from the field. And he’s just the third Duke freshman to ever record a double-double in a debut.

“This has always been a dream of mine — so I finally got a chance to live out that dream today,” Johnson said after the win. ” Everything went how we wanted.”

DJ Steward was also great. 

The 6-2 freshman, who was ranked 26th in the Class of 2020, finished with 24 points and nine rebounds in 33 minutes off the bench. It was the most points a Duke freshman has ever scored off the bench in a debut.

“I’m not really surprised by their performances because I’ve seen it since August,” said Duke sophomore Wendell Moore, who finished with 13 points and four rebounds. “DJ can really score the ball — and he really showed that tonight, being open and in the right spot at all times and ready to shoot the ball. He was aggressive in the lane. And Jalen — that’s just Jalen being himself. He’s grabbing the defensive board and going [and] making plays for himself, for others. Those two are a great addition to our team.”

Duke is No. 6 in Sunday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. The Blue Devils’ next game is Tuesday against Michigan State. Elsewhere in the Top 25 And 1, Virginia Tech jumped from unranked to No. 12 after Saturday’s 81-73 victory over Villanova. That pushed West Virginia, Virginia, Houston, Texas Tech, North Carolina, Ohio State, Texas, Oregon, Rutgers and Indiana down one spot each, no fault of their own.

Itching for more college hoops analysis? Listen below and subscribe to the Eye on College Basketball podcast where we take you beyond the hardwood with insider information and instant reactions.

Top 25 And 1 rankings

Biggest Movers


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Virginia Tech


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Villanova

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Gonzaga

Drew Timme finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds in Friday’s 90-67 victory over Auburn. Both of Gonzaga’s victories are double-digit wins over power-conference schools. 2-0

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Baylor

MaCio Teague finished with 21 points and seven
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College basketball rankings: Virginia, No. 4 in Top 25 And 1, shows shooting touch in debut; UCLA falls out

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USATSI

There’s an old saying among college basketball coaches that the best way to become a better-shooting team is to recruit and play better shooters. I was reminded of that on Wednesday when Virginia, a dreadful 3-point shooting team last season, bombed Towson from beyond the arc thanks to a pair of transfers who can alone make the Cavaliers real threats from deep.

Trey Murphy, a transfer from Rice, and Sam Hauser, a transfer from Marquette, combined to sink nine of the 11 3-pointers they attempted in Virginia’s 89-54 season-opening win over Pat Skerry’s Tigers. A 6-foot-9 guard, Murphy didn’t receive a waiver from the NCAA to play until Tuesday. Then he came off the bench Wednesday, took eight shots from beyond the arc, made six of them and finished with 21 points in 17 minutes.

“We’re so glad that he gets to play,” said Virginia coach Tony Bennett. “You saw his strengths.”

Boy, did we ever. And if 3-point shooting is now once again a strength for Virginia in general, look out.

The Cavaliers shot 39.5% from 3-point range two seasons ago while going 35-3 and winning the national championship. But they shot just 30.3% from distance last season after losing quality shooters in the form of Kyle Guy, De’Andre Hunter and Ty Jerome. That ranked 311th nationally and was among the reasons Virginia ranked 234th in offensive efficiency. The Cavaliers just could not make shots. But the addition of Hauser and Murphy, and an improved touch from four-year center Jay Huff, changes everything drastically. And it’s why the Cavaliers making 15 of the 29 3-pointers they attempted in their first game of this season was among the most notable developments from opening day.

Virginia remains No. 4 in Thursday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. The Cavaliers’ next game is Friday against San Francisco.

Itching for more college hoops analysis? Listen below and subscribe to the Eye on College Basketball podcast where we take you beyond the hardwood with insider information and instant reactions.

Top 25 And 1 rankings

Biggest Movers

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Gonzaga

The Zags have had the nation’s most-efficient offense each of the past two seasons. They’ll have a chance to do it again thanks to the return of Corey Kispert, Joel Ayayi and Drew Timme – plus the arrival of five-star freshman Jalen Suggs and Florida transfer Andrew Nembhard. 1-0

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Baylor

The Bears are returning the top three scorers from a team that would’ve been a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. It’s among the reasons Scott Drew has an opportunity to guide Baylor to its first Final Four since Bill Henderson did it in 1950. 0-0

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Villanova

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds in Wednesday’s 76-67 victory over Boston College. Collin Gillespie added 15 points and seven assists. 1-0

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Virginia

Sam Hauser finished with 19 points and eight rebounds in Wednesday’s 89-54 victory over Towson.
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College basketball scores, highlights: Luka Garza starts hot, Cade Cunningham shines in Oklahoma State debut

A mask-wearing McNeese State hooper. A Memphis player trying — and bless his heart, failing in spectacular fashion — to start the season with his jersey on backwards. A scheduled game being called off just hours before tipoff because of positive COVID-19 tests.

The 2020-21 college basketball season got underway Wednesday, but much like the rest of the bumpy year that is 2020, it was anything but an ordinary opening day. 

Here are the highs, lows and highlights from the opening-day action as the season gets off to its start.

Cade Cunningham leads OSU to close win

It wasn’t pretty, at least not for Oklahoma State, but Cade Cunningham’s Cowboys got it done on the road Wednesday with a 75-68 win over UT Arlington to open their season. Cunningham, the No. 1 overall national recruit in last year’s recruiting cycle and the favorite to go No. 1 overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, scored 21 points and added 10 rebounds and three assists in the effort. He was one of three Pokes who reached double figures in scoring, along with Keylan Boone (10) and Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe (11).

Coming off a monster junior season in which he finished second in National Player of the Year voting and earned consensus All-American honors, Iowa big man Luka Garza picked up right where he left off. The 6-foot-11 Garza paced Iowa in its 97-67 win over North Carolina Central with 26 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks … in only 24 minutes of action in a game that was well in hand.

Illinois shows off its depth, star power

If you took heed to my preseason advice — and why wouldn’t you have?! — then you may have gotten in on Illinois before it’s too late with 15-1 national title odds. Wednesday was about as good as it could’ve been for the Illini. Returning star Ayo Dosunmu scored a career-high 28 points and made a career-high five 3-pointers, but perhaps more impressively, freshman Adam Miller added 28 points of his own and knocked down six of his eight 3-point attempts.

We already knew based off last season and the returning players this season that Dosunmu and big man Kofi Cockburn — who had 18 points and 10 boards — would be a force. But Miller’s scoring ability is a game-changing talent that can elevate this Illini team from very good to potentially great. We don’t need to crown this team yet, of course — North Carolina A&T came in at No. 338 on Matt Norlander’s preseason rankings of every team in the sport — but circle this game. It might be a sign of bigger things to come in Champaign.

DJ Jeffries with the Doug Gottlieb out of the gate

Can you think of any single picture that better sums up 2020? Bueller? Bueller? That’s right. You can’t.

Eerily reminiscent to Doug Gottlieb’s infamous backwards-shorts outing against Kansas. And it was a foreshadowing of how the game would go for Jeffries, unfortunately, as he

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Redemption Rock Brewing Co. creates African-inspired corn lager to debut at African Community Education gala

Redemption Rock Brewing Co. in Worcester will release its latest brew next week, but to try it, beer connoisseurs will first have to buy a ticket to African Community Education’s year-end gala.

As part of celebration for the virtual gala, Redemption Rock created a corn lager called “Burudika,” which is the equivalent to “Cheers” in Swahili.

“We wanted something that was a little inspired by African ingredients and some of the more traditional brewing techniques on the continent,” CEO and co-founder of Redemption Rock Dani Babineau said.

When ACE moved its in-person gala to a virtual version, it reached out to small businesses in Worcester to help make the annual event memorable. While others in the city provided wine and food, Redemption Rock partnered with ACE to provide beer for the at-home event, including “Burudika”, a beer made specifically for the gala.

It will debut at the ACE gala on Nov. 12 and then be available in the taproom.

Traditionally, many African brews are produced with Sorghum, a flowering plant found in Africa, Australia and Asia, but Redemption Rock had little to no experience working with the ingredient.

Instead, it produced a corn lager since maize is also well known within African breweries.

In addition to corn the brew will highlight rooibos, which is popular in South Africa. The leaves from rooibos are often used to create an herbal tea.

“It’s a very common thing on the continent,” Babineau said of rooibos. “So having that as a bridge to a beer and one of our beers is going to be really neat. When you connect the dots of something that people are familiar with and something they’re not familiar with, that’s one of my favorite things to do with people in the taproom is bring people together that way.

Babineau described the beer as a smooth-tasting lager similar to the brewery’s “Three Decker” beer. Many breweries use corn to lighten the flavor of beer, Babineau said. Used in large quantities, like with “Burudika,” the beer will have a corn forward taste.

“It will be a pretty light, easy drinking beer,” Babineau said. “With a little bit of that corn flavor to it.”

The artwork for “Burudika” was inspired by Abu Mwenye, an artist in Worcester who is from Tanzania.

“My favorite things are reaching new people,” Babineau said. “Whether it’s a single individual who has never had craft beer before or didn’t like it or reaching a wider community like the ACE community. That to me is some of the most exciting things you can do with beer.”

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College football’s new Fenway Bowl will have to wait a year for its debut

It will be “wait till next year” for the first Fenway Bowl.

The debut of the new college football matchup between teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and American Athletic Conference, which was supposed to be this December at the historic ballpark, has been postponed until 2021 because of the pandemic.

An official announcement could come as soon as next week.

“We are working with our partners at ESPN to make a formal announcement about the Fenway Bowl in the coming days,” said Zineb Curran, vice president of corporate communications for the Red Sox, in an email.

The game had been scheduled to be televised by ESPN.

Michael Aresco, commissioner of the AAC, said Friday he had not yet spoken with anyone from Fenway Sports Management or ESPN about the postponement.

“We have not gotten any word yet from the Fenway Bowl but we will obviously probably have a conversation fairly soon,” said Aresco. “Most of these bowls are going to have to make these decisions very soon on whether they’re going to be held.”

At the announcement of the new game last December, Fenway Sports Management president Mark Lev described the potential for new revenues for Fenway Sports Group — the Red Sox parent company — as “significant” and said the game was part of a plan to utilize the ballpark after the baseball season ends.

“We’re really excited about it, not just about putting a stake in the ground and playing a game in December,” Lev said then, “but it also will allow us to continue our tradition of high school football in November for Thanksgiving and we have every intention of doing that. It will be the showcase event for sure of the fall/winter.”

John Henry, principal owner of FSG, also owns the Globe.


Michael Silverman can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @MikeSilvermanBB.

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Brother of the late Sean Taylor set to make college football debut this weekend

Sean Taylor’s younger brother to make collegiate debut on Saturday originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Gabe Taylor, the 19-year-old brother of former Washington safety Sean Taylor, will make his collegiate debut this Saturday as Rice University opens up its season against Middle Tennessee.

He only played one season in high school (on Sean Taylor Memorial Field at Gulliver Prep just outside of Miami), but Gabe has already followed in his older brother’s footsteps as a hard hitting safety. While Sean’s legacy leaves some big shoes to fill, Gabe understands that and embraces the challenge.

“Oh, there’s for sure pressure right now,” Gabe told Jake Russell of the Washington Post. “I always wanted pressure my whole life. I’m not going to shy away from it.”

After focusing on basketball his first three years at Gulliver Prep, Gabe turned his attention to the gridiron for his senior season and instantly impressed. Ten interceptions (including five he returned for touchdowns) were enough to get Rice to notice him, and the coaches are already pleased with what they have seen out of the younger Taylor.

“The ball loves him,” Rice head coach Mike Bloomgren told the Washington Post. “I don’t know how else to say it. He is around the freakin’ ball. His anticipation of things is out of sight. He’s a really good safety that sees the game, especially for his lack of experience playing it. He sees the game and feels the game so incredibly well.”

This November will mark 13 years since the tragic murder of Sean Taylor shocked the entire country, especially in Miami and Washington. Sean is a member of the Washington Football Team’s Ring of Fame, and just last month the franchise named a road outside of FedExField “Sean Taylor Road.” Thanks to the love the area showed his family over the years, D.C. still holds a place in Gabe’s heart over a decade later.

“I love the fans in Washington,” Taylor said. “They always show love. They say they want me to come play for them. Hopefully that comes one year.”

That road begins this weekend, as Gabe Taylor looks to make a name for himself at Rice University.

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IndyCar debut “toughest challenge of my career”

Three-time Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin says he’ll be “doing cartwheels, going crazy” if he finishes in the top 10 on his IndyCar debut with Team Penske.

McLaughlin, who earlier this month wrapped up his third consecutive Supercars title with DJR Team Penske, was due to make his IndyCar race debut on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in May.

However, the reshuffle of the IndyCar and Supercars schedules due to the coronavirus pandemic meant the first suitable date and venue became this weekend’s race at St. Petersburg – an event rearranged from mid-March as season-opener to the finale.

Although McLaughlin startled everyone with third fastest lap in IndyCar pre-season testing at the Circuit of The Americas back in February, he admits that the 1.8-mile street circuit in St. Petersburg will present a very different challenge.

“I’m very excited,” he said. “I think it’s a great opportunity. I obviously never thought I’d get a chance this year due to the nature of the beast with COVID, all that sort of stuff.

“I’ve driven the car before, which gives me a little bit more confidence heading into St. Pete, that I sort of know what to expect from a car perspective. [But] never been on a street track in IndyCar. I know it’s very bumpy. The feeling inside the car with the bumps and stuff, it’s going to be a lot different. I’ve got a lot to learn, but I’m excited for what’s ahead.

“I’ve always been interested it. I love the Indy 500, watch it all the time. Back in Australia it’s a massive thing. The connection with Will [Power] and Scott [Dixon] Down Under is big. For me, it was always a cool thing to be a part of, but never thought I could be because I’ve been in a touring car for most of my career.”

McLaughlin: IndyCar debut my

Although McLaughlin tested initially at Sebring, then COTA and Texas Motor Speedway before the pandemic heavily restricted travel and threw the schedules into disarray, the 27-year-old New Zealander said he’s still been able to do some preparation. One part was working on his physique.

“I’ve been training a lot, I definitely lost some weight just to be a little bit lighter for the IndyCar,” he said. “Weight is obviously a big thing. All year my body clock is going crazy because I’ve been watching IndyCar in Australia at sort of 3am, 4am our time.”

He later added: “I was a bit fat for Supercars anyway. I needed to lose some weight regardless if it was an IndyCar deal or not. I worked pretty hard. I started a little diet, intermittent fasting. I really found a benefit out of that. For me, a lot of high-intensity training, weights, but high repetition. A lot of cardio.

“The IndyCar is very strenuous with no power steering, a few other things. That’s the bit I had to learn, beef up my shoulders a bit more. I need to be competitive when I

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IndyCar debut is “toughest challenge of my career”

McLaughlin, who earlier this month wrapped up his third consecutive Supercars title with DJR Team Penske, was due to make his NTT IndyCar Series race debut on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in May. However, the reshuffle of the IndyCar and Supercars schedules due to the coronavirus pandemic meant the first suitable date and venue became this weekend’s race at St. Petersburg – an event rearranged from mid-March as season-opener to the finale.

Although McLaughlin startled everyone with third fastest lap in IndyCar Spring Training at Circuit of The Americas back in February, he admits that the 1.8-mile street/runway layout in St. Petersburg will present a very different challenge.

“I’m very excited,” he said. “I think it’s a great opportunity. I obviously never thought I’d get a chance this year due to the nature of the beast with COVID, all that sort of stuff.

“I’ve driven the car before, which gives me a little bit more confidence heading into St. Pete, that I sort of know what to expect from a car perspective. [But] never been on a street track in an IndyCar. I know it’s very bumpy. The feeling inside the car with the bumps and stuff, it’s going to be a lot different.

“I’ve got a lot to learn, but I’m excited for what’s ahead…

“It’s certainly been a transition that has happened pretty fast. I probably initially didn’t think that Roger [Penske, team owner] and Tim [Cindric, team president] would think I’d be ready for an IndyCar, just because of my touring car roots, having a roof over my head. They put the proposition to me about a year and a half ago. I have haven’t looked back since.

“I’ve always been interested it. I love the Indy 500, watch it all the time. Back in Australia it’s a massive thing. The connection with Will [Power] and Scott [Dixon] Down Under is big. For me, it was always a cool thing to be a part of, but never thought I could be because I’ve been in a touring car for most of my career.”

Although McLaughlin tested initially at Sebring, then COTA and Texas Motor Speedway before the pandemic heavily restricted travel and threw the schedules into disarray, the 27-year-old New Zealander said he’s still been able to do some preparation. One part was working on his physique.

“I’ve been training a lot, I definitely lost some weight just to be a little bit lighter for the IndyCar,” he said. “Weight is obviously a big thing. All year my body clock is going crazy because I’ve been watching IndyCar in Australia at sort of 3am, 4am our time.”

He later added: “I was a bit fat for Supercars anyway. I needed to lose some weight regardless if it was an IndyCar deal or not. I worked pretty hard. I started a little diet, intermittent fasting. I really found a benefit out of that. For me, a lot of high-intensity training, weights, but high repetition. A lot

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College football rankings: UMass makes historic move in The Bottom 25 after 2020 season debut

25. UTEP 3-2 Believe me when I tell you that I’m generally annoyed by having teams with winning or even records in these rankings. It cheapens the entire experience. I’m confident that with the Big Ten and Mountain West starting this week and the Pac-12 to follow, this is the last we’ll see of it. The Miners’ game against Southern Miss was postponed due to COVID-19 cases with the Golden Eagles, and they’re scheduled to resume this weekend at Charlotte. (21) 24. Navy 3-2 Imagine with me, if you will, a Navy team beaten by BYU 55-3 and crushed by Air Force 40-7 so far this season playing for an AAC championship. Because that’s a distinct possibility! The Mids are 0-2 in nonconference play while losing by an average of 47.5 points per game, but they’re 3-0 in-conference after beating East Carolina 27-23 on Saturday. They’re currently in first place in the standings while ranked in The Bottom 25. What a season. (14) 23. UTSA 3-3 The Roadrunners enter our rankings for the first time this year. They got off to a 3-0 start to the season but have since dropped three straight to UAB, BYU and Army. Next up is a home game with Louisiana Tech. (Not Ranked) 22. Missouri 1-2 Mizzou’s game against No. 2 Vanderbilt had to be postponed due to COVID-19. Of course, while the team didn’t play, that didn’t stop Eli Drinkwitz from picking up a new nickname on The Cover 3 Podcast. If you haven’t heard, he’s no longer Eli Drinkwitz — he’s The Alpha Nerd. The Alpha Nerd and the Tigers hope to resume this weekend against Kentucky. (22) 21. Georgia Tech 2-3 Yeah, getting beat 73-7 is a great way to introduce yourself to The Bottom 25, Bees. I’m not entirely sure what you did to Clemson to make it that mad, but maybe don’t do that again. (NR) 20. North Texas 2-3 The Mean Green picked up a 52-35 win over Middle Tennessee in last week’s Game of the Century of the Week, but while it got them out of The Bottom Five, it wasn’t enough to get out of the rankings. Another win this weekend against No. 25 UTEP should accomplish that. (4) 19. Virginia 1-3 Listen, Virginia, I loved you last year when you were good, and I love you this year when you’re not nearly as good. I mean, how can you not love a team with a 250-pound quarterback who wears No. 36? Lindell Stone is a damn icon. Whether he’s enough to get you out of these rankings in the near future, I’m not so sure. Not when your next two games are against Miami and North Carolina. (NR) 18. Florida State 2-3 There was once a time when Florida State was the team ranked in the top five that would go on the road and suffer an upset loss to some ACC bottom-feeder. Now the Noles are that ACC bottom-feeder knocking off the top-five team
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