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Jose Perez transfers from Manhattan to West Virginia for spring For Miami’s Jim Larranaga, a milestone 700th win awaits Sam Houston knocks off Utah 65-55, 2nd P5 win for Bearkats Former player sues Albany coach Killings, AD, and school Fredrick scores 17, No. 4 Kentucky beats South Carolina State No. 1 South Carolina wins 12th straight vs. Clemson 85-31

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MORGANTOWN, WV — Guard Jose Perez is enlisted in West Virginia for the spring semester after leaving Manhattan following the sacking of coach Steve Masiello.

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins announced Pérez’s enlistment, stating that the player’s status for participation in games and practices would be determined at a later date.

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Perez is a 6’5″ fifth-year senior and was selected as the Preseason Player of the Year by the Metro Atlantic Sports Conference. A year ago, he averaged 18.9 points, 4.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game.

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West Virginia is his fourth school. Perez spent two seasons at Gardner Webb and one each at Marquette and Manhattan.

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West Virginia lost last year’s top four scorers when they finished 16-17.

“Jose certainly gives us more firepower for our team,” Huggins said in a statement. “He’s a guy who can hit the ball at different levels, he shoots the ball well, he dribbles well and he scores close. He is another seasoned guy who played basketball a lot. We think he’ll be a great fit.”

Masiello coached for 11 seasons at the New York high school and was fired on October 25.

West Virginia (3-0) takes on Penn (1-3) on Friday night.

CORAL GABLES, Florida. It’s like Miami coach Jim Larranaga wrote the script. Playing against his alma mater, one win before a milestone few have reached.

This is a scenario.

Larranaga and Miami will take on Providence in the first round of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Tournament in Uncasville, Connecticut with a Hurricanes coach and 1971 Providence alumnus with 699 career wins.

“People talk about milestones,” Larranaga said. “I’ve been in this for a long time. I enjoy coaching. If I get my 700th win, I hope it will be this season. I hope I don’t have to train for another year to achieve this. Only got one more to get; I guess I’ll get there at some point. But to be honest, it has more to do with the fact that this team is trying to show their best basketball on Saturday at 4 o’clock against a very good opponent.”

When Larranaga, who is ranked 39th of the season as a head coach, gets there, he will be the 34th Division I men’s coach with 700 wins on his official NCAA resume and the ninth current coach on that list. Iona’s Rick Pitino is likely to be next; he needs 15 more to officially reach 700.

At 73, Larranaga has no intention of slowing down. Miami won 26 games last season to advance to the Elite Eight, behind eventual national champion Kansas, Larranaga’s highest postseason scoring since George Mason made the Final Four in 2006. The Miami team opened this season with three double-digit wins, and a victory over Providence will take the Hurricanes 4-0 for the first time in four years.

“Coach L has obviously been doing this for years,” Miami Heat guard Bensley Joseph said. “I feel like he was just indoctrinated into what he preaches, what he wants from us players, and his message to us is very precise, very clear. No matter how old it is, Coach L. just doesn’t want to stop. Basketball is inspired by him. He loves the game. He loves us players. He wants us to be great in life and on the court.”

Larranaga’s career began when he was 27 years old when he was recruited by Division II American International. He won his first game 84-66 over UMass-Boston.

Since then, the game has changed a lot. Not in Larranaga.

Guests at training are greeted with handshakes from each player. The practice begins with inspirational words, which Larranaga doesn’t always say either. The principles of Miami basketball—the “10 Habits,” as he calls them—repeated. This sets the tone, and the Hurricanes get to work.

“We do this every day,” Joseph said. “Coach L is like a teacher to us. I like learning from him.”

It turns out that Larranaga was like that from the very beginning.

Major Jennings is the principal of Buzz Aldrin High School in Montclair, New Jersey. He was a long-time high school basketball and volleyball coach, and some of the lessons he taught those teams came from Larranaga, his coach at American International. Jennings led Larranaga’s first team in scoring.

“You could tell he knew the game,” Jennings said. “He was not a screamer. He was more of an instructor. He is an excellent teacher. He always had a detailed account of the opponents, their strengths and weaknesses, what we needed to do in order to succeed.”

When Larranaga went to the Final Four in 2006, Jennings also had to leave to pay his respects.

“It really means so much to see a really good guy start at the Division II level and work his way up,” Jennings said. “He’s always strived to get better, get better and be part of his legacy in a very small way from a small school in New England, which makes me feel incredibly happy.”

Larranaga continues to rank among Providence’s career scoring leaders. Short shorts, replete with the era’s metal belt buckle, send his grandchildren into hysterics at the sight of the photographs. But his game was no joke; he had a triple-double with 20 points, 15 assists and 12 rebounds when he was there, although some details of that game eluded him until he recalled it this week.

He is also 0-2 against Providence (3-0) as a coach. Those losses are not forgotten.

Larranaga first practiced against Providence in the 1989 Fleet Basketball Classic championship game. The other match was at the 2014 Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational.

The first, Larranaga and Bowling Green, were in the lead by 10 with 6.5 minutes left, but trailed 15–3 the rest of the way and were down 81–79. Another, Miami fell apart in the second half and lost 76-62.

But ironically, if any of those games had gone the way of Larranaga, he wouldn’t have the chance he has now. He would already have number 700.

“I think beating Providence at any time in basketball is a big achievement,” Larranaga said. “But it’s not about my victories. It’s about this year’s team.”

SALT LAKE CITY — Qua Grant scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half as Sam Houston State scored a second victory over a Power 5 rival, edging Utah almost outright in a 65-55 win Thursday night.

The Bearkats (4-0) defeated Oklahoma City 52-51 in the first game, their first victory over the Power 5 program since 2009.

A 3-pointer Gabe Madsen gave Utah a 3-2 lead, but Dawn Powers hit straight shots and Tristan Ikpe hit a 3-pointer with Sam Houston never falling behind again. Jayden Ray and Cameron Huefner hit 3s and Grant made a layup to make it 21-8 halfway through the first half.

Sam Houston led 27-23 in the half and Utah came close to mid-game but failed to claim the lead.

The Bearkats, who entered the game scoring 50% of the foul line, scored 12 of 14 in the second half, including 5 of 6 in the last 67 seconds.

When Lazar Stefanovich hit a jumper with 4:27 left in the game, Utah were in the 53-51 range, but Grant scored Sam Houston’s next 10 points and the lead was 63-53 with less than a minute left.

The Bearkats shot only 39% but made 16 more shots thanks to a 41-31 rebounding advantage and 16 turnovers from Utah. No other player has hit double digits.

Rolly Warster led Utah 3-1 with 14 points and Stefanovic had 12. The Utes shot 43.5%, hitting two more 3-pointers, but only 8 of 16 from the line.

This game was a Fort Myers Tip-Off campus game. The Utahs face Georgia Tech on Monday, while Sam Houston plays Northern Illinois on Tuesday in Fort Myers, Florida.

Albany, New York. Albany men’s basketball coach Duane Killings, athletic director Mark Benson and the university are suing a former bystander over an incident before a game a year ago that included physical contact and what happened after.

The lawsuit, first reported by The Daily Gazette of Schenectady, was filed this week in federal court for the Northern District of New York by Luke Fizulich. He charges Killings with assault and battery and “destructive interference” for allegedly preventing Fizulich from continuing his studies at the university and preventing him from transferring to another school by spreading a “negative word” about him in other schools.

Killings, who is black, allegedly attacked Fizulich before a road game early last season. Frizulic, who is white, is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for his “emotional and psychological well-being, damage to reputation, loss of educational and athletic opportunities, future economic losses, and loss of future career prospects.”

Fizulich was a sophomore who had transferred from Marquette University, where Killings worked as an assistant. Last season he played in 22 games and then got on the transfer portal.

The school launched an investigation after officials learned of the allegation on February 27. The investigation confirmed that there was physical contact between Killings and a member of the men’s basketball team during the pre-game hype in late November. The incident was not reported until the administration received a complaint.

Killings received a five-game suspension, which he completed on Monday, the day the lawsuit was filed. He was also fined $25,000. A university investigation concluded that this was an isolated case. Killings admitted his mistake and apologized.

The lawsuit also alleges that the university initially decided to fire Killings after an investigation, but local business and civil rights leaders pressured the school not to do so. He also alleges that the university favored the coach “because of his race” and alleges that the school violated a section of the Civil Rights Act that prohibits racial discrimination by federally funded programs. Benson is charged with breach of contract.

A university spokesman said the school could not comment on the pending lawsuit.

“The University of…


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