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Friday / January 20.

VILLANOVA, Pa. — Jay Wright and the Villanova Wildcats are the defending national champions, and the current No. 1 team in the country.

But they’re still learning.

“I think we learned a great lesson last year,” Wright said about Villanova achieving their No. 1 ranking. “We learned a lesson again when we went to Butler. You keep learning from it, that’s what we take from it.”

After scooping up their 47th straight victory at the Pavilion Monday night in a 76-46 rout of Seton Hall, the Wildcats improved to 18-1 on the season. For a senior laden team whose been to the pinnacle of success in the world of college basketball, the idea that the group can learn much more may seem foreign.

For a team coached by the likes of Wright, it’s nothing out of the ordinary.


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — La Lumiere School (IN) small forward Brian Bowen is nearing his college decision.

The five-star recruit and No. 13 ranked player in ESPN’s class of 2017 said Monday at the Hoophall Classic he will take an unofficial visit to Michigan State at the end of the month, and then make his decision shortly after.

The Spartans have a matchup on Jan. 29 against in-state rival Michigan when Bowen will take his visit. Michigan is the only school on his list to which he hasn’t taken an official visit.

Bowen’s final five schools include Arizona, Creighton, North Carolina State and Texas to go along with Michigan State.

“Whenever I get that gut feeling on exactly where I want to go to school,” he said of a commitment timeline after scoring 18 points as No. 1-ranked La Lumiere fell to Marvin Bagley and Sierra Canyon (CA), 76-74. “Once I take this unofficial visit to Michigan State at the end of the month, right after that is when I’ll be making my decision.”

Former Marquette guard Traci Carter committed to La Salle after visiting the school this weekend, his guardian, Donnie Carr, told ZAGSBLOG.

Carter, who also visited Iona, will sit out next season and be eligible in 2018-19, Carr said.

The 6-foot point guard from Philadelphia appeared in eight games this season, including four starts, averaging 4.3 points, 3.6 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 16.3 minutes.

“Traci loved his visit to La Salle,” Carr said. “He loves the coaching staff, his future teammates and everyone in the program.

“He loves the style of play. He thinks they will have a chance to win a lot of games and he thinks the coaching staff can help him develop into a great college point guard.”

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The University of Washington could get a double-dose of the Porter Brothers next fall.

Jontay Porter, a 6-foot-9 junior forward and the younger brother of McDonald’s All-American Michael Porter Jr., is considering reclassifying and enrolling at Washington in the fall to play alongside his brother.

“Yeah, I was thinking about it, it’s not a done deal or anything,” Jontay told ZAGSBLOG following Nathan Hale’s 80-77 win over Oak Hill Academy at the Hoophall Classic. “We’re just weighing out the options.”

The younger Porter committed to Washington, where their father, Michael Porter Sr., is an assistant coach under Lorenzo Romar, for the Class of 2018 but said he is academically qualified to play beginning in 2017.

Creighton senior guard Maurice Watson Jr. tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Monday’s 72-67 win at No. 22 Xavier, head coach Greg McDermott confirmed Tuesday.

Watson, the nation’s 2016-17 leader with 162 overall assists and 8.5 assists per game, also leads the nation’s active players with 801 career assists. He is ranked ninth in Creighton history with 391 assists. The Philadelphia, Pa., native spent the first two years of his college career at Boston University.

“We are sorry to learn of the severity of Maurice’s injury, but are thankful for his contributions since joining the Bluejay program three years ago,” McDermott said. “Our team will regroup, and we have a lot of young men who are capable of stepping up to fill the void in Maurice’s absence. Maurice’s leadership role on our team will continue to be huge part of our success.”

SPRINGFIELD, MassJordan Walker thought he had the game won at the end of regulation.

His step-back three-point shot at the buzzer would have won the game, but instead he was whistled for an offensive foul.

No matter, the 5-foot-9 guard went on to score six points in the two overtime periods and finished with a near-triple-double of 15 points, 11 assists and 9 rebounds as The Patrick School fended off Duke-bound Wendell Carter and Pace Academy (GA), 68-60 in double-overtime, at the Hoophall Classic.

“Oh, I was upset, I was highly upset but I had to get past it and just try to get the win,” Walker said of the offensive foul call. “But I was highly upset.”