March Madness at Ball Arena: Playing on Nikola Jokic’s home court? “Awesome, amazing,” UC Santa Barbara freshman says of Denver

Even as a 14 seed, UC Santa Barbara wasn’t “just happy to be here.” Although freshman guard Matija Belic admitted to being more than just happy to be at Ball Arena — the Serbian counts Nuggets All-Star  Nikola Jokic as one of his hoops heroes.

“(It’s) awesome,” Belic told The Denver Post. “(It’s) amazing. I dreamed about it, to be able to play where (Jokic) performed every night.”

The 6-foot-7 Belic, who scored four points in six minutes off the bench Friday for the losing Gauchos, said he and his family often would wake up to watch Nuggets games in the middle of the night in order to catch the NBA’s two-time MVP.

“I love the way how he sees the game, how he reads the play, how he’s able to — even though he’s maybe not the best athlete on the court, even though he maybe (can’t) jump the highest, he way he reads the game, it’s unbelievable.”

Former Nugget’s son OK. Creighton forward Mason Miller, son of former Nuggets guard Mike Miller, left the Bluejays’ 72-63 win over North Carolina State about two minutes before halftime with an apparent ankle injury.

The 6-foot-9 freshman couldn’t put weight on his injured leg and had to be helped back to the Creighton locker room. Coach Greg McDermott said after the game that he was told it was a sprained ankle, but that the Jays wouldn’t be clear on its severity until Saturday morning.

Gaunchos coach on move? After UCSB unraveled in the second half of the No. 14 Gauchos’ 74-56 loss to No. 3 Baylor on Friday,  coach Joe Pasternack was asked about his candidacy for a Power 5 job. Most notably, Pasternack has been linked to the job at Cal, which recently fired head coach Mark Fox following the worst season in school history.

Pasternack reiterated his …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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