Gone are the days when North Carolina State freshman Abdul-Malik Abu was in a hurry when he caught the ball inside or was mentally trying to keep up with all the team's defensive principles.
The 6-foot-8 forward looks at ease and has been a major factor in the eighth-seeded Wolfpack's push to the Sweet 16.
"Confidence can take you a lot of places," Abu said. "The more confident you are, the more you're capable of things you never thought you could do."
Now he has had three straight double-figure scoring games, including a double-double in last weekend's upset of No. 1 seed Villanova in the East Regional. More important, he looks more assertive and confident heading into the game Friday against Louisville (26-8) in Syracuse.
Against Villanova, Abu had 13 points and 12 rebounds in a season-high 31 minutes. One second-half sequence stood out for coach Mark Gottfried, when Abu "made his mind up he was going to get something done" and had four straight offensive rebounds on the same possession before being fouled.
Abu is averaging 6.4 points and 4.7 rebounds on the season.
Bobby Hurley has agreed to a new contract with the University at Buffalo that will make him the Mid-American Conference's highest paid men's basketball coach, a person familiar with negotiations told the Associated Press. Hurley will make more than $550,000 a season, the person said.
Two-time NBA coach Eric Musselman will take over at Nevada. He spent the last season as an assistant at LSU, and was an assistant at Arizona State the two years before that. He takes over for the fired David Carter.
LSU sophomore forward Jarell Martin said he's entering the NBA draft. The 6-foot-10 forward averaged 16.9 points and 9.2 rebounds this season.
Kansas State has announced that leading scorer Marcus Foster (12.5 ppg) and freshman Tre Harris have been dismissed from the team, and that starting guard Jevon Thomas (team-leading 102 assists) will transfer. The school said Foster and Harris did not live up to standards the school sets for its players.