St. Joe's Halil Kanacevic Flipped off the Pavilion Crowd, Then Gave Away the Game

St. Joe's Halil Kanacevic Flipped off the Pavilion Crowd, Then Gave Away the Game

It's the cardinal rule of college basketball:

If you're going to flip off an opposing student section, be sure to hit your free throws.

It's a rule St. Joseph's junior forward Halil Kanacevic learned the hard way Tuesday night.

Kanacevic, who had been struggling for the first 30 minutes of his team's 65-61 loss to Villanova, hit a three with 9:56 to play to put the Hawks up three, 50-47. Immediately thereafter, while jogging backwards down the floor on defense, he lifted his hands in the air to taunt the Villanova student section. The three would prove his only field goal of the night.

Later, with 45.8 seconds left and Saint Joseph's up, 61-60, Kanacevic rimmed two free throws, allowing the Wildcats' James Bell to go down the other end and knock down the game-winning three.

Just over 40 seconds later, with 3.5 to play, Kanacevic attempted to inbound the ball off Villanova's Maurice Sutton before he could be whistled for a five-second violation. Rather than getting another chance to pass it in, Kanacevic had the ball ricochet off Sutton and then off his own body, giving Villanova the basketball and the game.

These postgame quotes courtesy CSNPhilly's Matt Haughton:

"I did not [see it] (Kanacevic's hand gesture) ‘cause there was a timeout called and I saw people coming off the court. I didn’t see it," St. Joe's coach Phil Martelli said.

"One of the things that we will mention to them is that on the road you
play to silence. That’s all you want. It certainly wasn’t a raucous
atmosphere up until that point, but I’ll look at it and see. I don’t
think it made us play faster or out of character. We just made some
out-of-character plays and plays that were home runs instead of singles.


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"He (Kanacevic) seemed a little bothered during the game,” said Bell, who finished
tied with JayVaughn Pinkston for a team high with 12 points. “The ref
had came to him at the free throw line one time while he was shooting
and told him, ‘Don’t worry about the crowd. Don’t say nothing.’ He just
continued to let it get to him and he didn’t have the best attitude.”

Kanacevic finished with four points, four assists and a game-high five turnovers on 1 of 3 shooting from the floor and 1 of 4 shooting from the foul line.

Jahlil Okafor trade watch: Bulls reportedly unwilling to trade first-round pick

Jahlil Okafor trade watch: Bulls reportedly unwilling to trade first-round pick

With the NBA trade deadline nearly upon us — 3 p.m. Thursday — here is the latest on Jahlil Okafor. (We'll update this with news on Okafor throughout the afternoon.)

• The Bulls are still pushing to acquire Okafor, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

Chicago has been one of the rumored destinations for weeks — in fact, the Bulls were reported as a suitor for Okafor before the Pelicans, Blazers and Pacers.

• What's the hold-up? According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls "have shown no inclination to this point of including" their first-round pick, along with a player, which is what the Sixers have been seeking for Okafor.

Johnson notes that forward Nikola Mirotic is available. Mirotic, 26, is a restricted free agent after the season. With Ersan Ilyasova traded to Atlanta Wednesday night, perhaps the Sixers could look at Mirotic as a backup four to Dario Saric. 

Mirotic's value is in his outside shooting — he's a 6-foot-10 forward who made 39 percent of his threes last season. But his numbers have dipped across the board this season and he's shooting just 38 percent from the field and 30 percent from three.

• According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Okafor's preferred landing spot is Chicago, his hometown.

• Obviously, it's not up to Jah — the Sixers will go with whichever offer is best.

Eagles wise to bring Jason Peters back, even with full salary

Eagles wise to bring Jason Peters back, even with full salary

This isn't a big surprise, but Jason Peters will be back with the Eagles — big salary and all — for the 2017 season.

While the Eagles approached the veteran left tackle about his contract in January, Peters has not restructured his deal, according to a league source. 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on Thursday morning reported that Peters will be back next season on his normal contract. 

Yes, Peters is expensive in 2017. His base salary after hitting another Pro Bowl escalator written into his contract is up to $10.45 million for next season (plus a $250K workout bonus), which comes with a big cap hit of $11.7 million. That cap hit is the highest on the team, but not outlandish for a high-caliber left tackle. 

The Eagles could have very well cut Peters and moved on. It would have saved them significant cap space to use elsewhere. They just wouldn't have found any player more valuable to pay with that money. 

Peters, 35, is still their best option to protect Carson Wentz's blind side. He made his ninth Pro Bowl in 2016 after playing all 16 games. The team hasn't been shy about wanting him back and Peters toward the end of the season said he wanted to return for another year. 

"We certainly want to have him back," Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said of Peters in early January.

“I love him. I want him on the team,” head coach Doug Pederson said with two games remaining this past season. “I don’t want him to go anywhere."

With Peters back, it means Lane Johnson's eventual trip to left tackle will be held off for another year. Eventually, he'll take over that spot … just not right now. 

During the season, Peters opened up about his future, saying he hopes Wentz can be the guy who finally gets him a Super Bowl ring (see story).