Men's College Basketball
NCAAB News Wire
  • Duke taking cautious approach to high expectations
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, October 26, 2016

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- With expectations for the men's basketball season swirling at almost unprecedented levels even for Duke, coach Mike Krzyzewski and his Blue Devils are taking a more calculated approach.

    • "One of our mottos this year is to understand nothing is given to us," fifth-year senior forward Amile Jefferson said. "We have to stay hungry."

      Krzyzewski acknowledges that the Blue Devils are stocked with talent. He's always regularly pointing out that it's a process, something he emphasized during Wednesday's Atlantic Coast Conference media day.

      "We don't know about our team," Krzyzewski said of lineup breakdowns. "We're going to be a very much developing team. But a very good team, obviously."

      Krzyzewski said watching the team evolve is something to embrace.

      "It's better for somebody to have high expectations for your team than not have them," he said.

      A top-rated freshman class to go with a few proven veterans has caused some of the hype for this version of the Blue Devils. Those newcomers are aiming to fit in.

      "They're all excited," said Jefferson, who was a member of Duke's 2015 title team. "They've seen our rings or whatever. We're all excited like every year to have a chance to do something special."

      The heralded freshman class adds to a veteran cast that includes Jefferson, senior guard Matt Jones and junior guard Grayson Allen, who averaged 21.6 points per game on his way to All-ACC first-team honors.

      "The first-year players have been embraced, Jefferson said.

      "Now it's about instilling our standards in them and making sure they continue to gel," he said.

      Krzyzewski said concerns about distributing playing time among a cast of 10 or 11 players will work itself out.

      "There's always a few guys playing better than the other guys," he said. If you're playing well, you'll be out on the court. If you're playing really well, you'll be out on the court more."

      Jones said there's no sense of invincibility on a team that has yet to play a game. He said one lackluster performance could alter a perception or ranking.

      "It could change in a day," Jones said. "For us, it's all about getting better. We have to earn everything we get."

      Duke had a scare in Tuesday's practice when freshman forward Jayson Tatum went down with a foot injury. Krzyzewski said it's a sprain and he's expected to miss about two weeks. So while he'll sit out the team's two exhibition games, it's possible he'll be available for the Nov. 11 opener against visiting Marist.

      "It's a manageable injury that will not impact Jayson long term," Krzyzewski said.

      With highly touted freshman post player Harry Giles already out of action because of a left knee arthroscopy in early October, Jones said there were anxious moments for Tatum when he exited practice.

      "You don't want to see a guy of that caliber (go down), especially this close to the season," Jones said.

      WHAT'S IN THE CARDS: Just like a year ago, the ACC preseason gathering in Charlotte comes just days after a bombshell for Louisville's program.

      Last week, the NCAA's initial response to alleged infractions regarding the Cardinals was handed down and those could eventually lead to penalties on coach Rick Pitino.

      The scandal, which involves a former staffer setting up alleged sexual encounters for recruits, was relatively new a year ago. That news broke prior to the 2015 ACC media day, and Pitino was advised to skip the event and he did.

      He showed up this year, though his preferred topic was basketball. That includes what he calls a particularly rugged schedule and a roster with talent but reduced depth.

      The Cardinals self-imposed a postseason ban last season, so the players are accustomed to dealing with the fallout.

      "We just came off a terrible situation," sophomore guard Donovan Mitchell said. "The thing about this team is we all enjoy being counted out. We don't let those things get to us."

      Not participating in the postseason last year was an odd experience for Pitino.

      "When you look at the Final Four and you realize you beat two of those teams," he said, pointing out he was particularly disappointed for two fifth-year seniors who were on hand with the intent of competing in the NCAA Tournament.

      ALREADY POPULAR: North Carolina State has touted freshman guard Dennis Smith Jr. as one of the country's top players even though he has yet to play a college game.

      Contributing to his cause, he was on hand for ACC media day and a popular subject at that. A crowd of reporters gathered to hear what he had to say.

      That left junior forward Abdul-Malik Abu with a less-crowded area in front of him.

      "He's the chosen one," Abu said. "That's what I call him."

      N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried doesn't shy away from promoting new player.

      "Some early projections list Smith as a possible No. 1 overall draft pick.

      "He wants to do everything right," Gottfried said. "It's going to be fun to watch him this year."

      Smith, who enrolled at the university last January as he recovered from knee surgery that nixed what would have been a senior season of high school, said he's confident entering this new territory.

      "I don't think it's a transition at all," Smith said. "I've been playing basketball since the age of 6."

      LOOKING FOR LEADERSHIP: As the national runner-up last season, there's still plenty of buzz around North Carolina.

      Junior guard Joel Berry, who excelled during much of the season and was named the Most Valuable Player of the ACC Tournament, knows he has to take a more high-profile role this season.

      That comes in part because Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson were seniors a year ago. Paige was the clear leader of the group, even after missing about a month at the start of the season with an injury.

      "Marcus was an all-around great player," Berry said. "He was a great leader and great all-around teammate. With leadership, I think I'm going to have to be more vocal. With Marcus out (at the start of last season) I had to step into a role sooner than I expected and I think that helped."

      While coach Roy Williams and two of his players were at the ACC media day, junior swingman Theo Pinson was coming out of surgery stemming from a broken foot in practice last week. He's expected to miss at least a couple of months. He averaged more than 18 minutes per game last season.

      COLOR IT ORNAGE: Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has pointed out that the Orange should be better than a year ago even with the team coming off an unexpected Final Four appearance.

      That postseason run, which ended with a loss to ACC member North Carolina in the national semifinals, is a form of fuel for this season.

      "We fell off a little bit and we started click at the right time," senior forward Tyler Roberson said of the Orange, which was a No. 10 regional seed last season for the NCAA Tournament. "We always have high expectations for ourselves. I definitely agree with Coach (that we should be better)."

      The Orange added transfers Andrew White (from Nebraska) and John Gillon (form Colorado State) so that was an instant jolt of college experience joining the roster.

      It also provides Syracuse with more depth than often is displayed. But already, last March's success provides a former of confidence.

      "It helped us out a lot," senior center DaJuan Coleman said. "It gives us a lot of experience and we kind of know what it takes to get there."

      CAVALIER ATTITUDE: Virginia has been a No. 1 or 2 seed for the NCAA Tournament in each of the past three seasons and a retooled Cavaliers team could be a force again.

      But only point guard London Perrantes was a full-time starter a year ago.

      "It's a lot more teaching because we do have some young guys," Perrantes said. "But it comes down to the leaders on the team."

      Perrantes led the ACC with 48.8 percent shooting from 3-point range last season, when Virginia came up one victory shy of its third consecutive 30-win season.

      WELCOME TO THE ACC: Georgia Tech with Josh Pastner and Pittsburgh with Kevin Stallings have new coaches.

      That's an adjustment for the players on those teams.

      "It's my first time experience Coach Pastner and the assistants," Georgia Tech senior forward Quinton Stephens said. "I learn something new every day. They're great teachers."

      Pastner spent seven seasons as the Memphis coach.

      Stallings, who had been at Vanderbilt since 1999-2000, is entering a tough rotation regarding Pittsburgh's schedule, which calls for two ACC meetings each with North Carolina, Virginia, Syracuse and Louisville.

      Those opponents will see a different type of team than the one operating under Jamie Dixon, who left to go to Texas Christian.

      "Style of play," senior forward Sheldon Jeter said of the difference. "It's faster."

      Stallings said it's a two-way process in the communication between himself and his new team.

      They need to know in some cases 'why,'" Stallings said.

      HE KNOWS THE GIG: Graduate transfer Austin Arians has yet to play a game for Wake Forest, but he attended the ACC media day as one of the team's two player representatives.

      It was his second media day after last year's Horizon League event with Milwaukee.

      "I'm a media day veteran," Arians said.

      He made the move partly because of Milwaukee's coaching change. His role with the Demon Deacons is expected to be as a long-range shooter after Wake Forest had the ACC's worst 3-point shooting percentage (31.6 percent) last season. Arians made 186 baskets from 3-point range in three seasons for Milwaukee.

      Arians said he's familiar with many of the players he encountered Wednesday at the ACC preseason event only because he watched them on television (other than Notre Dame because his former team faced the Irish last season).

      "A lot more people here," he said. "A lot bigger venue."

  • Former IU player Jadlow alleges abuse at hands of Bob Knight
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, October 26, 2016

    Former Indiana basketball player Todd Jadlow claims in a new book that Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight physically and emotionally abused him and his teammates during his time with the team in the late 1980s.

    • The recently published book, "Jadlow: On The Rebound," details Jadlow's time as a member of the Hoosiers' national championship team in 1987 as well as his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction and depression. Jadlow co-wrote the book with journalist Tom Brew.

      Jadlow, who played for the Hoosiers from 1985 to 1989, said Knight repeatedly abused players, including that the coach punched him in the back of his head with a closed fist before a tournament game, cracked a clipboard over his head during a 1989 game, grabbed him so hard he bruised his side and squeezed him in his groin during a timeout.

      "If he did those things today he would be in jail," Jadlow told Indianapolis television station WTHR on Tuesday. "I'm a Knight guy, I'm proud to have played for him and love him like a father. Let's not mistake that. But this was the life we led when we were playing for him."

      Jadlow later told ESPN on Tuesday night he did not intend to tarnish Knight's reputation.

      "I wrote this book to be honest about my life,'' Jadlow told ESPN in a phone interview from his home in Kansas City, Mo. "I didn't go into it to demean Coach Knight or put him down. I was just telling stories when I was at IU. It's not like I had a vendetta. I still have a lot of respect for him and look at him as a father figure. I didn't do this to tarnish him. I went through my own struggles, but these things happened at Indiana. I will let people who read this book and consider if it's abuse or torment by today's standards. If things went on today like they did, then you would be in jail.''

      UCLA coach Steve Alford, who was at Indiana from 1983 to 1987 and played two seasons with Jadlow two years prior to the alleged incidents, told ESPN in a text message on Tuesday night: "None of that ever happened while I was at IU -- NONE.''

      WTHR reporter Bob Kravitz wrote Tuesday that he reached out to Knight to respond to Jadlow's claims, but Knight was not interested in giving a comment.

      Knight was fired by Indiana in 2000 after 29 seasons and three national championships when school president Myles Brand cited an "unacceptable pattern of behavior" by Knight.

      Knight went on to coach at Texas Tech for seven seasons, retiring at the end of the 2007-08 season with 899 career victories. He later worked as a college basketball analyst for ESPN.

      Jadlow, now 50, recounted in the book that his low points included drug use and trafficking in South America and a number of DUIs. He ultimately served a year in jail, as well as another six months of work release and halfway house programs during a probationary period.

  • Duke freshman Tatum suffers foot injury
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, October 25, 2016

    Duke freshman Jayson Tatum reportedly suffered a foot injury during Tuesday's Pro Day at Duke.

    • ESPN college basketball analyst Seth Greenberg, who attended the event, tweeted, "Jayson Tatum goes down with some type of foot injury. Didn't look good."

      There were no other immediate details, but if Tatum is sidelined for any significant period, it will be a blow to the Blue Devils, who are No. 1 in a number of preseason rankings.

      Tatum, a 6-foot-8 forward, is rated the nation's No. 3 overall recruit in the class of 2016 by ESPN.

      Duke's other highly touted freshman forward, Harry Giles, recently had knee surgery and is expected to be sidelined when the Blue Devils open the regular season Nov. 11 against Marist at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Giles is ranked the nation's No. 1 recruit by ESPN.

  • Auburn to honor Barkley with statue
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 23, 2016

    Auburn plans to build a statue of Charles Barkley outside the university's basketball arena.

    • Barkley's statue will be the first on campus to honor a former athlete who did not play football. The school has erected statues for the Tigers' three Heisman Trophy winners -- Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.

      The school made the announcement about the Barkley statue plans in a video that was played on the big board to fans attending Auburn's 56-3 victory over Arkansas on Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

      Jackson appeared on the video board to tweak Barkley for not having a statue on-campus, before Jackson announced to the crowd that the school is going to add one of Barkley. Jackson then emerged on the field and the legends hugged.

      "It just means a great deal to me," Barkley said in a statement. "Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It's going to be pretty cool."

      Barkley played at Auburn from 1981 to 1984 before being drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round. He went on to a Hall of Fame NBA career. Auburn retired Barkley's jersey in 2001.

      "It's more than about what Charles Barkley accomplished here at Auburn, which is certainly historic, but it has been about his life's work and contribution," Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said in a statement. "We want to recognize one of the most respected, philanthropic NBA legends, Hall of Famer, for his lifetime achievements.

      "Our Auburn Family is so blessed to have an Auburn man like Charles Barkley in the public eye representing us. A statue and a symbol like this serves to bring attention to that and will stand the test of time."

  • Duke atop first college basketball coaches poll
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, October 20, 2016

    Duke opens the season as the top-ranked college basketball team in the nation, according to the preseason USA Today coaches poll released Thursday.

    • The Blue Devils received 27 of 32 first-place votes. Kansas is second and defending national champion Villanova is third. Kentucky and Oregon round out the top five.

      Duke is the preseason No. 1 in the coaches poll for the first time since 2010.

      The Blue Devils feature a strong trio of returners in guards Grayson Allen and Matt Jones as well as forward Amile Jefferson. The Blue Devils also feature a strong freshman class though forward Harry Giles, rated the No. 1 recruit in the nation by ESPN, recently underwent knee surgery that will cause him to miss the beginning of the season.

      Kansas, which received one first-place vote, is reloading but features an impact freshman in forward Josh Jackson.

      The Jayhawks and Duke meet Nov. 15 in the Champions Classic at New York's Madison Square Garden. No. 4 Kentucky meets No. 9 Michigan State in the night's other contest.

      Villanova also received a first-place vote and returns two stars from last season's NCAA title team in guards Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins.

      No. 4 Kentucky received two first-place votes and is once again reloading behind freshmen. No. 5 Oregon, which received one first-place vote, won't have star forward Dillon Brooks (foot surgery) at the start of the season.

      North Carolina is sixth and Virginia is seventh as part of five ACC teams in the Top 25. The Big Ten also has five ranked teams.

      Xavier is ranked eighth and viewed as a trendy Final Four selection. The Musketeers return three starters from a team that won 28 games last season.

      Wisconsin is ranked 10th, followed by Arizona, Indiana and Gonzaga.

      Louisville checks in at No. 14 on the same day that it was revealed that coach Rick Pitino is charged with failure to monitor the basketball program, stemming from the investigation into allegations made by a former escort.

      Purdue is 15th, followed by Connecticut, Syracuse, West Virginia and Saint Mary's. UCLA is ranked 20th.

      Rounding out the Top 25 are Maryland, Texas, Creighton, Rhode Island and Cincinnati.

  • Pitino dinged by NCAA for 'failure to monitor'
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, October 20, 2016

    Louisville coach Rick Pitino is charged with failure to monitor the basketball program stemming from the investigation into allegations made by a former escort.

    • "For the past 30-some-odd years as a coach, I believe in the NCAA," Pitino said. "The people who investigated this were highly professional and they were fair. Do I agree with the failure to monitor one of my people? Absolutely no. I overly monitor my staff.

      "I'm not guilty of failure to monitor my staff. I'm guilty of trusting someone. All head coaches believe and trust in assistant coaches. It's what coaches do."

      In the NCAA notice of allegations released Thursday, Pitino and former director of basketball operations Andre McGee - pinned as the ringleader of the escort scandal in which women were paid to perform sexual acts with recruits - are named directly by Louisville, which avoided the larger, more damning "lack of institutional control" charge.

      The notice, per ESPN, which obtained a version before it was released, said Pitino did not monitor McGee and failed to "spot check" and "actively look for red flags."

      Louisville president Neville Pinto and athletic director Tom Jurich plan to dispute the charges formally.

      "I am grateful to the NCAA for their efforts in this case. It's important for the truth to be known and for us to deal with it accordingly," Pinto said Thursday at a noon ET press conference. "I am disappointed that former direction of basketball operations Andre McGee did not cooperate with the investigation. I am confident in Coach Pitino."

      McGee did not participate in the NCAA investigation.

      "Last year I told you that if there was something wrong we'd get to the bottom of it. We know have the NCAA notice of allegations," Jurich said. "I am saddened and disappointed this happened. I want to draw your attention to something important in the notice of allegations. It's what it did not say. The (NOA) doesn't contain and allegation that coach Pitino had knowledge of what took place in the dormitory. The NCAA does not allege a lack of institutional control, which would have been a serious allegation."

      Jurich, who said he has worked beside Pitino for 15 years, said Louisville will fight the allegation that Pitino failed to monitor McGee.

      "I've come to the conclusion that (Pitino) could not have known," Jurich said. "I can tell you if he ever caught a whiff of what was going on he would have hit the roof. This activity was clearly kept from him. I believe Andre acted furtively, doing everything he could to keep it from a coach knowing how he would have not approved."

      Pitino could face a multi-game suspension and fine. Last season, Jim Boeheim of Syracuse was penalized nine games.

      Pitino came under intense criticism after Katina Powell, an escort, wrote a book "Breaking Cardinal Rules" which detailed the payment for performances in the form of cash and game tickets. Powell identified McGee as the one who paid for sex with recruits and players in the players' dormitory, Minardi Hall, which was constructed in honor of Pitino's brother-in-law.

      The NCAA findings Thursday were that McGee paid at least $5,400 to the escorts and 17 or more recruits were involved in what is deemed impermissible benefits.

      "I would say that most coaches don't go in the dormitory, but I was in that dormitory," Pitino said. "But to be perfectly honest, I'm not there from 10 in the evening until 4 o'clock in the morning, I'm just not."

      Pitino has repeated he had no knowledge of the activity, but the NCAA bylaws stipulate that the head coach is presumed responsible for actions within the program, a change implemented not long after Penn State was penalized for the felonious actions of child predator Jerry Sandusky.

      Former assistant Brandon Williams is named in a third charge. He refused to cooperate with the NCAA investigation and did not turn over phone records.

      Both former assistants are likely to be hit with the harshest penalties because the NCAA deems ethical misconduct the most egregious offenses.

      Jurich and Pitino said there will be new regulations in place at the dormitory and program wide including changes in security. The dormitory has full security.

      "I wish it would've leaked out to me because it would've been stopped immediately," Pitino said. "The way to move forward is to convince everybody - if we see something wrong we stop it. It's not what we're all about. It's not what our fan base is all about."

  • Duke freshman Giles out six weeks
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, October 3, 2016

    Duke freshman Harry Giles, who was rated this year's No. 1 recruit in the nation by ESPN, underwent his third knee surgery in the past three years on Monday, the school announced.

    • Duke described the arthroscopic procedure on Giles' left knee as "successful."

      The 6-foot-10 Giles is expected to miss six weeks, which means he may not be ready to play in the Blue Devils' Nov. 11 season-opener against Marist or the Nov. 15 game against Kansas at Madison Square Garden.

      "The procedure was performed by Dr. Claude T. Moorman, head team physician, at Duke University Medical Center," according to Duke's release.

      Duke's freshman class is rated the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation by ESPN, and Giles was a key part of that class.

      "We're very pleased with the outcome of today's procedure," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. "This is the right step for Harry at the moment as it will help him be 100 percent going forward. Harry has done a tremendous job in rehabilitation over the last year and I'm sure he'll continue to do the same after this procedure."

  • IU forward Hartman out after knee surgery
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, September 29, 2016

    Collin Hartman is out indefinitely after knee surgery, Indiana coach Tom Crean announced via Instagram.

    • "Any time you see one of your players go down to injury, it tears you up as a person and as a program -- and even more so when it's someone like Collin Hartman, who has been a huge part of our success and is in his senior year," Crean said. "We all look forward to helping him recover and rehabilitate."

      Hartman, a 6-foot-7 senior forward with a perimeter game, injured his left knee in a noncontact drill during practice. Indiana said the injury is too recent to offer a timetable for his return to basketball. Hartman underwent surgery Monday.

      Hartman started 24 games and played in 35 as a junior, averaging 5.0 points and 3.1 rebounds.

      At the end of his freshman season, Hartman tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

  • Tip-Off tournament moved from Puerto Rico to Florida
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, September 26, 2016

    The 2016 Puerto Rico Tip-Off college basketball tournament is moving out of the island due to concerns about the Zika virus, according to multiple reports.

    • The eight-team tournament will instead take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. Arizona State, Clemson, Davidson, Missouri, Northern Iowa, Oklahoma, Tulane and Xavier will remain the participants in the event, which takes place Nov. 17-20.

      "We enjoy the beauty and accommodations that are afforded in Puerto Rico and wanted to make every effort in playing the event in San Juan, but the concern for student-athlete and spectator welfare became the primary driver in the decision," ESPN senior vice president Pete Derzis said in a statement. "We intend to return to Puerto Rico in the future."

      Coaches and staffers reportedly expressed concern about traveling to Puerto Rico, where the Zika virus continues to spread.

      The Puerto Rico Tourism Company issued a statement that read in part: "We are disappointed about this decision that we believe has been based on fear not the facts about Puerto Rico. With all the steps that we have taken to address the mosquito population and aggressive Zika education ... we firmly believe the teams would have been safe in our accommodations and our indoor and air conditioned sports facilities, enabling them to have a worry free experience in November on the island."

  • Villanova F Spellman ineligible for 2016-17 season
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, September 23, 2016

    The NCAA has ruled Villanova freshman power forward Omari Spellman ineligible for the 2016-17 basketball season and he will be an academic redshirt, the school announced Friday.

    • Spellman will continue to receive an athletic scholarship and practice with the team. He retains four seasons of athletic eligibility.

      The NCAA determined Spellman did not complete his initial eligibility requirements in time despite graduating from high school in 2016.

      "We are extremely disappointed for Omari," Villanova coach Jay Wright said in a statement. "While we don't agree with the NCAA's decision, we are members of the association and respect it. We understand why the NCAA felt it had to rule this way. We will make a positive out of this for Omari. He will concentrate on his academics and individual development this season. In the long run, Omari will be a better student and player for this experience."

      The 6-foot-9, 275-pound Spellman, from St. Thomas More School in Connecticut, was considered a five-star prospect in the 2016 class.

      The Wildcats are the defending national champions after defeating North Carolina in the NCAA title game.

  • Georgia Tech hires Stansbury as AD
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, September 22, 2016

    Georgia Tech has appointed former football player Todd Stansbury as its new athletic director.

    • Stansbury was Oregon State's athletic director for the past year. He was also Central Florida's AD from 2012-15.

      Stansbury, 55, was a middle linebacker at Georgia Tech from 1980-84. He also was the university's assistant athletic director for academics from 1988-95.

      "I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to return to Georgia Tech, a place that has played such a large role in my life and the place responsible for opening up a world to me that I didn't even know existed," Stansbury said in a statement. "I am thankful to President (Bud) Peterson and the selection committee for providing me this opportunity."

      Stansbury replaces Mike Bobinski, who recently departed to become Purdue's athletic director.

      "Todd Stansbury is committed to athletes' success both on and off the field," Peterson said in a statement. "His global perspective and leadership experience in athletics and development, combined with a lifelong passion for Georgia Tech, make him the ideal candidate.

      "I believe this is one of those rare golden moments in life where opportunity meets ambition. We welcome him home."

  • Miami won't suspend F Huell for incident with ex-girlfriend
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, September 21, 2016

    Miami Hurricanes freshman forward Dewan Huell will not be suspended following a charge of misdemeanor battery, with coach Jim Larranaga calling it "an internal matter."

    • Huell, 19, was arrested last week at Florida International University, with campus police saying he attacked a man who was with his ex-girlfiend. Huell was later released on $1,5000 bond. No punches were reported to be thrown in the incident.

      "I feel like it's an internal matter," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said, via the Miami Herald. "Dewan is a great kid. I've gotten to know him better and better since he arrived on campus in June. He knows he made a mistake, and we will handle it internally."

      The 6-foot-11, 220-pound Huell was a McDonald's All-American at Miami Norland High, where he averaged 19.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game as a senior, and was rated as the No. 21 recruit in the country by ESPN.

  • Report: George Washington dismisses coach
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, September 17, 2016

    Mike Lonergan is out as George Washington basketball coach, according to a USA Today report Friday night.

    • The school fired the 50-year-old Lonergan amid reports of player abuse. The coaching staff was given the news on Friday evening, but no official announcement was made by the university.

      Lonergan, hired at the school in 2011, was accused in July of verbal and emotional abuse of his players, The Washington Post reported. Players and coaches were interviewed by an independent firm after the allegations surfaced.

      The players apparently told investigators that Lonergan said things about the school's athletic director, other players on the team and at least one opposing player.

      One George Washington player told The Post that he wanted to stay at the school but would not play for Longeran. At least three players have transferred from the program in the past four years.

      George Washington won the NIT championship last season.

      Lonergan-coached teams have made two appearances in the NCAA Tournament (Vermont, 2010; George Washington, 2014). The Washington D.C.-area native's career record in Division I is 223-138.

      George Washington opens the 2016-17 season on Nov. 11 at home against Maryland-Eastern Shore.

  • Mississippi St. gets verbal committment from Weatherspoon
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, September 12, 2016

    Mississippi State landed a verbal committment from point guard Nick Weatherspoon for coach Ben Howland's class of 2017 during an official school visit over the weekend.

    • Weatherspoon will join older brother Quinndary, who made an impact for the Bulldogs as a freshman last season.

      "I was so close to these guys and I just see myself playing really well here at the point guard position," Nick Weatherspoon said. "I really trust coach Ben Howland. He will do things to help me get better as a guard and put me in position to play at even the next level in one or two years."

      The 6-foot-2 Weatherspoon is ranked as the No. 32 prospect in the country by ESPN and No. 20 by Rivals. He was a first-team all-state honoree last season while averaging 22.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.1 steals per game for Velma Jackson in Mississippi.

      Weatherspoon had been scheduled to visit NC State last weekend, but does not plan to make that trip or any others despite having offers from North Carolina, Louisville and Ohio State.

      "They checked on me every day," Weatherspoon told the Clarion Ledger of Howland's staff. "I didn't talk to the other head coaches like I talked to Coach Howland. I am firmly with Mississippi State and I am really happy about that."

      It also helped having an older brother already in the program.

      "It had a lot to do with it," Weatherspoon said. "I really want to get to play with my brother again."

  • South Carolina lands 7-1 commit Cudd
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, September 12, 2016

    Jason Cudd, a 7-foot-1 center out of Socastee, S.C., officially committed to the Gamecocks on Monday after visiting the campus over the weekend, according to The State.

    • Cudd had also considered offers from East Carolina and Tulane, but said he thought he would be a good fit in Gamecocks coach Frank Martin's scheme.

      "They showed me how they use their big men and the style of play that they play," Cudd said, via The State. "I think it would be a great fit. They throw the ball inside a lot. They run the offense thru the big man."

      Cudd averaged 12 points and 8.0 rebounds last season, and is the first commitment in the Gamecocks' class of 2017.

      Cudd becomes the first Gamecock commitment for the 2017 class.

      "He's a really good outside shooter," Socastee coach Derrick Hilton told The State. "He's active and runs the floor. He's a kid who wants to get better and we're trying to get him stronger. He's not bad close to the rim but he's not overly athletic. We've got to get him more active but he has a presence."

  • Top recruit Ayton surprises with Arizona committment
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, September 7, 2016

    Five-star big man DeAndre Ayton, the top-rated prospect in the country in the 2017 class by several recruiting services, announced on ESPN that he has verbally committed to Arizona.

    • The 7-foot-1, 245-pounder was born in the Bahamas and averaged 21 points, 16 rebounds and almost four blocked shots per game for Hillcrest Academy in Phoenix last season. Ayton was heavily recruited by several top programs, including Kansas and Kentucky.

      Ayton entered the summer leaning toward Kansas, but cited the relationship the Arizona coaching staff forged with himself and his mother, Andrea, in ultimately choosing the Wildcats.

      "It's close to home, and I really built a great relationship with Coach (Sean) Miller and (Joe) Pasternak," Ayton told ESPN in making his announcement Tuesday. "It's important to me for my mom to see me play - and to be close to her."

      Ayton, 18, was born in Nassau and moved to San Diego in the seventh grade, and is now in his second season at Hillcrest. He is considered an athletic big man who can play the post and also step out to the perimeter and hit shots.

      Ayton also dispelled rumors he may forego college and play overseas until eligible for the NBA Draft.

      "College is a must," he told ESPN. "My family wants me to go to college. It's important for me and my mom. I want to go to Arizona and win a national championship. Arizona won its only national title 20 years ago - and I'd like to help bring another one to Tucson."

      Ayton averaged 20.1 points and 11.9 rebounds on the Nike EYBL circuit over the spring and summer. He joins Michael Porter Jr. (Washington) as top recruits for 2017 to make verbal commitments. Arizona has also landed a commitment from ESPN 100 guard Alex Barcello.

  • Xavier suspends Davis indefinitely
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, September 2, 2016

    Xavier announced senior guard Myles Davis has been suspended indefinitely and may not return to the program.

    • The school's press release did not say what led to Davis' suspension, citing student privacy laws, but the Cincinnati Enquirer reported last month that Davis' ex-girlfriend had filed a protective order after alledging he had threatened her, damaged her cellphone and attempted "to punch through (her) windows."

      Davis has denied the woman's allegation, but is not allowed to come within 500 feet of her - and 10 feet on campus - per the protective order.

      "Myles Davis is suspended indefinitely from all basketball related activities," Xavier coach Chris Mack said in the school's release. "Playing basketball for Xavier is a privilege and we have high expectations for how our student-athletes represent our university. Unless Myles meets those expectations he will not be a part of our program."

      Davis averaged 10.8 points and led the Mustakeers with 4.1 assists per game last season.

      Meanwhile, Mack announced 6-6, 195-pound forward Malcolm Bernard has committed to the Muskateers as a graduate transfer from Florida A&M.

      Bernard, a native of Middleburgh, Fla., was a 2015-16 Second Team All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference selection after leading the MEAC ranking 10th in the nation with an average of 2.3 steals per game in his lone season at FAMU. He played his first two seasons for Charleston Southern.

      "I am really excited for Malcolm to be a part of our program," said Mack. "It's very evident through his recruitment that Malcolm wants to win. He has tremendous versatility with his ability to defend multiple positions and offensively one of his best attributes is his ability to find the open man. He's an excellent athlete who excels in transition. Malcolm was a great fit with his new teammates and will be entering his fifth year of college basketball. Anytime you can add that type of experience to your roster with the right type of person it's a great addition."

  • UNLV adds another transfer in Baxter
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, September 2, 2016

    Forward Troy Baxter Jr. committed to UNLV a week after being granted a release from his letter of intent to South Florida.

    • The 6-foot-8, 195-pound Tallahassee, Fla. native has also planned on visiting UCLA and Arizona State before landing with the Rebels. Baxter Jr. averaged 17.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks at Oldsmar Christian High School last season and was a consensus four-star recruit.

      "I felt comfortable and relaxed (at South Florida) when first committing," Baxter Jr. told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "But as time went on, that changed. In the end, it just wasn't the place for me."

      The South Florida program is being investigated by the NCAA for possible academic fraud, although it is uncertain how much that played into Baxter Jr.'s decision to decommitt.

      UNLV coach Marvin Menzies also added St. John's graduate transfer Christian Jones with only one forward returning from the 2015-16 roster.

      "I was really impressed with Coach Menzies and his style and his staff and the vision for the future," Baxter told the Review-Journal. "He wants to bring championships back to UNLV."

  • Oregon lands transfer White from Georgetown
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, September 1, 2016

    Wing forward Paul White announced he will transfer to Oregon, where he will sit out the 2016-17 season per NCAA transfer rules.

    • A top-50 recruit in 2014 who signed with Georgetown, White played only 67 minutes as a sophomore for the Hoyas last season while dealing with injuries.

      "University of Oregon will be my new home!" White wrote on his Twitter account Wednesday. "Thank you to the whole Oregon family for making me a Duck now. Time to work."

      The 6-foot-8 Chicago native averaged 5.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game last season.

  • G White transfers from Nebraska to Syracuse
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, August 28, 2016

    Nebraska graduate transfer guard Andrew White committed to Syracuse on Sunday.

    • Because the 6-foot-7, 220-pound White has already graduated from Nebraska, he will be eligible to play for coach Jim Boeheim's Orange immediately.

      "Excited to join Syracuse Basketball," White tweeted Sunday.

      White averaged 16.6 points and 5.9 rebounds in 34 games with the Cornhuskers last season. He made 41 percent of his 3-point attempts.

      White also considered VCU, which is located in his hometown of Richmond, Va. In addition, he made visits to Miami and Michigan State.

      White spent his first two seasons at Kansas and played sparingly before transferring to Nebraska.

  • Providence coach Cooley undergoes back surgery
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, August 23, 2016

    Providence coach Ed Cooley underwent back surgery earlier this week to repair a herniated disc.

    • Cooley told CBS Sports that he underwent a two-hour procedure on Monday. He is expected to be on the sidelines when the Friars open the season against Vermont on Nov. 14.

      Cooley, who turns 47 next month, said he has bothered by back pain most of last season. It continued in the offseason so he decided to have the surgery.

      Providence will be seeking its fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance this season but lost star guard Kris Dunn, who went to the Minnesota Timberwolves with the No. 5 overall pick in June's NBA draft.

  • Oregon F Brooks out indefinitely
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, August 23, 2016

    Oregon junior forward Dillon Brooks will be sidelined indefinitely after requiring surgery on his left foot.

    • Ducks coach Dana Altman was unsure when Brooks will be able to renew preparing for the upcoming season.

      "He's going to be out for a while," Altman said. "He had surgery and we'll just have to wait and see what the doctors say."

      The surgery prevented Brooks from joining Oregon on a four-game trip to Spain. The first contest was Tuesday and the final game of the trek is Aug. 31.

      Brooks averaged 16.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists last season while earning first-team All-Pac 12 honors. He led the Ducks to their first conference regular-season title since 2002 and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

      Brooks entered his name in the NBA draft and later withdrew it to return to Oregon.

      His return has prompted high expectations for the Ducks but junior guard Casey Benson feels the squad has enough depth to deal with Brooks' absence.

      "I feel for Dillon, but other guys have to step up while he's out," Benson told reporters. "It will thrust guys into a bigger role than maybe they expected. Dillon Brooks was a big part of the team and we have to pick up the slack when he's out."

      Brooks injured the foot earlier this summer but it didn't respond to treatments.

      Oregon opens the regular season on Nov. 11 against Army.

  • Arkansas lands four-star recruit Perry
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 18, 2016

    Forward Reggie Perry announced on Twitter that he has committed to Arkansas.

    • The 6-foot-8, 225-pound native of Thomasville, Ga. is rated as a four-star recruit by ESPN, which rates Perry as the No. 17 power forward prospect in the Class of 2018. Rivals rates him as the No. 73 prospect in the country.

      Perry joins three-star guard Isaiah Joe as 2018 commitments for embattled Arkansas coach Mike Anderson. The Razorbacks have missed the NCAA Tournament in four of Anderson's five seasons.

  • Florida Gulf Coast lands Texas Tech transfer
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 18, 2016

    Florida Gulf Coast coach Joe Dooley has added former Texas Tech wing C.J. Williamson to the Eagles’ roster.

    • The 6-foot-6 Williamson will need to sit out the 2016-17 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but will have three years of eligibility remaining. Williamson, who is from Orlando, averaged 1.8 points, 0.9 rebounds and 7.0 minutes in 20 games as a freshman for the Red Raiders.

      Williamson officially visited Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday, and reportedly received interest from Virginia Tech and Ole Miss. With FGSU beginning classes Wednesday, Williamson needed to make his decision this week.

      "I wanted to come back home and do what's best for my family right now," Williamson said, per the Naples Daily News. "They won't have to travel to see me play. They can come home to all my games in Florida and I feel like Coach Dooley and his staff have a great system."

      Williamson was granted his transfer from Texas Tech last week, and joins 6-10, 250-pound junior center Ricky Doyle of Michigan as recent transfers to join the Eagles program, which now boasts seven players from the state of Florida.

      "I know everybody on the team," Williamson said. "There's nobody I don't know."

      Florida Gulf Coast is the defending Atlantic Sun tournament champion, and begins the 2016-17 season in Jacksonville on Nov. 11. While he will be watching from the bench this season, Williamson joins a program that loses only two seniors from last season. He was rated a three-star prospect by ESPN and Rivals, and can play point guard, off-guard or small forward.

      "I'll kill in this league -- the Atlantic Sun," Williamson told the Naples Daily News. "I want to help my team get back to the tournament, that's all."

  • Former Butler standout Cornette dies at age 35
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, August 16, 2016

    Former Butler basketball player Joel Cornette died of natural causes at the age of 35 Tuesday morning.

    • Cornette died of natural causes, the university announced on behalf of the Cornette Family.

      "This morning, we spoke with the Cornette Family, who has confirmed that their beloved son and brother, Joel, passed away early this morning due to natural causes," the statement said. "They are shocked and devastated by this news. The Butler Family also mourns the loss of one of our favorite Bulldogs. Additional information will be released by the Cornette Family as it becomes available. Please join us in keeping the Cornette Family in your thoughts and prayers."

      Cornette had 1,100 points, 712 rebounds and 144 blocks and graduated in 2003 after leading the Bulldogs to three NCAA Tournament appearances -- including Butler's first Sweet 16 team -- and 100 total wins in his four seasons.

      Cornette served on the Butler coaching staff for the 2006-07 season as the team's coordinator of basketball operations before going to Iowa as a member of Todd Lickliter's staff.

      He became an NBPA-certified player-agent and had served as the Director of Basketball Recruiting at Priority Sports since January, 2012.