Men's College Basketball
NCAAB News Wire
  • Former Southern Miss player Mills shot, killed
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, July 26, 2016

    Jonathan Mills, who played two seasons on the Southern Miss basketball team, was shot and killed in his hometown of Chicago on Monday, according to Chicago police.

    • The 26-year-old Mills was shot several times around 1:30 p.m. near his old high school, North Lawndale College Prep.

      Mills planned to practice Monday at the high school gym to stay in shape for a shot at making an overseas team, North Lawndale basketball coach Lewis Thorpe told the Chicago Tribune.

      "My heart just dropped," Thorpe said of his reaction when he heard of the shooting and rushed to the scene. "(Mills' mother) was taking it really hard. She just didn't understand. She's trying to find out why this happened. ...

      "I am so shocked. When I say he was well liked ... everybody loved him."

      Mills' coach at Southern Miss, Donnie Tyndall, told ESPN.com, "He was a great kid. City-tough but a kindhearted kid. Straight warrior on the floor but a kid I would let babysit my daughters. He told me he loved me every time we talked. Just tragic."

      Mills, 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds, was an all-state forward at North Lawndale, then spent two years at Utah State University Eastern before moving to Southern Miss. He averaged 9.3 points and 8.0 rebounds in his final season with the Golden Eagles.

      He later played for a pro team in London, Ontario, and a semi-pro team in Chicago.

      "The University of Southern Mississippi family is truly saddened to learn of the death of former Golden Eagle men's basketball great Jonathan Mills," athletic director Bill McGillis said in a statement. "Jonathan brought great joy to the Southern Miss fan base through his infectious personality, his passion for the game, his relentless pursuit of excellence, and his tough, hard-nosed, blue-collar style of play. He was a winner.

      "Jonathan made immense contributions on the court, in the locker room and in the community. He left an indelible mark on our basketball program and university, and our prayers are with his family, friends, former coaches and teammates."

  • Oklahoma State's Coger died of enlarged heart
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, July 22, 2016

    Oklahoma State basketball player Tyrek Coger died from an enlarged heart, the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner's Office announced Friday.

    • Coger, 21, collapsed following a 40-minute team workout Thursday afternoon.

      The medical examiner's office said the death was "natural."

      Coger was transported to Stillwater Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 6:23 p.m. CT.

      Oklahoma State coach Brad Underwood broke down at a press conference on Friday while discussing Coger.

      "This is the hardest couple of days I've ever experienced in my coaching life," Underwood said. "You say goodbye to players when they graduate and that's one thing. Making that phone call to a mother is -- there's no words."

      Underwood was recruiting in Las Vegas when he heard the news.

      The 6-foot-8 Coger, a junior-college transfer, arrived on campus July 5.

      "Tyrek was excited to be at Oklahoma State and had such passion for the game and was looking forward to being an OSU Cowboy," Underwood previously said in a statement. "Losing a member of the team is like losing a member of the family. But we know our loss pales in comparison to the pain his family is going through."

      University officials said Friday that Coger didn't appear to be having any issues during Thursday's workout on the football stadium stairs.

      But a short time after the conclusion of the workout, Coger was experiencing distress and paramedics arrived at 5:08 p.m. Coger arrived at Stillwater Medical Center at 5:48 and died 35 minutes later.

      The temperature was 99 degrees at the time of the workout, according to the Stillwater News Press.

      Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder said the school will examine its summer practice procedures in the wake of Coger's death.

      Coger was a graduate of Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, N.C. The 6-foot-9 forward played the 2013-14 season at East Florida State, sat out the 2014-15 academic year and resumed his studies at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, N.C., last year.

      In his lone season at Cape Fear, he averaged 12.2 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 52.6 percent from the field.

  • GW players accuse Lonergan of verbal, emotional abuse
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 21, 2016

    During Mike Lonergan's five-year tenure as head basketball coach at George Washington, 13 players have transferred.

    • A report on Thursday from The Washington Post asserts the reason for the high number of transfers starts with Lonergan and the offensive and abusive environment he created according to some players.

      "A lot of kids transfer because they have delusions of grandeur. Nobody transferred from GW with delusions of grandeur. They just transferred because they hated (Lonergan). They couldn't stand another second of him," one player told the Post.

      Lonergan declined to be interviewed for the Post story, but did issue a statement.

      "I will not respond to anonymous, unfounded allegations," Lonergan said. "These types of accusations have already been investigated by the University and found to be groundless.

      "Those who know me know that I conduct myself and run my program with integrity. I have a long record of graduating student-athletes who go on to be successful in life. I am proud of my student-athletes' success on the court and in the classroom, and I am focused on preparing for the upcoming season."

      The Post's investigation uncovered reports of previous abuse complaints and that the school was aware of some of those allegations against Lonergan.

      One player logged a complaint in April with the Title IX coordinator. Lonergan was accused of denigrating players and making repeated graphic remarks about the school's athletic director.

      One accusation says Lonergan told a player he should transfer to a transgender league.

      The Title IX coordinator, Rory Muhammad, told the player that the school had looked into Lonergan's behavior previously and that the issue had been "handled."

      The Post quoted another player who said, "I don't think the guy should be in sports. I don't think what he said should be tolerated. I would like to stay at GW. I will not play for Mike Lonergan."

      GW has made three consecutive postseason appearances. Last season, the Colonials' 28 wins were a school record, and the team won the NIT.

  • Purdue's Painter agrees to extension
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    Purdue Boilermakers coach Matt Painter has agreed to a three-year contract extension through the 2021-22 season. He told the Indianapolis Star in a text message that the deal may not be finalized until the Aug. 25-26 meeting of the Purdue Board of Trustees.

    • While Painter said he would not comment on the extension until it is finalized, he was due to earn $2.45 million for the 2016-17 under his current contract, with potential bonuses for his team's academic performance and Big Ten and national tournament achievements.

      Painter, 45, signed an extension in 2011 after being pursued heavily by Missouri. After consecutive losing seasons, the Boilermakers have reached the NCAA Tournament in each of the past two seasons.

      Painter has a 263-139 record in 11 seasons at Purdue, and has led the Boilermakers to eight NCAA Tournament appearances, including last season's disappointing first-round loss to Arkansas-Little Rock. Painter is a three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year.

      The Indianapolis Star reported that if his extension includes the same contract language as his current deal, Painter's buyout should he be fired without cause would be in above $14 million.

  • Xavier lands FAMU transfer Bernard
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    Guard Malcolm Bernard announced on Twitter that he will play his final season for Xavier.

    • The 6-foot-6, 195-pounder will be eligible to play immediately for the Musketeers as a graduate transfer from Florida A&M. Bernard, 22, played two years at Charleston Southern before transfering to FAMU and sitting out a season due to NCAA transfer rules. He then led the Rattlers in points (14.4 ppg) and rebounds (7.1 rpg) last season.

      "I’m happy to be a Musketeer and I’m glad I’m getting to spend my last year at Xavier," Bernard told Enquirer.com late Monday. "I'm coming to work with the best and play with the best and win with the best.

      "I'm stat stuffer. I like to stuff stats all over. I think that's why Xavier chose me because of how versatile I can be and all the things I can bring to the table."

      Bernard told the Tallahassee Democrat in April that he had committed to Richmond, then reportedly rescinded his committment earlier this month. The Miami native then considered Fordham, Miami, Missouri, VCU and Virginia before landing at Xavier.

      "I wanted to have the chance to go to the NCAA tournament," Bernard told the Enquirer.com. "I wanted to win a lot of games and be successful. I thought if I transferred, I would be able to do something bigger somewhere else.

      "I was impressed. I was blown away. I thought the staff was incredible. Obviously that's why I chose Xavier in the end. The guys were great. They embraced me and really wanted me to be part of this team. I felt right at home."

  • Top overall seed to choose NCAA tourney site
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, July 18, 2016

    March Madness will feature a new perk for the favorite next year.

    • The top overall seed in the Division I men's NCAA Tournament will be allowed to select the site of its first- and second-round matchups.

      The No. 1 team will get to choose from any of the eight designated opening-weekend sites.

      In 2017, the first- and second-round locations will be Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Tulsa, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Buffalo, Greensboro and Orlando. Thus, a top seed from the Atlantic Coast Conference could select to play in Greensboro or Orlando, a top seed from the Big Ten might select Indianapolis or Milwaukee, etc.

      All teams viewed as contenders for the No. 1 overall seed will let the selection committee know their choices.

      "Preferences would be communicated by teams in contention for the overall No. 1 seed far in advance of Selection Sunday in a process to be determined," the NCAA said in a statement.

      The Division I men's basketball committee also announced that it is reviewing proposals to alter the selection process, hoping to make changes no later than the 2018 tournament. The recommendations are coming from a committee of members of the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

  • Middle Tennessee gives Davis eight-year extension
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, July 11, 2016

    Middle Tennessee officially locked up head basketball coach Kermit Davis through the 2024 season, the school announced on Monday.

    • The Daily News Journal (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) first reported Davis' eight-year extension June 21.

      The Blue Raiders went 25-10 this past season and upset Michigan State in NCAA tournament. In 14 seasons at MTSU, Davis has compiled a 276-175 record.

      The eight-year extension also comes with a raise to from $375,000 a year to $465,000 per season.

      "My family and I love Murfreesboro and this community," Davis told The Daily News Journal. "This is where we raised our daughters, and this is where we want to stay."

  • Ogbe set to transfer from Utah
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, July 8, 2016

    Guard Kenneth Ogbe has decided to transfer from Utah, according to a report by CBSSports.com.

    • The 6-foot-6 wing player was limited to five games last season by a nagging groin injury that has plagued him the past two years. Ogbe averaged 5.2 points in 2015-16, appearing in five non-conference contests.

      Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak has added junior college transfers Jojo Zamora and Tim Coleman and freshman Devon Daniels to his perimeter rotation, along with forwards Jayce Johnson and David Collette, who will be eligible after sitting out last season following his transfer from Utah State.

      Ogbe joins Isaiah Wright as perimeter players to leave the program since the end of last season, with forward Brekkott Chapman also likely to transfer. The Runnin' Utes also lost lottery pick Jakob Poetl, Brandon Taylor, Jordan Loveridge and Dakarai Tucker.

  • Hall of Fame coach Brown resigns at SMU
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, July 8, 2016

    Hall of Famer Larry Brown stepped down as head coach of SMU men's basketball program on Friday.

    • Brown confirmed to the Dallas Morning News that he resigned Friday morning, citing an inability to work out an acceptable contract extension with the school.

      "I love this place," Brown told the newspaper. "They gave me a chance to be the coach -- a 70-year-old man, I don't know how people would have even considered me. It's been the most amazing, positive experience.

      "And then having my kids in school here was an extra benefit I never would have believed, at this point of my life. The essence of it is based on what (SMU officials) they told me they would do for me (contractually), I just couldn't be truthful with these kids anymore."

      The 75-year-old Brown coached four seasons at SMU. He had one year remaining on a five-year contract.

      SMU athletic director Rick Hart said the school had offered Brown a new contract that ran through 2020, but Brown reportedly wanted a longer commitment.

      "Coach Brown was able to accomplish so much in his four years on the Hilltop, including leading us to our first conference title since 1993," Hart said in a statement. "He has left his mark on SMU basketball, and we are thankful for what he's done."

      Associate head coach Tim Jankovich, who was hired as the coach-in-waiting under Brown in 2012, will take over as SMU coach. When NCAA sanctions forced Brown off the bench for the first nine games last season, Jankovich led the team. Jankovich has previously been the head coach at Illinois State and North Texas.

      "As Director of Athletics, I'm also thankful to the search committee that brought us Coach Brown and for their plan that will allow us such a smooth transition to Tim Jankovich," Hart said. "I have the utmost confidence in Tim based on both his coaching resume as well as my time working with him here on the Hilltop. I know he will keep our program among the nation's elite, and I look forward to the seasons ahead."

      Brown's program underwent an NCAA investigation last year because of academic improprieties that resulted in a self-imposed postseason ban for the 2015-16 season.

      The Mustangs were 25-5 last season and 13-5 in the American Athletic Conference. Brown finishes his tenure at SMU with a 94-39 record.

      Brown has coached in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets, New Jersey Nets, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks and Charlotte Bobcats. He coached the Nuggets and Carolina Cougars in the ABA and won the 2004 NBA title with the Pistons.

      Brown also coached at Kansas and UCLA, and he led the Jayhawks to the 1988 NCAA title. NCAA sanctions accompanied Brown at each of his three college jobs. He is 266-99 as a college coach.

  • Arizona 5-star recruit Ferguson to play overseas
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, June 30, 2016

    High School All-American Terrance Ferguson, a five-star recruit headed to the University of Arizona, will pursue international basketball opportunities.

    • The Wildcats confirmed Ferguson's decision for the first time but speculation centered on a professional basketball future for Ferguson since reports of an endorsement deal with Under Armour surfaced last month.

      "I hope this next chapter of his basketball career goes well, and his goal of one day becoming an NBA player is realized," Arizona coach Sean Miller said Thursday.

      The Dallas Advanced Prep standout follows point guard Brandon Jennings, a former Wildcats signee who bolted for Italy and signed a shoe deal with Under Armour.

      Others have gone the preps to Europe route to dodge the NBA rule mandating one year between high school and entry into the league's draft.

      Ferguson attended the same academy that produced current Denver Nuggets guard Emmanual Mudiay. He played overseas after first committing to SMU.

      Ferguson never signed a National Letter of Intent and uncertainty clouded his recruitment well beyond his April 13 commitment to Arizona.

  • Legendary Vols coach Summitt dies
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 28, 2016

    The winningest coach in college basketball, former Tennessee women's coach Pat Summitt, died Tuesday at the age of 64.

    • Summitt was diagnosed in August 2011 with early onset Alzheimer's disease. She coached one more year before stepping down.

      She is survived by her son, Tyler.

      Tyler Summitt released the following statement Tuesday morning:

      "It is with tremendous sadness that I announce the passing of my mother, Patricia Sue Head Summitt.

      She died peacefully this morning at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville surrounded by those who loved her most.

      Since 2011, my mother has battled her toughest opponent, early onset dementia, 'Alzheimer's Type,' and she did so with bravely fierce determination just as she did with every opponent she ever faced. Even though it's incredibly difficult to come to terms that she is no longer with us, we can all find peace in knowing she no longer carries the heavy burden of this disease.

      For 64 years, my mother first built her life upon a strong relationship with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Her foundation was also built upon love of her family and of her players, and love of the fundamentals of hard work which reflected her philosophy that 'you win in life with people'.

      She'll be remembered as the all-time winningest D-1 basketball coach in NCAA history, but she was more than a coach to so many -- she was a hero and a mentor, especially to me, her family, her friends, her Tennessee Lady Volunteer staff and the 161 Lady Vol student-athletes she coached during her 38-year tenure. We will all miss her immensely.

      A private service and burial will be held for my mother in Middle Tennessee. I ask that you respect the privacy of that time.

      We are in the process of finalizing the details of a public celebration of her life which will take place in one of her favorite places, Thompson-Boling Arena. Once those details are finalized, we will share them with you.

      Thank you."

      Summitt finished her 38-year coaching career with 1,098 wins and eight national titles.

      She is a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the FIBA Hall of Fame.

  • Calipari sort of sorry for unintended Pitino dig
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, June 23, 2016

    John Calipari is sorry if Rick Pitino took personally comments about coaches knowing what happens on campus.

    • The Kentucky coach said his comments about campus awareness were not intended as a dig at Pitino, who coaches archrival Louisville and spent the past year fighting off allegations that he was aware of campus improprieties involving strippers performing for recruits in dormitory rooms.

      "The stuff is blown up more than it should be, and if he took it wrong, I apologize," said Calipari, who was a guest host on ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike.

      Calipari was defending comments he made earlier this month of the Mike Lupica Show: "If it happens on your campus and it happens with your assistants and those people, you probably have a good idea of what's going on."

      Pitino said Monday that he would ask Calipari for an explanation if they "cross paths this summer."'

      Calipari's comment was widely interpreted as a comment on the Cardinals, although he didn't specifically mention the NCAA investigation into a sex-for-pay scandal at Louisville that led the school to self-impose a postseason ban in 2015-16.

      "The thing I said specifically, about Louisville, if it happened, it's not good [for] any of us and it's not good for college basketball," Calipari said. "I said: 'I don't think their coach knew. I just can't believe that,' and that's what I said. And I haven't changed my opinion of that."

      The college basketball powerhouses play annually, including the week of Dec. 20 this season in Louisville. Calipari said this flap shouldn't impact an already intense rivalry.

      "We're 90 miles from each other and we're trying to rip each other's throats out when we play, but other than that, I don't have time," he said. "I've got to coach my guys, he's got to coach his guys. We both got our own things going. I respect him as a coach. He's a Hall of Famer!"

  • College basketball notebook: Pitino hushes Calipari for throwing stones
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 21, 2016

    Louisville coach Rick Pitino wants a direct translation from Kentucky coach John Calipari, who made comments implying Pitino likely knew about the scandal involving strippers hired to perform for basketball players and recruits.

    • "If it happens on your campus and it happens with your assistants and those people, you probably have a good idea of what's going on," Calipari told the Mike Lupica radio show.

      Pitino, who has denied knowledge of the improprieties related to the scandal, appeared on 840 WHAS in Louisville on Monday to respond.

      "I don't have time to figure out what he did or didn't mean," Pitino said. "If our paths cross this summer, I'll ask him."

      --Former Kentucky Wildcats guard Charles Matthews has decided to transfer to Michigan, according to multiple reports.

      The 6-foot-6 Matthews averaged 1.7 points, 1.6 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 10.3 minutes in 36 games last season. A former top 100 player coming out of Chicago, Matthews was concerned about his role at Kentucky and visited Xavier and Michigan before making his final decision to join the Wolverines, according to ESPN.

      Matthews will have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2016-17 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

      --Combo guard Markell Johnson announced he will enroll at North Carolina State and be eligible for the 2016-17 basketball season.

      Ranked 40th in the class of 2016 by Rivals.com, interest from major programs increased after the 6-foot-1 Johnson reclassified from the class of 2017 in May.

      He gives coach Mark Gottfried depth with Cat Barber turning pro and Dennis Smith Jr. coming off surgery for a torn ACL.

  • Pitino hushes Calipari for throwing stones
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 21, 2016

    Louisville coach Rick Pitino wants a direct translation from Kentucky coach John Calipari, who made comments implying Pitino likely knew about the scandal involving strippers hired to perform for basketball players and recruits.

    • "If it happens on your campus and it happens with your assistants and those people, you probably have a good idea of what's going on," Calipari told the Mike Lupica radio show.

      Pitino, who has denied knowledge of the improprieties related to the scandal, appeared on 840 WHAS in Louisville on Monday to respond.

      "I don't have time to figure out what he did or didn't mean," Pitino said. "If our paths cross this summer, I'll ask him."

      Pitino took his own jab at Calipari over another verbal joust aimed at Duke and coach Mike Krzyzewski during the recent recruiting cycle.

      "Whether it's Duke last month now us this month, these types of comments - we're here to build up the image of college basketball, not tear people down," Pitino said. "I don't live in a glass house, and I don't throw stones. ... We have a rule in the ACC amongst the coaches that unless you're praising each other and building each other up, keep it to yourself and mind your own business."

      If there is no chance meeting between the coaches this summer, the rival programs meet annually before the start of conference play, with the 50th meeting of the archrivals likely to be played before Christmas for the first time in five seasons in December. Per recent tradition, the game was scheduled the Saturday after Christmas, but this year it will be moved up to Dec. 20 or Dec. 21 and be held at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville.

      Louisville begins a new series with Indiana on New Year's Eve.

  • N.C. State adds top 40 guard Johnson
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 21, 2016

    Combo guard Markell Johnson announced he will enroll at N.C. State and be eligible for the 2016-17 basketball season.

    • Ranked 40th in the class of 2016 by Rivals.com, interest from major programs increased after the 6-foot-1 Johnson reclassified from the class of 2017 in May.

      "Thanks To Everybody That Have Been On My Side Through This Process I Have Decided To Join The Pack," Johnson tweeted Monday.

      He gives coach Mark Gottfried depth with Cat Barber turning pro and Dennis Smith Jr. coming off surgery for a torn ACL.

      The Cleveland native played in the King James Shooting Stars grassroots program during the spring, and joins Smith, forward Darius Hicks and center Omer Yutseven in NC State's freshman class.

  • Michigan lands former Kentucky G Matthews
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 21, 2016

    Former Kentucky Wildcats guard Charles Matthews has decided to transfer to Michigan, according to multiple reports.

    • The 6-foot-6 Matthews averaged 1.7 points, 1.6 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 10.3 minutes in 36 games last season. A former top 100 player coming out of Chicago, Matthews was concerned about his role at Kentucky and visited Xavier and Michigan before making his final decision to join the Wolverines, according to ESPN.

      Matthews will have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2016-17 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

      Kentucky coach John Calipari did not want to lose Matthews, but granted him a full release in May.

      "The hardest thing as a coach is to lose a player that you really want to coach," Calipari said at the time. "In Charles’s case, I believe he is going to be a productive college player who has the ability to play at the next level. I know Charles' best basketball is ahead of him, and while I'm saddened to see him go, I support his decision and will help in any way I can."

      The Wolverines lost one player to graduation and four to transfers this offseason. Coach John Beilein does have a roster anchored by senior Zak Irvin and junior Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rakhman. Matthews will become available in 2017, along with four-star recruit Jordan Poole.

  • Calipari on scandals: Coaches know what happens on campus
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, June 15, 2016

    Kentucky Wildcats coach John Calipari says coaches always know when scandals occur on their campuses and should be held accountable.

    • Calipari did not mention rival Louisville and coach Rick Pitino, who has maintained he had no knowledge of the paid escorts and did nothing wrong after the scandal kept the school out of this past season's NCAA Tournament. The scandal prompted the school to self-impose a postseason ban in 2015-16 and could result in severe sanctions by the NCAA.

      "All I can tell you is this: If it happens on your campus and it happens with your assistants and those people, you probably have a good idea of what's going on," Calipari said Tuesday on the "Mike Lupica Show."

      Calipari, who dealt with his own scandals during his tenures at UMass and Memphis, said coaches should not be blamed for the incidents that unfold when athletes go home.

      "It happens back in their hometown, it happens back with their family ... there's no way you can know," Calipari said. "You just can't know. All I can say is most coaches have an idea if it happened on their campus. You might not be the first to know about it, but you eventually hear about it."

      Calipari called the NCAA's investigations of scandals "selective" and inconsistent.

      "It's unfortunate," Calipari said. "You wish there was more consistency about how they do things in the NCAA. There's a belief out there of selective enforcements and some people will call right to (NCAA president Mark Emmert) and say, 'Get these people off me,' and it changes. It's selective. If it isn't, it appears to you and me and everybody else (that it is)."

  • Former Kentucky F Lee plans transfer to Cal
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, June 12, 2016

    Kentucky forward Marcus Lee, who removed his name from the 2016 NBA draft, plans to transfer to play for California.

    • Lee verbally committed Saturday to Cal, a team source told the San Francisco Chronicle.

      After removing his name from draft consideration last month, Lee announced he would be transferring from Kentucky, where he played from 2013-16.

      Lee will have to sit out the upcoming season due to NCAA transfer rules and will become eligible to play for the Bears in 2017 .

      When Lee, a Antioch, Calif., native, announced his intention to transfer, Kentucky coach John Calipari said the 6-foot-9, 224-pound forward would be moving west to be closer to his family.

      Lee posted career highs in averaging 6.4 points and 6.0 rebounds while recording 59 blocks and 11 assists as a junior last season. He also shot a team-best 68.0 percent from the floor and led the team with 216 total rebounds.

  • Illinois G Abrams granted extra season
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, June 10, 2016

    Illinois guard Tracy Abrams has been granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA after missing the past two campaigns with injuries.

    • Abrams missed the 2014-15 season after tearing the ACL in his right knee. He sat out last season after tearing his left Achilles' tendon prior in July.

      "I am so proud of the perseverance and determination Tracy has displayed through his injuries," Illinois coach John Groce said in a statement. "We are looking forward to having him back on the court this season, setting the tone for our team with his leadership, toughness and competitive drive. There is no one more deserving of having a healthy and successful senior year than Tracy Abrams."

      Abrams, who has already graduated from Illinois, last played in 2013-14 when he averaged 10.7 points.

  • Former Oklahoma State standout Thompson dies
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, June 10, 2016

    Former Oklahoma State basketball standout and NBA player Brooks Thompson died on Thursday. He was 45.

    • Thompson died of double organ failure in San Antonio. He fell ill in April and spent most of the past two months in a hospital.

      Thompson was fired as head coach at Texas-San Antonio in March after 10 seasons with the school. The university confirmed his death on Friday.

      He was best known for his two seasons at a starting guard for Oklahoma State. Thompson ranked second on the Cowboys in scoring as a senior with a 16.9 average in 1993-94.

      Thompson was a first-round pick by the Orlando Magic -- 27th overall -- in the 1994 NBA draft. He played for five different teams during a four-year NBA career and averaged 4.5 points in 168 career games.

      Thompson turned to coaching and became the head coach at UTSA in 2006 and went 133-178 with one NCAA Tournament appearance. He was fired in March after the Roadrunners went 5-27.

  • Cal coach Martin finally signs his contract
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 7, 2016

    California Golden Bears coach Cuonzo Martin has finally signed his coaching contract at the school more than two years after being hired.

    • Martin was hired in April, 2014 and had been working under an offer sheet. His contract is for $1.64 million per season, plus signing and retention bonuses.

      The university announced the signing of the contract but did not divulge the length of the deal.

      Martin was hired away from Tennessee and has gone 41-26 in two seasons with Cal. The Golden Bears made the NCAA Tournament this past season but were upset in the first round by Hawaii.

      The university also cleared Martin from any wrongdoing in the incident in which former basketball assistant coach Yann Hufnagel was accused of sexual harassment.

      Hufnagel is no longer with the program and was hired by Nevada.

  • Arizona recruit Ferguson could head overseas
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 7, 2016

    High School All-American Terrance Ferguson, a five-star recruit headed to the University of Arizona, might instead sign a pro contract to play overseas.

    • Ferguson could sign a contract with Under Armour this week, 247 Sports' recruiting expert Jerry Meyer reported.

      The Dallas Advanced Prep standout would follow point guard Brandon Jennings, a former Wildcats signee who bolted for Italy and signed a shoe deal with Under Armour.

      Others have gone the preps to Europe route to dodge the NBA rule mandating one year between high school and entry into the league's draft.

      Ferguson attends the same academy that produced current Denver Nuggets guard Emmanual Mudiay. He played overseas after first committing to SMU.

      Ferguson has not signed a National Letter of Intent and uncertainty clouded his recruitment well beyond his April 13 commitment to Arizona. To date, the strongest sign of possible college enrollment in Tucson was filing non-binding financial aid papers.

  • Former St. John's G Jordan charged with attempted murder
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, June 2, 2016

    Former St. John's standout Rysheed Jordan has been charged with attempted murder over an incident last Friday, according to Philadelphia police.

    • Jordan, 22, also is facing charges of aggravated assault, robbery, criminal conspiracy and simple assault.

      He was arrested on Wednesday after trying to evade police after a traffic stop, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

      Jordan allegedly shot a man in the arm during last Friday's robbery attempt.

      Jordan averaged 14.1 points in 2014-15 in his second and final season at St. John's. He was ruled ineligible for the first semester of the 2015-16 season and decided to leave school and purse a professional career.

      He was ineligible for the NBA draft due to the lateness of the decision but was drafted in the D-League by the Delaware 87ers. Jordan was cut by the 87ers in January.

      Jordan's time at St. John's included punishment for disciplinary issues.

  • Calipari wants SEC to move tournament to November
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, June 1, 2016

    If John Calipari gets his way, the college basketball landscape would undergo a significant transformation.

    • The University of Kentucky coach wants to see the Southeastern Conference move its tournament from March, following the regular season, to November, early in the season. He wants to see the SEC's automatic NCAA Tournament berth go to the regular-season champion rather than the tourney champ.

      "Let's not have a postseason tournament," Calipari said Wednesday at the SEC spring meetings in Destin, Fla. "Let's have a preseason tournament where you're guaranteed three games. So if you lose, you play, you play, and you go somewhere and all the fans come in and you celebrate our league and they're great games to start the year."

      Calipari noted that last season, the Wildcats topped Texas A&M in the SEC title game, but the Aggies emerged with a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament while the Wildcats received a No. 4 seed.

      "If you win the conference tournament, it doesn't mean anything," Calipari said. "It doesn't move the needle."

      According to Calipari, his idea wasn't embraced by his fellow SEC coaches.

      Georgia coach Mark Fox told ESPN. "I don't think we seriously debated the topic. It's an interesting conversation, but I'd fight to keep it in March."

      Calipari added, "I don't think we should hold back on anything. If it's something not quite working, no reason to just blame the kids, the coaches or the ADs or the league or football. Football has nothing to do with this. OK, let's get the formula right and we get six to seven teams in the (NCAA) Tournament. We just haven't hit it yet, but we're not afraid to try to some stuff.

      "You have to do it in November. Play a game or two, and then, out of the gate, you have a conference tournament. You know you have it for one week. Maybe you have two sites in the same city. Maybe it's in Atlanta. You're doing it every year. Let's all (have) our fans go to Atlanta and everything is geared for the SEC."

      Just three SEC teams made the NCAA field in three of the past four years.

      Kentucky won each of the past two SEC tournaments, both played in Nashville, Tenn. Since 2005, the Wildcats and Florida are each four-time champions of the event, with Georgia, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Mississippi winning the title one time apiece.

  • Canisius hires Reggie Witherspoon as coach
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, May 29, 2016

    Canisius hired Reggie Witherspoon to be its head basketball coach on Saturday. Williams, who spent the 2015-16 season on Matt McCall's staff at Chattanooga, signed a five-year contract.

    • "I am excited to take over at Canisius on a number of levels," Witherspoon said. "Having grown up here in the area, I remember going to see a lot of Canisius games as a kid, and then as I grew older, I started to become friends with guys that played or were playing at Canisius. The College has such a great academic reputation, and I know the school's alumni base and fans are dedicated and passionate. I want to thank President Hurley and Director of Athletics Bill Maher for giving me this opportunity to return to Western New York as a head coach and I am really looking forward to building on the long history of the men's basketball program."

      Before Chattanooga, Williams spent one season on the staff at Alabama. He also has ties to Western New York, leading Buffalo's program for 14 years from 1999-2013, posting a 198-228 record and was twice named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year. He also played for former Canisius and current Michigan coach John Belein at Buffalo.

      "I am incredibly excited for our men's basketball program, our College and for Western New York to welcome Reggie Witherspoon as our new head coach," Maher said. "Reggie brings with him a proven record of building strong basketball teams and developing young men. He is highly respected as both a man and as a basketball coach. I had the opportunity to work directly with Reggie for six years, and having known him for over 16 years, I am confident in his abilities and his fit for Canisius. Our goal is to win the MAAC Championship and I look forward to working with Reggie to accomplish that here at Canisius."