Expert Cappers Picks
Men's College Basketball
NCAAB News Wire
  • U.S. basketball teams safe after attack in Barcelona
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 17, 2017

    U.S college basketball teams Arizona, Clemson, Oregon State and Tulane reported that they are safe after a terror attack in Barcelona, Spain that killed at least 13 and injured at least 50 others on Thursday.

    • The four programs are touring Spain and were unharmed in the incident in which a van jumped on to a busy Barcelona sidewalk and plowed into tourists and citizens on the street. Police quickly called it a terror attack.

      Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said the tragedy occurred right in front of where his team was eating a meal. He said everybody in the school's travel party was safe.

      "... Happened directly in front of our hotel while we were having a team meal in the restaurant," Tinkle said on Twitter. "So senseless and sad! All accounted4."

      Clemson canceled its Thursday night game against the Barcelona All-Stars and announced it would return home Friday as previously scheduled. The school said its travel party was safe.

      Arizona coach Sean Miller told ESPN that everybody is accounted for and unharmed. The school has decided not to play its final game on the tour and is working on leaving Spain.

      Tulane also confirmed that all members of its travel party are safe.

  • South Carolina G Felder suspended indefinitely
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 17, 2017

    South Carolina sophomore guard Rakym Felder has been suspended indefinitely after getting arrested twice in a nine-month span.

    • Gamecocks coach Frank Martin announced the suspension and said Felder won't be attending classes in the fall.

      "Due to some unfortunate decisions by Rakym, he has been suspended indefinitely from our program," Martin said in a statement. "I will continue to help Rakym grow as a young man even though basketball is not part of our relationship right now."

      Felder was arrested on July 13 and charged with third-degree assault and battery.

      His first arrest was back on Oct. 23 when he was charged with simple assault and battery, resisting arrest and public disorderly conduct.

      "I'm very sorry for my recent behavior that led to my arrest and school suspension. I take full responsibility for my actions and make no excuses for my conduct," Felder said in a statement released through attorney Neal Lourie.

      "I apologize to the entire University of South Carolina family including our loyal fans, President (Harris) Pastides, Board of Trustees, Athletic Director Ray Tanner, Coach Martin and his staff, and my teammates. I know I have let you down and I will have to work hard to regain your trust."

      Felder was a key reserve last season on the South Carolina squad that stunningly reached the Final Four. He scored 15 points in the Gamecocks' epic upset of Duke in the tourney's second round.

      Felder averaged 5.6 points.

      His loss is a blow to a squad that already lost star guard Sindarius Thornwell as well as backcourt mates PJ Dozier, Duane Notice and Justin McKie.

  • Duke lands top forward recuit Bagley
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, August 15, 2017

    Power forward Marvin Bagley III, rated the nation's No. 1 recruit in the class of 2018, made two big announcements on national television on Monday.

    • First, he said he has decided to reclassify into the class of 2017, which means he would eligible to play this coming season as a college freshman.

      His second announcement was even more important, because he said he has decided to attend Duke for coach Mike Krzyzewski, making the Blue Devils' already strong recruiting class even better.

      The 6-foot-11 Bagley is attending Sierra Canyon School in Chatsworth, Calif., but his father, Marvin Bagley Jr., was born and raised in Durham, N.C., and played football at North Carolina A&T.

      Bagley is now scheduled to graduate in August, and at that point the NCAA Eligibility Center will review his final transcripts and determine whether he has satisfied the requirements to play immediately at the Division I level.

      Bagley took official visits to Duke, USC and UCLA.

      By choosing Duke, he joins a six-man freshman class that includes five ESPN top 100 prospects, which is likely to make Duke's group the top-ranked recruiting class in the nation. Those freshmen along with Duke's returning players will make the Blue Devils a contender for another national title.

      Bagley recently participated in the elite summer Drew League, in which he played with James Harden and Chris Paul and competed against NBA players. In the all-star game, he had 18 points and 20 rebounds.

      The left-handed Bagley is a skilled player who can play comfortably close to the basket or on the perimeter.

  • Calhoun considers return to coaching
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, August 14, 2017

    Longtime University of Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun is considering a comeback at a Division III program, multiple media outlets reported.

    • The 75-year-old Calhoun, who stepped down from UConn in 2012 after 26 years and three national titles, told USA Today he is acting as an unpaid adviser to the University of St. Joseph, which is located in West Hartford, Conn., and plans to start a men's basketball program.

      Calhoun did not rule out the possibility that he would coach the team, and the Hartford Courant reported that St. Joseph officials had serious discussions with Calhoun about its proposed program.

      "I'm not at the point of accepting or rejecting," he told USA Today. "If I thought I could help the kids there, I'd consider it."

      St. Joseph has accepted only female students until now, but it announced in June that it would begin admitting males as well in 2018. The proposed men's basketball program would operate at the Division III level.

      St. Joseph president Rhona Free released a statement, which read, "While we certainly can't think of a better person to inaugurate the University of St. Joseph's first-ever men's basketball team, right now we have nothing to announce."

  • Tre Jones becomes Duke's first recruit for 2018-19
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, August 13, 2017

    Tre Jones, the highly regarded brother of former Duke standout Tyus Jones, is following his brother's lead.

    • Tre Jones announced Sunday in a video posted on Twitter that he will play his college basketball at Duke, becoming the first member of the Blue Devils' 2018-19 class.

      Jones, who is ranked as the nation's top point guard recruit, chose Duke over UCLA, USC, Ohio State, Minnesota and Oregon. He is entering his senior season at Apple Valley High, located in Minnesota just south of Minneapolis.

      "It is the best fit for me and is everything I'm looking for in a college," Jones told ESPN.com. "They have been my dream school for years, and there is no better fit than there."

      Tyus Jones played one season at Duke and averaged 11.8 points and 5.6 assists while helping the Blue Devils win the 2015 national crown. He is entering his third season as a backup point guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

      Tre Jones admitted his brother's experience was a factor in the decision-making process but not the clinching reason.

      "Tyus going there helped a little bit, for sure," Tre said. "It wasn't a major factor, though. At the end of the day, Duke is the best fit for myself."

      Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski first offered Tre Jones a scholarship in 2015, early in his sophomore year of high school. That left an impression on Jones.

      "They have had a vision (for) me since they first offered me in 2015," he said. "Their vision was something I didn't even see in myself at the time. Coach K told me how I could be a great leader and loves my passion and competitiveness.

  • Duke's Krzyzewski to have knee replacement surgery
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 10, 2017

    Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski will undergo total right knee replacement surgery this weekend, the school announced Thursday.

    • Krzyzewski will undergo the procedure at Duke University Hospital. The 70-year-old will likely spend three days in the hospital before being released.

      Due to Krzyzewski's health situation, the Blue Devils canceled their scheduled exhibition trip to the Dominican Republic. The team was scheduled to leave on Aug. 17.

      "While it's disappointing that we aren't able to make the Dominican Republic trip, this is a positive development for both our team and myself because it will allow us to be at full strength for the start of practice this fall," Krzyzewski said in a news release. "After three consecutive days of working with the team, it became clear that the condition of my knee wouldn't be sustainable through next season. The best course of action is to correct the problem now rather than later, when our team would be more profoundly impacted."

      The right knee situation is the latest health situation to plague the coach, who is undergoing his sixth surgery in the past 16 months. He missed seven games last season due to back surgery.

      The man known as Coach K had his left knee replaced in the spring of 2016. He also has had both hips replaced -- his left in 1999 and the right in 2002.

      Athletic director Kevin White agreed that the legendary coach needed to get the knee situation addressed now.

      "Unequivocally, this is the absolute right thing Mike should do, and at precisely the right time," White said in a statement. "Certainly, we know Mike will receive unparalleled medical care here at Duke, and that his recovery will lead him into his 38th season here at full strength.

      "Once again, that is exactly what Mike, and our team, should do as we head into the 2017-18 season, wherein we are extremely excited to see what the upcoming year brings."

      Krzyzewski, a Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer, holds the Division I record of 1,071 coaching victories. He had won five national titles at Duke.

  • Former Syracuse coach MacPherson dies at 86
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, August 8, 2017

    Former Syracuse coach Dick MacPherson, who revived the program and led the Orange to an undefeated season in 1987, died Tuesday in Syracuse, N.Y. He was 86.

    • MacPherson reportedly died of natural causes.

      MacPherson's 1987 team went 11-0-1, tying Auburn 16-16 in the Sugar Bowl, and finishing with a No. 4 ranking. He went 66-46-4 at Syracuse from 1981-90 before leaving to coach the New England Patriots. He went 8-24 in two seasons before giving way to Bill Parcells.

      MacPherson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2009.

      Syracuse men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim remembered MacPherson fondly Tuesday in a phone interview with Syracuse.com.

      "He was just the greatest guy," Boeheim said. "He was just one of those rare guys that everybody loved. He was one-of-a-kind, a special human being. He obviously did a great job coaching football. And he was just a unique individual."

  • BYU AD Holmoe to stay on selection committee for another year
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, August 2, 2017

    The 10-person committee that selects and seeds the teams for the NCAA basketball tournament underwent some recent changes to avoid having too much inexperience, and the bottom line is that BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe will remain on the committee for another year.

    • Two months ago, former New Mexico athletic director Paul Krebs unexpectedly left the committee, but former Richmond athletic director Keith Gill was not appointed to the committee as anticipated, CBSSports.com reported Wednesday.

      Gill resigned from Richmond in May, but joined the Atlantic 10 as the executive associate commissioner in an attempt to retain his spot with the selection committee.

      Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson, who had not served on the selection committee since 2000, was added to the committee to replace Krebs. Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips and Southland Conference commissioner Tom Burnett will be committee members for the first time.

      The committee decided it wanted no more than three new members, so it turned to Holmoe, who was scheduled to leave the committee on Aug. 31 after serving for four years.

      "Tom Holmoe has been a valuable member of the committee for the past three years and I was delighted to share with him and his colleagues the news that his term will be extended by a year," Dan Gavitt, the NCAA's senior vice president of basketball, said in a statement. "If there has been one common theme with this committee that I've heard over the past five years, it's that the first year with the group can be a bit overwhelming. ... Having Tom back for another year prevents us from having essentially four new members for the upcoming season, and we think that's important for the committee to have the most balanced experience possible."

      The committee has added some changes to its selection and seeding processes, so experience became an important factor.

      Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen will chair the committee in 2017-18.

  • Western Kentucky suspends freshman C Robinson
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, July 31, 2017

    Western Kentucky freshman center Mitchell Robinson has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules, the school announced Monday.

    • The 6-foot-11 Robinson left campus Wednesday night without telling anyone at the university after enrolling in summer classes earlier this month, sources told the Bowling Green Daily News.

      Robinson went through three practices last week as the Hilltoppers prepared for an Aug. 7-14 trip to Costa Rica, where they will play three games. Coaches were unaware of the McDonald's All-American's absence until he did not report for a workout Thursday.

      A source told ESPN that Robinson doesn't want to play at Western Kentucky and that he would be OK transferring or sitting out this year.

      Western Kentucky coach Rick Stansbury commented on the absence of his star recruit for the first time Monday.

      "WKU freshman center Mitchell Robinson is suspended indefinitely from the program for a violation of team rules," Stansbury said in a statement. "Mitchell is a good kid, but the team will always be more important than one individual player. He needs to understand the value of structure and accountability in his life, and his return will be dependent upon requirements that will be handled internally.

      "My focus is on our team, and I'm excited about this group as we prepare for next week's trip to Costa Rica."

      Robinson, a New Orleans native, is considered a potential lottery pick in next year's NBA Draft.

  • Hall of Famer Knight cleared of inappropriate touching
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, July 7, 2017

    Hall of Fame men's basketball coach Bob Knight was the subject of an FBI investigation following allegations that he inappropriately touched four women both before and after a speech he delivered during a 2015 visit to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Washington Post reported.

    • Knight was accused of making suggestive comments, hugging a woman around the chest and hitting another on the buttocks following the speech in Northern Virginia. The 76-year-old denied any wrongdoing and federal prosecutors in Virginia decided against bringing charges in July 2016, Knight's attorney, James Voyles, told the newspaper.

      The alleged incidents took place in July 2015 and the FBI and U.S. Army participated in the inquiry, according to the Washington Post.

      The former Indiana, Texas Tech and Army coach was interviewed by FBI agents at his home in Montana as part of the investigation. He declined comment when reached by the Washington Post, but his wife, Karen, wrote in a text message that "Bob did nothing wrong and there is NO evidence to prove that he did. Case closed."

      Voyles offered the following statement to the newspaper:

      "There is absolutely no credible evidence to support this in our opinion, these allegations," Voyles said. "... (FBI agents) reported to their superiors that there was no basis for any further action, period."

      Multiple witnesses alleged wrongdoing by Knight, according to the Washington Post.

      Marc Byers, an employee at National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, reported to a supervisor that he saw Knight grope a woman's buttocks. Also, one woman who claimed Knight smacked her on the buttocks told the newspaper it was "weird" before comparing the former coach's behavior to that of "a drunk uncle."

      Knight also worked for ESPN for seven seasons after a successful if volatile coaching career.

      Knight retired as the winningest coach in Division I basketball with 902 victories but was passed by former pupil Mike Krzyzewski at Duke. Knight was a three-time national champion with the Hoosiers before he was fired because of his abrasive personality, short temper and several incidents.

  • Florida's White agrees to new contract
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, June 16, 2017

    Florida coach Mike White had his coaching contract reworked through the 2022-23 season, the school announced Friday.

    • White guided the Gators to a 27-9 record and reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament last season. He earned SEC Coach of the Year honors.

      White's renegotiated pact is worth just over $2.7 million per season. He will make $16.3 million over six seasons.

      He is slated to earn $2.525 million in the 2017-18 season. White earned $613,501 last season.

      White is 48-24 in two seasons as Florida's coach since replacing Billy Donovan.

      The Gators also announced that football coach Jim McElwain has been granted an extension through 2022 on Friday.

  • Pitino receives 5-game ban for Louisville sex scandal
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, June 15, 2017

    Louisville coach Rick Pitino will be suspended for the first five Atlantic Coast Conference games in the 2017-18 season for failing to monitor his men's basketball program in the wake of a sex scandal, the Division I Committee on Infractions announced Thursday.

    • The Cardinals also will be on probation for four years, have scholarship reductions and recruiting restrictions. Louisville will also forfeit any money received through conference revenue sharing from the 2012-15 NCAA Tournaments.

      The status of the school's 2012-13 national championship could be at risk, as the NCAA ruled the Cardinals must vacate all basketball records in which players competed while ineligible from December 2010 and July 2014.

      The NCAA, which accepted Louisville's self-imposed 2015-16 postseason ban, ruled that Pitino "violated NCAA head coach responsibility rules" by failing to monitor the activities of former assistant Andre McGee, who is alleged to have hired strippers to entertain players and recruits.

      "Without dispute, NCAA rules do not allow institutional staff members to arrange for stripteases and sex acts for prospects, enrolled student-athletes and/or those who accompany them to campus," the panel said in its decision.

      Louisville interim president Greg Postel said in a statement that he does not believe the penalties levied by the NCAA are "fair and reasonable."

      "(The NCAA) "went beyond what we consider to be fair and reasonable," Postel said in his statement, adding that "The Committee on Infractions has gone too far and taken actions that are unwarranted. We will appeal."

      McGee received a 10-year show cause penalty.

      The Committee on Infractions on Thursday ruled McGee "acted unethically when he committed serious violations by arranging striptease dances and sex acts for prospects, student-athletes and others, and did not cooperate with the investigation."

      Pitino's attorney, Scott Tompsett, told ESPN that the coach also plans to appeal the penalty.

      "The finding against Coach Pitino is one of the weakest I've ever seen against a head coach," Tompsett's statement said. "... The decision does not identify a single specific thing that Coach Pitino should have done, that he wasn't already doing, that would have either prevented or detected the illicit activities. The secret and deliberately hidden illicit activities certainly did not occur because Coach Pitino did not properly train Mr. McGee.

      "Today's decision breaks with established head coach control precedent and imposes a standard of strict liability."

      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.

  • Report: Butler set to hire Milwaukee's Jordan
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, June 12, 2017

    On the same day that former Butler coach Chris Holtmann was introduced as Ohio State's new coach, multiple news outlets reported Monday that the Bulldogs will hire LaVall Jordan to replace Holtmann.

    • Jordan is a former Butler player and assistant who has been the head coach at Milwaukee since April 2016.

      Holtmann was hired last week by the Buckeyes to replace Thad Matta, himself a former Butler player and assistant who spent 13 seasons at Ohio State before he was dismissed.

      The Indianapolis Star reported that Jordan met with Butler athletic director Barry Collier on Sunday night and again Monday.

      Jordan, 38, is the fourth men's coach in six seasons at Butler, whose previous head coaching replacements were all on the staff when hired.

      In his only season at Milwaukee in the Horizon League, Jordan led the Panthers to a 11-24 record. His team advanced to the Horizon League tournament championship game as the 10th seed after going 4-14 in conference play during the regular season.

      Butler also interviewed longtime assistant Terry Johnson and its top recruiter, Ryan Pedon, for the head coaching vacancy. The Star reported that Johnson, Pedon and assistant Mike Schrage are expected to join Holtmann at Ohio State.

      Jordan graduated from Butler in 2001 and played in Europe and the NBA Development League. He also served as an assistant at Iowa and Michigan.

      Holtmann compiled a record of 70-31 in three seasons as Butler coach. In six years as a head coach, which includes three years at Gardner-Webb (44-54), his career record is 114-85.

      Holtmann's teams have won at least 20 games in each of the past four seasons, including a 25-9 record at Butler last season.

      Butler advanced to the NCAA Tournament in all three seasons with Holtmann as the head coach. He was the 2016-17 Big East Coach of the Year, the 2013 Big South Conference Coach of the Year and a Naismith National Coach of the Year finalist in 2014-15.

  • North Carolina F Maye uninjured in auto accident
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, June 9, 2017

    North Carolina forward Luke Maye, one of the heroes of the Tar Heels' 2017 NCAA tournament men's basketball championship, was uninjured after his car flipped several times and came to rest upside down on a North Carolina Interstate.

    • Maye's parents told the Charlotte Observer that their son walked away with no more than a few bumps and bruises in Thursday's accident. The car was totaled.

      "Yes, Luke had a car accident this afternoon coming home for his brother's middle school graduation," Mark Maye, a former standout quarterback for the Tar Heels in the 1980s, said in a text message to the newspaper on Thursday night. "Was very fortunate. Thank the good Lord he is fine. Put a real scare in him -- and us."

      Aimee Maye, Luke's mother, told the Charlotte Observer on Friday morning that her son did not have to go to the hospital for evaluation "because he was clearly fine at the scene."

      Mark Maye said no one else was hurt in the wreck on Interstate 85, where the accident occurred as his son drove alone from Chapel Hill, N.C., back toward the family's home outside of Charlotte. Mark Maye picked his son up from the accident scene about an hour away.

      "He did run into an 18-wheeler and spun his car around, landing on a bank beside the road," Mark Maye said in another text message to the newspaper. "Damaged the car pretty bad, but he (Luke) said he feels perfectly fine."

      Luke Maye made the game-winning basket against Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament last season in the Tar Heels' 75-73 Elite Eight win over the Wildcats, scoring a career-high 17 points. Two days earlier, he established his previous career high of 16 points against Butler in the Sweet 16.

      Maye will be a junior next season and is projected to be a starter for the Tar Heels. He averaged 5.5 points and 3.9 rebounds as a reserve forward in 2016-17.

  • Butler's Holtmann named Ohio State coach
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, June 9, 2017

    Chris Holtmann is leaving Butler to become the next men's basketball coach at Ohio State, the university announced Friday.

    • Holtmann, who completed his third year with the Bulldogs in 2016-17, agreed to an eight-year contract with Ohio State worth about $3 million annually, Buckeyes athletic director Gene Smith said. Final details of the deal were being finalized.

      Smith said Holtmann fit the criteria he sought for the 14th head coach in Ohio State history.

      "Chris is focused on academics, is a high-integrity person, a relentless recruiter with Midwestern ties and a proven winner," Smith said in a statement.

      Holtmann replaces Thad Matta, who was the winningest coach in program history but surprisingly pushed out after 13 years on Monday.

      In three seasons at Butler, Holtmann compiled a record of 70-31 as a member of the Big East conference. In six years as a head coach, which includes three years at Gardner-Webb (44-54), his career record is 114-85.

      Holtmann's teams have won at least 20 games in each of the last four seasons, including a 25-9 record at Butler last season.

      Butler advanced to the NCAA Tournament in all three seasons with Holtmann as the head coach. He was the 2016-17 Big Ease Coach of the Year, the 2013 Big South Conference Coach of the Year and a Naismith National Coach of the Year finalist in 2014-15.

      Creighton head coach Greg McDermott met with Ohio State officials on Wednesday night and appeared to be leading candidate for the Buckeyes. But McDermott announced Thursday he was staying at Creighton.

      Holtmann emerged as the front-runner Thursday afternoon. Smith's private plane was scheduled to fly to Indianapolis on Friday morning, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

      Meanwhile, Holtmann thanked Butler for giving him an opportunity and said his three seasons at the school were the most rewarding of his career.

      "Leaving Butler has been one of the most difficult decisions of my life," Holtmann said on his Twitter page. "(Wife) Lori, (daughter) Nora and I leave with amazing memories that we were honored to be a part of. We all know that at Butler, despite change, those special and amazing memories will only continue.

      "I'm certain of that. It's Butler."

  • McDermott posts that he will remain with Creighton
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, June 8, 2017

    Greg McDermott took to social media on Thursday to announce that he plans to stay in his current role as the Creighton men's basketball coach.

    • Citing undisclosed sources, ESPN reported early Thursday morning that McDermott had been offered the head coaching position at Ohio State.

      "I'm blessed and honored to be the coach at Creighton.....and am looking forward to many more great years in Omaha! #rolljays," McDermott wrote on his Twitter account.

      ESPN and CBS Sports reported that McDermott met with Ohio State officials on Wednesday night and emerged as the leading candidate for the Buckeyes, who dismissed Thad Matta after 13 seasons on Monday.

      The 52-year-old McDermott has spent the past seven seasons at Creighton, where his team finished 25-10 last season and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time during his time at the school. He has a 166-82 overall record there.

      McDermott also coached at Wayne State, Northern Iowa and Iowa State.

      Ohio State had failed to reach the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons under Matta after a successful run that saw him lead the Buckeyes to two Final Four appearances and multiple Big Ten titles. He compiled a 337-123 overall record in Columbus after coaching at Butler and Xavier.

      Last season, Ohio State finished 17-15 overall and 7-11 in the Big Ten.

  • Ohio State pursuing new coach to replace Matta
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, June 8, 2017

    Ohio State appears to be moving quickly in its pursuit of a replacement for Thad Matta.

    • ESPN and CBS Sports reported that Creighton's Greg McDermott met with Ohio State officials on Wednesday night and emerged as the leading candidate for the Buckeyes, who dismissed Matta after 13 seasons on Monday.

      According to The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith wants to hire a new coach by the end of the week.

      The 52-year-old McDermott has spent the past seven seasons at Creighton, where his team finished 25-10 last season and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time during his time at the school. He has a 166-82 overall record there.

      McDermott also coached at Wayne State, Northern Iowa and Iowa State.

      Ohio State had failed to reach the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons under Matta after a successful run that saw him lead the Buckeyes to two Final Four appearances and multiple Big Ten titles. He compiled a 337-123 overall record in Columbus after coaching at Butler and Xavier.

      Last season, Ohio State finished 17-15 overall and 7-11 in the Big Ten.

      One potential Ohio State target, Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, told the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday that he has 'no intention of leaving' his current job. He was the head coach at Iowa State before moving to the NBA.

      Also mentioned as possibilities are Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams, Butler coach Chris Holtmann and Ohio State assistant Chris Jent.

      Jent, a former Ohio State player and NBA coach, interviewed with school administrators earlier Wednesday, The Dispatch reported.

      Longshot candidates are Arizona's Sean Miller, Indiana's Archie Miller, Xavier's Chris Mack and Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan, a former Florida coach.

  • Arizona president on Miller to Ohio State rumors: 'Over my dead body'
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, June 7, 2017

    Immediately after Thad Matta was pushed out as Ohio State's head basketball coach, the speculation turned to possible replacements, including the Buckeyes may try to lure away Sean Miller from Arizona.

    • However, University of Arizona president Dr. Robert Robbins, less than a week on the job, said that would happen "over my dead body."

      "The Ohio State University is great university, but they are not going to get Coach Miller," Robbins told the Arizona Republic on Tuesday. "They will have to come over me to get him, as the saying goes, over my dead body."

      Miller's name was one of many rumored on social media after the Buckeyes surprisingly parted ways with Matta after 13 seasons on Monday and began a national search.

      "I just think he is a quality guy," the Arizona president said of Miller. "I will do everything in my power to try to convince him to stay."

      Robbins told the newspaper he takes recruiting coaching rumors "very seriously."

      The 48-year-old Miller has coached the Wildcats since 2009, making six NCAA Tournament appearances and reaching the Elite Eight three times. He is 220-66 (.769) in eight seasons at Arizona but has been unable to lead the program to a Final Four berth. He has four regular-season Pac-12 titles.

      In February, Miller and Arizona agreed to a contract extension that runs through the 2021-22 season. The deal guarantees Miller $2.6 next season and will pay him $2.9 annually over the final three seasons. He was signed through 2020 prior to the reworked deal.

      Robbins said Miller is a "tremendous, tremendous individual who has had great success on the court. I know he's disappointed he couldn't bring a national championship to the state, given that the Final Four was here."

      Miller's Wildcats are expected to be one of the top teams in the nation next season. His brother, Archie Miller, was hired as the head coach at Indiana in March.

  • Matta out after 13 seasons at Ohio State
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, June 5, 2017

    Thad Matta is out as the Ohio State head basketball coach after 13 seasons, the university announced Monday.

    • Matta reportedly wanted to keep coaching the Buckeyes, but athletic director Gene Smith said a change was needed after discussing the situation with the coach.

      "I felt comfortable after the season when I sat down with Thad that we had a plan. Recruiting is a major part of it, and we weren't winning the recruiting battles," Smith said. "As we started talking about it Friday, the flow of the conversation took me to the realization as I said to him, 'This might be the time to make a leadership change,' and he agreed."

      The Buckeyes struggled the past two years, missing the NCAA Tournament last season after finishing 17-15. It was Matta's first Ohio State team not to win at least 20 games. The Buckeyes went to the NIT in 2015-16.

      Matta's Ohio State teams reached the Final Four in 2007 and 2012. The Buckeyes were in the national title game in 2007 but lost to Florida.

      Matta won five Big Ten regular-season titles and four Big Ten tournament titles. The Buckeyes reached five Sweet 16s in nine NCAA Tournament appearances.

      Matta inherited a program facing a one-year postseason ban in his first season in 2004-05, but the Buckeyes finished 20-12 and went to the NCAA Tournament in nine of the next 10 seasons.

      Matta was 337-123 (.733) with the Buckeyes, with a 439-154 overall coaching record at Ohio State, Xavier and Butler.

      Matta, who will turn 50 in July, previously underwent emergency back surgery in 2007 that left him without a fully functioning right foot due to nerve damage, requiring a brace, as well as lingering back issues. He walks with a limp and sits in a special chair during games to alleviate the back pain.

      At a news conference Monday, Matta mentioned "trying to get healthy" as one reason for leaving the job.

      "This has been ... the greatest 13 years of my life," said Matta, fighting back tears when thanking his family and reflecting on his time in Columbus.

      "I want what's best for the program, and if it's me not being here, I understand that and respect that."

      Smith said Ohio State will honor the three remaining years on Matta's contract worth about $9 million. The school paid a $650,000 bonus on April 30 as part of that contract.

      Smith said the Buckeyes will conduct a national search for their next coach.

      "While this may be a surprise to many, it's the right thing for our program at this time," Smith said.

  • Blue chipper Bowen selects Louisville
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, June 3, 2017

    Blue-chip recruit Brian Bowen committed to the University of Louisville on Saturday.

    • Bowen, a McDonald's All-American and consensus five-star prospect by four major recruiting sites, announced on his Twitter account that he will be joining the Cardinals.

      "Happy to announce my commitment to the Ville. Let's get ittttt," Bowen tweeted.

      The 6-foot-7 Bowen, who is from Michigan, averaged 20.4 points and seven rebounds last season at La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind. The team won the Dick's Sporting Goods High School Nationals in March.

      "We are extremely excited to have Brian with us," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said in a statement, according to the Courier-Journal. "He's extremely versatile and can play almost four positions. He's an outstanding scorer, a terrific passer and someone who just really knows how to play the game. This gives us a deep, talented team, and we look forward to playing another exciting schedule."

      A number of powerhouse programs, including Arizona, Oregon, Michigan State and Creighton, were among the finalists considered by Bowen.

      The Cardinals finished 25-9 last season, losing to Michigan as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

  • Kentucky G Diallo withdraws from NBA Draft
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 25, 2017

    Promising Kentucky guard Hamidou Diallo withdrew his name from the NBA Draft prior to the deadline and will play for the Wildcats this season.

    • Diallo graduated early from high school and enrolled at Kentucky in January but didn't play for the Wildcats last season. He entered the NBA draft process and was eligible to return to college because he didn't retain an agent.

      He created some waves at the NBA draft combine in Chicago by posting a vertical leap of 44 feet, five inches, the second-highest in combine history.

      The 6-foot-6 Diallo was forecasted as a late first-round pick. He withdrew his name just minutes prior to the 11:59 p.m. ET deadline on Wednesday night.

      "I hope to play in the NBA one day -- just not this season," Diallo said in a statement on his Twitter feed. "Based on the information I received by testing the waters, I believe it's in my best interests to return to school.

      "Although I was a part of the team last season and trained with my teammates, I never fulfilled another one of my dreams, which was to play for a major college program and win a national title. I am excited about returning to Kentucky for the 2017-18 season. I can't wait to play in a Kentucky jersey for the first time."

      Naturally, Wildcats coach John Calipari was pleased with Diallo's decision. Kentucky needs to replace all five starters from last season's Elite Eight squad, including the standout backcourt of Malik Monk and De'Aaron Fox.

      "I'm really proud of Hami. He took in all the information, asked a lot of questions, including questions to the NBA teams," Calipari said in a statement. "I love the fact that he wants to put himself in a better position and help lead this new team to a championship.

  • Xavier G Bluiett to return for senior season
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, May 23, 2017

    CINCINNATI -- After testing the NBA waters for the second straight offseason, Xavier guard Trevon Bluiett has decided to return for his senior season, giving the Musketeers a likely preseason top-25 team hoping to make another deep NCAA Tournament run.

    • "Trevon is one of the best players in all of college basketball and we're excited to have him back in the role of senior leader," said Xavier head coach Chris Mack. "Tre has been a part of three straight NCAA appearances including trips to the Sweet 16 and Elite 8. He competes every day and continues to improve in every facet of the game. I know our fans are ecstatic."

      Bluiett worked out for his hometown Indiana Pacers on Monday then reportedly had a workout scheduled with the New York Knicks on Wednesday before cancelling hours before making his return to Xavier official.

      Bluiett, a two-time First Team All-Big East Conference selection, ranked second in the league in scoring 18.5 points per game.

      During Xavier's run to the Elite Eight ending with a loss to top-seed Gonzaga on the doorstep of the Final Four, Bluiett averaged 21.3 points per game to earn a spot on the five-member all-West Regional team.

      The Indianapolis native is on track to become only the fifth 2,000-point scorer in Xavier history. Bluiett, who has moved up to 15th place on XU's all-time scoring list with 1,585 career points, is actually on pace to finish as high as second on XU's all-time scoring list. His 665 points as a junior rank fifth-best all-time for Xavier single season scoring totals.

  • Alabama F Key withdraws from NBA Draft
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, May 23, 2017

    Alabama forward Braxton Key withdrew from the NBA draft and will return for his sophomore season, the school announced Tuesday.

    • The 6-foot-8 Key didn't sign an agent when he entered the draft, which allowed him the option to pull out.

      "I made that official when I sent my paperwork to the NBA league office Monday morning," Key said in a statement. "I want to express my appreciation to my teammates, Coach (Avery) Johnson and the entire coaching staff for giving me their full support while I went through this process.

      "I am excited for the future of the Alabama basketball program and looking forward to getting to work as we prepare for next season. Roll Tide and Buckle Up!"

      Key averaged 12 points and 5.7 rebounds as a freshman. He scored in double figures on 20 occasions.

  • College basketball notebook: F Delgado will stay at Seton Hall
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, May 22, 2017

    Seton Hall forward Angel Delgado, the leading rebounder in the country, announced that he will withdraw his name from next month's NBA Draft and return to the school for his senior season.

    • Delgado said in a statement that it "feels just right" to come back for his final year.

      A native of the Dominican Republic, the 6-foot-10 Delgado averaged 15.2 points and nation-best 13.1 rebounds for the Pirates during his junior season, leading Seton Hall to a 21-12 overall mark and 10-8 record in the Big East.

      Wednesday is the deadline for players to pull out of the draft and retain college eligibility.

      --Texas guard Andrew Jones announced his withdrawal from next month's NBA Draft and his return to the Longhorns for his sophomore season.

      Jones participated in the NBA combine and workouts with individual teams but did not hire an agent.

      Jones, who played in 33 games as a freshman as Texas struggled to an 11-22 season, led the team in assists with 3.5 per game and was third in scoring (11.4 points).

      --Five-star prospect Emmanuel Akot announced that he will graduate from high school early and enroll at Arizona for the 2017-18 season.

      His coach at Wasatch Academy in Utah, Curtis Condie, confirmed the decision of Akot, who originally committed to the Wildcats in March as a 2018 prospect. Akot, a product of Winnipeg, Manitoba, is listed at 6 feet 8 and 205 pounds but is expected to play a wing role off the bench for the Wildcats as a freshman.

      Akot averaged 17.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists during the two April live periods for Exum Elite Utah Prospects on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit. He shot 47.2 percent from 3-point range.

  • Blue-chip recruit Akot to join Arizona early
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, May 22, 2017

    Five-star prospect Emmanuel Akot announced Monday he will graduate from high school early and enroll at Arizona for the 2017-18 season.

    • His coach at Wasatch Academy in Utah, Curtis Condie, confirmed the decision of Akot, who originally committed to the Wildcats in March as a 2018 prospect.

      "After much thought, my family and I have decided to join the 2017 class and become a member of the Arizona Basketball family next season," Akot wrote on Twitter.

      Akot, a product of Winnipeg, Manitoba, is listed at 6-foot-8 and 205 pounds but is expected to play a wing role off the bench for the Wildcats as a freshman. He also played backup point guard at Wasatch.

      "He was our backup point, we posted him up and he worked a lot on his outside shot," Condie told the Arizona Daily Star. "He was more consistent about (his shot) and when he wants to be, he can be an outstanding defender."

      Akot averaged 17.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists during the two April live periods for Exum Elite Utah Prospects on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit. He shot 47.2 percent from 3-point range.

      Arizona coach Sean Miller's 2017 recruiting class was already ranked in the top five nationally.

      Akot's decision comes a day after freshman Rawle Alkins announced he was withdrawing from the 2017 NBA Draft and returning to Arizona for his sophomore season. Star guard Allonzo Trier announced last month he was returning for his junior year.