Friday, April 20, 2007

April 20th News and Notes

As expected, Ohio State freshmen Greg Oden, Mike Conley Jr., and Daequan Cook have all decided to enter the NBA Draft. A formal announcement is going to come Friday, according to sources. Oden is expected to sign with an agent, but Conley and Cook have decided to hold off signing with an agent until their individual workouts. Oden averaged 15.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks per game this past season; Conley averaged 11.3 points and 6.1 assists; and Cook averaged 9.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Oden is the likely #1 overall pick, while Conley is also projected as a lottery pick.

According to the Associated Press, Nevada junior guards Marcelus Kemp and Ramon Sessions have decided to enter the NBA Draft. However, neither player is expected to hire an agent, leaving open the option of returning to the Wolf Pack. Coach Mark Fox backed the decisions of his players. “I am supportive of Marcelus' and Ramon's desire to explore the NBA and gain the information necessary to make educated decisions," Fox said. Kemp averaged 18.5 points per game this past season, earning first-team all-WAC honors, while Sessions averaged 12.3 points and 4.7 assists per game, garnering second-team all-WAC accolades.

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Eastern Washington sophomore guard Rodney Stuckey is expected to announce his intentions to enter the NBA Draft. Stuckey, projected by most mock drafts as a first-round pick, will officially announce it on Friday. He averaged 24.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game this past season.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, four-star recruit Anthony McClain has committed to Cincinnati. The 6-11 McClain, who chose the Bearcats over Connecticut, was the top unsigned center in the country. His high school coach Trevor Brown said that McClain picked Cincinnati and coach Mick Cronin because of the familiarity Brown had with the program as well as the immediate opportunity to make an impact. “He liked the coaching staff and I know all those guys up there,” Brown said. “I know they’re a good staff and I know they’re going to build a good program. Plus, playing time. He should be able to play right away.” McClain was the 6th-ranked center by both and, and is a consensus Top 50 player nationally.

Princeton's search for a new coach is over. The Tigers have hired Georgetown assistant coach Sydney Johnson to replace Joe Scott as the next Princeton head coach. It will officially be announced on Monday. Johnson is looking forward to the opportunity. "I had a lot of excitement and nervous energy when I accepted the position, but that has quickly turned into a feeling of relaxation of knowing that this is the right place to be," Johnson said. "It's great to be here, and the challenge now will be to move forward." Johnson has worked under John Thompson III at both Georgetown and Princeton, and also played for the Tigers during his playing career. "As a player at Princeton, Sydney Johnson was the embodiment of heart, passion, class and dignity," athletic director Gary Walters said. "We are delighted that he will bring those same qualities back to Princeton as our head men's basketball coach."

Rick Bozich of the Louisville Courier-Journal discusses the 2007-2008 season and why there will be a “vacuum” at the top of the rankings that needs to be filled. He also writes about the “local Big Three” (Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana) all improving next year. His Final Four includes the Cardinals, along with North Carolina, Memphis, and Tennessee.

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