Friday, May 30, 2008

Arizona News: Wise Returns, Gaddy Leaves

What would a week in college basketball be without more Arizona news? On the bright side, Arizona sophomore guard Nic Wise has decided to return to the Wildcats after seriously contemplating transferring over the past couple of months. "This is where I want to be," Wise said in a release. "I trust coach [Lute] Olson and he wants me to be a leader -- the captain -- next season, and that's what I'm going to do." Olson is looking forward having Wise back next season. "We're happy to have Nic back," Olson said. "His experience and his leadership are things we will rely on next season." The 5-9 Wise, arguably the team's only true point guard last season, averaged 9.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. He will likely start alongside's top-ranked recruit, Brandon Jennings, in the backcourt next year.

However, Arizona also received some bad news, as the Wildcats lost their top signee in their 2009 recruiting class. Point guard Abdul Gaddy has announced that he is decommitting from Arizona because of the turnover in the coaching staff. "There's just a lot of change going on," Gaddy told the Arizona Daily Star. "I don't really know the coaching staff. I know Lute Olson, but when I committed, I committed to Lute Olson, Kevin O'Neill, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon. I had a relationship with that coaching staff." All three assistant coaches -- O'Neill, Pastner and Simon -- are no longer on staff with the Wildcats. Gaddy said Arizona is still going to be in the mix, but the fact that he does not have the same relationship with the current assistants played a role in his decision. "The coaching staff is new and there's a lot of questions there," he said. "I hadn't been contacted for more than two weeks until I talked to Reggie Geary two days ago, and it was really brief." Despite that, though, he remains interested in the Wildcats because of Olson's presence: "Lute Olson is still there. That's a good thing. That's a really good thing. Arizona's always going to be Arizona. It's always been one of my favorite schools since I was a kid." Gaddy is ranked No. 9 by and No. 14 by

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Notre Dame Picks Up Another Transfer

According to Jeff Goodman of, former Purdue forward Scott Martin has announced that he is transferring to Notre Dame. "I went to the NCAA tournament this year and enjoyed it," Martin said. "I really want to get back and I feel as though Notre Dame gives me the best chance to do that." The 6-7 freshman said Fighting Irish head coach Mike Brey was a major factor in his decision. "Notre Dame is a great school and Coach Brey and his staff are terrific," Martin said. "He lets players play and lets them do what they're good at." Martin, who is the second player to transfer to Notre Dame this offseason (former Mississippi State guard Ben Hansbrough joined the Irish last month), averaged 8.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game last season.

Gordon Likely Staying in Draft

According to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Mississippi State junior guard Jamont Gordon is likely keeping his name in the NBA Draft and will not return to the Bulldogs for his senior season. "I've got...a lot of teams telling me I can probably slide into the first round and my stock has been rising," Gordon said. As a result, his trainer, Jerry Meyer, said that there is almost no chance he will come back to Starkville. "He's almost 100 percent set on staying in the draft," Meyer said. Gordon was one of the most productive all-around players in the country last season, averaging 17.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.

Rivers Transferring to Indiana

As reported by the Indianapolis Star, former Georgetown guard Jeremiah Rivers has announced that he will transfer to Indiana. The 6-4 sophomore chose the Hoosiers over Georgia Tech and Central Florida. He is confident that he will be able to contribute in a variety of ways once he becomes eligible to play at IU. "I'm the kind of player who can get the ball in the paint, distribute it to my teammates, and finish around the basket," Rivers said. "I have a good mid-range jump shot, too. I think I can be a good point guard at Indiana, but at the same time I can bring some shooting guard skills to the table as well." Rivers was widely recognized as one of the best defenders in the Big East when he played for the Hoyas, and also averaged 2.5 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.

Monday, May 26, 2008

City Rocks AAU Program Continues Success

Note: This story originally appeared at the Big East Basketball Report.

When thinking about the top programs on the AAU circuit, a team from Albany (NY) might slip your mind. However, make no mistake about it, year in and year out, the City Rocks program is competing as one of the top programs on the East Coast.

Carmen Maciariello, the club’s vice president, said the reason for the quick rise to prominence is the people within the program.

"We have good people working in the organization," Maciariello said. "We have a lot of guys giving back. With Jim Hart, we’re not like other AAU programs who just wheel and deal. We do things the right way."

The principals behind the City Rocks program currently include Hart, who has been a coach and president of the organization since 1993, and Maciariello. Maciariello worked as the Director of Basketball Operations at Siena College during the 2005-2006 season following a professional playing career in Italy. Maciariello played college basketball at the University of New Hampshire and with Siena after being one of the first City Rocks to receive a college scholarship.

"It started out as just a bunch of local kids practicing in a gym," Maciariello said. "On weekends, we would get in a van, and go play ball in New Jersey, Boston, New York City."

Now, with over 20 teams under the City Rocks banner, they are prepared to kick off another exciting travel season which includes one of the most competitive events every year, the Rumble in the Bronx, which is run by Jim Hart and the City Rocks team.

"Jim is a Fordham alum," Maciariello said when asked how it started. "It’s a great fundraiser for us, and it gives us a national reputation. We’re going to have teams from all over the country – Las Vegas, North Carolina, Louisiana, New York, New Hampshire…"

With an impressive list of current alumni (67 Division-I prospects have emerged from the program), including Big East performers such as Andy Rautins, Paul Harris, Dele Coker, Craig Forth, Lazar Hayward and current NBA player Andray Blatche, it is no wonder why City Rocks is successful year in and year out.

This year’s teams will look to build upon the tradition of excellence set forth by the previous teams. They are once again playing a nationally competitive schedule that will find them in such events as the Playaz Spring Fling, Rumble in the Bronx, Providence Jam Fest, Boston Shootout, Boo Williams Invitational, Gym Rat Challenge in Albany, Hoop Group Jam Fest in Pittsburgh and several GBOA events. Furthermore, the U-16 team will be playing at nationals.

Leading the way on this year’s U-17 team are Jin Soo Kim, Mike Goodman, Jordan Stevens and James Southerland.

Jin Soo Kim, a Maryland commitment, plays for South Kent Prep. He has a torm labrum in his shoulder, and has not even been available to play for Marciariello yet. He is a 6’8” forward who is very versatile and can score in a variety of ways. His length and hustle give him an advantage despite his relatively lanky frame.

Goodman, from CBA Syracuse, tore his ACL last summer, and therefore is garnering most of his interest based off of his production two years ago. Still, Marciariello is looking forward to getting Goodman back and fully recovered.

"We’re expecting a big summer from Mike," he said.

Stevens, a 6’5” wing from Saratoga Springs High School, is another player looking to create more of a buzz this upcoming summer. He has already been offered by Providence, Rhode Island, Western Kentucky, Fairfield, Albany and is getting looks from Saint Joseph’s and other schools.

"He’s getting a lot of mail right now," Marciariello said.

Southerland is an interesting prospect. He is committed to Syracuse, but it is unclear when he will be suiting up for the Orange. The 6’8” small forward from Notre Dame Prep might play one more year before going to college, but reports recently have him looking to play in the 2008-2009 season and he expects to be qualified to do so.

The U-16 squad is led by two players who occasionally also play up at the U-17 level. Taran Buie is one of the most coveted players in the high school class of 2010. Buie is finishing a state championship season with Albany’s Bishop Maginn High School, and is getting looks from schools across the country. Among those interested in Buie’s services are Big East schools Syracuse and Rutgers, as well as Georgia Tech, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Xavier, Boston College and Fordham.

Will Regan is also a member of the U-16 squad whose name is already familiar with college recruiters. The 6’8, class of 2010 big man out of Buffalo (NY) attends the Nichols School. Regan is getting interest from Maryland, Georgetown and Fordham, among others.

Despite not getting as much attention as some of the other AAU programs around the country, Marciariello has lofty goals for the City Rocks.

“We want to try to win and be one of the best Nike teams in the country,” he said. “We want to get the kids and try to get them ready for the next level. We don’t just want them to win AAU games. We practice, we have team meals, we eat right and we set curfew. We also have scouting reports.

"We do things the right way, and we try to put the team and the kids in the best situations."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Speights Likely Staying in Draft

According to Dave Curtis of the Orlando Sentinel, Florida sophomore big man Marreese Speights is leaning towards keeping his name in the NBA Draft and not returning to the Gators for his junior season. "I’d say that I’m more confident of staying in than when I first made the decision," Speights said. "Right now, I’d say it’s about 70/30." Speights announced his intentions last month to enter the draft, but did not sign with an agent. He told Curtis that he has considering signing with one recently, but has not done it yet. Speights, who averaged 14.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game last season, is projected by most mock drafts to be selected in the middle of the first round.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Evans Asks for Release from Letter of Intent

Troubled Maryland recruit Tyree Evans, who has created controversy over the past month due to his checkered past, has asked for a release from his letter of intent. "After much thought, Tyree felt Maryland was not the best fit for him at this time and I support his decision," head coach Gary Williams said. "We wish him well in the future." Evans, a four-star recruit according to, has been the subject of many recent articles regarding his past. Over the past four years, he was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession; pleaded guilty to a reduced assault-related misdemeanor after being accused of statutory rape; charged with trespassing; received probation for marijuana possession; and also had a handgun charge that was not pursued by prosecutors. Athletic director Debbie Yow said she did not know about Evans' past while Williams was recruiting him.

Evans' coach at Motlow State Community College, Dan Steinburg, said the decision to get a release was Evans' decision and he did it because of the negative publicity he had been receiving lately. "Hearing about all that stuff and people started telling him, it was just constantly a struggle. It seemed like every day it was something new," Steinburg said. "He and I just talked about it two days ago and said, 'Let's go ahead and opt out.'" Evans originally chose the Terrapins over Arizona, Florida State and Kansas State.

Rick Maese of the Baltimore Sun thinks that Maryland should not have recruited Evans in the first place, citing his litany of criminal charges. "The carefully orchestrated announcement yesterday that Evans is being released from his letter of intent was an attempt to save face - for Evans and for Maryland basketball," Mease writes. "Unfortunately, for the Terps at least, it was a failed attempt." Furthermore, Mease writes that Evans' troubled past should have scared off Williams and the Terrapins as soon as they found out about it. "Evans' recruitment should have never reached this point," he writes. "The stunning thing today isn't that Williams didn't get his man. It's that he wanted him in the first place."

Anderson Withdraws from Draft

Memphis junior guard Antonio Anderson announced that he has withdrawn his name from the NBA Draft and will return to the Tigers for his senior season. "I got feedback that I’d go second round, and I wasn’t comfortable with that," Anderson said. "Coming back here for another year, I can get better in every aspect of my game and try to win some more ballgames and have fun again, have another great year and see where it can take me." He also said that the talent in this year's draft played a factor in his decision. "As stocked as the draft is and a lot of freshmen coming out, it’s pushing a lot of guys back," Anderson said. "I’m not going to make a mistake that would impact me for the rest of my life." Memphis already lost Derrick Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts to the draft, and Robert Dozier has yet to make a final decision regarding his draft future. Anderson averaged 8.6 points and 3.4 assists per game last season, leading the Tigers in minutes played for the third year in a row.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Shipp to Announce His Return

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, UCLA junior swingman Josh Shipp will announce that he intends to withdraw from the NBA Draft and return to the Bruins for his senior season. His mother, Debbie, said the reason for his return is his quest for a championship. "He'll make an announcement real soon," she said. "He's still chasing that national title. In the next day or so he'll say something." Shipp, who averaged 12.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game last season, is one of four Bruins who declared for the draft. Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook are likely lottery selections and will probably keep their names in the draft pool, while Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is expected to return.

Caracter Declared Academically Ineligible

The Derrick Caracter saga at Louisville is finally over. The sophomore big man has been declared academically ineligible by the university, which would seem to be the final straw for Caracter and his career with the Cardinals. "He just has too many issues to overcome, academically and otherwise, to be a Louisville Cardinal," Pitino told the Louisville Courier-Journal. "The best thing for him would be to go to a different place." Caracter declared for the NBA Draft two months ago, but has since decided that he wants to stay in college. He has not signed an agent and turned down an invitation to the pre-draft camp in Orlando. Furthermore, he has been working out in Louisville since the season ended. "He loves Louisville," Winnie Terry, Caracter's mother, said. "That's where he wants to be. He doesn't feel like he's ready [for the NBA]. He definitely wants to return." Pitino was surprised Caracter declined the invite to the pre-draft camp and seemingly just wants Caracter to move on. "I was hoping he would try the pros," he said. "That's all he talked about all year. I told him to go to Orlando. I don't know why he wouldn't go there. It's crazy." Caracter averaged 8.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season.

Hope Indiana has Outstanding Walk-Ons

New Indiana head coach Tom Cream has dismissed yet another player. He announced yesterday that freshman forward Brandon McGee will not return next season due to "academic and team guideline negligence." In a statement, Crean said there were attempts to correct the problems, but they were not successful. "Our coaching and support staff tried to make this work, but we felt that there were some basic standard operating procedures that were not being met," he said."I feel badly for his family and [his high school coach] who were helping us to try and make this work. But in the end, it just was not possible to continue in the current direction." With the dismissal of McGee, it leaves the Hoosiers with just two scholarship players who were on the team this past season: Jordan Crawford and Kyle Taber. Guards Armon Bassett and Jamarcus Ellis and forward DeAndre Thomas were already previously dismissed, while Eli Holman asked to transfer and Eric Gordon declared for the NBA Draft. Furthermore, five seniors used up their eligibility. McGee averaged 1.5 points and 1.0 rebounds per game last season.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gee Returning to Alabama

Alabama junior forward Alonzo Gee has announced that he has withdrawn his name from the NBA Draft and will return to the Crimson Tide for his senior season. "I learned a lot from the draft process and I appreciate everyone's support," Gee said. "I have decided to return to Alabama and look forward to helping our program reach our goals for the 2008-09 season." Coach Mark Gottfried is happy with the route Gee took to make his decision. "We supported Alonzo through this process," Gottfried. "He has evaluated all the input. We look forward to him continuing to develop and are excited that he will return. It's important to understand that he is on track to graduate next year as well which is important to him and to all of us." Gee, who averaged 14.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game last season, did not get an invite to this week's pre-Draft camp in Orlando and was not projected to be drafted in the first-round and is listed as a likely second-round pick in next year's Draft. Teammates Richard Hendrix and Ronald Steele, who also entered the Draft without an agent, have yet to make a final decision regarding their future.

PC's Williams to Long Beach State

Former Providence sophomore Dwain Williams, who announced last month that he was leaving the Friars, has transferred to Long Beach State. The six-foot guard from San Diego said he wanted to return to California to be closer to his family. "Dwain Williams is a great addition to our program,'' head coach Dan Monson said. "His success in the Big East Conference demonstrates that he is a proven high-level point guard that will help solidify our backcourt.'' Williams averaged 11.0 points and 2.3 assists per game last season.

McNeal Withdraws from NBA Draft

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Marquette junior guard Jerel McNeal has announced he will withdraw his name from the NBA Draft and return to the Golden Eagles for his senior season. "I felt after yesterday and thinking about things and weighing all the options, it was the best decision," McNeal said. "I've still got things here I want to accomplish and goals to work toward. Getting better on the court and off the court, in the classroom, and winning championships with my teammates." He was not invited to the pre-draft camp in Orlando, and it is not a guarantee that he would have been drafted at all. "I've got one year left and an opportunity to do some great things here that's going to be very important to me here down the line," McNeal said. "I think staying here and being here for another year is much more important than actually going through that whole process, trying to squeeze out a spot when people may not necessarily want you. I think it's just the best thing to do."

He is looking forward to next season, when Marquette will return four of its five starters. "We're a team that was a shot away from being in the Sweet 16," McNeal said. "We're excited going into this year knowing that we can be even better. We return the core group of guys that we made a run with, and we've got some new guys coming in that I think are going to help us along the way, too. So I'm just excited about the whole thing." He averaged 14.9 points and 2.2 steals per game last season.

Duquesne Signs Ex-Louisville Recruit

After losing two of its best players to the NBA Draft, Duquesne needed to find an impact player -- and it did, in the form of former Louisville recruit Melquan Bolding. The 6-4 shooting guard from Notre Dame Prep signed with the Dukes on Wednesday. "I'm really looking forward to having the opportunity to coach him," head coach Ron Everhart said. "He's an athletic, high-energy player, a perfect fit for our style of play. Plus, he's a really good kid, who has great family support." Bolding, who chose Duquesne over St. John's, Cincinnati and Temple, originally committed to Louisville but did not sign due to academic problems. He will help immediately, especially on the offensive end. "I can really score any time I want," Bolding said. "I'm real aggressive, and I've got the love for the game." He is ranked in the top-30 small forwards by, and is also ranked as the No. 13 fifth-year player by Hoop Scoop.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A&M's Carter Returning to School

Texas A&M junior guard Josh Carter has announced he has withdrawn his name from the NBA Draft pool and will return to the Aggies for his senior season. "I decided to take my name out of the draft and concentrate on my senior season," Carter. "I'm not worried about the NBA right now. I know I have a lot to improve on and will have another shot at the draft next year." Coach Mark Turgeon supported the decision. "Josh made a wise and mature decision that will benefit him in the future," Turgeon said. Carter averaged 12.2 points per game last season, but it was a relatively disappointing campaign considering he shot 50 percent from three-point range as a sophomore.

UTEP's Jackson Withdraws from Draft

UTEP junior swingman Stefon Jackson has announced that he has withdrawn his name from the NBA Draft and will return to the Miners for his senior season. "I have decided that it is in my best interest to come back," Jackson said. "I'm excited about returning, I'm excited about the great team we have coming back and I'm excited about my senior year." Not surprisingly, head coach Tony Barbee is looking forward to having Jackson on the team next season. "It's a good day to be a Miner," Barbee said. "Stefon did his due diligence, and we did our part in looking into it and decided it was in his best interest to come back. It's in my best interest, too. He will make us a better team." Jackson averaged 23.6 points per game last season, ranking seventh in the country in that category.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Negedu Released, Jennings Still Not Eligible

The circus that Arizona has been for the past several months continues to figure out ways to constantly get in the news. Top-50 recruit Emmanuel Negedu was granted his release today after asking out of his letter-of-intent on Sunday. According to Jeff Goodman of, Lute Olson did not want to have a player who would be unhappy in Tucson. "We don't want anyone here that doesn't want to be here," Olson said. "Obviously, after I had the opportunity to meet with Emmanuel, we don't want to force a kid to come to Arizona if he doesn't want to be here. I just want him to go somewhere he'll be happy." Olson also said Negedu would be looking at Indiana and Memphis when deciding where to transfer, while Brewster -- where Negedu played this past season -- coach Jason Smith told Justin Young of that Negedu was going to choose between Georgia Tech, Indiana, Memphis and Tennessee. "That's it, it's those four," Smith said.

In other -- and potentially much more important -- news, five-star recruit Brandon Jennings is still not eligible to play for Arizona next season. The NCAA has not cleared him despite the fact Jennings achieved a qualifying test score. According to Jeff Goodman of, Jennings originally took the standardized test back when he was at Dominguez High School (Calif.) and scored poorly on it. However, when he took the exam again at Oak Hill Academy (Va.), there was a dramatic increase in the score. The NCAA is requiring Jennings to take the test again as a way to legitimize his score. Jennings, a 6-1 point guard, is the top-ranked player in the country by

Iowa's Freeman Headed to Southern Illinois

Iowa's leading scorer Tony Freeman has announced that he will transfer to Southern Illinois. The junior guard said he felt the Salukis wanted him, as both a player and a leader. "They made me feel wanted," Freeman said. "The day after I announced I was transferring, I was on a four-way telephone conversation with them. They said they wanted me, even if it was just for one year. As an athlete, that's what I wanted to hear." Freeman, who was named to the All-Big Ten third team, did not feel like he fit at Iowa once Todd Lickliter took over for Steve Alford. "Basically, the [postseason] conversation I had with [coach Todd Lickliter] insinuated that I wasn't compatible with the system," he said. "[Southern Illinois] said they needed a guy like me, even if it was for just a year, to come in and help lead and mentor younger players. Basically, everything those guys wanted me to be, Iowa didn't." Freeman averaged 13.8 points per game last season.

Monday, May 19, 2008

ISU's Johnson to Transfer

Iowa State sophomore forward Wesley Johnson is leaving the Cyclones and will transfer to another school, according to a release by the school. He reportedly packed up his things and left school on May 10 without notifying any coaches or teammates. "Shocked would be the best way to describe my reaction," coach Greg McDermott said. "It’s a setback for the team. I wish Wesley well, but my energies will be directed to the players committed to Cyclone basketball." McDermott visited Johnson at his home in Texas on Sunday, but it did not change anything. "I wanted Wesley to fully understand how a transfer can impact his development for a professional career," McDermott said. "His mind was already made up." Johnson averaged 12.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game during his two seasons at Iowa State.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Negedu Asks Out of Letter of Intent from UA

As first reported by the Tucson Citizen and Gary Parrish of, Arizona recruit Emmanuel Negedu wants out of his letter of intent to play for the Wildcats next season. "Everyone makes a decision in life; this is my decision," the 6-7 Negedu said. "I'm going to stick with it." With the future status of head coach Lute Olson in question after his leave of absence this past season, as well as the loss of all three assistant coaches who were on staff when he signed, Negedu was no longer comfortable with his decision. "There have been so many changes that I feel they've lied to me all along about the situation," he said. "Everything has changed a lot since I've signed down there. I can't take it no more."

If Olson lets him out of his letter of intent, he said he plans on looking at schools right away. If not, he said he is likely to return to Brewster Academy for another season, although he would rather not take that route. "What can I prove by going back to high school for one more year? Nothing," Negedu said. "I've got nothing to prove. I had a great season. We won everything. I was the MVP of the league. I was the Gatorade Player of the Year. What do I have to prove in high school anymore? Nothing. I'm just ready to go to college . . . but I do not picture myself at Arizona anymore. I just want my release." Negedu, an athletic power forward, is ranked as the No. 40 recruit in the country by

Ebanks Chooses West Virginia

According to Jeff Goodman of, Devin Ebanks, the nation's top unsigned high school senior, has decided to attend West Virginia next season. "I really respect Coach [Bob] Huggins and I trust what he's saying," Ebanks said. "I also feel like I can make an impact quickly at West Virginia." He chose the Mountaineers over Memphis, as well as Texas and Rutgers, who he eliminated from his list earlier in the week. Ebanks said he picked WVU because of his visit to Morgantown last month. "I enjoyed my visit to West Virginia and just feel as though it's the best situation for me," he said. Ebanks is ranked as the No. 11 recruit in the nation by, and the No. 13 recruit by

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Stepheson Leaving North Carolina

North Carolina sophomore forward Alex Stepheson has announced that he is leaving the Tar Heels and will transfer to another school. "My family is dealing with some health challenges at this time, and as a result I have made the decision to transfer to be closer to home," Stepheson said in a statement. He missed two games in January to be with his father, who has heart-related health issues. Head coach Roy Williams said he understands the decision to leave. "I am extremely, extremely disappointed, but I feel so great about Alex that I understand his decision to transfer," he said in the release. "He is a wonderful kid. I thoroughly enjoyed coaching him and know that he would have contributed so much more in the next two years." Stepheson averaged 4.3 points and 4.5 rebounds last season.

Mitchell Transferring to Rutgers

Former Florida forward Jonathan Mitchell has finally found a new home. The sophomore has announced that he will be transferring to Rutgers. He chose the Scarlet Knights over Seton Hall and Marshall. "It came down to that's where he felt most comfortable," Herb Mitchell, Jonathan's uncle, told Adam Zagoria of The Herald News (N.J.). "He felt comfortable with the players, the system, the coach and how they're going to play him." Herb also said Mitchell feels he needs to prove something when he becomes eligible for Rutgers. "He's got a chip on his shoulder right now," Herb said. "He's got a lot to prove." Mitchell averaged 3.1 points and 1.8 rebounds last season for the Gators.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Report: Arthur had High School Grades Changed

According to WFAA-TV News 8 in Dallas, former Kansas forward Darrell Arthur may have had a grade changed during his junior year at South Oak Cliff High School. As the report states: "Transcripts obtained show Arthur received no grades at all during his fall semester. His final grade was changed to a 70 in September 2005 without an explanation." If Arthur had failed math that year, he would not have been eligible to play basketball. His math teacher, Winford Ashmore, said Arthur should not have been able to receive a Division-I scholarship. "Since Darrell Arthur really did not pass algebra — which means he did not clear the clearing house — that also means that he really should not have been eligible for a Division I major college scholarship," Ashmore said. Jim Marchiony, Kansas' associate athletic director for external affairs, said what happened should not affect the Jayhawks. "This is something that happened in high school," Marchiony said. "Everything that is discussed right now is speculation. I know the media and fans like to speculate, but that's not something we participate in." Arthur averaged 12.8 and 6.3 rebounds per game last season in helping lead the Jayhawks to a national championship. The sophomore is projected to be drafted in the middle of the first round in the upcoming NBA Draft.

Wiggins Transferring to UMass

According to Jeff Goodman of, former Connecticut guard Doug Wiggins has announced that he is transferring to Massachusetts. "I didn't really get a chance at UConn," the sophomore said. "I learned a lot in my two years and my experience will help me in the future, but UMass seems like a place where I will have a great opportunity." Wiggins is looking forward to teaming with Ricky Harris and Wake Forest transfer Anthony Gurley at UMass in two years. "I'm excited," he said. "Because all three of us bring different things to the table." Wiggins averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists per game last season.

Plaisted Not Returning to BYU

As first reported by the Salt Lake Tribune, BYU junior forward Trent Plaisted has signed with an agent, thereby ruining any chance to return to the Cougars for his senior season. "Obviously, getting my degree is very important to me, and I've made plans to complete the few remaining requirements," Plaisted said. "I really enjoyed playing at BYU and appreciate all that Coach Rose and the coaching staff have done for me. I know they will continue to be very successful." He hired Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports. Head coach Dave Rose supported his decision. "We wish Trent the very best as he pursues his professional career and appreciate what he has done for our program," Rose said. "He has been a big part of our success over the past three seasons. His departure creates opportunities for other players, and we expect them to respond very well." Plaisted averaged 15.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game last year. He is projected as a second-round pick by several mock drafts.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

DeRozan Potentially Out at USC

According to the Los Angeles Times, USC recruit DeMar DeRozan will likely ask out of his letter-of-intent should the Trojans be punished for the recent O.J. Mayo allegations. "This is a good wake-up call," Jermaine DeRozan, DeMar's half-brother, said. "I'm just hoping SC doesn't get put on probation [If it does], I would get out of there." His half-brother also made it fairly clear that DeRozan is only going to be in college for one season, and he wants to make the most of it. "If they can't make the tournament next year, that's what we're going to college for," Jermaine DeRozan said. "If you do your one year, you at least have to shine and get to the tournament with the intentions of winning it or get to the Elite Eight." DeMar DeRozan's high school coach, Tony Thomas, said two Final Four teams have called to inquire about DeRozan's availability and to not "forget about them." DeRozan, a 6-5 shooting guard, is a McDonald's All-American and is ranked as the No. 3 recruit in the country by

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mensah Signs Agent, Joins James in Draft

As first reported by, Duquesne junior guard Kojo Mensah has signed with an agent, ending any chance he had of returning to the Dukes for his senior season. His teammate, Shawn James, signed with an agent last week. "It's a good time right now to come out, especially based on the amount of media attention we had this year," Mensah said. He was one of five players shot on campus in September 2006, getting hit in the left arm and shoulder. However, Mensah did not show any lingering effects last season, averaging 12.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. He is not projected to be drafted, according to most mock drafts.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Morgan Freed from LSU, Headed to UCLA?

According to Jeff Goodman of, new LSU head coach Trent Johnson will release recruit J'Mison Morgan from his letter-of-intent on Tuesday. The 6-10 center signed with the Tigers in November, and seemed to stick with his decision despite the firing of former head coach John Brady and ensuing hiring of Johnson, who came over from Stanford. However, Morgan and his family apparently changed their mind last week, asking for his release. Morgan is ranked as the No. 25 recruit in the country by

If Morgan is in fact released from his letter-of-intent, he is likely headed west. As the Dallas Morning News reported last week, Morgan is interested in signing with UCLA once he is officially released. "It was a real hard decision for me," Morgan said. "My comfort level was at LSU, but I felt like UCLA was a better fit for me as far as exposure." Morgan wanted LSU assistant coach Butch Pierre to get the available head coaching spot, and reconsidered his commitment once Johnson was hired. Morgan would fill a void down low for Ben Howland, especially after the loss of Kevin Love.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Jasper, Teammate to Transfer

As has been rumored for the past several weeks, Kentucky sophomore guard Derrick Jasper is planning to announce his plans to leave the Wildcats and transfer to another program. Coach Billy Gillispie said an official announcement should come this week. Jasper missed the first ten games of the season to recover from knee surgery, an injury that hampered him throughout the year. He averaged 4.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Furthermore, seldom-used freshman center Morakinyo Williams has asked for his release from the program and will also transfer.

Lucas-Perry Granted Extra Year

Michigan freshman guard Laval Lucas-Perry was granted another year of eligibility by the NCAA, giving him three and a half seasons to play with the Wolverines. He will have to sit out the first half of next season after transferring from Arizona last winter. "I'm surprised, and I'm thankful,'' Lucas-Perry told the Ann Arbor News. "It's just a dream come true.'' His father, Laval Perry, did not what to expect when the NCAA made its decision. "We thought Laval deserved that year back, but it wasn't our decision,'' Perry said. "But we're just elated with the NCAA's decision. Words can't describe how we feel right now.'' Lucas-Perry, a Michigan native, played just five games with the Wildcats, deciding to leave after interim head coach Kevin O'Neill took over the program during Lute Olson's leave of absence. He averaged 4.0 points and 1.6 rebounds at Arizona.

Greene to Sign with Agent

According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, Syracuse freshman forward Donte Greene is planning on signing with an agent, ending any possibility he had of returning to the Orange for his sophomore season. A source said Greene has been interviewing agents, and is likely to sign with Bill Strickland of Blue Equity. He has not officially signed with Strickland, though. Greene averaged 17.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game last season, and was named to the Big East's All-Rookie team.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Huggins Taken to Hospital

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins was taken to a Charlotte hospital for "precautionary reasons" after falling in a Charlotte airport and hitting his head. "He's down there with the alumni to meet with the Charlotte alumni group and as he was getting off the plane, he tripped and bumped his head," Director of Athletics Ed Pastilong said. "We're monitoring this situation and that's all we know right now." According to a release, Huggins was checking his cell phone as he was walking away from the plane when he fell. Huggins was not seriously injured, and he never lost consciousness.

Update: An Associated Press story says that Huggins was released from the hospital after undergoing precautionary tests.

Gutierrez Signs with California

One of the nation's top unsigned point guards, Findlay (Nev.) Prep's Jorge Gutierrez, has signed with California. "He’s just elated, relieved and excited," Findlay coach Michael Peck said. "He’ll bring his toughness and his versatility to Cal. He’s just a winner." Peck said that new Cal coach Mike Montgomery was impressed when he watched Gutierrez play in pick-up games last week. "He saw enough to know Jorge has a good feel for the game and that he’s his type of player, like Chris Hernandez was for him at Stanford," Peck said. "Not only is he a tough kid, he has a good skill set." When I spoke with Peck in January for the Big East Basketball Report, he told me that Gutierrez was going to be a sought-after recruit in the spring. "We feel someone is going to get a real steal," Peck said. "The more people see him, the more they realize how good he is."

Lyons Returning to Missouri

Missouri junior forward Leo Lyons has announced that he will withdraw his name from the NBA Draft pool and return to the Tigers for his senior season. "I just felt like it was the right decision," Lyons said in a statement. "I really want to graduate, and by staying at Missouri, that will happen. I want to become the best basketball player I can be. This process over the last two weeks has allowed me to get feedback from NBA organizations and now I get a chance to use that my advantage." Coach Mike Anderson supported the route Lyons took and the decision he eventually made. “Leo was able to go test the waters, get feedback about his NBA status and now he can use that to his advantage,” Head Coach Mike Anderson said in a statement. "He went through the proper channels to get the information and that’s going to allow him to focus on becoming the best basketball player he can be next season." Lyons averaged 13.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per game last season, finishing the season very strongly.

Hendrix Likely Staying in Draft

According to his father, Alabama junior forward Richard Hendrix is likely to keep his name in the NBA Draft. "From all indications, it looks good," Venard Hendrix said. "We think it’s a good possibility he will go high in the draft." Richard Hendrix announced his intentions to enter the Draft last month, but did not sign with an agent, leaving open the possibility of returning to the Crimson Tide for his senior season. Hendrix, who has already graduated from Alabama, averaged 17.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per game last season, and is projected as a late first-round or early second-round pick in most mock drafts.

JC All-American Signs with Tennessee

Junior college All-American Bobby Maze has announced that he will sign with Tennessee, where he will be able to play next season. "Stevie Wonder could see this is where I needed to be," Maze said. "They’ve called me 'The Solution' here, so you do the equation: What better place could I be?" The 6-3 guard originally signed with Oklahoma out of high school, but transferred to Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College last year. He visited the Tennessee campus on Tuesday, and immediately knew he wanted to become a Volunteer. "The plane landed and I breathed in that Knoxville air," Maze said. "You see those seats in the arena and how high they go up, and all the sellout crowds, the Jumbotron screens everywhere, the practice facility. You have every tool here to be successful." Maze's addition will help greatly, especially after the recent dismissals of sophomores Duke Crews and Ramar Smith.

Pastner headed to Memphis

According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Arizona assistant coach Josh Pastner will join the Memphis coaching staff as an assistant coach and lead recruiter. An official announcment is not expected to come until next week. Pastner is widely regarded as one of the best assistant coaches in the country, as well as one of the most connected. Last week, Arizona hired Mike Dunlap to be associated head coach, which might have been the final straw in Pastner's decision to leave.

Shawn James Signs with Agent

As first reported by, Duquesne junior center Shawn James has hired an agent, ending any chance he had of returning to the Dukes for his senior season. "I want to enter the draft knowing I'm going to give it my all. That this is what I'm going to do, turn professional and play on the next level," James said. "I'm excited and can't wait to compete." James, one of the best shot-blockers in college basketball, averaged 12.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game last season.

Rivers to Transfer

Georgetown sophomore guard Jeremiah Rivers has announced that he is leaving the Hoyas and will transfer to another school. "Jeremiah and his family made a decision and determined this was best for him," coach John Thompson III said. "We appreciate his hard work and wish him best in his future endeavors." Rivers averaged 2.5 points and 2.4 rebounds per game last season, and was one of the best defenders in the Big East. He is the second player to leave the program in the last month, as fellow sophomore Vernon Macklin transferred to Florida.

Holman Transfers to Detroit

Former Indiana freshman center Eli Holman has announced that he is transferring to Detroit-Mercy. He left the Hoosiers last week after an incident in coach Tom Crean's office in which campus police were called. Holman will be reunited with former Indiana assistant Ray McCallum, who was hired by Detroit shortly after Crean's arrival last month. Crean is not happy with the way Holman left the Hoosiers and enrolled at Detroit just a week later. "We were led to believe that this was a family decision and that he wanted to get closer to home, but now it doesn't look like that's the way it's going to turn out," Crean said. "I don't think there's any doubt that there was a certain amount of orchestrating going on. It's disappointing, very disappointing, on a lot of fronts." Holman averaged just 1.0 point and 1.7 rebounds in six games last season, before injuring his left wrist and taking a medical redshirt. However, with his departure, the Hoosiers are left with just seven scholarship players for next season.

George Washington Dismisses Two Players

Two George Washington players have been dismissed from the team, the school announced Wednesday. Junior Cheyenne Moore and freshman Miles Beatty will not return next season. "Certain expectations are placed on our players both on and off the court," coach Karl Hobbs said in a statement. "They did not meet those expectations. Both Cheyenne and Miles were given every opportunity to succeed here at GW. I wish them both the very best in the future." Moore averaged 5.1 points and 1.9 rebounds per game in two seasons with the Colonials, while Beatty averaged 4.8 points per contest in his initial campaign at GW.