Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Full-Court Press, May 5

Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone. For anyone looking to kill a little time before celebrating the holiday tonight, here is an assortment of links and news items from the past few days.

- The Lance Stephenson saga continues. The New York Daily News reported on Friday that the nation's top-ranked player according to Hoop Scoop was eliminating long-time candidates St. John's and Maryland from consideration, leaving Arizona and Memphis as the most likely destinations for the 6-5 guard. However, Jeff Goodman of FOXSports.com said that Arizona is not likely to offer him a scholarship due to off-court concerns. Adam Zagoria has sources refuting that report. Lance, end this soon, please.

- One player who will be ending his recruitment soon is point guard Eric Bledsoe, who will be making his announcement tomorrow morning. The nation's third-ranked point guard according to Rivals.com will choose between Kentucky and Memphis, his high school coach told the Birmingham News.

- The story of Sonny Vaccaro is essential to knowing the background behind the decision by Jeremy Tyler to skip his final year of high school and head to Europe, writes Ray Mernagh of the NBE Basketball Report.

- What is Mississippi State getting itself into by signing Renardo Sidney? The Los Angeles Times reported on Monday that both UCLA and USC rescinded their scholarship offers in the past after concerns regarding Sidney's eligibility and family affiliations outweighed the positives Sidney brings to the basketball court.

- Highly-touted 2009 recruit Latavious Williams was expected to announce his commitment to Memphis yesterday, but a surprise visit to Florida International and new head coach Isiah Thomas has pushed his decision back.

- Top-10 2010 recruit Will Barton has dozens of scholarship offers, but two of his favorites are Kentucky and Maryland. He tells RoundballRecruiting.com that his decision could come anytime soon.

- Former Florida transfer Allan Chaney will be visiting Temple, Virginia Tech, Providence, Xavier and then possibly Seton Hall or Rutgers.

- As first reported by Jeff Goodman of FOXSports.com, former Cincinnati commit John Riek has signed with Mississippi State. The 7-2 center blew up two summers ago, but has since struggled with injuries and consistency.

- As first reported by Five Boro Sports, New York City product Sean Johnson has announced his commitment to Duquesne for next season.

- FOXSports.com's Jeff Goodman updates his pre-preseason Top 25 after seeing who entered their name into the NBA Draft and who returned to school.

- Jason King of Yahoo! Sports discusses 10 teams who are set to improve drastically next season. At least two of them, Purdue and Texas, could be Final Four threats.

- If Florida lands John Wall and sophomore Nick Calathes withdraws his name from the NBA Draft, the Gators could contend for a Final Four appearance, after not reaching the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons.

- The official list of NBA early-entries came out late last week and, as usual, there were a few late surprises. Names that were not reported on here before the list was released include: Northern Illinois' Darion Anderson, Nebraska's Ryan Anderson, UTEP's Kareem Cooper, Louisiana Tech's Kenneth Cooper, New Mexico State's Jonathan Gibson, Louisiana Tech's Kyle Gibson, Texas-Arlington's Rog'er Guignard, Tennessee Tech's Darnell Lindsay, San Francisco's Dior Lowhorn, Binghamton's D.J. Rivera, UAB's Terrence Roderick, Louisiana Tech's Magnum Rolle and Wofford's Junior Salters. For a complete list of all the players who entered their name into the NBA Draft, click here. Players who did not sign with an agent have until June 15 to withdraw their name from the draft. The draft is June 25.

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