Thursday, April 30, 2009

Full-Court Press, April 30

- Former Kansas forward Quintrell Thomas has narrowed his transfer list down to three: UNLV, Siena and Saint Joseph's. The St. Patrick (N.J.) product's history with the Runnin' Rebels could play a factor.

- Arizona sophomore Zane Johnson will leave the Wildcats and transfer to another school, UA announced earlier today. He started 13 games this past season.

- Florida transfer Allan Chaney told the Providence Journal last week that his top two prospective schools were Providence and Virginia Tech. However, Adam Zagoria reported yesterday that Chaney will also visit Saint Joseph's, Temple and either Rutgers, Xavier or Seton Hall.

- The Philadelphia Daily News has confirmed a story originally reported on that Kansas State transfer Ron Anderson took an official visit to Temple this past weekend. VCU is also apparently in the mix for the 6-8 forward.

- Brewster Academy product Reggie Moore has signed with Washington State, choosing the Cougars over Oregon, Iowa State, Memphis and UCLA.

- 2010 recruit Ralph Hill has committed to Dayton. The 6-6 forward from Columbus chose the Flyers over Akron, and was also getting looks from Butler, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sidney and USC Parting Ways

As first rumored on and subsequently reported on several other recruiting sites, high school All-American Renardo Sidney is not going to play at USC next season. A report in the Los Angeles Times Wednesday morning indicated that Sidney and USC had discussed the situation, and agreed to part ways in the recruiting process.

According to the report, the Sidney family was apprehensive regarding the allegations and NCAA investigation surrounding former Trojans O.J. Mayo and football star Reggie Bush. On the other side, the Trojans were originally worried about Sidney's eligibility, but he received a passing SAT score and had grades in 16 classes, which are necessary in order to be cleared by the NCAA.

Sources told the Times that Sidney has only one other option on the table at this point: Mississippi State. "Asked if Mississippi State is the front-runner to sign Sidney," the report reads, "the source close to the family said the Bulldogs were 'the only runner.'" Sidney is not looking into playing in Europe, a la Brandon Jennings and Jeremy Tyler.

Sidney is a 6-11 big man with a tremendous amount of talent, but he does not always work hard and tends to drift at times. When he is on, though, he is one of the most difficult players in the country to defend. Sidney can score inside and out, and can even handle the ball. He is ranked No. 16 by, a far cry from his top-five consensus ranking just a couple of years ago.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Parrom Paring List

Despite the high school basketball season ending last month, Kevin Parrom is still very busy.

The 6-6 swingman from South Kent (Conn.) was released from his letter of intent to Xavier earlier this month after Musketeers’ head coach Sean Miller accepted the job at Arizona.
Parrom visited Pittsburgh this past weekend, and is set to visit Arizona next weekend.
“It was great,” Parrom said of his visit to Pittsburgh in a phone interview Tuesday evening. “I had a chance to meet some guys and the coaches. The coaching staff was great. It was a good visit.
“There was a sense of family, everybody was together. Also, they win every year, so that’s a plus.”
Parrom will take a visit out to Miller’s new school, Arizona, this upcoming weekend.
“I’m going to check out the atmosphere,” he said when asked what he is looking for when he visits Tucson. “I want to meet the coaching staff and see how it is out there.”
Reports earlier in the week indicated that he was going to potentially visit Rhode Island, Providence and Virginia Tech, but Parrom is unsure.

“I was supposed to visit Rhode Island and Providence on Thursday,” he said. “But I don’t know if I’m going to do it.

“I was planning on visiting Virginia Tech, but the chances are slim of me actually visiting.”

Parrom’s former school, Xavier, is still in the picture but he said he wants to see other schools.

When asked what he is looking for in his college of choice, he said he wants to play immediately and also wants to feel a bond to the players and coaches.

“I’m looking for playing time and the chance to make an instant impact as a freshman,” Parrom said. “Also, I’m looking at the relationships.”

Indicative of his decision to originally sign with a school from a non-power conference, the Atlantic-10, Parrom said that conference affiliation will not a play a role in his decision.

“Conference is not a factor,” he said. “I’m not picking a conference, I’m picking a school. I could care less about the conference.”

As of now, Parrom said he is focused on Pittsburgh and Arizona, his top two schools.
“I plan on making a decision within the next two weeks, probably by the end of next week. I want to try to get it over with; I don’t want it to be a long process.”

Tyus Returning to Florida; Recruiting News

Just a week and a half after announcing that he would be leaving Florida and transferring, sophomore forward Alex Tyus has changed his mind and will return to the Gators. "The University of Florida is where I want to be," Tyus said in a statement. "I truly feel this is the best place for me to continue to grow and improve and I look forward to this upcoming season." Tyus met with head coach Billy Donovan last Thursday night to discuss his change of heart, and the meeting went well. "It's great to know that his heart is here at the University of Florida," Donovan said in the statement. "I know he will work hard." Tyus averaged 12.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game this past season.

Notre Dame Picks Up Recruit

2010 point guard Eric Atkins has decided to verbally commit to Notre Dame, just days after visiting the South Bend campus. "He was going out for his second visit there just to get a better feel of the school and campus and players and coaching staff," said Zach Suber, Atkins' AAU coach on the DC Assault. "The first time he went out was for a quick trip, basically watching a basketball game. He was pretty excited about going out to Notre Dame this time." Atkins was the Baltimore Catholic League Player of the Year this past season, and chose the Fighting Irish over Massachusetts, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, VCU, Indiana and Ohio State.

Painter Down to Two?

Former Florida signee DeShawn Painter, who decommitted from the Gators earlier this month, could be close to making a decision. Norm Wood of the Daily Press (Va.) reports that Painter's two finalists are Virginia Tech and Maryland. Painter is one of the top unsigned players left in the 2009 class.

Mark Fox Gets First UGA Recruit

As reported by, point guard Vincent Williams has announced his commitment to Georgia. "I like the academics and the coaching staff," Williams said. "I feel comfortable going there. I think they can make me a better player and a better person." The 6-1 Williams is the first recruit at Georgia for new Bulldogs head coach Mark Fox. The Florida native chose Georgia over UAB, VCU, TCU, Winthrop and Wichita State.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Full-Court Press, April 27

Sorry I haven't posted in about a week. I had the GRE (for graduate school) last week, so I didn't have much time to post links everyday, and then the beautiful weather here in the mid-Atlantic kept me outside all weekend with Faith. Anyway, there was a ton of NBA Draft and recruiting news in the past week, so here we go...

NBA Draft

- Davidson junior guard Stephen Curry made his decision on Thursday to enter his name into the NBA Draft. (

- North Carolina junior guards Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington have announced that they will both enter the NBA Draft after leading the Tar Heels to the national championship. (Raleigh News & Observer)

- Duke junior guard Gerald Henderson announced Saturday morning that he will enter his name into the NBA Draft, but will not hire an agent. (Charlotte Observer)

- Maryland junior guard Greivis Vasquez entered his name into the NBA Draft without hiring an agent, leaving open the option of returning to the Terrapins. (Associated Press)

- BYU junior forward Jonathan Tavernari announced Wednesday that he will test the NBA Draft waters, but will not hire an agent. (Deseret News)

- As had been rumored for several weeks, Tennessee junior forward Tyler Smith entered his name into the NBA Draft without hiring an agent. (Knoxville News-Sentinel)

- Mississippi State junior center Jarvis Varnado announced in a release today that he will be entering the NBA Draft, but will not hire an agent. (Jackson Clarion-Ledger)

- According to his former AAU coach, Syracuse junior guard Eric Devendorf has signed with an agent, ending any possibility he will return to the Orange. (Syracuse Post-Standard)

- Iowa State junior forward Craig Brackins has announced that he is not going to enter his name into the NBA Draft, instead returning to the Cyclones for his senior campaign. (Go Cyclones)

- As anticipated, Michigan sophomore guard Manny Harris and junior forward DeShawn Sims will return to the Wolverines next season. (Detroit Free Press)

- Connecticut forward Ater Majok, who was ineligible this past season, will test the waters of the NBA Draft without hiring an agent. He expects to return to the Huskies. (Hartford Courant)


- Florida sophomore forward Alex Tyus, who previously announced that he would be leaving the Gators, might be reconsidering his original decision. (Gainesville Sun)

- Manhattan sophomore guard Chris Smith has announced that he will be transferring to Louisville. (Louisville Courier-Journal)

- Former Drake sophomore guard has decided to transfer to Dayton. (Dayton Daily News)

- Maryland sophomore Braxton Dupree will be leaving the Terrapins and transferring to a different school, the school announced Wednesday. (Baltimore Sun)


- In what could eventually be trendsetting decision, high school junior Jeremy Tyler announced that he will be skipping his final year of high school and playing professionally overseas in Europe. (New York Times)

- Top-five recruit Xavier Henry announced at a press conference Thursday morning that he will be signing with Kansas. His brother, C.J., will also be transferring to the Jayhawks. (Lawrence Journal-World)

- According to Dave Telep of, highly-touted high school senior might decommit from USC and head to Mississippi State. Sources say that Sidney was on the MSU campus this weekend. (

- Lance Stephenson, one of the top-rated uncommitted high school seniors, might be adding schools to his list, which has included Kansas, St. John's and Maryland. Arizona and Memphis could be two of those schools. (ZagsBlog, Memphis Commercial Appeal)

- Former Xavier signee Kevin Parrom, who was released following head coach Sean Miller's departure, is going to decide between Pittsburgh, Arizona, Virginia Tech, Providence and Rhode Island. (ZagsBlog)

- Former Memphis recruit Nolan Dennis has announced that he will sign with Baylor. (Waco Tribune Herald)

- Unsigned high school senior Glenn Bryant chose Arkansas over South Florida and UAB. (

- Georgetown added to its recruiting class when Jerrelle Benimon committed to the Hoyas. (Fauquier Times-Democrat)

- Junior college guard Rico Pickett, who formerly played for Alabama, has announced his commitment to Manhattan. He chose the Jaspers over Connecticut and Florida. (Florence Times Daily)

- Former Memphis commit Darnell Dodson has decided to follow John Calipari to Kentucky. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

- Unsigned high school senior Ferrakohn Hall announced on Friday that he will attend Seton Hall next season. He chose the Pirates over UAB and Baylor. (Newark Star-Ledger)

- Daniel Miller decommitted from Georgia and signed with in-state rival Georgia Tech a day later. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

- Cliff Dixon, Kevin Durant's half-brother and one of the best junior college players in the country, has committed to Western Kentucky. (

- Former Kentucky signee G.J. Vilarino has decided to attend Gonzaga next season. (Spokane Spokesman-Review)

- Unsigned high school senior Brandon Thompson announced his decision to play for Arizona State over Texas Tech and Georgetown. (Arizona Republic)

- One of the top players in the 2010 class, Terrence Ross, has committed to Maryland over UCLA, Oregon State and several Pac-10 schools. (Washington Post)

- Markus Kennedy, a highly-touted recruit in the 2010 class, will announce his decision between Villanova, West Virginia and Temple this week. (ZagsBlog)

- 2010 recruit Travis McKie, a top-100 player, committed to Wake Forest on Wednesday. He chose the Demon Deacons over Clemson, Virginia, Alabama and VCU. (

- 7-foot Australian center Jordan Vandenberg has announced that he will play for North Carolina State. (

- Unsigned 7-2 high school senior Youssoupha Mbao has signed with Marquette to play next season. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

- Unsigned high school senior Tylisman Armstrong has chosen Auburn over Penn State, VCU and a host of ACC and SEC schools. (

Monday, April 20, 2009

Full-Court Press, April 21

News and notes from an eventful few days in the NBA Draft and recruiting worlds:

- According to, Davidson junior guard Stephen Curry plans to enter the NBA Draft. However, his father denied the story to the Charlotte Observer and Stephen himself texted Jeff Goodman of to refute the claim and say that a decision will come later in the week.

- The consensus No. 2 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, Ricky Rubio, will enter his name into the draft pool, according to

- Although it was reported in late March, Memphis freshman guard Tyreke Evans officially submitted his name for the NBA Draft yesterday. He will not hire an agent. (Memphis Commercial Appeal)

- Georgia Tech sophomore forward Gani Lawal will enter his name into the NBA Draft pool, but will not hire an agent, leaving open the option of returning to the Yellow Jackets. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

- is reporting that Villanova junior guard Scottie Reynolds and Illinois State junior guard Osiris Eldridge will test the NBA Draft waters.

- Texas A&M junior big men Bryan Davis and Chinemelu Elonu have announced they will enter the NBA Draft without hiring agents, following teammate Donald Sloan, who made his announcement over the weekend. (Dallas Morning News)

- Former Duquesne commit -- and rumored Seton Hall commit -- DeAndre Kane has signed with Marshall, choosing the Thundering Herd over a host of major-conference schools. (The Charleston Gazette)

- Lamont Jones, who decommitted from Louisville and Virginia Tech, has signed with USC, hoping to replace Daniel Hackett. (ZagsBlog)

- With former head coach Sean Miller now at Arizona, Musketeers signee Kevin Parrom has been released from his letter-of-intent. He will consider the Wildcats, as well as several Big East, SEC, ACC and Atlantic-10 schools. (Cincinnati Enquirer, ZagsBlog)

- Top-100 recruit Terrell Vinson, who formerly committed to Loyola Marymount, has committed to Massachusetts over Maryland and Cincinnati. (Baltimore Sun)

- As first reported by, junior college big man Jarrid Famous has chosen South Florida over Arizona, Pittsburgh, Missouri and Seton Hall.

- Unsigned high school senior Vee Sanford has committed to Georgetown, choosing the Hoyas over Baylor, Iowa, Georgia, Charlotte and others. (Louisville Courier-Journal)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Washington, Sloan Declare for Draft

Arkansas junior forward Michael Washington has announced that he will be entering the NBA Draft. However, he will not hire an agent, leaving open the option of returning to the Razorbacks for his senior season. “Michael has put his name in the draft to test the waters, but he is not hiring an agent," head coach John Pelphrey said. "We will continue to work with Michael to help make certain he has the best information available and makes an informed decision regarding his future. He is working out and continuing to work hard in school to finish the semester strong." The 6-9 Washington averaged 15.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game this past season.

A&M's Sloan Tests Waters

Texas A&M junior guard Donald Sloan has entered his name into the NBA Draft pool. Sloan is simply testing the waters, not hiring an agent so he can return to the Aggies if he does not receive the feedback he wants. "My dream has always been to play in the NBA," Sloan said. "I appreciate Coach [Mark] Turgeon's support as I go through this process. I love A&M and my teammates and if things don't work out in the draft, I'll come back and get ready for what could be a special season for us next year." The 6-3 Sloan averaged 11.8 points and 3.1 assists per game last season.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mills Leaving; Williams, Tyus Transferring

Saint Mary's sophomore guard Patty Mills has announced that he will enter the NBA Draft, but will not hire an agent, leaving open the possibility of returning to the Gaels for his junior season. "It's a win-win situation for me," Mills said. "If I don't get all the feedback that I want or need, I come back for my third year." The six-foot Mills was one of the best point guards in the nation before suffering a broken hand in late January, forcing him to miss five weeks and the likely cause for Saint Mary's being left out of the NCAA Tournament. He is projected as a mid-to-late first-round pick by most mock drafts. Mills averaged 18.4 points and 3.9 assists per game last season.

Florida's Tyus Leaves Gators

Yet another Florida basketball player is leaving the team. Following the transfer of Allan Chaney, the decommitment of DeShawn Painter and the potential early-entry of Nick Calathes, sophomore forward Alex Tyus has announced he is transferring. "Coach [Billy] Donovan and I had a chance to talk about my future and we agreed on the best course of action," Tyus said. "I want to thank my coaches, my teammates and the fans here at Florida. I enjoyed my two years here and now I look forward to the next chapter of my life." Donovan didn't seem overly enamored with Tyus' attitude towards coaching. "He wants to do things for himself that are decisions he's got to make on his own with what he wants," Donovan said. "For me as a coach, you know there's a certain vision and a certain path and a certain commitment for the team going forward that you want to have. For Alex, that's not really what he wanted to do." Tyus averaged 12.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game last season.

Nick Williams Transferring from Indiana

Indiana freshman guard Nick Williams announced that he will be leaving the Hoosiers and transferring to a different school. "After the season, Nick expressed displeasure with his role this year and also shared concern with members of our coaching staff about his future role in the program,'' head coach Tom Crean said in a release. "He is a fine young man, and we have enjoyed our relationship with him over time. He played hard and did some very good things for us, and we wish him the best.'' The Hoosiers have six new players coming into the program next season. Williams is the third player to announce his departure, following Malik Story and walk-on Broderick Lewis. He averaged 8.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season, starting 29 contests.

Other News and Notes

- According to Adam Zagoria of and, uncommitted high school senior Sherrod Wright has verbally committed to George Mason. The 6-4 senior from Mt. Vernon (N.Y.) chose the Patriots over Kansas State, Central Florida and South Carolina. When I spoke to Wright last summer, he said he was looking for a program that likes to play up-and-down and at a fast pace.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Warren Returning to Oklahoma; XU's Brown Testing

As first reported by Jeff Goodman of and confirmed in numerous published reports, Oklahoma freshman guard Willie Warren will return to the Sooners for his sophomore campaign instead of entering the NBA Draft. "That's my decision," Warren told Goodman. "I'm staying." Warren was one of the top freshmen in the country this past season, averaging 14.6 points and 3.1 assists per game in helping lead Oklahoma to the Elite Eight. The 6-4 Warren is a projected lottery pick in the 2010 draft.

Derrick Brown Testing Waters

Xavier already lost head coach Sean Miller to Arizona -- will it also lose its best player? Derrick Brown, the Musketeers' leading rebounder and second-leading scorer, has announced that he will be testing the waters of the NBA Draft. He will not hire an agent, though, leaving open the open of returning to Xavier. "If I get information that it’s best for me to come back to school, I will. If it’s telling me not to, I won’t," Brown said. "If [the NBA] is not the best for me then I’ll be back here for a whole other year because I love my teammates and I love my coaching staff." The 6-8 athletic forward averaged 13.7 points and 6.1 rebounds last season, helping leading the Musketeers to the Sweet Sixteen.

News and Notes, April 16

A lot of news happening across the college basketball landscape over the last day or so. Here's a quick rundown:

- Chad Ford of wrote yesterday that uncommitted high school senior John Wall was pondering entering the NBA Draft. He is a fifth-year high school senior, meaning he is old enough to enter the Draft. However, Wall told USA Today that he has no plans of entering the draft. Gary Parrish of doesn't completely believe Wall just yet.

- New Florida International head coach Isiah Thomas announced that he will donate his entire first year's salary back to the university. (

- Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey expects junior forward Luke Harangody to enter his name into the NBA Draft. (South Bend Tribune)

- Georgetown freshman center Greg Monroe will return to the Hoyas for his sophomore season. (The Hoya)

- Texas junior forward Damion James announced that he will test the NBA Draft waters. (Austin American-Statesman)

- Kentucky sophomore forward Patrick Patterson will follow teammate Jodie Meeks and enter his name into the NBA Draft without hiring an agent. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

- Syracuse sophomore point guard Jonny Flynn has officially hired an agent, ending any chance he had of returning to the Orange. (Syracuse Post-Standard)

- Gonzaga sophomore forward Austin Daye announced he will test the NBA Draft waters without hiring an agent (Seattle Times)

- Oklahoma freshman guard Willie Warren will make his decision regarding the NBA this weekend. (Tulsa World)

- Wake Forest freshman forward Al-Farouq Aminu boosted Wake Forest's hopes next season, announcing he will return for his sophomore season. (Winston-Salem Journal)

- Southern Mississippi junior guard Jeremy Wise will enter his name into the NBA Draft, but will not hire an agent in order to keep the option open of returning to the Golden Eagles. (Hattiesburg American)

- In a somewhat surprising move, South Carolina junior forward Dominique Archie announced that he will be testing the NBA Draft waters. (The State)

- According to, Connecticut junior forward Stanley Robinson will return to the Huskies for his final year of eligibility.

- Former Connecticut recruit Nate Miles, who was behind all the off-court problems for the Huskies this past month, will enter his name into the NBA Draft. (

- Unsigned high school senior Solomon Hill, who had committed to USC, will sign with Arizona on Friday. (Arizona Daily Star)

- Uncommitted high school point guard Lamont Jones, who decommitted from Virginia Tech last week, is set to announce his decision on Friday. USC is the leader for his services. (Los Angeles Times)

- In another bit of Georgetown news, sophomore forward Omar Wattad will be leaving the Hoyas and transferring. (Washington Post)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thabeet Declares for Draft; Chris Mack Coaching Xavier

As expected since the end of the season, Connecticut junior center Hasheem Thabeet has decided to forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the NBA Draft. "I have had a great experience at Connecticut and cannot thank my coaches and teammates enough," Thabeet said in a statement. "I look forward to the challenge of playing professionally and know that my time here at UConn has prepared me to be successful in the future." The 7-3 Thabeet is projected to be drafted in the top five of June's NBA Draft. "Hasheem is more than ready to make the move to the next level," head coach Jim Calhoun said. "He has been one of the most dominant defensive players in the history of college basketball and I am certain that where ever he ends up in the NBA, he is ready to be equally successful. He is a special player and even more special as a person. He will truly be remembered as one of the great players in UConn history, not only for his accomplishments, but also because of the type of person he is." Thabeet was a first-team All-American this season and a finalist for the Naismith award. He averaged 13.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.2 blocks per game in helping lead the Huskies to the Final Four.

Xavier Promotes Mack to Head Coach

As first reported by Jason King of Yahoo! Sports and then confirmed by the university, Xavier will promote assistant coach Chris Mack to the head coaching position. The announcement will officially come at a press conference scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday. Mack will replace Sean Miller, who was hired last week by Arizona. He was an assistant for five seasons with the Musketeers after serving three seasons under the late Skip Prosser at Wake Forest. Since the outset, Mack had been rumored to be the favorite to replace Miller. He will take over a Sweet Sixteen team that loses just two players for next season.

DePaul's Tucker Enters Draft, Will Hire Agent

After various reports gave different indications as to what he was planning on doing, DePaul sophomore swingman Dar Tucker has announced that he is entering his name into the NBA Draft and will hire an agent. “After careful consideration, I have decided to enter my name in the 2009 NBA Draft,” Tucker said. “This decision did not come easy for me because of my feelings for DePaul University. Coach Wainwright, my family and I have talked about my future and together we all decided this was the best decision for me at this time based upon personal circumstances.” The 6-5 Tucker averaged 18.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game this past season.

Other News and Notes

- VCU sophomore guard Joey Rodriguez is leaving the Rams and will transfer to Rollins College. (

Aldrich, Collins Returning to KU; Thomas Accepts FIU Job

And it's official: Kansas will be my preseason No. 1 next season. Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins both announced last night that they will be returning to the Jayhawks next season instead of entering their names into the NBA Draft. "That’s two good recruits we just signed for next year," head coach Bill Self said. "They will have a chance to be All-American and do what they both want to do: be part of a legacy that brings home two national championships." Both players won the national championship in 2008, and are looking forward to the opportunity to win another one. "I want us to do a lot of things very few people have done," Aldrich said. "Sherron and I talked about this ... we could be those special names in Kansas history that all the little kids look up to." Collins, a 5-11 junior guard, averaged 18.9 points and 5.0 assists per game this past season, while Aldrich, a 6-11 senior center, put up 14.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per contest.

Thomas Officially Accepts FIU Offer

As rumored yesterday, Isiah Thomas has accepted the head coaching position at Florida International. "We are very excited to have such a legendary athlete and proven winner in Isiah Thomas to lead our men's basketball program," athletic director Pete Garcia said in a statement. "There is no doubt that Isiah will give FIU a tremendous opportunity to take the basketball program to the highest level." He will be replacing Sergio Ruoco, who had five consecutive losing seasons with the Golden Panthers. Thomas, a Hall of Famer, played 13 seasons with the Detroit Pistons before retiring. He then coached the Indiana Pistons for three seasons, reaching the playoffs in each season. Thomas joined the New York Knicks as president of basketball operations before taking over the head coach position in 2006. He went 56-108 in two tumultuous seasons, and was subsequently fired in 2008. "We are excited to have Isiah Thomas join the FIU family," university President Modesto A. Maidique said. "This is bigger than basketball and bigger than athletics. Having a nationally recognized coach like Isiah at FIU will have a positive impact on our university as a whole, helping us achieve additional national exposure."

Early-Entry News

- West Virginia's Devin Ebanks will return to the Mountaineers for his sophomore season. (Charleston Daily Mail)
- Iowa State's Craig Brackins might return to the Cyclones instead of entering the NBA Draft. (
- Oklahoma State's James Anderson is returning to the Cowboys for his junior campaign. (Stillwater News-Press)
- Syracuse's Paul Harris had no knowledge that it was announced he would be entering the NBA Draft, but will now do it because "it's already out there, so I might as well." (Syracuse Post-Standard)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Flynn to Hire Agent; Isiah Thomas to FIU?

According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, Syracuse sophomore point guard Jonny Flynn is planning on hiring an agent, eliminating any possibility he will return to the Orange. Flynn announced last week that he was going to test the NBA Draft waters to gauge where in the draft he was likely to be chosen. Sources tell the Post-Standard that Flynn will sign with agent Leon Rose, the same person who represents LeBron James. Flynn, who is projected to be picked at No. 15 by both and, averaged averaged 17.4 points and 6.7 assists per game last season.

Isiah Thomas the Next Coach at FIU?

According to Jeff Goodman of, former NBA coach and player Isiah Thomas is the frontrunner for the vacant head coaching job at Florida International. He would be replacing Sergio Ruoco, who had five consecutive losing seasons with the Golden Panthers. Thomas, a Hall of Famer, played 13 seasons with the Detroit Pistons before retiring. He then coached the Indiana Pistons for three seasons, reaching the playoffs in each season. Thomas joined the New York Knicks as president of basketball operations before taking over the head coach position in 2006. He went 56-108 in two tumultuous seasons, and was subsequently fired in 2008.

News and Notes, Ole Miss Edition

The Ole Miss basketball program received some good news and some bad news on Monday:

First, according to Gary Parrish of, Rebels freshman guard
Terrico White has decided to return to school for his sophomore season and not enter the NBA Draft. The 6-5 White was the SEC Freshman of the Year. He averaged 13.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game this past season.

On the other hand, Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy announced today that junior guard
David Huertas is leaving the Rebels to pursue a professional career in Puerto Rico. “We appreciate all that David contributed during his two seasons with us, and we wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors,” Kennedy said in a statement. Huertas, who averaged 18.4 points per game last season, transferred to Ole Miss after one season at Florida. “I want to thank all my coaches and everyone at Ole Miss for the best three years of my life,” Huertas said. “After four years in college, I am ready to move into my life as an adult and be able to keep playing basketball and be with my family at the same time.” The 6-5 Huertas is the second starter to leave the team in the past month, as forward Malcolm White announced he was transferring in March.

Weekend News and Notes

Although he hinted at it immediately after North Carolina won the national championship, the university made it official on Sunday: freshman forward Ed Davis will return for his sophomore season. "I love being a student at Carolina and playing with my teammates for Coach [Roy] Williams,'' Davis said in a statement. “I’d like to play in the NBA someday, but my family and I don’t think I’m ready to take that step. I’m glad this decision is behind me so I can focus on the rest of the school year and get ready to be a better player next season.” The 6-10 Davis is a projected lottery pick and averaged 6.7 points and 6.6 rebounds off the bench this year.

According to, Notre Dame junior forward
Luke Harangody is planning on testing the NBA Draft waters. He will not hire an agent, but will likely stay in the draft if he feels that he will be drafted, even in the second round.

As first reported by the Tulsa World, Tulsa junior center
Jerome Jordan has decided to return to the Golden Hurricane for his senior season. “It’s a burden off my shoulders a little bit,” Jordan said. “I think I was ready [for the NBA Draft], but still have things I need to work on to become better. I didn’t see the rush of having to go this year.” With Jordan’s return and the questions at Memphis, Tulsa could move to the top of the Conference-USA pecking order next season. He averaged 13.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game last season.

Although new coach Sean Miller will have his hands full in his first season at Arizona, he will still have talent. Six-foot-10 center
Kyryl Natayazhko has committed to the Wildcats for next season. He was the top-rated uncommitted big man in the senior class. "I've known Coach Miller and Whitford longer than any other coaches," Natayazhko said. "The decision I made was based on the relationship between me and the coaches. I believe they will help me get better and a person and a player." Natayazhko is ranked No. 68 by and No. 75 by; he chose the Wildcats over Arizona State and Pittsburgh.

Despite reports saying that he has decided to test the NBA Draft waters, Hawai’i junior swingman
Roderick Flemings is still undecided as to whether to enter his name into the draft pool. "He said he's thinking about putting his name in the draft, but he still wants to talk it over a little more with his family," head coach Bob Nash said. "At this point, I don't know what the decision will be. I'm sure we'll talk more after he talks things over with his family." The 6-7 Flemings averaged 16.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game last season.

With the premature losses of Daniel Hackett and DeMar DeRozan, as well as the possible early departure of Taj Gibson, USC will have a completely different look next season. However, are all the defections finished for the offseason? Apparently not.
Tim Floyd said Saturday that two more players might decide to leave as well. "We've probably got another couple guys [who could leave]," Floyd said. "Something may happen." He did give any indication who the players were, but did say Dwight Lewis was not one of them. Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News speculates three possibilities: Guards Marcus Simmons and Donte Smith, and forward Kasey Cunningham.

Minnesota junior guards
Kevin Payton and Travis Busch will not return to the Golden Gophers next season, the school announced Friday. “We are grateful for what Travis and Kevin brought to the University of Minnesota during their time on campus,” head coach Tubby Smith said. “We are proud that both will leave the university with a degree and wish them the best of luck in their life after college.” Both players are seniors academically and are scheduled to graduate this spring. Payton played in just nine games this past season, while Busch averaged 3.7 points per game.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Pre-Preseason Top 25

Congratulations are in order for the 2009 national champions, the North Carolina Tar Heels. Their dominating run through the NCAA Tournament was one for the ages.

What about next season, though? As soon as "One Shining Moment" ended, true college basketball fans were still high off of the Final Four and wanted more basketball. What better way to quench your thirst for college hoops than to take a look at possible teams that can make a run in the 2009-2010 season.

Obviously, these rankings are definitely going to change over the next few months, with early-entries, coaching changes, etc. I will have a fresh set of revised rankings after the NBA Draft, but, until then, this is what the college basketball scope looks like heading into the offseason.

1. Kansas
2. Purdue
3. Michigan State
4. Villanova
5. Texas
6. Duke
7. North Carolina
8. West Virginia
9. Connecticut
10. Kentucky
11. Syracuse
12. Tennessee
13. Butler
14. Florida
15. Ohio State
16. Clemson
17. Oklahoma
18. Xavier
19. Washington
20. Minnesota
21. California
22. Dayton
23. Michigan
24. Wake Forest
25. Siena

Ten More to Watch:
- Louisville
- Illinois
- Gonzaga
- Texas A&M
- Ole Miss
- Pittsburgh
- Georgetown
- Kansas State

Thursday, April 9, 2009

News and Notes Recap

From now until the NBA Draft, we will begin posting a daily "News and Notes" section. It will include rumors about early-entries and coaching changes, as well as transfer and personnel decisions. Furthermore, early top-25 rankings and analysis from media outlets aroundthe country will also be linked to. To catch everyone up until now, though, I've compiled all the important news from the past three weeks or so.

Coaching Changes

VCU's Anthony Grant to Alabama
Xavier's Sean Miller to Arizona
Nevada's Mark Fox to Georgia
Memphis's John Calipari to Kentucky
Assistant Coach Josh Pastner Moves up at Memphis
Washington State's Tony Bennett to Virginia
Florida assistant Shaka Smart to VCU
Portland State's Ken Bone to Washington State
Arizona's Russ Pennell to D-II Grand Canyon University
Villanova assistant Pat Chambers to Boston University

NBA Draft

Blake Griffin, Oklahoma
James Johnson, Wake Forest
B.J. Mullens, Ohio State
DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh
James Harden, Arizona State
Daniel Hackett, USC
DeMar DeRozan, USC
Jordan Hill, Arizona
Chase Budinger, Arizona
Gerald Henderson, Duke (according to
Brandon Costner, North Carolina State
DaJuan Summers, Georgetown
Earl Clark, Louisville
Tyreke Evans, Memphis (according to and; Memphis assistant denies reports)

Testing Waters
Tasmin Mitchell, LSU
Shawn Taggart, Memphis
Taj Gibson, USC
Nic Wise, Arizona
Paul Harris, Syracuse (will likely hire an agent, according to
Eric Devendorf, Syracuse (will likely hire an agent, according to
Craig Brackins, Iowa State (according to
Jeff Teague, Wake Forest
Nick Calathes, Florida
Dwayne Collins, Miami (Fl.)
Devan Downey, South Carolina
Roderick Flemings, Hawaii
Mac Koshwal, DePaul
Jrue Holiday, UCLA
Jonathan Tavernari, BYU
Greivis Vasquez, Maryland
Jodie Meeks, Kentucky
Tyler Smith, Tennessee
Jonny Flynn, Syracuse

Likely Returning
Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest
Cole Aldrich, Kansas
Sherron Collins, Kansas
Willie Warren, Oklahoma
Kyle Singler, Duke
Patrick Christopher, California (Told's Andy Katz today that he was going to return)
Devin Ebanks, West Virginia
Isaiah Thomas, Washington
Evan Turner, Ohio State
Manny Harris, Michigan
DeShawn Sims, Michigan
Ed Davis, North Carolina
Damion James, Texas
Dexter Pittman, Texas
Dar Tucker, DePaul
Trevor Booker, Clemson
Sylven Landesberg, Virginia
Samardo Samuels, Louisville
William Buford, Ohio State
Dwight Lewis, USC
Solomon Alabi, Florida State
James Anderson, Oklahoma State
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State
JaJuan Johnson, Purdue

Up in the Air
Patrick Patterson, Kentucky
Jerome Jordan, Tulsa
Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut
Ty Lawson, North Carolina
Stephen Curry, Davidson
Wayne Ellington, North Carolina
Austin Daye, Gonzaga
Greg Monroe, Georgetown
Patty Mills, Saint Mary's
Raymar Morgan, Michigan State
Quincy Pondexter, Washington
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
Matt Bouldin, Gonzaga
Stanley Robinson, Connecticut
Chris Wright, Dayton
A.J. Ogilvy, Vanderbilt
Michael Washington, Arkansas
Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech
Derrick Brown, Xavier
Jarvis Varnado, Mississippi State


DeMarcus Cousins to Kentucky
Xavier Henry Released from Memphis, headed to Kansas or Kentucky
Lance Stephenson and John Wall Still Waiting to Choose
Daniel Orton Asks for Release from Kentucky; Father Says he is Staying at UK
Memphis' Nolan Dennis Asks for Release from Memphis
Jordan's Son Commits to UCF
Lamont Jones De-commits from Virginia Tech


Seth Curry Leaves Liberty for Duke
Nebraska Loses Cookie Miller and Alonzo Edwards
TyShawn Edmondson Transfers from St. John's
Quintrell Thomas and Tyrone Appleton Leave Kansas
Jio Fontan Seeking Release from Fordham; Mike Moore, Trey Blue Also Transferring from Rams
Chris Smith Leaving Manhattan
James Rahon Leaving Santa Clara

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What's Ahead for March Madness All Season?

First of all, congratulations to the North Carolina Tar Heels, who cemented their spot in history with a dominant victory over a Michigan State team seemingly destined for a national title. UNC came into the season as the overwhelming favorite to win it all, and despite a few bumps in the road here and there, finished what it was expected to do back in November.

Next, thanks to everyone who read the March Madness All Season website this season. We reached the one million mark a couple of weeks ago, so I appreciate all the traffic and feedback I have received this past season. As always, if there is anything you would like me or the website to improve on, e-mail me at and let me know. Thanks.

Also, feel free to take a look back at some of the biggest projects I've done this past season: 2008-2009 College Basketball Season Preview, 2009 Championship Week Preview, and the 2009 NCAA Tournament Preview.

Looking ahead to the offseason for the site, I'll be back with a new article on Friday looking at the Pre-Preseason Top 25 for next season, and some other teams to watch heading into next year. I will also have an article sometime soon looking back at my predictions that I made for the 2008-2009 season and how accurate they really were. It should be humbling, to say the least. Then, throughout the offseason, I'll have various articles discussing different things, including the NBA Draft Early-Entries, next year's recruits, etc.

Moreover, I'm also going to start posting a daily "News and Notes" section, which will include links to news stories and other college basketball-related articles from newspapers and media outlets from across the country. It will have all the NBA Draft news and rumors, early-entry decisions and coaching moves that you need.

It should be a very interesting offseason, with all the coaching changes and personnel turnover. Stay locked into March Madness All Season for all the latest in analysis and news and you will never feel lost in the college basketball world.

Monday, April 6, 2009

National Championship Preview: North Carolina vs. Michigan State

We are finally here. The National Championship Game. The game everyone has been talking about since March Madness started. North Carolina and Michigan State were clearly two of the top teams in the country heading into the year, and they have each proven that over the past five games. One may not think that the Tar Heels and Spartans are the two best teams in the country, but they have been the best the past couple of weeks – and ultimately, that’s what matters. Hopefully, this will be the perfect climax to a Big Dance that has lacked for exciting games in the last few rounds. Enjoy the conclusion to the best three weeks in the world of sports, the NCAA Tournament.

How They Got Here

North Carolina is in the Final Four for the second consecutive season, but advanced to the title game this time, unlike when it was blown out by Kansas a year ago. The Tar Heels came into the season as the most talented team in the country, and despite a few bumps in the road along the way, they are right where they expected to be in early April. Their domination against nearly every team they have played so far in the Big Dance is indicative of how well they are playing.

Michigan State was inconsistent for much of the season, but tournament-tested Tom Izzo had the Spartans ready for the Big Dance. They barely beat USC and Kansas, but then dominated Louisville in the Elite Eight and handled Connecticut throughout the second half to advance to the championship game. They will be playing tonight at Ford Field in nearby Detroit, the site of UNC's 35-point demolition of the Spartans in early December.

Five Key Questions

1. Can North Carolina keep Michigan State off the offensive glass? The key to this game could be the backboard battle. Michigan State is one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country, ranking fifth in offensive rebound percentage. On the other hand, North Carolina struggles at times to box out, giving up 19 offensive boards to Villanova on Saturday. Second-chance points and multiple opportunities are they keys to the Michigan State offensive; North Carolina has to find away to limit those.

2. How will Michigan State defend the myriad options for North Carolina? The primary worry for Michigan State will be containing Ty Lawson. Travis Walton was arguably the best defender in the Big Ten, but he might need to defend Wayne Ellington because of his size. Kalin Lucas is a very good defender, but Lawson might be too strong for him. And the frontcourt is also a problem for Michigan State. The Spartans have the depth and bodies to throw at Tyler Hansbrough, but Deon Thompson is capable of big games inside and Danny Green is tough to defend in transition.

3. Will Michigan State limit its turnovers? While North Carolina isn't a pressing team, the Tar Heels do like to provide on-ball pressure in the half-court to try to get their running game going. The Spartans ranked No. 184 in turnover percentage, and can't give North Carolina easy transition opportunities. They only had 11 turnovers against Connecticut, and need a repeat performance like that in order to win tonight.

4. Whose bench will come up bigger? Which team will have the unsung player that makes a difference? This may not seem as important as the other ones, but it is. In the championship game, players are going to have to step up in order for their team to win. Some of those unsung players are going to come off the bench. Both teams can go fairly deep down the roster. Michigan State has been getting excellent production off the pine, from guys like Draymond Green, Korie Lucious, Chris Allen and Durrell Summers. North Carolina has a future pro in Ed Davis and Bobby Frasor provides plenty of experience.

5. Who will be the go-to-guy to step up down the stretch? Neither team got to this point by riding one player. Michigan State's Kalin Lucas single-handedly led them to a comeback victory over Kansas, but Raymar Morgan is a very difficult player to defend because of his inside-outside ability. Even Goran Suton is capable of a big game. North Carolina has one of the most difficult players to defend in Ty Lawson, but Tyler Hansbrough is a handful down low and Wayne Ellington is another guy who can hit clutch shots. If it's a close game, it might come down to one player. Who will it be?

Match-up Analysis

Ty Lawson vs. Kalin Lucas: Two of the best point guards in the country go head-to-head. Both players are extraordinarily quick and don't turn the ball over very often. Lawson is a more accurate shooter and can get to the basket easier, although Lucas is no slouch in either department. Advantage: North Carolina

Wayne Ellington vs. Travis Walton: This could be a key match-up. Ellington is a fantastic shooter who can pull up in transition or hit a spot-up mid-range jumper. If he gets hot, look out. On the other side, Walton is one of the best defenders in the country and is capable of making life miserable for an opponent. Advantage: North Carolina

Danny Green vs. Raymar Morgan: Another very interesting match-up. Green has developed into an excellent three-point shooter and a lockdown defender who can do a little of everything. Morgan is an inside-outside option who has been playing well lately since recovering from walking pneumonia. Advantage: Michigan State

Deon Thompson vs. Delvon Roe: Two very talented players who are still hiding in the shadows of their more highly-touted teammates. Thompson is very solid on the offensive glass and can also defend, while Roe is athletic but inexperienced. He was beaten several times by Jeff Adrien in the semifinal. Advantage: North Carolina

Tyler Hansbrough vs. Goran Suton: This is basically going to be "Tyler Hansbrough vs. Goran Suton, Draymond Green, Idong Ibok and Marquise Gray." All four of those guys will see time, and will try to slow him down. Unfortunately, if they foul him like they did the UConn big guys, Hansbrough is an excellent free-throw shooter. Advantage: North Carolina

North Carolina Bench vs. Michigan State Bench: As mentioned before, both teams are deep on the bench, and can really bring difference-makers into the game off the pine. The Spartans have been getting key contributions during the NCAA Tournament from an assortment of players, while North Carolina sees a drop-off when going to the bench -- outside of Ed Davis. Advantage: Michigan State

Roy Williams vs. Tom Izzo: Both coaches have done great jobs this year, when it comes to juggling ample amounts of talent and keeping chemistry a positive instead of a negative. Williams is still somewhat underrated as a head coach, while Izzo is a master in March. His game-planning against Louisville and Connecticut was tremendous. Advantage: Michigan State

Who's Going to Win and Why

For everyone's sake, I hope this game is a close battle that goes down to the wire. Neither of Saturday's contests really did that, and the NCAA Tournament as a whole has not been overly exciting and filled with drama. Will we see an epic game, or a repeat of UNC's 35-point drubbing of Michigan State back in December?

I think it will be something in between. Michigan State is a different team now than they were in December: Goran Suton is healthy, Raymar Morgan is hitting his stride (although he did have 21 points and six rebounds in the first meeting), Delvon Roe has a full season under his belt, and the bench is much more comfortable. However, it is still tough to get over the fact that one team beat the other by 35 points earlier this season. Yes, it was five months ago, but some of the problems still remain.

North Carolina hit just 31.6 percent of its threes in the first game; the Tar Heels are shooting the ball much better lately and can really heat up from behind the arc with the likes of Wayne Ellington and Danny Green. The Tar Heels are playing better defense than they did earlier this year. They have held their last three opponents -- Gonzaga, Oklahoma and Villanova -- all teams held in high regard offensively -- to fewer tha 69 points per game, and forced 'Nova into tough shot after tough shot.

North Carolina simply has too many options for Michigan State. The Spartans play outstanding defense, but it remains to be seen if they can defend all the players that the Tar Heels will throw at them. Furthermore, I don't know if the Spartans can counter at that end of the floor. Outside of Morgan and Kalin Lucas, Michigan State doesn't have many consistent offensive options. Unless Suton has a big game or the Spartans receive another Herculean effort from their bench and role players, I think that North Carolina's overall talent edge and outstanding offensive ability will be the difference. Roy Williams gets his second title in the last six years.

Prediction: North Carolina 74, Michigan State 68