Dominique Ferguson, Berend Weijs

Isiah Thomas’ top recruit defends him on Twitter

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Dominique Ferguson is the best exemplar of the highs and lows of Isiah Thomas’ tenure as head coach at Florida International University, which ended just hours ago. The 6’9″ forward was Zeke’s highest-rated recruit, ranked by as the nation’s 16th-best power forward prospect when he signed with the Golden Panthers in 2009. DraftExpress displayed guarded optimism at the time, stating “Ferguson should be able to dominate the Sun Belt conference with his superior physical gifts, but he needs to be coached up significantly before he can be discussed further.”

And there you have it. Ferguson’s gifts warranted attention, but he was raw and needed effective coaching. After two seasons at FIU under Thomas, did he get it? Ferguson never broke the 10 points per game barrier in either of his two seasons under Isiah, never shot very well, and didn’t have nearly the defensive impact he should have in a league filled with less talented players. Nonetheless, the sophomore took to Twitter to defend his coach, making the following statements under his @3domferg handle:

“Came here to play for one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met and now these people let him go……I hope I can get my release now.”

“As much stuff as he’s done for this school for FIU to do him like this, he’s done much more things that have changed our lives us as men.”

“That’s wild, cannot wait to get out of this place……I am not coming back.”

Harsh statements, made in a public forum. If Ferguson makes good on his threats, he will no doubt find a home somewhere else.

Of course, Ferguson is young, and his anger may wane. His Twitter timeline devoted just a handful of posts to the Thomas firing, and young Dominique was soon back in goofy spirits. By 9pm ET, he had returned to more quotidian efforts:

“Wha time does 5 guys close”

and the immortal

“Hate that feeling when you think there’s a booger in your nose but you don’t really know”

Ah, youth. So resilient.

VIDEO: Utah Valley’s Mark Pope dances, lip syncs with daughters

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New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.

The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.

UConn commit tears ACL for second time

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UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.

In a report from’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.

If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.