The Morning Mix

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– Your must-read of the day comes from Mark Giannotto of the Washington Post, who wrote a brilliant article about the astonishingly high number of transfers in college hoops, and why we are likely to see even more in the future

-Speaking of transfers, Mike Huguenin put together a great list of guys who will be sorely missed by their former teams

– The law firm of Parrish & Goodman (Or is it Goodman & Parrish?) made their picks concerning the futures of high-profile underclassmen

– San Francisco lost five players already due to transferring, but the Dons have picked up a pair of high-profile transfers themselves

– Wake Forest transfer Tony Chennault is close to finalizing his decision to attend Villanova

– Highly touted big-man Tony Parker is supposed to make his college decision later today. But he’s already pushed it back like nine times, so you never know what could happen

– Gerardo Suero led the Albany Danes in scoring last season. In fact, he was ranked seventh in the country in scoring. But the 6-4 guard has decided to leave school after his junior year in order to pursue a professional career

– Wisconsin-transfer Jared Uthoff finally told his side of the story to Fox Sports Wisconsin. You should all know who Uthoff is by now. If not, you clearly were out of the country last week

Roscoe Smith is leaving UConn. He becomes the fifth player to depart the program this offseason

– Redshirt junior guard Mark Lyons has decided to transfer out of Xavier. Arizona is thought to be a possible landing point, considering that head coach Sean  Miller coached at Xavier before he took the job at Arizona

– Speaking of Arizona, Junior forward Jesse Perry was arrested on domestic violence charges over the weekend. That can’t be a good thing, not for Perry or the program. Two off-seasons ago there was a rash of domestic violence charges among college basketball players. Lets hope this isn’t the start of another one of those ugly streaks

North Carolina A&T found their new head coach.  Cy Alexander, who has coached at Tennessee State and South Carolina State, will lead an Aggies team that finished 12-20 last season

– If there’s one thing that Frank MArtin certainly isn’t at a loss for, it is confidence. When he took the K-State job after Bob Huggins, let, he was confident he could turn the program around, which he did. Now he’s confident he can do the same thing at South Carolina

– Kansas guard Elijah Johnson had successful arthroscopic knee surgery and will be good to go sometime in the summer

– Sam Cassell Jr. committed to Maryland, then decommitted from Maryland, but is now recommitting to Maryland – Another week, another post on why the “one and done” rule needs to go

– Could Anthony Davis become a member of the USA olympic team before ever playing in the NBA? With Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum out of the Olympics, Davis could become the first non-pro to suit up for Team USA since Christian Laettner in 1992. Speaking of Davis, he threw out the first pitch at the Kentucky/LSU baseball game on Sunday. He did significantly better than John Wall

– Who are considered the top ten Kentucky basketball players of the John Calipari era? – Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng are getting racehorses named after them. That’s kinda cool, I guess. I think

– Cardiac Hill, the entertaining and insightful Pitt Panthers blog, does a phenomenal job explaining the new NCAA student-athlete eligibility changes that will go into effect in 2015

– Florida’s Patric Young is more of a man than any of you reading this right now. Just take a look at his workout regime

– Here is video of Terrence Jones riding a mechanical bull, if you’re in to that sorta thing

Arizona lands first commitment in 2017 class

Alex Barcello (Jon Lopez/Nike)
(Jon Lopez/Nike)
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Arizona landed their first commitment in the Class of 2017 on Friday night as point guard Alex Barcello pledged to Sean Miller and the Wildcats.

Barcello is a 6-foot-2 point guard from Tempe who plays his high school ball for Corona del Sol. He committed to the Wildcats on an official visit to the Tucson campus.

Barcello is a borderline top 100 prospect who sits at No. 123 in the Rivals top 150. He’s known for his ability to shoot, and he’s more of a combo-guard — i.e. shoot-first — than a point guard at times, but he’s a nice pickup and projects as a solid four-year player for the Wildcats.

Virginia, Indiana, Stanford and Butler were the other four schools on Barcello’s list.

Duke lands first commitment in 2017 class

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Alex O’Connell knew exactly where he wanted to play his college ball, which is why, just two days after picking up an offer from Coach K and the Blue Devils, he became Duke’s first recruit in the Class of 2017.

O’Connell announced the on twitter on Friday afternoon:

O’Connell is a four-star prospect from Georgia that had a terrific summer, going from being a borderline top 75 prospect to a player that caught the interest of Duke, who, along with Kentucky, sit atop the college recruiting hierarchy. He’s an explosively athletic and lanky 6-foot-6 wing with three-point range on his jumper. He needs to add some weight and some strength — he’s listed as a crisp 175 pounds — but he has the tools, and the swagger, to develop into a very effective player in the ACC.

Is he a one-and-done prospect?

Probably not. In fact, since 2010, Duke has landed just two players that were rated lower than O’Connell: Antonio Vrankovic and Jack White. If you know who both of them are, you’re probably either Jon Scheyer or lying.

But what O’Connell is is a kid who put in the work to get better this past year and who has the skill set, the physical tools and work ethic to continue to improve. He may not be on Grayson Allen’s trajectory, but O’Connell has the makings of being an impact player for the Blue Devils for three or four years.

Alex O'Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)
Alex O’Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)

Shaka Smart lands contract extension at Texas

Texas head coach Shaka Smart instructs his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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Shaka Smart has already landed himself a contract extension at Texas.

The school, according to the Austin American-Statesman, has given Shaka a one-year extension — through the 2022-23 season — and bumped his salary up to a cool $3 million, a raise of $100,000 annually.

Smart’s Longhorns went 20-13 last season and lost on a half court buzzer beater from Northern Iowa’s Paul Jespersen. It will be tough for Smart to match the success that he had last season, specifically because he lost senior point guard Isaiah Taylor to the professional ranks.

That said, the former VCU head man has been reeling in quite a bit of talent from the state of Texas — namely, Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen — and is not all that far from turning the Longhorns back into a relevant member of the Big 12 title race.

Arizona and Texas headline Lone Star Shootout

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17:  Head coach Sean Miller of the Arizona Wildcats reacts in the first half against the Wichita State Shockers during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
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Another marquee, early season event is on the books for the college basketball season as four potential tournament teams will be squaring off at the Toyota Center in Houston on Dec. 17th.

The highlight of the double-header, which has been dubbed the Lone Star Shootout, will probably end up being Arizona vs. Texas A&M. The Wildcats are a Pac-12 contender and a borderline top 10 team as we enter the season, and while the Aggies will have work to do replacing the seniors they lost off of last season’s roster, they’re a borderline top 25 team.

The other matchup will feature a pair of former Southwest Conference rivals facing off in Texas and Arkansas. Texas will be talented but young while Arkansas may actually have the best player on the floor in Moses Kingsley. What will make this matchup interesting is that both Mike Anderson and Shaka Smart are known for being coaches that prefer a full court pressing system.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to play in front of our fans at the Toyota Center in Houston,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said in a statement. “It is one of the most important areas in this state as it relates to our recruiting and fan base.

Five-star 2017 guard Lonnie Walker cuts list to five schools

Men's U18 trials head shots and team photo on 6.15.16
Bart Young/USA Basketball
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Five-star shooting guard Lonnie Walker is coming off of a very good summer as he trimmed his list to five schools on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-4 native of Reading, Pennsylvania is still considering Arizona, Kentucky, Miami, Syracuse and Villanova, he announced on Twitter.

Regarded as the No. 26 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, Walker played with Team Final in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer as he averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Walker shot 45 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and 72 percent from the free-throw line.

An efficient scorer who is learning to drive with both hands, Walker is very talented and the type of guard who might also be able to handle a bit as well.