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

Report: Texas’ Jones to test NBA possibility

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Both of Texas’ McDonald’s All-Americans from its 2016 class will test the NBA waters.

Andrew Jones will declare for the draft, but will not hire an agent, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.

The 6-foot-4 guard joins Jarrett Allen, the Longhorns’ star center, in utilizing the rule change that became available to players last year in which they can declare, workout for teams, attend the NBA combine and still return to school.

Jones averaged 11.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game as a freshman. He shot 42.5 percent from the field overall and 32.8 percent from 3-point range.

Allen seems the likelier candidate to remain in the draft as a potential lottery pick, but Jones came to Austin with similar one-and-done possibilities given his status as one of the class’ top recruits.

Texas, of course, is hoping both return, not just because they’re both big talents, but because incoming and highly-touted recruit Matt Coleman fills the major hole in last year’s lineup – point guard. If the three of them can share the floor together, Year 3 of the Shaka Smart era will be much more interesting.

Morrow announces transfer from Nebraska

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Nebraska was once again hit with a surprising and damaging transfer.

Ed Morrow, Jr., who led the Huskers in rebounding last year, announced his intention to transfer, the school announced Wednesday.

“I support Ed in his decision to transfer schools and wish him well,” Nebraska coach Tim Miles said in a statement. “We appreciate his hard work over the last two years. Although I am disappointed, we will continue to recruit young men who are committed to our mission of building Nebraska Basketball with a culture of success in all areas…life, school and winning basketball at its highest level.”

The 6-foot-7 sophomore’s departure is a major hit to the Huskers, who are coming off a 12-19 year in which Miles’ job security was called into question. It almost assuredly will be again this year as Nebraska hasn’t been able to build on its 2014 NCAA tournament appearance, instead putting together three-straight losing seasons.

Morrow’s decision is surprising not only given he’d been a productive member of the team – averaging 9.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game – but because he was born in Nebraska before attending high school in Chicago and both his parents were Nebraska student-athletes his father winning a national title on the football team in 1994 and his mother an all-Big Eight performer on the basketball team.

“I want to say thank you to my teammates, coaches, the fans and the University of Nebraska athletics department for giving me the opportunity to play Division I basketball,” Morrow said in a statement. “It is hard to leave home, and Nebraska is my home. I was born and raised here, it is my parents’ alma mater, and I have a lot of friends here. But sometimes you have to venture out to pursue dreams and aspirations in a career. This is a sacrifice I have to make to better myself.”

Morrow’s transfer comes a year after Andrew White surprised Nebraska with his decision to graduate and transfer to Syracuse, which no doubt impacted the Huskers’ poor 2016-17 record.

Miles was on the hot seat at the end of last season and will assuredly begin this season there as well. A roster hit like Morrow won’t do much to help him improve the situation. Nebraska does, however, have three starters returning while Georgetown transfer Isaac Copeland is eligible, as is Miami (Fla.) transfer James Palmer, Jr.

Lonzo Ball says “I’m better than” Markelle Fultz

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Usually, it’s LaVar Ball that makes news for what he says.

His eldest son is now getting in on the business of generating headlines with something other than his play.

The UCLA star, who said he’ll enter the draft after just one season with the Bruins, claimed he’s the better prospect than Washington freshman Markelle Fultz, who many have pegged as the No. 1 pick in June’s draft.

“Markelle’s a great player,” Ball said, according to ESPN, “but I feel I’m better than him,” “I think I can lead a team better than him. Obviously he’s a great scorer — he’s a great player, so I’m not taking that away from him.”

Not exactly inflammatory stuff – like saying you could have beaten Michael Jordan, that you want a $1 billion apparel deal or a number of things his father has said – bu Ball is certainly projecting confidence. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. There’s quite a bit of money – and pride – at stake with the draft, and Ball put up a season worthy of comparison to Fultz, who had great numbers but played for an abysmal Washington team. Ball, on the other had, had strong numbers while leading UCLA to the Sweet 16.

Both are going to go at the top of a draft that’s stocked full of promising point guards. Which player goes before the other remains to be seen, but it’s likely public pronouncements aren’t going to affect the draft order.

 

UMass hires McCall away from Chattanooga

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UMass has found, once more, the man to take over its basketball program.

The Minutemen have reached an agreement with Chattanooga coach Matt McCall, the school announce Wednesday

“The tradition and resources that are in place not only make this one of the best basketball jobs in the Atlantic 10 Conference,” McCall said in a statement released by the school, “but one of the best jobs in the country. We couldn’t be more excited about becoming part of the UMass family and look forward to building upon the rich tradition that has been established here in the past.”

In McCall’s two years at Chattanooga, the Mocs to the NCAA tournament in 2016 and a 19-12 record this year that featured five-straight losses to end the season.

The move will take McCall out of the southeast for the first time in his career as he previously served as at Florida and Florida Atlantic before getting his first head coaching job at Chattanooga.

McCall wasn’t the Minutemen’s first choice to replace Derek Kellogg after three-straight lackluster seasons. Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey had agreed to take the job before a last-minute about-face that saw him return to the Eagles program just before his introductory press conference was scheduled to begin.

“Matt is a rising star in college basketball coaching who has been a key piece of three successful programs in his career,” UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford said in a statement. “He has earned a reputation as a relentless worker, a great teammate and colleague and a confident leader of young men.

“Matt has worked with some of the most respected coaches and administrators in the country, who loudly sing his praises. Coach McCall’s appointment begins an exciting new chapter for our tradition-rich men’s basketball program at UMass.”

Despite being the second choice, McCall’s reputation in the coaching industry makes him a strong hire, having worked under Mike Jarvis and Billy Donovan. He took over at Chattanooga for Will Wade, and brought the Mocs to a 29-6 record and a  12-seed in the NCAA tournament in 2016.

UMass went to just one NCAA tournament under Kellogg (in 2014) during his nine seasons leading the Minutemen.

VIDEO: Frank Martin’s sideline demeanor as a high school coach

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South Carolina coach Frank Martin has the reputation of being rather, shall we say, intense on the sidelines during games.

The coach has a stare that seemingly could bore a hole through his players when they do something that doesn’t reach his level of expectation. Martin’s demeanor, though, didn’t just come into form once he hit the college ranks.

He was plenty intense on high school sidelines as well.

Martin won three titles while at Miami Senior in the mid-1990s, coaching the likes of future pros Steve Blake and Udonis Haslem. Now having reached his first career Final Four, that sideline persona has put him on the precipice of winning yet another championship, this time at the collegiate level.