Josh Pastner

How can a recruit know if he has officially been offered a scholarship?

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On the recruiting trail, sometimes information can be like that game “Telephone” that kids play in elementary school.

A college coach tells an AAU coach, who tells a parent, who tells a player, who tells a reporter, and somewhere along the line words get twisted (intentionally or not), overstated or understated.

John Martin of the Commercial Appeal takes some time in a column, published Sunday, to clear up shed a light on the gray areas of recruiting.

Most prominently is the distinction between a scholarship offer and “interest” from a school.

Many times, with phone calls and text messages in constant transit between coaches and prospective recruits, there can be misinterpretation. Memphis coach Josh Pastner explains his method to Martin:

“I think if you call the kid, tell him you have a scholarship offer, that’s pretty clear,” he told the Commercial Appeal. “If you don’t use the word scholarship, it leaves gray area.”

It really starts getting interesting when discussing national letters of intent, which officially bind a school and recruit. NCAA rules keep coaches from talking about prospective recruits until this is signed.

If a player has signed an NLI and the coach they expected to play for is fired, the player must gain a release from the school to play somewhere else.

Former Kansas State commit Robert Upshaw took an unusual route, signing a financial aid agreement, which allowed him more flexibility to leave for when Frank Martin to take the head coaching job at South Carolina.

Read the rest of Martin’s article here.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

VIDEO: UMass Lowell game delayed by shattered backboard

Pat Duquette
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UMass Lowell’s game with Wheelock College was delayed for a little over an hour on Tuesday afternoon after a dunk attempt from Dontavius Smith broke the backboard.

The game resumed and is currently in the second half. Here’s the video of Smith shattering the glass after he took flight.

No. 13 Indiana bounces back with 83-73 win over St. John’s

Troy Williams
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LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) Yogi Ferrell had 22 points and seven assists to lead No. 13 Indiana to an 83-73 victory over St. John’s on Tuesday in the consolation round of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational.

Freshman center Thomas Bryant had a career-high 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting for the Hoosiers (4-1), who lost to Wake Forest 82-78 in the closing seconds of their opening-round game.

Indiana will play the winner of the Chaminade-UNLV game for fifth place on Wednesday.

Federico Mussini and Ron Mvouika had 17 points each for the Red Storm (3-2), who played much better than they did in their 92-55 pasting from No. 19 Vanderbilt in the first round.

Ferrell had an answer every time St. John’s tried to close in in the second half. Four times the Red Storm got within seven points and three of those times Ferrell replied. He hit a short jumper, two free throws and a step-back jumper to keep St. John’s at bay.

The Red Storm got as close as 76-70 with 1:53 to play on two free throws by Yankuba Sima. James Blackmon Jr., who finished with 12 points, hit a 3 and after a St. John’s turnover he scored on a drive to put the game away.

Troy Williams had seven points and nine rebounds for Indiana.

The Hoosiers led by as many as 17 points in the first half and took a 42-31 lead at halftime.


St. John’s: This game started a little bit better than the opening round. In that game Vanderbilt opened by scoring the first nine points of the game. Against Indiana St. John’s trailed 9-2 at the start. … St. John’s had eight turnovers against Vanderbilt. The Red Storm had that many at halftime against the Hoosiers, They finished with 11.

Indiana: Bryant had 15 points at halftime, two off his career high for a game. … Ferrell was 9 of 10 from the free throw line. The rest of the Hoosiers were 6 of 14.

TALE OF THE TAPE: St. John’s trainer Ron Linfonte and Tim Garl, his counterpart at Indiana, are both in their 35th season at their respective schools. They are the two longest-tenured trainers in men’s Division I basketball.


St. John’s: plays loser of Chaminade-UNLV for seventh place on Wednesday.

Indiana: plays winner of Chaminade-UNLV for fifth place on Wednesday.