The Morning Mix


– Your must-read-story-of-the-day comes from Steve Kerr. Yup, that’s right, five-time NBA Champion Steve Kerr. He urges the NBA to institute a 20-year-old age limit for the draft. Make sure you have time to read this

You have to read this too: Pete Thamel tells us the the NCAA has travelled to Massachusetts to inquire about Nerlens Noel’s eligibility

– You all remember the Guerdwich Montimore/Jerry Joseph saga, right? Well even if you don’t, make sure you read Dave Telep’s take. He saw both of them on the AUU circuit. More importantly, make sure you read the Outside The Lines piece. This may be the most bizarre hoops-related story we’ve ever seen, and OTL does a phenomenal job detailing the saga

– Chad Ford ranks the NBA draft entrants by position (I could read stuff like this all day)

– Jimmy Kimmel is using his celebrity status to held UNLV land Anthony Bennett. It should be noted that this may be a potential violation, and more importantly, Kimmel only attended UNLV for one year before transferring to Arizona State

– Early on Tuesday morning, reports surfaced that Indiana would seek a non-conference game against Louisville. This would have been major news, especially since the Hoosiers couldn’t book a game with Kentucky. However, by Tuesday night, this report was all for naught, as the Hoosiers already filled their final non-conference opening. Let’s just say that Gary Parrish isn’t too happy (If Gary is pissed, so am I.)

What about Kentucky vs. Cincinnati? I’d be down with that

– North Carolina is once again dealing with an academic scandal, and it looks like there may be basketball players involved. Regardless, Roy Williams is not too concerned. But it did spawn a hilarious article headline

– The Lexington Herald-Leader released a hilarious cartoon depicting John Calipari’s trophy case. Kentucky fans were not happy at all. Here is why the author decided to print the cartoon

The match-ups for the once-popular Great Alaskan Shootout have been set.  Seven games will be televised on the CBS Sports network. The marquee first round game features Oral Roberts and Loyola Marymount

– Virginia Tech freshman Dorian Finney-Smith has decided to transfer. Apparently, this was a long-time coming, but is a quality player that the Hokies could not afford to lose

– Matt Roth is going to be a fifth year senior at Indiana. You would think he would have a scholarship to play basketball. Well, he did, but now he doesnt

– Who is the nation’s most important transfer? is it Mark Lyons or Alex Oriakhi? Is it somebody else?

– Hmm, this is interesting. Highly touted recruit Savon Goodman may be reclassifying into the class of 2013

– Wake Forest-transfer Tony Chennault has chosen to attend Villanova. The Wildcats are in need of some solid players with experience, which Chennault will be able to provide

– South Carolina-transfer Damontre Harris has cut his list to two schools, Florida and Kansas. Luckily, Harris was not hit with heavy transfer-restrictions and would be able to attend another SEC school

– Lamar assistant coach Joseph Price has been named the new head coach at Grambling State

– Norfolk State’s Kyle O’Quinn will be selected in the NBA draft, and here is why

– UConn will tear down their old football stadium in order to make way for a new basketball practice facility

– Sean Keely thinks former-Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese is full of crap. This cannot be confirmed nor denied

– Pitt Blather provides more on the Marinatto decision

Louisville’s Deng Adel and Ray Spalding to test draft process

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A season that began with the firing of Rick Pitino in mid-October came to an end Tuesday night, as Louisville lost to Mississippi State 79-56 in a Postseason NIT regional final. There are a lot of questions to be answered, most notably who will lead the program moving forward after interim head coach David Padgett led the Cardinals to 22 wins.

As for the players, two announced following the loss that they will be going through the NBA Draft process. Junior wing Deng Adel and junior forward Ray Spalding both confirmed that they will be entering the NBA Draft but not hiring agents, so as to preserve their collegiate eligibility should they decide to return to school.

This will be the second time that Adel has entered the NBA Draft, doing so last spring before making the decision to return to school.

Playing just over 33 minutes per game, the 6-foot-8 Adel averaged 15.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per contest, shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 35.0 percent from three. Moving into the starting lineup after serving as a reserve in each of his first two seasons at Louisville, the 6-foot-10 Spalding averaged 12.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 27.4 minutes per game.

Mississippi State advances to NIT semifinals at MSG

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Quinndary Weatherspoon scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and Mississippi State advanced to the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York with a 79-56 victory over Louisville on Tuesday night.

Mississippi State (25-11) will face Penn State (24-13) on March 27.

Lamar Peters opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer and Mississippi State led by at least nine points the rest of the way. Weatherspoon scored eight points during a 12-3 run to start the third for a 51-31 advantage and MSU cruised.

Aric Holman added 16 points and eight rebounds for Mississippi State, which has won its most games since the 2009-10 season. Xavian Stapleton and Nick Weatherspoon each chipped in with 12 points. Abdul Ado had three blocks to tie Jarvis Varnado for the most blocks by a MSU freshman with 67.

Ray Spalding paced Louisville (22-14) with 13 points and 11 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season. The Cardinals shot 35 percent from the floor and were outrebounded 42-32.

Gregg Marshall does right by Alex Lomax with NLI release

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Memphis introduced Penny Hardaway as its new head coach Tuesday morning, with the former Tiger great and Memphis native making his triumphant return to campus.

And it didn’t take long for Hardaway’s hiring to have an impact on the recruiting trail either, as the point guard who led Hardaway’s Memphis East squad to its third straight TSSAA AAA state title is expected to play for his longtime mentor.

Alex Lomax, who signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Gregg Marshall at Wichita State, requested to be released from his NLI on Tuesday. It didn’t take Marshall long to make his decision, granting Lomax’s request and citing the unique circumstances in his statement as to why.

“Obviously, we take commitments to the Shocker program very seriously, but this is a very unique situation where a young man’s mentor and coach since the 5th grade has become a Division I head coach,” Marshall said. “Allowing him out of his NLI without any penalty is the right thing to do.”

The National Letter of Intent, for those who may not be too familiar with it, is a document that when signed binds the recruit in question to the school they’ve committed to. If the circumstances surrounding the recruitment change, getting released from the NLI can be incredibly difficult. Coaches and universities have no obligation to release a recruit once they sign, and it seems like every year we run into a situation where a coach is refusing to so.

Kansas point guard Devonte’ Graham is only a senior this season because, after signing an NLI with Appalachian State, he was not given a release and forced to go to prep school for a year. That’s not as uncommon as you might think.

That is also perfectly within the bounds of the rules, if not the laws of being a decent human being.

Wichita State and Marshall could have taken this opportunity to make life miserable for Lomax, and there would have been those who rushed to say that since the young man made a commitment he should stick by it no matter what. Lomax was a noteworthy recruiting win for the program during its first season in the American Athletic Conference, as the Wichita State went into Memphis and landed a pledge from a prospect who was likely to be a key part of the program’s plans moving forward.

But the hit that comes with allowing Lomax to leave without fuss is far less severe than what happens if Wichita State and Marshall make things difficult for him.

Faced with the opportunity to do the right thing and help out a young player, Marshall and Wichita State did just that.

The program should, and will, be applauded for it.

Stevens’ 30 points leads Penn State past Marquette in NIT

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Lamar Stevens tied his career high with 30 points, Tony Carr added 25 and Penn State beat Marquette 85-80 on Tuesday night to advance to the NIT semifinals.

The Nittany Lions (24-13) will face either Mississippi State or Louisville at Madison Square Garden in New York on March 27. They advanced to the NIT semis for the first time since winning the 2009 tournament.

Stevens hit three crucial buckets in the final three minutes, including a dunk off an alley-oop pass from Josh Reaves for an eight-point lead with one minute left. The 6-foot-8 Stevens then maneuvered through a couple Marquette players to secure a rebound off Andrew Rowsey’s missed 3 with 46 seconds left.

Carr went 5 of 8 from the foul line over the final 30 seconds to give Marquette another chance. Rowsey hit a 3 and a layup to get the Golden Eagles as close as 83-80 with six seconds left before the Golden Eagles ran out of time.

Rowsey, a senior, scored 29 points for Marquette (21-14).

The Golden Eagles had whittled a 14-point deficit early in the second half to 72-68 with 2:39 left on three foul shots by Rowsey. Penn State went nearly three minutes without a bucket and got sloppy with the ball and the sharpshooting Golden Eagles started hitting 3s to get back in the game.

Report: Joseph Chartouny to transfer from Fordham

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After three seasons at Fordham, guard Joseph Chartouny will be leaving the school to play his final year elsewhere. News of Chartouny’s transfer was reported Tuesday afternoon by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, and the 6-foot-3 guard from Montreal will be eligible immediately as a graduate transfer.

Chartouny made 28 starts for the Rams this season, averaging 12.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 3.3 steals in 36.0 minutes per game. Leading the nation in both total steals and steals per game, Chartouny was an Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team selection.

In three seasons at Fordham Chartouny, the 2016 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year, averaged 11.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.9 steals per game. Given his abilities as a defender and a distributor, Chartouny stands to be a popular player amongst programs looking to add an immediately eligible contributor who also has ample experience at the Division I level.

With Chartouny reportedly moving on, Fordham head coach Jeff Neubauer has a significant hole to fill in his backcourt rotation for 2018-19.

Transfers Antwon Portley (Saint Peters’s) and Erten Gazi (DePaul) will be eligible next season, with reserve Cavit Havsa set to be a junior next season. Fordham’s also landed three perimeter recruits in its 2018 class, with three-star point guard Nick Honor among that trio.