The Morning Mix

Leave a comment

– The MLB All-Star Game is on Tuesday, and I bet you had no idea just how many former All-Stars were also former college basketball players

– Kansas head coach Bill Self is an avid baseball fan. He enjoys advanced statistics, quotes classic baseball movies, and even invited Tommy Lasorda to the Phogg. With the All-Star Game taking place in Kansas City this week, you just knew Self would be part of the festivities. Self was booed heavily by the Missouri fans in attendance, but the Kansas head coach silenced them by hitting a home run

– Indiana State isn’t exactly known for their football program. But Sycamore’s center Myles Walker, who was also a high touted football recruit, will be trading in the high-tops for shoulder pads

– Consider Vermont the “Kentucky of #AllNameTeams”. The Catamounts saw Four McGlynn transfer to Towson, yet they were able to reload with the addition of Trey Blue. He will join the likes of Clancy Rugg and Sandro Carissimo

– So….apparently, somebody purchased the trademark rights to “Fear the Brow” before Anthony Davis could. The owner is willing to give it to the No.1-overall pick, but for a price. (I told you all he should have gone with “Brow Down” instead)

– Anthony Davis was left off the US olympic roster, but are we getting closer to seeing college players represent the country again?

– Kevin Pelton does a great job rating Team USA’s roster for the upcoming Olympics in London

– A couple of good-reads about potential breakout stars in 2012-2013: Arkansas’ B.J. Young, Kentucky’s Ryan Harrow, Marquette’s Vander Blue, Ohio State’s LaQuinton Ross, Pittsburgh’s Lamar Patterson, , South Florida’s Victor Rudd Jr., Syracuse’s C.J. Fair, and Washington’s C.J. Wilcox

– Jabari Parker was once thought to be considered unquestionably the top recruit in the class of 2013. But with a recent injury and the rise of Julius Randle, is Parker’s top spot up for grabs?

– The NCAA changed their rules in order to allow more summer practice time, and many coaches are starting to capitalize on the extra hours

– Could Penn’s Zac Rosen become the next Jeremy Lin? (All I got is “Rosen-sational”. If you can do better, drop it in the comments section below)

– A nice, quick read about the height of Kentucky’s ceiling in 2012-2013, and what the ‘Cats have to do to break through

– A shirtless Ric Pitino chillin’ on a raft, throwin’ up “The L”. In case you’re in to that sort of thing

– Man running for Mayor of Portland punches guy in the balls during pick-up game 

Troy Machir is the managing editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @TroyMachir.

Villanova lands four-star 2018 guard

Leave a comment

Villanova added its first recruit in the Class of 2018 on Wednesday night.

Jay Wright and his staff landed a verbal commitment from Paul VI Catholic High School’s Brandon Slater, a four-star guard by Rivals as the No. 42 overall prospect in the rising senior class.

The 6-foot-5 Slater announced his decision via Twitter.

Slater, according to Jeff Borzello of ESPN, picked the Wildcats over Maryland, Miami, South Carolina, and Virginia.

He is currently playing the Nike EYBL with Team Takeover, the same grassroots program that produced current Villanova guard Phil Booth.

Comic-Con forces Providence to play at Alumni Hall for home opener

1 Comment

Providence will play its first game at Alumni Hall, the on-campus facility, for the first time in 35 years this fall.

The Friars unveiled their 2017-18 non-conference schedule on Thursday afternoon. The team’s home opener will play either Houston Baptist or Belmont in Mullaney Gym inside Alumni Hall.

According to Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal, the reason for that is a schedule conflict at Providence’s home arena, the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, in downtown Providence. A Comic-Con convention is scheduled Nov. 10-12. As McNamara notes, it’s a busy part of the season for The Dunk. The arena also is home to the Providence Bruins, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Boston Bruins, and by mid-November, their season is in full swing.

The Friars haven’t played at Alumni Hall since 1972, the same year the Dunkin’ Donuts Center was opened. In the three decades since Providence last played a regular season game there, the facility has gone under necessary renovations, as you could imagine. Even with added seats, Mullaney Gym can host a maximum of 1,549. That’s a fraction of what The Dunk’s capacity of 12,400.

Providence will return to its downtown home on Nov. 13, hosting Minnesota as part of the Gavitt Games. The Golden Gophers will likely be a top-20 team to open the season. The Friars, who bring back every notable player from last year’s NCAA Tournament team, is a fringe top-25 team.

Jalen Coleman-Lands to transfer out of Illinois

Leave a comment

The already-thin Illinois roster got thinner on Thursday afternoon.

Evan Daniels of Scout.com reported that sophomore guard Jalen Coleman-Lands has requested and received his release from the program. He will have to sit out next season but will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Coleman-Lands was a top-40 recruit in the Class of 2015, according to Rivals. He becomes the second player from that recruiting class this month to exit the school. Reserve guard D.J. Williams elected to transfer on May 8. With Jeremiah Tilmon and Javon Pickett, two incoming recruits, both previously reopened their recruitments following John Groce’s firing.

Even with the addition of Wright State graduate transfer Mark Alstork, who officially joined the Fighting Illini on Wednesday, Illinois is left with only nine scholarship players as of right now.

Coleman-Lands’ production dipped from his freshman campaign, ending the 2016-17 season averaging 8.0 points and 2.3 rebounds per game, shooting 38 percent from three.

One destination that will likely be rumored will be nearby DePaul. Coleman-Lands played for new DePaul assistant coach Shane Heirman at prep school powerhouse La Lumiere School. Heriman quickly tapped into that prep pipeline, helping secure a commitment from La Lumiere from five-star 2019 point guard Tyger Campbell earlier this month.

Coleman-Lands had taken official visits to Notre Dame and UNLV before committing to the Illini in September 2014.

North Carolina releases response to latest NCAA Notice of Allegations

1 Comment

North Carolina is still trying to convince the NCAA that their investigation into the paper classes given by the university’s African-American Studies Department is not, in fact, an NCAA matter.

On Thursday afternoon, the University released their response to the NCAA’s third iteration of the Notice of Allegations, and the core argument in that response is that the school’s “inadequate academic oversight” does not fall under the jurisdiction of the NCAA’s bylaws. In other words, North Carolina is arguing that a rogue professor creating fake classes is not an NCAA issue. It’s a school issue.

What’s more, North Carolina is also arguing that athletes taking these classes should not be classified as an extra benefit because they were available to the entire student body.

“No special arrangements were made for student-athletes in violation of NCAA extra-benefit legislation,” the response reads. “Student-athletes were not treated differently than other students who took the Courses.”

“The public narrative for the last six years, popularized by media accounts, is that Department of Athletics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill took advantage of ‘fake classes’ in the Department of African and African-American Studies to keep student-athletes eligible. That narrative is wrong and contradicted by the facts in the record.”

The NCAA’s allegations center around the idea that UNC’s athletes, most notably members of the football and men’s and women’s basketball teams, were guided to the fake classes within that department in order to keep their GPAs high enough to remain eligible. The classes in question had a disproportionate percentage of athletes.

A hearing in front of the Committee on Infractions is expected to take place at some point this summer.

No indictment for escort, staffer in Louisville sex scandal

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Leave a comment

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A grand jury declined to indict an escort and former Louisville men’s basketball staffer in a sex scandal that engulfed the program.

The Jefferson County grand jury decided Thursday there wasn’t enough evidence for charges of prostitution and unlawful transactions with a minor against Katina Powell and Andre McGee.

Powell wrote in a book published in 2015 that McGee hired her to provide dancers to perform sex acts for Cardinal recruits and players from 2010-2014.

The announcement by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office comes as the school awaits discipline in early June by the NCAA after an investigation.

Louisville has imposed its own penalties, including a postseason ban in 2015-16 and reductions in scholarships and recruiting visits by coaches.