NCAA Basketball Tournament - Belmont v Georgetown

Otto Porter and Georgetown looking to return to the Big Dance

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Otto Porter entered college as an unknown player to some given the fact that he came from a small town in Missouri and didn’t go through the AAU ringer that so many kids participate in annually.

But by the end of his freshman campaign the Sikeston, Missouri native was a key figure in the Georgetown rotation and one of the best freshmen in the Big East.

With Jason Clark, Henry Sims and Hollis Thompson all moving on, Porter will have to be one of the leaders for John Thompson III’s team if they’re to remain an NCAA tournament team.

“It changes a lot but it’s not just me, it’s everybody,” said Porter in Las Vegas last weekend, where he took part in the LeBron James Skills Academy.

“Everybody has to step up and lead, and I [also] have to come in and work hard everyday.”

Despite starting just eight games last season Porter was third in minutes with an average of 29.7 minutes per game, while also leading the way in rebounds (6.8 rpg) and averaging 9.7 points per game.

And while he wasn’t involved in the same number of possessions as the three departed Hoyas, it was Porter who led the team in offensive rating (117.7 per

Markel Starks returns and should have a better grasp of what’s expected of him at the point in the Georgetown system, and the same can be said for Mikael Hopkins and Jabril Trawick in regards to their comfort levels as well.

Add in talented newcomers such as forward Brandon Bolden and guards Stephen Domingo and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, and the Hoyas will have a team that will have talent if not experience.

Where they’ll have to get it done is on the defensive end of the floor, and Georgetown was one of the best in the Big East last season in that regard.

Opponents shot 38.7% from the field and 27.9% from three, with the latter number being tops in the conference.

Many are pegging Georgetown to be a team in the middle of the pack in the Big East due to the lack of experience, but with players like Porter it’s possible for the Hoyas to be a pleasant surprise.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Iowa State lands three-star SG Jakolby Long

Steve Prohm
Associated Press
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Iowa State received its fourth verbal commitment in the Class of 2016 Friday morning, as 6-foot-4 shooting guard Jakolby Long made his pledge to Steve Prohm’s program. A native of Mustang, Oklahoma, Long attends Mustang HS and played for the Athletes First grassroots program this summer.

In Nike EYBL play for Athletes First, Long averaged 16.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.

According to Cyclone Fanatic, Long was also considering Georgia, Texas and Utah before deciding that he’ll play his college basketball at Iowa State.¬†Long will join junior Matt Thomas, sophomore Hallice Cooke and transfer Nick Babb in the competition for minutes off the ball when he arrives on campus next year. According to Travis Hines of the Ames Tribune, Long could be a in a position where he sees solid playing time immediately.

Long joins junior college products Donovan Jackson and Emmanuel Malou, and 2016 forward Solomon Young in Iowa State’s 2016 class to date. And the Cyclones, who won’t use all 13 scholarships this season, still have room for a couple more additions for next season.

Iowa State has four seniors (Naz Long, Abdel Nader, Georges Niang and Jameel McKay), and junior point guard Monte’ Morris is considered by some to be a candidate to enter the 2016 NBA Draft.

UofL foundation hires firm to review escort allegations

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An independent Louisville affiliate has hired a law firm to review an escort’s allegations that former men’s basketball staffer Andre McGee hired dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

The University of Louisville Foundation announced the hiring Thursday of the Stites & Harbison law firm. The foundation does fundraising for the university.

Louisville President James Ramsey also said Thursday he “fully” supports athletic director Tom Jurich “as we work to identify the facts in this situation.” Ramsey reiterated the school has hired former NCAA enforcement official Chuck Smrt to lead the athletic department’s investigation.

Men’s basketball spokesman Kenny Klein had no comment on a CBS Sports report that former Cardinals recruit JaQuan Lyle, now an Ohio State freshman, confirmed the “gist of allegations” detailed in Katina Powell’s book during a meeting Tuesday with the NCAA.

Lyle originally signed with Louisville before de-committing and eventually landing with the Buckeyes. OSU spokesman Dan Wallenberg confirmed the NCAA meeting via email on Wednesday but said there were no issues with Ohio State. He did not mention Louisville.

Powell’s book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen” was released online last weekend by a publishing affiliate of the Indianapolis Business Journal. A hardcover version of the 104-page book is scheduled for release on Monday.

The book states that McGee hired Powell and other dancers, including three of her daughters, for 22 shows allegedly performed from 2010 to 2014 at the players’ Billy Minardi Hall dormitory.

McGee left Louisville in 2014 for Missouri-Kansas City, which placed him on paid leave Friday. A message left Thursday with his Louisville attorney, Scott C. Cox, was not immediately returned. A spokeswoman for IBJ’s publishing arm could not be reached either.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino has said McGee denied Powell’s allegations. In a radio interview Tuesday he denied knowledge of what took place and said last week that others he talked to didn’t know about the activities described in the book.

“I’m going through 15 people who worked here, and not one person even had a premonition of something wrong,” Pitino said Friday. “Not one person living in the dorm had even the slightest premonition. It just doesn’t make sense to me.”

The Hall of Fame coach wasn’t mentioned in Ramsey’s statement in which the chancellor praised Jurich’s athletic program as “exemplary” at the school.

“It is important that the university – all of us – stay focused on our day-to-day work of providing our outstanding students with a world-class education,” Ramsey said. “The investigation of the allegations may take time and we must, as one university, continue doing the work we do to move our university and our community forward.”