NCAA Basketball Tournament - Xavier v Baylor

Dezmine Wells expelled from Xavier

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You’ve surely heard by now: Xavier’s leading returning scorer Dezmine Wells, an uber-athletic small forward that averaged 9.8 ppg last season, was expelled from school on Tuesday afternoon.

“The Xavier University Conduct Board (UCB), made up of faculty, students and administrators, found Xavier sophomore and basketball player Dezmine Wells responsible for a serious violation of the Code of Student Conduct,” the University said in a press release. “The punishment for the violation is expulsion from the University. While we understand there is heightened interest in this situation because it involves a student-athlete, we must reiterate that first and foremost Xavier’s interest and responsibility to all of our students is to provide a quality education in a safe and nurturing environment. A serious violation of Xavier’s Code of Student Conduct will not be tolerated. All Xavier students are subject to the same protections and consequences.”

According to a tweet from CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman, the punishment was “related to [a] sexual incident“, but no charges were filed.

Obviously, this is a massive blow to a Xavier team that couldn’t afford the loss. With Mark Lyons transferring and Tu Holloway and Kenny Frease graduating, Chris Mack’s team is going to struggle to compete in what should be a loaded Atlantic 10. There is talent on the roster — freshman Semaj Christon and Towson transfer Isaiah Philmore join returnees Justin Martin, Jeff Robinson and Travis Taylor — but Xavier’s “go-to guy” next season averaged 4.5 points and 3.7 boards after transferring in from Monmouth.

Xavier’s been to the NCAA tournament seven straight seasons and 12 times in the last 13 years. I’m not sure I’d have them finishing in the top half of a 16 team A-10 as of today. That’s significant. (Although, to be clear, I don’t think Wells would have been a difference-maker this season. He doesn’t make them a competitor for the conference title, but he would bring the Muskies closer to the bubble.)

But there’s a bigger issue here: this is yet another black eye on a program that currently looks like it went five rounds with Anderson Silva. Despite having the talent to be a top ten team last season, the Musketeers backed their way into the NCAA tournament after a midseason brawl with Cincinnati exposed their lack of leadership. Lyons parted ways with Xavier despite having a chance to takeover the role of star point guard on a team that desperately needed a senior to take control. Frease and Holloway didn’t exactly come off looking like saints after the brawl. And don’t forget that it was Wells shoving Bearcat freshman Ge’Lawn Guyn that turned an emotionally charged game into a Royal Rumble.

Personally, I don’t think a fresh start is necessarily a bad thing for Chris Mack right now.

 

UNLV dismisses guard Daquan Cook from team

Illinois v UNLV
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LAS VEGAS (AP) UNLV junior guard Daquan Cook has been dismissed from the team.

Interim coach Todd Simon made the announcement on Friday, though no reason was given.

Cook was suspended for 13 games by previous coach Dave Rice in November after being arrested and charged with DUI.

Cook appeared in two games this season after being reinstated, scoring three points in four minutes. He missed the 2014-15 season after tearing his right ACL and played 28 games as a sophomore.

VIDEO: Seton Hall players have their 80s hip hop knowledge tested

Seton Hall guard Isaiah Whitehead, left, sits next to head coach Kevin Willard during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against Creighton, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Newark, N.J. Creighton won 81-65. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
AP Photo/Julio Cortez
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If you grew up during the 1980’s, get ready to feel old.

Seton Hall, which has won it’s last three games, hosts Georgetown Saturday on what is also “80’s Night.” Of course we’re at the point where athletes playing in these games were born after that decade passed, which makes quizzing them on the 80’s that much more entertaining.

Friday John Fanta of the Pirate Sports Network quizzed Isaiah Whitehead, Derrick Gordon, Khadeen Carrington and Ish Sanogo on their knowledge of 80’s hip hop, and outside of a couple correct guesses it did not go too well. Best part of the video: Whitehead asking “is this Run DMC?” after each song.

It’s just a matter of time until we’re old enough to watch college basketball players struggle to identify some of the songs of the 1990’s.