Eastern Illinois announces the addition of well-traveled guard Reggie Smith

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The current climate of college basketball when it comes to transfers isn’t the most stable one, as more than 400 players have decided to switch schools.

One of those is Reggie Smith, who originally began his college career at Marquette before moving on to UNLV.

After sitting out one year in Las Vegas and playing 20 games last season, the Chicago native decided that UNLV wasn’t the best place for him.

Smith will now attend Eastern Illinois, where he will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2012-13 campaign.

“Reggie has played at the highest level of college basketball,” said head coach Jay Spoonhour in a statement released by the school.

“He is an explosive player who will give our team some real speed and athleticism at the guard.”

In 20 games for UNLV last season Smith averaged six minutes and 2.5 points per game, shooting 40.5% from the field and 47.1% from beyond the arc.

An all-state selection in both his junior and senior seasons of high school basketball, Smith hasn’t been able to find consistent playing time at either of his first two stops.

That shouldn’t be an issue at EIU, where Spoonhour is beginning his first season at the helm after spending the last three seasons as head coach at Moberly Area Community College.

EIU finished 12-17 last season, winning just five games in OVC play and finishing tenth in the conference standings.

With the addition of Belmont and the OVC going to divisional play (EIU is in the West, which also includes Austin Peay, Murray State, SIU-Edwardsville, Southeast Missouri State and Tennessee-Martin), Eastern Illinois needed talent especially with two of their top three scorers leaving the program.

If Smith can remain satisfied with his role the Panthers should be able to reap the benefits in 2013-14.

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

LaSalle parts ways with longtime head coach Dr. John Giannini

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La Salle announced on Friday that they are parting ways with head coach John Giannini.

Giannini had been the head coach of the program for 14 seasons, amassing a record of 212-226. Before taking over at La Salle, he spent seven seasons as the head coach at Rowan and eight seasons coaching at Maine.

“Today Bill Bradshaw and I mutually agreed that La Salle University could benefit from a new voice in leading the program,” said Dr. Giannini. “It is difficult to admit this but I have given every effort possible for success and I have received nothing but support and encouragement from Bill and President Hanycz. Greater things may be accomplished for this storied program and great university with the approach of a new coach. I am forever grateful, especially to my loyal staff and dedicated student-athletes. I look forward to my next challenge and La Salle’s future success.”

Kentucky clarifies ‘false reports’ they did not shake Kansas State hands after loss

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After Kansas State knocked off Kentucky in the Sweet 16, the purple Wildcats alleged that the blue Wildcats did not shake their hands after the game.

“They didn’t shake our hands,” Kansas State junior guard Amaad Wainright told ESPN last night. “It’s sorry.”

“They know what they did.”

Kentucky bristled at the allegations.

“They were turned and celebrating, so I walked off,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said. “There was no disrespect for anything. It’s just that they were celebrating, and I was happy for them.”

“My team’s not like that. There’s no disrespect in any way. They beat us. They deserved to win the game.”

NCAA amends rule to allow Isaac Haas to play

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BOSTON — The NCAA has changed their interpretation of the rule that kept Isaac Haas out of the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Haas broke his elbow in Purdue’s first round win over Cal St.-Fullerton, but he was not allowed to play in a second round game against Butler because his brace did not meet NCAA standards.

So they changed those standards.

“With ample time this week to review the intent of the playing rule, the committee decided to provide a more contemporary interpretation, while keeping health and safety for all players the highest priority,” said Gavitt. “Technology has improved materials used in braces, so now there will be more flexibility in applying the rule as long as the brace is fully covered and padded. Isaac and other players in similar circumstances should be able to play, as long as the brace is safe for all.”

Sources have told NBC Sports that, despite Haas’ lobbying to get onto the court, he is not expected to play on Friday night. If he does, it will be in a very limited capacity.

“He didn’t practice the last two days,” Painter said on Thursday, “and when you don’t practice, you don’t play.”

“I don’t see him playing until he can practice and show me he can shoot a right-handed free throw and get a rebound with two hands.”

USC’s Chimezie Metu declares for NBA draft

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USC junior forward Chimezie Metu announced on Thursday evening that he will be declaring for the NBA draft:

This decision is not surprising. Metu finished his degree — Law History and Culture —  in three seasons. He held himself out of USC’s NIT games in an effort to keep himself from getting injured with NBA workouts on the horizon.

Metu averaged 15.7 points, 7.4 boards and 1.6 blocks for the Trojans this season. He is considered a borderline first round pick.

VIDEO: Kansas State legend celebrates revenge on Kentucky 67 years in the making

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In 1951, Kansas State lost to Kentucky in the National Championship game.

Ernie Barrett, who eventually became the school’s athletic director and is known as “Mr. K-State“, played on that team.

He’s wanted to get revenge on Big Blue ever since.

On Thursday night, Kansas State did.

Ernie was there, and here was his reaction in the locker room: