Cincinnati got some good news on Monday.
Seven-footer David Nyarsuk was not only cleared to be eligible immediately, he was already attending classes on campus. As a sophomore at Mountain State, an NAIA school in West Virginia, Nyarsuk averaged 9.8 points, 8.0 boards and 2.9 blocks last season.
“He immediately gives us depth,” coach Mick Cronin told Sporting News. “If he was a junior college player, he’d have been the No. 1 player in the country. He’s a center who can block shots and finish around the rim. He’s not a great back-to-the basket player, but that’s really not a part of what we’re doing anyway. He fits in as a shot-blocker and a dunker, and he’s got a great attitude. He really can run for a guy his size.”
Nyarsuk’s path to Cincinnati has been winding. He originally committed to West Virginia back in 2009, but he never qualified academically. Part of the reason that Nyarsuk had some question marks heading into this season at Cincinnati was that Mountain State had lost their accreditation.
Nyarsuk will add depth to an already strong Bearcat front line: Justin Jackson, Cheikh Mbodj, Jermaine Sanders and Kelvin Gaines are all back for another season, while Shaquille Thomas will be eligible this season along with JuCo transfer Titus Rubles.
That’s a great sign, especially when you consider that the back court will be Cincy’s strength this year, as Cashmere Wright, Sean Kilpatrick and JaQuan Parker all return.
Those will be some fun practices to watch next season.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.
It was the most anticipated matchup of the summer.
Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball.
People were turned away at the door – and LeBron James reportedly came and went – as the gym reached capacity for SC Supreme’s 104-92 victory over the Big Ballers. That’s Williamson over Ball (LaMelo and LaVar).
The game was mostly spectacle, and you can see it’s top moments right here.
LaMelo Ball vs. Zion Williamson was insane, but it wasn’t quite crazy enough to wake up the sleeping toddler that Williamson’s coach is holding in his arms:
This is peak AAU basketball.
It will never be more AAU than that.
In a showcase game in the adidas Uprising event in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, LaMelo Ball — the youngest member of the Big Baller Brand — faced off with Zion Williamson, who is a force on youtube and a highlight machine.
The crowd was insane for the game:
According to a report from ESPN, there were even concerns about whether or not the game would actually be allowed to be played; the police and fire marshall considered shutting the event down.
Williamson, of course, put on a show in warmups:
At the time of this posting, there were more than 60,000 people watching a livestream of the game on BallIsLife’s facebook page:
(UPDATE: It’s now over 70,000)
The bracket of the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip off was revealed Wednesday, setting up a showdown between a 2016 Final Four participant and the 2016 Big 12 tournament champion.
South Carolina and Iowa State headline the event, which will be played Nov. 16-19, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
The Gamecocks are on the top half of the bracket, opening against Illinois State while the Cyclones are on the bottom half, squaring off against Appalachian State.
Boise State vs. UTEP is the other top-half quarterfinal while Tulsa vs. Western Michigan is the other.
The championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, Nov. 19.
Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan: