David Nyarsuk cleared at Cincinnati

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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.

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.