James Dickey

Houston signee Danrad “Chicken” Knowles not joining the program this season

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In their final season as a Conference USA member Houston was hoping a five-member recruiting class led by guard/forward Danuel House and forward Danrad “Chicken” Knowles would help them improve on their 15-15 mark in 2011-12.

Unfortunately for head coach James Dickey the Cougars will be without Knowles this season, as it was announced that he won’t be joining the program until next season.

Along with House, freshman center Valentine Izundu and junior college transfers Brandon Morris and Tione Womack (both guards), this group was seen by many as exactly what the Cougars needed to make a smooth transition in to the Big East in 2013.

Knowles will be a part of that group but unlike the other four he won’t have a year of college basketball under his belt.

Neither the school nor Dickey offered any further comment on the situation, citing federal student privacy laws and adding that there would be no further comment.

The remaining four newcomers join a team that lost its top two scorers from last season as both Jonathon Simmons (14.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Alandise Harris (13.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg) left the program.

Simmons declared for the NBA Draft and went undrafted, and Harris transferred to Arkansas.

That leaves sophomores TaShawn Thomas (10.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg) and Joseph Young (11.3 ppg) as their leading returnees from the 2011-12 campaign, meaning that there will be opportunities for the newcomers.

But to not have Knowles, who was a Top 100 recruit according to many of the major recruiting websites, robs the Cougars of a 6-10 talent with the potential to become an even more versatile threat down the line.

And college basketball has to wait for one of the better nicknames around for another year.

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

Tennessee G Hubbs undergoes arthroscopic knee surgery

Robert Hubbs III, Anton Beard
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee guard Robert Hubbs won’t practice this week after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Tuesday.

The school said in a news release that Hubbs had it done “to address chronic swelling issues that have been present since the preseason.”

No timetable has been set for when Hubbs could return to action, but he is considered doubtful for Tennessee’s next game on Dec. 12 at Butler. Tennessee (4-3) is in the midst of a 13-day break from games, which marks the program’s longest layoff during a season since December 1967.

Hubbs is averaging 15.3 points per game to rank third on the team. The 6-foot-4 junior has scored at least 13 points in each of Tennessee’s seven games.

Clemson lands 2017 guard

Brad Brownell
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Clemson landed a quality commitment on Tuesday as Class of 2017 guard A.J. Oliver committed to the Tigers. The son of Clemson women’s head coach Audra Smith, Oliver is regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, although some others view him as a top-100 caliber player.

The 6-foot-4 Oliver attends nearby Daniel High School and should have some time to get acclimated with the players and coaches before he sets foot on campus. A versatile guard who plays hard, Oliver showed that he can make plays with the ball in his hands this summer with the Upward Stars.

Oliver is Clemson’s first commitment in the Class of 2017 and it’s a strong start for head coach Brad Brownell.