Xavier’s four-member recruiting class received a great deal of praise during the off-season and rightfully so. But with that class now being cut in half, the Musketeers will likely enter the 2012-13 season with just eight scholarship players (Chris Cantino?).
According to Shannon Russell of the Cincinnati Enquirer, both plan to remain in school despite the fact that they won’t be able to practice with the team or receive a scholarship.
This is just the latest development for a program that underwent a great deal of change this off-season.
Guards Tu Holloway (graduation), Mark Lyons (transferred to Arizona) and Dezmine Wells (expelled) are gone, as are front court contributors Kenny Frease and Andre Walker.
Also assistant coaches Rasheen Davis (Manhattan) and Kareem Richardson (Louisville) moved on to new positions.
The leading returning scorer for the Musketeers this season is forward Travis Taylor, who averaged just 4.5 points per game in 2011-12.
Add to this the fact that Butler and VCU join the Atlantic 10 with teams expected to make a run at an NCAA tournament berth and this has the look of a rough campaign for the Musketeers.
Freshmen Semaj Christion and James Farr will have every opportunity to earn significant playing time this season, and if Xavier is to have any chance of returning to the NCAA tournament (Xavier hasn’t missed the tournament since 2005) they’ll need to.
What will Chris Mack and his staff do to account for the heavy personnel losses? That’s going to be one of the most important questions in the Atlantic 10 this season.
Arizona commit Terrance Ferguson has been known as one of the best dunkers in the country for the last few years. So you knew the 6-foot-6 wing was going to attempt the latest internet dunk craze that’s been going around.
Some call it the, “5-point play” in which the dunker makes a 3-pointer and immediately sprints following the shot release to catch the make for an under-the-legs dunk.
It’s as tough as it sounds and Ferguson makes it look easy.
Bol Bol is the son of former NBA center Manute Bol, and the younger Bol is earning quite a bit of attention himself as a five-star prospect in the Class of 2018.
The 6-foot-11 Bol showed off some of his freakish coordination and athleticism on Friday night, by ripping a steal and taking it coast-to-coast for an under-the-legs dunk in the middle of a game at the Jayhawk Invitational.
Bol will be one of the players to watch this spring as he plays with KC Run GMC.
Iowa State guard Naz Mitrou-Long gets hardship waiver to play additional year
“Everything happens for a reason and although it hurt to not be able to play for a group of guys I loved last year, my body needed time to recover and that time off allowed me to feel the best I’ve felt since my freshman year,” Mitrou-Long said in the release. “I’m glad I’ll be able to play for the best fans in the country and represent the name on the front of my jersey, Iowa State, one more year. Words can’t describe this feeling. Cyclone Nation, be ready for a special year.”
The 6-foot-4 Long played in eight games last season for Iowa State as he averaged 12 points per game. He missed the rest of the season to deal with pain in his surgically repaired hips. Mitrou-Long has been a very effective three-point shooter during his career at Iowa State and he should be a nice option to have for next season if he’s healthy.
CIAA will stay in North Carolina despite state’s LGBT law
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association says it won’t move its headquarters, its basketball tournament or other conference championships from North Carolina, despite the state’s controversial new LGBT law.
The CIAA said in a statement Thursday that it will instead partner with the NCAA to educate its members on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues as it does on other issues, like graduation rates and concussion management.
The Charlotte Observer reports that the CIAA, the oldest African-American sports conference in the U.S., has hosted its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte since 2006 and announced it was moving its headquarters to Charlotte from Virginia in 2015.
The CIAA said Thursday that it will continue to “monitor the issues,” as it has since House Bill 2 passed.
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