Report: Four LIU Brooklyn players arrested on charges of third-degree assault (UPDATED)

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First-year LIU Brooklyn head coach Jack Perri inherited a very good roster when he took over for Jim Ferry, who is now the head coach at Duquesne, back in April.

With four starters returning from last season’s 25-win team, Perri has enough talent to lead the Blackbirds back to the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive season.

But thanks to an on-campus altercation LIU Brooklyn’s chances of winning the Northeast Conference for a third straight season could take a major hit.

As first reported by Pat O’Keefe of News 12 in Brooklyn, four players were arrested on charges of third-degree assault for their involvement in the altercation with three of them being returning starters.

According to New York Post law-enforcement sources the players got into a fight with three male and two female members of the track team, with four of the track athletes being taken to Brooklyn Hospital for minor injuries.

However an LIU spokesperson stated in an email to NBC Sports that the track team had nothing to do with the incident in question.

LIU Brooklyn athletic director John Suarez released the following statement this morning:

LIU Brooklyn has suspended indefinitely four members of its men’s basketball team for their involvement in a Sept. 14 altercation on campus.  No other student-athletes were implicated in this incident. Until all legal and appeals processes have been completed, we will not comment further on this matter.

Those three starters, forwards Julian Boyd and Jamal Olasewere and guard C.J. Garner, are key cogs in an attack that averaged 81.4 points per game last season and has won back-to-back NEC titles.

Boyd, who averaged 17.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game last season, is the reigning NEC Player of the Year and has made a remarkable comeback after missing the 2009-10 season due to a heart ailment.

Olasewere was one of Boyd’s partners in crime in the front court last season (with key reserve Kenny Onyechi being the other), averaging 16.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and earning first team All-NEC honors.

Garner may not have earned any postseason honors for his efforts but the 5-10 guard was third on the team in scoring (12.6 ppg) while also dishing out 3.3 assists per game.

While the tandem of Garner and point guard Jason Brickman is undersized they were a handful for opponents last season and likely would be again in 2012-13.

But the legal situation that these four players puts things in doubt, especially if they were indeed not just suspended from the team but suspended from school as well.

With a tough schedule that includes trips to Kentucky and Maryland and a game against Seton Hall at the new Barclays Center, losing any of the returning starters for an extended period of time would be a serious blow.

Brickman and Onyechi have plenty of experience but they would have a lot more heavy lifting to do if this situation leads to lengthy punishments for the players reportedly involved.

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

Report: North Carolina won’t attend White House

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After capturing a national championship earlier this year, the North Carolina men’s basketball team will not be visiting the White House, a North Carolina spokesman said to Andrew Carter of the The Charlotte Observer.

Although the Tar Heels were invited to go to the White House from the staff of President Donald Trump, the team couldn’t figure out a date that worked.

“We couldn’t find a date that worked for both parties,” North Carolina team spokesman Steve Kirschner said to Carter. “We tried about eight or nine dates and between they couldn’t work out that date, we couldn’t work out that date, so – we would have liked to have gone, but not going.”

According to Carter’s report, Kirschner also said that North Carolina players, “were fine with going.”

With Trump’s recent comments towards NFL players and the national anthem and his Saturday morning tweet at Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the President with regards to athletes over the past 24 hours.

Although the timing of this may seem like North Carolina is making some sort of political statement, the school is downplaying any sort of politics by focusing on the bad timing.

Xavier freshman forward Jared Ridder will transfer

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Xavier freshman forward Jared Ridder will transfer from the program to move closer to home, according to a release from the school.

The 6-foot-7 Ridder hails from Springfield, Missouri as he was regarded as a top-150 prospect by Rivals in the Class of 2017.

“After much consideration and talking with my family, I have decided that it is in my best interest to move home,” Ridder said in the release.

“Jared has indicated to the coaching staff that he has a desire to be closer to home,” Xavier head coach Chris Mack said. “While we are disappointed, we all want Jared to be happy moving forward. We wish him nothing but the best.”

A potent scorer and noted perimeter shooter at the high school level, Ridder helped MoKan win the Nike Peach Jam during the summer of 2016 playing alongside talented players like Missouri’s Michael and Jontay Porter and Oklahoma’s Trae Young. With a desire to move closer to home, could Ridder potentially land at a spot where one of his talented former teammates is playing?

Ridder averaged 24.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists during his senior season of high school ball at Kickapoo as he was a first-team, All-State selection in Missouri.

Four-star 2018 forward Ian Steere decommits from Creighton

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Creighton took a big hit to its recruiting efforts late this week as Class of 2018 forward Ian Steere is decommitting from the Bluejays, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Steere’s decommitment was first reported by Julius Kim of Elevate Hoops.

The 6-foot-8 Steere is considered a four-star prospect by Rivals as he is coming off of a very solid spring and summer playing with Team Charlotte in the Under Armour Association. A plus athlete who isn’t afraid to bang on the interior, Steere showing an improving skill level throughout the spring and summer as he could see his recruiting soar after opening things up.

According to a report from Jon Nyatawa of the World-Herald, one of the reasons that Steere is opening up his recruitment is his desire to be closer to his native North Carolina. With so many top programs looking for quality help on the interior, it’ll be interesting to see which programs jump in and try to recruit Steere the second time around.

John Wall emotional in Kentucky Hall of Fame induction speech

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John Wall was inducted into the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday night as he delivered an emotional speech while talking to his mother.

The first inductee into the Hall of Fame to play for current Wildcat head coach John Calipari, Wall only spent the 2009-10 season in Lexington but he became the first national player of the year to play at Kentucky before becoming the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Thanking his mother, Calipari, his family, friends and Big Blue Nation, the Washington Wizards guard gave a very moving speech, including an emotional part directed to his mother at around 4:35.

Ohio State snags third 2018 commitment in a week with four-star guard Luther Muhammad

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Ohio State continued a strong week on the recruiting trail on Friday night by landing a commitment from Class of 2018 guard Luther Muhammad.

Regarded as a four-star prospect, the 6-foot-4 Muhammad is a tough and rugged perimeter defender who can attack the basket. Also showing some ability to play on the ball as a secondary handler, Muhammad is a very solid addition to Ohio State’s recruiting class since they need to overhaul their roster under new head coach Chris Holtmann.

Muhammad is the third player to commit to the Buckeyes in the Class of 2018 this week as he joins four-star forward Jaedon LeDee and three-star guard Duane Washington in the current Ohio State recruiting class. Since Washington is a three-point threat and Muhammad is more of an off-the-bounce specialist, the two guards are a good start for Ohio State in this class as they will likely try to find a true floor leader to play with them on the perimeter.