Pac 12 Basketball Tournament - Oregon State v Washington State

Former Washington State guard Reggie Moore apologizes to teammates in statement

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Despite going 7-11 in conference play last season, Washington State had reason for optimism entering the 2012-13 campaign thanks in part to the return of forward Brock Motum and point guard Reggie Moore.

But Moore won’t be a part of the team this season, as missteps off the court led to head coach Ken Bone’s decision to dismiss Moore from the program last month.

Moore led the Cougars with an average of 5.2 assists per game while also scoring ten points per game, a number that ranked second on a team (Motum led the way at 18.0 ppg) that lacked a consistent second scorer once Faisal Aden went down with a knee injury.

While DaVonte Lacy (8.5 ppg) returns for his sophomore campaign and will help matters on the perimeter the Cougars don’t have much at the point with Moore being dismissed from the squad.

Moore, who hadn’t made a public comment of any kind since his dismissal, took to the newspaper to express his sorrow over the situation and sent a statement to Vince Grippi of the Spokesman-Review.

“I want to sincerely apologize to Washington State University, all the fans that support Wazzu, and all the great people that I’ve met during my time in Pullman. It was a rewarding experience that I’ll always be grateful for.

“I made a costly mistake and I understand that I have to face the consequences for my actions. I’m disappointed in myself for not making the right decisions that ultimately not only affects me, but my teammates and everyone I was close to at WSU.

“It’s unfortunate that it had to come to this for me, but I have learned from this experience, and I believe it has already made me a better person. I’m still excited about the future, and the new challenges and opportunities that await me as a student athlete.

“Thank you for all the support, well wishes, and offers of encouragement that I’ve received. The love that I’ve received from fans, my former teammates and also friends at WSU has been overwhelming and extremely humbling. It’s now up to me to accept responsibility, learn from this life lesson, and move forward in a positive way.

“Best regards,

“Reggie Moore”

Obviously there are going to be questions as to what Moore may have done to push Bone to dismiss him from the program, but all that truly matters is Moore’s post-dismissal communication with his former teammates.

If there hasn’t been a face-to-face meeting of some sort between Moore and his former teammates hopefully that will happen in the very near future.

Outside of Motum Lacey is likely Washington State’s most talented offensive player (unfortunately Que Johnson is a partial qualifier so he can only practice), so maybe the Cougars hand the keys over to Lacey despite his playing off the ball for much of last season.

Washington State also has 6-4 redshirt freshman Dominic Ballard, who averaged 21.6 points, 10.5 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game as a high school senior in 2010-11.

The Cougars don’t seem to have a “conventional” answer at the point, and that could undo the progress made during their preseason trip to Australia.

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

South Dakota State gets two commits

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Tuesday was a busy and productive one for South Dakota State on the recruiting trail.

The Jackrabbits secured two 2017 commitments from the state of Wisconsin in Ryan Krueger and Alex Arians, a source tells NBCSports.com.

Krueger is a 6-foot-5 wing player from New London, Wisc. while Arians is a 6-foot-4 guard from Madison, Wisc., who also held an offer from Wright State, which is coached by former SDSU coach Scott Nagy. Both players spend their summers playing for the Wisconsin Swing grassroots program.

The pair make it a trio of commits for the Jackrabbits in 2017 with another Wisconsinite, Alou Dillon, pledging to first-year Jackrabbits coach T.J. Otzelberger, himself a Wisconsin native, earlier this summer.

South Dakota State went 26-8 last year and the bulk of the team that made the NCAA tournament last year, including sophomore Mike Daum, who led the team in scoring and rebounding as a freshman.

Incoming Gator freshman ineligible for upcoming season

Mike White
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Florida will need to wait a year before seeing 6-foot-11 recruit Gorjok Gak playing games for the Gators.

The NCAA ruled that the incoming freshman will be able to enroll at Florida this year and practice with the team, but will be ineligible for games this season, the school announced Tuesday.

Should he meet all his progress marks during his freshman year, he’ll have three seasons of eligibility remaining starting in 2017-18.

Gak’s eligibility issue centered on his playing games during his postgraduate year at Victory Rock Prep, according to his coach there.

“Following his graduate year from Australia, he was supposed to play from December to December,” Loren Jackson told the Gainesville Sun, “but instead played from December until the following May.”

Gak originally signed with Oklahoma State, but de-committed following Travis Ford’s firing in Stillwater this past spring. Gak averaged 13.8 points and 9.3 rebounds last season at Victory Rock in Bradenton, Fla.

Florida went 21-15 last season under first-year coach Mike White.

Video: Coach K talks Team USA with Dan Patrick

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Team USA has blown through its competition in its first two exhibition games ahead of next month’s Olympics in Rio De Janeiro with wins over Argentina and China by a combined a combined 96 points.

Tonight, they’ll have a rematch against China, which they defeated 106-57 on Sunday, but it will also serve as the unofficial debut of Kevin Durant in front of his new hometown fans with the game taking place at the home of the Golden State Warriors, Oracle Arena, in Oakland.

“Excited for Kevin tonight to make his debut in front of the Golden State fans,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said Tuesday on the Dan Patrick Show. “He got a great reception (Monday) at a function. He was, as he should be, warmly welcomed.”

The team has been together since July 18 in the run-up to its first Olympic contest on Aug. 6 against China. For Krzyzewski, a couple of players have made an impression already.

“You see these guys on TV,” the Duke coach said, “but I don’t get a chance to see them in person. (Clipper) DeAndre Jordan is such a good player. A great athlete, a great guy. To see him run, defend, holy mackerel. He’ s really good.

“I haven’t seen Paul George in two years when he had that horrific (leg) injury in Las Vegas at one of our camps, and he’s so darn good. On defense, tremendous.”

It’s on the defensive side of the floor that Coach K believes his team can really make its mark even with the incredible collection of offensive talent the roster has.

“We’re very athletic so defensively we could be a very good defensive team,” he said. “We’ve shown a willingness to want to do that in the first two games.”

As usual, Team USA is the prohibitive favorite to bring back gold for the third consecutive Olympics, which will be Coach K’s last at the helm after taking over after the 2004 bronze medal debacle.

“I’m excited about the team,” he said. “It’s a short time. to see our guys working so hard and they get along so well, I’m excited about the team we might be in Rio. We’ll use tonight to get a little bit better.

“I kind of have the blinders on. You only have a short time. It’s a little over a month, and we want to win the gold medal in Rio.”

Rose’s transfer to BYU becomes official

Ge'Lawn Guyn, L.J. Rose
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His commitment came more than a month ago, but L.J. Rose’s transfer to BYU became official Tuesday.

The former Houston guard was officially announced as an immediately-eligible graduate transfer by BYU on Tuesday. He’ll bring much needed help to a Cougars backcourt that lost Kyle Collinsworth and Chase Fischer to graduation and Jordan Chatman and Jack Toolson to transfers.

“L.J. will add great experience and talent to our guard line,” BYU coach Dave Rose said in a statement released by BYU. “We’re excited about the leadership he will bring on the court and in the locker room. He will make us a deeper and more versatile team.”

As a junior, L.J. Rose averaged 9.8 points and 5.3 assists, but a foot injury limited him to just two games last season and allowed him to receive a medical redshirt and the opportunity to be a graduate transfer for his final collegiate season. He’ll be a big part of BYU’s attempt to build on last year’s 26-11 season as a former top-100 recruit, who began his career at Baylor, on a team in need of an infusion of talent after absorbing the losses from last year’s roster.

His father, Lynden, Sr., was a teammate of BYU coach Dave Rose at Houston during the program’s Phi Slama Jama era.

UCLA loses key forward to professional ranks

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 02:  Dillon Brooks #24 of the Oregon Ducks steals the ball from Jonah Bolden #43 of the UCLA Bruins during a 76-68 Ducks win at Pauley Pavilion on March 2, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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UCLA announced on Tuesday afternoon that Jonah Bolden will be forgoing his college eligibility to turn professional.

“Jonah Bolden has informed the coaching staff that he has opted to play professionally this season,” the release said.

Bolden is a versatile, 6-foot-10 forward with some NBA potential. In his only season playing with the Bruins, he averaged 4.6 points and 4.8 boards while starting 11 games. His ability on the defensive end of the floor was something the UCLA staff was counting on this season.

A sophomore this past season, Bolden was ruled a partial qualifier by the NCAA as a freshman, meaning that he was allowed to be on scholarship and in class but could not play during the 2014-15 season.

He had two seasons of eligibility remaining. Without Bolden, T.J Leaf will likely be counted on to play more minutes at the four.