Trent Johnson

Karviar Shepherd commits to TCU

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Trent Johnson landed his first big recruiting coup as head coach of TCU on Monday with the signing of Karviar Shepherd.

The news was first tweeted out by’s Reggie Rankin.

“Breaking News: ESPN 100 #46 overall Center Karviar Shepherd is calling Trent Johnson right now he is headed to TCU!!” Rankin tweeted.

The no. 46 player in the 2013 class according to ESPN, Shepherd is a Dallas-area prospect out of Prime Prep Academy. The 6-9, 215-pounder also had offers from Texas A&M, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

“I picked TCU because it was close to home and I really like the coaching staff,” Shepherd told ESPN. “They really do a great job of improving bigs like they did at Stanford with the Lopez twins.”

Have to think that TCU’s move to the Big 12 had a lot to do with this commitment. Johnson has proven his worth as a recruiter at Nevada, Stanford and through his brief stint at LSU, and it helps to be in a conference that at least highlights its basketball programs as an equal to its football teams.

It was a surprise to a lot of people when Johnson left a job at an SEC school in LSU to take over TCU, a team that hasn’t sniffed the NCAA Tournament since 1998. In order to make the switch worth it, he was going to have to win early and often, and you could say this is the first win of his tenure, keeping one of the top players in the area, around.

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard  Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

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.