Utah Valley University and Cal State-Bakersfield have accepted an invitation from the Western Athletic Conference to join the conference in time for the start of the 2013-14 season.
“Both are quality institutions and bring high level competitive and academic qualities to the 2013-14 membership,” interim commissioner Jeff Hurd said in a release. “We are excited to begin the process of rebuilding the WAC and will continue to work to reestablish the league as one of the top Division I conferences in the West.”
The WAC is in the midst of a major transition, set to become a non-football playing Division I conference at the same time that CSBU and UVU are to join the league in 2013.
For Cal State-Bakersfield, the Roadrunners will no longer be a Division I independent, bringing at least 13 of its 18 sports programs to the WAC. The school’s men’s basketball team finished 16-15 last season.
Utah Valley University is only three years removed from having become a Division I institution, having been a member of the Great West Conference since becoming a D-I school in 2009. They had previously been identified as a junior college.
The Wolverines finished 20-13 last season.
“CSU Bakersfield and Utah Valley University accepting our invitation to join the WAC is great news as our conference looks to a very promising future,” Seattle University president Stephen Sundborg said in a statement.
“These two fine institutions are making significant investments in their athletic programs, and we look forward to the many ways they will help the WAC build on its great tradition and national reputation.”
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
Florida freshman will miss the season with stress fracture
Bassett will require surgery in his right foot and his projected recovery time will be four-to-six months. The injury will force Bassett to redshirt the 2016-17 season.
A three-star recruit coming out of Oldsmar Christian in Florida, the 6-foot-9 forward wasn’t expected to be a big contributor during his first year with the Gators, but his loss does hurt some of the team’s frontcourt depth. With John Egbunu, Devin Robinson, Justin Leon and Kevarrius Hayes all returning, the Gators should have plenty of players to use in the frontcourt this season without Bassett.
Once Bassett is healthy and able to play next season he showed good athleticism and an ability to hit the glass hard while he was in high school. Bassett should be able to join Florida’s rotation as an energy defender and rebounder right away.
Iowa State lands four-star Class of 2017 guard Lindell Wigginton
Iowa State has its point guard of the future as four-star Class of 2017 prospect Lindell Wigginton pledged to the Cyclones on Friday.
The 6-foot-1 Wigginton is regarded as the No. 40 overall prospect on Rivals.com as the Canadian has spent the last few seasons at powerhouse Oak Hill Academy. With an ability to play both guard spots and defend a few spots, Wigginton is a valuable addition to head coach Steve Prohm’s ballclub as Wigginton could help replace Monte Morris after he exhausts his eligibility.
Wigginton is going to need to improve his consistency on his perimeter jumper, but he’s a good pull-up scorer who can make plays for himself or others off the bounce. Iowa State’s Class of 2017 recruiting haul now includes Wigginton, four-star wing Terrence Lewis and three-star guard Darius McNeill.
This commitment is huge for Prohm as Wigginton is the most highly-regarded recruit that he has landed with the Cyclones. With Prohm’s point guard history with guys like Isaiah Canaan at Murray State and Monte Morris now with Iowa State, Prohm did a nice job of finding his next young guard to mold for the future.