UNLV picks up another transfer as the well-traveled Jelan Kendrick commits

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There’s no denying the amount of success that UNLV has enjoyed with transfers in recent years, and this year’s team will call on some talented transfers as well.

Dave Rice and his coaching staff picked up another one on Saturday, as 6-7 Indian Hills CC wing Jelan Kendrick verbally pledged to attend UNLV following his official visit.

Indian Hills is Kendrick’s third college as he’s already made stops at Memphis and Ole Miss.

He didn’t play a single game at Memphis, as head coach Josh Pastner kicked him off the team in early November of 2010.

In 18 games with the Rebels last season Kendrick averaged 5.1 points and 2.2 rebounds per game after sitting out the fall semester per NCAA transfer rules.

But his time in Oxford didn’t finish in the best manner either, as there was the incident in which he left the arena during warmups before Ole Miss’ 60-51 win over Alabama in the regular season finale.

From that point Kendrick’s season (and Ole Miss career) ended while the Rebels went on to advance to the SEC tournament semifinals (lost to Vanderbilt) and then fell to Illinois State in the first round of the Postseason NIT.

The Atlanta native, who was a McDonald’s All-American, is immensely talented but is this a risk for UNLV that they don’t need to take?

The Runnin’ Rebels will lose three senior contributors this season in guards Anthony Marshall and Justin Hawkins, along with forward Quintrell Thomas.

And there’s also the question of what kind of progression junior Mike Moser makes when it comes to his NBA Draft stock to address (the same could go for freshman Anthony Bennett).

But while those will be some tough personnel losses to absorb it isn’t as if the cupboard will be bare in 2013-14.

UConn transfer Roscoe Smith will be eligible, and he’ll join at team that in theory would include  Bennett, Moser, Pitt transfer Khem Birch, and other returnees such as guards Bryce Dejean-Jones and Katin Reinhardt and forwards Savon Goodman, Carlos Lopez and Demetris Morant.

There’s always going to be room for talent, and there’s no denying this or the fact that Kendrick is a gifted basketball player.

In a city known for gambling UNLV is taking a serious risk. The hope once Kendrick arrives is that this roll of the dice doesn’t result in the basketball equivalent of “snake eyes.”

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

Kansas lands second commitment in the Class of 2018

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Kansas landed their second big man in the Class of 2018 on Sunday, as David McCormack, a top 50 prospect, announced that he will be a Jayhawk when he plays his college ball.

The 6-foot-10 center picked Kansas over Xavier, NC State, Oklahoma State and Duke.

A product of the famed Oak Hill Academy, McCormack averaged 15 points and 10 boards on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit this spring. He joins fellow four-star big man Silvio de Sousa in the 2018 class for Bill Self, although the Jayhawks will get three players eligible after they sit out the 2017-18 season as transfers: Dedric and K.J. Lawson, who transferred in from Memphis, as well as Charlie Moore, a point guard from California.

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.