– Sports Illustrated’s Luke Winn provides today’s #ReadoftheDay, and it’s a beauty. I’m not going to waste your time explaining it, just read it. You will thank me later
– Hell yes, a “Best Of” list for the Atlantic-10. “Best Table Setter”, “Best Fantasy Player” and “Best Place to Watch a Game” are among the best categories
– UConn women’s head coach Gen Auriemma wants the NCAA to lower the rim height in the women’s game. He believes that a lower rim would help increase offensive productivity, which would make the game more entertaining. I tend to agree with coach Auriemma on this. Plus, the ball is smaller and the 3-point line is closer
– John Templon wrote a fabulous post explaining why NEC guards Velton Jones and Jason Brickman should have been included in the CBS top-100
– Indiana and Kentucky aren’t going to be playing each other in a home-and-home series any time soon. But Indiana and Louisville might be able to fill the void. I think the general public would approve of that. We like to see historical non-conference powers do battle on home and away gyms. Ballrooms in Cancun and San Juan just won’t cut it anymore
– The University of Idaho is leaving the WAC and will join the Big Sky Conference starting in 2014 The WAC is almost dead now, which has actually helped to benefit the other western mid-major conferences like the Big West and Big Sky
– Is Ben Howland aware that all major conferences are affected by early entries to the NBA? The Pac-12 Conference isn’t alone
– Things do not look good for Murray State’s Zay Jackson, who awaits the ruling on his assault charges
– The SEC released its preseason poll and all-conference teams, and Kentucky is picked to repeat as champs. Shocker, I know
– Shabazz Muhammad has yet to play a single game in college and we already know the name of his attorney. That is never a good thing
– The Mountain West also released their preseason polls and teams. The MWC should be an interesting race this year, as both San Diego State and UNLV are playing at a high-major level
– ESPN’s College Basketball Nation previews The Pac-12; NBC Sports College Basketball Talk previews The ACC, CBS Sports Eye on College Basketball previews the Ivy League
Troy Machir is the managing editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @TroyMachir.
Jeff Capel is on the board with his first commitment as the head coach of Pittsburgh.
Trey McGowens, a top 100 prospect in the Class of 2019, announced on his twitter page that he will be enrolling at Pitt as a member of the Class of 2018.
A 6-foot-3 combo-guard, McGowens picked the Panthers over a handful of other high-major programs.
This is not exactly a program changing kind of commitment for Capel. Players that are late-spring commitments are almost always more celebrated because they end up in higher demand when there are fewer players left to fill the holes on rosters around the country. I’m not sure McGowens is all that different, but what’s significant about his commitment is that it’s proof that Capel is, at the very least, going to make some noise on the recruiting trail.
Capel has a long rebuild in front of him, but landing four-star prospects that will help spend a few years in the program are the kind of pieces that he needs at this point, and the kind of pieces that his predecessor was not able to land.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina point guard Rakym Felder is no longer part of the Gamecocks basketball team.
Felder, a key freshman reserve for South Carolina’s Final Four team two years ago, was dismissed from the program by coach Frank Martin on Monday.
The 5-foot-10 Felder, from Brooklyn, New York, was suspended last summer after his second arrest in less than a year. Felder was not enrolled last fall. He was allowed to return in the spring semester although he did not play.
Martin said there were guidelines Felder had to follow upon coming back “and unfortunately, he has not met those expectations.”
Martin has not detailed those guidelines for Felder’s return to the court.
Felder had 15 points in South Carolina’s NCAA Tournament win over Duke in 2017
Matisse Thybulle will return to Washington for his senior season after contemplating declaring for the NBA draft following a junior campaign in which he was named the Pac-12 defensive player of the year.
“The NBA is really enticing and it was definitely something that I seriously considered when the season was over,” Thybulle told the Seattle Times. “I talked it over with my family and we came to the conclusion that it would be in my best interest to stay and get my degree (in communications) and grow as a basketball player and take this last year to mature and fine tune everything so I can be fully prepared to take that next step when it’s time.”
The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 11.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game last season. He shot 44.5 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from 3-point range.
“I talked to coach (Mike Hopkins) and he gave me some good advice that was honestly something that helped in the grand scheme of things,” Thybulle said. “He told me that if I do it (enter the draft), then I should be all in because that’s what I’m going to be up against is a whole bunch of guys fighting for their lives. He thought it would be a better idea for me to stay in school until I’m at that point.”
Washington is awaiting the decision of Noah Dickerson, who declared for the draft but has not hired an agent. The 6-foot-8 averaged 15.5 points and 8.4 rebounds last season.
Steve Wojciechowski added a significant piece to his 2019-20 team over the weekend.
Koby McEwen announced his intention to transfer to Marquette from Utah State late Sunday evening.
“I would like to thank God, my family, inner circle and all the schools/coaches that recruited me during this process!” McEwen tweeted. “With that being said, I’m proud to announce that I’ll be furthering my college career at Marquette University.”
McEwen picked the Golden Eagles over fellow finalists Creighton and Grand Canyon after he decided to transfer when the Aggies announced South Dakota coach Craig Smith was taking over the program last month. The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 15.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range as a sophomore.
After sitting out the upcoming season, McEwen will have to years of eligibility remaining. Marquette went 21-14 last season, but missed the NCAA tournament for the third time in Wojciechowski’s four years in Milwaukee.
Minnesota has added some depth for the future.
The Golden Gophers received a pledge from Vanderbilt transfer Payton Willis over the weekend, giving him a guard with two seasons of eligibility remaining starting in 2019-20.
Willis will sit out the upcoming season under NCAA transfer rules.
The 6-foot-4 guard played a limited role in two seasons in Nashville, never averaging more than 18. 5 minutes or 5.2 points per game. He scored in double figures in three games as a sophomore.
Willis was a top-150 prospect in the Class of 2016 coming out of Fayetteville, Ark. with offers from the likes of Tulsa, Rice and Dayton. Vandy and Minnesota were his two high-major offers.
After being ranked in the top-15, Minnesota was beset by injury and suspensions last season as they limped to the finish line in a 15-17 season that featured losses in 12 of its last 13 games.
Richard Pitino still has two available scholarships for the 2018-19 campaign.