Louisville Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino directs his team during the first half of the men's NCAA Final Four semi-final college basketball game against the Kentucky Jayhawks in New Orleans

Akoy Agau and Anton Gill among those officially signing with Louisville [Video]

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Louisville officially recognized the five members of its 2013 recruiting class with a press release Wednesday, hours after they signed letters of intent to play for Rick Pitino and the Cardinals.

Below are video highlights of each prospect, along with input from Pitino about each player.

Akoy Agau | F | 6-9 | 240 lbs. (Video Highlights)

“As soon as I saw Akoy, I immediately wanted to see him in a Louisville uniform,” Pitino said in a release. “He’s a triple-threat guy — he scores, passes and handles it very well. He has a very high basketball IQ. He’s won three straight high school championships and that’s the type of player we look for: someone who is conditioned to win. We’re very excited to have him.”

Anton Gill | G | 6-4 | 185 lbs. (Video Highlights)

“Anton is a very gifted athlete who we’ve known for quite some time,” Pitino said. “He shoots it and runs the floor extremely well. He’s a left-hander who is good off the bounce and scores. We’re thrilled to have him as a Cardinal.”

Chris Jones | 5-10 | 195 lbs. (Video Highlights)

“I feel Chris is the best point guard (prospect) in the nation,” Pitino said. “He’s as explosive a point guard at both ends of the floor as I’ve ever recruited. He’s a prolific scorer, tougher than nails, and is a big-time winner. I’m not sure what phase of his game is the best because he’s a great passer, a great rebounder at 5-10, big-time steal guy, big-time scorer and wants to win as much as any player I’ve ever recruited. We needed to have a great one replace Peyton Siva and we have it in Chris Jones.”

Terry Rozier | G | 6-1 | 165 lbs. (Video Highlights)

“Terry is someone we were counting on for this year, but needed a year in prep school,” Pitino said. “He’s an explosive scorer and athlete who plays two positions. He’s a very good on-the-ball defender. We thought he was one of the best guards in the nation last year and is having an outstanding season at Hargrave.”

Mangok Mathiang | C | 6-10 | 210 lbs. (Video Highlights)

“We could not have signed a high school player this year as good as Mangok,” said Pitino. “He gets a year of practice under his belt with us before joining this class on the court next season.”

Note: Mathiang is practicing with the team this season and will have four years of eligibility at the start of the 2013-14 season.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Kennedy Meeks to return to North Carolina

Kennedy Meeks
(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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North Carolina center Kennedy Meeks announced on Wednesday that he would be withdrawing his name from NBA Draft consideration.

“I’m thankful I had the chance to explore my draft options, but I’m excited about the opportunity to rejoin my teammates and work toward having another outstanding season at UNC,” says Meeks. “I appreciate the support my coaches and teammates gave me during this process as we gathered information about my professional opportunities at this time. The feedback on what I have to work on so that I can have a great senior year, help my team have a great season and be ready to take that next step is invaluable.”

Meeks did not get an invitation to the NBA Draft combine, which is a pretty clear indication that he did not have a real chance to get drafted this year. But the new rule allows him to gather feedback on what he needs to do to improve and get himself into a position where he can land a professional contract after he graduates next season.

As a junior, Meeks battled injury but still managed to average 9.2 points and 5.9 boards.

Louisville students’ lawsuit against escort is dismissed

Rick Pitino
(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
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A Louisville judge has dismissed a lawsuit by University of Louisville students filed against Katina Powell that said the escort’s book allegations of sex parties at the men’s basketball players’ dormitory had devalued their education.

Kyle Hornback and three other students sued Powell last fall, saying her book damaged the school’s reputation. Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry denied their argument in Friday’s decision but allowed others who joined the suit after being named in the book to file amended complaints that they were falsely accused and defamed.

Powell has said that former Cardinals basketball staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to entertain recruits and players. Several investigations are ongoing including one by Louisville, which self-imposed a postseason ban and reduced scholarships and recruiting opportunities.

Report: Wichita State approaches Mountain West

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A year ago, Wichita State president John Bardo called for the school to study the feasibility of bringing football back to the athletic program.

Apparently the Shockers administration has even grander designs.

Wichita State has approached the Mountain West Conference about membership, according to a report from CBSSports.com.

The Missouri Valley Conference, which has been the Shockers’ home since 1946, is aware of Wichita State’s interest in switching conference affiliation, the report states. The Mountain West would makes sense for the Shockers as the conference currently has an odd-number hoops membership of 11 and would provide them with higher-profile opponents than the Valley. Just twice in conference history has the MWC been a one-bid NCAA tournament team, with last year being the first since 2001 for it to occur. The Shockers are also reportedly eyeing other leagues, like the AAC and Conference USA.

MWC commissioner Craig Thompson told CBS Sports that if Wichita State were to leave the Valley, “it ain’t going to be to us.”

Wichita State, which dropped football in 1986, has seen its basketball profile skyrocket in recent years under Gregg Marshall, who led the Shockers to a Final Four and a 35-0 start to the season in back-to-back years before reaching the Sweet 16 in 2015 and the Round of 32 last year. Marshall now makes more than $3 million per season.

Losing Wichita State would be a considerable blow to the Valley, which already lost perennial power Creighton to the Big East in the last round of realignment. Loyola Chicago, formerly of the Horizon League, filled the Bluejays’ spot.

Michigan’s Chatman transferring

Michigan  guard/forward Kameron Chatman (3) passes against Northwestern during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Evanston, Ill. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
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Kameron Chatman is leaving the Michigan program after two seasons, the school announced Tuesday.

The 6-foot-8 forward will transfer following a sophomore season in which his minutes were halved from his freshman campaign.

“I am incredibly grateful for my two years at Michigan,” Chatman said in a statement released by Michigan. “I would like to thank coach (John) Beilein and his entire staff for taking a chance on a small town kid out of Portland. I know my experience has inspired others as I will take all of my lessons learned to continue my pursuit of becoming the best man and player I can.”

Chatman is now the fourth Wolverine to transfer this spring, as Spike Albrecht (Purdue), Aubrey Dawkins (Central Florida) and Ricky Doyle have already departed. The Wolverines, who still have not announced replacements for assistant coaches LaVall Jordan (Milwaukee) and Bacari Alexander (Detroit), have been active in graduate transfer market as they look to rebuild much of their depth on the perimeter.

Chatman, who was a top-50 recruit out of high school, averaged 3.2 points and 2.0 rebounds per game for Michigan. He made 15 starts as a freshman, but only two as a sophomore.

Gilmore leaving VCU

Will Wade (AP Photo)
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Sophomore forward Michael Gilmore is transferring from VCU, the school announced Tuesday.

Gilmore started 18 games and appeared in 55 total for the Rams, but never carved out more than a marginal role, averaging 11.5 minutes per game as a sophomore after 6.3 his freshman season. He averaged 3.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game this past year as he saw his role dwindle down the stretch for the Rams.

His departure will take away some interior depth for VCU, but coach Will Wade will still be returning the bulk of the team that tested eventual Final Four participant Oklahoma in the Round of 32 a month ago.

For Gilmore, he’ll likely have plenty of suitors despite the pedestrian numbers he posted over the last two years as 6-foot-10 forwards who have shown the ability to space the floor don’t hit the transfer market with great regularity.He was a consensus four-star recruit in the Class of 2014.