Chris McCullough

Syracuse commit Chris McCullough is trying to reclassify to 2013

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The reclassification fad may continue in the next few months. In less than a year, the likes of Nerlens Noel, Wayne Selden, Noah Vonleh, Andrew Wiggins, and Karl Towns have all moved up a class.

Chris McCullough (Brewster Academy/Bronx, NY) is considered by as a top-10 player in the Class of 2014. The 6-foot-10 power forward has already committed to Syracuse and no longer wants to wait. McCullough confirmed on Saturday evening that he intends on reclassifying to the Class of 2013 to play for the Orange next fall.

“The chances are it could happen,” said McCullough following a loss to Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.) on Saturday. “I’d say about 70 percent.”

To become eligible, McCullough will need to complete 16 core courses in order to receive initial eligibility by the NCAA. McCullough stated that by the end of the school year he would have completed 13 of those core classes and would have to make up the other three in the summer time. He went on to say that he meets with Syracuse on Thursday to discuss his options.

“[I’ll take those classes] at either Syracuse or a community college in the Bronx,” said the New York native.

The NCAA sliding scale requires 16 core credits include four English, three math, two science, one additional math, English, or science, two social science, and four additional core units.

“He’s got a lot of work to do academically if he’s going to do that,” said Brewster head coach Jason Smith. “I’d be happy to sit down with Syracuse and teach them about the sliding scale and how that works. He still has some work to do as far as initial eligibility.

“Everyone assumes that everyone goes back to their original class because it’s been the fad the last couple of years,” Smith added. “But you have to make sure you have your ducks in a row academically as far as the initial eligibility goes.”

McCullough has tremendous upside. He is extremely athletic and quick for his size, which he displayed on Saturday night. The Syracuse commit was held to just eight points, but had over 10 rebounds and three block shots. With his length and mobility, matched with his rebounding, he could be a huge presence at the bottom of Jim Boeheim’s famous 2-3 zone defense.

If McCullough can become eligible for the Orange next year, it only adds to an already impressive 2013 incoming class. Center Chinonso Obokoh (Bishop Kearney/Rochester NY), Forwards Tyler Roberson (Roselle Catholic, Union, NJ) and B.J. Johnson (Lower Marion High/Adrmore, PA), along with guards Tyler Ennis (St. Benedict’s/Brampton, Ont. CA), and McCullough’s Brewster teammate, Ron Patterson (Indianapolis, IN) have all committed to Syracuse for next season.

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne


Brooks’ big game leads No. 15 Oregon over Fresno State 78-73

Dillon Brooks, Torren Jones
AP Photo/Chris Pietsch
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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Dillon Brooks had 21 points and 10 rebounds and No. 15 Oregon staved off a late rally by Fresno State for a 78-73 victory Monday night.

Chris Boucher and Elgin Cook added 14 points each for the Ducks (6-0), who led 70-52 with 6:35 to play before Marvelle Harris scored 13 points in a 16-2 run by the Bulldogs (5-1) that cut the deficit to four.

A driving layup by Brooks put Oregon up 74-68 with 1:20 left, and the Ducks held on by making four of six free throws in the final 45 seconds.

Harris, who didn’t score until the 12:04 mark of the second half, led Fresno State with 18 points, while Paul Watson added 11 and Torren Jones had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Bulldogs won the rebounding battle 41-32 behind Jones and Karachi Edo, who had nine rebounds and 10 points.

Freshman Tyler Dorsey, Oregon’s leading scorer at 15.2 points per game, finished with 12.

The Ducks scored the game’s first 11 points, went up by as many as 14 and took a 37-25 halftime lead. The Ducks did most of the damage from inside the 3-point arc (9 of 10) and at the free throw line, outscoring the Bulldogs 13-5.

Fresno State, meanwhile, missed its first six shots from the field, shot 29.0 percent (9 of 31) and saw its top two scorers, Harris and Cezar Guerrero, held scoreless for the first 20 minutes.

The senior guards came in averaging 20.2 and 13.2 points per game, respectively.


Fresno State: Harris, the preseason choice for Mountain West Conference player of the year, needed one point to crack the Bulldog’s all-time top 10 in scoring. After going scoreless in the first half, he finished with 18 to rank 10th with 1,425, one behind Tod Bernard in ninth place, in 107 career games. . The Bulldogs fell to 2-10 all-time against Oregon. They last time they beat the Ducks, who have won the last five meetings, was in 1995. . Fresno State hasn’t beaten a Top 25 team on the road since 2000.

Oregon: The double-double was the second of the season Brooks and fourth of his career. . The Ducks are 40-2 against nonconference opponents since moving into Matthew Knight Arena five years ago. . The 6-0 start is Oregon’s second in the last nine years. The Ducks started 13-0 two seasons ago.

No. 1 Kentucky survives without Tyler Ulis in lineup

Tyler Ulis
AP Photo/Chuck Burton
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Less than a week after giving No. 2 Maryland all they could handle, Illinois State went into Lexington and gave No. 1 Kentucky fits.

The Redbirds never really threatened UK in the second half, but they went into the break tied and were within single digits down the stretch, eventually losing 75-63.

Kentucky was flustered. They turned the ball over 15 times compared to just eight assists, they shot 2-for-12 from three and just 29-for-46 (63 percent) from the charity stripe. They simply did not handle Illinois State’s pressure all that well.

And there was a reason for that.

Tyler Ulis didn’t play.

Sometimes it’s difficult to appreciate just what a player brings to a team until that player is not in the lineup, and that was precisely the case with Ulis on Monday night. It was crystal clear what he provides Kentucky. Beyond leadership and the ability to break a press without throwing the ball to the other team, he’s a calming presence. He doesn’t get rattled when a defender is harassing him and he doesn’t get overwhelmed by a situation like a mid-major threatening the No. 1 team in the country in their own gym.

He’s everything you look for in a pure point guard, and for as good as Jamal Murray and Isaiah Briscoe have looked at times this season, it should be crystal clear who the most important player on this Kentucky team is.