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 Rivals.com 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 NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

 

USC guard to leave school, turn pro

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It appears that De’Anthony Melton’s college career has come to an end.

The 6-foot-3 shooting guard for the USC Trojans announced on Wednesday that he will be leaving school. Melton, a sophomore, was caught up in the FBI’s investigation into corruption in college basketball and has not played in a game this season.

“I have reached a crossroads wherein I have decided to focus on honing my strengths and improving upon my weakness for competition at the next level,” Melton said in a statement.

And athletic wing with a 6-foot-8 wingspan, Melton averaged 8.3 points, 4.7 boards, 3.5 assists and 1.9 steals as a freshman. He is considered a potential first round pick.

CBT Podcast: Louisville’s NCAA ruling and what’s in store for the coaching carousel

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Old friend of the podcast Jeff Goodman joined Rob Dauster on Wednesday to walk through everything that is happening with the punishments received by Louisville as well as a breakdown of this year’s coaching carousel and the changes that could be coming down the pipeline this season. There’s a chance, with the FBI investigation looming, that this year could get crazy. They talk about just how likely that is and who could be the names that you see taking over on some of the hottest seats. The rundown:

OPEN: Louisville’s banner comes down and what they will do with their head coaching position

14:30: Arizona, Kansas and Michigan State all have smoke surrounding them. Will Bill Self, Sean Miller or Tom Izzo move? Will this year’s carousel be crazy?

19:45: Will UConn and Memphis find the money to buy out their coaches?

27:30: Search Firm! Who should ADs with coaches on the hot seat target, and who will they hire.

Iowa State’s Weiler-Babb, Young could miss rest of the season

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Iowa State could play the rest of this season without Nick Weiler-Babb and Solomon Young as the school announced Tuesday that both players are dealing with knee injuries.

Weiler-Babb has been battling tendinitis in his left knee during this season as he sat out four games during the year. Although Weiler-Babb returned to play in the last two games for the Cyclones, he got another medical opinion over the weekend.

Young had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Tuesday as he’s expected to miss the next three-to-four weeks.

“It is unfortunate for Nick and Solomon because of the hard work they have put into our program,” Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm said in a statement. “We always want to do what is in the best interest of our players and their health is our top priority.”

Weiler-Babb, a 6-foot-5 junior guard, put up 11.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game for the Cyclones this week while Young, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, averaged 7.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest.

Since Iowa State is at .500 and likely won’t play in any significant postseason, these injuries will give them a chance to give some minutes to some younger and more inexperienced players. The Cyclones host TCU on Wednesday night as they still have four games left in the regular season before the Big 12 tournament begins.

Notre Dame remaining cautious as Bonzie Colson returns to practice

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Notre Dame senior forward Bonzie Colson is getting closer to returning after being out since early January.

The 6-foot-6 Colson has been out with a fracture in his left foot since Jan. 2 as the Irish have struggled to a below-.500 mark in the ACC. With the Irish likely out of the NCAA tournament picture at this point in the season, head coach Mike Brey told reporters, including Tim Prister of 247 Sports, that he would exercise caution with Colson returning to practice for Notre Dame this week. Colson is slightly ahead of the eight-week projection for his return so far, but he also has a pro future to account for after this season while the Irish don’t have a bright NCAA tournament future.

Colson was hoping to make his season debut on Saturday against Wake Forest but Brey isn’t optimistic about that debut.

“I won’t trust his judgment,” Brey said of Colson, “I’m not going to trust his judgment at all.

“He would have to really show something Thursday and Friday. I’ve got an open mind. Show me. I’ve got an open mind. But I just don’t know if that would be smart.”

Brey is hoping to gradually ease Colson back into the Notre Dame rotation so that he can earn some minutes to close out his senior season. Colson dressed for the Irish’s game against Miami on Monday night and he’s been working hard with Notre Dame’s strength and conditioning coaches.

“It would be energizing for us if Bonzie is back for at least half a practice Thursday,” Brey said. “That’s what we’re going to try. That would probably be energizing for everybody, especially for the seniors, to see him back in practice.

“But I don’t think he’s going to be ready to play (vs. Wake Forest) after two semi-days of practice. Pittsburgh’s realistic, depending upon how he reacts. That’s a positive. We need him back.”

It’s nice to see Brey exercise caution with this situation since Colson has the NBA Draft Combine to prepare for on May 16. Obviously, things haven’t gone as planned for the Irish this season, but they’ve battled a lot of injuries up and down the roster besides for Colson.

Colson does have some incentive to return as well as he’s looking to close out his college career in the best way possible while also showing pro teams that he’s healthy and active following the broken foot.

VIDEOS: Tom Izzo gets emotional on Michigan State Senior Night

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Michigan State has one of the best Senior Night traditions in college basketball as its departing players kiss the center floor logo before exiting the floor for the final time.

The Spartans had plenty of time to celebrate during a beatdown of Illinois in its home finale on Tuesday night as the program sent off some notable seniors like Gavin Schilling, Ben Carter and Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn Jr.

Head coach Tom Izzo could barely keep his composure with Nairn coming off of of the floor.

Although Michigan State celebrated a big win over the Illini, there is plenty of work left to do. The Spartans are hoping to make its first Final Four run since 2015.

(H/t: ESPN and Michigan State on BTN)