Shabazz Muhammad

Report: NCAA fired lead investigator in Shabazz Muhammad’s case


You should know the story of Shabazz Muhammad by now.

The nation’s No. 1 recruit coming out of high school, Muhammad was investigated by the NCAA for accepting illegal benefits during his high school career. According to reports from from back in February, one of the things that the NCAA was looking into involved Muhammad’s relationship with a couple of financial advisors in New York and how the Las Vegas native paid for some of the unofficial visits he took to the other side of the country.

Most expected the NCAA to try and make an example out of Muhammad. Predictions ranged from a 10-15 games suspension to having his amateur status permanently revoked.

But Muhammad ended up sitting out just three games, and perhaps the biggest catalyst for the 6-foot-5 swingman was the boyfriend of Abigail Grantstein.

Grantstein has been a lead investigator for a number of the NCAA’s more high-profile cases, including, among other, Josh Selby. But a lawyer sent an email to the NCAA saying that she had overheard a man claiming to be the boyfriend of an NCAA investigator named Abigail bragging about how the NCAA would never clear Muhammad.

And according to Baxter Holmes, the UCLA beat reporter for the LA Times who has been all over this story, that has cost Abigail her job:

I bet it cost her a boyfriend, as well.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.