Hofstra takes another hit as knee issues end Jamal Coombs-McDaniel’s season

Leave a comment

The hits just keep on coming for Mo Cassara and the Hofstra Pride.

After getting through a November that was capped by the dismissal of four players due to their arrest on charges of burglary, December won’t close well either as it was reported by Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com that junior forward Jamal Coombs-McDaniel will miss the remainder of the season due to lingering knee problems.

Coombs-McDaniel, a reserve on Connecticut’s 2011 national championship team, was expected to be an impact transfer alongside Penn State transfer Taran Buie entering the 2012-13 season but that never materialized as the Boston native never took the floor for the Pride.

Add in Hawaii transfer Shaquille Stokes being one of the four players dismissed from the team and Buie (15.3 ppg) is the lone transfer making his Hofstra debut in 2012-13 that remains. Also dismissed from the program in late November were freshman Jimmy Hall, the team’s leading rebounder at the time, Kentrell Washington and Dallas Anglin.

Sitting at 3-8 with a game against Tulane on Saturday, Hofstra has struggled mightily on the offensive end of the floor as they’re averaging just 63.9 points per game. And in the Pride’s last six games, all losses, they’ve managed to score more than 57 points just once (88-84 loss to LIU Brooklyn).

The 6-7 Coombs-McDaniel, who was a very good scorer in high school at the Tilton School, was expected to given Cassara a much-needed offensive option upon his return to the court. But that isn’t going to happen, and will ultimately keep Hofstra down in the lower region of the CAA standings.

With teams such as Drexel (3-7), Delaware (3-8) and Old Dominion (1-10) off to slow starts, year one after the departure of VCU has not been a good one for the CAA.

Just two teams (William & Mary and George Mason) have above .500 records currently, and with Towson, UNCW (both for APR issues), Georgia State and ODU (those two are joining new conferences) ineligible for the conference tournament who knows what will happen in March.

But with their severely depleted roster, it’s difficult to see a Hofstra team that’s down to seven scholarship players being able to take advantage of the situation and grab the CAA’s automatic bid.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Reports: Duke’s Frank Jackson to declare for draft

Leave a comment

Frank Jackson will declare for the draft but will not be signing with an agent, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Previous reports had indicated that Jackson “planned” to return to school, and that still may end up proving true. But the combination of Trevon Duval potentially enrolling at Duke combined with the fact that there is zero downside to going through the draft process, it makes sense for Jackson to declare.

Jackson averaged 10.9 points and shot 39.5 percent from three. He’s projected as a mid-first round pick in 2018 by Draft Express, but at 6-foot-3, he’s too small to play the two in the NBA and has yet to prove he can be a point guard.

Jackson is the fourth Duke player to declare, following Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles III and Luke Kennard. All three signed with an agent. Grayson Allen and Marques Bolden are both returning to school.

VIDEO: Top 2018 recruits Zion Williamson and Romeo Langford go head-to-head at adidas

Leave a comment

This weekend is the first live evaluation period of the spring recruiting calendar as college coaches from all over the country are scouting (and babysitting) the top recruits in the Class of 2018 and 2019.

Friday night the adidas Gauntlet in Dallas opened with a marquee matchup of two star players as five-star forward Zion Williamson and five-star guard Romeo Langford went head-to-head in what should be one of the best games of the spring.

Most scouting services have Williamson and Langford as the No. 2 and No. 3 overall prospects in the Class of 2018 as the duo didn’t disappoint in front of the huge crowd in Fort Worth.

Williamson helped his team to a win with 26 points and seven rebounds while Langford had 28 points, four rebounds and four assists. You’ll be hearing plenty about both of these guys over the next few months as both are still wide open in the recruting process.

(H/t: Ball is Life)

Report: Coppin State hires Juan Dixon as new head coach

Jamie Squire/ESPN/Getty Images
1 Comment

Coppin State has hired former Maryland star guard Juan Dixon to be its next head coach, according to a report from Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun.

The 38-year-old Dixon is best known for leading Maryland to the 2002 national championship as he was the Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four that year. Now Dixon will have a chance to lead a Division I program for the first time.

Dixon spent seven years in the NBA and also played professionally in Europe before joining the Maryland coaching staff in 2013 as a special assistant to head coach Mark Turgeon. Not retained by Maryland after the 2015-16 season, Dixon took the head coaching job for the women’s team at the University of the District of Columbia last season as the Division II program finished only  3-25.

Coppin State finished last season with an 8-24 record after losing its first 12 games of the season. While Dixon will generate some positive local buzz given his background, he’s going to have an uphill battle trying to rebuild that program.

Nebraska scores important Class of 2017 commitment from four-star guard Thomas Allen

Leave a comment

Nebraska landed an important commitment from the Class of 2017 on Friday as four-star guard Thomas Allen is heading to Lincoln next season.

The 6-foot-1 guard is considered the No. 99 overall prospect by Rivals in the national Class of 2017 rankings as Allen was previously committed to N.C. State before head coach Mark Gottfried was fired.

A scorer with a good amount of skill, Allen has a chance to come in and make an immediate impact at Nebraska as he can play a bit on or off the ball. Allen should help offset the loss of senior Tai Webster in the Husker backcourt.

Allen joins wing Nana Akenten in Nebraska’s Class of 2017 recruiting efforts.

North Carolina lands four-star Class of 2017 big man Garrison Brooks

Leave a comment

North Carolina pulled in a late Class of 2017 commitment to begin the weekend as the Tar Heels secured a pledge from four-star Class of 2017 big man Garrison Brooks.

The 6-foot-9, 225-pound Brooks was previously committed to Mississippi State, but he was granted his release this spring to explore other opportunities.

The Tar Heels pounced as they’re getting a low-post threat who could develop into a potential double-double threat. A solid rebounder who isn’t afraid to play with physicality, Brooks has a chance to earn some immediate rotation minutes with seniors like Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks exhausting their eligibility.

Brooks is regarded as the No. 120 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, according to Rivals, as he is a four-star prospect. The native of Auburn, Alabama joins a North Carolina recruiting class that includes point guard Jalek Felton, shooting guard Andrew Platek and big men Brandon Huffman and Sterling Manley.