josh jones greg mcdermott

Heart ailment ends career of Creighton guard Josh Jones

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After passing out shortly before Creighton’s game at Nebraska on December 6, senior guard Josh Jones underwent a surgical procedure in an attempt to rectify the heart ailment that first became an issue in 2007 when he played at Omaha Central High School.

Doctors determined that Jones’ passing out in Lincoln was triggered by an atrial flutter, but more tests revealed a more serious issue. As a result, Jones’ on-court time as a Bluejay has come to an end.

The nine-hour procedure that Jones underwent on December 18, a radiofrequency ablation, is a non-surgical procedure used in an attempt to address certain types of rapid heart beating with atrial flutter being one of those.

Jones will undergo another such procedure next month according to the Omaha World-Herald, and there’s a chance that his situation may require another open-heart procedure (Jones underwent one in 2007) or even the implanting of a defibrillator.

“Today I would like to announce my early retirement 4rm my collegiate athletic career, and potentially further basketball aspirations,” Jones announced via Twitter on Wednesday. “I’m may not have my career at bball anymore, but I do have my career in a healthy life and other successful opportunities. Thanks for support.

“After being so strong having to be away from the game.. I shed a tear of bitter sweetness about the feelings as I walk away from the game.”

Is it sad that Jones’ career has been derailed by a heart ailment? Definitely, but as NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster pointed out in August when Tulsa’s Kodi Maduka had to make a similar decision this should be seen as a joyous event.

Creighton loses a valuable reserve in Jones, as he was averaging 7.0 points per game in just under 20 minutes of action before the health scare in Lincoln, but his impact on the program has been about more than basketball.

And that’s something Jones will be able to look back on with pride as he moves forward with life after basketball.

“When I look back on it now, I know what I want my legacy to be,” Jones said. “It’s about how a young kid from north Omaha who grew up with nothing but a dream and faced every adversity possible stayed focused and became successful.

“If I can do that, it would mean more to me than any basket I ever scored.”

It’s unfortunate that Jones’ career has been cut short, but when it comes to heart issues things could have been far worse. Best wishes to Josh, and hopefully doctors will be able to rectify the issue once and for all in the coming months.

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

Top-100 guard commits to Xavier

Chris Mack has Xavier back in the Sweet 16 (AP Photo)
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Xavier has added a top-100 prospect into its 2017 recruiting class Wednesday.

Elias Harden, a shooting guard from Georgia, pledged to the Musketeers via social media to become the second member of Chris Mack’s next class.

“The recruiting process was not EASY AT ALL,” Harden wrote on Twitter. “I wanna thank all the coaches that took time to recruit me.

“WIth that being said I will continue my academic and athletic career at Xavier University.”

The 6-foot-6 guard is ranked 92nd overall by 247Sports and had offers from Auburn, Maryland, Texas Tech and Ole Miss. He joins Jared Ridder, a Missouri guard, as part of the 2017 Xavier class.

The Musketeers return the bulk of last year’s 28-6 team that narrowly missed out on the Sweet 16.

Clemson recruit to enroll early

Brad Brownell
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Clemson will get a four-star recruit on campus a year earlier than it expected, though his on-court debut for the Tigers will remain on schedule.

A.J. Oliver, a guard from South Carolina, will enroll early at Clemson and redshirt this upcoming season, he announced via social media Wednesday.

“I woke up this morning and realized that the greatest opportunity for me is to enroll early into Clemson,” he wrote on Twitter. “I will redshirt a year & start my college career early.”

Oliver, whose mother is the head women’s basketball coach at Clemson, was a consensus top-100 player in the class of 2017 who committed to the Tigers last December. Texas Tech and the College of Charleston were involved before his commitment.

A three-star shooting guard, Scott Spencer of Virginia, was previously the only member coach Brad Brownell’s 2016 class. While Oliver’s decision to redshirt will keep him off the court for the 2016-17 season, he’ll have spent a full season in the Tiger program before making his debut in 2017

The cupboard isn’t bare in 2017 for the Tigers due to Oliver’s reclassification because Clemson received a commitment from power forward Malik Williams, a consensus top-150 player, earlier Wednesday.

Kentucky used Calipari-Chaney fight in media training

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Kentucky Sports Radio
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Kentucky held some media training sessions yesterday, and one of the topics that head coach John Calipari used to make a point was … his blow-up with John Chaney. The moment was captured on SnapChat by a trio of Kentucky newcomers.

You remember that incident. Chaney, then the head coach at Temple, and Cal, who was coaching Atlantic 10 rival UMass at the time, nearly came to blows over the way that Cal handled officials during the game. Before the video below picks up, the two shared this exchange:

“Could I say this to you, please?” Chaney said, before the video above picks up. “You’ve got a good ball club. But what you did with the officials out there is wrong, and I don’t want to be a party to that. You understand?”

Cal responded: “You weren’t out there, Coach. You don’t have any idea.”

Chaney fired back: “You got a game given to you by officials right here with G.W. on three bad calls, O.K.? Then you send your kids out there pushing and shoving. You had the best officiating you could ever get here. And for you to ride them, I don’t want to be a party to that.”

And that led to “I’ll kill you”:

(h/t KSR)

VIDEO: Shaq’s son, Shareef O’Neal, with monster dunk in Vegas

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Shareef O’Neal is a top 50 prospect in the Class of 2018. In Vegas this past weekend, he threw down a monster put-back dunk.

South Dakota State gets two commits

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Tuesday was a busy and productive one for South Dakota State on the recruiting trail.

The Jackrabbits secured two 2017 commitments from the state of Wisconsin in Ryan Krueger and Alex Arians, a source tells NBCSports.com.

Krueger is a 6-foot-5 wing player from New London, Wisc. while Arians is a 6-foot-4 guard from Madison, Wisc., who also held an offer from Wright State, which is coached by former SDSU coach Scott Nagy. Both players spend their summers playing for the Wisconsin Swing grassroots program.

The pair make it a trio of commits for the Jackrabbits in 2017 with another Wisconsinite, Alou Dillon, pledging to first-year Jackrabbits coach T.J. Otzelberger, himself a Wisconsin native, earlier this summer.

South Dakota State went 26-8 last year and the bulk of the team that made the NCAA tournament last year, including sophomore Mike Daum, who led the team in scoring and rebounding as a freshman.