Alan Rogers/The Southern Illinoisan

SIU loses Antonio Bryer, gets Diamond Taylor back

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It’s a bittersweet day for coach Barry Hinson.

While Southern Illinois announced in a release that the Salukis will get back Diamond Taylor on Jan. 15 after he spent the first half of the season suspended following a DUI arrest on Sept. 22, the program also announced that sophomore Antonio Bryer is leaving the team and will transfer at the end of the spring semester.

Bryer, a 6-6 sophomore, averaged 2.9 points and 1.4 rebounds in nine games this season. He left the team briefly earlier this season but returned. As a freshman, the Norview. Va. native played in 12 games and scored six total points. It’s kind of obvious he’s probably looking for more playing time, at least on the surface.

Taylor, on the other hand, is bigger news. The junior guard averaged 4.3 points in 14 minutes per game last season. He’ll be a key back-up to guards Kendal Brown-Surles and Jeff Early for the Missouri Valley Conference slate in a league where depth is key.

Bryer leaving is a major blow to the depth of SIU, but nothing they can’t overcome. But Taylor is a welcome addition for Hinson and the Salukis.

David Harten is a sportswriter and college basketball blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.


Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.