Mike Rice

2013 point guard Shane Rector verbally commits to attend Rutgers

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Rutgers landed its first commitment in the 2013 class on Thursday morning, as Bronx point guard Shane Rector notified head coach Mike Rice of his decision to attend the school.

The news was first reported by the Newark Star-Ledger, and Rector’s decision to join the program gives the Scarlet Knights yet another option in a backcourt that isn’t expected to lose a player at the end of the 2012-13 campaign.

Eli Carter, Myles Mack and Jerome Seagears will all be juniors next season and wings Vincent Garrett  and Malick Kone will have the opportunity to earn minutes due to the graduation of Dane Miller.

Rector gives the Scarlet Knights an athletic lead guard who can beat opponents off the dribble as well as set up his teammates. Rector began his high school career at St. Raymond’s in the Bronx and currently plays at South Kent Prep in Connecticut.

Rutgers has sophomore point guards Myles Mack and Jerome Seagears, who would be juniors when Rector arrives. One or both of those guys could also play off the ball alongside a true point guard.

“I’m just a person that can make plays,” Rector said. “I’m a playmaker. I get my teammates open shots so that will be a good addition to the team.”

Rector played last spring/summer for the Playaz Basketball Club (NJ) and displayed an improved ability to knock down perimeter shots. In games leading up to their appearance in the EYBL Finals at the Nike Peach Jam, Rector averaged a team-high 16.7 points per game and shot 56% from the field.

At the Peach Jam he averaged 12.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game in five games, and Rector is currently averaging 14.5 points and 5.5 assists per game at South Kent Prep.

In addition to Miller, Rutgers will lose fellow senior Austin Johnson at the end of this season. But with Kadeem Jack, Wally Judge and Derrick Randall due back (and Greg Lewis is redshirting this season) the Scarlet Knights won’t lack for bodies inside.

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

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.